Wolfgang Schäfer’s tenure as chief financial officer of German automotive technology company and tyre maker Continental ended abruptly on Wednesday amidst ongoing investigations into the supply of illegal defeat devices for diesel engines, but he’s not the only former Continental manager in the prosecutor’s sights. A representative from the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Hannover announced yesterday that they’re also investigating former chief executive officer Elmar Degenhart and a further ex-board member linked to the Powertrain division, as well as two employees below board level.
During an extraordinary meeting held yesterday, the Continental AG Supervisory Board agreed to mutually terminate Wolfgang Schäfer’s appointment as chief financial officer and member of the company’s Executive Board, effective immediately. Continental states that Schäfer’s departure from the company is linked to investigations by the public prosecutor’s office in Hannover, Germany, into the use of illegal defeat devices in diesel engines and shortcomings from Continental’s side in the ongoing investigations.
Diesel spills from HGVs are listed as a major cause of death and serious injury on the UK’s roads. In addition, they represent both an obvious environmental contamination issue and unnecessary wastage of a fleet’s most costly commodity. A company based in the UK, with offices on four continents, TISS has innovated a range of award-winning fuel security products to tackle this issue, called TankSafe. Approved by leading truck original equipment manufacturers, the product can be fitted on new-build trucks or purchased for fitment retrospectively from distributors in 60 countries. In recognition of the brand’s global reputation, TISS has opted to rebrand the company TankSafe. TISS CEO, Ryan Wholey, explained that the “global transport industry trusts and respects the TankSafe brand, so it makes sense to fully align our identity with that.” He added that the flagship TankSafe Optimum “is far more than an anti-siphon. It certainly stops all fuel theft but, crucially, makes roads safer and protects the environment due to its unique capability to prevent overfilling of fuel tanks and diesel spills.”
Following the Government’s decision to ban new diesel or petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) sold after 2040 as part of a plan to decarbonise the transport sector, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has described the announcement as “optimistic but completely unrealistic.”
The UK will end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, a decade earlier than planned. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out the plans as part of a wider 10 point plan for a so-called for a “green industrial revolution”. However, the sale of hybrid cars and vans that can drive “a significant distance with no carbon coming out of the tailpipe” will remain until 2035.
The Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) England is urging the government to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030. The government is in the process of analysing feedback from its consultation on the ban, which has already been brought forward from 2040 to 2035.
In its response to the consultation on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans, the National Franchised Dealers Association has highlighted dealers’ concerns and provided the Government with detailed recommendations to ensure that the transition to zero-emission vehicles can be sustained. The Government has proposed that the original 2040 date be brought forward to 2035 or perhaps earlier, yet no clear strategy has been defined.
Ending the sale of new petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars and vans by 2035 or earlier would not only be unfeasible but seriously economically damaging, particularly at a time when the economy is struggling to recover from the Coronavirus lockdown. The original date of 2040 is already a very tough ask”, said Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).
Diesel used car prices rise by 31.3 per cent as demand for older vehicles in the used car market outstrips supply. Vehicle auction group Aston Barclay says it recorded its highest ever used car prices in Q2 as demand exceeded supply during and after lockdown. During Q2 older used cars were the most in demand with stock between 55-78 months rising by 20.6 per cent and stock between 79 and 126 months rising by 13.1 per cent. Diesel used cars rose by 31.3 per cent, which was an all-time high at Aston Barclay.
The Committee on Climate Change has advised the government to bring forward its ban on petrol and diesel vehicles to 2032. The government is working to a provisional date of 2035 to ban the sale of all vehicles that aren’t zero-emission, but the committee’s progress report is now suggesting that target is too late. However, the BVRLA is not sure if that is a realistic target.
Thousands of British drivers have joined a legal claim against Mercedes over a diesel emissions scandal, which will be led by law firm PGMBM. The firm has filed a group litigation claim in the Liverpool High Court against Daimler AG, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz UK, over a diesel emissions scandal that it says could be worth up to £10 billion.
A new survey of 2,000 UK drivers reveals that almost a third (30 per cent) say that if they were buying a new car or a new second-hand car they would not know whether to buy a petrol, electric or diesel one. Younger drivers, 18 – 34s, are even more undecided with 41 per cent saying they are unsure what type of fuel-powered car to go for.
Klarius Products Ltd. has slammed the government’s proposal to bring forward the ban on new petrol and diesel cars to 2035, calling the decision “an unworkable fantasy” that is more about political gain than solving a problem.
Bristol City Council is proposing a diesel vehicle ban combined with a clean air zone charge as part of a “bold approach” to tackle air quality. This followed a six-week long public consultation in the summer when more than 5,000 responses were received.