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Trevor

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  1. Some BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen-group vehicles will be able plug into Tesla charging stations in Netherlands Tesla is opening its charging network to other electric cars for the first time with a pilot programme in the Netherlands, as the world’s most valuable carmaker looks to bring electric vehicles into the mainstream. The programme will be tested at 10 locations in the Netherlands, the company said on Monday, adding that Dutch non-Tesla electric vehicle drivers can access the Tesla stations, or Superchargers, through the Tesla app. Tesla drivers can continue to use these stations and the company will closely monitor each site for congestion. Tesla operates more than 25,000 Superchargers worldwide, while other carmakers have formed alliances or invested in startups for networks as they rush new electric vehicles to market. The Superchargers are open to cars with the Combined Charging System (CCS) favoured by BMW, Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler, Ford and the Volkswagen group, which includes Audi and Porsche. Tesla uses the CCS standard in Europe, allowing a wide range of cars to charge in stations without an adapter that uses a similar connector. Charging prices for non-Tesla drivers would include extra costs to support a broad range of vehicles and site adjustments to accommodate these vehicles, Tesla said. “This move directly supports our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” Tesla, which crossed $1tn in market capitalisation for the first time last week, has defied supply chain issues and global chip shortages to mark a record quarter for car deliveries as demand ramps up and its investments in new factories pay off.
  2. Ford is to invest £230m in its Halewood plant on Merseyside to make electric car parts, helping safeguard 500 jobs The investment will mean the plant will run for many years longer, said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. There had been speculation about the future of the Halewood factory complex as Ford moves towards electrifying its vehicles. Part of the investment will come from the government's Automotive Transformation Fund. "We're really pleased with the support from the UK government," Mr Rowley told the BBC. We're not disclosing the exact amount, but it was good support for what is a very significant investment in the UK." He said the government support was "a part of the decision" to choose to invest in Halewood, "but not the only element". Ford's Halewood plant will begin manufacturing electric power units - which replace the engine and transmission in petrol cars - in 2024. Ford has said it is committed to the UK, but not all locations have been as fortunate. Its engine plant in Bridgend closed in September last year, with the loss of 1,700 jobs, after the company described it as "economically unsustainable". Ford blamed "changing customer demand and cost" for the closure plans and denied Brexit was a factor. Ford is not the first manufacturer to receive financial help for electric vehicle production through the fund, set up to encourage investment in electric vehicle manufacturing in the UK. In July, Nissan announced a major expansion of electric vehicle production at its car plant in Sunderland, which will create 1,650 new jobs. The Japanese carmaker will build its new-generation all-electric model at the site as part of a £1bn investment that will also support thousands of jobs in the supply chain. And Nissan's partner, Envision AESC, will build an electric battery plant. Reaping benefits Ford's Mr Rowley said its plans were "a huge vote of confidence in [the] workforce. Ford has been part of the industrial and social fabric of the UK for many decades," he said, adding that the plant would be a "very important" part of Ford's electrification plans in Europe. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the Ford decision was "further proof that the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for high-quality automotive manufacturing. In this highly competitive, global race to secure electric vehicle manufacturing, our priority is to ensure the UK reaps the benefits," he added. Ford's Halewood plant will manufacture electric power units Kevin Pearson of the Unite union said the Ford investment "recognises the experience, commitment and competitiveness of our world class workforce and is a great source of pride for all of us working at Halewood Transmission Plant and for the wider community". The announcement suggested the facility would be an important part of electric vehicle manufacturing in the UK, said Prof David Bailey of Birmingham Business School. He said that was "especially great news" because there had been "a lot of speculation about the plant", including that Ford might move parts manufacturing and car assembly abroad. Had Halewood closed, it would have had a knock-on effect on other parts of the UK car industry and the local economy, he said. Prof Bailey said that the UK's exit from the EU had been a "huge concern" initially, before the tariff-free trade deal was agreed between the EU and the UK. However, Ford said that it was not currently facing the kind of supply chain difficulties affecting some other UK businesses. Additional post-Brexit paperwork at ports, which has contributed to bottlenecks for some UK-based firms, has not been much of an obstacle for Ford as it has its own landing facilities at Dagenham, the firm said. Ford is concerned about any possible fallout from UK and EU negotiations over the Northern Ireland Protocol, a spokesperson said. The global car giant also recently announced a $1bn (£730m) investment in its vehicle assembly facility in Cologne, Germany, and an expansion of electric vehicle production in Turkey and Romania.
  3. So what's behind the crisis? The key issue is there aren't enough drivers to supply petrol. There's an estimated shortage of more than 100,000 HGV drivers and petrol is only the latest industry to be hit. The lack of drivers has caused problems for a range of industries - from supermarkets to fast food chains. Fuel tanker drivers need additional safety qualifications on top of their HGV licence to be able to transport chemicals such as petrol. How did the petrol shortage start? Late last week, oil firm BP warned that it would have to "temporarily" close a handful of its petrol stations, because of a lack of lorry drivers. Long queues started to build up outside stations across Great Britain over the weekend, amid fears that petrol might run out. Urban areas have been hardest hit, while Northern Ireland has been unaffected. The panic buying was said to be caused by media reports of a leaked government briefing discussing the shortage of HGV drivers. Some analysts and politicians linked the driver shortage to Brexit, although transport secretary Grant Shapps denied this, whilst others blamed the COVID-19 pandemic. What caused the driver shortage? There are a number of reasons - and many countries across Europe have been affected - but the UK has been especially badly hit. After Brexit, many European drivers returned to their home countries, or moved elsewhere, because working in the UK involved additional border bureaucracy which had an impact on their income. The pandemic saw even more drivers return to their home countries, with few coming back. Meanwhile, some older drivers have retired and there is a huge backlog in HGV driver tests due to Covid. Has the petrol shortage improved? The PRA - which represents nearly 5,500 of the UK's 8,000 filling stations - says that "trying to calm this down appears to be a monumental task at the moment". It says that more than a quarter (27%) of its members' petrol stations were out of fuel on Thursday, compared with two-thirds on Sunday. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said there were signs that the petrol crisis was "stabilising" and urged people to buy petrol as they normally would. There has been no improvement in petrol supplies at independent petrol stations since Wednesday, according to industry body the Petrol Retailers Association "There's been no easing off of the pressure from drivers wanting to refuel whenever they can, wherever they can, " said PRA chairman Brian Madderson. The government had said it thought the situation was starting to get better. What is the government currently doing? The Ministry of Defence is preparing about 150 qualified military drivers to deliver fuel - and has another 150 personnel ready to support them. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) says it will also draw on some of the reserve fleet of 80 tankers which the government keeps for emergencies. Other measures include: A suspension of competition law between oil firms, which the government said would make it easier for companies to share information about fuel supply, and prioritise areas most in need An offer of temporary visas to 5,000 foreign fuel tanker and food lorry drivers (as well as 5,500 poultry workers) in the run-up to Christmas - although some business organisations, such as the British Chambers of Commerce have criticised this as "insufficient" The process for getting an HGV driver licence will be sped up, and nearly one million letters have been sent to existing HGV drivers to encourage them back into the industry, plus there are plans to train 4,000 others Can key workers get fuel? The doctors' body the BMA, the teachers' union NASUWT and some politicians including London Mayor Sadiq Khan want key workers to be given priority access to petrol stations to avoid disruption to essential services. However, the government hasn't announced plans to prioritise key workers as it did with nursery and school places during the pandemic. Is there a limit on how much petrol I can buy? The government has powers to limit how much fuel drivers can buy, and the hours when they can buy it, but there's no indication it plans to use them. Some petrol stations have introduced a £30 cap on the amount of petrol people can buy. However, the PRA said it didn't want garage staff to be put at risk "confronting" customers. Is petrol in danger of running out? No - oil companies have stressed there is plenty of fuel available. They say that the shortage is being caused by "temporary spikes in customer demand" - or as PRA chairman Brian Madderson put it, "panic buying, pure and simple". The government has claimed media coverage has inflamed the situation. What's happening to fuel prices? Petrol prices are at an eight-year high. The average petrol price at UK forecourts was 135.19p a litre on Monday, up from 134.86p a week earlier. The price of a litre of diesel rose from 137.35p to 137.95p over the same period. The RAC has said it's aware of a small number of retailers "hiking prices" in the current crisis.
