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From now through August 2, Costco members can save $1,000 on a 2022 Bolt EV and EUV, $3,000 on a 2020/2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV, and $2,000 on a Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric. Those deals and much more have been added to our updated best Electric Vehicle prices and leases.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV

The redesigned 2022 Chevrolet Bolt lineup started trickling onto dealership lots a few weeks back with a starting price that’s thousands less than its predecessor. MSRP for the 259-mile 2022 Bolt EV is only $31,995, and the slightly larger 247-mile Bolt EUV is priced at $33,395, so the last thing anyone might expect is a $1,000 cash incentive this early in the game. What is expected (unfortunately) are dealerships that find no shame in trying to squeeze another $1,000 out of their customers. While conducting our nationwide search for electric vehicle lease deals and discounts, we ran across a number of dealers adding a $995 “market adjustment” over the MSRP of in-stock 2022 Bolt EVs and EUVs. These ridiculous offers can be ignored since the vast majority of Chevrolet dealers are listing what they have in stock at MSRP. In fact, we even found several dealerships already offering discounts on 2022 Bolt models. Quirk Chevrolet in Massachusetts ($1,000 off on a Bolt EV), Rydell Chevrolet in California ($500 off on a Bolt EV), Mike Anderson Chevrolet in Illinois ($1,575 off on a Bolt EUV), and Chevrolet of Columbus in Ohio ($1,112 off on a Bolt EUV) all seem to be good places to start shopping.

GM carbon neutral
Chevy’s 2022 Bolt EV and EUV

Thinking of leasing rather than buying? According to the payment estimator on Chevrolet’s website, the 2022 Bolt EV will set you back $420(nice)/month plus tax and license for three years on a 10,000 mile per year lease. The slightly larger Bolt EUV leases for a bit more at $453/month. Applying the $1,000 Costco incentive might trim $30/month off of these figures, but the resulting cost would still be significantly higher than the manufacturer lease offers on affordable 200-mile EVs from Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia.  However, we did find a couple of California dealers with relatively attractive lease offers that might be worth considering. Mission Bay Chevrolet in the San Diego area is offering a three-year lease on a 2022 Bolt EV at $259/month, $2,999 at signing before tax and license, which calculates to a palatable effective cost of $335/month. Stevens Creek Chevrolet in the San Francisco area is advertising $189/month, $5,999 at signing, which translates to an effective cost of $350/month. Costco membership is required for either of these deals. Check for availability and deals on a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV or Bolt EUV in your area.

2020/2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Prospective buyers that have been waiting to score killer deals on the outgoing first-generation Bolt EV may have missed the sweet spot, which started in March and ran through early May. At this point, most Chevy dealers we track have either sold out or zeroed out their discounts on remaining inventory, so the starting point of negotiation at most dealerships is simply MSRP minus factory incentives. The good news is that the factory incentives are still hefty, currently at $10,000 for a 2020 and $9,000 for a 2021, plus an additional $1,000 bonus cash incentive on particular in-stock vehicles. Piling on the $3,000 Costco member-only incentive takes the total cash back up to a range of $12,000 to $14,000, which should lower the cost of buying a 2020/2021 Bolt EV to well under $30,000 before tax and license.

2020 Chevy Bolt

We did find more than a handful of dealer discounts on a 2020/2021 Bolt, ranging from about $1,500 off to over $3,000 off before any of the above mentioned factory incentives. The total discount at some of these dealers can be well over $16,000 for Costco members. As far as lease deals, Quirk Chevrolet in Massachusetts and Simi Valley Chevrolet in California have great lease offers with an effective cost that’s under $200/month before tax and license. Check for deals on remaining 2020/2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV at a dealership near you.

2021 Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric

Outside of loyalty incentives, Costco’s $2,000 incentive is the first we’ve seen on the 208-mile Volvo XC40 Recharge since its introduction earlier this year. With an MSRP of $55,300, this compact luxury SUV that seats five can now be had for just under $46,000 by Costco members that enjoy a tax bill high enough to take full advantage of the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit. That’s about $7,000 less than its closest competitor, the 326-mile Tesla Model Y, which is a cost difference that can be compelling to a buyer that doesn’t need the impressive segment-leading range of the Model Y, or perhaps prefers Volvo’s relatively mainstream styling. This all-wheel-drive XC40 Recharge is no slouch – it moves from 0 to 60mph in a very respectable 4.3 seconds, slightly quicker than the base Model Y. Its top speed is limited to 112 mph versus the Model Y’s 135 mph.

