It’s official: EVs are easier to drive

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

Peugeot-Young-EV-Drivers-Challenge

Two out of five parents would already prefer their children to jump straight into a fully electric vehicle and skip petrol and diesel cars when learning to drive, according to new research by Peugeot UK.

However, nearly a third believe it will be harder to learn to drive in an EV and own one.

Following the study, Peugeot took a group of 10 -16-year-olds to a closed circuit to showcase how simple learning to drive and owning an electric car is.

The youngsters were given dedicated tutorials run by professional drivers on how to live with and own an electric car at Bedford Autodrome.

Peugeot-Young-EV-Drivers-Challenge

Sat behind the wheel of the Peugeot e-208, the young drivers were first taught basic manoeuvres, such as starting, stopping and parking. They were then shown the essential elements of EV ownership, such as how to conserve your miles, charging your car, and switching between driving modes.

When the young drivers’ lesson has concluded, the children went head-to-head against their parents in an EV challenge to see who could conserve the most miles over a set route.

Driving six laps of the course, covering over three miles, the youngsters utilised all the skills they had learnt about electric driving to come out on top, conserving twice as many miles as their parents.

“Our day with the young drivers has demonstrated how accessible electric vehicles can be for anyone thinking about their next car,” said Julie David, Managing Director of Peuegot UK.

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MG5 EV review

MG5 EV

We test the affordable electric estate that’s proving to be a surprise sales success

MG may not be the iconic British sports car maker that it once was, but it’s thriving as a bargain brand under Chinese ownership.

In September 2021 MG Motor UK achieved its highest ever monthly sales in the UK, passing 5,000 registrations for the first time ever with sales up 61.2% year-on-year.

Much of the success was driven by MG’s pure electric models, the ZS and MG5. And even though it was only launched in late 2020, the MG5 was the seventh best-selling pure EV in the UK in September.

MG5 EV

As an all-electric estate, the MG5 currently occupies a unique niche in the zero emissions market.

It may not be the most handsome load-lugger on the market, but just like its crossover-styled sibling, the ZS, it’s a spacious, seriously affordable family car.

Priced from £25,095 (after the Government’s £2,500 plug-in grant) it’s available with two battery sizes (52.5kWh and 61.1kWh), giving a claimed range of 214 and 250 miles respectively. Both have a 115kW (154bhp) electric motor.

MG5 EV

And while the MG5’s range isn’t nudging the 300-mile range mark, it’s way ahead of many similarly priced cars, some of which are unable to reach 150 miles on a single charge (eg MINI Electric, Honda E and Mazda MX-30).

The MG5 sits much lower than most EVs, with the water-cooled battery pack integrated into the car’s chassis, giving it a surprisingly sleek profile..

Some may find it slightly nondescript from the front, but plenty of buyers have no problem with its styling judging by the amount I’ve seen on the roads in and around London.

MG5 EV

It’s perfectly acceptable inside too, if slightly dated, but there’s no debate over the space on offer. The large boot, accessed via a wide tailgate opening, delivers 464 litres of capacity with the rear seats up and load cover in place, expanding to an impressive 578 litres with the load cover retracted. Fold the 60:40 rear seat and the load capacity increases to a mighty 1,456 litres.

Additionally, there’s also plenty of room inside for up to five passengers, with two ISOFIX child-seat mounting points in the back.

The interior design isn’t flash and there’s no shortage of hard plastic surfaces, but it’s well equipped with an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen (inc Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) as standard, plus automatic headlights, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels and air-conditioning. Move up a grade and you get leather-style upholstery, heated front seats, keyless entry, navigation and electrically folding and heated door mirrors.

MG5 EV

The flagship ‘long range’ version (starting at just £26,495) gets MG Pilot as standard, featuring a selection of safety and driver assistance goodies, including Active Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Jam Assist, Intelligent High Beam Assist and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist.

I tested the entry-level 214-mile range MG5 EV. And with a 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds, it’s no slouch, so you’ll surprise many a hot hatch driver on the road.

It can be fully charged overnight at home or to 80% at a 50kW fast charger in 50 minutes, or in 40 minutes via a 100kW rapid charger.

MG5 EV

Needless to say, there’s no engine noise, and the MG5 does a good job of keeping the outside world outside with little tyre, traffic and wind noise penetrating the cabin.

However, it’s no match for a conventionally-powered estate like a Ford Focus in the handling department. Thanks to its soft suspension, it will lean in fast corners and even become a little unsettled if pushed hard on challenging country roads.

But then, it isn’t meant to compete with the Tourings and Avants of this world – the MG5 is all about value for money.

MG5 EV

It’s also easy to drive and comfortable – just select ‘D’ on the dinky dial in the centre console and away you go. The steering is light too, making town driving a doddle, while long journeys are effortless and relaxing.

There’s a choice of Eco, Normal and Sport, but I found that Eco was just fine. There are also three levels of regenerative braking to choose from, so adding the odd mile when coasting, braking or on downhill stretches is very possible.

I didn’t quite manage the claimed range, but I’d say 180-190 is realistic, which is more than enough for most drivers.

MG5 EV

As with all MG models, there’s peace of mind too because it comes with a generous seven-year/80,000-mile warranty.

Verdict: The MG5 EV may not be the sexiest estate car on the market today, but it does offer honest, practical, electric motoring at an affordable price.

MG Motor UK

Battista EV supercar wins prestigious award

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

The stunning all-electric Battista has won the coveted Design Award at the exclusive Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy.

Automobili Pininfarina’s new hyper GT made its European public debut in production-ready form at the prestigious event, finished in Verde Paradiso exterior paintwork with a luxurious tan leather interior.

