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Inside Skoda's Enyaq Coupe EV – & the world's biggest solar plant

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HERE’S the plan. We get the warhead and we hold the world ransom for . . . ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

Classic Dr Evil, arch-enemy of Austin Powers.

This Skoda Enyaq test car is 286hp and all-wheel drive, which means it’s a lot of fun when you stumble across some dunes in Morocco

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This Skoda Enyaq test car is 286hp and all-wheel drive, which means it’s a lot of fun when you stumble across some dunes in Morocco
Morocco’s incredible Noor solar power plant covers an area the size of 200 football pitches and is the world’s biggest

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Morocco’s incredible Noor solar power plant covers an area the size of 200 football pitches and is the world’s biggest
Morocco is building another complex, even bigger than Noor, to provide leccy exclusively for us. And the millions of electric cars coming our way

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Morocco is building another complex, even bigger than Noor, to provide leccy exclusively for us. And the millions of electric cars coming our way

He’d be right at home here, this place is like a movie set. Except it’s not, it’s real.

And it’s only a three-hour flight from Stansted.

Morocco’s incredible Noor solar power plant — Noor means “light” in Arabic — covers an area the size of 200 football pitches and is the world’s biggest.

The really cool bit sees 7,400 giant mirrors deflect the sun’s rays on to a 247-metre tower full of hot molten salt.

READ MORE ON ELECTRIC CARS

The “power tower” glows like a giant Bunsen burner from school science and can be seen for miles around.

Combine all four solar fields together and the plant kicks out enough juice to power Marrakesh and ­Casablanca and much of the African country.

Why am I telling you this?

Because Morocco is building another complex, even bigger than Noor, to provide leccy exclusively for us.

And the millions of electric cars coming our way.

The Xlinks project will see 2,485 miles of high-voltage DC sea cables running from Morocco — passing Spain, Portugal and France — and popping up in Devon to feed the National Grid.

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I know. Incredible.

The wind and solar plant, in the Guelmim Oued Noun region, will deliver 3.6GW of energy for 19-plus hours a day. Enough to power seven million homes. Eight per cent of Britain’s electricity needs.

And it’s clean. And it’s reliable.

We get lots of miserable days in the UK whereas the Sahara is always scorchio and exposed to Atlantic trade winds.

It’s fun in the dunes but also winter-proof at home

It’s also worth noting that Xlinks will make us less dependent on other foreign power supplies vulnerable to price hikes and world events and should be on-stream by 2030.

By then, four in five new cars must be electric under the Government’s Zero Emission Vehicle mandate.

My car for this investigation was Skoda’s Enyaq Coupe.

Electric, obviously.

But a really good family car first, and an electric car second, if you know what I mean.

Fast, smooth, easy, lots of space, lots of kit, and quieter than a whole bag of “shhh!” With your name on it.

Huge 585-litre boot. Big miles from the big 77kWh battery pack. Not ugly. Great all-rounder. And it recharges at Noor in 0.3 seconds. Not really. But imagine if it did.

Still, it is capable of recharging to 80 per cent while you take a half-hour tea-and-pee break on the A1.

Now I should point out that this Skoda wears the same underpants as the Volkswagen ID4.

But the Skoda is better because it feels less of a jump from what we drive today.

Little things like the gear selector positioned down where it should be and not hidden away behind the steering wheel. The driver’s binnacle positioned neatly in the dashboard and not stuck on top.

This test car is 286hp and all-wheel drive, which means it’s a lot of fun when you stumble across some dunes in Morocco.

But also winter-proof back home.

There’s a cheaper rear-wheel-drive version, which goes a bit further, and a ­racier vRS version, which is a bit faster.

Then there’s the Enyaq SUV which offers two battery packs — 58kWh and 77kWh — and starts at £39k.

That’s my only grumble with the Enyaq Coupe, really.

You’re talking £46k for the base car because it only has the bigger battery and £50k for all-wheel drive.

Throw me a frickin’ bone here.

Little things impress like the gear selector positioned down where it should be and not hidden away behind the steering wheel

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Little things impress like the gear selector positioned down where it should be and not hidden away behind the steering wheel
We get lots of miserable days in the UK whereas the Sahara is always scorchio and exposed to Atlantic trade winds

5

We get lots of miserable days in the UK whereas the Sahara is always scorchio and exposed to Atlantic trade winds

KEY FACTS: SKODA ENYAQ COUPE SPORTLINE PLUS

  • Price: £50,305
  • Battery: 77kWh
  • Power: 286hp
  • 0-62mph: 6.6 secs
  • Top speed: 1 1 1 mph
  • Range: 332 miles
  • CO2: 0g/km
  • Out: Now
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