Major European health technology provider x-tention invests in UK health technology group

Today we announce a merger with leading health IT services group, x-tention. The below press release shares more information about what this means for our clients, the UK healthcare market and for us. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate contact us.

Major European health technology provider x-tention invests in UK health technology group

The Kent based health technology group incorporating Cloud21 and CTO Technologies who provide consultancy and products to the health and social care market has merged with one of Europe’s largest health IT service companies, the x-tention group, head quartered in Austria.

Cloud21 and CTO Technologies (incorporating Otlo) founded by Tony Corkett, support the successful digital transformation of health and social care.

Since 2009 health IT consultancy Cloud21 has worked with over 75 NHS organisations and international clients providing expertise and support throughout all stages of digital transformation programmes from co-developing strategy, managing procurement to implementation. At all stages the company supports its clients to deliver their technology needs as they take a step closer to realising the vision of interoperable systems.

In 2019 the company expanded its offerings to bring UiPath’s award winning automation technology to the NHS.

Established in 2015 CTO Technologies addresses the technical needs of the NHS, providing infrastructure and managed services. It was whilst supporting the NHS during WannaCry that the company recognised the need for more health specific security services and in 2019 Otlo was launched as a service focussed on protecting NHS infrastructure.

Tony Corkett, Founder said, “Whilst the partnership with x-tention is a significant milestone in the group’s history, it also marks a point for new capabilities available to UK health and social care organisations. x-tentions product range including Orchestra eHealth Suite and dedicated development and engineering resources can help us to support our mission of maximising the benefits that technology can deliver to the healthcare sector – needed now more than ever.”

x-tention provides consulting, software, implementation and operational solutions to over 900 healthcare organisations across Europe, the USA and Asia. In Austria the company has almost 100% Enterprise Service Bus market share, in Germany 45% and Switzerland 30%.

Corkett continues, “20 years ago I set out to transform the way technology is used in healthcare after experiencing the issues that affect healthcare staff and patients as a radiographer. Together with my colleagues we have strived to support the adoption of new technologies and use of information intelligently in healthcare to make a difference to staff and patients. Through a stronger financial platform, we are able to develop market specific healthcare IT solutions for the UK from one of the largest IT healthcare service providers in Europe.”

One of the largest hospital chains in Europe, Helios International, connects it’s 130 hospitals using x-tention’s integration engine, Orchestra eHealth Suite. The company has built the national health record for Austria for 8 million people and is now also building a national health record for 26 million German people.

Commenting on the deal, Benedikt Aichinger, Managing Director of x-tention Limited said, “This is one of the most significant milestones of x-tention’s history because the UK represents true international expansion. For UK health and social care organisations this partnership means they have access to extensive specialist health technology solutions and expertise from a European company that has proven that a national health information exchange is possible.”

Introducing our newest product: CyberCentral

Everyone here at CTO Technologies is excited to announce CyberCentral, a new Cyber Security product developed as a cost-effective way for organisations to increase visibility of their network, automate routine tasks, and highlight areas of the network most vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

CyberCentral is a Cyber Security Platform that will scan IT networks to bring back information on the platforms and software products in use, analyse these against a large database of vulnerabilities, and highlight devices at risk of malware and cyber-attacks in a clear and visual way on a central dashboard. Users will then be able to run reports listing devices to target for remediation, or to show compliance, for example compliance with NHS Digital CareCERTs for healthcare organisations. Custom dashboards are continually being developed to enhance the relevancy and value of the information presented.

Knowledge is key

Mark Bishop, technical director at CTO Technologies, was recently interviewed by Digital Health for their special report on Cyber Security. For Mark knowledge is key, “It’s important that customers understand what their vulnerabilities are and make sure they are protected from the latest malware risks.”

To read all of what Mark and other industry experts have to say about Cyber Security in healthcare click here and to find out how CTO Technologies’ new product CyberCentral can help you manage and report on your readiness visit the CyberCentral website.

Windows 7 Support Ends in Less Than 1 Year

You would have seen our previous blog about the upcoming Windows 7 end of life back in September 2018
It is now less than a year until January the 14th 2020, when Microsoft will be stopping extended support for Windows 7 and Server 2008 server. 

