CES 2020

Matt Lucki, Senior Analyst, Powertrain Forecasts, The Americas

28 January 2020

CES 2020: The latest tech innovations

The 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas provided a glimpse into how technology is shaping the future of the auto industry. Instead of the traditional new model reveals, CES showcases the growing synergy between automakers and tech companies.

EV startup BYTON introduced the near-production M-Byte SUV. Two variants will be offered when the model hits the market in 2021: a standard 72 kWh battery RWD and a 95 kWh battery RWD or AWD. The smaller K-Byte will follow in 2022. An impressive feature of the M-Byte is an interactive 48-inch touchscreen that spans the length of the dashboard.

Fisker showcased the all-electric Ocean. Unlike other startups, Fisker will offer a flexible, all-inclusive lease model, with an allowance of 30,000 miles per year. As an industry first, customers will not be bound by a long-term contract, leaving them free to return the vehicle at a time of their choosing. An 80 kWh battery pack provides a 250-300 mile electric range. With a 2022 launch year, however, the Ocean is still at least two years away.

First unveiled at the LA Auto Show in November, the Ford Mustang Mach-E was on full display in Las Vegas. A limited edition, dubbed ‘First Edition’, has already sold out, leaving four trim levels available at launch (late 2020/early 2021). RWD and a 76 kWh battery come as standard, with an optional AWD and 99 kWh battery pack. Ford’s vast dealership network will allow it to meet any service needs and if the engineering team can nail the driving dynamics, the Mach-E could pose a threat to Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y.

Seeing a Jeep Wrangler plugged into an EV charging outlet was certainly odd, but, like every other OEM, Jeep has little choice but to electrify its range to comply with global emissions standards. The smaller Compass and Renegade plug-in hybrids were also on display, with all three models sporting blue ‘4xe’ accent badges and decals to differentiate them from their ICE-only counterparts. The Wrangler PHEV is likely to go on sale later this year, followed by Jeep’s other electrified models by 2022.

Nissan showcased the Ariya concept electric SUV, following its initial unveiling at the Tokyo Motor Show. It features Nissan’s latest driver-assistance system, ProPILOT 2.0, and new e-4ORCE AWD technology. Specs remain scarce, but a 300-mile electric range is anticipated, with sales starting in the US by 2022.

The Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR is more alien spacecraft than standard concept vehicle! Little wonder then that the OEM’s new EVs will feature in the upcoming Avatar movies, as part of a collaboration with the franchise’s production team. Mercedes-Benz is moving towards a sustainable circular economy by reducing, reusing and recycling its raw material usage. The AVTR uses a new graphene-based organic cell battery technology that eliminates the use of rare earth metals.

Toyota surprised by revealing plans to build an experimental city at the base of Mount Fuji. The fully sustainable 175-acre site, dubbed the Woven City, will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells and solar, with city-centre traffic restricted to Autonomous Vehicles. Construction will begin next year to eventually house 2,000 people, consisting of Toyota employees, retirees, scientists and industry partners.

Hyundai has partnered with Uber to expand into the Urban Air Mobility space with S-A1 vertical take-off air taxis. The automaker will produce all-electric air taxis for Uber at automotive scale. The piloted aircraft will eventually become fully autonomous. If Uber hits its 2023 launch target, the next evolution in urban mobility could be grazing our skies a mere three years from now.