IIt’s fair to say the price of Australia’s first electric ute, LDV eT60has raised some eyebrows.
At $92,990 before on-road costs, the EV Dual Cab diesel is more than twice as expensive as the T60 Max and well above the threshold to qualify for any state government incentives.
Australian prices are even higher than the same ute in New Zealand where you can buy an eT60 for NZD$79,990 drive-away.
LDV’s other new electric models, the eDeliver 9 van and Mifa 9 people-mover, carry similarly high price tags in Australia and start at $116,537 and $106,000 respectively.
The EV pricing takes LDV – known for its budget-focused combustion models – into new territory, but the company’s Australian boss says he’s happy with where the new vehicles are positioned. .
“We are fine with the pricing,” said LDV Australia general manager Dinesh Chinnappa. The wheels. “We believe the pricing is in line with our volume expectations. It should be noted that our core business is still our Internal Combustion Vehicles (ICE). We are not dependent on EVs to sustain us or drive the business, But being at this early stage and being one of the first to market is great.
A key driver behind the eT60’s price is its target market. Australia’s first electric dual cab is not aimed at private buyers, sole traders or small business owners. Instead, LDV says the eT60 is targeted directly at all three levels of blue-chip companies, fleets and government looking to meet tough emissions targets. And on that front, LDV says it’s already generating an encouraging degree of interest.
“We are holding about 80 orders in everything with a heavy bias towards the eT60,” Chinnappa said. “We’ve had about 600 inquiries through our website, so I would consider that to be a pretty high level of interest. And that interest is coming from both private individuals who are just tech geeks and love technology. And want to get involved. But we’re also making reasonable inquiries from the fleet. Of the 80 deals we’ve done, two or three are private individuals. The rest are fleets.”
High production costs are also a key contributor to the pricing of EV models, according to LDV spokesperson Oliver Pigum.
“We consider these prices to take LDV into a new realm,” he said. “But we are expanding our product portfolio to appeal to a wider group of customers. The reality is that these new products and technologies currently cost more to produce and LDV’s foray into electric commercial vehicles in Australia Is.
“But be clear that we are not backing away from our existing core ICE business of providing new vehicles at affordable prices. LDV is well positioned to be able to do both: a range of affordable ICE vehicles and a range of electric vehicles. Offer a range of first.
Pegum has seen initial interest in the eDeliver 9 van increase to an encouraging level. The EV van is available in a range of sizes and shares the same 88.5kWh battery as the eT60 ute, but has a lower claimed WLTP driving range of 280km.
“We’re in intensive discussions with a cross-section of some of Australia’s biggest corporations – they’re household names – and government agencies,” Peagam was quoted as saying by eDeliver 9.
“And fleet management organizations at all levels are kicking down our doors for more information. Some have already started self-driving trials and others are working through their internal processes before doing so. We are confident that all these companies will place orders.
LDV says it has had similar discussions with a number of customers ordering fleets of the eT60 Dual Cab despite the limitations of its 330km WLTP driving range, reduced towing rating and 4X2 capability.
“We have engaged and actively engaged with some of Australia’s most prestigious companies and fleet operators who are committed to operating their businesses in an environmentally sound manner,” Peagam said. “I can’t name them of course, but they know that the rear drive eT60 isn’t going to cross the Nilebor or cross the Simpson Desert and they know the distance is 330km. [driving] The range is more than enough for their business needs.”
But it’s not just who will buy LDV’s new EVs that helps provide some context for the high prices. That way they will buy them. Chinnappa told us that LDV is currently exploring a number of new finance and leasing deals that will make EVs more attractive from a cost perspective.
“We have already been approached by several EV turn solution providers,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who are emerging and they’re saying: ‘We’ll do everything. We’ll fund the cars, we’ll fund the charger infrastructure and we’ll bring the electricity to your warehouse or loading docks.’ Will fund delivery.
“We are already in touch with two or three of these companies and I might be placing an order with one of them,” Chinnappa added. “There are all these different business models coming up. You may not even own the vehicle. You may not own the battery. The battery may be leased and if it shows a problem, you replace it. It’s not your problem. All these things are emerging and evolving. Everyone is looking for ways to make it easier for people to get in and out of these vehicles.