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

WHAT’S NEW?

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.

LOOKS AND IMAGE

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