Whether you like it or not, electric cars will soon be far more common on Australian roads. As governments push for a reduction in carbon emissions, electric car production has been ramped up in an effort to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas being pumped into our atmosphere.
But that’s actually a good thing. Dispel any ideas of electric vehicles being boring: even the smallest EVs are exceptionally fun to drive. Instant torque, linear power delivery, great weight distribution… Electric cars save the planet while still being pretty damn fun – so for those who enjoy speed, you may want to rethink your next car purchase if you were eyeing up a gas-guzzling tarmac-chomping monster of an SUV.
So which are the best electric cars to buy right now in Australia? We’ve carefully curated this list of the best electric car across a range of categories, ensuring everyone is satisfied.
If you’re not ready to go fully electric but would like to save on fuel, then check out our round-up of the most fuel-efficient cars in Australia.
In this electric cars Australia story…
1. Kia EV6
Range: Up to 528km
Price: From $67,990 (Before on-road costs)
The hotly anticipated Kia EV6 has finally launched in Australia, although good luck getting your hands on one anytime soon. Only 500 were sent to our shores, and all have been snapped up. The new all-electric car to come from the South Korean manufacturer has been designed from scratch and makes use of the company’s new E-GMP platform, which essentially means the floor is flat, resulting in more room inside.
Kia says interior space is similar to what you’d find in a medium to large SUV, in what is basically a hatchback. If that isn’t already enough to whet your appetite, then just take a look at the outside. The EV6 could just be the best looking electric car currently available (or at least, will be when it finally launches). With slick lines, gorgeous alloy wheels and a nice little rear end, this is going to be an electric car you’ll want to be seen in.
Although, passers-by might not get much of a chance, since the Kia EV6 isn’t going to be the slouch you may have expected. In fact, you could almost view it as an electrified version of the company’s rather excellent Stinger. Intrigued? The Kia EV6 will be offered in two variants at launch – base and GT-line – but a performance-orientated GT will arrive either in late 2022 or early 2023, and with a promised 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.5-seconds, you could be the owner of a Kia hatchback that accelerates faster than the Porsche Taycan.
All models will be powered by the same 77.4kWh long-range battery pack, which claims a maximum range of 528km, again, besting the electrified-effort of Porsche, although in the GT, this will be reduced to 400km.
However, just because it’s a Kia, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily ‘cheap’. While Australian pricing has yet to be confirmed, overseas pricing provides a good indication that it will start at around $75,000 and increase to $100,000 for the GT. Of course, that is a saving of around $75,000 compared to the entry-level Taycan, so could be considered a bargain.
The figures for the GT certainly infer it’s going to be a performance car, but Kia has aimed to make the rest of the range as sporty as possible too, especially in terms of the drive. It’s mainly thanks to power being sent to all four wheels, either by a single-motor or a dual-motor system, which certainly helps launch you off from a standing start. It also means the Kia EV6 is keen to hold on in corners, with body roll kept under check.
While it could be too early to say, we reckon the Kia EV6 could just be not only the best looking EV, but the best electric car released in 2022.
2. Polestar 2
Range: Up to 540km
Price: From $64,608 Drive Away
If you’re unfamiliar with the name Polestar, it’s the electric-vehicle spin-off brand to come from Volvo. Previously, Polestar was a performance tuner for Volvo vehicles but has since separated to become its own fully-fledged brand, and it’s one that has been generating plenty of excitement.
While it’s one of the many vehicles providing the aforementioned stiff competition to the Tesla Model 3, the Polestar 2 is perhaps the leader of the pack thanks to its incredible looks, long-range and interior tech goodies.
There are three models of the Polestar 2 to choose from in Australia: the base model with standard 470km range and a single motor; a long-range variant of the single motor offering 540km of range or a long-range dual motor which sacrifices range (down to 480km) in favour of performance (4.7-second 0-100km/h time). So, it might not quite compete with Tesla in the range stakes, but elsewhere it more than makes up for it.
Predominantly, this relates to the interior cabin. Polestar has opted for a similarly large 11.15-inch display to dominate the central console. This can be used to control a variety of functions and you can view several different apps or services at one time, such as maps, music and any notifications that come through to your connected phone. But where the Polestar 2 differs, is that it also offers a digital instrument cluster. For the majority of drivers, this feature alone could be enough to sway sales in Polestar’s favour, as it means you only need to glance down, as opposed to off to the side screen on the side, to view speed, fuel and other essential driver information.
