Electric Utes for Australia & New Zealand

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While EV enthusiasts in Australia and New Zealand might be holding out for a Rivian or a Ford F-150 Lightning, they may have to make do with the Chinese LDV T60 EV (eT60) instead. The vehicle is available for order in New Zealand now and should be launched late this year or early next year in Australia, being distributed by Ateco Group. It will tow your boat and it won’t ruin your weekend.

It is an electrified version of the LDV T60 Ute that we are already seeing on Australian and New Zealand roads.

“While pricing is yet to be revealed, LDV has opened up orders online, and will take a $1,000 deposit to secure an electric Ute. On that same topic, it was confirmed that at least one model of the EV T60 will be eligible for the $8,625 clean car rebate in New Zealand.”

LDV Group Limited, formerly Leyland DAF Vans, was a British van manufacturer based in Washwood Heath, Birmingham. Historically part of Rover Group and Leyland DAF, it was later a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian GAZ Group. Owing to the global recession and a lack of long-term investment, production was suspended at the LDV factory in December 2008.”

The intellectual property rights were sold to SAIC Motor in 2010, with its Maxus subsidiary commencing production in China in March 2011. SAIC also owns the MG brand. LDV has been a success story in Australia, going from 214 sales in 2014 to over 15,000 last year. It is well placed to bring electric utes to Australia and New Zealand.

The eT60 boasts a range of 325 km from a 88.5 kWh battery. A home charging cable is supplied. Current models will be available in 2WD, with a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle producing 130 kW and 310 Nm of torque. Payload capacity is 980 kg, and it can tow up to 1 tonne. However this will reduce the range by ~50%.

In New Zealand, the LDV eT60 is listed at NZD$79,990 drive-away, which equates to about $72,000 in Australian currency based on today’s exchange rates — or about 45 per cent more than a top-of-the-range T60 twin-turbo diesel. It is the same price as a Toyota Land Cruiser.

“We are endeavoring to have the LDV eT60 in Australia late this year or early next year, once right-hand-drive production commences. While Australian timing and pricing are yet to be confirmed, we are very excited about the future rollout of electric LDV vehicles,” says Dinesh Chinappa, General Manager LDV Australia.

The LDV eT60 has half the range and towing capacity of its diesel variant. It only comes in 2WD and it costs 45% more. Why would you buy one? Perhaps because diesel is over $2 a litre in Australia and almost $3 a litre in NZ. It won’t take too many kilometers to make up the difference.

Shhh, don’t tell Sussan Ley that there are electric utes for Australia and New Zealand.

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David Waterworth

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

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