ELECTRIC CARS AVAILABLE IN AUSTRALIA IN 2022

Electric vehicles (EV) are slowly but surely building momentum in Australia. Although supply has been constrained, their sales more than doubled in 2021, to almost two percent of total new vehicle volume. Further increases are expected in 2022, as more and more electric cars arrive in this country.

With strong demand and long waiting lists, even if you’re not ready to buy just yet, now could be the time to start thinking about the right EV for you in the future. So, here’s an update of the electric cars that are available in Australia right now as well as what else is coming throughout the year. The cars listed here are all non-SUVs. Production delays may push these timings out (and prices ever upward), but here’s what we know for now.

BYD Atto 1/2/Dolphin from under $35,000 (estimated)

BYD – for Build Your Dreams – is a Chinese car company which in 2021 successfully sold a small number of the E6 seven-seater wagon and T3 small van, as a toe-in-the-water exercise.

It’s full steam ahead now though, with the Atto 3 small SUV to be joined by a smaller car known as Dolphin in China but may be badged Atto 1 or 2 in Australia. The order books will open later this year.

A city-sized hatchback with an estimated and ground-breaking low-$30,000 starting price, the Atto 2/Dolphin should attract plenty of attention with its crisp styling, pleasant interior and efficient space utilisation.

Under the bonnet is a 70kW/180Nm electric motor that’s said to provide modest performance, while a 130kW/290Nm alternative should also become available.

The base grade uses a 30.7kWh battery with a claimed 301km range using the NEDC method (instead of the more real-world accurate WLTP protocols). A 44.9kWh battery for another 100km of range is expected to be an option.

Comparatively light, safe and robust, the Blade Battery is claimed to require just 30 minutes for a 30 to 80 per cent top-up using a 60kW DC public charger.

BYD doesn’t have dealerships in Australia, so servicing will be carried out by MyCar centres.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/FWD
Battery:30.7 or 44.9kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate
Power/torque:70kW/180Nm and 130kW/290Nm
0-100km/h:7.3s
Consumption:15kWh/100km (estimated)
Electric range:300/400km (NEDC)
Warranty:7yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:TBC
Safety rating:N/A

GWM Ora Good Cat from $40,000 (estimated)

China leads the race to cheaper EVs in Australia, and now there’s a new player with a promising small car on the horizon.

Expected in late 2022, the Great Wall Motors (GWM) Good Cat (or Haomao in China) from EV-only brand Ora might have a daft name (though that may change for Australia), but anticipated sub-$40,000 pricing is music to EV-hungry buyers’ ears.

The Ora Good Cat is built on GWM’s L.E.M.O.N. Platform and promises to be a better vehicle than the platform’s name suggests. The Toyota Corolla-sized Good Cat is a surprisingly spacious five-door hatchback, with a very contemporary, big-screen dashboard layout reminiscent of the Mercedes A-Class. It’s quite a contrast to the rounded VW Beetle-esque retro exterior design.

Underneath, there’s nothing backward about the front-mounted 126kW electric motor, driving the front wheels and powered by a choice of two likely battery pack options – 47.8kWh and 62.4kWh. They offer a range of 336km and around 400km of range, respectively.

A common 50kW DC public fast charger should result in 30 to 80 per cent battery capacity in about 30 minutes.

We hear that a GT version might also be in the pipeline, to create a cut-price electric warm-hatch rival to the Cupra Born.

Whatever transpires, bring on more fun and affordable EVs.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/FWD
Battery:47.8 or 62.4kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate
Power/torque:126kW/210Nm
0-100km/h:8.5s
Consumption:TBC
Electric range:336km or 420km (WLTP)
Warranty:TBC
Battery warranty:TBC
Safety rating:N/A

Hyundai Ioniq Electric from $49,970

About the size of a Toyota Prius, the Hyundai Ioniq goes two better by offering three electrification options – Hybrid, plus a Plug-in hybrid and Electric.

