More green cars at Geneva Motor Show

The Geneva International Motor Show is one of the largest and most prestigious motor shows on the calendar, and will run from 7th to 17th of this month.

As well as a wealth of sports and luxury performance cars attracting many to the show, carmakers have certainly not overlooked the growing market for greener, more fuel efficient models.

Almost each manufacturer with a stand at the show this year will be showing off at least one new model with super low CO2 emissions and high fuel economy; powered either by conventional or alternative powertrains, and either intended for production or as a concept.

Among the less likely models to feature are a brand new all-electric range of Land Rover Defender models. The car-maker envisages electric power as having a huge potential in maintaining the off-road performance of the Defender range whilst introducing a zero-emission aspect.

Still only as research vehicles, and not likely to be considered for production any time soon, the electric Defenders use a 70kW, 330Nm electric motor and 27kWh lithium-ion batteries to return a 50 mile driving range.

Toyota i-ROAD Toyota will be showing off their all new personal mobility vehicle concept, the i-ROAD. Designed for urban use, it is a cross between a small car and a bicycle – with 4 wheels and driver protection but using an 'Active Lean' technology that enables the vehicle to tilt as it travels around corner, much like a bicycle.

Two 2kW electric motors power the front wheels to return a zero emission driving range of around 30 miles. It will be able to be charged completely in three hours from a domestic charging point.

2013 Nissan LEAF Nissan will have their 2013 LEAF on display, which has been developed after the huge success of their first LEAF version. Among additional extras and more room, the new version's major improvements include a longer electric driving range and short charging times.

Hybrid models are also a plenty at this year's Geneva Show. Lexus will introduce the full hybrid IS 300h SE model, which will return 99gCO2/km – bringing in several tax and other financial incentives in the UK. Ordering is available now for July deliveries.

The Infiniti Q50 will make its European debute, a premium saloon hybrid returning 364 PS. This car will have low CO2 emissions but maintain Lexus luxury and performance. Lexus will also be showing their LE Concept model – Infiniti's first 100% electric vehicle. Although few details are known, Lexus promises dynamic luxury and say that it will b on the market in the UK within two years.

Conventionally powered cars will also maintain importance at the show, and have also played an important part in lowering emissions in recent years. The world's most efficient mass production vehicle will be on display that the Volkswagen stand, the XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle. This model will return 313 mpg with CO2 emissions from just 21g/km.

The new Golf BlueMotion will be on display, a five-seater with all the traditional attributes of a Golf – safety and practicality combined with combined fuel consumption of 88.3 mpg and CO2 emissions down to 85 g/km. The new Golf Estate will be there too, and for the first time will also include BlueMotion technologies that have managed to increase mpg to 85.6 and lower CO2 to only 87g/km – impressive for an Estate car.

SEAT Mii Ecofuel Not intended for the UK market, SEAT has announced an interesting variation of their Mii model. To be the lowest-emitting production car SEAT have ever made, the Mii EcoFuel runs on compressed natural gas (CNG), and is based on the 68PS 1.0 litre three-cylinder petrol unit used in the current Mii, but only emiys 79gCO2/km.

These green models are just a taster of what's to come at the show this year – other important green models include the Tesla Model S, Renault Zoe, BMW i3 and several concept electric models from Mitsubishi. With record numbers of visitors expected and over 100 models to make their debut, the atmosphere is certainly likely to be up-beat and entertaining.

John Ironmonger

Author:John Ironmonger
Date Updated:5th Mar 2013

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