Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 August 2019

All-electric cars impress at Geneva International Motor Show - in pictures

With an array of liquid-fuel-free vehicles turning heads at the Swiss event, how long will it be before they hit the tarmac in force?

They're still a rarity on the roads the world over, but electric cars loom larger at motoring events with every year that passes.

That was certainly the case at the Geneva International Motor Show this week, with all-new products boasting radically improved technology being unveiled by both major manufacturers and more niche producers.

Attendees reported a feeling of optimism that these latest models have pushed the electric concept forward significantly, but the issue remains about what manufacturers and dealers need to do to get punters interested in liquid-fuel-free rides.

There are good reasons previous models have not become mainstream, their cost being a primary factor.

That, and the fact that range and charging (both in terms of where to get the power and the time it took to get a full battery) were major issues.

These seem to be fading concerns though.

When it comes to cost, Tesla, the poster boy for electric cars, revealed plans to close many of its dealerships and move to online sales so it can cut costs enough to start selling its Model 3 for $35,000 (Dh128,500).

Heading into the same market is Volvo Car Group's Polestar 2, also on show this week.

The Swedish manufacturer’s launch version, expected in 2020, starts at $55,500 (Dh204,000) - with US tax breaks - and the group said it wants to decrease that cost further.

Prices aside, battery technology has improved, too.

The Model 3 promises to do 500 kilometres before it needs a top up, and, even if you go into the electric supercar concepts on show this week, the Hispano Suiza Carmen will do 400km on a single charge and the Pininfarina Battista 450km.

In the UAE, charging stations continue to pop up, and, currently, there are around 400.

If this trend continues (and Dubai is particularly keen on the idea of electric vehicles, having already invested in a fleet of Chevrolet Bolts for police use) you will see many more electric vehicles on the country’s roads.

Just don’t expect to hear them in the same way you might a Lamborghini Huracan though.

Updated: March 7, 2019 03:52 PM

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