Europe’s biggest automotive showcase event was held in Frankfurt in September. As expected, there were a lot of exciting new cars on display and quite a few electric vehicles as well. With top automakers of the world committing to zero-emission cars for the future, it looks like EVs will enter the mainstream as early as the next decade. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Honda and Mini showcased their products at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Here are some of the electric cars that caught our attention.
BMW revealed the new i3S – an updated version of the i3 hybrid-electric city car. Apart from slight cosmetic changes, the i3S gets revised interiors with updated equipment. It also comes with a new 10.3-inch infotainment display loaded with a new operating system.
BMW has updated the i3S with a more powerful synchronous electric motor. Power is up by 13 hp over the outgoing model, taking the overall output to 181 hp, while torque has gone up by 20 Nm to 270 Nm. It uses the same fixed ratio gearbox and 90Ah lithium-ion battery which gives it a maximum range of 254 km. That said, the BMW i3S is also available with a 647 cc, 2-cylinder petrol engine as an optional range-extender. The engine works as a generator to charge the batteries and does not propel the vehicle directly.
BMW iVision Dynamic
BMW will be taking on Tesla with a new electric sedan which is likely to be called the BMW i5. The model was previewed in the form of BMW iVision Dynamic at Frankfurt. Like the rest of the BMW-i range, the iVision Dynamic sports a futuristic look. It is longer and wider than the latest 3-Series. The four-door sedan gets a large twin-kidney grille up front, and L-shaped LED tail lights.
While BMW has not disclosed details about the powertrain, BMW claims that it will hit 100 km/h in under 4 sec and has a top speed of 193 km/h. It is claimed to have a maximum range of almost 600 km.
Honda Urban EV
Honda revealed the Urban EV concept, which the company plans to put into production in 2019. The compact hatchback features unique styling elements like the round LED headlights and illuminated Honda logos at both ends. Slim A and B-pillars help maximise the greenhouse, which should aid visibility. The interior of the Urban EV looks pretty futuristic with its large, panoramic screen and minimalistic design.
Honda hasn’t announced details about the powertrain, however, they did mention that car will use lightweight, high-density batteries with an expected range of 250 km.
Mercedes-Benz EQA concept
The Mercedes-Benz EQA concept is expected to go on sale in 2020. The electric hatchback will compete with the likes of the BMW i3. It will be the entry-level EV in the EQ range and will be based on a new electric vehicle platform.
The EQA uses two electric motors, each powering one of the axles. Total output is claimed to be 268 hp and a maximum torque of 500 Nm. Mercedes claims the EQA will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 5.0 sec. The car might use a 60 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, offering an overall range of around 400 km.
Smart Vision EQ Fortwo
The Smart Vision EQ Fortwo is a quirky looking city car for the future. Built by Smart – a Mercedes-Benz subsidiary, the Vision EQ Fortwo is powered by a rear-mounted electric motor and a 30 kWh lithium-ion battery offering a maximum range of over 300 km – quite sufficient for a two-seater that’s essentially a city runabout.
Jaguar I-Pace racer
Taking a leaf out of Formula E, Jaguar has announced a one-make EV racing series. 20 Jaguar I-Pace racers will compete for the Jaguar eTrophy in 2018/19. A total of 10 races will be held during Formula E weekends during the season.
The Jaguar I-Pace racer is powered by four electric motors and a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery for a combined output of 395 hp and 700 Nm of torque. It will do 0-100 km/hr in around 4 sec.
Electric Mini Concept
BMW previewed a concept of the upcoming Mini Electric at Frankfurt. The design is based on the new Mini albeit with a covered front grille, revised aero and funky wheels. The Mini Electric will be built in Britain at Mini’s Oxford plant. Production is said to commence in 2019. Sadly, BMW refrained from disclosing details about its powertrain.
These are the electric cars that you and I could be driving in the years to come. What are your thoughts about electric vehicles? Is the world ready to make the shift from fuel-powered cars to greener, cleaner EVs?