Bradley Jando | Sunday 11th July 2021 7:41pm
A key part of this years Goodwood Festival of Speed is focused around electric vehicles and the move towards greener and more sustainable motoring. The UK Government has recently accelerated their plans for emission-free transport, announcing that the sale of new petrol and diesel will be banned from 2030 onwards, so it is no surprise to see electric vehicles becoming more of a focus; with interest rapidly increasing from both drivers and the manufacturers themselves.
New to the Festival of Speed this year is Electric Avenue, presented by Sky, which provides a wide display of electric vehicles from hatchbacks, to saloons, to SUVs, to sports cars, and even hypercars. The interactive experience gives an insight into the newest electric vehicles to hit the market, and even a sneak peak at what to look out for in the new future. We were lucky enough to take a look around the full exhibition and have collated some of the key highlights and stand out vehicles in this article.
Hatchbacks and City Cars
New on to the scene in March 2021 was the Fiat 500 electric range, adding electric capabilities to the famous Fiat 500 design. The Fiat 500e offers the same classic Italian design that has made previous models of the car so popular among drivers, whilst moving to electric power with a range of up to 460km – plus fast charging capabilities mean that a 5-minute charge could provide up to 50km of range!
The ‘Fiat Co-Driver’ ADAS technology takes away the stress of motorway driving, automatically maintaining distance with the car in front of you and keeping the car stable in the middle of the lane.
Mini offer another classic car design that is being adapted for electric power. A Mini is arguably the most iconic British car of all time, and the Mini Electric takes this iconic design and factors in a balance of performance and efficiency. With a respectable range of 145 miles from a full charge, power and convenience is where the Mini Electric really shines. Capable of 0-62 mph in just 7.3 seconds the Mini Electric can compete with most traditional hatchbacks, while the full digital display assists drivers with navigation, nearby charging locations and live traffic updates.
The VW ID.3 is the first car to be released from the new exciting VW ID range, and offers a spacious, five-door, electric hatchback option. VW take pride in the ID.3 being an affordable price, comparable to traditional petrol and diesel cars, making it a very accessible options, while still offering an impressive range of up to 336 miles. For those who do not travel long distances and are looking to save money, keep an eye out for the small battery model coming out this year.
Any keen-eyed football fans reading this will probably recognise the VW ID.3 from the Euro 2020 tournament, where a miniature, remote-controlled version of the car was responsible for delivering the match ball to the centre circle!
Perhaps the most unconventional looking vehicle on display was the Citroen AMI, a tiny two seater road vehicle that you could be forgiven for assuming is a car – but is actually categorised as a ‘quadricycle’. If you need to travel long distances, or even to exceed 30 mph, then the AMI is probably not for you. Instead, Citroen have designed this vehicle to accommodate city dwellers, who want to avoid public transport while getting from A to B - while also looking after the environment. The AMI has really taken off in France where there are an abundance of ways that drivers can buy or rent one, however it is yet to really take off in the UK. If you do live in a UK city and are looking for a more convenient way to complete short distance urban journeys, then the AMI is definitely one to keep an eye on!
Lexus UX 300e
The first new electric SUV we looked at was the Lexus UX 300e. With a sleek and clean design and a stunning interior, this compact SUV certainly looks the part, but how does it fair in terms of performance and comfort? The UX 300e’s range is a respectable 196 miles, while charging is also fairly fast too – capable of 0-80% in 52 minutes. In terms of speed, this compact SUV is capable of 0-62 mph in 7.5 seconds, and it tops out at 100 mph so again very respectable numbers here.
What may put some people off of this vehicle is the space: while the front two seats are very comfortable with plenty of space and leather seats that can be heated or cooled, the back is a different story. The back seats do not offer very much space at all, certainly putting the ‘compact’ in compact SUV. Overall this could be a fantastic car for those who won’t often have passengers, or for families with young children, however if you regularly have adult passengers in the back this probably isn’t for you.
With the Mokka-e, Vauxhall seem to have found an excellent balance between performance and economy, creating a very well-rounded electric SUV. With a range of 201 miles from a single charge, while also being capable to charge up to 80% from just 30 minutes of fast charging at a 100kw station, the Mokka-e’s battery performance is very competitive within its field. Adding to this an impressive performance, reaching from 0-62 mph in under 9 seconds, and an option to switch between Sport, Eco and Normal driving modes, the Mokka-e offers a well-balanced family SUV that could be a perfect option for anyone who is considering the switch to an affordable electric option, but doesn’t want to compromise performance.
Brand new and arriving in the UK this November is the luxury electric SUV, the BMW i9. This impressive model, looking to rival the premium electric SUV market, includes a range of 257 miles, 0-62 mph in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph – and that’s the minimum spec version! With innovative features including ‘BMW Digital Key Plus’ (Use your smartphone lock and unlock, rather than a conventional key), electrochromic panoramic glass roof, and 5G capabilities, there isn’t a gadget or gizmo missing from this vehicle. All topped off with an angry front grill, when it comes to premium electric SUVs this is going to take some beating.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Treading the line between SUV and Sports Car is the new For Mustang Mach-E. With the option of two battery sizes, three power outputs and a choice of two or four-wheel drive, this five-door family SUV offers the power of the famous Mustang sports car with the comfort and modern tech that drivers have come to expect from electric vehicles. The interior has a futuristic feel with a 10.2 inch display above the steering wheel, and a huge 15.5 inch touchscreen mounted on the centre console. Built-in modem also allows drivers to monitor the car remotely using the FordPass App, checking the car’s location, charging status and locking/unlocking it via mobile.
