New Audi A6 e-Tron Showcases Audi’s PPE Architecture in Stunning New Saloon

New Audi A6 e-Tron Showcases Audi’s PPE Architecture in Stunning New Saloon

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New Audi A6 e-Tron Showcases Audi’s PPE Architecture in Stunning New Saloon

 The new Audi A6 e-Tron is due to be launching in 2023 and is Audi’s first saloon to carry it’s new PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture – allowing for a slick design and a performance edge. We take a sneak peak at what you can expect from this stunning looking saloon. 

First of all, what is Audi’s PPE?

Before a deep dive into the Audi A6 e-Tron, we need to look at the architecture behind it.

Now, the term PPE has been bandied about quite a lot these last 12 months or so – sadly for very different reasons. In this context though, Audi’s PPE is an exciting development that could re-shape (literally) the way electric vehicles are designed by aerodynamically helping to improve their performance.

In a nutshell, it’s flat floor allows for a lower roof without compromising space. This, coupled with a smooth, curved body, means the car can move through the air better – helping the vehicle perform better.

What This Means for A6 e-Tron?

The aerodynamic design of the flat floor and low roofline in the PPE concept could cause concern about leaving enough battery space.

You needn’t worry.

The battery in the A6 e-Tron is a 100kWh battery, is larger than the current e-tron GT battery. Audi say it will give it a range of more than 435 miles. This range puts it within similar company to the Mercedes EQS – with it’s 478 miles range.

So essentially you have a sleek vehicle, cutting through the air better, with excellent battery range. This sounds exciting doesn’t it? So is there anything else you should be excited about?

Well, yes. Lots.

Charging the battery

One of the other main plusses (and there are many) of the A6 e-Tron is it’s rapid charging.

The A6 e-tron is compatible with 270kW chargers. If you can find one of these, then the A6 e-Tron can add 186 miles of range in a 10 minute blast – which is quicker than the Mercedes EQS.

Giving the battery a 25 minute blast on a 270kW charger will see the battery leap from 5% to 80%.

This makes the car ideal for the business executive and those guys out on the road.

And there’s more…

Although the pics are just a prototype at the moment, Audi have promised it is as near as damnit. If that’s right, it’s going to be a stunning looking car.

The curved windows and closed-off grille all add to the smooth looks, but also add that extra aerodynamic percentage to performance.

A6 e-Tron rear

 

One of the many highlights on the outside are the customisable LED tail-lights.

The tail-light bar isn’t the only Wow! lighting feature.

Perhaps one of the most stand-out features of the A6 e-Tron is the projectors around the sides of the car which can project messages onto the pavement.

 

A6 e-tron headlights project indicators onto road

 

The rather smart, slimline Matrix LED Headlights can also be used as a special Spaceship video game from Audi, which plugs into a smartphone – as the crossover between car and “gimmicky” tech pushes ever-more bizarre boundaries.

Swiftly moving onto the interior of the car, as mentioned, the PPE architecture means it retains the generous interior space of a saloon.

The interior design is still somewhat of a mystery though as there aren’t any pics yet at the time of writing. But if the e-Tron GT is anything to go by, you can expect sporty, minimal, and likely to come with 2 infotainment screens compared to the current A6’s 3 screens – Audi perhaps learning that less can be more…

In summary

Make no mistake, the Audi A6 e-Tron promises to be a stunning car. With excellent range and rapid charging times, for those companies looking to put their reps into new cars in a couple of years, we reckon this could be a real viable option.

It’s certainly one to keep an eye out for…

What is V2G and why it could change the EV Charging Landscape

What is V2G and why it could change the EV Charging Landscape

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What is V2G and why it could change the EV Charging Landscape

V2G : How Your Electric Vehicle Can Give Back Power To The National Grid

Charging electric vehicles is one of the main considerations when making the switch from petrol or diesel vehicles.

The main concerns seem to be based around how much it costs, how practical it is, or how long it takes to charge a vehicle. These concerns – however unfounded – can often delay people making the switch.

So, what if you could actually turn charging your electric vehicle into a nice little earner? Well with V2G technology, this is going to become possible.

