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Electric cars for under $58,000 in Australia


Queensland’s recently-announced EV subsidy is only available for electric cars worth $57,999 or less – so what can you get for that kind of money?

The Queensland state government this week announced an electric car purchase subsidy available for buyers of new EVs valued at up to $58,000 that wipes a substantial $3000 off the purchase price.

While the price cap on the Queensland electric car incentive is low, there are now six brand-new EV models that are cheap enough to qualify – making the cost of entry to an electric car as low as $42,984 in the Sunshine State for the new BYD Atto 3, after incentives.

Kia Sorento PHEV 2022 plug charging
There are six electric vehicles eligible for the Queensland EV grant

While the selection of electric cars is growing rapidly in Australia, here is the definitive list of eligible new electric cars that you can buy for less than $58K – at the time of writing in March 2022:

BYD Atto 3: from $45,984 driveaway in Queensland

Chinese car manufacturer BYD is a newcomer to the Australian passenger vehicle market and is looking to make a splash with the fully-electric Atto 3 small SUV.

Due to variations in local taxes and fees, prices vary state-by-state with buyers in Tasmania able to scoop up the Atto 3 from just $44,990 driveaway, while Queenslanders will need to pay $45,984 driveaway for the same privilege. But all Australian buyers will be able to pick up the new BYD for under $48,000 driveaway.

The BYD Atto 3 is Australia’s cheapest EV in many states

The Atto 3 offers up to 320km of range as standard with the extended-range variant boosting that figure to 420km for a premium of around $3000.

2022 BYD Atto 3 basic stats:

Price: from $45,984 driveaway in QLD

Range: 320km

Maximum charging speed: 80kW

MG ZS EV: from $46,990 driveaway

The aptly named MG ZS EV is a small SUV from the Chinese brand which exploded in popularity and became Australia’s second-best selling electric car in 2021 in large part thanks to its affordable price.

While the recent facelift has seen the price of entry grow to $46,990 driveaway, the ZS EV remains one of the cheapest electric vehicles in Australia and is likely to see plenty of popularity when the update arrives in July 2022.

MG ZS EV 2022 front 3/4 plug
A facelifted MG ZS EV will arrive later this year

Orders are being taken now and you can choose between the entry-level ZS EV Excite at the aforementioned $46,990 driveaway price, or the more highly-specified Essence at $49,990 driveaway.

The Australian-spec version of the ZS EV is capable of 320km range (WLTP) – but we don’t get the long range version sold in Europe that promises up to 440km.

2022 MG ZS EV basic stats:

Price: from $46,990 before on-road costs

Range: 320km

Maximum charging speed: 50kW (pre-facelift)

Hyundai Ioniq Electric: from $49,970 plus on-road costs

The Hyundai Ioniq is often forgotten in the exciting sphere of electric vehicles – confusingly sharing most of its name with the newer Ioniq 5 SUV – but the Korean sedan represents great value for many buyers.

With prices starting at $49,970 for the Ioniq Elite or $54,010 for the top-spec Premium both qualify for the Queensland subsidy,

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Electric review driving
It doesn’t catch the most eyes but the Hyundai Ioniq sedan is a good value option for buyers

Both are capable of travelling 311km on a single charge, making the Ioniq one of the shorter range EVs on this list.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq Electric basic stats:

Price: from $49,970 plug on-roads

Range: 311km

Maximum charging speed:  100kW

Nissan Leaf: from $49,990 plus on-road costs

The Nissan Leaf was one of the first vehicles to democratise the electric vehicle with its base price quite low for an electric vehicle and its price still remains one of the best.

Updated pricing for the facelifted version will be announced when it is ushered into Australia in the second half of 2022 but pricing is not expected to deviate considerably from the current $49,990 (plus on-roads) starting price.

The Leaf is priced from $49,990 before on-road costs

The aforementioned figure applies to the standard range Leaf which is offered alongside a longer range version, known as the Leaf e+, which falls just outside the scope of the Queensland subsidy with a price of $60,490.

While the standard leaf doesn’t receive the full 385km range capability of its sibling, the battery can still supply up to 270km on a single charge (WLTP).

2022 Nissan Leaf basic stats:

Price: from $49,990 (plus on-roads)

Range: 270km

Maximum charging speed: 50kW

Hyundai Kona Electric: from $54,500 plus on-road costs

Last year Hyundai expanded the range of its most popular electric vehicle, the Kona Electric small SUV, to include a more affordable ‘Standard Range’ option.

While it doesn’t have the long legs of the 484km-capable Kona Electric Long Range, the Standard Range can still travel 305km and is $6000 cheaper to buy.

Hyundai Kona Electric Highlander 2021 front 3/4
The Kona Electric Standard Range is still capable of travelling 300km in one go

Prices start at $54,500 (before-on road costs) for the entry-level Elite grade and while the more luxurious Highlander is available, the $58,000 listed price means you’ll have to negotiate at least $1 off the purchase price to score the subsidy.

2022 Hyundai Kona Electric Standard Range basic stats:

Price: from $54,500 before on-road costs

Range: 305km

Maximum charging speed: 100kW

Mini Cooper SE 3 door: from $55,650 plus on-road costs

The Mini SE is a fully-electric hatchback from the British brand that offers a blend of modern-retro chic like few others on the market.

While the SE is offered in two grades, only the SE Classic is available for the Queensland subsidy with its $55,650 (before on-road costs) starting price.

Mini Electric 2021 side
While it can only drive up to 233km on a single charge the Mini SE is packed full of charm

While the small size 32.64kWh lithium-ion battery means the SE is only able to travel 233km (WLTP) in one go, the limited capacity means it’s also able to be topped up from 0-80 percent in 36 minutes using a relatively common 50kW DC charger.

2022 Mini Cooper SE 3 door basic stats:

Price: from $55,650 plus on-road costs

Range: 233km

Maximum charging speed: 50kW