Are you in the market for an electric car? The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) () reported a 54 per cent increase in electric car sales in January 2020 from the same month in the previous year. As an Australian driver, this might be the best time to buy. There has never been a wider range of electric cars on the market, as consumers switch on to the benefits of electric cars. As well as being better for the environment, electric cars can be cheaper to run and maintain.
In this blog, we run you through ten of the best electric vehicles Australia has to offer:
The BMW i3 is a pure electric car which offers the option of a range extender, gas engine. This five-seater hatchback has a distinctive bodywork design which has been described as funky and chunky. It provides a 161 mile range on one charge, meaning this nimble get around might be more suited to the cities and suburbs.
The unique exterior of the BMW i3 is an indication of an interior which is a little different from the norm - you will find much more space in the front than the back, meaning the i3 can't be considered a family car by any stretch of the imagination. The i3 offers a 42kWh battery size and 125kW powertrain. There is a sports version - the BMW i3S.
Audi e-tron Sportback
The Audi e-tron Sportback should be available in late 2020. As the Sportsback name suggests, this vehicle has some hatchback traits, as well as characteristics of a sedan and coupe. It offers a 218 mile range, possesses a 95.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and you can actually get a Level 2 charging system installed at home - it will power up your e-tron Sportback in nine hours. Slower than public charge points, but the convenience may make it worthwhile.
Some of the Audi e-tron Sportback's prominent plus points; it is an amazingly quiet drive with a good ride quality, and an impressive yet functional interior. If you are looking for a crossover EV which piles on the luxury, the e-tron Sportback can appeal. But note than it may offer less range than some of its crossover EV rivals.
The Nissan Leaf certainly gets the public vote, being the world's top-selling electric vehicle. This second generation five-seater hatchback, offers small running costs, home charging options, and a range of practical features, such as a sizable boot and radar sensor.
The 2019 Leaf improves on its predecessor by achieving 0 to 62mph in 7.9 seconds, and offering 150bhp. It is able to reach 226 miles on a single charge. The Leaf is evidently not for long distance drivers, or those with a taste for power, but as a pure EV it offers the cost savings of avoiding petrol altogether, a design which is conducive to holding a battery, and an aerodynamic, light body.
Hyundai Kona Electric
With its 279 mile range, the Hyundai Kona Electric is actually approaching the ability to rival a full gas tank. The car is based on Hyundai's small SUV; the Hyundai Kona. The car offers the cost savings you would expect compared to diesel or petrol, and you can charge it at home using a 7.2kW wall box which takes just over nine hours 30 mins with the 64kWh battery, while the 39kWh battery can be charged in 6hrs 10mins.
The Kona Electric is big on safety systems, featuring automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane keeping assistance. You can also benefit from features such as traffic sign recognition and rear cross traffic monitoring. There is the option of adding upgraded infotainment and privacy glass, however, the base model is well equipped. The space of the vehicle and the quality of the interior might be found a little wanting for an SUV, but the Kona Electric is a good all rounder with some enticing Premium options.
Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is a five seater medium-sized sedan. It's a pure electric vehicle that comes in three models; the Standard Plus, the Performance, and the Long Range. It offers a range of 250 miles, with 322 miles possible in the Long Range version. The 50kWh battery takes 17 hours to charge with a standard socket, and just six hours with the Tesla charger.
The Model 3 is a much cheaper and smaller alternative to the Model S and Model X - this is the car that is tipped to make believers of those who have been reluctant to buy an electric vehicle thus far. Opt for the Tesla Model 3 and you'll benefit from instant torque and speed, comprehensive proximity alarms, 4 USB ports, the ability to save steering wheel and seat position for each driver, and a spacious boot. Some have pointed to a rather complicated control screen as one of the potential downsides, but don't let this be the deal breaker!
The MG EZS should be landing in late 2020. This handy hatchback (or compact SUB if you prefer) - which looks set to be popular with city slickers - offers a 211 mile range. Made in China but bearing the iconic British badge, the MG EZS might be the cheapest pure electric vehicle on the Australian market, with a price point which is expected to be lower than the Leaf and Ioniq.
You can find that the MG EZS is similar to the MG ZE which is already on the market. It can reach a maximum speed of 87mph and its motor offers 140.8bhp at 3500rpm. The MG EZS looks like a great bargain option, especially if you opt for the entry Excite model.
Make no mistake; the five-seater Jaguar I-Pace is one of the best luxury electric SUVs available on the market. It offers the advantages of a solid power output, a spacious and comfortable cabin, and impressive handling. The Jaguar I-Pace provides a range of 298 miles.
It can be said that the Jaguar I-Pace is a very good all-rounder in the electric SUV category. While not being the fastest or the most luxurious, it is certainly no slouch, and you won't be slumming it! Standard features include LED headlights, 18 inch allow wheels, a three screen infotainment 'nerve centre', and a surround camera system with a 360 degree view.
The Renault Zoe is a five-seater pure electric hatchback with a 245 mile range. With a 68kW powertrain and 41kWh battery size, charging time is 17 hours with a standard socket and just three hours with a 22 kW charger. The Zoe has won plaudits for its updated interior, with an environmentally conscious imitation leather made from recycled plastic bottles and seatbelts.
Choose between two motor outputs - the R110, offering 107bhp and 0 to 62mph in 11.4 seconds, and the R135 with 134bhp and 0 to 62mph in just 9.5 seconds. You'll be given a 7.4kW home wallbox free of charge. The Zoe has been praised for its nice balance, augmenting a secure grip. Its light steering can simplify squeezing into those tight inner city spaces.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
This five-seater sedan carries the distinction of being the first pure electric vehicle available in Australia for under $50,000 when it was launched in 2018. Offering a range of 194 miles - 26 miles longer than the Nissan Leaf - the 2020 model has been updated with a 38.3kWh battery. Unlike more powerful electric options such as the Tesla Model 3 or BMW 330e, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric is likely to appeal more to city and town dwellers, being conducive to negotiating traffic and quick acceleration over short distances.
You'll benefit from driver-controlled regenerative braking, 16-inch alloys, and on the inside the Ioniq Electric is illuminated by a newly designed dashboard and upgraded lighting. Charging takes up to 18 hours via a standard charge point, but this can be slashed to just six hours with the installation of a 7.2kW wall box.
Is this the most iconic of Australia's small electric cars? The Mini Electric looks every bit the classic Mini we all know and love, albeit with slightly higher rear seat cushions. It is a three-door vehicle which, like a gas-guzzling mini, can make for the ideal runaround, offering drivers a nimble and agile drive.
It possesses the same 181bhp electric motor that you can find in the BMW i3S, offers a modest 142 mile range, and can be charged in just three hours, 15 minutes. Sensibly minded customers might note that for a similar kind of price, you could purchase an electric vehicle which offers considerably more range. However, buying a car isn't always about being sensible, is it? For those that are in love with the Mini's iconic design, the Mini Electric will undoubtedly be an attractive electric option.
So there you have it. Ten of the best electric vehicles Australia wide. Compared to just a few years ago, the EV market has really blossomed; offering much more choice in terms of specs, style and price range. Which electrical vehicle will you be driving away in 2020?