Paris Motor Show 2016 preview

Opel Ampera-e

The Paris Motor Show, also known as the Mondial de l’Automobile is probably the world’s biggest motor show. The doors are open to the public from 1-16 October 2016, but the press day is 29 September, just two weeks away.

This year is especially important to electric cars. The Tesla Model 3 has already over 400.000 paid reservations and GM is about to launch its “affordable” electric car with over 200 miles (323 km) range. The Chevrolet Bolt EV, is launched ten years after the release of the documentary film “Who Killed the Electric Car?”.


As always I purposely ignore cars that are more than one year away, so I won’t write about Volkswagen endless press releases that promise great electric cars for a distant and uncertain future.

Regarding electric cars, PHEVs will dominate the show, but I’ll focus on BEVs.


This is what I expect to see:




Opel Ampera-e will be the BEV star of the show, hands down.

Nissan Leaf arrived in late 2010 to set the standard, almost every BEV that came later had a similar range and cost. Now GM is doing the same, every new BEV will be compared to the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Opel Ampera-e.


Opel Ampera-e

Opel Ampera-e





The Alliance is expected to show the facelifted Nissan Leaf and the Renault Zoe R400 with a new 43-45 kWh battery. Both EVs will be great cheaper alternatives to the star of the show, the Opel Ampera-e.


Rendering of possible facelifted 2017 Nissan Leaf

Rendering of possible facelifted 2017 Nissan Leaf


It’s also a good time to finally introduce a bigger battery to Renault Kangoo ZE and Nissan e-NV200 EVALIA. The electric vans should already be testing the 60 kWh battery that will be used in the second generation Leaf, but even the 43-45 kWh battery would be a great upgrade.


As a low cost electric car Renault should introduce the Twingo ZE, since the similar Smart ForFour ED will also be in Paris.


Renault Twingo ZE

Renault Twingo ZE


The new generation Nissan Micra will be unveiled. Why is this important? The new Micra will be ready to have electric and hybrid versions. We might see a Nissan Micra EV in 2017, it will share the cool factor with the Zoe, but that is lacking in the current Leaf.


New Nissan Micra inspired by the Sway concept car

New Nissan Micra inspired by the Sway concept car





BMW is happy selling the improved range BMW i3 and the electric scooter BMW C Evolution as its only BEV offers. The company is currently betting in PHEVs and we should see a lot of them displayed. As for new BEV models, they should arrive only in 2018. The i5 electric SUV is being prepared to be a Tesla Model X alternative. Also in 2018, we might see a MINI with BEV and PHEV variants.





In Paris Volkswagen will continue to show electric cars for a distant future, to undermine electric cars by stating that the technology isn’t ready yet, so the automaker can continue to sell polluting cars.

For the near future Volkswagen has battery upgrades planned for its entire fleet. In 2017 every Volkswagen plug-in car will have 37 Ah cells that replace 25-28 Ah cells that are currently used to make the battery packs.

For example the Volkswagen e-Golf will get a 35,8 kWh battery and a more powerful electric motor in January 2017. The EPA range should be around 124 miles (200 km), while the optimistic NEDC range will surpass 300 km.





The sister companies are primarily betting in hybrids. Hyundai will show its already known IONIQ car, while Kia will unveil the new 2017 Kia Soul EV with improved range. There is still no word about the range, but I think it will have a 36 kWh battery made with 192 SK Innovation 50 Ah cells (96s2p). This will be enough for 110 miles (177 km) EPA range, the NEDC range should be 250 km. If the Kia Soul EV gets a plus 40 kWh battery I’ll be pleasantly surprised.





We’ll finally get more details about Smart’s new electric cars. The Smart ForTwo ED and the Smart ForFour ED. Price, range and technical details should be available.

Mercedes-Benz B250e new battery will no longer be made by Tesla Motors with Panasonic cells. This electric car will get new generation cells made by SK Innovation, it would be great to know the future range.





This Japanese automaker is still in la la land with its hybrid and fuel cell cars. The best this automaker has to show is the Toyota Prius Plug-in, also known as the Toyota Prius Prime.





