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France set to ban sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040
France is set to ban the sale of any car that uses petrol or diesel fuel by 2040, in what the ecology minister called a “revolution”.
Nicolas Hulot announced the planned ban on fossil fuel vehicles as part of a renewed commitment to the Paris climate deal.
He said France planned to become carbon neutral by 2050. Hybrid cars make up about 3.5% of the French market, with pure electric vehicles accounting for just 1.2%. It is not yet clear what will happen to existing fossil fuel vehicles still in use in 2040.
CBI urges single market until Brexit deal
The UK should stay in the single market and customs union until a final Brexit deal is in force, according to the CBI business lobby group. CBI head Carolyn Fairbairn said it was “impossible” for all the details of a new trade deal with the European Union to be in place by March 2019. That is when talks about the UK’s withdrawal are due to formally finish. To minimise disruption, UK businesses need a “bridge” instead of a “cliff edge” for the new deal, she said. Businesses are delaying investment because of the uncertainty, according to the CBI, whose members employ nearly 7 million people.
Politics not economics propels electric car growth
By 2025, we are told, a third of car sales in Europe will be electric with world sales totalling 13m, according to one of those exponential graphs which forecasters love. All-electric cars are inherently simpler, and thus cheaper to build than today’s internal combustion vehicles. Batteries are improving, always assuming there’s enough lithium and cobalt to meet demand.
It’s a pretty picture but there are a few stones in the road. For a start, UK fuel tax on those beastly petrol and diesel cars raises £28bn a year, about the same as council tax, and is projected to rise to £40bn by 2030.
China’s Ganfeng prepares for electric car buying rush
Ganfeng Lithium, one of China’s fastest growing companies, is expanding into battery production as it seeks to prepare for the expected rapid growth in the country’s electric car market. The Chinese company, which is valued at $5.3bn after a 600 per cent increase in its share price over the past five years, will start shipping batteries to electric buses in August and to the car industry next year. The move comes as the stakes rise in the electric vehicle or EV market, with Volvo Cars this week announcing all its models from 2019 will have an electric motor, while Tesla Motors plans to deliver its first mass market Model 3s this month.
Clean the air as you ride on pollution-eating bikes
Bicycles that absorb pollution and pump out clean air while you pedal could soon be seen on British streets. The bikes, being developed in Beijing, are part of a global project to clean up the most-polluted cities. Daan Roosegaarde, a Dutch designer and artist, has signed a partnership with a Chinese bike-sharing start up to progress the anti-pollution invention. He was behind the Smog Free Tower in the Chinese capital, a seven-metre construction that sucks in dirty air like a giant vacuum cleaner. Ion technology then filters it, before returning bubbles of clean air through the tower’s vents.
Households face biggest squeeze for five years as inflation keeps rising
Household finances are facing their tightest squeeze in more than five years as inflation pushes up the cost of living. Real household disposable income per head in the first three months of 2017 was down 2 per cent year on year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said yesterday. This was “the largest decrease since the end of 2011, driven by increasing prices of goods and services”, it said. The ONS figures track the amount that families have to spend, adjusted for inflation.
Record foreign investment shows Britain still open for business
The number of foreign investment projects in Britain has hit record levels since the European Union referendum, according to government figures. The Department for International Trade said that the volume of foreign direct investment projects in Britain grew by 2 per cent, with some 2,200 schemes across the country. The figures were released as Liam Fox, the trade secretary, travelled to France for a meeting with Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, President Macron’s Europe minister, to discuss French investments in Britain. France is the third-largest investor in Britain but Mr Macron has been at the vanguard of insisting that the British government cannot “cherry pick” the benefits of the EU.
Short drives around town are the dirtiest
Drivers who make short car journeys are causing the highest levels of air pollution because exhaust clean-up systems do not work properly on cold engines, a study has found. It takes more than five minutes for the systems, such as selective catalytic reduction, to reach the temperature at which they effectively remove nitrogen oxides (NOx) from exhaust gases, according to Emissions Analytics, an independent testing company. With many car journeys lasting last less than five minutes, millions of trips a day are made in cars in which pollution controls are not working properly for the entire journey.
£25 million of fake insurance claims stopped every week
Insurers are thwarting 2,400 fraudulent insurance claims worth £25 million in total every week, industry figures show.
Some 125,000 dishonest insurance claims valued at £1.3 billion were recorded in 2016, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The fraud figures were generally down compared with 2015, with a 5% fall by number and a 3% decline by value. The ABI said a focus on stamping out organised fraud, including “crash for cash” staged motor collisions, contributed to the slight year-on-year fall in the number and cost of detected fraudulent claims.