Major EV milestone reached by Osprey Charging

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Osprey Charging

Osprey Charging now has more than 1,000 live public EV chargers available for use by the UK’s EV drivers.

Osprey’s network, which according to ZapMap is the third largest in terms of the number of public rapid and ultra-rapid chargers, has grown by more than 150% over the past year.

Flagship hubs have opened in key locations such as Devon, Cumbria, Essex, Dunbartonshire, Carmarthenshire and Nottinghamshire.

“With over 1,000 public rapid EV chargers now available on the Osprey network, we are providing the essential infrastructure that drivers and industry are calling for to support the electric vehicle revolution,” said Ian Johnston, Osprey Charging CEO.

“The rate of growth is matched by the highest standards of service offered to our drivers, through a reliable and easy to use nationwide network.”

With hundreds of locations spread across both rural and urban locations throughout the UK, Osprey chargers have an outstanding reliability rate of 99%, while its straightforward charging experience has seen Osprey recognised as a ‘Driver Recommended Network’ by Zap Map for a fourth time.

At the 2023 Transport and Energy awards, Osprey was named Best EV Charging Network, shortly followed by winning Chargepoint Network of the Year at the 2023 Electric Vehicle Innovation and Excellence Awards (EVIEs).

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Best Michelin Green Star restaurants for EV drivers

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

PEUGEOT E-308 and the Michelin Green Star winner

Peugeot UK has revealed the Top 10 Michelin Green Star restaurants for electric vehicle drivers.

The winners of the prestigious Michelin Green Star Award have been ranked according to the quality of the nearby charging infrastructure, and the number of cities within the 257-mile range of the Peugeot E-308.

First introduced in 2021, the Michelin Green Star is an annual award that highlights restaurants within the Michelin Guide that are at the forefront of sustainable practices in the kitchen.

All the winners offer dining experiences that combine culinary excellence with outstanding eco-friendly commitments.

Apricity in London’s Mayfair topped the list. It can be reached from 12 of the 15 major cities of the UK using the full range of the E-308. Drivers of the model can also benefit from 100kW DC rapid charging, which will power the battery from 20-80% in less than 25 minutes.

Drivers heading to the capital can also enjoy an extensive EV charging network. Apricity has an impressive 650 charging points within just a mile of the award-winning restaurant. The contemporary British restaurant is praised by the guide for its low-waste cooking and sustainable food sourcing.

London locations took the top four spots of the rankings. In second place came St Barts in the City of London, in third is Silo in Hackney Wick, and fourth place went to Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond-upon-Thames.

Wilsons in Bristol placed fifth in the Peugeot rankings and was the highest ranking of the Michelin Green Star list outside of London.

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The Italian Job: Kia EV6 GT finishes 1000 Miglia Green in style

Kia EV6 GT completes the 1000 Miglia Green 2023

The Kia EV6 GT has completed the 1000 Miglia Green 2023, dubbed the “most beautiful race in the world”.

Finishing as the highest-ranking performance electric vehicle entered and sixth overall, the 1000 Miglia is a true test of endurance for both car, driver and navigator, requiring performance, precision and skill in order to score well throughout the race.

The 1000 Miglia Green is a sub-category of the historic Italian event, open only to fully electric cars.

The 2023 event was the longest in the race’s near 100-year history, spanning five days and more than 2,000 kilometres.

Kia EV6 GT completes the 1000 Miglia Green 2023

Not only was the Kia EV6 GT the first Korean car to ever compete in the 1000 Miglia Green, but the pro rally driver pairing of Jade Paveley and Ross Leach was the only team to represent Great Britain in the race.

In addition, the event marked the first time that an EV6 GT has been entered into a competitive, FIA-approved motor race.

Designed from the outset as a true GT car, the EV6 GT offers blistering performance from its twin electric motor setup that together deliver 577bhp and 740Nm of torque through all four wheels.

That power translates into a 0-62mph time of just 3.5 seconds, and an official top speed of 162mph.

Mated with a powerful 77.4kWh battery, the car is capable of covering 263 miles (WLTP combined) per charge.

Kia EV6 GT completes the 1000 Miglia Green 2023

Charging is equally rapid, thanks to the car’s E-GMP platform that supports 800V charging, enabling 10-80 per cent charge in as little as 18 minutes at the fastest charge points.

Importantly and despite the considerable distance and demanding nature of the roads and speeds required for the race, each of the timed legs travelled during the event were completed using a single charge of the car.