  4. Toyota is widening the authentic SUV appeal of the RAV4 with the introduction of the new RAV4 Adventure, an addition to the range that reinforces the model’s “go anywhere” spirit with stand-out rugged styling that’s ready for life in the great outdoors This new version will broaden the model’s market reach to people who want a vehicle that matches their love of life off the beaten track, while preserving the performance and efficiency benefits of Toyota’s hybrid electric technology. The RAV4 Adventure makes its intentions clear with its more purposeful front-end design. The new look, all-black grille has greater visual impact, with the Toyota emblem moving down from the leading edge of the bonnet to a central position on double horizontal bars that cross the centre of the unit. The vehicle’s commanding stance and SUV capability is amplified by setting the front fog lights in new black surrounds and fitting a bright silver-finished under-run. The effect is enhanced by wider wheel arches and new 19-inch alloy wheels with a matt grey finish. At the rear there’s a matching silver under-run. In the cabin there’s a dedicated upholstery design for the seats, combining smooth, black synthetic leather with deeply quilted back and cushion sections, with contrasting orange stitching. RAV4 Adventure scuff plates are also fitted. The RAV4 Adventure is powered by Toyota’s fourth generation hybrid electric technology and is equipped as standard with intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD-i), provided by an additional compact electric motor on the rear axle. The efficient yet powerful hybrid powertrain, combines electric motors and a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine – a unit with one of the world’s highest thermal efficiencies for a production engine – delivers 219bhp. AWD-i allows for (braked) loads of up to 1,650 kg to be towed. The new model also adopts detail changes that are being introduced across the RAV4 range for 2022, including new projector-type LED headlights and LED front fog lights. A new 10-spoke alloy wheel design will be introduced in bright silver or gloss black according to equipment grade. In the cabin the focus is on added comfort and convenience with new LED lighting, power adjustment for the front passenger seat, illuminated window control switches and new, USB-C ports suitable for charging phones and devices while on the move. The latest changes maintain the momentum of the world’s best-selling SUV. In 1994, the original RAV4 created a new market for recreational SUVs with car-like agility, a breakthrough that has since earned it more than 10 million global sales. Its spirit of innovation has been maintained as the first model in its segment to offer hybrid electric power. UK deliveries for the new Toyota RAV4 Adventure and the refreshed RAV4 model range will begin in first quarter of 2022. Prices and further details will be announced nearer the on-sale date.
  5. ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers to reduce stress on holiday and days out by ensuring they plan where they are going to park. The call follows news that parking firms are issuing around 12,000 penalty notices every day in the UK Hot weather brings day trippers as well as holidaymakers to seaside resorts, national parks and beauty spots… with the inevitable strains on car park availability. But with a bit of research into where you’re going, what parking is available and how much it costs, you can hopefully have this part of the day organised in advance and concentrate on having a great day out, says GEM. GEM chief executive Neil Worth commented: “Parking while on holiday or a day out can be the bane of drivers’ lives, with long queues into car parks, strictly-enforced restrictions and the potential to waste precious time searching for somewhere to leave the car. “Arriving in a town without knowing where you’re going to park is sure to be a source of unnecessary stress. That’s why we encourage drivers to do their homework before setting off. Booking a slot in advance takes away that stress, saves money and does away with any urge to take a chance on parking somewhere unsafe, illegal or inconsiderate. “If you have been successful in finding a space in a car park, do check opening hours as you don’t want to attempt returning to your car at the end of a day and find it locked in for the night! “Finally, if you turn up somewhere on spec and all the parking has been taken, prepare to be flexible and head somewhere else. Full car parks are not an excuse for illegal parking, even if you have a car full of fractious children desperate to get onto the beach.” GEM’s tips for stress-free parking this summer: At the seaside Pre-book: many coastal towns including Brighton, St Ives and Blackpool allow you to book a car parking space in advance. This will save a great deal of wear and tear on your nerves, and usually also means your car will be in a secure compound with CCTV and 24-hour access. If you haven’t pre-booked, then the earlier you arrive, the more chance you’ll have of bagging a decent parking spot. If you do rely on good fortune in finding a parking space, do check any restrictions so you won’t overstay your welcome and risk a penalty notice. Park away: check for out-of-town park and ride schemes, where there’s usually advance booking, as well as low-cost or free bus transfers into the centre of the resort. In the car park Take it steady: around a quarter of all collisions occur at low speeds in car parks. Who’s next to you: if you have the choice, park next to an expensive car as the owner is likely to be more careful about manoeuvring – and less likely to bump your door or bumper. Lights, camera, parking: aim to park in a well-lit section of a car park, preferably in view of a CCTV system. On the beach Tide times: be very careful if you decide to leave your car on a beach. You don’t have to look far for horror stories of cars stuck while the tide is coming in. And remember, HM Coastguard do not by law have to come to the aid of motorists stuck on the beach. In control: if you are in a 4x4, make sure you engage four-wheel drive before entering a beach, not once you realise you’re stuck. Head for the wash: seawater is extremely corrosive, so once you come off the beach, get a thorough wash as soon as possible. At the airport Take a taxi: if you live a relatively short distance from the airport, consider a taxi to deliver and collect you. Many firms have pre-bookable special airport rates. Book early: if you do need to drive to the airport, then plan a long way ahead and compare rates offered by different firms. Include a hotel stay: there are a range of discounted ‘park and fly’ options offering a hotel at or near the airport for the beginning of your stay – very convenient if your flight leaves in the early morning. Check your skills If you’re nervous about parking, why not practise parallel and reverse parking manoeuvres somewhere quiet to boost your confidence. Avoid going forwards into a parking space. Reversing in, slowly and carefully, means the first movement you make when leaving the spot will be forwards. Just make sure you can access the boot if you need to. Stay calm. Don’t be rushed by the driver waiting angrily behind you. Similarly, you won’t see anyone park more quickly if you’re making your own impatience known. Original Article Source courtesy of GEM Motoring Assist
