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Daily news round upBack

New Volvo XC90 T8 emissions fall to 49g/km CO2


Volvo has announced a 10g/km drop in emissions for the new XC90 plug-in hybrid, bringing its CO2 down to 49g/km.

The drop comes as the result of further tuning by the Swedish company.

Senior vice president of research and development at Volvo Car Group, Dr Peter Mertens, said: “We have been working hard to earn our competitive edge and to give our customers the ultimate combination of performance and low fuel consumption.

“Our Twin Engine technology has enabled us to build on our heritage of efficient powertrain development in a completely new way. Thanks to our new scalable product architecture, and our world class four-cylinder engines, we have a clear and leading position.”

Volvo claims the seven-seater is capable of delivering 26 miles of pure electric range, a 0-62mph of 5.6seconds, and a combined power of 401bhp, along with up to 134.5mpg fuel economy.

The XC90 T8 Twin Engine is available to order in the UK now, with first deliveries expected at the end of the year.






NADA insight: what experiences win today’s digital customers

BDO attended the latest National Automobile Dealers’ Association in the US.

The first report of its reports on key findings from the convention’s seminars looks at the best way a dealer can present their business online.

What experiences win today’s digital customers

Presented by Jared Hamilton, chief executive of DrivingSales

Hamilton began by exploring how dealers will compete going forward.

He argued that price is becoming less of a factor due to efficiencies in the market with the consumer having much more knowledge than before.

A dealer’s stock is also less important as buyers buy more online.

Product quality is out of the retailer’s control and down to the manufacturer and so what is now becoming more key is the customer experience.

This can transform your business if you are ready for it.

Customer experience, however is hard to execute for four main reasons:

  • False confidence
    • It’s nebulous to define
    • It can conflict with existing business models
    • Change is always hard to bring about.



Businesses focus on how the freight and logistics industry increase efficiency and safety in London

Business leaders, operators, trade associations and local authorities have focused on how the freight and logistics industry continues to support London as it changes and grows at a conference.

At Changing Times – Delivering London’s Future, a range of partners tackled how the industry can provide safer, cleaner and more efficient deliveries as London experiences a huge boom in construction and the biggest investment in road modernisation in a generation.

Transport for London (TfL) is working in partnership with the freight industry and local authorities to change how deliveries are made, focusing particularly on retiming deliveries to outside the peak hours of 7am to 1pm.

Doing so means that vital deliveries can be made with fewer wasted driver hours and fuel, reducing costs, lowering emissions and improving customer service.

While not all businesses are able to retime, other options, such as rerouting or consolidating deliveries, can provide similar benefits.

Consolidating deliveries into single trips can also save businesses money and time.

Removing large delivery vehicles from London’s high streets during shopping hours also helps the retail sector by making shopping areas more pleasant places to be.



Salford Van Hire orders 72 Renault trucks to expand and update fleet

Salford Van Hire has chosen the Renault Trucks range to expand and update its fleet with 35 44-tonne Range T460 6×2 tractor units with sleeper cabs and 20 18-tonne Range D18s with 27ft GRP box bodies and tail lifts.

A further 17 12- and 18-tonne Range Ds are also on order. The trucks, which all carry Salford Van Hire’s livery as well as the company’s 50th Anniversary (1965-2015) logo, began joining the 6,300-strong mixed Renault, DAF, Mercedes and Iveco commercial fleet at the end of 2014.

The new Range T and Ds are being put to the test across the UK by Salford Van Hire’s clients.

The 12-tonne Range Ds add a new offering to hirers who need extra weight above 7.5 tonnes, while the 18-tonne Range Ds are replacement vehicles for the Salford Van Hire fleet. Commenting on his decision to bring the new Renaults on board,

Alessandro Bacci, director of Salford Van Hire, said: “2015 is a special year for Salford Van Hire as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary.

“We chose Renault Trucks as we have had success with them over the past 12 years and they have proven to be particularly reliable.

“We turned to Renault as we needed some new vehicles to keep a-pace with our client’s business needs as well as keeping our fleet up to date with flagship models.”



DAB radio now standard in most new cars

Two-thirds of all new cars registered during the March 15-plate change came with digital radio fitted as standard, according to new research from Digital Radio UK.

Digital Radio UK, the body working with the government and key stakeholders to rollout DAB radio, analysed SMMT and CAP data to show 64.9% of new car registrations in March had it fitted as standard, up from 50.7% the previous March.

It also said an additional 10% of cars also had digital radio available as a cost option, meaning that three-quarters of new cars in the UK now have digital radio available as standard or as an option.

The news was welcomed by Mike Hawes, CEO of the SMMT.

“We are delighted to see the continuing drive to digital. The great progress being made by manufacturers in the line-fitment of digital radio, and the introduction of new products in the aftermarket, demonstrates the importance the automotive sector attaches to this technology,” he said.

According to Which? a date for the digital switchover is not expected to be announced until the end of 2016.

According to Digital Radio UK all of the top 20 selling car brands in the UK now offer DAB digital radio as standard or as an option on their models and the top 10 car brands fit DAB as standard in the majority of their models.

In March Hyundai became the latest manufacturer to start fitting DAB digital radio as standard in all new their models.

“It’s great news for drivers that a landmark two-thirds of new cars now come with digital radio as standard. This is impressive progress, and with yet more digital stations launching next year, it’s clear that digital radio is fast-becoming a must-have in car,” said Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK.



