Electric Vehicles At The 2018 Geneva Motor Show — Powertrain Variety, But Why?


Published on Mar 31st, 2018
by Maarten Vinkhuyzen


March 31st, 2018 by  

At a 2018 Geneva Motor Show we got a good demeanour during 3 competing drivetrain architectures. Both Mercedes and Hyundai did have displays on their stands that demonstrated that they don’t nonetheless comprehend how higher a battery electric drivetrain is. Mercedes showed a new 4 and 6 cylinder engines with electric support, what we called fake PHEVs in a prior article. Hyundai showed a prophesy of a destiny with a hydrogen fuel dungeon NEXO.

Mercedes stranded in a past.

Mercedes is still building unequivocally modernized hybrid drivetrains with 4 and 6 cylinder engines. They are unequivocally unequivocally impressive, as these photos show. But given is Mercedes building these? And given is it rising some-more models with these drivetrains than entirely electric vehicles in a EQ sub-brand? Cars they did not uncover to journalists.

There can be a series of reasons.

Price — a hybrid automobile costs reduction than a entirely electric chronicle of a same automobile with an adequate battery.

Market — they consider business are not prepared for entirely electric.

Driving — they consider they can emanate a improved pushing knowledge with a hybrid drivetrain.

Convenience — speeding on a German Autobahn uses lots of energy, so stuffing adult in mins is important.

But are these reasons valid?

Mercedes V6 PH during Geneva Motor Show 2018Many Germans still don’t see Tesla vehicles as all-around able cars. The battery is suspicion to be too tiny and charging takes too long. German distances and pushing speed make “fast charging while traveling” a necessity. An adequate BEV should have during slightest a 150 kWh battery, preferably a 200 kWh one, and any indication should have during slightest some chronicle with such a battery and range. The weight of a battery is a critical plea to that, and a cost is worse.

Tesla showed during a Semi phenomenon a cost reward of about $75/kWh for a long-range chronicle instead of a customary version, and also showed a Roadster with a 200 kWh battery. If Mercedes could put a 200 kWh battery into a C-class automobile that would supplement usually $15,000 to a consumer price, a cost evidence would be moot. But Mercedes thinks a California laws of prolongation don’t request in Germany, or something like that. It sounded a bit like a evidence that machines heavier than atmosphere can’t fly that were finished after a Wright brothers claimed to have finished a unfit on a beach nearby Kitty Hawk in North Carolina.

Merceds V6 specs during Geneva Motor Show 2018Many business are not unequivocally into cars. They are only tiny bedrooms on 4 wheels that move we from A to B and hopefully have decent song on board. What is function underneath a hood is critical for bragging rights, though effective bragging is about a reactions of a listeners, not unequivocally about what is underneath a hood. When it is good adequate for your trainer and your neighbor, it is presumably good adequate for you. Markets can adopt new record unequivocally quick — that is where that frightful S-curve happens.

On a building of a uncover in Geneva some people were articulate about a miss of a sound and quivering of a genuine 8 or 12 cylinder. But that partial of a pushing gifted will be missed by few. And all other aspects, if a reviewers are right, of a pushing knowledge (the present torque, a low core of mass, one-pedal driving, etc.) are higher in an all-electric car. All-wheel expostulate with electronic torque vectoring will turn customary on a form of cars that Mercedes makes. But conference this or even experiencing this is a conflicting thing from desiring this. The “real automobile guys and girls” only know how higher their engines are.

The final evidence concerns convenience. That is initial solved by a incomparable battery and ultra-fast charging, and afterwards private by home charging. The oppulance of starting any day with a entirely charged battery is something one gets simply dependant to.

On all 4 points, entirely electric vehicles are superior, or will turn higher in a brief time. Investing in PHEV growth is investing in a stranded asset, as economists so aptly describe.

Hyundai sees flushed hydrogen future.

Hyundai does a conflicting of Mercedes Benz. It doesn’t adhere to an aged record — believes that a destiny record will be a widespread one. Hyundai has models of both a entirely electric Kona and a hydrogen fuel dungeon Nexo, with a outward partially private side by side on their muster stand.

The Kona and a Nexo are both zero-emission electric vehicles. The disproportion is “only” in a approach they store their energy. One uses a vast battery, a other hydrogen tanks and a fuel cell.

Hyundai Kona during Geneva Motor Show

Hyundai Kona

There are many fanciful discussions about how intelligent or foolish any record is and given one or a other is a record of a future. we wish to omit many of those discussions and demeanour unequivocally many during these dual cars.

The operation as configured is a small incomparable with a Nexo, though that is a pattern decision, not a technical limitation.

Looking during both cars, a initial thing that is apparent is a vast volume of a hydrogen fuel dungeon installation. But as a commenter “Hydrogen First” has forked out, a mass of a battery is larger. And both differences are significant. Neither is unequivocally critical in a vast SUVs and trucks renouned in a USA, though both are critical in Europe and Asia.

Hyundai NEXO during Geneva Motor Show

Hyundai NEXO hydrogen fuel dungeon electric car

The second thing that is critical is charging/fueling while travelling. This is a transparent advantage of a fuel dungeon if there are places to fuel up. But 40% of automobile owners will never need to assign while travelling, and a oppulance of carrying a full battery any morning is 0 to sneeze at. Charging in “zero time” while sleeping, working, or selling is tough to beat.

The third and substantially many critical disproportion is price. At a moment, there is no genuine thought of a cost of a fuel dungeon designation for a normal car. Only after a few years of mass prolongation can this turn clear. The cost of automobile batteries is improved understood. Mass prolongation is starting in a few locations and a cost has been dropping by about 14% per year for during slightest a final dual decades. And there is no reason to design this decrease will stop soon. It is like “Moore’s Law” for IC chips, somehow new record developments make it probable to keep a improvements coming.

The cost decrease and record alleviation of fuel-cell record is reduction clear, though it has been slower than those of batteries. Because this form growth tends to be consistent over longer periods, it is a satisfactory theory that batteries will keep outpacing fuel cells.

So, given does Hyundai select one over a other for a destiny strategy?

Why should all that additional volume be reduction critical than a additional mass?

Why is a quick refill while roving some-more critical than a preference of charging in 0 time during home, work, or a shop?

What expectations does Hyundai have that fuel cells can ever contest on cost with batteries?

It is a poser to me. Walking around both exhibits of these technologies side by side, all we saw was that fuel cells are no compare for batteries. Why rubbish all that space, supplement all that complexity, and build an costly hydrogen placement and refilling infrastructure when we can simply supplement batteries for distant reduction money?

They uncover me that hydrogen fuel cells are a passed end, while they seem to consider they are display a future.

I competence be wrong, and that does not unequivocally matter, given both are zero-emission technologies. And that creates my disproportion of opinion with Hyundai distant reduction critical than my feud with Mercedes.

They should desert their fake-PHEV development. The sooner, a better.

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About a Author

Grumpy aged man. The best thing we did with my life was lifting dual kids. Only finished primary education, though when we don’t go to school, we have lots of time to read. we switched from accounting to program growth and finished my career as complement integrator and architect. My 2007 trainer got dual electric Lotus Elise cars to uncover policymakers a destiny instruction of appetite and transportation. And we have been looking to reinstate my diesel cars with electric vehicles ever since.

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