UK new car car sales plunged 44pc in March as coronavirus drove away motorists and shut down the industry.
Just 255,000 vehicles were sold in the UK last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders – down from 458,000 a year earlier.
Dealers had reported social distancing measures making it hard to sell cars even before the lockdown began on March 23, sending the economy into freefall and causing consumers to rethink major outlays.
Also consumers are still scared of diesels with sales down 62% Y on Y.
The only bright spot in the SMMT list is the pure electric and plug in hybrids with sales increase on 200% and 40% respectively. Together these segments shifted 18,500 units in the month.
Pure-EVs reached their highest ever total, with almost 11,700 registered during the month. The previous record was a little over 7,700, in September 2019.
Plug in Hybrid EVs also set a new record for units registered, though somewhat closer than EV figures. March 2020 saw just over 6,800 sold, whilst the previous record in March 2018 was almost 6,400.
As might be expected with such a large increase on EV units registered, market share for pure-electric models hit a new record too. March 2020’s figure saw 7.3% of all new models registered as plug-in models, and pure-electric market share was 4.6%. Put into perspective, the previous records were 6.3% (Dec 19) and 3.4% (Aug 19) respectively.
March is normally the biggest month for sales as buyers are attracted by the launch of a new registration plate number. Without the plate change the decline would have been even steeper, as many consumers agree deals further in advance than normal. The SMMT data shows it was the worst March in more than 20 years for registrations of new cars, a proxy for sales.
These large increases over February 2020 are expected to a degree, since March is a new-registration month, and the month prior to a new plate being launched is traditionally quiet as buyers wait. However, March 2020 has been stronger than many would have predicted.
Tesla 3 tops best sellers at #9
Although unclear, March looks as though an EV has made the top 10 monthly sales charts, for only the second time. Listed ninth, under ‘Other’ a little over 4,700 units were registered. This is likely to be Tesla’s Model 3, since the manufacturer is not currently a member of the SMMT.
Data from SMMT, Zap Map and Green Car
Reports suggest the all-electric Aston Martin isn’t going into production after all.
In 2017, Aston Martin confirmed that an electric version of the Rapide would go into production before the end of 2019. Well, it’s now 2020 and there still is no electric Aston Martin model in production.
According to AutoCar , this is because the project has been scrapped. Or the idea of putting the model into production has been scrapped anyway. In fact, the British motoring magazine has been told by “a source close to the firm” that Rapide E wil be going back to concept form and will be used to develop electric technology for future models.
The Rapide E was first revealed in 2015 as a concept and confirmed for production in 2017. Aston had essentially finished the car’s development by the time it made its dynamic debut at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. It was planned to make limited production at the end of last year, with 155 examples mooted at an undisclosed price.
Over the past couple of months, the British luxury brand has been looking for new investment with rumoured talks taking place with Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll.
Recently the company’s CEO, Andy Palmer dubbed the 2019 financial year as “very disappointing” as shares dropped to a record low of less than £4.
Stroll – who is owner of the Racing Point Formula One team and father of Formula One driver Lance Stroll – will look to inject £200 million as the company tries to get to grips with its mounting debt pile, Bloomberg reported. The Canadian tycoon was first linked with Aston back in December and believes the firm’s current low stock value makes it a good investment opportunity.
It is understood he wants a seat on Aston Martin’s board of directors if he goes ahead with his investment.
Stroll built his £2 billion fortune by investing in fashion labels including Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.
But he is not the only billionaire linked to Aston and last week reports said it had also held talks with Chinese steel magnate Li Shufu. He owns Geely Group. Geely, which controls Sweden’s Volvo, Britain’s Lotus Cars and holds a minority stake in Daimler, is primarily interested in a technology-sharing deal that could benefit businesses such as Lotus.
At present private equity firms Investindustrial and Kuwait’s Adeem control more than 60% of Aston Martin.
Its decision to pull the plug on the Rapide E may be in order to focus on the DBX SUV that, arguably, will appeal to a wider audience. Hopefully, this will be the saviour of one of the UK’s most infamous companies, let alone motoring brands.