The Electric has proved most popular since launching in 2018, combining the pure EV experience with a choice of specification (Elite or the more highly-equipped Premium), spacious hatchback packaging for five adults and a decent boot (but no spare), good performance, agile cornering capabilities and excellent aftersales service.

The Ioniq received a facelift in 2020 with the Series II, which brought fresh nose and tail treatments, a redesigned dashboard with a big touchscreen multimedia and higher-quality fittings.

More importantly, a 12kW power jump resulted in even more spirited acceleration, smoother suspension for a comfier ride, a substantially quieter cabin, greater driver-assist safety like full stop/go adaptive cruise control, and over 100km of extra range from a 10kWh-larger battery-pack upgrade.

A 50kW DC public fast charger will take the battery from 10 to 80 per cent full in just 60 minutes. Otherwise, it’s about 20 hours using a regular wall socket. Note a 7kW wall-box installation (from approximately $3000 more) slashes that to 6.25 hours.

The upshot of all this makes the likeable Ioniq Electric one of the best value family-friendly EV options.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/FWD
Battery:38.3kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:100kW/295Nm
0-100km/h:9.7s
Consumption:13.8kWh/100km
Electric range:311km
Warranty:5yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:5 stars

Nissan Leaf from $49,990

Nissan’s game-changing Leaf launched in 2010 as the first modern EV, became history’s bestselling EV (until Tesla’s Model 3 overtook it) and then underwent a complete restyle in 2017.

Still Corolla-sized, Leaf II reached Australia in 2019 with a big battery boost (to 40kWh) to address earlier short-range issues. This effectively doubled it, while gaining a slightly more powerful110kW electric motor.

The steering has been improved for more precise handling, and there’s a high-resistance throttle setting so when backing off, the Nissan slows down as if were being braked, but uses regenerative braking to put energy back into the battery. Most driver-assist safety like autonomous emergency braking, imminent collision alerts and a surround-view camera are available.

With a home power point requiring 20 hours to recharge, an optional 7kW or 11kW Wallbox cuts that to under 13 hours, while a 50kW DC fast charger needs about 45 minutes to go from 10 to 80 percent full.

The optional Leaf e+ brings a 55 per cent bigger battery, boosting range by 100km to 385km, but takes almost 50% longer on average to charge up.

Though now feeling dated, the Leaf remains an affordable, comfortable and easy EV to drive and live with.

A minor facelift is coming before the end of 2022.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/FWD
Battery:40kWh and 62kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:110kW/320Nm, 160kW/340Nm
0-100km/h:7.9s, 6.9s
Consumption:16.6kWh, 18.5 kWh/100km
Electric range:285km, 385km
Warranty:5yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:5 stars

BYD Atto 4/Seal from $50,000 (estimated)

Fledgling Chinese carmaker BYD will launch its answer to the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, the Seal/Atto 4, early in 2023, though Australian-market orders are expected to commence from October this year.

Along with sleek styling and an upmarket-looking interior, the four-door five-seater sports sedan might slip in at around $50,000, making it substantially cheaper than other similarly-sized and specified EVs.

Generous interior space is the upshot of a lengthy 2920mm wheelbase, while at 4800mm long and nearly 1900mm wide, the BYD is actually slightly larger than the Model 3.

Like its rivals, the Atto 4/Seal will be made available with a single, 150kWmotor driving the rear wheels, as well as dual-motor all-wheel-drive versions. The latter adds a 230kW rear-axle mounted electric motor, for a zero-to-100km/h sprint-time of a Porsche 911-bothering 3.8 seconds flat.

That would make the BYD one of the fastest new cars available for the money.

Using the company’s advanced new e-Platform 3.0 modular architecture with 800-volt battery capability to match the best of its costlier rivals, the Atto 4 is said to be able to offer up to 700km of range in its biggest-battery versions.

Further details will be released closer to launch.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/FWD or AWD
Battery:Lithium Iron Phosphate 
Power/torque:150kW (RWD) and 160kW/230Nm (AWD)
0-100km/h:3.8s (AWD)
Consumption:TBC
Electric range:Up to 700km
Warranty:TBC
Battery warranty:TBC
Safety rating:N/A

Renault Kangoo Maxi ZE from $50,290

2022 will be the final full year of the current-generation Kangoo EV in Australia.

