‘Weekends don’t have to end:’ LDV launches Australia’s first electric ute
There is absolutely no doubt about Australia’s affection for light commercial vehicles, commonly referred to as utes. Each month, the top five new vehicle sales list features at least two utility vehicles, with the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger typically topping the list.
Now, finally, the first electric ute is on offer in Australia – with the launch and unveiling of the LDV eT60, with an 88.5kWh battery, a modest 330km range – and a jaw-dropping ride price of $88,431 for tradesmen, or $92,000 for other mortals.
LDK, which is also launching an electric delivery van, the eDeliver 9, hails the arrival of the eT60 as a “watershed moment” in the Australian automotive industry.
Until now, the only electric vans available were bespoke conversions, and LDK decided to hit the market before the “big names” such as the Rivian, GM electric Hummer and Tesla Cybertruck came to market. Australia.
“We are an OEM offering Australia’s first electric utility and everything that goes with it: a nationwide dealer network, factory backed service and warranty, and a major spares operation for manage our rapidly growing car park,” says LDV Managing Director Dinesh Chinnappa.
“And now we have Australia’s first electric utility – and that’s why we’ve entered into fleet agreements with major global and Australian companies, federal, state and local governments and fleet operators who are committed manage their activities in a more environmentally friendly way.
Watershed moment for the electric vehicle industry
“This watershed moment in Australia’s motoring history marks a turning point in the electrification of commercial vehicles – and proves that weekends don’t have to end just yet.”
The Driven was one of many motoring journals invited to drive the eT60 and our report can be found here, but here are some of the key details.
The ute is powered by a single motor which drives the rear wheels. This motor produces 130 kW of power and 310 Nm of torque.
The configuration has a nominal consumption of 21.3 kWh/100 km. That’s pretty good considering the dimensions of this ute which sit at:
- 5365mm in length
- 1900mm wide
- 1809mm tall
For comparison, the MG ZS EV – a cheaper electric SUV – has a consumption of 18.6 kWh/100 km.
With this consumption, the eT60 comes with reasonable charging speeds and can be quickly charged by direct current from 20% to 80% in 45 minutes.
The eT60 ute is equipped with a CCS2 DC fast charging port so it can be charged during lunch breaks on one of the growing DC fast chargers across the country.
This utility also has a towing capacity of 1,000kg, which isn’t best in class among ICE utilities, but it gets the job done for many looking to tow smaller trailers with implements. But that halves the range.
On the safety side, the ute is equipped with:
- 6 airbags
- Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
- Hill Start Assist (HAS)
- Reversing camera with parking aid
- LED daytime running lights.
This security equipment is comparable to most traditional ICE utilities.
Inside, the cabin features artificial leather stitched seats for the front and rear rows. The seating position of the front seats can be adjusted electronically without having to adjust them manually.
The build quality was quite good and has less plastic-like trim materials compared to what you find in many ICE utilities.
This ute is also equipped with a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen which comes standard with Apple CarPlay as well as Smartphone connectivity.
There are front and rear USB ports for charging phones and other devices. The seat pocket and glove compartment also provide functional space.
Warranty and maintenance
On the warranty side, LDV offers a 5-year/160,000 km warranty on the vehicle and an 8-year/160,000 km warranty on the battery.
This gives many customers and fleets good peace of mind when considering transitioning fleets to an electric vehicle. For comparison, a Ford Ranger ICE ute has a 5-year vehicle warranty and no powertrain add-ons.
Service can be performed at any of 95 LDV dealers across Australia. The eT60 requires service once every 2 years or 30,000 km, whichever comes first.
The LDV eT60 is priced at $88,431 drive-thru for ABN holders, or a recommended retail price of $92,990 drive-thru for private buyers. High end paints other than white are $500 more.
It’s about double the cost of the company‘s fossil fuel utilities in Australia, but it insists it’s facing strong customer interest.
Driven’s view: Electric vehicles are rare and require larger and more expensive batteries. As this segment grows, availability is expected to increase, bringing with it the cost of manufacturing and delivering electric vehicles in Australia.
The LDV eT60 is the first of its kind and is well equipped to meet the needs of many ute owners on our roads.
Innovative products can be expensive when first launched. Think of the iPhone or the first Teslas that didn’t stop some people from trying it out.
Riz is the founder of Melbourne-based carloop, specializing in Australian electric vehicle data and trends. He is a mechanical engineer who spent the first 7 years of his career building transport infrastructure before launching carloop. He is passionate about cars, especially electric vehicles, and wants to help reduce transport emissions in Australia. He currently drives a red Tesla Model 3.