Green Cars at the 2010 Paris Motor Show

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The number of cars at the 2010 Paris Motor Show being promoted by manufacturers as “low CO2” is overwhelming – so here’s our user-friendly summary of the key new green models you need to know about.

These are the most significant green cars that are either here now, about to be launched, or that are concepts that we hope will see the light of day. This is a comprehensive list of cars, and one that makes it easier than trying to work out which are the most important green cars whilst wandering around the huge floor area of the Paris show. As you’ll see, many of the vehicles on display prove that ultra-low carbon cars don’t have to be boring…

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Nissan LEAF
In terms of pioneering ultra-low carbon cars that will be here in the UK for you to buy soon, the Nissan LEAF is still at the top of the list. It’s the world’s first mass-produced, affordable, electric family hatchback. It has a range of 100 miles, a top speed of 90 mph, and will cost £23,990 after the £5000 government grant. Running costs are anticipated to be less than £1.59 for 62 miles in the UK. We drove the LEAF again in Paris and the smooth electric drive with instant torque just made so much sense for Paris streets – as long as you remember that people can’t hear you coming. It also looks good inside and out, and order books are now open in the UK; the first cars will be here by March 2011.

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Nissan Townpod
Nissan had a surprise in store at Paris, in the form of the Townpod. The Townpod is a concept for another Nissan electric vehicle which is supposed to combine the best features of a car and a van for “urban business people”. It comes with easy accessibility as there is no pillar between the front and rear doors, and it has lots of clever technology to keep your car and your smartphone connected. Unlike the LEAF, this is an EV that you won’t be able to buy soon.

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Renault Twizy
Renault has an alliance with Nissan for the development of electric vehicles. The two companies are sharing technologies, but one vehicle that is unique to Renault is the Twizy. This is basically a four-wheeled electric scooter, but with better occupant protection than a two-wheeled version. Renault says that the Twizy on display at Paris provides a realistic indication of the design of the production version due to go on sale in the UK in early 2012 alongside the Fluence ZE. The Twizy weighs 450kg, including the 100kg batteries, has a 60 mile range, and a top speed of 47 mph.

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Renault Fluence ZE
The Fluence ZE – together with the Kangoo Van ZE – is derived from an existing internal combustion-engined vehicle. The Fluence has a (limited) top speed of 84 mph and a range of 100 miles. Prices for the Fluence ZE will start from approximately €26,000 (depending on local VAT rates) in Europe excluding the battery. Customers will also subscribe to a monthly lease starting from €79 (including VAT) to cover the battery. The Fluence ZE will be available in the UK in 2012. (The Kangoo Van ZE will be available in the UK from autumn 2011).

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Renault ZOE Preview
Renault says that the ZOE Preview on show at Paris is around a 90 per cent accurate likeness of the final production version. It’s a Clio-sized car designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle, and featuring Renault’s new design style. Like the Fluence, it has a top speed of 84 mph and a range of 100 miles, together with a 0-62 mph time of 8.1 seconds. Inside, it features a climate control system incorporating humidity level adjustment, a toxicity sensor for cleaner cabin air, an active relaxing or stimulating scent diffuser, and light therapy thanks to light emitted by the central display screen. The ZOE will be available from mid-2012.

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Renault DeZir
The Renault DeZir proves that electric cars can look fantastic. The DeZir is powered by an electric motor mounted in a mid-rear position to optimize weight distribution over the front and rear wheels. The vertically-mounted 24kWh lithium-ion battery is located behind the benchseat and provides the car with a range of 100 miles. The basic motor is the same as the unit used for Renault’s production electric cars, but with more power (150hp). The DeZir’s body is made from Kevlar, while its tubular steel frame is similar to that employed for the Mégane Trophy race car. It has a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.25, with acceleration from rest to 30 mph in just two seconds and a top speed of 112 mph.

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Citroen Survolt
Yet another car designed to prove that ultra-low emission cars don’t have to be boring, the Survolt is an all-electric racecar. Specially developed with compact dimensions and a lightweight frame, the Survolt has a tubular chassis, a flat underside with extractor and full carbon bodywork – all combining to make a genuine emissions-free, all-electric racing car. The Survolt is capable of a top speed of 162 mph and a 0-62 mph time of under five seconds. The concept’s twin 140kg lithium-ion batteries deliver a range of 124 miles.

