Jaguar I-PACE

All-new Jaguar I-PACE Revealed In Full

Jaguar has revealed their new Jaguar I-PACE, all-electric SUV in full. Designed from the outset as an electric vehicle (EV), Jaguar says the new I-PACE offers aero-efficient design and interior space for five adults and luggage.

The new Jaguar I-PACE should hit roads this summer.

The new I-PACE is all wheel drive, while 400hp and 696Nm deliver 0 to 100kmh in 4.5 seconds.

A 90kWh Lithium-ion battery delivers up to 386 kilometres, with EV navigation to ensure range-optimised routing.

The new Jaguar I-PACE has a bespoke EV aluminium architecture that they say delivers Jaguar’s most rigid body structure with 50:50 weight distribution.

The I-PACE will be able to receive wireless over-the-air updates to ensure the car always have the latest software. The I-PACE will also be the first Jaguar to use the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system.

The I-PACE joins the Jaguar F-PACE and E-Pace in Jaguar's SUV family.


Hyundai Kona Electric

New Hyundai Kona Electric On The Way

The new Hyundai Kona Electric will have a range of up to 470km

Hyundai has released details of the new Hyundai Kona Electric, "the first fully-electric subcompact SUV on the European market".

The new Hyundai Kona Electric will be available with two different powertrains. The long-range battery version provides driving range of up to 470 kilometres, with maximum power of 204hp. The system has 395Nm of torque and 0 to 100 kmh is 7.6 seconds.

The more basic version drives up to 300 kilometres on a single charge, with 135hp.

The battery packs will not compromise the cabin space because of the Kona's new specially designed platform. The Kona EV sits a little higher than the standard Kona and it's also a small bit longer. The boot is 332 litres, including storage of the charging cable.

Technology on board Kona Electric

The Hyundai Kona Electric has a shift-by-wire operation gear control which enables operation of the car simply by pressing buttons to switch driving modes.

An adjustable regenerative braking system allows the driver to adjust the intensity of the regenerative braking by using the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel. The system recuperates additional energy when possible.

A seven-inch supervision cluster gives information about the car’s driving performance and a head-up display sits in the driver's direct line of sight.

The Hyundai Kona Electric is equipped with Hyundai's latest active safety and driving assistance technologies, called SmartSense. Some of the aids include Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Detection including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Speed Limit Information Function.

The Korean brand already markets the Hyundai Ioniq Electric in Ireland, an-all electric hatchback.

Finally, we don't know yet when the Hyundai Kona Electric will arrive in Ireland, but check www.hyundai.ie for more information.

Thinking of buying a Kona? Read my review of the Hyundai Kona 1.6 petrol.


Nissan Leaf

Irish Pricing For New 2018 Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf will arrive in Ireland in March 2018, priced from €26,290 for the entry grade XE.

Pricing includes the €5,000 Government Grant for electric vehicles.

SV models are available from €28,690, Launch Edition from €29,590, SV Premium from €29,940 and SVE from €32,600.

What's new for the 2018 Nissan Leaf?

The new Nissan Leaf offers a significant update over the previous model with new styling, more technology and a higher capacity 40kwh battery.

The range has increased by 50% to 378 kilometres on the NEDC cycle.

Power is up by 38% to 150hp compared to the outgoing model.

Nissan e-Pedal is a standard feature. The e-Pedal allows the driver to start from a standstill, accelerate, brake and even bring the car to a stop using just the throttle pedal.

Standard safety features include lane departure warning, intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, intelligent lane intervention, cross traffic alert and high-beam assist.

The entry model also comes with Nissan Intelligent Key and push button start, 6.6 kW on-board charger and 50kW ChaDeMo rapid charge port as standard.

The Nissan Leaf SV adds Nissan Connect EV 7" touchscreen telematics system. It includes active charging, eco-routing, driving range, and nearby charging stations. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available as standard on SV.

SV Premium adds features such as heated seats, around-view monitor, electric folding door mirrors, auto-dimming rear view mirror, moving object detection and 17” alloy wheels. There's also the option of ProPILOT.