Less green than the Rapid E the SUV has a 4.0 litre V8 with twin turbos. The claimed MPG EC combined test rocks in at 14. Your milage may be different..
Nissan sales in Europe are hurting with revenue down 25% in 2019. In the first 10 months of the year Nissan sold 334,500 cars in the EU.
To flip the chart back into growth Nissan plan to replace every model in its SUV range in Europe within the next 18 months and launch new models.
The electric SUV previewed by the Ariya concept at the Tokyo auto show in November should arrive late 2020 or early 2021.
The car uses a platform shared with partner Renault and will sit at the premium end of the SUV market.
Nissan relies on SUVs such the compact Qashqai, small Juke and midsize X-trail for most of its volume in Europe but the aging range has contributed to falling demand for the brand that is mianly Diesel powered.
Nissan started the European rollout of its latest generation Juke last month. The SUV replaces the model first unveiled in 2010. It is underpinned by the same platform used by alliance partner Renault for the Clio small car and Captur small SUV. Nissan is dropping the Juke’s diesel engine due to falling demand for the powertrain.
Nissan will unveil the new Qashqai in September, 2020. The Qashqai is Nissan’s best-seller in Europe, with 183,896 sold in the first 10 months, down 11 % for the year. Nissan will drop diesel versions of the next Qashqai and introduce its E-power hybrid technology that has been a big success for the brand in Japan.
Both the X-trail and Qashqai are expected to be offered with alliance partner Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid system used in the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Nissan took a controlling stake in Mitsubishi in 2017 when then CEO Carlos Ghosn managed the group with a strategic view.
In 2018, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was the best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle in Europe across all segments for the fourth consecutive year.
This year it’s being challenged by the new BMW 330e Plug In.
The four new models mean Nissan would have one of the youngest passenger car lineups of any brand in Europe. The company replaced the Micra small car in 2017 and Leaf EV in 2018.
In Japan, Nissan announced today that it will push a package of tech improvements to the Leaf.
None of the Leaf’s tech improvements are ground-shaking. The navigation system will allow drivers to set a destination and see all available electric-car charging stations along the way. Driver-assist features will now include blind-spot detection and faster automated parking. The Leaf’s enhanced mobile-app connectivity feature will improve status updates like vehicle location and allow remotely locking/unlocking the car. And it will allow you to see vehicle speed and location when somebody else is driving your Leaf.
What Car? is a well regarded if not exciting British Journal covering the nitty grityy busines of buying owning cars and allways has rather factutal focus. Some would say a dull read.
However it is well regarded espicially for its long reviews and comparisoions culminating in Car of the Year. The 2020 long list has just been published.
Highlighting the growing demand for electric vehicles in the UK, the 2020 awards mark the introduction of small electric car and large electric car categories, where previously there was a single electric car award.
Among the contenders in the small electric car category is the Kia e-Niro, which was named overall Car of the Year at the 2019 ceremony. Meanwhile, electric cars being considered for the first time this year include the Audi E-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQC, Renault Zoe and Tesla Model 3.
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “More so than ever, the models on our Car of the Year long list show the sheer variety of great cars UK motorists have to choose from. Indeed, this is one of the biggest long lists we’ve had in more than 40 years of doing these awards.
“Next year is set to be a big year for electric cars, so we felt it was only right to recognise a wider variety of electric vehicles for the increasing number of motorists who are looking to go green.What Car? editor Steve Huntingford
“Every model on our long list stands out in its own way, though; the judging panel will have a hard time whittling the choices down to pick the category winners and the overall Car of the Year 2020.”
The What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2020 will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Mayfair on Tuesday 14 January 2020.
The full list of nominees in the Hybrid and EV categories are below.
Who would you vote for?
