UK announces ‘innovative’ customs ‘partnership’ for post-Brexit trade, SMMT wants interim single market access

UK announces ‘innovative’ customs ‘partnership’ for post-Brexit trade, SMMT wants interim single market access

The SMMT and Freight Transport Association (FTA) have largely welcomed the first landmark UK policy paper outlining Britain’s Brexit negotiating strategy with the EU, which involves a proposal for an ‘innovative and untested’ new UK-EU customs ‘partnership’, which would avoid customs checks and enable ‘frictionless’ trade. This would involve importers from outside the UK and EU paying whichever tariff out of the UK or EU is higher, and then reclaiming the difference if the goods are sold in the region with the lower tariff. The plan also includes a transition period where UK customs arrangements remain equivalent to that of the EU; the SMMT, however, continues to call for full single market access during this period.

Customs arrangements are particularly crucial for the automotive industry, due to Rules of Origin requirements as well as ‘just in time’ production lines – and low margins that have little room for flexibility.

However, the SMMT warns that maintaining the substance of customs arrangements will not be enough, and that single market access is also essential for a smooth transition period. Hawes says:

‘To maintain frictionless trade and ensure business only has to adjust to one change, interim arrangements must retain membership of a customs union with the EU and full participation in the single market. Any other arrangement risks additional administration, delays and costs, undermining the competitiveness of UK exporters and increasing the costs of imports. We will continue to work with government to try and avoid such an outcome.’

Read more: Autovista Group via Fuel Included news

Electric vehicle charging hub approved

Planners have given the green light for a new electric vehicle charging hub near the centre of Dundee.

Images have been released showing how the charging hub would look in what is currently a vacant yard

Solar canopies and charging points will be installed at the site in Princes Street, which is currently a vacant yard.

The chargers will be available to the public, taxis, NHS vehicles and local businesses.

Dundee City Council now has an 83-strong fleet of electric vehicles, the biggest of any UK local authority.

Funding for the hub, as well as charging points at eight other locations, was part of a £1.86m award made to the city by the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) last year.

Mark Flynn depute convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said:

“Our use and encouragement of electric vehicles in Dundee has been something of a quiet revolution and in leading the charge we have been meeting many social and economic priorities.

“Zero and low emission vehicles reduce cost, congestion and carbon emissions as well as improving air quality and the charging hub will help us to continue our journey.

“The council’s extensive use of such vehicles is encouraging other public bodies and private individuals to buy and use them as a real practical alternative to fossil fuelled cars.”

Read more: BBC News via Fuel Included news

Electric Cars

I live a short drive away from the birthplace of the shale oil revolution. It was 2006 that we started to get an inkling that something big might be happening.
I’m referring to the Bakken boom…

My business has always been finance, so I wasn’t directly involved. However, the people around me very much were.

I watched twenty-five year olds blow through hefty six-figure salaries as fast as the money came in. Then I watched them scramble to keep their houses when oil prices crashed in 2014.

For years now I’ve been surrounded by oil industry families wherever I go.

My gym, the grocery store, at my kid’s school. Everywhere I go, interacting regularly with oil patch workers is part of my daily life.

Nice people for the most part, if a little rough around the edges. It has been hard to watch them go through the bust that followed the really good times that were driven by $100 oil.

What I’ve learned through my interactions is that these oil industry folks share some very passionate opinions. Not surprisingly those opinions are directly aligned with what is in the best interests of their industry.

If you are wondering what I mean, let’s just say that the strong majority of them drive giant gas guzzling trucks or SUVs, don’t own a copy of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, and probably don’t live in a neighborhood with solar panel rooftops.

And it’s my familiarity with the loyalty these people have to their industry that made the remarks from the mouth of Royal Dutch Shell’s CEO even more surprising.

In fact, I’d say that his words were like a splash of cold water in my face that provided me with a much needed wake-up call as an investor…

His exact words were…

“The next car I buy will be electric.”

Our Wake Up Moment – The Inflection Point For Electric Cars Is At Hand

I’m pretty sure that when I look back on today ten years from now, those words from Shell’s CEO Ben Van Beurden will be a critical point in time that I remember.

That will be the moment when I realized that the electric car revolution is truly underway.

The talking points about electric cars for an oil man are supposed to be about all the reasons they aren’t even close to being ready for mainstream acceptance:

  • The lack of range
  • The prohibitive up front cost
  • The lack of charging station infrastructure
  • Inability of an owner to self-service
  • The fact that they still require lots of energy to charge them, likely including coal

Shell’s CEO said none of those things. What he said told me that the age of the electric car is underway.

That means that the growth curve for electric car use is about to go parabolic. Seriously, I mean parabolic.

