The Chinese LDV T60 electric ute has just gone on sale in New Zealand. Next stop: Australia. Here’s everything we know so far.
The first electric ute on sale in Australia is on track to be on local roads by the end of this year or from early 2023 – from an unlikely source.
China’s LDV eT60 is destined to beat the titans of the ute category to the electric market in Australia by several years.
But an electric ute from China is already ramping up production.
The Chinese LDV T60 electric ute has just gone on sale in New Zealand where it is called the EVT60.
However, the same model will a slightly different name is due in Australian showrooms within the next six months or so.
Australian pricing for the LDV eT60 is yet to be announced. Early estimates pegged it at about $60,000, which is approximately $20,000 dearer than the equivalent diesel model.
However, these estimates may have been too low given the significant increase in cost of rare earth materials that go into electric-car battery packs.
In New Zealand, the LDV EVT60 is listed at $NZ79,990 drive-away (pictured below), which equates to about $72,000 in Australian currency based on today’s exchange rates – or about 45 per cent more than a top-of-the-range T60 twin-turbo diesel.
The boss of LDV in Australia, Dinesh Chinappa, told Drive: “We are endeavouring to have the LDV eT60 in Australia late this year or early next year, once right-hand-drive production commences.
“While Australian timing and pricing are yet to be confirmed, we are very excited about the future rollout of electric LDV vehicles.”
The LDV eT60 has a maximum electric driving range of 325km from a single charge – compared to 600 to 700km between refills in the diesel variant – based on information published by LDV New Zealand.
Maximum towing capacity for the LDV eT60 electric ute is rated at 1500kg (versus 3000kg for the diesel variant).
However, LDV advises driving range is cut in half when towing at the maximum 1500kg capacity.
Payload for the for the LDV eT60 electric ute is rated at 750kg, the same as the top-end LDV T60 diesel models. Workhorse LDV T60 diesel variants have a payload ranging from 925 to 935kg.
Although it has the appearance of a four-wheel-drive, the LDV eT60 is rear-wheel-drive only for now.
It has a 130kW/310Nm electric motor powered by an 88.6kWh battery pack.
While this battery pack is large by passenger-car standards, the extra weight and capability of the ute (which tips the scales at 2300kg) means driving range is blunted compared to smaller and lighter electric vehicles with a similar energy capacity.
While LDV may seem an unlikely as the first ute in the compact pick-up segment to go electric, the emerging Chinese automotive brand has made big gains in Australia since it arrived in 2014.
Sales of LDV utes and vans in Australia have more than doubled in the past four years, and continued to grow despite the market slowdown during the pandemic.
2023 LDV eT60 electric ute fast facts
- Price: $72,000 (estimate based on New Zealand cost)
- Engine: Permanent magnetic synchronous motor (rear-wheel-drive)
- Power: 130kW
- Torque: 310Nm
- Driving range (claimed): 325kg
- Battery capacity: 88.5kWh
- Length: 5365mm
- Width: 1900mm
- Height: 1809mm
- Wheelbase 3155mm
- Weight: 2300kg
- GVM: 3050kg
- GCM: 4050kg
- Towing capacity: 1500kg (towing at maximum rate reduces range by 50 per cent)
- Payload: 750kg
- Tyres: 245/65 R17 highway terrain
2023 LDV eT60 electric ute safety and technology features:
- Six airbags
- Reverse camera
- Rear parking sensors
- Two ISOFIX child seat attachments
- Four-wheel disc brakes
- Electric side mirrors
- Keyless entry and push-button start
- Dusk-sensing headlights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Apple Car Play and Android Auto
- Six-way adjustable driver seat
- 2021: 15,188
- 2020: 9323
- 2019: 6480
- 2018: 6064
- 2017: 2580
- 2016: 1542
- 2015: 767
- 2014: 214
Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.
Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years, spending most of that time working for The Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and one of the early members of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice / Drive in 2018, and has been a World Car of the Year judge for more than 10 years.