The Cupra Born will likely enter the Australian auto market by the end of 2022, ahead of the Volkswagen ID4, and at what has been referred to as a “relatively affordable” price, Volkswagen has confirmed.
Confirming news from Cupra boss Wayne Griffiths, Volkswagen GM for corporate communications Paul Pottinger told The Driven that the Cupra Born is slated to arrive in Australia by the end of next year, and that the VW sub brand wants to be the first European to break into the bottom end of the local EV market.
Pottinger also hinted that the all-electric Skoda Enyaq iV, another new model from the VW stable, will also come to Australia, although not before the Cupra Born.
“As a new, challenger brand that arrives locally in mid-2022, Cupra have said from the get-go that it is intent on being the first European brand to introduce a relatively affordable EV to Australia,” he said in a note by email.
“If that timeline can be achieved, Born would likely precede EVs from its fellow Volkswagen Group brands (Volkswagen ID.4, Skoda Enyaq) in Australia.”
Volkswagen’s stance on introducing electric vehicles to Australia has been that there must be government support. It, like other carmakers, has needed to prioiritise inventory for markets that actually regulate transport-related emissions.
The recent introduction of policy designed to encourage EV uptake by state governments – in particular in NSW, which was given a 9/10 scorecard in a recent report by the Electric Vehicle Council – is helping the German carmaker’s Australian arm to convince European headquarters that the local policy environment is now more welcoming.
“All of our brands have conveyed the NSW Government’s EV Strategy to the respective factories by way of demonstrating that not every provincial government in this country is intent on taxing EVs before they arrive in volume. The question now is production priority,” Pottinger added.
“As the IAA in Munich is showing, demand for EVs is surging in Europe where those factories are located,” he said.
“The business case for a right-hand drive market at the end of the global supply chain where even in 2021 there abounds anti-EV misinformation, some of it emanating from brands with no solid EV plans, is a tougher sell,” he said.
Pottinger also reiterated the fact that as Australia no longer has no car manufacturing industry of its own, it is dependent on what vehicles are being made overseas.
“The fact is that EVs and PHEVs (the latter which Victoria effectively ensures are taxed twice) will come to comprise the majority of vehicles on our roads. It is simply a question of how far Australia will lag behind other developed countries. We’re not giving up,” he said.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter 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 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.