The annual show, which takes place on the shores of Lake Como, is just a few hours’ drive from the Battista’s Cambiano production facility.

“We took a unique Battista to Villa d’Este to showcase the diverse colour and material choices that our discerning clients can choose from when personalising their vehicle,” said Luca Borgogno, Automobili Pininfarina Chief Design Officer.

“To win the Design Award is a fantastic way for us to begin the countdown to making our first customer deliveries later this year.

“It’s always exciting for us to show new bespoke combinations of the Battista in different parts of the world, but especially so in our home country alongside other legendary classic Pininfarina-designed masterpieces.”

The Battista’s other trophies include GQ’s Electric Hypercar of the Year award and the Electric Dream award, from Electrifying.com.

Needles to say, the Battista is blistering quick with a 0-62mph time of less than two seconds and a top speed of 217mph, while its 120kWh battery delivers a range of 311 miles and can be charged at speeds of up to 180kW.

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Tesco named best supermarket for EV owners

Home / Auto News / Tesco named best supermarket for EV owners

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Volkswagen and Tesco chargepoint partnership

Tesco has topped the list for supermarkets providing charging for electric car owners, according to an independent analysis of EV facilities across the UK by electric cars website Electrifying.com.

The supermarket, in partnership with Volkswagen and Pod Point, has installed charging points across 400 of its stores across the UK.

Overall, almost half (45 per cent) of its total stores, not including smaller express sites, have charging.

Morrisons is the second-best supermarket for EV owners, with just over 40 per cent of 497 stores offering customers the ability to charge, while nearly one in five (19.71 per cent) Asda locations provide at least one place to plug in.

But electric car drivers who shop at Sainsbury’s face a lottery when it comes to charging their vehicles, with fewer than one in 10 (7.2 per cent) of its stores currently providing charge points for customers.

While Sainsbury’s came out bottom of the pile, Aldi was only marginally better with 10 per cent.

Lidl customers have a slightly better chance of finding a store with at least one charge point, with its hit rate reaching 15 per cent.

“Congratulations to Tesco and Morrisons which have both invested heavily to provide customers with good charging facilities. We’d love every supermarket site to offer this, but we aren’t there yet,” said Ginny Buckley, founder of Electrifying.com.

“We expected more supermarkets to be doing better, but it’s still great to see how some of them have recognised that offering shoppers reliable car charging is not only good for business but will also help give the nation confidence to make the switch.

“With electric cars surging in popularity and ambitious government targets to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, providing charging infrastructure at convenient locations is crucial to encourage drivers to go electric sooner, particularly the significant number that don’t have access to off-street parking.”

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Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who’s worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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Skoda Enyaq iV review

Skoda Enyaq iV

Skoda’s first purpose-built electric vehicle is a revelation. In short, the Enyaq iV is the embodiment of the company’s winning blend of space, comfort, economy and value for money.

Closely related to its Volkswagen Group cousin, the ID.4, the Enyaq iV is a big SUV available with either a 62kWh or 82kWh battery, offering claimed ranges of between 256-331 miles.

A tad bigger and better looking than the ID.4, its distinctive design delivers serious road presence and excellent practicality.

Skoda Enyaq iV

Awarded a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP’s vigorous new testing regime, it’s also one of the safest cars on the road.

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB), road-sign recognition, lane-keep assist and cruise control are fitted as standard, along with Isofix points front and rear.

The Enyaq iV 60 uses a 62kWh battery and a 178bhp electric motor, with power fed to the rear wheels, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 8.8 seconds and up to 256 miles.

Skoda Enyaq iV

The Enyaq iV 80 has an 82kWh battery and 201bhp electric motor, again driving the rear wheels (331-mile range and 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds), while the four-wheel-drive ’80x’ has two electric motors, delivering 261bhp of power, a 6.9-second 0-62mph time and a range of 303 miles.

Priced from £32,010 (including the £2,500 Government EV grant), it represents fantastic value for money. Inside, there’s bags of room for all the family, lots of clever small storage spaces and a 585-litre boot, expanding to 1,710 litres with the rear seats folded.

There are six different interior trims to choose from, including recycled cloth. Up front it’s minimalist with few buttons. The large touchscreen infotainment display is less fiddly than the ID.4’s and there are piano-style buttons below to shortcut the key functions.

Skoda Enyaq iV

Despite its large dimensions and two-tonne weight, our Skoda Enyaq iV 80 test car didn’t feel like a handful on the road at all.

In fact, it’s more agile than you may expect, no doubt helped by its low-slung batteries and excellent weight distribution.

Effortlessly fast and gloriously refined, the ride is comfortable and there’s little body roll in more challenging corners.

Skoda Enyaq iV

The steering is accurate and nicely weighted, meaning that tighter manoeuvres are easier than you might think. And for a rear-wheel drive car, there’s an impressive amount of grip.

In other words, it is possible to have fun in an Enyaq, especially in Sport mode which gives maximum acceleration and performance. However, on longer cruises, Eco will do just fine as you endeavour to squeeze as many miles out of the battery pack as possible.

Skoda Enyaq iV

Like all EVs, it will charge on the move via regenerative braking (recovering energy otherwise wasted when slowing down or coasting). It can also be charged overnight at home, while a 10-80% charge using a 100kW rapid charger takes just over 30 minutes.

As with all EVs, real-world range will depend on many factors, including the outside temperature and driving style, but we’d say around 275 miles is quite possible in everyday driving.

Verdict: Spacious, comfortable, competitively-priced, well built and a doddle to drive, the all-new Skoda Enyaq iV is a game-changing electric family SUV.

Skoda UK

Skoda Enyaq iV