Car Reviews

France Now Has Almost 30,000 Public Charging Points Available

A quick increase in plug-in electric car sales in France outpaces the expansion of the charging infrastructure

France is gradually expanding its charging infrastructure towards achieving the milestone of 30,000 public charging points – as of March 2020, the number is 29,578 (up 15% compared to a year ago).

With some 240,000 all-electric vehicles registered in the country, on average eight vehicles fall on a single charging point (it was 7.4 previously). Including some 65,000 PHEVs, the ratio is 11 vehicles per single charging point.

In other words, the plug-in car sales surge seen in January and February has significantly outpaced the rate of new charging point installation.

The most popular charging point type is three-phase 22 kW. DC chargers, stand for 1,776 or several percent of all.

Charging points stats as of the March 2020:

  • Power range of 11 kW or less: 7,649 (25.9% of all)
  • Power range above 11 kW but less than 50 kW: 20,149 (68.1% of all)
  • Power range of at least 50 kW: 1,780 (6.0% of all)
  • Total: 29,578

Details (in French):

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Car Reviews

Tesla Prepping 3-Row And RWD Model Y Crossovers For Delivery

Demand is down due to COVID-19, so a change of plans is in order.

It appears Tesla is getting set up to begin delivering less expensive rear-wheel-drive Model Y crossovers. In addition, people who ordered a Model Y with the optional third row are receiving emails asking for details to finalize the delivery process.

Tesla launched its Model Y all-electric crossover many months ahead of schedule. As is its standard practice, it’s only delivering two-row all-wheel-drive Performance and Long Range models at this time. These are the higher-margin vehicles, which must be sold first. Later, more variants will become available. More specifically, rear-wheel-drive cars and three-row configurations.

Ever since Tesla started deliveries of the Model Y, there have been questions and confusion about which vehicles are available for immediate delivery, which are coming soon, etc. This is because Tesla sent emails to reservation holders and/or updated people’s online order pages with confusing language. For example, we heard from some Model Y reservation holders that were told to “prepare for delivery” though they had ordered a three-row or RWD car.

At this point, the first batch of new Model Y owners were told their cars would be delivered between March 15 and March 31. Clearly, a number of Model Y crossovers have been delivered, but we have no way of knowing for sure how many. Moreover, we know of people who were promised that delivery window and have yet to get their vehicle. On the flip side, some reservation holders had their delivery date moved up and got their car ahead of schedule.

According to Electrek, some reservation holders who ordered the rear-wheel-drive Model Y Long Range have already been asked to provide Tesla with their payment information and trade-in details. Our friend and contributor Dan Zorrilla has a reservation for a Model Y Long Range (RWD) with the optional third row. He received the following information in an email on March 22:

Hi Daniel,

Welcome to our Tesla Family!

I wanted to reach out in regards to collecting your Payoff information.

Due to credit union policy, they are requiring the customer to be present on the call in order to obtain your current vehicles payoff information. Could you please contact them and provide us with the following pieces of information:

10 day payoff balance
Per Diem (Daily interest)
Payoff due date

Once we have the above information, we can finalize the delivery process as soon as possible.

Do you have a Model Y reservation? Please let us know which version you ordered and if Tesla has contacted you about taking delivery soon.

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Car Reviews

New 2022 Nissan X-Trail leaked in patent images

The Nissan X-Trail SUV is set to be replaced in 2022, with a boxy redesign and a new range of hybrid powertrains

The all-new Nissan X-Trail has been leaked in a pair of sketches, filed with Brazil’s patent office. The current model has been on sale in the UK for six years so an all-new version is in the pipeline for 2022. 

Cosmetic updates fall in-line with Nissan’s latest design language, drawing inspiration from the new Juke. Like the firm’s compact crossover, the new X-Trail will adopt a pair of slim daytime running lights with separate headlamp units below. The radiator grille is also wider than the outgoing X-Trail’s, but it retains Nissan’s trademark U-shaped surround.

  • Best large SUVs

The rear three-quarter image of the fourth-generation X-Trail looks surprisingly familiar. The doors and tailgate appear to be a subtle update of the outgoing model’s, although there’s a new tailgate spoiler and “double-bubble” roof. The wheel arch and door plastics have been redesigned, too, along with the rear lamps.

Like the upcoming third-generation Qashqai, the X-Trail will be based on an updated version of Nissan’s CMF underpinnings. That means a new generation of hybrid powertrain could be made available: one using Nissan’s innovative ePower system and one featuring Mitsuibishi’s plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The first is a series hybrid system that uses a petrol engine working as a generator to charge the battery pack, which then powers an electric motor. The second will be a familiar plug-in hybrid setup like that found in the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Nissan also recently confirmed that production of the new Nissan X-Trail will move from Sunderland to the company’s main production facility in Kyushu, Japan. The company cited production optimisation, Brexit uncertainty and “changing emissions regulations” as motivators for the upheaval.

