Paris Motor Show 2016 is Electrific!

Volkswagen I.D. Concept

Volkswagen has revealed their first purpose-built electric car and it’s a cracker. Available with 372-mile (600km) range, the car is both electric and autonomous and the concept features many details we’ve seen before from VW. This includes smart phone connection and the ability to summon the car to drive itself to wherever you may be, while it is parked elsewhere. The car definitely appears to have taken a few design nods from BMW’s i3, including neat rear doors. Volkswagen is hailing the car as the next big thing and an important step for the company. Their intent is to become the world’s foremost electric car seller and hope to shift one million units by 2025. Arriving 2020

Renault Trezor Concept

Ooh la la! Wow, what a concept! Electric motors derived from the Renault-e.dams Formula E racing car, a 0-62 mph time of 4 seconds and an awesome spaceship-cum-sports car design make the Trezor a real thing of beauty. Sure, it’s never likely to get produced, at least in its current state, but it’s a great insight into what will happen when the likes of racing electric cars make their technology available to road cars. Oh and it has autonomous tech and in-built luggage too. What’s not to like? Arriving… err, probably never.

Renault ZOE ZE 40

For 2017, Renault will offer the excellent ZOE electric car with a newly enlarged battery. The result is the ZOE ZE 40, which offers a useful 250-mile (400km) NEDC range and maintains the chic, fun and practical ZOE design we already love. Caveat: Renault state a 186-mile (300km) real world range. Unlike the concept cars on this page you can order the ZOE ZE 40 from the 1st October. Renault has also revealed simplified battery hire price plans with no minimum commitment. These include the “Flex ZE 40” package, which adjusts to your mileage and the “Relax” package with unlimited mileage – for private customers only. For the launch of the new ZE 40 battery, this dual price plan comes with a promotional special offer including – Vehicle + battery rental (5,000 km/yr), Contribution to charging socket + installation up to €500, 2 charging cables (flexi-charger for domestic sockets and a cable for Wall-boxes and public recharge points). Arriving 1 October 2016.

Renault ZOE ZE 40

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ

Mercedes-Benz has waded into the electrification game with several important concepts. First up is Generation EQ. It’s a new brand for Merc’s electrified vehicles and it looks like a car that’s nearly at production stage. There’s precious little about the concept that’s pie in the sky, which is always a good sign. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz have a 200km electric van, an electric lorry and much more on offer. They’re a company that should be taken seriously and their early association with Tesla (now ended) seems to have paid off. Arriving 2019.

Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6

The Mercedes-Maybach Vision 6 is a thing of beauty. It’s a nostalgic look at the past but with wholly future intentions. There’s classic gullwing doors, a long, sleek and elegant body reminiscent of 1930’s custom coachwork and yet it is powered not by a gas-guzzling V12, but electric power. It marks the first time the Maybach name has been associated with electric power and we think you’ll agree, it makes sense. Refinement is guaranteed, as is power, speed and smiles, yet equally alongside a calming presence and ostentatiously cossetting  interior. We like, very much.

smart electric drive

smart electrive drive fortwo, fortwo cabrio & forfour

Starting from 21,940€ in Germany, the new range of smart electric drive cars have arrived. Their official unveiling at the Paris Motor Show 2016 also marks the first time smart will offer the forfour in electric form. There’s nothing particularly startling about the specification of any smart, but that is their beauty and appeal. Instead of shouting about having the best range or acceleration, they are instead a – to coin a phrase – ‘smart’ electric car range that will suit the budget buyer. The fortwo is also available in popular cabrio form, ideal for sunny locales. Each car is equipped with the same 17.6kWh li-ion battery, 81hp motor that together provide around 155-160km NEDC range and acceleration from 11.5-12.7 seconds 0-62mph. Available as an optional extra from 2017, rapid charging will also be available.

Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid

The new Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is, perhaps, what the Panamera always should have been from the start. When first launched, the original Panamera wasn’t exactly commended on its looks. The new Panamera, however, is a geuine looker. It’s sleek lines and new 2.9-litre turbo engine combined with electric power that’s usable with a decent 30-mile range is a real indication that the famous Stuttgart brand is ready to embrace electrification with both hands. The still in development Mission E may well take some design aspects from the new Panamera, particularly on the inside where it has a smart blend of tech and computer screens for infotainment.

Mitsubishi GT PHEV Concept

Mitsubishi GT PHEV

Mitsubishi’s ever popular plug-in hybrid Outlander has always attracted controversy but not usually because of its looks. Nonetheless, designers at the Japanese company felt they ought to have a go at making an SUV a touch more, err, sporty? Here we have the GT PHEV, which is a much more upmarket design than the regular Outlander PHEV in every respect. There are some Lexus styling queues, in particular the massive gaping-mouth grille but overall the car exhibits a class of its own and the purpose of the concept is to showcase Mitsubishi’s, “Form follows Function” design philosophy. The regular Outlander PHEV hasn’t been forgotten though, and has a few updates including an electric parking brake and auto-hold brake function plus a dedicated EV mode button that prioritises electric driving to prevent the petrol engine turning on unecessarily.

Mitsubishi eX Concept

Smart looks and a fantastic electric range make this an SUV we’re hoping makes it from concept to production. The eX Concept has a 45kWh li-ion battery and should be capable of a range of 250-miles (400km). If the Outlander PHEV is anything to go by, the eX’s all-wheel electric drive capability should be good too with its dual-motor all-wheel drive approach. Since Nissan has bought 33% of Mitsubishi earlier in the year, there is at least still some likelihood of seeing the eX make it to production. However, features like the augmented reality windscreen are perhaps a step too far – although would make for a neat addition to the optional extras list.

Mitsubishi eX Concept

Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Toyota’s new Prius Plug-in Hybrid has been revealed and purports to offer the best plug-in hybrid vehicle of all, currently available on the market. A 30-mile plus EV range means it is more than capable of most local journeys. Making this possible is a new 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery located underneath the loadspace, that despite being twice the battery capacity of the old generation plug-in, is only 50% heavier at 120kg. EV power has been increased 83%, thanks to the Dual Motor Drive System – a first for a Toyota hybrid. A clever gas-injected heat pump keeps occupants warm and can heat the cabin without the engine being turned on at all at temperatures as low as -10ºC. Likewise, the battery cells themselves receive some thermal efficiency upgrades, including a heater that ensures their efficiency no matter the ambient temperature. Offical MPG is a mightily impressive 282.5 and CO2 just 22 g/km (subject to homologation).

Hyundai IONIQ Electric & Hybrid

Introduced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March, the All-New IONIQ is also presented live on display at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. The IONIQ is the world’s first car to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric powertrains in a single model. This innovative approach from Hyundai Motor democratises e-mobility, making low-to-zero emission driving more accessible to everyone. The IONIQ Hybrid and the IONIQ Electric will be launched in European markets from autumn 2016 onwards. The IONIQ Plug-in will be launched in Europe during 2017.

Updates coming shortly…

  • Toyota FCV Plus Concept
  • Toyota CH-R
  • BMW i8 Roadster
  • BMW C evolution (94Ah)

Autovolt magazine

Autovolt is the UK's leading consumer magazine dedicated to electric and hybrid vehicles. We cover electric cars, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles and much more.

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