  6. Subaru’s staggering sales success saw a huge 125% increase in July in a market that shrank by close to 30% July is not just a blip for Subaru with the brand’s year-to-date accelerating by 158.47% so far in 2021. The official figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) highlight Subaru as the second fastest growing brand in Britain to the delight of Subaru dealers and managers. Subaru is far ahead of not just its immediate competitors but of all major car brands sold in the UK. Pat Ryan, Subaru UK’s Managing Director, said: “Motorists are looking for quality and value for money and are finding that in the models offered by Subaru as more and more people are discovering this great brand. “Our dealers have worked really hard to continue the turnaround in Subaru’s results and we are continuing to attract lots of interest from potential new dealers wanting to join in our success. “It’s brilliant to see Subaru beginning to establish itself as a leading brand across the country where motorists have a greater choice than ever in deciding on their next car purchase.” Subaru’s all-new Outback – a unique all-wheel-drive estate car/ SUV crossover – went on sale in May with more exciting new models on the horizon. During 2021 Subaru plans to open 15 new dealerships in the UK and nine have already opened. The newly opened dealerships are: Livery Dole in Exeter, Tees Valley in Darlington, Ullswater Road Garage in Penrith and Ashby & Mann in Hinckley, Leicestershire, Rowcliffes in Somerset, Tweedmouth in Northumberland, C&M McDonald in Aberdeenshire and Fields of Bromsgrove and Fields of Dunely in the West Midlands. On 18th August a new Subaru dealership, Celtic Subaru, will join the Subaru dealer network in Swansea. Four more dealerships will open in September with a further two planned for October.
  7. The Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) was the best-selling PHEV across all segments in Europe during the first half of 2021,1 and customers are making the most of their vehicles’ 35 miles WLTP pure-electric driving range, new data shows According to anonymised real-world data from Ford, Kuga Plug-In Hybrid drivers across Europe have so far this year covered 49 per cent of their distance travelled using externally-charged battery power alone. With 3,628 plug-in Kuga registrations in the UK this year to June, versus 960 in the same 2020 six-month period, the Ford hybrid’s 380 per cent sales growth is almost double that of the UK plug-in market – which is up 200 per cent year-on-year. Across Europe, the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid achieved more sales in June than any previous month – with more than 6,300 models sold – and now outsells all other models in the Kuga range put together. Through April, May and June this year, Ford sold close to 16,000 Kuga Plug-In Hybrids, over a third more than the next best-selling competitor during the same period. 1 Sales of PHEV and all-electric passenger vehicles are surging across Europe as growing numbers of customers discover how their driving needs can be comfortably and cost-effectively managed – particularly using at-home charging. PHEV models accounted for 8.4 per cent of all new cars sold in Europe during the second quarter of this year, an increase of more than 255 per cent compared with the same period last year. 2 “We firmly believe that our customers buy hybrid vehicles to benefit from the advantages of driving on electric power, and this data shows that Kuga Plug-In Hybrid customers are keen to use their cars in EV mode as much as possible,” said Roelant de Waard, general manager, Passenger Vehicles, Ford of Europe. “We are committed to an electrified future for Ford, and the fact that Kuga is the best-selling PHEV shows that our customers want to join us on this exciting journey.” Kuga Plug-In Hybrid customer usage Anonymised real-world data collected by Ford to help understand and optimise the PHEV ownership experience provided insights including: Drivers are utilising the battery-electric driving capability of their Kuga Plug-In Hybrid to a significant degree. Almost half (49 per cent) of the collective distance travelled this year has been covered using externally-charged battery power alone. More than two-thirds of Kuga Plug-In Hybrid customers’ journeys are shorter, local trips of 35 miles or less that could be completed using just externally-charged battery power. From more than 633,000 drive days this year, the vehicle made possible more than 420,000 drive days with zero tailpipe emissions. The average daily driving distance was 32 miles, which is less than the vehicle’s 35-mile WLTP pure-electric driving range. Customers are confident when it comes to using battery technology and are routinely able to access charging points. For every 100 drive days in a Kuga Plug-In Hybrid there were 89 charging events. Customers are taking advantage of overnight charging and cheaper night-time domestic electricity rates to reduce their motoring costs. Thirty-five per cent of charging events took place overnight with a plug-in time of 12 hours or more – twice the six hours required to charge the battery fully from a conventional domestic 230-volt supply. In total, 45 per cent of all charging events took place overnight, demonstrating that customer car charging habits are similar to how they would charge their smartphone or tablet. Maximising the amount of time spent driving on externally-charged battery power can provide significant financial benefits for drivers. Based on average petrol and domestic electricity prices, 3 a Kuga Plug-In Hybrid driver with an annual mileage of 12,000 miles, could expect to save more than £700 per year. Ford earlier this year announced that 100 per cent of its passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or PHEV by mid-2026; moving to all-electric by 2030. Earlier this month, the all-new, all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E GT SUV went on sale for the first time, while more than 5,300 Mustang Mach-E vehicles have been delivered to customers in Europe in the second quarter of 2021. The company’s range of electrified passenger vehicles also includes both mild hybrid and full hybrid versions of the Kuga SUV as well as full hybrid powertrains for the Mondeo Hybrid, SMAX Hybrid and Galaxy Hybrid; the Explorer Plug-In Hybrid; and mild hybrid powertrains for the Puma, Fiesta and Focus EcoBoost Hybrid models. Powered by a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle petrol engine and an electric motor generator with a 14.4 kWh lithium-ion battery, the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid offers up to 35 miles WLTP pure-electric driving range, fuel efficiency 201.8 mpg WLTP and CO2 emissions from 32 g/km WLTP. The vehicle can be charged using an external power supply via a side-mounted charging port in the left front fender. Drivers can choose how and when to deploy battery power using EV Auto, EV Now, EV Later and EV Charge modes. In addition to charging from an external power supply, the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid can automatically replenish its battery on the move using regenerative charging technology that captures kinetic energy normally lost during braking.
