Features
10 Jul 19

Monthly review - June - Plug-in hybrids first, smart EVs later

As the newbees are launching their very first electric car, EV leader Renault-Nissan already takes the next step by making their electric vehicles smart-grid ready. Indeed, Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) is a sine qua non for sustainable energy management. The biggest contribution to lower CO2 emissions over the next years is to come from plug-in hybrids, though. 

BMW and co: plug-in hybrids galore

It seems that the idea of an all-electric future is making way for a more pragmatic vision in which there is place for diesel and petrol for years to come – albeit electrically assisted. Most car makers, not least BMW, believe in plug-in hybrids as they require less effort and keep an entire industry alive. Its Bavarian competitor concurs, judging by the expansion of the Audi PHEV lineup. Volvo is the first premium OEM to launch a plug-in hybrid in the compact crossover segment: the XC40 T5 Twin Engine. Kia, too, is adding yet another plug-in hybrid crossover to its lineup: the XCeed. Even Renault, a strong EV believer, prepares to launch a plug-in hybrid Captur.

PSA makes electric accessible

After the DS3 Crossback E-Tense, PSA makes its electric car platform available for the lesser gods of the group in a bid to democratise electric driving. The Ampera-e will soon be replaced by the e-Corsa, which shares its underpinnings with the Peugeot e-208 and the recently presented e-2008. They offer a WLTP range of 300+ km. To make amends, Renault is updating its Zoé, which now boasts one-pedal driving and a range of 390km. But what happens if you still deplete the batteries along the way? This is how roadside assistance companies help you out..

V2G: sustainable power and EVs go hand in hand

Using your fleet of EVs as storage units for sustainably created power: that is the future. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi are paving the way with their investment in The Mobility House, the first company to integrate an EV in a smart grid programme in Germany. The group has also been running a 20-vehicle testbed project on the sunny Portuguese island of Porto Santo, which wants to become Europe’s first zero carbon territory.

Fuel cell vehicles: the other EVs. But how safe are they, really?

An explosion at a Norwegian hydrogen filling station caused plenty of damage – not least to the reputation of the fuel. But is this one incident not blown out of proportion? Specialists believe there is no reason to be alarmed.

Picture copyright: Dieter Quartier, 2019

Authored by: Dieter Quartier