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Tesla's Model Y is now the world's best-selling car — here's how this 'work of art' has drivers so captivated

The distinction — a first for an EV model — reflects a rising interest in gas-free cars around the world.

Tesla Model Y, world's best-selling car

Photo Credit: iStock

Displacing industry staples like the Toyota Corolla, Tesla's Model Y has just become the world's best-selling car, the first electric vehicle (EV) to achieve the distinction. This milestone confirms the growing demand for EVs across major automotive markets, including the U.S., China, and Europe.

Tesla's electric crossover outpaced all other vehicles by selling 267,200 units in the first quarter of 2023, says Robb Report

Despite expanding in popularity since its 2019 release, the Model Y reaching the top of the market was considered by many to be an optimistic goal. However, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk maintained confidence in the fully-electric SUV, predicting as early as 2016 that it would not take long for the EV to become a global best-seller.

Thanks, in part, to recent price cuts and clean vehicle tax credits in the United States as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, the Model Y has become accessible to more consumers. Although the initial sale price remains higher than comparable gas-powered vehicles, the total cost over time is generally less for EV ownership. Model Y have increased over the previous year, with Tesla likely to sell 1 million units by the end of 2023.

More EVs on the road benefit the environment and public health. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation is responsible for about 29% of heat-trapping pollution in the U.S., making it the country's largest contributor to rising temperatures. 

EVs don't require chemicals like motor oil or produce tailpipe emissions, which helps reduce pollution and alleviate health conditions, such as asthma, that are worsened by poor air quality. Extracting and refining oil into fuel is extremely harmful to the environment. While some electricity is produced using dirty energy, EVs still contribute less pollution than traditional cars.

Industry leaders are taking notice as consumers shift toward EVs. Speaking to Automotive News, a Toyota executive described the Model Y as "truly a work of art" with "a whole different manufacturing philosophy." To keep up with an evolving industry, Toyota President Koji Sato notes to The Driven, "we must drastically change the way we do business." Although it is unknown whether the Model Y will maintain its leading position throughout the year, having an EV at the top of the list is a win for consumers and the environment.

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