Company Car Today - Issue 47 - 20th March 2019

NEWS

I-Pace named as European CotY The Jaguar I-Pace has followed up on its UK Car of the Year prize by winning the European version. It is the first time a Jaguar has won the award. The I-Pace beat the Alpine A110 in a tie-breaker, while the other finalists were the Citroen C5 Aircross, Ford Focus, Kia Ceed, Mercedes A-Class and Peugeot 508. said Ofgem should regulate the industry to ensure a reliable service. “It’s a bit like the telecoms industry; you can have competition in the cities, but then it comes to putting down to a network in rural areas, is it reasonable to expect competition or must you do deals with single suppliers? How do you regulate that to ensure the points are charging vehicles properly and the companies are maintaining the service?” Sir John also hit out at the confusing Benefit-in-Kind rates for EVs and called on Government departments to work together to provide company car guidance. “It wouldn’t be unusual for the Government departments not to be in alignment and of course if you were in the Treasury and you saw an opportunity to enhance revenue for three or four years knowing you were going to lose some of it after that, you may choose to do that,” he said, adding: “The Government has to get its ducks in a row so people can see a consistency with policy not just for three years but for 10 years. If the Secretaries of State aren’t showing a desire to work together and are paddling their own canoes, that doesn’t encourage the teams in the departments to do anything but mimic that behaviour.” He concluded: “If you want change, regulation is a great way to achieve it, but people want to see that it is going be consistently applied in a timeframe in which they can invest.” Daniel Puddicombe

INFINITI AXES EUROPEAN OPERATION FROM 2020 Nissan’s premium brand Infiniti is to withdraw from the Western Europe market early next year after a failed attempt to establish the brand. It registered just 750 cars in 2018 for a 0.03% market share, down 78.7% on the 2017 figure of 3515. It has managed only 48 in the first two months of 2019. BITES

Infrastructure tsar calls for EV charging industry regulation

Ford's Tourneo Custom model – the passenger-carrying variant of the Transit Custom – is to be offered with mild hybrid tech when the revised model arrives later this year. The brand said the addition of the 48-volt system will deliver 3% efficiencies. A 2.0-litre diesel is being offered with three power outputs – 105hp, 130hp and 185hp, although the hybrid can only be equipped with the two more powerful options. Energy industry regulator Ofgem should control the UK’s public electric vehicle charging sector, the nation’s infrastructure tsar has said. In an exclusive interview with Company Car Today , Sir John Armitt CBE, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), said the country’s energy watchdog needs to be “in the middle of the roll-out of chargers”. The NIC was established by the Government in 2015 and provides impartial advice on long-term infrastructure challenges to ministers. “The roll-out of electric cars is going to be driven by charging points. Everyone will have a different degree of range anxiety and that is going to influence the sales significantly,” he explained. “The charging point companies are going to have to work with the distribution networks and with National Grid, and

the network is going to need reinforcements in some places.” Sir John warned that without Ofgem’s involvement a large- scale roll-out of public chargers may not happen. “I think there’s a tendency where everyone sits back and says ‘well the oil companies are going to put banks at filling stations’. They can’t do that without knowing there’s an electricity supply.” Should a large-scale roll- out occur and with the right direction from the Government, Sir John believes it may be possible for 100% of new car registrations to be electric by 2030 – a decade ahead of the Department for Transport’s stated ambition in its ‘Road to Zero’ whitepaper. But responding to Company Car Today’s investigation into the shortcomings of the Ecotricity motorway service station network in late 2018, he raised concerns about the reliability of public units and

FEBRUARY NEW CAR SALES SLIGHTLY UP

The UK new car market has experienced growth for the first time in five months, with the number of cars registered during February increasing by 1.4% compared with 12 months ago. The number of cars registered to fleets fell by 1.3% compared with February 2018. VOLVO TO LIMIT ALL NEW CARS TO 112MPH TOP SPEED Volvo will limit the top speed of all its new cars to 112mph from 2020. The Swedish brand said it is also investigating how geofencing control systems could limit speeds near hospitals and schools in the future, as well as ways to combat alcohol and distraction as accident causes. Tesla has dropped the prices of its Model S saloon and Model X SUV. The price cuts mean the entry-level Model S costs from £72,000 – £2000 less than before – while the Model X now costs from £80,200. The top- spec Ludicrous Performance Model S now costs £83,300. TESLA CUTS PRICES OF ITS MODEL S AND X

Ford Tourneo Custom goes 48-volt

The 130hp and 185hp hybrid offerings emit 137g/km of CO 2 when tested on the NEDC cycle, which rises to 183g/km of CO 2 when tested under the newWLTP rules, Ford said.

COMPANY CAR TODAY.CO.UK 7

Made with FlippingBook Learn more on our blog