Small electric car – new category
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Kia Soul EV
MG ZS EV
Seat Mii Electric
Skoda Citigo iEV
Large electric car – new category
Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model S Long Range
Tesla Model X Long Range
Audi Q5 TFSIe
Audi Q7 TFSIe
BMW X5 xDrive45e
DS7 Crossback E-Tense
Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in
Skoda Superb PHEV
Volkswagen Passat GTE
Volvo S60 T8
Volvo XC90 T8 – defending champion
Honda CR-V Hybrid
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – defending champion
Hyundai Kona Hybrid
Subaru Forester e-Boxer
Subaru XV e-Boxer
Toyota Prius facelift
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Award ceremony on January 14th 2020
Ford just unveiled its all-electric Mustang Mach-E at a glitzy event in Los Angeles
The top-range version of the car can travel up to 370 miles on a full charge and recharge 57 miles (92km) of range in 10 minutes on a high-power charge.
There are buttons in place of conventional door handles and storage space under the front bonnet.
The fastest model can accelerate from 0-60mph in under five seconds. By comparison, the Tesla Model X 100D can do 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds.
Like the Tesla, the Mustang Mach-E has a 15.5in (40cm) touch screen beside the steering wheel.
Prices range from £44,000 to £58,000 in the UK.
Mach-E is being built in Mexico and is available to pre-order now and will be sold exclusively online, with first deliveries expected around October next year.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E, is the firm’s first bespoke electrically powered SUV, with styling and – its maker claims – performance inspired by the muscle car.
The Tesla Model Y rival is the first production car to emerge from Ford’s Team Edison, a 70-strong Detroit group tasked with designing the firm’s next-generation EVs.
Murat Gueler, Ford’s European design chief, said the aim was to create “something special that stands out from the crowd”, describing the new machine as “an EV with soul”.
Kia take note!
The new electric car has taken the Mustang title as the first step in expanding the nameplate into a full model line. The Mach-E moniker is inspired by the Mach 1 variant of the first-gen Mustang.
The Mustang Mach-E sits on a new Ford EV platform called Global Electrified 2, or GE2 – an extensively reworked version of the C2 architecture used for the latest Focus and Kuga. Gueler said designers had input into setting the platform’s dimensions, both to set the wheelbase and to enable the extended bonnet, which is long for an EV but which was considered an iconic Mustang design feature.
The model will initially be launched with two battery pack sizes and three power outputs. The entry-level version will feature a single motor driving the rear wheels, with either a 75kWh battery and 254bhp motor or a 99kWh battery and 285bhp motor. Both produce 307lb ft, with a claimed 0-62mph time of under eight seconds and WLTP range of around 280 and 370 miles respectively.
The twin-motor all-wheel-drive version is offered with a 75kWh battery and 254bhp, or 99kWh and 332bhp. Both versions provide 429lb ft and a sub-seven-second 0-62mph time, with estimated ranges of 260 and 335 miles. Charging is available through an AC home charger or via DC fast chargers at up to 150kW.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E has been let loose, expanding the legendary pony car nameplate with a performance-oriented electric crossover. It comes out the gate sprinting, chasing toward rivals that thousands have already placed bets on: The Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. Ford’s foray seems directly targeted at Tesla’s midsize sedan and upcoming crossover, with similar dimensions, performance, styling, and pricing. Let’s leave aside philosophical discussions on whether the Mach-E is truly a Mustang and focus on the facts as we compare it against the Tesla twins.
Mach-E For Everyone
So let’s get into the nitty gritty. The Ford Mustang Mach-E comes with two lithium-ion battery pack options: standard range and extended range. The standard-range version uses a 75.7-kilowatt-hour, 288-cell pack, sending power to a large rear motor, while the extended-range option uses a larger 98.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack with 376 cells, sending power to both a motor at the front axle and rear.
The battery pack gives the Mustang Mach-E a maximum range of up to 300 miles per charge on certain trim levels when equipped with the optional extended-range battery pack and rear-drive layout.
All-wheel-drive models with the same extended-range batteries will see their range drop to 270 miles. The standard-range model with the smaller battery pack and rear-wheel-drive can cover 230 miles, while the same battery pack driving all four wheels drops that figure to 210 miles.
