White MG electric vehicle parked outside of RACV's Cape Schanck resort.

Buying an electric vehicle

Things to consider when choosing the right electric or hybrid vehicle to suit your lifestyle

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Getting EV ready

  • Choose an EV that suits your lifestyle

    Your ideal electric car will depend on several factors, including your budget, travel habits, and lifestyle.

  • Save with incentives

    Check what government rebates or incentives are available in your state or territory.

  • Charging options

    Find out where your closest public charging station is. Consider installing a home charger if you have off-street parking or installing solar to charge up for less.

  • Driving range

    Check how far the electric car model will travel on a full charge to make sure it works with your driving habits.

Helping you buy an electric vehicle

Different types of electric vehicles

There are different types of electric cars, each relying on a different degree of electric power. Some people don’t consider hybrid vehicles as EVs in the strictest sense, though we’ve included them here because they draw at least a portion of their power from electricity.

Battery electric vehicles

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) – also known as ‘plug-in’ EVs – run soley on electricity and use an external electrical charging outlet to charge the battery.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are powered by a mix of fuel and electricity. They can be charged with electricity using a plug, but also have a fuel engine.

Hybrid electric vehicles

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are powered by both petrol or diesel and a small battery. The battery is charged up by the braking system and the engine in the vehicle, so no plug-in charging is needed.

After you’ve bought an EV

Electric and hybrid car reviews

Frequently asked questions

Choosing which electric car is right for you depends on your current lifestyle and driving needs. Whether you’re considering going for a fully battery electric (BEV), a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or a hybrid (HEV) model, it’s good to understand the pros and cons of the different types of EVs, including the driving range and battery performance.

To help you decide which is best, you can search and compare the driving range, running costs and energy usage of different vehicles using the Australian Government Green Vehicles Guide.

In Australia, new battery electric vehicles (or BEVs) can cost anywhere between $40,000 to $70,000 for the entry-level models and up to $200,000+ for more high-end models.

Hybrid cars (or HEVs) – with a combined petrol engine and electric motor – start from around $25,500 to $70,000 depending on brand, model and make.

While availability is limited, there’s second-hand EVs starting from around $20,000–$30,000 up to +$60,000.

Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids have much lower running costs than petrol and diesel-powered vehicles. Once the inital cost of buying a vehicle is removed, you’ll save money that otherwise would be spent on petrol and servicing costs. EVs or battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have far fewer moving parts, so they require less maintenance and don’t require regular fluid changes.

To find out how much you could save, check out CHOICE’s tool to compare the running costs over time.

Today’s electric vehicles have an average battery range of 480km, but the technology is advancing so rapidly that new models can drive for almost 600km or more on a single charge. Generally, the bigger the battery (kWh size), the further you can travel on one charge.

The average Australian drives 38km per day so an EV owner can go for at least 10 days without a recharge. Unlike petrol cars, you can recharge at home or anywhere with access to electricity.

Read the latest news on EVs

R.A.C.V. Finance Limited ABN 82 004 292 291 Australian Credit Licence No. 391488. RACV Finance is subject to RACV lending criteria. Conditions, fees and charges apply.    

The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product(s) issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Ltd ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.