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Jaguar C-X75 concept
One of the most stunning cars at Paris was the Jaguar C-X75 concept car. As was the case on virtually all of the manufacturer’s stands, this was another new concept with ‘green’ credentials – even though it’s a supercar. And this was one of the more interesting technical solutions, as the C-X75 has a battery and four electric motors, together with a range-extender solution in the form of two micro gas-turbines. Spinning at 80,000 rpm, they can generate enough electricity to recharge the batteries and extend the range to 560 miles; and produce just 28 g/km CO2 from the car’s plug-in charge capability. The C-X75 is capable of a zero tailpipe emissions range of 68 miles while running solely on battery power, yet it can also reach 205 mph, and achieving 0-62 mph in just 3.4 seconds. It has four powerful 145kW (195bhp) electric motors – one for each wheel, so giving it four-wheel drive – which produce 780bhp and a total torque output of 1600Nm (1180lb ft). Let’s hope that Jaguar builds this concept.

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Audi e-tron Spyder Concept
The Audi e-tron Spyder is a two-seat open sports car study with a plug-in hybrid drive capable of delivering 128 mpg economy and 59 g/km emissions from its 300 PS twin-turbo V6 TDI engine and twin electric motors. The e-tron Spyder can combine the powerful 650Nm torque output of its TDI engine with the 352 Nm developed by its two electric motors during acceleration. This means that the car accelerates to 62 mph in just 4.4 seconds, and top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph. It can drive on electric power only up to a range of 31 miles and at speeds of up to 37 mph.

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Exagon Furtive e-GT
The Furtive e-GT is another high-performance electric sports car prototype, this time from a manufacturer that you’ve probably never heard of. The French manufacturer Exagon claims that with its two Siemens electric motors the 340 hp Furtive can sprint from 0-62 mph in 3.5 seconds and go on to a top speed of 186 mph. Of equal significance is the claim of a 250 mile range, or 500 miles with a range-extender engine. The car could be on sale in 2012; no word on price yet, but it’s likely to be expensive…

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Exagon Ice Racer

Just in case you think the Furtive e-GT is from a company with no pedigree in electric performance cars, this is an electric ice racer produced by Exagon for the Trophee Andros Electrique.

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Venturi Fetish

The Venturi stand includes the world premiere of the new Fetish. This 1,225 kg car has a power output of more than 300 hp and torque of 380 Nm. This translates to a top speed of 120 mph and 0-62 mph in 4 seconds. It has a new 54 kWh LIV-8 Battery Lithium Polymer pack which results in a range of over 200 miles. The Fetish will be hand-built and made to order in Monaco, with a production limited to 10 cars per year. It costs 300,000 € HT and its completion time is currently 12 months.

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Venturi America

There’s also the world premiere of the Venturi America. This is a high performance “buggy” with the same 300 hp engine from the Venturi Fetish, but with a higher ride height. It has a range of up to 200 miles.

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Venturi Antarctica
Just to prove that Venturi can build electric vehicles other than cars, the company has a third electric vehicle premiere at Paris, of the Venturi Antarctica, a tracked vehicle designed to be used by scientists in Antarctica. It will be used at “Princess Elizabeth”, the first station in Antarctica to be entirely powered by renewable energy, and this vehicle will also be powered by wind and sun.

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Fisker Karma
The first factory-built four-door, four-passenger Fisker Karma premium plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is being premiered at the show. The 403 hp Karma reaches 62 mph in 5.9 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph, yet can achieve an average economy of 100 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 83 g/km.

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SEAT IBE concept car
The latest generation SEAT IBE concept car was on display at Paris. This is another all-electric concept, with a 102 PS electric motor allowing it to reach 62 mph in 9.7 seconds with a top speed of 100 mph. Its 18 kWh lithium-ion battery gives it a range of 80 miles. The Spanish brand promises the “super-compact” 2+2 sports coupe will be fun to drive as well as sporty to look at.

