2022 has been a big year for electric cars in Australia as more carmakers introduce battery-powered models to cater to growing interest from drivers looking to get out of the car or stop contributing to harmful emissions. or both.
Although EV deliveries in the first half of the year were largely hampered by the Covid shutdown in China – essentially cutting off supplies to the biggest EV maker, Tesla, a slew of new EV models are now landing on Australian shores.
Not least among them is the Tesla Model Y, which just won the title of number one best-selling car in California, a market 50% larger than Australia in terms of population, and which buys about 60% more cars a year.
And then, of course, there’s the BYD Atto 3, which will be delivered to the first customers soon. as the brand makes its local debut. Priced at $44,900 for the standard variant, it is currently the most affordable electric car on the local market.
Along with the Tesla Model 3, both will be the top three best-selling cars in 2022 (albeit with BYD trailing behind, though still in the thousands).
Offering space and performance in the case of the Model Y, or a cargo vehicle and a budget sticker in the case of the Atto 3, the two present very different value propositions.
But there are a few more models set to hit the market in 2022. We’re taking a look.
Cupra Born – end of 2022
The Cupra Born will be the first battery electric car to reach Australia from the Volkswagen Group when it arrives in late 2022. With the first orders scheduled to arrive in early 2023, it’s being billed as a sharp version of the Volkswagen ID .3 and will also be made in Zwickau alongside VW’s electric hatchback.
From a hatchback perspective, it won’t be cheap – it’s expected to be priced somewhere between $50,000-60,000.
Importantly, that price includes a large 82kWh battery and the longest range of any electric hatchback on the Australian market. Rated for 548km on the European WLTP cycle, it should offer mileage in the high 400s in real-world conditions.
Don’t expect the Cupra Born to be a lightsaber threat, though: while it’s more than capable of beating many ICE cars, it has a modest seven-second 0-100km/h sprint.
Cupra Born First Impressions: The sharp power sunroof fills the long-haul gap
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Be the e-Niro
Kia will introduce the facelifted e-Niro in the third quarter of 2022 and, along with a striking new contrasting C-pillar option, will come with vehicle loading options both inside and out.
Available in two trims, the e-Niro S starts at $65,300 on-road, while the flagship GT-Line version will start at $72,100.
It is the first Kia to go through the automaker’s local suspension and tuning program since the start of the pandemic, and also the first to introduce Kia Connect connectivity and telematics to Australia.
The S trim and GT-Line Niro EV have the same 64.8kWh battery as the outgoing model, but an extra 5km in range, bringing the combined range to 460km (WLTP).
With a DC fast charger, charging can be done at a maximum speed of 100kW, which improves the charging time from 10 to 80% (43 to 45 minutes) by nine minutes. With AC chargers, charging can be done at a maximum rate of 11kW, completing a charge from 10 to 100% in 6 hours and 20 minutes.
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Kia EV6 GT – Q4, 2022
The Kia EV6 GT is the long-awaited flagship version of Kia’s EV6 all-electric crossover.
Having arrived in late July for local tuning, the EV6 GT is expected to be launched locally in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Official pricing and specifications have yet to be announced for Australia, but we do know that the ‘fast’ EV6 GT will be Kia’s fastest yet, sprinting from 0 to 100km/h in just 3.6 seconds thanks to twin engines with power 430kW and 740Nm of torque.
It is also understood that a number of $2,000 deposits have already been made for Kia’s Halo car, according to the brand’s local branch. Probably priced somewhere around $100,000, it will come standard with the same 77.4kWh battery as its EV6 stablemate.
See also: Kia introduces the electric EV6 GT to the halo through the local rough roads
Volvo C40 – Q4, 2022
The elegant C40 crossover is the first battery electric car from Volvo that is purely zero-emission, without an internal combustion engine equivalent.
Set to arrive from the start of the fourth quarter, the compact, low-profile C40 is available in two guises, including a single-engine variant priced from $74,990 ex-on-road and a twin-engine option from $82,490 ex-on-road.
Despite having a smaller battery, the single-engine, front-wheel-drive model has a higher WLTP driving range (actual range will depend on driving styles and conditions), providing approximately 434 kilometers on a single charge compared to 420 kilometers for the model with two engines.
