The first batch of Australia-bound Cupra Born electric cars – the first affordable EV from the Volkswagen Group sold here – is almost sold out.

The spicy Spanish brand’s local arm informed us today that 343 of the first 400 Cupra Born EVs, available for a $1000-down pre-order since mid-December, are spoken for.

Once all 400 are gone, orders will be paused until customer deliveries get underway in late March this year – at which time the books will re-open.

Supply is expected to be relatively good, but Cupra is unsure if it will meet demand as more Australians turn to EVs for their next car.

The Cupra Born will kick off at $59,990 before on-road costs, which in some States can be offset by rebates for EVs at this price point.

That pricing puts it into competition with the best-selling Tesla Model 3 sedan, plus the Nissan Leaf e+, the Hyundai Kona Electric Extended Range, and Kia Niro Electric S, though the BYD Atto 3 and MG ZS EV undercut it.

Under the skin, the Born rides on the same MEB underpinnings as the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback already on offer in Europe, and due in Australia post-facelift in 2024.

Australians will only be offered the Born e-Boost model with a 77kWh (useable) lithium-ion battery pack, and a rear-mounted electric motor (rear-wheel drive) making 170kW of power and 310Nm of torque.

The 77kWh lithium-ion battery is good for a claimed 511km of range on the WLTP test, although that drops to 475km with the Performance Pack (and its larger, stickier tyres) fitted.

Cupra hasn’t ruled out bringing a more affordable, shorter-range 58kWh version of the Born electric hatchback to Australia in time

Supply is expected to be strong in context, although Cupra Australia brand director Ben Wilks recently told CarExpert there may be more people who want cars, than there are cars on offer.

“We’re competing with all world markets and with markets that still have even more advanced legislation about electrification, and in favour of electrification or negative towards petrol vehicles,” Cupra Australia brand director Ben Wilks told CarExpert.

“We’re locked in with the cars we’re going to get, and if I look at the demand so far, the demand is probably going to exceed that,” he said.

“We just need to manage that sensitively for each of our customers, and provide our order bank really clearly to the factory so they see just how much impact we’re having here in Australia.”

The Born is the first lower-budget step in a Volkswagen Group Australia rollout that will eventually see everything from small EV hatches like the Born and ID.3, SUVs such as the Volkswagen ID.4 and ID.5 (late 2023) and Skoda Enyaq (likely 2024), and the Kombi-inspired Volkswagen ID. Buzz (2024).

Volkswagen Australia actually plans for electric vehicles to account for more sales than its internal combustion (ICE) range as soon as 2028, according to a recent post on VW Group’s LinkedIn.

2023 Cupra Born: $59,990 before on-road costs

  • ACT: $61,990 drive-away
  • NSW: $62,490 drive-away
  • QLD: $63,490 drive-away
  • VIC: $64,990 drive-away
  • SA: $64,490 drive-away
  • WA: $66,490 drive-away

Drive-away prices exclude any state-based rebates, but include variances in registration and CTP costs.

2022 EV sales in Australia by model

Model2022 Sales
Tesla Model 310,877
Tesla Model Y8717
BYD Atto 32113
Polestar 21524
MG ZS1119
Hyundai Kona1096
Volvo XC40983
Hyundai Ioniq 5756
Mercedes-Benz EQA624
BMW X3593
Hyundai Ioniq580
Kia EV6564
Volvo C40491
BMW iX477
Mini Hatch455
Porsche Taycan430
Kia Niro385
Nissan Leaf331
Mercedes-Benz EQC318
BMW i4207
Mercedes-Benz EQB141
Audi e-tron SUV129
Genesis GV60114
Lexus UX82
Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan70
Mazda MX-3055
Renault Kangoo49
Genesis GV7044
Jaguar I-Pace23
Genesis G8016
Audi e-tron GT13
BMW i713
Mercedes-Benz EQV10
LDV Deliver 95
BMW i33
Mercedes-Benz Vito3
LDV T602
Cupra Born1
Ford Transit1

FULL INFO: 2023 Cupra Born EV price and specs

Mike Costello
Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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