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Kia POP Concept
The Kia POP is certainly an interesting-looking car. It’s a three-metre-long, three-seater city car with an electric drivetrain. It has a 50kW, 190Nm motor, a top speed of 140 km/h and a range of 160 km. It’s powered by compact lithium polymer gel batteries which offer the same power performance as a lithium ion battery, but with a 20% reduction in battery size and reduced manufacturing complexity, and they are fully rechargeable in six hours (or 30 minutes with a high voltage supply).

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Toyota FT-CH
The Toyota FT-CH is a compact Yaris-sized hybrid concept which will have lower emissions than the current Prius. The FT-CH is 22 inches shorter in overall length than a Prius, but only around an inch less in overall width, and will be lighter and cheaper than the Prius.

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Toyota FT-EV II
Although Toyota is focusing on hybrids, the company also has an electric vehicle concept, the FT-EV II. Looking remarkably similar to an iQ, with which it shares a platform, it has a lithium-ion battery and a top speed of 70 mph.

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Peugeot HR1 Concept
The Peugeot HR1 Concept is another combination of different types of vehicles – in this case a city run-around, coupé and SUV. It uses Peugeot’s HYbrid4 technology, but this time with a new three-cylinder 1.2 litre THP 110 petrol engine at the front and a 37 bhp electric motor at the rear, resulting in a maximum potential power output of 147 bhp, with a combined fuel consumption of 81 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 80 g/km. It can be driven in “zero emissions” mode in town at low speed, or with both “engines” together, providing four-wheel drive capability.

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Peugeot 3008 HYbrid 4
The Peugeot 3008 Crossover, with HYbrid4 technology, is due to be the first diesel “full hybrid” production car in the world. The idea is to combine a diesel engine for better economy in normal driving, with the potential of zero emission in urban areas. Powered by a 2.0 litre 163 bhp HDi diesel engine and a 37 bhp electric motor, it can return 74.4 mpg with 99 g/km of CO2. The 3008 HYbrid4 will be marketed in the spring of 2011 in Europe.

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Vauxhall Ampera
The Vauxhall Ampera was also on display. This car has been in the news for a while, so it’s easy to overlook it, however that would be a mistake because the Ampera is an important technological solution. The Ampera is an electric car at all times, however if the battery runs out of power, then the car has a 1.4-litre petrol engine on board that acts as a range-extender and which powers the electric motor. Unlike electric cars such as the Nissan LEAF, this means that if you run out of battery charge you can keep driving for as far as you like (as long as you can refill the car with petrol). The battery can be recharged in about three hours at 240v. The Ampera is a five-door, four-seat hatchback with a top speed of 100 mph, and electric range of 40 miles, and a total range of around 350 miles. The Ampera will be launched in early 2012.

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Lexus CT 200h
The Paris Motor Show marked the official market launch of the new Lexus CT 200h. The CT 200h is Lexus’s first model in the small luxury car segment. The full hybrid is expected to return 96 g/km CO2 emissions and 68.9 mpg combined cycle fuel economy. It’s available to order from October, with first vehicle deliveries early in 2011. It’s just a shame about its styling, which in our view doesn’t look particularly elegant.

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Honda Jazz hybrid
Honda’s Jazz hybrid is making its debut at Paris. The Jazz features the same 1.3 litre i-VTEC as the Insight hybrid and is expected to have similar CO2 emissions of 104 g/km – 21 g/km less than the current lowest-emitting 1.2-litre petrol Jazz. Like the Insight and Civic Hybrid models, the hybrid version of the Jazz will be capable of running on the electric motor alone under some medium and low speed conditions and this contributes to an expected combined fuel consumption figure of 64.2 mpg. The hybrid Jazz will go on sale in the UK in early 2011.

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Toyota Auris Hybrid
The Toyota Auris Hybrid is on display at Paris – in cutaway form. It’s already been launched in the UK, and offers Prius hybrid technology in a smaller car. The result is 74.3 mpg and 89 g/km CO2 for models with 15-inch wheels, or 70.6 mpg and 93 g/km and for versions with 17-inch wheels. Prices start from £18,950.

