What if you could afford a RM600k electric SUV?

Arif · Jun 14, 2020 02:33 PM

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If you love the sound of a revving engine, the aroma of gasoline, and shifting your own gears, you might not like where this is going. The Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace, and the Mercedes-Benz EQC, are stuffs of nightmare for the orthodox petrolhead. Not only are the cars crossovers, or “SUVs”, they’re also electric. But some of us are keen on electric cars. So let us ponder...

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The Audi e-tron 55 Quattro is priced at 74,800 USD, the Jaguar I-Pace at 69,850 USD, the Mercedes-Benz EQC at 67,900 USD, and the Tesla Model X at 84,990 USD. Being priced as such, it puts them in Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5 territory (>RM600,000). The Tesla Model X is a bit out of the range but, whatever.

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One has to wonder who actually buys these things? The average EV enthusiast gets a Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, or BMW i3. Those with a little more dispensable income don’t usually think of owning an EV. The average drug lord and Nigerian prince buys a Lamborghini or a Rolls Royce, not an EV. Even nerds like Bill Gates and Elon Musk buy a Porsche 959 or a McLaren F1.

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Catering to a niche market of the affluent with a taste for EVs, these cars are more of a tool to show how advanced these companies are when it comes to electric cars.

And let’s say you could splurge on an electric SUV that costs more than half a million ringgit, which one would you get? Let’s have a look at what they have to offer. 

1. Performance

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It is a known fact that electric motors offer instantaneous torque. Although weighing the heaviest at 2533 kg, the Tesla Model X has the fastest 0-100 km/h time of 4.6 seconds. The acceleration of the Audi e-tron is actually matched by a hybrid Mercedes-Benz GLE. In reality, you wouldn’t be driving pedal to the metal on a daily basis. It is however, something fun to boast about to your fossil fuel friends.
 

2. Range

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A common problem shared amongst EV owners is range anxiety. With the limited number charging stations in Malaysia, having an extended range battery would be great. With that, the Model X’s 100 kWH battery comes in handy providing a 507 km range on a single charge. 

3. Charging speed
There are two types of charging – AC Charging and DC Fast Charging.

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DC Charging bypasses the On-Board Charger (OBC) and is the fastest way to charge your car. Unfortunately, you cannot install a DC Fast Charger at home (only AC). In Malaysia we only have two 50 kW DC Fast Chargers so until we have really fast chargers in Malaysia, you are limited by the 50kW DC charging capacity. Nonetheless, the fast charging time of the Audi e-tron is an impressive 580 km/h which means you get 580 km of range after 1 hour of charging.

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The charging speed of your car depends on the rating of the on-board charger of your car and the charging station. Surprisingly, the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Jaguar I-Pace are only equipped with 7.4kW AC chargers. You can install AC chargers at your home so it’s really a matter of plugging in before you go to bed. The Tesla Model X offers the best AC charging speed (66 km/h) with the Audi e-tron trailing behind in second place (39 km/h).

4. Brand
“Whoa… you drive electric?”
“What do you mean? I drive a Mercedes.”

With engines, we could boast about the number of cylinders, the melody of the engine, and how your car is full of “character”. It might get harder to differentiate between brands as we progress with EVs. Hence, we see ads like TheWeeknd’s Blinding Lights ad with Mercedes-Benz where it’s not about driving an electric car but driving a Mercedes-Benz.

We also see Chris Harris showing interest in EVs when Porsche released the Taycan. Maybe you’re a Mercedes enthusiast, a Porsche fan, or like to be known as the person who drives a Jaaag.

Sometimes we buy things just because we like them, so this one’s really up to you to decide.

Now snap back to reality and drive your fossil fuel 4-cylinder.

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