  8. As elegant as a coupé, as strong as an SUV and all-electric to boot: The ID.5 GTX is set to make its international exhibition debut as of 07 September – as a disguised concept at the IAA Munich Motor Show. The first SUV coupé based on the Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB) wows with its elegant design and powerful dual motor four-wheel drive. And the ID.5 GTX is fully connected, can receive updates over-the-air and is fitted with Car2X technology. The ID.5 GTX is the first all-electric powered SUV coupé from Volkswagen. With its fluid lines, the ID.5 GTX is elegant and sporty. Short overhangs and big wheels highlight its strong character. Strong front, elegant body In the high front, the IQ.Light LED matrix headlights, which generate an intelligently controlled high beam, give the front of the car a likeable look. The light strip that tapers towards the Volkswagen logo has been combined with three powerful, illuminated honeycomb elements on both the driver and passenger side. They complement the signature of the low beam and convey the athletic character even while stationary. The flat sloping A pillars positioned right near the front give the roof line an elegant flow – it stretches low over the body and tapers out in an integrated rear spoiler. At the rear, horizontal lines accentuate the width, with the light strip attracting the most attention. The LED rear lights with a 3D design complete the feeling of luxury. GTX means new athleticism The abbreviation GTX represents the Volkswagen brand’s new athleticism. It continues the tradition of the successful GTI, GTD and GTE models and transfers it to the world of electric mobility. There is an electric motor on both the front and rear axle of the ID.5 GTX – the dual motor four-wheel drive guarantees strong driving performance, superior traction and sporty handling. The large lithium-ion battery between the axles enables a projected range of up to 497 km2. When the ID.5 GTX arrives at dealers next year, it will be the second model from the sporty GTX product brand, and will give the ACCELERATE strategy another boost. Volkswagen aims to become the most popular brand when it comes to sustainable mobility. The goal is to increase the share of all-electric cars in Europe to 70 percent of Volkswagen‘s unit sales by 2030. Volkswagen is aiming to become net carbon neutral by 2050. 1 ID.5 GTX – The car is a near-production concept. 2 Projected WLTP range for the ID.5 GTX with 77 kWh net battery energy density with dual motor four-wheel drive. WLTP indicative values for production vehicles may vary depending on the spec.
  9. The fleet-friendly Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid has opened for order to UK customers today, priced from £35,515 OTR in Life trim. The latest addition to Volkswagen’s plug-in hybrid range is a key piece in the company’s Way To Zero climate strategy. The newest PHEV model from the brand has a CO2 output from just 38 g/km (WLTP) and fuel economy of up to 176.6 mpg (WLTP, combined), with the capability to travel up to 30 miles purely on electric power from a single full charge The eHybrid drivetrain combines a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and a powerful electric motor, resulting in peak system output of 245 PS. It is available on value-packed Life, luxury-focused Elegance, and sporty R-Line trims, with respective WLTP CO2 emissions of 38, 43 and 41 g/km. The Life, starting at £35,515 OTR, also boasts a low P11D price of £35,460, and BIK taxation rate from only 11%, while the other trim levels represent similar value, especially to fleet customers, with respective BIK taxation rates of 13% and 11% for the Elegance and R-Line. The high power output of the Tiguan eHybrid is complemented by an abundance of instant torque from the electric motor, while the petrol engine provides 250 Nm of twisting force, available between 1,550 and 3,500 rpm. These contribute to a top speed of 127 mph (where permitted) and a brisk 0 to 62 mph acceleration time of 7.5 seconds, while maintaining the low running costs associated with plug-in hybrid models. An electric-only range of up to 30 miles (WLTP combined, and depending on specification) is available from the Tiguan eHybrid’s 10.4 kWh battery, and depending on the power source, charging takes place with 2.3 or 3.6 kW alternating current (AC). When supplied with 230 volts at 2.3 kW via the normal domestic grid, the battery can be fully charged in five hours from empty. This is reduced to three hours and 40 minutes using a 3.6 kW wall box or public charger. The Tiguan eHybrid always starts journeys in all-electric E-MODE if the battery is sufficiently charged (except at battery temperatures of below -10°C), meaning that for those who travel less than 30 miles in a day, all-electric running will likely become an everyday occurrence. E-MODE can also be used at speeds of up to 80 mph (where permitted), making this setting suitable for all types of UK roads can be undertaken with zero tailpipe emissions. The eHybrid’s intelligent powertrain can be programmed to reserve electric power, to be used later in a journey. For example, if the destination is in an urban setting, the driver can request that the car retains a percentage of battery capacity to allow zero tailpipe emissions during the final part of the journey. The car can also charge the battery on the move with brake energy recuperation and via the petrol engine, if requested by the driver. With the Tiguan eHybrid trim options starting with Life, standard equipment for the model includes 3-zone automatic climate control; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Front Assist; front and rear parking sensors; and a Discover Media Navigation infotainment system with an 8.0-inch touch-screen. IQ.Light LED matrix headlights with multiple lighting modes for different driving environments and scenarios also feature as standard on the Tiguan eHybrid Life and Elegance. These are optionally available for R-Line models. Elegance specification adds to this tempting formula with such highlights as a heating function for the steering wheel; 30-colour ambient lighting throughout the cabin; electric boot opening and closing function, with sensor for hands-free access to the load area; keyless entry with start/stop button on the centre console; and Volkswagen’s 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro TFT dashboard display. A suite of systems to assist the driver are also standard-fit on the Elegance model, including a rear-view camera, Side Assist, rear traffic alert, and Predictive Cruise Control, which uses road sign recognition and navigation data to automatically alter the preset speed to the legal limit, as well as safely, pre-emptively slowing for bends, roundabouts and junctions. R-Line – the top specification for the Tiguan eHybrid – brings a sportier focus for the Tiguan, and adds styling features to reflect this across the exterior and interior, including a roof spoiler; exclusive front and rear bumpers and wheel arch extensions; black roof lining and R-Line badging across the interior; as well as the same ambient lighting, keyless entry, Digital Cockpit Pro, Side Assist, rear traffic alert and Predictive Cruise Control features brought by the Elegance model. Finally, 20-inch ‘Misano Black’ alloy wheels set the R-Line apart from the other trim levels. Nick O’Neill, Head of Fleet at Volkswagen UK, said: “The brilliant Tiguan is already regarded as a great all-rounder, and with the introduction of the Tiguan eHybrid this appeal is boosted even further. Our latest plug-in hybrid brings a fleet-friendly 11-13% BIK taxation rate (depending on specification) and low running costs to its long list of skills and attributes. “It’s not just fleet managers and company car drivers who will love the Tiguan eHybrid though – the family-friendly Tiguan is up for almost any challenge life can throw at it, and now there’s the flexibility of local trips with zero-tailpipe-emissions to add to the list.” Model Price (OTR) 0-62 mph Top speed CO2 (WLTP combined) Fuel consumption (WLTP combined) BIK rate – % Life 1.4 245 PS 6-spd DSG £35,515 7.5 sec 127 mph 38 g/km 176.6 mpg 11% Elegance 1.4 245 PS 6-spd DSG £37,780 7.5 sec 127 mph 43 g/km 156.9 mpg 13% R-Line 1.4 245 PS 6-spd DSG £38,120 7.5 sec 127 mph 41 g/km 156.9 mpg 11%
