With news that Renault will pull the all-electric Zoe hatch from Australian showroom floors, it begs the question – what other award winning electric vehicles are Australian drivers missing out on?
As Bryce Gaton notes in today’s article about where Renault is going wrong in Australia, the Zoe is hands down the best-selling electric vehicle in Europe, but its sales in Australia have been poor, so it’s being withdrawn.
In July, UK car site WhatCar? announced its inaugural electric car awards, which it is running in association with UK renewable energy products company Myenergi.
The winners of this new award are yet to be named, but the nomination list puts a spotlight on just how many right-hand drive electric vehicles are available to the UK market – and how few are available in Australia.
The Driven shared a comprehensive list on which European electric vehicles we won’t see in Australia any time soon (if at all) in February.
Now it’s time we looked at which electric vehicles Whatcar? sees fit to add to an awards nomination list, and which should therefore be on the Australian EV market’s “nice to have” list.
And it’s an interesting lineup, not least because at first glance of the list as collated by RACQ here, it would appear that it is mostly small and compact electric vehicles that are lacking in Australia.
All the electric vehicles listed by Whatcar? in the luxury car, executive car, performance car and seven-seater lists are available in Australia (with the exception of the Nissan E-NV200 Combi 7 seater).
But in the value car, small car, family car and family SUV list there are some big gaps.
The reason for this is likely a combination of two factors: Australia’s love of big SUVs is well noted, and the tendency for market disruption to start from the top.
And as noted to The Driven by Renault Australia in an email in the case of the Renault ZE50, which will now never make it here, car makers need to be able to guarantee a return on the investment they make getting a new model approved for Australian roads.
But for a market that has so little to choose from under the $50,000 mark, surely there is room for more choice in the smaller segments.
Have a peruse of the list below that we have collated for you, from EV Database battery size and “real world” driving range (how they reach this, we have reached out to clarify), plus the UK list price as noted by Whatcar?.
Of course, there are future models that have not made this list that are expected to arrive in Australia, but not for two or three years, such as the Tesla Model Y and the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4.
Models in capitals, which includes the Renault Zoe, and the two Kia models, have all been pulled or delayed with car makers citing lack of government support for electric vehicles.
For comparison sake we have also listed models available in Australia in bold, with their base price before on-road costs or premium trims.
|Battery Size (kWh)||Driving Range||UK list price||AU base price|
|Smart Fortwo EQ||17.6||100||£20,350|
|Seat Mii Electric||36.8||195||£22,800|
|Skoda Citigo-e iV||36.8||195||£20,455|
|Mini Cooper SE||32.6||195||£29,900||$54,800|
|RENAULT ZOE GT 135||54.7||310||£32,695|
|Hyundai Ioniq Electric||40.4||250||£33,950||$48,490|
|MG ZS EV||44.5||220||£28,495||$46,990|
|DS 3 Crossback E-Tense||50||250||£34,380|
|KIA SOUL EV 64kWh||67.1||365||£37,295|
|KIA E-NIRO 64kWh||67.1||370||£37,995|
|Hyundai Kona Electric||67.5||400||£38,600||$59,990|
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.