Audi e-Tron

We love our cars here at How To Kill An Hour and cars are getting more and more technological. If not for the tech inside the car, such as sound systems and air con, but the actual car itself. Electric cars are becoming more and more popular and there’s more choice on the market too. So we decided to check out Audi’s first fully electric production vehicle. The Audi e-Tron.

Turning Audi’s well-known e-tron technology into a series. The car has tons of personal space, a fantastic and a powerful driving experience all thrown into an SUV. An all electric SUV at that. This thing is a beast and can handle anything you throw at it, it will handle city driving with ease and will handle countryside driving with a breeze. It’s the ultimate everyday use car.

Power consumption, combined*: 26.4–21.8 kWh/100km (NEDC); 23.6–21.0 kWh/100km (WLTP)CO₂ emissions, combined*: 0 g/km

Audi’s Electric Drive.

The e-tron is powered by two electric motors. Allowing the SUV, bearing in mind this thing is a beast. To go from 0-100km/h stupidly quick. During our tests Marcus estimates it’s around 5-6 seconds. So that’s comparable to a sports car. The Audi e-Tron is also all-wheel drive, allowing you to have optimal traction and handling in any driving condition. So, that’s right, you guessed it. Off roading!

The quattro drive can be switched on when required and the results are that which are specific to the situation that you are in. You’ll get situation specific torque distribution, flexible control of the axle movements!

Charing Solutions

Audi are great as they offer you various different ways to charge at home.

You can either use the standard mobile charging system, which allows you to use a household 23oV household outlet or a 400 volt three phase outlet.

Or you can use an optional “Connect” charging system. This doubles the charging power to as much as 22kW. Combined with a home energy management system this will offer some intelligent functions. As charging when electric is less expensive, or with solar electricity. If you have it of course. This will need a photovaltaic system if you choose this route of charging.

You can control all charging processes as well as pre-heating and pre-cooling via the myAudi app!

If you are just using the car for everyday driving, you won’t need to stop at charging stations. While if you are on a long trip you are able to use fast charging stations, which will use DC (direct current) at up to 150kW. This is a first for series production vehicles. This will allow the Audi e-Tron to get set for the next stretch of a long distance drive, all within half an hour!

It can also be charged using AC (Alternating Current) though this will take longer, recharging at 22kW is also available as an option.

Audi e-Tron design.

The car looks amazing, there;s no doubt about that. Not only does it look great the insides are just as good.

The Audi Virtual cockpit is amazing, it has a sleek display and it stands virtually free in space and can display the optional virtual exterior mirrors. The navigation system will also intelligently give you suggestions based on previous routes!

Listen to the guys chatting about this here!

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Go Electric: Electric Cars….Are you ready??

It seems as though while electric vehicles may be popular and that they seem attractive to a lot of us. Electric vehicles are still confusing to the majority of UK consumers. As a result many potential customers are not seriously considering an electrified vehicle for a future purchase. This is according to new research* that is commissioned by Ford. Which is part of their UK Wide consumer education roadshow: Go Electric.

New Purchases Aren’t Electric

So, electric vehicles currently only account for about 5%** of total new car sales in the UK. The survey however highlights that there are still barriers before the mainstream adopts it. The apparent lack of appeal for electric vehicles is a reason why nearly half (46%) of Brits say that they don’t intened to buy an electric vehicle in the future. While 21% say that it is likely that they will not consider an electric vehicle in the next 5 years. While 20% say that they will likely only purchase in the next 3-5 years.

Reasons for this is mixed. Anxiety makes up 37% of those surveyed, apparent lack of affordability 53% and worries of charging locations make up 51% of those surveyed.

Furthermore the survey reveals that there is confusion around the tech itself. With 64% of those surveyed correctly identifying that an electric car is a vehicle that has one or more electric motors. Three quarters said that they are not confident in the difference between hybrid and battery electric cars. While 43% say that they don’t know enough about the technology to consider purchasing an electric or electrified vehicle. 29% don’t think the average person is ready to change to battery powered electric vehicles.

