As each year passes, the Paris Motor Show continues to consolidate its role as a top venue for major launches by car manufacturers and as a platform for showcasing their latest key innovations. This generates a great deal of anticipation among journalists and automobile experts and, by extension, among all car enthusiasts. If this edition has stood out for something, it is for car manufacturers’ major new innovations in the field of electric mobility. We have reviewed the disclosures made by each of the biggest car manufacturers during the two weeks that the international car event lasted, dividing them into two categories.
1. The future is here on our doorstep
The first points to highlight were three striking presentations that bring the future of mobility into the present. The new Volkswagen I.D., Renault Trezor Concept and Mercedes SUV EQ are three vehicles that could have come straight out of a sci-fi film, drawing all eyes right from the outset with their futurist designs and shiny finishes.
The I.D. is the German car manufacturer’s new model for the franchise dealership market and it aspires to be one of the cars in the electric vehicle segment to make the biggest sales over the next few years, picking up the baton from best sellers like the Beetle or Golf. The Volkswagen I.D. and Mercedes SUV EQ are opening up a new market segment, with both German manufacturers making concerted efforts to introduce a new range of electric models over the next 10 years. One feature shared by both models is their innovative self-drive system, whose use will depend on the legislation in each country. The EQ also boasts another new novelty, since it can be charged wirelessly, using a platform underneath the vehicle which works by induction.
For its part, Trezor Concept is a signature vehicle designed for Laurens Van der Acker. Its two batteries are positioned in different places to balance the weight of the car, which has a 350 horsepower engine that gives it the acceleration of a Formula E. Inside, all three models have clearly been designed with a ‘concept car’ in mind. Touch-sensitive screens will be one of the greatest novelties in coming years, and they will be a common feature of almost all brands, incorporated in different parts of the vehicle’s interior to provide all kinds of vehicle information.
2. New models now on sale
In this group, we describe two models that are already on the market: the improved Renault Zoe and new Opel Ampera-e. The ZOE is one of the pioneers of the electric vehicle segment, seeing some of the highest sales in recent years. Renault has managed to increase its range to 400 km, doubling the range per charge. As we remarked in our previous article about the ZOE, this new model aspires to take much better advantage of networks of charge points with its Z.E. Link and Z.E. pass systems: two very practical features, particularly on long journeys. The Ampera-e represents Opel’s grand debut into the electric vehicle market. With a range of 500 km, 240 horsepower engine, and maximum speed of 150 km per hour, the Ampera-e is a super-connected robust-looking car with a modern, urban design.
Electric mobility is now a reality, with growing numbers of users and models and vehicles with an increasing range. What is more, car manufacturers seem to be getting ready to revolutionize the sector in the next few years, since a new generation of connected, self-drive cars will be launched conspicuous, above all, for their zero emissions.