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No plan for petrol and diesel ban in Wales, says Plaid AM
There is “no plan” by the Welsh Government to prepare for a diesel and petrol car-free future, a Plaid Cymru AM has said. New petrol and diesel cars will be outlawed by UK government from 2040. Simon Thomas said Welsh ministers were “off the pace” in developing alternatives such as public transport and cycling to deal with the change. The Welsh Government said it was looking at measures to support phasing out petrol and diesel vehicles. Road tax, fuel duty and vehicle standards are handled by the UK government, but roads and policy around cycling and walking are in the Welsh Government’s remit.
Jeremy Corbyn to set out Labour’s Brexit plans
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to back the UK being in a permanent customs union with the EU in a speech setting out his approach to Brexit. The policy shift could lead to Labour siding with Tory rebels to defeat Theresa May on her Brexit strategy. Asked if such a defeat could topple the government, a shadow minister said: “I don’t know what it would lead to.” The Conservatives accused Labour of making false promises about a “simple solution to Brexit”. The prime minister has insisted the UK will leave both the single market and the customs union, allowing it to negotiate its own post-Brexit trade deals.
Global carmakers race to lock in lithium for electric vehicles
As Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors rolled out their electric cars for the mass market in 2010, Japanese manufacturers placed enthusiastic bets on a surge in battery demand. But the electric vehicle revolution failed to materialise and much of their investments went sour. Nearly a decade later, China and other governments are driving a massive push for a future of electric cars as they try to shift consumers away from combustion engines. To capture the market for these vehicles, global carmakers from Volkswagen to Tesla are attempting to lock in supplies of raw materials that are needed to increase production of lithium ion batteries, which will power this electric revolution.
Fiat Chrysler to kill off diesel in all cars by 2022
Fiat Chrysler will ditch diesel from all of its passenger vehicles by 2022 amid a collapse in demand and spiralling costs in the latest blow to the scandal-tainted fuel source. Under a four-year plan to be unveiled on June 1, the Italian-American carmaker will say it intends to phase out the fuel type from the cars across its brands, according to people familiar with the strategy. FCA, which owns the Jeep, Ram, Dodge, Chrysler, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Fiat marques, declined to comment.
Rent out your car for holiday cash
Motorists will be able to profit from their holidays by renting out their cars for up to £160 a week after leaving the country. For the first time, a peer-to-peer car rental service has been introduced under which drivers charge other people to use their vehicles instead of leaving them to sit in airport car parks. Gatwick will be the first airport in the country to try out the scheme, enabling passengers to park free of charge and often make a small profit. Under the service, motorists can choose a “rent and earn” option when they leave a vehicle in the airport’s long-stay car park.
Traffic fine revoked over accuracy of cameras
Doubts have been raised over thousands of road fines after a motorist had a £130 penalty quashed because of concerns over the accuracy of the camera system. Raymond Bruce had his fine for driving in London’s congestion charging zone without paying cancelled when an adjudicator ruled that the camera evidence was unreliable. He was caught by an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera while exiting the zone at 7.02am, two minutes after the charge kicked in, and was sent a £130 fine for non-payment.
Driving school’s cut-price lessons leave learners on the road to nowhere
It was an irresistible offer – 10 beginner driving lessons for £99 from a company that called itself “the most-liked driving school on Facebook”. Most of those who signed up to the national franchise, Drive Dynamics, were young people on tight budgets – students, single mothers and newly arrived immigrants. Now many have found they have paid out for nothing. The promised instructors never materialised, or vanished after a single lesson and requests for refunds fell on deaf years. Drive Dynamics has now gone into voluntary liquidation and, since it was taking new bookings up to its last days of trading, many more are left out of pocket. One Observer reader had paid £812 for a training course. The saga highlights the problem of headline bargains designed to lure the uninitiated behind the wheel. Drive Dynamics was one of a growing number of businesses to undercut a crowded market with unsustainable prices. While learners hasten to sign up to £99 packages, there’s a shortage of Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) who can afford to live on £10 an hour once the costs of maintaining and insuring the vehicle and weekly franchise fees are deducted.