We are continually being told that electric vehicles are the future – indeed, petrol and diesel-engined vehicles are scheduled to be phased out in the UK market; the original deadline was 2040, but this was brought forward to 2035, and there is talk of possibly introducing the ban in 2030. This last date is regarded by many as unachievable – when the deadline was brought forward to 2035, Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, described the situation as “extremely concerning” and accused the Government of “moving the goalposts.”
The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) EV group was established in 2019 to support dealers’ efforts in the EV sector and, in turn, provide NFDA with feedback on the key issues facing the industry that the association can use in support of its lobbying efforts with the relevant Government departments. The launch of the EV Group coincided with the significant growth of the NFDA’s Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) scheme launched by NFDA and endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) as well as the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in 2019.
BKT says it is “ready to take up the challenge” of developing tyres for the coming generation of self-driving and electric off-highway vehicles. The tyre maker is already addressing changes within the agricultural and construction sectors with a range of solutions, drawing upon its almost 30-year experience and in dialogue with end-users.
Scandinavian start-up full-electric vehicle manufacturer Volta Trucks has signed a new tyre partnership with Bridgestone. The world’s largest tyre manufacturer will fit its tyres to the first launch vehicle, which will be revealed at an online event on Thursday 3 September. The agreement also covers the supply of tyres to Volta’s pilot vehicles, due to start evaluation with fleet operators in early 2021. Large logistics fleet operators have already signed-up to trial the Volta Zero, including DPD Group in the UK and Bring and Posten in Scandinavia, with orders also already being taken for the vehicle in both markets.
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.
A cross-party group of MPs with bus manufacturing sites within their constituencies have written to the Prime Minister to demand the £3 billion he committed in February to fund investment in “at least 4,000 new zero emissions buses” is brought forward as soon as possible.
Battery maker Britishvolt has signed an MoU with the Welsh Government to develop a 30 GWh manufacturing plant, and supplementary 200MW solar plant, at the former RAF base at Bro Tathan, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. It is anticipated that the initial £1.2 billion of investment from the company could eventually lead towards up to 3,500 jobs. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021.
British Gas has announced that it has ordered 1,000 new all-electric Vivaro-e vans from Vauxhall – the largest commercial BEV (battery electric vehicle) order in the UK to date. The BEVs will arrive over the next 12 months and be rolled out nationwide across the British Gas engineer workforce. Centrica, owner of British Gas, has committed to electrifying its 12,000 strong fleet by 2030 and will be making further orders with Vauxhall for electric vehicles as soon as they are available. This may include the all-electric Combo-e – available from Summer 2021.
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.
Volkswagen has called the launch of its ID.3 electric car the most significant since the Golf. But the launch is also a milestone for one of its tyre partners. Following the news that Bridgestone would supply its Enliten-enhanced Turanza Eco tyres to the ID.3, the world’s largest tyre manufacturer has outlined the benefits of its low rolling resistance, reduced materials technology, available on the road for the first time on the ID.3. Bridgestone says Enliten Technology “sets a new lowered standard in material use and rolling resistance to deliver significant environmental benefits,” making it ideally suited to a car launch characterised as a milestone in sustainability.
Following the news that Tesla’s market capitalisation now exceeds that of Toyota, making it the most valued carmaker in the world, David Leggett, automotive Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The automotive sector is among the most severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and facing decimated markets this year. GlobalData’s base COVID-19 light vehicle sales scenario forecasts a fall of 17.8 per cent on 2019 to 73.9 million, a greater hit to the market than in the 2007/8 financial crisis. Against this background, the share prices of many automotive companies and suppliers have been hit.”
Following the SMMT’s June round of car registrations figures, analyst Deloitte wonders if there is cause to think a UK automotive landmark has passed. While much of the focus has been on the historic depths the country’s car sales have hit, the proportional demand for hybrid and electric vehicles has continued to rise at pace. Michael Woodward, UK automotive lead, Deloitte, said: “The automotive industry is taking positive steps towards recovery from the impact of COVID-19. Socially-distanced showrooms have been reopened in England for a full month, and factory production is ramping up again, in some cases faster than expected.
McGill University researchers show that affordable materials could prove key for improving the batteries used in electric vehicles. The breakthrough was analyzed and confirmed with the Canadian Light Source (CLS) at the University of Saskatchewan. The research was funded by NSERC and supported by Hydro-Quebec.
Hyundai Motor Group has announced a rise of nearly 58 per cent rise in global electric vehicles sales in the first five months of 2020. The Korean car maker has sold 40,182 units in the period. David Leggett, automotive analyst at GlobalData, says: “Hyundai’s success reflects strong demand in Europe for recently-launched electric vehicles such as the Hyundai Kona Electric and Ioniq as well as Kia Niro and the Soul EV.