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Jaguar Land Rover gets £500m government loan guarantee to build EVs

Hugo Griffiths 2019-07-16 09:15 Prime Minister announces guarantee, which will help JLR secure loans to further develop electric vehicles Jaguar Land Rover has received a £500-million loan guarantee from the government, after Theresa May hosted automotive industry heads at 10 Downing Street in her final days as Prime Minister. The fund – while not a loan in itself – is a state-backed guarantee that will allow Jaguar Land Rover to easily secure credit and direct funding in order to “support the company’s design and manufacture of the next generation of electric vehicles and its export activities”. It effectively means that in the unlikely event that JLR were to default on repaying the loan, the government would step in. • New Land Rover Defender: full details Earlier in the month, JLR announced its next-generation XJ luxury saloon would switch from petrol and diesel power to batteries and motors, and be built at the firm’s Castle Bromwich plant in the West Midlands. The £500m guar..

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Skoda Parent Taxi app lets children pay fares with chores

Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-07-16 08:53 New app shows parents how many miles they’ve driven their children and says what chores they should do to pay for it Skoda has launched a new ‘Parent Taxi’ app that allows parents to calculate how far they’ve driven their children and then give them chores to do as payment for the trips. Parents in the UK drive an average of 1,648 additional miles every year ferrying their kids around, equivalent to £12,565 if the average London taxi rate were to be charged. • The best first cars for new drivers Some 66 per cent of 1,723 parents surveyed by Skoda said they sometimes feel like a taxi service for their children, spending around three hours a week on average giving them lifts to and from places. Parents in Northern Ireland drive the furthest for their children – an average of 2,142 miles per year. London parents are second on 1,789 miles, followed by those in the south-west with 1,760 miles. The Skoda Parent Taxi app uses GPS to track a car’s jo..

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Volkswagen releases latest generation of manual gearbox

Daniel Allen 2019-07-15 15:54 Volkswagen launches new manual gearbox which is more efficient than before, will be used in new Passat first While many of the latest developments in the world of automotive tech focus on electric cars, Volkswagen has kept one eye on the present to improve the petrolhead’s old friend: the manual gearbox. While many cars are showing gradual progress towards electrification, VW hasn’t neglected improving existing tech. And it’s a worthwhile step: after all, manual gearbox-equipped vehicles still hold a significant share of the automotive market worldwide. • Apple CarPlay: everything you need to know Volkswagen will appeal to that market with its new transmission, named MQ281. Changes have been made from the current Volkswagen gearboxes to improve efficiency, reduce emissions levels and boost refinement. VW says that the new design can handle torque loads anywhere between 200 to 340Nm, so the gearbox will be suitable with a wide variety of engine outputs..

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New MINI Electric 2019 review

15 Jul, 2019 2:30pm Jonathan Burn We take the new MINI Electric for a brief spin to see whether or not MINI have cracked the perfect electric car on it's first attempt Let’s address the elephant in the room: range. The new MINI Electric will cover ‘at least’ 122 miles on a single charge, which, when you consider a Peugeot e-208 do over 200 miles, really isn’t all that impressive. If you put that to the man in charge of MINI, Peter Schwarzenbauer, his response is quite a straightforward one. “Nobody needs a big range in an urban car; it’s psychological,” he says. “An average drive for a MINI customer per day is 37km, so in theory, our customers can drive all week on a single charge.” • Best electric cars to buy There’s also the question of cost and weight; the larger the battery, the more expensive the car and the heavier it will be, which has a detrimental effect on handling and performance. So MINI has opted for a relatively compact 32.5kWh battery, which it says, gives the..

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Electric car charge points to be installed in every new home

Hugo Griffiths 2019-07-15 11:00 England will be the first country in the world to introduce mandatory electric car charging points for new-build homes All new homes in England will have to be fitted with charge points for electric vehicles, as the government seeks to facilitate the infrastructure improvements necessary for the planned mass-adoption of electric vehicles. The news comes as Department for Transport has announced a public consultation on the subject. If the planned changes to building regulations go through, it would force homebuilders to install charge points so potential owners could easily charge their plug-in hybrids and electric cars at home. The move would mean buyers of new-build homes would not need to make use of the Government’s home charger subsidy scheme, which has seen almost 100,000 wallboxes installed. • UK charging network: everything you need to know No mention has been made of how new-build houses without off-street parking would be fitted with char..

