It is apparent that 2019 will be an exciting year for EV releases in LHD and some, in RHD, hopefully filtering down to the NZ market.
But even more exciting in 2019, will be the expected announcements of delivery dates for a whole raft of BEVs likely to be released in 2020/21. Experts predict that 2020/21 will be when EV finally becomes a viable alternative for the bulk of the driving population because there will be an EV model suited to almost anybody. That's not to say the bulk of the market will choose an EV, but that there will be less holding them back.
Before then, we have a few new cars hitting the international market and a few notable models finally reaching NZ in 2019.
VW Buzz (concept), due to go on sale in 2022
First up, let's look at those models that have already been released, but to the best of our knowledge are expected to reach NZ shores in 2019.
[Rachelle Tilsley - Better NZ Trust - 31/12/18]
NEW TO NZ
Kia e-Niro BEV
Already on sale here as a hybrid/PHEV, the BEV version, expected to have a real world range of ~300 km, (potential range of 400 km), will be released in RHD in early 2019.
As to when Kia, a sister-company to Hyundai, will bring the vehicle to NZ, we are not sure. But if it's released in Britain, then second-hand imports are likely to filter through. But when I last spoke to Kia, they indicated an early to mid 2019 NZ release.
Kia says that the European e-Niro will be equipped with “a high-capacity 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack” capable of a 100 kW charge rate and a front wheel drive 150 kW (204 ps) motor.
A less expensive version, with a 39.2 kWh battery pack will apparently have a potential range of up to 300 km.
Kia's e-Niro could be a sensible option for families with a 451 litre boot space and room for four adults. It is expected to be priced aggressively internationally, but as usual, will probably have an inflated price here in NZ.