Read more: Daily Reckoning via Fuel Included news

EV triple test: Hyundai Ioniq Electric v Renault Zoe v Nissan Leaf

With the announcement of the 2040 ban on all new petrol and diesel cars, we get behind the wheel of three electric vehicles to see if the future really is green.

(L to R) Nissan LEAF, Hyundai IONIQ, Renault ZOE


Since the announcement of the 2040 ban on new petrol and diesel cars, all you read in the news is about how we’re all going electric. So if that’s the case, which is the best electric car to buy? We chose three to test – a Renault Zoe, Hyundai Ioniq and Nissan Leaf.

The Hyundai Ioniq is by far the newest and in our opinion one of the best-equipped. The Nissan and the Renault have both been around for some years now, and the Leaf is actually due to be replaced by a new model next year.

The Ioniq is Hyndai’s first attempt at making an all-electric car, and it’s very good.

Inside, the cabin feels solidly built and very comfortable. It also has lots of kit including, on our car, heated and cooled electric seats.

Next is the Renault Zoe, a great-looking little car with bags of character on the exterior alone. Step inside and it’s also a funky place to be. It also features the best-claimed range of the three EVs, with 250 miles on the NEDC cycle thanks to its new ‘Z.E. 40’ battery.

Finally, we have the Nissan Leaf, the oldest of the three in terms of design and this shows in its rather ungainly styling and outdated technology. It also has the lowest theoretical range with just 155 miles.


This is where the Nissan Leaf falls down – massively. It is not appealing at all on the outside with its bulbous rear-end and huge headlights. This continues inside where it can best be described as dull and old-fashioned.

The Hyundai is in a different league. It looks fresh, funky and modern. Add a touch of colour and you have a car that will be very enjoyable to own. This continues inside too where it feels light and airy with a very easy to use dashboard and centre console.

The Renault is the best looking of the bunch. Its chic Parisian styling blends well with modern life and makes it look more premium than it actually is. However, this doesn’t quite continue inside. Although the cabin looks chic, it feels cheap, with the plastics belonging in a cheap supermini.

 Read more: Aol. via Fuel Included news

Renault Zoe: Australian launch imminent with two variants coming

While Renault remains stubbornly quiet on the topic, we can reveal that the Renault Zoe launch is now imminent, with the vehicle recently listed on a government vehicle guide.

As revealed by CarAdvice in June, Renault’s local arm has gone through the motions of registering the Zoe with Australian government regulatory bodies – a sure sign of intent to bring the little electric hatch to our market.

Listings with the government confirm approval has been granted, and now the vehicle has been officially listed with the Green Vehicle Guide, a website operated by the government as a key resource to Australian car buyers.

According to information on the website, the Zoe will be offered locally with two variants — one will feature the choice of 15- and 16-inch wheels, while the other will come with 17-inch alloy wheels and a higher specification level.

With up to 41kWh of usable battery energy, the new ZE.40 battery pack is capable of fast charging and has charging options that span from 60 minutes to 13.5 hours (depending on current available).

When it finally does go on sale, the Zoe is expected to be Australia’s most affordable electric vehicle, with a starting price of under $40,000 expected.

Read more: CarAdvice

Car makers offer cash incentives to trade in older vehicles

As buyers consider getting rid of their older diesel cars, BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Vauxhall are launching trade-in schemes designed to get more of us driving low-emissions cars

Owners of older diesel vehicles will receive an incentive of up to £2000 when they trade in their old car for a new BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini or Vauxhall, and up to £7000 towards a new Ford.

The new plans are designed to reduce the pollution caused by diesel cars, as well as increasing the uptake of low-emissions cars in the UK. Despite the sales of such cars rising by more than 30% over the past year, they still account for just 4.3% of the total market.


To qualify for BMW’s incentive, owners must trade in diesel cars that comply with Euro 4 emissions standards or older – which covers cars registered before September 2009. Owners can check if their car qualifies here. Euro standards set the limits for emissions from new cars, with the first, Euro 1, being introduced in 1992.

Buyers will be offered up to £2000 to trade in their cars – on top of the vehicle’s residual value, as determined by used car experts CAP.

The value of the incentive must be put towards buying a new BMW or Mini. In particular, it must be either a BMW i3, a plug-in hybrid car (such as the BMW 3 Series 330e or the Mini Countryman S E All4) or a car that complies with the most modern Euro 6 emissions limits, with CO2 emissions of less than 130g/km.

That means owners will be able to choose from the majority of BMW’s range, including multiple versions of the 5 Series luxury saloon, which is our Car of the Year for 2017. Some of the brand’s larger SUVs do not qualify, though. BMW says that 80% of its range qualifies for the discount, alongside 70% of Mini models.

