Last Update: 5th May 2021
Please note that we will be continually updating this article till the end of 2021 so that the information in this guide remains relevant and helpful to Australian buyers and consumers. Keep an eye out on this space for more EV updates.
Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
The Porsche Taycan was definitely one of the more interesting electric vehicles to hit Aussie showroom floors when it made its way Down Under earlier this year. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries of FCAI even reported the Taycan as the best-selling car in the large luxury segment here in 2021, beating out petrol-powered rivals such as the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. But what if one wanted a high-riding, wagon-bodied Taycan that’s slightly off-road capable instead?
Fret not, Porsche has you covered. The Taycan Cross Turismo sits some 20mm higher off the ground (30mm with the optional Off-Road Design Package fitted) than a standard Taycan. Inside, rear seat passengers get 36mm of extra headroom thanks to the long roof profile. Boot space is up by 80 litres, giving the Cross Turismo up to 1,212 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
Australia will be receiving the Taycan Cross Turismo in two guises, namely: the 4S and Turbo, priced at $201,000 and $271,200 respectively. The 4S develops 360kW (420kW on overboost) while the Turbo chucks out 460kW (500kW and 850Nm on overboost). The entry-level variant has a range of between 388 and 452km according to WLTP testing, while the Turbo’s range is between 395 and 452km.
The Taycan Cross Turismo will go on sale here in the third quarter of 2021.
It's only a matter of time before the venerable S-Class goes electric. But, as it stands, the conventionally-powered S-Class still has some life left in it, with the all-new W223 generation landing here not too long ago. Its all-electric twin, the EQS, is slated to arrive in Australia in two variants – the rear-wheel drive EQS 450+ and the all-wheel drive EQS 580 4Matic.
The 450+ variant gets 245kW of power from a single electric motor located on the rear axle. The 580 4Matic version, meanwhile, sends some 385kW and 855Nm to all four corners. Both versions of the EQS are electronically limited to 210 km/h.
Mercedes-Benz claims the EQS to have the second longest-range in the EV space, beaten only by California’s Tesla Model S Plaid Plus. Furthermore, the EQS doesn’t just use any ordinary lithium-ion battery pack but rather one that has a “significantly higher” power density and uses minimal amounts of cobalt. In the pursuit of efficiency, it’s not just the battery pack that receives cooling but also the rotors of the permanent-magnet motor.
The EQS is slated to arrive Down Under at the end of the fourth quarter with pricing and Aussie-specific trim details to be announced as the launch date draws closer.
BMW is bringing the fight to Tesla with its all-new all-electric four-door coupe offering called the i4. The local arm of the Bavarian automaker has just opened up the i4 to local reservations at $500 a pop.
BMW says customers who pre-order the car online will be given the opportunity to choose their preferred dealership as well as optional extras after the pricing is announced later in the year. More details are expected as the launch date nears.
Tesla Model 3
The Californian EV company has just dropped the latest version of the Model 3 here for the 2021 model year. Standard Range Plus, Long Range and Performance variants continue to be offered, priced from $62,900, $77,900 and $89,900 respectively.
Furthermore, prices for the trio have been slashed by $4,000, following the price cuts recently. Standard equipment is otherwise unchanged. At time of writing, it is understood that Model 3 orders come with a 6 to 10 week waiting period.
Last update: 5th May 2021
The world is in a bit of a weird place right now. A deadly pandemic is ravaging our societies and lives, while the rest of us are forced to shelter in place and work from home. Stores were closed, bars were shuttered – nothing is as it should.
On the automotive front though, things are a little less chaotic. The onslaught of EV’s (electric vehicle) has been going on for quite a while now as you know, even though electrified cars lack federal, state and even local government incentives, the market has been rather responsive, booming perhaps even. Which is encouraging to say the least.
Despite that, the local EV infrastructure is growing rapidly year upon year, from coast to coast. More can still be done though. The hope is that Australia rises up through the ranks and takes its place amongst other forward-looking nations and embrace the EV as a more than just zero-emissions mobility but rather as a way of preserving the environment.
There is a small influx of electrified models worldwide, ranging from mild-hybrids to battery electric vehicles to fuel cell electric vehicles, entering the market from 2021 onwards. However, not all are destined for the Australian market (yet).
We’ll get into that one at another time, for now we’d like to show you every new electric car that will be on sale locally this year. Mind you, it’s a living list and we will be updating it as and when we know something new. Here’s what to expect.