Go Electric. 

To help resolve this, Ford have created Go Electric. Go Electric is a consumer education roadshow. That aims to demystify the questions that many of us have about switching to electrified vehicles. Whilst also helping to address consumer concerns around hybrid and electric vehicles. It is an interactive experience designed to teach consumers about CO2 emissions. The future of local Clean Air Zones,  vehicle charging methods and finding the right vehicle for their lifestyle.

Teaching about Electricity

Helping Ford continue the electric educational journey, technology presenter Georgie Barrat has filmed a preview of the experience. Which is due to return to the road later on this year. The informative video breaks down some of the most misunderstood phrases. Whilst answering some of the biggest questions on electric vehicles.

 “Technology has always been something that excites me but I totally understand that not everyone is at the same stage on their journey. For me, it’s all about making things easy for anyone to understand. There is no need for fancy language when something instead can be made simple to grasp. That’s why I was so excited to work with Ford on the Go Electric campaign and help make electrification accessible to everyone!” Commenting on Go Electric, Georgie Barrat

“While the move to electrification is gathering pace, there’s no mistaking that this is a huge task ahead of us that will require fundamental efforts to ensure consumers are taken on the journey, and the first step is understanding what their options are. Our roadshow will help demystify electrified vehicle options for all of our customers and give them all they need to make the right choice to fit their lives.”


Beyond this, a range of stakeholders – including national and local government, energy providers and vehicle manufacturers – need to come together with a unified goal if we are to meet the electrification challenge. Given the size and scale of what we want to achieve in the UK, we need to kick-start this process. A fast start could include the creation of a specific senior role in government to help coordinate a comprehensive electrification strategy for the UK – a “Minister for Electrification” who can work cross-functionally across government and with the various stakeholders.

Ford has always sought to democratise vehicles and technologies and now we intend to do the same for electrification. “ Andy Barratt, Managing Director at Ford of Britain


*Source: Survey of 2,000 UK Adults conducted by 3GEM Research & Insights in August 2020

** Source: Latest SMMT figures for market share:

So, to learn more about electrification and find out when Go Electric will be back on tour head here. Furthermore, go to any Ford dealer for full information on Ford’s electrified products.

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Electric Cars aren’t new!

Electric cars are not new!

That’s right I said it. Electric cars aren’t a new phenomena. In 1899 90% of New York City’s taxi cabs were electric vehicles. These cabs were built by the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company of Philadelphia.

Furthermore, in 1899 and 1900 electric cars outside all other types of cars. This includes gas and steam powered ones! The Baker Torpedo, an 1902 electric vehicle became the first car to have an aerodynamic body which enclosed the driver and the platform.

The Baker Torpedo also reached 80mph in a speed test too! (However it did kill two spectators) On a second test it reached speeds of 120mph.

Going further back electric cars got their start in the early 1800’s. While early efforts were just ‘proof of concepts’ as they had limited speed and non rechargeable batteries. So you can go from A to B, but not back again unfortunately.

Fast forward to 1842 and two inventors separately invented electric cars which had rechargeable batteries, and they were practical! American Thomas Davenport and Scotsman Robert Davidson were their names. Improvements were eventually made by various other inventors. They improved the charge capacity and improved the electric motors.


The popularity of electric cars really propelled in 1880, when Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. The lightbulb increased the distribution of electricity and providing the infrastructure needed for the electric car to be viable for the public.

Even then there were advantages for the electric car over gas and steam. Electric cars had no vibrations like their gas and steam counterparts. They were also very quiet. They also didn’t smoke or backfire as often. Furthermore they could go right away when you get in the car. Which is a huge advantage as gas powered cars needed to be cranked by hand. Which is not only dangerous but very difficult!

Furthermore steam powered cars took up to 45mins on a cold day to get going! Electric cars also didn’t need to have gear changes. Which isn’t that difficuly nowadays but back then it was very hard!

