Automotive manufacturers have used the Geneva Motor Show (8 – 18 March) to unveil their latest hybrid and electric models. With diesel now proving less popular in Europe and German cities even looking to ban it, the non-combustion-engine vehicles from established names Jaguar, Hyundai and Lexus and Chinese constructors LVChi and Polestar that were on display will likely prove popular with potential buyers.
At this year’s Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, electric and hybrid cars are all the rage. 900 vehicles are on show, and 700,000 visitors to the 10-day exhibition have been able to discover the latest that non-combustion-engine technology has to offer. Chinese constructors have a significant presence and have been keen to show that their previous rather outdated designs are now a thing of the past, according to French website Les Numériques.
A sedan and a sports car from China
LVChi, a manufacturer based in Shanghai (China), unveiled the Venere, a sedan clocking in at over 5.11 metres in length and drawn up by Italian designers. The engine is just as impressive as the bodywork, capable of a top speed of 286 km/h and going 0–100 km/h in 2.5 seconds.
The Polestar 1 meanwhile is a sportscar from the Chinese Geely group which bought out the Volvo brand. It is a coupé built on the Volvo S90 platform, fitted with two 218cv electric engines and with a range of 150 kilometres.
Jaguar following in Tesla’s footsteps
As well as these Chinese relative newcomers, there were plenty of automotive giants unveiling their latest electric and hybrid models. Jaguar, who are looking to set themselves up as the official challengers to Tesla, were showcasing their I-Pace, an ultra-luxury vehicle which recently outdid the Tesla X75 and X100D in terms of braking and acceleration on a Mexican circuit. What sets this British model apart is its quick recharging system which can provide 80% of battery range in just 45 minutes.
The Lexus US, a hybrid-engined compact SUV, is designed to compete with similar models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes, and the company has made a real effort on various driver aids. Hyundai displayed its electric Kona EV, which is targeting a very inexpensive price segment. In terms of curiosity value meanwhile, visitors were treated to original and retro versions of the Microlino and the Concept Two, which is the work of Croatian constructors Rimac.
Diesel set to be banned?
All of the above models should be available in the next few years and will doubtless appeal to professionals and private owners alike in Europe, where diesel is seemingly coming to the end of its popularity. Nowhere is this more the case than in Germany, where a number of cities are working on banning this type of engine.
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