This Is the Cheapest Electric Car in Australia (and Some Other Options)

This Is the Cheapest Electric Car in Australia (and Some Other Options)

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 mostly 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 GWM Ora, which starts at about $35,990. GWM took the crown from BYD in early 2024, with a limited-time discount that ended up being permanent.

Image: GWM

The price jump from the GWM Ora to the next cheapest electric car is quite stark – it’s then the BYD Dolphin, which starts at $38,890 in Australia. After the Dolphin, it’s the MG4 Excite 51, which starts at $39,990.

All of this said, every now and then you’ll see a discount come up for an electric car that makes things a bit more competitive. Just recently, to clear stock before a refreshed model arrives, Peugeot announced a $25,000 price drop for its E-2008 EV, bringing the car down to $39,990.

Between the $40,000 and $50,000 price points, the market is dominated by GWM, BYD, and MG, three Chinese carmakers that offer the cheapest electric cars on the Australian market at the moment.

The MG4. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

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 technology is still new, and companies are still developing ways to get the cars made in volume while also meeting consumer expectations.

It’s reasonable to expect prices 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.

The BYD Dolphin. Image: BYD

What are some other cheap electric cars in Australia?

Apart from the BYD Dolphin, the 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.

At this point though, we’re approaching the price point of Australia’s most popular electric vehicle, the Tesla Model Y, along with its contenders:

The Tesla Model 3 2024. Image: Zachariah Kelly/Gizmodo Australia

What is the range of Australia’s cheapest electric car?

The cheapest electric car in Australia, the GWM Ora, is capable of up to about 310km (WLTP) before it needs a recharge. Other, more expensive variants of the Ora have a range of 420km.

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 entry-level BYD Dolphin has a range of 340km.

What is the cheapest Tesla in Australia?

Right now, the cheapest Tesla in Australia is the Tesla Model 3, which costs $58,900.

This is cheaper than most other electric cars in Australia at the moment, however, it’s still pretty expensive. If you want a bigger car, the Tesla Model Y starts at $60,900.

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.

Image: GWM

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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