A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 8th-14th June 2021
Here’s the first in our new series of weekly round-ups of news items for all things fleet over the last seven days.
Bosch to open Semi-Conductor Factory
With the well-documented “semi-conductor” shortage affecting many industries, most notable automotive production – Bosch has announced welcome news of opening a new factory in Dresden, Germany, to focus specifically on semi-conductor production.
The €1 billion (£860m) semiconductor fabrication facility is the largest single investment the company has ever made.
Production starts as early as July –with the first semiconductors made in the new plant to be installed in Bosch power tools. Production for chips for the automotive industry will begin in September.
First “BP Pulse Rapid Charging Hub” Opens in London
The first BP Pulse rapid charging hub for fleet vehicles is now available in the UK. Situated on Park Lane, London, Uber are among its first customers.
With rapid charging available for 10 vehicles simultaneously – BP Pulse plans to more than double its capacity in the coming months and then look to roll-out similar hubs in major Cities across the UK.
Study shows fleet vehicle increase since start of pandemic
A survey by Opinion Matters has revealed some rather interesting statistics in relation to fleet vehicle usage since the pandemic started.
The first interesting point – and somewhat predictable – is that 80% of businesses surveyed have had to adjust their businesses since lockdown.
This has lead to several knock-on effects. The most notable changes are that a quarter of the businesses surveyed has added more vehicles to their fleet (or had to get vehicles) whilst a similar number reported an increase in fleet management running costs.
There has also been a huge shift in how fleets are managed – with almost half surveyed switching vehicle management systems and a third have digitalised their fleet.
What is blatantly obvious is that the shift in business needs is placing a greater emphasis on the role of fleet managers and understanding of fleet vehicles.
Peugeot Charged with Diesel Emission Fraud
Another week, another major vehicle manufacturer has been charged with diesel emission fraud.
French authorities have brought the charges against Peugeot following an investigation into vehicles manufactured between 2009-2015.
Following hot on the heels of fellow French rivals Citroen, investigators say that their investigations found some of the cars produced on-the-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions more than 10 times regulatory limits for some models.
BVRLA Highlight Lack of New Vans Is Genuine Concern
The issue in the supply in new vans – particularly for the rental and leasing sectors – is something we have touched on recently, and our concerns are shared by the BVRLA.
Following a survey carried out in May, 90% of respondents said the supply of vans was a problem. Worryingly – almost half of those said it was an extreme barrier when trying to meet customer needs.
The Chief Exec of the BVRLA said
“The van parc is growing exponentially at a rate double that of cars, yet the supply of battery electric vans is an acute problem. Although we have seen an increase in the number of makes and models coming to market, there is a particular dearth of vans capable of long ranges or towing.
“Vans play a vital role in the UK economy with one in ten workers relying on a one to do their job. A special focus on vans is needed if this sector is to achieve parity with the more developed electric car market and the BVRLA will be making recommendations to Government.”
The silver lining though was that most of those surveyed did anticipate things to improve significantly over the next 6 months.
Royal Mail Commit to 3000 More Electric Fleet Vehicles
Following the roll-out of Clean Air Zones, Royal Mail have added a further 3000 electric vehicles in addition to their existing 300 plug-in vehicles.
The new vehicles will be concentrating in the areas with Clean Air Zones and will be being to be used from October onwards.
Working with Peugeot and Mercedes, the Peugeot e-Expert, Mercedes e-Vito and e-Sprinter have been chosen as Royal Mail to ensure a low-emissions per parcel service.
This news comes just days after DPD announced they had order 750 electric vehicles from Maxus, doubling it’s electric fleet to 1500.
BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Is Now Available for Orders
The eagerly-anticipated BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is now available for orders pending it’s arrival in the UK in November.
The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe combines some of the practicality of the 4 series into the fun and vigour of a 4 Series Coupe – bringing the best of a lot of worlds into one and making it equally adept for business and pleasure.
With prices starting from £40,465, it comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines, an 8-speed automatic gearbox fitted as standard and the option of rear or all-wheel drive.
We will of course be reviewing the car in more detail this summer and give it the full Fleet Adviser overall review treatment.