9 min read

The Electric Vehicles (EVs) of IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich

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Today we're digging into what the IAA Munich Autoshow had to offer us.

- Jaan

AVTR concept

The IAA Mobility in Munich is live from September 7th through 12th. This is the new name and location for the Frankfurt Motor Show or Frankfurt IAA, which is happening in alternating years with the Paris Auto Show. It's the showcase event for Germany's auto industry, but several US and Chinese brands are present too.

Stellantis Group, Toyota, Opel, and Tesla did not participate.

As you'd expect, most of the event focused on electric vehicles and new-age mobility solutions.

I'll break down the interesting bits by brands below:

1. Mercedes-Benz

Looks like Mercedes-Benz went all out this year with four new electric unveils, two of which are concepts.

Ola Källenius, the CEO of Daimler AG said one in 10 customers already choose an electric option. By 2025, Mercedes-Benz will have an all-electric alternative for every model they make. Here's my previous deep dive on Mercedes-Benz's $47B electrification plan (link).

Here's a video for the world premieres, including an inspirational intro:

And here's an outline of what the Mercedes-Benz presented.

Mercedes EQE 350

at 7:25, timestamped link.


a "younger brother" of the EQS, the EQE sedan features a WLTP range of 660km (410 mi) on a 100kWh battery.

DC fast charging should add 250km in 15 minutes of charging.

An SUV version of EQS and EQE is to be expected soon.

Walkaround video (here).

Mercedes-AMG EQS 53 4MATIC+

at 10:46, I skipped the musical performance for you.

EQS 53

As Schäfer put it - quite a mouthful to say. They'll boost the AMG feeling with their special sound system, a new AMG grille, a more aesthetic interior.

EQS 53 interior

The performance peak is at 560 kW (761 hp) and 1020 Nm torque. 3.4 seconds to 100 km/h. A 108 kWh battery pack will give it up to 580km (360mi) and features 200kW DC charging.

Walkaround video (here).

Concept: Mercedes-Maybach EQS SUV

at 16:52

Maybach SUV EQS

Looks like it's an EQS SUV teaser, but they just chose the Maybach presentation for a greater visual image. It's all about the luxury design, as Maybach represents. Here's the interior. Are the flowers extra?

Interior of Maybach

It will hit the market in 2023. The EQS SUV on the same platform will come next year and a WLTP range of 600km.

Walkaround video (here).

Concept: Mercedes EQG

I'll make an exception and  link the intro of this one, as I found this interesting enough to share. A retro look from '79 to the future world of 2021... at 19:22.

G class GIF

There's a lot of sleek details for the car, I kind of like the wallbox-shaped spare wheel cover.  In the next few years, it'll debut with four electric motors close to the wheels and individually controllable.

This here would indeed be electrifying another icon. I love it.

Walkaround video (here).

Mercedes EQB


The production version of the EQB also didn't fit the main announcement, but the car was unveiled at the event. The electric SUV fits up to 7 seats and tries to compare with the Model Y, Mustang Mach-E and Q4 e-tron.

A 66.5 kWh battery pack should give it a WLTP range of 419km (260mi), which tends to be a bit less in the real world.

Here's the EQB page (link) and a walkaround from the IAA (video).

Very much Concept: VISION AVTR

AVTR concept

Presented in the IAA but missing from the main show was the VISION AVTR inspired by the film, Avatar. Here's the road test, walkaround, interior and, more (video). It looks more of a thought exercise on how the future might look like. What year... your guess is as good as mine.

2. smart

We've talked about the automaker, known for its compact urban cars like the electric EQ fortwo, planning to make an electric SUV. The concept was now presented at the IAA:

Concept: Concept #1 SUV

Smart Conscept #1

It's already described as near production. Smart being owned by Mercedes-Benz and thus belonging to Daimler AG, will see the design of these SUVs handled by Mercedes-Benz design network and engineering side development by its partner Geely.

Notable from the design is the absence of the b-pillars, leaving a fully open space after the suicide-type doors are opened. Will they be able to produce it with the current safety regulations? Not sure. Here's the press release (link) and walkaround from the IAA (video).

3. BMW

BMW has been focusing on circular design for a while.

The company said it is aiming for a 50% cut in CO2 use-phase emissions by 2030, a 40% reduction in life cycle CO2 emissions, and a 50% use of secondary materials such as recycled aluminium and steel.

By 2031, it plans to sell 10 million electric vehicles, doubling its previous target.

Very much concept: The i Vision Circular

Here's BMW's Joytopia and a very crystal design of a car for... 2040.

This concept of a compact EV used only recycled, and recyclable materials. It'll feature 'quick release' so door trims, seating and other components could be easily replaced, instead of replacing the car as a whole. The steering wheel is 3D printed using wood particles. The center console looks... you have to see it yourself. The i4 and iX were present too.

