9 showstoppers to see at the IAA Mobility 2023
The broad scope of the IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich, Germany, offers fleet managers an invaluable opportunity to discover the latest trends in connectivity, electrification and urban mobility. But as it's held in the backyard of one the country's - and fleet's - most important car brands, automotive concepts and new models still draw most of the media attention. We list a blend of 9 highlights for fleet managers who tend to visit the Bavarian fair held from 5 to 10 September 2023.
1. BMW Vision Neue Klasse
Of all the concepts on the floor in Münich, the Vision Neue Klasse deserves your particular attention. It represents nothing less than the reinvention of one of the quintessential fleet brands in Europe. This is the core model that must shape all the new-generation electric BMWs. The design is still very experimental, but the light cluster can convey messages. The completely stripped interior built around a central touch screen. Underneath sits battery packs with cylindrical cells (like Tesla) for a 30% longer range.
2. Continental ContiCityPlus Concept
One of the small steps fleet managers can take to return a much greater benefit is the Conti CityPlus. The combination of a special V-shape and a high-tech compound makes this tyre much more resistant to the higher degrees of deformation from city driving. Specially designed for urban traffic CityPlus can positively impact energy efficiency by 10% and improve range by 3%. It is not for sale yet but a near-to-production concept.
The upcoming Chinese brands aim to shine at the IAA, not just in the face of the German armada but also to fill in for the absentees. China’s most potent riser BYD, seizes the opportunity to launch a new brand. Denza is a luxury player co-owned by Mercedes. Its first model will be the D9, an all-electric minivan providing fleet customers with a body type very suitable for shuttle services in a segment that the legacy brands have abandoned.
4. Elli Flexpole
Worth checking out at Elli, an energy subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, is the Flexpole, its high-powered standalone charging station. It connects to the low-voltage network but delivers fast charging at 150kW for minimum downtime, thanks to an integrated battery pack. There’s no need for companies to invest in underground construction works or upgrading their grid connection. This could prove an easy fix for fleet managers seeking a cumbersome fast-charging solution. Elli also offers a software tool for intelligent charging management for fleets.
5. Fraunhofer solar foil
What if a car's bodywork was wrapped in a film consisting of tiny solar cells, grabbing the sun’s energy any time it’s available? That's precisely the innovation from The Fraunhofer Institute. The good news is that it can provide 4,000 kilometres of extra range on an annual basis. Some more good news is that the production cost is estimated at only 100 to 150 euros. The bad news? It’s still a prototype.
6. Mubea U-Mobility Cargo
The U-Mobility Cargo is further proof of how fast-paced the urban logistics sector is evolving. This e-Cargo bike for last-mile delivery companies is a four-wheeled pedelec that wants to push the boundaries regarding ergonomics, robustness and lightweight. It’s a modular fleet vehicle that can be tailored to specific requirements and benefits from the maker’s know-how in automotive manufacturing, raising the bar in quality and functionality.
7. Tesla Model 3 Highland
Among production models on show, Tesla steals the crown with the update of its best-selling Model 3. Dubbed Highlander, half of the components are new, as the new front and back indicate. The aerodynamics plummeted from 0.23 to 0.21, boosting the range fork to 629-678 kilometres. Output for the different versions remains status quo, but the announced favourable prices must make sure that the most popular electric fleet sedan in Europe doesn’t lose its commercial advantage.
8 Valeo Canopy
The aftermarket place can be adequate for fleet managers to score some quick wins for their green credentials. Valeo might help them out with the Canopy. Thanks to higher use of sustainable and renewable materials - and a lifecycle analysis provided by Veritas - these windscreen wipers reduce CO2 emissions by 61 per cent compared to a standard version fabricated in Asia. Even the packaging is made of 90% recycled cardboard.
9. Zeiss AR HUD
First-timer in Münich Zeiss wants to democratise hologram technology for head-up displays. 3D imaging is a next-level technology to enhance the effectiveness of instructions projected on the windscreen. It’s proven to help drivers keep their eyes on the road and drive more safely. However, hologram HUDs can only be produced in limited quantities and are found in more expensive models. Zeiss has found a method to increase output dramatically, but also the functionality. Its applied foil can also function on the passenger side or on side windows.
Image Source: BMW, Continental, Denza, Elli, Fraunhofer Institute, Mubea, Tesla, Valeo, Zeiss