Expert Car Picks: $80K EVs that get a rebate
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
Buying an electrified vehicle has just become a little cheaper, as of July 1. With the introduction of the government’s Clean Car Programme, designed to push buyers into cleaner cars, the two segments to first benefit from the scheme are PHEVs and BEVs.
We covered PHEVs last time, due to the perception of being cheaper and less of an extreme way to get into an EV, using both a short-range battery (good for around 50km), and an ICE engine as back-up support for longer (or faster) journeys. With a new PHEV cashback up to $5750, there are some good discounts to be had.
But with the Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) being powered only by a battery, it’s a little surprising to see the cheapest EV vehicle in NZ is in fact a BEV. So with the cap of $80,000, we’ve scoured the new BEVs for sale to find out the cars we’d buy with our own money for our own lifestyles.
With an attractive cashback up to $8625, let’s go shopping.
Andrew: MG ZS EV
At first, I was somewhat disappointed that Dean managed to snag the sub-$80K Tesla Model 3 before me, but then upon further thought, I realized that the MG is probably the EV I’d buy.
Coming in at $40,365 with the full $8625 rebate applied, the MG ZS EV is bar far the cheapest all-electric vehicle on the market – so it’s a no-brainer really. The ZS EV gets a 44.5kWh battery that’s capable of around 260km of range off a single charge, and is capable of fast-charging, which will charge to 80 per cent in around 45 minutes. Home charging is also possible, and will fill up in around seven hours with a 7kW fixed wall charger.
In terms of driving, the electric motor on the front axle provides 105kW and 353Nm of torque, which is very snappy off the line. It’s not as fast to 100km/h as the Tesla, but the instant torque off the line is great fun to play with.
On the inside, it gets all the modern tech you’d need including an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. In terms of driving assists, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and automatic emergency braking all come standard.
David: Hyundai Ioniq 5
My $80k BEV pushes that price point right to the limit: the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is $79,990 and that’s just the entry-level, FWD version. The rest of the range reaches way up to $112,990. No rebate for those then.
But the Ioniq 5 pushes lots of other boundaries as well. It looks fantastic – a truly aspirational BEV. Full disclosure: we haven’t driven it yet, because the launch is scheduled for later this year. But we’ve inspected it closely a couple of times, at the eWorld show and Fieldays. And it’s an extremely high quality machine.
The entry version “only” gets a standard-range 58kWh battery, but that’s not exactly small (the current extended-range Kona is 64kWh). The more expensive Ioniq 5 models have 73kWh and AWD.
The 5 is as state-of-the-art as it looks. Hyundai is already at the pointy end of BEV tech with the Kona, but the 5 is based on the maker’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform. For the entry model, the single 125kW electric motor is at the back, so yes – it’s rear-drive.
The Ioniq 5 even supports ultra-fast charging, including 800V that can put 100km of range into the vehicle in just five minutes on a compatible Hyper Charger. So move your Porsche Taycan out of that spot… I’m coming in.
Dean: Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus
It’s the go-to when people think of EVs, and while the Roadster and Model S preceded it, the appeal of the Model 3’s sub-100k price put it into the mind of everyday people. While some models are still six-figure and above the Clean Car rebate, the entry level Model 3 does indeed fall under, and with the recent price reduction SEE LINK, under by quite some margin.
Now down to $66,900 for the four-door, five seat sedan for the Model 3 Standard Range Plus, with rear-wheel drive, single motor and 50kW battery, so a typical wallbox home charger will take around 10 hours. After the full rebate, that brings it down to $58,275, which makes it rather appealing. There’s enough margin to even option in the Full Self-Driving Capability package ($11,400) that adds navigation on auto-pilot, auto lane change, auto-park, summon mode, and traffic light and stop sign control. They don’t all work, locally, like Autosteer on city streets, but they will in the future. And at that price, it also makes it easier to afford a wallbox home charger, which brings charge times from near flat to full overnight.
For that money, not only does it get a made-in-China Model 3 (which is proving superior build quality than the American-built cars), but performance of 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds, which is plenty fast enough, and just 1625kg.
It offers a range of 448km, so anxiety is almost non-existent, and there’s the tech and comfort features like the large 15-inch control-everything touchscreen and full glass roof that runs from front to rear screen.