2023 may just be the year that Australians may seriously get into the use of electric vehicles – but experts say that the bulk of those that will be available to the public will be made up of Chinese imports.
While nations like the United States, China, and Japan have begun the shift into the more mainstream adoption of EVs over the past several years, Australia has lagged behind.
For the most part, Australians have been slow to shift to EVs due to a lack of available options, as well as higher prices. Indeed, very few EV models may be purchased for under AU$50,000 (US$34,021.25) and it has been noted that American firm Tesla has dominated the scene for several years.
But with the looming influx of EVs from China and the United Kingdom, this is expected to change.
Gunning for a More Competitive Market Down Under
Over a dozen new EV models, several of which are more modestly priced than the Teslas that currently make up the bulk of electric cars in Australia, are set to come into the country, mostly from China’s leading carmaker and rechargeable battery manufacturer BYD and the collaboration between British automaker MG and state-owned Chinese firm SAC Motor.
Luke Todd, chief executive officer of BYD’s exclusive Australian distributor EVDirect, says that his company committed to bring at least two new models to the Australian vehicle scene every year – and it’s a commitment that they’re honoring in 2023 with the arrival of the BYD Dolphin and the BYD Seal.
The former is a light SUV, while the latter is an electric sedan; both models are expected to be available to Australian buyers within the first months of this year. Interestingly, the Dolphin is expected to appeal to buyers as it will be priced lower than the BYD Atto 3 which is already available in Australia and priced at AU$49,000 (US$33,340.82.)
But the MG / SAIC partnership is also drawing in potential buyers. Its current model, the ZS EV, also costs less than Tesla’s cheapest model in the Australian market, as it costs just AU$45,000 (US$30,619.12,) making it the cheapest EV available in the country. MG / SAIC will also be introducing a new model, the MG4, early this year.
Several other Chinese players could also step in: Great Wall Motors hopes to launch its Ora EV vehicles in Australia as a way of pushing its plan of launching over 50 energy-efficient EVs worldwide by 2025.
Another firm, Chery, is set to release a plug-in hybrid in Australia within the year and another car, the Omoda 5 compact SUV, by next year.