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Electric trucks and vans cut pollution faster than cars
The clock may be ticking for petrol and diesel-powered cars, but it’s vans, trucks and buses that are driving the electric vehicle revolution on the world’s roads. This week the UK government followed France in announcing it would ban the sale of such vehicles by 2040, while the mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens plan to banish diesels from their city centres by 2025. Almost all car makers now offer hybrid cars and many sell fully electric vehicles. But the electric charge also extends to vans and trucks, and the need to switch to cleaner engines is even greater given that these larger vehicles are far bigger polluters than cars. The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that keeping global temperature rises below 2C by the end of the century will in part depend on the electrification of some 600 million vehicles worldwide.
Irish want sea border with UK after Brexit
Theresa May is facing a new setback in Brexit negotiations after the government in Dublin said that her proposal for the Irish border was unworkable. Leo Varadkar, the Republic of Ireland’s prime minister, is pushing for the Irish Sea to become the post-Brexit border with the UK after warning Mrs May that her plan was doomed and would jeopardise the peace process. British officials were said to be taken aback by Dublin’s change in tone, expressed at a European Union summit in Brussels last week.
Electric cars cost 50% more to insure
Owners of electric cars are being charged more to insure tiny hatchbacks than drivers of huge petrol and diesel vehicles, according to analysis conducted for The Times. Premiums are so high that they risk stalling the green motoring revolution after the government announced plans to ban petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, experts have warned. Insuring a fully electric vehicle is 44 per cent more expensive at £1,070 than buying cover for a traditional car at £740, the study found. It is cheaper to insure a Mercedes S class at £798 on average than a Renault Zoe at £991. Tesla’s Model S is the most expensive electric car to insure at £1,859 on average.
Royal Dutch Shell is preparing for oil prices to remain “lower forever”, its chief executive said yesterday, as it cheered investors with an eight-fold jump in profits for the second quarter. The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas group reported profits of $1.9 billion for the three months to June, up from only $239 million a year ago and boosted by a modest resurgence in oil prices and a strong performance in its refining and marketing business. Excluding one-off costs of $1.7 billion, underlying profits came in at $3.6 billion, more than treble the $1 billion Shell reported last year and significantly higher than the $3.2 billion analysts had been expecting. Oil prices have remained stubbornly low since they tumbled from more than $100 a barrel in 2014 and oil industry executives have talked of prices remaining “lower for longer”.
1,000 on sick-pay high wire
Two in three workers risk a financial shock if they fall ill, a study says. Two-fifths would have to rely on the statutory pay out of £89.35 a week – and could not pay basic household bills. A third would use credit cards and debt to keep their heads above water
Ministers pledge end to free movement in 2019
FREE movement from the European Union will end in two years when Britain has a new immigration system in place, senior Government ministers have pledged. Home Secretary Amber Rudd and immigration minister Brandon Lewis both vowed that the UK will have border controls on who is allowed in and out in time for Brexit in March 2019. Speaking during a visit to a Border Force patrol ship in Troon Harbour, on the west coast of Scotland, Ms Rudd said: “When we leave the EU, the current freedom of movement will obviously end so what we’ll need is a new system and we’ve said that that new system will have a proposal whereby new EU workers coming here will need to register.”Meanwhile, Mr Lewis said freedom of movement was one of the “core principles” of the EU, and that a new immigration system would be in place when Britain formally departs the union.
Brexit: UK consumer confidence falls to lowest level since immediately after vote, survey reveal
UK consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level since immediately after last year’s Brexit vote, with concerns around the economy particularly depressing sentiment, a new study reveals. Consumer research group GfK’s long-running confidence index fell by two points this month, to minus 12 – a level last seen in July 2016. “The economic picture across the UK remains confusing,” said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK. “Yes, employment is booming, but wages have fallen in real terms since 2008 once inflation is taken into account. And while consumers have increased borrowing to carry on spending, the household savings ratio is now at a record low,” he said. “If Brexit negotiations continue to deliver more questions than answers, it’s unlikely the [index] will find any tailwinds for some time.” The index takes five measures of confidence into account, four of which declined in July. The only measure which increased relates to how consumers forecast their personal finances over the next 12 months. That metric rose by two points.
Hammond seeks two-phase Brexit deal with ‘off-the-shelf’ transition
Phillip Hammond has told business leaders he wants to negotiate a two-phase Brexit deal, starting with an “off-the-shelf” transition period during which the UK would maintain current trading relations with the EU. The chancellor said he wanted a “standstill” transition, leaving companies with full access to the single market and customs union, followed by a further “implementation phase” while a new, UK-specific trade accord was put into place. Mr Hammond’s allies say he believes the transition and implementation phases should end by 2022, the last date for the next election.
Germany orders recall of Porsche model over software fears
Germany’s diesel-cheating scandal intensified yesterday as the country’s transport minister ordered a recall of Porsche’s 3-litre Cayenne model, saying it contained illegal software to get round emissions tests. Alexander Dobrindt said the government would also ban the registration of any Cayennes still being sold until updated software was available. His intervention, which will affect 22,000 cars across Europe, came as Germany’s environment minister blamed the woes of the car industry on its excessively close relationship with the Germany government.
EU chief in ‘delay talks’ bid
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has threatened to delay the start of Brexit trade talks in another row over cash. Sources say he believes the UK has failed to spell out its demands for an £85 billion divorce deal despite several requests. Talks have been pencilled in for October. A source said: “Barnier said the UK was not providing enough position papers and the chances were not big of sufficient progress being made.” Brexit Secretary David Davis’ department said it would meet more often with Brussels officials if there were concerns.
White Vans Get Green Lessons
Thousands of white van drivers could be trained to drive less aggressively under Michael Gove’s plan to slash air pollution. Motorists are to be urged to take part in Government-backed courses which teach motorists to adapt their driving style to cut emissions. Details are buried in the Air Quality Plan released by Environment Secretary Mr Gove this week. Courses run by the Energy Savings Trust already teach motorists how to save money by running cars more efficiently. Advice ranges from driving smoothly to shifting up through the gears more quickly to avoid revving the engine too much. Workmen are urged to remove a ladder or rack from a vehicle to reduce air “drag” and save on petrol.
Pay-per-mile could make up for loss of fuel duty cash cow
Ministers are considering plans to scrap fuel duty and replace it with a pay-per-mile charging scheme. The rise of electric cars has led to warnings that the £28 billion raised annually from fuel duty is at risk. Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, has announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040. Ministers are understood to be examining proposals by this year’s winner of the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize. Gergely Raccuja, a 27-year-old transport graduate from UCL, proposed abolishing fuel duty and vehicle excise duty in favour of a simple distance-based charge. Heavier and more polluting vehicles would pay more, and the charge would be collected by insurers.
Royal Mail ready to deliver 100-strong fleet of electric vans
Royal Mail is going electric after announcing it is to buy 100 chargeable vans for postal workers to use on their delivery rounds. The Peugeot Partner Electric vehicles will be based in delivery offices across the UK from December. This year marks 120 years since Royal Mail began using motorised vehicles to deliver post. It now operates the largest vehicle fleet in the UK, with more than 47,000 cars, vans, trucks and lorries. The car’s 106-mile range and 552kg payload should not pose too much of a restriction to Royal Mail.