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Motors in Sidmouth

Could this be a common sight in the UK soon?

Tesla has opened its Supercharger network to non-Tesla drivers living in four more countries as the brand expands its trial. Selected sites in France, Germany and Norway have been opened up all to electric car owners following a successful trial in The Netherlands last year. Although Belgian electric car owners can access the new sites, no Supercharger sites in Belgium have been opened up.

The move, which has been welcomed by non-Tesla drivers in the countries where the network has opened, marks the start of a new phase of the trial.

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Volkswagen Golf GTE Review

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

16th Feb 2022 | Reviews

The plug-in hybrid Golf is smart, efficient and fast, but it's not the hot hatch experience that you might expect and other PHEV alternatives offer more for your money.

The Volkswagen Golf GTE is one of those cars that seems like it has every imaginable box ticked. It'll do 40 miles of pure electric running (according to official WLTP figures) courtesy of its 13kWh battery, before a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine kicks in to keep the GTE functioning like any 'normal' petrol car.

Due to the Golf's charging rate being capped at 3.6kW, the fastest you'll be able to charge that battery is just under four hours from a dedicated home wallbox, or some five hours from a normal three-pin domestic socket. The cables are provided for both of these charging methods, and it's reassuring to know that the Golf GTE's Type 2 charging socket is compatible with most public car chargers.

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Mercedes EQA Review

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

9th Feb 2022 | Reviews

Mercedes ignores the trend to create purpose-built electric cars, instead giving us a mini-SUV based on the existing GLA. It's competitive but compromised as a result.

While rivals have been scrambling to produce designed-from-the-ground-up electric cars such as the BMW i3 and VW ID.3, Mercedes has taken a more practical approach – just convert existing cars. The first example of this was the EQC, which is an impressive machine but undoubtably has a few compromises as a result of sharing big bits with the petrol and diesel versions.

The company's next all-electric car was this EQA, which uses exactly the same formula. Unlike the posh and pricey EQC though, this is aimed at the more affordable end of the electric car market with prices starting at £44,495.

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New Tesla Model 999 - Police trial Model 3

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

2nd Feb 2022 | Reviews

Trials of Teslas with US police forces have showed big cost savings

Police forces in the UK are to try out a Tesla Model 3 to see how it copes with the demands of emergency work.

Various constabularies have used electric cars previously, but these have always been for low speed patrol work rather than quick response duties. The Model 3 Performance will be tried out as a full-blown fast response and traffic patrol car, potentially replacing cars such as BMW's 330d and a Volvo's S60.

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Vauxhall Mokka-e Review

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

28th Jan 2022 | Reviews

Vauxhall's Mokka has gone from being barely-palatable to a gourmet delight. It's stylish, good to drive and pretty efficient too.

Vauxhall is making serious headway in its drive to electrify its range. The battery-powered Corsa-e is one the UK's best-selling and most affordable small electric cars, while the Mokka-e has been designed cater for buyers who need a little more space and demand a lot more style.

Looks are always a question of personal taste of course, but there is no doubt that the new Mokka is now a much more interesting car to look at. If you go for the electric version (Vauxhall offers the Mokka with a traditional petrol or diesel engine as well), you'll get a 50kWh battery and a motor which produces around 134bhp. That's actually more powerful than the petrol or diesel versions and is about the same as you'd expect from something like a 1.6-litre engine in the old model.

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Electric overtakes diesel in Europe

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

25th Jan 2022 | Reviews

A record number of electric cars were sold in Europe in December

A record number of electric cars were sold in Europe in December, with 176,000 registrations during the month. Meanwhile, the sale of diesel cars continued its collapse, dropping to 160,000 for the month.

In the UK the figures were even more pronounced, with diesel sales plummeting from 15,813 in December 2020 to 5,201 in 2021 while battery cars rose from 21,914 to 27,705 over the same period.

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Relaxy in a taxi - Electric cab makers LEVC reveal campervan conversion

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

20th Jan 2022 | Reviews

Making waves - e-Camper features a pop-top roof

The makers of the hybrid London Taxi, LEVC, have released the first details and artist impressions of a campervan conversion, called the e-Camper.

Campervan sales have grown hugely after the pandemic as holidaymakers are forced to stay in the UK rather than travel abroad. This has led to a raft of new conversions, including pure electric-powered camper versions of the Vauxhall Vivaro and Nissan e-NV200.

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Dacia Spring Review

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

14th Jan 2022 | Car of the Week

The Dacia Spring is cheap enough to make buying a traditional petrol car look expensive

Big-value brands are big news. Just as Aldi, Lidl and Primark are thriving, so too is car maker Dacia. It's models cost thousands less than the equivalents from the big-selling brands.

Now its attention has been turned to the electric car market, with the Spring. This isn't a boring hatchback or tiny city car; instead it's a modern looking baby SUV.

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Skoda Octavia vRS iV PHEV Review

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

14th Jan 2022 | Car of the Week

The Octavia vRS is a great all-rounder, especially in estate form.

Performance car fans know that the Octavia vRS is a car you shouldn't underestimate. For years, it's offered VW Golf GTI performance in a more practical body shape - with a lower price tag. But now the vRS has shifted up a gear with this plug-in hybrid version.

The iV version of the vRS uses a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to a 113bhp electric motor and a 13kWh battery. The power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and in the Skoda total power is a pretty pokey 242bhp.

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The hands off approach to driving - are we ready?

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

14th Jan 2022 | Car of the Week

Autopilot is a key part of the new Tesla Model S and X models

Drivers are soon set to be allowed to take their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road on motorways in the UK, the government has just announced. It's the long awaited first move to autonomous driving that all the major car firms have been working on for years.

The ground-breaking plans will allow hands free driving in cars fitted with lane keeping technology on traffic-filled motorways at speeds up to 37 mph.

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