What is V2G?

V2G stands for vehicle-to-grid.

As the name infers, V2G is the transference of unused energy from the vehicle’s battery being put back into the grid during peak times.

So V2G charging is essentially 2-way charging. You can charge your vehicles at off-peak times (e.g. overnight) when it’s cheaper. If you’re vehicles are left largely unused during peak times then the unused energy can be sold back to the grid.

What are the main benefits of V2G?

The main V2G benefits are;

  • Simplicity of control for EV owners
  • Ability to reduce stress and add stability for the grid
  • Helps reduce carbon emissions by contributing clean, green energy
  • Greater flexibility for owner and grid
  • Energy-efficient, low cost driving for EV owners
  • Cashback for EV owners – selling surplus energy back to grid

The V2G Trial

Over the last few months, OVO Energy have been running a V2G trial. The trial has been funded by the Office for Low Emission and the Department from Business Energy and Industry Strategy in partnership with Innovate.

By selling putting unused battery back into the grid – using OVO’s V2G Tariff – drivers trialling the scheme have saved upto £800 in a year on their bills.

V2G – Helping the Grid

It is important that the Grid is helped as much as possible. Despite more initiatives and emphasis on various renewable energy sources, the demand is for electricity remains as high as ever.

With V2G putting power back into the grid during peak times, it helps protect against power shortages.

It might sound quite dramatic, but the problem with many renewable resources is they can’t be controlled.

In November 2020, low winds posed a real problem. The National Grid turned to OVO Energy to ask it’s V2G users to plug in to the grid and a shortage on the grid was averted.

So V2G is a great thing – is it available to everyone?

Unfortunately, at the moment no. Currently, only the Nissan Leaf and Nissan e-NV200 are compatible with V2G.

That said, the infrastructure is in place and this means other car manufacturers aren’t far behind.

The huge benefits of V2G makes it inevitable that this technology will be hitting the mainstream soon.

Where can you find out more about it?

If you would like to find out more details or get a quote for switching to V2G, you can visit the OVO Energy website.

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How to plan for switching to Electric Vehicles

How to plan for switching to Electric Vehicles

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How to plan for switching to Electric Vehicles

What are the considerations for your business in switching to electric vehicles?

You’ll have no doubt heard many times about the importance of switching to all-electric vehicles.

The reality though is that switching to all-electric fleets comes with a lot of considerations that many businesses either aren’t aware of – or are perfectly aware of and exactly why they are kicking the can down the road in terms of deciding when to switch.

But, for those businesses amongst you who like the idea of switching, but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve put together a guide on some of the main things you will need to consider.

Choosing the right electric vehicles.

Well, obviously. But it isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

There are literally hundreds of all-electric models available currently and even more in production as we type.

When considering what vehicles to switch your fleet to, it might be tempting to simply make the switch to the electric equivalent of your current petrol/diesel vehicles (and in some cases, this is a valid shout).

But not all things are equal – particularly with electric vehicles.

When it comes to switching to electric vehicles, the objective here needs to be identifying your needs first and then finding the most suitable electric vehicle for your needs.

The main considerations will be things like;

  • How far do you need a vehicle to be travelling each day?
  • What is it carrying?
  • Is there any financial support available (e.g. through “plug-in” grants)?
  • How reliable is the technology/any known issues?
  • Would an initial short-term agreement be a viable way of “dipping your toe in the water”?

The switch to all-electric vehicles also provides an excellent opportunity to take stock of how you use your fleet vehicles.

Making the switch to electric vehicles could offer up some huge savings on running costs you weren’t even aware of as being an issue.

The vehicles themselves though aren’t the only consideration…

Powering the vehicles

Probably the greatest factor stopping people in switching to electric vehicles is the anxiety around range and charge points.

The scenario everyone probably over-plays in their head is an electric vehicle slowly grinding to a halt in the middle of nowhere. The battery light being the last thing you see before it all shuts down.

The reality however is that this is extremely unlikely – infact, it’s about as unlikely as you running out of petrol or diesel.

Vehicle ranges and our understanding of them has improved massively.

