Love the idea of electric cars but also love the idea of being able to afford to eat dinner? Well, you’re in luck because a Sydney-based company reckons it will soon launch an EV that is well below the $44,000 minimum it’ll set you back currently.
According to the Australian Financial Review, a new VW Golf-sized hatchback by BYD is set to be imported by TrueGreen Mobility as early as next year, with CEO Luke Todd confirming that it will be priced “well and truly sub-$35,000.”
As it currently stands, the cheapest EV you can purchase in Australia is the MG SUV, which will set you back $44,000 including on-road costs.
Meanwhile, the cheapest drive-away price you’ll see for a Tesla in Australia is $68,425 excluding on-roads for the Tesla Model 3.
If you’re wondering why they’re so stupid expensive to purchase in Australia, experts cite a severe lack of choice and competition as the main reason. Electric vehicles make up less than 0.2 per cent of Australia’s vehicle fleet, with just 13 of some 200 BEV models actually available for purchase in Australia.
So naturally, the ones you can get in Australia will cost you a pretty penny.
And, in addition to the hefty price tag, you can soon expect to pay additional taxes per kilometre if the Victorian government’s proposed new EV tax gets approved.
But that’s where BYD comes in with something that regular people can afford.
Despite being relatively unknown here in Australia, BYD (which stands for Build Your Dreams) has been making cars since 1987, and recently saw a 300 per cent rise in shares, with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owning an 8.2 per cent stake in the company.
The new model, which is set to be imported by TrueGreen Mobility, will reach Australian consumers in the first quarter of 2022, with pre-orders available as early as July 2021.
The BYD EV is built in China with the help of top designers and engineers including the former head of design for Audi Wolfgang Egger.
However, it’s worth noting that the BYD model will only be available for online sales.
In addition to the cheap model, TrueGreen Mobility promises to bring six BYD vehicles to Australia in the next two years, including a luxury SUV.
Additionally, there will be a purpose-built engineering facility in Australia.
“We are setting up an R&D team and engineering facility in Australia to partner with BYD. This is not just us pulling cars off the shelf and bringing them into the country, we are investing into our own production lines in China, we are going to re-engineer to suit,” Todd told the AFR.
If everything goes ahead as planned, you could be driving a sweet BEV for cheaper than ever before.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly priced the Tesla Model 3 as $75,275. This has now been corrected.