Dealer discounts on the XC40 Recharge are still few and far between, but that has been improving lately. We’ve seen advertised discounts range from $1,000 to nearly $4,000 at dealerships in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and California. On lease offers, Weston Volvo Cars in Florida is the first Volvo dealership to make our list of electric vehicle lease deals with a fantastic offer of $499/month plus tax for 36 months, $999 plus tax and license at signing. With an average monthly cost of $513/month, Weston Volvo handily beats the XC40 Recharge 3-year factory lease terms of $599/month, $4,099 at signing, which works out to an average monthly cost of about $696/month. Costco members can apply their $2,000 incentive to these terms to effectively reduce the average monthly cost to around $650/month with no dealer discounts. Interestingly, this just happens to be slightly more than the average lease cost of a Model Y, which rings in at $633/month before tax and license.

Current members that have been with Costco since May 31, 2021, qualify for these limited-time incentives that expire on August 2, 2021. Not a member? If you’re planning to buy a new electric vehicle soon, a $60 annual membership could pay off in thousands. Consider that Costco has run these special auto incentives for years. Since January 2020, Chevrolet’s Bolt EV and Audi’s e-tron have each been included in these special offers three times, and Volvo has participated twice. As a side benefit, you’ll be able to enjoy a $1.50 hot-dog-and-a-Pepsi along with $4.99 rotisserie chickens as many times as you want while you wait for that coveted incentive to show up.

As always, be sure to check our monthly survey of best electric vehicle lease deals and best electric vehicle discounts. Information is current for manufacturer lease offers, Chevrolet dealer offers, and Volvo dealer offers. We are currently gathering dealer data from dealerships of other marques, so please check back throughout the month for additional updates.

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Avatar is back after 13 years – but will the sequel live up to the original?




Avatar is back after 13 years - but will the sequel live up to the original?

Thirteen years on, James Cameron’s mega-budget Avatar sequel opens in cinemas next week, hoping to illicit that same appetite in cinemagoers for the 3D magic of the first.

While the medium has fallen out of favour, it remains Cameron’s preferred choice of viewing.

But not only will cinemagoers need 3D glasses – coming in at a whopping three hours and 10 minutes, it also requires stamina.

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With production costs totalling around £285m (up there with the most expensive films ever made), to make it worth Disney’s while, the epic has to at least end up making it into the top five highest grossing movies of all time.

To do so, it needs audiences to want to see it more than once, which perhaps isn’t too unreasonable when you factor in that a huge amount of the money generated in both of Cameron’s previous blockbusters – Titanic and the first Avatar – came from cinemagoers paying to see the film’s multiple times.

But in a cost of living crisis do we have the cash now?

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The film sees Sam Worthington return to the role of Na’vi leader Jake Sully and is rooted around the family he now has with warrior Neytiri, played by Zoe Saldana.

“The movie’s mighty,” Worthington told Sky News.

“It’s a mighty film, and very heart-wrenching.

“We all went through a pandemic together as a whole world, and that’s a connection that we all have to each other… and it’s about us being connected as individuals – I think that’s very important to relate to and really take to heart.”

Thanks to the magic of motion capture, Sigourney Weaver returns, playing Jake Sulley’s adoptive teenage daughter.

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‘I needed to see it twice’

“It’s an experience so immersive and also takes your breath away,” she told Sky News, adding that she will need to see the film once more to get the full experience from it.

The sequel also features Kate Winslet in the cast as the matriarch of an ocean-bound clan.

Sigourney Weaver in Avatar: The Way Of Water. Pic: 20th Century Studios
Sigourney Weaver in Avatar: The Way Of Water. Pic: 20th Century Studios

For the Oscar-winning actress it was a chance to work, once again, with the filmmaker who put her on the Titanic:

“He (Cameron) asked and I said yes. Why on earth would I not?,” she told Sky News.

“Also, my children would never have allowed me to. They were like… just do it.”

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Kate Winslet on accepting Avatar role

Cameron, who overtook his own movie, Titanic, with Avatar as the highest grossing film ever in 2009, has already set the wheels in motion for the next films in the franchise – and spent much of the last decade preparing.

“It was a lot of time spent working on the script for four movies, production design for four movies, a bunch of new technology we needed,” he said.

“And then we started at full tilt five years ago… and then we shot two movies, actually part of the third one.”

Kate Winslet (L) in Avatar. Pic: 20th Century Studios
Kate Winslet (L) in Avatar. Pic: 20th Century Studios

Cameron also describes his new sci-fi epic as a “love letter to the oceans”.

“A lot of people [in 2009] picked up on the messaging around the rainforest and around the plight of indigenous cultures around the world.

