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. The hope is that Australia rises 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
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 83.7kWh 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.