  10. Security researchers have discovered failings in two home electric car chargers. The researchers were able to make the chargers switch on or off, remove the owner's access, and show how a hacker could get into a user's home network. Most of the faults have now been fixed but owners are being told to update their apps and chargers, to be safe. It comes as proposed new legislation on cyber-security for appliances - including chargers - is published. Two home chargers, Wallbox and Project EV - both approved for sale in the UK by the Department for Transport - were found to be lacking adequate security when used with an accompanying app for smartphones. Cyber-security researcher at Pen Test Partners, Vangelis Stykas, discovered the vulnerabilities. "On Wallbox you could take full control of the charger, you could gain full access and remove the usual owner's access on the charger. You could stop them from charging their own vehicles, and provide free charging to an attacker's vehicle. Project EV had a really bad implementation on their back end. Their authentication where it existed was pretty primitive, so an attacker could easily escalate themselves to being an administrator and change the firmware of all the chargers." Mr Stykas says changing the firmware - the programming that is built in to the hardware - would allow an attacker to permanently disable the charger, or use it to attack other chargers or servers. Pen Test Partners is one of a fast-growing number of companies in the UK that specialises in penetration testing, something commonly referred to as 'white-hat hacking.' 'White hats' aim to find security problems and report them to the companies concerned, so vulnerabilities can be corrected before hackers can take advantage of the failing. Mr Stykas believes anyone with a little knowledge of these cloud-based web application systems could have performed the same hack. "It's pretty obvious for anyone who can understand cloud systems and cloud communication, and it didn't take that much to spot the vulnerability and find a way to exploit it." Home Network Access Researchers also found it would be possible in cases where the chargers were connected by wi-fi to the home network, for hackers to also gain access. Pen Test Partner's Ken Munro says: "Once you're on to someone's home network, if you haven't changed that router admin password, you can send all the traffic to the hacker. That means they can do things like set up sites that look like the real deal but steal your passwords and then your real bank account for example has been compromised. There's all sorts of things you can do .. so everything you do online is potentially exposed." In its report into the security failures, Pen Test Partners adds that multiple chargers could be controlled at the same time using some of the vulnerabilities it found, which could potentially be used by an attacker to overload the electricity grid in some areas and cause blackouts. Government approved Ensuring cyber-security is part of the government's conditions for chargers to be sold in the UK, which allows buyers to receive government subsidies when making a purchase. Thousands of units of both the Wallbox and the Project EV chargers have been sold in the UK, where eligible EV owners can get hundreds of pounds in government subsidies to help them purchase home car chargers. The Department for Transport declined to comment on the two chargers found to have security flaws. A government spokesperson told the BBC: "This autumn we will be introducing new legislation designed to further protect consumers and the energy system by mandating a range of cyber-security requirements for EV chargepoints." The new Department for Culture Media and Sport legislation will apply to many connected or "smart" consumer devices. Draft legislation is expected to be published by the government by next week. Flaws fixed Both Pen Test Partners and BBC Click contacted the firms to give them the chance to fix the problems before publishing the security flaws. Project EV, which imports chargers from a company based in China called Atess, said: "We had some speedy conversations with the manufacturer.. to improve the security of their platform. All the security issues raised have been addressed, with a new server, app updates and firmware updates to the chargers that are online." Wallbox, based in Spain, did not reply to the BBC in time for publication, but told Pen Test Partners they had fixed the online problems. Re-testing suggests the web-based security problems with both chargers have been fixed. Owners are being encouraged to check for any security updates issued by the two companies. However, Ken Munro says the Wallbox charger uses hardware - a Raspberry Pi module - that isn't secure enough. "There's really nothing you can do to make it completely secure, so unless Wallbox have found a way of fixing that - which would be beyond me - I'd suggest perhaps supergluing the box cover in, so hackers can't take the top off." Subsequent to the publication of this report, Wallbox contacted the BBC with a statement. "The systems accessed by these chargers have been updated to address the software problems highlighted in this article and no further action is required by the end user," it said. It said it uses "a Raspberry Pi Compute Model 3 for our consumer chargers", which it added "is the foundation of many consumer electronic devices". The Raspberry Pi Foundation recommends that the module is not used for new designs and is currently not listed for industrial use. Original Article Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-58011014
  11. Warning that the global semiconductor shortage will have a greater impact on the automotive industry than the pandemic Every car and van manufacturer is being impacted by the computer chip crisis, with some delivery times for cars lengthening from three to six months, and many new vans not expected to be delivered until 2022. Vehicle production lines have been temporarily halted, focus has been shifted to high demand vehicles and some options are not being offered. Tom Blackie, founder and CEO of vehicle software company VNC Automotive, said: "In conversations with clients and suppliers, it’s become clear that the effects of the semiconductor shortage will long outlast the pandemic, and will potentially have a far more serious impact on sales and future development.” Blackie says that some of the company' suppliers are seeing prices for chips that are more than 30 times higher than before. “At that level their use is no longer sustainable,” he said. “We’re even seeing vehicle buyers and fleet operators having to consider purchasing models that aren’t on their preferred lists because that’s all that’s available. At a time when the industry is asking people to consider making the switch to EVs, supply restrictions are leaving them frustrated.” Many companies had cut orders for semiconductors, believing the pandemic would negatively impact demand, which led suppliers to reduce capacity. However, the opposite was true – global demand for semiconductors grew by 15% last year – and, with global manufacturing based on a handful of factories, a fire at a semiconductor plant in Japan and power outages in Texas due to storms exacerbated the problem. It is an issue for the auto industry as there can be between 50-to-1,000 semiconductors in a vehicle dependent on its complexity. The computer chips feature in everything from infotainment systems and brake sensors to parking cameras and power steering. Fleet communication key to managing chip shortage Ford’s fleet director, Neil Wilson, told Fleet News: “We have seen some impact from the semiconductor shortage. Our global production was down 17% in Q1 which was in line with what we expected. The situation is fluid, but customers need transparency to be able to plan, which means keeping lines of communication open. We will have to make product changes to protect lead times. I think the issue will be around for a whole – probably until Q1 next year. It will ease, but there will be challenges going forward and we have to be good at reacting to those challenges. Lead times are different per model; some LCVs are into next year if you order now.” On its most recent earnings call, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk covered the issue of substituting alternative chips into production vehicles - having to write the new firmware in a “matter of weeks”, and the “intense effort” this approach required. Nissan’s fleet director, Peter McDonald, says that delays are not all down to the chip shortage. “We have to overcome building a car in a Covid-safe environment which led to delays and then the overlay of component shortages, plus port shutdowns