- Audi e-Tron GT
- Audi e-Tron S
- Ford Mustang Mach- E
- Kia e-Niro
- Lexus UX300e
- Tesla Model S Plaid
- Tesla Model Y
- BMW i4
- Mercedes-Benz EQS
What you see herein above is every electric vehicle that is slated to go on sale here in Australia for the 2021 model year. Below, we’ll run through each of those cars (alphabetically) and give you the low down on what you need to know.
Audi e-Tron S
While the ‘ordinary’ e-Tron range is already on sale, the German brand is said to be bringing in the higher performance S version of its electric SUV. The ‘regular’ version uses two motors, one on each axle, while the S will feature three electric motors, two on the rear axle.
This promises sports car-like performance, with 100km/h despatched in just 4.5 seconds, which is made possible by the 320kW, 808Nm system output. A 95kWh battery feeds the trio of motors. Range, based on the WLTP cycle, is rated at 360km on a single charge. The hi-po Audi is slated for mid 2021.
Audi RS e-Tron GT
The e-Tron lineage grows. The line up, in Australia, will grow to include the four-door GT Concept model in 2021. With its motors, battery pack and suspension system knicked from Porsche’s Taycan, Audi’s all-wheel drive, all-electric, tri-motor grand tourer is set to be one of the most potent cars to wear the Four Rings ever.
The GT will have an output of 440kW and 830Nm of torque. This is thanks to the two motors on the front axle producing 175kW and a single 335kW motor out back. The GT gets the same 85 kWh (net) battery pack and 800V cabling as the Taycan.
No solid time frame has been given but we reckon it could arrive as soon as late 2021.
Update: (21st April 2021) The covers have been pulled off the 2021 Audi e-Tron GT with some of the first examples slated to land in Aussie showrooms from the third quarter of this year. Two variants will be offered – the entry-level Quattro and the range-topping RS model.
At press time, both pricing and local specifications of the GT remains to be confirmed. More to come as launch date nears.
Just like the Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 (also on our list), the Bavarian offering here looks (almost) like any other conventionally powered X3 SUV. Under the skin, it features BMW’s fifth-generation eDrive system, which may find its way to the upcoming i4 and iNext models.
The incoming Chinese-built SUV will be powered by a single electric motor that’s juiced by an 80kWh lithium-ion power source and packs a 210kW, 400Nm punch to the rear wheels. BMW claims it takes 6.8 seconds to hit 100km/h with a range of 460km, as determined by a WLTP test cycle. When fast-charging is applied, the iX3 will fill its battery pack to 80 percent in just 34 mins, according to BMW.
Of everything on the list thus far, the iX looks nothing like a BMW you could buy right now and is straight out of science fiction. Its Blade Runner looks aside, the iX will be built on a new EV platform and in terms of dimensions it’s roughly that of an X5, the height of an X6 and the wheelbase of an X7.
BMW has remained rather mum about the finer details of its latest all-electric SUV. We do know that the iX will offer up to 370kW of power from two electric motors, one for each axle and fed by a 100kWh battery pack. WLTP tests reckon the iX could squeeze out over 600km of range on a single charge.
Meanwhile, the local arm of the Bavarian giant has opened the online pre-order books starting from late December 2020 ahead of its local unveiling slated for end of 2021. More details are expected to surface later in the year.
Mazda MX-30 Electric
Update: (5th May 2021) The all-electric SUV from Mazda has finally arrived on our shores, priced from $65,490. The brand from Hiroshima says the MX-30 Electric is now available for pre-order via their website, where an initial allocation of 100 units is up for grabs. Sadly, buyers will have to wait till August this year to take delivery of their all-electric SUV
Locally, only the top-of-the-line variant of the MX-30 Electric will be offered – the E35 Astina.
The job of powering the electric Mazda falls upon the e-Skyactiv system which comprises a water-cooled AC synchronous electric motor, 355-Volt lithium-ion battery pack, inverter, DC-DC converter and an AC standard charger.
The high-voltage battery pack is able to stow away 35.5 kWh of power for when summoned upon. Mash your right foot into the carpet and you’ll zip to 100km/h in just 9.7 seconds. This is thanks to the 107kW power and 271Nm of torque discharged from the electric motor.
In terms of filling up the batteries, when connected to a 50kW DC power source, the MX-30 can juice up the pack from 20 to 80 percent in just 36 minutes, Mazda claims. When hooked up to a 6.6kW AC wallbox, the same charge takes about three hours. Plug the car into a household 240-volt socket and that process takes up to 9 hours.
