4 June 2021

The EVs you can buy right now and what they'll cost you

| James Coleman
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Electric vehicles at the World EV Day event in Canberra

Electric vehicles at the World EV Day event in Canberra in September 2020. Photo: James Coleman.

With the ACT Government announcing two years’ free registration for new and used electric vehicles acquired after 24 May, in addition to new EVs being exempt from stamp duty, there’s never been a better time to think about ditching your petrol or diesel drive.

And that’s before governments really get to work with additional taxes on fossil-fuelled vehicles.

READ ALSO EV incentives accelerated with free registration and more charging stations

Combined, the incentives take about five percent off the cost of an EV, so here are some new models you should look at and what you can now expect to pay for them (approximately).

MG electric vehicle

Every electric car seems to have blue on it somewhere. Photo: MG Cars UK.

MG ZS EV ($41,790)

ACT Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury recently bought an MG ZS EV, the cheapest new electric vehicle currently sold in Australia. On top of the standard warranty and roadside assistance, MG also includes an eight-year, 160,000 km “battery warranty”, fast becoming a must-have with electric cars.

As with range in a car with an internal combustion engine, it depends entirely on what you do with it, but MG estimates an average of 263 km. An 80 per cent charge can be achieved in about 45 minutes on a fast charger or a full charge in seven hours through a standard socket at home.

Hyundai EV

An EV towing a caravan? It can be done. Photo: James Coleman

Hyundai IONIQ Electric ($49,284) and Kona Electric ($63,851)

Warranties and charging times for the South Korean sedan and SUV duo are comparable with the MG, but both offer more range – around 300 to 400 km.

Unlike the MG, Hyundai realised that electric cars don’t need a grille at the front, although the IONIQ does boast “active shutters”, which open and close depending on cooling requirements.

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf. Photo by Rob Olgivie.

Nissan Leaf ($61,741)

It’s one of the longest-standing names on the EV scene but each new Leaf model seems to be more expensive than the last.

Fortunately, the Leaf is also proving popular with independent importers who ship examples from Japan for a lot less than the new price. IonDNA, a dealership in Fyshwick devoted to electric vehicles, has several Nissan Leafs on sale from about $20,000, in near factory-new condition.

READ ALSO Turning a new Leaf in the push to electric cars

Sonja Skagen with her Jaguar I-Pace

Sonja Skagen, the proud owner of a Jaguar I-Pace, Jaguar’s first all-electric performance SUV. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Jaguar I-Pace ($134,690+)

Sonja Skagen says she loves the feeling of all-wheel drive and her husband already had a Jaguar F-Type sports car, so when her Subaru Forester became a casualty of Canberra’s hail storm, she upgraded to the I-Pace, Jaguar’s first all-electric car. She says it gets her to the coast and back with no trouble, and it’s scarily quick: 0-100 km/h takes just 4.8 seconds.

Tesla Model 3

The Model 3, the entry-level ticket into the Tesla range. Photo: James Coleman.

Tesla Model 3 ($62,990+), Model S ($132,718+), and Model X ($157,418+)

Elon Musk and his Californian upstart was the manufacturer that made the other car companies sit up and take EVs seriously. Tesla showed the world an electric car means instant torque, head-snapping acceleration and even Fart mode (Google it … you’ve been warned).

Mercedes-Benz EQC

Mercedes-Benz EQC. Photo: Daimler Media.

Mercedes-Benz EQC ($141,400+)

By and large, electric cars are still made of the same stuff as every other car before them, but with EQC, Mercedes says they have gone a step further and used renewable raw materials such as hemp, kenaf, wool, cotton, paper and natural rubber in 99 of the EQC’s components. Included in the price is also a five-year subscription to Chargefox, Australia’s largest network of charging stations.

Audi e-tron Sportback

No, you can’t just pull it out as a prank. Photo: Audi Australia

Audi e-tron ($148,100+)

The e-tron is much like Audi’s gazillion other SUVs. It’s beautifully sculptured and solid, but in case you missed the lower-case ‘e’ in the name, it’s electric. And – a one-up on Mercedes – the Audi comes with a six-year Chargefox subscription.

