Small Electric Cars: A Guide to the Smallest, Cheapest, and Best Models in Australia

Are you considering purchasing a small electric car? With more affordable options and improving technology, electric cars are becoming a popular choice for eco-conscious and budget-savvy drivers. In this article, we'll provide you with a guide to the smallest, cheapest, and best small electric cars available in Australia.

What is the Smallest Electric Car?

Emerald green Fiat 500e

The small electric car is the 2023 Fiat 500e. Measuring a diminutive 3631 mm in length, the Fiat 500 is one of the most popular small cars in Europe.

It is set to become available in Australian showrooms in the second half of 2023, priced from $52,500 before on-road costs for the highest spec 'La Prima' grade.

The Fiat 500e is powered by a single electric motor outputting 87kW of power, and 220Nm of torque to the front wheels. In terms of acceleration, it hits the 0-100km/h mark in 9.0 seconds.

The 42kWh battery pack provides up to 311km of claimed WLTP driving range. It can be charged at up to 11kW AC, with a maximum rate of 85kW DC. It can recharge from 10 to 80 per cent in 35 minutes on a compatible public EV DC charger.

Features wise the 500 e includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a panoramic glass sunroof, front, and rear parking sensors, “eco-leather” seat trim, and heated front seats.

Which is the Best Small Family Electric Car?

Grey BYD Atto 3 electric SUV

The best small family electric SUV is the BYD Atto 3 small SUV. The Atto 3 provides great value due to its great internal space for its size, premium fit and finish, and long range.

Prices started from $48,011 to $51,011 before on-road costs and state incentives.

The Atto 3 Standard Range offers 320km of claimed driving range on the stricter WLTP testing cycle. Meanwhile, an Extended Range battery is offered for $3000 more with 420km of range (WLTP). Both packs can be topped up with up to 7kW AC or 80kW DC speeds, with an included vehicle-to-load (V2L) adapter for powering other devices or appliances outside the car.

Both models use the Shenzhen firm’s own ‘Blade Battery’ based on lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) technology. It’s claimed to be more durable, safer, and longer-lasting than traditional packs with minimal degradation over one million kilometres of driving.

With only one high-spec model, the BYD EV features a 12.8-inch tablet-style rotatable infotainment system running its own ‘DiLink’ software, panoramic sunroof, and a complete suite of safety assistance systems like adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera.

What is the Cheapest Small Electric Car in Australia?


The cheapest small electric car is the Great Wall Motors (GWM) Ora (known as the Ora Funky Cat or Good Cat overseas). Priced from $43,990 to $53,990 before on-road costs, the Ora EV provides up to 420km of claimed WLTP driving range featuring a quirky two-tone colour design, and a seven-year, unlimited kilometre vehicle warranty as standard.

The electric car can be charged at up to 11kW AC, with a maximum rate of 64kW DC on the Standard Range or 67kW DC on the Extended Range. The company claims the Standard Range can recharge from 10 to 80 per cent in 41 minutes on a compatible public EV charger.

It is offered in two variants featuring a 10.25-inch infotainment display and a 10.25 inch driver instrument display and complete active safety assist suite.

The GWM Ora EV is covered by a seven-year, unlimited kilometre vehicle warranty and an eight-year battery warranty.

What is the Cheapest Electric SUV in Australia?

Blue MG ZS EV electric SUV driving

The 2023 MG ZS EV is the cheapest electric SUV in Australia, starting from $43,990 to $55,990 before on-road costs nationwide (before state incentives).

All MG electric car models are capable of charging at up to 11kW AC and 80kW DC speeds, with exterior vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability via the front charging port. But, a separate V2L adapter accessory purchase is required from the dealer.

Standard Range models use a longer-lasting and cobalt-free 49kWh usable lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery, whereas the Long Range adopts a more common and energy dense 68.3kWh usable nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) chemistry.

Standard equipment highlights on the base Excite includes a larger 10.1-inch touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, full LED headlights, and ‘MG Pilot’ active safety assistance systems including auto emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, 360-degree surround view camera, and more.

Buyers who want features like blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, faux leather seats, and more will need to step up to the flagship Essence model at $47,990 before on-road costs.

What Will be the Cheapest Electric Car in 2023?

The cheapest electric car expected to arrive in Australia in 2023 is likely to be the MG4 or BYD Dolphin.

Until recently there has been a limited range of small electric cars in Australia. The release of the MG ZS EV in 2021 and the BYD Atto 3 in 2022 kickstarted the initial wave of affordable electric cars. We expect by the end of 2023 there will be at least 5 different models which will start from below $50,000 before on-road costs.

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