The 14th of January 2020 is now less than a year away, so if you manage Windows devices on a network, you need start planning your upgrade.

The reason this is so important is because when support ends, Windows 7 will no longer get system updates most importantly, security updates. 

Not receiving these updates will make your network of devices much more vulnerable to malicious software. Much like with Windows XP in 2014, as soon as the support ends, known exploits that haven’t been fixed will be targeted by malicious individuals. 

Best practice is to upgrade to the latest platform, which currently is Windows 10, version 1809. Such a large change may cause compatibility issues with existing applications, so it’s important to do a full audit and carry out application compatibility reviews beforehand to make sure everything will continue to work. 

Some hackers have been known to make records of vulnerabilities for software, and kept them secret until the software has gone out of support. This means that there are potentially Windows 7 vulnerabilities that have been found by hackers, that are not even known by Microsoft themselves, and once it is out of support, these then may never be fixed leaving open holes in the software for the hackers to exploit. 

Upgrading may not be an option due to software compatibility constraints, or simply time constraints. While this isn’t ideal, there are steps you can take in order to reduce the risk of issues. While this won’t give you the lowest possible risk, it’s the best guidelines you can follow when you simply can’t upgrade.

It isn’t just Windows 7 going end of life, Windows Server 2008 is also on the list.

We are actively working with customers both existing and new to help them to plan for their upcoming migrations. If you would like to see how we can help you please give us a call, or email us at and we will arrange one of migration specialists to talk to you.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

Our Services to Healthcare

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust is a large acute hospital Trust in the South East of England, providing a full range of general hospital services and some areas of specialist complex care to around 560,000 people in the south of West Kent and the north of East Sussex. It operates from two main clinical sites in Maidstone Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital, and employs a team of over 5,000 full and part time staff.

At the time of the project, the Trust was experiencing serious financial pressures, leading to an increased emphasis on all departments to develop ways to generate cost-savings. As part of this cost-saving drive, CTO Technologies were asked to complete a range of technical audits to identify potential areas for reducing expenditure without compromising patient care or user experience.

The technical audits completed by CTO Technologies ascertained that the Trust relied heavily on Microsoft services, especially SQL, which were licensed as part of a Server Cloud Enrolment Agreement (SCE). Using our extensive licensing experience and understanding of the Trust’s physical and virtual servers, we undertook a full review of the SCE and benchmarked this against the current SQL infrastructure.

A digital platform was designed, procured and implemented which enabled the Trust to deliver their long-term vision and strategy for the continual enhancement of patient care, specifically:

  • The changes to the licensing agreement proposed by CTO Technologies resulted in significant cost-savings to the Trust
  • CTO Technologies assisted the Trust in negotiating a new contract with Microsoft to secure a more efficient and cost-effective way for the Trust to licence its SQL estate, taking into account all active and pipeline projects to ensure that the Trust had sufficient coverage.

At a time when the Trust was under huge pressure to make significant cost-savings without compromising patient care, CTO Technologies’ software licensing audit and the subsequent implementation of their recommendations greatly reduced licensing costs with zero negative impact to the Trust or our patients. The project achieved the stated objective within the required timescale, and the level of support and communication from the CTO Technologies team was excellent throughout.

IT Manager

Online Safety – Black Friday

This year Black Friday is the 23rd November and Cyber Monday follows on the 26th November.  

Black Friday started in the US and is the informal name for the day following Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday of November. This day is now regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season with Cyber Monday following it and they are two of the biggest shopping days of the year. This creates an unprecedented opportunity for Cyber criminals to have access to a huge number of potential targets compared to any other day of the year. 

During this period, it is highly probable that many employees will use their corporate IT systems to undertake some element of their online shopping. This will result in an increase in the risk of attacks aimed at the systems in use. Attackers will continue to tailor their phishing campaigns and social engineering campaigns to take advantage of vulnerable shoppers regardless of what IT systems they are using so both corporate and home users need to be vigilant.  

