Electric Cars Dominate Geneva Motor Show
The Geneva Motor Show 2019 proved to be the most active week yet in the world of electric vehicles. Most major manufacturers chose to announce their latest electric vehicle offering. These included Honda, Alfa Romeo, VW, Audi, Honda, Peugeot and Polestar among others. Some featured new Electric only models, others electric versions of new models and some just prototypes.
Audi announced a new Electric model, the Q4 E-tron.
This new electric SUV will fall between the existing Q3 and Q5 and is hoped to become Audi’s best-selling electric model. Power is delivered by dual electric motors which offer a range of 280 miles on the official WLTP test. Performance is promised to be 0-62mph (100kph) time of 6.3sec. Prices start at around £50,000.
Polestar announce the Polestar 2
Volvo’s independent performance division, Polestar announced its second model, originally named the Polestar 2. This takes the form of an electric five-door SUV-coupé. It’s 100% electric with an equivalent 402bhp and an expected range of some 300 miles. Prices start at around £34,000 in the UK, high-spec versions at around £50,000 will be the first to hit the UK market.
Both Renault and Peugeot announced electric versions of popular hatchbacks.
Peugeot is going all the way with a 100% electric version of its ever popular 208. This new version should hit the show rooms this summer. Named the e-208, it has a range of more than 200 miles on a single charge, and can be charged to 80% of capacity in 30 minutes with rapid chargers.
Renault are a bit more reticent only offering a hybrid electric Clio. The initial offering combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor. This will be on sale in 2020.
Prototypes abounded at Geneva.
Fiat showed its concept Centoventi. Marking Fiat’s 120th anniversary, the Centoventi is the company’s take on an electric Fiat Panda.
The car is intended to be a highly customisable, with buyers encouraged to configure the interior, choose accessories and adapt the space inside the car however they like. This includes 3D-printing their own compatible items.
Fiat likens the car’s interior to having the modularity of LEGO bricks, where components can be removed and swapped with something else. Using this system, the company suggests a door pocket could be replaced with a bottle holder or a music speaker.
Fiat says there will be 120 additional accessories available at launch, allowing buyers to customise their car, inside and out.
Honda stole the show with their e Concept retro urban Electric Vehicle. Now, after huge demand, a production version is almost ready. It has a more rounded and pedestrian-friendly shape, with large A pillars for crash protection but much of the look of the original is still here. So, too, is the interior, including two huge 12-inch touchscreen displays dominating the entire dashboard, complete with an extra pair of displays acting as wing mirrors in conjunction with external cameras.
VW showcased its ID Buggy
At its press conference VW announced that 2019 was “all about EV”. The latest addition to Volkswagen’s electric ID range is the Buggy. This is a modern reboot of the classic beach buggy of the Sixties and Seventies. Currently a concept (but will be built), the ID Buggy is being used by Volkswagen as a demonstration of the versatility of an electric vehicle platform. This can be used by various types of vehicle – not just SUVs, crossovers and city cars.
The ID Buggy will have a 150kW motor powering the rear wheels, drive is also sent to the front axle via an “electric propshaft”.
The Alfa Romeo Tonale – a hybrid concept announced at the show
Somewhere between a crossover and a small SUV, the Tonale concept by Alfa Romeo is the Italian brand’s first foray into the world of electric vehicles. Described as ‘future gazing’ for now, the car looks like an evolution of the brand’s current lineup rather than a true concept.
Disappointingly the Tonale concept is a plug-in hybrid rather than a fully electric vehicle. However, there has was no mention of what the internal combustion engine will be. Consequently, this still feels like an early concept, don’t expect one in showrooms anytime soon.