However, Nissan recently invested £400 million at its Sunderland facility, in preparation for production of the third-generation Qashqai later this year. The factory will continue to produce both the Qashqai and the Juke, supporting around 7,000 jobs.

What do you make of the fourth-generation Nissan X-Trail? Let us know in the comments section below…

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Car Reviews

Automakers Can Face Dieselgate Suits Where Cars Bought: EU Court Adviser

EU consumers should be able to sue carmakers in their national courts if they have bought cars with emission cheat devices installed, an adviser to the Court of Justice of the European Union said on Thursday.

The opinion, if followed by Europe’s top court, raises the possibility that Volkswagen could face masses of legal complaints from consumers across the European Union.

Contacted by Reuters, VW had no immediate comment.

The case followed a request from an Austrian court handling a claim by the Austrian consumer association VKI on behalf of 574 owners of manipulated vehicles. The court wanted to know if it had jurisdiction to hear the case.

Advocate general Campos Sanchez-Bordona said the general rule was that applicants should sue in courts where the defendant is domiciled. However, in cases of tort there was also the possibility of suing in the courts of the place where a harmful event occurred.

The VKI wants compensation for the difference between the price consumers paid for vehicles, and the value of a manipulated vehicle. It also wants coverage for future damages, such as a drop in the value caused by driving bans.

The advocate general concluded the place where the damage occurred was the place where the car was bought.

“A company can be sued by the purchasers of vehicles that it manipulated before the courts of the member state where the vehicles were purchased,” the court said in a statement.

The court typically rules within two to four months of such opinions. Judges follow them in the majority of cases, but are not bound to do so.

VW fitted 360,000 vehicles in Austria with defeat devices, according to a report by the European Commission.

The company admitted in 2015 to using illegal software to cheat U.S. diesel engine tests, a scandal that has cost it more than $30 billion in vehicle refits, fines and provisions.

Nearly all U.S. owners of affected cars agreed to take part in a $25 billion settlement in 2016 in the United States.

The carmaker is in talks with Germany’s consumer protection organisation to seek a deal in a class action lawsuit there.

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Car Reviews

Two Fuso eCanter Join Irish Post Service In Dublin

An Post deployed the first two Fuso eCanter in Ireland.

The Irish capital Dublin is the 10th European city where Fuso deployed the all-electric light truck eCanter. The first two units entered service in March in the country’s postal service An Post.

The other countries where Fuso already delivered electric trucks are Germany, the UK, France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark. Including Japan and the U.S., over 150 vehicles were deployed.

“Daimler Trucks and FUSO Europe are delighted to be working with An Post as they become the very first postal service provider in the world to attain zero carbon emission delivery status within a capital city. The FUSO eCanter is an integral part of our customer’s effort to reduce carbon emissions and in striving towards cleaner air quality in Ireland.”

The company intends to increase eCanter deliveries in Europe, Japan and the United States successively – hopefully to at least hundreds per year (the initial target of 150 was achieved in two years).

Fuso eCanter

“So far, the global FUSO eCanter fleet has achieved 1.6 million kilometers, driven locally emission-free in customer operations. With a range of 100 kilometres, the 7.49 tonne vehicle easily meets the inner-city short-range distribution requirements of its customers. The electric drive system carries a motor (maximum output: 129 kW; maximum torque: 390 Nm) and six high-voltage (with each 420 V and 13.8 kWh) lithium-ion battery packs. With quick-charging stations, the vehicle only takes approximately one and a half hours to fully recharge.”

Gallery: Fuso eCanter

7 Photos

Fuso eCanter specs:

  • over 62 miles (100 km) of range
  • six high-voltage lithium-ion batteries with each 420 V and 13.8 kWh (82.8 kWh total)
  • load-bearing capacity of up to 4.5 tons (gross weight of 7.5t)
  • permanent magnet electric motor – peak output of 135 kW and 399 Nm
  • 50 mph (80 km/h) top speed
  • fast charging in 105 minutes

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Car Reviews

New Rivian Video On Factory Progress Is Heartbreaking

COVID-19 stopped construction, but Rivian still wants to share how far it progressed.

We were not in the mood for April Fools’ Day at first, but it ended up being a sweet escape from most news. Everything is so related to the COVID-19 infection spread that a break came in handy. Back to everyday life in confinement, this video from Rivian put a lump in our throats. Not due to its cheering content, but to the description, which you can read at the bottom of this article.