There are also now far more initiatives being realised to meet the power supply demands of people switching now that the switchover is becoming mandatory.

There have been huge leaps forward in the amount of public charging points available.

On your journeys around major towns/cities you have probably noticed the increase in public charging points yourself.

The reason why you are noticing there are more power points isn’t a coincidence.

There is a concerted effort to make charging electric vehicles as simple and as quick as possible.

Charing an electric car – something we’ll all be doing soon enough…

Public Charging Points

One such initiative has recently seen BP Pulse announce a new partnership with EVN (Electric Vehicle Network) – which is an electric vehicle charging infrastructure designed to help with the roll-out of ultra-fast charge points – with BP themselves looking to reach 16,000 charge points in the UK by 2030.

Then there is Gridserve who opened their first all-electric forecourt in Braintree in 2020.

This allows upto 36 vehicles to be charged simultaneously. This is the first of 100 such sites Gridserve is planning to build in the next 5 years as part of a £1bn project.

These are just a couple of schemes of the many such schemes taking place – all countering the rapidly increasing demand for supply.

Then there is the technology of charging the vehicles themselves. The pre-conception is that electric vehicles have to take hours and hours to charge.

But this isn’t the case.

There are already Rapid-charging charge points which mean some vehicles can be charged to 80% in around 35 minutes. Even most standard charge-points can charge vehicles to 80% in just over an hour.

Of course, if you are choosing the right vehicles in the first place, these issues should hardly ever be an issue if the planning is right.

Also, the availability of websites like www.zap-map.com provide useful information in relation to charging points and planning tools – helping fleet managers plan journeys better.

Private Charging Points.

The most neglected part of owning an all-electric fleet is setting aside the cost of having your own private charging points installed.

Having your own charging points means you aren’t reliant on public charging facilities – and the vehicles can be charged overnight as required.

With your own charging points, you can monitor usage and measure costs both with workplace chargers and also for the individuals, who would have charging points fitted at home.

There is also the Government’s OLEV grant which will contribute towards the cost of a home charging point being installed.

For larger businesses, there is also the option to generate your own electricity. Being “off-grid” has its benefits and having capacity to generate your own power could have other significant benefits worth looking into.

Coping with the pace of change.

The technology behind electric vehicles is evolving all the time. From the vehicles themselves to the power behind them – huge leaps forward seem to be being made every day.

It is likely that the pace of change in the electric vehicle landscape is also putting people off making the change right now.

Businesses could well be waiting for things to “settle down” before making the switch – or worrying that they commit to something and then the technology improves and/or becomes cheaper in the meantime.

Again, the reality is that these issues are put to bed by one major over-riding factor – all the incentives (in the form of grants etc…) to help your business make the change are out there right now.

They won’t be there forever.

The other major factor is that even in its current embryonic state, switching to electric vehicles can offer huge savings if you switched right now – and the great news is that those savings will only get better as the technology improves.

So rather than being put off by the pace of change, it is actually the perfect time to grab the bull by the horns – so to speak.

At the very least, you need to start weighing up your options, costing things up and looking at what factors are involved for your business in making the switch.

Because whichever way you shake it, by sticking with what you have right now is likely to be far costlier in the long-run.

Now over to you. If you have any questions about any aspect of switching to electric vehicles, or even where to start – please feel free to submit a comment at the bottom of this page – or if you want any information directly, message us using the form below. One of our electric vehicle specialists will be happy to contact you to discuss your circumstances further.

 

Advice on switching to all-electric vehicles.

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The Volkswagen Abt eTransporter LWB – The Reviews

The Volkswagen Abt eTransporter LWB – The Reviews

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The Volkswagen Abt eTransporter LWB – The Reviews

If you have been finding stock this month tough to come by, we might have the answer. With reported issues in meeting demand due to the issues in the supply chain of components, finding vans – let alone great deals on vans has been hard to come by.

One of the vans that has gotten around these issues though and that we have seen plenty of great deals for is the all-electric Volkswagen Abt E-transport LWB. But is it any good?

About The Van

What’s it all about?

