This week's VOLT | Geneva Motor Show Electric cars special

Is Geneva Motor Show week the biggest in recent E.V History?

This week sees the kick off for annual Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland. Geneva has done well in recent years, where manufacturers are cutting back on expensive vehicle launches in what are seemingly difficult times. The 89th show is arguably the most important week in E.V history.

For the first time, the emphasis is on Electric Vehicles and Hybrid Vehicles. Manufactures will be duty bound to reduce the carbon dioxide emitted from their cars when new European emissions regulations are phased in next year. Failure to comply = heavy fines, along with bad press, such as ‘Dieselgate’.

The new rules also work in such a way that cars actually have to be sold. Move over wacky one-off concepts that never come to production, it’s time to build cars people want to buy, and CLEAN ones.

With all of the above in mind, who are we likely to see at the show? and what can we be excited about? We’ve picked out some of our favourite E.V’s

PEUGEOT E-208

Peugeot have announced the their new 208 model, will be offered as an E.V for the first time as the E-208. Set to rival the Renault Zoe, Peugeot claim the car will have 211 miles of range (WLTP), from it’s 50 kWh Battery, producing 136 bhp and 260 Nm of torque The E-208 is also set to be able to accept 100 kW DC charging.

HONDA E-PROTOTYPE

Okay, we’ve gone on a bit about the car formerly known as the Urban EV, but that’s for good reason. Apart from it being one of the coolest concept vehicles in recent years (and it’s not only us that thinks this) it’s actually 95% production ready. This is a car that is due to go on sale in 2019. The range is not exactly huge at what Honda calls “more than 200 km” which works out to about 124 miles, but it’s very clear where this vehicle sits and that is in the affordable small EV sector alongside Volt-Age favourite the BMW i3.

Lets compare the two:

HONDA E-PROTOTYPE

City/Urban Car

4 Seats

Minimalist interior design

124 miles range

RWD

BMW I3

City/Urban Car

4 Seats

Minimalist interior design

200 mile range

RWD

You get my point. Apart from the range, the cars are very similar. Some loathe the BMW i3’s shape and minimalist interior, others think it’s marvellous. Honda have just taken it up a level, with flush “pop out” door handles (think Model S) and Audi E-Tron style Cameras replacing the wing mirrors. It’s unusual for a small “city” car to get so much hype, but I think it deserves it.

SEAT EL-BORN

Vehicle number two of a proposed 50 that will (by 2025) use VW’s MEB “Skateboard” chassis, is not actually a Volkswagen branded car. Named after a suburb in Barcelona, the Seat El-Born is the first Electric vehicle from the Spanish company, that has taken it’s inspiration from it’s cousin the VW I.D. Power output is likely to be 201 bhp, giving the El-Born a 7.5 second 0-62 time. A 62 kWh battery offers up 260 miles of range (WLTP), with 100 kWh charger compatibility. Is it just a re-badged, and likely cheaper I.D? Are we seeing what the Leon is to the Golf? Can’t wait to find out.

POLESTAR 2

Another vehicle we talked about in our last blog. The Polestar (Volvo) 2. The online only launch, did away with “all the fun at the fair” but nothing beats actually seeing a car with your own eyes, so, it’s going to Geneva. The Polestar 2 is firmly in Tesla Model 3 territory. Expect to get a can of fizzy pop and a curly wurly with the change of €60,000. What does that get you? A beautifully clean design, 78 kWh Battery meaning 311 miles of range and AWD motors kicking out 402 bhp.

Aston Martin LAGONDA

The recent trend of bringing a new marque to the table for E.V’s isn’t stopping any time soon. Aston Martin have resurrected the Lagonda name with the aim of being “the world’s first zero emission luxury brand”. Geneva will bring us the first look at the All Terrain Concept, which we assume will be a mega expensive, electric 4x4.

VW BUGGY

This VW MEB platform sure is versatile. Who knows what number the Buggy is on the list of 50, but it’s likely to be the coolest. Taking it’s inspiration from the Manx Meyers Buggy’s of the 60’s and 70’s, the ID Buggy is one of three retro style ID models, complementing the Buzz Van and a new five door hatch described as a recreation of the Beetle.

NewsJames O'Toole