Connected: The Battery Car Rule at the Los Angeles Auto Show
A milestone was taken with the Automobility LA press days at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which runs November 19-28. One press conference after another, all with electrified cars. In fact, the Kia Sportage Hybrid was the only battery-less electric I saw make its debut. Obviously, the auto industry puts internal combustion engines in the tail lights that reverse rapidly.
Hyundai’s Ioniq5 will reach consumers this winter. It offers both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options. In the first, there is a 168 kilowatt, 225 horsepower and 300 miles of range engine. Go all-wheel drive and there are 74 and 165 kilowatt engines on the axles, 320 horsepower and a slightly reduced range of 269 miles.
But we already knew about Ioniq5’s estimated US $ 45,000. At the show, we saw the Seven Concept, a mid-size electric SUV sitting on Hyundai’s overall electric modular platform. Perhaps this is a preview of the next Ioniq7 (coming in 2024). Theoretically, the range is 300 miles. The Seven had a wild style with a glass tail and sleek Ioniq Parametric Pixel lighting. Details that would never be part of a production car include the rear hinged postless coach doors. The front had lucid echoes and the rear was reminiscent of a concept study for the 1800ES that Volvo built in 1967.
It was the interior of the Seven that really stood out. It looks like a living room, with durable fiber swivel front seats, a curved rear sofa, and plenty of sliding bins and drawers. Other high-tech details from Seven include a small refrigerator, an air purification system based on airline practice, and technology to power your home in the event of a power outage.
Jose Muñoz, global CEO of Hyundai, said the company is striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. And then there’s sister company Kia. Russell Wager, vice president of marketing at Kia America, described the new EV 6, due next year, as “at the forefront of global electric vehicles,” and said the company would offer new models of electric vehicles each. year after 2022. The technical details of the EV6 are very similar to the Ioniq5, but there are still a lot of differences. The company’s LA concept is the angular, vertical EV9, with up to 300 miles per charge. The front seats swivel and the second row becomes a table. The EV6 has established its good faith in at least one arena. The production car has driven more than 2,800 miles across the United States, from New York to Los Angeles, with just seven hours, 10 minutes and a second of charge time, breaking a Tesla-held record of more than five time.
Subaru wanted to go green, having created a simulated forest inside the convention center. The company is the National Parks Foundation’s largest corporate donor and paid for 1,000 bear-proof recycling containers. We were shown so many photographs of pristine forests that you would think the company was making toothpicks.
Subaru’s very first electric vehicle, the Solterra, is the result of its partnership with Toyota (which owns 20 percent of the company). The Toyota equivalent of the car is the bZ4X, and they will be built together at a Toyota plant in Japan. Subaru of America President and CEO Tom Doll described the Solterra as “the most technologically advanced Subaru ever… with real Subaru DNA”.
The range is expected to be over 220 miles, via a 71.4 kilowatt-hour battery. With two motors, there is a power of 160 kilowatts. All-wheel drive is standard (and expected in Subarus) and there is 30.3 cubic feet of cargo volume. Homeowners will have access to 38,000 public charging stations. Sales will start next year.
The Fisker Ocean is fully described in a separate story. The car fits perfectly into a sea of electric vehicle introductions.
The Californian company Mullen Technologies, born from the acquisition of the former Coda Automotive and Mullen Motor Cars, also presented an electric SUV, the Mullen Five. The claimed range was 325 miles, 155 miles per hour, and zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds. A base price of US $ 55,000 is expected.
Japan became an automotive powerhouse, and then it was Korea’s turn. Is Vietnam next? This was suggested by the introduction of two new electric vehicles from the country’s rapidly growing Vin Group, which has only been around for four years. At that time, it became a major player in several markets, including the automotive industry. There is a serious American push: 200 million US dollars are invested in a seat in Los Angeles.
Vin Group, Vietnam’s largest private company, built their Vinfast SUV prototypes with help from Pininfarina in just 18 months. The videos showed a highly automated factory and paint shop. The cars are the Vinfast VF e35 and the larger VF e36 (the latter with up to 422 miles per charge). Their exteriors were nicely finished, but the interiors were mock-up filled with moss. Production could arrive in North America in late 2024, said Michael Lohscheller, CEO of VinFast Global.
The strangest entry into Los Angeles was the EdisonFuture pickup, a huge company with three front seats facing forward that sits on the same platform as the company’s equally gigantic van. It is a product of the Phoenix Group, which has been working on electric vehicles for some time. He brought an electric pickup to the White House in 2007, the company said. Deliveries to the United States are scheduled for 2025. “We will open reservations in the coming days,” said CEO Joseph Mitchell. EdisonFuture appears to be based in California, but the Chinese parent company is SPI Energy.
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum of electric vehicles were the last mile trucks of BILITI Electric and Indian brothers Rajah and Rahul Gayam. The GMW Taskman, with six to 10 kilowatt hours of battery life on board and 110 miles of range, is absolutely rudimentary (steering is through the handlebars of the bike). These are electric versions of the motorcycle putt-putt trucks that have plied the roads of India for over half a century. But BILITI thinks they can work in the first world, transporting goods from warehouses to new owners in urban areas. They are not compatible with freeways – 30 miles an hour is the maximum.
Intriguing cars seen at the Los Angeles show included the Cobera C300, an AC electric Cobra with, it was said, 600 horsepower and times from zero to 62 mph in just 2.7 seconds; and a faithful Electra Meccanica replica of the 1959 Porsche 356 Cabriolet, also battery-powered, with a range of up to 190 miles from 50 kilowatt-hour batteries. It will be able to go up to 60 in 6.5 seconds, with a price tag of US $ 120,000 to $ 150,000.