THERE is so much electricity around at this year’s Geneva Motor Show that the event is almost sparking.
Most manufacturers are showing off some sort of electrification on their vehicles.
Fiat’s Concept Centoventi pretty well stole the whole show, particularly as the Italian brand kept it secret right up to the reveal – a rare occurrence these days. It’s the expression of a bold, future vision based on 120 years of history and experience – hence the name of the prototype that means “One Hundred and Twenty” in Italian. The car is billed as the market’s most affordable electric mobility and solution with a range of 310 miles. The car is designed to sell in basic form and customers can keep adding kit – they can even make their own bits if they have a 3D printer!
First off the grid, however, was the SEAT el-Born which debuted in front of the world’s media at the Volkswagen Group night on the eve of the show.
It’s a concept car, the first 100% electric vehicle based on the VV Group MEB platform. Designed and developed in Barcelona it will be manufactured at the Zwickau plant in Germany and the production version is expected to hit markets by 2020.
Škoda presented the full range of its mobility services with the VISION iV concept study offering a concrete look ahead at its first all-electric model. Two electric motors – one on the front and one on the rear axle – form the emission-free drive system, making the concept all-wheel drive.
Kia has its bold new all-electric concept car, a “visual embodiment of the company’s desire to move forward in the exciting world of electrification”. Gregory Guillaume, Vice President of Design for Kia Motors Europe, said: “We imagined designing an all-electric car that not only answered consumer concerns around range, performance, recharging networks and driving dynamism, but one that also gave you goose bumps when you looked at it.” Kia has also made a number of improvements to the Niro, its best-selling electrified crossover range of ultra-low emission vehicles.
The all-new Kia Soul EV brings long-range, zero-tailpipe emissions power to the urban crossover class. In its third generation, Kia’s urban crossover has become more distinctive, dynamic and innovative than ever. While the Soul EV embraces the iconic design and playful character of its predecessors, it will be exclusively electric in Europe. It will go on sale across Europe towards the end of the first quarter of 2019.
Honda’s new urban electric vehicle moves on from the brand’s 2017 Urban EV Concept, and is a key part of its “Electric Vision” strategy for the European region. The Honda e Prototype has been developed with a focus on functionality and purpose. Stand-out style elements include flush ‘pop out’ door handles and compact cameras replacing traditional side view mirrors. Both the door handles and Camera Mirror System are unique features for a vehicle in this class. The car’s advanced charging port is integrated centrally in the bonnet for ease of use from either side of the car, with LED lighting visible through the glass cover to welcome the driver and inform of the battery charging status.
Polestar has taken the next step in its development with the reveal of the new Polestar 2 all-electric fastback. It offers avant-garde design and a unique customer experience in the premium compact electric segment. Polestar 2 is the first electric car to compete in the marketplace around the Tesla Model 3. It’s a premium five-door fastback with two electric motors and a 78 kWh battery capacity that will enable a targeted range of 500km, based on Volvo Car Group’s adaptable Compact Modular Architecture platform (CMA).
Major unveil for Peugeot is the all-new 208 at the 2019 with a choice of petrol, diesel and electric (EV) powertrains set to be available from launch. The zero-emission e-208 is the first in a series of 100% electric models, as Peugeot prepares to electrify its entire range by 2023. It has a 100kW electric motor and a 50kWh battery producing a range of up to 211 miles.
The Audi stand is exclusively occupied by electrically powered models with the world premiere of the Audi Q4 e-tron concept and the European reveal of the Audi e-tron GT concept. In all, a total of four all-electric cars headline for the brand, all of which will have been rolled out in series production form by the end of 2020.