Utes or pickups are the most-purchased vehicle type in Australia, but right now there are no electric ones. This might change soon.

    China’s Maxus (LDV in Australia) makes an all-electric version of its new T90 dual-cab, alongside a diesel version, for its domestic audience.

    Its 130kW and 310Nm permanent magnet synchronous electric motor drives the rear wheels and is mated to a reported 88.5kWh battery pack. Its claimed driving range on the very lenient NEDC cycle is 535km.

    The T90 EV sells alongside the 160kW and 500Nm turbo-diesel T90 in China.

    For some context, top-of-the-range T90 diesel models in China sell for between RMB 171,800 and RMB 219,800 (A$36,000-$46,000), while the T90 EV costs RMB 299,800 (A$63,000). This is purely a guide.

    The T90 EV’s existence prompted us to reach out to parent company SAIC Motor to enquire about the potential for right-hand drive (RHD) and subsequent international exports.

    General Manager of SAIC Maxus’s Overseas Business Unit, Jolly Yang, responded that RHD production should be ready “in half [a] year” from now, pointing to quarter one of calendar-year 2022.

    Australia’s licensed LDV importer, Ateco, subsequently confirmed it was very interested in offering electrified products here.

    “There’s nothing official to say right now, but we are working closely with our colleagues in China on electrification across the LCV range,” an Ateco spokesperson told us.

    SAIC Maxus also makes EV versions of the familiar (sold in Australia with diesels) G10, V80, and Deliver 9. It also makes a small electric work van to rival the just-launched BYD T3, called the EV30.

    LDV Australia under the management of Ateco has enjoyed strong sales success with the current T60 diesel ute, which undercuts the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux by tens of thousands of dollars.

    The company has all-but-confirmed it will launch a more power and heavily updated version this year. In China there’s the facelifted T70 and newer T90, the latter running the aforementioned 160kW and 500Nm turbo-diesel donk.

    MORE: Everything LDV T60

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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