New leader in the race for cheapest electric vehicle

The title of Australia’s cheapest electric car has been nabbed by a new vehicle after its maker launched a $4000 discount to boost sales.

GWM has driven away with the title after launching the price cut on its entry-level Ora vehicle that will now sell for less than $37,000 in some parts of Australia, setting a new price record for electric cars.

The discount follows a fierce battle over electric car prices in 2023 when BYD narrowly claimed the title of most affordable EV by launching its Dolphin hatchback for $100 less than the rival MG4.

But MG could have the last laugh in the competition as sales figures showed it had so far outsold both of its competitors by a large margin.

The newest electric car price battle comes despite rising sales of electric vehicles in Australia, and predictions sales could double again over the coming year.

The new discount on the ‚Äústandard range‚ÄĚ GWM Ora vehicle will bring its driveway price down to $36,638 in the ACT and $36,656 in the Northern Territory, though it will command as much as $39,003 in Western Australia.

The GWM Ora’s price cut will make the vehicle the most inexpensive EV in Australia by a margin of more than $2200, followed by the BYD Dolphin at $38,890 and MG4 at $38,990.

Australian Electric Vehicle Association national president Chris Jones told AAP the price cut was a reflection of fierce competition in the market and could make more motorists consider whether to buy a petrol or battery-powered vehicle.

‚ÄúIf you‚Äôre more expensive than a competitor, you‚Äôre at a disadvantage so they‚Äôre obviously sharpening their pencils,‚ÄĚ he said.

‚ÄúThe competition for cheaper, smaller EVs is awesome and at those kinds of prices they‚Äôre competitive with hybrid (Toyota) Corollas.‚ÄĚ

Dr Jones said lower prices would not be the only consideration for consumers weighing up new car purchases but could remove a barrier to electric vehicle adoption.

Electric cars set new sales records in Australia during 2023, with figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries revealing motorists bought more than 87,000 new electric vehicles during the year ‚Äď an increase of 161 per cent compared to 2022.

Of the three cheaper electric options, the MG4 attracted the greatest number of sales, at 3134, while BYD’s Dolphin won 925 sales, and 526 people bought a GWM Ora.

All three vehicles are manufactured in China, which has become a major source for electric vehicles and the world leader in electric vehicle battery production, according to the International Energy Agency.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said the automotive technology had soared in popularity in Australia over the past year, jumping from 3.8 per cent of new car sales to 7.2 per cent, and would continue to grow as new prices and models entered the market.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôve more than doubled sales in the last 12 months so it‚Äôs certainly within our capabilities to keep going,‚ÄĚ he said.

 

Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
(Australian Associated Press)

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