In December, the Tesla Model S not only outsold every other electric car in Denmark, but every single car model regardless of if they are gas-guzzling or battery-powered.
Tesla delivered 1,249 Model S’s in December in Denmark, easily beating the second best-selling vehicle; the Peugeot 208 with 903 vehicles sold during the month.
Electric vehicle sales surged during the last quarter of 2015 because of car buyers taking advantage of tax breaks before they started phasing out after the new year. Tesla saw it coming and ordered 2,500 license plates in anticipation.
The company overestimated the demand, but still delivered 1,887 cars since the new tax on electric vehicles was announced in October – 1,552 more than the previous quarter.
Credit Suisse analyst Dan Galves predicted an incremental sale increase of 1,000 units in Denmark versus the third quarter (Q3) 2015. The actual result was right between Galves’ estimate and Tesla’s own prediction.
But the company went beyond just ordering license plates to prepare for the surge. Tesla buyers in Denmark reported having to choose between custom ordering a Model S, which would arrive in early 2016 and be subject to higher taxes depending on the sale price, or buying a new, but ready-made Model S, which were delivered before the end of 2015.
It’s not clear how many, if any of these vehicles are left in the country or if the 2,500 license plates meant that 2,500 ready-made Model S’s were sent to Denmark. Either way, it contributed significantly to Tesla achieving its delivery goal for the fourth quarter.
This fourth quarter surge in sales for Tesla in Denmark is not the only silver-lining for the company after the government’s policy change. Denmark is reinstating tax on all electric vehicles, but it also originally announced an additional tax for luxury electric vehicles, which would have especially, if not exclusively, affected Tesla by increasing the price of the higher-end versions of the Model S by almost 180%. This announcement in particular sparked the surge in sales of the Model S, but as it turns out, the EU struck down the additional tax for luxury electric vehicles, only leaving the general tax on EVs.
At this point, it’s not entirely clear how the price of Tesla’s vehicles will be affected, but it seems like the original 180% increase in pricing is now improbable.