New Electric Vehicles In Australia — Volvo EX30, Tesla Model 3 Highland, and … Toyota Cybertruk?

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What do you do on your day off? Wednesdays are our designated adventure day, so we checked out some electric vehicle stuff! We visited the new high-speed chargers BP has installed just around the corner, checked out the new Tesla Model 3 Highland with plaid signage, and checked out the Volvo EX30. But the most exciting part of the day was when we spotted the new Toyota Cybertruk. Don’t worry, we took pictures for proof!

Toyota Cybertruk
Is that a Toyota Cybertruk amongst the trees? Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

EV penetration in our suburb in northern Brisbane has grown massively since we adopted Tess (our Tesla Model 3) 4½ years ago. Our suburb has gone from one Tesla to many and from no high-speed charging to 4 stations within two kilometres — Ampcharge at the Ampol servo, City Council Library (these are free ones, but you have to bring your own cable), Woolworths supermarket (managed by RACQ),  and now BP Pulse at the BP servo. Some of the locals vented about the new chargers on Facebook, but it won’t stop the tsunami of EVs heading Australia’s way!

Toyota Cybertruk
BP Pulse adds more high-speed chargers in the suburbs. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

We charge at home, so we won’t be likely to use any of them, but we see them in use when we go shopping and go to the library. According to the Australian Automobile Association, there are 87 BEVs registered in our suburb.

After playing with the BP Pulse chargers — my, those cables were heavy — we headed into the heart of Brisbane to check out the new Highland version of the Model 3. The salesperson said that despite the livery, it wasn’t a Plaid but a Performance. We sat and we chat. The seats were incredibly comfortable, and there wasn’t too much change in the tech — mostly just no stalks, indicator buttons instead, but we could handle that. Sadly, no demonstrator models were available for a test drive. I would have liked a hoon up to the local lookout where we take most new EVs — most recently, the BYD Seal.

Toyota Cybertruk
Model 3 Highland Plaid. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Then it was off to check out the Volvo XC30. It is an exciting entrant to the Australian EV scene which is already climbing the charts in Europe, as reported on CleanTechnica last week. Just as we were crossing the road, we were struck by the most amazing sight: a Toyota Cybertruk! Don’t believe me? Check out the pictures!

Toyota Cybertruk
Up close and personal with the Toyota Cybertruk. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Is this a tradie tribute to Tesla’s iconic ute? It is an attempt at a knockoff? Or, more likely, is it just a bizarre coincidence? You be the judge.

Then to the main reason we were in the big smoke, a visit to the Volvo dealership to check out the Volvo EX30. I had been reading on CleanTechnica about the rise of this new offering from Volvo as it climbed the charts in Europe and Scandinavia, so I was eager to check it out.

First, a couple of negatives: It was more expensive than I expected — Australia needs more affordable EVs, not more priced at about AU$60,000. Second, it doesn’t come in red! Apparently, it does in the UK, but not here!

Toyota Cybertruk
Volvo XC30 has a similar screen to the Tesla. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Majella was impressed by the large screen and the navigation that showed not only where the high-speed highway chargers were, but how long you would need to stay at each one. Not long, it seems. It even plotted the route to St. George (central Queensland) — using chargers which made it a longer trip, but a doable trip. The steering wheel buttons were intuitive and easy to understand. Just sitting above the wheel was the eye-tracking monitor to make sure that the driver is paying attention.

Toyota Cybertruk
Tripping to St. George. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

As you would expect, Volvo has made every effort to create a safe car. The salesman pointed out that when the airbags deploy, the windows open enough to prevent air pressure buildup affecting the occupants’ ear drums. The car automatically calls emergency services when the airbags deploy.

The simplicity of the dashboard was appealing, and very similar to a Tesla’s. The EX30 is a small SUV, which made it easy to get in and out of. Volvo has made great use of the boot space. The cover drops down to give more space (better than Tesla’s hole in the floor approach). They have even included a diagram on the boot lid to show what can fit in the space.

It was a warm and informative session with the sales consultant, who knew his product. He told us that he gets to take a different car home every 6 weeks and this enables him to understand his vehicles in depth. Bit of a contrast to the ORA salesman who was not allowed to take the EV home for the weekend and so had a lot less knowledge and experience. It was also better than the Toyota BZ4X salesman, who had to do a bit of homework to answer our questions.

Toyota Cybertruk
If only it came in red! Photo by David Waterworth | CleanTechnica.

The EX30 is expected to be a success story in Australia. The Brisbane dealership has 200 on order, and nationally the figure is in excess of 2000. “We are now selling the 2025 build,” the salesman told us.

At this time of headlines declaring that peak EV penetration will not exceed 30%, that growth is slowing and that ICE will be around for a long while yet, it is worth having a little historical perspective. This Fortune article is worth checking out — it reads as if it is trying to give solace to those who are grieving the loss of their fossil fuelled mobility devices. Are petrol heads starting the grief process — many are still in denial, many are angry, some consider hybrids a form of bargaining, there’s not much depression, and soon there will be acceptance. Those of us who have gone electric are past this and are celebrating lower cost, more fun, and safer driving.

Here is my recent history: Back in 2016, while we were waiting for our Model 3, Majella and I drove every available EV in Brisbane — the Model S, the Model X, the Renault Zoe, the Hyundai Ioniq, the BMW i3, and the Jaguar i-PACE. That’s right — only six models available. When we have our coffee mornings, I temper my impatience about the lagging EV revolution by reminding myself and my coffee-loving friends that most of the cars in the car park did not exist in Australia 2 years ago. I specifically point out the Model Y and all the BYDs.

Be patient during this transition, help your friends and neighbours through their grief process, and celebrate that our future is bright and electric. And don’t forget to keep your eyes open for the Toyota Cybertruk!

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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].

David Waterworth has 750 posts and counting. See all posts by David Waterworth