Tesla Model 3 named best selling car in Britain

Photo by: zz/STRF/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 5/15/21 A defaced vehicle at the Tesla automobile dealership in Downtown Manhattan, New York City. (NYC)
The Tesla Model 3 was the best selling car in Britain in June. Photo: AP (zz/STRF/STAR MAX/IPx)

The Tesla (TSLA) Model 3 has topped a list of best-selling cars in the UK in June, as drivers shift towards electric and hybrid vehicles ahead of a ban on petrol and diesel sales.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said on Monday that Tesla's Model 3 was the best selling car in Britain last month with 5,468 sold. Tesla outsold its nearest rival, the Volkswagen (VOW3.DE) Golf, by more than 800.

186,128 new cars were registered across Britain last month, up 28% on same month last year when most dealerships reopened after the first lockdown.

New car registrations. Table: SMMT
New car registrations. Table: SMMT

Tesla is riding a wave of consumer interest in electric vehicles in the UK. Sales of battery-powered cars and plug-in hybrids both rose more than 100% last month. Combined, battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for 17.2% of new vehicles hitting the roads.


Consumers are turning to electric vehicles as a ban on petrol and diesel car sales looms. A net-zero drive by the UK government includes plans to phase out the sale of cars running on fossil fuels by 2030.

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"Rebuilding for the next decade is now well underway with investment in local battery production beginning and a raft of new electrified models in showrooms" said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

"With the end of domestic restrictions later this month looking more likely, business and consumer optimism should improve further, fuelling increased spending."

The latest SMMT research shows electrification of the auto industry could create 40,000 new jobs in Britain by 2030. Last week, Nissan revealed plans for a £1bn ($1.4bn) “gigafactory” in Sunderland as part of an electric vehicle expansion.

While Tesla took the top spot in June, it does not register in the year-to-date top 10 best selling cars in Britain. The Vauxhall Corsa and Ford (F) Fiesta are the most popular new autos on the road.

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