Electric models continuing to charge into the market
It feels like another week on electric avenue, which coincidentally is what Goodwood is calling its electric vehicle (EV) display area at the Festival of Speed. Great to see that the event is going ahead, in fact that’s probably the best news this week.
Back to the electric stuff, sorry petrolheads, there’s something further down for you. Volvo had a big tech day this week in which it also revealed its Concept Recharge, a sign of things to come. It previews the first models the Swedish automaker will produce that will only be available as pure battery-electric, with no internal combustion engine option. This means more interior space with the batteries in a pack beneath the floor. It also allows for a new design language as well as more tech, such as the self-driving capabilities that come from things like Lidar mounted in the roof.
After years of speculation that Nissan would close its Sunderland plant post-Brexit, everyone can breathe a sigh of relief because the Japanese company is investing £1-billion and turning it into an EV manufacturing ecosystem - that’s a place that makes EVs and components to the rest of us. The plant will build a new compact crossover to sit below the forthcoming Ariya, as well as its batteries thanks to a new battery manufacturing facility on the site.
It’s no coincidence that Nissan’s alliance partner Renault also had some big announcements to make this week at its tech day. What really grabbed our attention though was the promise that the new electric Renault 5 will cost a third less than the Zoe when it arrives in the UK early in 2024. We could be tempted, really we could.
Then what better way to transition back to the traditional combustion engine that with a vehicle that has a bit of both, in this case a new model revealed this week by LEVC, the London Electric Vehicle Company, the same company that makes the new black cabs. It’s shown a compact camper van with a pop-up roof and the ability to drive in electric mode for up to 60 miles. Granted it’s more hybrid than pure electric and it will cost well over sixty grand, but, yeah actually we think we’ll take a VW.
One for the petrolheads
Talking of VW and we’re back to pure petrol, not that there’s anything pure about petrol, Volkswagen revealed its new Polo GTi this week. In a sign of the times, all the official information talks about the new IQ Light across the front, the driver assistance technology, Beats sound system, new colour options and the infotainment systems. Except for saying it has a sports chassis and is lowered by 15mm, there’s a complete lack of any details relating to its performance. What has happened to the world?