It's all change on

electric avenue

Audi A8, 2018, front
BMW i3s, 2017, front
Jaguar I-PACE E Trophy, front, Frankfurt Motor Show 2017
Range Rover Velar, 2017, side
Vauxhall Crossland X, 2017, rear
Ford Fiesta, 2017, front, static
Volvo S90 R-Design, 2017, front, static
Kia Stinger GT S, 2017, front, action
Hyundai Kona Premium GT, 2017, nose

ONE Vision was a concept the rock group Queen shared with the world back in 1985.

It was the lead single and chart hit from the band's then current album A Kind Of Magic and believed by many to be inspired by the life of Martin Luther King.

Fast forward to 2018 and the motor industry has a shared vision that's in the process of weaving its own kind of magic - welcome to the electric revolution.

Make no mistake, it may take a little longer than the techno gurus predict, but a change is gonna come.

Over the last three years, the number of electric vehicles sold in the UK has increased six-fold, to the point that there are now more than 40 EV models available.

Predictions forecast that there will be no less than a million electric vehicles on the road by 2022 and with the Government announcing it will ban the sale of conventional petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, all expectations point to a rise in EV adoption.

So we can expect a fast accelerating number of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and 100 per cent electric cars hitting the streets in the coming months and years.

The German heavyweights BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen have heralded a range of electric cars from concepts to existing models like the former's next generation i3 hatchback which can be had either powered by batteries or with a small petrol engine as well for some extra range.

And Far Eastern brands like Honda, Toyota and Kia are also committed to push on from their plug-in hybrid and pure electric models.

During 2018, Jaguar has pledged to offer drivers sports car performance with a range of more than 300 miles in the shape of its I-PACE electric SUV, while sister brand Land Rover has plug-in hybrid variants of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

The concept of ‘autonomous' self-driving cars will also gather momentum in 2018.

Volvo already has something called Pilot Assist - seen as a stepping stone towards fully autonomous driving - as standard fit on the latest S90 and V90 large premium models.

At the press of a button on the wheel, the system takes care of the steering, throttle and brakes to keep you within your lane at a set speed up to 80mph, and no longer requires a lead vehicle to follow.

And Audi's new flagship saloon the A8 will be the first car in the world to be capable of sustained hands-free driving, though use of the autonomous kit will be restricted to dual carriageways - and only operate at up to 37mph.

Meanwhile, the motoring world has been extra busy over the past 12 months launching the sort of cars we are coming to love more and more - SUVs.

From affordable compact crossover models like the Hyundai Kona and SEAT Arona to the new luxury Range Rover Velar, the SUV scene is becoming more competitive by the week.

Nor should we forget the traditional big-hitting marques like Vauxhall with its ‘X' rated Crossland, Grandland and Crossland models while even Britain's favourite supermini the Ford Fiesta is wearing a new suit of clothes.

And as a New Year looms with much to anticipate, one of the most forward-looking companies in the business will be first out of the blocks as Kia launches the Stinger - a low-slung and super stylish four-seater that can hit 62mph in six seconds, return an average 50 mpg if you opt for diesel and has a starting price of £30,545.

Electric power may be the future, but conventional combustion is still on a charge.


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