Cost of Electric Cars in Australia

The popularity of electric cars has really taken off in the past 10 years. Australians are very interested in eco-friendly vehicles with lower fuel costs. Unfortunately, these vehicles can have an upfront purchase price that is more expensive than their petrol-using counterparts. However, with a little research, it becomes much easier to find affordable EVs to serve as both personal and business vehicles.

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    How much are electric cars in Australia?

    Electric cars (also known as electric vehicles, or EVs) start at about $45,000, though most models will be in the $60,000 to $100,000 range. This definitely makes them a long-term investment, since the savings will come from not needing to pay for petrol. Electric cars are getting cheaper, but they are still positioned in the higher end of the market. Many buyers use car loans to help make the purchase more manageable.

    Types of electric cars

    Many buyers don’t realise that there are several kinds of electric vehicles. Electric cars differ by their battery functionality and their intended use. You can find both new and used electric vehicles on the market today.

    Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)

    These cars have both a traditional internal combustion engine as well as an electric motor. The electric motor includes a battery pack that gets charged from excess kinetic energy while the petrol engine is running. The electric motor can then be used to supplement the petrol engine, or it can completely take over if you are in slow-moving, stop-and-go traffic. HEV prices start at around $26,500.

    Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)

    These cars work similarly to common hybrids, but their batteries are larger and can be charged by an external source rather than just from running the petrol engine. With this car, you can drive a great distance on battery power and then have the petrol engine kick in once the battery is depleted. PHEVs are very efficient and also take advantage of excess energy from the petrol engine. Prices start at around $42,500.

    Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

    These cars are entirely electric-based with no petrol engine component. Their batteries are charged by external power sources, like a charging station or home charging unit. You can also install a fast-charging outlet to reduce wait times for a full battery. Another benefit of this vehicle type is that they offer a quieter, smoother ride due to their lack of a noisy petrol engine. BEV prices start at around $47,500.

    How much does an electric car cost to operate?

    Like with any cars, there will be ongoing expenses that you face outside of the vehicle price itself. It’s important to get a sense of these numbers so that you can plan your budget accordingly.

    Insurance

    Electric vehicles are pretty durable, but when they do break, they can be difficult to repair and replace since they require specialised parts and services. Some areas of the country have limited repair facilities and trained technicians that can work with electric vehicles. As a result, insurance costs are about 25% higher for electric cars. Annual insurance premiums can be anywhere from $1,000 to $4,500.

    Power

    Naturally, one of the main premises of an electric car is the immense savings from not needing to rely on petrol. The average Australian spends about $2,160 on petrol a year and drives 15,000 km, which is roughly $0.14 per kilometre. In contrast, an electric car can be charged for about $600 a year to cover the same distance. Of course, electricity prices and petrol prices both vary over time, but you will easily save money on fuel.

    Maintenance

    Due to a lower amount of moving parts in EVs compared to petrol vehicles, EVs require a lower level of maintenance. There also is not the same need for fluid changes. According to the Electric Vehicle Council, the average maintenance cost for an EV is about $0.02 per kilometre, or $300 for 15,000 km. A petrol vehicle averages $0.07 per kilometre or approximately $1,050 for the same driving distance.

    Fringe Benefits Tax

    The FBT is imposed on employers for certain non-cash benefits provided to employees, such as novated leases (employer-backed vehicle purchase for personal use), discount loans, private health insurance, and other perks. Under the recent Electric Cars Discount Bill, electric cars nationwide that have a novated lease structure are exempt from the FBT. This is a major EV tax advantage and can save thousands of dollars.

    A research team from Small Business Loans Australia ran an in-depth survey while this bill was being considered. They found high interest among Small and Medium Businesses for electric car purchases in the coming years. New South Wales and Western Australia businesses in particular showed heavy interest in light of the recent legislation, while Queensland businesses showed more resistance.

    Government incentives and taxes by state

    In addition to the EV tax relief offered by the federal government via the FBT exemption, different states have their own incentives and tax structures. Learn about what your state is doing to make it easier to buy electric vehicles.

    StateIncentivesTaxes
    NSW
    • $3,000 rebates for the first 25,000 new EVs with a taxable value up to $68,750
    • Stamp duty exemption for new and used EVs with a taxable value up to $78,000
    • Registration fee discounts
    Road user charge rates:
    • $0.02610 per km for battery EVs and hydrogen fuel cell EVs
    • $0.02088 per km for plug-in hybrid EVs
    VIC
    • $3,000 subsidy for first 20,000 new EVs with a taxable value up to $68,740
    • Stamp duty rate of $4.20 per $100 of market value
    • Registration fee discounts up to $100 for zero low emission vehicles
    Road user charge rates:
    • $0.026 per km for battery EVs and hydrogen fuel cell EVs
    • $0.021 per km for plug-in hybrid EVs
    QLD
    • $3,000 rebate for new zero emission vehicles with a taxable value up to $58,000
    • Stamp duty rate of $2 per $100 of market value for EVs with a taxable value up to $100,000
    • Registration fee of $274.20, lower than petrol vehicles
    No current plans for road user charge rates
    ACT
    • Up to $15,000 in no-interest loans for EVs with a price up to $77,565
    • Stamp duty waivers for first-time EV purchases
    • Two years’ free registration offered until 30 June 2024
    • 20% discount on registration fees for older EVs
    Possible distance or congestion-based charges may be considered in coming years
    NT
    • Grants for home, workplace, and public EV chargers
    • Battery EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs get discounts on registration and stamp duty for five years
    • Career programs for installing and maintaining EV infrastructure
    No current plans for road user charge rates
    TAS
    • Two years’ free stamp duty on new and used EVs
    • Two years’ free registration on EVs purchased by car rental companies and coach operators
    No current plans for road user charge rates
    SA
    • Eligibility for $3,000 subsidy for EVs with a taxable value up to $68,750
    • Three years’ free registration for EVs
    Planned EV tax was recently repealed. Proposed user charge rate was:
    • $0.02 / km for plug-in hybrid EVs
    • $0.025 / km for all other EVs
    WA
    • $3,500 rebate for first 10,000 EVs or hydrogen fuel cell EVs with a taxable value up to $70,000
    • Exemption from 10% on-demand transport levy
    EV tax currently planned to take effect on 1 July 2027:
    • $0.02 / km for plug-in hybrid EVs
    • $0.025 / km for all other EVs

    Electric vehicle costs FAQ

    How long do electric cars last?
    Most EV batteries will last for around 15-20 years, or between 100,000 to 200,000 miles, whichever comes first. In many cases, an EV battery will outlast the car itself.
    How long does it take to charge an electric car?
    This will depend on the car type and the charger type. A regular wall socket will take most of the night to get you a full charge, but a public DC fast charger can get you to about 80% battery in roughly half an hour.
    How far can electric vehicles travel on one charge?
    In the early years of EVs, their main limitation was that they had a maximum range of 100 to 150 km. However, newer generations of EVs can go over 500 km on a single charge, which is very comparable to a petrol car’s range with a full tank. Most Australians live in cities and drive an average of 35 km per day, which means they won’t need extremely frequent recharging.

    Final takeaways for Australian electric vehicles

    Electric car costs remain higher than their petrol counterparts, but fuel savings and government incentives have helped more and more Australians afford these cars. As new batteries are developed and additional charging infrastructure is created, the cost of electric cars in Australia will continue to come down.

    If you are looking into buying an electric vehicle, you should start by looking at car financing offers that you’re eligible for. Use MNY’s tools to match you with the best loan offers.

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