It'll be interesting to see if anything from the concept trickles down to real production cars soon.

4. Volkswagen

Volkswagen gave us a glimpse of its new ID concept that tries to be a gamechanger:

Concept: The ID LIFE


Dubbed a look ahead to entry-level electric mobility, the ID LIFE will start at ~€20k (<$24k), starting in 2025. It's using the Small-MEB platform which allows it to go front-wheel drive, have a 57 kWh battery, and a range of 400km by WLTP.

The concept has a removable roof made of air chamber textile, uses natural and recycled materials (naturally), and can be converted to a cinema with a projection screen extending from the dash panel:

Cinema on dash

Press release (here) and a walkaround from the IAA (video)


While on the topic of Volkswagen Group, let's add Cupra's sporty-as-hell electric hot hatchback concept here:

Concept: UrbanRebel

Cupra UrbanRebel

Due to be launched in 2025, it also tries to fit the €20k-€25k entry price and is based on the MEB-small (short) platform. The car should be able to accelerate 0-100km/h in only 3.2 seconds

Press release (here) and a walkaround from the IAA (video).

CUPRA also shared its ambition to reach EV-only status by 2030 (link).

6. Audi

Audi, another part of the VW Group (it's a German Autoshow after all), unveiled the new concept, which might hint at the upcoming A8 sedan:

Concept: Grandsphere


All that's important here is the design part, as Audi's main technical possibilities are clear from the real production vehicles already. Here's a look at the interior concept:

Grandsphere interior

Here's the Supercar Blondie driving the car as the first (private) person in the world to do so (video).

7. Porsche

As we can see, the Volkswagen Group did not disappoint when it comes to the autoshow on its home turf. It's like every brand had a home assignment. Here's Porsche's:

Concept: The Mission R

Mission R

The Mission R electric race car is lower and wider than the 718 Cayman and features two electric motors with a 429-hp unit on the front axle and a 644-hp motor powering the rear. 0-100 km/h is <2.5 seconds and the race car features an 80 kWh battery pack, running on a 900-volt system. Here's an interview and walkaround (video)

8. Great Wall Motors

The Chinese automaker announced it'll launch an all-electric compact (and PHEV) SUV in Europe in 2022, selling these through its WEY brand and ORA marque. That car will be

The ORA Cat EV


The Ora Cat, already available in China, has a 63kWh battery allowing a WLTP range of 400km (248 mi). Pre-orders will be available from the end of this year, no price was announced.

Here's the press release (link) and a walkaround (video).

We'll see an influx of Chinese EV brands coming to Europe in the following years, looks like the gates are already wide open, starting from Norway. I welcome the competition.

9. Hyundai Motors

During the IAA show, Hyundai Motor Group (parent for Kia, Hyundai, and Genesis) shared the goal to become completely carbon neutral by 2045 and end all combustion engine sales in Europe from 2035, and phase out the rest of the major markets' ICE sales by 2040. (link)

Here's a 60s highlight of the Hyundai x IAA 2021:

Hyundai also showcased its Ioniq 6 there (I'm excited about this one) and the Ioniq 5 made into Robotaxi in collaboration with Motional:

Ioniq 5 robotaxi

Here's a walkaround of the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and the Robotaxi (video).

Hyundai also teased the Ioniq 7, a large SUV (teaser pic)

10. Micro

Micro revealed the series-production version of:

The Microlino 2.0

Microlino 2.0

One of the most unique EVs of recent years, the Microlino 2.0 is an urban vehicle capable of 90 km/h (50 mph) and a range of up to 230 km (143 mi) on the largest, 14 kWh battery pack. The production is scheduled to begin this year in Turin, Italy and the price starts at €12.5k (<$15k)

In case you wondered, this is how you get into the car. A single 'front door'.

Here's a walkaround and a presentation with the COO (link).

I'd love to drive one.

11. Charging companies

Now the EV charging solution providers are a rather new sight at mobility shows, but it's definitely the right place to be.


Wallbox unveiled the Hypernova, the company's fastest and most sophisticated public charging station yet. The Hypernova stores the liquid-cooled cables inside the dispenser unit rather than keeping them hanging on top, a feature that makes it rather different from competitors.

The production of the Hypernova is set for late 2022 and will complement the Supernova that offers up to 65kW and is set for production this year. (link)



Bosch charger cable

Bosch’s new smart charging cable (Type 2) is designed to be flexible and compact. It includes the usual control and safety technology, but dispenses without the usual bulky in-cable control box, or “charging brick.” Coming mid-2022. (link)

I think that's about it. I'm sure I missed some highlights, but we'll circle back to them next week.


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