Friday, September 6, 2013

Green cars at Frankfurt Motor Show 2013

The new smart forjoy concept car
With the 65th International Motor Show about to get under way in Frankfurt, most manufacturers are preparing their stands to show off their latest offerings and green technologies, hoping to wow what is expected to be the largest turn out the show has ever seen.
The show's public days will run from September 14th to September 22nd 2013, and the variety of exhibitors and world premiers promises to provide something exciting for everyone.
Green issues and technology are becoming an increasingly common sight at car shows these days, and this year at Frankfurt will be no exception.
Volkswagen are about to enter the electric vehicle market with the plan to launch two mass produced, fully electric vehicles over the next 12 months – both of which will make their world premieres at Frankfurt, where pricing etc will be announced.
The e-up! is a small city car hatchback that is based on the popular up! model. Ideally suited to electric drive, the e-up! has a 99 mile range, a top speed of 86 mph and a nifty 0 to 62 mph time of 12.4 seconds, all powered by a 60kW electric motor.
A little later in the year the e-Golf will be launch to the UK market. Its slightly larger 85 kW motor will return a 118 mile range, with 0 to 62 mph time of just 10.4 seconds and a 118 mile zero emission range. Judging by the popularity and reputation of the conventional Golf, this is likely to be a popular model in the world of EVs.
Toyota has already advanced hugely in the hybrid vehicle segment, but will be showing off a range of new technologies at Frankfurt this year. In preparation for the next generation Prius, due in 2015, Toyota will be explaining and presenting a host of technologies that will help that model reduce its emissions by a further 10%. Toyota has hinted that they have big plans for their future battery packs, and say that wireless charging could feature in their next generation hybrid models.
Toyota will also be revealing more details about the Hybrid-R Yaris concept that they have mentioned, and they will demonstrate how they have overcome certain barriers that will allow them to launch marketable hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in 2015 – the FCV-R Concept
smart will be displaying their latest concept, the smart forjoy (as seen in main image above). It is a compact four seater with no doors, no rear window and an open roof. Designed for urban mobility with a powertrain based on the current smart fortwo electric drive, it uses a 55 kW electric motor and 17.6 kWh lithium ion batteries. The forjoy will also include the ability to be fast charged in less than one hour using the 22 kW on-board charger and a rapid charging unit.
Mercedes Benz has an interesting model that will be presented at the show – the new S-Class 500 Plug-in Hybrid. Mercedes may seem like an unlikely company to be releasing plug-in cars, but this shows how new technologies seem to be entering the mainstream market. The S 500 Plug-in Hybrid returns 69 gCO2/km and 94.2 mpg on the combined cycle. An 80kW electric motor allows for 18 miles of zero emission driving and some impressive performance statistics. More will be revealed at Frankfurt next week.
Another slightly unexpected manufacturer showing off new, low emission technologies is Land Rover. Their latest Range Rover has a hybrid version that combines a 3-litre V6 turbo diesel engine with a 35kW electric motor to return 340PS of power and 700 Nm of torque which results in acceleration to 62 mph in less than 7 seconds. The powertrain allows strong mid-range acceleration and a top speed of 135 mph. Overall CO2 emissions are 169 g/km and combined mpg is 44.1.
Vauxhall have incorporated the technology from their successful Ampera model into a new concept vehicle, the Monza Concept. With eye-catching gull-wing style doors, the Monza has been designed based on a concept that was originally announced in 1977. The new concept is based on a modular design that allowes the option of different powertrains to be adopted. Its focus is on efficiency.
With many of the concept cars on display being all, or at least part electrified, it is clear that manufacturers have faith that electrification of passenger transport is the direction that the mainstream market will eventually move. Frankfurt Motor Show will have many low emission vehicles on display, including a number of world premier announcements – these will include electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, as well as the lasts developments to conventionally powered vehicles.