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Politicians plugging in: Comcar switches fleet to 2023 BMW iX electric cars to replace BMW 6 Series diesel and Toyota Camry hybrid sedans

The BMW iX will be the car to transport politicians in Australia for the next three years. (image: Tom White)

There's a new fleet of government cars ready to serve our pollies and dignitaries, taking on the job that was once the domain of big Aussie sedans like the Holden Caprice.

Comcar, the service that operates Australia's car-with-driver transport services, has chosen the BMW iX as its new car, replacing the BMW 6 Series and Toyota Camrys it's currently using.

This comes just after NSW Police announced it will use an iX for "community engagement and testing purposes".

The majority of the electric SUVs will be the 'base model' BMW iX xDrive40, while a small number of longer-range BMW iX xDrive50s will be used for longer trips. They'll be on hand for three years, as is the usual period cars are present in the fleet.

The new fleet of iXs will undertake all Comcars usual operations including "general transport of parliamentarians and other clients, the parliamentary shuttle, and VIP/ Guest of Government visits and major events".

Comcar says along with the iX, it tested a host of new cars including the BMW iX3, Polestar 2, Genesis GV60 and GV70, Kia EV6, Tesla Model 3 and Model Y and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

It concluded the iX was "the only vehicle that is suitable for all aspects of Comcar's operations".

Of the bunch, the iX is the most expensive, with the iX xDrive40 starting from $135,900 before on-road costs. The iX3 is the next-most expensive at $104,900, while all the others can be had for significantly less.

The majority of the electric SUVs will be the ‘base model’ BMW iX xDrive40, while a small number of longer-range BMW iX xDrive50s will be used for longer trips. (image: Tom White)

In some measures, including battery range and charging as well as boot space, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is demonstrably superior, according to its specifications, though it's unclear how weighted the Comcar criteria is in each aspect.

The criteria for the new fleet comes down to four main points: the car is a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) with the preference for a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV); it has a five-star (ANCAP) rating; it meets minimum 'fit for purpose' requirements; and it provides "value for money".

For the fourth point, Comcar says this "includes consideration of environmental and climate change impacts", though it admits choosing the iX "will initially cost more than that of equivalent ICE vehicles".

It adds that the running cost savings and (expected) lower maintenance costs will save money in the long run.

On the way out are the 92 diesel-powered BMW 620d and 45 Toyota Camry Hybrids, which were initially leased in 2020 and are reaching the end of their three-year limit in the Comcar fleet.

Chris Thompson
Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in Chris’ life, but loading up his 1990 VW Golf GTI Mk2 and moving from hometown Brisbane to work in automotive publishing in Melbourne ensured cars would be a constant. With a few years as MOTOR Magazine’s first digital journalist under his belt, followed by a stint as a staff journalist for Wheels Magazine, Chris’ career already speaks to a passion for anything with four wheels, especially the 1989 Mazda MX-5 he currently owns. From spending entire weeks dissecting the dynamic abilities of sports cars to weighing up the practical options for car buyers from all walks of life, Chris’ love for writing and talking about cars means if you’ve got a motoring question, he can give you an answer.
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