With environmental protests and controversy blighting this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and the re-brand the event has undergone, the most important cars on display are arguably those with electric power. We round up the EVs you could drive away from Frankfurt with a clean conscience.
One of two show-stopping EV reveals at Frankfurt, this is Porsche’s hotly-anticipated Taycan sports saloon. Its 800-volt architecture should show the Tesla Model S what repeatable performance looks like.
The other headline-grabbing EV at Frankfurt is the Volkswagen ID.3. Call it reparations for ‘Dieselgate’ if you will, but this car might outsell the Golf one day. The reaction is good thus far.
As VW has been at pains to emphasise, ‘ID’ isn’t just one car – it’s a model range. The ID.4 SUV is coming soon, as teased by this disguised prototype at Frankfurt.
The Mini seems like the right car to go electric and, finally, the British marque has obliged. The Mini Electric has a 124-mile minimum range and is available to lease from £299 a month.
Vauxhall Corsa e
Another electric car for the people is the Vauxhall Corsa e. This small EV is a revolution for the marque, and is twinned with Peugeot’s e208. It’s capable of 200 miles on a full charge
Mercedes calls the EQV the world’s first fully-electric MPV. With a range of 252 miles and top speed of 100mph, your many passengers should have no problem getting to their destination.
The Honda e will be one of the most interesting new cars of 2020. A futuristic small EV with retro styling, it also – like the Mini – is available from £300 a month.
Smart has updated its EQ models, the ForTwo and ForFour. This comes shortly after an announcement that the marque is going electric-only. A bold move.
All eyes were on the ID.3, but there’s another small electric car from Volkswagen at Frankfurt. This is the updated e-Up, with an impressive 160 miles of range. It can also replenish its battery to 80 percent charge in 60 minutes using a 40kW charger.
BMW i Hydrogen Next
Diverting from battery-electric vehicles at Frankfurt, here’s the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT. Essentially, it’s an X5 powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. No details are available yet, but we do know BMW is working with Toyota on the project.
Chinese EV startup Byton revealed the production version of its M-Byte electric SUV at Frankfurt. If you don’t remember who Byton is, just think back to that SUV with a 48-inch screen inside. This is a handsome-looking effort.
Aiways is another Chinese brand with a new EV. To prove its performance, it completed a road trip from China all the way to Frankfurt. On the way, it passed through 12 countries, including Kazakhstan, Russia, Finland and the Netherlands. It was a world record for a journey by a prototype electric vehicle – a full 9,300 miles.
Opel Elektro GT
Now we enter the bonus round, of electric cars that were way ahead of their time. Long before the Corsa e came the Opel Elektro GT. This diminutive prototype sports car was the pet project of Georg Von Opel, grandson of the company’s founder. In May 1971, as part of a record attempt, it managed 27 miles on a charge.
Volkswagen Beetle Electric
This is a very modern classic: an original Beetle fitted with the electric powertrain from a modern e-Up EV. There’s talk of retro-fit kits being made available, and of other Volkswagen Group classics getting the EV treatment.