Read more:  WhatCar via Fuel Included news

London Mayor announces doubling of EV charging points across London

Electric vehicle (EV) drivers in London, UK will soon be able to access 1,500 new EV charging points across the city thanks to a £4.5 million investment announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The residential charge points being installed across 25 London boroughs are aimed at Londoners currently without access to off-street parking, in a bid to try and encourage more citizens to transition from polluting fossil-fuel vehicles to new zero-emission vehicles.  They will add to the rapid charging points that Transport for London (TfL) is already installing, the full complement becoming available for drivers by 2020.

“This substantial investment in electric charging points will make a real difference, making electric vehicles an easier and more practical option for Londoners across our city”

said Mr Khan.

“We have a bold ambition to make London’s transport system zero emission by 2050, and working with boroughs to roll out more charging infrastructure is a vital part of making this a reality”.

But it’s not only in London that momentum towards an electric vehicle future is increasing. Auto Express reported recently that the Government is to pass a new bill requiring motorway and major fuel stations to install charging points. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill was announced in the 2017 Queen’s Speech. It also requires easy access to charging points, establishing a seamless network of points across the UK that conform to the same technical standards.

Read more: Renewable Energy Magazine via Fuel Included news

Live Or Work On A Busy Road? The Truth About Noise Pollution

Studies conclude there are very real health risks from noise pollution – but EVs are bringing the quiet.

While we’re all aware of the term noise pollution, most of us regard it as just an irritant we have to put up with. The construction site near the office, the busy road near the children’s school, the flight path roaring overhead – such noise, we tell ourselves, is the price we pay for living in densely populated environments like cities.

Yet we might not be quite so complacent if we were more aware how bad noise pollution is for our health. For example, did you know that people living with an average of 55-80 decibels a day are more likely to suffer from high-blood pressure and cardiovascular ailments due to stress? Or that noise over 45 decibels at night can interfere with our sleep patterns, meaning we function less effectively during the day?

Such effects were confirmed in a recent study by Imperial College London, which analysed data from 144,000 adults, reinforcing evidence from the World Health Organisation, which rates noise pollution as the second largest environmental cause of health problems after air quality.

Road Traffic is the main culprit

The vast majority of noise pollution in Europe is caused by vehicular traffic on our roads – about 70 percent of it, according to European Environment Agency (EEA) statistics. Around 100 million people on the continent are subject to road traffic noise in excessive of 55 decibels, with more than 32 million exposed to over 65 decibels, while a good night’s sleep is not possible for around 50 million Europeans because of noise levels.

Read more: Huffington Post via Fuel Included news

Energy supplier Ovo launches tariff for electric vehicle drivers

LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – British electricity and gas supplier Ovo Energy has launched a new tariff aimed at drivers of electric vehicles, hoping to tap a growing market days after Britain announced a ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040.

Ovo Energy’s EV Everywhere tariff offers customers a two-year fixed energy rate that also includes free membership of the POLAR network of charging stations over that period.

Electricity consumption by electric cars is expected to rise as consumers opt for more environmentally friendly transport and the cost for batteries used in the cars falls.

Britain said last week it would ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040 in an attempt to reduce air pollution.

Ovo estimates Britain will have at least one million electric vehicles on its roads by 2022, up from about 110,000 now.

“Mass adoption of electric vehicles will completely revolutionise the energy sector,”

said Ovo Energy CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, who set up the energy company in 2009.

Users of Ovo Energy’s new tariff will receive electricity from renewable energy sources, guaranteed by certificates proving its origin. The company said it was only Britain’s third energy tariff targeted at electric vehicles.

Read more: REUTERS via Fuel Included news

Renault-Nissan Alliance Cumulative Electric Vehicle Sales Approach 500,000

Renault-Nissan Alliance, after the acquisition of Mitsubishi, is now approaching 500,000 cumulative all-electric car sales – more than any other automotive group.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance includes also Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

At the end of June 2017, the Alliance counter stands at 481,151 units (some 130,000 more than year ago).

The biggest impact on the number comes from the Nissan LEAF and Renault ZOE.

The number doesn’t include plug-in hybrids – of which, new Alliance partner Mitsubishi has sold over 130,000 copies of the Outlander PHEV.

Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn with Renault ZOE and Nissan LEAF For COP21

“Cumulative sales of electric vehicles by the companies also rose significantly to 481,151 units, reaffirming the Alliance’s role as the leading electric car manufacturer for the mass-market segment.

The increase was driven primarily by demand for the Nissan LEAF and the Renault ZOE, which remains the #1 EV sold in Europe, and Mitsubishi’s i-Miev.”

Renault-Nissan Alliance is now aiming to become industry’s number-one automotive sales group for full year 2017.

Total Renault-Nissan Alliance increased in the first six months of 2017 by 7% to 5,268,079 million.

The newly updated Renault ZOE is the best selling EV for Europe so far in 2017

Read more: Inside EVs via Fuel Included news