Calendar 2022 was the biggest year for electric vehicle uptake in Australia. Newly released data from the Federated Chamber of Automotive Industries and its vFacts publication show EV sales at 3.1% of total new car sales, in a market where more than 1.08 million vehicles were sold.
In total, some 33,410 new fully battery electric vehicles were sold in Australia in calendar 2022, with December being a standout month with 5,084 BEV sales and a market share of 5.8 per cent – the best ever for Australia but still way behind Europe and China markets.
The dominant brand was, of course, Tesla, with accounted for nearly two-thirds of all battery electric vehicles sold in the country thanks to the Model 3 electric sedan and the Model Y electric crossover.
IMAGE: RIZ AKHTAR
Tesla Model 3 was not only the best-selling EV in 2022 with 10,877 sales, but it also outsold the Toyota Camry which had 9,538 sales during the year.
The Tesla Model Y also made up 8,717 sales, according to vFacts, which is a pretty big feat in itself given this electric SUV was locally launched only in June 2022 and deliveries began in August.
Others in the top 5 best-selling EVs for the calendar year are the newer brands like BYD and Polestar, which both had a very positive year, outselling many traditional automotive brands in Australia.
BYD Atto 3 had its highest sales month in December so far with 1,268 sales. It came after deliveries of the five-star ANCAP-rated EV re-commenced in full swing.
This bought the total annual sales for the Atto 3 to 2,113. It remains Australia’s most affordable ground-up EV, starting at just over $50,000 to close the year off.
Polestar also joined the pack and had its first full year of sales and deliveries, taking up 1,524 of battery electric sales for the year. December also was one of the highest sales months for the brand with over 259 sales.
Hyundai’s best-selling battery electric vehicle for the year was the Kona EV which made up 1,096 sales.
THE KONA EV VISITS CAPE LEGRAND NATIONAL PARK. SUPPLIED
MG also launched their new ZS EV in the Australian market with deliveries of the new model starting in the second half of the year. MG sold over 1,000 EVs during the year and The Driven is awaiting the total sales numbers from MG Australia.
Looking ahead to 2023, FCAI Cheif Executive Tony Weber touched on zero and low emission vehicles outlook:
“While 2022 has been a year of resilience and recovery, 2023 is shaping up as one of the most significant in recent history, particularly in terms of the development of policies that set the direction for the future decarbonisation of the light vehicle fleet.
Weber added that beyond the fuel efficiency standard, a technology mix, infrastructure investment and behaviour change initiatives were also needed to reduce emissions to create a cleaner fleet and ensure a sustainable automotive industry.
Other data of note includes the 5,937 plug in hybrid sales in the calendar year, the 81,786 mild hybrid sales, and the 15 hydrogen cars.
2023 is looking to be a very exciting year for EV uptake. With supply-chain challenges coming down and more EV models hitting our shores, EV uptake will see a sharp rise this year.
Dominating brands like Tesla will continue to lead the pack and the more family-friendly Model Y is expected to surpass the Model 3 in local sales during the year.
More affordable models like the upcoming MG4, ORA Cat and the BYD Dolphin will do really well and help many Australians make the switch to get behind the wheel of a cleaner EV.