As the electric revolution continues to ripple through automotive, manufacturers all race to produce the latest innovations in the industry. With brands like Peugot, SEAT and Porsche submitting their first electric models to the marketplace, brands like Honda, BMW and Audi continue to lead from the front. From new developments in performance to the first carbon-neutral model, we have selected some of the innovative brands leading the way in 2020.
ELECTRIC CAR PERFORMANCE
When we were first introduced to electric vehicles, manufacturers wanted to make a statement. Going green was at the forefront of every campaign, while performance was overlooked. Fast forward a few years, and we now have access to the next generation of EVs that showcase the best of electric powertrains leaving combustion engines behind.
Audi’s All Electric Alternative
With plans to start delivering to new owners in April, the Audi e-tron is generating quite the buzz in the UK. After releasing a preview of their electric range during the 2019 Superbowl Halftime show, motorists were left amused and excited about what was in store for the brand. In spite of its praise by fans, little was mentioned about the power and performance which the automakers noted, launching a follow up online ad shortly after really putting the e-tron to the test.
If you are yet to see the lastest ad, this time Audi have refocused their messaging steering away from ‘going green’ and instead pushing the performance of the all electric model to the forefront.
The new ad re-imagines an earlier campaign in which viewers can see the electric SUV climb to the top of the monstrous slope of the Streif in Kitzbühel. Splitting the screen to align footage from the original ad allows you to see the transformation of Audi side by side.
The Audi e-tron is now available to pre-order at Jardine Motors Group.
ELECTRIC CAR TECHNOLOGY
With new electric vehicles being rolled out this year, manufacturers have been tasked with improving their technology to enhance and increase the availability of all electric models. As a result, we are being introduced to the next generation of automaking to infuse sustainable and eco-friendly materials into production.
Porsche’s Premium Platform Electric Architecture
If you can wait a little longer for your first, or next, electric car purchase Porsche’s best selling Macan is set to become fully electric in 2022. The small SUV will boast an all electric platform with the fuel model only accessible to motorists for a short period after its release before being completely replaced by the all electric model. The next generation of Macan will be built on the PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture that no longer allows for internal combustion engines, and is the development of Porsche and Audi.
Unlike earlier adaptations used to make a car electric – replacing an internal combustion engine with a battery - the PPE architecture is set to align with usual buyer considerations like spaciousness, wheelbase and packaging, with the hopes of speeding up their electric offering.
This will be Porsche’s third electric model behind the Taycan, and is set to also be the next exclusively electric vehicle in the range. With sources all reporting that the Macan will share the 800-volt electric drive system found in the Taycan, experts suggest it could then also benefit from the model’s rapid 350kW charging capacity too. With this charge power and the addition of extra space the all electric Porsche Macan could be your next environmentally friendly family car.
BMW’s Hybrid Power
The X3 xDrive30e has been described as the stop-gap between their current fuel powered offering and all electric vehicles waiting to be produced by the German manufacturer BMW. As the latest Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) in the series, the BMW X3 xDrive 30e boasts the newest lithium-ion battery technology carefully placed under the rear seat to maximise on internal space. Paired with a 4-cylinder petrol engine BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and an electric motor, the hybrid model will provide motorists with a 0 to 62 mph in just 6.5 seconds.
The X3 model will offer a range of power sources including a conventional combustion engine, the latest hybrid system and by 2020 a fully electric model. It is the first in the BMW series to feature three alternative types and hopefully won’t be the last for the automaker as they gear up to produce at least 25 electric models by 2025.
ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING
The most common concern for motorists converting to electric is ‘range anxiety’. Many worry that their EV will run out of power during their journey, thus restricting drivers from investing in an electric alternative. Manufacturers have heard these concerns and have been tirelessly working to increase the range of their models as well as the charging infrastructure across the UK
While many manufacturers have announced their own electric mission statements over the last few years, the Japanese manufacturer, Honda, has made their own statement – proclaiming that by 2025 all models sold in Europe will be built with an electric powertrain. By eliminating fuel only models the manufacturer can focus their efforts on hybrid and ‘pure’ electric models, utilising their 2018 Vehicle-2-Grid technologies across the UK. This partnership is one of many the company plans on establishing, with other companies like Ubricity and smart grid firm Moixa in the pipeline to expand their support of energy management plans.
Along with plans to continue to support charging accessibility, the manufacturer announced more plans to aid the charging movement by introducing their e Prototype. The latest in electric, the model is set to move into production at the end of 2019 and have a range of more than 120 miles and fast charging capabilities of 80% range in 30 minutes.
Volkswagen’s Carbon-neutral Strategy
With many details of this new electric model still under wraps, Volkswagen have confirmed that the ID. hatchback range will include 3 powertrains to choose from. The lowest in the ranger will include a 48kWh battery and a range reaching just over 200 miles. However, in this instance these features aren’t the drivers in setting the ID. hatchback apart. What sets this model apart from other manufacturers is the environmental impact their greener production and charging structure is set to have. Volkswagen are using the ID. hatchback to test the first carbon-neutral production line in automation, with the aim to be an exclusively carbon-neutral company by 2050.
Volkswagen are going a step further to uphold carbon neutrality throughout the vehicles lifespan by urging owners to use renewable energy sources to charge their car. They plan on achieving this with their new Elli (short for electric life) wallbox charger that provides “regeneratively produced electricity” across all homes. The CO2- neutral charging will span further with a Group company distributing green power across the public charging network.
While automakers gear up for an all electric future, motorcycle manufacturers are stepping up production to provide bikers an opportunity to go green too. While some manufacturers are already dedicated to producing fully-electric models, the space is about to change as big names enter the marketplace.
Electric motorcycles have been available for a few years now, but it’s only the latest generation of bikes that have petrolheads turning. Back in 2018 Harley-Davidson announced its plans to enter the marketplace with their own electric motorcycle, and it looks like they are still on track with a summer release. The company announced earlier in 2019 that their electric motorcycle LiveWire would be on sale in the US with prices starting from $29,000 (est £23,000).
LiveWire will be the first electric motorcycle the brand has manufactured although it will be entering an established market, it is set to bring a new experience to the electric ride.
Observing the reinvention of the automotive industry is one of the most exciting elements of the global transition to electric vehicles. From continual innovations with charging to the next level powertrains, automotive is an industry openly accepting the challenge of a greener future. With many brands investing billions in the movement 2019 and particularly 2020 is set to be a monumental year especially for drivers looking to go green.