Beyond the individual launches of big auto or niche manufacturers, the Geneva Motor Show has revealed several trends, some already confirmed, others that are only starting to count this year.
First of all, we note that all manufacturers have electric or hybrid versions for their models, or they show concept cars that hide under electric motor motors, bigger or more modest. If in the previous years the electric models could be counted on the fingers of a single hand, in 2019 it is clear that we are in a few years of a real tsunami of electric models for all tastes. The big manufacturers promise that in two, three years all of the volume models will also have electric variants or at least plug-in. As European and US authorities become more demanding in terms of pollution and car manufacturers invest tens of billions of euros in battery plants, expect the electric motor to be the new king of the automotive industry. At least in cities where fuel consumption is higher and the distance traveled fairly, the electric motor offers obvious advantages. So if you think about changing your car or even the whole fleet, you can be sure the electric engine will be the subject of the day for many years to come.
Ok, Google. Open Netflix (in my car)
Another obvious trend in Geneva is the interior of the machines. Larger and larger screens are held and classic buttons disappear quickly. Expect to tap on the touchscreen to leave the window down, change the radio, fit the temeperature into the passenger compartment and even start the car, even a series, not necessarily a premium model. And as the connection between the phone and the car gets tighter, you'll be able to see the last episode of Breaking Bad on Netflix in the passenger compartment, not when you drive to the service but rather when you wait in line at the laundry. But touching the screen could be a gesture that will disappear as quickly as it appeared in the lives of drivers. Thanks to the synchronization with your mobile phone, you can tell the car to do these things without taking your hands off the wheel. You can do many other things, like booking a table at the restaurant. Just say the magic words "Hey, Siri" or "Ok, Google".
Security gets an upgrade from technology
If autonomous braking in the event of a hazard or the distance to the front car was a few years ago for more expensive models, it is clear in Geneva that such very useful solutions are generalizing. On the one hand, we are talking about a normal trend of implementing functions and systems that are becoming cheaper on volume models (let's not forget the 6-speed gearboxes that were, at first, the aplomb of luxury models ...) . On the other hand, the European Commission insists that all cars be equipped with mandatory safety systems, such as emergency autonomous braking, from 2021. And this requirement makes sense if we think that 90% of road accidents are caused by human errors. So expect more and more critical decisions to be left to the car's "brain", who is not tired of being distracted by the phone or by the conversation between the driver and the passengers. Such solutions exist and are even implemented on premium models, but the legislation that allows driving without driver assistance has not yet appeared ... Until then, the technology already available on many models helps you park without scratching your car, accidents in urban traffic and keep your place on your lane. All these things make your life easier in urban traffic, and if you have a business that keeps you on the roads, a car equipped with automatic systems means extra comfort, a day that starts (or ends) with less stress and in general, less driving worries. In other words, here's an investment worth doing sooner than later ...
Autonomy and vehicle efficiency go to the next level
The generalization of electric motors brings with them less and less advantages. If many consumers pay close attention to the (quite low) autonomy of the full electric models, the plug-in models offer the best of both worlds: lower costs in the city and autonomy outside. Any driver caught in the morning traffic knows that there is not a 4-wheel model and at least 4 seats that will consume less than 10 liters per hundred kilometers. The explanation is simple: the state at the stop, in the column even when you have the start / stop system, the acceleration and the alternate braking after 5 meters in traffic - all this only "eats" the fuel. The electric engine in turn feels at ease at low speeds. In traffic it consumes only when you press the accelerator pedal, the battery, even small, propels the car to the next stop without problems, and when you brake, you recover some of the scattered energy. Where do you find that the battery is charging free of charge in many places in major cities or for just a few lions. In addition, the electric motor is more reliable than the thermal motor because it has no moving parts (which wear out over time). So changing the oil, oil filters and even brake pads is rarer. All these advantages translate into a lower cost of use. And for a company with a fleet of cars, such volume savings have a direct impact on the profitability of the whole business.