Our government constantly pushes the “the future is electric” rhetoric. As a concept that is not as far-fetched as it seems; not all electric vehicles are pieces of futuristic unobtanium.
There are a few factors that affect the price of EVs. There is obviously the cost of the powertrain itself; unlike vehicles with gasoline or diesel engines, where the cost of R&D has been spread over five or six decades, EV drive units are still fairly new. With a smaller pool of adopters, the increased costs are borne by less, which increases the retail price of the car.
Plus, for a very long time, electric vehicles tended to cater to the upper middle class, being built by brands that focus more on luxury than pure utility. They perform better and are made from premium materials, and have more than a puff of status symbol about them than raw functionality.
But prices for electric vehicles are dropping, and government discounts make buying a vehicle more attractive to the layman. More and more chargers are currently being installed across the island, which would make the transition to electrons less painful.
If you want to be one of the first to adopt, but find that even Korean offers are too expensive for you (Hyundai / Kia already makes EVs aimed directly at the mass market), what other options do you have?
5. Hyundai Ioniq Electric – $ 143,888, AD
The best accolade a car can get is not from automotive publications, but the vote of confidence from private rental companies and the taxi industry. The Ioniq, in its hybrid and purely electric form, was rented for a fee and is a testament to the range and robustness of the powertrain.
The Ioniq Electric is equipped with a 38.3 kWh battery. This, combined with the 132 hp electric motor, means the car can reach 100 km / h from standstill in 10.2 seconds. But the most impressive statistic here isn’t the car’s outright performance.
Most people will buy the Ioniq for 311 km of range. This is a car, built by a reputable automaker with a healthy range rating that’s designed to help the first-time EV owner live with one!
4. MG ZS EV – $ 128,888, AD
The MG ZS EV uses a strategy similar to that of the electric MINI, and essentially all other traditional electric vehicles. You take the standard car, get rid of all its petrol or diesel components and fill the vacant space with batteries and charging circuits.
Under the skin of the ZS EV you’ll find a water-cooled 44.5 kWh battery. This can be recharged to 80% vs. 0% in just 40 minutes if you have access to a 50kW DC fast charger. The estimated range is 335 km, which is impressive for a non-native EV platform, and overall for an EV at this price point.
The electric motor that replaces the gasoline engine develops 141 hp and 353 Nm of torque, all of which can be achieved as soon as you set foot. This makes this CUV much faster and more sporty than it is allowed to be!
3. BYD e6 Mk2 – $ 118,888, AD
The 2nd Generation BYD e6 is the first car on our list designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle. This means less compromise and more reach. It abandons the square and characteristic exterior design of the Mk 1 in favor of a svelte and decidedly modern body.
This is by no means BYD’s first foray into electric vehicle manufacturing. The latest iteration of their powertrain saw further improvements to their battery technology to increase range while reducing weight. While the amount of weight removed may seem drastic – it weighs 490 kilograms less, the new e6 is still a heavy car, weighing just under two tonnes.
BYD also made the new car more refined, although it is still lacking in the power department. With just 94 hp and 180 Nm to move nearly two tonnes of car, you’ll be disappointed with acceleration, unless your foot is welded to the throttle.
Where it shines is its ride – the well-sorted suspension that soaks up all but the worst bumps in the road. Our tests showed an estimated total range of 458.7 km, which should be enough range for at least a week of driving!
2. BYD e6 Mk1 – $ 112,000, PI
The most affordable 2nd EV on our list is the predecessor to the 2nd gen BYD e6. The original e6 has an exterior design that can best be described as “generic,” with design cues taken from both your stereotypical sedan and a crossover.
Originally imported en masse to serve as private rental cars, the e6 eventually went on sale to private owners. The willingness of carpooling providers to use these vehicles testifies to the quality and reliability of the transmission.
If you can look past the unsightly, but harmless bodywork, the e6 comes with a 121bhp electric motor. Top of the page, it delivers 450 Nm of torque, but alas it is not a sports car. Since it weighs over 2 tons, the car feels slow when pushed. The 80 kWh battery can nevertheless propel the car an impressive distance of 400 km, with a charge from 0 to 100% in just two hours!
1. BYD M3e – $ 111,888, AD
The minivan-based BYD M3e is the cheapest all-new electric passenger vehicle you can buy today. Other than the rear windows and rear seats, the M3e is identical to the BYD T3, which is itself based on the Nissan NV200. While we didn’t have a chance to try the M3e, as it shares the mechanics with its stable mate, you can expect similar performance as well.
You will find a 50.3 kWh battery and an engine that can produce 94 hp. The car has a top speed of 100 km / h, which is respectable considering its power and stature.
But you don’t buy a minivan based on a performance minivan – practicality should be its best selling point. With a range of 300km and a battery that can be fully recharged in 1.3 hours on a 40kW DC fast charger, range anxiety shouldn’t be a factor, even for experienced users!
BYD also warrants the battery for eight years or 500,000 km, which should give you reassurance if you are concerned about excessive battery degradation!
As more manufacturers jump on the EV train and each of their individual catalogs increases, the R&D costs associated with electric mobility will continue to decline.
This article first appeared in Motorist.