30 September 2016

Paris Motor Show 2016 - Sustainability Highlights

The Paris Motor Show (Mondial De L’Automobile) may not have attracted all of the big automotive brands, but even so, from a sustainability perspective, it may just mark the tipping-point where the electric vehicle becomes a realistic proposition for mass market consumers, with several key launches outlined below.  For a few years now, I have been writing about sustainability-related news from the motorshow circuit, and the majority of stories a have been about hybrid powertrains entering into most model lineups. It's therefore really exciting to see the growing dominance of pure-electric solutions, with traditional barriers of range anxiety and availability of charging points reducing.  Ironically, 'Dieselgate' may be one of the most successful catalysts in society's transition towards sustainable mobility.

As an aside, we are also seeing some fundamental shifts in business models for the whole industry, with the previously aspirational concept of car ownership being challenged.  New technology using autonomous fleets will introduce a blur between private and public transport.  It's actually at another venue in Paris where some of this is being explored and showcased, at the Autonomy Festival of Urban Mobility.  But manufacturers are starting to respond slowly, but surely, leaving an interesting mix of OEMs and startups vying for the same revenue streams.

Anyway, back to the cars...

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ

As a potential competitor to Tesla's Model X (and an electric Jaguar F-Pace), Mercedes have introduced an all-wheel drive electric concept car, called 'Generation EQ'.  A range of 500km is touted, with a power output of up to 300kW.

In fact, Generation EQ is heralding a new electric sub-brand, EQ, which stands for 'Electric Intelligence'. Additionally, a newly announced sub-division called CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) will hopefully herald a raft of sustainable innovation.

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ

Although not destined for the UK, the Ampera-e is launching in Europe with an impressive range, ahead of some of its competitors.  Its US sibling is the Chevrolet Bolt, and the stats are impressive, with an 150kW motor offering-up 50kph in 3.2s, and range of 222 miles.

Opel Ampera-e

Renault Zoe Q90

The Renault Zoe has been upgraded, with a 41kWh battery offering 250 miles of range (somewhat less for 'real world' conditions), all helping to alleviate range anxiety.
Renault Zoe

Renault Trezor

Renault have launched the sensual Trezor ("Treasure") at Paris, with a 260kW motor, helping the 2-seat 4.7m long GT get to 62mph in less than 4 seconds.

Renault Trezor

Smart Electric Drive

Due for a European launch in early 2017, the three sibling models (fortwo, forfour and fortwo cabrio) will offer compact electric city driving.  A 17.6kWh battery and 60kW motor will offer a range of around 155km.  Although the non-petrol versions have been around for a while, they haven't had a huge success.  However, when clean electric power is combined with urban car-sharing schemes, you could see it as a really potent mobility solution for our cities. 

Smart fortwo cabrio electric drive

Volkswagen I.D.

Due to be launched in 2020, the VW Golf sized I.D. is part of VW's strategic response to 'dieselgate', and part of the stated ambition to have sold a million EVs by 2025.

The I.D. has a retractable steering-wheel, so it's out of the way when used autonomously in 'I.D. Pilot mode' (likely to be supported from 2025).  The 125kW electric motor has a range from 249 miles (potentially more with different battery configurations).

We'll expect to see a similar 'design language' echoed in a wide variety of EVs from VW in the future...


And finally...

There were some nice hybrid concepts too - here's a couple:


Citroen CXPERIENCE (concept)

Mitsubishi GT PHEV

Mitsubishi GT PHEV

1 comment:

  1. Nice selection - I like the Merc' will be interesting to see if something like that makes it into production...