After Chancellor Angela Merkel declared the 65th IAA Cars open in the CMF before a large number of high-ranking guests, there followed the traditional opening walking tour of the IAA. In the Festhalle, Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, received the Chancellor and explained to her the new Mercedes-Benz S 500 plug-in hybrid, which – in addition to the petrol engine – is equipped with an 80 kW electric motor, can run for 30 kilometres with zero emissions, and boasts a surprisingly low NEDC consumption of 3.0 litres over 100 kilometres.
Prof. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management at Volkswagen AG, presented the new e-Golf, “the Golf among the electric cars,” to the Chancellor in Hall 3.0. Its electric drive requires only 12.7 kilowatt hours (kWh) to cover 100 kilometres, which at 26 cents per kWh makes EUR 3.30 to travel 100 kilometres. The e-Golf is powered by an 85 kW/115 hp electric motor and has a range of 190 kilometres.
At the Porsche stand Ms Merkel was received by Matthias Müller, President and CEO of Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG, who guided her to the brand new Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid. With its 70 kW/95 hp electric motor, the luxury sports model accelerates to 135 km/h, and its NEDC consumption comes to 3.1 litres over 100 kilometres, which works out at 71 grams of CO2 per kilometre. Yet the Panamera is not only excellent at saving CO2, it can also sprint – with the V6 three litre petrol engine – from zero to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds.
Prof. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at Audi AG, showed the Chancellor the Audi Sport Quattro Concept, the “return of the legend” – a reference to the first Audi Sport quattro, which was unveiled at the IAA exactly 30 years ago. The new version is a plug-in hybrid with 700 hp and an NEDC value of only 2.5 litres over 100 kilometres. The 4.0 TFSI V8 engine with twin turbo system (delivering 560 hp) is supported by an electric motor providing 110 kW/150 hp. In purely electric mode, the Sport quattro concept covers up to 50 kilometres.
Renowned suppliers also featured on the Chancellor’s walking tour: Arndt G. Kirchhoff, CEO of Kirchhoff Automotive Deutschland GmbH, explained to Ms Merkel the lightweight construction components that the Kirchhoff Group develops and produces: the front end for the BMW 5, 6 and 7-Series.
In Hall 5.1 Dr Jürgen Geissinger, chairman of the managing board at Schaeffler AG, presented the new 48 volt battery system to the Chancellor, which is necessary for electric and hybrid vehicles in particular.
Jean-Dominique Senard, Managing Chairman of the Michelin Group, showed the Chancellor the Formula e and the latest racing car tyres by the French manufacturer. Dr Volkmar Denner, Chairman of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH, welcomed the Chancellor in Hall 8. Here the presentation centred on innovative propulsion systems for electric vehicles.
After this, the Chancellor’s tour took in more passenger car manufacturers. Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann, chairman of the Management Board of Adam Opel AG, explained to Ms Merkel the Opel Monza concept car, related to Opel’s Gran Turismo Monza that made coupé history 35 years ago. Despite the flat silhouette of the new Monza sports car – only 1.31 m high and 4.69 m long – it offers sufficient space and especially headroom, even for the rear passengers. The concept car also provides an exciting taste of the design and the technologies of future Opel models.
In Hall 9 Ms Merkel visited the Ford stand. Bernhard Mattes, Chairman of Ford of Germany, welcomed the Chancellor and showed her the S-Max Concept. This car offers a preview of the next generation of vans. It retains its sporty shape and boasts an efficient engine and some really unusual details in its equipment.
The final port of call on the Chancellor’s walking tour was BMW in Hall 11. Dr Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, presented to the Chancellor the new BMW i3, a revolutionary concept for urban mobility. The i3 has an electric drive train, and the chassis is made of carbon fibre that more than compensates for the additional weight of the battery and brings down the vehicle’s unladen weight to below 1,200 kilograms. So drivers can expect typical BMW performance: the 170 hp i3 accelerates from zero to 100 km/h almost as fast as a Mini Cooper S. Anyone who attaches more importance to a long mileage range can upgrade the i3 with a two-cylinder petrol engine.
Even before her walking tour, the German Chancellor had stressed, “We are all convinced that electric mobility will play an increasingly important role. The goal is and remains to have one million electric cars on the roads by 2020.” Subsequent to her walking tour, she may well see this coming true, as by the end of 2014 the German manufacturers alone will have 16 series models with electric drive on the roads.