The Tesla Model 3 is yet to begin its full push into the UK, but the all-electric sedan is already making waves in the country. In May, for example, the Model 3 became the region’s most popular electric car, overtaking the likes of the Jaguar I-PACE and the Audi e-tron, both of which are already in the UK market.
What is particularly impressive is that the Tesla Model 3 was able to overtake its rivals in terms of popularity in just one week. According to UK-based online leasing service Leasing.com, the Model 3 generated more personal lease inquiries within seven days in May than its premium rivals achieved during the entire month.
Paul Harrison, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Leasing.com, noted that the interest in the Model 3 is likely due to the vehicle’s price, which is far lower than Tesla’s other vehicles, the Model S sedan and the Model X SUV. With leases starting at around £400 (~$508) per month, the Model 3 also undercuts rivals from veteran auto, such as the Jaguar I-PACE and the Audi e-tron, which are closer in price to the more premium Model X.
“The Model 3’s popularity is down to several factors, with cost being one of them. Monthly prices for the Model 3 start at around £400 per month, which is almost half the cost of Tesla’s larger models. It also undercuts comparable EVs such as the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace,” he said.
Harrison further explained that the Model 3’s rather late entry to the UK likely contributes to the interest surrounding the vehicle. The UK, after all, is a right-hand-drive market, and Tesla has only started shipping its first RHD cars to the region. Coupled with reasonable rates, the Model 3 could be an attractive vehicle for the country’s car buying public.
“Obviously the UK is one of the last countries to get the Model 3, and the long waiting period for right-hand drive models no doubt contributed to this huge early surge in interest too. It’s early days yet, but if the Model 3’s popularity continues at a comparable pace over the next few months, then Tesla could have delivered its first mass-market electric car. This is a strong sign that lots of consumers are ready to make the jump to next-generation vehicles and leasing is offering them the ideal opportunity to test the waters,” Harrison explained.
Recent reports from members of the Tesla community have indicated that the electric car maker has recently shipped a large batch of RHD Model 3 to the European region. A ship that sailed earlier this month, called the Grand Mark, for example, is speculated to be loaded with around 3,000 right-hand-drive Model 3 for the United Kingdom. The Grand Mark is expected to arrive at Zeebrugge in Belgium at June 19, suggesting that Tesla could be looking to end the second quarter, (or start the third quarter) in a commanding fashion with a series of RHD Model 3 deliveries.