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Tesla Model Y makes history after outpacing competitors to become best-selling car of 2023: ‘It’s not even close’

There’s hope that 2023 may have ushered in a new era, where EVs could routinely outsell gas-powered incumbents.

There's hope that 2023 may have ushered in a new era, where EVs could routinely outsell gas-powered incumbents.

Photo Credit: iStock

The Tesla Model Y has become Europe’s top-selling car for a full year, making it the first electric vehicle to do so.

According to preliminary 2023 sales figures published by Automotive News, Tesla pulled ahead of its competition, with 254,822 Model Y units sold in total across the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, and the United Kingdom — nearly 20,000 more than its closest competitor, the Dacia Sandero, which was sold at a lower price than the Model Y, per Teslarati.

“It’s not even close,” Simon Alvarez wrote for the news outlet. 

This milestone opens the door for the environmentally friendly Model Y to earn several “firsts”: becoming the first electric vehicle, first premium midsize vehicle, and first modern non-European model to clinch the No. 1 sales spot for a complete 12 months. The Model Y is also the only battery-electric vehicle on Europe’s top 20 best-selling cars list for 2023.

Tesla’s success story empowers consumers to choose a vehicle that benefits both the planet and their bottom line. Switching to an energy-efficient Tesla can save the average driver roughly $7,000 in fuel costs over five years (according to the website Optiwatt) while producing 55 fewer tons of carbon pollution in its lifetime than the average gas-guzzler, reports Quartz.

The crossover’s momentum continues to accelerate across European countries like Germany, where it was poised to top national electric car sales for 2023, reported CleanTechnica in November. 

While petrol vehicles still dominate much of Europe’s top 20 list, the Model Y achieved the No. 1 sales rank for seven months last year, reported Automotive News. 

Early projections for 2024 EV sales in Europe are mixed, and some think EV sales there could “briefly stagnate,” as an expert quoted by Forbes said. However, forecasts for European sales such as Statista’s show trends generally trending upward, offering hope that 2023 may have ushered in a new era, where EVs could routinely outsell gas-powered incumbents. As battery prices fall, improved range and rapid charging networks could further accelerate the mass adoption of electric mobility across Europe and beyond. Car shoppers can feel the wheels of progress turning.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, Tesla Europe & Middle East (@teslaeurope) celebrated the news by thanking Model Y owners for helping make 2023 a landmark year. 

“This is the first time that the best-selling car in Europe — for a full year — is electric!” the company wrote.

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