Electric vehicles account for a growing proportion of the UK car parc and will continue to do so in the years to come. This move from combustion power is a thrown gauntlet that garages and vehicle servicing firms need to pick up sooner rather than later, and also a transition that requires a visible investment in charging capabilities.
Falken has announced that its Ziex ZE310A Ecorun AO tyre has been approved as factory fitment on the Audi A3 TFSI e hybrid, in size 205/55 R16 V XL. The tyre’s ability to bear high loads, together with good traction and rolling resistance characteristics makes it ideal for today’s electric and hybrid vehicles, says Falken.
In order to meet increasing local demand for high-tech and premium tyres and in response to national and regional market share gains, Bridgestone is investing in its manufacturing facility in Camaçari, Brazil. The more than R$700 million (£101.7 million) investment will go towards modernising the plant and increasing production capacity by more than 20 per cent. The project will begin by the fourth quarter of 2021.
Pirelli claims a world first with the launch of a range of FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) tyres. Designed for the BMW X5 xDrive45e plug-in-hybrid, these tyres contain FSC-certified natural rubber and rayon. According to Pirelli, its FSC-Certified P Zero represents “a new horizon for increasingly sustainable tyre production.”
Surging demand for new hybrid cars is also being reflected in the used market, with the online car supermarket BuyaCar.co.uk reporting its highest-ever proportion of hybrid customers. But a gap is emerging between brands when it comes to the popularity of hybrid as a consumer choice over diesel or petrol, BuyaCar analysts say.
February’s car registration figures were released as the SMMT calls on the Chancellor to use next week’s Budget to announce bold new measures to make new-tech zero emission-capable cars, including plug-in hybrids, more affordable for mass-market buyers. In 2020, manufacturers will bring more than 23 new battery-electric and ten plug-in hybrid electric cars to the UK to add to the more than 65 already on sale, but take-up of these new models depends on affordability and the provision of adequate charging infrastructure.
Dayco, a leading engine products and drive systems supplier for the automotive, industrial and aftermarket industries, has strengthened its relationship with the Politecnico di Torino to develop hybrid electric systems for vehicle manufacturers across the globe.
The SMMT released its UK passenger car registration figures for January shortly after the government announced its ambition to end the sale of all vehicles with an internal combustion engine, including HEVs and PHEVs, by 2035. In response to the announcement, the SMMT calls for caution. It points out that hybrids and plug-in hybrids are zero-emission capable, and therefore views both as vehicles not only bringing “significant environmental benefits today,” but also an “important stepping stone in helping motorists make the switch to a zero-emission vehicle.”
Falken has showcased its latest technology to support alternatively fuelled vehicles, led by its new Ecorun AA tyre for hybrids, at the inaugural E-Mobility Days Munich event (3-4 May 2019). The two-day programme of activities included specialist lectures on electric mobility, the opportunity to test drive electric vehicles and visit the laboratories of Bundeswehr University, where alternative drive technologies are being researched. Falken also sponsored the event.
UK electric car registrations continue to set records, as latest figures place the total number of new 100 per cent electric and plug-in hybrid cars registered last year at 59,911, making it the most successful year for electric cars to date.
Melksham Motor Spares has begun to bring garages together to train with Delphi on its hybrid electric vehicle course. The company said the training would help to leverage the opportunity offered by the latest hybrid technology. Delphi’s IMI accredited hybrid vehicle training programme has been designed to give technicians the confidence and capability to work safely and effectively on hybrid systems.
The seismic shift towards low-carbon vehicles will open up supply chain opportunities worth hundreds of billions of pounds, according to industry experts speaking at the Future of Technology Zone at Cenex-LCV2018.
As part of its contribution to a recently completed major European research initiative to achieve more efficient and cost-effective hybrid powertrains for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles, Ricardo has created a new 48V e-motor offering up to a 50 per cent increase in power density compared with current production machines.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is urging the UK government to act to support the sale of traditionally fuelled vehicles following the news that the UK new car market declined moderately in June. Year-on-year demand fell by -3.5 per cent, the SMMT stated, as 234,945 new cars joined British roads, representing relative stabilisation considering recent turbulence over the past year or so. While alternatively fuelled vehicle sales continue to rise, they are not yet at a level that can relieve the decline in traditionally fuelled vehicle sales, and the SMMT argues for government to provide increased support for petrol and especially new technology diesel vehicles.