Uswitch, the comparison website, recently commissioned a survey among UK motorists to test their knowledge of the rules concerning when headlights should be switched on. Says Joel Kempson, Personal Finance Writer and car insurance expert at Uswitch; “With the days getting longer, and restrictions easing, we’ll soon be hopping back into our cars for the first time in months. And although they say driving is like riding a bike – you never forget – there are some things that do slip our minds.”
Commenting on the government’s decision to cut the Plug-in Grant for electric vehicles, Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers in the UK, said: “The decision to cut the Plug-in Car Grant and Van & Truck Grant is extremely disappointing as it risks undermining the progress the UK has been making towards a zero-emission market in line with the 2030/2035 deadline set by the Government.
British tyre industry upgrades to new tyre labelling system
On 1 May 2021 new tyre labelling rules take effect across Europe. Now, the Tyre Industry Federation (TIF – the umbrella body for UK tyre associations BTMA, ITMA and NTDA) has published details of its proactive response to the rules and specifically to their implementation in the post-Brexit environment. In short, cross-industry cooperation means the latest information will be available for the market from 1 May. The UK government Department for Transport (DfT) has welcomed the tyre industry’s approach to the implementation of the new tyre labelling regulations since the solution allows the continued flow of labelling information to consumers despite initial regulatory differences between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Horiba MIRA: Brexit trade rules will drive UK demand for battery development
Test specialist Horiba Mira expects the new ‘rules of origin’ clause will drive a surge in demand for development and testing of EV battery packs.
It comes as last month Aston Martin boss and Nissan planning chief Dr Andy Palmer issued a warning to the UK government that the Brexit trade deal, alongside ambitious plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, presents a risk of “crippling tariffs” for the UK automotive industry unless the sector invests heavily in domestic battery production for electric vehicles.
EU flag is removed from new-style UK driving licences and number plates
To mark the UK’s exit from the EU, the EU flag has been removed from all UK driving licences and number plate designs, with the first batches issued from 1 January 2021. While existing licences and number plates will still be valid, the new versions will be issued to everyone renewing a licence or getting one for the first time.
NFDA discusses transition to electric vehicles with DfT
NFDA chief executive Sue Robinson met with Rachel Maclean MP, parliamentary undersecretary of state at the Department for Transport, on 28 January to discuss the Government’s ambition to end the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030 and outline the key role dealers play on the Road to Zero.
Linglong Serbia amongst Chinese projects under EU scrutiny
On 19 January 2021, 26 Members of the European Parliament wrote to Oliver Várhelyi, the European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations about concerns relating to “growing Chinese influence in Serbia and the impending environmental damage resulting from several heavy industrial projects in Serbia by Chinese owned companies”. The group are particularly interested in scrutinising Serbia’s apparently “generous” subsidies and environmental compliance protocols.
Vietnam-based tyremakers could be “cleared” by US anti-dumping investigation
Vietnamese officials have interpreted the US Department of Commerce (DOC) anti-dumping investigation preliminary conclusions as “very positive” for Vietnam-produced car tyres. There was even hope that cooperative Vietnam-based tyre manufacturers Local newspapers read this mean Vietnamese tyre factories had been “cleared” by the investigation.
DfT updates old tyre guidance, warns of unlimited fines in England
Less than two weeks before the new 10-year-old tyre ban takes effect and two weeks after DVSA updated its definition of the rules, the Department for Transport (DfT) has released new guidance on how to understand the legislation as well as a summary of the corresponding penalties.
Following the news that the law relating to old tyres has changed, the DVSA has updated its guidance documents. DVSA, the body that oversees the nation’s MOT roadworthiness tests, re-asserted that tyres aged over 10 years on the front axles of lorries, buses, coaches and all single wheels of minibuses (9 to 16 passenger seats) are banned from 1 February 2021.
Initial automotive industry reactions to UK Brexit deal
Just before Christmas, the UK Government and the EU announced that they had thrashed out a no-tariff trade deal. Negotiations went down to the wire, but, a mere four and a half years after the UK voting to leave the EU, agreement was approved by both sides.
Continental’s electric vehicle work to be carbon-neutral by 2022
Continental AG is aiming to be completely carbon-neutral by 2050. One of the earliest landmarks in the plans sees Continental move to being carbon-neutral in some areas within two years. Specifically, from 2022 Continental will make its global business for emission-free cars, buses, trains and other vehicles carbon-neutral. The programme covers the company’s production processes as well as their upstream stages and recycling at the end of use. In this way, the technology company is helping the industry make emission-free mobility completely carbon-neutral.
Why now is the time to support tyre recovery stabilisation
The fourth session of the virtual Tyre Industry Conference centred on tyre recycling and the circular economy in the year of coronavirus. Joined by the Tyre Recovery Association’s secretary general Peter Taylor OBE and Mark Murfitt, the managing director of the UK’s largest tyre recycler, Murfitts Industries, our discussion focused on issues affecting collection and processing of end of life tyres in the UK, the impact of the pandemic, the damage caused by non-compliance, and future developments in tyre recycling. The UK’s tyre recycling sector witnessed a number of investments in 2020 from companies such as the newly formed Norwegian outfit Wastefront’s intention to build a pyrolysis facility in Sunderland and the UK’s Powerhouse Energy Group’s Cheshire DMG syngas plant. So noticeable was this trend that Tyrepress published its first ever Digital Feature based largely on the trend – a magazine-style online feature collecting the latest news from the segment in one place. The interest in this unglamorous but vital segment would perhaps represent a surprise to some, but several developments led to this flurry of activity.
BTMA welcomes change to tyre labelling enforcement powers
The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association has welcomed new legislation to enforce the tyre labelling regulation from 1 January using civil sanctions. The Department for Transport (DfT) appointed the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Compliance Unit as enforcement authority earlier in 2020, replacing the National Measurement Office. To date, the DfT has conducted 68 “mystery shopper” visits, finding 78 per cent of tyre retailers were not compliant with the requirement to provide the labelling information.
Northern Ireland car dealers facing steep price increase
Over the past weeks, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has written to HMRC and a number of MPs to highlight that under post-Brexit EU VAT rules, the sale price of a significant proportion of used vehicles in Northern Ireland (NI) will be subject to a 20 per cent increase for stock purchased in Great Britain (GB). NFDA has urged HMRC to resolve the issue before the end of the year to avoid a major impact on NI and GB vehicle dealers as well as consumers.