Other specs are relatively standard across the range, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out on much if you only opt for the base model. These features include keyless entry, LED headlights, a rear-view camera and a premium audio system, to name a few.
As for looks, we think Polestar has nailed it with its crossover, which really is the best word to describe this car, as it sits up high like an SUV, yet maintains a more conventional sedan body shape. You’ll be more than pleased with it no matter which angle you look from.
As for the drive, well it can only be described as excellent. Great handling, refined, comfortable and plenty quick enough.
3. Porsche Taycan
Range: Up to 485km (Taycan GTS)
Price: From $174,702 Drive Away
It couldn’t have been anything else really. While some may think Tesla should walk away with this one, for us, it can only be the Porsche Taycan. The Stuttgart manufacturer’s first all-electric car is an absolute game-changer and is for those who want something that drives like a 911, but without the combustion engine.
Performance figures can get a little confusing, since there are five trim levels to choose from in Australia, each producing a different amount of power, which are as follows:
- Taycan: 240kW/300kW overboost; 280kW with Peformance Battery Plus/350kW overboost
- Taycan 4S: 320kW/390kW overboost; 360kW with Performance Battery Plus/420kW overboost
- Taycan GTS: 380kW/440kW overboost
- Taycan Turbo: 460kW/500kW overboost
- Taycan Turbo S: 460kW/560kW overboost
Technically, the Porsche Taycan isn’t as quick as the Tesla Model S Plaid, nor can it drive as far, but the Tesla isn’t a Porsche. Besides, a 0-100km/h time of between 2.8 and 5.4-seconds, depending on which model you buy won’t exactly have you feeling like it’s too slow.
While Porsche was aiming to mimic the interior of a 911 in the Taycan, it is a futuristic car, so should come as no surprise to find an array of touchscreens inside that cater to driving instruments, infotainment and climate control, as well as functions for controlling other aspects of the car. Your passenger even gets their own screen to control infotainment functions, too.
You may or may not be pleased to know that you can actually accommodate rear passengers in the Taycan, depending on your opinion of carting the kids around with you while you enjoy your favourite baby. Regardless, with ample space for two adults in the back (although they may need to duck their heads due to the sloping roof) you can at least have more justification of the price since this is more a family car as opposed to a two-seater mid-life-crisis-mobile.
A maximum of 485km of range is available with the Porsche Taycan, but this is only achieved in the Taycan GTS. The base Porsche Taycan doesn’t lag too far behind with a maximum of 434km, but this required the Performance Battery Plus add-on. The Turbo S gets 405km and the Taycan 4S has 365km as standard, or 414km with the Performance Battery Plus installed. They’re not the greatest figures in the electric car segment, but they’re by no means terrible.
You will likely want to purchase Porsche’s home charging solution to ensure the batteries are recharged as quickly as possible. Porsche claims a full charge can be done in 10.5 hours on a 9.6kW connection. If you can find a fast 270kW DC charger, then you can top up to 80 percent in just over 30-minutes.
So, with batteries charged, how does it drive? Whichever Taycan you find yourself in, don’t expect to hang around at the lights when you take off. Although, the only giveaway to the speed will be how much of a dent you leave in your seat, since there is no engine noise, of course. As for cornering, you can be pretty confident going into almost anything, as the Taycan just grips and grips and grips some more.
Yes, it’s expensive, but if you have the money, the Porsche Taycan is, for our money, one of the best-looking electric cars currently on sale in Australia (closely followed by the Audi e-Tron and Kia EV6 below) and the most rewarding to be in.
See our FULL REVIEW of the Porsche Taycan 4S here.
4. Hyundai Ioniq 5
Range: Up to 451km
Price: From $71,900 before on road costs
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 went on sale in mid-December 2021 in Australia and sold out instantly. Only a few hundred models were destined for Down Under to begin with, but such was the hype around this car from the South Korean carmaker that those units were snapped up in an instant.
So what makes the Hyundai Ioniq 5 so special? Firstly, just look at the thing. With retro-inspired angles everywhere (we’re arguing the Lancia Delta served as some inspiration) the Ioniq 5 is a truly gorgeous car to look at. It fits firmly into the midsize SUV bracket too and closely resembles the Hyundai Tucson, despite it seeming like it would be more of a hatch, from pictures at least.
