Top 5 Electric Cars at Frankfurt Motor Show

by Alison Lakin
The Frankfurt Motor Show, which alternates venues every year with Paris, marks the beginning of the auto show season, making it an important stage for manufacturers to display their latest and greatest. Supercars, step aside; this year was all about green. Not the color – though there was a bit of that too – but rather plug-in hybrids, regular hybrids and a variety of alternative fuel concepts as well. But the real stars of the show were the unique electric car concepts that illustrated how strong (and varied) the EV market will be. Here are our top 5.

Volvo C30 BEV

Volvo C30 BEV
We like the idea of putting an electric motor in the shell of an already recognizable car. Or maybe you don’t recognize it. The C30 is after all the coolest Volvo you can buy that no one really knows about. By making it electric – and giving it a range of 90 miles and a max speed of 80 mph – Volvo’s hoping to give the C30 some much needed attention.

Trabant nT

Trabant nT
For sheer chutzpah, we give the Trabant nT our number four spot. A car we thought had gone the way of barbed wire-adorned walls is back… and electric. Tricked out in shiny new sheet metal (as opposed to plastic and fiberglass), the nT will supposedly have a range of 150 miles with a top speed of 70 mph. Despite it being a concept, they’ve already mentioned a price: a low, low $29,000 to start.

Reva NXR

Reva NXR
Indian carmaker Reva is launching full-steam ahead with the electric city car concept; their schedule has them developing a prototype by 2011. The NXR as is seats four passengers and should max out on juice after 100 miles with a top speed of 64 mph – not such a bummer in traffic-clogged India. What we really like is the sleek three-door design with large front grille and skyward-facing windshield.

Renault Zoe Z.E.

Renault Zoe
It’s rare that we spot an electric car with such elegant lines as the Renault Zoe Z.E., but here we are, still quite enamored by its uniquely intriguing looks. It may have three charging modes for more driving freedom, but what sold us was the hydrating ‘detox’ system within the climate control that releases different scents into the cabin. Do you think they have a scent called ‘mom’s cooking?’ Because we’ll take one of those.

Audi e-Tron

Audi e-Tron
Sorry Zoe, but in a landslide victory the Audi e-tron claims our top spot as the favorite electric car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Why? Because all that cool technology is housed in Audi’s best exterior design recent memory. Oh, and the fact that its liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery will deliver 3,319 lb-ft of torque might be another good reason. That’s not a typo, my friends, that’s actually more torque than a tank makes.


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