We have put together a great list of tips to help you to stay safe whilst shopping during this time and hope that you will share it, so your friends, family and colleagues can protect themselves during the upcoming online shopping season.  

  • Watch out for fake websites 
    It is very easy for criminals to create websites that look exactly like other retailers boasting some incredible deals to entice you in. The quality of fake sites varies; if you notice a spelling mistake or grammatical error then you are very likely not on the genuine website. Also make sure the URL looks correct, and you can check that you are on the proper website by going direct if you know it and not via any links on other web pages or pop-ups. 
  • If you can pay with credit cards 
    Credit cards give you protection if things go wrong with a purchase. If you have issues with the delivery and them not showing up or they are faulty then Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act means you can claim the money back, the goods however must have cost more than £100 and less than £30,000. If the item was less than £100 you may still be covered by your bank, this is worth checking.  
  • When using public wifi make sure your devices are secure 
    Hotspots that are offered at many places e.g. coffee shops, retail stores, restaurants are so convenient these days, but they are can put you in a very vulnerable position. It doesn’t take much for a Cyber Criminal to use these networks to launch an attack and they can even create fake hotspots to lure you in. If you have to use them then make sure your device is protected with security software and don’t make any purchases. If you must make that purchase there and then, be sure to use your cellular network or a trusted VPN to be extra safe. 
  • Make sure that the site is secure 
    Never purchase anything that is from a site that doesn’t start with https at the start of the URL. By having https at the beginning of the URL means that the all communication between your browser and the website you are visiting is encrypted. It’s important to know that just because the site start with https, it does not guarantee it’s safe to use. Just like genuine shopping sites, Cyber Criminals will use https with their fake sites to make them more convincing. Remember to be vigilant and watch out for fake websites. 
  • Keep your eyes peeled for dodgy emails 
    Phishing emails are so common these days and they are very deceptive. They are designed to appear from a trusted organisation such as your bank or favourite online shopping website. Their aim is to dupe you into revealing your personal details that could then allow the attacker to infiltrate your online accounts. These emails normally contain links: Never Click On Them. Always double check the email address and also the link URL. Banks will never email you asking for personal details. Again, go direct to the bank’s website and login to check if you want to make sure and Never Click On The Link. 
  • If it looks too good to be true, then… 
    As the old adage, “if it’s too good to be true it probably is” is a good one, but these days there are a lot of good deals to be had especially during the upcoming weekend sales. Our advice is to make sure you do your research especially if you are buying online, also speak to friends or even seek advice from your IT security specialist to double check that the site looks genuine. It won’t take a lot of time and the deal should still be there when you return. 

There is some more great advice on the consumer website Which? and is definitely worth checking out 


Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Our Services to Healthcare

Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) is a specialist NHS hospital in East Grinstead, providing lifechanging reconstructive surgery, burns care and rehabilitation services for people across the South of England. Internationally renowned, and with a reputation for pioneering new and innovative techniques and treatments, the Hospital employs over 900 staff, and is responsible for the healthcare needs of over 7,600 people across Surrey, Kent and Sussex.

CTO Technologies were tasked with assessing QVH’s current IT infrastructure, designing a scalable model for the future, and assisting the Trust in procuring the best potential solution within budgetary constraints. The project brief involved improving end user experience through faster, improved cabling and networks, providing easier, quicker and secure access to digital information (including patient records), building redundancy into the current infrastructure to improve business continuity, and creating a scalable platform which can be easily added to in the future without compromising performance or security.

A digital platform was designed, procured and implemented which enabled QVH to deliver their long-term vision and strategy for the continual enhancement of patient care, specifically:

  • The new infrastructure enabled clinicians to have faster access to patient records and reduced admission times, which resulted in a greatly-improved patient experience.
  • Administration time for clinicians was reduced, real-time access to care records was facilitated, and greater clinical mobility became possible.
  • Clinical downtime was reduced as a result of a hugely scalable infrastructure platform, with better integration, improved system stability and new clinical records systems.
  • Robust and Trust-specific contracts were established with all third party contractors, giving the Trust peace of mind that they are getting the right balance of support and value from their supplier network.

