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Geneva: more electric unveilings

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As we toured the halls at the Geneva motor show, the electric cars kept on coming – here is a second selection of the plug-in vehicles set to become familiar sights.

Hyundai Kona Electric

The Jaguar I-Pace might be the first electric car from a premium European brand, but the Hyundai Kona Electric makes a bolder claim, to be the first all-electric SUV on sale. It will be offered in two versions, with either 135 or 204hp, and a range of 186 or 292 miles.

Charging of the Kona electric can be as short as 50 minutes (to 80%), using the latest 100kW DC fast charger. And it will be easy to differentiate the Electric models from other Konas, because an electric powertrain does not require a grille…

Honda Urban EV

This electric concept from Honda looks production ready and it is – the Japanese brand announced at the show that order books for the car will open in early 2019, and it will become Honda’s first mass-produced electric vehicle to be sold in Europe.

The Urban EV accommodates four on two bench seats, and these have different fabric finishes, according to the makers in a bid to create the atmosphere of a lounge. Another notable aspect is the wraparound dashboard which extends into the doors – these have digital camera displays, replacing traditional side mirrors.

No news yet, however, on the coupé EV also on show with its Urban EV sister.

Porsche Mission E-Cross Turismo

These days virtually every motor show unveiling is telegraphed days before, which made this one all the more surprising. Porsche revealed a new crossover version of its forthcoming Mission E electric model, dubbed the E-Cross Turismo. The concept’s all-wheel-drive powertrain is powered by 800-volt electrics which gives it more than 600hp and a 0-62mph time of 3.5 seconds.

Porsche promises that the E-Cross Turismo will be able to perform multiple rapid accelerations without losing power, and will be fast to recharge, providing a range of 250 miles after just 15 minutes plugged in. The concept is described as ‘road ready’ and produced to gauge customer interest. The smart money says a production version will go on sale in 2021.

SsangYong e-SIV

SsangYong SI-EV The Car Expert Geneva
The e-SIV is the fifth concept for an electric car that we have seen from the Korean brand on SsangYong, though there is still no news as to when one of these will translate into a production model. This latest is a mid-sized SUV and we do know that the body shape will form the basis of SsangYong’s next production model in this market.

While boasting an electric drivetrain, the concept mainly focuses on connectivity and autonomous driving – e-SIV stands for Electronic Smart Interface Vehicle. The car can reach level 3 autonomous driving standard, recognizing its lane, staying in it and keeping a safe distance from other vehicles. And the connectivity allows everything from remotely charging the battery to turning various equipment on and off, and offering an extensive infotainment service.

Polestar 1

The Polestar 1, making its European debut at Geneva, is the first release from Volvo‘s electric performance sub-brand, and is very much an upmarket car. The car is a plug-in hybrid, combining a Volvo 2.0-litre turbo engine driving the front end with two electric motors at the rear, for peak power of around 600hp and 1,000Nm of torque. It can also drive on electric-only power for more than 90 miles.

More than 6,000 potential customers have expressed interest in the Polestar 1, which could lead to a long waiting list as the company intends to build the £116,000-plus car at the rate of 500 a year. The UK has joined the second list of markets the Polestar 1 will be sold in – official orders open on 13th March with customers required to put down a refundable deposit of 2500 Euros to secure their car.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.