The only outlier is the Mach-E GT Performance. While the Mach-E GT Performance gets the same extended-range battery-pack and all-wheel-drive layout as the First Edition and Premium models, its performance-oriented approach means its total range drops to 250 miles. Naturally, range varies depending on how you spec it:
The Mustang Mach-E does come in a many different flavours. But consumers can only choose from two options beginning in 2020: Premium and First Edition. The First Edition model comes with the extended range battery pack and all-wheel drive standard, as well as unique visual treatments like red brake callipers, metallic pedal covers, and unique badging. But those hoping to get the least expensive Mach-E will have to wait until 2021, when the base Mach-E Select arrives.
That more affordable model offers a standard-range battery pack and either rear or all-wheel drive. The more-powerful California Route 1 model, which comes exclusively with extended range and all-wheel drive, won’t be available until early 2021 as well. The range-topping Mach-E GT Performance, the most powerful of the group ( for now), doesn’t go on sale until later in 2021.
Dial ‘E’ For Excitement
Don’t fret, Mustang faithful, performance is still a major part of the Mach-E’s equation. Even with its impressive range and charging capabilities, Ford tells us the Mach-E “still drives like a Mustang.” And has the horsepower of one, too.
The most powerful model, the Mach-E GT Performance, produces 459 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque, giving it the ability to hit 60 miles per hour in about 3.5 seconds. But, as mentioned, that model won’t be available until the spring of 2021. Until then, buyers will have to make do with the next quickest models available in 2020: the Premium and First Edition.
With the extended-range battery pack and all-wheel drive, the Premium and First Edition trims produce up to 332 horsepower and 417 pound-feet of torque.
Like most EV, even the lowliest Mach-E is no slouch. The base Select model with the standard-range battery pack and rear-wheel drive produces 255 hp and 306 lb-ft. Adding all-wheel drive to that same trim bumps the torque figure to 429 lb-ft. The base Select model, though, is the only trim that doesn’t offer an extended-range battery pack.
Athletic Exterior, Upscale Interior
The stretched, revised pony logos on the six-sided grille and trunk lid give away the Mach-E’s family ties. But even the angled LED headlights share something in common with the coupe with which it shares its name, as do the tri-bar taillights. Outside of the obvious crossover cues and four-door setup, there are few areas where the Mach-E stands out next to its sibling.
For one, the Mach-E has no door handles. Instead, there are pillar-mounted buttons that pop the doors open upon pressing them, and a pull handle on the front driver and passenger sides. The rear doors, for whatever reason, don’t get a pull handle. And the wheels don’t carry over from the coupe, either. Each version of the Mach-E gets its own 18-, 19-, or 20-inch wheel designs.
You can put down a reservation for the Mustang Mach-E right now, but there’s a little catch. At this point, you can only place a £1,000 deposit for the limited First Edition model, which has an estimated starting price of £58,000, the AWD model, which starts at an estimated £46,000 or the Mach -E standard model from £40,270.
All for delivery in late 2020.
The Mustang Mach-E First Edition comes nicely loaded with features such as red brake callipers, sports pedals with metallic covers, scuff plates marked ‘First Edition,’ and contrasting stitching for the seats. The launch variant of the EV is available exclusively with the optional extended-range battery and all-wheel-drive, which results in an estimated range of up to 335 miles (540 kilometers) between charges. The performance is a little on the non-racy side with a 0 – 60 MPH posted at less than 7 seconds.
We assume these UK models are Right Hand Drive. Ford has ofered previous Mustangs in the UK but most until very recently were US left hand drive versions. The curent range including the V8 and Bullitt are Right hand drive.
Mach-E Vs Model Y, I-Pace, EQC, E-Tron, Polestar 2
The 2020 Mustang Mach-E is not only the first four-door Mustang, but it’s also the first Mustang crossover, which will irk two-door Mustang fans. But the Mach-E now pits the Mustang name against a new cast of competitors that aren’t from just Dodge or Chevy. Ford is now competing against other electric vehicles from the likes of Mercedes, Jaguar, and Tesla.
It appears the Mach-E is competing against Tesla Model Y in price, performance, and more; however, neither of them are on sale yet. That means some specs could change before production begins, including the Mustang’s impressive performance numbers.
