All posts by Jo Pegram-Mills

FIRST LOW EMISSION ZONE PLANNED FOR GLASGOW

Glasgow is expected to introduce Scotland’s first low emission zone (LEZ) by the end of next year.

The Scottish Government has launched a consultation into what it might involve.

The document says: “The Scottish Government’s preference would be a road access restriction scheme for LEZs.”

This is where vehicles that do not meet emission standards (or are not exempt) would incur a penalty if they entered a LEZ.

Possible penalty levels were not included in the document, but it said it would be “proportionally higher” than in LEZs in other countries where drivers of vehicles not meeting emission standards were charged less than £20 a day.

The proposed standards are Euro 4 petrol engines, introduced in 2005, and Euro 6 diesel engines for cars, taxis and vans, introduced in 2014.

Bus and lorry engines would have to be Euro VI standard, and motorbikes Euro 3.

The zones would operate round the clock and be enforced using cameras recording vehicle number plates.

There could be exemptions for blue bade holders, emergency vehicles, bin lorries, and night shift workers travelling when no public transport was available.
Edinburgh, along with Aberdeen and Dundee, could follow by Glasgow’s lead, with low emission zones introduced by 2020.

Read more: FleetNews via Fuel Included

T-CHARGE: NEW LONDON TRAFFIC CHARGE COMES INTO FORCE

Drivers of older, more polluting vehicles now have to pay almost twice as much to drive in central London.

Mayor Sadiq Khan’s £10 T-Charge, which mainly applies to diesel and petrol vehicles registered before 2006, has come into force.

It covers the same area as the existing congestion charge zone, bumping up the cost to £21.50 for those affected.

Opponents said the scheme would “disproportionately penalise London’s poorest drivers”.

The measure is the latest attempt by Mr Khan to improve air quality in the capital and, according to the mayor’s office, will affect 34,000 motorists a month.

  • Old banger vs diesel: Which is more toxic?
    Reality Check: Does pollution cut short 40,000 lives a year?
    Pollution warning as London air quality alerts are issued
    How bad is air pollution in the UK?

Speaking on the Today programme, Mr Khan said: “We’ve got a health crisis in London caused by the poor quality air.

“Roughly speaking each year more than 9,000 Londoners die prematurely because of the poor quality air – children in our city whose lungs are underdeveloped, with adults who suffer from conditions such as asthma, dementia and strokes directly caused by poor quality air.”

Read more: BBC via Fuel Included

ON THE BRINK OF ELECTRIC REVOLUTION WITH THE RENAULT ZOE

It is no exaggeration to say that I loved the Renault Zoe – and since I drove it at Mallon Motors a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been gabbing to anyone willing to listen that it is the most impressive thing I’ve driven in ages.

Scratch that, obviously the most impressive thing I’ve driven in recent times is the BMW M4, but that was in Mondello and I was wearing a crash helmet. You get the picture.

But the Zoe is different. We’re at a turning point in history – for the first time, despite all the science fiction talk over the past several decades, we’re actually finally at a point where we might actually be on the brink of saying goodbye to the internal combustion engine.

Those who can see into the future say that it will happen suddenly, literally overnight.

Tumbleweed will blow across once vibrant petrol station forecourts.

Nissan/Renault are the first major car company which have brought genuine electric vehicles to the masses.

Tesla may get all the plaudits, but the Nissan Leaf is the first everyday/every(wo)man electric car out there.

And now Nissan’s stablemate, Renault, is pushing its own, the Zoe.

Before I sat into the Zoe I’d never driven a full electric car, and wasn’t sure what to expect.

I had high expectations for my impact on the environment (there would be none), but either low, or no expectations for any other bit of it.

And that’s where I was gloriously wrong. The Zoe was good looking, comfortable and fun to drive.

Electric cars have great torque because the power in them isn’t gradual.

It’s like a light bulk – it’s either on, or off, so the torque is immediate. There’s no lag waiting for the turbo to kick in.

The Zoe I was driving said that I had 210kms in the full battery, but every time you slow down or brake, it’s regenerating the battery, so much so that although I did 18kms in the car, the battery only registered a loss of 13kms. Who’d have thought that stopping at traffic lights would be so rewarding!

The Zoe is Clio/Polo/Fiesta sized, although it is particularly notable how it doesn’t drive like a small car. It’s solid on the road – to such a degree that, notwithstanding the electric element, it’s easily a better car than many similarly sized offerings out there.

Read more: Leinster Leader via Fuel Included

What’s on your electric car playlist?

Do you love a playlist? – songs to suit your mood, a situation, time of year, or sometimes even a person.

I find the most fun ones usually pop into my mind without much thought, like going for a run for the first time in too long and immediately thinking i’m Rocky with ‘Eye of the Tiger’ or letting The Cure welcome in the weekend with ‘Friday I’m in Love’.

On my way to work today driving my Renault ZOE I started to think about an Electric Car playlist, here’s what I’ve got so far….

  • She’s Electric (Oasis)
  • Electric Feel (MGMT)
  • Electric Avenue (Eddy Grant)
  • It’s Oh So Quiet (Bjork)
  • The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)
  • Silence is Golden (The Tremeloes)
  • Zoom (Commodores)

can you think of any others?

Renault ZOE Wins Parkers ECO Car of the year 2018

The Renault ZOE has been awarded Best Eco Car at the Parkers New Car Awards 2018. This is further recognition for Renault’s all-electric supermini which boasts the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle at 250 miles (NEDC).

Parkers editor Keith Adams commented:

“The Renault ZOE is currently Europe’s bestselling electric car, and it’s easy to see why. Ownership is painless, and it’s great fun to drive. If your life fits an electric car, buy with confidence.”

Vincent Tourette, Managing Director, Renault UK, said of the result:

“The Renault ZOE has always excelled at providing motorists with a stylish, comfortable and practical electric car at an affordable price tag. The ZOE now with the Z.E.40 battery, and its 250 mile (NEDC) autonomy, builds on this success and delivers the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle. We’re delighted that Parkers has recognised the ZOE as a pioneer in the electric vehicle sector.”

The Parkers award add to many accolades ZOE has secured and follows the recent ‘Game Changer’ award from Autocar in May. Earlier in the year ZOE was also awarded ‘Best Electric Car 2017’ by What Car? and took the ‘Best Electric Car under £20,000’ for the fourth consecutive year. In February, the Renault ZOE was awarded ‘Best Ultra Low Emission Vehicle’ at the Fleet World Honours 2017.

Read more:  Automotive World via Fuel Included news

 

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