Thursday, July 2The place for automotive information
Shadow

News

UK to introduce green numberplates

UK to introduce green numberplates

News
The UK is to roll out new registration plates identifying electric vehicles (EVs) later this year, following a public consultation. Plans to help identify EVs were first announced in October 2019, with the UK Government unveiling three potential designs and asking for public opinion. Now the new plate has been chosen, with a green box to be included on the left. They will be available for zero-emission vehicles only. The plates will make it easier for cars to be identified as zero-emission models, helping local authorities design and put in place new policies to incentivise people to own and drive them, according to the Government. ‘For example, drivers could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones where th...
Drivers want a return of the spare wheel

Drivers want a return of the spare wheel

News
Smiling man and mechanic changing tyres, using jack and wheel wrench Motorists have given a ‘thumbs down’ to space saver spare wheels and puncture repair kits, new research by independent car buying guide Carbuyer.co.uk has revealed. Introduced to save space and weight, the 'space saver' spare - or no spare wheel at all - tops the chart of drivers' irritations about many features of the latest cars. More than a thousand motorists were asked which modern car features annoy them most, with two out of three listing no full-size spare as their biggest gripe. Ranking second in the list of annoyances was another feature aimed at improving fuel efficiency - the engine stop-start system. Some features introduced for driver convenience also turn out to annoy a significant number of ...
Electric ice cream van could provide relief for Londoners

Electric ice cream van could provide relief for Londoners

News
Nissan has taken the ICE (internal combustion engine) out of the ice cream van, creating an all-electric, zero-emission concept for ‘Clean Air Day’ in the UK on June 20th. Nissan partnered with Mackie’s of Scotland, an ice cream producer powering its family-owned dairy farm by renewable wind and solar energy. The project demonstrates how a ‘Sky to Scoop’ approach can remove carbon dependence at every stage of the ice cream journey. Most ice cream vans, particularly older models, have diesel engines which are kept running to operate the refrigeration equipment. These motors are criticised for producing harmful emissions, including black carbon, when left idling. Some UK towns and cities are now looking to ban or fine these vehicles. Nissan’s concept presents a potential solution ...
Top turn-offs for car buyers revealed

Top turn-offs for car buyers revealed

News
A reputation for pushy sales tactics and negative online reviews are the top reasons why drivers would be deterred from visiting or buying from a used car dealer, analysis by AA Cars, the AA’s used car website, has found. A reputation for pushy sales tactics would dissuade almost a fifth (19%) of motorists, while 18% of car buyers see negative online reviews of a dealer as a turn-off. Online reviews are especially decisive among younger drivers, with 37% of those aged 18-24 saying they would avoid a dealer if they read about other motorists’ bad experiences on the internet first. The AA-Populus poll of 17,230 drivers found that other factors which would put motorists off buying are a dealer who is reluctant to allow a reasonable test drive (12%), stock that does not look as...
Toyota brings forward EV goals, aims for solid-state technology in 2020

Toyota brings forward EV goals, aims for solid-state technology in 2020

News
Toyota is to ramp up its electric vehicle (EV) deployment plans, bringing forward its targets and aiming for solid-state battery development to be complete by next summer. The Japanese company is predicting a ‘surge’ in demand of EVs and is therefore rearranging its plans to accommodate this. The carmaker has brought forward its goal of selling 5.5 million electrified vehicles by five years to 2025. This includes petrol-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Nearly one million of these sales is predicted to be from BEVs. The company announced its EV ambitions in 2017, by then expecting to sell 5.5 million vehicles by 2030. However, Toyota executive vice president Shigeki Terashi outlined the new goals a...
UK car market falls again in May

UK car market falls again in May

News
UK new car registrations fell 4.6% year-on-year in May, according to data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This is the third consecutive month of a contraction in new car demand in the UK and the greatest decline so far in 2019. The ongoing weakness of the UK new car market comes as no surprise as the UK contends with ongoing uncertainty as its departure date from the European Union has been extended to 31 October and demand for diesel cars and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) wanes. Furthermore, supply has normalised following the implementation of WLTP in September. Delayed car deliveries bolstered registrations and masked the underlying downturn in demand earlier in the year but this is no longer the case. Overall, new car registrations fell by...
UK car manufacturing collapses as unnecessary Brexit shutdowns take place

UK car manufacturing collapses as unnecessary Brexit shutdowns take place

News
Car manufacturing in the UK plummeted in April as unnecessary shutdowns, due to the extended Brexit deadline, bit hard. Just 70,971 models rolled off production lines last month, down 44.5% year-on-year, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), as some carmakers initialised early shutdowns of their facilities to prevent potential Brexit-related bottlenecks. The country was due to leave the EU on 29 March; however, political issues forced an extension of this date to 31 October. Manufacturing for domestic and overseas markets fell 43.7% and 44.7% respectively as most volume manufacturers brought forward, and extended, production stoppages normally scheduled for the summer holiday period. BMW, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) all clo...
Fiat Chrysler proposes merger with Renault

Fiat Chrysler proposes merger with Renault

News
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has submitted a merger proposal to French carmaker Renault, which would see both companies holding a 50/50 stake in the new business. Renault’s board has decided to study ‘with interest’ the opportunity of such a business combination, which it believes will comfort its manufacturing footprint and create additional value for the Alliance. The FCA proposal follows initial discussions between the two carmakers to identify products and geographies where they could collaborate, as the industry goes through a period of change. With carmakers looking to collaborate in multiple areas, the Italian business believes that broader collaboration through a merger would substantially improve capital efficiency and the speed of product development. C...
Hydrogen will match hybrid price in ten years says Toyota

Hydrogen will match hybrid price in ten years says Toyota

News
Toyota believes the price of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will match those of hybrids within ten years. The Japanese carmaker is a leader in fuel cell technology with its first-generation vehicle, the Mirai, already on sale in certain markets. The technology is still in its infancy but allows drivers the practicality and range of a petrol vehicle in a zero-emission package. ‘By the third generation we fully expect fuel cell costs to be comparable with hybrids,’ European head of sales and marketing, Matt Harrison, said at the Automotive News Europe Congress. ‘We believe fuel cell vehicles have a huge potential,’ he said. Harrison said Toyota was ‘not so far’ from selling the second-generation model, with the third-generation arriving within a decade. European emiss...
Kia e-Niro is first electric Car of the Year winner

Kia e-Niro is first electric Car of the Year winner

News
What Car? has named the Kia e-Niro electric vehicle (EV) as its 2019 Car of the Year during its 42nd annual awards ceremony. The Kia e-Niro beat 23 other category winners to take the overall title, becoming the first electric car to win the prestigious What Car? Car of the Year Award. Victory for the e-Niro, which has a Real Range of 253 miles, also represents the first time Kia has taken the top prize at the ceremony. The success for an electric car comes at the beginning of a big year for the EV market, with several major manufacturers, including Audi, Honda and Mercedes-Benz, all planning to launch new electric models in 2019. What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: “The demand for electric cars has grown exponentially in recent years, and...