Who knew cars could be so cute? And electric?
At this year’s Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, electric vehicles were everywhere, but a few stood out. Not for their impressive range and battery capacity, but for their small size and cute factor.
Take the Honda E Prototype, which made its world premiere at the show on Tuesday.
After years of hype about an all-electric “urban” car, Honda will start producing the car (formerly known as the Urban EV Concept) as its first dedicated EV in Europe later this year. (The only other electric Honda is the Honda Fit EV.)
With only 124 miles of range, it’s certainly a commuter car, but that’s the point. It has fast charging and is intended to a be compact, quick ride. It will start production by the end of this year.
Then there’s the Ami One concept car, also on display at the show Tuesday. The two-seater from French car maker Citroen is only an idea for a commuter car, but it takes it to the extreme. The company calls it “ultra-compact” and it’s supposed to be the quintessential city car. So if you normally take the bus or a scooter you could use this instead. And like a scooter, you could rent the car for a quick 10-minute ride, or drive it through a carshare. Or you could just buy it.
The car is tiny and light (under 1,000 pounds — a Mini Cooper is more than 2,000 pounds) but it only has about 60 miles of range. So you’ll need to charge up during that downtown meeting or cup of coffee. It takes about two hours to re-juice the battery.
Not as tiny, but still funky enough to pass as cute, is the Volkswagen ID Buggy modeled after the “classic Californian dune buggies of the 60s.” This dune buggy is an all-electric concept designed as part of VW’s “electric family” of cars, the ID line. It made its world debut this week at the show.
With 155 miles of range, a high-voltage 62 kWh lithium ion battery, all-terrain tires, and an aluminum underbelly, this vehicle is made for off-roading. Its max speed is 99 mph and it can go from 0 to 60 mph in about 7 seconds. The two-seater has no doors and no roof, making it look like a funky, adventurous version of a VW Beetle.
Of course, there were “real” electric cars there, like Volvo’s Polestar 2 electric crossover and the forthcoming EQC and concept EQV van from Mercedes-Benz.
The car show officially opens Thursday and runs until March 17.