Electric car sales Australia: Polestar 2 takes top spot amid Tesla stock shortage


Volvo-owned electric car brand Polestar beat Volvo, MG and Tesla – experiencing a chronic stock shortage following factory shutdown – to EV sales honours.

The 2022 Polestar 2 was Australia’s best-selling electric vehicle in June 2022 – narrowly beating the Tesla Model 3, which continues to face stock shortages following lockdowns in China.

VFACTS industry sales data reports 201 Polestar 2 electric sedans as sold last month – the just-launched Polestar brand’s best month in Australia yet, for a total of 562 sales since deliveries began in March.

It contributes to a total of 1137 electric vehicles reported as sold last month – up 116 per cent on June 2021 with Tesla included, or 83 per cent with it excluded, as the electric car maker didn’t begin publishing its sales in VFACTS reports until March 2022.

Electric cars accounted for 1.1 per cent of all new cars sold in June 2022 (or 1.0 per cent without Tesla) – up from 0.5 per cent market share in June 2021, though down on EVs’ 1.8 per cent share of all new-car sales so far this year.


Narrowly slotting into second place last month behind the Polestar was the country’s top-selling EV over the first six months of 2022, the Tesla Model 3, with 172 reported sales in June.

However, the Tesla’s figure can be attributed to supply, rather than demand, as COVID-19 lockdowns in China earlier this year brought Tesla’s Shanghai factory (where Australian cars are built) to a crawl through late March, and most of April.

The effects of the production disruptions are now being felt in Australia; whereas Tesla delivered just over 4400 vehicles in Australia in the first quarter of 2022 (January to March), only 236 reached customers in the second quarter (April to June).

After sales slowed to a crawl in May (12 cars), a shipment of under 200 cars docked in early June – comprised of the 172 cars reported as sold in June, plus some Model 3 demonstrators, and a handful of Model Y SUVs for display in showrooms, and media/customer test drives.


However, the second half of 2022 looks positive for the electric car specialist, with imminent upgrades to the Shanghai factory set to boost outputs to record levels, and large batches of cars slated for Australia over the coming months – some containing the first customer-bound Model Ys.

Following behind the Tesla in June’s electric car sales race was the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (102 sales) – its best month yet, thanks to an order round in mid-May – and the Hyundai Kona Electric, with 98 sales.

May’s EV sales leader, the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, stumbled in June with only 78 cars sold – a dip in production ahead of the updated Model Year 2023 XC40 range due from this month.

It’s worth noting volatile supply chains mean each month’s sales results are dictated largely by supply, rather than demand – seen in the long waiting lists and ultra-limited stock of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 locally.


However, the top sellers in June are largely similar to those across the first six months of the year, as well as May and prior months – albeit in slightly different orders.

June also saw the first examples of the Genesis GV60 – the luxury twin of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 – reported as sold, albeit as official vehicles operated by Genesis Australia, rather than deliveries to customers.

Last year’s best-selling non-Tesla EV, the MG ZS EV, is amidst a changeover from old to new models, with the latter due on sale this month.

Drive is awaiting confirmation of June sales figures for the BMW iX3, Lexus UX300e, Mini Cooper SE hatch and Renault Kangoo ZE van – however with only 47 passenger cars, 83 SUVs and eight vans out of the total EV sales tally left unaccounted for, none can place higher than fifth.

This story – and the table below – will be updated with sales figures for these cars, once they become available.

The second half of 2022 promises to deliver more options for EV buyers, with new models from BMW, Ford, GWM, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.

Due within months will be the $45,000 BYD Atto 3, a new Chinese small SUV targeting the MG ZS EV. Local importer EVDirect says it has taken over 3000 orders – which could shoot it into second on the sales charts by year’s end, behind the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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