The Frankfurt Motor Show officially known as the International Motor Show or IAA is indicative of how the auto industry will look like in a few years. This year’s show which kicked off in Germany on September 12 put electric vehicles on the center stage; against the backdrop of a palpating industry-wide effort to electrify all their future models.
Internationally, UK and France recently promised to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040. Similarly, global carmakers like BMW, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover have pledged to produce only electric, hybrids and fuel-cell cars.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show 2017, brands like Audi, BMW, and Renault took to the stage to launch new concept designs and production vehicles. As mentioned earlier, the focus was more on electrification, as most companies showcased battery-powered or hybrid vehicles. This doesn’t mean that autonomous cars were neglected either.
Here are Industry Leaders Magazine’s pick of the top designs from the Frankfurt Motor Show 2017
Renault Symbioz Concept is autonomous, electric and can co-exist with your surroundings.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault demonstrated exactly how the Renault Symbioz Concept works with a battery pack powering the home and at the same time serve as a backup power supply during a blackout. Through this concept, household appliances can be controlled, and if a long trip is planned, one can even turn instruct the car to pull down shutters, turn down heating, etc.
The car is 4.7 meters in length, 1.98 meters in width and 1.38 meters tall. It is made of lightweight carbon fiber, while the top half is made from glass. The 72kWh electric motor produces 668bhp/600Nm of torque. It can accelerate from 0-100kmph in six seconds.
Renault Symbioz can be driven by the owner or be used as an autonomous vehicle. In the autonomous driving mode, one can arrange the interior in a variety of ways to suit the situation.
HONDA URBAN EV CONCEPT
The all-electric Honda Urban EV Concept is reminiscent of the 1970s VW Golf GTI with its stout stance.
This quirky electric car will enter production as early as 2019 and could become a direct rival of the BMW i3. On the inside is a floating dashboard with a wrap-around display. The floating dashboard can display interactive messages on the screen, including greetings as well as charging updates. Meanwhile, the screen extends onto the doors, while at the same time acting as rear-view displays with the help of side-mounted cameras. It can house up to four occupants on the two-bench style seats.
The Audi Aicon has no steering wheel and no pedals, or stab on brakes as it lacks any controls.
The only human intervention required in the Audi Aicon is in the use of the touch-sensitive control panel that allows passengers to watch videos, make video calls, and search the internet. The car will virtually eliminate collisions, and passengers won’t need to wear any seat belts.
The Audi Aicon has 4 electric motors that produce 350 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. It can navigate through any kind of road in any kind of weather. It's super light in weight with advanced aerodynamics that allows the car to cover distance of 500 miles on a single battery charge. It can operate on 800 volts and can charge in less than 30 minutes. There’s also a wireless charging option available for those on the go. On dark nights, a mini drone reaches from the car to guide passengers to the door at their destination.
BMW i Vision Dynamics
The new electric car will directly challenge Tesla’s position as it launched in 2021.
The BMW i Vision Dynamics can cover 373 miles at a top speed of over 120mph. It can accelerate from 0-62mph in four seconds. The car has been described by critics as a competitor for Tesla Model S and Model X in the luxury EV market. It is a four-door Gran Coupe and will launch in 2021.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show 2017, there’s so much love for electric vehicles. It’s not just BMW, Audi, and Honda unveiling electric concept cars. Mercedes-Benz has also unveiled a futuristic concept electric car, the EQA. The company’s chief Dieter Zetsche has promised electrification of all models from 2022.
The market update of electric vehicles may look low at the moment, but it shall boost when governments around the world begin enforcing ban on gasoline-chugging cars. It’s certain the death of combustion engine won’t be immediate. There’s a lot of hype on the market, but there aren’t that many customers. One of the biggest issues remains the lack of charging infrastructure for the electric car take-up.
The Frankfurt Motor Show 2017 takes place at the Messe Frankfurt exhibition center. It will be open to public till September 24, 2017.