Glamour At Paris Motor Show as Electric Cars Head to Showrooms.
For perhaps the first time at a major international auto salon, the electric cars have over shadowed the long time stars of the Paris Motor Show. Could we be choosing between electric cars, natural gas and gasoline on our showrooms by 2020. A possibility I thought, after the sampling of futuristic designs and prototypes. And of course there are some conventional new models soon to hit dealer showrooms.
But the automobile industry’s will have to prove me right or wrong, else this show may end up on the daily headlines being best remembered as a tipping point for an electric car revolution although some of the excitement is still speculative, of course.
With car manufacturers facing more tougher laws in emissions and standards the electric car would came as a relieve to many, especially for Volkswagen, which trying to move beyond the diesel-emissions cheating scandal that has tarnished its brand, is displaying an all-electric concept car it calls the I.D.Thou VW already sells the all-electric e-Golf, which is limited in terms of ranges between charges, the big drawback might be offset by the new VW I.D. Since it production for sales to the end user the e-Golf is considered a “city electric” for short commutes, not long-distance road warriors like myself. Thou the newer version has a range of 200kms, VW believes it will be sold in more locations than the current model, thus serving as a “bridge vehicle,” to the new all-electric based on the I.D., whose debut is planned for 2020.
Other exhibitors in the motor had similar aspirations with prototypes that amaze the eyes, retractable sterling wheels and advance systems in their nerves, no wonder Mercedes-Benz used the Paris show to announce a new sub-brand of electric cars, Generation EQ (a play on I.Q.). The vehicles are scheduled to roll out in stages over the next three to seven years. The inaugural model, on display here, is a sport utility vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz built the largest stage here and rigged it for a huge light show with pulsating sound to introduce its Generation EQ vehicles. “We’re now flipping the switch,” Ready for the launch of an electric product offensive that will cover all vehicle segments, from the compact to the luxury class.
Opel division of General Motors, which unveiled the production-ready Ampera-e, the European version of its all-electric Chevrolet Bolt, which is supposed to go on sale late this year in North America. The five-passenger subcompact Ampera-e promised the trifecta of electric car must-haves, for sure the considerable utility for a car its size, a mass-market price and an all-electric range of more than 500 kilometers, or 310 miles.
Another that stole my eyes in the paris motor show awas the sexiest concept model at the show, probably the Renault Trezor autonomous-driving electric car. This aircraftlike flight of design fancy is likely never to see production especially its cornea-scorching red cockpit. Renault said future production models based on the Trezor would appear by 2020.
Thou pundits and critics might argue that almost six years ago, the Nissan Leaf was introduced, the industry’s first mass-produced electric vehicle, went on sale, the company said its range was less than 100 miles. That proved to be a deal breaker for many buyers, who viewed it as insufficient for everyday driving. Technical tweaks to newer models of the Leaf have lifted that slightly above 100 miles. But new hardware that might significantly expand its range is still awaiting introduction. Could there be drawback that we can’t imagine now.
While most of the exhibitors did not detail the exact methodology, route or road conditions that would last you the said miles, they mostly concluded in a simple closing note, “any careful driver, on a national road, could have driven this car 500 kilometers,” Ms. Fletcher said. “We are presenting a real production car, not something that is two to three years away.”
Almost every other manufacturer in attendance is offering at least one new model with full electric operation or a hybrid combination of gas and electric. The real question is when it will hit showrooms for us to drive, or have Lyft pick us up in one.