Inside Hyundai managed to swamp you with space. The colour scheme aids its light and airy atmosphere, but considering this isn’t a ‘large’ car, it boggles the mind how Hyundai has managed to offer you so much room. There could be a couple of grievances from customers, such as potentially unused space down in front of the arm rest, and the arm rest itself could have been made larger or extra storage could have been installed. But overall, it’s an incredible place to find yourself sitting. Seats are supportive and comfortable and the front seats can even recline to practically flat levels.
Infotainment is taken care of by way of two 12.3-inch screens for media controls (both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported) and the instrument cluster. Audio experts Bose have provided the eight-speaker sound system, so it should sound as good inside as the car looks from the outside.
There are two models of the Ioniq 5: a single motor Ioniq 5 2WD and a dual-motor version with AWD. Power output is rated at 160kW and 225kW respectively and range is claimed to be 451km and 430km, respectively. When it comes time to recharge, a standard 240v output will top the Ioniq 5 up to 100 percent in just over six hours.
However, the Ioniq 5 is also capable of accepting 50kW fast, and 350kW ultra-fast charging methods, which reduces charge times significantly. The 50kW method will get you up to 80 percent in around an hour, while ultra-fast charging sees that time come down to just under 20-minutes. You will of course need to find such a charging system when on the road.
Speaking of being on the road, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 sure is comfortable to cruise around in. The excessive weight it carries can show up when going around corners at some speed, or even over speed bumps, but in general, there is little to complain about. Plus, it’s incredibly quiet inside, allowing to further revel in that Bose sound system.
For now, you’ll need to register your interest if you want to be in with the chance of securing yourself an Ioniq 5 and while it may be the most expensive car in Hyundai’s entire lineup, it’s without doubt one of the coolest (let’s not forget the fiery N series). A truly remarkable electric car if ever there was one.
5. Audi RS e-tron GT
Range: Up to 472km
Price: From $269,147 Drive Away
Another hotly anticipated electric car to arrive in Australia this year is the Audi RS e-tron GT, Audi’s entry into the electric performance car market. Perhaps a little unsurprisingly, the Audi RS e-tron GT is closely related to the Porsche Taycan, and does indeed share a good percentage of the same parts. However, on the whole, this is distinctly an Audi, and one that we imagine will sell like hot cakes when it officially launches in September 2022.
For starters, Audi’s offering is far easier to ascertain, since there are just two models: the e-tron GT and the RS e-tron GT, which we’ve chosen here. The RS version may not quite compete with Porsche’s top-spec Taycan Turbo S on paper in terms of power, with ‘only’ 440kW to hand (or 475 in overboost), and this catapults you to 100km/h in 3.3-seconds. We feel this sacrifice, for want of a better word, is worth the cost saving over the Porsche.
For us (and we imagine many of you) the real selling point for the RS e-tron GT (and it’s non-RS sibling) is how it looks. This is one of the best-looking cars to have ever been released in our opinion, and we’ll have no arguments suggesting otherwise. It’s simply gorgeous, offering a blend of futuristic space-age looks with classic, bold and muscular proportions.
Inside continues the standard Audi affair. The German carmaker is a dab hand at designing places you simply don’t want to get out of, and the RS e-tron GT continues that trend. The driving position is incredible and you’re surrounded by an immersive cockpit comprising digital screens and physical buttons. Everything is laid out ergonomically, so you shouldn’t have any issues making changes to settings whilst keeping your eyes on the road. You can even opt for a vegan leather package that makes your RS e-tron GT even more eco-friendly.
As for charging, Audi has equipped the RS e-tron GT with the ability to charge up to 270kW, which will provide around 100km of range from just a 5-minute top up, or from 5 percent battery to 80 in a little under 23-minutes. Of course, this is assuming you have access to such a fast charger. For most owners using a standard 11kW box at home, you’ll need to plug it in overnight, as a 5 to 80 percent charge will take around nine hours.
Because the Audi RS e-tron GT is still yet to reach most markets, understanding exactly how it drives isn’t so easy. However, initial reports suggest it’s ridiculously fun, well-composed and ultimately, provides a wholly entertaining driving experience. It accelerates well (obviously) comes to a stop with even more enthusiasm, and can handle itself through corners, which can be somewhat attributed to the sheer weight of the thing. At over 2300kg, it weighs more than the Audi Q7 SUV.
Obviously, the Audi RS e-tron GT isn’t a cheap electric car. But if you’re able to afford the investment then we guarantee you won’t be able to take the smile off your face. And, if you can’t afford the investment, but still love how the RS e-tron GT looks, then do the next best thing and get yourself a 1:18 scale model version instead.