Developed for congested cities with clean-air zones, the Kangoo EV’s 200km range makes it ideal as a short-haul workhorse, with its long body, four square metre load capacity and 640kg payload. Kudos to Renault, too, for making it is possible to kit out the EV version as per the normal petrol/diesel versions.

Though limited to just 130km, the comfy, stylish and practical French van is quick off the mark and relatively smooth and quiet for a hollow box. Additionally, the underpinnings are (albeit older) Megane hatch-based, so it steers, corners, rides and stops much like a car.

The Kangoo only allows for AC charging, so forget about the burgeoning DC fast-charging network. Charging times vary from 17 hours (household plug), 11 hours with an optional 7kW Wallbox, to 9.5 hours at the less-common AC stations – or about 30km after 50 minutes.

Available overseas since 2011, the Kangoo EV is showing its age with no AEB or other driver-assist systems.

The importers Ateco Automotive promise the all-new, next-gen Kangoo E-Tech will arrive during 2023, with more range, DC charging capability and big safety advances. Watch this space.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/FW
Battery:33kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:44kW/226Nm
0-100km/h:22.3s
Consumption:15.9kWh/100km
Electric range:200km
Warranty:3yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:5yr/100,000km
Safety rating:4 stars

Mini Cooper SE Electric from $55,650

Fresh from the UK is the electric Mini, blending a sporty retro groove with progressive EV engineering courtesy of the now-defunct BMW i3.

Based on the now-ageing F55 Cooper S three-door hatch, the SE’s powerful electric motor drives the front wheels, fed by a 32.6kWh battery pack.

Though the 233km range is low by any standards, like the Mazda MX-30, the Mini’s all about right-sizing to suit the urbanites this EV is targeting.

Using a 50kW DC charger, an 80 percent top-up is possible in 30 minutes; the 7kW Wallbox option will kick that up to five hours or three hours with an 11kW version, while a normal home plug needs 15 hours.

That said, that dinky battery pack’s lightness and lowness aid handling, resulting in speedy cornering prowess. Fun athleticism is the name of the game here.

The rest is familiar, from the roomy front cabin, tight two-seater rear and short-but-deep boot, to the stylised dash with circular motifs, toggle switches and sturdy build. Add expensive options that should be standard and a stingy warranty, and this is literally the Mini of EVs.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/FWD
Battery:32.6kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:135kW/270Nm
0-100km/h:7.3s
Consumption:16.8kWh/100km
Electric range:233km
Warranty:3yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:5 stars

Polestar 2 from $59,900

Volvo has an in-house EV performance brand called Polestar, with the Polestar 2 from China being a very keenly priced premium sports sedan.

The handsome and sleek five-door hatchback is taking aim at Tesla’s Model 3, imitating it with either single (170kW, rear-mounted, rear-drive) or dual electric motors (300kW combined) with all-wheel drive.

The base Standard Range Single Motor uses a 69kWh battery pack for 474km of range. With a 7kW or 11kW Wallbox it needs 11 hours and 7.5hr respectively to charge. Using a 50kW DC public fast charger drops that to just 75 minutes for a 10 to 80 per cent top up.

Moving up to the Long Range (Single Motor and Dual Motor) grades brings a 78kWh battery pack for a 540km range. It adds about one hour using the aforementioned AC chargers, but drops the 50kW DC charge time slightly to 66 minutes.

Beautifully designed and with quality (vegan) materials, the Polestar 2 is equipped to Volvo’s usual lofty safety standards, and includes extensive driver-assist safety technologies. The five-seater interior is highly specified and well finished. Cargo capacity is rated at 405 litres.