Only advantages gas cars had over their electric cousins was that they had larger tanks and they could fill up quicker. While at the time there really wasn’t that many well developed roads to drive on. So most people drove in the city. Rarely going that far.

Popular electric cars

The following cars were popular in the early 1900’s:

  • Columbia Runabout, which could go 40 miles on a single charge and run at average speeds of 15 mph (which wasn’t that bad at the time).
  • 1914 Detroit Electric car, which had a range of 80 miles on a single charge and was the favorite car of none other than Clara Ford (Henry Ford’s wife; he bought the car for her despite the fact that at the time his company was presently breaking the balls of the electric car industry).
  • Another great one was the American Morrison electric car which was capable of ranges of 182 miles on a single charge!  It was also capable of 14 mph, which again isn’t notable by today’s standards, but that 182 mile range certainly is.


Cost for a basic model of an electric car in the early 1900’s was around $1K. More lavish models were $3K.

Then came Henry Ford.

In 1915 Henry Ford was able to offer cars for $500 (in todays money $10,000). His hugely innovative assembly line construction was the main reason for offering his cars so cheaply compared to the electric vehicles. Making his cars very affordable to the average person.

By this time, electric cars had actually risen in price to $1700.

Another nail in the coffin was crude oil, crude oil was discovered in Texas and Oklahoma. This again, made costs lower. Gas became lower in price. Plus Charles Kettering invented the electric starter. This eliminated the need for cars to be cranked by hand. Roads then began expanding. Which made gas powered cars more attractive as they could travel further distances. Not only that gas cars were also becoming a lot faster then their electric counterparts.


So, by 1935, the electric car was officially dead. It did make a comeback in the 1960’s but this was unsuccessful. To date all attempts to make a commercially successful EV failed.

However, the Tesla Model S, is looking to change that. It has a range of 250-300miles. Can seat 7 and be charged in 45 minutes. Electric cars such as the Model S are also said to save owners anywhere between $10K – $15K over the lifespan of a car in gas. Maintenance cost is also lower.

The Nissan Leaf is also attractive at 100mile range and 30minutes to charge. May look small range but it is very cheap at around $30K. Which is a lot cheaper than a Tesla! May be good for consumers or a run around car!

While the electric car seemed to be ahead of it’s time in the 18oo’s, we have made huge improvements over the years and we may well see an electric car takeover in the next 10 years.


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Kia e-Niro!

Kia e-Niro Quick Look!

  • Class-leading driving range of 282 miles
  • Can be recharged to 80 per cent battery life in as little as 54 minutes
  • Clean zero tailpipe emissions motoring
  • Successfully combines two of the fastest growing trends – crossover styling
    with electrification
  •  Unique styling cues help to differentiate the e-Niro from the Niro Hybrid and
  • A single high-specification, feature-rich model

Our thoughts of the Kia e-Niro

Recently we tested the new Kia e-Niro. An electric vehicle from Kia, created in California, USA and Naming, Korea. It looks incredible and has a ‘Clean and High -Tech’ design. We especially like the futuristic and aerodynamic ‘tiger-nose’ grille. Not only because it looks great but it has an integrated charging port on it! Though the arrowhead shaped LED lights with the blue trim highlights does make it POP! It’s clearly a family car but it has an aerodynamic performance to it. Giving it character and different from the rest. (Not forgetting the HUGE 17 inch aluminium alloy wheels!)

The inside….

The centre console is a big change in the e-Niro, as the electric powertrain doesn’t actually require a traditional gear lever and gear linkage. It’s been replaced by a ‘shift by wire’ rotator dial drive selector. This sits on its own panel on the central armrest. The new panel also houses buttons for the electronic hand break, heated seats and steering wheel, the drive mode select, parking sensors and the e-Niro’s braking ‘Auto Hold’. Better yet, the new panel has no bulky transmission panel thus enabling a large storage area at the base of the centre console. Cool right?

Dashboard Tech

Dashboard is super realistic as it has a bright blue trim around the air vents, black and blue trims also line the doors which make it look really cool! There is also a shelf at the base of the instrument panel which has a wireless charger on it!

