Second wave electric vehicles promise technology acceptable for wide range of consumers; those cars are getting better, cheaper, longer lasting. It appears this is the highlight of this year Paris Motor show.
Producers are trying to present its models as much attractive is possible. Renault for example has the message on the huge billboard: “Renault ZOE 400 km. 100% Electric. Now”. That’s 400 kilometers, or 249 miles, of driving range per charge, it’s based on the New European Driving Cycle testing. Later it was said the Zoe would get about three-quarters of that in real-world driving.
At the beginning of the EVs on the market several years ago, producers noticed that the range of consumers who will not mind the limited range and high prices was not far from tech-obsessed drivers and environmentally minded celebrities.
Producers started to work on the next generation of EV, and now they’re bringing out a batch of electric cars with more consumer-friendly ranges and prices.
Competition and global emission regulations orienting automakers to the EVs
Volkswagens is working on the I.D. concept car, which will be sold for about the price of a Golf diesel, which is about $20,000, and have more than 250 miles of range. According to the VWs EV brand chairman Herbert Diess, German auto giant is planning to have 30 EVs in its lineup by 2025. VW must take aggressive steps to fend off competitors like Tesla, and potentially Google and Apple. “You have to be more radical if you want to compete with those,” Diess said. “As long as you carry along the combustion engine, I think you don’t have a chance to compete with the new entries.”
Producers need to think not only about the competition but also on the global emissions regulations are tightening. Ian Robertson, BMW board member for sales and marketing, said: “We’re all facing a legislative framework around the world which is going in one direction and almost converging on the same spot. Within the mix of vehicles for the foreseeable future, you will need to have a good proportion of zero-emission vehicles.”
Likewise, Karl-Thomas Neumann, president of GM Europe, said that “I think that it is very clear that individual mobility is moving toward carbon-neutral.” He said that the Opel Ampera-e, a sibling to the Chevorlet Bolt, is a first step in that direction. “It is a major milestone for us for our transformation on the long-term horizon to become an all-electric company.” According to his words, in the NEDC test, the Ampera-e has a range of over 300 miles, he said; the U.S. EPA puts the Bolt at a 238-mile range.
Mercedes-Benz EQ concept has an ambitious plan to introduce at least 10 electric vehicles cars in the next years. The first new all-electric model will be a SUV shaped like coupe. Sale will start before the end of the decade.
“We’re now flipping the switch,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said. “We’re ready for the launch of an electric product offensive that will cover all vehicle segments, from the compact to the luxury class.”
Producers are still trying to get free from CO2 emissions. Only Toyota favors electric drive powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota Executive Vice President Didier Leroy said: “If there is some need to move in our lineup to a pure [battery] electric car, EV car, we will do it. And we are ready for that. But today we are really convinced that the fuel cell is much more promising.”