At the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show, Green Means Go

By Jonathan Spira on 10 September 2019
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The biennial Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung, aka the Frankfurt Auto Show, facing a dwindling number of exhibitors, says it will no longer focus on numbers, instead championing “sustainable individual mobility.”

“We wish to provide intelligent answers to the most urgent questions about the future of mobility,” said Bernhard Mattes, president of the Verband der Automobilindustrie, Germany’s auto industry association, at a press event last week.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche are showcasing high-end electric vehicles that bear little resemblance to ones introduced at the start of the decade. The move comes as the industry tries to counter Tesla, address protests from cyclists and environmentalists, and avoid billions in pollution fines in the European Union.

“Design can speed up change and the acceptance of new technologies,” noted BMW’s design chief Adrian van Hooydonk at the Bavarian automaker’s press conference on Tuesday.

To that end, BMW presented two electric sports cars at the show, the Concept 4 and the BMW Vision Next, in an attempt to win over customers who might ordinarily purchase a diesel or petrol powered vehicle.

Volkswagen unveiled the final version of its first electric car, the ID.3.  The EV is the Wolfsburg automaker’s first vehicle designed from the ground up to be powered by batteries.

Porsche is showing off its new Taycan, a four-door sports car with a range of 280 miles (450 kilometers) on a single charge, while Mercedes unveiled its Vision EQS, a four-door electric concept car with fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles.

Meanwhile, on a more traditional note, Jaguar Land Rover revealed the Land Rover Defender, which it is reviving with plans to sell the vehicle in the United States beginning in 2020.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)