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Long-range EV for under $45,000 to hit Australian roads

Blue BYD EV on grey background.
It's pedal to the metal for EV uptake in Australia. (Source: evdirect.com.au)

Electric vehicle (EV) prices are inching lower with Chinese manufacturer BYD launching a car in Australia for below $45,000.

The Atto 3 electric SUV has an impressive range of 420km (480km for the premium model) and is now available for pre-order.

Before you get too excited, the sub-$45,000 base price is only for Tasmanian buyers. Expect to pay more in other states due to higher stamp duty and registration costs.

Some states do offer subsidies and tax breaks for EVs. The NSW government, for example, has scrapped stamp duty for EVS and is handing out $3,000 cash rebates to buyers.

Still, the SUV’s price puts it in the same league as other cheap models, such as the Nissan Leaf ($53,190) and the MG ZS EV ($44,990).

The price is especially attractive when you consider the maximum range, with the Nissan Leaf’s starting at 225km.

The Chinese company’s foray into the Australian market has been hotly anticipated because it has plans to deliver an electric hatchback car for “well under $35,000”, which would put EVs in a more affordable price range for many motorists.

BYD, which is short for Build Your Dreams, has plans to launch another six models in Australia by 2023, according to EVDirect.com.au, BYD’s Australian importer.

EV uptake shifting gears

The nation is on “the precipice of an EV economic boom” according to the Electric Vehicle Council, with EV sales tripling in 2021 compared to 2020.

The industry body expects to see an explosion of choice for motorists in 2022, with close to 60 EV models expected to be available in Australia by the end of the year.

However, Australia has been much slower than other countries to embrace EVs.

The Federal Government launched an EV strategy last year but it didn’t include incentives and instead focused on bolstering charging infrastructure and driving EV fleet uptake.

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