Keenly priced and positioned, the Polestar 2 is only the beginning for the fledgling Swedish marque.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/RWD or AWD
Battery:69kWh or 78kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:170kW/330Nm, 300kW/660Nm
0-100km/h:7.4s or 4.7s
Consumption:16.7 and 19.4 kWh/100km
Electric range:470km/540km/480km
Warranty:5yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:5 stars

Tesla Model 3 from $63,900

The US-designed Model 3 is the most affordable Tesla to date.

Launched in Australia during 2019, the four-door sedan arrived three years late, but has since dethroned Nissan’s Leaf as history’s bestselling EV.

Reasons include strikingly sleek styling, with a modern, minimalist and airy cabin, startling acceleration, searing performance – stretching to supercar-scaring speeds (exceeding 260km/h) in the upper grades – and phenomenally stable and secure handling.

Tesla’s own ‘Supercharger’ stations can replenish most battery packs in under one hour. For the smaller battery pack, an optional 7kW Wallbox needs over nine hours, or six hours for an 11kW version, while a 50kW DC fast charger takes under 60 minutes for a 10 to 80 per cent top-up. Add about the larger battery pack increases those times by up to 30 per cent.

The Model 3 may seem basic, but equipment levels are surprisingly high, while the company’s well-publicised Autopilot option brings automatic lane changing, automated parking and adaptive cruise control. Regular over-the-air updates will enable even broader autonomous-driving tech, as future legislation allows.

Downsides include patchy quality, technological glitches, a fiddly tablet interface, heat from the glass roof and limited headroom, but since 2021, the now China sourced models are said to be better built.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/RWD or AWD
Battery:57.5 to 75kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate
Power/torque:211kW/375Nm, 307kW/510Nm, 353kW/639Nm
0-100km/h:3.3-6.1s
Consumption:14.9-16.6kWh/100km
Electric range:491-602km
Warranty:4yr/80,000km
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:5 stars

Kia Niro II EV from $65,000 (estimated)

You’re looking at the second-generation Niro EV, barely a year after launching in Australia – though it dated back to 2016 elsewhere.

A twin to the Hyundai Kona EV underneath, the redesigned Niro II EV builds on its predecessor’s family-friendly crossover shape with more space and practicality, including a substantially larger (at 475 litres) rear cargo area plus a new, 20L boot up front. Likewise, the user-friendly dash is light years ahead in style and features.

The Kia will again be available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid guises, meaning it doesn’t employ the Hyundai Group’s vaunted new E-GMP EV architecture, but an updated version of the old platform.

As before, a 150kW electric motor drives the front wheels. Range improves slightly (to an impressive 463km), but while torque levels plummet by 140Nm, acceleration levels remain the same. Odd.

Plugging the Kia in a household socket should need 33 hours to replenish the 64.8kWh battery; an optional 11kW Wallbox will slash that to seven hours, while a 50kW DC public fast charger will take around 70 minutes.

Easy, spacious and comfortable, but now with fresher styling, more advanced driver-assist safety and improved efficiency, the Niro EV deserves a good, hard look.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet 
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/FWD
Battery:64.8kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:150kW/255Nm
0-100km/h:7.8s
Consumption:16.4kWh/100km
Electric range:463km (WLTP)
Warranty:7yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:N/A

LDV eDeliver 9 from under $70,000 (estimated)

The Ford E-Transit van won’t have the big EV van market all to itself for very long.

Pencilled in for late in 2022, the popular Deliver 9 from LDV of China gains the all-important ‘e’ prefix, to provide very stiff competition.

Sizes are likely to be medium and long wheelbase lengths, in Mid Roof and High Roof configurations.

For the three-seater eDeliver 9, out goes the 110kW/375Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, and in goes a 150kW electric motor.

Up to three battery-pack options may be offered, with the largest allowing up to 353km of WLTP range. SAIC – owners of the LDV brand – say it has developed innovative battery-cooling technologies to help prolong range. Top speed is limited to 100km/h.

Maximum payload ranges from 860kg (biggest battery) to 1200kg (smallest battery), while cargo volume is between 9.66 cubic-metres and 11 cubic-metres, depending on the variant.