There is an 8” touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard. Which shows drivers the nearest charging point as well as highlighting the remainign charge and range. Furthermore it shows how much CO2 reduction the car is reducing both on their trip and lifetime ownership of the vehicle. This touchscreen will also show users to set the approximate departure time for their next journey. Why is this important? Well the car will heat itself to a set temperature before the driver departs.Perfect for the winter!

The 7” LCD Driver instrument cluster will show drivers the battery charge info ont he move, it will also gauge whoever is sitting at the wheel. Attributing a percentage to the amount of ‘economical’ driving the driver does on each journey. If you like instant off the line acceleration, it will also show you what percentage of the journey has been completed with ‘dynamic driving’


The Kia e-Niro has merged crossover inspired design with long distance zero emissions and enjoyable performance. It has achieved this with it’s next gen electric powertrain, using tech that has been developed specifically for Kia electric vehicles. Allowing drivers to complete long distance drives with zero emissions and really low running costs. Yet, despite no petrol or diesel power the e-Niro can go 0-60 in 7.5 seconds. Plus it’s Front Wheel Drive too!

The e-Niro is really safe too, thanks to the Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management! It can control skids when cornering or accelerating on uneven levels of grip. The Hill Start Assist Control also prevents the car from rolling too!

The car is very rigid too and has reinforced critical areas with crumple zones, front and rear and anti intrusion beams on the sides. It has seven airbags, including a set which protects a drivers knees!

Tech & Safety

The Kia e-Niro has regenerative braking which allows the car to harvest kinetic energy and recharge the battery. Both while coasting and braking. Furthermore the Eco Driving Assistant System will provide drivers information on how to drive more efficiently. Plus the Coasting Guide Control (CGC) and Predictive Energy Control (PEC), enabling drivers to maximise
vehicle range by suggesting when to coast or brake.

The CGC take information from the satellite navigation system to anticipate road conditions. It will then reduce energy use and identify opportunities to harvest additional power through coasting. It will work by altering drivers the best time to lift off the accelerator and coast towards a junction for example. Thus allowing energy to be regenerated. Therefore it means the driver can brake later and maintain momentum when traffic allows.

This may mean that you won’t need to stop at a junction or traffic lights. Traffic permitting of course. The way that the system does this is via a small icon on the instrument cluster and an unobtrusive audible warning.  While, the car also has lane assist capabilities! It will film the lane infant of the car and then it will detect the lanes and markings. It will issue sound and visual alerts to its driver if the car has moved out of it’s lane, whilst using no indicators. Steering the car back into the lane if necessary.

Crash Detection

We were also very impressed by the Forward Collision Avoidance Assist! It can detect pedestrians and cyclists bringing itself to a halt if the driver fails to react to a potential accident. So, how it does this is by short and long wave radars to monitor the proximity of vehicles and pedestrians infant of it. As, if the car things that a collision is imminent and the driver fails to react the brakes will be applied automatically.

The system is split into three main categories:

City, which can avoid low-speed urban accidents at up to 13mph.
1. Inter-Urban, which operates between 31mph and 50mph.
2. Pedestrian, which detects pedestrians and other vulnerable road users such as cyclists at up to

Kia e-Niro’s Battery and Performance

The car’s fitted with a battery heating system which allows the e-Niro to insulate and warm up the battery whilst it is plugged in. Minimising the adverse effects of cold temperatures. It will charge up to 80% in 54mins while using a 100kW direct current charger or 75mins using a 50kW DC charger. With the 7.2kW on-board charger, charging with alternating current it will take 9hrs and 50mins. Drivers also have the option of charging their car at a compatible regular household power socket using the in cable control box!

The e-Niro can be driven in different modes, allowing them to tailor the driving experience. You can use Normal, Eco and Sport modes. All will affect the level of effort to steer the car. While Eco mode maximises the potential for greater efficiency. It does this by limiting the maximum torque and power the motor. Whilst softening throttle responses and offering more relaxed steering inputs.