Porsche Taycan

The Taycan, as specced by Queanbeyan’s own Mark Webber. Photo: Porsche Newsroom.

Porsche Taycan ($191,000+)

Until five minutes ago, Tesla was the coolest EV in the world. Then the Porsche Taycan arrived. The four-door Taycan is causing even die-hard petrolheads to give some ground to the EV movement, possibly helped by the fact it entered the Guinness World Records last year for “the longest drift in an electric vehicle”. Everybody is a little puzzled as to why there is a turbo version, though.

But wait, there’s more…

The internal combustion engine will be with us for some years yet, but the writing is definitely on the wall. With that in mind, every carmaker is turning their attention to electric or petrol-electric hybrids.

The Mazda MX-30, Volvo XC40 Recharge, Mercedes-Benz EQA, BMW iX and Tesla Model Y – to name a few – are either open to order now or will be very soon. The Honda-e, a funky little electric hatchback, is also on the cards for the IonDNA dealership.

The future is here, even if it still isn’t exactly cheap.

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Stoked we get to subsidize rich people and their virtue.

I wish journos would stop referring to BATTERY – ELECTRIC cars as being simply ELECTRIC VEHICLES or EVs. Anything with BATTERIES is an environmental disaster which I thought was the main reason to promote a change from fossil fuel cars to ‘Electric’. Its not just what comes out of the exhaust pipe that effects the environment. So if you want a genuine Environmentally friendly car, there are already viable FUEL CELL or HYDROGEN-ELECTRIC cars running around, with refueling times and vehicle range similar to current fossil fuel cars. These are the way of the future, not environmentally disastrous battery cars with pathetic refueling times, huge impact on the power grid, and range that only works for round town limited driving…. Your average BATTERY-Electric car has 450-500kg of batteries, of which 10-15kg of Lithium included. Try googling the environmental impact of MINING, then REFINING Lithium, and then what happens to all the dead batteries after 5 – 7 years……
These are the issues a responsible journo would be interested in and reporting…..

I am looking forward to hydrogen cars, as electric cars simply don’t work for me, as they don’t go where I would want to take them. Hydrogen would work though, and seems more viable in a country such as Australia, where not all present petrol stations are on the electric grid.

Absolute misinformation. HFCEV are no real advance on ICEV. They need more components than a battery electric vehicle, having battery and electric motor PLUS tank and fuel cell. ICEV depend on rare earths in components and for the production of fuel. Batteries are reusable over and over again, then repurposeable and finally recyclable with little loss of the vital minerals. https://www.transportenvironment.org/publications/batteries-vs-oil-comparison-raw-material-needs. Many EV batteries are WARRANTIED for 8 years. The CURRENT grid is capable of handling 60-70% EV penetration with scheduled charging. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S014206151931645X

Your response totally misses my point, and indeed is your misinformation headline.
No one is talking about BATTERY cars versus Fossil Fuel cars – but given you raised it, and your referenced link – 20% (optimistic???) reuse of Lithium by 2035 is hardly going to do anything remotely environmentally friendly relative to the ongoing MINING and REFINING disaster for ongoing demand for Lithium based batteries. What do you think all the regime change initiatives in Bolivia are all about….. But give us a break – 20% recyclable target for Lithium by 2035 is hardly “Batteries are reusable over and over” – they are an environmental disaster with no likelihood of any improvement of consequence……. Regardless, battery vehicles are a pathetic transport solution with ridiculous recharging/refuelling times and a range only good for around town city running with impossible infrastructure needs if more than a small % takeup. And an added 1-2 tonne tare mass for commercial vehicles that are all about their load carrying capacity – including number of passengers in a bus – within the axle load limits to not destroy the roads…

MG’s are made in China. I won’t touch them until they stop bullying us with their trade restrictions, excess tariffs and quotas. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Capital Retro2:33 pm 03 Jun 21

It would be interesting to hear where all the others are made – I think all Teslas are made in America (which helps to Make America Great Again).

