Victoria’s cheapest electric cars and PHEVs to own for 2022

MG ZS EV driving along road with greenery in foreground

Tianna Nadalin

Posted November 07, 2022

Discover the most afforable EVs to own according to RACV’s annual Car Running Costs Survey, which highlights the cheapest electric cars to own and run in 2022.

Demand for electric (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) is powering up in Australia, and with a surge of new electric-powered brands and models hitting the market, it’s never been cheaper – or easier – to make the switch to a lower-emissions car. 

Though EVs only account for about 2.7 per cent of annual new car sales in Australia, they are one of the fastest-growing segments. The latest figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the peak body for Australia’s automotive industry, shows that EVs accounted for a record 7.7 per cent of all new car sales in September. 

To help you find the most affordable EV option for your family, RACV’s annual Car Running Costs Survey has compared 10 of the country’s top-selling models to find out which is the cheapest to own and run. 

This year ranks the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Hyundai Kona Elite EV, Kia EV6 Air, Kia Niro EV, Mazda MX-30 FWD E35 Astina, MG HS 1.5 Turbo Excite PHEV, MG ZS, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Nissan Leaf EV and Tesla Model 3 based on purchase price, fuel/charging costs and on-road expenses.  

When it comes to the average monthly servicing cost, electric cars were found to be the cheapest segment across the 2022 survey - accounting for just two per cent of the total monthly out-of-pocket expenses, compared to a survey average of three per cent. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, EVs are the cheapest to power, with fuel and charging costs accounting for just six per cent of the total monthly spend - well below the survey average of 13 per cent. 

If you buy an electric car, you’re up for an average monthly cost of $1,565.73. 

Jump to:

Australia's Cheapest Cars Survey 2022 | RACV

Cheapest EV to own

According to the 2022 Car Running Costs Survey, the mid-sized MG ZS SUV is the cheapest EV to buy and most affordable to run, costing owners just under $42,000 to buy and $1,149.00 to run per month on average.

This is just a little more than the average monthly cost of a small SUV and about $200 less than the average running cost of a medium sedan. 

The MG ZS is also the cheapest to maintain, with servicing and tyres costing just under $30 per month combined – less than a light hatchback.

MG's HS 1.5 Turbo Excite also took second place as the next most affordable electric-powered car in the survey, with the PHEV costing $48,690 to buy, and an average of $1,356.87 per month to own. 

The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross ES, also a PHEV variant, came in third with a purchase price of $51,762.70 and a monthly running cost of $1,399.84.

Of the cars included in the 2022 Vehicle Operating Costs survey, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 2WD – with an upfront purchase price of $78,442.70, was the most expensive to own and run.If you want to get around in this five-seater SUV, it’ll cost you an average of $1,937.59 per month, making it the second most expensive passenger car in the survey after the large, seven-seat Kia Sorento SUV.  


Tesla Model 3 Sedan

The Tesla Model3 is the cheapest of the EVs surveyed to charge.

Cheapest EV to charge

To calculate relative charging costs, the domestic electricity single daytime/off-peak tariff of 23.30 cents/kWh has been used, based on official power consumption data provided by the manufacturer. Costs, however, would be further reduced for people using roofttop solar and home battery to charge their vehicles.

For PHEV vehicles, which combine electric and internal combustion engine technologies, the domestic electricity tariff as well as appropriate petrol costs (as per official fuel consumption data) have been used.

Setting aside the purchase price, if you’re looking for the cheapest electric car to charge, the most affordable EV of those surveyed is the Tesla Model 3 sedan, costing just $71.53 per month on average.

This renowned EV is one of the highest-selling on the market, with nearly one in every two electric cars sold in Australia in 2022 so far being a Model 3. This is despite the luxury badge being the second most expensive to own and run overall, costing owners an average of $1,785.44 per month - some $600 more than the MG ZS. 

The priciest EV in the survey for fuel is the MG HS 1.5 Turbo Excite PHEV 2WD 10SP Auto. The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) costs an average of $125.95 to charge and fuel per month, about the same as a light hatchback. Despite its higher charging and fuel cost, the MG HS is still the second cheapest of the EVs surveyed, costing $1,356.87 per month to own and operate. 


Blue Hyundai Kona driving on country road

The popular Hyundai Kona is the cheapest EV of those surveyed to keep on the road.

Cheapest EV to keep on the road 

When it comes to servicing, maintenance, and other on-road costs, the Hyundai Kona Elite takes the podium as the survey's most affordable EV to keep on the road.

Notwithstanding purchase price (and associated loan repayments), the Kona will set you back an average of $300.93 per month for fuel/charging, servicing, maintenance, insurance, registration, and auto-club membership.

It is just marginally cheaper than the Mazda MX-30 Astina, which averages just $3 per month more. And despite being the cheapest EV overall in the survey, for on-road costs, the MG ZS EV came in third at $305 per month. This is still nearly $120 cheaper than that survey’s least affordable car to keep on the road. 

According to the 2022 Car Running Costs Survey, the Tesla Model 3 is not only the second-most expensive to own and run overall, it also has the highest on-road costs, setting owners back $423.28 per month on average for fuel/charging, servicing, maintenance, insurance, registration, and auto-club membership.

As PHEVs use both battery power and an internal combustion engine, the most expensive to service and maintain is the MG HS 1.5 Turbo Excite PHEV 2WD 10SP Auto, costing an average of $67.80 per month, just narrowly more than the Hyundai Ioniq 5 2WD at $67.23. 


Click here to view the full 2022 Car Running Cost Survey.


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 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 ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.