Electric vehicle deliveries in Australia all but ground to a halt ion July, with a little more than 600 EVs making into customer hands in the month as a myriad of global forces whittled supply down to a minimum.
Tesla delivered just four EVs in July (yes, just four). But this is about to change, and in a big way: thousands of Tesla Model Ys and a long waiting list of Model 3 orders are pitted to roll out to customers by the end of this week.
Deliveries of Tesla’s Model 3, as well as new EVs due from China carmakers MG and BYD, have all been delayed due to Covid-19 shutdowns and other global challenges.
What will happen once the Tesla Model Y, BYD Atto 3 and refreshed MG ZS EV hit our shores we will touch upon later, but the upshot is that according to the latest figures from Vfacts and data gathered independently from carmakers by The Driven, the Polestar 2 chalked up the title of “best-seller” in July.
This really comes down to when vehicles are able to be delivered. And it is not without note that the Polestar 2 – like the Model 3, Atto 3 and ZS EV – is made in China, at Geely and Volvo’s Luqiao plant.
The Geely-owned sister to Volvo delivered just shy of 100 cars to customers in July, far ahead of the 17 XC40 Pure Recharged from Volvo as the Swedish brand prepares for next year’s model to enter in October.
Despite the reported popularity of the hard-to-get-hold-of and towing award-winning Ioniq 5, it is Hyundai’s Kona EV and Ioniq Electric that have bolstered the South Korean brand’s EV sales in July.
In fact brand-wise, Hyundai came out the winner. While Tesla – still the market leader overall for the year – delivered just 4 cars in July, Hyundai delivered 83 Kona EVs, 69 electric Ioniq fastbacks and 25 Ioniq 5s to customers – or 177 all up.
Kia delivered 52 of its equally hard-to-get-hold-of EV6s, while it waits for the refreshed e-Niro to hit the roads in coming months.
Porsche continues to deliver reasonable quantities of its high-end electric sports car, and Mercedes-Benz reported it sold 22 each of the EQA and EQC while there were just 8 EQC large SUVs taken up. BMW sold just 8 each of its i4 and iX.
While there are still a few numbers to come in from carmakers (Vfacts does not report separately on drivetrains of models with the same name), but we can also add 3 Jaguar I-Paces and 14 Audi e-Trons to the list.
EV sales in the second half about to take off
While a little more than 10,000 EVs have been delivered to customers in the first seven months of 2022 – about the same as in 2021 – the second half of the year will look very, very different.
It is thought that Tesla has taken some 15,000 orders for the Model Y, not all of which will be delivered by year’s end.
But many of them will be, along with at least 3,000 BYD Atto 3s according to the China auto giants’ comms.
MG has confirmed that its ZS EV, which was expected in July, will start trickling in come September.
With at least 300 ZS EV orders taken, a spokesperson for the SAIC-owned brand said in a note that, “Production output is improving with deliveries to customers who have already ordered arriving in September and staggered intervals throughout Q4.”
MG also reportedly has several units that have not been taken up yet by customers, which it says are “available for immediate delivery.”
Electric 4x4s can’t come fast enough
The elephant in the room is of course the gaping hole in the electric 4×4 market. As noted by EV researcher Jake Whitehead on Monday, who is in the US – models like the Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T utes will “sell like hotcakes.”
Australia just needs the right policy signals, namely fuel emissions standards that are in line with overseas so carmakers place the fledgling market on equal footing as overseas interests.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emission transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.