We're told by Nissan Ireland that the launch edition is sold out. For the record these models feature ProPILOT, a driver assistance technology designed for motorway use in single-lane traffic. It helps the driver in heavy motorway traffic and long commutes due to steering assist, acceleration and braking.

Finally, top of the range SVE grade includes ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system and Bose premium audio with 7 speakers. There's also leather heated front and rear seats on this model, and full LED intelligent auto headlights.

For more information visit www.nissan.ie


Renault is opening the first dedicated electric vehicle concept store in Europe

Renault To Open First Dedicated Electric Vehicle Concept Store In Europe

On 16th February, Renault is to open its first European concept store - the Renault Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in Stockholm.

Visitors will be able to discover the benefits of electric mobility and find answers to their questions on the subject. This new shop window for Renault electric vehicles will be located in Täby Centrum, one of Sweden’s largest shopping centres, on the outskirts of Stockholm.

“We are delighted to be opening this store which will enable us to engage with people about electric mobility, help them to learn more about the subject and give them a chance to share their ideas. As Europe’s number one EV brand, we will be able to use this concept store to interact with the public and help people to understand the opportunities and benefits of electric motoring,” said Gilles Normand, Groupe Renault Senior Vice President, Electric Vehicles.

The concept store features a number of distinct zones, including a display of electric vehicles and areas where visitors will find information about charging infrastructure and systems, local legislation, subsidies, conditions of purchase and electric-vehicle-related services, as well as a place to relax and exchange ideas.

Visitors will be able to test drive electric vehicles from the centre and order new electric vehicles. Advisors will be available seven days a week to assist visitors. The store will also feature an advanced digital experience, including an exclusive electric car configurator to enable customers to find the model that meets their everyday needs.

“We are responding to emerging customer expectations by opening new urban distribution channels and by harnessing digital tools to deliver a better customer experience. As Electric cars is the leading technology to provide sustainable mobility for all, Renault has brought these two challenges together under one roof by proposing a new approach of the Zero Emission range distribution, and opening the first Electrical Vehicle Experience Centre in partnership with our major distributor in Sweden Bilia.

Stockholm was on top of our list because of the fast Electric Vehicle market expansion in Sweden, and the strong willingness of Swedish government to promote this technology”, added Zakaria Zeghari, Europe Renault Dealer Network Development Director.

Moving forward, Renault is looking at opening similar stores in other European cities.


Pictured at the SPSV Grant Launch l-r CEO of Nissan Ireland, James McCarthy, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross and Alan Nolan Director General SIM

New Incentive For Taxis To Switch To Electric Vehicles

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) has welcomed the announcement by Minister Ross of a grant scheme for Taxi/Limousine/Hackney (SPSV), aimed at increasing the uptake of new electric vehicles (EVs) in the Irish taxi fleet.

The electric vehicle initiative will give Taxi drivers up to €7,000 towards the purchase of a new electric car on top of the VRT relief and SEAI grants. Grant incentives are available for a range of eligible private and commercial electric vehicles along with an SEAI home charger grant scheme.

Alan Nolan Director General SIMI commented: “SIMI having campaigned for incentives that help support the change to electric cars such as free tolls, parking and supports for recharging installation, welcomes the announcement by Minister Ross of the new grant scheme for taxis and other small public service vehicles. As we start to see more electric vehicles on our roads this will help to normalise the electric cars for consumers and their use as a public service vehicle will aid in providing motorists with that experience, while benefiting the environment.

As we have underlined before, strategies to increase electric car sales, such as the very welcome BIK changes introduced in Budget 2018 take time to impact on purchasing decisions and on supply, as cars for the Irish market are ordered up to six months in advance and we are competing with other countries for supply. Once such incentives are confirmed as being in place for a significant period (as the Minister has signalled in relation to BIK) we will see the market respond strongly and build to a much higher level over a number of years.

Ireland’s national fleet will continue with a mix of engine types over the next few years with Diesel (57%) and Petrol (36%) engines the greater market share in the new car market and still the required option for very many vehicle buyers. As an Industry we are fully committed to the supply of electric vehicles into the marketplace and we are confident that continuously improving technology will deliver an ever increasing market share for electric vehicles into the future. Incentives will play an important part in helping consumers make their purchasing decision to EVs a new cleaner technology”.


