The UK saw 16.1% of all new vehicles sold in electric cars in May, which was their highest ever month. The Tesla Model Y (and the Tesla Model 3) occupied the top two spots on the sales charts.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 39,315 electric cars were sold in Britain last month. This was a huge 78.7% increase on the 22,003 vehicles sold in March 2021. This was the highest monthly BEV sales figure ever. It was also remarkable that supply chain problems caused total car sales to fall by 14.3% year-on.

The battery electric car sold more than diesel (13 736 units), hybrids (27.5737) or plug-in hybrids (16 037). With 102,349 units sold, petrol-engined vehicles were the most popular.

The Model Y and Model 3 new Tesla Model Y were the top-selling vehicles for the month. Buyers bought 6464 and 6457, respectively, of the SUV and the saloon. These figures were made possible by Model Y deliveries to the UK that began in February. With 5515 sales, the Vauxhall Corsa was third in its class. It is available with a variety of powertrains, including a battery-electric option.

Tesla sales fluctuate from month to month depending on when the shiploads arrive. March sales saw record-breaking sales for both the Model Y as well as the Model 3. With 7774 sales, the Model Y is currently the sixth-best-selling car in the UK. The Model 3 comes in seventh with 7773.

The UK’s car market is unusually crowded. While dealers have strong order books, car companies simply cannot produce enough cars to meet demand due supply chain problems and parts shortages. The SMMT highlighted the fact that electric cars are still possible to purchase and drivers can wait to receive them.

Mike Hawes, SMMT boss, stated that placing orders now would be beneficial to those who want to take advantage incentives and lower running cost for electric cars. This is especially true given the Ukraine crisis which could impact supply even further. The government must support consumers in order to maintain the growth of electric cars and deliver the UK’s ambitious net zero timeline.