Coming soon: Four vital new EVs

A wave of new electric cars is on the way to market. The next 12 months will see the introduction of four vital new models.

Compact cIass ID.3 is the start of the new VW all-electric family

Volkswagen says its 1D.3 − to be shown at the Frankfurt Show in September − follows the Beetle and the Golf to introduce the third major chapter of strategic importance for the history of the brand. 'ID' stands for intelligent design, identity and visionary technologies.

“With the ID.3, we are starting from the centre, the Volkswagen brand’s core, in which the majority of the models and sales volume can be found. The number 3 also signals expandability into the segments above and below it. We have a lot in the pipeline,” says Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand for Sales, Marketing & After Sales, offering a preview of Volkswagen’s e-mobility campaign. With this campaign, the VW brand says it is willing to become the number one brand globally by 2025, with more than 20 purely electrically driven models and more than a million vehicles sold annually, all of which being both networked and emission-free.

Every member of this model family will bear the name ID., which represents a new, independent series of products in the brand portfolio. While the Beetle once mobilized the masses, and the Golf as the class leader featured great innovations in each generation, VW says the ID. will make e- mobility accessible to a broad spectrum of customers.

Following the launch of the ID.3, additional models will roll out, such as those previewed by the concept cars ID. CROZZ, ID. VIZZION and ID. ROOMZZ, and which will in the future also be named with model numbers.

Volkswagen ID.3

E-mobility: Mercedes-Benz flips the switch with EQ C

The EQ C is the first Mercedes-Benz vehicle to be launched under the EQ brand. The SUV-style vehicle comes with two electric motors at the front and rear axles with a combined output of 300 kW. A sophisticated operating strategy enables an electric range of more than 450 km according to NEDC (provisional figure, says Mercedes).

The new generation of Mercedes electric vehicles will be based on an architecture developed specifically for battery-electric models, which is scalable and usable across all models: the wheelbase and track width as well as all other system components, especially the batteries, are variable thanks to a modular building-block system. The basic architecture is suitable for SUVs, saloons, coupés, cabriolets and other model series.

The vehicle architecture builds on a multi-material mix of steel, aluminium and carbon fibre to ensure lightweight design, strength and cost efficiency.

Mercedes-Benz EQ C

Honda e Prototype at the heart of Honda's electric vision

Honda’s new retro-themed urban electric vehicle was previewed at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show in the form of the Honda e Prototype concept. This new model leads on from the brand’s 2017 Urban EV Concept, and is a key part of Honda’s “Electric Vision” strategy for the European region.

Designed to meet the ‘needs of the modern lifestyle', Honda says its e Prototype combines unique design, advanced functionality and 'engaging driving dynamics'. It is aimed squarely at the needs of customers in an urban environment.

Honda says it has developed a new EV-specific platform that it says allows for compact proportions, while a relatively long wheelbase, wide track and short overhangs facilitate exceptional urban manoeuvrability and dynamic driving characteristics. Among its unusual features are a wide dashboard screen; the charging port located in the middle of the bonnet; and timber trim for the interior which, like the steering wheel, has the look of Hondas from the 1960s and 1970s.

The prototype's range is said to be a mere 200km. Honda says the Honda e Prototype will deliver a range of over 200km and a ‘fast charge’ functionality of 80% battery charge in 30 minutes, making it ideal for commuting.

Honda has also announced that it intends to make 100% of its European automobile sales electrified (includes hybrids) by 2025. The new ambition builds on the brand's 2017 aim of two-thirds of its sales to be electrified by 2025.

Honda e Prototype

Audi e-tron

Audi has gone in the direction of an SUV for its first fully electric car. The premium brand says the car's two electric motors produce up to 300kW and combine with the electric all-wheel drive to deliver optimum performance on any terrain. The Audi e-tron is being built in the CO2-neutral plant in Brussels (where the battery pack is also made) and is on sale in Europe this year (starting price of the electric SUV in Germany is EUR€79,900).

The model has two cooled asynchronous motors, a 95kWh battery and a claimed range of up to 249mi. (400km) on the WLTP test cycle. Top speed is quoted as 200km/h. These numbers are for the e-tron 55 quattro. A less expensive variant with a smaller battery pack is due to be added by the end of 2019. As well as AC charging, DC fast-charging of up to 150kW via high-speed charging stations is possible. In 30 min, the battery can be charged at up to 80% of its capacity.

One of several innovations with the e-tron is optional virtual exterior mirrors for certain countries where legislation allows them. Audi announced in April 2019 that the e-tron will also be made in China from 2020.

Audi e-tron