Melbourne was treated to the inaugural Carsales Melbourne EV Show 2023 over the last weekend (22-24 Sept). The event, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), touted an impressive lineup of electric vehicles, electric scooters/bikes/motorbikes, and industry speakers. Attending with my family on the Friday, the event certainly delivered. We left with a better idea of what we will be choosing with our future EV purchase. Friday was expected to be the quieter of the three days, but the turnout was still surprising for a brand-new show.
Electric vehicles galore
No stranger to EVs, having test-driven and filmed reviews in the past, I was silently expecting the show to be lack-lustre. Australia has been slower to adopt EVs than our European, Asian, and American counterparts. This has resulted in a slower rollout of new EVs and a lack of variety in manufacturers and models. So, when I walked through the gates of the MCEC to an extensive range of medium to high-end EVs, I was pleasantly surprised.
Tesla EVs, the dominating electric vehicle on display
Yes, Teslas dominated, and it’s easy to understand why. Aussies love a Tesla, and they are now commonplace on Victorian roads. On display were each of the models and all of their variances. My kids were enamoured with the Model Y – begging for us to purchase one on the spot! There were many Teslas on display that showcased the various customisation businesses available in Australia.
Converted ICE vehicles to EV
Surprisingly, I found myself in awe of the converted ICE vehicles. The two Land Rovers on display were converted by Jaunt, an EV conversion company located in Scoresby, VIC. They convert Land Rovers, Minis, and Porsche 911s. There’s something about seeing classic vehicles given a 350kW electric motor!
Kia and Hyundai front and centre
There’s no doubting it – Kia is approaching the fore of the Australian EV landscape. And rightly so with its EV9, which is expected to be released this quarter. The EV9 comes with all the bells and whistles, which was difficult to check out with the crowd of people squeezing themselves into every available space to see what the fuss was about! When I did catch a glimpse, I found myself very impressed. The replaced side view mirrors with an internal screen were more than just a gimmick but a practical upgrade. Situated as a family car, the EV9 is expected to ask between $130k and $140k, which is likely a little outside of the average family’s budget. But the investment might just be worth it!
The Hyundai Ioniq 6 was truly remarkable to sit in. Currently available, the Ioniq 6 was voted the World Car of the Year for 2023. It has an incredible range of 614km and has an ultra-rapid charge rate of 10 to 80% charge in just 18 minutes.
GWM Ora – Compact car with a hefty price tag
The GWM Ora has the look and size of a Mini x VW Beetle. Their target audience would likely be turned away by the price tag of $41k – $50k, but it was a fascinating vehicle. I could see this style of EV overtaking the Mazda 3 class, though the price comparison would be prohibiting for many. Definitely not a family car, but my sisters would absolutely love it!
The McLaren Artura – a sight to behold!
I’ve been wanting to set my eyes on the Artura for a while. I didn’t have to hunt it down with the gorgeous hybrid being the very first vehicle on display at the entrance of the show. To call it sexy would be an understatement. The sleek lines and the familiar McLaren shape had our phones out to capture its beauty immediately. Photos simply do not do it justice. With a price tag of $450k, it will remain in my dreams – but what a vehicle!
CUPRA Born, a new entry into the market
The CUPRA Born was an exciting addition to the Melbourne EV Show lineup. The EV recently hit our shores and is another European vehicle with much to offer. Part of the Volkswagen-Audi-Skoda group, the CUPRA Born features a fantastic range of 511km. Priced from $59,999, the Born is a fantastic option for individuals and small families. The interior was very comfortable and had all the bells and whistles you would expect of such a car.
Audi RS e-tron GT winning in the looks department
I love an Audi, and the RS e-tron GT does not disappoint. Reading the specs of the vehicle leaves you with a bit of FOMO. I want this car! The price tag of $247k might be a little out of my range, but the car is worth every cent. The 93kWh battery, and 440kW engine, will take you up to 472km on a single charge. The RS e-tron GT boasts 0-100kmh in 3.3 seconds, which is all thanks to the 830nm of torque. I cannot wait to test-drive this beast!
Speakers from across the automotive industry
The lineup of speakers at the Melbourne EV Show 2023 was impressive, to say the least. Many facets of the industry were represented, from charging technology and infrastructure to Australian representatives of vehicle manufacturers. Chargefox, bp pulse, AGL, Eziway, the Smart Energy Council, and many more were all represented on the stage.
One thing I loved about the set-up for the speakers’ stage was the lack of sound. In fact, it was a noticeable absence that I recognised the moment I walked through the gates. You normally hear the booming voices of guest speakers that echo across the show, but this event came equipped with something different. Headphones were available to all guests which minimised the overwhelming sound that I have become accustomed to at trade and event shows.
Setting the stage for 2024
The vast array of EVs on display, and the enthusiastic crowd, all paint a picture of the future of the show and the EV industry in Australia. Having grown up attending car shows, I can say that the Melbourne EV Show is in good stead to come back bigger and better next year. The event was very fun and, being school holidays, it was fantastic to see the number of kids enjoying the displays and exhibitions. We walked away with a clear idea of what we do and don’t want in our future purchase of an EV. My budget might have to inch up a little bit, but our next purchase will no doubt drive us into the future and beyond.
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