One year free electricity with every Volvo XC90 T8 purchased.
One year free electricity with every Volvo XC90 T8 purchased.
Image: Supplied

Volvo Cars has announced a global incentive scheme, branded the Recharge campaign, whereby the buyers of all new hybrid plug-in vehicles will receive a full refund for all electricity used in the first year of ownership.

The campaign is also being rolled out in SA — meaning a year of free electricity is also available in this country.

According to Greg Maruszewski, MD of Volvo Car South Africa, the Recharge campaign offer will be applicable to all plug-in hybrids ordered from October 16.

“In SA, this offer applies to the Volvo XC90 T8.  Official measurement of electricity used will start in May 2020. After a year of driving this car, the owner/main driver will receive a complete refund equivalent to the cost of electricity used to power the car,” he says.

Motorists will be able to monitor electricity used via the Volvo on Call app, on which the refund will be based. The offer is only available to motorists who keep the vehicle for at least 12 months and is not applicable to rental cars.

Strong customer demand is expected as a result of this unique offer.

“Volvo Cars will triple the capacity of plug-in hybrids as of 2020,” says Maruszewski.

The Recharge campaign was announced on October 16 at a global press conference livestreamed from Los Angeles, where Volvo simultaneously launched the XC40 Recharge as the Swedish brand’s first all-electric car. With effect from model year 2021, all Volvo cars with a power cord (meaning both plug-in hybrids and full electric vehicles) will be branded “Recharge”.


Subaru introduces extended maintenance plan

Subaru extendeds its local maintenance plan to five years/120,000km. Picture: SUPPLIED
Subaru extendeds its local maintenance plan to five years/120,000km. Picture: SUPPLIED

Subaru Southern Africa has launched an extended five-year/120,000km comprehensive maintenance plan offered on selected new models.

All Subaru models are generally offered with a three-year/75 000km maintenance Plan, which covers all routine servicing as well as maintenance resulting from normal wear and tear, and includes Subaru Assist roadside service.

The extended maintenance plan is a limited-time offer at no additional cost on selected models, says Subaru SA Marketing Lead, Nteo Nkoli.

All new Subaru models sold are warranted against any defect in material or workmanship for a period of five years or 150,000km, whichever comes first.

Nteo adds that maintenance plans are far more comprehensive than service plans as they include wear items such as brakes, shocks, windscreen wipers and more.

This nationwide maintenance plan offer is a limited-time offer on selected new Subaru models while stocks last.


MINI EV can lap Nurburgring without brakes

Look ma, no brakes: Electric MINI can lap the Nürburgring by pressing or releasing the throttle pedal. Picture: SUPPLIED
Look ma, no brakes: Electric MINI can lap the Nürburgring by pressing or releasing the throttle pedal. Picture: SUPPLIED

While other automakers compete for lap records on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife, MINI has done something different: it says its new Cooper SE electric car can lap the circuit without using the brakes.

Highlighing an electric car’s typically strong energy recuperation effect and the associated deceleration effect when the driver releases the throttle, MINI says its first all-electric is capable of the feat thanks to two-stage adjustable recuperation activated by a toggle switch.

The new Cooper SE is the first electrified model from the BMW Group in which the driver can individually determine the extent of recuperation. Depending on the mode selected, the electric motor supplies more or less energy back to the high-voltage battery as soon as the driver takes their foot off the throttle pedal.

The braking effort associated with toggling the electric motor to engage generator operation is correspondingly high or low.

The level of brake energy regeneration and hence also the deceleration can be harmonised with the driving style and to suit the track profile. Timely toggling ensures soft recuperation ahead of extended bends and full energy recovery with corresponding deceleration ahead of tight curves without the driver’s foot having to touch the brake pedal.

The North Loop of the Nürburgring, 20.8km of motorsport history, was named the “Green Hell” by three-times Formula 1 World Champion Jackie Stewart. It is still the regular venue for ultimate endurance tests even 43 years after the last Grand Prix race for automobiles was held there.


Morris to rise from the ashes

A teaser image of the upcoming new Morris van. Picture: SUPPLIED
A teaser image of the upcoming new Morris van. Picture: SUPPLIED

Long-deceased motoring brand Morris is to be revived in the UK in the form of electric delivery vans.

The last Morris left the British Leyland assembly lines in 1984, ending a run that William Morris started in 1919.

The brand, which had a 42% share of the British new-car market in 1926, built the classic Morris Minor as an affordable people's car as the UK’s answer to the Volkswagen Beetle. The car sold 1.6-million units globally and remained in production until 1971.

Morris Commercial, a Chinese-funded startup in the UK, announced it is building a modern version of the Morris J-Type small delivery van which was produced from 1948 to 1961. It will feature styling cues of the original but use a very modern drivetrain: an electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery.

The new model, dubbed the Morris JE, was teased with dark images and seems to borrow heavily from the original J-type. It's not simply a replica but draws upon the “DNA and values” of its inspiration while offering a “fun, funky” design that will still fit in among contemporary offerings, says Morris Commercial's founder and CEO, Qu Li, a former director at MG Rover which went bankrupt in 2005.