Concept Cars Don’t Disguise Lack of Production BEVs at Frankfurt

Mercedes and Hyundai showed off concept cars at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany – but production BEVs from the two were nowhere to be seen.

The German automaker had the Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS at the show, with sleek curves and impressive lighting the headline features. 188 LED lights make up the digital front grille, together with the ‘digital headlights’ and 229 illuminated stars for the rear-facing lightbelt. The reason behind the concept was to promote the company’s ‘Ambition2039’ goal of being carbon neutral in 20 years time, with the new ‘Factory 56’ at the Mercedes plant in Sindelfingen, Germany, designed to be CO2-neutral from the start.

Hyundai, meanwhile, showed off the 45 concept, with angular corners and straight lines echoing retro design cues. Indeed, the car is an homage to the Korean manufacturer’s first car, the Pony, and it blends the retro look seamlessly with modern sensibilities and language, such as the LED headlights at the front and the large windshield stretching back into the roof of the car.

However, while concept cars are all well and good, they’re not production car announcements. With other manufacturers, such as Honda and VW, launching their first full electric cars at Frankfurt, it feels as though Mercedes and Hyundai are slipping back a bit. Granted, the two do have their own announcements, with Hyundai launching its eTCR electric race car and Mercedes launching its Formula E team, but this is a crucial moment to get an electric production car seen by the world’s motoring and auto industry. A cynic would say the concept cars are just a way to stay in the headlines as VW, a core rival for both companies, launches its hotly-anticipated ID.3.

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