Charging was completed using public charge points, plus destination charging where possible at hotels at the end of each day.

The 1000 Miglia Green’s blend of rapid road driving under police escort along with precision time-trial and special stages on closed roads were the perfect test for the car’s considerable performance.

“The 1000 Miglia Green is a fantastic challenge that blends fast open road driving with time-trials and special stages,” said Ross Leach, rally driver and navigator

“It’s a great way to put any car through its paces and although incredibly demanding, the EV6 GT never skipped a beat and was a constant pleasure to be in. Particularly where outright speed and handling are concerned, the GT is able to easily hold its own, even against those in the supercar segment.

“We’re delighted to have participated in this year’s event, put the EV6 GT to the test and come home in sixth place overall but as the highest-scoring performance EV.”

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

We get behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz EQC – the EV version of the mighty GLC…

The EQC was the first all-electric model from Mercedes-Benz when it was launched in 2019, and its upmarket rivals include the BMW iX3, Audi Q8 e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model X and Genesis GV70.

Handsome and well-proportioned, it has aged well and has serious road presence. Inside, it’s a classy blend of technology, comfort, space and excellent build quality.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

The EQC’s 80kWh battery pack sits in the floor, while two electric motors are positioned on each axle, enabling four-wheel-drive.

Producing a substantial 402bhp and 560lb ft (760Nm) of torque, it can sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.1 seconds, and on to a top speed of 112mph.

Claimed range is up to 254 miles, which is average these days, and closer to 200 miles in real-world driving.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

The EQC has a maximum 110kW charging capability, meaning a boost from 10-80% can take 40 minutes. Naturally, it will also charge overnight using a 7kW wallbox.

To put that into context – cheaper, newer rivals such as the Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60 have a charge rate of up to 350kW – that’s 10-80% in just 18 minutes.

Naturally, there’s the commanding view of the road you’d expect from a big SUV, while the latest MBUX infotainment and driver information system (which stretches across most of the dashboard) is a particular interior highlight.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

The MBUX’s party piece is the ‘Hey Mercedes’ voice-control feature which, for the most part, understands commands said in plain English.

And thankfully, there are still plenty of switches and buttons spread around so not all functionality is controlled via the touchscreen.

There’s a decent amount of space in the cabin too, though taller rear passengers might struggle for headroom, thanks to that elegant roofline. It should also be noted that this is a five-seater – you’ll have to go for an EQB if you want three rows.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

Boot capacity is a useful 500 litres, expanding to 1,460 litres with the 40/20/40-split back seats folded.

On the road, Mercedes-Benz has done a fine job of masking the EQC’s 2.5-tonne weight and it’s only when you push on in faster, twisty roads that you realise that discretion is the better part of valour.

In its element on motorways and fast A-roads, where it’s an effortless, refined and relaxed cruiser, there’s also plenty of punch in reserve should you need it.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

The steering is light and precise, especially around town, plus there’s ample grip from those huge wheels (20 or 21 inches, depending on the trim level).

The ride is excellent, and for the most part it glides over poorer road surfaces, only coming unstuck over sleeping policeman and steep driveways, for instance, where the low front air dam rubber flaps scrape unless you’re extra cautious.

So, the EQC is an impressive EV, but it comes at a price. The entry-level AMG Line starts at £74,330, the AMG Line Premium is £78,975, while the range-topping AMG Line is priced from £81,225. To give it its full title, our test car was an EQC 400 4MATIC AMG Line.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

And as you’d expect from a car in this price range, the EQC is one of the safest vehicles on the road, achieving a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating. A full suite of safety and driver assistance systems are available, with parking sensors, a reversing camera, blind-spot alert, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning and LED headlights as standard.

Verdict: The Mercedes-Benz EQC should definitely be on your shortlist if you’re looking for a premium zero emissions SUV. It may not have class-leading dynamics or range, but it’s fast, safe, spacious, comfortable, loaded with tech and oozes class.

Mercedes-Benz EQC review

DS 3 E-Tense review

DS 3 E-Tense review

Our first drive in the 100% electric version of the stylish five-door DS 3 compact SUV

Originally launched as the DS 3 Crossback in 2019, this chic crossover was initially available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines (a 100% electric variant following a year later).

Fast forward to 2023 and not only has the car dropped its “Crossback” monicker and received a facelift and other updates, but it’s now a straight choice between petrol or electric power.