Using an optional 11kW Wallbox at home/work should fully charge the largest battery in around eight hours, or to 80 per cent capacity in 45 minutes with a DC fast charger.

With relatively low pricing, high equipment levels and decent safety gear, the eDeliver 9 could gain a strong following in Australia.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/FWD
Battery:51.5, 72 or 88.5kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:150kW/310Nm
0-100km/h:18.4s
Consumption:29.44-31.06kWh/100km (WLTP)
Electric range:237km to 353km (WLTP combined)
Warranty:3yr/160,000km
Battery warranty:N/A
Safety rating:N/A

LDV EVT60 Ute from $70,000 (estimated)

Will Australia’s first electric dual cab ute be from China? The race is on, with the LDV EVT60 (or e-T60) expected here early in 2023, beating more glamourous names like Rivian and Tesla to the punch.

Already headed for New Zealand due to that country’s zero-emissions vehicle rebate, the one-tonne pick-up is essentially a T60 Max double cab, with the 110kW/360Nm 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine swapped over for EV power.

The LDV features a rear-axle-mounted electric motor, paired with an 88.5kWh battery, to produce 130kW and 325km of WLTP-rated driving range.

So, no advanced (and expensive) ‘skateboard-style’ electric platforms like the Rivian R1T, but the point is to keep prices comparatively low.

There are drawbacks for potential buyers, starting with the lack of four-wheel drive, since that rear-mounted electric motor can only drive the rear wheels.

The other is reduced towing capacity of 1000kg; that’s a far cry from the 3000kg and even 3500kg that many rival midsized trucks manage. Additionally, range is reportedly halved, to a little over 160km.

The importers of LDV, Ateco Automotive, may open the order books late this year ahead of the 2023 launch, so keep your eyes peeled for Australia’s first-ever EV dual cab ute coming soon.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet  
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/RWD
Battery:88.5kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:130kW/310Nm
0-100km/h:N/A
Consumption:N/A
Electric range:325km (claimed)
Warranty:N/A
Battery warranty:N/A
Safety rating:N/A

Hyundai Ioniq 6 from $75,000 (estimated)

Hyundai’s unrelenting drive into the EV sphere continues with the Ioniq 6.

Due before the end of 2022, it is yet another car off the E-GMP dedicated EV architecture, following on from the Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60.

Being a four-door sedan with a sleek, Mercedes-Benz CLA-style silhouette, the Ioniq 6 is Hyundai’s tilt at the Tesla Model and Polestar 2.

Expect single-motor rear-drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive versions, offering from around 160kW through to 230kW, with more powerful versions to come later on. Fitted with a 77.4kWh battery pack, range should exceed 550km in some grades, thanks in part to exceptional aerodynamic efficiency.

Like its E-GMP platform cousins, the Ioniq 6 is believed to include an 800-volt system that can take an ultra-fast 350kW charger; find one of those, and it will take the battery from 10 to 80 per cent full in around 20 minutes. There’s also V2L capability to power external appliances.

Almost the size of a Toyota Camry, the Ioniq 6’s interior is said to be spacious and futuristic, offering high specification levels and lots of safety equipment.

It should further cement Hyundai as a global EV leader.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet   
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/RWD or AWD 
Battery:77.4kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:160-230kW and 350-600Nm (est.)
0-100km/h:From 7.0s to 4.0s (est.)
Consumption:14.0-20.0kWh/100km (est.) 
Electric range:Up to 550km (est.)
Warranty:5yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:N/A

Mercedes Benz eVito and EQV from $80,000 (estimated)

Mercedes-Benz Vans is launching three EVs this year – and a first in this medium-sized van category.

Derived from the current V-Class (which dates from 2014), the eVito Van (from approximately $80,000) and eVito Tourer (from about $100,000) are the entry-level commercial van and people-mover models respectively, while the EQV (from around $120,000) is a more-lavishly equipped version of the latter.

