The T60 EV may be a game changer

LDV Maxus T90 (T60) EV

So yesterday I had a good chat with an individual who was able to give me some information on the potentially upcoming LDV T60 EV model, and boy was it some exciting info.

So, before we get right into the nuts and bolts, especially as we get international readers:

Who are LDV

Right, so this is going to be a History Lesson and a half, but I’ll sum it up:

1896-1968

Leyland Motors Limited (later known as the Leyland Motor Corporation) was a British vehicle manufacturer of lorries, buses and trolleybuses. The company diversified into car manufacturing with its acquisitions of Triumph and Rover in 1960 and 1967, respectively.

It gave its name to the British Leyland Motor Corporation, formed when it merged with British Motor Holdings in 1968, to become British Leyland after being nationalised. British Leyland later changed its name to simply BL, then in 1986 to Rover Group.

Source: Wikipedia

1968-1986

British Leyland was an automotive engineering and manufacturing conglomerate formed in the United Kingdom in 1968 as British Leyland Motor Corporation Ltd (BLMC), following the merger of Leyland Motors and British Motor Holdings. It was partly nationalised in 1975, when the UK government created a holding company called British Leyland, later renamed BL in 1978.

It incorporated much of the British-owned motor vehicle industry, which in 1968 had a 40 percent share of the UK car market, with its history going back to 1895.

Despite containing profitable marques such as Jaguar, Rover and Land Rover, as well as the best-selling Mini, British Leyland had a troubled history, leading to its eventual collapse in 1975 and subsequent part-nationalisation.

After much restructuring and divestment of subsidiary companies, BLMC was renamed as the Rover Group in 1986, becoming a subsidiary of British Aerospace from 1988 to 1994, then subsequently being bought by BMW.

The final surviving incarnation of the company as the MG Rover Group went into administration in 2005, bringing mass car production by British-owned manufacturers to an end. MG and the Austin, Morris and Wolseley marques became part of China’s SAIC, with whom MG Rover attempted to merge prior to administration.

Source: Wikipedia

1986-2000

The Rover Group plc was the British vehicle manufacturing conglomerate known as “BL plc” until 1986 (formerly British Leyland), which had been a state-owned company since 1975.

It initially included the Austin Rover Group car business (comprising the Austin, Rover, Mini and MG marques), Land Rover Group, Freight Rover vans and Leyland Trucks.

The Rover Group also owned the dormant trademarks from the many companies that had merged into British Leyland and its predecessors such as Triumph, Morris, Wolseley, Riley and Alvis.

The Rover Group was owned by British Aerospace (BAe) from 1988 to 1994, when BAe sold the remaining car business to the German company BMW. The group was further broken up in 2000, when Ford acquired the Land Rover division, with the Rover and MG marques continuing with the much smaller MG Rover Group until 2005.

Ownership of the original Rover Group marques is currently split between BMW (Germany), SAIC (China), and Tata Motors (India), the latter owning the Rover marque itself with its subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover owning much of the assets of the historic Rover company.

Source: Wikipedia

1987-1993

Leyland DAF was a commercial vehicle manufacturing company based in Leyland, United Kingdom, and a subsidiary of DAF NV. In February 1993, Leyland DAF was placed into receivership.

Leyland DAF was formed in February 1987, when the Leyland Trucks division, including the Freight Rover van making interests, of the British Rover Group merged with the Dutch DAF Trucks company to form DAF NV which was owned by DAF Beheer (60%) and Rover Group (40%).

In June 1989, it was floated on the Dutch and London Stock Exchanges. The new company traded as Leyland DAF in the United Kingdom, and as DAF elsewhere. The company manufactured trucks at its plants in Leyland, United Kingdom and Eindhoven, Netherlands, and vans at its Birmingham plant in the United Kingdom.

