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Gravesend mum gets given BMW to test by Nick Clegg

A mother-of-two who was made redundant turned her pastime of blogging into a career that earns her money and even got her a top of the range car from deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Marianne Weekes took part in the Go Ultra Low campaign, which allowed her to test drive a BMW i3 for six weeks.

The consumer campaign, launched by Mr Clegg, aims to help motorists to see the benefits of low emission vehicles, including electric and hybrids.

Mother-of-four Marianne said: “This is a campaign around trying to stop the negative thinking around electric cars. The people taking part all got sent different cars and I was very excited to get the BMW but my husband Paul wasn’t quite so pleased.

“He was quite negative about it beforehand but after driving it we realised how amazing it was.”

The i3 is a range extending car which means it runs off electric and when the charge runs out, the petrol engine takes over.

Marianne, 48, continued: “We thought we might get stuck somewhere or the performance wouldn’t be very good but it just blew us away.”

Marianne has been blogging for four and a half years having started in January 2010 and writes about parenting.

But her blog has expanded to reviewing anything from DVDs to books, clothes and printers.

She added: “I’ve been reviewing all sorts of things since I started.

“My brother suggested I start writing a blog and it allows me to earn a little bit of cash as well as doing some very interesting work.

“But it also allows me time to be with my family and look after the twins Alice and Bessie - the kids are still my number one.”

Her previous jobs have included selling adverts in a culinary magazine and working for the Italian tourism board.

The campaign was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and is backed by the government and car manufacturers BMW, Nissan, Renault, Toyota and Vauxhall.

Nick Clegg said: “Electric cars are one of the most promising of our green industries and we want to secure the UK’s position as a global leader in both the production and adoption of these vehicles.

“The extremely low running costs of these cars help drivers save money and we are allocating more than £9 million to boost chargepoints across the country to help drivers to go green.

"This means we can lower UK emissions and create high-tech engineering and manufacturing jobs to boost our economy.”

To read more about Marianne’s experience driving the car, visit www.marisworld.co.uk

To find out more about the campaign visit www.goultralow.com

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