Where the Mustang Mach-E really shines is it’s on road performance. Boasting an impressive range of up to 379 miles, and a fast-charging battery capable of replenishing from 10-80% in as little as 38 minutes, range anxiety can be a thing of the past with this new Ford model. The GT version is capable of 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds, rivalling the speed of most sports cars but with a much more comfortable and spacious cabin.
Saloons and Estates
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Hyundai are no strangers to producing electric vehicles, however the new Ioniq 5 is a step up in terms of luxury and performance as the brand look to rival the very best electric cars on the market. The Ioniq 5 has a futuristic design, with sharp features and very cool ‘8-bit’ LED headlights, however it is the cars technical specs, rather than aesthetics, that are the most impressive. With a respectable 0-62 mph in just 8.5 seconds, a range starting from 238 miles for the minimum spec version, and charging ability capable of adding up to 62 miles in just 5 minutes, the Ioniq 5 looks ready to make a splash in the luxury electric saloon market!
Much like Hyundai, fellow Korean manufacturers Kia are looking to make a real impact in the luxury electric saloon car market. Offering a much more sleek and stylish design than you may have come to expect from Kia, this vehicle certainly has a futuristic feel; featuring hidden door handles similar to what you might find on a Tesla Model S, an augmented reality windscreen display and an impressive interior complete with recycled soft plastic details and vegan leather seats – great for environmentally conscious drivers. In terms of performance the EV6 offers an impressive range of up to 316 miles from a single charge, while a charge from 10-80% can be completed in just 18 minutes.
Those adrenaline junkies out there will want to keep an eye out for the Kia EV6 GT which will go on sale in 2022 – capable of 0-60 mph in an incredible 3.5 seconds, rivalling most sports cars!
Audi RS e-tron GT
Coming into the business end of things now, these are the cars that really pack a punch, starting with the Audi RS e-tron GT. The first electric Audi to wear the ‘RS’ badge, the RS e-tron GT is capable of 0-62 mph in a mouth-watering 3.3 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph, with an impressive 283 miles of range to boot. Adding to this that it takes just 23 minutes to rapid charge a flat battery to 80% capacity. Serious petrol heads will love the sounds that this vehicle makes, with Audi engineers working hard to give the car a thrilling signature Audi sound, rather than the sometimes anti-climactic electric car hum when driving at speed.
An array of ADAS technologies are available, including collision detection, adaptive cruise control and 360 degree cameras. Where this car really stands out from some other sporty options is in terms of passenger comfort, with 4 doors and enough space to comfortably fit 5 people, you won’t be feeling as cramped as is the case with many other sports cars.
Porsche Taycan 4S
The Porsche Taycan is perhaps the most famous electric sports car to be released to date, and the newest model, the Porsche Taycan 4S, offers a more affordable option without sacrificing much in terms of performance. The Taycan 4S has a range of 257 miles, which is very respectable for a sports car capable of 0-62 mph in just 4 seconds. The range seems even better when you factor in the charging capabilities – you can get from 5-80% in just 23 minutes!
Inside the cabin you will find a futuristic display, including a 16.8-inch digital dash and three other touch sensitive screens responsible for climate control, system settings and entertainment. In terms of ADAS, the Taycan 4S comes equipped with lane-keep assist, 360 parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control, the features are there to keep you both comfortable and safe on the road.
Not too long ago, the idea of hypercar performance in an electric vehicle was an unrealistic pipe dream, but here in 2021 the lucky first owners of the Rimac Nevera will be getting their hands on this incredible piece of engineering. Produced in Croatia, the name Nevera comes from the native tongue for sudden and short lightening storms, and based off this car’s jaw-dropping performance it’s not hard to see why.
0-60 mph? 1.85 seconds. 0-100 mph? 4.3 seconds. These are numbers that have never been seen before, this truly is a car that is tearing up the rulebook. With power like this you might expect the range to suffer, yet the Nevera can manage 340 miles off a full charge, and takes just 19 minutes to charge from 0-80%.
With all these strengths and a top speed of 258 mph, you might be wondering what is the catch? Well, with just 150 units being produced worldwide and a predicted price of almost £2 million, it’s not going to be easy to get your hands on one of these. One thing is for sure though, the lucky few that do manage to bring a Rimac Nevera home will not regret it.
Here it is, the main event. Britain’s first ever pure electric hypercar and the flagship vehicle of Lotus’ Featured Marque at this year’s festival; the Lotus Evija. This car truly looks like something from the future, featuring huge rear wind tunnels and pop out cameras in place of wing mirrors it’s clear to see that aerodynamics, and more specifically downforce, was at the forefront when it came to designing the chassis. The ultra-lightweight carbon fibre material used for the cars body also aids to make this the lightest EV hypercar in production, at just 1,680kg.
The Evija has a target power of 2,000 PS, making it the world’s most powerful road car in production, and while the final numbers are not yet confirmed it is expected to achieve 0-62 mph in under 3 seconds, with a top speed over 200 mph and a range of 215. The charging time of the Evija is frankly incredible, with 0-80% charge capable in 12 minutes, and 0-100% in just 18.
The Evija’s interior is clean and sharp, perhaps understated at times with just one screen behind the F1 styled steering wheel, displaying all key driving information in one place. The ‘ski slope-style’ centre console features touch sensitive buttons in a hexagonal ‘bee-hive’ looking pattern. Your hand can intuitively guide between the buttons, to find the controls you are looking for without taking your eyes off the road.
Overall, the Evija looks like a work of art, and has the performance to back it up. While the acceleration and top speed may not quite be up to scratch with other electric hypercars, the charging capabilities truly do. This feels like a huge step not just for Lotus, but for British automation on the whole.
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