The 12 cheapest electric cars in Australia

Finally getting somewhere: These are the 12 most budget-friendly electric vehicles in Australia, starting from below $40K

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What are the most affordable new EVs in Australia?

Are we there yet? Electric vehicles have finally started to creep into the 'affordable' space that so many buyers have been pleading for in Australia.


  • Five new EV models currently priced under $50K
  • Dominated by Chinese-made EVs – cheaper to make
  • Government rebates and incentives further lower price barrier

We may never see a new electric car under $30,000 in the foreseeable future locally – but just a few years into the onslaught of EVs in the Australian market, there are now a handful of options below $40,000. Read on for more.


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πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³ Why are Chinese-made EVs often cheaper?

Most sub-$60K EV models are made in China, which can achieve lower price tags and provide a high level of standard features due to cheaper labour costs and a local parts supply chain.

Importantly, this includes local access to battery pack suppliers, which is the key driver of higher prices compared to traditional petrol- and diesel-powered models.

The Chinese vehicle manufacturing industry has also rapidly grown in the past few years, with buyers globally – including Australia – now more willing to accept Chinese-made models thanks to budget-friendly price tags, strong value propositions, and improved perceived quality.

Some traditional western carmakers have also partnered or been acquired by Chinese companies, while others still establish factories in the country to reap from the local supply chain, reduce costs and compete in one of the world’s biggest auto markets.

In the case of the BYD Dolphin, Atto 3, GWM Ora, MG 4, ZS EV, Tesla Model 3, Model Y and Volvo EX30 electric cars, they are all made in China with appealing price tags to lower the barrier of entry for first-time EV buyers. Tesla and BYD in particular dominate local EV sales.

However, not all Chinese-made electric models are significantly cheaper than the competition – notably the Polestar 2, Volvo XC40 Recharge, LDV eDeliver 9, and BMW iX3.

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πŸ“ Size v price

Australian buyers finally have more affordable EVs to choose from, compared to the market just a few years ago. But, there's a catch: the top 10 cheapest EVs are all classed as β€˜small’.

As many European families do, you could use most of the models below for carting the kids and groceries around everyday – especially the decently practical BYD Atto 3 and MG ZS EV small electric SUVs – but they may have limited interior space depending on your needs.

Of course, while these EVs are β€˜cheap’ in the context of the electric market, they're still generally pricier than equivalent petrol-engined offerings.

However, some are priced on par – sometimes cheaper – due to the entry price of petrol cars significantly increasing in recent years. Still, some entry-level petrol cars are available for half the price of the three cheapest EVs today.

If it's a proper medium or large car you need, be prepared to spend more than $60,000 at the low end.

Yet, as our story linked above demonstrates, the right circumstances can see most EVs deliver greater value over time than their petrol counterparts.

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πŸ’΅ Top 10 12 most affordable EVs in Australia

As of August 2023

  1. BYD Dolphin – from $38,890
  2. MG 4 – from $38,990
  3. GWM Ora – from $39,990
  4. MG ZS EV – from $47,990
  5. BYD Atto 3 – from $48,011
  6. Nissan Leaf – from $50,990
  7. Fiat 500e – from $52,500
  8. Tesla Model 3 – from $57,400
  9. Cupra Born – from $59,990
  10. Volvo EX30 – from $59,990
  11. Peugeot E-2008 – from $59,990
  12. Peugeot E-Partner – from $59,990

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The prices above exclude on-road costs and dealer delivery fees, which usually adds a few grand to any new car's price. But, these prices also exclude EV incentives, which range from $3000 to $6000, depending on where you live.

Our list represents the starting base price of each model. We’ve also stretched the list to 12, given four models are identically-priced.

πŸ€” Want to know more?

For the price of every new electric vehicle on sale in Australia – plus everything you need to know about EVs – check out our comprehensive guides below.

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Henry Man
WhichCar Staff


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