Supreme court orders UK to clean up air pollution

The Supreme Court has ordered the government to lower Britain’s nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels which have been in breach of EU limits for years.

The ruling is the culmination of a five-year legal battle fought by ClientEarth for the right of British people to breathe clean air.

This week five judges unanimously ruled in the group’s favour and said the government after must draw up a plan to meet the EU rules by the end of 2015.

London and other cities in the UK have been in breach of EU standards on NO2 levels since 2010, running the threat of major fines from Brussels.

NO2 is a by-product of diesel power which has come under heavy fire in recent months.

In December, the Environmental Audit Committee said diesel was the most significant driver of air pollution in cities.

It called for the government to pay for diesel drivers to upgrade their engines or for a national scrappage scheme to take the most polluting vehicles off the road.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has also aired the idea of introducing an Ultra-Low Emission Zone with drivers of older diesel cars charged £10 on top of the congestion charge to drive in Central London.

However newer diesel vehicles that adhere to the Euro-6 emission standard would be exempt.

In the past diesel was promoted over petrol for offering more mpg and producing less CO2.

Last month the SMMT launched a campaign in defence of diesel, arguing that today’s diesel engines are the cleanest ever.



Average UK vehicle CO2 emissions fall for 17th year running, says SMMT

The SMMT published its annual New Car CO2 Report, which shows that average UK vehicle CO2 emissions fell for the 17th consecutive year by 2.9% to 124.6g/km.

The 2014 UK new car CO2 average is 4.2% below the 130g/km 2015 pan-EU target.
CO2 reductions were seen in all fuel, segment and sale types in 2014, in which all registrations grew year-on-year.

Key trends include greater fuel efficiency of new engines, an increase in the uptake of alternative-fuelled vehicles, and a market shift to lighter cars and more compact engines.

The total volume of alternative-fuelled vehicles grew from just over 16,000 in 2007 to nearly 52,000 in 2014, a three-fold increase, and a 58.1% increase over 2013. The bulk of this growth remains in hybrids, although the SMMT said electric vehicle growth is making good progress.

New light commercial vehicles’ average CO2 emissions fell to 182.4g/km in 2014, decreasing by 1.8% since 2013 and by 3% since 2012.

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union have set mandatory CO2 emission targets, which new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles must meet by 2020. By this time, manufacturers must hit a 95g/km average across 95% of its registrations, rising to 95g/km across of all registrations from 2021. Light-commercial vehicles will be limited to 147g/km CO2.

The SMMT said: “The 2020 EU targets for new cars and vans remain ambitious and challenging, but offer stability and planning certainty, which are critically important for industry competitiveness and development.

“Key drivers of change towards CO2 reductions and decarbonising transport will be a greater collaboration between Government and industry as well as continued investment in R&D and new technology.”




Roadhawk to provide in-vehicle cameras to KGM’s policyholders

In-vehicle camera company Roadhawk has partnered with KGM insurance to provide cameras to the insurer’s policyholders.

Following what it called “extensive research and stiff competition” KGM has selected the cameras for its taxi and private hire insurance policyholders.

According to Roadhawk, 35% of road accidents involve at-work drivers. KGM wanted an improved method of protecting its insured drivers from possible fraud and non-fault blame, while being able to speed up claim resolution times.

“Very often in a road traffic collision, witness statements and a driver’s version of events can be misleading, often meaning an insurer has a difficult time settling the claim efficiently,” said Mark Nelson, Roadhawk’s managing director.

“Our systems offer a true version of events, protecting the professional driver. With our system, KGM will be able to defend claims against its insured drivers and offer an improved claims management service,” said Nelson.




Technology benefits to come

Audatex believes insurance data availability together with technological advances are set to benefit customers, insurers and underwriters in 2015.

Advances in technology continue to drive the motor insurance industry in new directions. Most recently, telematics and vehicle safety technology have given insurers a new level of insight into driver behaviour. This has already enhanced the underwriting process and enabled insurers to offer much more accurate premiums, but Paul Sykes, managing director of Audatex, believes that’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the benefits possible in the not-so-distant future.

Paul explained, ‘With better access to vehicle data, such as factory specification, exact value, keeper changes and accident history, insurers can further increase the accuracy of their risk and premium pricing decisions. Insurance premiums which accurately reflect a combination of driving style, lifestyle of an individual and very specific insight into the actual vehicle they drive are becoming a reality.

‘A future where insurers bring together rich data with intuitive, intelligent systems to create truly bespoke premiums is already fast becoming a reality. Crucially, these tailor-made products will be designed to influence driving behaviour, which in turn, will further influence underwriting.’





FTA licence concerns

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is warning that the new driver licence checking system to be introduced by the DVLA this summer – will not meet businesses’ needs.

FTA’s chief executive, David Wells has written to the Driver Licencing Agency’s CEO, Oliver Morley telling him that the new online system will make driver licence checking extremely difficult for freight operators, and needs to be reconsidered as a matter of urgency.

Commenting on the proposed DVLA licence checking system, David Wells said, ‘Freight operators –which employ hundreds and sometimes thousands – of professional drivers have a legal obligation to check licences on a regular basis. FTA is not convinced that the proposed online checking system will be robust enough to cope with industry demands.’

Mr Wells continued, ‘Despite FTA staff liaising with the DVLA to realise the commitment by the Agency to provide an on-line alternative which businesses’ need, we believe that the system which is to be introduced in June simply does not deliver that commitment, and would make licence checking for our members extremely difficult.’


Posted by Lois Hardy on 30/04/2015