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01/25/2022

Auto Shows and EVs - Where the Auto Industry Is Heading in 2022 and Beyond

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5 MIN. READ

Slick designs, single-pedal driving, no tailpipes, re-emerging from the pandemic to embrace the future of electric vehicles (EVs) – that’s what 2021 auto shows were all about. Top automakers came to this year’s shows in Shanghai, Chicago, Munich and other metropolises, eager to showcase their exciting new EVs, from all-electric prototypes to early production models, signifying big changes in the coming years.

Consumers like auto shows to examine their forthcoming and fantasy vehicles under the same roof without any sales pressure. Automakers welcome the opportunity to offer test drives and create excitement about their newest models. With so many EVs on display at this year’s auto shows, the showcases are considered key to getting car enthusiasts and others to adopt EVs en masse.

The electric vehicles we found at the 2021 auto shows

Three auto shows that entranced and intrigued this year were in Shanghai, Chicago and Munich. Here are some highlights of vastly different options from each:

Shanghai

The Shanghai Auto Show delivered electronic and tech-focused vehicles this April from Chinese, European and US carmakers in every price segment:

  • Audi and its Chinese partners have shown world-premiere cars this year. The Audi A7L boasts rear-wheel steering, adaptive air suspension and four-wheel drive, but it will be solely for the Chinese market.
  • The Audi A6 E-Tron concept shares dimensions and the name A6, but little else. This EV is a Sportback with a wide coupe roof arch. It has two electric motors, an 800-volt charging architecture and a range of 434 miles.
  • Toyota previewed its bZ4X, an electric SUV, at the show. The compact SUV resembles the Rav-4, but it is built on a new “e-TNGA” platform. Toyota hopes to use the e-TNGA platform to speed its deployment of new EVs.
  • Volkswagen is striving to pull ahead of Tesla in EV sales in China. Toward that end, VW is diversifying its product portfolio. Volkswagen revealed six new vehicles, five of which are SUVs, at the Shanghai show. One, the fully electric ID.6, is based on the MEB platform and will be made exclusively for China’s market. The aerodynamic electric vehicle features a roomy interior with a flexible 6- or 7-seat arrangement and a range of 360 miles.
  • China’s stock-market star Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Ltd. took a look-but-do-not-touch approach to displaying its forthcoming Hengchi EVs. The cars, due on the market next year, were behind glass. Evergrande reported the Hengchi 1 will have a range of 472 miles and the Hengchi 9, a mid-sized SUV, will go 503 miles.

Chicago

While smaller than usual due to the pandemic, the Chicago Auto Show in July saw automakers emphasizing test drives to generate excitement about owning one of the new electric vehicles:

  • Volkswagen of America offered drives in four of its new vehicles, including its all-electric compact crossover, the 4, which went on sale this year.
  • The new model of the Ford Mustang – the Mach-E – was on display. Still sleek and sporty like previous Mustangs, it differs from predecessors. The Mach-E is an electric crossover and the first 4-door Mustang.
  • Nissan displayed the 2022 Ariya, its new electric crossover poised to compete with the Mustang Mach-E and Tesla’s Model Y. The 4-door hatchback will have a projected range of about 300 miles.
  • The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning was a big attraction. The first mass-market all-electric pickup truck from a major automaker features a crew cab with a 5.5-foot bed, semi-autonomous driving and the capability to provide electricity to power tools.
  • Chevrolet showed off its updated Bolt EV, which boasts refreshed styling and an updated infotainment system.

Munich

The IAA Mobility show moved to Munich this year in various settings for the September event:

  • One highly anticipated feature was the debut of the Polestar Precept concept, which was delayed last year. As presented, the Precept will be a high-end, elegant EV that also incorporates sustainability in the design.
  • It was Germany, so it was no surprise that Mercedes exhibited the greatest volume of electric vehicles. The EQG Concept used the classic G-Class wagon but presented it as an all-electric car. Mercedes’ EQB is a compact SUV with room for a third row of seats to appeal to families looking for a larger electric vehicle.
  • Renault showed off its Megane E-Tech, which is expected to hit the market in 2022. It’s predicted to be competitively priced and marketed as ideal for running errands and commuting. It’s not designed for long drives, however, with the 40kWh or 60kWh battery packs offering ranges of 186 and 292 miles respectively.
  • BMW presented its i Vision Circular concept. Part of the “Circular” appeal is sure to be the automaker’s claim that 100% of its materials come from recycled sources. Design-wise, it is a larger, reimagined version of the BMW i3 with a four-seat setup. Don’t expect the concept to go into production soon; it was a very early concept preview.
  • The Cupra UrbanRebel is an all-electric hatchback with racing seats and harness belts in tow. It reportedly goes 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds. Still a concept, the UrbanRebel is slated for production in 2025.

Trends across auto shows

Regardless of the show, the EVs displayed showed notable trends:

  • Smart software and sensorsSmart cockpits that can be personalized will become a major development trend in the future.
  • Single-pedal driving (regenerative brakes) – The regenerative braking systems in electric vehicles convert kinetic energy from the vehicle’s motion into electricity. During the regenerative phase, a driver can stop a car without using the brake pedal. Releasing the accelerator pedal results in a smooth and progressive stop. This takes practice getting the timing right to stop safely.

EV battery and charging arms raceThe future of EV charging may see new innovations such as inductive charging, possibly involving transformer coils embedded in the highway.

 

  • It’s nice to consider future developments, but the move to electrification and the demand for electric vehicles are here. If you are looking for help getting your home ready for an EV and charger installation, contact Qmerit. We are a leader in EV installations throughout the U.S. and now Canada. Qmerit makes going electric easier. Contact us
Lowry Stoops President, Qmerit Network