Exclusive: Tesla Australia sales in 2021 revealed state by state

Electric-car specialist Tesla sold a record number of vehicles in Australia last year. Here is the exclusive breakdown of registrations, state by state.


US electric-car specialist Tesla eclipsed 12,000 sales in Australia in 2021 – more than triple the number of cars it delivered in the prior year – and helped drive record growth of electric vehicles nationally, according to exclusive registration data obtained by Drive.

It means there were in excess of 17,000 new electric cars sold in Australia last year, not 5149 as reported earlier this month by the peak lobby group, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

With Tesla registration data included, electric cars accounted for 1.7 per cent of all new motor vehicle sales in 2021 – not 0.7 per cent as originally reported – and an increase of 230 per cent compared to the total of 5200 electric cars (including Tesla) sold in 2020.

The FCAI collects and distributes sales data from all automotive brands sold in Australia – except Tesla, which does not participate – and shares the information with the Australian Bureau of Statistics and market analysts such as CommSec.

However, the data is skewed because the number of Tesla registrations in Australia in 2021 was enough to overtake the annual sales tally for Volvo, Skoda, Lexus and Jeep – pushing those brands down the official rankings.

The absence of Tesla data in monthly FCAI sales figures has prompted government departments to monitor the registration of Tesla motor vehicles more closely.

To get a better idea of the number of Tesla vehicles sold each year in Australia, registration data is sourced by Austroads’ National Exchange of Vehicle and Driver Information System (NEVDIS) – the same database that helped track down millions of cars equipped with deadly Takata airbags across more than a dozen vehicle brands.

The latest data shows 12,058 additional Tesla vehicles were registered in Australia over the past 12 months.

NSW leads the charge as the jurisdiction with the most number of Tesla cars in Australia (3600 registered last year, 7200 to date), ahead of Victoria (2900 last year, 5900 to date), and Queensland (2950 last year, 5000 to date).

Meanwhile the nation’s capital saw 460 Tesla cars registered over the past 12 months (for a total of 820), compared to 20 in the Northern Territory (for a total of just under 40 examples), 430 in South Australia (for a total of 770), 1490 in Western Australia (for a total of 2110), and 125 in Tasmania (for a total of 230). Figures have been rounded to avoid plagiarism.

This brings the total number of Tesla cars on the nation’s roads to more than 22,000 – which means more than half of the Tesla fleet in Australia was sold in the past 12 months alone, signalling phenomenal sales growth.

Although not confirmed, the Tesla Model Y mid-size SUV is due to join the local line-up in Australia at some point this year.

It is expected this model will provide Tesla with an opportunity for another significant sales boost in Australia.

Registration data sourced by Drive shows the Tesla Model 3 comfortably topped the electric-car sales charts last year, outselling the second-placed MG ZS EV – Australia’s cheapest electric car – by more than eight-to-one.

Tesla registrations in Australia over the past 12 months, change from prior year (sourced by Drive.com.au)
ACT 459, up 127 per cent
NSW 3608, up 99 per cent
NT 20, up 118 per cent
QLD 2946, up 144 per cent
SA 429, up 127 per cent
TAS 127, up 125 per cent
VIC 2980, up 101 per cent
WA 1489, up 237 per cent
Total 12,058, up 119 per cent

Source: Austroads and NEVDIS, data from 16/01/2021 to 21/01/2022.

New Tesla registrations in Australia, change from prior year (sourced by Drive.com.au)
2021 12,058, up 119 per cent Model 3
2020 3430, up 16.3 per cent Model S, Model X, Model 3
2019 2950, up 193.5 per cent Model S, Model X, Model 3
2018 1005 (increase from prior year unknown) Model S, Model X, Model 3

Sources: National Transport Commission, Austroads and NEVDIS.

Year Tesla global sales, change from prior year (based on Tesla financial reports) Vehicles produced
2021 936,172, up 87.4 per cent Model S, Model X, Model 3, Model Y
2020 499,550, up 36 per cent Model S, Model X, Model 3, Model Y
2019 367,500, up 50 per cent Model S, Model X, Model 3
2018 245,240, up 138 per cent Model S, Model X, Model 3
2017 103,120, up 35 per cent Model S, Model X, Model 3
2016 76,230, up 51 per cent Model S, Model X
2015 50,557, up 60 per cent Model S
2014 31,655, up 41 per cent Model S
2013 22,477, up 625 per cent Model S
2012 3100 Model S, Roadster (2008 to 2012)

Source: Tesla financial reports.

MORE: Australia’s best-selling electric cars of 2021 – that aren’t Teslas

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