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A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 15th – 21st June 2021

by | Jun 21, 2021 | All Articles, Fleet Management, Uncategorised | 0 comments

Here is the news from the ever-evolving world of fleet vehicles. This week there is big news from BMW, VW, Daimler and another Clean Air Zone is confirmed to start.

BMW begin trialling hydrogen fuel cell technology to provide “attractive option”.

We start with some really promising news. BMW engineers have begun road-testing it’s new hydrogen fuel cell technology in it’s i-Hydrogen Next prototype based on their X5 SUV model.

This exciting development is something seen as crucial by the company as part of the on-going development towards cleaner energy.

Frank Weber, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development said;

“Hydrogen fuel cell technology can be an attractive option for sustainable drive trains – especially in larger vehicle classes. That is why road testing of near-standard vehicles with a hydrogen fuel cell drive train is an important milestone in our research and development efforts.”

The technology has the potential to supplement internal combustion engines, plug-in hybrids and electric-battery engines, as it is able to produce a whopping 374ps total output.

The upshot of the technology though is that it could offer a real alternative to those who do not have their own access to an electric charging infrastructure, or who are regularly making long journeys.

If the testing goes as hoped, then a small fleet of vehicles will be produced next year for more extensive testing. Should this testing go as hoped, full production could begin in 2025.

More Government Help Needed in EV Roll-out say Electric Fleets Coalition.

The Electric Fleets Coalition has put together a policy document intended for Government to highlight the main issues that affect switching to Electric Vehicles– along with some suggestions on how these issues can be tackled.

The coalition – which includes 5 of the big leasing firms as well as huge fleet businesses like BT, Royal Mail, DPD, Centrica and another 30+ similar businesses – are asking the Government to show leadership and tackle these issues in a bid to make the transition smoother and quicker.

Some of the issues highlighted include;

• Zero Emission Vehicle production levels
• Keeping CO2 regulations competitive to those in the EU
• EV Grant certainty and fairness
• 0% Vat on second hand Zero Emission Vehicles
• Improvements in availability and overall infrastructure for electric vehicle charging.

We will of course keep you posted on the Government’s review of the document presented to them.

VW and Daimler cut hours due to semiconductor shortage

The well-documented shortage of semiconductor microchips has lead to VW and Daimler being the latest manufacturers to cut hours at some of their factories.

VW are cutting hours at their Wolfsburg factory, whilst Daimler is doing the same at it’s Dresden and Rastatt factories.

These issues mean that deliveries of some new cars are taking 3-6 months, with some new vans not available now until 2022.

VW’s chief executive, Herbert Diess said they were in “crisis mode”, whilst a Daimler spokesperson said last week that the situation was “volatile”, and it was not possible to make a forecast on the impact.

Half of NHS Trusts have Electric Vehicle Charging Points installed

In more positive news, half of NHS Trusts now have Electric Vehicle Charging Points installed on their sites for staff, patients and wider community use.

In addition to this, a further 43% have either already approved plans to install in the next 5 years – or are in early-stage planning for installation.

Power Management company Eaton carried out the Freedom of Information research.

The willingness of the overwhelming majority of Trusts to shift to EV charging sends out a positive message.

The research also highlights that many of the Trusts also recognise the opportunity to generate revenue from the charging infrastructure. Infact 11% of Trusts are already selling electricity back to the grid.

Hidden cost of wing-mirror damage estimated in VW Commercial Vehicles survey.

I’m sure we’ve all been there. Coming back to a vehicle that has had it’s wing-mirror damaged can be infuriating. For van drivers though, it seems it is quite a common occurrence.

In a recent survey of 1000 van drivers, VW Commercial Vehicles found that almost two thirds (62%) have had their wing-mirrors clipped either driving in narrow streets or whilst parked.

The survey also found that almost a third of drivers have had multiple incidents with their wing-mirrors.

VW Commercial Vehicles say the most common repairs carried out by their technicians is to the mirror units and glass – with almost ten times more repairs than any other part.

The research estimates the total lifetime cost to repairs of all wing-mirrors to be the rather eye-watering sum of £655m. Ouch!

Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone gets go ahead.

Plans to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) to Greater Manchester has taken another step nearer it was announced on Monday.

Following the launch of CAZs in Bath and Birmingham recently, Greater Manchester was due to follow later this year, but following the COVID pandemic, plans have been put back to Spring 2022 for Heavy Goods Vehicles and buses – with other vehicles to follow in 2023.

To aid with the transition the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (covering it’s 10 boroughs) has received £150m in support.

Andy Burnham – mayor for Greater Manchester – said:

“Coming out of the pandemic, I think we’ve got to get a lot more serious about people’s health and health inequalities that we have in this city region and across the country. We just shouldn’t accept any more things that harm the health of our residents. It’s a fact that it’s the poorest kids in the poorest communities that have to breathe in the most polluted air.”

For more information about the Clean Air Zones or electric vehicles, we have a page of useful links and resources in our “Green Room” section of our site. Click the button below to visit. 

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