Today is the first day New Zealand drivers can access an enhanced Clean Car ‘feebate’ scheme, which means up to NZ$8,625 (about A$8,000) off the price of a new one. VE.
It’s worth mentioning because, thanks in large part to a range of policy levers designed to encourage EV adoption, New Zealanders currently have over 40 EV models to choose from.
In addition to encouraging New Zealand drivers to buy an electric vehicle, the Clean Car Program also imposes a fine of up to NZ$5,175 on polluting vehicles to discourage drivers from buying inefficient vehicles. The New Zealand government, unlike the Australian government, clearly wants to send a signal that it would like more electric vehicles on the road.
In Europe – where strict vehicle emissions regulations result in hefty fines for automakers that fail to reduce their fleet average carbon emissions – there are even more electric vehicles available. In Germany, where a €9,000 bonus for electric cars has been extended until the end of 2022, there were around 100 electric vehicle models available at last count and more are being introduced every month.
In Australia – where states are introducing ad hoc measures to fill a gap in support for the transition to electric vehicles at the federal level – there are fewer than 40 models. And automakers tend to introduce high-end variants before more affordable versions in a bid to capitalize on the profits.
The recent skyrocketing values of used electric vehicles in Australia are not only an indication of an increase in interest in zero-emission transport options, but also of the lack of success that local car importers have convinced their overseas headquarters to commit to bringing more new models – and allocating enough inventory – to provide more choices for Australian riders.
So what are some of the most affordable electric vehicle models that Australia still lacks?
Volkswagen Australia has made it clear on numerous occasions that it will prioritize its ID series for markets where it must sell electric vehicle models in accordance with local policy and regulations.
Although it is understood that when VW electric vehicles arrive, the first of these will be the ID.4 electric SUV, but a spokesperson for the local branch of the German automaker told The Driven that an announcement for a local launch was still not forthcoming.
With a 52 kWh battery, it offers 125 kW output power and a range of up to 345 km under the WLTP test cycle (approximately 308 km in real conditions).
Available from just under €30,000 (just under A$45,000 converted) in Germany once a generous EV rebate is applied, the “Pure” model variant of the ID.4 offers good value for money. When introduced into the United States, it became the the most affordable twin-engine offer on the market.
At the 2021 World Car Awards, the ID.4 received the most votes from 93 jurors and was named “World Car of the Year 2021“. The ID.4 has done particularly well in terms of innovation and environmental friendliness.
Renault Zoe E-Tech
The Renault Zoe was once offered in Australia but was withdrawn in early 2021, with the French manufacturer also citing a lack of policy. It means Australia has missed out on the latest iteration of what is one of Europe’s most popular electric vehicles.
Now in its 10th year of production, the Zoe also offers good value for money, amounting to 22,024 euros (32,565 Australian dollars converted) in Germany after its so-called ‘innovation bonus’.
With its 52 kWh battery, the Zoe has a range of up to 395 kilometres, which is enough for daily trips to the office and weekend errands around town. Energy consumption is 17.7 kWh per 100 kilometers.
One light on the horizon for Renault in Australia is that it’s confirmed that the Megane E-Tech electric SUV, available in Europe from 35,200 euros (A$52,087 converted), will be here in 2023.
With the 500e, Fiat has replaced its iconic small retro car with an electric model. Compared to the original combustion engine versions, the car is slightly more spacious but its interior stays true to its predecessors with a chic retro design.
With a 70kW motor it takes four seconds to reach 60 km/h and nine seconds to reach 100 km/h. Depending on the driving profile, it can cover between 190 and 257 kilometers on a single battery charge. And with a maximum charge rate of 85 kW, the 500e is charged to 80% in half an hour.
There are three basic variants to choose from: “Action”, “Icon” and “La Prima”, starting with the Action which has a 23.8 kWh battery.
The Fiat 500e would be the easiest electric vehicle to get your hands on in Europe. That’s not to say European drivers can buy one and have it delivered next week – there’s still a three-month waiting list according to Germany’s new power and solar site flaunt.
But with a starting price of just 20,790 euros (30,774 Australian dollars converted) after applying the German electronic bonus, it’s worth the wait. However, not in Australia, as it is not available here.
LDV T60 EV ute
The LDV T60 EV makes this list because it’s available in New Zealand, but not Australia.
In New Zealand, the T60 EV ute is already available for pre-order for NZ$1,000, and while the final price has yet to be confirmed, it’s believed to arrive well below the discount mark. NZ$80,000 from the New Zealand government on clean cars.
While that works out to around AU$74,000 – maybe not on the affordable car spectrum – it’s still well within the typical spend of a tradie looking for a decent ute.
Available in a choice of six colors, it will be able to tow 1 tonne braked and carry a payload of 900 kg, and will offer a range of 340 to 400 km.
While some motoring sites have reported that this may be the first electric utility available in Australia, a spokesperson for LDV Australia would only vaguely say when we asked about a possible Australian introduction that, “We have an exciting range of vehicles coming to the Australian market and will communicate more in due course. »
Bridie Schmidt is Associate Editor for The conduitsister site of Renew the economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018 and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emission transport must play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is a co-organizer of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and offers it for rent on evee.com.au.