Get ready for the EV revolution
UPDATE (17/4): We've updated this article with new details of some of the models listed.
Electric cars are coming, there's no stopping it. Here's a quick look at 10 noteworthy electric vehicles (EVs) heading for market in the next three years.
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
It's unclear whether we'll get both hybrid versions, but Hyundai Australia plans to introduce the Ioniq Electric around mid-2018, and has "quite strong interest" from government and fleet operators.
Powering the electric version is an 88kW/295Nm electric motor, hooked up to a 28kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Claimed range is 280km.
Tesla Model 3
It's been almost 10 months since the official reveal, and Tesla maintains – for now – the Model 3 is on its way.
Pitched as a rival to the BMW 3 Series, the Model 3 is meant to be the affordable addition to the Silicon Valley startup's line-up.
In standard form, the electric sedan manages a 5.6-second sprint from 0-60mph (0-96km/h) and a range of 355km. A more powerful version claims a 5.1-second 0-60 dash and more substantial 500km range.
Provided Tesla actually releases it, the Model 3 could be a good thing indeed.
The original Leaf was ahead of its time, offering affordable zero-emissions motoring with a (largely) conventional design.
The second-generation Leaf brings added power and range, while introducing a host of ProPilot semi-autonomous driving technologies.
Adding 10kWh to the battery pack – now 40kWh – makes for a range of 400 kilometres, more than double what the outgoing car offered in Australia.
Outputs of 110kW and 320Nm mean the Leaf is as powerful as a turbocharged Volkswagen Golf, with 0-100km/h taking around 10 seconds.
While the new Leaf has been confirmed for our market sometime this year, it's unclear exactly when we can expect it to arrive in local showrooms.
MORE: 2018 Nissan Leaf review
We don't have any electric light-commercial vehicles in Australia yet, despite an abundance of models available globally.
Mercedes-Benz is hoping to change that with its recently-revealed eVito and eSprinter.
Neither have been confirmed for a local launch yet, though Mercedes-Benz Australia expects strong interest in Australia and New Zealand should see one – or both – arrive in the coming years.
The smaller eVito costs €39,990 ($63,081) in Europe, and is powered by an 84kW/300Nm electric motor. Range is claimed to be around 100-150 kilometres depending on the driving conditions.
Hyundai Kona Electric
The standard Hyundai Kona has proven fairly successful so far, so you'd expect an electric version to do well, right?
Revealed in production form just before this year's Geneva motor show, the Kona Electric is offered in two variants – a standard 39kWh model and a long-range 64kWh version capable of driving up to 470 kilometres on a single charge.
The base model is powered by a 99kW/395Nm electric motor, while the long-range variant gets a more powerful 150kW/395Nm unit.
Hyundai's local arm has confirmed it will offer the Kona Electric from either late-2018 or early-2019, with priority given to the higher-spec long-range version.
Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but a ticket of below $50,000 is mooted, which is believed to be around the same bracket Nissan is targeting with the upcoming Leaf.
Honda Urban EV
Outputs and range weren't disclosed, but Honda confirmed a production car – hopefully accurate to the concept – will hit the European market sometime in 2019.
Headlining features of the concept include retro-inspired wood trim inside with grey fabric upholstery, a massive panoramic display that incorporates the driver's instruments and central infotainment system, along with side-view cameras rather than conventional mirrors.
Let's hope the market version evokes the same amount of excitement when it launches next year.
MORE: Honda Urban EV coverage
Audi e-tron quattro
In concept form, the e-tron quattro produced up to 370kW of power and 800Nm of torque, while claiming a 0-100km/h time of just 4.6 seconds.
Despite its eco-friendly powertrain and bold performance claims, the e-tron quattro will also be practical thanks to its spacious SUV body.
Additionally, a range of over 500 kilometres (claimed) should make it as usable for everyday use as a combustion-powered crossover.
The company said at the reveal of the prototype that the new electric SUV will be launched in the European market late this year.
While the market version is still under wraps, Audi Australia confirmed with CarAdvice towards the end of 2016 that it plans to launch "an all-electric SUV" either later this year or sometime in 2019.
Jaguar is known for its supercharged V6s and V8s in sedans and sports cars, but with the upcoming I-Pace, it's aiming to shake up the zero-emissions segment.
Revealed on March 1 ahead of the Geneva motor show, the Jaguar I-Pace is capable of charging from zero to 80 per cent capacity in "less than 45 minutes" thanks to 100kW DC fast-charging.
Outputs are rated at 294kW and 680Nm, with a range of up to 480km from its 90kWh battery pack – not far off the claims made by last year's near-production concept.
The Jaguar I-Pace is scheduled to go on sale Down Under around October 2018, with prices starting at $119,000 before on-road costs. Australia's I-Pace line-up consists of four trim levels at launch – S, SE, HSE and First Edition – with features like autonomous emergency braking, satellite navigation, and an automated parking assistance standard across the range.
MORE: Jaguar I-Pace coverage
Powering the concept revealed at the 2016 Paris motor show is a 125kW electric motor, with a claimed range of 400-600 kilometres.
Due to hit the global market in 2020, the I.D. hatch will be joined by a family of I.D vehicles, including the Crozz SUV coupe, a sporty 'AEROe' liftback that could see the revival of the Scirocco badge, along with the I.D. Buzz – an electric remake of the iconic Kombi van.
Incidentally, the launch of the I.D. hatch should be "parallel" to the eighth-generation Golf scheduled to go on sale in 2020.
Mini Cooper EV
Proudly wearing the company's new 'E' logo – which resembles a power plug – the Mini Cooper EV will largely be based on the current hatch, albeit without an engine under the bonnet.
We're not sure how powerful it will be or how long it will be able to travel on a single charge, though we'd expect an improvement over the 2008 Mini E, which offered a 150kW/220Nm electric motor and over 240 kilometres of zero-emissions driving.
Expect the production version to be revealed either late this year or in early-2019.
MORE: Mini Electric coverage