According to Jaguar, two thirds of Australians will be driving electric cars within the next 10 years, and they’re not the only ones convinced the electric revolution is nigh.
A bevy of new electric cars are due in Australia in the next 12 months, from brands like Hyundai, Nissan, Renault, Jaguar, Audi and others. It’s an electric invasion that could catapult EVs from expensive niche products (we’re looking at you BMW i3 and Tesla Model S) into true mainstream models with mass appeal.
Here are the new EV models confirmed to arrive within the next 12 months.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Hyundai revealed two electric versions of its Kona small-SUV in February, including a basic variant which offers a range of 300km, and a more powerful variant with a larger battery pack capable of 500km per charge.
Both versions can have their batteries charged to 80 percent in just under an hour using a fast charger, or fully charged in 10 hours by plugging it into a standard electrical socket.
Hyundai has confirmed the longer-range Kona Electric could arrive in Australia in time for Christmas this year, and has already been testing it in Australia to ensure its chassis and suspension is best tuned for local conditions.
Expect the Hyundai Kona Electric to cost around $55,000, making it one of the more affordable EVs in Australian showrooms.
The Hyundai Ioniq is an attractive coupe-like hatchback that will be available with hybrid and all-electric powertrains. The latter has a 280km driving range, which is shorter than most of its rivals but enough for the average weekly commute.
The Hyundai Ioniq can be recharged in as little as 30 minutes with a fast charger.
The all-electric Ionic will be equipped like most high-spec Hyundais, with sat-nav, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, sunroof and active safety including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and blind-spot detection
It’s expected to go on sale in Australia either at the end of this year or early 2019 and priced around the $50,000 mark.
The second-generation of the all-electric Nissan Leaf hatchback goes on sale in October with a price tag expected to be slightly north of $50,000.
Owners will also be able to power their homes with their Leaf - at least partially to power appliances or as a backup battery in case of a blackout.
The Leaf sports a more conventional interior than before, with the main difference to the average hatchback being its e-Pedal system on the centre console, which allows the driver to toggle between normal and high-force brake regeneration – effectively allowing drivers to accelerate and brake by just using the accelerator pedal.
This little French electric hatchback has been available to fleet buyers in Australia got a little while, and can now grace the driveways of environmentally conscious private buyers for $51,990 for the entry-level Life variant, and $54,540 for the Intens.
Both Renault Zoe models can travel up to 300km on a single charge. The Zoe accelerates from 0-100km/h in a leisurely 14.5 seconds, with a top speed of 130km/h.
The Renault Zoe will plug into a variety of chargers including a high-voltage three-phase ZE-Ready charging station that will fully charge in under four hours.
Jaguar’s foray into all-electric driving is as much about performance as it is efficiency, with the Jaguar i-Pace five-seat SUV capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in just 4.8 seconds thanks to two very powerful electric motors.
An 80 percent charge takes about 10 hours using a home charger, or just 40 minutes at a specialised public charging station. Once charged, the battery has enough stored energy to top up 9000 smartphones or power the Jaguar i-Pace for up to 480km.
The Jaguar i-Pace is also very practical, with a 656-litre boot that expands to 1453L with the rear seats folded and a second 27-litre storage compartment under the bonnet where a conventional engine would normally be located.
The Jaguar I-Pace will go on sale in Australia in November priced from $119,000 to $140,800.
The Audi E-tron, the company’s first mass-produced EV, is based on a Q6 mid-size SUV and has 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.
Audi says the E-Tron will travel about 450km between charging, which will take as little as 30 minutes with a DC fast charger.
Due for European release at the end of this year, the Audi E-Tron is expected on Australian shores in mid-2019, priced well north of $100,000.
About the same size as a Mercedes-Banz GLC-Class SUV, the EQC produces more power and torque than its competitors and drives via two electric motors (one per axle). That’s is enough to propel the 2425kg SUV from 0-100km/h in just 5.1 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz says owners will be able to achieve an 80 percent charge in around 40 minutes. Plugging the EQC into a Mercedes-Benz wall box (approx. $1700) at home will take between 10-11 hours to achieve a full charge.