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The best electric cars from the Munich Motor Show

A wave of new cars is expected to go into production soon, which would drastically reduce one of the biggest hurdles to the spread of electric cars.

Australians mostly ignore electric vehicles when choosing their next new car because they are expensive. But some of Europe’s largest automakers have affordable electric cars for motorists along the way.

Earlier this week, VW and Renault unveiled small battery-powered cars going into production at Europe’s first major auto show in two years.

Here are the highlights of the Munich show.

Renault 5

The biggest surprise at the Munich Expo came from Renault. This retro-inspired electric vehicle will go into production in 2022 and pays homage to the original Renault 5 hatchback, which was one of the best-selling cars in the world in the 1970s.

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

While the Zoe is still being sold in Europe, Renault recently pulled the plug in Australia due to low demand.

Renault executives promise the new 5 EV will cost a lot less than the Zoe while keeping up with its impressive 400km range.

VW ID. Life

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

The big news? You’re aiming for a starting price in Europe that’s only a little over $ 30,000. That’s far less than the cheapest electric cars sold in Australia today.

“We’re making electromobility accessible to even more people,” said VW boss Ralf Brandstätter. The little VW has a single electric motor that drives its front wheels. Two power outputs are planned for production and it will have a range of around 400 km.

Renault Megane E-Tech

This is Renault’s answer to the VW ID.3, the Golf-sized electric car that’s a big hit in Europe. The Megane E-Tech is a nice looking and beautifully detailed five-door hatch. It will be sold in Europe from February next year.

With a spacious, flat-bottomed interior, infotainment based on the Android Automotive operating system, and a large central screen, the car has a wow factor galore.

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

Smart concept # 1

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

Smart is now owned by Daimler (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) and Geely (the Chinese owner of Volvo). A relaunch of Smart in Australia is currently not planned.

The production version of Concept # 1 is planned for next year and will be available as a single-engine rear-wheel drive and as a twin-engine all-wheel drive.

Mercedes EQE

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

After the EQS luxury sedan, the large sedan is only the second model to be built on the new, specially developed EV platform from Mercedes-Benz.

The first series version of the EQE will have a range of up to 660 km from its 90 kWh battery.

The maximum power of this EQE350 is 215 kW, which is delivered to the rear wheels. Other models will follow, including super-fast dual-motor versions with around 500kW

In view of the fact that one in ten customers already decides to buy an electric vehicle, Mercedes-Benz boss Ola Kallenius says that the EQE will accelerate this trend.

Mercedes EQS

Although it bore the Maybach emblem of the Ultra-Lux sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz, this show car is a strong reference to the style of the large electric SUV that the company will be producing from the end of next year.

As with the EQE, the same technology modules – motors, batteries and more – are used that can already be seen in the EQS. But its size and shape mean it won’t be able to match this car’s amazing energy efficiency and range.

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