‘Electric vehicles aren’t affordable’: this remains the key counter argument and barrier to electric car adoption.
While new car ‘affordability’ depends on your personal circumstances, there is a growing list of new lower-cost EVs entering Australia that are increasing competition and buyer choice, which’ll eventually flow on to create a larger used market.
- How much do EVs cost right now?
- Why are EVs expensive?
- Top 20 'cheapest' new EVs in Australia
- More EV stories to help you choose the best car for your needs
- (This list includes a huge range of guides and advice for buying and owning an EV, so be sure you don't miss it!)
⚡️ How much do EVs cost right now?
The cheapest new EV you can currently buy in Australia starts from around $45,000 (or $50,000 drive-away), but most models centre in the $60,000 to $100,000 range or beyond.
State governments also offer limited rebates and incentives, while the federal government has exempted the fringe benefits tax (FBT) for electric cars on work novated leases to slash operating costs – which has been mooted as the most affordable way to get into an EV.
While electric cars are not exactly ‘cheap’, reduced total ownership costs mean the price premium (if applicable) will be recouped over time as you drive more.
Of course, there’s other factors to consider such as often inferior driving range, the ability (or lack thereof) to ideally charge at home, and typically pricier insurance premiums – so EVs might not be right for you (at least for now) depending on your driving needs.
Check out our handy guide for more.
😩 Why are EVs expensive?
Blame the battery.
Electric cars often cost between 20 to 50 per cent more than the equivalent combustion engine model, but some EV models actually undercut their petrol or diesel competition.
Expensive, mining-intensive and resource-limited materials needed to form large battery packs, including lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, and other rare earth minerals are causing the EV price premium.
Lithium prices in particular are rising due to the intense demand for EVs causing a supply shortage. The materials have also been questioned for their high environmental footprint, unsustainable mining practices, and unethical child exploitation in developing countries.
However, new battery developments such as the lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistry, emerging sodium-ion tech, and supply chain tracing are aiming to bring costs down and address today’s contentious issues.
💵 Top 20 most affordable new EVs in Australia
Starting prices of each EV model listed only. Prices are current as at the time of publication. Prices listed below exclude on-road costs, but some will be eligible for incentives. Read about those here.
- GWM Ora – From $43,990
- MG ZS EV – From $43,990
- BYD Atto 3 – From $48,011
- Renault Kangoo Z.E. – From $50,390
- Nissan Leaf – From $50,990
- Fiat 500e – From $52,500
- Hyundai Kona Electric – From $54,500
- Mini Electric – From $55,650
- Cupra Born – From $59,990
- Polestar 2 – From $63,900
- Tesla Model 3 – From $64,300
- Kia Niro Plus EV – From $64,450
- Kia Niro EV – From $65,300
- Mazda MX-30 Electric – From $65,490
- Tesla Model Y – From $69,300
- Hyundai Ioniq 5 – From $72,000
- Kia EV6 – From $72,590
- Volvo XC40 Recharge – From $73,990
- Hyundai Ioniq 6 – From $74,000
- Lexus UX300e – From $74,000