Plug-in cars and concepts at Geneva, Tesla Model Y and Superchargers: The Week in Reverse

Imagine by Kia concept

Which new electric car may be able to recharge 240 miles in less than five minutes?

What is the bestselling electric car in the world, and what milestone did it pass this week?

This is our look back at the Week In Reverse—right here at Green Car Reports—for the week ending March 8, 2019.

The press preview for the Geneva auto show was held in Switzerland on Tuesday and Wednesday, and with strict new emissions rules taking effect across Europe, it brought enough news in the plug-in car world to mostly fill out our week.

The big news, perhaps predictably, came from European automakers showing off a host of new models as they rush to add more plug-in cars.

Polestar 2

Volvo finally unveiled its first electric car, the Polestar 2 from its new high-performance brand. Although it sits somewhat higher than most sedans, it’s designed to go head-to-head in features, price, and space with the Tesla Model 3. No sooner did Volvo reveal the car, than Polestar’s CEO suggested the U.S. business plan might be in flux, because of a looming U.S. trade war with China, where it will be built. We took a detailed look last week at how the two cars compare.

Audi unveiled two more members of its growing family of e-tron electric SUVs, the fastback e-tron Sportback, and the smaller, more affordable Q4 e-tron, both of which are scheduled to arrive next year.

Volkswagen ID Buggy concept

Volkswagen finally took the wraps off its fun-loving electric ID Buggy, and revealed that it plans to open up its affordable electric-car platform to other automakers. The niche manufacturer Meyers built the original Meyers Manx VW dune buggies.

And BMW joined the parade of European automakers looking to expand their lineups of “electrified” models by announcing that it will build a new plug-in hybrid version of the X3, the X3 xDrive30e, starting late this year, to join the electric iX3. 

Imagine by Kia concept

Kia showed its Imagine concept, a new electric crossover hatchback that sets a new design direction for the brand.

Mitsubishi introduced its own new plug-in hybrid SUV concept, the Engelberg, which looks a lot like an enlarged replacement for the Outlander PHEV, which has been popular in Europe.

Fiat Concept Centoventi

Fiat’s came up with a new electric car concept with its Centoventi, designed with customizable body panels to allow young buyers to personalize the car. The concept celebrates Fiat’s 120th anniversary as an automaker.

Nissan revealed yet another in its electrified lineup of IM concept cars with the IMQ, a concept that could preview the direction of its future mainstream hybrid crossover. 

Nissan IMQ electric SUV concept

A startup automaker in Switzerland with ties to Porsche revealed a new electric concept car that it says can recharge up to 240 miles in less than five minutes. Piech was founded by the grandson of pioneering automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche and the son of former VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech, along with a Croatian-Swiss investor. 

Piech Mark Zero concept

Tesla announced this week that it will reveal its long-awaited Model Y on March 14, and hinted about its size and price. We rounded up everything we know about the Model Y in a rundown for our readers. Tesla also released big price cuts on its original Model S and Model X SUV. And the company opened its first Version 3 Supercharger station, which can charge at up to 1,000 miles per hour, briefly. When the fast stations roll out across Tesla’s Supercharger network, they are expected to reduce Supercharger visits to an average of just 15 minutes.

Nissan announced that it has now sold 400,000 Leaf electric cars worldwide, keeping it safely in the lead for bestselling electric car (though the Tesla Model 3 is closing in on it in the U.S.)

Finally, Honda announced plans to add electric or hybrid power to every car it sells in Europe by 2025. 


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