From the groceries we buy at the supermarket to the shirts we wear on our backs, rising energy and fuel costs are impacting the cost of just about everything. But there is a light in the so-called tunnel as various state electric vehicle rebates kick in to help drivers evade fuel costs.
And, there are more affordable electric vehicles just around the corner.
Yesterday I filled up my sister’s ICE car, a relatively new Kia Cerato. 44 liters of unleaded gasoline cost just over $90. It would normally take him about 500 km.
It got me thinking: how much would it have cost to refuel an electric vehicle that would come close to that range?
The Hyundai Kona Electric — which starts at $54,500 in its short-range format — has relatively good range. In the long-range model (which starts at $62,000 pre-road), you can cover almost 500 km with its 64 kWh battery.
Hyundai has sold more than 470 of these fairly popular EVs so far in 2022. Fueling up at home would cost less than $16 (at 25 cents/kWh). That’s a saving of over $70 compared to filling up the Kia Cerato yesterday.
But the main obstacle preventing Australians from owning these cleaner and cheaper electric vehicles remains the initial cost of purchasing them. So what are the states and territories around Australia doing to increase affordability and get more of us behind the wheel of one?
Subsidies for electric vehicles begin to take effect
Many of us are witnessing this rise in fuel prices and want to switch to electric vehicles. The Hyundai Kona Electric isn’t exactly in the price bracket that many people spend when buying a new car. Affordability is key.
Governments across the country have started offering discounts and incentives. Some of them are more generous than others:
- queensland – $3,000 rebate for vehicles under $58,000 starting July 2022
- New South Wales – $3,000 rebate for vehicles under $68,750 from September 2021
- LAW – $15,000 loan at 0% for vehicles under $77,565 + free registration for 2 years
- Victoria – $3,000 rebate for vehicles under $68,740 starting in May 2022
- Tasmania – No stamp duty for vehicles up to 2 years old from July 2021
- southern australia – $3,000 rebate for vehicles under $68,750 from July 1, 2022 + 3 years of free registration from October 2021
- Western Australia – $3,500 rebate for vehicles under $70,000 starting in May 2022
- North territory – Stamp duty exemption for vehicles under $50,000 starting July 2022
Looking at what is offered by states and territories, electric vehicles under $50,000 seem to be eligible for most subsidies across the country. In mid-2022, there are no more new electric vehicles available for purchase that meet these criteria, but that is about to change.
Affordable electric vehicles around the corner
I have previously written about the need for more affordable electric vehicles for the Australian market if we are to reduce transport emissions, costs, noise pollution and many other benefits that come from owning electric vehicles.
Things are about to change in the coming months with the launch of 2 models under the $50,000 price tag. This will be great news for those considering switching to electric vehicles this year rather than waiting for fuel prices to continue to rise over the next few years.
BYD Atto 3
The BYD Atto 3 is almost here with production of the right-hand drive model beginning shortly. I’ve also covered BYD setting new production records and making electric vehicles cleaner than ever.
The extended-range BYD Atto 3 model drops below $50,000 and will be eligible for the maximum rebates and incentives currently offered by state and territory governments.
But compared to the Hyundai Kona Electric, the price-performance ratio is much better.
This model will also benefit from a range of over 400 km and is a pure electric ground vehicle compared to many other electric vehicles on offer.
Similar to the Hyundai Kona Electric, this car has a 60 kWh battery that costs less than $15 (electricity costs 25 cents/kWh) to charge from empty to full. That’s way better than the $90 I just paid yesterday to get a similar range of a Kia Cerato!
MG ZS VE
The new 2022 MG ZS EV is another model that will be launched in the coming months in Australia that would also be eligible for the maximum rebates and incentives on offer.
This is another EV to look out for as it is also an SUV, which is what many family car buyers choose as their first new car.
MG and BYD’s move to offer more affordable family SUVs that are eligible for rebates and incentives from the start in 2022 will see their sales increase over the next 12 months. The greater number of these affordable EVs being introduced in Australia this year can only be a positive thing for EV adoption in Australia.
This change will make it easier for more families to enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles and not have to spend more than $90 on fuel every time they fill up. The cost of filling a tank will only increase when the reduction in excise duty on fuel is removed in September this year.
The arrival of more affordable electric vehicles in Australia this year will only be a good thing and ease cost of living pressures. Moreover, it will help us decarbonize transport earlier and fight climate change.
Rice is the founder of Melbourne-based carloop. He is a mechanical engineer who worked across Australia building infrastructure for the first 7 years of his career before starting carloop. He is passionate about cars, especially electric vehicles, and wants to help reduce transport emissions in Australia. He currently drives a red Tesla Model 3.