The styling strongly links the EV to the regular Mustang, reflected in features such as the badge and front and rear lights, as well as several lines along the bodywork. Gueler said: “The approach was to put this car in a unique spot: only Ford can do Mustang. In the next few years there will be hundreds of EV nameplates, but with Mustang we can load up with emotion and drama.”
The car lacks conventional door handles, instead featuring buttons that pop open the doors and small holds protruding from the front doors. Owners can use their smartphones as keys, or use a keypad built into the B-pillar.
The Mustang Mach-E sports a more radical interior, with a wide dashboard featuring a Mustang ‘double cowl’ and built-in soundbar. The dash is dominated by a Tesla-style vertically mounted 15.5in touchscreen with a rotary dial fixed onto it using special glue. Many of the car’s systems are controlled through the screen, which uses a new Sync 4 operating system that can accept over-the-air updates. There is also a 10.2in digital cluster for the driver, while the steering wheel retains a number of physical controls.
To learn more or order see Mustang – Mach E website at Ford. UK.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV range has been extensively revised with a new six-variant line up comprised of Verve, Design, Dynamic, Dynamic Safety, Exceed and Exceed Safety trim levels replacing the previous confusing range on 3, 4 Juro, H and HS.
All new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV models feature revised seating with electronic lumbar support as standard on all models and re-contoured rear seats for more comfort and support. The dashboard has also been revised to accommodate new climate controls and a larger infotainment systems.
The new, entry-level Verve trim offers many luxury features including DAB radio, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless operation, rear parking sensors, a rear spoiler, cruise control, electric folding door mirrors, LED DRLs, headlamps washers, automatic headlamps, rains sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear view mirror and a programmable climate control system which can warm or cool the car in advance of a journey. Prices for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Verve start at £35,455 OTR.
The new Design trim, priced from £36,455 OTR, adds 18-inch alloy wheels, Mitsubishi’s new eight-inch Smartphone Line Display Audio (SDA) system with smartphone integration (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), a more intuitive interface than the outgoing version and integrated reversing camera display.
The Dynamic, priced from £38,555 OTR, adds leather upholstery with an eight-way adjustable electric driver’s seat, black headlining, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert, while the top Exceed variant, priced from £40,955 OTR, adds integrated TomTom satellite navigation, diamond quilted leather upholstery, LED headlights with LED high beam, LED front fog lights, 360-degree camera, heated steering wheel, power tailgate and twin rear USB sockets.
The Dynamic Safety (£41,055 0TR) and Exceed Safety (£43,455 OTR) add Forward Collision Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Ultrasonic Misacceleration mitigation System, automatic high-beam and front and rear parking sensors to their respective specifications.
With close to 50,000 registered in the UK since 2014, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV remains the UK’s most popular plug-in vehicle with a real-world EV range of 28 miles, emissions of 46g/km and an official fuel economy figure of 139.7 mpg (WLTP).
This are strong sales and some what surprising as the tax benefit of the Outlander has been clobbered by our Government and criticised by Mitsubishi as being incomprehensible.
For example The Outlander PHEV (at least those optioned to more than £40,000 before incentives) is taxed like the Range Rover SDV8, a vehicle which has five times higher CO2 emission.
After Plug-In Car grant was lowered from £5,000 to £4,500 (BEVs) and £2,500 (PHEV with prce tag below £60,000), the new VED taxes deteriorate the environment for plug-in hybrid vehicle adoption.
From April 1, 2017 only BEVs (and other zero emission cars) keep the current tax relief at £0.
The plug-in hybrids (emissions: 1-50 g/km of CO2) are counted at £130 annual, but if their price exceeds £40,000 there is £310 annual supplement for five years from the second year of registration.
“The Mitsubishi had a VED rate of £10 in the first year of ownership, compared with the Range Rover’s £1200. However, for the ensuing five years, both vehicles will attract a £310 supplement on top of their VED rates because they cost more than £40,000.
An Outlander PHEV owner will pay £130 in VED, plus the £310 supplement, making £440 per year. The Range Rover will attract £140 in VED, making £450 when the £310 supplement is added.”
