Renault Zoe
Source: Renault

We are encouraging questions from readers about electric vehicles, and charging, and whatever else you want to learn. So please send them through and we will get our experts to respond, and invite other people to contribute through the comments section.

Our latest question comes from Michelle, who asks:

I have been hanging out for an electric car for years – I did think they would have become mainstream by 2012. What I’m looking for is less about the mileage and more about does it have a hatchback? How much space in the boot, and I really don’t care for leather seats!

 Michelle

Answer:

Hi Michelle –you and me both! The happy answer is that now there are plenty of EV options becoming available in Australia, or coming over the next 12 months.

Also, if you live in Melbourne, (or are visiting around March 15th) I would suggest you come to the Melbourne EV Expo where I will do a presentation on the Electric Vehicle options available, or coming soon, to Australia.

Also there will be displays of all things EV, including charging systems, electric bicycles, electric scooters etc, as well as many other EV related items and suppliers.

Some of the manufacturers will be there providing short test-drives, as well as owners with their EVs who will happily take you for a spin … and chew your ear off as to their advantages. (For details, see: https://www.evexpo.org.au/)

Back to your question – range not too much of an issue, need a hatchback and leather seats NOT cool? Have a look at the following:

Notes to table:

# Real-world achievable ranges quoted. Test cycles provide higher, less achievable, estimates.

* in bold = second-hand options available.

^ Seats up/seats down

** 60kWh battery = 320km, 100kWh battery = 520km

Note that I have NOT included the Tesla Model 3 or the Hyundai Ioniq as both are sedans with boots. I also excluded the Tesla Model X and the Jaguar I-Pace as they are more SUV than hatch.

I did include the Kona electric, although some argue it is a small SUV, whilst others term it a ‘high riding wagon’, and some call it a hatch. I’ll leave it to you to decide.

I have also only included Australian delivered EVs – for an explanation of why, see my ‘Readers Question’ reply on grey imports.

Highlighted in green are my suggestions for reasonable value, late model smaller sized EV hatches. The Zoe in particular is a very neat package and is has been the best-selling EV in Europe for some years. (However the new Leaf 3.ZERO and Tesla Model 3 may knock it off that perch very soon!). The Zoe also has full cloth seats, unlike the BMW i3, which has some leather trim on its seats.

Good luck Michelle in your EV hunt – and hoping to see Melbourne readers at the Melbourne EV Expo.

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