As we’ve mentioned, the MX-30 is only offered in range-topping Astina trim. This means a whole host of equipment and safety features ship out with it, including, AEB, adaptive cruise control and 10 airbags just to name a few. Moreover, it gets a premium Bose stereo, brown leather upholstery, heated front seats, steering wheel, side mirrors and adaptive LED headlights.
The Three-Pointed Star has pulled the covers off its first of six EQ-branded all-electric cars planned for 2021. For those looking at the new EQA and pondering to themselves, “why does it look so familiar?”, it’s because the EQA is a close relation of the Mercedes-Benz GLA.
The electrified small SUV offering, which was launched in EQA 250 guise, features an asynchronous motor developing 140kW of power and 375Nm of twist. The front-wheel drive SUV is juiced by a 66.5kWh ‘double stacker’ lithium-ion battery pack.
When tested on the NEDC cycle, the EQA returned 486km of range on a single charge. Juicing the battery pack takes a shade under six hours when plugged in via the 11kW AC charger. However, when 100kW DC fast-charging is applied, the pack can be filled from 10 to 80 percent in just 10 minutes.
The EQA is slated to arrive in Australian showrooms from the middle of this year. Local pricing and specifications have yet to be announced. Watch this space.
Update: (21st April 2021) Mercedes-Benz has officially unveiled the EQA 250 for the 2021 model year and will be priced from $76,800. The brand is also providing a three-year-unlimited subscription to selected EV charging services such as Chargefox.
Top-up and addition $7,300 to the asking price and Mercedes-Benz will include the ‘Edition 1’ pack which gets you 20-inch matte copper-finished AMG wheels, AMG Line exterior trim and a multitude of changes to the interior trim.
The Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 is available for orders with deliveries only slated for June 2021.
If you’ve been living under a rock for some time and have not heard about it, the Mach-E is quite literally the last thing you would imagine if asked to picture an all-electric Mustang. The Mach-E wears one of the most iconic badges in the car industry and as such it has a lot to live up to.
RHD versions for the British market have already been confirmed and could quite possibly indicate its imminent Aussie arrival. More details to surface as the year wears on. In the meantime, Ford AU’s journey to electrification starts with the fourth-gen Escape PHEV.
Hyundai Kona EV
While the Kona range (and the Electric version) maybe a fairly common sight around our towns and cities, the brand from Korea will be outing its refreshed all-electric version onto the local market from the second quarter. The Kona Electric, in its updated form, receives new cosmetic changes already made to the regular Kona range. These changes affect both the interior and exterior.
It also gets an upgraded safety suite which adds to the plethora of safety systems already on board. Underneath, however, the battery pack remains the same – a 64kWh unit with a WLTP range of 484km.This is an improvement over the current model’s claimed range of 449km. Power output remains unchanged at 150kW. The Electric is slated to land sometime in the first half of 2021.
Update: (21st April 2021) Just as promised, the mid-life facelifted Kona Electric is here! As previously reported, there are no changes to the powertrain. The price, however, has. Hyundai is only bringing in two variants of the electric SUV, namely: Elite and Highlander, priced from $62,000 (up by $1,260) and $66,000 (up by $710) respectively.
Hyundai is offering a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty for the entire Kona range while the all-electric models get an additional 8-year warranty for the battery pack.
Hyundai IONIQ 5
Much the same as the BMW iX, Hyundai hasn’t said a whole bunch about its upcoming EV offering from its sub-brand, IONIQ. That said, the 5, which leaked from sources in Europe and Asia have suggested that a “First Edition” variant with a 58kWh battery and a 450km range will be first to debut followed by a larger 73kWh variant.
The IONIQ 5, which was caught in disguise at a Sydney EV charging station, is still in the R&D phase and is understood to be conducting hot-weather testing here over the summer months. Stay tuned for more on IONIQ and the 5.
Kia has confirmed the arrival of the Niro to our shores and is set to open the order books between April and June 2021. The Niro line up will be filled up with not just a fully-electric variant but rather be joined by hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions as well.
No precise details have been released as yet but a report by CarAdvice indicates that Kia AU maybe bringing in the long-range version of the e-Niro with a 64kWh battery pack which boasts an unconfirmed range of 450km. The Sportage-sized e-Niro’s timeline hasn’t been confirmed as yet. Stay tuned.
The first-ever pure-electric Lexus to go on sale, the UX300e, joins the inconspicuous likes of the Hyundai Kona Electric, BMW iX3 and Volvo XC40 ReCharge P8 in that it looks just like conventionally-powered variants made by the company.
