On the road

Charge of the electric light brigade

The spike in Australian electric vehicle (EV) sales is being driven in part by increasing competition at the lower end of the market, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

FCAI data for June 2023 showed that sales of zero- and low-emission vehicles have continued to grow with 16.6 percent of new vehicle sales being battery electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid models.

Three recently launched sub-$50k Chinese models are set to further incite the affordable-electric wave, among them the BYD Dolphin electric hatchback, which joins the Atto 3 small SUV in the Chinese brand’s growing range.

The Dolphin is positioned as a price leader in the BYD range with the entry-level Dynamic boasting a headline-grabbing entry price of $38,890 plus on-road costs, with its 70kW/180Nm motor, 44.9kWh battery and claimed driving range of 340km (WLTP).

Also vying for the title of Australia’s most affordable EV is BYD rival MG, which announced its new MG4 Excite electric hatchback will be priced from $38,990 plus on-road costs. The Excite boasts a 125kW motor, 51kWh battery and 350km range.

Not to be outdone, Chinese car maker GWM has announced a price cut for its Ora EV, which means the small hatchback starts from just $39,990 plus on-road costs.

The entry level GWM Ora features a 126kW/250Nm front-mounted electric motor and a 48kWh lithium iron phosphate unit, delivering a claimed range of 310km (WLTP).