This year the Geneva Motorshow looks really exciting. It will open its door to public tomorrow and it’s expected the Green room and all other stands that feature green technology will be swarmed by people.
I’d normally start the overview with the official debuts but this being a British blog, I’ll give the prime spot to my absolute favourite of this show – the Morgan +E electric car. One of the last independently owned British car manufacturer – Morgan has teamed up with Zytek Automotive to create this beautiful electric car concept.
It is powered by a 100bhp, 300Nm electric motor. The electric Morgan hasn’t lost its sporty character – the car is capable of doing 115mph. Will the +E ever become a production model? It is mainly up to us! If there’s positive reaction from the public, the company can see making between 50 and 100 electric Morgans per year.
Official World Premieres
The joint venture between Bollore and EDF Energy has been toying with the idea of an urban electric car since about 2006. Last year this enterprise first bore fruit by introducing 250 Bluecars into the Paris car-share scheme Autolib. It is expected that this year the Autolib will receive more cars. When will this little cracker become available on sale for general public?
E’Mobile DC-Schnellladung zu and LC Super-Hybrid
The main goal of the E’Mobile stand is to show off a quick-charge system. It’s all in the name – schnellladung in German is pretty much it – quick-charge! To demonstrate how to recharge your electric car in a quick manner, they’re using a Swiss-built Protoscar electric supercar coupe. Its Brusa powertrain boasts three electric motors with a total power of 420kW.
As far as the LC Super-Hybrid is concerned, it’s something that looks like a Volkswagen Passat but is in fact a… well, super-hybrid. It features an electric supercharger and an integrated starter generator, coupled with a turbocharged downsized engine. The aim is to provide a stopgap solution for those who consider the conventional hybrids too meek.
Gasmobil is known to have installed and tried state-of-the art natural gas/biogas technology on various mainstream cars, including models from Fiat, Mercedes, Opel and Volkswagen. This year’s world premiere concerns a specially prepared Volkswagen Eco Up! with a 1.6-litre ecoFlex turbo engine. This 150bhp engine produces 40% less CO2 emissions than a similar petrol engine.
Renault is presenting the production version of its long-awaited electric car Zoe. It is still advertised as accessible to everyone and ideal for daily use. A cheap electric car? At last? We’ll see. At this Geneva Motor Show we see a normalised version of the Zoe. Well, I liked the concept. I liked it a lot. The production version? It is a good-looking car and it may grow on me after the initial shock disappears. Why, oh why did you have to normalise it?
The innovative designer Frank Rinderknecht has come up with an interesting idea of how to increase the range of an electric car. Just take the power with you. There’s only a certain number of batteries that can be fit underneath the floor. Need more power? Just Dock+Go! It’s like a backpack on wheels – the backpack can house a battery pack or a petrol-engined generator, or even a fuel cell.
Other Interesting Green Cars
Volteis by Starck
Volteis is presenting this striking all-wheel drive active leisure vehicle designed by the famous industrial designer Philippe Starck. Two ABM electric motors with 8Kw nominal power are placed on both the front and rear axles driving the wheels in a synchronised manner. The ‘juice’ is delivered from a pack of… emh… lead-acid batteries.
This little car stores its energy in a pack of state-of-the-art lithium iron phosphate LiFePO4 batteries. It claims to be able to cover up to 112 miles on a single charge if driven in “Eco” mode. It’s speed is limited to under 60mph hence it is classified as a Quadricycle in many European countries.
Yvelines Lumeneo Neoma
The main benefit of this little car is that its battery pack is quite small. It means it will take very little time to recharge it. For a car that can carry two adults around a range of 90+ miles, it’s not bad. My only concern is safety, which hopefully will soon be answered by the manufacturer.
This is Toyota’s concept of a cheap hybrid car. We all know that hybrid cars are expensive – that’s what makes them rather unattractive to the mainstream customer. According to Toyota, they have an answer to this problem – making a car from simple and lightweight materials, re-using technology that’s been around for a while. At the core of the Toyota FT-Bh is a modular construction that will allow to easily creating different versions of the same car – even a natural-gas hybrid. They are aiming at CO2 emissions of between 20 and 49 g/km depending on what hybrid setup is used. An interesting project, only why does it look so strange? Hasn’t Toyota learnt anything from the Prius? Just give me a hybrid that looks like a normal car and I’ll be happy what do you think?
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