Moneyshake Car Round-Up: UK Battery Strategy Uncertain, Mercedes-Benz Plans To Axe Cheaper Models & More!

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Looking to get your fill of the latest automotive news headlines? Then look no further than the Moneyshake Car Round-Up!

This week, we’ve got updates on why uncertainty surrounds the UK’s battery strategy, news from Mercedes-Benz that it will axe some of its cheaper models and much more.

Read on for all your motoring news needs!


UK’s EV battery strategy could be in peril after JLR announcement


It’s being reported that JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) are considering sourcing batteries for its electric car range from Europe.

The brand is in talks with Swedish battery maker Northvolt and the German-based unit of China’s Svolt in order to supply a range of EVs to be built at its Slovakia plant.

Should this be true, it would be a big blow to UK start-up Britishvolt, which is hoping to start creating batteries in its Blyth, Northumberland plant by 2023.

JLR plans to launch electric cars on a broader scale as of 2024, with first electric Range Rover and Range Rover Sport on the cards.

Britishvolt has the funding in place to become a key supplier after securing £1.7 billion from investors in February, plus a reported £100 million from the government.

A big issue facing the British battery industry is that it’s unclear how many large players like JLR will be around. On top of this, these manufacturers have their own problems too, namely looking to find high-quality, energy-dense cells from a supplier with good access to raw materials.

Unfortunately, batteries usually have to be sourced from within Europe to satisfy new rules of origin stipulated in our trade agreement with the European Union, but don’t need to be stamped with a UK flag. For that to happen, UK suppliers need to step up to match the world’s best, or find the next big thing in battery technology and make it.


Mercedes-Benz plans to axe its cheaper models


Mercedes-Benz will axe three of its cheaper models and spend most of its budget to develop range-topping luxury cars in a bid to convince investors that it is similar in stature to luxury goods groups.

It hasn’t been confirmed which models will be removed from the range, but people close to the company have suggested it could be the A-Class and B-Class that are axed.

Instead, the brand is rumoured to be switching to a greater focus on producing its performance-focused AMG models, off-road G-Class, range-topping S-Class and the EQ electric car range.


Want to get your hands on a brand-new Mercedes-Benz at a price that suits your budget? We compare car lease deals for the latest Mercedes-Benz range from the UK’s top leasing providers, so you can get the best car leasing offer on its luxurious range.


Compare Mercedes-Benz lease deals


‘Funky Cat’ electric city revealed and will be sold in UK


With a 193-mile range and £30,495 price tag, the ORA Funky Cat (yes, we’re serious, that is the name) is expected to arrive in the UK this autumn.

Great Wall Motors (GWM) is responsible for launching the new city EV, which you will be able to order in June. Initially, a single Launch Edition model will be offered, which will then be followed by an expanded range in 2023.

Upon launch, the vehicle is expected to come with plenty of kit, including adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree cameras, LED Headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

More good news is that 80kW DC rapid charging is standard and the Funky Cat will come equipped with a CCS socket as standard. Despite being a relatively unknown brand, ORA will be backing its Funky Cat with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty that also covers on the battery for eight-years or 100,000 miles.


Don’t want to wait until autumn to get your hands on this innovative electric city car? We compare electric car lease deals on the latest EVs, so you can get a great price on the latest zero-emissions vehicles.


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Smart #1 orders to begin in December with 100 special ‘Launch Edition’ cars to be released

Smart #1 taking orders for December 2022

Smart has confirmed that its latest innovation, the ‘#1’ electric SUV, will go on sale at the end of this year, with first deliveries commencing in 2023.

Pronounced ‘hashtag one’, the #1 is Smart’s first ever SUV, with the brand positioned primarily as a producer of luxury city cars. Many of Smart’s range of vehicles share components with Mercedes-Benz models, with Daimler AG, Mercedes’ parent company, owning and producing Smart cars.

But that’s enough corporate spiel. What can we expect to see from the Smart #1?

Well, first of all, 100 ‘Launch Edition’ models of the Smart #1 will be sold initially as part of celebrating the car’s release. Only 1,000 of these versions will be sold across Europe alone, and the exclusivity of them translates to the features. Above the rest of the range, the Launch Edition gets clever LED headlights with adaptive highbeam assist, unique 19-inch ‘Prism’ wheels that have a funky chequered pattern, whit leather seats that have a bit of that chequered pattern running through too, 60-colour ambient lighting with 20 illumination levels, a hands-free tailgate that can be opened by waving your foot underneath the back of it, a 13-speaker Beats sound system, plus a 12.8-inch central touchscreen infotainment display and 10-inch digital instrument display that shows you information about range, speed and distance travelled.

Even if you don’t go for this top-spec, limited edition model, you’ll still get a load of neat tech and materials onboard your new #1.

Be sure to keep an eye out on our Smart leasing range for the early release of this brand-new electric SUV.


Compare Smart car lease deals


Want to get the best finance deal on the latest new vehicles? Moneyshake compares car finance deals on the newest models, ensuring you get the best offer on your perfect new car.


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