A recent survey of Outlander PHEV customers reveals that half their average weekly mileage is driven in electric mode, with 68% charging at least once per day and 90% charging several times (2-3 times or more) per week. 83% would recommend an Outlander PHEV to family and friends and 25% say they are considering a pure electric vehicle for the next vehicle, making it a true gateway vehicle towards an all-EV future and an important step on the road to zero carbon.
Our friends at Car Wow have added a nice charge point map to their website.
Map is clean and easy to use with no pesky adverts.
See Car Wow – Electric car section / Map/
Works well on mobile and desktop. Plan with desktop and then drive with mobile using directions.
MINI has today unveiled its first fully electric model – the MINI Electric. Production at the Oxford plant will begin in late 2019, with first deliveries in March 2020.
This looks to us a very promising EV.
This looks to us a very promising EV. The first full EV from Mini that compliments the Plug-In model.
A reasonable electric drivetrain pack comprising 30 KWh Lithium Ion pack with BMW electric motor that gives 0-60 in just over 7 seconds. Not as fast as some EVs such a Telsa Model 3 and more in line with Nissan LEAF that also gets to 60 in just over 7 seconds.
The price is super competitive at £24,400 on the road after the Plug-In grant. And the might of BMW finance is offering a PCP payment plan from £299 / month.
Order now for delivery in March 2020.
Every inch a MINI, with performance close to the hot-hatch MINI Cooper S, it is temptingly priced and demand is expected to be strong. Order books open today at MINI retailers and on the MINI UK website.
Characteristic MINI design
The MINI Electric is based on the same body shell as the 3-Door Hatch, with a number of specific differences. An embossed MINI Electric logo appears on car’s side scuttles, as well as on the tailgate and front radiator grille.
The front grille features the hallmark hexagonal shape but is closed, as the car requires less cooling. This also contributes to excellent aerodynamics, as do the enclosed undercarriage, the rear apron and the special 17-inch MINI Electric Corona Spoke 2-tone wheels, which are optional.
The charging plug is located above the right-hand rear wheel, where the petrol filler would normally be.
Boot volume can be compromised in electric cars but the MINI Electric retains the full MINI Hatch 211 litres, expanding to 731 litres when the rear backrests are folded down.
The battery pack has 12 modules of lithium-ion cells arranged in a T-shaped unit in the vehicle floor between the front seats and below the rear seats, providing a battery capacity of 32.6 kWh.
The motor is the latest, powerful version of the synchronous electric motor developed by the BMW Group and provides a maximum output of 184 HP and maximum torque of 270 Nm. As a result, the car accelerates to 62mph in just 7.3 seconds with top speed limited to 93mph.
The power electronics are shielded by a reinforced bumper carrier and the motor support frame, while the high-voltage battery is protected by a solid base plate. With an unladen DIN weight of 1,365 kilograms, the MINI Electric is only 145kgs heavier than the current MINI Cooper S 3-Door with Automatic transmission
In accordance with new EU law, the car is fitted with acoustic pedestrian protection for low speed driving, with a distinctive sound created especially for the car generated via a speaker system.
Even more dynamic
Electric drive takes the trademark MINI go-kart driving feeling to new heights, thanks to new suspension technology designed for this model. With a centre of gravity that is at least 30 millimetres lower than in the MINI Cooper S and the reduced weight over the front wheels thanks to the electric motor, close to perfect weight distribution helps the new MINI Electric achieve exceptional driving dynamics.
The MINI Electric has an innovative Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system which gives excellent traction at set-off and outstanding driving stability in brake energy recovery mode, as well as when accelerating out of tight bends.
Four driving modes
The car offers as standard four MINI Driving Modes – selected via a switch located on the right-hand side of the toggle bar. SPORT mode has more direct steering and a more rapid power delivery. The MID setting has less aggressive steering while GREEN mode features more gentle accelerator actuation. In GREEN+ mode, some comfort functions such as air conditioning are limited or deactivated to save further power and increase range.
A toggle switch to the left of the start/stop toggle provides the choice of intense or low-level power regeneration– regardless of the MINI Driving Modes to allow the driver to choose the best setting for their own style of driving. This recharges the battery when the driver lifts off the accelerator, preserving energy, and acts as a braking force.