Mark and the team at CTO Technologies took the time to really understand how the various departments within the Trust worked, and what was needed to improve efficiency and patient care from an IT infrastructure perspective. Their experience and collaborative approach were key to the success of the project, and helped us achieve our main goals of improving end user experience, building redundancy into our systems, and creating a scalable platform for evolving clinical and operational development.

Nasir Rafiq, IT Manager

The beginning of the NHS

This year, on 5th July, we celebrated the 70th birthday of the NHS. The NHS has been, for a long time now, at the centre of British society, a constant contention point in all general elections and even Brexit and immigration debates. Although the debate today generally revolves around money, and although we generally agree that the concept of universal free treatment for patients is a benefit, the beginning of the NHS was not without scandal itself.

On 5th July 1948, Sylvia Beckingham was the first patient admitted to hospital in Manchester treated on the NHS. The idea of uniting all the country’s hospitals into one state-run structure took shape during the Second World War and immediately after. Back then, Britain had 2,700 hospitals run by charities and councils. The sheer number of casualties during the war put immense stress on the hospitals and, combined with low funding, many hospitals were close to bankruptcy.

In 1945, the new government promised a revolution in healthcare. Aneurin Bevan, the charismatic Minister of Health, stated his ambition to build a new health service based on four principles: free to the point of use, available for everyone, paid for out of general taxation and used responsibly. Whilst today you might agree with his principles, 70 years ago a furious opposition comprising consultants, doctors and political rivals existed. The idea of the service being universal came under scrutiny, also its funding from taxation, rather than insurance. The initial rush of patients in the first months of the NHS was blamed by Bevan on the uncertainty of the service being free for long due to the pressure exacted by its opposition. 

In 1951, the vast expense tied to the NHS brought Bevan’s ministerial career to a premature end. With a new government in place, a committee led by Cambridge academic, Claude Guillebaud, was tasked with looking at different ways to pay for the nation’s health. To the government’s surprise, the committee came back with a report confirming that the NHS was an efficient, cost-effective way of treating healthcare, and so the NHS managed to survive its first perilous years and now reaches its 70th year of activity.

Now and then:

  • Life expectancy
    In 1948 the life expectancy for men was 65.9 and for women 70.3. Now it is 79.5 for men and 83.1 for women.
  • Infant mortality
    When the NHS was founded the figure was 34.5 per 1000 live births. In 2016 the figure for infant mortality is 3.8.
  • Prescriptions
    We are currently prescribing more drugs than ever before. In 1948 there were 225 million prescriptions in the UK; in 2016 we reached 1.3 billion prescriptions.
  • Nurses and doctors
    In 1949 there were 60,997 nurses in England and Wales, in 2017 there were 285,093 only in England. Also, the number of doctors dramatically increased, from 11,735 to 109,960. But what does this mean for the average person? Well, in 1949 there was one nurse per 641 people and one doctor per 3,328. Now the figure is much better – one nurse for every 174 people and one doctor per every 473.
  • Spending
    In 1949 we were spending 3.5% of the GDP on the NHS, totaling at about £400m, while in 2016-2017 we were spending 7.3% of the GDP, £144bn.

As we discussed in our previous blog, “Bismarck and the Beginning of Universal Healthcare”, as in that case for Germany, the initial steps of any nationwide healthcare system were a bit of a stumble, often driven or opposed by political considerations, rather than humanitarian ones. Although it might seem easy for us now to think of the nation’s health as a core state concern, a question that needs to be tackled and considered at the highest levels of government, we have to realise that for most of human history, health was considered a personal matter and only in cases of major epidemics would the state intervene. 

It took us millennia to think of the state as a gathering of people with shared cultural values, then as a piece of land defined by arbitrary lines in the sand drawn since time immemorial, and the same thing can be said about healthcare. It took us a long time to see it as the responsibility of the government to ensure the well-being of the nation.

MacOS Mojave: Everything you need to know!

