Electric vehicles are getting cheaper and cheaper, with new contenders constantly coming out to take the ‘cheapest electric car’ crown.
Despite us calling them ‘cheap’, electric vehicles are still above $35,000, though you can bring the cost down with government incentives.
So, when will we start to see more affordable EVs in Australia? And what are the cheapest EVs in Australia? Keep in mind that we’ll be talking about base prices, and that on-road costs will apply.
What is the cheapest electric car in Australia?
Were you to shop for a new car today, the cheapest electric car in Australia is the BYD Dolphin, which starts at about $38,890.
The week that the price was announced for the BYD Dolphin, MG got ahead of it with the MG4 Excite 51’s pricing, at $38,990, however, BYD undercut this price by $100.
For a while though, the cheapest EV in Australia was expected to be the GWM Ora. A smaller car with a hatchback style, the GWM Ora starts at $40,606… In the Australian Capital Territory (while the price is higher in other states and territories) – the price was adjusted the week that the MG4 and BYD Dolphin had their prices confirmed.
This was similar to when the BYD Atto 3 launched in Australia. It was announced that it would be the cheapest electric car… But in Tasmania (it was $44,381 at the time, but prices rose in December). The Atto 3 now starts at $48,011. The extended-range model starts at $51,011.
Previously, we reviewed the ‘cheapest EV’ in 2022 – MG ZS EV ($44,990, but set to be discontinued when the MG4 Excite 51 arrives). We were unimpressed with the range, but it’d be perfect for city driving. We also took the MG4 for a drive, and were very impressed with it.
Ok, but when will electric cars actually be cheap?
I hate to break it to you, but it will likely be some time before we see EVs decrease in cost to a point where most households could buy one.
While some research has indicated that price and range parity with petrol vehicles could be achieved within the decade, it’s still going to be a bit of a wait.
The good news is that companies like BYD, MG, and Volkswagen are building affordable EVs and bringing them to Australia. Budget-oriented BYD is set to launch several new EVs in Australia over the next year and Volkswagen is bringing its cheap ID.3 to Australia.
It’s reasonable to expect the price to be brought down as competition increases and as range expectations get greater in cheaper models.
We’re keen for brands to bring cheaper cars to Australia as the technology becomes more common, but it’ll take some time.
What are some other cheap electric cars in Australia?
Apart from the BYD Dolphin, the upcoming MG4 Excite 51, and the GWM Ora, there are some other cheap electric cars to consider in Australia – but obviously, as we list off more and more, things get pricier.
As MG is discontinuing the ZS EV Excite, priced at $44,990, we can no longer list this among them, but the MG ZS EV Essence starts at $49,990. The newly announced BYD Seal starts at $49,888 and The entry-level Nissan Leaf then starts at $50,990. Following that, the Hyundai Kona Electric Elite takes its place, starting at $54,500 before on-road costs, which is then followed by the Electric Highlander Standard Range variant of the Kona, which starts at $58,000.
At this point though, we’re approaching the price point of Australia’s most popular electric vehicle, the Tesla Model 3, along with its contenders:
- The Cupra Born starts at $59,990
- The Polestar 2 starts at $61,272
- The Tesla Model 3 RWD starts at $61,900.
What is the range of Australia’s cheapest electric car?
The cheapest electric car in Australia, the BYD Dolphin, is capable of up to about 340km (WLTP) before it needs a recharge.
For comparison’s sake, the MG4 Excite 51 features a range of 350km (WLTP), but this range goes up as you spend more money (the standard model Excite, for example, has a WLTP range of 450km at $44,990).
The upcoming GWM Ora has a WLTP range of 310km, though a 420km version is also available.
What is the cheapest Tesla in Australia?
Right now, the cheapest Tesla in Australia is the Tesla Model 3, which costs $61,900.
This is cheaper than most other electric cars in Australia at the moment, however, it’s still pretty expensive. Additionally, amid the entry of the Polestar 2, the BYD Seal, and the Cupra Born, the Tesla Model 3 has some pretty hot competition that re worth considering.
Should I buy a secondhand electric car?
You can expect the price to be a bit lower with a secondhand electric car, however, be on guard for depreciated parts of the car (including the lithium battery in older models). Like with petrol cars, the older the vehicle, the lower the cost.
Want more Aussie car news? Here’s every EV we’ve reviewed in the last two years, all the EVs we can expect down under soon, and our guide to finding EV chargers across the country. Check out our dedicated Cars tab for more.
This article has been updated since it was first published.
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