Electric car sales in Australia may be miniscule at present but that doesn't mean that Australians aren't interested in buying them. A recent poll by the Australia Institute found that half of all Australian voters supported the idea of making all sales of vehicle electric by 2025, with just 28% opposed.
We might be keen on the idea of electric cars but right now there's plenty holding us back, a daunting combination of price, range anxiety, recharging times and a lack of charging infrastructure. But there's another factor at play and that's the lack of choice in the market. At the time of writing there were just 5 models under $70,000: Renault Zoe; Hyundai Ioniq; Nissan Leaf; Hyundai Kona; and BMW i3s. Above that price there's just three: Tesla Model S; Jaguar i-Pace; and Tesla Model X.
All that's about to change in the next few years, however, with the imminent arrival of new models from Tesla, Audi, VW, MG, Kia and probably more.
Kia is particularly gung-ho on electric vehicles, intending to launch no less than 44 all electric, hybrids or plug-in hybrids by 2025. In Australia it will be leading the all-electric charge with the Kia e-Niro, hopefully in 2020, though that depends on supply availability. Kia's small electric SUV offers an impressive 400 - 600 kilometres of range, which should be enough to calm most people's range anxieties.
As for price, well Kia hasn't put a figure to it yet, but Kia Australia's chief operating officer, Damien Meredith, is reported as saying it will be "exceptionally well priced". The Kia e-Niro will joins it stable-mate, the Hyundai Kona Electric, which is already on the Australian market.
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So far the electric vehicle market has been limited to sedans, hatchbacks and SUVs but that may change if South Australia's ACE EV's plans come to fruition. It intends to produce vans and utes in its Adelaide factory from 2020 and cars later on, eventually ramping up production to 15,000 a year by 2025. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, so we'll be kind and describe the design of all three vehicles as quirky and original.
Surprisingly, ACE isn't the only one planning to manufacture electric vehicles in South Australia. Chinese carmaker BYD has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Adelaide joint venture Evant to develop and produce electric cars in South Australia. The project will start modestly, with Evant adapting Chinese-built BYDs for the Australian market.
You may not have heard of BYD but it's one of China's fastest growing electric vehicle makers and it's backed by that heavyweight investing champion of the world, Warren Buffett. Australian vehicle manufacturing? It's not dead yet apparently.
Contact Fleetcare today to learn more about how we can help you with a new electric vehicle.