Following the insolvency of DAF NV in February 1993, Leyland DAF went into receivership. Four new companies emerged from it as management buyouts

Source: Wikipedia

1993-2009

LDV Group Limited, formerly Leyland DAF Vans, was a British van manufacturer based in Washwood Heath, Birmingham. Historically part of Rover Group and Leyland DAF, it was latterly a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian GAZ Group. Owing to the global recession and a lack of long term investment, production was suspended at the LDV factory in December 2008.

After a series of failed rescue attempts, the intellectual property rights were sold by administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers to Eco Concept in 2009, who sold them to SAIC Motor in 2010, with its Maxus subsidiary commencing production in China in March 2011.

Now we’re up to speed

Back on July 31, 2021, CarExpert published this article confirming that the LDV T90 Ute would be produced in Right Hand Drive

This was personally a big deal in my mind, because as a current owner of a Diesel LDV T60, which has done 65,000kms and has had, basically, zero issues related to the build quality, I am pretty excited about this.

To quickly sum up the issues with my T60, as is fair:

  • If I leave the car and don’t drive it for 2 weeks+, the parasitic draw will flatten the Battery
  • I took it down some rather technical tracks and broke the levelling bracket on the rear diff which adjusts the headlights
  • The factory infotainment unit is a hunk of shit, I replaced it with an aftermarket unit

Honestly, for what I paid ($28,990) it’s been a ripper little ute, I tow my car trailer with it, I’ve done trips to Albury, Canberra, Brisbane, Townsville, I’ve spent hours sitting in that seat driving that car and racked up 65,000kms in the 3 years I’ve owned her

Now, I am going to go into some things about my LDV T60 Diesel that will give some comparison, and make us a baseline for this article:

Costs to run the Diesel Model

So my LDV T60 has the following:

  • VRS Single Hoop Bullbar
  • 285/65R17 Tyres
  • Towbar
  • 40mm Lift Kit
  • Front Bash PLate
  • Livid LLX7000 Spotlight
  • Rhino Roof Racks
  • Toolbox in the Tub with ~100kg of gear in it
  • HikeIt X9 Throttle Controller (Set to Eco 9 Most of the time)

From his, I get an average of 11l/100km and my driving is 95% highway (I live Rural)

Now the factory fuel economy is 8.8l/100km extra-urban, which means that my modifications and driving style have caused me to lose 20% on the economy scale from factory

Now on average, I have done 21,000km a year since I purchased the vehicle, this means that with a service every 15,000kms I have done 4 services since.

The average service costs $400

So realisticall, over the last 3 years, my costs to run the T60 have broken down to:

ItemCostQuantityTotal
Service$400.004$1,600.00
Fuel$1.4565000km$10,367.50
Registration$340.203$1,020.60
Total$12,988.10
Cost to run Diesel T60

So that’s just shy of $13,000 to run the car, yikes!

So what would the electric cost to run?

Ok, so here is where we have to do some maths

The LDV T60 EV has a claimed range of 535km from it’s 88.5kWh battery pack

So, 88,500Wh ÷ 535km = 165.42Wh/km (As 1kWh = 1,000Wh)

So given I am 20% more lead footed, then 165.42 x 1.2 = 198.50Wh/km

So therefore given this, that 88.5kWh battery would get me a total of 446km per charge

Now Rivian has said that they lose around 50% range when towing with the R1T, so this means that when towing I can expect around 223km when towing

Now given that around 75% of my driving has been when I’ve been around my home, and I pay $0.16/kWh at home, ignoring the fact that I have solar and could charge off my solar, I think a direct pay for electricity comparison is wise here, as not everyone has solar on their home.

I can therefore safely assume that around 25% of my charging would be at public DC fast chargers on long drives, where the costs are around $0.40/kWh, and for most of those long drives, I was towing.

