A lot of pundits believed electric vehicles were a fad and would lose relevance once gasoline prices dropped. They were wrong. At the time, this skepticism gave Tesla the space it needed. Over the years Tesla has proven that there is a growing lucrative market for affordable electric vehicles. The Tesla Model 3 has 373,000 pre-orders, which could easily make it a US top selling car. All the car manufacturers want a piece of that market.
Throughout the Paris show auto manufacturers are talking up their latest product offerings in electric vehicles. This is despite that they had to be practically forced into making electric vehicles a few years back, the US auto makers were practically coerced into making electric vehicles to get bail outs.
Volkswagen unveiled its I.D. concept car. The I.D. will be priced at around $30,000 and is expected to be in production by 2020. The vehicle will be able to go 250 to 375 miles on a single charge.
The French automaker Renault premiered its new Zoe electric car. Zoe will have a driving range of 300 kilometers, or about 186 miles, on a single charge. The car will cost about $29,000, battery not included (it will be leased separately at $77 per month). Zoe is Europe’s best selling electric vehicle.
Generation EQ is a Mercedes Benz electric SUV concept car. Mercedes Benz is fully committed to bringing it into production, possibly by 2019. Mercedes Benz says it will have a 300 mile driving range. Mercedes EQ will be a sub brand of high end electric cars that executives believe will make up 20% of Mercedes Benz’s global sales.
Mercedes Benz sister company Smart unveiled what would be the first electric car convertible, the ForTwo ED. The convertible will be available in the US by end of 2016.
Electric vehicles will be an interesting battleground for the auto makers. Since vehicles are beginning to resemble computers rather than machines, it shouldn’t take long before Google and Apple feature in the coming auto shows.