Photos: all Alex Davies except 2 by Jaguar and Lotus
Green Cars in France
The 2010 Paris Motor Show, known as the Mondial de l'automobile de Paris in French, just closed its doors after being open from October 2nd to 17th. From a green point of view, it was a mixed bag, like most events that have to do with cars. But there were a few interesting concept cars and unveilings that are worth taking a closer look at. Read on for more details and photos!
Photo: Public domain.
As you can see above, the event was huge. Lots of cars, lots of people. But sadly, no big announcement on the level of the Chevy Volt or the Nissan LEAF.
Jaguar C-X75 Plug-In Hybrid
One of the highlights of the show was no doubt the Jaguar C-X75, which I wrote about here: Jaguar Unveils the C-X75 PHEV Supercar (With 4 Electric Motors and 2 Gas Micro-turbines).
From a design point of view, I think it looks damn sexy, but that' subjective. Mechanically, the C-X75 is interesting: It has 4 electric motors driving the wheels at all times, and when the battery is getting low, two micro gas turbines fire up to generate electricity. This gives the Jaguar super-car performance, with a top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph) and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 3.4 seconds and 80 to 145 km/h (50 to 90 mph) in 2.3 seconds.
But what makes it green, or at least greener than most cars on the road, is the 110 kilometers (68 miles) electric range. Any drive shorter than that doesn't burn gas, like in the Volt (except that the Volt has an electric range closer to 40 miles). Since most drives are shorter than that, this car would rarely run on gas.
The C-X75, or whatever the name once it reaches production, will probably only ever be sold in very small volumes. But the drivetrain that was developed by Jaguar's engineers will no doubt find its way in other vehicles and encourage other companies to follow suit.
Lotus City Car Plug-in Hybrid
The City Car by Lotus is another plug-in hybrid that was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. While it is very different from the Jaguar above, it is interesting for similar reasons. A nice-looking plug-in hybrid with an electric range of 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) and a 500 kilometers (310) mile with the range extender gas engine, the City Car would be a great urban car. I still think that most urbanites should take public transit or cycle, but if they have to use a car, a small electric commuter like this would be best.
The 'range extender' gas engine is a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder specifically designed for hybrid vehicle applications and it generates 54 kW (with 162 kW peaks).
For more details, see: Lotus Unveils Pint-Sized 'City Car' PHEV Urban Commuter
Citroën C-Zero Electric Car
Does it look familiar? Indeed, the C-Zero is basically the same thing as the Mitsubishi i MiEV and the Peugeot iOn. Another great little urban car. Will be especially good in countries where the electricity is generated cleanly.
The C-Zero has a max speed of 130 km/h (81 mph), goes from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in 15 seconds and the electric range is 130 km (81 miles).
Photo: Alex Davies
Renault DeZir Electric Car
The Renault DeZir also made an appearance. I wrote about it in July here: Renault Unveils DeZir 100% Electric Concept Supercar. Like the Jaguar C-X75, it is a supercar, but this time, 100% electric.
The DeZir has a 24kWh battery pack just like the Nissan LEAF (Renault and Nissan are part of an alliance and share a lot of technology) and the driving range is also 100 miles, at least on paper. The body is made from Kevlar, with a tubular steel frame underneath.
Renault writes: "The basic motor is the same as the unit used for Renault's production electric cars, although an evolution has enabled its power and torque to be uprated to 110kW (150ch) and 226Nm respectively." This, along with a low drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.25 and the car's low weight, allows the DeZir to go from zero to 62 MPH in about 5 seconds.
Photo: Alex Davies
Updated Volvo C-30 DRIVe Electric Vehicle
Volvo's been working on an electric version of the C-30 for a little while, and they presented a new updated prototype at the Paris Motor Show.
"The electric C30 electric car will have a lithium-ion battery, and no gears. Top speed is estimated by Volvo at 130 km/h (81 mph), with acceleration from 0-60 mph in under 11 seconds. The all-electric range will be up to 150 kilometres (93 mi). Field testing began in 2010 with 10 units in Göteborg, Sweden." (source)
For trips longer than 150 kilometers, Volvo recommends "taking the train" (ah, these Swedes!).Chevy Volt Gets 127 MPG Over 299 Miles of Real-World Driving 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid to be Eligible for $1,300 Tax Credit Google Experiments With Robot Cars that Drive Themselves