Tesla Model Y becomes world’s best-selling car

The Tesla Model Y was the best-selling car in the world last year, according to new data.

Figures from leading automotive analyst JATO Dynamics show that the all-electric SUV topped the global sales charts with 1.22 million units sold in 2023, nearly 150,000 more than the next most popular model, the Toyota RAV4.

The figures represent an unprecedented 64% jump in sales for the Model Y compared with 2022, moving it from third place on the list that year to first in 2023.

The Model Y was one of three pure-electric models to make it onto the list of the 25 best-selling cars around the world.

Tesla’s Model 3 also made the list, holding on to 10th place, with 508,000 units sold in 2023 – 5% more than in 2022.

BYD had three cars in the top 25 but the Yuan Plus/Atto 3 was its only fully electric representative. With a 119% jump in sales the Chinese SUV sold 355,000 units around the world, placing it 23rd in the JATO table.

The Model Y secured its top-of-the-table position without a presence in most emerging markets, where it continues to be unaffordable for most motorists.

Felipe Munoz, Senior Analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: “Tesla is a brand made for the developed world. While it cannot currently target these markets, there is potential for emerging markets to be explored as an additional source of growth in the future.”

On a more local level, the Model Y was the UK’s biggest-selling EV in 2023. With 35,899 new cars registered in 2023, it outsold the second-place MG4 by more than 14,000 units. It was also among the 10 best-selling cars overall, ranking fifth behind the petrol-powered Ford Puma, Nissan Qashqai, Vauxhall Corsa and Kia Sportage.

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.