A little more than ten electric car models will enter the Australian auto market in 2021, giving drivers who are looking to switch to clean transport a little more choice, but not necessarily more money in their bank account.
Australia has been dubbed a “laggard” in the transition to electric vehicles that is accelerating in many other countries, but it is encouraging to see that some car makers are continuing to test the market here despite government inaction on a transition to clean transport.
A federal EV strategy originally to be released in mid-2020 has now morphed into a leaked draft “future fuels” discussion paper that contains no targets, no fuel standards, and nothing new beyond the roll out charging infrastructure which it has been doing anyway.
Instead, the Coalition government is essentially leaving “market forces” to do the rest, ignoring the highly effective policy measures taken by trading partners overseas.
So what does this mean for EV choice in Australia?
Another twelve (to be exact) electric models will bring Australia’s grand total of available all-electric models to 30. Here is a run-down on what 2021 and beyond promises to bring in terms of new EV models in Australia, and when.
|Q1 2021||Q2 2021||Q3 2021||Q4 2021||Q1 2022|
|Porsche Taycan||Mazda MX-30||BMW iX||Lexus UX300e||Polestar 2|
|Nissan Leaf e+||BMW iX3||Tesla Model Y*||VW ID.4|
|2021 Hyundai Kona EV||Hyundai Ioniq 5*||
- estimated/to be confirmed
One of the first off the rank in 2021 will be the Porsche Taycan, the arrival of which Porsche Australia is already preparing for with the installation of fast chargers at all its centres. The Porsche Taycan will be available in three variants from the “entry-level” $191,000 4S, to the to the $269,100 Turbo and the top-of-the-line $339,100 Turbo S. For more details and specifications, read here.
2021 Hyundai Kona EV
The refreshed Kona Electric will arrive in the first half of 2021, although how early that is is not yet set in stone. As Australia’s second-most popular electric car after the Tesla Model 3, expect a warm welcome for the new electric which will have the same 64kWh battery and long 484km driving range, but with a new styling that does away with the honeycomb” grille” in favour of a sleek nose and new location for the charging port. Read more here.
Nissan Leaf e+
Finally, the “long-range” Nissan Leaf e+ will be broutht to Australia by its maker in early-mid 2021. Its 62kWh battery gives it the edge over the smaller 40kWh variant, with a driving range of 385km. Additionally, it has the advantage of bidirectional charging capabilities. Unfortunately it still relies on passive cooling for the battery rather than liquid cooling. Read more here.
A recent addition to the list of models to come to Australia in 2021, the as yet unpriced MX-30 will offer a modest driving range of 224km but may sway city-dweller with its compact size and nifty “freestyle doors”. Read more here.
Volvo XC40 Recharge
The all-electric Volvo XC40 Recharge will arrive after the Swedish-Chinese car maker introduces its plug-in hybrid stablemate in 2021. With a 72.5kW battery that offer around 325km real world driving range, it will also offer a fair amount of oomph with 300kW motor output and 660Nm torque. Read more here.
The BMW iX will be the German car maker’s second pure electric car in Australia when it is introduced in the second half of 2021. BMW says it will deliver more than 600km driving range from a battery with 100kWh-plus capacity, and that pricing and more exact specifications will be detailed before its release.
With the iX3, BMW is embracing the increasing acceptance of electric vehicles as a mainstream vehicle, and is also seeking to increase that acceptance by offering a driving range of 460km on a single charge. Read more here.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
It is understood that Hyundai will introduce a third electric car into Australia in 2021, and it will likely be the Ioniq 5 sporting the car maker’s new long range driving, high performance specs, and bidirectional charging platform that was unveiled in early December.
The luxury compact Lexus UX300e SUV will debut in Australia at the Lexus Melbourne Cup in November, 2021. First premiered in November 2019, it went on sale in China and Europe in 2020, and boasts maximum power of 150kW and torque of 300Nm, building in a high-output motor and high-capacity lithium-ion battery that is able to deliver up to 400-kilometres of driving range.
Tesla Model Y
Sadly this is the second year running we have added the Tesla Model Y to our coming-next-year-list. With orders not yet open on Tesla’s Australian website, we are going to go with a very optimistic fourth quarter arrival for what will be another ground-breaking addition to the local EV market from Tesla. Well we can hope, can’t we?
Kia e-Niro and e-Soul
Another hopeful addition. Although Kia has officially said that launches for its electric urban car, the e-Soul and electric compact SUV, the e-Niro are but delayed due to a lack of government inaction on EV uptake, we can’t help but think the recently leaked draft “future fuels” paper will only mean this delay is further extended.
Hotly awaited but likely not due to arrive until early 2022, the ID.4 is the German car maker’s second in its all-electric ID series.
The first all-electric model from Volvo’s zero emissions offshoot, the Polestar 2 has been slated for an early 2022 launch. When it gets here it will likely be available under a subscription model including everything from registration, maintenance to connectivity.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.