Even though the Australian government lays dormant on the issue of providing incentives, infrastructure and emissions targets, according to Jaguar, two thirds of Australians will be driving electric cars within the next 10 years. Look to any major motor show and much of what you see in the way of innovation centres around electric power. The electric car is here to stay and its growth follows an exponential path.
It's something car manufacturers in Australia are well aware of, and a commensurate amount of new electric cars are due in Australia in the next 12 months, from brands like Porsche, Mini, MG and others. It’s an electric invasion that could catapult EVs to the forefront of the Australian public's attention, further pressuring the government to take action itself.
Here are the new EV models confirmed to arrive within the next 12 months.
The Audi E-tron has long been in the eye of Audi Australia who had hoped it would land on Australian shores in 2019. Unfortunately the European WLTP regulations drama saw the car pushed from 2019 to early 2020, and now the car has been pushed back deep into 2020 thanks to strong demand elsewhere in the world.
It is the company’s first mass-produced EV and features a battery pack sending electrons to three motors (two at the rear axle and one at the front) that combine to produce 320kW and a whopping 800Nm of torque. This power drives all four wheels via a special electronic quattro all-wheel-drive system.
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Audi says the E-Tron will travel about 450km between charging.
Due for Australian release at the end of this year, the Audi E-Tron is expected to be priced around $140,000 and will be joined by a Sportback version.
A cloud still exists over the Australian availability of this Sportage-sized e-Niro EV. Initially slated to launch in 2019, Kia explained that Australian government inaction has enabled other countries to swoop in snap up what was meant to our allocation of e-Niros.
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Kia hasn't confirmed whether the project to offer the car Down Under is off or on yet, but it is worth noting that it has gone to the effort of installing chargers in Australian dealers and have invested in teaching service centres how to work with the car.
The Kia e-Niro is offered with two battery options in Europe, the larger of which should see it travel 450kms between charges.
Porsche has captured some of that Tesla-esque hype in its release of the Taycan EV, stealing headlines and attention throughout its 2019 release thanks to its scarcely-believable performance numbers.
Said to be the best-driving electric vehicle so far, the range-topping Taycan Turbo S can rocket to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds thanks to its 560kW and 1050Nm system output. Porsche also says it will have a 420km range.
Come October of 2020, Australians will start seeing the Taycan in three flavours; the 4S, Turbo and Turbo S, priced roughly at $200,000, $300,000 and $350,000 respectively.
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Polestar, for the unacquainted, is an off-shoot of Volvo that has found its niche in producing passenger EVs with a performance twist. The first car to come from the brand was the sleek-looking Polestar 1, but didn't find its way to Australia as it was only produced in left-hand drive.
But this guy, the Polestar 2, is a starter for Australia that we can expect in Q4 this year.
It will feature 300kW of full electric power and boast a range of 560km according to Polestar. That should give it enough shove and range to worry the Tesla Model 3.
Volvo XC40 Recharge
From Volvo itself, the 2019 Car of the Year-winning XC40 will receive a battery electric variant that is due to land on Australian shores at the same time as the Polestar 2.
Having recently just gone on sale in the UK, the XC40 Recharge will feature a whomping 300kW from two motors that will power all four wheels. A 78kWh battery (that can charge to 80 percent on a fast charger in 40 minutes) should provide enough juice for the XC40 Recharge to travel between 350-400kms in the real world.
MG ZS EV
MG might be a relative newcomer to the Australian market but it's forging ahead with the future in mind with its new ZS EV.
The ZS EV is a small SUV that will use a 44.5kWh battery to provide up to 260 kilometres of range when it arrives in Australia later this year. Specific details haven't been divulged regarding its on-sale date but that didn't stop 100 early-adopter Australians putting down a deposit for a special discounted driveaway price of $46,990.
Mini Cooper SE
Mini's latest electric hatchback is destined Down Under, and could be seen as early as mid-year if all goes well with BMW's planning.
No word is given on pricing yet, but it could sneak in between that $50-60k range that would provide a quirky alternative to run-of-the-mill EVs like the Hyundai Kona and Nissan Leaf.
The electrified Mini packs 135kW of power and can run to 100km/h in just over seven seconds, so it should be able to uphold the Mini reputation of being a zippy thing to drive. The total touring range on a single charged is a claimed 235-270km according to the latest WLTP measurement standard.