26 Sep 2019

Tesla breaks into top three list of cars sold in August

The electric car brand, Tesla, became the third most popular new car sold in the UK in August.

According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), new owners registered 2,082 Tesla Model 3 cars.

The Tesla Model 3 has overtaken many hugely popular cars, such as Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the Ford Focus, and the Vauxhall Corsa. In fact, the only cars to sell more units were the Volkswagen Golf (3,439) and Ford Fiesta (3,978). 

Deliveries of the Model 3 began rolling out in late June, after Elon Musk, the enigmatic founder of Tesla and several other companies, promised it would be the most affordable model in Tesla's range. The Model 3 still costs between £36,490 and £50,000 however, making it markedly more costly than other popular cars in the UK.

As well as being good news for Tesla, this surge in sales has also contributed to a boost in the overall registration figures for electric vehicles (EVs), which has risen by 378% since the same month last year.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, described the upswing of EV sales as encouraging, whilst also noting that the “figures also show the scale of the challenge ahead” in the UK's efforts to reach a tailpipe carbon emissions figure of zero.

Solely electric vehicles still only represent a tiny number of cars on the road in Britain, contributing to just 1.1% of all cars sold this year. Battery electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace, however, with sales almost doubling year on year since last August.

Manufacturers such as Jaguar and BMW are placing an increased emphasis on EVs, with the I-Pace and electric Mini being just two high-profile examples. Whether they will prove to be as popular as Tesla's Model 3 remains to be seen.

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