The Tesla Model Y Is the Best-Selling EV This Year – So Far

Let’s be honest. Tesla needs some good press right now. Unfortunately, the brand is nearly constantly under fire for its self-driving software and somewhat spotty build quality. Not to mention the Twitter antics of Elon Musk, or Doge Tony Stark as I once heard him called. Thankfully, the Tesla Model Y is here to deliver that PR win for the brand. Currently, it’s the most-registered EV in the first half of this year.

The Tesla Model Y is a hit for a reason

A cross-section overhead shot of the Model Y's seating arrangement
Seating for seven in a crossover is practically unheard-of | Tesla

In all fairness, I should note, as CNET did, that EVs are still a shockingly small portion of registered new vehicles in the U.S. Presently, EVs only account for about 2.5% of new vehicle registrations. So, we’re talking about a percentile of a percentile here. However, the Tesla Model Y, to its credit, came out on top of that percentile of a percentile. In total, The Model Y accounted for 38.2% of new EV registrations in the first half of this year. Quick math says that’s roughly 81,000 new Model Y SUVs registered this year.

Frankly, the Tesla Model Y deserves it. The midsized Tesla EV caters perfectly to its target audience: young families. Egg-shaped EV crossovers are something of a thing here in Denver, and that trend is continuing to grow across the country. Plus, who can say no to the status symbol that is the Tesla badge? Moreover, the Model Y boasts strong range figures (300 miles) and excellent practicality.

Sales indicate a growing EV trend

The admittedly tiny third row of the Tesla Model Y
Not-so-roomy but oh-so-practical | Tesla

However, it isn’t just the Tesla Model Y that’s taking a win here. It’s EVs as a whole. Per that same CNET data, new EV registrations have almost doubled since the first half of last year, up to 214,111 from 98,351. Yes, the easing of pandemic restrictions (for now) played a role in that. People are getting out again, and those outside of our society’s wealthy cabal can afford to spend a little again.

However, we also have to factor in the societal implications of EV adoption. Our current political leader, President Biden wants half of all new cars sold by 2030 to be EVs. Right now, we’re at about 2.5% for reference. However, if things keep doubling (and if the Tesla Model Y keeps selling) we can expect a heavy portion of our transport to be EV-centric pretty soon. The question is, where will Tesla be when that happens?

Can Elon and Tesla stay on top?

A fuel cell that powers Tesla EVs
One of the many, many cells powering a Tesla | David Butow via Getty Images

A Tesla Model S Burned Down Someone’s House

In fairness, I’m not calling into question the fate of Tesla as a whole. The brand still accounts for a majority of the EV market, and while that is shrinking as competition grows, people still associate Tesla with EVs in a big way. I just don’t see that changing, and the sales figures of the Model Y in the face of the brand’s recent PR storm reinforce that.