New digital dashboard
The new MINI Electric has a new digital dashboard with a 5.5-inch colour screen behind the steering wheel. Road speed is shown at the centre in figures with a peripheral scale band, as well as information on the charge level of the battery, the selected MINI Driving Mode, the status of the driver assistance systems and check control messages.
In addition, details of the available range, current drive power, outside temperature, time and mileage are displayed, with traffic sign detection reports and directions from the navigation system.
If the vehicle is connected to a power socket or charging station, it’s possible to read off the time, outside temperature, available range and the charge status from the new dashboard. Charge completion time is also displayed and the colour of the panel changes depending on charge status.
The MINI Electric comes with both home and public charging cables as standard, designed for AC and DC charging using Type 2 and CCS Combo 2 plugs.
Above the car socket, a charge level indicator displays orange for start of charge, pulsating yellow light for active charging and green for a fully charged battery. At a 50kW DC fast-charging station an 80 per cent charge is reached from zero in 35 minutes.
The new digital dashboard provides information on the current flow of energy and the range, as well as offering ways of increasing range by deactivating comfort functions or boosting energy regeneration. On the navigation map, a circle that indicates the car’s range can be shown. When the route guidance starts, it displays the fastest and shortest route and also suggests a GREEN route involving the lowest level of power consumption.
The standard Navigation includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen in the central instrument panel. This allows MINI Online and Apple CarPlay, as well as offering Real Time Traffic Updates (RTTI) which updates the navigation system automatically and displays details of battery charge status and range. In addition there is a map view which shows public charging stations in the local area and remote services allows the driver to control the charging process via a connected mobile phone.
The exterior mirror caps are finished as standard in Vigorous Grey and optionally in yellow, as is the horizontal blade on the front radiator grille. Regardless of the trim level selected, all exterior finishes can be combined with roof and exterior mirror caps in body finish (not available with the body colour White Silver metallic), or in black or white. Customers also have a choice of alloy wheels in 16 and 17 inches, including the new, model exclusive Corona Spoke alloy.
Dual zone automatic air conditioning with separate ventilation and temperature control for the driver and front passenger as standard. The heater is particularly efficient, using 75 per cent less energy than a conventional version.
Pricing and trim levels
There will the three trim levels, beginning with the standard trim, with a lease price starting at £299* and list price of £24,400 OTR, after the government plug-in car grant has been applied.
The mid-level offers a cloth/leather-look upholstery, additional exterior body colour and wheel options, as well as adding rear Park Distance Control (PDC), Rear Camera, Seat Heating, Driving Assistance Pack and Logo Projection. The mid-level style MINI Electric is available at £26,400 OTR including the grant.
For customers looking for a premium driving experience, the top level offers the following on top of the mid-level trim: front PDC, Park Assist, Harmon Kardon sound system and Head-up Display. It also adds a Panoramic Sun Roof, Matrix LED’s and provides an upgrade to the 8.8” infotainment touch screen. Wireless phone charging is also included, in addition to MINI Yours Leather Lounge upholstery, a choice of five alloy wheels and six exterior body colours. The top style MINI Electric is available at £30,400 OTR including the grant.
Orders are being taken from today, with first deliveries in March 2020. Customers wishing to book a production slot can place a £500 deposit either with a MINI retailer or online at www.mini.co.uk.
Made in Oxford
MINI unveiled the new MINI Electric at the Oxford plant, the home of the brand where the very first Mini was built 60 years ago.
Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production – and previous plant director of Oxford – Oliver Zipse said, “We are entering an era in which electric cars will become a normal choice for our customers. The MINI Electric will kick off our new model offensive for fully electric vehicles. By 2023, two years ahead of schedule, we will have 25 electrified models on the market. More than half of them will be fully electric”.
The MINI Electric will be fully integrated into the production process at Oxford, running down the same lines as all the conventional models.
“This plant builds 1000 cars per day, with a new MINI coming off the line every 67 seconds, so the integration gives excellent production flexibility and allows supplies of the new model to be adjusted according to demand,” explained Plant Oxford managing director, Peter Weber, “This is such a proud moment for every single one of our team.”