Sold alongside their diesel counterparts, the eVito Tourer and EQV use a 150kW electric motor and 90kWh battery pack that power the front wheels. Their WLTP range is up to 356km in the EQV and 361km in the slightly lighter eVito.

Using a 50kW public DC fast charger, the 90kWh battery pack requires about 80 minutes to go from 10 to 80 per cent charge.

Meanwhile, the eVito commercial van employs an 85kW electric motor and 60kWh battery pack, for a WLTP range of 242km. The thinking here prioritises more-affordable pricing and quicker recharging.

Mercedes-Benz’s engineers have mounted the electric motor up front, driving the front wheels, while the batteries are laid out underneath the cabin floor as to not encroach on interior space.

The people movers provide standard eight-person or more-luxurious six-person seating configurations.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/FWD
Battery:90kWh (60kWh) Lithium Ion
Power/torque:150kW/366Nm (85kW/360Nm)
0-100km/h:12.1s
Consumption:21.5-27.6kWh/100km (21.3-27.2kWh/100km)
Electric range:Up to 361km (242-314km)
Warranty:5yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:N/A

Ford E-Transit from $80,000 (estimated)

Australia’s first-ever large EV van, the E-Transit is based on the big-body Transit Heavy, and is initially only offered in the rear-wheel drive 425L long-wheelbase bodystyle.

With 198kW, this is the most powerful Transit ever, and comes with a 68kWh battery pack slung underneath, allowing for up to 317km of range while also not impacting carrying capacity.

To that end, the E-Transit’s rear suspension has been redesigned, helping provide up to 11.3 cubic metres of space in the mid-roof size and 12.4 cubic metres in high-roof versions, matching the regular Transit 350L RWD diesel equivalents. Gross vehicle mass of up to 4250kg is claimed, with a maximum payload of 1616kg.

Yet the new suspension is also said to deliver improved steering, handling, control and ride comfort properties, further adding to the E-Transit’s appeal.

The big, Turkish-built Ford van has both AC charging and DC fast-charging capability. Find a 50kW-plus public station and the battery can be replenished to 80 per cent from near-empty in just over an hour or less.

With a range that’s 2.5 times the average van daily distance as well as a 40 per cent reduction in service costs, the E-Transit should prove a big hit.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/RWD
Battery:68kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:198kW/430Nm
0-100km/h:N/A
Consumption:N/A
Electric range:Up to 317km (WLTP)
Warranty:5yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:N/A

BMW i4 from $99,900

Based on the midsized 4 Series Gran Coupe – which is in itself a variation of the evergreen 3 Series sedan – the stylish, low-slung and all-electric i4 is targeting the bestselling Tesla Model 3.

Being a medium-sized five-door, five-seater liftback gives the BMW a versatility edge, offering a handy 470-litre cargo space.

Two powerful models with long-range battery life are available – the eDrive40 from $99,900 before on-road costs, and the M50 from $124,900.

The rear-drive eDrive40 uses a single, rear-mounted 250kW electric motor while the coming 400kW M50 slingshot adds an electric motor up front for formidable acceleration and added all-wheel drive grip. One for BMW purists, then.

Fitted with an 84kWh battery, the eDrive40 has a WLTP range of 590km, against 510km for the M50. Using a normal household plug could take over 45 hours, an optional 11kW AC Wallbox drops that to nearly 12 hours. Find a 200kW DC fast charger and 80 per cent full from near-empty takes 30 minutes.

The German-built i4’s eco credentials include the way it’s made, with a large amount of secondary raw and recycled materials deployed where practical.

Finally, there’s a free five-year subscription to Chargefox’s public EV charging network.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet   
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/RWD
Battery:84kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:250/430kW and 400/795Nm
0-100km/h:5.7/3.9s
Consumption:16.1-19.8kWh/100km
Electric range:590/510km (WLTP)
Warranty:3yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:N/A

Tesla Model S from $147,990

Gamechanger, disruptor, revolutionary… whatever it’s labelled, the Model S’ influence has profoundly reshaped luxury and performance since launching locally in 2014.