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Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid
The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid has rechargeable battery technology which gives the car extended capabilities when it’s driven in EV (electric vehicle) mode. It’s capable of running for up to 12.5 miles solely on its electric motor at speeds up to 62 mph. The Prius Plug-in returns 108.6 mpg and 59 g/km CO2 emissions. You won’t be able to buy one for a couple of years, but lease trials of 20 started in London in July 2010.

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Infiniti M35 Hybrid
The M35 is Infiniti’s first production hybrid. The hybrid version of the M Line saloon range comes with a V6 engine, 7-speed automatic transmission and rear-drive handling. It has a decoupling V6 engine and a 50 kW (68 PS) electric motor built in to the 7-speed automatic transmission. M Line sales have now started in western Europe, with the M35 Hybrid due to arrive from spring 2011, depending on market.

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Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid
It was only a few years ago when various car manufacturers were criticising Toyota for developing hybrids, but suddenly they’re all developing hybrid technology. The Mercedes S400 hybrid has a V6 3.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor resulting in emissions of 190 g/km CO2. It uses a compact hybrid system, a high-capacity lithium-ion battery, automatic start-stop technology and a regenerative braking system. The engine of the S-Class Hybrid shuts down at low speeds (under 15 km/h) and restarts as soon as the throttle is touched.

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Fiat 500 Twin Air
This Fiat 500 has an 875cc twin-cylinder turbo engine, resulting 30 percent in lower fuel consumption and CO2 output. This means 69 mpg and 95 g/km CO2 with a manual gearbox, or 92 g/km with the Dualogic automated manual). It also delivers similar performance to the 1.4 (a top speed of 108 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 11.0 seconds). The 500 TwinAir features a standard stop-start system, and because the engine is so small, there is little internal friction, making it highly efficient.

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MINI WRC
The new MINI Countryman WRC received its world premiere at Paris, with David Richards in attendance, founder of Prodrive – the company that is developing the car for rallying. The MINI WRC is powered by a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder Di turbo-charged engine. The 2011 World Rally Championship will see the new MINI WRC contesting in six of 13 scheduled rounds, with MINI competing in the full 2012 season. In addition, Prodrive plans to make available customer versions to independent teams for use in the championship. British driver Kris Meeke has been confirmed as one of the drivers who will contest the championship with this brand new rally car.

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Range Rover Evoque
The all-new Range Rover Evoque is making its global public debut at the Paris Motor Show. It will be the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient Range Rover ever. For the first ever time on a Land Rover, a front-wheel drive variant will be offered. With the 150 PS 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine, this model achieves 58 mpg and sub 130g/km CO2. The four-wheel-drive version with a 2.2-litre 150 PS turbodiesel engine delivers 50 mpg and sub-145 g/km CO2. The car will go on sale in more than 160 markets worldwide from summer 2011. Prices will start from £30,000 in the UK.

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BMW X3
The new BMW X3 is due to be on sale in the UK in November and it promises to be the lowest-emission four-wheel drive model in the sector. CO2 figures are 149 g/km, with average fuel consumption of 50.4 mpg. Interestingly, at 147 g/km, the automatic version has lower emissions than the manual version. Both transmissions will also come with Auto Start-Stop technology. This will be the first BMW model in the UK to have Auto Start-Stop technology with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission.

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BMW Concept ActiveE
It’s not the first time that the BMW Concept ActiveE has been shown, but because it’s an electric 1 Series Coupe – which means that you get rear-wheel drive and zero emissions – we’re going to promote it again. Its electric motor produces 170 hp and it has a range of around 100 miles. Unfortunately you can’t buy one yet.

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BMW Vision EfficientDynamics
Unfortunately this is another concept car that you can’t yet buy. The BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is designed to showcase the future direction of BMW’s performance-enhancing and emissions-lowering innovations. The result is excellent performance combined with 99 g/km CO2. However the good news is that the concept’s technologies – including a diesel engine mated with an electric motor – are likely to appear on a BMW in a showroom near you in the not-too distant future.

