Many of the cars of the future are first seen at the Geneva International Motorshow – and this year one trend was head and shoulders above the others. Electrification dominated the show, with everything from new models to exciting concepts. But there were other developments to spot as well. Here’s a quick round-up of our highlights.
1. More electric choices for fleets
There are lots of electric and hybrid models on the way in the next 12 months, including the Peugeot e-208, Honda E city car, Audi Q5 TFSI-e and BMW 330e.
2. Many different approaches to electric
Different manufacturers seem to be backing different approaches to electrification. Audi, for example, is interested in plug-in hybrids, while other are focusing on ‘mild’ hybrids with smaller batteries (such as the Mazda CX-30) or long-range electric (such as Volvo’s Polestar 2, which has a 500km range).
3. Cars that aren’t exactly cars
Citroën displayed its Ami One EV concept that looks like a very small, blocky two-seater car. However, with current European legislation, this vehicle could be driven by anyone aged 16 or over without a licence – making it an alternative to bikes and scooters.
4. Cars that change from day to day
Fiat celebrates its 120th anniversary with its centoventi concept, which offers a radically different way of looking at a car as a platform for its owners. The core model is pretty much a blank slate that the owners can then customise from day to day. External options include different roofs, bumpers and wheel covers that can be added or removed, while the interior set up has 114 accessories to choose from – everything from the dashboard to door storage. The electric driving range can even be increased by changing the number of batteries.
5. Mobility as a Service (MaaS)
There are early signs that car retailing could be set to change, with new small EVs that suit subscription and short-term rental approaches. Citroën’s Ami One, for example, is being positioned as an alternative to public transport, as it could be used for as little as five minutes at a time (or up to five years with leasing).
And one low-light…
The number of no shows
While there was a lot to get excited about at Geneva, it was also noticeable that a number of the big names weren’t there – not least Ford, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover. This may reflect the current state of their developments, of course, but it could also indicate that some companies are starting to prefer other ways to showcase their innovations, such as at the Consumer Electronics Show CES.
Find out more about what’s next for the future of fleet – from car subscription services to 5G technology and smart cities – in our new guide.