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.
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.”
Volvo has announced that drivers and buyers of any new Volvo plug-in hybrid model (PHEV) will benefit from a year’s free electricity to charge their car. The offer is open to both private and business customers. Volvo says this is because its “intention is to encourage drivers to get into the habit of keeping their car’s hybrid battery charged, it’s the company car driver who will receive the refund at the end of the year rather than their employer.”
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.
When not producing tyres, Continental is a major player in the automotive systems sector, and now its products are also providing cars with extra oomph and greater fuel efficiency. The company reports it is “electrifying” one diesel variant of both the new Renault Scénic and Grand Scénic models.
Klarius has unveiled a type-approved aftermarket exhaust system for the Toyota Prius. The manufacturer said the new product signals the company’s commitment to expanding its green product range, and transferring expertise and experience in regular car exhausts to move with a market transitioning to more green motoring.
The pace of Toyota’s worldwide hybrid vehicle sales continues to accelerate with a further million units added in just nine months, taking the cumulative total through the seven-million mark.
Toyota’s hybrid range continues to grow, with 28 different passenger car models (including the Prius Plug-in hybrid) currently sold in more than 90 countries and regions. The new model strategy for 2014-2015 features 15 new hybrids, including in the UK the new Lexus NX 300h crossover and RC 300h coupe. In the future more new models and markets will be added.
It isn’t easy to achieve an A/A rating on the European tyre label, at least not if you appraise tyre performance according to the guidelines, but Continental has managed it with the all-new Conti.eContact. The latest generation of tyre to carry this name is initially available in six sizes for 17 and 18-inch rims as a replacement fitment for the European market. Low volume production has begun at Continental’s Sarreguemines tyre plant in France.