The future's electric at the Shanghai Auto Show

The future's electric at the Shanghai Auto Show

There was electricity in the air at this week's Shanghai Auto Show, with the battery-car brigade rolling into town like never before.

Established global makers and dozens of local startups are rushing to showcase electric-vehicle models in a push led by China, the world's largest car market.

But there’s a dark side: while companies have plowed billions of dollars into development, projected EV sales may not be enough to keep the assembly lines moving, suggesting only a few companies will survive when the dust settles.

Here are some of the sleekest, most technologically advanced models on display at the annual Shanghai showcase.

Mercedes-Benz Concept GLB: Mercedes-Benz unveiled the concept sport utility vehicle with rugged design and space for as many as seven passengers to expand its in-demand lineup of mid-sized and compact cars. The GLB prototype, featuring 17-inch wheels, harks back to the unveiling of the Mercedes-Benz GLA crossover in Shanghai six years ago, which heralded the brand’s successful shakeup of its compact-car offerings.

BMW Vision iNEXT: The concept car comes with touch functionality and autonomous-driving features, while the vehicle's personal assistant technology can offer the driver advice.

Also read: BMW's Vision iNext concept puts the 'passenger experience' on wheels

BMW iFE.18: BMW’s first electric race car is competing in the Formula E Championship, which car brands use as a test lab to develop technologies.

Renault EZ Ultimo: Renault calls its concept an autonomous, connected and 100-percent electric "robo-vehicle." It has a two-tone bodywork, with the upper part made up of 600 diamond-shaped facets that work like a one-way mirror to keep the interior away from prying eyes.

Audi AI:ME: Following its E-Tron electric crossover, Audi is going more futuristic with the AI:ME concept. The compact vehicle, with a sloped roofline at the front, comes with automated-driving features and a large screen behind the steering wheel.

Audi Q2L: An electric car specifically for Chinese market, Audi's Q2L is a longer version of its standard Q2, offering increased legroom.

Nissan IMQ: The electric concept that Nissan calls an "elevated sports sedan" has the battery under the body and a wider wheelbase, allowing for a more spacious cabin.

Volkswagen I.D. Roomzz: The German auto giant unveiled the electric sport utility vehicle concept to challenge Tesla Inc.'s Model X. The full-sized SUV will be available from 2021 and feature rotating lounge-seats covered in so-called AppleSkin – an artificial leather made in part from apple-juice waste.

Renault EZ Ultimo: Renault calls its concept an autonomous, connected and 100-percent electric "robo-vehicle." It has a two-tone bodywork, with the upper part made up of 600 diamond-shaped facets that work like a one-way mirror to keep the interior away from prying eyes.

NIO ET Preview: This is the first in NIO's ET sedan series. NIO, which is vying to be China's answer to Tesla, raised about $1 billion in a New York listing last year, valuing the company at $6.4 billion.

BAIC Arcfox-GT: This is BAIC Group's top-of-the-line electric vehicle, capable of slingshotting to 100km/h in 2.59 seconds.

Qiantu K50: The electric coupe from the Chinese upstart has a whopping 400 horsepower, which the manufacturer hopes will help lure U.S. buyers.

Xpeng G3: The five-seater electric SUV has a panoramic windshield and autonomous-driving features. Xpeng handed over the first batch of the vehicles, priced at about US$33,000 to US$37,500 before subsidies, in December.

Icona Nucleus: The sleek and fully autonomous Icona Nucleus concept has no traditional windows, but comes with semi-transparent bodycolor panels that allow passengers to look out while remaining shrouded from the outside.

Bloomberg Pursuits

Bloomberg Pursuits

Bloomberg Pursuits curates the best in cars, food, drinks, travel, watches and more for the modern globally-minded executive, and is republished under licence by Australian Business Traveller.
 

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19 May, 2019 10:54 pm

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