Geneva Motor Show 2018 Round Up

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We had the privilege to visit the 2018 Geneva Motor show to catch up with some of our customers. This is the first time in over 10 years we have visited as typically over the past few years AVID has been focused on providing electrification solutions for the heavy-duty vehicle market such as buses, trucks and off-highway machinery.

As more and more vehicle manufacturers develop hybrid and electric vehicle programs this has led to AVID’s products being used on a wide range of vehicles. From thermal management systems, traction drives and power electronics, battery systems and of course electric pumps and electric fans it is all very exciting! This year at Geneva there was a lot of buzz around electrification with most major manufacturers showing cars with electric and hybrid powertrains. There were some clear stars of the show, but for me, there were three cars that were the highlight.

First of all, the amazing Rimac Concept 2 full EV hypercar. This is Rimacs new and improved vehicle and wow have they done a good job. The C2 is absolutely gorgeous from every angle and it has the performance specs to back up its looks. Planned for series production by 2020 I don’t think it can come soon enough judging by the interest on their stand from prospective customers. This Car has more power than is ever really practical to use on the public highway, it’s a pure electric indulgence. In a similar manner to the Concept One, it has a 4 Motor system with full torque vectoring and the rear motors use a 2-speed gearbox to enhance acceleration, although the motors have been re-engineered to improve performance and the powertrain has seen significant upgrades all around.

Next up the new Jaguar I-Pace with its looks that have divided opinion, however, I personally loved it. With an excellent stance and a bold style, it’s certainly more striking than the jelly mould style of the Model X in my personal opinion. The I-Pace seems well priced for a luxury compact EV and comes with an excellent standard spec with a 90kWh pouch cell Lithium NMC battery pack mounted under the floor and a single motor transaxle drive unit in the front and rear. This means 4 wheel drive but no torque vectoring tricks like the Rimac. This battery gives it a range of 240 miles which is more than enough for most people especially as the number of public charging points and motorway fast charging points increases. Also on display was the racing version, this looks awesome and I cannot wait to see them on the track.

Finally, the star of the show for me was the new Hyundai Kona BEV due on sale this year. This appears to be a great overall package. The compact SUV styling means it looks funky, it stands out in a good way and is more environmentally friendly than its dinosaur eating relations, making it the much more appealing overall package in their range.

With great space inside and an awesome battery spec up to 65kwh and a notably very low energy consumption of only 14kwh per 100km promises excellent range, by comparison, the new leaf is around 20kwh per 100km. Expect this model to sell very well with keen pricing. In the cutaway model, you could clearly see the LG NMC “opposing tab” pouch cells mounted under the floor with a highly integrated motor drive unit up front. Why is this better than the Rimac or the Jaguar? Simply because it is a practical and affordable EV with a huge battery for the price, and it’s going to be on sale this year. This is EV going mainstream!

The new Nissan Leaf was at the show and is a great looking package compared to the outgoing model, this Car is going to sell well and offers a very compelling package. Its battery is 40kwh and this does give a great range compared to the old car, the new model has really grown up. I am a huge fan of the leaf and I am sure it will sell in high volumes but will have very tough competition from the Kona which offers a bigger battery and more flexible/funky overall package. This is a shame given that Nissan was early to the BEV space and the practically invented the compact SUV class but Hyundai has pipped them to the post and brought the two together. Nissan’s new IMX or Leaf SUV Concept was very striking but looks quite a long way from production, unlike the Kona.

Other notable cars at the show: With a logo that looks like it’s from the Transformers, Italian based LVCHI Auto showed their Venere 4 door super saloon. This Car is packed with technology carbon fibre composite body structure push rod inboard mounted suspension allowing for a super slippery nose design and a 4 Motor torque vectoring drive train that packs a powerful punch. A 100kwh battery tops off the spec, and it is expected to go into limited production in 2020.

Pininfarina showed the stunning H2 hydrogen fuel cell concept vehicle developed with Green GT, this car features an EV drivetrain and a fuel cell system for added range. It looks amazing, let us hope it makes it to the market.

Koenigsegg had their awesome Regera hybrid hypercar on display alongside their powertrain. If you haven’t seen this hybrid powertrain it’s worth a look, using a specialised torque converter to completely delete the gearbox but still drive with absolutely blistering performance, this is a very interesting and unique vehicle.

Airbus and Audi teamed up to show a future urban mobility concept combining drone technology and EV with a demountable Road powertrain and drone system this could be the future of 3-dimensional urban mobility and it’s electric!

Volvo launched the new Polestar sub-brand which will focus on electrified performance vehicles. They also had their new coupe on the stand along with PHEV versions of their XC models. The polestar coupe looks brilliant, I can’t wait to drive one!

The revised Outlander was on display, I don’t think Mitsubishi has done enough to stay ahead of the competition and even this updated car looks dated to me. The Outlander was once the sole PHEV choice in the market but now faces huge competition from BMW, Mercedes VW, Audi and others it has a lot of work to do to stay competitive. Missing from the show was Mini, which was a shame as the new Countryman PHEV is a great car and definitely one to watch when it launches in 2018.

There were also two fantastic electric vehicle concepts on display from Honda. My personal favourite was the two-door coupe although the Honda staff told us that the City Car concept is the one that has now gone into their new product introduction process and will actually be launched at some point in the future. This vehicle had a lovely detail in the composite panels where the swage line ends up as a plug.