In brief: Tesla's Model 3 has become the first EV to be a monthly top seller in Europe and the first non-European-built car to reach the milestone, beating cars such as the Renault Clio, Volkswagen Golf and Dacia Sandero. That's not surprising considering the fossil fuels market in Europe, as prices are hitting record highs.

Tesla Model 3 was released five years ago, and since then, it has received a restyle to increase driving range and add a few more features to the fastback sedan. The latest version of the EV also came with a refreshed interior, an electric trunk and many other functional and aesthetic changes.

Such upgrades might've helped Tesla reach the top of Europe-26 best-selling cars. In September 2021, Europeans bought 24,591 Model 3s, representing a 58 percent increase over September 2020 and a 42 percent increase over September 2019. This figure might have been influenced by Hertz's recent deal, which includes 100,000 new Tesla Model 3s in the US and selected European cities.

In second place, there's Renault, which sold 18,264 Clios in September of this year, and in third place, we find Dacia with 17,988 Sanderos sold during the same period.

Tesla sales leadership in the BEV (battery electric vehicle) market is further increased with the Model Y, which sold about 8,926 units during this period. In third place, there's the VW ID.3 with 8,302 units.

As for the PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) segment, the Ford Kuga led the way with 3,385 units, closely followed by the BMW Series 3 with 3,200. This left third place to Peugeot 3008 with 2,832 units sold.

These numbers were published as Europeans are facing an unprecedented price increase in fossil fuels. This surge in prices led to price increases across the electricity, vehicle fuel and gas segments. Some examples include the Netherlands and Norway, where gasoline prices have exceeded the $2.2/litre mark.

Nonetheless, these figures clearly show how the trends are changing, as petrol and diesel-based cars are selling less, while EVs and hybrid sales increase, accounting for 23 percent of the market in September. However, it's also worth mentioning that governments are incentivizing customers to buy such cars by offering subsidies to reduce their cost.

The question is if this trend will continue or not. With the ongoing chip shortage, many manufacturers had to limit production outputs and delay shipments to customers. Moreover, Jato analyst Felipe Munoz said that the number of new car registrations in Europe decreased by 25 percent YoY because finding new cars is getting harder. "As a result, unwilling to wait more than a year for a new car, many consumers have turned to the used car market," where EVs are not as common as petrol and diesel-based cars.

Image credit: JATO Dynamics