Auto Expo 2018, which is being held at Delhi-NCR, has been all about concepts and electric vehicles. Ahead of the start of the auto expo, most automakers admitted that the show will see them lay down their plans for bringing electric vehicles to Indian automobile owners.
As expected, there were a number of electric cars and even electric scooters on display at the show that most Indians will be able to own and go carbon-free in the next few years. The automotive industry is going through a revolutionary change with most automakers promising to ditch internal combustion engine and launch battery-powered electric vehicles. The change is mainly driven by Tesla, which sells four all-electric automobiles around the world: Tesla Roadster, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X and Tesla Model 3.
The adoption of electric vehicles is however limited due to lack of an effective charging network and the huge cost of the batteries need to power them. The electric vehicle, per se, is not new to India and Chetan Maini imagined that space in late 2010 with the launch of Reva electric cars. However, they never became popular due to the lack of range and infrastructure to charge them easily. However, its 2018 and things have changed drastically and automakers are including India in their electric vehicle plans. Here is a look at the top electric cars and scooters showcased at Auto Expo 2018:
Mahindra, one of the leader in the electric automotive space, showcased the facelifted version of its e2O EV at Auto Expo 2018. The e2O NXT is expected to be a bit premium than outgoing model and features a bull-horn LED elements in the headlight along with alloy wheels. It features a touchscreen infotainment system with support for Bluetooth, AUX-in and USB support. It uses a 3-phase AC Induction motor that produces 40PS of max power at 3,500RPM and 91NM of torque at 2,000RPM. It is rated to drive for 140 Km with its 72V battery (Source: Mahindra Automotive/Twitter)
The South Korean automotive company, Kia Motor Corporation made its grand debut in India at Auto Expo 2018. The subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group brought a wide range of products to the show including its much loved Kia Soul EV. The small electric car is so popular that even Pope Francis chose the EV for his visit to South Korea, giving it the distinct status of 'Popemobile'. The Kia Soul EV is an all-electric subcompact crossover SUV and it has an official US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 93 miles (around 150 kilometres). The Kia Soul EV has a 27kWh Li-ion polymer battery pack and supports fast charging and EPA has rated its fuel economy at 105 miles per US gallon gasoline equivalent (Source: Kia Motors)
Kia also showcased its Optima and Niro plug-in hybrids at the Auto Expo 2018, which gives the flexibility of falling back to fossil fuel when your car is not charged. The Kia Optima PHEV has a 9.8kWh battery pack and has a range of 27 miles (around 43 km). It has a 50kW electric motor, a lower drag coefficient of 0.24 Cd than rival Tesla Model S and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission (Source: Kia Motors)
The Niro PHEV, on the other hand, is a subcompact crossover SUV, and it packs an 8.9kWh battery pack and has a range of 26 miles (around 42 km). It has a smaller electric motor in comparison to the Optima PHEV but Kia has not shared when it plans to make it available in India (Source: Kia Motors)
The French automaker Renault also showcased its electric vehicle portfolio at the Auto Expo this year. The company showcased its Zoe and Zoe e-Sport electric vehicles and says it will plan its India launch depending on the consumer interest. The Zoe is an electric hatchback and comes in two powertrains with one model having maximum power output of 87 BHP and the other model offering 91 BHP. The Zoe has a 41kWh battery pack with the models supporting maximum range of 403 km. The Zoe e-Sport Concept bumps the specifications to offer a top speed of 210 Kmph with a 40kWh battery pack (Source: India.com)
Renault Trezor, the two-seater electric concept first unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, was also on display at Auto Expo 2018. The car is expected to become a commercial product by 2020 and the most unique style cue is its roof which opens up to allow passengers to enter the interior. The car's electric motor develops 260kW of power output and can accelerate from 0 to 100 Kmph in less than four seconds. It has two battery packs with independent cooling systems while the interior and windshield are painted red for a futuristic look (Source: Auto Expo/Twitter)
The Japanese brand showed its e-SURVIVOR concept based on the company's ladder-frame chassis and powered by an electric motor at each wheel. The e-SURVIVOR showcases four key technologies from Suzuki - Four Wheel Drive system, Electric motor, Connected system and Autonomous driving future. The model displayed at Auto Expo 2018 will lead to future compact SUVs from the company. The e-SURVIVOR is meant to be an electric off-roader with rugged tyres and a chassis built with lightweight materials (Source: India.com)
Hyundai is one of the most popular automotive brands in the country and the South Korean automaker is showing its Ioniq EV at the Expo this year. The Ioniq is a compact five-door sedan available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric drivetrains. The all-electric model features a 28kWh Li-ion polymer battery and has an EPA rated range of 124 miles (200 km). It has a 88 kW electric motor and can be charged up to 80 percent in 33 minutes at 50 kW or in 24 minutes at 100 kW with DC fast charging. The charging plug of the car is located in a position where gas fillers are normally located and it even supports regenerative breaking (Source: Auto Expo/Twitter)
The home-grown automobile brand Tata showcased the Tiago and Tigor with electric drivetrain at the Auto Expo 2018. The company is going bold here with an all-electric model and not opting for a plug-in hybrid version. Both cars are identical to combustion engines-based models and will feature an 'EV' badging on the grille. Both EVs are powered by a 3-phase AC induction motor with a peak power output of 30kW at 4,500RPM. Compared to conventional cars, the EVs will be priced upwards of Rs 10 lakh (Source: Tata Motors/Twitter)
Mercedes showcased its Concept EQ which shows the future of battery-driven SUVs from the German automaker. The Concept is based on newly created electric sub-brand EQ and it was again first showcased at 2016 Paris Motor Show. The vehicle has dual electric motors with one mounted at the front axle and another at the rear. It derives a combined power output of 300kW and has a range of up to 500 Km. It also has modern features like a 24-inch wide touchscreen and will be ready for a driverless future (Source: Mercedes-Benz/Twitter)