13.9.2017Frankfurt Motor Show 2017: Top 10 electric cars
The 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is now in full swing, with a huge range of new green cars sitting on the stands from a large variety of manufacturers. Most are concepts, but importantly, most of those concepts are confirmed to go into production in the next few years, meaning an veritable armada of new plug-in cars is due by the turn of the decade - most of which are pure-electric.
Traditional motor shows are beginning to loose their importance from an industry point of view, though the big events - Geneva and Frankfurt/Paris - still have the reputation and lustre to attract some big announcements.
It is strange to think that two years ago, the last Frankfurt Motor Show was the final major automotive event before the VW Emissions Scandal broke, changing the industry forever.
A shift to electrified models had already been on the cards and was trickling along at a slow yet steady rate. The effect of the scandal on electric car development though was to stamp down hard on the accelerator and put a brick on said pedal.
The development of the electric car industry has quickly gathered speed and is moving along at a fair old lick now. Nobody looks set to remove that brick either so it's importance to the industry, and the world in general, is only going to continue increasing for some time to come.
And that (far from) in-depth market analysis is reflected in the announcements made over the past couple of years, with every manufacturer that wishes to survive more than ten years committing to electric models.
Looking back, two years ago my Top 10 Electric Cars from Frankfurt round-up consisted of both pure-EVs and PHEVs, primarily because there weren't ten news-worthy pure-EVs at the show - and one of those was the Leaf 30kWh that looked just like the 24kWh model.
Now though, I'm having to leave electric models out while still sticking to the pure-EV criteria. If I opened this review up to include all plug-in models on show, it would prove far too long, even for those of you that have a boredom threshold that has allowed you to get this far.
So with no further ado - and in no particular order - here are Next Green Car's Top 10 Electric Cars from Frankfurt 2017.
Honda Urban EV Concept
One of the undoubted stars of the show - and probably my favourite if I had to pick one show star - is Honda's all-electric concept. Confirmed for production in 2019, the stylish supermini looks great and will be a huge sales success if the reaction from Frankfurt is anything to go by.
No powertrain details were released, but the Urban EV Concept was shown off featuring vehicle-to-grid technology, running alongside an all-in-one unit from Honda allowing two-way transfer of energy from the EV.
Mercedes Benz Concept EQA
Mercedes has had a superb Frankfurt from an electrification point of view. Alongside the Concept EQA was showcased the Maybach Vision 6 Cabriolet concept, the soon-to-enter production GLC F-Cell FC-PHEV, smart vision EQ, and the show-stopping AMG Project 1 hypercar which borrows its powertrain from Formula 1 - hybrid unit and all.
However, most promising from a buyers point of view initially - at least until hydrogen infrastructure becomes more widespread - is the EQA. Confirmed to go into production as the entry model of the Mercedes EQ range, it shares the all-electric blueprint of the EQC. A premium compact hatchback in the mould of the current A Class, the EQA has a sporty outlook, and 250 mile range from a 60+kWh battery.