Electric Car Shopping in Australia Sucks

I want an electric car. I’m sick of visiting the petrol station, paying for 150 million year old plankton juice. I’m sick of taking the car to the mechanic every 10,000km. I’m sick of the energy generated by my solar panels going into the grid at 6c/kWh when it could be going into my car. Oh, and I also don’t like emitting carbon that kills whales just so I can transport my arse around.So let’s buy an electric car! They’re the future, they’re out now and they’re coooool.

There’s a grand total of 27, yes, 27 electric cars on Carsales.com.au in Victoria.

Option 1 - A used Nissan LEAF

It’s a proper hatchback that’s quite nice inside and doesn’t look like a mutant frog. Nothing wrong with the LEAF I reckon, I could easily live with this automobile.

Except the range. I regularly (like, twice a week) do a 150km round trip, sometimes 200km. There’s no charging infrastructure at all along that route. The LEAF only manages ~100km range. There’s one on Carsales now for $26,999 that I reckon I could get for $24,500 without a hard haggle. Maybe even $23,000 if it’s been hanging around a while. Not cheap (a brand new Kia Cerato is only $18,500), but I can afford it, if I wanted to.

Option 2 – the BMW i3.

Looks a bit munted, but not awful. Maybe even a little futuristic? The interior is cool too, with the suicide doors and all.

The cheapest 60Ah version on sale right now is $55,888 – probably could be worked down to $50k flat if you’re a good haggler. That will get you a solid 100-130km real world. Not much more than the Nissan LEAF unfortunately, and it costs a lot more than the LEAF. A 94Ah battery version is available for a smidge under $75,000. That battery should be good for almost 150-180km, which would be just enough for me.

Option 3 – A Tesla Model S or X

Tesla Model S and Model X, the cheapest of which goes for $125,713 brand new (Model S 60) with a ~400km range. I’m not even going to bother posting pics, as you know what it looks like. They’re both awesome cars, absolutely fantastic. But I don’t want to mortgage my house to buy one.

That’s it. Those are your only options if you live in Australia and want an electric vehicle. A decent hatch with only enough range for inner-city dwellers, a BMW with the associated BMW price tag or the Tesla, which is lovely, six figures and totally unobtainable for anyone but the wealthy.

This is sad and disappointing. I want an electric car, but the options either suck or cost far too much.

Overseas there’s more variety, particularly in the UK, which is notable for us in Australia as we’re both right hand drive countries. I’ll save that for another blog post where I look at EVs out in other countries, not available here at all.

Anthony Agius

The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius, who has been hanging around the tech scene in Australia like a bad smell for over a decade.

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