Electric vehicle choice arrives in Australia: Model 3 vs Kona

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Why I held a Tesla Model 3 reservation from week one, but bought a Hyundai Kona electric instead.

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The Driven

EV choice arrives: why I held a Tesla Model 3 reservation from week 1, but bought a Hyundai Kona electric.

I could add to the above headline that I am a longer-term member of the Renault Car Club of Victoria: so why didn’t I buy a Renault Zoe? Well, the short answer is that I chose a full battery electric vehicle (BEV) that suited my needs from a BEV market in Australia that now actually offers choice in different vehicle segments.

For me, choosing a Model 3 (or a Zoe) would have caused me to make too many compromises on both my needs (and my likes) in a day-to-day driving car that could replace all of my ‘fossil miles’.

I say ‘fossil miles’ (and deliberately use the anachronistic imperial measurement system in my name for unavoidable driving of an ICE vehicle) because despite having owned and driven EVs for over six years (and was building them for others another six years before that) – I still had to keep an ICE vehicle for (in order):

  1. day trips if they were just over 100km if I needed a fast turn-around,
  2. longer trips within Victoria (where I live),
  3. point-to-point interstate trips (i.e. longer distances per day than sightseeing/tourist trips),
  4. local load carrying to replace my elderly BEV van,
  5. any load carrying involving the first three criteria and
  6. towing small trailers.

On top of these practical considerations, I also had a set of personal ones, these being (also roughly in order):

  1. not too big (loosely defined as no longer, and preferably shorter that my Leaf),
  2. a better EV drive than my 2011 Leaf (they were a brilliant first-generation EV),
  3. easy to load longer or bulky items inside,
  4. had driver controls and readouts that were easy to see and access (my biggest gripe with the Model 3 is its central touchscreen and no knobs/buttons to find by braille instead of looking down and across: how can that NOT be ‘distracted driving’???),
  5. able to carry longer items on the roof and (deliberately last) –
  6. something I could reasonably afford to buy without living on tinned and dry goods for the rest of my life…

Mind-you, I am not inflexible on most of these – I just wanted my new EV to meet enough of them to happily live with the compromises I would inevitably have to make.

To read the full story on RenewEconomy’s electric vehicle dedicated site, The Driven, click here…

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