At CTO Technologies we use a blend of Windows and Apple products to undertake our work. We see there are advantages and disadvantages to both products and utilise them to their strengths. We are both ready and prepared to migrate to Windows 10 but we are also getting ready to prepare ourselves for the upcoming release of MacOS Mojave.

After a run of mountain themes Apple have moved southward to the Golden States famed desert. Mojave as it is known has been available as a public beta release for a while but will have been released by the time you have read this.

This release will introduce lots of new features, a new dark mode which Apple has been asked to produce for a while, and we will also see some of our favourite iOS apps now taking their place in the new operating system. One of the features that have really interested us is the enhanced security that Apple is now employing to protect its users from being tracked on the web.

We have produced a small list of some of our favourite updates:

  1. Security Improvements – Security has been a hot topic during 2018 and Apple have made sure to touch upon that with their latest MacOS release. What they are aiming to achieve is to make all Apple products appear the same as any other when they are browsing the internet to reduce the ability to track. They are also increasing the security of Safari so that you can no longer be stalked by those adds that follow you around just because you looked at a new jumper that one time.
  2. iOS Apps – Craig Federighi strongly denied that the operating systems would merge saying that Apple loved MacOS and wanted to keep it running alongside their other mainstream iOS. Instead what Federighi said is that Apple would make it easier to port iOS apps across to MacOS to further enhance and create a cross platform layered approach. What we will see coming to Mojave is News, Voice Memos and Home, and also Stocks but I can’t say I have ever used it.
  3. Continuity Camera – This is a great feature. This will allow you to take a photo with your iPhone or scan a document and have it appear straight away on your Mac for access and editing. We use our iPhones a lot at CTO Technologies to take pictures of white boards and scan documents so we anticipate this feature will be used a lot.
  4. Dark Mode – With MacOS Mojave, you can now put the entirety of your desktop into darkness which is really cool. This means all your apps go dark as well as the top and bottom menus.
  5. Stacks – This is for all the people who have a cluttered desktop with lots of different files just all over the place. Guess what, stacks will organise your life! It will put all of the files into – you guessed it – Stacks! You will be able to organise the different stacks by file type, date, tags and much more.

The end of Windows 7 is coming, are you ready for it?

As you may already be aware, Windows 7 support from Microsoft will end on 14th January 2020. This isn’t something to fear, but what does this really mean?

The good news is Windows 7 will continue to function normally after this date and you will still be able to activate new installations. The bad news is Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support. Therefore, as time progresses Windows 7 will become increasingly vulnerable to security risks.

In addition, Windows 7 is already only supported on Intel 6th generation (Skylake) processors and older. Many vendors are starting to see shortages of 6th gen processors so sourcing equipment still compatible with Windows 7 will become increasingly difficult. If you require Windows 7 compatible hardware, then our advice is to contact your suppliers as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

At CTO Technologies we still have some machines running Windows 7 but our migration to Windows 10 is already underway having run many pilots. We’re confident we’ll make the 2020 target date, but this has taken considerable planning and preparation. We also took this as an opportunity to adopt a cloud first approach, however that’s a topic for another time.

As much as we’d like to share our internal plan for you to use, most of it may not be relevant as there isn’t a one size fits all approach. Instead, we thought it best to outline the steps we have been through to formulate our migration plan. Please take from this what is relevant to you and your organisation and we hope it’s of some help.

In a simplistic overview, you will need to:

  • assess the compatibility of existing hardware with Windows 10
  • assess the compatibility of existing software with Windows 10
  • purchase new/upgrade existing hardware (if required)
  • purchase updated/replacement software (if required)
  • ensure sufficient Windows 10 licenses
  • prepare internal infrastructure (e.g. deployment and management tools)
  • test and decide an upgrade path (in-place or wipe-and-load)
  • provide end user training
  • trial Windows 10 with a small user group and troubleshoot
  • commence phased roll out of Windows 10 to a wider user base

We appreciate that’s a lot to achieve and dependant on the size of your organisation; doing so by the 14th January 2020 may not be feasible. Fortunately, as previously mentioned, Windows 7 will not stop working on this date. What this list has hopefully highlighted is that migrating to Windows 10 can be a complex task and your preparations should be started sooner rather than later.

