LDV can lay claim to being the first OEM to offer a fully electric ute in Australia with the launch of the 2023 eT60, beating the likes of segment-leading Toyota and Ford to the punch.
Although it’s far from the first pickup to be powered by batteries with the US already seeing the likes of the larger Ford F-150 Lightning and Rivian R1T, it is the first Aussie-sized ute to be offered in such a guise.
Being the first of its kind, there is a high price for being an early adopter – $92,990 before on-road costs to be precise. For context, that’s over $43,000 more than the next most expensive T60 model – the extra-long Mega Tub Automatic. It’s also expensive enough for it to both attract luxury car tax (LCT) and be too expensive for EV buyers’ grants in some states.
While the standard LDV T60 – which was recently updated for 2023 – features the most powerful four-pot in the class, a 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine making 160kW and 500Nm paired to a six-speed manual or eight-speed ZF auto and selectable four-wheel drive, the eT60 does away with all of that.
Instead, it uses a massive 88.55kWh lithium-ion battery made by CATL which powers a single electric motor that makes just 130kW and 310Nm and powers the rear wheels alone. LDV claims energy consumption of 21.3kWh/100km, giving the eT60 a range of approximately 330km. It’s also worth noting that an electric version of the Deliver 9 van, the eDeliver 9, also uses the same drivetrain.
It’s also worth noting that the eT60 rides on the Australian-specific heavy-duty suspension fitted to T60 MAX Pro models, rather than the comfort-tuned suspension of the Luxe model. This means it’s using double wishbone suspension up front and leaf springs in the rear, although it is a touch more modern in the braking department with ventilated discs on all four corners. It does, however, use smaller 17-inch wheels than the 19-inch rims found on the T60 MAX.
Given its massive battery pack, the eT60 is heavy even by ute standards, with the electric model tipping the scales at a hefty 3050kg. It’s also only able to tow just 1000kg – far below the 3500kg segment benchmark – although its payload is also rated at 1000kg which is where you’d hope it would be. In its press release, LDV didn’t make mention of how much loading it to full capacity would impact its driving range.
Despite the steep price, the eT60 is also lacking some crucial features inside the cabin. Safety tech including autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and tyre pressure monitoring is all absent. So, too, is push-button start – that’s right, you’ve got to turn a key to fire up your electric ute.
However, it does at least have a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, six-way power-adjustable front seats, a rear-view camera, and rear parking sensors.
Given the massive price tag and limited usability, LDV’s Australian distributor claims it is targeting businesses as well as Federal, State, and Local governments that have committed to emissions reduction targets. With a proposed Bill that would see the price of EV ownership go down for businesses and two-infive small and medium-sized businesses prepared to go electric within the coming year should it pass, the eT60 may have some success with these businesses.
“40 percent of Australian businesses surveyed recently by Small Business Loans Australia said they would purchase an EV in 2023 if Albanese’s Electric Car Discount Bill goes through Parliament. These Australian businesses know the eT60 isn’t going to cross Nullarbor – but that its 330km range is more than adequate for their everyday requirements,” says Dinesh Chinnappa, general manager of LDV.
As for private buyers, the fact it incurs LCT and is exempt from many State-backed subsidies will be a big hurdle, as is the fact it has a shorter five-year/160,000km warranty compared to the standard T60’s seven years/200,000km, although the battery is at least covered for eight years/160,000km.
2023 LDV T60 Australian pricing
Note: All prices include on-road costs unless specified.
|Trim Level||Drive-Away Price||Price for ABN Holders|
|T60 MAX Pro Manual||$41,042||$38,990|
|T60 MAX Pro Automatic||$43,148||$40,990|
|T60 MAX Luxe Manual||$45,779||$43,490|
|T60 MAX Luxe Automatic||$47,884||$45,490|
|T60 Mega Tub Automatic||$49,463||$46,990|
|eT60||$92,990 (RRP)||Not Applicable|