In this special feature, we break down the five best electric vehicle announcements from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024, which took place last month in Las Vegas.
Kia announces three new electric vehicles at CES 2024
Kia showcased three new electric cars at CES 2024 as part of the brands new Platform Beyond Vehicle business strategy.
The three, new electric vehicles consisted of the PV1, the smallest product in the line-up, which is optimised for agile and short-distance logistics transportation, using driving modules to minimise turning radius even in narrow spaces.
The Kia PV5 will be a versatile EV optimised for major domains such as hailing, delivery and utilities that features conversion capability for diverse customer needs. Lastly, the PV7 will be the largest product in the line-up, defined by more interior space, greater driving range, and enhanced functionalities.
Kia’s Platform Beyond Vehicle strategy was presented alongside a multi-phase plan that will see PBVs revolutionise the mobility industry while helping to advance Hyundai Motor Group’s ambitions in robotics, Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), and autonomous driving.
“Kia’s PBV business represents our vision of going beyond the traditional concept of automobiles by fulfilling the unmet needs of diverse customers and communities through optimised vehicles and services catering to specific market and business circumstances,” said Ho Sung Song, Kia President and CEO.
“Kia PBVs will be an enabler of business innovation thanks to our customer-centric management system, EV mass production expertise, and the Hyundai Motor Group’s rapidly developing SDx strategy and related future businesses. We are excited to show that we are fully prepared to become the first mover in the global PBV market,” he added.
Honda reveals ‘0 Series’ with two new EV concepts
In 2026, Honda will launch the “Honda 0 Series,” a new EV series for global markets, starting from the North American market.
The announcement of the ‘0 Series’ also included the world premiere of two concept models, namely Saloon and Space-Hub. The Saloon is the flagship concept model of the Honda 0 Series, which embodies the “Thin, Light, and Wise” approach.
In developing the Honda 0 Series, the development team went back to the starting point of Honda and reconsidered what kind of EVs Honda wants to create in the coming era. Honda will strive to create new value for EVs by transcending the constraints of being a “thick and heavy” vehicle due to an increase in battery capacity the vehicle has to carry to secure enough range, as well as a large body and platform necessary to accommodate such battery capacity. Honda describes this new approach to EV development as “Thin, Light, and Wise.”
Under the common design language of the Honda 0 Series, the Space-Hub was developed under the theme of “augmenting people’s daily lives.” Also based on the “Thin, Light, and Wise” development approach, the Space-Hub offers a “flexible space that immediately accommodates what the users want to do, and becomes a hub that connects people to people and people to society, generating mutual resonance with each other.”
Supernal Debuts eVTOL Product Concept
Supernal LLC unveiled the S-A2, its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle product concept at CES 2024.
S-A2 is a V-tail aircraft designed to cruise 120 miles-per-hour at a 1,500-foot altitude to meet typical city operation needs of 25- to 40-mile trips, initially. It features a distributed electric propulsion architecture and has eight all-tilting rotors. At entry into service, Supernal’s vehicle will operate as quietly as a dishwasher: 65 dB in vertical take-off and landing phases and 45 dB while cruising horizontally.
S-A2 builds on the Company’s vision concept, S-A1, which it debuted at CES 2020, bringing together the innovative aerospace engineering and Hyundai Motor Group automotive aesthetic design to create a new mode of transportation to get people in urban areas from point A to point B faster. Supernal will achieve commercial aviation safety levels and enable affordable manufacturing of its vehicles as it prepares to enter the market in 2028.
“From the beginning, Supernal has been on a mission to create the right product and the right market at the right time,” said Jaiwon Shin, president of Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Supernal. “The unveiling of S-A2 demonstrates our unwavering commitment to deliver on that mission with a safe, efficient vehicle design that provides a clear path to market entry. By leveraging our talented 600-person team, the vast technical and business capabilities of Hyundai Motor Group and trusted aviation suppliers around the world, Supernal is ready to deliver a new era of flight.”
Mercedes-Benz CLA concept makes North American debut
The Mercedes-Benz CLA concept made its North American debut at CES 2024. Designed on the new Mercedes-Benz Modular Architecture (MMA), it redefines an entire class with its innovative electric drive and forward-looking sustainability. The Concept CLA Class is the new hypermiler for the electric age. It is capable of a predicted single-charge range of more than 466 miles (WLTP) and energy consumption of around 12 kWh/100 km.
This comes from a new electric drive unit (MB.EDU), which has an 800-volt architecture and 93-percent efficiency battery to wheels over long distances. It enables high-power 300+ kW DC charging including a 50 kW boost, which can deliver up to 248 miles (400 km) of range in 15 minutes. There will be a total of four models based on the MMA – a four-door coupé, a shooting brake and two SUVs.
The CLA concept will be the first vehicle to run on the new Mercedes-Benz Operating System (MB.OS) that has been developed from scratch in-house. “With our MB.OS, world-class collaborations and the latest developments in generative AI, we are transforming the relationship our customers have with their Mercedes-Benz. Our digital advances on show at CES 2024 are proof points on our journey towards the hyper-personalised Mercedes-Benz user experience,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management at Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Chief Technology Officer.
B-ON and its new electric light commercial vehicle
Clean mobility provider B-ON demonstrated its Pelkan electric light commercial vehicle (eLCV) at CES 2024.
Pelkan, the first offering in the company’s next-generation lineup of productive vehicles and tools, will be available in both 54 and 43 kWh variants starting later in the year. The Pelkan is expected to achieve a class-leading payload of 2,720 – 2,910 lbs (1,234 – 1,320 kg) combined with a long battery range of up to 185 miles and is designed to be more ergonomic for drivers and more cost-competitive for business owners than comparable offerings in its class.
At the CES launch event, B–ON’s CEO Bruno Lambert, who co-founded the company in 2020, shared his insights into the importance of productivity in the transportation industry. Under his leadership, B–ON is poised for a new wave of growth, focused on innovation that aligns with market demands. “Productivity is not just a metric for us; it’s a philosophy that drives our commitment to creating vehicles that enhance efficiency and profitability,” said Lambert. “That’s why we are also proudly showcasing our commitment to the #SpaceForCities campaign and urging colleagues, partners and peers to join the movement.”
Highlighting its commitment to urban sustainability, B–ON proudly supports the #SpaceForCities movement, advocating for more efficient vehicle utilization. The company showcased this initiative at CES, emphasizing the importance of productivity in reducing the number of delivery vehicles on the road, ultimately creating more space in cities.