Report from Paris: Here Come the EVs

By Paul Riegler on 4 October 2016
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IMG_6997 (1)The Paris Motor Show, or Mondial de l’Automobile, was the world’s first auto show and continues to be one of the most important shows in the industry.

This year, many automakers used the occasion to show off their plans for electric vehicles that boast a driving range similar to petrol- and diesel-powered automobiles.

Before the event even began, Volkswagen showed off its I.D. electric concept that it went on record saying that it was a realistic look at what the beleaguered automaker will offer by 2020. The I.D. will eventually get a multifunction steering wheel that disappears into the dashboard when in the fully automated I.D. Pilot mode, although that feature won’t be available until 2025. This will give the driver more room to get comfortable. It can also accept parcels for its owner if no one is at home.

Meanwhile, on the show floor, Renault was touting the Zoe electric vehicle with signs saying “Renault ZOE 400 km. 100% Electric. Now.” With a realistic range of 186 miles (299 kilometers) or so (the 249 mile/400 kilometer New European Driving Cycle rating is known to be extremely optimistic), it will be able to replace a family’s current vehicle without subjecting drivers with range anxiety.

At the show, Volkswagen’s Herbert Diess, the board member responsible for VW brand management, said that the I.D. will sell for the roughly the same price as a Golf diesel – in the United States that would be mid-$20,000s – and have a minimum of 250 mile (402 kilometer) range. Volkswagen will have 30 EVs in its lineup, including the I.D., by 2025, he said.

The Opel Ampera-e, from General Motor’s Adam Opel division, is a Chevy Bolt sibling and, according to Karl-Thomas Neumann, president of GM Europe, is a “major milestone” for the automaker’s eventual transformation to an “all-electric company.”

Finally, Mercedes-Benz showed off its EQ concept and brand. The Stuttgart-based automaker plans to introduce a minimum of ten battery-powered models under the EQ brand including an all-electric coupe-like SUV that will be available by the end of the current decade.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)