The Best Electric Car From The Munich Motor Show

The biggest surprise of the Munich motor expo came from Renault. This retro-inspired EV will go into production in 2022, paying homage to the original Renault 5 hatchback, which in the 1970s was one of the best selling cars in the world and now the best electric car of the motorsports event.

The best electric cars from the Munich motor show

By John Carey

Australians mostly ignore EVs when choosing their next new car because they’re expensive. But some of Europe’s biggest car makers have affordable EVs for the motoring masses on the way.

Earlier this week, at Europe’s first major motor show for two years, VW and Renault revealed small battery-powered cars that are headed for production.

Here are the highlights of the Munich motor show.

Renault has decided to put its 5 electric car concept into production.

Renault 5

The biggest surprise of the Munich motor expo came from Renault. This retro-inspired EV will go into production in 2022, paying homage to the original Renault 5 hatchback, which in the 1970s was one of the best selling cars in the world.

Chic and charming, the new EV version is a brilliant update of the 5’s look. It’s a much more attractive car than the similar size Zoe EV.

While the Zoe is still sold in Europe, Renault recently pulled the plug on it in Australia because of low demand.

Renault execs promise the new 5 EV will cost much less than the Zoe, while matching its impressive 400km driving range.

Volkswagen’s ID.Life concept could cost about $30,000 when it becomes a reality.

VW ID. Life

This concept previews a small crossover urban SUV that will join the company’s growing line-up of ID-badged EVs in 2025. It could be called ID.2 or ID.1; VW has registered both names.

The big news? They’re aiming for a starting price in Europe that translates to only a little more than $30,000. This is way less than the most affordable EVs on sale in Australia today.

“We are making electric mobility accessible to even more people,” said VW chief Ralf Brandstätter. The small VW has a single electric motor driving its front wheels. Two power outputs are planned for production and it’ll have a range of about 400km.

Renault has shown of its rival to the VW ID.3.

Renault Megane E-Tech

This is Renault’s answer to the VW ID.3, the Golf-size EV that’s a big hit in Europe. The Megane E-Tech is a good looking and beautifully detailed five-door hatch. It goes on sale in Europe from February next year.

With a roomy, flat-floored interior, infotainment built on the Android Automotive operating system and a big central screen, the car has wow factor galore.

Renault will produce the front-drive Megane E-Tech with two different battery packs and 96kW and 160kW versions of its single electric motor. With the larger 60kWh battery, it will have a driving range of up to 470km.

Smart is popular in cramped European cities.

Smart Concept #1

Smart wants to leave its days as a microcar specialist behind. Earlier Smarts were a hard sell in Australia, and the brand withdrew from the market here in 2015, but the CX-3-size battery-powered five-door urban SUV previewed by the Concept #1 has obvious appeal.

These days Smart is owned by Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) and Geely (the Chinese owner of Volvo). There’s currently no plan to relaunch Smart in Australia.

The production version of the Concept #1 is due next year and will come in single-motor rear-drive and dual-motor all-wheel-drive forms.

2Mercedes-Benz will bring the EQE here late in 2022.

Mercedes EQE

Due in Australia in the second half of 2022, the EQE packs the brilliant EV and infotainment tech of the EQS into a more compact and affordable package.

The large sedan is only the second model, after the EQS luxury limo, to be built on Mercedes-Benz’s new purpose-designed EV platform.

The first variant of the EQE into production will have a range of up to 660km from its 90kWh battery pack.

Maximum power of this EQE350 will be 215kW, delivered to the rear wheels. Other models will follow, including super-quick dual-motor versions with about 500kW

Noting that one in 10 customers is already choosing to buy an EV, Mercedes-Benz boss Ola Kallenius says the EQE will accelerate this trend.

Merc previewed its big electric SUV with an ultra luxury Maybach concept.

Mercedes EQS

Though it wore the Maybach badge of Mercedes-Benz’s ultra-lux sub-brand, this show car is a strong pointer to the style of the big electric SUV the company will produce from late next year.

As with the EQE, it’ll use the same tech building blocks – motors, batteries and more – already seen in the EQS. But its size and shape means it won’t be able to equal that car’s amazing energy efficiency and driving range.

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