The 2017 Honda Clarity will be in Paris. This big car will have three variants: fuel cell, electric and plug-in hybrid. If Honda’s prices are fair, the electric version will be the cheapest and most popular.


2017 Honda Clarity

2017 Honda Clarity


Honda is releasing the fuel cell variant first, only later the electric and plug-in hybrid variants will come. This decision to first release the only variant that hasn’t the refueling infrastructure ready is ridiculous. What Honda should be doing is releasing an affordable Honda Fit EV with a 45-50 kWh battery.



Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)


Once Fiat was popular in Europe, now it’s a dying automaker. I would really like to see the Fiat 500e be sold in Europe with a 35-40 kWh battery. What better way to bring an obsolete company back to life than emerging with new technology?!


2016 Fiat 500e, only available in California and Oregon

2016 Fiat 500e, only available in California and Oregon



Other big automakers such as PSA, Mitsubishi and Volvo were ignored because they don’t expect to introduce any BEV in the near future.


To consider the Paris Auto Show a successful display of cars, it must have cars that most Europeans like and buy. By this I mean superminis, not big SUVs or luxury cars. Finally, those superminis have to be battery electric vehicles (BEVs). I’ll be happy if these two requirements are fulfilled.


What do you want to be unveiled at Paris Motor Show 2016?



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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5 years ago

Wow, a lot more expected for the next year than I was aware of! Some of it sounds almost too good to be true, like VW actually upgrading their PHEVs. Maybe it has something to do with NEDC being phased out between september 2017 and september 2018? Hopefully the WLTP doesn’t make it so easy for PHEVs to get these low emissions numbers with hardly any real battery range.

5 years ago

If the Leaf really gets the 45 kwh LG chem battery with TMS at the same actual price (SV/SL), it’s a very good option for anyone who can’t afford the Bolt.

5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

I dont know about Europe pricing but in the US the SV starts at 35,050 and the SL at 37,640 which is not a good option as Chevy said the Bolt will start under 37,500…
Another site pointed out that Chevy orginaly said at 37,500 and they changed that to under so they speculated that Chevy could go to 35,000 to match Tesla since they shocked everyone with the range…
If Chevy can and does drop the price to 35k they are essentialy going after Teslas 400,000 reservation holders…
If the upgraded Leaf has 100 miles less range I think they have to price it at least a couple thousand under the Bolt if they want to maintain sales…

5 years ago
Reply to  Yogurt

Good point, but I think Nissan offers great deals on the car at the dealer.

Nissan will need to reduce the price for sure.

Daniel Branco
5 years ago

I’m with the superminis. To me, all superminis should be electric with at least 135 miles epa and without ice motors.

5 years ago

“Kia will unveil the new 2017 Kia Soul EV with improved range”

Are you sure about this? What is the source of this information? I will be very happy if this is true since I have pre-ordered a Soul EV 2017 and will be getting it in December.

5 years ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Hi Pedro,

“However, advances in electric technology should help to extend the all-electric Soul EV’s claimed 132-mile range.”

That is a vague claim to say the least. The 2017 model has been launched in Korea and there are no news about a range increase. Is it possible that they will launch a longer range model for other markets?

5 years ago

2017 Nissan Leaf now exterior change like insideevs predicts:

Should get new battery options like later in first half 2017 Leaf 2, but not the 60 kWh option.

Ralf K
5 years ago

I will add a few, that could be seen in Paris as production cars:

Audi R8 e-tron (new gen, lower air drag with cw=0,28)
BYD – at least some of their 300 km range BEVs (BYD Qin EV300, BYD e5 EV300) – why restrict them to China? They will pass EURO6 emissions easily. 🙂
Ford Focus Electric – MY2017
Mahindra e2o EU version – already available in UK
Morgan EV3 Three-wheeler
Lightning GT (finally after so many years)

For MY2018:
Citroen E-Elysee (China) on e-CMP platform of PSA/Dongfeng – why restrict it to China?
Tesla Model III – European production version – to create some counterpart for Bolt EV at the expo

VW will show their concept vehicle on the MEB platform.
Mercedes will show their concept GLC F-Cell and may show some concept BEVs (GLC, GLA, GLB E-Cell).
FMPOV the impact of these concepts in the market can be substantial, even though they are concept cars only.