The electric Lexus UX will be powered by a single electric motor producing 150kW and 300Nm. It’s fed by a 54.3kWh battery pack which gives it an NEDC-rated range of 400km. The brand says that its optimum AC charging ability is 6.6kW while its DC charge speed is rated at 50kW. Plug it in to the wall at home and it’ll take up to seven hours to fill.
Nissan Leaf e+
Just like the offering from Porsche, the long-range variant of the Leaf from Nissan will be hitting Australia sometime in the first quarter of 2021. The Leaf e+ may not be as jolting or eye-watering as the Taycan to drive but with its larger battery and generous proportions, its plenty practical for just about everyone.
While the standard Leaf, which has been on sale here since August 2019, has only 40kWh of juice in its batteries, the new Leaf e+ boasts a 62kWh unit which should be good for a claimed range 384km (according to the WLTP cycle). By comparison, the Leaf only does 270km on a single charge (WLTP). The electric motor on board produces a maximum of 160kW and 340Nm.
Update: (4th May 2021) The long-range variant of the Leaf is here and priced from $60,490 before on-road costs. With extra juice on-tap, the Leaf e+ performs the century sprint in just 6.9 seconds while claiming a driving range of 385km on a full charge.
The new Leaf’s battery pack can be filled up via 100kW DC fast charging, which allows it to fill the 62kWh battery from 20 to 80 percent in just 40 minutes. By comparison, the standard range Leaf takes about an hour and makes do with only a maximum of 50kW.
That said, if DC charging isn’t available, AC power will work just fine. The only drawback? Even with a 32-amp cable and up 6.6kW, it would take 11 and a half hours for the Leaf e+ to charge from empty to 100 percent.
Furthermore, all Leaf variants use a CHAdeMO type plug rather than the more common CCS type connector. Also, while most battery electric vehicles feature water-cooling in the battery pack, the Leaf opts to air-cool its pack.
Standard specifications include a host of active safety systems such as AEB with pedestrian alert, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and so on. It also gets a 360-degree camera, TPMS, six airbags, auto-levelling LED headlights, rain-sensing wiper and a well-trimmed interior.
Check out our showroom and get the best deal here.
To this writer, the Taycan is the embodiment of driving pleasure and fluid performance derived from a company filled to the brim with racing heritage and know-how, while at the same time being a forward-thinking, game-changing battery electric vehicle.
The Taycan range is now on sale in Australia and comes in three guises, namely: 4S, Turbo and Turbo S variants, starting from $191,000. The entry-level car will be powered by a 79.2kWh battery, producing an output of 320kW and 640Nm of torque, while the range-topping $339,100 Turbo S comes kitted out with a 460kW power unit and a maximum of 1050Nm of torque. Massive!
Porsche claims a range of 365km, 420km and 405km for the 4S, Turbo and Turbo S respectively. The brand is also preparing for its arrival with the installation of rapid chargers at all its centres.
Tesla Model Y
If the Model 3 is the bridge for Tesla buyers to get into an electric saloon for less than a Model S, then the Model Y is the bridge for folks to get into Tesla’s SUV family for less than a Model X. The new model has just gone on sale in the US, priced from US$41,990 and with a range of 393km for the Standard Range variant.
The Model Y and its seven-seat option, in Australia, doesn’t have a concrete launch timeline and is slated for the end of the year, possibly 2022. The Californian car maker has yet to start production of right-hand drive Model Ys. More details to come.
Tesla Model S Plaid
In late 2019, we spotted what looked to be an ordinary Model S belting around the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife testing track. Little did we know then that the Model S in question would eventually be the most powerful production car by Tesla to date.
The tri-motor Model S with “plaid” drivetrain will be good for a range of 837km on a single charge, says the company. Furthermore, it boasts eye-watering performance figures, such as a top speed of 320km/h and accelerates from stand still to 97km/h in less than two seconds! The bonkers Tesla is slated to arrive on our shores toward the end of the year.
Volvo XC40 ReCharge P8
Sweden’s most prolific car maker will be bringing its XC40 all-electric SUV to the local market come the second quarter of 2021. The smallest SUV in the barn will feature dual electric motors, one for each axle, which is fed by a 78kWh battery pack for an output of 300kW and 660Nm.
WLTP rates the small electric SUV’s range at 418km. As you may have heard, Volvo will be electrifying the rest of its line up with mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. No announcement on timing has been announced yet. The Volvo EV is estimated to go on sale sometime between the second and third quarters.