Electric vehicles (EV) unit sales in March this year increased 171% from a year prior to 540,000 units, according to market research firm EV Volumes.
The increase marks three straight months of growth in EV unit sales in 2021. In January, unit sales increased by 113% from 2019, while in February it increased by 137%.
Tesla led the pack by recording 185,000 unit sales for the whole of the first quarter. Its Model 3 recorded 65,000 unit sales in March. Its new Model Y also moved 30,000 units in the month.
By country, China, Germany, the US and France led the growth. Italy showed the highest year-on-year increase with 1001.6% for the month. France followed with 295.3%. China, Germany and Belgium recorded 261.6%, 230.9% and 205.1%, respectively. South Korean ranked ninth in terms of unit sale increase with 11,523 units.
The UK record 7,000 unit sales in February but this increased to 40,000 units in March, a 480% increase month-to-month, thanks to easing of lock down measures from the pandemic.
In terms of EV penetration rate, majority of European countries recorded double digits in March. Norway recorded 85% and Sweden 37%.
In February, Tesla Model 3 was the best selling model with 28,000 unit sales. This was followed by SGMW HongGuang Mini, Tesla Model Y, GWM Ora1 and BYD Han.
Hyundai Kona EV also made it within the top ten. However, its recall and the newly launched Ioniq 5 will likely decrease sales for Kona EV going forward.
Despite the pandemic and global chip shortage, EV Volumes expects EV unit sales to reach 6 million units this year.