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Australia’s top selling electric car is Chinese MG ZS which has a quarter of niche market

Australia’s top selling electric car is made in China and has more than a quarter of what is now a niche market – but is set to rapidly expand as the government phases out petrol-powered vehicles.

The MG ZS SUV managed 1,388 sales in 2021 – or 27 per cent of the 5,149 electric cars sold in Australia last year.

Tesla does not provide its sales data to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries which means a Chinese-made car tops their chart as the bestselling electric car in Australia.

Australia’s top selling electric car is made in China and it has more than a quarter of this niche market. The MG ZS SUV (pictured) managed 1,388 sales in 2021 – or 27 per cent of the 5,149 electric cars sold in Australia last year

Australia’s top selling electric cars in 2021

MG ZS: 1,388 sales

PORSCHE TAYCAN: 531 sales

HYUNDAI KONA: 505 sales

NISSAN LEAF: 367 sales 

MERCEDES-BENZ EQA: 367 sales 

HYUNDAI IONIQ: 339 sales

MERCEDES-BENZ EQC: 298 sales 

MINI: 291 sales

KIA NIRO: 217 sales 

VOLVO XC40: 207 sales 

HYUNDAI IONIQ 5: 172 sales 

AUDI E-TRON: 108 sales 

BMW i3: 67 sales

MAZDA MX-30: 63 sales

BMW X3: 62 sales 

RENAULT KANGOO: 45 sales

JAGUAR I-PACE: 44 sales 

LEXUS UX: 43 sales 

BMW iX: 35 sales

Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries sales data for 2021. Tesla does not provide their sales figures 

With a price tag of $44,990 drive away, the MG is relatively good value, costing significantly less than the $53,190 starting price for the Nissan Leaf, which had 367 sales last year.

Intriguingly, the Porsche Taycan with a starting price of $156,300 before on-road costs was Australia’s second most popular electric car in 2021 with 531 sales – or 10.3 per cent of the electric car market.

The German sports sedan outsold the Hyundai Kona which had 505 sales with a price tag of $54,500.

In Australia 19 models of electric car, excluding Tesla, were sold with variants also from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Volvo, Lexus, MINI, Kia and Renault.

The 5,149 electric cars sold last year made up just 0.49 per cent of the 1,049,831 vehicles leaving showrooms in Australia.

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber questioned any government push toward electric cars,  as part of a goal of zero n net carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

‘The policy objective should be to lower our CO2 emissions rather than meeting sales targets of particular types of technology,’ Mr Weber said.

‘The FCAI maintains the need for national leadership in the form of a technology agnostic and achievable emissions reduction target.’

But Grant King, the chairman of the Climate Change Authority, argued government policy intervention was needed to replace petrol-powered cars.

‘We’re going to electrify a lot of the vehicle fleet, we need to make damn sure that the power that we’re generating to do that is obviously zero-emissions power,’ he told The Australian Financial Review. 

‘It is important that we diversify the economy’s reliance on just substituting renewable energy for power generation and into other areas of the economy.’

Intriguingly, the Porsche Taycan (pictured) with a starting price of $156,300 before on-road costs was Australia's second most popular electric car in 2021 with 531 sales - or 10.3 per cent of the electric car market

Intriguingly, the Porsche Taycan (pictured) with a starting price of $156,300 before on-road costs was Australia’s second most popular electric car in 2021 with 531 sales – or 10.3 per cent of the electric car market

Government action to bring about a widespread switch to electric vehicles could be in the form of subsidies for buyers, or taxes on petrol-using cars.   

In New South Wales, the Coalition government is particularly keen to entice motorists into electric cars, ambitiously aiming for the vehicles to comprise more than half of all sales in the state by 2031.

The first 25,000 motorists who bought an electric car, worth up to $68,750, since September 1, qualify for a $3,000 rebate, following the passage of state legislation in October.

With a stamp duty exemption of $2,537.50 and that $3,000 rebate, they are getting back up to $5,540 from taxpayers.

It is available for cars worth up to $68,750 and applies for personal use and small business with less than 10 cars.

A stamp duty exemption applies for electric cars worth up to $78,000.

Petrol and diesel cars still incur a $3 charge for every $100 up to $45,000 and $5 for every $100 over $45,000.

Grant King, the chairman Climate Change Authority, said government intervention was needed to replace petrol-powered cars

Grant King, the chairman Climate Change Authority, said government intervention was needed to replace petrol-powered cars

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