Green was very definitely the name of the game at the 2018 Geneva motor show, with low and zero‑emission vehicles jostling for attention in the halls of the Palexpo exhibition centre.
Richard Gooding highlights a few of the major Swiss show stars
Audi’s all-electric SUV, the e-tron, made its first public appearance Palexpo, ahead of its on‑sale date later this year. Wearing ‘e tron’‑branded camouflage, 250 examples of Audi’s EV SUV drove around Geneva during the duration of the show, with one example doing a stint on the German car manufacturer’s stand itself. Audi is taking £1,000 deposits for its first all-electric car, said to have a range of 311 miles.
Expected to cost around 80,000 euros, potential buyers in Austria, Belgium, Norway and Switzerland can pre-order the premium machine. Audi states that the production version of the e-tron prototype is able to charge at 150kW, refilling it in around 30 minutes.
BMW i8 Roadster and i4
As well as showing the production version of the open-top i8 sports car. BMW also confirmed a new i4 all-electric car which will sit above the i3 in BMW’s ‘i’ range. The new car will be built from 2020 in Munich on the 4 Series GT platform using fifth-generation EV technology. An even larger i5 all-electric model is expected in 2021.
Honda Urban EV Concept
Following its debut at the Frankfurt motor show last year, the Honda Urban EV Concept was again on show in Switzerland. The cute and retro-styled car has been given the green light for production next year, and signals Honda’s intention to enter the European electric vehicle market. The Japanese company also showed its Sports EV Concept, and the NeuV electric car which was first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2017.
Hyundai Kona Electric
Hyundai pulled the covers off its new Kona Electric SUV before the event in Switzerland, but the expo was the first time the car had been seen in public. Based on the Kona SUV, the Kona Electric is, according to the South Korean car company, ‘the world’s first fully‑electric sub-compact SUV.’ With a 150kW / 201bhp powertrain, the Kona Electric offers a driving range of up to 292 miles, from its 39.2kWh battery.
The entry‑level version offers 99kW / 133bhp and up to 186 miles on a single charge. With 395Nm / 291lb ft of immediate torque, 0 to 62mph takes 7.6 seconds. Charging the lithium-ion polymer battery up to 80 per cent takes around 54 minutes using a 100kW DC rapid charger. With its on‑board 7.2kW charger, refilling the long-range battery car takes nine hours and 40 minutes for the long-range battery car, dropping to six hours and 10 minutes for the shorter-range Kona EV. One to watch, the Kona Electric could be a game-changer, for both its for range-to-price ratio, as well as its practicality.
British carmaker Jaguar displayed its new 395bhp I-Pace all‑electric SUV at Geneva in production form. Looking the same as the concept unveiled in 2017, the I-Pace’s 90kWh lithium‑ion battery is said to deliver a range of up to 298 miles on the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) test cycle. Priced from £58,995, the I-Pace charges to 80 per cent capacity in an hour and 25 minutes on a 50kW rapid charger, while a 30-minute charge will replenish 80 miles of range. The Jaguar EV is also compatible with 100kW public chargers, which will give an 80 per cent charge in 45 minutes. A 7kW wall box will charge the battery from 0 to 80 per cent in 10 hours.
Nissan LEAF and IMx KURO
Nissan showed off its new EV star in Switzerland, the second‑generation LEAF. With a 40kWh battery and more powerful 110kW motor, the new car has an official range of 168 miles on the WLTP cycle and an array of driver assistance systems. The Japanese carmaker also previewed its idea of an all-electric crossover / SUV with the IMx KURO concept.
Geneva was chosen by Polestar – the new ‘electric performance brand’ owned by Volvo – to reveal its Polestar 1 hybrid range‑extender coupé to the public for the first time. The Polestar 1 will produce 600bhp, and 737lb ft / 1,000Nm of torque according to its maker, and enjoy 93 miles / 150km of range, thanks to its 34kWh battery pack.
Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo
Following the 2015 reveal of Porsche’s first all‑electric concept, the Mission E, Porsche pulled the covers of its second EV concept at Palexpo. A kind of off-road Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, the sleek Stuttgart concept features 880V architecture which means it can charge from a super-fast network to 80 per cent in just 15 minutes when the infrastructure is available. It can also be charged by induction. A pair of permanent magnet synchronous motors give a system output of 440kW / 600bhp and the Mission E Cross Turismo has a range of up to 310 miles on a single charge.
French carmaker Renault displayed the new, more powerful version of its popular Zoe supermini in Geneva. Dubbed the ‘R110’ (the current car is the ‘R90’), the major change is the electric motor, which now develops 107bhp, 16bhp up on its R90 predecessor. The range is expected to be the same as the R90’s official 250 miles on the NEDC cycle, with rolling acceleration improved. The R110 will be start at £18,420 in the UK, £250 more than the R90. Renault also unveiled the EZ-GO, an autonomous, ride-sharing electric concept vehicle.
Volkswagen I.D Vizzion
VW unveiled the latest in its line of I.D all‑electric concepts at the Swiss event, the I.D Vizzion taking the form of a 5.11m-long, autonomously-driving saloon. Its 111kWh lithium-ion batteries give the 225kW / 300bhp car a theoretical range of 413 miles. By 2025, the German carmaker plans to introduce more than 20 electric vehicle models, with the first, the Golf‑sized I.D hatchback, appearing in 2020.
Lexus UX 250h
The Japanese manufacturer chose Geneva for its world debut for its new UX compact crossover. The first Lexus to be built on the new GA-C global architecture platform, it has the lowest centre of gravity in its class and the UX 250h features a fourth‑generation self‑charging hybrid system with higher efficiency and a more powerful electric motor.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was Europe’s most popular plug-in hybrid from 2015‑2017, and Geneva saw a revised version. A 2.4-litre Atkinson cycle engine replaces the previous 2.0-litre unit, with battery output and battery capacity (now 13.8kWh) increased by 10 and 15 per cent respectively.
Toyota’s new Auris debuted in Geneva and following the company’s plans to ditch diesel from its passenger car range by the end of 2018, will only be available with petrol and hybrid powertrains. The VW Golf rival will employ the 121bhp 1.8-litre hybrid drivetrain from the C-HR and Prius. A 114bhp 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine will also feature, in addition to a 178bhp 2.0‑litre hybrid version.
HYDROGEN FUEL CELL VEHICLES
The next-generation fuel cell Hyundai Nexo enjoyed its European debut in Switzerland. The world’s first dedicated hydrogen‑powered SUV, the hydrogen Hyundai comes with a wide range of autonomous driving capabilities and smart driving assistance systems. Range is said to be around 500 miles on the NEDC cycle.