Australia’s best-value electric cars by driving range

Which new EVs give you the best value when it comes to how far they'll go? We break down the numbers

2023 GWM ORA Hatch Blue Ev Electric 54

Key Points

  • Most Aussies travel only 34km each day
  • EVs are less efficient at high speeds, best for urban work
  • Most EVs will offer between 300-600km of range

Driving range. Besides the purchase cost and charging, limited driving range is another barrier to buying an electric vehicle.

After all, Australia is the sixth largest country and the biggest island on Earth, spanning around 7.7 million square kilometres, according to Geoscience Australia.

While most Australians reside in capital cities and metro surrounds, and only travel 34 kilometres on average per day, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says interstate holiday road trips are common and some travel long distances everyday for work.

2023 Hyundai Ioniq 6 First Drive Sedan Drive 39

This makes choosing battery-electric vehicles difficult for many buyers, especially as an emerging technology which is continually developing.

Meanwhile, solid-state batteries, hydrogen and synthetic fuel powertrains won't be a proper option for sometime yet. So, a plug-in hybrid or traditional petrol-hybrid car might be the better choice depending on your range needs right now – as a viable substitute to diesel.

But, if you’ve worked out that switching to an EV is right for you, which models available today will give you the best ‘bang for buck’ in terms of driving range?

2023 Polestar 2 Dual Motor Performance Sedan Blue Silver 66

🛣️ How far can EVs drive?

Most new electric car models on sale today provide between 300 to 600 kilometres of claimed driving range, depending on the model and price.

For the complete list of every EV model range figures, click see our story here.

Keep in mind, these are ‘claimed’ figures from the car manufacturer’s controlled laboratory tests, often under a standard called the WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure).

As with regular petrol or diesel cars, the ‘real-world range’ will likely be less – depending on factors such as driving behaviour, weather conditions (eg: headwinds, rain), aerodynamic drag (if windows are open, bike racks fitted), and payload (weight of passengers and cargo, tow trailer).

2023 Cupra Born EV Australia 04
Cupra Born

How efficient are EVs?

Total driving range is based on the EV’s battery size (kWh) and energy efficiency (kWh per 100km or Wh per km) of its electric drive unit and body design.

For conventional petrol- or diesel-engined cars, this is equivalent to the fuel tank capacity (litres) and fuel consumption (litres per 100km) respectively.

However, contrary to combustion-engine vehicles, EVs are less efficient at high speeds – so you’re more likely to get more range by travelling at lower speeds in constant stop-start situations, which triggers regenerative braking to recoup some energy back into the battery.

This makes electric cars ideally suited to urban environments, but still significantly more efficient than an engine constantly running at idle or while on-the-move regardless of driving conditions.

🔋 Top 20 best value EVs, ranked by cost-for-range

You can find news and reviews for each of these models by visiting our Electric Cars page here.

NOTE: Prices and figures are current as at the time of publication. Ranking based on manufacturer’s claimed WLTP driving range – which will differ in the real-world – and prices exclude mandatory on-road costs.

ModelPrice (before on-road costs)Claimed total driving rangeCost per kilometre of range
GWM Ora Extended Range$47,990420km$114.26
Cupra Born$59,990511km$117.40
Hyundai Ioniq 6 Techniq$74,000614km$120.52
BYD Atto 3 Extended Range$51,011420km$121.45
Hyundai Kona Electric Elite Extended Range$60,500484km$125.00
Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor$68,400540km$126.67
MG ZS EV Essence Long Range$55,990440km$127.25
Tesla Model 3 Long Range$77,300602km$128.40
GWM Ora GT$53,990420km$128.55
Tesla Model 3 RWD$64,300491km$130.96
Hyundai Kona Electric Highlander Extended Range$64,000484km$132.23
Polestar 2 Standard Range Single Motor$63,900470km$135.96
MG ZS EV Excite Standard Range$43,990320km$137.47
Kia EV6 Air$72,590528km$137.48
BYD Atto 3 Standard Range$48,011345km$139.16
GWM Ora Standard Range$43,990310km$141.90
Kia Niro EV S$65,300460km$141.96
Hyundai Ioniq 5 Techniq$72,000507km$142.01
Hyundai Ioniq 6 Dynamiq$83,500583km$143.22
MG ZS EV Essence Standard Range$47,990320km$149.97

⚡ More EV stories to help you choose the best car for your needs

Henry Man


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