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News round-up: Defender LCV to prove popular, BP Chargemaster links with M&S, BMW adds top 5-Series PHEV

A quarter of Defenders to be the LCV version

Land Rover Defender Hard Top 2020Land Rover is expected around 25% of sales of its new Defender to be the light commercial version, once the workhorse joins the range late this year.

The figure replicates that experienced with the light commercial version of the Discovery, which joined the range in early 2018.

Branded Hard Top, the commercial version will come in both 90 short- and 110 long-wheelbases, with prices starting from around £35,500 +VAT. The brand said it expects demand from both larger fleets such as utility firms, and small businesses.


BP Chargemaster trials M&S charge points

BP Chargemaster M&S charge point 2020BP Chargemaster has installed the first 50kW chargers in a trial scheme at five M&S stores, with the arrival of a three rapid-charge points at the retailer’s newest store in Maidstone Eclipse Park in Kent.

The sites are, according to BP Chargemaster, powered by 100% renewable electricity, and feature contactless payment and connections for all types of electric vehicle.

“At M&S we know our actions today protect our planet for tomorrow and we’re committed to the use of renewable energy within our own operations and supporting our customers, which makes this a really exciting trial for us,” said Helen Milford, Director of Stores for M&S. “As we create a store estate for the new world it’s critical our shops are in the right locations, digitally connected and offer trusted value products and services such as the rapid chargers – we’re looking forward to seeing the customer response to our trial in Maidstone.”


BMW adds range-topping 5-Series PHEV

BMW 545e PHEV 2020BMW has confirmed the addition of a new 545e xDrive to sit above the 530e PHEV in the brand’s range.

Coming only as a four-wheel drive saloon, rather than the two- or four-wheel drive and saloon or Touring estate models of the 530e, the new model will offer a combined 394hp and emissions figures of between 49g/km-54g/km, thanks to the 286hp six-cylinder petrol engine that combines with the 210kW electric motor. The official electric-only range is provisionally set at between 34-35 miles, while the car is capable of a 0-62mpg acceleration in 4.7 seconds.