Monday, December 6, 2021

The family-friendly electric cars that qualify for EV rebates

Electric vehicle sales look set to ramp up in 2022, but a recent survey notes that limited choice is still a factor holding drivers back from making the switch.

The gaps in the EV market are obvious: family-friendly electric cars at a relatively affordable price are few and far between.

Coupled with the nascent electric ute market (which is still a way off reaching Australia), it’s clear to see why many Australians may be sitting, and watching, and waiting before hitting the button to make their next car electric.

But there are in fact a number of family-friendly electric vehicles already in Australia, depending on what your criteria are. And there are more coming – you just have to know what you are looking for.

To get you started we’ve taken seven electric cars available today that are eligible for the $3,000 rebates in NSW, Victoria and South Australia – the MG ZS EV (pictured above), and in the panel below, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric fastback, the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia e-Niro, MG ZS EV and Mazda MX-30 compact SUVs, as well as the Nissan Leaf hatchback and the Tesla Model 3 electric sedan.

We’ve looked at factors like child safety features, reversing cameras, whether there are anchors for three child seats, how much legroom and boot space there is, vehicle clearance (and this seat access height), airbags, and whether a seven-seat option is available.

Airbags, child safety locks, child seat tethers and reversing cameras are available on all these models, and all have five star ratings and good child occupant scores (with the exception of the Kona which doesn’t appear to have been tested for this by car safety body ANCAP).

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It really comes down to preference on what style of vehicle you want, whether you need to fit three child seats across the back and what boot space, vehicle height and rear legroom you are prepared to settle for.

According to the data we’ve collected below, the Model 3 (which starts at $59,900 before on-roads) is the widest vehicle of the lot, with the $48,490 Ioniq fastback coming in second.

The MG ZS EV – the cheapest of the six at $44,900 driveway – scores best on clearance, legroom and boot space. The $62,590 e-Niro and $64,990 Nissan Leaf e+ also score well on boot space.

Both the Model 3 and the $65,490 MX-30 score highest for child occupant safety at 87%, and interestingly the MX-30 is the only one with an Isofix child seat tether on all three rear seats even though it is one of the narrowest offerings. All other vehicles have an Isofix on outboard rear seats and a standard tether on all three seats.

All have front passenger airbag disabling except the Ioniq, ZS EV and Model 3.

Model Width (mm) Clearance (mm) Rear Legroom (mm) Boot volume (litres) ANCAP 5 star rating Child occupant protection Front occupant airbag disabling Airbags – twin front Airbags – twin side chest Airbags – twin curtain side Reversing camera/monitor Child seat anchors – belted Child seat anchors – isofix
Hyundai Ioniq Electric 1820 140 800 357 Y 87% N Y Y Y Y 3 2 Y
Hyundai Kona Electric 1800 158 848 332 Y Y Y Y Y Y 3 2 Y
Kia e-Niro 1805 155 914 451 Y 80% Y Y Y Y Y 3 2 Y
Mazda MX-30 1795 136 861 366 Y 87% Y Y Y Y Y 3 3 Y
MG ZS EV 1809 161 920 470 Y 84% N Y Y Y Y 3 2 Y
Nissan Leaf e+ 1791 150 851 435 Y 83% Y Y Y Y Y 3 2 Y
Tesla Model 3 1849 140 894 340 Y 87% N Y Y Y Y 3 2 Y

Remember to check ANCAP ratings particularly for which types of child seats can be fitted safely on rear seats, and whether from passenger airbags can be deactivated, and always check with your vehicle retailer on whether the variant you buy has all the features mentioned above.

For those of you intent on getting something at the higher end of the price spectrum we recommend checking out ANCAP. By downloading the spec sheet you’ll get more information on airbags, and child safety features.


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