and the Suez Canal issue,” explained McDonald. "We are working with suppliers to get components, but we are seeing longer lead times on vans. We have the added idiosyncrasy of launching Qashqai this year so the run out of the old car has also impacted on supply. It’s a big problem, but it’s also a global issue.” Robert Morris, Volvo’s head of fleet and remarketing, described the semiconductor shortage as “volatile”. “We have been impacted in terms of our overall volume plans for the year, although we don't, at this moment in time, see that being significant,” he said. “We’re working closely with our factory colleagues to ensure that we get the right products supplied at the right time as soon as we can.” He added: “We are being open and upfront with customers in terms of lead times. We’ve created a lead time guide for our leasing partners, which is something I had wanted to do anyway, and we’re looking to extend that to corporate customers.” Iain Montgomery, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) fleet and business sales director, admitted it has had to make some “difficult decisions”. “It’s a global problem that we’ve all had to struggle with,” he said. “It’s all about communication. If you're engaging with your customers, and can work with them to find solutions, then you can overcome these problems, but it's certainly something that affects the whole industry. It’s about planning and engaging with customers so they understand the restrictions, and if we need to extend leases or cover specific products with another product to keep people on the road, then we will do that. It’s about providing solutions.” Car factory staff shortages due to self-isolation UK car factories turned out 69,097 units in June, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). While this was a rise compared with the Covid-depressed June 2020, it still represents the worst June total since 1953, with the global chip shortage, caused by the pandemic, and other factors continued to take a toll on production. Manufacturers, says the SMMT, are experiencing staff shortages due to self-isolation arising from notification of contacts outside the workplace. This, it says, is putting production at risk and is another drag on the sector’s recovery. Indeed, an independent study forecasts the negative impact on planned UK car production, primarily due to the worldwide shortage of critical semiconductors, could be as much as 100,000 units this year. Mike Hawes, SMMT’s chief executive, said: “While the UK automotive industry continues to suffer the effects of the global pandemic, with first half year production down significantly and a tough few months looming, the sector has the capability to recover. The latest investments into new models and battery production show a bright future is within reach, yet the industry still faces headwinds most notably from global semiconductor shortages and staff absenteeism as a result of staff being ‘pinged’.” Cox Automotive has downgraded its new car forecast for the remainder of 2021 due to supply issues, despite consumer demand being ahead of the company's previous most likely scenario. The revised most likely scenario would see quarter three end on 522,425 new car transactions, down 17.7% on the 2000-2019 average. The full-year 2021 forecast has also been adjusted downwards to 1,823,426 new car transactions, -2.48% (-46,349) versus Cox's April forecast and -21.1% compared to the 2000-2019 average. This scenario assumes that modest demand will remain throughout the summer, but the same supply issues currently seen will continue as expected. “Suppliers and OEMs may now be forced to simplify their designs to use fewer complex components that are still available,” said Blackie.“We’re concerned this will lead to a reduction in functionality at a time when consumer expectations have never been higher.” He continued: “It’s also possible that systems hurriedly-adapted to use a simpler component set may quickly be left behind as future generations of mobile phones cease to support the older platforms they may be built on.” Original Article Source: https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2021/08/03/semiconductor-shortage-to-outlast-covid-19-pandemic
  12. Only weeks after launching the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and BMW M4 Competition Coupé in the UK, BMW M GmbH is set to add another two variants to the model line-up by offering the M xDrive all-wheel drive system for the high-performance sports cars in the premium midsize segment for the first time With more driven wheels, the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé M xDrive take the exclusive M feeling to an even higher level. The improvements in traction, handling stability and agility enable both models to reach 62mph from standstill in only 3.5 seconds, making them 0.4 seconds quicker on the sprint than their rear-wheel drive counterparts. The power from the 510hp straight-six engine fitted in the new models is directed via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. The M-specific all-wheel drive system then divides it between the front and rear wheels as required to enhance agility, directional stability, traction and track-focused dynamics. The all-wheel drive system has a rear-biased setup in classic M style. This system allows the driver to experience even more of the hallmark M performance characteristics reflected, among other things, in even quicker acceleration. Model Max Power (hp) Peak Torque (Nm) Acceleration (0-62mph) Top Speed (mph) ** Fuel economy (mpg)* CO2 emissions (g/km)* OTR Price*** M3 Competition Saloon M xDrive 510 650 3.5 155 28.0-28.2 231–228 £77,015 M4 Competition Coupé M xDrive 510 650 3.5 155 28.0-28.2 230-227 £78,315 ** Electronically governed. *** Preliminary on-the-road pricing, subject to confirmation of VED bands. By introducing the M xDrive versions to the range, BMW M GmbH now offers an unrivalled variety of high-performance midsize models. All four versions of the latest model generation provide their own individual recipe for an exhilarating high-performance sports car that offers unrestricted everyday usability. The production of the BMW M3 Competition Saloon M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé M xDrive will get underway in July 2021. Customers will enjoy even more choice later in the year when these new models will be joined by the latest version of the BMW M4 Convertible. M xDrive and Active M Differential for superior handling dynamics The M xDrive system’s specially tuned power transmission control already provides an entertaining alternative to rear-wheel drive for a host of high-performance models from BMW M GmbH. Teaming up with the all-wheel drive system is the Active M Differential that also ensures fully variable distribution of drive torque between the rear wheels as the situation demands. This helps to transfer the torque to the road without any loss of power, especially when the car is being pushed hard or has less grip on one side. The M xDrive system and the Active M Differential – complete with its integrated M-specific traction control – link up with the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system to ensure precisely judged interaction for the driving situation at hand. The clear aim is to produce a supremely dynamic driving experience that blends the customary M feeling with noticeably enhanced traction and directional stability. The M xDrive system uses an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the transfer case for smoothly adjustable, fully variable distribution of drive torque between the front and rear wheels. The multi-plate clutch’s oil supply has been optimised to keep the variable power splitting mechanism performing effectively even under hard driving on the track. The task of transmitting power to the front and rear differentials is handled by driveshafts engineered specifically for the BMW M3 Competition Saloon with M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé with M xDrive. The output shafts that relay the drive torque to the wheels are likewise bespoke items. The all-wheel drive system has a rear-biased set-up in classic M style. Normally, the drive power is channelled entirely to the rear wheels, with the front wheels only being brought into play when the rears cannot feed any more power to the road. The transfer case features a bespoke control unit and integrated wheel slip limitation. This enables it to compensate for any differences in rotational speed between the front and rear