25 January 2023

Tesla still Canberra's favourite EV, but when the rubber hits the road, we like 'em high and mighty

| James Coleman
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Two Tesla cars in a showroom

Inside the Tesla Canberra store on Bunda Street, Civic. Photo: James Coleman.

Canberra’s new car sales for 2022 are in, and they confirm what most of us suspect from a cursory look around the streets.

According to sales data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Canberrans took 16,228 new cars home last year. Of these, 725 were made by Tesla. This makes it unequivocally Canberra’s favourite electric-car maker and eighth-best-selling car brand.

The Model Y SUV only joined their Model 3 in September, yet both star among the top 10 cars sold in the ACT last year – the Model 3 in sixth place with 426 sales, and the Model Y at 10th with 299 sales.

READ ALSO Canberra, here’s your Car of the Year for 2022

Electric car sales across the board might have also jumped by more than 1000 on the previous year to 1280 in 2022, but petrol still leads the way in the ACT with 8933 sales, followed by diesel with 4083. The rest went to petrol-electric hybrids (1524) and plug-in hybrids (222).

Unsurprisingly, the SUV body style is also leading market share, with nearly 4000 sales for passenger cars paling in comparison to 10,000 for the higher rider. Utes account for 2377 sales, slightly down on last year.

Total sales are only slightly up on 2021 – representing little improvement on the semi-conductor shortage situation plaguing the global car industry. In 2019, 19,693 new cars were bought in the ACT.

Tesla car

A Tesla Model 3 Performance outside the Royalla Solar Farm. Photo: James Coleman.

Of the non-Tesla cars sold in the ACT last year, first place goes to the Toyota HiLux (661 sales), followed by the Toyota RAV4 (566), Ford Ranger (510), Mazda CX-5 (460), Toyota Corolla (432), Mazda CX-30 (363), Hyundai i30 (323) and Mitsubishi Triton (310).

It’s a mild shuffle on the previous year’s list, helped by an all-new Ford Ranger and a facelift for the Mazda CX-5, but despite a wait time for the Toyota RAV4 pushing two years now.

The ACT’s best-selling brands are Toyota (2856 sales), Mazda (1745), Kia (1288), Hyundai (1281), Mitsubishi (924), Volkswagen (840), Subaru (782), Tesla (725), Ford (723) and MG (598).

Nationally, Tesla’s sales almost doubled last year and accounted for nearly two of every three electric vehicles sold in Australia. The Model 3 even ended the Toyota Camry’s 28-year dominance of the mid-size segment, with 10,877 sales beating the Camry’s 9538.

READ ALSO EV registrations double in past year as ACT leads uptake

On the back of this – not to mention the second best EV seller, BYD – Australia’s EV sales rocketed from 5149 in 2021 to 33,410 in 2022.

But fossil fuels are far from dead. Diesel in passenger cars (hatches, sedans and wagons) had its strongest result in four years and sales of diesel-powered SUVs grew by 13.9 per cent. Petrol accounted for more than half a million sales.

FCAI CEO Tony Weber said the pathway through COVID recovery, microprocessor shortages and bottlenecks due to global shipping issues had created “great challenges for car makers and their dealer networks”.

“While 2022 has been a year of resilience and recovery, 2023 is shaping up as one of the most significant in recent history, particularly in terms of the development of policies that set the direction for the future decarbonisation of the light vehicle fleet,” he said.

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How many of those that have brought an EV still have them. Know of quite a few that have made a purchase then onsold after trying it out.

Canberra is small enough to have a fully autonomous self driving network of EVs but we have a government that lacks vision.

Capital Retro7:43 am 03 Feb 23

There have been a few late model near-new Teslas advertised for sale on Bookface Placemarket lately.

ChrisinTurner4:18 pm 29 Jan 23

An SUV is needed in Canberra to cope with the potholes and also to win the contest at the school drop-off.

Wishing, and wanting, and waiting and wailing. It’ll happen when large numbers of buyers think the ROI is good enough and not until then. Do please THINK about what you write, and make it a bit less morally smug, eh?!

Our 2015 Subaru Forester CVT still has less than 100k km on it, so I kinda think we’ll keep it, and, as we are both now in our 70s our eldest son may well inherit it!

We live in a ~ 15 square AV Jennings 4br brick-veneer ‘apparent*’ ecological disaster’ – but
it isn’t.

*? It runs almost due East-West and faces North. It’s Northern face is shaded (91% shade) by a long deep L-shaped timber framed deck. The deck’s sloping roof is clear panelled and collects water into a large tank with a powered pump. This is used for watering our 11 garden beds (1.2 M sq each). There are two deciduous trees on the deck’s North face.

Overall it keeps our house a LOT cooler each Summer. And part of Spring and Autumn. It’s also a great place to entertain the local extended family, having neighbourhood parties and …

All exterior Brick-veneer walls have been filled with rock-wool, and topped up over the years, until settling ceased. The ceiling is at ~ R4.0 or better. NB some of that result is down to Bob Hawke.

It is possible that we were exceptions, in bothering at all.

But we did want to minimise our energy bills. And that was due to my being Secretary to several Senate Select Committees on these and related issues, during and after the FIRST energy shock in 1970 and the series of later shocks. I learned quite a bit from the flood of documents!

We both did then and still do – get – the global ecology issues. But becoming a bit ‘green’ was definitely secondary, and ‘post propter hoc.’ Bills were the driver.

The ceiling is insulated to ~R4.O and the Nth-facing and Eastern exterior walls are filled with blue rock-wool. We sought expert advice on energy savings from insulating the remaining southern and Western walls, and decided the ROI / comfort was not there.

The Western Wall is effectively covered by a looming* banksia-rose (*it needs trimming every year and is waiting for me to extract a digit or two right now).

There’s another shade shrub as well and the wall faces a tall fence and the neighbour’s way taller and LONG shed. ROI? not much at all.

So we’ll not bother with any more plantings on that side.

Timbo in Oz

Come on James Coleman !! How about quoting from a motorist or consumer organisation. The FCAI does not represent us consumers

Still no EV in ute sold in Australia, except for the overpriced LDV eT60 which is over $90k and can’t tow squat

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