The electric car sector continues to benefit from some of the challenges currently facing the car manufacturing industry, with encouraging sales figures reported so far this autumn. For example, the Tesla Model 3 stole the top spot for best-selling car this September in the UK. This is particularly notable as the number one position is usually occupied by petrol-fuelled models – so why the change? Rather than one single causal factor, it seems most likely that there are a range of economic and supply chain issues that have contributed in addition to environmental trends and targets. 

The first electric car to be at the top 

During one of the worst times for the UK car market, thanks to Covid-19, Tesla first reached the top of the sales charts back in April 2020. So whilst it’s not the first time the Tesla Model 3 has topped the sales charts, the brand appears to be dominating the British electric car market as no other electric car has ever managed to become a bestseller in the UK. The charts have previously been dominated by petrol and diesel cars, with the most popular models including the Vauxhall Corsa, the Ford Fiesta and the Volkswagen Polo. So, what factors have combined to enable Tesla to steal the top spot last month? 

Semi-conductor shortage 

We have previously discussed the ongoing shortage of these computer chips which are essential for vehicle production. This shortage has affected all areas of car manufacturing, resulting in a significant decrease in the number of new cars being made and sold last year. It’s likely that this has caused a backlog and as a result, many electric cars have been bought at once and potentially skewed the figures. However, the fact remains that the rise of the Tesla Model 3 is still a huge deal for the electric vehicle industry. Furthermore, other figures have shown a rise in sales for EVs and hybrid vehicles, proving that things are changing, and this isn’t just a fluke.  

The petrol crisis 

Many industries and individuals will have been impacted by the recent petrol crisis. Whilst the issue centred around the transportation of fuel rather than a lack of it, the panic that followed may have prompted many people who had never really given any thought to electric cars to reconsider. A recent survey by WhatCar? found that from a sample of just over 1000 people, 23% said they were more likely to consider an electric or hybrid vehicle as their next car following the crisis. 

Tesla’s range and availability of chargers 

There are many features which make the Tesla Model 3 an attractive purchase, from the quick acceleration to the 15-inch touch screen display. But for many buyers, it is the car’s range which is the biggest factor. A previous article discussed range anxiety and why this can be a barrier to going green. But with the car’s impressive range of up to 360 miles, this isn’t quite such a barrier anymore. The car can be fully charged overnight and topped up at chargers whenever it’s needed, and with the ever-growing network of chargers, this is rarely more difficult than going to the local petrol station. There are now over 45,000 charge points across 16,500 locations in the UK, which is more than the number of petrol stations. In addition, at supercharger locations, the car can recharge up to 172 miles in just 15 minutes, meaning charging a Tesla is less of an issue than for owners of other EVs.  

Gearing up for green 

As part of the collective effort to phase out diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030, at Interflex we will be continuing our legacy of innovation by designing NVH and sealing solutions for a green future. To find out more, please call us on 01949 861 494 or email