The VW e-Transporter is an electric version of VW’s classic mid-range, LWB van. Coming from VW then you can be assured of high-quality build and guaranteed quality driving experience – especially on urban streets, where the smooth ride makes light work of all the pot-holes!

Inside the Cab

The e-Transporter is one of the smartest interiors of the vans in this category – delivering both supreme comfort and style.

The van comes either as the e-Transporter or the 5 or 6 seat e-Transporter Kombi. The interior is also extremely functional – with plenty of storage options and cup-holders.

There is a choice of two different-sized infotainment screens. It also comes with a wireless charging option and is compatible with Apple AirPlay / Android Auto.

Other Equipment

The equipment and controls is pretty conventional and what you’d expect – but it’s well packaged and presented – which makes it even more re-assuring. It comes with;

  • 16-inch wheels
  • Air-conditioning
  • Heat-insulating cabin glass
  • Heated front seats
  • Driver’s seat with height-adjustment, four-way lumber support and arm rest
  • Dual passenger bench seat
  • Rubber flooring in the cabin
  • Electric windows
  • Electric, heated door mirrors
  • Multi-function steering wheel, leather trimmed
  • LED interior lighting
  • Lockable, illuminated glovebox
  • Single 12v socket
  • 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB C connectivity
  • Multi-function ‘premium’ instrument cluster display
  • Volkswagen App-Connect compatible
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Remote central locking

Using the Van

The range

Being electric, the range of a van is important. VW quotes a WLTP range of 82 miles. However, the range of any electric vehicle is always subject to driving style and weather conditions.

Now that might not sound a lot, but with the vehicle coming with a limiter of 56mph, this helps the battery charge.

However, if the majority of your driving is localised to 20 miles radius and on local roads, then the range is going to be more than adequate on a day-to-day basis.

Charging

Charging the e-Transporter to an 80 per cent charge from flat can take around 45 minutes, while charging from a 7.2kW wall-box full charges the battery in around five and a half hours.

If you are planning on making longer journeys on a regular basis then with it’s range, it’s probably not the best choice. If however you are concentrating your driving locally, you won’t be spending chunks of your working day charging the thing as we’ve already said, the range will be more than adequate.

Load

Because of the weight of the batteries, the payload is reduced to a maximum of 996kg – however this often meets most needs.

VW interior and doors

Also, on the plus-side, the e-Transporter has been homologated to tow up to 1500kg – which is unusual for an electric van as many aren’t rated to tow at all. 

The other great thing is the battery packs are tucked away underneath the van. This means it doesn’t impact on the load space and you get the same as you would in a diesel version.

 

AutoExpress scores the e-Transporter 4 out of 5 for it’s Energy Use and Running Costs and it’s Driving and Performance.

It then gives the van 4.5 out of 5 for it’s load space and practicality as well as it’s reliability and safety whilst it’s cab and interior scores a 5 out of 5.

It then gives an overall score of a rather stingy 3 out of 5 – citing the reasons for scoring it down as its cost and its low range.

However, as we’ve discussed, if you a looking to use a van locally, the range is irrelevant. And with so many issues with supply, the deals available on these vans at the moment make the cost much more palatable – it’s probably the best time to get one.

The Parker’s Guide gives the e-Transporter a 4.0 out of 5 rating.

It too cites the main plus points being the interior, the drive quality, it being cheap to run and it’s towing load as mentioned previously.

On the downside again it cites purchase price, range and the speed limiter.

Again though, for local use on local roads and the odd sprint up a couple of motorway junctions, the range and speed limiter isn’t an issue.

Parker’s Guide sums up that due to the sheer quality of the interior and the drive – the e-Transporter is worth considering over the Mercedes eVito.

WhatCar gives the e-Transporter a 3 out of 5 rating.

WhatCar does list the vehicle’s range (or lack of) as a negative. However, as we’ve already said, if you are only making short, local journeys each day, this isn’t really an issue. So if this is your business, then the plus points in the WhatCar review are much more important. 

In the rest of the review it scores the VW eTransporter Abt with 4/5 for it’s drive, low running costs and safety features. 