wheels exceptionally quickly without having to involve the central DSC management. This results in enhanced all-wheel drive performance and supreme handling for which M models are renowned in dynamic driving situations, such as powering through corners in a controlled drift. Both models put their power down via standard M light-alloy wheels measuring 19 inches in diameter at the front and 20 inches at the rear. The forged wheels in twin-spoke design with a Bicolour Jet Black finish are fitted with 275/35 R19 tyres at the front and 285/30 R20s at the rear. Specially designed track tyres with the same dimensions are also available as an option. Major technical modifications optimise performance characteristics The all-wheel-drive technology in the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon M xDrive and BMW M4 Competition Coupé M xDrive is complemented by a double-joint spring strut front axle redesigned for these models and it features specially adapted front axle geometry and an individually tuned steering ratio. These extensive bespoke modifications for the all-wheel drive system ensure that both the existing pure rear-wheel drive variants and their new M xDrive counterparts stand out with their engineered-without-compromise, signature M steering characteristics. The all-wheel drive models additionally benefit from a specially adapted version of the engine oil supply system designed to handle extremely dynamic performance. Three M xDrive modes enable an individualised M feeling M xDrive also allows the driver to tailor the all-wheel-drive system’s characteristics and performance to the driving situation and their individual preferences. The desired setting can be selected directly from the Setup menu of the M-specific operating system, where there is a choice of three different power transmission modes. In the default 4WD setting, the all-wheel drive system offers maximum traction and precision handling while always maintaining a distinctly rear-biased power split. Activating 4WD Sport mode directs an even greater proportion of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. The linear build-up of lateral forces so characteristic of M models now also makes it possible to execute controlled drifts. Drivers can also switch off the DSC system altogether and engage 2WD mode, where drive power is relayed solely to the rear wheels. With the standard-fit M Traction Control on UK models, traction can be finely adjusted through ten stages in this setting in the same way as on the rear-wheel drive models. This form of power transmission without any intervention from the chassis control systems to stabilise the vehicle allows seasoned drivers to enjoy a pure driving experience and hone their skills with the help of the M Drift Analyser. Drivers can set and store their preferred M xDrive mode as part of the two individual M1 and M2 configurations, together with the settings for engine characteristics, damper response, steering characteristics, braking system and other parameters. Either configuration can then be called up instantly at any time by pressing one of the two M buttons on the steering wheel.
  13. Toyota, today, presents a concept version of the forthcoming Toyota bZ4X at the Shanghai Motor Show, previewing the first in a series of zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEVs) The Toyota bZ4X, a medium-size SUV with all-wheel drive, is integral to Toyota’s transition from a pure car company to a business dedicated to delivering better mobility for all. The “bZ” is an abbreviation of “beyond Zero”, reinforcing Toyota’s commitment not only to achieving zero carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, but also going beyond to realise new benefits for the environment, for individuals and for society as a whole. The new Toyota bZ4X Concept has been developed by Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) in partnership with Subaru Corporation (Subaru), drawing on the specific skills and experience of each company. Sales of the production version are expected to commence around the middle of 2022. Introducing the Toyota bZ4X Concept The Toyota bZ4X is more than just a means of transport. It is also a comfortable and connected space where people can enjoy spending time together on a journey. Chief Engineer Koji Toyoshima explains: “Our target customer is someone who places importance on time spent together with family and friends. When they want to enjoy such times, Toyota bZ4X Concept can serve as a hub for them.” Exterior design that combines dynamism and utility The Toyota bZ4X Concept’s exterior design anticipates people’s high expectations of an electric vehicle driving experience that requires no compromises. Its overall form marries dynamism and utility: there is a high driving position characteristic of SUVs but the car still appears planted on the road. The bodywork presents sensuous surfaces, combined with precise and high-tech styling. The front of the car – an instant point of recognition for any vehicle – dispenses with the familiar grille and instead features an arrangement of sensors, lights and aero elements in a distinctive “hammerhead” form, generating a new attitude and road presence. Spacious cabin and “drive module” The Toyota bZ4X Concept is built on the new e-TNGA modular platform, developed specifically for electric vehicles. A long wheelbase and short overhangs help create a notably spacious and open cabin. In fact, rear leg room is similar to that of a large D-segment model. The front cabin is designed around a “drive module” which gives the driver a sense of direct connection to the road and to important information. The low-set instrument panel opens up panoramic visibility and emphasises the sense of space. Controls are grouped around the centre console, designed for easy recognition and operation. The digital driver’s instrument display is positioned above the steering wheel, so only minimal eye movement is required to register information. Battery management a key to optimising driving range The development programme has reaped the benefits of more than 20 years of Toyota’s leadership in vehicle electrification and the company’s brand-defining quality, durability and reliability. This has ensured the electric powertrain – motor, control unit and battery management system – deliver class-leading efficiency and a very competitive driving range. The car’s environmental profile is further strengthened by an on-board solar charging system, which enhances the distance that can be covered. Thanks to Toyota’s extensive experience in developing battery technology for its hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric models, the larger, more powerful battery required for Toyota bZ4X Concept has been engineered for reliable, lasting performance, maintaining the car’s driving range, even in cold climates. An authentic SUV with high all-wheel drive capability The all-wheel drive system, delivered by electric motors on the front and rear axles, has been developed together with Subaru. The rich heritage and deep expertise of both Toyota and Subaru have been combined to deliver a best-in-class all-wheel drive capability that sets the Toyota bZ4X Concept apart in its segment. The system gives genuine off-road capability that also provides extra security and peace of mind for drivers in all on-road conditions. Advanced steer-by-wire system Toyota bZ4X Concept will be available with a world-first* combination of a steering yoke and a steer-by-wire system. This technology gives the driver greater control, removing interference from rough road surfaces and braking, and thus more precise response in line with the vehicle’s speed and steering angle. Steer-by-wire also dispenses with the traditional, circular steering wheel, replacing it with a different shape “yoke” control, so the driver no longer has to move their hands around the wheel as they make a turn, adding to the car’s fun-to-drive quality. * For a mass-production model Toyota bZ: the ethos of a series of new Toyota battery electric vehicles The Toyota bZ4X Concept is the first model to feature Toyota’s new bZ – beyond Zero – naming convention. By 2025, Toyota aims to introduce 15 battery electric vehicles, including seven Toyota bZ models. This new series of battery electric vehicles will allow people to change from their current vehicle with no inconvenience, while realising all the benefits a fully electric car can offer. This is achieved through human-focused development and by providing mobility that’s