6. BYD Atto 3
Range: Up to 420km.
Price: From $44,990 Driveaway (when it launches in July 2022)
Chinese carmaker BYD could definitely be one to earmark as its upcoming Atto 3 all-electric SUV will be vying for the title of Australia’s cheapest electric car when it finally touches down on our shores. Although, what you pay for a BYD Atto 3 will be influenced by where you live. It will be cheapest in Tasmania, for example, where you will be able to snap up the Superior (the only grade available) for just under $45,000 drive away.
As we just mentioned, there will be one grade level: Superior, but this will be available with two battery options, comprising an entry-level variant and Extended Range. The Extended Range model will cost you an extra $3000.
Power is provided by a 150kW electric motor, which will see you accelerate to 100km/h in a little over 7-seconds. You will then be able to motor along for up to 320km on a single charge, or up to 420km on a single charge if you opt for the Extended Range model. When the time comes to recharge the Atto 3, you can do so via 7kW AC charging or 80kW DC fast charging using a CSS Type 2 port. This latter option will get you to 80 percent in 45-minutes.
Despite the BYD Atto 3 contending for the cheapest electric car in Australia crown, you actually get a good amount of equipment as standard, and the finish of the interior is rather excellent too. Standard kit includes a power tailgate, keyless entry, 12.8-inch touchscreen display and wireless phone charging. BYD has also promised an over-the-air update which will bring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
The BYD Atto 3 is expected to start shipping in Australia from July 2022. You can currently pay a $1,000 refundable deposit now to secure yours.
7. Cupra Born
Range: Up to 540km (TBC)
Price: From $62,400 (TBC)
For those who don’t know, Cupra is the offshoot brand of Spanish carmaker, Seat. Seat is part of the Volkswagen group, so shares much in common with the likes of VW and Audi, although it is often seen as the sportier sibling in the group. Cupra was always the performance-orientated moniker for Seat, but it has now become its own brand and will begin shipping vehicles later in 2022.
Whilst there are combustion engine-powered cars coming, Cupra is also committed to electric power, and the Cupra Born is one such model that has been generating much excitement. Due to launch in Australia in Q4 2022, the Cupra Born could be seen as a slightly smaller Golf GTI, although not necessarily in terms of performance.
Power will likely come from a 150kW rear electric motor, although this has yet to be confirmed for Australia. This should give a 0-100km/h time of 7.3-seconds and, paired with a 58kWh battery (again, unconfirmed) will give the Cupra Born a range of up to 424km. A 77kW battery option is available overseas, and if this arrives in Australia too, it could see range extend to up to 540km.
An e-Boost performance pack is said to be available at a later date, which will increase power and decrease the 0-100km/h time to 6.6-seconds.
120kW DC fast charging will be supported, allowing you to charge from 5 to 80-percent in 35-minutes. Pricing has also yet to be confirmed, however, Drive.com.au has speculated based upon UK pricing. Using this, AU pricing could start at around $62,400.
8. Tesla Model 3
Range: Up to 602km
Price: From $64,872 Drive Away
While Tesla wasn’t the first to make an electric car, it was the brand that really helped to catapult a new type of power into the public realm. Offering futuristic technologies such as self-driving capabilities, along with exceptional range and a fast-charging infrastructure network around the globe, there is much for the American carmaker to shout about.
The Tesla Model 3 is the most affordable car in the Tesla lineup, and just so happens to be one of the best electric sedans currently on sale in Australia (although it is beginning to face increasingly stiff competition). There are three models to choose from when you make your order: the base Model 3; Model 3 Long Range and Model 3 Performance.
The base gives you everything you could need from an electric car, while the Long Range increases the size of the battery for, you guessed it, longer range, up to 602km in fact. The Performance sees the top speed increase to 261km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 3.3-seconds. The Performance can be yours for less than $100,000.
Many will be satisfied by the base model’s figures: 491km of range, 225km/h top speed and 6.1-second 0-100km/h time.
Whilst pricing is affordable by Tesla standards, it carries a premium over other electric sedans and hatchbacks available in Australia. Like we said before, increasingly stiff competition. But those cars aren’t a Tesla, and a Tesla is what you’re going to want.
Inside it’s incredibly minimal, with just the now-notorious large iPad-style screen dominating the cabin. You need to use this screen to control virtually all aspects of the car, which could prove cumbersome when driving, but because of the large size, it’s legible and easy to navigate.
