Report from Geneva Motor Show: More EV Concepts to Consider
EV fans will not look back at this year's Geneva Motor Show as a great one. There were high hopes the production version of the BMW i3 would be there, but it wasn't. And nobody could confirm the rumor that it will get small rear-hinged back doors (like the Mazda RX-8). But BMW did confirm that the i3 is on track for this year: the unveiling of the production model, beginning of regular production, and first deliveries. We should expect to see the production car before summer, maybe next month at the New York auto show.
Fortunately, there were several other plug-in introductions. PluginCars.com covered a number of them, including the Land Rover Electric Defender, VW XL1, and Audi A3 e-tron. But here are a handful more, all concepts rather than vehicles approved for production.
Mitsubishi Concept CA-MiEV
This concept shows what a new generation i-MIEV could look like. It's so much better, and most important: it's less weird. The small car still has a bit of an egg shape, but it has a normal width, and an 80-kW motor to give the same performance as a Nissan LEAF. With a low Cd of .26 and a 28-kWh battery, it's announced with an 180-mile range. That's optimistic to be sure, but everybody agrees this CA-MiEV concept could sell much better than the existing i-MiEV.
Mitsubishi Concept GR-HEV Sport Utility Hybrid Truck
This one is a head-scratcher. As a utility vehicle, it's very poor because the rear bed is less than three feet long, and as a green car, it won't please anyone with its inefficient high ride-height and huge wheels. Its drivetrain shows more promise however. As a plug-in diesel hybrid, it could complement the plug-in gasoline-hybrid Outlander.
What is huge disappointment. The Renault Twizy is already quite limited, but this i-Road is even more so. It has less power and less range, and it's smaller. Has anyone complained that the Twizy was too big? Many people were also critical of its single rear wheel. We understand that this is good for efficiency, but it will not be an enjoyable ride on wet roads. Take note:I was standing straight when taking the picture. It's the i-Road that is slanted. The thing works like a motorbike, leaning towards the center of the curve.
The idea behind this concept vehicle is an electric Transporter—only a bit smaller than the regular Transporter, and with a large battery pack hidden below the floor of its load-carrying compartment.
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