EV News Round-up: September 2023
Ford takes the Mustang Mach-E off road, the Mini Electric gets a makeover and Tesla facelifts the Model 3.
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Volkswagen electrifies the GTI brand
That’s right GTI fans, VW is bringing the iconic performance badge into the EV world starting with this, the ID. GTI concept.
Based on the ID2All concept that was announced back in March, the ID GTI concept features many of the iconic styling cues fans know and love including the sports seats with the familiar tartan chequer pattern, three-spoke steering wheel, red surround on the radiator grille (which is mostly closed off due to EVs not needing a radiator) and red towing eyes.
Volkswagen has even gone as far as to pay homage to the golf ball gear shifter found in the Golf GTI by giving the rotary gear shifter a golf ball-styled pattern.
Performance figures have yet to be announced however VW has stated that the car will be front-wheel drive with the same electronically controlled front-axle differential lock found on the current Golf GTI models.
The UK’s largest EV charging hub opens its ports
On the 7th of September, Jeremy Hunt cut the ribbon to the UK’s largest charging hub located near the NEC Campus in the West Midlands.
Aptly nicknamed the Gigahub and built in collaboration with BP pulse and the EV charging network, this massive charging site hosts 30 ultra-fast 150kW rapid chargers and 150 7kW fast chargers.
Drivers stopping for a top up at the gigahub will have access to a nearby Starbucks as well as the great NEC hall itself.
Paul Thandi CBE, DL Chairman of NEC Group, said: “We are proud to contribute to the UK Government’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy.
Working in collaboration with EVN and bp pulse, the opening of our EV charging hub provides NEC Campus customers, commuters, and those working for local regional or national businesses, a reliable and convenient way to recharge and support a lower carbon travel future.
This strategic collaboration and initiative strengthen our destination offer, demonstrate our commitment to reducing the impact our business practices and our Masterplan credentials have on the environment, and ultimately supports a reduction in carbon emissions.”
Compare BP Pulse's charging costs to its competitors
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The Ford Mustang Mach-E goes off-road
Having been first revealed in camouflage at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year, Ford reveals the latest edition to the Mustang Mach-E family at the IAA mobility show in Munich, the Mach-E® Rally.
Based on the Mustang Mach-E GT powertrain, the Mach-E rally comes equipped with a beefed-up two-motor set-up which outputs at least 880Nm of torque and 358kW of power.
Ford has yet to confirm the exact performance numbers of this new powertrain however.
Other changes include the new suspension system, which has been raised 20mm over the Mach-e GT and is equipped with specially tuned springs, MagneRide shocks and 389mm front brakes to absorb the harsh off-road terrain.
The car even comes with an exclusive driving mode called RallySport drive, which adapts the electronic control systems to allow for bigger slides, a linear throttle response for better control, and more aggressive damping for better handling in loose corners as well as help the car maintain control in snow and other slick on-road conditions.
Looks-wise the Mach-e rally pays homage to its rally car heritage by sporting Ford's signature durable glass white 19-inch rally-style alloy wheels as well as a black rear spoiler that has been inspired by the iconic Focus RS.
The order books open in early 2024 with pricing yet to be confirmed.
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Mini Cooper Electric gets a refresh
This is the new Mini Cooper Electric, and at first glance you might notice that Mini has gone with the “less is more” approach, because this car has been minimalised both inside and out.
On the outside, you’ll see that the front bumper has lost its side and bonnet air intakes and the “grille” has been simplified over the previous model.
The famous circular headlights have remained the same however but with the inclusion of three customisable light signatures.
Changes to the back and sides include redesigned door handles, which now sit flush with the vehicle, and the rear taillights being triangular instead of rectangular (although they do retain the trademark unionjack break light patterning).
Hop inside the new Cooper Electric and you will see that Mini has really gone to town with the whole minimal theme.
Gone is the drivers display along with most of the buttons in the centre console.
