Who bought Tesla electric cars and where? A postcode guide

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Sydney and the Gold Coast emerge as hot spots for Tesla electric vehicle purchases, with NSW accounting for 2/3 of all Tesla sales.

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Tesla Top 9 Sydney Suburbs by Postcode, 2017. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
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(Note: Please see disclaimer below following reader response to data).

Tesla may be a marketing and search engine phenomenon, but they do like to keep the details of their sales figures close to their chest – even going so far as declining to reveal numbers for their electric cars and battery storage in Australia.

RenewEconomy, however, can reveal the total registrations of Tesla EVs in Australia up to early 2017, and break them down by postcode, as assembled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. And it provides a fascinating insight into the buying patterns.

It will come as no surprise that cars with a base price of around $120,000 will find a ready market in the ritzier postcodes of the country, and this data confirms that.

What is surprising is how the market is dominated by NSW – where Tesla opened its first stores, and which account for 508, or two thirds, of the 737 Tesla EVs registered in Australia to early 2017, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics data obtained by RenewEconomy.

Teslas in Australia by State. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
Teslas in Australia by State. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

The NSW total is well ahead of Queensland (the country’s 3rd most populous state), where Tesla owners number at just shy of 180 registered Tesla vehicles.

Australia’s second most populous state, Victoria, only had 12 Teslas registered up to early 2017, according to the ABS data.

Teslas in Australia, 2017. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
Teslas in Australia, 2017. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Teslas are largely found in cities, according to the figures, although they are also found in regional areas of NSW and Queensland, from as far north as Cairns and down to NSW’s South Coast.

Western Australia has a fair representation of Tesla owners, coming in at third for most number of Teslas registered up to early 2017, at 34. South Australia and Tasmania get a look in with 3 registered in each state.

In the Northern Territory, according to ABS data, there are literally no Teslas in sight – although thanks to @outbacktesla who picked up Dutch EV advocate and adventurer Wiebe Wakker from Darwin airport in June, we know for a fact there have been at least three registered since the Motor Vehicle Census was completed.

Indeed, it should be pointed out that the number of electric vehicles has likely grown by around 3,000 since the date that this data was assembled, and with few competitors in the market, Tesla can be assumed to have taken the lion’s share.

Tesla Top 9 Sydney Suburbs by Postcode, 2017. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
Tesla Top 9 Sydney Suburbs by Postcode, 2017. Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Putting NSW a little more under scrutiny, it appears that the most Teslas are owned and registered in the more affluent suburbs with the Crows Nest / St Leonard’s postcode boasting 30 Teslas in total. That may be because that is where the Tesla store is located.

All in all, Sydney’s North is home to 69 Teslas, stretching through Lindfield and further note, while the central Sydney area of postcode 2000 has 16 Teslas cruising around.

Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, from Paddington and Bellevue Hill to Rose Bay and Bondi, can count a total of 50 Teslas on the roads.

With a total of just under 5,986 electric passenger vehicles registered in 2017, Teslas had captured around 12 per cent of the total full electric/hybrid vehicle market.

The total of 737 Teslas registered to the date of this data is not a great deal more than the number of followers of the Tesla Owners Club AU twitter account, which at this point in time has 653 avid fans.

Note: A couple of readers have disputed the numbers here, saying their own data and anecdotal evidence suggests much greater numbers in some areas, such as Melbourne and Tasmania.

We point out that this is data compiled by the ABS, and it’s dated early 2017, and only gives figures up to that point. It is the most recent available from the ABS, but we’ll give them your feedback and report back on the details..

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28 Comments
  1. Charles 1 year ago

    I have no idea where the ABS got this data from but it is absolute junk. I’m personally aware of 20 Teslas in Tasmania for a start. The Victorian numbers are similarly completely off course.

  2. Chris Jones 1 year ago

    Hardly a surprise that expensive postcodes are the home of high incomes. I daresay the number of Maseratis is similarly high in those suburbs…

  3. Mike 1 year ago

    Clearly this data is non-sense – concerning that no validation was applied before publishing it!

