Electric vehicles take centre stage at the Geneva motor show

08 March 2018

8 March 2018

The Geneva motor show has given a number of manufacturers a chance to show their new electric vehicle (EV) ranges as they battle to meet CO2 targets set by the EU Commission.

Some carmakers are in danger of missing regulations which stipulate that across their fleets, there must be an average of 95 grams per kilometre of CO2 emitted. With the collapse of the diesel market and drivers turning to petrol cars, there is a stronger risk of this target being missed. Stronger emissions levels are being set from 2021 onwards, and without diesel, developing EV technology is a way of avoiding large penalties.

Jaguar used Geneva to give its much anticipated I-Pace electric SUV its world debut. The vehicle features a 90kWh lithium0ion battery with 432 cells, producing a range of 298 miles – according to WLTP testing figures. This makes the I-Pace comparable to Tesla models and removes range-anxiety amongst some drivers. In addition, owners will be able to achieve a 0-80 percent battery charge in 85-minutes using DC charging, which will decrease to just 40 minutes with rapid chargers.

Two Jaguar-designed electric motors are placed at each axle, producing a performance of 400PS, a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds and all-wheel-drive, all-surface traction. The battery is placed centrally between the two axles, and as low down as possible, enabling 50:50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity and therefore good ride comfort.

Audi showcased a prototype of its first all-electric model, the e-tron. On display in a camouflage film, the premium market SUV will feature all-wheel drive and long-distance range with some charging options. The car is currently being tested in extreme conditions to prepare it for launch by the end of 2018. Audi states that the car will comfortably seat five people and will offer ′space and comfort that are similar to that of a typical Audi luxury class model.’

The final production model of the e-tron will be unveiled in Brussels during August. Audi plans to have 20 electrified vehicles in their range, with half of these being EVs. The company is developing its electric vehicle platform together with Porsche, who unveiled their Mission E Cross Turismo at Geneva.

The German company has said the concept of a Cross Utility Vehicle (CUV) would likely be their second EV after the Mission E, currently in development. The new concept is a four-door vehicle with off-road elements, all-wheel drive and can be connected to a fast charging network to reduce charging times. Two permanent magnet synchronous motors (PSM) with a system output of more than 600bhp allow the Mission E Cross Turismo to accelerate to 60mph in less than 3.5 seconds

′The Mission E Cross Turismo is an expression of how we envision the all-electric future. It combines sportiness and everyday practicality in a unique style. Our vehicle will be fast to drive, but also quick to recharge and able to replicate its performance time after time,’ says Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG.

Volvo spin-out company Polestar also launched its Polestar 1 model at Geneva and announced that the vehicle would launch in the UK market first. The Electric Performance Hybrid powertrain features an internal combustion engine powering the front wheels, while a double electric rear axle drive system powers the rear wheels from a total of 34 kWh of battery power. In combination, the Polestar 1 is an electric vehicle with the benefits of an internal combustion engine to supplement the electric drive over long distances when required.

Other electrified vehicles at the show include the new Skoda e-Citigo, the company’s first EV based on its city car platform, while the Bentley Bentayga will come with a hybrid option with 31 miles of electric-only range, as the luxury carmaker looks to introduce more electric models by 2020. BMW also confirmed production of the i4, using the 4-Series GT structure to sit above the i3 in the company’s electric vehicle range. Volkswagen also used the show to launch its I.D. Vizzion concept, the latest in its I.D. range of electric vehicle concepts.