A new premium electric SUV will be available in Australia in the first quarter of 2020 and will be priced in the low to mid $60,000s including on road costs, and will be comparable in terms of specifications to a top of the range Volkswagen Tiguan.
On display last Saturday and Sunday at the AEVA Electric Vehicle Expo at Sydney Olympic Park, the Glory E3 SUV is expected to arrive by March – April 2020 alongside a second vehicle, a 1 tonne EC35 electric van which will be priced in the low to mid $50,000s.
Both vehicles will be made in China exclusively for EV Automotive in the Oceania region, and drivers will be able to express interest for either the SUV or the van (with the need for a cash deposit) before the end of 2019.
Speaking with The Driven, Oceania sales manager for EV Automotive Peter Benardos says the Glory E3 will be available only as a premium vehicle, and will compare favourably against rival fossil-fuelled SUV, the Volkswagen Tiguan Highline in not only terms of specifications but also pricing.
“The SUV will be a premium vehicle based on a top of the range SUV that has similar features, such as the digital dash,” Benardos says.
“The Tiguan Highline with optional sound and vision package puts that at retail on road at $65,000 – [the E3] is a similar size with the same size and similar features and it is electric – I don’t think we’re wrong with the pricing.”
With a 52.5kWh battery that fast-charges from 20-80% in 30 minutes (AC charging takes 12 hours on a standard 10amp powerpoint at home but can be as quick as 8 hours if you have a 15 amp socket), the Glory E3 will have around 400km driving range.
The van will come with a minimum of specifications and will have a 42kWh battery and driving range of 290km.
While the van will only be available in white, the Glory E3 SUV will be available in white, red, blue and black.
Official pricing for both vehicles will be confirmed once homologation and ADR safety testing in Australia are completed and the vehicle undergoes crash tests in China.
The Glory E3 will have features including a 10″ touch screen, connectivity including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, leather seats and a very generous retractable sunroof.
“By going premium rather than keeping the features down, people will be asking what are the options to upgrade?” says Benardos. “There are none.”
We got a chance to sit in the display left hand drive E3, and the finish and styling inside is definitely upmarket and comfortable while the electronics are slick, responsive and highly customisable.
For instance, a driver can choose a view on the touchscreen and then transfer that over to the dash screen behind the wheel, with either the odometer and speedo laid over the top on either side or hidden with the push of a button on the steering wheel.
We love the gearshift that sits flush in the centre console only to smoothly glide upwards once the vehicle is turned on – it’s little touches like these are sure to be a winner in terms of experience.
In the back there is plenty of room and the vehicle comes with both a spare wheel and a charging cable.
“We will be supplying a charging cable with the car from get go so you can plug it into your home from get go,” says Benardos.
Manufacturer approved servicing will be available through a well known, established company.
“Servicing is currently on negotiation with a major player that already exists here in Australia,” says Benardos. “They specialise in tyres, brakes and that sort of thing but already do a lot of servicing for other makes. They’ve got 297 locations now, which makes it very simple.”
Benardos says the Glory E3 will be available to order online in coming weeks but that the company also intends selling via showrooms in shopping centres – no travelling to auto alley for this EV.
“Those forward orders will be expressions of interest – which car, which model, which colour, all on an order basis with no deposit,” he says.
“Once we have a firm delivery timeframe and therefore a firm pricing, all of those people that have said they want to buy one we will contact directly with the price for their state and delivery timeframe, if they are happy to proceed we will then take a deposit.”
“Once delivery is physically organised, the sale becomes unconditional.”
He does not expect that there will be lengthy delays in deliveries once the vehicle is ready to ship either, in part thanks to the proximity of China and also because of the limited variation in specifications (that is, colours only).
“We can order to delivery into Australia within 60 days,” Benardos says. “With our range being so small… it means that we can have forward order which means you can place an order and you won’t be waiting long.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.