Rivian responsibly decided to shut down its activities temporarily. It can seem to be an easy thing to do for a company that still did not produce anything but think again. Not having produced anything is precisely the reason that could push it to rush things despite its employees’ health. Other automakers already sell their products. Rivian has to prove it is capable of manufacturing them.

Considering the plant is in Illinois – a state that currently has 6,980 confirmed cases of COVID-19 – Rivian could claim the “tougher cold” was not that serious. Or that the closest registered case is in McLean: only one until April 2, 2020. Normal, where the plant is located, did not have a single case so far. Luckily, that was not what the company did.

Gallery: We Can’t Wait To Get Back: Check Rivian’s Heartbreaking Video Description

15 Photos

Rivian decided to shoot a video to show all its employees elsewhere and the world how the plant was progressing well. It probably shot it before it knew what was coming in our way. They end the video description by saying: “We can’t wait to get back in there.”

That may seem unassuming, but it makes us think of all of us that can’t wait to get back: to taking a walk, to driving, to hugging the ones we love. To get back to working, living, solving little problems and worrying about stuff that used to matter and that now seems really small. We also can’t wait to get back, Rivian. As soon as possible. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Video Description Via Rivian On YouTube

Just before temporarily shutting down our facilities to help slow the spread of COVID-19, we made this internal video progress report so our team across all locations could see how far the plant has come. We can’t wait to get back in there.

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Car Reviews

Witness The Sheer Bombast Of The 730bhp Abt Audi RS7-R

Audi - Witness The Sheer Bombast Of The 730bhp Abt Audi RS7-R - Tuning

Remember what we said about Abt Sportsline cars being a little more reserved and considered than the wares of companies like Mansory? That doesn’t really apply to the ‘-R’ line of cars the company puts out.

Proving this point nicely, here’s the new RS7-R. It won’t exactly fly under the radar, will it?

Audi - Witness The Sheer Bombast Of The 730bhp Abt Audi RS7-R - Tuning

Limited to 130 units, each will have 730bhp and 679lb ft to play with, up from the 592bhp and 590lb ft produced by the standard RS7. The extra power is extracted from Audi’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 via the ‘Abt Power R’ pack, and although Abt hasn’t gone into specifics about what that means for the RS7-R, in other vehicles tuned by the company this consists of a tuning box, a new exhaust system and a beefed-up intercooler.

Abt will fit a set of new coilovers for you too, ensuring the RS7-R sits nice and snuggly on its 22-inch ‘High Performance HR’ wheels.

Audi - Witness The Sheer Bombast Of The 730bhp Abt Audi RS7-R - Tuning

The RS7-R has come under heavy fire from the carbon fibre cannon, with expensive-looking bits and pieces made from the stuff wherever you look. The front splitter, gurney flaps, side skirts and rear diffuser are all carbon, and there’s even a CF ‘moustache’ sitting above the grille.

Orange accents ensure that even if you don’t opt for the mad crisscrossing lines adorning the example you see here, your RS7-R is going to stand out quite successfully.

Audi - Witness The Sheer Bombast Of The 730bhp Abt Audi RS7-R - Tuning

Inside, there’s yet more carbon fibre, some natty RS7-R seat emblems, a numbered plaque and “Handcrafted for Daniel Abt” script.

Like the idea of this but need more practicality? An RS6-R will be along later this month.

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Car Reviews

Madcap Audi ABT RS7-R revealed with 730bhp

Limited-run Audi ABT RS7-R gets extra 138bhp plus wild styling add-ons and new interior trim courtesy of famed Audi tuners ABT

This is the Audi ABT RS7-R: a 730bhp, 199mph version of the Audi RS 7 Sportback. It’s the work of Audi tuning specialists ABT Sportsline, and accompanying the extra performance is a host of styling upgrades and suspension tweaks. 

The 138bhp increase over the standard model, plus a 120Nm increase in torque – now 920Nm – is achieved by an uprated turbocharger and intercooler system, plus a revised exhaust system. The changes mean that the standard RS 7’s 3.6-second 0-62mph time drops to 3.2 seconds. Top speed increase to 199mph.

  • Best performance cars 2020

ABT has also turned its attention to the suspension, offering height-adjustable coilovers and new anti-roll bars. New 22-inch wheels, unique to the RS7-R are finished in black with a bright red finish to the inner rim – just part of a series of wild styling upgrades.

The front gains a deep splitter which turns up to form aerodynamic blades at the sides. It sits below added dive planes, while further aero tweaks include wheel vents front and rear, a deeper side skirt and a new rear spoiler. There’s also tweaks to the grille, plus carbon fibre door mirror caps.

Inside, there’s extra splashes of carbon fibre: the steering wheel, gear selector and dashboard inlays all feature the same finish. ABT also retrims the seats (now with RS7-R logos) and front armrest, while the door sills get a ‘1 in 125’ motif to signify the limited build run.

