The Tesla Model 3 has claimed the top spot for car registrations for December 2020, overtaking the region’s most popular gas-powered cars, new data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders shows.
The Model 3 has dominated markets like the United States and China in terms of the most popular electric cars. However, the United Kingdom saw the Model 3 become the most popular vehicle regardless of powertrain. It overtook the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Fiesta, two of the UK’s three most popular cars the top seller in December.
Data from the SMMT shows Tesla sold 5,798 Model 3s in the United Kingdom in December. This eclipsed the Volkswagen Golf, the second-place vehicle, by 1,328 units. The Ford Fiesta, the top seller in the UK for 2020, finished third for the month, with 3,367 units sold.
The Model 3 has become the most popular electric vehicle in many markets due to its highly-affordable price point and commendable range and performance qualities. It was first manufactured by Tesla in 2017, and there is reason to believe that Tesla could have been experiencing overwhelming demand for the Model 3 in Europe due to the company importing many builds from the company’s Giga Shanghai facility in China. Tesla originally said that the China-manufactured Model 3s wouldn’t be imported. Still, the new numbers from the SMMT seem to indicate that demand was high, and the only way to keep up with it and fit the company’s year-end guidance of 500,000 cars was to import some builds from China to Europe.
As for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as a whole, the UK saw a 343.7% increase in registrations in December 2020 compared to the same month in 2019. Figures show that a total of 21,914 BEVs were bought in December 2020, a sizeable increase from the 4,939 units that were sold in December 2019.
A noticeable increase in BEV purchases for 2020 as a whole was also noticed in the SMMT data. The 108,205 BEVs sold in 2020 eclipsed the 37,850 BEVs sold in 2019, a 185.9% increase. Additionally, a 5% increase in market share was reported for BEVs, from just 1.6% in 2019 to 6.6% in 2020.
The Model 3 has dominated sales figures in many countries and regions since its introduction in 2017. As of now, it is the car that has put Tesla on the map as a mass-manufacturer of automobiles, and the Model Y crossover will only solidify the company’s presence as a major player in the transition to EVs. There is no doubt that the Model 3 was the main contributor to Tesla reaching its 500,000 vehicle production and delivery rate for 2020. Now that the popularity shows up in proven figures by surpassing gas-powered cars, the dawn of a new era may be upon the automotive industry.