Good news today for those looking for a great EV without the hefty price tag.
The long range Nissan LEAF and Kia e-Niro will soon be available in Australia thanks to a change in so-called 'grey' import laws.
Although the Nissan LEAF Gen 1 & 2 (both used and unused) have been available for a while in Australia, the Nissan Leaf e+, complete with a 62kWh battery and a 360km driving range (eek!) will soon be available for import into Australia.
Basically, the new grey import laws will shorten an 18 month gap for eligible vehicles to be added to the Register of Approved Vehicles, to just under 3 months. Meaning a wider range of low kilometre used electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will be available for import, faster than ever before.
Why the law change? It appears the main reason behind this decision is the lack of a real EV market in Australia, particularly in comparison to the US and Europe (of which there are many contributing factors, too numerous to go into in one small blog post).
The new legislation makes a simple change, allowing private imports, thereby encouraging manufacturers and dealers to now promote EV’s, which will in turn broaden the EV market in Australia.
With the potential to fill a huge gap in the Australian EV market, these changes also mean that vehicles like the Nissan Leaf e+ and the Kia e-Niro can be added to this list immediately, hopefully resulting in these cars being made available in Australia sooner than previously expected.
Plus, it gives Aussie drivers who can't afford to fork out upwards of $80K + luxury car tax a chance to get into their own affordable, reliable and range-anxiety-less EV much faster.
In addition, it also means that a lot of older models, previously not imported, will be available to consumers, whilst the latest models with better specs (such as range) will also begin to become more readily accessible within Australia.
So whilst we'll be keeping an eye out for the new LEAF and eNiro, we can also hope to see the Toyota Rav 4 and Prius PHEVs, BMW i3 and the Audi e-tron.
Exciting times ahead for the uptake of EVs in Australia!