Electric Kombi, Jeep and sports cars to shake up 2024

Ford's electric Mustang Mach-E vehicles will arrive in Australia in 2024.

Ford's electric Mustang Mach-E vehicles will arrive in Australia in 2024. Photo: AAP

Near-silent sports cars, a battery-powered Mustang, Toyota’s first electric SUV and a modern take on the iconic Kombi van are expected to launch in Australia in what experts say will be a breakthrough year for electric vehicles.

The predictions come after some big-name manufacturers committed to bringing their electric models to Australia for the first time and follow the federal government’s commitment to change laws to encourage their sale.

Industry experts say car makers will have to work hard to impress buyers, who are likely to be less loyal to the same brands when switching from a petrol to an electric car.

Major automakers expected to launch electric cars in Australia for the first time will include Jeep, Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen, in a trend expected to shake up the market.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said giving motorists more options would be critical to increasing their take-up and could see sales jump again over the next 12 months.

“We’re finding that as electric cars are made available to people, as they come in different shapes and sizes, Australians are excited to get behind the wheel and save money on ever-increasing petrol prices,” he said.

“The work of doubling sales again in 2024 is just about making more options available.”

Australian drivers bought more than 80,000 electric cars between January and November, according to Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries figures, but Mr Jafari said some buyers were holding out for specific vehicles that were still only available overseas.

“We’ll see a few options in electric and plug-in hybrid utes be made available in 2024 and it will be good to see the impact that can have on the market,” he said.

“The (electric) Kombi van has everyone pretty excited so it will be good to get that back on our roads again.”

Everything Electric chief executive Dan Caesar said having more options available in the Australian market could challenge the popularity of traditional vehicle brands as customer loyalty “when buying EVs is very low”.

“In the past, people who bought BMWs or Mercedes often said they would buy another BMW or Mercedes,” he said.

“What we’re seeing now is that they may well choose a brand they haven’t historically preferred, they may go and do something different, and we’re seeing that in every market.”

Mr Caesar said motorists were also increasingly choosing cars with fresh and recognisable designs to advertise their low-emission choice.

“The front edge of EV buyers seem to be interested in cars that are more conspicuously electric and look a little more interesting,” he said.

“The car companies didn’t believe that would happen – they said people just want cars that look the same – and we’re seeing people do want to buy a Polestar or a Kia or a BYD because they want to softly shout they’ve made a full electric choice.”


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