Instead we get a gorgeous 9 inch circular OLED centre display, which controls most functions whilst also displaying driver information such as speed.
The dashboard is now also lined in fabric which Mini says is made out of recycled polyester and comes in loads of colours to suit any drivers tastes.
What Mini hasn’t minimalised however is the internal spec, as we now get two battery options called the E and the SE.
If you are wanting to get your hands on one of these Mini’s you won’t have to wait long because orders start in early 2024.
InstaVolt now accepts Paua charging cards
Paua users can now use their charging cards at InstaVolt chargers as part of a partnership between the two companies.
Thanks to the new partnership, drivers using the Paua service or any platform using Paua (e.g. CinchPay and the Motability Go Charge app) will now be able to access over 1,200 additional rapid chargers across over 530 locations.
Niall Riddell, CEO and Co-Founder of Paua said: "In the thrilling race towards a sustainable future, collaboration is key to igniting the electric vehicle revolution.
Embracing this spirit, we're absolutely thrilled to unite our forces with InstaVolt, a dynamic partner who shares our relentless vision of making EV charging a breeze for everyone.
Together, we'll charge ahead, breaking barriers, and empowering the world to embrace clean mobility with passion and ease!"
You can find out more about Paua and Niall Riddell in our plugged-in series.
Tesla Model 3 gets a facelift
Revealed at the 2023 Munich Motor Show, the facelifted Tesla Model 3 will receive a new fresh-looking interior and exterior as well as some new battery tech that will increase the maximum range from 296 miles to 421.
On the outside, the main change to the car is the front bumper, which has much thinner headlights and loses the front foglights altogether.
You also get two new paint colours, ultra red and stealth grey.
The inside however has been completely revamped.
You still get a very minimalist dashboard but you now get a new LED strip running along under the windscreen, which can display an array of colours.
What’s very noticeable however is the lack of stalks on the steering column, which have been omitted in favour of buttons on the steering wheel.
Just like in the new Tesla Model S, rear passengers can now use a rear touchscreen display, which can display entertainment as well as control the climate controls.
Left-hand drive orders open this October with right-hand drive versions expecting to follow sometime in 2024.
Osprey and Motability Operations join forces
Following on from being the first charging network to subscribe to charge safe, Osprey’s mission to make electric vehicle charging more accessible for disabled people continues as they partner up with Motability Operations, the Uk’s largest leasing company and the organisation behind the Motability scheme.
As part of the collaboration, Motability Scheme EV drivers will be able to find and pay for charge sessions at Osprey chargers using the Motability Go Charge app, which is powered by Paua.
The collaboration aims to gain valuable insight into how the public charging experience works for disabled drivers, their families and their carers.
Ian Johnston, CEO of Osprey Charging said:
“Motability Operations is not only the largest leasing company in the UK, but one of the most important in empowering access to public charging and ease of use for all drivers.
This is something close to Osprey’s heart, so we’re delighted to be the first CPO partner of Motability Operations.
We look forward to seeing the feedback from drivers, which will help us continue to set the bar for inclusivity and user-friendly charging for all.”
You can read more about Ian Johnston and Osprey in our Plugged-In series.
BMW expands their all-electric line up with the new iX1 eDrive20
Drivers looking for a more affordable version of the iX1 will be pleased to know that BMW has listened and brought out this, the BMW iX1 eDrive20.
Designed to be a more affordable and economical version of the iX1 eDrive30, the eDrive20 keeps the same 66.5kWh battery but drops the rear axel motor, which not only reduces the starting price to just £44,560 but also increases the cars range from 273 miles to 295 miles.
You will still be able to get the iX1 eDrive20 in the same three trim levels as the eDrive30 (sport, Xline and M Sport) all of which come with their own range of kit to suit their drivers needs.
Charging speeds on the iX1 eDrive20 remain the same as the eDrive30 although you will now need to pay extra if you want to have 22kW charging.
The car is available to order now with the first deliveries scheduled to begin in November 2023.