The next generation of EVs were on display in Paris

Auto Shows, News | October 3rd, 2016 by 8
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A few years ago, the selection of electric vehicles on the market was quite slim. We had the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and BMW …

A few years ago, the selection of electric vehicles on the market was quite slim. We had the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S and BMW i3. There were a few others, but none that special. After the 2016 Paris Motor Show, though, it seems as if that selection is going to expand. Rapidly.

Almost each and every premium automaker debuted some sort of electric vehicle or concept in Paris. Volkswagen showed off its I.D. concept, proving that it could make an EV with over 200 miles of range that only costs as much as a Golf diesel. But that’s just the beginning, as Volkswagen wants 30 EVs in its lineup by 2025. An ambitious goal, indeed.

But VW wasn’t the only ambitious German in Paris. The Mercedes-Benz EQ debuted as well, foreshadowing the beginning of an EV influx into Mercedes’ lineup as well. “We’re now flipping the switch,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche. “We’re ready for the launch of an electric product offensive that will cover all vehicle segments, from the compact to the luxury class.” Mercedes wants 10 EVs in its model portfolio within the next few years.

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BMW Board Member Ian Robertson, the only BMW board member at the Paris Motor Show, claimed that new legislature is changing the automotive landscape, forcing all automakers to push for more EVs. “We’re all facing a legislative framework around the world which is going in one direction and almost converging on the same spot,” said Robertson. “Within the mix of vehicles for the foreseeable future, you will need to have a good proportion of zero-emission vehicles.”

However, not all automakers agree on the direction to take. While Tesla has claimed for years that pure BEV is the only way to go, others have disagreed. BMW and Toyota are the two largest detractors, with investments in hydrogen fuel-cell technology. Maybe BMW and Toyota are being pig-headed because of their investment into hydrogen fuel. Or maybe Elon Musk is bullying hydrogen because its success would be bad for Tesla’s business. Either way, BMW and Toyota seem to be sticking to their guns.

“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.” said Toyota Vice President Didier Leroy. “But today we are really convinced that the fuel cell is much more promising.”

Regardless of the technology involved, we are starting to see the beginning of a new generation of electric cars. Whether they be plug-in hybrids or hydrogen fuel-cell cars, the next-generation of electric cars is coming and quickly.

[Source: Automotive News]

8 responses to “The next generation of EVs were on display in Paris”

  1. Kaisuke971 says:

    You forgot the Renault Zoe, it has 400km of autonomy and costs around 25k € (22k base price). It’s pretty much the first affordable city electric car with usable range.

  2. Tommolog says:

    Nico I don’t necessarily agree that “BMW and Toyota are the two largest detractors, with investments in hydrogen fuel-cell technology.” Toyota for sure, but BMW has invested more in plug in electric vehicle technology than any other OEM besides Tesla and perhaps Nissan.

    Yes, BMW is also hedging their bet on battery electric vehicles with continuing their research in hydrogen tech, and sharing some of that R&D with Toyota in the process. That’s a good thing; to keep all of their options open. However unlike Toyota they’ve never manufactured or sold a production H2 vehicle and there’s no immediate plans, other than talk and rumors for them to do so in the immediate future.

    Meanwhile, they’ve sold more than 40,000 cars that plug in and are introducing new plug in models every couple months now.

    • Sorry if that got consusing. I was just trying to say that BMW and Toyota are the two biggest detractors to the “BEV is the one and only alternative fuel” argument, being that BMW is indeed keeping its options open. Not that BMW is a detractor of BEVs or more in favor of hydrogen.

      BMW is claiming that hydrogen is a viable alternative fuel for the future, so it goes against claims from people like Elon Musk who claim hydrogen and even plug-ins to be a joke. That’s what I was really trying to convey.

      Sorry if that was confusing.

    • keithdude says:

      It’s not just BMW and Toyota. Honda is firmly committed to the technology, and there are recent public comments from Honda representatives confirm. Actually, most of the major automakers are coming to market with fuel cell electric vehicles: Hyundai (2014), Toyota (2015), Honda (2016), Mercedes-Benz (2017), GM (2020-ish), BMW (2020). Audi/Volkswagen just had an announcement about their purchase of fuel cell patents from Ballard. Ford and Nissan are part of a tripartite technology sharing agreement with Daimler.

  3. Sander says:

    I don’t see how hydrogen could work for cars, with all the loss that occurs during transition from electric to hydrogen at the station, and back to electric in the car. Not even considering the convenience of being able to plug in your car at home instead of fueling her up at the station.

    I can see how hydrogen could work for trucks, but who knows what amount of electricity we can store in a battery years from now.

  4. Bob Morane says:

    I can see FCV and BEV merging together in future, with solid state hydrogen batteries.

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