Renault Zoe GoCar

GoCar Adds Five New Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 Electric Vehicles To Dublin Fleet

GoCar has announced that the carsharing company is adding five new Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 electric cars to their fleet.

The expansion of the GoElectric fleet gives GoCar members the chance to drive the Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 with a battery that provides a 400km official NEDC. In real world terms, users can expect 300km in summer and 200km in cold winter weather.

The once-off joining fee for GoCar is €10, with no further subscription fees. The GoElectric ZOE costs €8 per hour. Any distance driven over 50km is charged at 50c per km. The Renault ZOE is a suitable EV for GoCar customers whose journeys include visiting friends or family, weekly shopping, work meetings, and day trips out of the city.

ZOE Z.E. 40 is the only EV that can charge at 22kW at all 1,200 ESB eCars standard AC charging points.  This allows ZOE to add 75km of summer range in just 30 minutes, or a full charge in about 2½ hours.

GoCar is Ireland’s largest carsharing operator, with over 300 vehicles across 200 locations, and has over 15,000 members. GoCar first launched its GoElectric fleet in October 2016 and since then over 800 customers have chosen an EV to drive.

After reviewing the most popular locations, GoElectric vehicles will be located near public charge points, using these points when they need to be charged, and parking in regular spaces when they’re fully charged.

With hourly pay as you go driving and no subscription charges, GoCar is ideal for people or organisations who only need occasional access to a car but don’t want to own one or families who need a second car sometimes.

Patrick Magee, Country Operations Director, Renault Group Ireland: “Renault Group is very committed to the electric vehicle in Ireland and in Europe where our models are the best sellers, with ZOE still Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle. We are delighted to work with GoCar again, this time with EVs, and look forward to seeing the uptake on drives in Dublin. It’s a great awareness building exercise and will bring EV driving and its benefits to an audience who don’t own a vehicle yet like the option of having one when they need it. ZOE is the ideal urban car, but with an exceptional range that can allow the driver to move out of the city and drive much further afield, if they so wish”.

Colm Brady, Managing Director, GoCar: “GoCar are delighted to expand our electric vehicle offering with the addition of the Renault ZOE. EVs have been extremely popular with our members since their introduction, with over 800 GoCar members driving an electric car since we first introduced them in October 2016."

GoCar users can book cars online or via the app, then unlock with their phone or GoCard; the keys are in the car, with fuel, insurance and city parking all included. 


Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Ireland 181 Pre-Sales Reveal More Customers Choosing Petrol

Nissan has revealed 2018 pre-sales figures to the Irish motoring media that show that Irish motorists are switching to petrol cars at a much faster rate than the car industry or market analysts predicted.

The number of new car buyers who have opted to buy the petrol version of the Nissan Qashqai has increased from 29% in 2017 to 54% for 2018.

The numbers buying the diesel model have fallen from 71% to 46%.

At a press briefing James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland, pointed out that the Nissan Qashqai is a good barometer of what is happening in the market because it's a high volume seller and customers have a choice of petrol or diesel when buying a new Qashqai.

“Our 181 pre-sales figures have swung in favour of petrol for the first time, heralding a return towards the natural market position of 70:30 that existed in 2007.”

“The rate of change is far more accelerated than predicted and the trend from our 181 pre-sales figures provides very real evidence that the split between petrol and diesel car sales is well on track to being close to equal by the end of next year,” he added.

McCarthy said that drivers are taking a much harder look at their mileage and whether the cost benefits of running a diesel car will be ultimately outweighed by the higher entry costs of owning a diesel car and potential lower residual values.

Nissan Ireland is also predicting that cumulative electric vehicle (EV) sales will increase from 3,500 to 14,000 units by 2020. McCarthy said that the Government’s target of having 20,000 EVs on Irish roads by that time can be achieved, but only with significant investment in the country’s EV re-charging infrastructure.

Nissan is Ireland's bestselling car brand of petrol cars with over 4800 new petrol cars sold by the brand in 2017.

Caroline Kidd