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Rising fuel prices helped to push the UK’s inflation rate higher last month, official figures show. Inflation as measured by Consumer Prices Index (CPI), rose to 0.6% in July from 0.5% the month before, the Office for National Statistics said. More expensive alcoholic drinks and hotel rooms also helped to increase the CPI rate, the ONS said. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation rose to 1.9% in July from 1.6% in June.
The automotive industry is rushing to produce electric vehicles (EVs) as the world tries to move away from polluting hydrocarbons to greener, cleaner fuels. But EVs still only account for 1% of the total market. Some companies are betting that hydrogen fuel cells will be the power source of the future, but Nissan believes bio-ethanol produced from sugar cane or corn could also produce zero-emission electric energy. Nissan recently unveiled its prototype solid-oxide fuel cell vehicle in Brazil, where ethanol is readily available in all gas stations – in marked contrast to hydrogen pumps.
A fall in immigration due to the Brexit vote could offer native Britons in some low-paid jobs a small rise that is likely to be offset by a far larger weakening of wage growth, economists say. Research by the Resolution Foundation has found that while the boom in net migration of the past decade has had no impact on the wages of British-born workers overall, it has depressed earnings in occupations including cleaning, sales and security.
Investigators at the US Justice Department have found evidence of criminal wrongdoing in Volkswagen’s diesel-emissions cheating scandal and are negotiating a settlement with the German carmaker that is expected to result in charges and financial penalties. Federal prosecutors in the United States have held preliminary discussions with VW’s lawyers and are working to settle an anticipated criminal case before the end of the year, though the timing may slip, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. US prosecutors have yet to decide which charges they might bring against VW. Last year the company admitted misleading environmental regulators and consumers over the emissions cheating software. Prosecutors have previously charged other carmakers with wire fraud and concealing information from government officials for safety transgressions.
Brexit business is BOOMING: Small companies flock to take advantage of EU exit
There has been a massive surge in funding enquiries from small and medium-sized companies determined to exploit the trading opportunities offered by the country’s withdrawal from a bureaucratic and competition-stifling EU. Requests for finance totalling more than £20m have been recorded since the beginning of August – exceeding £2m a day, figures from the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) show. That is the same amount of funding requested during the whole of July, and twice the level over the same time period in August 2015; with the number of enquiries up by two-thirds.
Select models sold in US will show countdown to signals turning green – and warn when it’s too late to beat a red. The German carmaker Audi is rolling out technology that will allow its vehicles to communicate with traffic lights. Audi of America, which is owned by Volkswagen, said select 2017 Q7 and A4 models built after 1 June 2016 would be equipped with the system. Audi’s version of technology known in the industry as “V-to-I”, or vehicle to infrastructure, displays a countdown before a red light turns to green, with a countdown also appearing when it is too late to get through an approaching signal before it turns red.
“This is our foray into V-to-I,” said Pom Malhotra, general manager of Audi’s connected vehicles division. “This is designed not as a safety feature but a comfort and convenience feature.”