It does score 3 out of 5 for it’s payload being 996kg. It doesn’t however, mention the towing capability of the van – which on this van is a big plus point.

In summing up, WhatCar says “Volkswagen’s partnership with ABT to make the e-Transporter is a quick fix to get an electric van on the market to rival competitors. It could be improved with more size options, bigger batteries and a greater range, but overall it is a smart, safe and comfortable attempt at an electric van.

Summary

If you are looking to switch to an electric van that;

·         you can use locally,

·         rely on for a save, smooth and comfortable drive,

·         come with the payload space of a diesel van, and

·         that is cheap as chips to run,

then the deals currently available on the VW Abt eTransporter LWB are worth checking out. 

The other thing to consider is how cheap it will be to run on a day-to-day basis. It is compliant with the new Clean Air Zones and zero tax. It also comes with the rapid charge option to get to 80% – making it ideal for local use.

When you consider all these factors, the VW Transport is a great van with 70 years’ heritage – and the electric version is a great starting point for your electric van journey.

If you would like to get a quote for some of the deals out there, drop us a line and one of our experts will contact you. 

Get a Quote

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The Tesla Model 3 – The Reviews

The Tesla Model 3 – The Reviews

The Tesla Model 3 – The Reviews

There has been a lot of noise about the Tesla Model 3 for quite a while – and there are currently lots of great deals to be had. So could the Tesla Model 3 be worth a punt?

To help you cut through the noise, I’ve put together a collection of reviews and comments from the main review sites out there – giving you a snapshot of this much-sought after electric car.

The Car itself and – why it’s so sought after.

Tesla’s Model 3 is getting so much attention because it’s their first real affordable “volume” car.

As a mid-sized executive car, it’s pitching itself in the territory of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 as an alternative. And that puts it under quite a lot of immediate pressure.

The car also comes with an impressive set of stats. The standard-range model – which most people will go for – comes with a range of 254-mile WLTP-rated (so obviously will be dependent on the usual factors such as weather, usage etc…).

There is a “Long-range” model which comes with an industry-leading WLTP-rated 348-mile range. There is also a “Performance” range which comes with a 329-mile WLTP rated range – and this model will also achieve 60mph in a remarkable 3.2 seconds – putting it in Ferrari Territory.

Practicality and user-friendliness

The Model 3 is a 5-seat saloon. It is slightly longer than a BMW 3 Series and so it affords more space inside and in the boot – particularly as there is less mechanical bits to work around.

The car comes with all the luxury mod-cons you would expect in an executive saloon – leather upholstery, powered steering adjustment, rear view camera, climate control, DVD System, 4 USB ports, docking station etc… There’s also a huge 15-inch touchscreen control which contains a variety of apps including Google Maps – excellent for intuitive real-time traffic updates – and there is a smartcard entry and start-up system.

It’s also worth noting that the car comes with a 4 year / 50,000 mile vehicle warranty and an 8 year battery warranty.

 

So that’s the car – what are the reviews saying? Let’s take a look.

“The Tesla Model 3 offers impressive performance, great range and a unique take on car design. It’s a relatively expensive EV, but certainly one of the best.”

5 /5 Stars

“It’s still the most usable electric car on the market, thanks to Tesla’s brilliant Supercharger network, while the well-planned interior is bristling with clever design and storage solutions that make day-to-day use even more enjoyable.”

4/5 Stars

“There is much more to the Model 3 than a Tesla badge at an affordable price. Even in the current cheapest, lowliest form, the car combines truly realistic and practical usability with competitive saloon-car practicality, really striking performance and handling dynamism that doesn’t lack anything for the want of ambition.”

4/5 Stars

“Everything Tesla has done up to this point has built towards the Model 3… and it’s been worth it”

8/10

“The Tesla Model 3 is good to drive, packed full of tech, fast (ridiculously so in Performance guise) and even reasonably practical. Yes, it is firmer-riding than some of its executive car rivals, but it’s never uncomfortable, even on beaten-up UK roads. It’s is also competitively priced and well equipped, and factor in its long battery range and Tesla’s world-beating charging infrastructure and it’s more recommendable than the Polestar 2. Indeed, it’s a real contender not just in the electric car class, but the wider executive car class, too.”

