Motors in Wells

Vibrating device has been designed to win over car drivers who miss the buzz of an internal combustion engine

Hyundai and Kia are exploring the idea of making their electric cars vibrate in an effort to win over petrol and diesel car drivers who don't like the silent motion of an electric car. The Korean brands have filed patents in the US for a device that can mimic the vibrations of an internal combustion engine and hopes that it will win over drivers who miss the thrum of a traditional engine.

Since the arrival of the electric car, car manufacturers have introduced numerous systems designed to appease petrol and diesel car owners and make them feel more at home in an electric car. Brands such as Porsche, Ford and Mazda all offer artificial motor sounds that can be piped into the cabin. While most can be turned off, the lack of an engine sound is often seen as a barrier for adoption among car enthusiasts – especially those with performance cars.

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Volkswagen pull wraps off ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

23rd Mar 2022 | Reviews

Two tone colour schemes hark back to the classic campers

The wraps have finally been peeled off one of the most exciting, interesting and practical electric vehicles ever created – the Volkswagen ID. Buzz and ID. Buzz Cargo.

The all-electric van and MPV will arrive in the UK this autumn, and use the same basic mechanical parts as the familiar ID.3 and ID.4 models.

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The Dacia Spring's dismal EuroNCAP rating of just one star has threatened to limit the car's appeal

Dacia is planning to call time on the budget Dacia Spring electric car ahead of an all-new model arriving in 2024. The plan, which was announced as part of Renault Group future electric car strategy, will see the Spring make way for a more advanced model based on the same underpinnings as the forthcoming Renault 5 EV.

During the Renault Group's annual press conference, boss Luca de Meo showed a number of slides highlighting the group's launch plan across all brands (Renault, Dacia and Alpine). For 2024, De Meo confirmed that the Group plans to launch six new all-electric cars: the reborn Renault 5, a new Renault 4, an un-named Renault electric car, an Alpine version of the Renault 5, a van and what De Meo called a "successor to the Spring".

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The end for kerbed wheels? Fisker brings tech to prevent alloy damage

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

9th Mar 2022 | Reviews

The Fisker Ocean is due to hit the UK in mid 2023

Do your alloys look like a dog has been chewing on them? The new Fisker could make kerb damage to your precious wheels a thing of the past, thanks to a sophisticated radar warning system.

The Fisker Ocean, which had its European debut this week, has what Fisker describes as "ground-breaking Digital Radar technology" with five high-definition sensors on the four corners and the front of the car to provide 360° coverage.

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Toyota goes back to the future with plan for a manual gearshift

By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent

2nd Mar 2022 | Reviews

Could a future Toyota electric car feature a manual gearshift and clutch?

One of the key attractions for many electric car buyers is the simplicity of the driving experience. No gears to stir, no clutch to pump, just a pedal to go and another to stop. Because electric motors deliver full power and torque from 0mph to 100+mph, most electric cars only need a single gear.

That hasn't stopped Toyota filing a patent application in the US for what is effectively a manual gear selector for an electric car. The move, which has baffled automotive engineers (especially in America where manual gearboxes are a rarity), could pave the way for a Toyota electric car with a fully functional manual gearshift.

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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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