Tesla Model Y is the first electric vehicle to be the world’s best-selling car

People look at a Tesla Model Y car at a Tesla showroom in Beijing on January 5, 2021.

WANG ZHAO/AFP/Getty Images

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For the first time ever, an all-electric vehicle — the Tesla Model Y — is now the world’s bestselling car.

According to analyst data from Jato Dynamics published by Motor1, the Tesla Model Y has surpassed Toyota’s RAV4 and Corolla models to top global sales rankings in the first quarter of 2023 even though the price for the 2023 Model Y starts at $47,490 or more than the 2023 Corolla ($21,550) and RAV4 ($27,575).

The figures reported by Jato Dynamics reveal that the Tesla Model Y sold 267,200 units globally in the first quarter, compared to the 256,400 Corolla and 214,700 RAV4 units sold during the same period, or about a 69 percent year-on-year increase for the Model Y.

Tesla TSLA, +4.72% doesn’t provide an exact breakdown of sales, but it reported that over 400,000 Model Y and Model 3 vehicles had been delivered to customers in the first quarter of 2023. Electric vehicle development by competing car manufacturers also remains slow, allowing Tesla to continue to dominate the EV market. And Tesla has often cut the price of most of its cars over the last few years, including the Model Y.

While a Tesla EV is currently the world’s bestselling vehicle, the company isn’t the biggest global automaker overall. Volkswagen VOW, +0.07%, Toyota 7203, -0.18%, General Motors GM, +2.72%, and Ford F, +6.24% all report higher revenue and unit sales by comparison. According to Car Logos, Tesla doesn’t even rank in the top 10 biggest global car manufacturers, sneaking in at 19th place for 2022.

The Model Y placed third in the overall global rankings for 2022, breaking into sixth place on America’s list of the top ten bestselling cars, despite competition from trucks and full-size SUVs. Last year, it also became the bestselling vehicle in both Europe and California and the fourth bestselling in China after jumping 15 places from the previous year.