We’ve never driven the EV version (marketed as the DS 3 E-Tense), so here’s how it shapes up. But first, a bit of background.

DS 3 E-Tense review

DS Automobiles split from Citroen to become an innovative premium brand way back in 2014. Since then, the two brands have become part of the huge Stellantis Group, which also includes Peugeot, Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Fiat.

DS’s competition department, DS Performance, has competed in Formula E since 2015, clinching the first team/drivers’ double world title in 2019.

DS Automobiles is now one of the premium arms of Stellantis with a fast-expanding range, and the new DS 3 E-Tense battles it out in a competitive compact SUV EV segment, though it’s arguably the most upmarket offering.

DS 3 E-Tense review

Not only is it up against its Stellantis cousins – the Peugeot e-2008, Vauxhall Mokka and upcoming Jeep Avenger – but also the MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Soul EV.

On a technical level, the big change for 2023 is a larger 54kWh battery (up from 50kWh) and more power. As a result, the small electric SUV now offers a range of up to 250 miles (previously 212 miles).

Visually the DS 3 E-Tense’s subtle facelift delivers extra kerb appeal and improves aerodynamic efficiency.

DS 3 E-Tense review

The redesigned front end features new LED headlights and daytime running lights, plus a slightly larger diamond grille and new spoiler.

“DS Automobiles” is written across the boot, while the profile is as distinctive as ever with its shark’s fin rear window design and flush door handles. There are also new wheel designs and a total of seven body colours with contrasting roofs.

Inside, the most significant change is the updated infotainment system, which is easier to use than the previous version and it’s also more responsive.

DS 3 E-Tense review

There’s a 7.0-inch digital driver’s instrument display and 10.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.

Elsewhere, the materials used have an upmarket feel. The watchstrap leather seats look especially cool and are very comfortable, but some of the quirky functionality does take some getting used to.

For instance, the switches to open the windows flank either side of the gear selector, while touch-sensitive short-cut buttons for the touchscreen, plus other essentials such as audio volume and heated seats, are all dotted around the central air vents.

DS 3 E-Tense review

For the record, there are four trim levels available – Performance Line, Performance Line , Rivoli and Opera.

The DS Safety Pack is also fitted as standard, and this includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keep assist and speed limit recognition – all helping to give the DS 3 a maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.

Space up front is good, but it’s less than impressive behind where there’s only just room for adults and visibility is compromised, especially for small children, thanks to the fins on the rear doors, high waistline and thick B pillars.

DS 3 E-Tense review

The boot is 350 litres, or 1,050 litres, with the rear seats folded. Not class-leading, but enough for the shopping or a modest amount of luggage.

With light steering and a ride that’s set up for comfort, the DS 3 E-Tense drives well.

Naturally, there’s plenty of torque, but it’s not gut-wrenching like some other EVs.

DS 3 E-Tense review

The single electric motor that drives the front wheels produces 154bhp and 192lb ft of torque, taking nine seconds to hit 62mph (maximum speed 93mph).

The smooth power delivery results in a refined cabin ambience that fits the car’s classy character well.

You can have fun in the DS 3 E-Tense because it’s nimble and responsive, but you will experience body lean in faster, more challenging corners, so best not to get carried away.

DS 3 E-tense

Traction is good overall, though it is possible to spin the front wheels on looser or wet surfaces if you plant your foot from a standing start.

Traction is good overall, though it is possible to spin the front wheels on looser or wet surfaces if you plant your right foot from a standing start.

There are three drive modes – Eco, Normal and Sport. As ever, Normal is just fine because Eco dulls the driving experience, and though Sport livens things up a little, it does sap the battery range.

DS 3 E-Tense review

We’d estimate real-world driving range is probably closer to 200 than 250, which certainly makes it a practical proposition for most drivers.

The DS 3 can take up to 100 kW DC charging, which enables a 0-80% replenishing of its battery in 30 minutes. Plug it at home via a 11 kW AC wallbox and a 0-100% charge will take five hours, 45 minutes.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the DS 3 E-Tense is its price. Starting at £37,200 and rising to £41,700, it’s a relatively expensive small EV.

Verdict: If you’re looking for a 100% electric compact SUV and you appreciate quality and style, then consider the DS 3 E-Tense. It’s not without a few frustrations and compromises, but it’s easy and fun to drive – and crucially – stands out from the crowd.

DS Automobiles