From a $A3million all-electric hypercar by Pininfarina, to the revival of the funky sixties with Volkswagen’s all-electric dune buggy – the 2019 Geneva Motor Show has electrified visitors in ways no other motor show has before.
No surprise there – with electric car sales on the increase in every major market worldwide, anyone would be hard put to find an automaker that is not making some kind of move to create their own vision of electric mobility, whether it be pure battery electric or plug-in hybrid.
The 2019 Geneva International Motor Show was more than that though – carmakers mobbed to Switzerland’s annual international automotive exhibition to show off zero emissions models and concepts in numbers never seen before.
Boundaries were also pushed like never before, with Pininfarina’s Battista electric hypercar without a doubt setting the benchmark, if not in price, in design and sheer desirability.
— Mahindra Racing (@MahindraRacing) March 5, 2019
There were the mold-breakers, such as Jaguar’s i-Pace electric SUV which won it the European Car of the Year award, for the first time, ever.
So the #Pininfarina #Battista is thus far the most interesting car at Geneva and the #Jaguar #iPace just won the European car of the year. Times have changed for sure. #GIMSSWISS #GIMS2019 pic.twitter.com/oEhs4OuXOt
— Anand Mohan (@AnandMohan2810) March 5, 2019
Piech Automotive cut a decisively sharp turn into electric mobility with its Mark Zero, a grand tourer with the three – yes, three – electric motors and the ability to recharge its battery with 500km range and a “completely new cell type” to 80 per cent charge in just five minutes.
La familia Piëch es de gran tradición en la industria automotriz. Por primera vez utilizan su apellido en un modelo deportivo y eléctrico, el Piëch Mark Zero. #GIMSSWISS #Ginebra2019https://t.co/KBP7oRJV5G pic.twitter.com/L5TVE9iZ89
— Memo Lira (@MemoLiraP) March 5, 2019
In contrast, there were the humble, such as Honda, whose honest and simple Urban EV concept made an appearance again, and marks the Japanese carmaker’s first step on a mission for all its vehicles to be electrified by 2025.
— DrivingToTheFuture (@DrivingToFuture) March 6, 2019
Renault, who have cemented their presence in the small electric car segment with 1 in 5 of all electric car sales in Europe in 2018, with their Zoe and Twizy, also presented its vision of an automated electric future with the EZ-Ultimo.
#GIMSSWISS | Did you know that 1 in 5 #electric vehicles sold in Europe in 2018 were made by Groupe #Renault? Reinvent your trip with our #RenaultTWIZY! 💙
So much fun & #EasyElectricLife at #GIMS2019 pic.twitter.com/lrrwlYvSlz
— Groupe Renault (@Groupe_Renault) March 5, 2019
— DrivingToTheFuture (@DrivingToFuture) March 6, 2019
There was Audi, who delivered a strong message by making the decision to display ONLY electric models and concepts at Geneva 2019 – from its newest e-tron Q4 concept, to four plug-in hybrids, as well as its e-tron FE05 Formula E racing car.
#Audi at @GimsSwiss 2019 – the brand with Four Rings is further advancing its #electric offensive. Check out some impressions:#CommittedToVisionZero #GIMS2019 #GIMSSWISS #GIMS #AudiGIMS19 pic.twitter.com/99r5cQUdwX
— AUDI AG (@Audi_Press) March 6, 2019
Mercedes-Benz also presented an all-electric racing car that will see it enter the Formula E for the first time ever in 2019/20, as well as its concept EQV, which it says is “close to production” and will be the first people mover with pure battery electric power.
#MotorShow team live from #GenevaMotorShow2019 where the #MercedesBenz #FormulaEteam unveils its #FormulaE #Electric #RacingCar: Meet the #EQ #SilverArrow01 Mercedes-Benz Lebanon#GIMS #Gims2019 #2019GIMS #gimsswiss #gimsswiss2019 #Mercedes #MercedesCars #FormulaOne #FormulaEcars pic.twitter.com/uh1VWtdNAW
— MotorShow (@MotorShowme) March 6, 2019
Nissan, whose all-electric Leaf has just passed a milestone 400,000 units sold, was not one to miss out on the conceptual fun with the world debut of its futuristic IMQ crossover, albeit with a dose of disappointment as electric enthusiasts realised it came with no plug-in ability, but instead a petrol-powered “range extender”.
IMQ uses Nissan’s new Invisible-to-Visible technology (I2V), the ultimate connected car experience. I2V seamlessly connects the real and the virtual to offer a more exciting, entertaining and connected drive. #IntelligentMobility #GimsSwiss pic.twitter.com/Wg7Bhikm7T
— Nissan Europe (@NissanEurope) March 5, 2019
Peugeot in comparison did not disappoint, with its first ever all-electric model, the e208 GT, along with its award-winning retro-inspired e-Legend concept.
.@Peugeot’s #WorldPremiere of their 1st All-#Electric model the #e208GT @GimsSwiss today!
It has a 50 kWh battery providing 340 km (211 miles) of range under the #WLTP test cycle & #electricmotor rated at 100 kW, enabling it to do 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.1secs #GIMSSWISS pic.twitter.com/gFwgnMkdo6
— Autovista Group (@autovista_group) March 5, 2019
Then of course there was Volkswagen, whose efforts to restore its former reputation in the wake of “Dieselgate” controversy have not gone unnoticed: this time, it was its revival of the iconic dune buggy in electric form.
— Volkswagen UK (@UKVolkswagen) March 5, 2019
Of course there was also Hyundai, showcasing its all-electric Kona (due to be released on the Australian market within weeks).
The all-new Hyundai Kona Electric, their first fully-electric subcompact SUV showcased at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Range? Up to 292 miles and 0-60 mph in about 7.5 seconds. #hyundai #kona #konaev #electric #gimsswiss #motortrend #cars https://t.co/tosuJZ341t Motor Trend Maga… pic.twitter.com/EJp4vAQusA
— beast (@_________beast) March 8, 2018
And then there is the Polestar 2, the all-electric vehicle from Vovlo’s premium eponymous brand, Polestar – which will be built in right hand drive and The Driven can now confirm will come to Australia.
La @PolestarCars, premier modèle 100% électrique de la marque, s’expose à Genève. De quoi apprécier ses lignes très inspirées du concept #Volvo 40.2 #GIMSSWISS #GIMS2019 #GIMS2019 @GimsSwiss #Polestar2 #Polestar pic.twitter.com/r6ibtNpQGC
— Volvopassion.fr (@Volvopassion_fr) March 6, 2019
That’s just a handful, but by far some of the very best Geneva had to offer in terms of electric mobility for 2019.
Ultimately, the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show was a statement – it said, there’s no going back, the future is well and truly electric.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.