Around 20,000 electrified vehicles (around half of those being various Tesla models, like the Tesla Model X) have been sold in Australia in the last decade, which accounts for a mere drop in the electric vehicle ocean.
A major reason is that other countries, like the UK and Norway, have implemented tax breaks and other incentives to encourage EV uptake, and it has overwhelmingly worked.
The Australian federal government hasn’t really come to the EV party yet, resulting in fewer sales, higher prices for the EVs that are on the market and a general sense that there’s no urgency to go electric.
Still, new EV models are hitting the Australian market on a consistent basis, increasing the number of electric cars available in Australia featuring new battery technology, and as prices go down, driving ranges – the distance the EV can travel on a full charge, measured in kilometres – are going up, reducing the range anxiety that stops some consumers from going electric.
Slow uptake is projected, however: BloombergNEF predict* that 18 per cent of new cars in Australia will be electric by 2030, that number rising to 64 per cent by 2040.
More electric car-charging stations in Australia are also being developed, providing an adequate infrastructure for EV drivers who do want to take the plunge.
The 10 Best Electric Cars In Australia (cheapest to most expensive)
10. MG ZS EV
Price: From $43,990, plus on-road costs
The high cost of EVs has understandably been a barrier for a lot of EV-curious consumers, but that barrier is being torn down – or, at the very least, it’s had a few cracks appear on the surface – thanks to the ZS EV from China-based car manufacturers MG. It’s the cheapest EV in Australia, with a 262km range.
9. Hyundai Ioniq
Price: From $49,970, plus on-road costs
A mere twenty bucks separates the Hyundai Ioniq and the Nissan Leaf, but Hyundai’s entry-level all-electric hatchback offers an approximate driving range of 311km – a considerable 41km more than the popular Leaf. Considering the average Australian drives 36.4 km per day, the range is more than enough to last the distance
8. Nissan Leaf
Price: From $49,990, plus on-road costs
The Leaf has been on the Australian market for over 10 years, its early bird status allowing it to become one of the most popular EVs in the country. A 40kWh lithium-ion battery gives the Leaf an approximate 270km range, giving it an ever so slight edge on the MG ZS EV in that department.
7. Tesla Model 3
Price: From $59,900, plus on-road costs
There are a number of spec levels for the world’s most popular EV – the top of the range Model 3 Performance goes for $105,900 plus on-road costs – but the base level Model 3 features an approximate range of 491km, making it one of the best value and most efficient EVs on the market. It’s also super cool inside and fantastic to drive.
6. Hyundai Kona Electric
Price: From $62,000, plus on-road costs
The Hyundai Kona Electric represents a bit of a hike in terms of price, but it’s not the only thing that goes up: the 64kWh battery delivers a sizeable 484km range on a full charge – close to double the range of the Nissan Leaf – which means that the dreaded range anxiety is not an issue.
5. BMW i3
Price: From $70,900, plus on-road costs
A carbon monocoque body and high-tech powertrain – plus the BMW badge on the vehicle – are the reason this all-electric hatchback has such a high price attached to it, despite a relatively low driving range of 260km.
4. Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric
Price: From $76,990, plus on-road costs
The Swedish brand’s first foray into the EV market is this small SUV, a model that’s set to go up against Tesla’s much-hyped Tesla Model Y. Although the driving range of up to 418km is lower than some cheaper models, keep in mind the XC40 Recharge Electric is also a bigger vehicle, thus putting more strain on the battery.
3. Jaguar I-Pace
Price: From $127,620, plus on-road costs
This sleek all-wheel-drive (AWD) performance electric SUV from Jaguar is luxury personified – as you’d hope from a vehicle with such a hefty price tag. Range is 470km, and twin permanent magnet synchronous electric motors provide 294kW and 696Nm of instant torque, getting the I-Pace from zero to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds.
2. Audi e-tron
Price: From $136,472, plus on-road costs
Audi’s first foray into the world of EVs comes in a variety of trim levels, the base model 50 Quattro AWD five-seater SUV is a good option for families that want to travel in environmentally friendly style. Approximate range is 336km, and it gets itself from zero to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds.
1. Porsche Taycan
Price: From $191,000, plus on-road costs
Any staunch loyalists to vehicles with internal-combustion engines will likely have their attitudes rearranged once they experience the power and precision of the Porsche Taycan, which has a range of 365km. The Taycan AWD sedan can rocket from zero to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds, and two permanent magnet synchronous electric motors offering 390kW of power and 640Nm of torque push it to a top speed of 260km/h, making it one of the fastest electric cars in Australia. And possibly the best. So far.
By Stephen Corby
*Disclaimer: Prices, features, warranties and other information that may be shown in this editorial content (Review Information) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (CAMS) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Information was correct at the time of publication. CAMS does not warrant or represent that the Review Information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon the Review Information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.
*Source: The Electric Vehicle Outlook 2021 by BloombergNEF