China’s LDV has carved out a presence in Australia’s huge ute segment with its diesel-powered T60, offering a rough-but-ready alternative to a used HiLux backed by a new-car warranty.
Now though, LDV wants to go from follower to leader, and has beaten all its competitors to the punch when it comes to going electric.
No, the dual-cab market won’t shift away from diesel overnight. But there are a lot of fleet operators in particular keen on starting to get their heads around battery-powered workhorses.
The company says its targets for now are large corporate entities, all three levels of government, and fleet businesses who’ve committed to emission reductions targets. Plus a small niche of private early adopters.
Right now it’s either go to a third party converter, or buy the factory-backed LDV.
“We’re an OEM offering Australia’s first electric ute and everything that comes with that fact: a nationwide dealer network, factory-backed servicing and warranty, and a significant spare parts operation to manage our fast-growing carpark,” claims general manager Dinesh Chinnappa.
“There is an undoubted appetite for commercial application EVs.
“[A claimed] 40 per cent of Australian businesses surveyed recently by Small Business Loans Australia said they would purchase an EV in 2023 if Albanese’s Electric Car Discount Bill goes through Parliament.
“These Australian businesses know the eT60 isn’t going to cross Nullarbor – but that its 330km range is more than adequate for their everyday requirements.
“But they also know government EV policy and EV infrastructure is on the move and they want to be ahead of the transition. And the LDV eT60, Australia’s first electric ute, is here to help.”
It’s $92,990 before on-road costs, or about the double the price of the T60 Max diesel.
That means its price would not meet the threshold for the Albanese government’s proposed fringe-benefits tax exemption for EVs as it stands, and its price is also above the threshold for various State-based rebates available already.
Moreover, over the ditch in New Zealand, the LDV eT60 costs $79,990 drive-away, which is about $74,000 AUD, and is further eligible for a $8625 government rebate. What gives?
There’s a drive motor under the bonnet, and while there is plenty of space, there’s no front storage tub.
The eT60 is powered by a 130kW and 310Nm permanent magnet synchronous motor driving the rear wheels (rear-wheel drive is standard), linked to Power, Normal and Eco drive settings.
It’s powered by the electricity stored in a 88.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack, offering a claimed maximum WLTP-rated driving range of 330km.
According to LDV, an 11kW charge at an AC wallbox with Type 2 port will fill the battery in about 13 hours on a single-phase setup, or 9 hours on a three-phase. So, overnight between shifts.
An 80kW charge on a DC charger is claimed to take the eT60 from 20 per cent charged to 80 per cent in about 45 minutes, for back-to-base top-ups.
It has a rated towing capacity of just 1000kg, and the top speed is listed as 120km/h.
- Power: 130kW
- Torque: 310Nm
- Top speed: 120km/h
- Range claim: 330km
- Battery: 88.5kWh
- Towing: 1000kg
The 330km range is based on claimed electricity consumption of just under 27kWh per 100km.
The eT60 measures 5365mm long, 1809mm tall, 1900mm wide with the mirrors folded, and sits on a 3155mm wheelbase. It has a 12.6m turning circle.
The spec sheet lists a kerb weight of 2300kg, which is between 150kg and 185kg heavier than the T60 diesel range which also comes with 4×4.
LDV claims a decent payload of 1000kg, based on a 3300kg GVM.
The tub measures 1129mm wide between the arches, 520mm deep, and 1485mm long. Its widest point is 1510mm.
The suspension layout comprises double wishbones at the front and leaf springs at the rear. It has disc brakes all round (plus regenerative braking) and an electric power steering system unlike the diesel’s hydraulic.
While the T60 Max diesel now has a seven-year warranty, for some reason the eT60’s warranty is five years or 160,000km (whichever comes first), with roadside assist.
However the battery gets an eight-year/160,000km battery warranty.
Servicing intervals are long: every two years or 30,000km.
The diesel T60 has a five-star ANCAP rating based on easier 2017 tests, but the eT60 EV is explicitly unrated.
There are no active driver-assists such as AEB or blind-spot monitoring listed.
Safety equipment includes
- Driver and passenger front airbags
- Driver and passenger side airbags
- Curtain airbags
- Rear ISOFIX and top tether points
- Rear parking sensors
- Reversing camera
There is just the one basic spec available, with the following:
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Tyre repair kit
- Halogen headlights
- Dusk sensors
- LED daytime running lights
- LED tail lights
- Spray-in tub liner
- Side steps
- Stainless steel sports bar
- Gas strut for bonnet
- Rear parking sensors
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Height-adjustable steering column
- 220V outlet
- Air conditioning
- Leatherette seats
- Power front seats
- Reversing camera
- 10.25-inch touchscreen
- Apple CarPlay (wired)
- USB ports x 2
- Blanc White
- Jewel Blue
- Lava Grey
- Metal Black