HomeElectric CarsBudget-Friendly EV Alternatives for Teslas in Malaysia

Budget-Friendly EV Alternatives for Teslas in Malaysia

Ask anyone in Malaysia about electric vehicles (EVs) and the first response you’ll get is always Tesla. Whether or not you agree with the CEO’s actions and behaviors online, one cannot deny the success of the company. 

In fact, when it comes to choosing an EV, many Malaysians would often pick Tesla as their first choice. 

However, if Tesla’s recent price slashes are still too expensive for you, here are five more budget-friendly alternatives to choose from. 

Great Wall Motors (GWM)

GWM, Ora Good Cat, Budget Tesla alternatives in MalaysiaContrary to popular belief, the Ora brand is actually an electric division wholly owned by Great Wall Motors (GWM). Hailing from China, the company officially entered the Malaysian market back in 2022. GWM also offers other non-electrical suburban utility vehicles (SUV) in its lineup such as the GWM Tank and the Haval Series. 

Ora Good Cat 

Ora Good Cat, Budget Alternatives to Tesla in MalaysiaSince its debut, the Ora Good Cat has garnered stellar reviews for being able to pack so many features while keeping it affordable. EVs, prior to this, were known to be toys of the rich; you have to be wealthy to own one.

Ora Good Cat. Budget Tesla Alternatives in Malaysia.Did you know the Ora Good Cat is designed by a former Porsche designer? 

Priced at RM170,000 for the 500 Pro Spec, and RM140,000 for the 400 Pro Spec, environmentally conscious drivers can consider this kitty without breaking the bank. The 500 Pro has a 63.1 kWh battery capacity while the 400 Pro has a 47.8 kWh capacity. 

The specification is also an indicator of its range – the 400 Pro has a 400km battery range and the 500 Pro has a 500 km reach. 

Performance-wise, both of the models retain the same output via a single electric motor producing 143 PS and 210 Nm to the front wheels. GWM claims to hit the century sprint in 7.9 seconds with a top speed of 152 km/h. 


BYD Budget Alternatives to Tesla in MalaysiaBuild Your Dreams (BYD) has been around for quite some time since the early 2000s. In fact, BYD used to make knockoff cars based on BMW and Mercedes sedans in the past. Fast forward to more than a decade later, BYD made a triumphant return with their lineup of EVs for the compact SUV market. 

Currently, BYD has offered two models for the Malaysian market – the BYD Atto 3 and the Dolphin. BYD has stated that the Dolphin will be a part of their oceanic-themed line-up of EVs under the brand. 

BYD Atto 3

BYD Atto 3, Budget Tesla Alternatives in MalaysiaBYD’s first fully electric crossover in Malaysia, the Atto 3 is another economical choice for a budget EV in Malaysia. Two variants are offered for the Malaysian market, with the Standard Range priced at RM149,800 and the Extended Range at RM167,800.

The entry-level Atto 3 comes with a 49.92 kWh battery/410 km range while the range-topping one gets a 60.48 kWh battery/480km battery range. All models are powered by a single electric motor sending 204 PS and 310 Nm to the front wheels. 

BYD Dolphin

BYD Dolphin, Budget Tesla Alternatives in Malaysia After the Atto 3, the Dolphin is the fully electric compact SUV to be sold in Malaysia as part of their BYD Ocean lineup. Just like its bigger brother, the Dolphin is priced competitively compared to their European and American counterparts. 

Two variants are offered – the Dynamic Standard Range which costs RM100,530 has 44.92 kWh/410 km. On the other hand, the Premium Extended Range which goes for RM125,530 has a battery capacity and a range of 60.48 kWh/490 km. 

The Dolphin, unlike the Atto 3, has different outputs for each specification. For the Premium Extended Range, it has a 204 PS/310 Nm output while the Dynamic Standard Range has a 95 PS/180 Nm. Top speed-wise, the Premium specification nails the century sprint in seven seconds while the Dynamic hits it in 12.3 seconds. 


Hyundai Years ago if you said you wanted a Korean-made car, you’d be labeled crazy for it. Just like Chinese cars, Korean-made ones are slowly growing into the hearts of Malaysian buyers. One such example is the Hyundai Kona Electric. 

Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric, Budget Alternatives to Tesla in MalaysiaThe Kona line is a series of subcompact SUVs introduced by Hyundai Motors in Malaysia ranging from fully petrol to hybrid and fully electric vehicles. Hyundai’s electrical line-up consists of three variants – the entry-level e-Lite, mid-level e-Plus, and the range-topping e-Max. 

Starting from the cheapest Kona e-Lite, it’s powered by a single electric motor with 39.2 kWh/305 km producing 136 PS/395 Nm. Hyundai claims the e-Lite nails the century sprint in 9.9 seconds and has a 155 km/h top speed. 

Hyundai Kona Electric, Budget Alternates to Teslas In MalaysiaSecond in line for the mid-range spec, the e-Plus packs a 64 kWh/484 km/h battery charge and range with an output of 204 PS/395 Nm. The Korean marque claims that it hits the 100km/h sprint in 7.9 seconds and redlines at 167 km/h in a single charge. The range-topping e-Max has a battery charge and output similar to the e-Plus variant. 

All three variants of the 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric are priced at RM149,888 for the e-Lite, RM169,888 for the e-Plus, and RM199,888 for the e-Max. 


Nissan Leaf, Budget Alternatives to Tesla in MalaysiaNissan’s first foray into electric vehicles began way back in 2010 with the first-generation Leaf. It was a little four-door hatchback sold only to the Japanese and European market for a long seven-year run. Fast forward to 2017, the second generation was introduced into Malaysia by Tan Chong Motors, with the latest facelift unveiled in 2023. 

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf, Budget Alternatives to Tesla in MalaysiaThe Nissan Leaf, sometimes styled as LEAF, is the first commercially available EV offered by Tan Chong Motors in Malaysia. The 2023 facelifted version boasts a 110 kWh/310 km range battery with 150 PS/320 Nm via a single electric motor. 

Price-wise, the 2023 Nissan Leaf is priced at RM168,888, making the current variant RM20,000 cheaper than the pre-facelift model on sale. 

This article is subject to change as newer and budget-friendly models are introduced into the Malaysian market. Stay tuned for the next article about more luxurious Tesla alternatives in Malaysia


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