Continuously improved with ever-evolving tech including the AutoPilot semi-autonomous driving system (where allowed), the head-turning five-door liftback also unshackled the EV from its urban tether.

In 2022 two models offering over 600km or range are listed, with Ferrari-shaming neck-snapping acceleration in tri-motor Plaid guise (from nearly $200,000) – though either will thrill and delight speed demons. Scalextric-like handling and road-holding will embarrass some Porsches too.

Electric motors at both ends drives such dynamic responses, fed by a large (100kWh) battery pack that needs nearly 50 hours using a home plug, over 15 hours with an available 7kW Wallbox or 10 hours with an 11kW unit.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s Supercharging Network demolishes these times down to between 30 minutes and 75 minutes, depending on how much power is going through.

Always roomy and airy with an enormous amount of luggage space, the interior has been completely redesigned, with a new dash, better quality materials, improved rear seating and a jet-fighter-style quartic steering wheel.

The Model S still demonstrates the potential and ease of EV ownership with breathtaking conviction.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/AWD
Battery:100kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:500kW/>750Nm (760kW/>1000Nm)
0-100km/h:3.2s (2.1s)
Consumption:16.2 (17.0) kWh/100km
Electric range:652km (637km)
Warranty:4yr/80,000km
Battery warranty:8yr/240,000km
Safety rating:5 stars

Porsche Taycan from $156,300

Initially, all Taycans were all-wheel drive, with an electric motor on each axle, using either a small (79.2kWh) or large (93.4kWh ‘dual-deck’) battery pack.

In early 2022 came the rear-wheel drive Taycan ‘base’, with a rear electric motor/79.2kWh battery or 350kW/93.4kWh battery combination.

The Taycan brings sophisticated steering and computer-controlled suspension capabilities for superb high-speed handling and grip, while leading braking and driver-assist safety tech help keep the fast-to-phenomenal (depending on your budget) acceleration in check.

At nearly five metres long, the slinky Taycan emulates the Tesla Model S’ shape, seats four in cosseting comfort and includes front and rear luggage compartments.

The Taycan can utilise all coming ultra-rapid charging stations for incredibly fast top-ups. For now, a 50kW DC fast charger takes either battery from 10 to 80 per cent full in around 65 to 75 minutes, or under 30 minutes with a 150kW-plus charger. Using an optional AC 7kW or 11kW Wallbox at home/work needs nearly 12 and eight hours respectively for the small battery, or about 1.5-hours longer for the big battery. Otherwise, a regular home socket can take up to 43 hours.

A beautiful five-door Cross Turismo wagon/crossover version has also joined the range, offering increased practicality and a slightly raised ride height.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Two-speed /RWD or AWD
Battery:79.2 or 93.4kWh Lithium Ion 
Power/torque:240-460kW/345-1050Nm 
0-100km/h:2.8s to 5.4s
Consumption:19.5 to 28.5kWh/100km
Electric range:369km to 450km
Warranty:3yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:5 stars

Audi e-tron GT from $171,900

Sharing 40 per cent of its parts with the Porsche Taycan (including the same platform), the e-tron GT is a high-performance luxury four-seater available in comfortable GT and hardcore RS (from $249,700). Both are supercar-quick.

The 350kW/630Nm GT is fitted with a 93.4kWh battery paired to an 800-volt system that can fully recharge the car in under 30 minutes using the still-rare 150kW-plus ultra-fast chargers.

More realistically, the now-common 50kW DC public fast charger will take the GT from 10 to 80 per cent charged in 75 minutes. Otherwise, it’s nearly 10 hours using an optional 11kW Wallbox at home/work, or 44 hours plugged into any wall socket.

With a 440kW/830Nm upgrade, the RS is the fastest-ever Audi production car, and includes short-boost launch-control, for a 0-100km/h burst in a 2.5-second blur.

There are two electric motors – one producing 175kW up front and a 320kW unit on the rear axle (335kW in RS), and also features four-wheel steering for improved high-speed stability.

