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The Financial Times

Three wheels good for US start-up

Former motor parts executive Paul Elio has introduced a new three-wheel car, capable of 86 miles to the gallon, which has reportedly attracted around 25,000 people that have paid a deposit for a vehicle. The first are due to be delivered to customers next year.

Driverless cars set gears in motion for insurance overhaul

Motor insurers will need to overhaul their business models to remain relevant in the coming decades, executives and consultants said yesterday, after driverless cars were given the green light to drive on British roads from January. Vince Cable, the business secretary, launched a £10m competition for up to three cities to bid as locations for trials and announced a review of road regulations. The trials are expected to start in January 2015 and last between 18 and 36 months.

Peugeot turns first profit in three years

Shares in PSA Peugeot Citroen jumped yesterday as the French carmaker reported its first profits in three years, boosting he credibility of the turnround plan under new chief executive Carlos Tavares. Shares in Europe’s second-largest carmaker rose as much as 9 per cent in early trading as it reported operating income of €477m before one-time gains and charges in the first half, compared with a €100m loss in the same period last year.

Daily Telegraph

Cost of getting a driving licence reduced

The Daily Telegraph reports the Government announced that fees for driving licences are to fall, especially for those who carry out the transactions online. The plans, to be the subject of consultation, would see a drop from £50 to £34 for drivers who apply for their first licence online. There would also be a reduction of £6 to £14 for those renewing their licence after 10 years. The Transport Minister Claire Perry said drivers will be saved £18m ‘thanks to the DVLA making significant savings to their running costs’.

Skoda sets sights on sales boost with ‘dynamic’ line up expansion

The Daily Telegraph Motoring reports that Skoda is introducing five new cars to their line up by Christmas 2016, as part of Skoda’s plan to lift annual sales to more than 1.5m by 2018 up from 921,000 last year. The introductions will begin with the new Fabia at the Paris motor-show in October, followed by a Fabia Estate and hatchback and estate versions of an all new Superb. Skoda is also considering adding another SUV to its range. Skoda has promised its new range will be ‘more dynamic’ in future.

All new taxis will be hybrid by 2018 in capital detox

Under plans by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, all new taxis in the capital from January 1, 2018, will have to be “zero emission capable,” while there will be 1,700 hybrid buses on the road by 2016. The new plans will prevent London from paying hundreds of millions of pounds in EU fines for failing to hit air quality targets. The new “geo-fencing” technology will ensure that when the hybrid vehicles cross boundaries into areas at risk of high air pollution, such as Oxford Street, they switch from diesel or petrol to electricity.

Coming to our roads next year… the first driverless car

Ministers are to update the Highway Code to ensure that driverless cars, which will start appearing next year, can take to the road. The new generation of vehicles work by using GPS technology to locate the vehicle’s position on an electronic map.

The Sunday Times

Drivers back phone crackdown

The Sunday Times reports that according to a survey carried out by YouGov, 72 per cent of drivers are in favour of increasing the penalty for using a phone whilst driving from three to six points. AA president Edmund King said that he thought ‘a one –year ban should be standard for using a mobile phone behind the wheel’.

The Independent

Motorist face rising parking charges

The Independent reports that according to an RAC study, 80 per cent of drivers say that the cost of parking in towns and cities has increased, and that 67 per cent believe there are also fewer spaces available. The poll also found that because cars are wider due to side-impact protection systems 65 per cent of motorists found spaces were too small.

The Times

Lorries get sensors and cameras to save cyclists – Sainsbury’s has developed a delivery lorry with proximity sensors, video cameras and side-guards that will offer drivers 360-degree vision around the vehicle, that will help prevent deaths of cyclists. The new design came as plans have been revealed to ban lorries that fail new safety standards from the capital. Seven of the vehicles are ready to start operating in London and another nine are on order, while the supermarket china plans to introduce them nationwide over the next five years.

The Daily Mail

Whiplash law pushes up car costs

The cost of car cover is expected to start rising in the forthcoming months, as Government changes to cut whiplash claims have failed to work as well as initially hoped. The AA warns premium falls will stop by the end of this year and are bound to rise, unless tougher.

The Guardian

Unexpected drop in eurozone inflation raises fear of dangerous deflationary spiral

Eurozone inflation fell to its lowest level in almost five years in July, bringing the threat of a deflationary spiral closer. The annual rate of inflation fell unexpectedly to 0.4% from 0.5% in June, dragged lower by accelerating falls in food, alcohol and tobacco prices. Energy prices also fell sharply by 1%, compared with a 0.1% rise in June. It was the lowest level of annual inflation since October 2009, when prices were in negative territory. Economists had expected the annual rate to remain unchanged at 0.5%.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 01/08/2014