  4. Rob BDR529 1 year ago

    In 2017 there were 508 registered in NSW but only 12 in Victoria, that doesn’t appear accurate.

  5. reecho 1 year ago

    Not even close. But anyhoo…

  6. BM 1 year ago

    This data is so patently and obviously wrong it is laughable. It should never have been published.

  7. Fact Check Required 1 year ago

    This data is completely bogus, of by an order of magnitude or more.

  8. MaxG 1 year ago

    There are 3 in Darwin…

  9. Valdis Dunis 1 year ago

    I know of 9 Teslas in Adelaide since before 2017, so definitely not the total up to early 2017.

  10. Michael 1 year ago

    There were more than 12 Teslas delivered to Melbourne in the first shipment that arrived here just prior to Xmas 2014! There would have had to not have been a single deiivery for the subsequent 2 years (in which case what is that car sitting in my driveway) and many would have had to have left the state in order for that figure to be accurate

  11. David 1 year ago

    This data is old and misleading. There are 3 Teslas just in the location where I work.

    A perfunctory glance at a more appropriate source confirms.

    https://www.carsales.com.au/cars/results?q=%28%28Make%3D%5BTesla%5D%26State%3D%5BSouth%20Australia%5D%29%26Service%3D%5BCarsales%5D%29&sortby=TopDeal

    • Rob BDR529 1 year ago

      You said more appropriate source, you appear to have provided the wrong link.

      • David 1 year ago

        Link works…?

  12. Chris Schneider 1 year ago

    given Simon Hackett has three and has since the model x came out i can’t see that being correct! hell i got my second in 2017! might be Queensland but there are people more wealthy and more green than me in SA.

  13. charles frogg 1 year ago

    With a give away price of between $130,000 and $250,000 it’s a wonder that every second car on Australian roads isn’t a Tesla. With annual insurance starting at around $3000 against $500 for a $20,000 car it would take ten life times of driving a Tesla to even come close to breaking even.

    • Rob BDR529 1 year ago

      No idea how you can claim Tesla insurance starts at $3000, my insurance is $1400 per year which is close to other owners fees.

      • Mike Westerman 1 year ago

        Frogg doesn’t deal in facts, just random stuff he makes up.

        • charles frogg 1 year ago

          Full comprehensive for a Telsa X from NRMA $5008.63cents per annum.

          • Mike Westerman 1 year ago

            Yeah for criminal amphibians. Quote to me just now for 2018 Tesla X 90D $1254.52 from RACQ – discounted if I’m a member (which I’m not).

    • Barri Mundee 1 year ago

      Early adopters definitely tend to pay for being among the first to buy. Breaking even is probably not particularly important for them as they are usually very well off.

      Prices will come down over time as production ramps up and development costs amortised. This been the experience with IC motor vehicles, LED TV’s, Microwave ovens, Computers, Solar Panels etc etc.

  14. Gyrogordini 1 year ago

    I’m somewhat surprised at the tone of the comments. The piece is trying to put some stats forward, based on what is *officially* available. It’s not “rubbish” (demeaning to the author) – perhaps the base data leaves a lot to be desired. That is where ire should be directed.
    Without good data, our society continues to promote hysteria and outrage, rather than looking at ways to improve the data collection and then the analysis.
    All anyone had to do was report better info if they know it, and the author will probably revise and update when possible.
    Sheesh!

    • Gyrogordini 1 year ago

      and she has! Well done, @Bridie

  15. John 1 year ago

    RMS data shows that there were 972 Teslas registered in NSW as of 31.12.2017. The latest RMS published stats shows 1,157 Teslas registered in NSW as of 30.06.2018. The NSW government does publish extensive registration data quarter by quarter on their website: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/index.cgi?fuseaction=statstables.show&cat=Registration

  16. Greg Hudson 1 year ago

    There are 2 Model S’s and 1 Model X in my street alone (Forest Hill Vic 3131).
    The X is parked at the Dentist next door, the 2 S’s appear to be privately owned.
    I see ‘others’ frequently on the road as well…

Comments are closed.

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