4 “Affordable” Electric Cars That are Already Out There (Comparison)

As we welcome the new year, we welcome the changes that come along with it. The world is ever changing and those who fail to adapt are left in the dark, clueless.

Is the future of cars electric?

It might just be. The shift to electric cars doesn’t suggest risks like the shift to nuclear energy would. With Tesla spearheading the electric vehicle movement, it is easy to ignore the less exciting electric vehicles out there.

The progress of electric cars isn’t really something high up on our radar as “car enthusiasts” in Malaysia, thanks to our busy lives and the surge of thumb-stopping, click-inducing news titles on the internet. With high estimated showroom prices and an incomplete infrastructure, the thought of purchasing an EV is virtually non-existent in the average Malaysian car buyer’s mind.

The fact that electric cars are becoming increasingly common in other countries is an interesting observation. Let’s have a look at the 4 “affordable” electric cars that are already out there that have some potential in the Malaysian market.

At the end of this article is a comparison table of the 4 EVs mentioned.

Nissan Leaf (ZE1)


The Nissan Leaf is predicted to launch in Malaysia in the middle of 2019. This was showcased during the 2018 Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show and the Leaf boasts a 380km range on the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle).

The Leaf is a mid-sized hatchback and the estimated price for the Malaysian market is in the RM250,000 region. The market for EVs in Malaysia is yet to mature. The Leaf has been around since 2010, but that was the ZE0, which had a shorter range and didn’t look as aggressive as the ZE1.

Base trim of the ZE1 Nissan Leaf 

The ZE1 Leaf is sold in US with a starting price of 29,990USD. It is referred to as the “S” trim which is fitted with 16”x6.5” steel wheels. Basically, all variants of the ZE1 Leaf have the same powertrain so nothing is compromised in the performance area. You just lose some features when you opt for the lower tier trims.

In the UK, the Leaf is available in the “Visia” trim which starts at 21,190GBP and also features steel wheels.

Hyundai Kona Electric


The Hyundai Kona was also displayed during KLIMS 2018. If you haven’t heard, Hyundai is planning to set up an EV factory in Indonesia soon and 53% of the vehicles produced will be for export. The Kona is already selling in European countries like Norway. The price for the Kona Electric in UK starts at 27,250GBP (for the SE trim).


The Kona Electric is a compact crossover which has an ICE counterpart. The electric Kona has 2 variants for the electric motor and battery – standard range and long range.


The standard range has a 100kW motor while the long range has a 150kW motor.


What is the range of the electric Kona on a full charge?

345km on the NEDC (Standard range battery/motor)

546km on the NEDC (Long range battery/motor)


Geely Emgrand GSe

Geely has a 49.9% ownership in Proton. Geely has an electric car called the Emgrand GSe. Proton wouldn’t have too much trouble jumping on the EV bandwagon if it starts to catch on in Malaysia. Like the Kona Electric, the Emgrand GSe has an ICE counterpart called the Emgrand GS.

Price for the GSe start at 119,800 RMB in China (18,740 USD) and has a 350km range on a single charge (NEDC). The Emgrand GSe is a compact crossover and from the rear, it kind of looks like a Fiat Brava.


Honda Everus VE-1


Like the Geely Emgrand GSe, this HR-V electric counterpart is also sold in China. Manufactured by GAC-Honda, the VE-1 is currently available in China only.


The price?

170,800RMB (24,840 USD), much more expensive than the Geely.


The range?

A 340km on a single charge (NEDC)




Nissan Leaf ZE1Hyundai Kona Electric (Long Range)Geely Emgrand GSeHonda Everus VE-1
Body TypeMid-size HatchbackCompact CrossoverCompact CrossoverCompact Crossover
Weight1,595kg1,743kgnot specifiednot specified
Range380km (NEDC)546km (NEDC)353km (NEDC)340km (NEDC)
Max Power Output110kW150kW120kW120kW
Max Torque320N.m395N.m250N.m280N.m
0-100km/h7.9s7.6s9.9s0-50km/h in 5.5s
Standard Charging Time7h30m; 6.6kW charger; alert to 100%9h35m; 7.2kW charger9h; charger rating not specified9h; charger rating not specified
Fast Charging Timeapprox1h; 50kW charger; 20% to 80%1h15m; 50kW charger; up to 80%approx 30m; 60kW charger; 30% to 80%approx 55m; charger rating not specified
Estimated Price (Without Incentives)approx 29,990 USDapprox 40,000 USDapprox 22,800 USDapprox 32,000 USD

If infrastructure development for EVs in Malaysia is expedited, we could expect to see these cars in the  market. Not stylish and not spectacular, but very viable modes of personal transportation.

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