The driving experience is a pleasant one, although it may take some getting used to. Taking your foot off the accelerator for example will cause the car to start slowing down fairly rapidly to regenerate the kinetic energy. You can adjust or turn off this feature if you wish, though.
All in all, the Tesla Model 3 is a great electric car, and if you’re in the market for an affordable slice of luxury to ferry the family around, there’s nothing better.
9. BMW iX
Range: Up to 630km
Price: From $156,553 Drive Away
The BMW iX signals BMW’s refreshed push into electric power. With a fresh design language (albeit sharing similarities with the X5 SUV) such a frameless doors and more rounded surfaces, it’s certainly an electric car that’s going to turn heads. The polarising kidney grille first seen on the new 4 series makes an appearance here too. Although in this instance, it’s not actually a grille, but a composite panel behind which you’ll find sensors and cameras which are used in the driving assistance technologies.
There are two models of BMW iX available in Australia: the standard iX (which is split into two variants, the xDrive 50 and xDrive 50) and the more performance orientated iX M60. Power for the base xDrive 40 is rated at 240kW, the xDrive 50 gets 320kW while the M60 maxes out at 455kW. In all iX models, power comes by way of two separate motors, one attached to each axle, which allows it to be constantly analysed and varied depending on driving conditions.
Inside is a far more minimal affair than we’ve come to expect of BMW, with barely a physical button in sight. The majority of the cockpit is dominated by a couple of digital screens, although they are housed within one large curved mount. BMW’s iconic rotary dial is still present, however, which can make navigation a lot more simple. And, despite it’s large SUV size, you only get five seats, although these do come with a generous amount of headroom.
Driving the xDrive 50 is certainly a comfortable experience. For those wanting more performance and thrills, then you’ll want to seek out the M60, but with a 0-100km/h time of 4.6-seconds in the xDrive 50, it’s certainly no slouch. BMW has integrated some clever technologies into the iX too, such as one-pedal driving when placed into ‘B’ mode. This sees the iX able to decelerate rather quickly when you take your foot off the accelerator, for example.
Charging the BMW iX can be done at a maximum of 200kW, meaning you can charge up to full in around 35 minutes. For owners using the 11kW home wall box, you’ll be waiting 11 hours for a full battery.
The BMW iX is an exciting electric car for sure. Some of you may have your preconceived opinions about BMW, but they do know how to make a solid, well-performing car, and the iX electric car is certainly no different. We’re keen to see even more electrified models come from the German carmaker in the future.
10. MG HS Plus EV
Range: Up to 61km Electric
Price: From $48,990
MG certainly made the right decision to re-enter the Australian car market in 2016. The company’s diminutive MG3 is the best-selling light hatchback Down Under thanks to its range of features, great driving experience and incredibly low price. The arrival of the MG HS +EV SUV, then, should have come as no surprise, as it once again offers the most affordable entry into the world of electric cars.
MG sure does know how to make an affordable electric car, having also previously launched the MG ZS EV. That car appears to have disappeared from MG’s lineup, making the HS +EV the only electrified vehicle of choice for now. Although it’s not exactly fully electric, the MG HS +EV is actually a plug-in hybrid, connecting a 16.6kW battery to a 1.5-litre petrol engine.
The battery, MG claims, is good for around 63km of driving on pure electric power. Clearly not groundbreaking and of course, if you want to go fully electric, you will have to look elsewhere. However, even when the petrol engine is called upon, it works in tandem with the electric motor to deliver incredibly low usage figures.
On a combined cycle, MG claims you’ll use as little as 1.7L/100km of driving (although this is only when electric driving is prioritised), so while you’re not quite helping to save the planet, you’re still far more efficient than your peers who choose to drive combustion-engined cars. It’s worth noting that fuel usage figures can increase fairly rapidly if you use the engine to help recharge the battery.
The MG HS +EV can only be had in one trim level, Essence, but this is good news because it’s MG’s top of the line. With this, you get an awful lot of kit as standard, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, MG’s Pilot suits of safety technologies, leather seats and Apple CarPlay / Android Auto integration.
To drive, the HS +EV is a smooth operator, especially when in electric-only mode. It’s quiet and refined and suits city driving perfectly. When the engine kicks in some of that refinement does, surprisingly, go away, but for the most part, this is a comfortable SUV to cruise around.