If you want an electric vehicle (EV) today there’s a wealth of options available, from mass-market SUVs to luxury cars to commercial vehicles.
According to July industry sales figures, electric vehicles now account for just over seven per cent of all passenger, SUV and light commercial vehicles sold in Australia.
Of course, Tesla absolutely dominates the local EV market, with its Model Y even coming close to the podium for all vehicle sales in March.
Tesla is far from the only brand, however, occupying the EV space in Australia.
Below, each member of the CarExpert team has shared their choice of which new electric car they would buy if money was no object.
Okay, this is more like it, especially if we’re saying money is no object.
I’m putting my hand up for a freshly built Automobili Pininfarina Battista for both its gorgeous design (looks like a Pista) and mind-blowing performance. There’s only going to be 150 of these with each one costing £2 million (A$3.913 million).
It shares drivetrain bits with the Rimac C_Two hypercar and generates up to 1400kW for a 0-100km/h sprint time in around 2.0sec, with a range of around 450km.
For a daily EV it simply has to be the new BMW i5 M60.
It has 442kW and 790Nm, while clocking 0-100 in 3.8 (likely faster than the claim if the superb i4 M50 is anything to go by). Range is up to 516km on the WLTP cycle and top speed is 230km/h.
It’s not the pace or stunning cabin that entices most with BMW’s EVs at the moment, it’s more the the lightweight front-end feel and sharp turn-in you get from the go-fast M models.
I’m looking forward to driving this machine once it launches Down Under this year.
I have two answers for this – one for Paul without kids and one for Paul with kids.
Paul without kids would take the Rimac Nevera. It’s the fastest EV on the road and I love the back story to the company.
They started out making parts for other brands, before making their own super fast cars. It’s a cool story and it looks like an incredible car – I can’t wait to have a spin in one! And I’m keen to see what Rimac ends up doing with Bugatti and future electric models.
Paul with kids would be boring and just pick a Tesla Model Y – but with suspension that isn’t terrible.
It has great packaging for a family car and comes with all the latest technology all of the time. While they are the new Camry in terms of everybody owning one, I think they’re a great option for a family that needs space, but wants an EV that isn’t outrageously expensive.
For me, it would have to be the BMW iX M60 or the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQG, the electric G-Wagen.
Electric cars outside of pure transportation needs don’t make all that much sense to me, so I may as well have a proper SUV that is quiet, cool and modern and both of those options present the best choices in my opinion.
I look forward to seeing the new Porsche Macan EV as well.
This is a challenging one, because there are lots of really good options… that I have no real interest in owning.
The BYD Atto 3 is objectively an impressive option for buyers on a budget, and the MG 4 looks great in person. But would I want to own either? In the case of the Atto 3, the funky interior doesn’t really rub me the right way, and I’m yet to drive the MG so can’t really pass judgement on it.
While we’re being sensible, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a showstopper but loses points for its tighter-than-expected boot, while the Polestar 2 is a better car thanks to the switch to rear-wheel drive but the fact you can’t comfortably have a drink bottle and coffee cup on the central tunnel rules it out.
I respect Tesla – the Model 3 is the best electric car on sale in Australia today – but don’t yearn to own one.
That leaves the BMW i4 M50. With a massive hatchback boot and spacious rear seat, it ticks the practicality box. I love the way the cabin is presented, and the exterior is a winner in the context of the latest BMW designs.
Throw in the fact it’s seriously fast, rides and handles with the polish you’d expect of a BMW M Sport product, and has a competitive range claim of 465km given its weight and performance, and it does most of what I want from a new car.
First, a caveat: I’ve yet to drive any of them. The e-tron GT is stunning to behold, the i5 not so much – at least not externally.
But the BMW is easier to get in and out of, and has an airier interior. There’s also a standard rear-wheel drive model with impressive performance numbers, which is appealing.
The Electrified G80 is somewhere in between these two in terms of external beauty, and has a more sumptuous-looking interior with a range of gorgeous colour schemes, though no panoramic sunroof.
In the interests of variety (I keep picking Korean cars!) and in the absence of a budget cap, I’m going to go with the slinky RS e-tron GT with its concept car good looks and adaptive air suspension. Let’s paint it in polarising Tactical Green metallic, too.
EVs are perfect for silently putting around the suburbs and the city, and so instead of getting a big, bloated electric SUV or similar as a primary car, my electric car choice would make for a great secondary vehicle.
The Fiat 500e may be exxy for its size, but with 320km of WLTP-certified range in La Prima specification it has more than enough range for most daily duties with the capability to go out of town if you have to.
Unlike some larger electric vehicles, the 500e will fit into any parking spot, won’t feel out of place rolling down city alleyways and multilevel car parks, and still has all the tech and assist features you’d expect for the money.
It’s also flipping adorable, and pays tribute to automotive history and legacy in a way the Chinese brands and Tesla just don’t.
If I’ve been given an unlimited amount of money that I had to spend on an electric vehicle I know that I’d want to go absolutely all out.
This leaves me with three options that spring to mind: the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, Mercedes-AMG EQS 53, and the forthcoming BMW i7 M70 that’s due to launch in the fourth quarter of this year.
I’ve spent a bit of time in the second row of the new BMW i7 with James Wong chauffeuring me around (how horrible) and it was properly lush. The roof-mounted 31.3-inch 8K screen looks absolutely stunning and I loved the electric doors.
I also think having even more power (485kW and 1100Nm) in the i7 M70 xDrive would be the deciding factor for me because I want ultimate luxury and performance. It can even do the 0-100km/h sprint in 3.7 seconds, which is crazy given its 2.7-tonne kerb weight.
Speaking of weight, if I really wanted to go all out, I’d actually go for an i7 Protection armoured sedan to live out my politician fantasy.
With the release of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N around the corner, it has to be my choice.
I don’t think my lifestyle would sustain only owning an electric vehicle given my apartment doesn’t have any charging infrastructure and my closest public charger is too far out of the way for day-to-day convenience.
Hyundai claims when plugged into a 350kW DC fast-charger the Ioniq 5 N can charge from 10 to 80 per cent in 18 minutes, which suits me just fine.
I think having a fun, powerful and unique EV would make the weekends and $111,000 worth my while.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 N features a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain with 448kW of power and 740Nm of torque.
There’s also an ‘N Grin Boost’ (NGB) function that ups the outputs to 478kW and 770Nm for 10 seconds.
Although I am yet to drive the N variant of the Ioniq 5, given that I wouldn’t use it as a daily and have previously driven N products I have faith Hyundai has created a great performance EV.