The upgrade, before fitting, comes to 69,900 Euros – about £61,000 – on top of the £97,090 you’ll pay for a standard RS 7.

Do you like the look of the RS7-R? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below… 

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Car Reviews

We Drove’s 2020 Hyundai Palisade Within a Mile of Bone-Dry … or Did We?

In recent years, battery-electric vehicles have come to dominate the talk of range anxiety as automakers strive to extend mileage between charges. But as anyone who’s risked not filling up until the very last moment can tell you, range anxiety isn’t exclusive to EVs. We were recently gripped by it with our very own 2020 Hyundai Palisade long-term test vehicle, in fact — but what we discovered (by accident) is that we didn’t need to be.

Related:’s 2020 Hyundai Palisade: Here’s What Our First Service Visit Cost photographer Christian Lantry was behind the wheel of our Best of 2020-winning SUV for the trip. En route to the Chicago Auto Show from home in Skokie, Ill., he took Lake Shore Drive to McCormick Place, a roughly 19-mile drive. Unfortunately, he says, “traffic was super heavy that day due to snowy weather, so there was a lot of time spent sitting in idle.”

With the clock ticking on an auto-show press conference, Lantry skipped filling up before parking the Palisade in the convention center’s massive garage. Come day’s end, it was back to the car … where the 12.3-inch digital display showed just 1 mile remaining on the tank. With the nearest gas station to McCormick Place a BP 1.2 tantalizing miles away, we took deep breaths and sent a chase car to fetch our intrepid photographer, should things go awry.

Thankfully, the Palisade made it to a pump — but little did we know how minor the threat was. All Palisades feature an 18.8-gallon tank, but our fill-up registered only 17.9 gallons. For an SUV that gets an EPA-estimated 19/24/21 mpg, that missing nine-tenths of a gallon comes out to nearly 19 additional miles of driving. I asked Hyundai whether this was typical behavior of a Palisade’s digital mileage readout or a calibration issue unique to our vehicle that might warrant a service visit. Spokeswoman Michele Tinson confirmed it was all according to the engineering plan. 

“To reduce the possibility of ‘fuel starvation’ at a very low fuel tank level, there is a built-in reserve volume to account for sudden changes in driving pattern, pavement angles and fuel slosh,” Tinson wrote in an email. “Additionally, the auto shut-off point during refueling is also dependent on the fueling station’s pump and nozzle sensitivity setting.”

A 17.9-gallon fill from nearly empty is “a normal amount,” Tinson added.

I also asked whether this was a hard figure across all Hyundai vehicles or a percentage of the tank size, but that information was less forthcoming. 

“Those specifications are proprietary,” Tinson responded. “But it varies by model, engine option and vehicle configuration.”

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Still, knowing our Palisade has a built-in reserve tank for the maniacs among us who love to live life on the edge (and those of us simply running late) should provide some comfort the next time we go where gas stations aren’t so easy to come by … though you can count me out if that trip includes “Cats.”’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Car Reviews

PSA Group, Valeo aiding France ventilator production

French automaker PSA and automotive supplier Valeo are contributing volunteer workers, factory space and technical knowhow to France’s increase in production of ventilators for coronavirus patients. Spearheaded by ventilator manufacturer Air Liquide Medical Systems, the joint effort aims to produce 10,000 ventilators by mid-May, the automaker said in a statement.

Final assembly of the ventilators will take place in Air Liquide’s factory in Antony, France, while PSA said it will build the ventilators’ mechanical components in its factory in Poissy, west of Paris, the report said. At these locations, 50 volunteers will be stationed at the Poissy factory and another 50 in PSA’s technology centre in Velizy, it added.

Automotive supplier Valeo will place some of its purchasers in charge of supplier management and the procurement process, at the same time providing R&D support, as well as expertise in plastics, mechanical and electronic technologies. Meanwhile, Valeo engineers will aid in the setting up of processes and training. The main industrial partner supporting the French effort is Schneider Electric, reports Automotive News Europe, while a further 100 companies have been enlisted provide parts and technical support.

Automakers in other countries are pitching in with help, as well. Formula 1 teams based in the United Kingdom are aiding in the manufacture and delivery of respiratory devices, with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 having developed a device that has been approved for use by the NHS in the United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, Lamborghini has also converted parts of its production facility in Sant’Agata Bolognese to make surgical face masks and protective plexiglass shields. Parent company Audi has also announced that it will provide five million euros (RM23,828,000) in emergency aid to medical and social institutions in its home regions as well as humanitarian aid abroad, in addition to 600,000 euros (RM2,861,812) provided to hospitals in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.

Tags: COVID-19

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