With all this information in mind, what do we suggest? It’s time to stop putting off that migration to Windows 10. At the time of writing there is just over 15 months until Windows 7 reaches end of life, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to start planning.

If you need assistance with any aspects of your Windows 10 migration, then get in touch and see what CTO Technologies can do to help your organisation.

Electric Vehicles are the Future

You have more than likely heard of hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, or maybe even more modern electric vehicles, like Tesla’s line-up.  Even if you haven’t, I will be going over some of the details, and benefits/limitations of both.  

The Toyota Prius is a Hybrid car that was originally released back in the year 2000. It featured both a traditional combustion engine that is found in almost all modern vehicles, as well as a battery and electric motor alongside this. The engine and the motor could be used in unison, the car automatically switching when necessary, depending on conditions such as speed, or individually when needed. The primary advantage of this was fuel efficiency, with the electric motor taking over at low speeds, such as in traffic, and the engine only taking over when more power was needed, such as on a motorway. Another advantage is the fact that since it uses less fuel, there will be much less emissions from the vehicle. While the Prius was originally released in 2000, it didn’t pick up in sales until around the year 2004, where it sold over 7,800 units, and then it quickly climbed to almost 43,000 sales in 2010. While there are plenty of other hybrids on the market, this one was what caught people’s attention since it was more affordable and is often considered to be the cause of the hybrid and electric car revolution. These hybrid cars often function by having the user charge the car at home or at a charging point occasionally to make sure the battery is topped up; however, the cost of electricity is a lot cheaper than fuel.  

Ever since the popularity of hybrid cars spiked, there have been more and more efforts to make fuel efficient and ecologically friendly cars. These sorts of cars also often provide the benefit of reduced costs, since less money is spent on fuel. It is even possible to run some diesel cars on cooking oil, for roughly 18p a litre, saving on costs, and because it’s a biodiesel, it is more ecologically friendly. The most fuel-efficient cars are fully electric cars, simply because they don’t use fuel at all. Where Toyota brought attention to hybrid vehicles, Tesla have recently brought more attention to fully electric vehicles. They currently offer 3 different models of electric road car, with at least one more in development. As well as this they are now offering a fully electric semi-truck model for businesses.  There are now a number of electric vehicle models available, such as the Volkswagen E-Golf, and the BMW i3. However, electric vehicles are not just limited to cars, check out Zero’s range of fully electric motorcycles.  

Electric-Cars Zero

Now I am expecting some of you to be hesitant when it comes to electric vehicles, they are a new technology, and the history for them hasn’t always been great. Electric vehicles have often been lower powered vehicles, such as small mopeds and electric bikes, as opposed to fully-fledged vehicles. This being said, times have changed, and the modern electric vehicles now, in my opinion, have much more benefits over traditional combustion engine vehicles, that it may be time to switch.  

One of the biggest benefits to electric vehicles, that will speak to a lot of people, is the cost savings. As stated above, fully electric vehicles simply need to be charged via a socket of some sort to be functional. They do not use petrol in any way, so you immediately save this cost, and electricity is a lot cheaper than fuel. For myself I spend roughly £200 a month on fuel, and with current prices, it would cost me roughly £20 a month to charge a Tesla model 3. As well as this, the cost of electricity should only be decreasing now as we become more and more reliant on renewable sources, such as solar power, meaning the cost of charging will only go down. The cost savings are not limited to the fuel however. Due to the nature of electric vehicles, they are a lot simpler; the main components are the battery and the electric motors. This means there is a lot less maintenance that needs to be done to the vehicle. For example, one saving is the lack of a need for oil changes, since there is no traditional engine. There are some new technologies possible with electric vehicles, which also have the side effect of great savings. One of these is called regenerative braking. This technology will use the momentum of the car to re-charge the battery when you lift off the gas. This also has the effect of slowing down the car, reducing the need to use the traditional brake. Elon Musk has stated that due to this, the brake pads on the car will last the life of the car, meaning you will not need to change them nearly as often. Another big saving is the road tax. This will vary a lot based on which country you live in, but currently in the UK, electric vehicles are tax exempt. Also, over time, the cost of electric vehicles should drop as production increases. They are a lot easier to make as they are a lot simpler, and there are a lot more opportunities for cost reductions that are not present in traditional cars.  