“We have that in spades now because nothing has really got that much better – in the meantime, this one is my love letter to the oceans and a cry for people everywhere to be responsible for guardianship of the oceans.”

Right now the Na’vi’s survival might just depend on what happens off-screen more than on.

Avatar: The Way of Water is in cinemas on 16 December.

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Stephen Bear: Reality TV star on trial accused of sharing garden sex tape on OnlyFans




Stephen Bear: Reality TV star on trial accused of sharing garden sex tape on OnlyFans

A reality TV star has appeared in court accused of sharing a garden sex tape on the online subscription platform OnlyFans.

Stephen Bear is accused of voyeurism and two counts of disclosing private, sexual photographs and films.

The 32-year-old, who won Celebrity Big Brother in 2016, came to Chelmsford Crown Court wearing a pink suit and fur coat. He denies the charges.

The trial heard Bear had sex with his ex-girlfriend Georgia Harrison in his garden before sharing footage of it – caught on his CCTV cameras – on OnlyFans.

Georgia Harrison arrives at Chelmsford Crown Court, Essex, where her former partner Stephen Bear is charged with voyeurism and two counts of disclosing private sexual photographs or films. The 32-year-old reality TV star, who appeared in Ex On The Beach, is accused of secretly recording himself having sex with a woman and posting the footage online. Picture date: Tuesday December 6, 2022.
Georgia Harrison has appeared on TOWIE, Love Island and Olivia Meets Her Match

Ms Harrison, who has appeared on several reality shows including The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE), waved her right to anonymity in relation to the case.

Jacqueline Carey KC, opening the prosecution case, said: “In August 2020 the complainant Georgia Harrison met up with her former boyfriend Stephen Bear.

“They had some lunch and had some drinks and ended up back at his house in Loughton (in Essex).

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“They engaged in consensual sexual intercourse in his garden.

“What she didn’t know but he did was Mr Bear had CCTV cameras in his garden that recorded them having sex.”

The barrister said that later that day Bear told Ms Harrison and showed her the footage.

“She told him never to send it to anyone and made it plain how upset she would be if he did,” said Ms Carey.

She went on to say that Bear sent the footage to someone on WhatsApp that night “despite knowing how upset she would be if the footage were to get out”.

She told the court that Bear later uploaded the footage “either himself or had it uploaded to OnlyFans and profited financially”.

Stephen Bear with his partner Jessica Smith arriving at Chelmsford Crown Court
Bear arriving at Chelmsford Crown Court with his current girlfriend Jessica Smith

Ms Carey added: “The defendant was effectively selling the footage to get money”.

OnlyFans is a platform known for adult content, which enables fans to pay creators for their photos and videos.

Bear, of Loughton in Essex, arrived at court with his current girlfriend Jessica Smith, in a chauffeur-driven white Rolls Royce.

He wore a pastel pink suit, fuchsia tie, black fur coat and dark sunglasses.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place in August 2020 and in November 2020.

Bear was arrested in January 2021 at Heathrow Airport following a trip to Dubai, and charged in May 2021.

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The case had originally been scheduled for February this year but was pushed back.

Bear won Celebrity Big Brother in 2016 after finding fame on Ex On The Beach. He went on to co-present just Tattoo Of Us with Charlotte Crosby on MTV in 2017, and has appeared on Celebs Go Dating for Channel 4 and Eating With My Ex for BBC Three.

His former girlfriend, Ms Harrison, 27, has appeared on shows such as Love Island and Olivia Meets Her Match.

The trial, which is expected to last at least four days, continues.

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Kirstie Alley: Cheers star dies after short illness




Kirstie Alley: Cheers star dies after short illness

Kirstie Alley – who shot to fame after appearing in the US sitcom Cheers – has died at the age of 71.

In a statement, her children said: “We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a short battle with cancer, only recently discovered.

“She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead.”

Alley was best loved for her role as Rebecca Howe in the long-running US comedy Cheers, in which she appeared as the on-off love interest of Boston bar owner Sam, played by Ted Danson.

She also starred alongside John Travolta in the successful 1989 romantic comedy Look Who’s Talking.

The actor paid tribute to her on social media. “Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie,” he wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of the late star. “I know we will see each other again.”

Actor John Travolta (C) holds his Supporting Actor award he received with presenter actress Kirstie Alley (L) and his wife actress Kelly Preston (R) backstage at the Hollywood Awards gala held by the Hollywood Film Festival in Beverly Hills, California October 22, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)

From 1997 to 2000 she had her own sitcom on US network NBC, Veronica’s Closet.

Later, in 2018 she took part in UK Celebrity Big Brother, in which she finished as runner-up.

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