However, normal mode will be the most suitable for day to day driving. It will combine the innate efficiency and performance of the powertrain with direct steering and throttle responses. Yet Sport mode will enhance the throttle response and enables maximum acceleration. It will also weight up the steering for more decisive driver inputs. So make sure you know how to drive in a sporty car if you use sport mode! 

In-Car Tech

The e-Niro has an 8” touchscreen with a satellite navigation system, European mapping and a Traffic Mapping Channel. There’s also a reverse camera too! TomTom Live is also integrated into the Kia Connected Services! Providing traffic updates and alternative routes, weather forcasts, directions to restaurants and supermarkets, alerts for speed cameras and accident blackspots. Best thing about all this? Kia Connected Services is free for 7 years from the day of purchase. Decent deal if you ask us!

The Kia Connected Services is also linked to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Therefore allowing you access to everything such as Google Maps, Google Play, Siri, calls and text dictation and a lot lot more! Not forgetting Bluetooth hands free calls and bluetooth streaming either! The car also has a DAB radio with MP3 compatibility. Listen to it with the 8 speaker, 320 watt JBL audio system with subwoofer and external amplifier and front speaker. As standard! We think the Kia e-Niro is a great introduction into the EV world! 


Kia e-Niro Overview

  • 201bhp (150kW) pure electric drivetrain
  • 282 miles driving range (combined) or 382 miles in a city environment
  • Can be recharged to 80 per cent battery life in just 54 minutes using a 100kW charger,
    and with a 50kW charger, the battery can be replenished to 80 per cent in 75 minutes
  • Slots into a market that is set to grow enormously over the coming years
  • Successfully combines two of the fastest growing trends – crossover styling with
  • A single high-specification, feature-rich model
  • Underfloor position of the batteries ensures a no-compromise approach to interior space
  • More than 200,000 Niro Hybrid and PHEV models have been sold around the world since
    2016, with 65,000 sold in Europe and more than 11,000 in the UK
  • More than 5,000 pre-orders for the e-Niro in South Korea
  • Based on a platform exclusively developed for electrified cars
  • Five-door, five-seater front-wheel-drive crossover
  • At 4,375mm long, slots between the Ceed hatchback and Sportage SUV in size
  • Batteries located under the floor for low centre of gravity and satisfying driving
  • Made up of 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel
  • Bonnet, tailgate panel, front bumper back beam and chassis components are all made of
    aluminium to save weight


  • Signature design cues like the aerodynamic ‘tiger-nose’ grille ensures e-Niro is easily
    recognisable as a Kia. The grille handily doubles up as a neatly integrated charging point
  • Revised styling clearly identifies the e-Niro apart from the Niro Hybrid and PHEV
  • e-Niro takes inspiration from the Niro EV Concept car unveiled at the 2018 Consumer
    Electronic Show in Las Vegas
  • Redesigned air intakes and striking new arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights
  • Redesigned cabin, incorporating Kia’s first rotary gear selector
  • Long, 2,700mm wheelbase and width of 1,805mm create ample space for five adults
  • Shapely front seats save 1.3kg each and offer excellent all-round support
  • Dashboard split into upper display area and lower control area with fewer, simpler
  • Horizontal trim line on dashboard emphasises width and space inside
  • luxurious soft-touch materials and trim details attest to high-quality fit and finish
  • Boot capacity enhanced from 324 to 451 litres compared with Niro PHEV due to under
    floor mounted battery pack


  • Wireless phone charger included as standard for Qi-equipped smartphones
  • Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom® Live, providing speed camera, weather,
    traffic and local point of interest information
  • Reversing camera system and rear parking sensors included as standard
  • Android Auto TM and Apple CarPlay TM standard equipment, giving access to navigation,
    music, hands-free calls and text messaging and voice recognition through smartphone
  • Advanced active safety technologies include Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with
    pedestrian and cyclist detection (FCA), Adaptive Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Driver
    Attention Warning (DAW) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
  • DAB radio standard, with eight-speaker 320-watt JBL® premium sound system

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