Electrified cars charged the scene at the Singapore Motorshow 2020 and showed why it’s harder to ignore the electric wave even in Singapore
The Electric Wave has been sweeping the world, with green cars and electrified vehicles taking centre stage at Motorshows around the world.
The Singapore Motorshow is a reflection of things here – everyone talks about electrification but mountains don’t move if they don’t make sense to regular car buyers.
Nevertheless, things are looking up for electrified vehicles, as there are more and more of them plying our roads than ever before, and some of the cars here make zero local emissions mobility a reality already.
What Is It: The Corolla goes high tech at long last
S$120,888 with COE
This came as a small, ahem, shock, since this is the first ever hybrid Corolla to be sold here, but it also brings plenty of modern tech to the table in the form of Toyota’s advanced safety systems and interior display screens. Read all about it, and the regular 1.6-litre Corolla Altis, in our story – The Most Important Cars Of 2020 Singapore Motorshow.
What Is It: Volvo steals German thunder (lightning?) with high-powered hybrids
S60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid – $265,000 with COE
XC60 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid- $290,000 with COE
Volvo has made electric and hybrid vehicles – the previous V60 had a plug-in version, and the Swedish company even made a BEV of its C30 three-door coupe yonks ago.
However, the first Volvo hybrids Singapore has seen are quite different beasts, since they pair electrification with significant performance.
‘Recharge’ is, as far as we can tell, a cool label to denote that these are hybrids, as overseas these variants would be dubbed ‘T8’ . T8s are the range-topping plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) versions of Volvo’s larger cars, and the first two to debut are the XC60 mid-sized SUV and S60 executive sedan.
Both cars are excellent, German-beaters in gasoline form – the S60 sedan and V60 wagon we tested last year, and the XC60 before that.
However the plug-ins add quite a bit of oomph to the experience. The gasoline engine is the 2.0-litre inline four from the T6 models, featuring both supercharging and turbocharging, for 315hp and 400Nm of torque. That drives the front wheels, while a 87hp/240Nm electric motor drives the rear wheels, for a total system output of 402hp and 640Nm of torque.
That delivers a 0-100km/h time of just 5.3 seconds and a 230km/h top speed for the XC60 – but it weighs 2,127kg. For the much lighter S60, at a still considerable 1,989kg (compared to around 1.7-tonnes for the gasoline only models) it’s a blazing quick 4.4 seconds and 250km/h.
The efficiency is impressive too, since you can travel around 45km on a single charge thanks to the 10.4kWh battery which resides in the central tunnel of the car (no driveshaft, see) and charge time is around three hours.
The list price also covers a wallbox charger with installation fee, and includes $1,000 of RECs (renewable energy credits, basically green credits) or $1,000 of charging credits, so you can charge your PHEV outside the home.
The PHEV system allows the car to net 2.2L/100km and a VES band of A2 for the XC60, and 2.0L/100km for the S60, although the sedan only gets a VES B netural band.
For now, the T8 variants are only limited to these two models here, says Wearnes Automotive, so the S90 and XC90 large sedan and SUV won’t be getting these models just yet, and sadly there is no Polestar Engineered performance pack option for the S60 either. Still, it already does give the BMW 330e something to look over its shoulder for.
What Is It: Mainstream electrified hatchbacks get a boost where it counts
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – S$110,999 with COE
Hyundai Ioniq Electric – S$155,999 with COE
Hyundai showed off the facelifted models of its Ioniq range here – the Ioniq Hybrid and the BEV Ioniq Electric (only the Hybrid is shown here), though they actually went on sale late last year, and have already been incorporated into taxi fleets here.
There’s a mild update to the exterior and interior, though no major changes since this is a facelift, but the dashboard layout is quite different with a 8.0-inch display system and new safety features in the form of Hyundai SmartSense which encompasses autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go), lane keeping, driver attention monitoring, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alerts.
As mentioned in that news story, the Ioniq Hybrid receives a much-desired transition from Cat B to a Cat A COE, which means a lower price, and lower power output of 130hp, although mechanically it stays pretty much the same as before.
On the other hand the Ioniq Electric goes the other way, since it gains power (134hp, up from 120hp), as well as stamina, with its battery pack capacity rising from 28kWh to 38.3kWh, and it’s now capable of 311km, up from 243km previously. Wonder what it’s like? We’ve reviewed the old Ioniq Electric in Singapore.
What Is It: Audi’s vorsprung durch electric has sprung
S367,500 with COE
Audi’s much awaited-for BEV is finally here and priced at S$367,500 with COE, which makes it very price competitive with its rival the Jaguar I-Pace.
The E-Tron is based on the current MLB architecture, much like the Mercedes-Benz EQC also runs off its own version of the Mercedes-Benz MRA platform.
It has a 95kWh lithium ion battery pack which gives it a claimed range of 400km on one charge – Audi says its extra-clever energy recuperation programme is responsible for 30 percent of that alone. Dual electric motors deliver drive at each wheel for ‘electric quattro’ AWD, with a combined 402hp and 664Nm of torque, that means 0-100km/h done in just 5.7 seconds with a top speed of 200km/h.
Theoretically, the E-Tron can be charged at a rate of 150kW with DC fast charge, which means less than an hour for a full charge, but Singapore’s fastest DC chargers (from SP Group) put out a maximum of 50kW, so it’ll take around two hours at the speediest charge rate. A regular AC wallbox charges at 11kW, so expect eight to 10 hours on home charging. The E-Tron’s price does not include a wallbox charge unit as standard.
How does it drive? We’ve tested the E-Tron and pronounced it one of the most fun modern performance EVs around.
What Is It: The least expensive EV in claimed range / price tag ratio
S$131,888 with COE
Here’s a BEV from the left field: the first EV to launch in Singapore from re-birthed British brand MG. It’s a small SUV named the ZS EV, which at 4.3-metres long is around the same size as a Hyundai Kona Electric.
Like its big brother the HS SUV, the ZS EV delivers an interesting mix of keen pricing, lots of technology, and decent styling from a familiar yet totally reinvented brand. MG, the UK brand, is now Chinese owned and being distributed in Singapore by Eurokars Group.
The ZS looks pretty normal as SUVs go – MG’s current design language can be described as slightly sporty and not super exciting, but it’s far from the derivative mess of Chinese cars of old. Like the HS the build quality is very good – proper leather, no rough plastics, obvious creaks, or smell of a chemical factory on the inside.
An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and digital instrument panel highlight the high-tech nature of the car, and its electric drivetrain looks impressive on paper: 141hp electric motor driving the front wheels, 353Nm of torque, a 44.5kWh battery pack located in the floor of the car. 0-100km/h is 8.6 seconds with a modest, but logical, 140km/h top speed.
Claimed range is 335km (NEDC), while charging can be done via 50kW DC Fast Charge – that takes 40 minutes – or regular AC charging – which takes 6.5 hours, according to MG.
What might jolt interest in the MG ZS is the price: It goes for S$131,888 with COE, which is high for a mainstream car, but on the lower rungs of BEV-dom – the Ioniq Electric also does around 300km but costs more than S$150k with COE. Renault’s Zoe at S$127k with COE is still the least expensive car here, but it’s a compact hatch, and has a quoted range of approximately 200km.
What Is It: The Nissan Serena E-Power with cutesy additions
S$137,800 with COE
This is the same Nissan Serena E-Power which was launched in Singapore last year and which we found a breath of fresh air in the hybrid world. It simply has additional design work done by lifestyle brand Tokidoki for the same price as before. There’s also a Tokidoki edition of the Leaf BEV as well.