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Mazda’s first electric vehicle will be revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show next month, according to reports.

The carmaker has separately confirmed that the vehicle will be a totally new model powered by battery as opposed to being an electric version of a current auto.

There is speculation it will be either a small crossover or hatchback.

The company has also previously spoken about using rotary engines as range-extenders for plug-in-hybrids.

* TESLA boss Elon Musk has promised that his company will soon be able to make an electric car battery capable of covering more than a million miles over its life. That’s twice current mileage expectations.

New research by a group of battery experts at Dalhousie University (which, it should be noted, has an exclusive agreement with Tesla) agrees. It says a lithium-ion battery should be able to do so while losing under 10pc of its energy capacity during its lifetime. Jeff Dahn, a leading lithium-ion researcher, says the group proved its battery significantly outperformed anything similar.

* I’M PROMPTED to highlight little checks you can do yourself this week on the basis of sighting some cars badly in need of attention.

The number with dodgy headlights is quite startling.

Some vehicles look like no one has bothered to check on them for a long time.

Either way, it is a good time of year to take a look to ensure there’s no late school-run hiccups.

So think of the old acronym POWDERY as a way of running the rule over your car:

P = Petrol (fuel generally). Lots of people get stranded or stretch to the last drop. Bad for your car. Check and fill.

O = Oil. For older-vehicle owners, especially, check the level regularly.

W = Water. Normally your car will alert you if running low on coolant, but you shouldn’t let it get this low. Check windscreen washer levels too.

D = Damage. Check tyres and bodywork for visible damage.

E = Electrics. Check all the lights, horn and windscreen washers.

R = Rubber. Check your tyres (yes again) – your only points of contact with the road.

Y = You. Are you fit to drive? Medication and tiredness can affect your driving, so concentration may not be 100pc if you’re ill or stressed.

All this seems so obvious that we risk overlooking it.

* BEST wishes to Blackstone Motors, the Renault north-east regional dealer.

It has opened its third Renault and Dacia dealership with the launch of Blackstone Dundalk.

The group has invested €10m across the three operations.

The new dealership brings employee numbers to 55.

The expansion is creating 15 jobs initially, but there are plans for at least 35 posts over the next 18 months.

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