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CES 2024: E-mobility with digital, connected techs displayed in flair

Honda's 'Space-Hub' EV as part of next-gen 'Honda 0 Series' debut at CES 2024. Source: Honda

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 last week, the spotlight gleamed on the dazzling future of transportation – a symphony of electric mobility and connected car technologies that promises to redefine the way we move in the years to come. 

The expo held in Las Vegas, Nevada is known for its pulsating technology debuts, traditionally across utility electronics and appliances, but lately in the automotive space as well, thanks to the merging axes of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric) mobility megatrends. 

The 2024 edition of CES was no exception to this trend. From sleek electric vehicles, intelligent charging stations that seamlessly integrate with our daily lives to cutting-edge battery tech, connected car, to data-driven innovation for personal mobility and smart living, the expo exemplified the promises of an interconnected automotive future. 

Despite the absence of leading automakers of the US including GM, Ford and Stellantis, the expo saw the active presence of Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and VinFast among others with their debut EVs and related technologies. Automotive systems suppliers, EV startups and technology developers also presented their cutting-edge solutions on the lines of CASE mobility trends, complemented by electronic and software firm. 

NaaS Technology's EV charging robot at CES 2024. Source: NaaS Hong Kong
  • Mercedes-Benz showcased 'Concept CLA Class' electric car for the first time in North America. The car boasts the new Mercedes-Benz Operating System (MB.OS), single-charge range of 750 km (WLTP), and a new new electric drive unit (MB.EDU) featuring 800-volt architecture and 93-percent efficiency battery to wheels over long distances.
  • Mercedes-Benz also previewed the electric-avatar of the famous Geländewagen (G-Klasse) 'EQG' with a "tank turn" function. 
  • Honda unveiled its latest "Honda 0 Series" of EVs which the company intends to launch globally starting in 2026. Two concept models from the series premiered at the expo, namely 'Saloon' and 'Space-Hub'. 
  • VinFast Auto made the global launch of of its latest electric mini-SUV, the VF 3. The company also debuted 'VF Wild' electric pick-up truck and 'DrgnFly' electric bike at CES this year. 
  • Kia presented its unique line-up of electric vans, ride-hailing and last-mile delivery vehicles built on a new, common modular platform for global markets. 
VinFast 'VF Wild' electric pick-up truck on display at CES 2024. Source: VinFast
  • Hyundai Mobis, a global automotive supplier, unveiled the "MOBION" electric vehicle (EV), equipped with the next-generation 'e-Corner System' motion technology debuting for the first time.
  • EV startup B–ON presented its 'Pelkan' electric light commercial vehicle (eLCV) in 54 kWh and 43 kWh battery capacities, with a driving range of up to 298 kms in full charge.
  • NaaS Technology unveiled its innovative automatic energy supply charging robot for smart and unmanned EV charging services. The US-listed Chinese firm also presented its 480KW split type EV charging stack. 
  • Magna launched its next generation 800V 'eDrive' solution for vehicles in the C, D, and E segments, offering a peak power of 250 kW and a peak axle torque of 5,000 Nm.
  • Paccar presented DAF's XD battery-electric vehicle and an EV charging solutions developed by Paccar Parts. 
  • Intel extended its 'AI everywhere' strategy to bring AI efficiencies to EV energy management in the form of new AI system-on-chips (SoCs) for EVs. 
Xpeng Aeroht's eVTOL "flying car" concept at CES 2024. Source: IOT World Today

Interestingly, hydrogen mobility and fuel-cell technology also found space in at CES 2024. For instance, Hyundai showcased exhibits demonstrating hydrogen and 'software-defined vehicle' (SDV) as part of its hydrogen energy ecosystem and a shift toward software-driven approaches. 

Paccar, on the other hand, displayed its Kenworth's T680 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), leveraging the next-gen hydrogen fuel cell technology developed in partnership with Toyota Motor North America. 

This apart, the show also stood as a testimony to the emerging electrification trends on private mobility (e-bikes, go karts. etc.) and aviation including drones for commercial use. For instance, startup Pivotal presented its 'Helix' personal electric aircraft, while drone companies Zipline and Wing targeted e-commerce companies for delivery applications. 

Hyundai's U.S.-based air taxi unit Supernal showcased its 'S-A2' electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, while Xpeng Motors' subsidiary Xpeng Aeroht debuted its eVTOL "flying car" concept at the CES this year. 

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