LDV eT60 first drive review: Australia’s first electric ute

Blue LDV eT60 ute driving on country road with wind turbines in the background

Toby Hagon

Posted December 13, 2022


As the first electric ute for sale in Australia, the LDV eT60 arrives with big expectations and comes with an even bigger price tag.

It’s a simple formula replacing the diesel engine of the regular T60 with a single electric motor and a battery pack. But it doesn’t come cheap and only drives the rear wheels, limiting its appeal in the ute segment.

Ultimately, the eT60 will be one for the EV faithful. It’s not great to drive, doesn’t have much equipment and is pricey. Without four-wheel drive and a low tow limit it also doesn’t do what many ute owners expect of their vehicles.

That said, for the fleets and businesses looking for a ute that emits no CO2 and gets around town easily enough, it’s a winner by default with no other competition.

The eT60 has not been independently tested by ANCAP yet so comes without an official safety rating. While it does come with six airbags and stability control, it misses out on the latest active safety features, such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and blind spot warning.

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Close up of of tray of LDV eT60 ute

The eT60 is limited to 1000kg of load lugging; think small boats or trailers.


LDV eT60 pricing, servicing, and specs

LDV eT60 pricing and servicing

Coming in about double the price of a diesel-powered version for the same ute (the T60, without the “e”), the LDV eT60 sells for a whopping $92,990 drive-away.

There are no direct rivals because the eT60 is the only electric ute currently on the market in Australia. But its price tag aligns it with some big hitters of the ute world, including the Ford Ranger Raptor, Toyota Hilux Rogue and RAM 1500.

Granted, those utes all use an internal combustion engine whereas the eT60 operates off a battery. The eT60 also only requires servicing every two years or 30,000km and its maintenance costs are much less than regular utes.

LDV eT60 specs and features

Despite the big price tag, there’s a relatively skinny equipment list; the eT60 doesn’t get cruise control and it misses out on the four-wheel drive system most ute buyers want. There’s also no spare wheel.

That leaves the equipment highlights to include rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers, two USB ports, fake leather trim, and a 10.25-inch touchscreen incorporating Apple CarPlay.

There’s a whole lot of space under the bonnet - that’s because the engine has been removed and in its place is some of the electrical hardware, including an inverter. Even then, there’s a lot of space that could have been utilised for storage, but hasn’t.

A single electric motor is attached to the live rear axle, which can be seen from behind the vehicle.

LDV eT60 interior

The cabin is very similar to that of the regular T60, however the eT60 gets a rotary drive selector dial instead of a traditional gear shifter.

It’s old school grey plastics and analogue dials, which is indicative of the age of the core car on which the eT60 is built.

The front seats could do with more lateral support but are otherwise well padded. Some red stitching breaks up the dark hues.

 

Interior of LDV eT60 ute parked on country road with wind turbines in the background

Grey plastics and analogue dials are indicative of the age of the core car on which the eT60 is built.


LDV eT60 performance, handling, and battery range

LDV eT60 performance and handling

That motor has less pull than diesel utes, and acceleration is modest. Up to about 70km/h the eT60 is relatively responsive, albeit without the slick acceleration of other EVs. Below about 25km/h there’s a prominent humming to alert pedestrians, something noticeable in the cabin.

At higher speeds progress is more leisurely and climbing hills requires the generous throttle applications.

While most utes are designed to tow heavy loads, the eT60 is limited to 1000kg of load lugging; think small boats or trailers.

The regular T60 has had local suspension tuning to improve its dynamics. While there are plans for that with the electric eT60, for now the setup is unchanged from what is available elsewhere.

The short story is you’ll feel plenty of bumps. The springs are quite firm so that any imperfection makes its way into the cabin, in turn leading to lots of jiggling.

It’s also not the most reassuring ute around corners, in part because of the odd weighting of the steering; it varies as you tip into a corner.

The eT60 we tested also had noticeable wind noise. Perhaps it was more pronounced because the rest of the car was much quieter, but either way, it’s something that’s noticeable when cruising at 100km/h.

 

Learn how JET Charge makes EV charging at home easy and convenient.

LDV eT60 battery range

The eT60 gets a battery good for a claimed 330km of range. Our first drive was brief so we didn’t get to fully put that to the test.

Either way, it means most owners will likely limit its use to the cities and suburbs.

It should cost somewhere between $8 and $10 to cover 100km if you’re charging from a home power point. Public fast charging can cost up to double that, but even then, it’ll be a lot more affordable to run that a diesel-powered ute.

Home charging can be done by one of two supplied charging cables, including one that plugs into a standard power point. A full charge would take about 45 hours, or as little as eight hours on a wall-box.

Faster DC charging is done through a CCS combo plug and is claimed to take about 45 minutes to charge from 20 to 80 per cent, which should add approximately 180km of range.

 

The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product(s) issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.


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