5/5

Are there any downsides?

In looking around the reviews – the only negative comments are that some reviewers say it’s expensive whilst others feel it is competitively priced.

The only other comments noted are in relation to a slightly “firm” ride quality – but again, this varies from review to review.

In Summary

The feeling is out there in review-land that there are certainly no bad reviews we can find for the Tesla Model 3.

The car is not only viewed as a leading Electric Car, but also one of the leading executive saloons amongst some very established competition.

With Tesla Model 3’s available and in-stock at the moment, there are lots of great deals on the Model 3 to be had.

To receive quotes on the Tesla Model 3 contact our team to discuss your needs and we’ll find you a great deal!

Get a Quote

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The VW ID.4 SUV – VW’s stunning new all-electric about to launch in the UK.

The VW ID.4 SUV – VW’s stunning new all-electric about to launch in the UK.

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The VW ID.4 SUV – VW’s stunning new all-electric about to launch in the UK.

There is a limited batch of VW’s first “all-electric” SUV coming to the UK from April-May time.
The ID.4 is being pitched into the market to compete with the Kia e-Niro and the Hyundai Kona Electrical along with models Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Tesla Model Y.

It’s already looking like there are some excellent deals to be had. But how does VW’s first global fully-electric car stack up?

Here we’ll answer some of the most commonly-asked questions.

The Performance

What can I expert from the engine?

The ID.4 comes with a range of models offering varying levels of output and mileage range. Perhaps the most impressive is the “first edition” model with a mileage range WLTP rated 323 miles, 204 Ps (which is essentially an equivalent of Horsepower) and a top speed of 99mph.

What does WLTP rated mean?

WLTP stands for Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure – and despite having more words than letters in it’s anacronym – it is essentially a testing procedure to see how all vehicles perform in everyday conditions. The caveat here of course is that it won’t account for things like your personal driving style, weight carried and so forth – so the mileage range should always be taken as more of a best case for what you could expect.

In terms of future models, VW are readying a 266 Ps version and also looking at releasing a GTX hot-hatch version.

How long does it take to charge?

One of the main considerations in switching to an electric vehicle is the charge time.

In the ID.4, The battery can be charged from 0-80% in 38 minutes – with 80% providing plenty of power for most average days use.

To achieve 100% there is a battery fast charge time of 450 minutes, however charging to 100% regularly can impair the battery’s longevity.

What’s it like to drive?

Autoexpress sum it up perfectly when they say that the car – despite it’s weight – is “fun to drive” and… “surprisingly agile and links nicely with the light and accurate controls”.

It also comes with simple controls and not too many buttons or gadgets to leave your head spinning, making it a perfect introduction to the EV market.

What “tech” does it come with?

The car has a minimal interior but comes with a 10 or 12” display infotainment touchscreen – depending on the trim chosen.

The ID.4 main cabin features can be controlled by the, rather excellent, “Hello Volkswagen” voice control system.

It also comes with excellent “driving assist” features such as lane assist, reversing camera and a rather cool digital display for the dashboard instruments.

There is also “ID.Light”. This is superb feature which uses a band of LED light running across the width of the windscreen which changes colour and pattern to supplement and support navigation controls, charging status and prompts for other useful driving assist features.

Suitability

What’s it like to drive in towns & cities?

Despite being slightly bigger than the VW Tiguan, with a tight turning circle, the ID.4 is an SUV that is a doddle to park and deal easily with tight spaces.

Who is it most suitable for?

As an SUV the ID.4 is the perfect family car. It can also comfortably fit two adults in the back – 3 at a push. The ID.4 also comes with ample boot space, and the rear seats fold to reveal an excellent sized space.

The ID.4 can also tow a tonne in weight and is also the first VW electric vehicle to come with the option of a towbar.

Verdict

The ID.4 is going to be a hugely popular electric vehicle and the “1st Edition” will be a landmark in VW’s foray into the electric market.

There are already some superb deals to be had for when the vehicle lands in the next couple of months – if you would like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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