The Shanghai Auto Show is a global showcase of established brands and innovative upstarts from virtually all corners of the automotive world. The show has become an increasingly important venue for future mobility and technology with a greater lean toward electrification than ever.
To that end, several major brands unveiled their latest and greatest electric vehicle (EV) offerings at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show. Here is a quick rundown of the ones that show the most potential and promise.
Audi A6 E-tron Concept
This sleek EV hatchback is equal parts premium and practical. Built on the brand's new modular electric car architecture – which will underpin future electric models of varying sizes – the A6 E-tron draws energy from a 100 kilowatt-hour battery, allowing an anxiety-free 435 miles of range (based on WLTP ratings). With 800-volt charging technology and 270-kilowatt DC fast charger compatibility, this electric hatchback can recharge its battery from 5% to 80% in a brief 25 minutes. There is plenty of performance here, too, with the dual-motor all-wheel-drive setup providing 469 horsepower to get from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds.
Genesis Electrified G80
As the first fully electric vehicle from Genesis, the Electrified G80 has standard all-wheel drive and can get from zero to 60 mph in under five seconds. It has an all-electric range of 310 miles (based on NEDC ratings), and thanks to 350 kW DC fast charging compatibility, it takes just 22 minutes to recharge its battery from 10% to 80%. The Electrified G80 also features Vehicle to Load (V2L) functionality, turning the car into a mobile power station that can charge tools, appliances, and other external devices.
Honda SUV E:Prototype
Honda has been slow to the EV game, but the E:Prototype signals a shift for the brand. Proportionally, this modern compact crossover could be an electrified version of Honda's agile and practical HR-V. Its design boasts a sleek shape and eye-catching lighting elements. Although powertrain details are unknown, the prototype will utilize GM's Ultium battery technology as part of a joint venture between the two automakers.
One of two new electric vehicles Mercedes-Benz introduced in Shanghai, the new EQB is an electric version of the GLB small crossover SUV. It's easy to identify the lineage, as styling changes are limited to new exterior lighting and a black panel on the front that replaces the grille. Mercedes confirms the EQB is coming to the U.S. market, but specifications may differ. In Europe, the electric SUV uses a 66.5 kWh battery, front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and supplies 260 miles of WLTP-rated driving range.
The Mercedes-Benz EQS sedan blends S-Class luxury with all-electric mobility and aims at affluent buyers looking to move toward cleaner and greener choices. This electric flagship has an estimated range of 478 miles, which is significantly more than the Tesla Model S Long Range and most gas-powered vehicles. Inside, the EQS features the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) Hyperscreen technology, a futuristic glass instrument panel with multiple information displays beneath it.
Toyota bZ4X Concept
The Toyota bZ4X electric crossover shows the brand intends to be in the all-electric space, and it was unveiled alongside Toyota's plan to bring 15 EVs to market by 2025. The "bZ" stands for "beyond zero," meaning this vehicle is more than just a zero-emission offering. The bZ4X flaunts edgy styling and sculpted sheet metal, but no powertrain or range information is yet known. The production version of this vehicle is expected to sell in all 50 states.
The Volkswagen ID.6 electric SUV shares the same adaptable EV platform as the ID.3, ID.4, and Audi Q4 E-tron. This sizable, 3-row, 7-seater is the electrified answer to long-wheelbase people-movers from premium brands such as Land Rover and Mercedes. Its styling is sedate but elegant, and the ID.6 enjoys 302 horsepower from its 225 kilowatt motor. Depending on configuration, this SUV has an all-electric range of 280 to 365 miles (based on NEDC ratings), making it practical for most family road trips. Both two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive are available.