Australian sales of electric vehicles (EV) recorded by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ VFACTS data grew a whopping 273.2 per cent in July, to 515 units (up from 138 in July of 2020).

    EV sales are up a lazy 200.6 per cent for the year-to-date (YTD), from 909 sales last year to 2732 sales this year – in the context of total market growth of ‘only’ 26.5 per cent.

    Data shows there are 14 EV models counted in this list, but reflective of growing demand we’ve calculated that this number should be over 25 by year’s end.

    This must be contextualised by noting Australians have bought 651,629 vehicles total this year (365,232 petrol, 240,416 diesel, 41,810 hybrid, and 1765 PHEV), meaning the EV market share in VFACTS is just 0.4 per cent YTD.

    The major caveat on all this is the absence of clear EV leader Tesla, which doesn’t publish its sales in the FCAI’s reports and won’t provide them when asked. This is a shame, since I believe a Model 3 is the best affordable EV money can buy.

    We do know the Model 3 comfortably outsells all rivals: Market analysts suggest Tesla sold around 4200 Model 3s over the first half of 2021 in Australia, and shipments from China aren’t slowing, according to Tesla tracker VedaPrime.

    Additional figures obtained by CarExpert shows which makes and models are driving the growth. The market’s cheapest EV – the MG ZS – was also the most popular (non-Tesla Model 3) EV for July, ahead of the new Mercedes-Benz EQA.

    July 2021 EV sales excluding Telsa

    We can also show the sales by model for the year so far, which presents a slightly different list, though the winner is the same. The sales of Porsche’s Taycan are particularly noteworthy given its price.

    YTD 2021 EV sales excluding Telsa

    • MG ZS: 843
    • Porsche Taycan: 414
    • Nissan Leaf: 287
    • Hyundai Kona: 267
    • Mercedes-Benz EQA: 175
    • Mercedes-Benz EQC: 168
    • Hyundai Ioniq: 161
    • Mini SE: 116
    • Kia Niro: 104
    • Audi e-tron: 77
    • BMW i3: 40
    • Jaguar I-Pace: 37
    • Renault Kangoo ZE: 33
    • Mazda MX-30: 10

    Sales are expected to grow as the market matures. Both News South Wales and Victoria recently introduced electric car purchase incentives.

    NSW’s policy includes waiving stamp duty on EVs under $78,000, paying a $3000 rebate, and pumping $171 million into the charging network.

    Victoria’s policy will bring $3000 subsidies on sub-$69,000 electric cars, bolster the charging network, and start switching over its public-servant fleet to EVs. It also charges a controversial mileage tax in lieu of fuel excise.

    The ACT has already detailed a generous package of assistance including no-interest loans to invest in ZEVs, free rego, and a public-servant fleet turnover to generate a used EV market.

    Electric car buyers in the Northern Territory (NT) will also be offered free registration and $1500 in stamp duty cuts, as part of a plan to encourage uptake.

    We also saw news last week of the federal government’s commitment to co-fund more than 400 fast chargers for EVs, including 120 at Ampol service stations.

    However, the federal government has also been criticised for the lack of national CO2 caps and other incentives, compared to regions in much of Europe, Asia and North America. More on this here.

    But the real growth in EVs won’t occur until there’s more choice in market. Here’s a shortlist of some EVs coming to Australia, soon.



    We cover the EV world in depth, catch up on some of the issues below.

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    MORE: Emissions targets explained, Q&A with FCAI chief Tony Weber
    MORE: Australia-wide EV policy needed to avoid ‘chaos’, says FCAI
    MORE: NSW announces sweeping electric-vehicle stimulus package
    MORE: Ford CEO calls out Australia for lack of EV infrastructure
    MORE: Victoria commits to electric car subsidies, 2030 sales target
    MORE: Victoria’s ‘worst EV policy in the world’ slammed

    MORE: Northern Territory commits to electric car incentives
    MORE: Australian industry keeps calling for new government CO2 targets
    MORE: ACT moving public-servant fleet to EVs, will slash running costs
    MORE: How Australia’s federal opposition proposes to slash EV prices

    MORE: Q&A with JET Charge founder Tim Washington

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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