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Six game-changing EVs we hope will come to Australia
Fast, fabulous and just a bit kooky. We eye off the new breed of cool EVs hitting overseas markets.
Electric vehicle sales are on the rise and there’s no shortage of new EVs on the horizon for Australian buyers. Premium marques are leading the charge, with Audi set to release more e-tron models here soon, while BMW’s iX3 and Volvo’s XC40 Recharge Pure Electric are due to hit local showrooms next year. Mainstream brands Nissan, Ford and Mazda are sizing up their EVs for Australia too.
But it’s beyond 2021 that things start to get really interesting as a clutch of ground-breaking EVs are confirmed for release in ‘mature’ EV markets including the United States and China. When or even if these next-generation EVs make it to Australia is unclear, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hope. Here are six game-changing EVs we can’t wait to arrive on our shores.
At 1750 kilograms, Lotus says the Evija will be the world’s lightest electric hypercar.
Six game-changing EVs
The first ‘new’ Fisker Inc model (after Henrik Fisker’s 2007 launch and 2013 bankruptcy) is the Ocean SUV, unveiled back in January. Fisker claims its Ocean is the world’s most sustainable vehicle thanks to its optional full-length solar roof, vegan interior, use of discarded rubber waste in tyre manufacturing and an interior trim derived from polyester fibres, recycled bottles and plastic.
The Ocean’s driving range will be 400 to 480 kilometres and the 80kWh battery can take 320 kilometres of charge in 30 minutes. Expect rear and all-wheel-drive versions and a 0-to-100kmh sprint of less than three seconds.
Party trick: The Ocean’s signature party trick is California Mode. When activated, nine glass windows and panels, including the rear windscreen and sunroof, lower to create an open-air cabin, while maintaining the roll cage for safety. It will also come with augmented-reality features, haptic touch buttons and ‘immersive digital experiences’.
Down-under debut? Henrik Fisker confirmed last year that the Ocean would be coming to Australia (yay), but timing is uncertain.
British sportscar marque Lotus has had a tumultuous decade of ownership changes and financial strife. But with a cash injection from new owners, Chinese giant Geely, it has now developed the bonkers Evija all-electric hypercar – a word used to describe vehicles with performance figures that make a Lamborghini Aventador look like a Fiat 500. Case in point – the Evija has four electric motors pumping out an insane 1470kW of power and 1700Nm of torque. This helps propel it from 0 to 100kmh in less than three seconds, or 0 to 300kmh in less than nine seconds. At 1750 kilograms, Lotus says it will be the world’s lightest electric hypercar and its driving range is about 346 kilometres. Just 130 examples will be built and at least three have reportedly been snapped up by wealthy Australian buyers.
Party trick: The Evija has ‘butterfly’ doors with no handles. Instead the doors are opened using the key fob.
Down-under debut? Good luck getting your name on that list.
The Evija has ‘butterfly’ doors with no handles.
Every year a new ‘Tesla killer’ hits car showrooms. The latest is the Lucid Air – and it’s probably the strongest contender for the title to date. Consider the stats: the Air has a driving range of 832 kilometres – well up on the current production leader, Tesla’s Model S Long Range Plus (647 kilometres). The dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Air pumps out 805kW – more than double Audi’s V10-powered R8 supercar. The 0-to-100kmh sprint is over in about 2.5 seconds. Lucid says it can take 300kW of fast charge, more than any other EV on the market.
The sleek Air sedan is the most aerodynamic luxury car in the world, its maker says. The tech-packed cabin has a massive 34-inch curved-glass digital instrument cluster that appears to float above the dash, and 32 sensors that will work with future driverless vehicle systems.
Party trick: Incredibly, it can charge 500 kilometres of range in just 20 minutes using a DC charger.
Down-under debut? Lucid Motors has committed to building the Air in right-hand drive for the UK market, but an Australian arrival hasn’t been locked in.
Rivian R1T and R1S
Slick branding, distinctive design and the promise of go-anywhere motoring have made US company Rivian the most buzzed EV brand right now. It beat Tesla, GM and Ford to the punch with an all-electric pick-up, challenging anyone who questions EV prowess to think again. The R1T’s range is about 640 kilometres, it puts out 560kW of power and 1124Nm of torque, ensuring a 0-to-100kmh dash of about three seconds, and can tow up to five tonnes. To compare, the massive Chevrolet Silverado can tow 4.5 tonnes from its 6.2-litre V8 and takes twice as long to hit 100kmh.
Party trick: The R1T can even do a ‘tank turn’ – a 360-degree turn on the spot, and has a gear tunnel under the rear seats that can be opened from both sides of the vehicle and can be fitted with a camp kitchen. Seriously.