Buying a luxury EV needn't cost the earth


Australia is in the midst of the most dramatic change to the automotive landscape: we're shifting away from traditional petrol and diesel engines towards an electric future.

Electric vehicles can significantly reduce carbon emissions, and the Federal government is embracing this pivot with a range of incentives to help buyers get a better deal while also doing their bit for the environment and transitioning to a more sustainable future.

In July 2022, the Electric Car Discount Bill was introduced with the aim of making new fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles more attainable to a broader number of people.

The BMW i4 eDrive35 comfortably seats five adults in style. Photo: Supplied.

The way the bill helps you save money is by removing fringe benefits tax (FBT) from the cost of vehicles below the luxury car tax (LCT) threshold, which is currently $89,332.

For example, through a novated lease a consumer could make pre-tax monthly repayments on the vehicle and not be slugged with the FBT - which in some cases for internal-combustion-engine (ICE) vehicles could run to more than $1000 a month. Over a typical lease period, that could mean savings of $30,000 or more.

Of the 50 or so electric vehicle options on the market in Australia, about 30 fall under the luxury car tax threshold, so there are plenty of choices for different budgets and buyers.

So instead of, say, a petrol hatchback, you could instead be getting a luxury electric SUV for your family, without having to pay FBT, and potentially with similar pre-tax lease payments.

One brand that is specifically aiming to offer the luxury of choice to consumers, and potentially draw in new customers, is BMW Group Australia.

Nick Raman, BMW Group Australia product and business communications manager, told Money that the brand is focused on offering options below the LCT threshold so customers can take advantage of the FBT savings.

"A great opportunity emerged for us to offer a new line-up of competitively priced, fully electric models. It came about thanks to various factors."

Finance tailored to models

He says the government's implementation of the Electric Car Discount Bill was an important step in delivering a tax exemption for prospective EV consumers alongside its increase of the luxury car tax threshold for fuel-efficient cars to spur a higher uptake of low- and zero-emissions vehicles in the market.

"We investigated this and determined that we were in a good position to be present in the sub-LCT EV space - a new one for BMW - with the arrival of new models, such as the first-ever iX1 and iX2, and our repositioning of other battery electric vehicles (BEV) to be priced below the threshold.

"In addition, we coupled the product offering with novated leasing products from our captive financier, BMW Financial Services, that are tailored for these models."

Raman says BMW is committed to making luxury electric motoring accessible for as many people as possible.

"Our strategy is headlined by our sub-LCT BEV line-up, enabling us to offer luxury EVs not only to personal users but to business owners and fleet operators via the fringe benefits tax exemption on cars priced below the LCT.

"Alongside the attainability factor, we are proud that our products deliver a high level of style and luxury but, just as importantly, an enjoyable, engaging driving experience.

"Sporty driving dynamics have been a hallmark of BMW for as long as the company has been in business, and our new-generation electric cars have that quality in abundance."

Line-up is expanding

Raman says it is key to the brand's success in Australia to have affordable EVs as the market shifts to new forms of mobility.

"We already provide a unique offering with the number of premium battery electric vehicles priced below the LCT, and we will continue to evolve and expand our line-up into the future.

"These affordable models are a key component in a broad spectrum of vehicles.

"We currently offer 12 fully electric BMWs and by later this year this number will grow to 16. That is the most fully electric vehicles of any manufacturer represented in Australia and underlines our commitment to electromobility."

And not only is affordability key to the brand's EV offering, the company has an array of models to choose from - all of which are richly equipped as standard.

The brand offers two takes on the BMW iX1 - the efficiency-focused eDrive20 (from $78,900) and the sporty xDrive30 with all-wheel-drive (from $84,900).

Both are extremely practical compact SUVs for young families. Then there is the BMW iX2 Sports Activity Coupe - also offered in eDrive20 (from $82,900) and xDrive30 (from $85,700) - which blends an athletic design with cutting-edge technology.

And for those who prefer a low-slung, sporty touring vehicle, the BMW i4 eDrive35 (from $85,900) offers Gran Coupe styling and lashings of luxury. It could be the ideal daily driver or weekend getaway machine.

The beauty of the BMW electric vehicle range is that there are no compromises to style, luxury or technology in comparison to ICE models from the brand.

For instance, the iX1 has a sizeable cargo capacity of 490 litres, which is more than most SUVs in the next size bracket up, and there is a handy underfloor storage area for your charging cables, too.

Likewise, the stylish coupe-like silhouette of the BMW i4 eDrive35 doesn't sacrifice space, with a 470-litre boot and space in the cabin for five adults to fit comfortably.

Wallet-friendly charging

With in excess of 400 kilometres of driving range, you can hit the open road with confidence, with one year of complimentary access to the Chargefox network of direct current (DC) public charging stations.

So, you could enjoy cost-free, emissions-free motoring by planning your journey and using the supported network of fast-charging systems.

Charging at home will be significantly more wallet-friendly, too.

If you have a solar setup, you could pay little or nothing for your energy, while energy suppliers are also aiming to target EV customers with more focused off-peak energy rates for recharging their vehicle at home.

BMW offers a Wallbox home charger to make the process as easy as pulling into your garage and plugging in, and you can set charging timers to take advantage of the best energy tariffs from your supplier. The cost of charging at home can be as little as a tenth of the cost of public charging, in some instances.

And as with other BMW models, there is a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty program, and the high-voltage battery system features a lengthy eight-year/160,000km warranty, too.

BMW Australia offers finance packages for those interested in an iX1, iX2 or i4 model, taking the guesswork out of residual values.

The Guaranteed Future Value program ensures you know in advance what your EV will be valued at when the loan or lease term ends. That way you know what your investment is before you decide whether to keep the vehicle by paying out the residual value, refinance, return the vehicle or trade it in for another BMW model.

While there is nothing better than financial peace of mind, the feelgood factor of owning a sustainable, tailpipe-emissions-free EV from BMW is something you hadn't previously been able to put a price on. But now you can, and that price is likely more affordable than you would have thought.

For more information on the BMW electric vehicle range, visit

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