EV alternative arrives: why I held a Tesla Mannequin three reservation from week 1, however purchased a Hyundai Kona electrical.
I may add to the above headline that I’m a longer-term member of the Renault Automotive Membership of Victoria: so why didn’t I purchase a Renault Zoe? Properly, the brief reply is that I selected a full battery electrical car (BEV) that suited my wants from a BEV market in Australia that now truly gives alternative in numerous car segments.
For me, selecting a Mannequin three (or a Zoe) would have brought on me to make too many compromises on each my wants (and my likes) in a day-to-day driving automobile that would substitute all of my ‘fossil miles’.
I say ‘fossil miles’ (and intentionally use the anachronistic imperial measurement system in my title for unavoidable driving of an ICE car) as a result of regardless of having owned and pushed EVs for over six years (and was constructing them for others one other six years earlier than that) – I nonetheless needed to maintain an ICE car for (so as):
- day journeys in the event that they had been simply over 100km if I wanted a quick turn-around,
- longer journeys inside Victoria (the place I dwell),
- point-to-point interstate journeys (i.e. longer distances per day than sightseeing/vacationer journeys),
- native load carrying to switch my aged BEV van,
- any load carrying involving the primary three standards and
- towing small trailers.
On prime of those sensible concerns, I additionally had a set of non-public ones, these being (additionally roughly so as):
- not too huge (loosely outlined as now not, and ideally shorter that my Leaf),
- a greater EV drive than my 2011 Leaf (they had been a superb first-generation EV),
- straightforward to load longer or cumbersome gadgets inside,
- had driver controls and readouts that had been straightforward to see and entry (my greatest gripe with the Mannequin three is its central touchscreen and no knobs/buttons to search out by braille as a substitute of trying down and throughout: how can that NOT be ‘distracted driving’???),
- capable of carry longer gadgets on the roof and (intentionally final) –
- one thing I may moderately afford to purchase with out dwelling on tinned and dry items for the remainder of my life…
Thoughts-you, I’m not rigid on most of those – I simply wished my new EV to satisfy sufficient of them to fortunately dwell with the compromises I’d inevitably should make.
Of the crop of EVs out there in Australia earlier than this 12 months – the Jaguar I-Tempo and the Tesla Mannequin X most likely got here closest, however they failed on too many standards nonetheless: dimension, value (even when I wished to purchase one among these, I couldn’t afford it) and for the mannequin X, no means to roof carry.
Ah, these stunning – however wildly impractical – falcon wing doorways. Surprisingly to some individuals, the Zoe was a failure on too lots of my standards as effectively: it was nowhere close to as fast off the mark as my 2011 Leaf (nor as pleased at 100km/h), no means to DC fast-charge (that means interstate journeys would all the time be a ache) and no tow-bar that may match. (Extra on that later).
So till this 12 months no BEV out there right here met sufficient of my standards to justify the ‘EV Stretch’ to spend huge on a brand new automobile. In consequence, I saved an outdated inside combustion engine (ICE) automobile to do lengthy journeys, tow and carry instruments and supplies on longer journeys. (And changing into more and more annoyed on the proportion of my driving involving these ‘fossil miles’).
So to 2019 and each the Mannequin three and the Kona electrical arrive available on the market right here. Each have glorious vary and DC charging functionality – however they’re in fairly totally different car segments in addition to having competing options.
Each had been coming very near bringing me to my shopping for tipping level (the Mannequin three in any case was attractive sufficient to place a deposit down in week one when Tesla opened for Mannequin three reservations again in March 2016). So which might I decide? And why?
Properly, I picked the Kona electrical – and it got here all the way down to this: The Mannequin three was shut, nevertheless it meant extra compromises than a Kona electrical. (The Mannequin three is a big automobile to me at four.660m lengthy, has a small boot opening somewhat than hatch, makes use of un-ergonomic driver controls and, in base mannequin type, has a shorter vary that the Kona electrical).
The Kona met virtually all of my standards (a shorter car, flat flooring and enormous hatch for simple loading/unloading, roof rails fitted, effectively designed driver controls with front-of-driver readouts, plus a greater vary that the bottom Mannequin three – to which it’s closest in value).
On the Kona compromises – it’s a taller ‘crossover’ automobile, not my choice – however total determined it’s extra ‘wagon’ than ‘SUV’, so may dwell with that.
Additionally Hyundai don’t suggest the Kona electrical for towing while the Mannequin three has a tow ranking.
The trick there’s though the Kona electrical just isn’t beneficial for towing, the ICE Kona is … that means the ICE Kona tow bar will match. (Unsurprisingly, several Kona electric owners have already done so).
I had by all studies additionally handed up within the Mannequin three maybe the most effective driving client automobile available on the market at this time – however you may’t have every little thing!
I may most likely summarise the important thing selections for me because the Kona electrical being a wagon model form, comes with a extra ‘typical’ driver structure and has a greater driving vary (and $10ok cheaper) than a equally specified model of the presently out there ‘base’ mannequin three.
So over to you, pricey readers: I’m certain to lots of you the Mannequin three is a more sensible choice in response to your private standards, as often is the Ioniq BEV, I-Tempo, Tesla Fashions S or X, Renault Kangoo ZE van and even the Zoe for that matter.
The actual winner is the BEV market itself: lastly the Australian BEV market is reaching a degree of maturity to supply selections in varied car market segments.
Now we await the arrival of extra BEVs in every phase to supply competitors inside them too.
The Australian ACE cargo van might start beginning deliveries late this 12 months (providing competitors to the Kangoo ZE in addition to opening up the tradie BEV market typically) and the VW electrical ID household begins manufacturing late 2019, starting with ID deliveries within the USA and Europe and hopefully in 2020 right here.
On prime of this would be the Tesla Model Y in 2020, providing competitors to the Kona electrical, coming Kia choices of the e-niro and Soul electrical, plus the VW ID Crozz due within the US and Europe in 2020.
The present EV gamers will not be hanging round both: Nissan are about to launch their latest Leaf here, and the new (2020) Zoe will convey it again into the pack on options and vary (faster acceleration, 53kWh battery and optionally available DC charging) – hopefully we may even see it right here in 2020.
A darkish horse on the horizon is that the primary of the Chinese language choices to flee the mainland could also be about to occur sooner that we predict, providing ‘low cost and cheerful’ competitors within the decrease finish of the market too (extra on that quickly).