David George, director of MINI in the UK said, “Now our customers can have everything they love about MINI, but with all the advantages of an electric car – lower environmental impact and running costs and they never have to visit a petrol station again”.
Research published today by What Car? magazine and supported by MINI showed that more than 1.5 million UK households which are perfectly suited to running an electric car, are not yet doing so. They have off street parking to allow easy at-home recharging and more than one car in the household, one of which never does more than 100 miles in a day. MINI’s own data shows that the average distance driven each day is 26 miles.
“We believe the new MINI Electric could be a tipping point for those who have been thinking about choosing an electric car, to take that step now,” added George. “We aim to introduce a whole new group of drivers in the UK to the fun and cost savings of electric driving, in a way only MINI can”.
Secretary of State for business, Greg Clark, welcomed the news, “Our automotive industry has long been a source of national pride, and the unique collaboration between Government and industry through our Industrial Strategy has helped put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero emission vehicles with one in five electric cars in Europe now built in the UK.
“The production of the electric MINI in the UK will play a key role in accelerating the adoption of cleaner, greener vehicles and I am delighted this modern British icon will be manufactured in Oxford”.
Of course Brexit may have other ideas on this. Look like a great start for the UK EV industry.
*Monthly rentals from £299 plus £4,000 initial rental for a 48 month Personal Contract Hire agreement.
Porsche released images from the Taycan testing
The first purely electrically driven sports car of Porsche, the Taycan, is currently completing its final test drives before it enters series production.
In Scandinavia, just a few kilometres away from the Arctic Circle, it is proving its potential in terms of driving dynamics on snow and ice. At the same time, Porsche engineers are taking advantage of the summer in the Southern Hemisphere. In South Africa, they are conducting performance tests, as well as final adjustments in terms of continuous performance and reproducibility. In Dubai they are carrying out hot-climate endurance runs and testing battery charging under extreme conditions. The 30 countries across the globe in which these comprehensive tests are being carried out have temperatures that range from minus 35 to plus 50 degree Celsius.
“After carrying out computer simulations and comprehensive bench tests early on, we have now reached the final phase of this demanding testing programme,” underlines the vice president of the model line, Stefan Weckbach: “Before the Taycan is launched on the market at the end of the year, we will have covered approximately 6 million kilometres across the globe. We are already very happy with the current status of the vehicles. The Taycan is going to be a true Porsche.”
The Taycan is going to be a true Porsche.”
Electric cars have to undergo the same rigorous testing programme as sport cars with combustion engines. In addition to displaying superior performance, this always includes proving unrestricted suitability for everyday use in all climate conditions. Particularly demanding features such as charging the battery or temperature control of the drive train and the interior under extreme conditions are additional aspects in the battery-powered models. Other typical Porsche development targets include circuit performance, multiple accelerations, as well as a range suitable for everyday use.
Facts from the Taycan testing phase.
Overall distance covered: Approximately 6 million kilometres, of which 2 million were endurance run kilometres
Countries: A total of 30, including the USA, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Finland
Temperatures: From minus 35 to plus 50 degree Celsius
Air humidity: From 20 to 100 per cent
Altitude: From 85 metres below to 3,000 metres above sea level
Charging cycles: Over 100,000 using various charging technologies across the globe
Development team: Around 1,000 test drivers, technicians and engineers
Virtual drive through “The Green Hell”.
Test experts were able to build upon the comprehensive findings from the digital testing stage using digital prototypes. At present, computers are used to design the body, drive, chassis, electronics and overall vehicle of a new model and to simulate their functions – which includes how they work together. In total, the virtual prototypes of the Taycan have completed more than 10 million digital kilometres.
This meant that development engineers started driving a Taycan around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a driving simulator at an early stage, so that they could test and evaluate its circuit performance. During this process, they focused on the electrical energy management, which plays an important role in achieving a sub-eight-minute lap time on the 20.6-kilometre (timed distance) Nordschleife.
Read more at Porsche Website: