Best Electric Cars Australia

Here are six of Australia's best electric cars currently on sale.

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Want to know which electric cars are the best? These are some of the best electric cars in Australia.

Make & ModelRangeAcceleration (0-100km/h)Charge timeFinder ratingAverage running costsPrice
Hyundai IONIQ EV311km9.7 seconds54 minutes (100kw to 80%), 57 minutes (50kW)82.25%$3,874.2$53,361
Hyundai KONA EV484km7.9 seconds54 minutes (100kW to 80%), 75 minutes (50kW)82%$3,275.64$65,885.88
Nissan Leaf 2270km7.9 seconds60 minutes (20-80% 50kW)81%$3,845.40$53,190
Porsche Taycan420km3.2 seconds22.5 minutes (5-80% with 270kW charger, 93 minutes with 50Kw)86.33%N/A$292,632
MG ZS EV263km8.2 seconds45 minutes (100kw, to 80%)82%N/A$43,990
Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus448km5.6 seconds40-60 minutes (50kW charger to 80%), 20 minutes (105kW to 80%)83.50%N/A$66,900

Average running costs from RACV

Six of the best electric cars on sale in 2021

Hyundai IONIQ electric car

Hyundai IONIQ

Hyundai's IONIQ is a highly rated electric car that delivers decent range and performance for the money. It's a car with heaps of safety tech and equipment. As standard, on the base model, you get the following:

  • 7 airbags
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen
  • Satellite navigation
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 8-speaker Infinity premium sound system
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Rear-view camera with rear parking sensors
  • Automatic dusk-sensing headlights
  • Smart key with push-button start
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Hyundai SmartSense:
    • Blind-spot collision warning (BCW)
    • Driver attention warning (DAW)
    • Forward collision-avoidance assist (FCA) – city, urban, interurban and pedestrian
    • Lane keep assist - line (LKA-L)
    • High beam assist (HBA)
    • Lane following assist - line (LFA)
    • Rear cross-traffic collision warning (RCCW)
    • Smart cruise control (SCC) with stop & go
Read our Hyundai IONIQ review

Effective price per KM of range: $171.58

Annual running costs (Rego, insurance, membership, fuel, servicing and tyres – 15,000km annually): $3,874.20

Pros

  • Rapid and smooth performance
  • Comfortable
  • Practical
  • Adjustable energy recuperation
  • Cheap EV servicing costs
  • Big battery
  • Reasonable boot space
  • Interior layout and styling
  • Safety system
  • Sports mode

Cons

  • Booth depth
  • Price rise
  • Lane keep assist eagerness
  • Range
  • ECO+ mode

Hyundai Kona electric SUV

Hyundai KONA

The Hyundai KONA is one of the best electric cars for several reasons. It's well-priced, practical, has a realistic real-world range and is quite stylish too. In its favour, it's also packaged into an SUV body, which is very popular with Australian car buyers right now. The only downside? A new-look model, with an improved range, is expected any time from March.

The Hyundai Kona Electric Elite has the following specification:

  • 5 year, unlimited-kilometre warranty
  • 10.25-inch satellite navigation system with SUNA live traffic updates
  • DAB+ (digital radio)
  • 7-inch display for driver
  • Infinity 8-speaker premium sound system
  • Dual frontal, side and head airbags
  • Hyundai SmartSense:
    • Driver attention warning (DAW)
    • Forward collision-avoidance assist (FCA) – city, urban, interurban and pedestrian
    • Blind-spot collision warning (BCW)
    • Lane keep assist - line/road-edge (LKA-L/R)
    • Rear cross-traffic collision warning (RCCW)
    • Smart cruise control with stop & go (SCC with S&G)
  • 17-inch alloys
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Smart key with push-button start
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system (TMPS - individual tyre readout)
  • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto compatibility
  • Auxiliary and USB audio input
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Heated, power-folding and adjusting side mirrors
Read car Hyundai Kona Electric review

Effective price per KM of range: $136.13

Annual running costs (Rego, insurance, membership, fuel, servicing and tyres – 15,000km annually): $3,874.20

Pros

  • Big battery
  • Long range
  • Aussie-tuned ride and handling
  • Well-specified
  • Safety features
  • Achievable real-world range
  • Animated powertrain
  • Comfortable and practical
  • Value for money
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Quiet
  • Settled handling

Cons

  • Premium price
  • Noisy, low-rolling-resistance tyres
  • Cabin materials
  • Rear room tight for adults
  • Charging network
  • Updated model with more range due imminently

Nissan Leaf 2

In terms of electric cars, the Leaf is one of the more long-lived nameplates out there. It's been in production since 2010, a long time in the EV world. Nissan's goal was to make an electric car with mass-market appeal. The result is the Leaf hatch, now in its second-generation.

The Leaf is a decent performer for Nissan, going by sales figures. It's one of the least expensive electric models, plus it has a very high level of equipment. It's also a sensible electric car to buy, with a 270km driving range and a standard specification that includes the following highlights:

  • 5 year, unlimited-kilometre warranty
  • 40kWh battery
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Black leather-accented seats with ultra-suede panels
  • ECO Mode and drive selector
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Heated seats (front and 2nd row)
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Privacy glass
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation
  • DAB digital radio
  • Bose 7 speaker premium sound system
  • 7-inch digital display for driver with analogue speedometer
  • Voice recognition
  • 1 x USB port
  • 8-inch touchscreen display
  • Power-folding and adjustable heated door mirrors
  • Dusk-sensing LED headlights with auto-levelling
  • Climate control
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Intelligent cruise control
  • Intelligent key with push-button start
  • High beam assist
  • Hill start assist
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Intelligent around-view monitor
  • Intelligent trace control
  • Intelligent ride control
  • Intelligent driver alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane intervention
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Blind spot warning
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Airbags:
    • Front driver and passenger
    • Side chest front seats
    • Side head protection front seats
    • Side head protection second-row seats
Read our Nissan Leaf review

Effective price per KM of range: $197

Annual running costs (Rego, insurance, membership, fuel, servicing and tyres – 15,000km annually): $3,845.40

Pros

  • Long roadside assistance included
  • Driving range
  • Running costs
  • Whisper quiet driving
  • Straightforward, roomy interior design
  • Sales, charging and maintenance network
  • Silky smooth
  • Intelligently designed E-pedal
  • Standard equipment

Cons

  • No telescopic steering wheel adjustment
  • No longer range 60kWh model for Australia
  • Passenger compartment lacks storage options

Porsche Taycan

If you want a performance electric luxury sports car, the Taycan Turbo 4S is the car for you. Yes, some Teslas are faster from 0-100km/h, but the Taycan is a product of Porsche's experience building fast and agile traditional sports cars.

The Taycan received high praise from car reviewers.

The Taycan has two body styles in the line-up, a sporty sedan or the Cross Turismo wagon. The 4S is the lowest priced model of the range, with a 0-100km/h of 4.0 seconds. The Turbo S, the most pricey Taycan, zips to 100km/h in just 2.8 seconds. That model will do 260km/h flat out!

The standard Taycan, the 4S, has the following equipment and features:

  • 14-speaker Bose surround sound system
  • Digital radio
  • 14-way comfort seats with memory package
  • 20-inch Taycan Sport Aero alloy wheels
  • Front seat heating and ventilation
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Online navigation with Porsche Connect
  • 10.9-inch infotainment display
  • Integrated Porsche 4D Chassis Control
  • Adaptive air suspension with three-chamber technology (including Porsche Active Suspension Management)
  • Aluminium bonnet, doors, front guards and roof panel
  • Front and rear centre armrest
  • Regen braking (Porsche Recuperation Management - PRM)
  • Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA) with adaptive rear spoiler and air intake flaps
  • Proximity/keyless entry
  • Safety:
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Lane change assist
    • Lane keeping assist
    • Front and rear park assist including surround view
    • Airbags: Driver, driver's knee, passenger's knee, passenger, head for first-row seats (front), head for second-row seats, side for first-row occupants (front), side for second-row occupants (rear)
  • Privacy glass
  • Auto-dimming exterior and interior mirrors

Effective price per KM of range: $696.74

Annual running costs (Rego, insurance, membership, fuel, servicing and tyres – 15,000km annually): N/A

Pros

  • Startling performance and acceleration
  • Refined road manners
  • Thrilling Porsche handling and grip
  • Standard of technology
  • Comfortable ride
  • User-friendly design

Cons

  • Slim rear headroom
  • Not as much range as claimed Tesla Model S figures
  • A/C vent design
  • No ANCAP rating (though it does have five-stars from Euro NCAP)
  • Pricey options

MG ZS EV

The MG ZS EV is the cheapest electric vehicle on sale in Australia. It's hard to believe the ZS is some $9,200 cheaper than the Nissan Leaf! One reviewer said the price was eye-opening.

Despite its low price, it's punching above its weight in terms of equipment.

The MG ZS, Australia's cheapest EV, has the following specs as standard:

  • 8-inch multi-function colour touch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 6-way power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Leather-bound steering wheel with contrast stitching
  • Panoramic sunroof with sunshade
  • Push-button starting
  • Front centre armrest with storage
  • Satellite-navigation
  • Day/night rear-view mirror
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Power windows
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Synthetic leather interior trim upholstery
  • MG Pilot Driver Safety:
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Forward collision warning
    • Automatic emergency braking
    • Lane departure warning
    • Traffic jam assist
    • Intelligent cruise assist
    • Blind spot detection
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Intelligent headlamp control
    • Speed assistance system
    • Pedestrian alert
  • Front seat heating – driver and passenger
  • Rear-view camera
  • Direct tyre pressure monitoring system
  • 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Exclusive grille with chrome surround
  • Three driving modes (Normal, Eco and Sport)
  • Adjustable brake regeneration
  • 6 airbags
Read our MG ZS EV review

Effective price per KM of range: $167.26

Annual running costs (Rego, insurance, membership, fuel, servicing and tyres – 15,000km annually): N/A

Pros

  • Outstanding value for money
  • Well-engineered drivetrain
  • Stylish and refined
  • Comfortable ride and handling

Cons

  • Bumpy road comfort
  • Plastic trim pieces
  • Range

Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus Read car review

No list of electric cars would be complete without including at least one Tesla. The Model 3 is Tesla's least costly car on sale as of 2021. Tesla has a fanatical following, which seems deserved judging by the comments of car reviewers. The 3 also has an excellent electric range and is reasonably well-priced.

As standard, the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus comes with the following:

  • Rear-wheel drive
  • 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels
  • 15-inch centre touch screen
  • 12-way power-adjustable front seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Premium seat material and trim
  • Upgraded audio system
  • 30 days of Premium Connectivity included
  • Tinted glass roof with ultraviolet and infrared protection
  • Power-folding and heated side mirrors
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • 4 USB ports, 2 wireless charging pads
  • Airbags:
    • Driver
    • Passenger
    • Front row head
    • Second-row head
    • Front row hips
  • Regen braking
  • Rear vision camera
  • Keyless entry
  • Front and rear parking distance control
  • Smart cruise control
  • LED daytime running lamps
  • Digital instruments for driver
  • Satellite navigation
  • Remote climate and two-zone A/C
  • Keyless starting
  • Power tailgate
  • Digital radio (DAB+)
  • Voice recognition

Effective price per KM of range: $149.33

Annual running costs (Rego, insurance, membership, fuel, servicing and tyres – 15,000km annually): N/A

Pros

  • Rapid acceleration
  • High-level interior
  • Build quality
  • High power charging capability
  • Powerful drivetrain
  • Range
  • Servicing costs
  • Practical interior
  • Safety
  • Handling
  • Touchscreen implementation

Cons

  • Stability of Tesla
  • Firm ride with 20-inch alloys
  • Rear-seat design
  • Subdued interior
  • Build quality (evidently, some reviewers weren't happy with the quality of their test car)
  • Weight
  • Quality control
  • Ability to match official range claims
  • No spare wheel
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How to pick the best electric car for you

With dozens of different models on sale, how do you choose the best electric car to suit your needs?

Speaking very generally, reliability is less of a concern with electric cars. Their design means there are significantly fewer things to maintain and fewer moving parts – though that doesn't factor in each manufacturer's quality control.

But when looking for an EV, you should concentrate on the following:

  • Range
  • Charging
  • Running costs
  • Reputation

Range is the distance you can travel before the car needs recharging (oftentimes, the quoted figure is until it is completely flat, which is not healthy for the battery in the long term). A larger battery obviously helps, though if the car is more powerful, it might sap the capacity quickly – so don't use that as the only deciding factor. It's a bit like having a V8 with a massive tank versus a diesel with a smaller one – the V8 is going to burn more fuel in comparison. Remember, the average Aussie commute (prior to COVID-19) was just a 32km round trip. Most of the EVs here are theoretically able to cover that distance at least seven times (on paper).

In terms of charging, generally, you'll want a car that is capable of ultra-fast charging for long trips. Lower charge times are more practical, though you can install overnight charging points at home. This way, you wake up to a topped-up battery, just like your smartphone. A quicker charging time translates to less time spent browsing through petrol station shops while waiting for your car to recharge and more time on the road.

Running costs still factor into things as different car makers have their own servicing pricing schemes. Plus, the lower the range, in theory, the more you're going to need to charge the car – increasing charging costs. Also, the energy efficiency of the model impacts operating costs.

Reputation is another important one. Spend time reading reviews from verified owners of the cars and see what they think about the electric car you're considering buying.

Everything else is a bonus and identical to buying a conventional vehicle. It helps if you make a list of things you need from a car, such as the following:

  • A large boot
  • Seats for five adults
  • Cruise control
  • Sporty

Then make a shortlist based on your criteria.

Want to learn more about electric cars? Check out our electric car reviews or our switching to an electric car guide. If you already know which model you are after, it might be worth comparing green car loans as well as electric car insurance to see how much you could save.

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