The Skywell electric SUV has landed in Australia, posing as an affordable competitor to the Tesla Model Y.

EV Automotive to Introduce Budget-Friendly Chinese Electric SUV in Australia

An Australian company, EV Automotive, is gearing up to import a new electric SUV from the emerging Chinese carmaker, Skywell. Dubbed the EVA 5 locally, the mid-size electric SUV is set to hit Australian shores later this year or in early 2023. With a promise of offering Tesla Model Y-level space at an affordable price point, the EVA 5 is expected to shake up the electric vehicle market in the country.

The 4,698mm-long SUV is similar in size to popular models like the Tesla Model Y and Hyundai Ioniq 5 but is slated to be priced under $50,000 drive away. This makes it the most cost-effective vehicle in its size category, undercutting competitors like the BYD Atto 3 and Hyundai Kona Electric, which start at around $51,000 and $57,000, respectively.

Skywell, primarily known for its vans, buses, and light trucks, is venturing into the passenger vehicle market for the first time with the EVA 5. EV Automotive, the Australian distributor that has been in operation for approximately five years, has previously sold cargo van and passenger bus versions of the Skywell EC11, a replica of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

In addition to the EVA 5, EV Automotive plans to introduce an electric van and a city-sized light truck, named ‘EC1’ and sold as Victory overseas, in Australia by early 2025. The company aims to establish a strong foothold in the Australian electric vehicle market with its diverse product lineup.

CEO of EV Automotive, Jack Puzin, acknowledges that the Skywell brand may be lesser-known in Australia but remains optimistic about its potential in the market. The company is currently collecting expressions of interest for the EVA 5 and expects to have the vehicles available for sale by early next year. Puzin envisions a direct sales model for the SUV, with fixed, non-negotiable prices similar to BYD and Tesla.

While EV Automotive does not currently have showrooms, it plans to open them once the initial batch of vehicles has been sold. The company’s focus on a direct sales model aims to offer a seamless customer experience, with plans to expand the current business model to include test drives and vehicle pick-ups in the future.

The EVA 5 will be serviced through the Mycar workshop network, formerly known as Kmart Tire and Auto, ensuring easy maintenance for owners. Puzin assures potential customers that EV Automotive’s existing direct sales model is well-established and will facilitate the smooth introduction of the Skywell SUV in Australia.

Initially, the SUV will be marketed under the EV Automotive brand as the EVA 5, but plans are underway to launch the Skywell name in the short to medium term. The EVA 5 will come in three variants, powered by either a 72 kWh or 86 kWh battery, offering driving ranges of up to 490 km. The models are expected to feature a front electric motor with a power output of 150 kW, enabling a quick acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds.

With a focus on providing value to customers, each variant of the EVA 5 will offer a different level of standard equipment. Priced around $50,000, the base model aims to deliver a competitive package within its price range. Safety features will be tailored to meet the requirements for a top safety rating from ANCAP or Euro NCAP, ensuring customer safety remains a top priority.

As the EVA 5 undergoes crash testing in Europe, the results will influence decisions regarding safety features to be included in the base model. The goal is to provide a comprehensive safety package without compromising on affordability. With plans to sell thousands of vehicles in the coming years, EV Automotive is poised to make a significant impact in Australia’s electric vehicle market with the introduction of the Skywell EVA 5.

The introduction of the Skywell electric SUV in Australia not only expands the country’s electric vehicle options but also presents a new, budget-friendly competitor to established models like the Tesla Model Y. Australian consumers can look forward to a diverse range of electric vehicles in the near future, as the industry continues to evolve and innovate to meet growing demand for sustainable transportation solutions.