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Geneva auto show 2012 – some got it, some not

i’ve been visiting this show for the last 7 years – i expected after all the hype 2011 to see electic cars center stage.

i expected cars ready to be ordered or at least to be able to be on a waiting list.

only 2 car makers were able to really deliver on this exepectation:
renault and tesla

all other major brands center staged their even more powerful models (plus maybe a hybrid / one electric model at the far end of the booth or a prototype to be released someday)

i was extremely impressed by renault’s enormous booth – electric cars were at the center of everything they communicated, huge screens promoting electric motoring as something cool and desireable – all focus was directed at assuring would-be buyers that charging and infrastructure are non-issues. very, very cool. even booth staff was well informed and was able to competently and exhaustively answer questions.

renault twizy - very urban, very chic, very affordable

renault twizy - very urban, very chic, very affordable

it was extremely nice to see the comeback of the electric renault kangoo. we had one of these back in 2008. in those days, renault was very uninterested in selling these, since the only reason they were produced in the first place was because the french state mandated that a certain percentage of communal vehicles were electric. we had vehicle number 158 of the series and had to import and have it tested for compliance with swiss technical vehicle and electrical standards ourselves! (will never ever do that again!) the car we had was fun, but limited due to battery technology and renault’s unwillingness to support car owners in case of problems… anyway: welcome back, kangoo!

new? our family already had one of these back in 2008!

new? our family already had one of these back in 2008!

tesla, the other producer showed the usual models plus model s. pre-order today and down-pay $7k and get on a waiting list for a car with a price tbd…

but model s is extraordinarily beautiful, has loads of space and is exactly the kind of premium car we as a family would want to buy.

tesla - they got it

tesla - they got it

on a another note i was shocked to see the sheer amount of different charging plugs and systems being promoted as the only one to cover all needs.

up close - chademo quick charging station

up close - chademo quick charging station

chademo - 53kw quick charge plug

chademo - 53kw quick charge plug

the images above are just to give you an idea of the size of these quick charging plugs! i’m very curious to see what is going to happen to this tower of babel in the future 🙂

on the other hand, finally, power and sport have discovered electric motoring. brabus, the well known tuning company showed a world premiere of a tuned electric smart. will the additional 5kW be very noticeable with the additional weight added to produce these 5kW?

it was bound to happen... brabus add 5kW to the electric motor

it was bound to happen... brabus add 5kW to the electric motor

electric racing machine - nissan leaf rc

electric racing machine - nissan leaf rc

in a nutshell nothing really changed: 90% of all visitors gathered around the powerful cars and brands, the ev models were not being pushed (except for renault) > let’s hope renault can build and hold the momentum!