Electric cars are here to stay! A growing commitment to reducing the country's carbon footprint and concern over the sustainability of petrol as an energy source is prompting car manufacturers to go green.
The vast majority of car manufacturers now offer at least one electrically powered model. The result is a rapidly growing choice of electrically powered options to choose from. SUVs are a segment of the market that's particularly rich in electric options.
Here we take a look at seven electric and hybrid SUVs that will be hitting showrooms in Australia later on this year or early in 2022.
Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid
The hybrid version of the Santa Fe should be available for purchase towards the backend of this year. The hybrid engine combines a 1.6l 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine with a 44KW electric motor. In a hybrid vehicle, the electric motor is recharged through the action of the petrol engine, rather than from a charging point.
The Santa Fe is a large SUV that can seat seven in a fair degree of comfort. The Santa Fe is packed with gadgets and gizmos (tech is something Hyundai do well. Critics positively review the driving experience. With plenty of space and comfort for passengers, this is a great family car. The Santa Fe hybrid also offers reduced fuel consumption, but without the concerns about the travel range that a fully electric car may give.
Tesla Model Y
Expected to be available sometime in 2022, the Tesla Model Y is a fully electric SUV that's available with either a 62.28kWh or an 82.8kWh battery. The larger battery will be in the long-range (with a range of around 505km) and the performance models. The smaller battery will be in the standard model.
As one of the earliest manufacturers of fully electric cars, Tesla has had plenty of time to perfect its design.
Driving a Tesla is noticeably different to getting behind the wheel of a petrol or diesel vehicle. For example, there is a heavy reliance on the central touchscreen to carry out even basic activities (such as altering climate control). Concerns have also been raised about the responsiveness of the autonomic tech.
Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Toyota has given Australia's favourite small hatch a few major tweaks to create the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid. Combining many of the Corolla's best features with an SUV body, this is a hybrid that combines a petrol engine and electric motor.
Toyota enthusiasts can expect to see the Corolla Cross SUV ready to buy towards the end of 2022.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Enjoying runaway success in other parts of the world, the Ioniq 5 is an SUV that has attracted rave reviews. An initial Australian allocation of 240 Ioniqs earlier this year were all snapped up within a few hours of being available.
Sources from Hyundai indicate that a further allocation will be available in 2022. Currently, no further details are available of when in the year this will be.
Tipped to be a major threat to the electric dominance of Tesla, the Ioniq is a serious good SUV that also happens to be fully electric.
Skoda Enyaq iV
This is the first electric car that Skoda has created - and it's an absolute treat! The Enyaq is available in five different drivetrain options. It has a wealth of features and detailing that provides something for everyone.
Skoda is all about those little touches. Enyaq drivers benefit from features such as an integral tire tread gauge and folding tray tables for second-row passengers. The Enyaq also has enough tech to satisfy the most exacting driver.
Combine all this with the seriously heavy-duty excellence of VW underpinnings and you end up with an impressive vehicle that's a worthy rival for more established options.
Skoda indicates that the Enyaq should be on sale in Australia at some point in 2022.
Due in Australia in 2022, the EQB is a high-end SUV that shares many similarities with the GLB. The EQB is envisaged to be a direct rival to the Tesla Y.
Five- and seven-seater options are going to be available. As you would expect from Mercedes, the EQB benefits from elegant styling. It also has a spacious, well-equipped interior with plenty of luggage space. A large suite of autonomous and AI driving features provides a hi-tech driving experience.
This is a practical, attractive SUV that also benefits from some pretty impressive performance. It's certainly not the cheapest electric vehicle on the market, but if you want a high-performance option, the EQB is worth a second glance.
The Kia EV6 is expected on the Australian market in 2022. The Kia EV6 is a fully electric, small SUV that manages to deliver both impressive performance and a high degree of comfort. The Kia features a futuristic panoramic curved display and an AR head-up display on the windscreen.
It's also got a vehicle-to-load feature that enables various appliances to be powered from the EV6's charging point.
Beautifully styled inside and out, the EV6 has a strong planet-friendly focus. From recycled PET to Vegan leather, this is an SUV that takes its green credentials seriously.
Related Reading: Top 7 SUV's To Be Released In Australia 2022
In 2020 around 1.57% of the vehicles sold in Australia are electric. Although this doesn't seem like many, it's more than double the percentage of EVs sold in 2019. Reasons for the lack of popularity may include the insufficiency of choice on the market and the relatively high price of an EV. Concerns also exist around the range and a scarcity of charging points.
All these factors are being rapidly addressed. Almost every vehicle manufacturer is now adding (or planning to add) an EV to their range.
Price continues to be an issue. That said, it's expected that increased competition between manufacturers will help to keep costs competitive. EV ranges continue to grow, and the government has committed to increasing the number of charging points.
With all these positive changes taking place, now could be an excellent time to consider making an electric SUV your next vehicle.
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