The Geneva Motorshow is the most important car show of the year. It’s a place where the worlds biggest manufacturers gather to display their latest models as well as what their ideas for the future of mobility might be. It is quite fitting then, that electric cars were all the rage this year, with a number of manufacturers showcasing their latest electric models in a bid to capture the imagination of the worlds audience and show that a fossil fuel free form of mobility is possible without sacrificing the fun and excitement that we have come to know and love from the current line of internal combustion engined cars. Here then, are the cars that we believe to be the most important from the Geneva Motorshow 2019:
Honda turned up with their cute E-Prototype electric city car concept that they say is very close to the actual production version that is expected to reach showrooms in selected markets around the world towards the end of the year. It follows on from the Urban-EV concept that Honda surprised everyone with at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show. The new E-Prototype is not quite as radical as the wide bodied Urban-EV, but it still retains the cute retro-modern looks of it’s predecessor. From the round LED headlamps and backlit Honda badges, to the streamlined front and hidden rear door handles that gives the appearance of a two door while at the same time lowering drag, vital for energy conservation in an electric car. According to Honda, the interior is also close to what people can expect in the production car, with large infotainment screen spanning the length of the dashboard and light grey cloth seats mimicking the look of Honda seats from the 70s, a cool mixture of the old with the new. In terms of its drivetrain, Honda has confirmed that the E-Prototype will be powered by a single electric motor (supplied by Panasonic) powering the rear wheels, which will be enough for a 200 km range.
Audi Q4 E-Tron Concept:
Audi is another big manufacturer investing heavily in electric car tech and pushing to have their entire range of cars electrified in the near future. They turned up with their new Q4 E-Tron concept that aims to challenge electric SUV’s such as Jaguar’s I-Pace and Mercedes’ newly announced EQC. Audi states that their new electric SUV concept houses an 82 kWh battery pack that powers two electric motors, with one motor powering the front wheels and the other powering the rears. They claim this should be enough for a total range in excess of 280 km, and a 0 to 100 km sprint time of 6.3 seconds. Audi says that production will start in late 2020, so expect the car to hit showrooms near you in early 2021.
Audi E-Tron GT:
Another Electric car from the Audi stand was the gorgeous E-Tron GT concept. Engineered in collaboration with Porsche, the car is powered by a 96 kWh lithium ion battery pack with two electric motors driving all four wheels that when combined, produces a maximum power output of 434 kW (590 hp), good enough for a 0 to 100 km sprint in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 240 km/h. Audi claims that the stunning low slung, sportscar like shape was achieved by mounting the batteries on the floor of the car, which subsequently also gives the car an extremely low centre of gravity, meaning that it should drive and handle as good as it looks. Expect production to start in 2020.
Italian automobile styling house Pininfarina chose Geneva to take the covers off their highly anticipated first all electric production supercar. Named the Battista, the car is said to have an incredible power output of 1874 hp. 1874 hp! That’s nearly 400 hp more than the Battista’s closest internal combustion engined rival, the Bugatti Chiron, not a car you would consider slow…
At first glance the Peugeot e-208 looks like just another small french hatchback that no one would care about, but it’s not until you take a closer look that you realise what a game changer this car could be for Peugeot. In a similar vein as the Honda E-Prototype, the e-208 is being positioned as a small electric city car for the stylish and eco-conscious urbanites of the 21st century. Peugeot claims that the car will have a rapid charge function where 80% of the cars battery can be recharged in 30 minutes, a total range of up to 211 miles (beating the 200 km of the Honda), and that the batteries will be guaranteed for up to 8 years or 100 000 kms. If all goes well this should translate to an electric car that will be affordable to own and maintain into the future.
VW I.D. Buggy Concept:
VW brought back the style and youthful optimism of the swinging 60s in electrified form with their new I.D. Buggy concept car. Thought up as a modern representation of the much loved “dune buggy” from the 1960’s, the I.D. Buggy is a two seater convertible electric off roader that aims to bring more fun and character to VW’s future electric models, with this being the fifth electric car concept from VW, following on from the I.D. hatch, I.D. Buzz van, I.D. Cross SUV and I.D. Vizzion Limo. The car uses VW’s next generation MEB (Module Electric Matrix) platform with a 62 lithium-ion battery mounted on the floor of the chassis that connects to the 150 kW electric motor. It is this MEB architecture that is VW’s key to success, with the company announcing recently that the architecture of the chassis is so versatile that they are planning to allow other manufactures to use and license the platform as well. What this means is that other manufacturers will be able to use the platform to create more niche electric models in the future while not needing to sell loads of them in order to make the model financially liable. Mass production of the MEB platform will thus lower economies of scale and drive down the cost of the platform, resulting in a higher variety of cars for us to choose from at a lower cost. Brilliant!