So my cost for “fuel” would be as follows:

Driving TypeEfficiency (Wh/km)Quantity (km)Total kWhPrice/kWhTotal
Regular Driving198.548,7509676.88$0.16$1,548.30
Highway Driving (No Towing)198.58,1251612.81$0.40$645.13
Highway Driving (Towing)3978,1253225.63$0.40$1,290.25
Total65,00014,515$3,483.68
Cost to run the EV T60 on Electricity

Now we have to remember, that in the state of Queensland (Where I live) cars are costed on Registration based off their engine size, and Electric Cars are considered a special category of 1 Cylinder, so therefore the registration cost is $267.50 which is a $72.70 Saving per year

So overall, it looks like this:

ItemLDV T60 DieselLDV T60 EVDifference
Fuel10367.53483.68-6883.82
Registration1020.6802.5-218.1
Servicing16000-1600
Comparison between Diesel T60 and EV T60

So this means that I would have saved a total of $8,701.92 over the last 3 years of ownership, or $2,900.64 per year

But the price difference in the car?

Ok, so for full disclosure, I purchased my LDV T60 in 2018 at an ABN price of $28,990 from the dealer, and my driveaway with accessories was $34,490

This means that I added $5,500 of accessories, which is what my reciept shows.

The LDV T60 EV is expected to come in around the $60,000 mark, which means that with my accessories, there is a gap of $31,010

So taking into account my savings, that means that I would need to run the EV for a period of:

$31,010 ÷ $2,900.64 savings per year = 10.69 years, let’s round it up to 10.75 here, so that’s 10 years, 9 months

But what about the major service requirements?

What about them?

I don’t have a timing belt and major service to do every 95,000kms (At a cost of around $3,000), which based on my usage would be twice in a 10 year period, meaning that I’ve saved a further $6,000

So that means that I haven’t saved $31,181.88 in 10 years, I’ve saved $37,181.88

So we can take that $31,010 price difference and immediately take $6,000 off it, bringing it down to $25,010 meaning that with my savings, I am ahead at 8.62 years, or just around 8 years and 9 months, cutting 2 full years off my savings requirement.

And the battery?

So one thing that I hear is that a lot of people say you need to replace the batteries at some exhorbitant cost, around $30-40,000 every 5 years.

This just has no basis in reality in 2021, unless you thoroughly abuse the crap out of the battery, like really work at destroying it through poor usage.

Here is a simple CarSales article on how to take care of your battery

And here is a good MotorTrend article on how to take care of your battery.

So a well taken care of battery should last easily the 10 year lifespan of the vehicle, and we already know that SAIC motor the parent company to LDV and MG offer a 7 Year,/Unlimited Kilometre Battery Warranty on the Packs in their MG vehicles, and I see no reason that changing the badge on the front of the car would change the warranty offered by the parent company.

Of note as well, unlike some other manufacturers, MG do not guarentee a state of charge at the end of that period, so this could be concerning, or it could be promising, as they haven’t defined an “Acceptable State of Charge” at that timeframe, so 90% at 7 years could be deemed unacceptable, at 50% could be acceptable, so with this, admittedly, there is a concern.

If you are an MG owner and are able to provide some clarity beyond what is stated on their website, please, let us know in the comment on this article.

Though the industry standard set by companies like Nissan, Tesla, and VAG seems to be that 80% SOC at the end of the warranty period is generally acceptable.

So how does it stack up in performance?

So please note, for the blow table, I have taken the very best performance specs from the LDV T60 Combustion Vehicles on the LDV Australia Website, or from sources based on the upcoming T90 Diesel Ute (Sold as the T60 in Australia) and the (scarece) infromation available fro the T90 EV (Sold as the T60 in Australia)

ItemLDV T60 DieselLDV T60 EV
Payload1025 kg1,225kg
Maximum Range825km535km
InteriorCloth or LeatherLeather
Time to fill/Charge3 Minutes45 Minutes
Towing3,000kgPotentially 3,500kg
Service Interval5,000km
Then 15,000km
Then 15,000km subsequent
As required (EV)
Charge PortDiesel Hi-FlowCCS2 (?)
Safety5 Star ANCAPChinese “MAX SAFETY”
5 Star ANCAP Equal
Gears6 Speed Manual
8 Speed Automatic
1 Speed Reduction Gear
Low RangeYesNot Required
Wading Depth550mm550mm
Top SpeedNot Listed107kmh
Torque375Nm @ 1,500-4,00RPM310Nm @ 0RPM
Power120kW130kW
Diesel/EV Comparison

So as you can see, they are pretty spot on, except the rage.

