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Paris Motor Show 2022 highlights: From removeable hydrogen tanks to new Chinese EVs

Paris motor show to return after 4 years
Paris motor show to return after 4 years Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Roselyne Min with AP
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Back after a four-year hiatus but slimmed down, the trade show is showcasing all the latest designs and innovations in the automotive world.

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After a four-year hiatus, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, the much-awaited Paris Motor Show made its comeback this week.

The 120th trade show has been slimmed down compared to previous years but is brimming with guests and exhibitors.

Among others, battery-powered cars, independent carmakers, and Asian brands staged a strong presence at the Paris motor show.

EV/ hydrogen cars

As renewable energy transition tops the agenda in the industry, carmakers showcased their newest electric and hydrogen cars.

This included Jeep’s first fully-electric vehicle, Avenger, which requires only a three-minute charge to drive 30 km.

French automotive company Renault was showing off multiple electric and hydrogen vehicles. It presented an electric concept car called 4EVER Trophy and a hydrogen-powered single-seater Alpenglow concept car.

"With its hydrogen-powered clean combustion hybrid engine, Alpenglow is projecting us into the future of sustainable motorsport with more passion than ever before, and further out on the horizon, it could be an inspiration, why not, for production vehicles," said CEO Luca de Meo.

Italian-designed NamX HUV presented removable hydrogen tanks which the company said it would build a network of distribution of capsules that will be placed every 40 km.

"To develop hydrogen in Europe and America is not easy today because you have this problem of the cost of hydrogen stations… the cost of the infrastructure [‘Capstores’] costs 50 to 100 times less than the cost of implementing hydrogen stations," said the co-founder of NamX, Thomas de Lussac.

Independent carmakers

Also in the spotlight at the Paris Motor Show are niche sports car makers.

The limited editions are mainly targeted at collectors and professional car drivers.

Raffer, which was founded 10 years ago, presented a race car featuring a 1000cc motorbike engine. It will retail from €45,000 excluding VAT from 2023.

Genty’s hypercar Akylone was designed more to be appreciated and admired than be driven.

"We sell it mainly as an art object. Today, you see it open and when it opens, it's a bit like a Fabergé egg. So we have a lot of people who love it statically," said Frédéric Genty, CEO of Genty Automobile.

Chinese EVs arrive on the scene

A few Asian carmakers showed their ambition to make in-roads into Europe's electric vehicle market.

China's Great Wall Motor (GWM), Build Your Dream (BYD) and Vietnamese Autobest award winner VinFast have put on display premium SUVs, luxury sedans, and compact cars designed for Europeans.

"With electrification, I'm convinced that Chinese car manufacturers have quite a big advantage because battery development, battery know-how, and knowledge sits in China like in no other region on the planet," said Thiemo Jahnke, Brand and marketing director at WEY Europe.

For more on this story, watch the video in the media player above.

Video editor • Roselyne Min

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