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Tesla Roadster
It may not be new, but the Tesla Roadster is still one of the sexiest green cars around. It’s based on a Lotus Elise, but with an electric motor and lots of batteries. It can reach 62 mph from standstill in 3.7 seconds in the case of the Roadster Sport, with a top speed of 125 mph, and a range of over 200 miles. The downside is the price: £87,945 for the Roadster, or £101,900 for the Roadster Sport.

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Mitsubishi i-MiEV
The European-spec version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicle is on display at the show. Mitsubishi plans to roll out the i-MiEV from December of this year in 14 countries including the UK, France and Germany, and further expand the European rollout from 2011. Mitsubishi recently reduced the i-MiEV’s launch pricing to £28,990 in the UK. Taking into account the UK government’s recently confirmed consumer incentive of £5,000, this means customers will only have to pay £23,990, which is exactly the same price as the Nissan LEAF.

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Peugeot iOn
This may look like a Mitsubishi i-MiEV, but it’s actually a Peugeot iOn. In fact the more accurate description would be that it is an i-MiEV, but with a Peugeot badge. However it’s still an all-electric car, and it’s available soon. Peugeot will take a slightly different approach to Mitsubishi with the marketing. The new iOn (including the battery) will be available for a monthly payment of £415 excluding VAT, over a four-year, 40,000 mile contract. The Peugeot iOn has a potential range of 93 miles. It takes six hours to fully recharge the battery using a traditional household socket. Average running costs are estimated at £2.50 per 120 miles. Carried out overnight or during “off-peak hours”, recharging costs can be reduced further. The first deliveries of the Peugeot iOn will take place in the UK at the end of 2010.

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Citroen C-ZERO
The Citroen C-ZERO, like the Peugeot Ion, is a rebadged Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The C-ZERO’s motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery system and delivers 47kW or 64 bhp from 3,000 to 6,000 rpm. Maximum torque of 180 Nm is available from 0 to 2,000 rpm. It has a top speed of 80 mph, acceleration from 0-62 mph in 15 seconds and a range of around 93 miles over a standard combined cycle. The new Citroën C-ZERO will be available in the UK early in 2011.

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smart fortwo electric drive
The smart fortwo ed is currently on trial in the UK in advance of going into full series production from 2012. Residents in London and the South East are putting 60 of the vehicles through their paces, with the other 40 on trial in the West Midlands, funded by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB). The smart fortwo electric drive can achieve the equivalent of 300 mpg.

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Tazzari ZERO
The Italian-manufactured electric Tazzari ZERO is yet another electric vehicle option. With its lithium-ion batteries, the ZERO promises a top speed of 56 mph and a range of up to 88 miles. It will recharge from the mains in around 9 hours with the standard battery charger, 6 hours with the optional multifast battery charger, or 80% in 50 minutes with the super-fast battery charger from a 3-phase power supply (also optional). The Tazzari ZERO has an aluminium body, a removable sunroof, ‘eco’-leather seats, stereo radio with MP3 and CD player, 15″ custom coloured wheels and disc brakes all-round.

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Volvo C30 DRIVe Electric
The C30 DRIVe Electric will have a range of 150 kilometres on a single charge and will go into production in early 2011, running in test fleets in Europe, China and the US. Volvo will also have a plug-in hybrid on offer in 2012, combining electric power with a diesel hybrid powertrain. The Volvo plug-in hybrid will have emissions below 50 k/km CO2.

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Saab 9-3 ePower SportWagon
Saab has become one of the latest manufacturers to announce that it is developing an electric vehicle, with the Saab 9-3 ePower SportWagon. The all-electric family estate is the prototype for a test fleet of 70 vehicles which will participate in extensive field trials in Sweden early next year. The aim is for the car, with its lithium-ion battery cells, to have a range of over 120 miles. It has a 184 hp electric motor driving the front wheels through a single-speed transmission, enabling it to manage zero to 62 mph acceleration in 8.5 seconds, together with a top speed of 93 mph.

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Skoda Octavia Green E Line concept
Not wanting to be left out of the electric vehicle concept club, Skoda displayed its Octavia Green E Line concept. Its vital statistics include a power output of 85 kW and a range up to 140 km per charge from its ion-lithium battery. The first fleet of test vehicles is planned for 2011.

Paul Clarke