The Tesla’s we get in Australia are also made in China (Shanghai).

Capital Retro8:24 am 02 Jun 21

“Cary Elliot Johnson then, consider a battery pack that can be built into the caravan sub frame that the vehicle can draw from during transit.”

The minimum cost of an EV battery is $10,000 – some are three times that. The number of solar panels that would go on a caravan wouldn’t recharge a normal car battery let alone a couple of EV batteries and of course, solar doesn’t work at night.

There are also weight limitations on towing caravans.

Capital Retro,
You’re right on a couple of points but wrong on others.

You’re right that it’s unlikely PV on a caravan would ever be likely to provide sufficient charge to store enough electricity to run an EV. But wrong about them not being able to charge a car battery.

Well designed caravan PV systems will give you a few kWhr’s storage, maybe up to 10 per day, depending on weather and time of year. Which is more than plenty for a car battery.

But to get good range on a caravan towing EV in the future, you’re going to need way more than that. The Tesla S has a 100kWhr battery for instance.

But it’s not a silly idea to include batteries in the caravan structure to extend EV range in the future. It’s highly likely that’s exactly what will happen, they will just require charging from the grid.

Capital Retro11:37 am 15 Sep 21

Yeah, I know chewy. I have a habit of only telling half the story.

Capital Retro5:17 pm 01 Jun 21

“Can I trade in my neighbour’s BARKING DOG ?”

Paul Mathews you have my sympathy but this government is totally dysfunctional when it come to dog control.

Virtue signaling is another matter.

I will wait for Lamborghini to release their electric cars, and then have the peasantry pay my rego for 2 years. This is a great initiative. Having people who can’t afford to buy a new car subsidise my running costs is brilliant.

Capital Retro5:31 pm 01 Jun 21

You won’t have to wait long, kenm: https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/18/22440143/lamborghini-ev-electric-supercar-hybrid-models-announce

By then, the virtue signaling ACT government will be offering no deposit, zero interest loans to buyers of EVs.

Ripper. Thanks CR. I will be sure to take advantage of as much peasant funded virtue signalling as possible.

Capital Retro11:30 am 01 Jun 21

“……….remember the first mobile phones cost $10,000 and were the size of a brick……”

I had one of these, a Motorola I think it was and it didn’t cost $10,000. Less than half that price I think.

I’m suprised CR with your love of technology you don’t still have one of those…..

Capital Retro2:50 pm 01 Jun 21

I think it is stored away in the garage. The battery clapped out before the analogue service was withdrawn. I had the Telstra “007” car phone too. They revolutionized the way I did business and no, I didn’t rave about them and tell everyone they should get one.

Capital Retro11:28 am 01 Jun 21

Well, if EV’s batteries can store only renewable energy they are next to useless.

Internal combustion vehicles have fuel tanks which both fossil OR bio fuels.

Didn’t know there were different types of electrons out there….

Some of the nonsense being pedalled on this thread is ridiculous.

Capital Retro2:51 pm 01 Jun 21

No more ridiculous than the spin associated with these new fangled EVs.

HiddenDragon7:48 pm 31 May 21

So the cheapest new electric vehicle currently available here is $40k+ and some are salivating at the prospect of penalties on people who are struggling to keep the “clunker” on the road while paying all the other bills –

“And that’s before governments really get to work with additional taxes on fossil-fuelled vehicles.”

Can’t possibly imagine why “The Bubble” resonates as a nickname for Canberra outside of Canberra…….

Finagen_erection6:32 pm 31 May 21

So many readers leaving comments, for and against. It will be irrelevant what individual consumers and complainers say. The new EURO7 standard will drive our car choices, and it says no more pollutants in our atmosphere from new cars by 2025.

Get over your small minded CBR range anxiety. It’s going to be EV for 5 years, then HV will take over.

