While attending yesterday’s Australian launch event for Chinese car brand Chery, I was thinking about how only Chinese car brands MG (ZS EV, MG 4), BYD (Atto 3) and GWM (Ora Cat) have so far shown serious intent to offer Australians a large supply of affordable electric cars (around 50K and below) between now and 2030.

While Chery is initially entering the Australian market with the Omoda 5 small petrol SUV, they announced the Omoda 5 electric is likely to be here in the first half of 2024.

You may say what about the Korean car makers?

It’s true that Kia and Hyundai both make some fantastic electric cars but so far they have only offered these in small batches available for purchase by Australian customers.

If you’re lucky enough to win their lotto style ordering system like my colleague Chris who has a Hyundai IONIQ you’ll be very happy with your purchase. Unfortunately I haven’t heard of any plans to import many thousands of Korean electric cars any time soon.

Seven of the top ten best selling electric cars in Australia last year (listed below) were either Chinese brands making their cars there or foreign brands like Tesla making their Australian market cars in China.

  1. Tesla Model 3 – 10877 (made in China)
  2. Tesla Model Y – 8717 (made in China)
  3. BYD Atto 3 – 2113 (Chinese brand, made in China)
  4. Polestar 2 – 1524 (Chinese brand, made in China)
  5. MG ZS EV – 1119 (Chinese brand, made in China)
  6. Hyundai Kona – 1096
  7. Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric – 983 (Chinese brand, made in China)
  8. Hyundai Ioniq 5 – 756
  9. Mercedes-Benz EQA – 624
  10. BMW iX3 – 593 (made in China)

It will be very interesting to see the list of best selling electric cars in Australia for 2023 but it’s a safe bet that  Tesla will continue selling a lot and there will be significant growth in the numbers of electric cars sold by Chinese brands.

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What’s telling is the absence of the Japanese makes in that top 10.


There’s the Toyota and Subaru hopefully coming to AU. I am keen on Ioniq myself but yeah it’ll be a lottery for either 5 or 6 (don’t even think about EV6). It will sell out in minutes or the website will crash etc – fun times.


Mazda Australia now lists the Astina E-35 MX-30 Electric. Nissan Australia still lists the Leaf, but no sign of the new EV co-developed with Renault and Mitsubishi. The latter of that threesome has no immediate plans to bring their version of the EV, the Mitsubishi eK X EV, to Australia. Toyota, Daihatsu, and Suzuki, are scrambling to try to get their EVs to market. Toyota has the bZ4X SUV. It is showing for limited availability purchase on the Toyota USA site, and is only listed for lease on the Toyota Japan site. Suzuki has the eVX concept, and they are… Read more »