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Electric car chargepoints to accept contactless payment next year

Tristan Shale-Hester 2019-07-15 11:36 Government “prepared to intervene” to force contactless payments on public chargers; Chargemaster announces contactless payment All newly installed rapid or higher-powered electric car charging points should be fitted with contactless bank card readers from Spring 2020, the Government has said. As part of its Road to Zero scheme, the Department for Transport (DfT) has signalled that it expects charging firms to offer a “roaming solution” across the network, allowing EV drivers to use various different charger networks with a single payment method, rather than having to have multiple cards and smartphone apps. • BP Chargemaster unveils new 150kW ultra-fast charger The DfT added that it is “prepared to intervene to ensure a good deal for consumers by using powers in the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act”. The Government department has supported the installation of more than 20,000 public charging points in the UK, of which more than 2,000 are ..

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BMW i3 electric car may not be replaced

Jonathan Burn 2019-07-13 17:30 BMW’s i3 bespoke electric hatchback is unlikely to be replaced as the firm focuses on developing ‘mainstream’ EVs The future of the BMW i3 is in doubt with senior BMW bosses revealing to Auto Express that the groundbreaking electric car may not get a direct successor. The i3 launched back in 2013 and kickstarted BMW’s move into developing electric vehicles. However, BMW has shifted its electrification strategy to integrate future EVs into its mainstream range rather than developing bespoke models on unique architectures, like the i3. • Best electric cars to buy now “It is difficult to say if the i3 will have a straight successor as it [electrification] goes more into the mainstream like the upcoming iX3,” Pieter Nota, Member of Board of Management at BMW for sales told us. “The i3 had a pioneering role - it was at the very beginning of BMW’s electrification plans but what we are seeing now is that electrification is moving more into the mainstream.” ..

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New Mazda 3 SkyActiv-X 2019 review

Image 1 of 17 Image 1 of 17 14 Jul, 2019 11:00pm James Brodie Can Mazda's clever new SkyActiv-X engine give the Mazda 3 hatch petrol performance with diesel economy? SkyActiv-X is a brand new, spark controlled compression ignition (SPCCI) engine that has been under development at Mazda since 2015. The firm proudly insists that it’s the first true compression ignition petrol powered engine ready for production. It’s a petrol engine that uses intense pressure to combust the fuel-air mixture, like you would find in a diesel engine. Spark plugs remain in place as a control factor, but in the simplest terms, the aim is petrol performance and responsiveness with diesel fuel economy. The engine makes its debut here in the latest Mazda 3 - a car we’ve already heaped plenty of praise on for its style, upmarket quality, strong levels of refinement and, more than anything else, for the way it drives. It’s a brilliant family hatchback to find yourself behind the wheel of, but the car’s ..

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New Peugeot e-208 2019 prototype review

Image 1 of 4 Image 1 of 4 12 Jul, 2019 5:00pm Vicky Parrott The Peugeot e-208 is the electric sibling of the new 208 and we took a prototype version for a spin to see how it stacks up This small car is a big deal. It is the new Peugeot 208, and it gets exactly the same roomy interior and smart styling as the 1.2 petrol model that you can read about here. But underneath its bonnet is a 134bhp electric motor that drives the front wheels, and is powered by a 50kWh lithium-ion battery. There’s no petrol engine. It’s pure electric, and it is deliberately designed to look just like the other 208s in the range. Peugeot believes that electric is as normal a choice as petrol (or soon will be), and so it has made its all-new electric car look just like a ‘normal’ 208. Only a subtle blue-green tinge to the Lion on its nose and rump and the ‘e-208’ badging gives it away. • Best electric cars to buy Official WLTP driving range for the e-208 is 211 miles, and charging is done via the CCS and T..

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New Peugeot 208 2019 prototype review

Image 1 of 10 Image 1 of 10 12 Jul, 2019 4:30pm Vicky Parrott We get behind the wheel of the new Peugeot 208 in prototype form to see if it can drive as well as it looks... The Peugeot 208 doesn’t need much introduction. It’s the bread and butter of the small car world, along with key rivals like the Vauxhall Corsa (which now shares its platform and powertrains with this all-new 208) and Ford Fiesta. Peugeot is pitching itself as ‘the classy one’ in this rather crowded corner of the market. The chunky but chic styling certainly backs that up, as does a rather executive-looking interior that borrows much of its styling from the Peugeot 508. • Best superminis to buy The 208 is also going to bring electric motoring into the mainstream like never before, since it is offered in pure electric guise with a 211-mile driving range. Image 2 of 10 Image 2 of 10 Here, we’re driving a prototype version of the 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol; the mid-level option in a line-up of three petrol ..

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