The Teslas are also coming with some interesting technology and design choices. One of these is the new centre dashboard on the Tesla Model 3, replacing most of the instrument cluster that is present in most modern cars. Instead of using a lot of buttons and dials, most of these have been shifted into a large touchscreen interface to the right of the steering wheel. There are very few physical interfaces, the main ones being the pedals, steering wheel and the indicator stick. This choice may not be liked by everyone, but it helps reduce production cost, and makes making variations (such as right and left-hand drive) a lot easier to manage. Another interesting design choice is the key, or rather the lack of a key. The model 3 allows you to unlock, start and stop it using a credit card sized, NFC key of sorts. To unlock the car, you tap the card on the pillar between the doors, and to start it you simply place it between the front seats. However, this is the secondary method of entry, the true method is to install the Tesla app on your phone, and have the car detect when you are getting into it, and automatically power the motors once you are sitting down. Above we mentioned regen braking, which is a technology exclusive to electric vehicles. Due to the onboard computer having a direct connection to the motors, the software can manage different tasks when needed. This means safety features can be implemented, but the most exciting use case could be self-driving. This means the car could, in the future, drive you from place to place without the need for any human interaction. If you are interested in this, just wait for our upcoming blog on self-driving vehicles.  

One other big benefit, primarily for the car enthusiasts, are the performance benefits. Due to the nature of electric vehicles, they do not need any gearbox or clutch system in the vehicle. It uses a single drive system, meaning it essentially has one gear. Also, it doesn’t need to keep the combustion process running like in a traditional combustion engine. This means no clutch is needed to disengage the motor from the engine. The motor is directly connected to the wheels, and when the vehicle is stopped, it simply stops the motor. This is almost like a very simplified version of an automatic transmission. Since there is no clutch or gearbox system, there is no delay between the motor turning and the power being delivered to the wheels of the car. This means that the car will start moving as soon as you apply pressure to the pedal. Additionally, because there is no ‘ideal rev range’, the power is delivered the same amount throughout all the range of the motor, making overtaking a lot easier. This gives electric vehicles a very torque heavy nature, with the Tesla model 3 delivering a peak torque of 550 lb-ft with roughly 330bhp.  Earlier on I mentioned that Tesla were working on a new model of car. Here I was referring to the Tesla Roadster. With this car they are aiming to create an electric car, which beats all other production cars in all stats. This will include the top speed of over 250mph, 0-60 acceleration time of 1.9 seconds, wheel torque peaking at 10,000 Nm and a range of 620 miles. This will outperform the Bugatti Chiron, which has a peak torque of 1,600 Nm, 0-60 time of 2.4 seconds, and a top speed of 261 mph. The cost of the roadster is also about £200,000, as opposed to the Chiron’s cost of €2,400,000. 

Now, all electric vehicles do have some limitations and issues. The primary one of these is the range. The range does vary a lot from car to car, but some are now offering ranges of up to 300 miles. This will be more than enough for most people; however, this is still something to consider when looking up cars. As well as this, range is difficult to give an exact figure for as it is affected by many factors, including the size of the battery, the quality of the battery/motors, the type of driving you’d be doing, and the weather conditions that you’ll be driving in, as lithium-ion batteries perform better in warmer conditions.  Another concern people often have with EVs is the time to charge and where they can charge it. This is probably the biggest limiting factor of electric vehicles currently as there are not huge amounts of charging points, and while some charging points have the potential to fully charge the car in less than an hour, these are only at certain locations, so a lot of old, slow charges are still being used. 

If you’re still not 100% convinced, know that some governments are offering incentives for people to get electric vehicles. For example, here in the UK, the government is offering a subsidy on electric cars of 35% of the car’s cost, up to £4,500 (at the time of writing). As well as this the UK government is aiming for most new cars to be electric by 2030, and potentially banning non-electric vehicles by the year 2040. 

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