Capital Retro9:21 pm 31 May 21

While the EURO7 standards may drive our car choices, the soon to collapse Australian Dollar will drive the prices of these make-believe pollutant free EVs through the roof.

How about double the existing price?

@Luke Reeves .. interested in your comment ”Good thing the ACT is running on 100% renewable energy.”
Regret to advise that at 5.34 this arvo NSW, and the ACT ,was warming up by the following generators pushing out leccy as thus …..
COAL 6,632 MW
HYDRO 1,761 MW
GAS 608 MW

Like a lot of things politicians tell us, it has to be taken with a grain of salt. Mainly cause first their lips moved.

You do realise that the renewable numbers you’ve just provided are well in excess of the maximum ACT electricity demand right?

So despite the fact that the ACT’s renewable purchases are not to provide every electron that is used here but rather a ‘net’ figure for electricity over the year, the numbers you’ve provided show that the ACT could easily have been using 100% renewable power at the exact time you’ve mentioned.

Talk about an own goal. Hahaha.

Capital Retro8:40 am 01 Jun 21

I thought the ACT was getting most of its so-called renewable electricity from South Australia, not NSW.

Then, I’m not an expert on these matters but I can unashamedly state that when I am cold I don’t care where the electricity comes from and how many bits of carbon it has in it.

Capital Retro,
this is the advantage of having a national electricity market that is connected throughout the eastern states and SA. It doesn’t matter where the electricity is produced, it all goes into the same market and grid.

rationalobserver3:42 pm 31 May 21

The biggest cost to owning an EV is not financial, it is the embarrassment and social ridicule that follows when you admit it.

A Nonny Mouse5:13 pm 03 Jun 21

Nevermind. You think that. The EV driver will just leave you behind at the lights – literally and metaphorically.

Capital Retro1:14 pm 31 May 21

Why is 0 -100kmh in 4.8 secs and “neck snapping acceleration” important to you EV warriors?

I was in a line of traffic going to Cooma a few weeks again when some hero in a Tesla overtook me and another 7 cars in a row with oncoming traffic bearing down.

A Nonny Mouse5:11 pm 03 Jun 21

There will always be idiots in cars. We know we are going mainstream when there are idiots in EVs as well.

Biggest seller in Australia – Ford Ranger. 2nd – Toyota Hilux. EVs are rich man’s toys. I’d be interested when an EV can tow a 2500kg van and do 500km+ on one charge. Don’t mention Rivians or Tesla Cybertrucks – they’re still a long way from the showroom. I might be interested if the Ford F150 Lightning comes here. But that will be never.

I bought a Hyundai Kona April 2020 to replace my 15 yr old Subaru Forester. It was pricey but range anxiety is gone. At Easter we drove to the Gold Coast and back, every stop we made there and back was a natural one (with 4 teenage passengers). Breaks every 2-3 hours. 15 mins to get snacks and go to the toilet and a longer break at lunch. Spent some money in country towns boosting their economy. We went inland on the way there and spent $0 on power costs using the NRMA’s extensive network. Used the Pacific Hwy on the way home and a range of commercial chargers (which charge a bit faster than NRMA) $50. A beautiful car to drive with all the latest safety features. Just had my annual service $169. I estimate it costs me about $15 per week to charge at home. My accountant friend estimates 6 yrs for payback on the double normal car price due to the low running costs. I love “Trixie” to bits and totally bore my friends raving on about her.

Finagen_erection6:24 pm 31 May 21

Awesome to hear. I. Waiting on their Ioniq 5 … looks delicious.

A Nonny Mouse5:10 pm 03 Jun 21

This is absolutely accurate. We also have a Hyundai Kona. Trips as described are easy and take no longer than a petrol car because the way to travel is getting partial top ups when you would have stopped anyway for toilet or coffee or meals. 15mins here, 20mins there adds up to complete recharge over the course of a day.

Something for everyone, boosters and naysayers, and those in between –


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