A 300kW/660Nm twin-motor drivetrain with four-wheel drive ensures a standstill to 100km/h in just 4.7 seconds.
A 150kW DC fast charger can charge a 78kWh Li-ion battery from 10% to 80% capacity in 40 minutes, giving it an estimated 420km WLTP-certified range.
See also: Volvo reveals Australian pricing and specifications for new C40 Recharge electric SUV
BMW i7 – Q4, 2022
Scheduled to be launched alongside the 740i mild hybrid, the expansively spacious BMW i7 promises to be a true high-end electric car.
And it will carry an equally genuine executive price starting at just under $300,000.
For this, the i7 offers fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology and twin engines producing 400 kW of power and 745 Nm of torque, a range of up to 625 km (WLTP) and acceleration from 10-100 km/h in 4.7 seconds.
But perhaps the high-end features the i7 will offer will attract the attention of the wealthy.
In addition to the fully automatic doors, 31.3-inch BMW Theater Screen and third-generation BMW Wallbox for charging at home as standard, the i7 also includes a free five-year subscription to the Chargefox network.
See also: New all-electric BMW i7 to launch in Australia this year priced at $300,000
Genesis GV60 – Q3, 2022
Already on site in Australia for local homologation, the premium GV60 will be available in a $103,700 luxury variant as well as a $110,700 performance variant.
The luxury AWD variant will have a total of 234kW of power, with 160kW of that going to the rear axle. This car is primarily rear wheel drive as its front wheel drive will only produce 74kW. The maximum torque this combination can produce is 605 Nm.
The Performance AWD GV60 will instead produce the same amount of power (180kW) from the front and rear axles, a total of 360kW and a maximum torque of 700Nm.
It will have the same 77kWh battery, 800-volt ultra-fast charging and two-way “vehicle to load” capability. The top ‘Performance’ version will have 321kW of power and ride on 21-inch alloy wheels.
See also: Genesis GV60: Prices, specs and details on the luxury EV officially revealed
A significant stream of new all-electric Mercedes-Benz will hit showrooms before the end of 2022, including the more powerful EQA350 (the EQA250 arrives in 2021), the EQB sedan in 250 and 350 format, and the EQE touring sedan.
Official local details have yet to be announced for these models, and the launch of the EQA350 is a few months behind.
The EQA 350 4Matic’s twin-motor electric motor produces 215kW and 520Nm of power, and according to WLTP tests, the car’s 66.5kWh battery can provide a range of up to 432 kilometers without emitting any emissions.
That’s an increase of 75kW and 145Nm over the EQA 250’s single engine and delivers a 6.0-second sprint to 100km/h. Pricing has yet to be announced but is expected to be in excess of $76,800 for the EQA250 before on-road prices.
See also: Mercedes EQA 250 review: Electric SUV built for the city
Mercedes-Benz EQB250 and EQB350
As the electric equivalent of the GLB combustion engine, the EQB is a mid-size SUV that sits between the compact EQA and the larger EQC SUV.
Larger families may be pleased to hear that the EQB is available in both seven- and five-seat layouts, at least in Europe.
While it’s yet to be confirmed whether this option will make it to Australia, it’s a possibility, given that Mercedes-Benz has expressed a commitment to ensuring Australia doesn’t miss out on any of its electric offerings.
See also: Mercedes-Benz launches seven-seat electric EQB in Europe
Mercedes-AMG EQE 53
The EQE’s ‘single arc’ design provides a smooth seamless offering, with 21-inch wheels and up to a generous 654km WLTP range, making it – for those looking for a premium electric tourer – the perfect long-distance car.
Local details and specifications are yet to be announced. However, while the car’s initial global launch promised both the 350+ and 43 4MATIC variants, the 53 4MATIC will arrive in Australia first.
The EQE350+ delivers 215kW/565Nm, while the entry-level AMG 43 delivers 350kW/858Nm. The AMG 53 – which in Europe starts at €109,777.50 (around $160,000 converted) delivers up to 505kW of power and a whopping 1000Nm of torque.
See also: Mercedes teases the new EQE electric sedan expected for Australia
Bridie Schmidt is an associate editor at The Driven, a sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018 and has a strong interest in the role that zero-emission transport should play in sustainability. She has appeared on podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and co-hosts the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and offers it for rent on evee.com.au.