Theoretical range of the T60 Diesel is phenomenal, at over 800km

Though note that these ranges are considered to be the maximum ranges of the vehicle, so running the tank/battery completely empty to the point the car just stops. Which I don’t think anyone actually does…

But an EV won’t do long trips…

We have covered this issue before in one of our blog posts. Which if you would like to check it out, you will see that people don’t often drive for huge stints without a rest break.

So, as we have calculated above with our reference consumptions, and the costings, we can plug these into a great tool called “A Better Route Planner” which is great for EV’s and allows you not only to “see if you can make it” but can also work as a navigation app and direct you to chargers along your route. Similar to the way you can use Google Maps to find a Service Station for fuel…but without the in-built logging in Google Maps to find a Patrol Station and plan the stops for you…

Google, you should probably get on that, might help reduce the range anxiety for combustion car owners…

Anyways, first up, a trip I did last year:

Brisbane to Townsville, Not Towing

BNE->TSV Not Towing

We can now Compare this to the Google Maps time of the same jourtney, that doesn’t factor in fuel stops:

BNE->TSV Google Maps

So you can see that yes, it does add around 4 hours to the trip, however, this particular trip, I did in about the ABRP time, and not the “Straight through, no stop” Google Maps Time, and really, I did it in longer, because I stopped overnight on the way up.

Return from Townsville, Towing

This was the big one, we picked up a 3,000kg trailer, and as such, I have assumed I would be using my 50% towing efficiency here. So first, the ABRP time, with charging:

TSV-BNE Towing

Now in reality, in the combustion car, we actually left at around 3AM, and we didn’t get into Brisbane until around 11PM at night, which if we were doing this in electric, would have taken us longer. But to be fair, towing the trailer was rougher, and we were splitting between driving and sleeping and it was honestly hell. We basically hit the bed and didn’t get up until around 11am the next day.

But, here is what Google says:

Townsville to Brisbane – Google

Yeah…I can safely say that we did not do this trip in 15 hours, we added an extra 5 hours to this easily, and really, we should have broken it up overnight.

My next planned trip – Brisbane to Canberra – Towing

So once these borders go down, I have a friend who wants me to take his car to Canberra from Brisbane for him, and a relative that wants me to bring a car back for her.

So, on the way down, I would be expecting:

Brisbane to Canberra Laden

And here would be the trip according to Google…

Brisbane to Canberra via Google

Yeah, I have done this a few times, I have relatives in Canberra…no way I’m doing this in 12 hours with a trailer…

Coming back from Canberra

Yes, the return journey, as I’m heading North this time that means it must be uphill..I’m heading up after all…

ABRP CBR -> BNE

Strangely, the exact same route is half an hour quicker on the return, towing as well…

But Google…

Google Canberra to Brisbane

Yeah look, at this point I’m thinking Google is over optimistic, there is no way you’re doing that trip in that time Google…or any of these trips…Google, you are full of 💩

Summary

Look, to be perfectly honest, I would be happy to get a T60 EV, especially when I compare it to my current T60 Diesel.

Plus, as I got the “poverty pack” T60, I have cloth seats (It would be nice to upgrade to leather), and I reckon that with the fact I have solar at home (Though a lot don’t) I would be in a better position financially, as I’d be able to zero off a lot of that fuel cost that’s in there, meaning my savings would be even higher.

I absolutely undertsand that going electric is not for everyone, some people live rural.

Some people live off-grid.

At the end of the day, it’s horses for courses, and I for one thingk that the T60 EV will be a gamechanger to the Australian Market, especially considering the Potential Cost of the Rivian R1T in Australia.

The T60 EV will be an everyman work ute, it’ll be a cheap alternative to the big boys, and like Big Kev, I’m EXCITED!

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