The first quarter of 2021 proved something most of the electric vehicle community probably expected: the Tesla Model 3 was the best-selling EV through the first three months of the year.
After Tesla delivered 184,800 cars in Q1, a record-setting performance in terms of the company’s individual performance, it was realized by many that the California-based automaker would not need its flagship vehicles to assist in its industry-dominating efforts. While Tesla continued routine and accelerated production of the Model 3 and Model Y, the Model S and Model X took a backseat during Q1 2021. Tesla didn’t produce the two vehicles, and CEO Elon Musk indicated that his company was still ironing out some small discrepancies in designing the two, more-expensive EVs that it offers. However, that didn’t slump demand of the Model 3 or Model Y, and the two cars made up for an overwhelming majority of the company’s Q1 delivery figures.
While Tesla’s Q1 delivery statistics were a new record in the short but storied record books that the 18-year old company has, global statistics also fell in the company’s favor. While the Model 3 has continued to dominate markets like the United States and has battled with local, affordable rivals like the Wuling HongGuang Mini EV in China, the Model 3 secured its position as the most popular EV in the world in Q1, a statistic that likely doesn’t surprise many of those who are well-versed in the world of electric vehicles.
Starting at $38,990, the Model 3 was Tesla’s first mass-market vehicle. After grinding and pushing through what Elon Musk called “Production Hell,” Tesla solved production and manufacturing shortcomings to effectively build and deliver the Model 3. The vehicle brought Tesla to the mainstream and became one of the many ways that the company introduced the idea of affordable electric passenger transport to the industry. As a result, many other carmakers have attempted to derail the Model 3’s success with their own effective and affordable EVs, but nothing has matched the performance, range, affordability, and quality of the Model 3.
According to newly-released figures from the EV Sales Blog, Tesla sold 75,888 Model 3 units in March alone, making it Earth’s most popular EV during the third month of the year. However, add January and February into the mix, and cumulative Q1 statistics also fall in favor of the affordable Model 3 sedan, accounting for 126,716 units during the first quarter of 2021. The figure accounts for 11% of the global EV market share for the year, leading the Wuling HongGuang Mini EV in second, with an impressive 96,674 units sold in Q1.
The Model 3 wasn’t Tesla’s only claim to fame through the first quarter; the Model Y also made an appearance on the hypothetical podium with a third-place finish. The all-electric Model Y crossover has only been delivered by Tesla for a little more than a year, but its youthful timeframe didn’t attribute to any lackluster sales figures. Just a year into its campaign, the Model Y accumulated 56,064 sales in Q1 2021, a commanding lead over the fourth-place BYD Han EV, with only 21,354 units sold.
The newly-released figures are a testament to the Model 3’s sustained popularity, even nearly four years after the car began initial deliveries. Tesla’s rollout of affordable vehicles has further established its dominance in a quickly growing EV sector. With plans to begin producing even more affordable models in the future, there appears to be no ceiling on Tesla’s potential.