Recycled materials make up much of the lavishly crafted interior, but the boot capacity is a disappointing 405 litres, though an additional 85L of storage is available up front.

Note Audi is offering a free six-year Chargefox subscription, scheduled servicing and roadside assistance.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:1-speed direct drive (front), 2-speed (rear)/AWD
Battery:93.4kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:350kW/630Nm, 440kW/830Nm (RS)
0-100km/h:4.1s, 3.3s (RS), 2.5s (RS in overboost)
Consumption:23.6kWh/100km (RS: 22kWh/100km)
Electric range:Up to 488km
Warranty:5yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:N/A

Mercedes-Benz EQE from about $180,000 (estimated)

This is where Mercedes-Benz’s true electric revolution begins.

On sale later this year, the EQE ushers in the brand’s all-new EVA2 electric underpinnings. All the other EQ models use modified combustion-engine platforms.

This is next-level EV engineering, with the EQE350 bringing stunning range of up to 660km WLTP from a 90kWh battery pack.

Inside, you’ll find large five-seater sedan levels of expansive space, along with Mercedes’ massive Hyperscreen expanse of integrated screens similar to the flagship S-Class, with AI-style tech that learns user preferences – and all with ingeniously simple interfaces. Boot capacity is a useable 430L.

The EQE 350 can be had with a rear-mounted 215kW electric motor driving the rear wheels, or an optional front motor for all-wheel drive. Other extras include four-wheel steering for incredibly tight urban manoeuvrability and ‘Airmatic’ air suspension for a soft ride.

The EQE’s system allows for 170kW DC fast-charging, so find one and you’ll be able to gain 250km of range in 15 minutes, or a 10 – 80 per cent refill in 32 minutes.

Other models expected include the 350kW/858Nm EQE43 and 505kW/1000Nm EQE53 that can hit 100km/h in just 3.3s flat.

Look out, Tesla Model S.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet  
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/RWD or AWD
Battery:90.6kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:215kW/530Nm
0-100km/h:6.0s
Consumption:15.7 to 19.3kWh/100km
Electric range:660km (WLTP)
Warranty:5yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:N/A

Mercedes-Benz EQS from $200,000 (estimated)

Look out, Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan, the EQS is Mercedes-Benz’s visionary EV limo – as well as the most aerodynamic production sedan in history.

The range starts off with the rear-drive EQS450+, powered by a 245kW rear-mounted electric motor. Next is the EQS580 4Matic that adds a front motor for all-wheel drive and a combined output of 385kW. And the EQS53 AMG is the flagship, and can be had in 484kW or 560kW grades.

All models use a massive 107.8kWh battery.

In most grades, a 50kW DC fast will give you 80 per cent reserve in under 100 minutes, or under 30 minutes if you find a 150kW+ ultra-fast charger. Otherwise, installing a 7kW or 11kW Wallbox at home/work means 100 per cent full charge in 18 hours and 12 hours respectively, which is better than the 55+ hours a normal wall plug will take.

Like the Tesla, the 5.2 metres long EQS is a liftback, swallowing 610 litres or 1770L with the rear seats folded. Further forward, the dash brings Mercedes’ vaunted Hyperscreen, which almost stretches the width of the cabin. It’s the last word in immersive multimedia… for now.

Semi-autonomous technology, over-the-air updates, remote parking via your smartphone and other features also help justify the EQS’ lofty pricing.

Motor:Synchronous electric permanent-magnet
Transmission/drive:Single-speed reduction gear/RWD or AWD
Battery:107.8kWh Lithium Ion
Power/torque:245kW/568Nm, 385kW/855Nm, 484-560kW/950-1020Nm
0-100km/h:6.2s, 4.3s, 3.4s
Consumption:19.8, 18.4, 21.5 kWh/100km
Electric range:784km, 672km, 580km
Warranty:5yr/unlimited
Battery warranty:8yr/160,000km
Safety rating:5 stars

Electric range is quoted using the World harmonised Light vehicle Testing Procedure (WLTP), or otherwise are manufacturers’ claims.

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