Tesla’s Model 3 was the global best-selling EV in 2018, according to data firm JATO Dynamics.
JATO says the Silicon Valley-based carmaker sold approximately 138,000 Model 3's, but second-place went to a surprise winner – China’s state-owned BAIC marque who sold 92,000 models, 7000 more than closest competitor Nissan with its Leaf EV.
JATO bases their figures on registrations, rather than just sales, providing an indication of actual vehicles on the road.
Tesla recently started importing the Model 3 into China where a 25% tax is charged on imported vehicles – something the company hopes to circumvent when it opens its planned Gigafactory in Shanghai in mid-2019. It’s hoped the move will strengthen market share in the country.
Model 3s are also being delivered to Europe for the first time, and it’s hoped that these new markets will add over 100,000 Model 3 sales 2019.
One might think it’s a done deal that the Model 3 will dominate global figures yet again, but in the US, Tesla’s cars are no longer eligible for the full $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit, and this could damage demand in the model’s home market.
Tesla’s biggest threat will likely come from China, where the country’s largest automakers, like BAIC and BYD make EV’s that are far more affordable than overseas brands.
According to JATO, brand for brand, Tesla finished 2018 with approximately 230,000 total electric cars sold, far above BAIC’s second-place at 152,000. BYD came in third with 95,000 EVs sold last year, just ahead of Nissan, which sold 92,000 total electric vehicles.
The pressure to deliver is only set to increase however. According to Deloitte, EV’s are expected to reach price parity with conventionally-fuelled vehicles as soon as 2024, and competition is heating up.
Jaguar’s I-Pace just recently won European Car of the Year, and new entries from Volkswagen and Spanish subsidiary SEAT, Porsche with its Taycan SUV, and Ford are set to make the race to new global records an interesting one to watch.