Australia’s best-selling electric car last month


It was a Swedish front-row lock-out for Australian electric car sales last month, as Tesla’s production delays and delivery strategy saw its sales fall even further.

The 2022 Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric small SUV was Australia’s best-selling electric vehicle (EV) last month, followed closely by its Polestar twin – as previous market leaders Tesla and MG struggle with stock shortages of various forms.

The 174 electric XC40s sold last month represent a record for Volvo’s debut electric car, off the back of increased supply – and an order bank approaching the 2000 mark, primarily for the updated 2023 model due from next month.

A total of 634 XC40 Recharge Pure Electrics have been reported as delivered to customers since the car launched in September 2021 – accounting for just over 20 per cent of total Volvo XC40 sales over the same period.

In second place on last month’s EV sales leaderboard is the Volvo’s twin under the skin, the Polestar 2, of which 153 were reported as sold last month – for a total of 361 vehicles since the car launched locally in March.

Usual sales leader Tesla reported only 12 vehicles as sold last month, a combination of its sales strategy – which usually sees it deliver vehicles in large batches every three months – and factory delays that have paused local Tesla shipments until the second half of this year.

Some relief could be on the way for buyers in the queue, with Tesla shipping tracker VedaPrime reporting a ship rumoured to be carrying 150 to 200 Tesla cars arrived on Australian shores in recent days.

While most or all of the cars are slated for customer delivery – rather than as demonstrators, as initially planned – it will not cover the 3000 to 4000 vehicles Tesla usually delivers to customers at the end of each quarter (March, June, September, December).

Meanwhile, last year’s best-selling non-Tesla electric car – the MG ZS EV small SUV – is currently in a model changeover period, as stock of the pre-update 2021 model dried up this February ahead of the updated 2022 model’s launch in August.

MG Australia amassed 455 pre-orders for the facelifted ZS EV between March and May (inclusive) – equivalent to four months’ worth of the 1388 ZS EVs reported as sold throughout 2021.

Wait times for a new Tesla remain at nine to 12 months, according to the brand’s website – despite several factory shutdowns in recent months – while Polestar’s website lists a seven-month wait, for delivery in January 2023.

Other highlights of May’s electric car sales include 52 Mini Cooper SE electric hatchbacks – likely to represent a record, thanks to improved supply – plus 49 BMW i4 sedans and 56 Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric SUVs.

BMW Australia is yet to confirm a sales figure for the iX3 medium SUV – Drive has contacted the company, and will update this story once a number is obtained – however something in the region of 40 sales is anticipated.

Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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