tailored to people’s real lives and experiences. Chief Engineer Toyoshima explains: “This is not just about contributing to the environment by being a zero-emission vehicle but giving value ‘beyond Zero’ emissions by making driving easier and more fun.” Toyota bZ models will also help achieve the goal of carbon neutrality. This refers to approaches and initiatives aimed at neutralising CO2 emissions from the entire vehicle lifecycle, including manufacturing, distribution, use, recycling and final disposal. Toyota defines four aspects of “beyond Zero,” with the first and most important being “You and the Environment,” considering not just the energy the car uses to move, but also how it can make use of regenerative or renewable energy, such as solar power. The second aspect is “You and Your Car,” by which a battery electric vehicle, designed on a dedicated platform, makes use of the latest technological features and provides excellent connectivity to provide safety, peace of mind and an enjoyable driving experience. Thirdly, “You and Others” guides the creation of BEVs that have the spaciousness and quiet environment that will inspire people to interact and share experiences together. Lastly, “You and Society” considers the wider impact on society and making the world a better place for everyone to live. Building on Toyota’s electrification leadership The new Toyota bZ4X Concept is the latest milestone in Toyota’s journey to achieve zero emissions that began more than 20 years ago with the launch of the original Prius, the world’s first mass-production hybrid electric car. Since that time, Toyota has consistently pushed the boundaries of vehicle electrification, achieving ever greater efficiency from its hybrid technology and realising new opportunities with the development of plug-in hybrid electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. To date, Toyota has sold more than 17 million electrified vehicles, saving around 140 million tonnes of CO2. Between 2010 and 2019, electrified technology has helped Toyota reduce its overall global vehicle CO2 emissions by approximately 22 per cent. Toyota “bZ” also signals how Toyota is looking beyond zero emissions when it comes to future mobility. With its focus on “Delivering Ever-Better Mobility for All,” beyond Zero also encompasses Toyota’s desire to create products and services that enhance the pleasure of driving, elevate the connected experience, keep all road users safe and protected and ultimately create better societies around the world. To accomplish this, Toyota has pursued a wide choice of electrified technologies, to suit the demands of different markets and types of vehicle use – HEVs, PHEVs, FCEVs and BEVs. In addition, developing hydrogen as a plentiful source of clean energy adds a further dimension, with fuel cell technology applicable to many different forms of transport – not just FCEV cars, but also heavy trucks, trains and shipping – and for use in stationary and mobile electricity generators. Electrified vehicle portfolio expansion By 2025, Toyota will offer more than 70 electrified vehicles in its global portfolio, including at least 15 battery electric vehicles. In Europe, this will translate into a powertrain mix that is more than 70 per cent hybrid by 2025; more than 10 per cent plug-in hybrids and more than 10 per cent zero-emission models – both battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles. Toyota’s contribution to Sustainable Development Goals and determination to achieve carbon neutrality In 2018, Toyota announced its intention to transform itself from an automotive business into a mobility company. On the premise that everyone lives on the same planet, Toyota takes action from the perspective of “home planet” above and beyond the concepts of “home town” and “home country” that have for so long been the business territories of the automotive industry. The current working generation is responsible for bequeathing the planet to the next generation as a place where people can live with peace of mind. This informs Toyota’s human-centred philosophy that technology should contribute positively to people’s health and happiness. Using the strength it has cultivated through monozukuri (creating or manufacturing) and by incorporating further technological innovations that expand the possibilities of mobility, Toyota seeks to provide services that make the freedom of mobility available to all. Toyota also aims to contribute through its businesses to realising Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Among the 17 SDGs set out by the United Nations, reducing CO2 emissions is a global issue; to achieve this, it is vital electrification is implemented on a global scale. Today, countries around the world are declaring their timelines towards achieving carbon neutrality. In Europe, for example, the European Union is targeting carbon neutrality by 2050. Integrated activities are required to realise carbon neutrality in the automotive industry; those relating to energy policies promoting renewable energy and recharging infrastructure, and industrial policies, such as subsidies, support for suppliers and battery recycling systems. The industry also needs to work with different stakeholders, such as governments and business organisations. As Toyota expands its business globally, it will develop its electrification strategy for reducing lifecycle CO2 emissions through consultations with national governments. Toyota will also strive to provide full disclosure of information so that we can seek more understanding from our stakeholders, such as conducting review and information disclosure by the end of the year, to ensure that liaison activities meet the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  14. Lexus has today revealed its new ES executive saloon at the Shanghai Motor Show, ahead of its market launch later this year The ES is a model renowned for its quiet, smooth performance and high levels of cabin comfort and spaciousness. The upcoming changes focus on strengthening these qualities, refreshing the car’s styling, improving ride and responsiveness and introducing new, technology-led equipment features. Although the ES has been part of the Lexus line-up since the brand was launched in 1989, it was first introduced to the UK and European markets in 2018. Powered by the fourth generation of Lexus’s self-charging hybrid electric system, it is an attractive competitor in the executive fleet market, not least for the high efficiency and refinement of its 2.5-litre powertrain. Lexus Chief Engineer Tetsuya Aoki commented: “Our goal was to deepen the high quality of the ES and to add new value. In addition to improving quietness and ride comfort, we pursued linearity in the way the vehicle moves in response to steering wheel operation, faithful to the driver’s intentions. When it comes to styling, we refined and modernised the elegance that characterises the ES. When people ride in the new ES, I hope they will notice the achievements of the development team, who closely adhered to the idea of ‘Always On’ With the aim of making ever-better cars.” Dynamic performance benefits from increased torsional rigidity in the rear trailing wishbone suspension, targeting more linear response to the driver’s inputs, for example in high-speed lane changes. Brake control and feedback have been enhanced with a reshaped pedal and measures to reduce vibration. The control parameters in the ES 300h’s electronic brake system have also been adjusted for better control. In the ES F Sport model, a new actuator has been introduced in the Adaptive Variable Suspension, together with redesigned internals to expand the range of damping force, improving ride comfort, steering response and stability. Styling details include an evolution of the spindle grille design, new-look headlights and new designs and finishes for the 17, 18 and 19-inch alloy wheels. Having pioneered new technology features with Lexus’ first digital side view monitors, the ES is now set to adopt the BladeScan Adaptive High-beam System, giving more accurate lighting control and wider forward illumination from the LED headlights. New sonic paint finishes, interior colours and walnut inlay options will be introduced and new upholstery shades and combinations will be available. The new ES will also adopt the latest Lexus Safety System+ active safety and driver assistance improvements, including Emergency Steering Assist and better lane recognition performance. The Pre-Collision Safety system will additionally detect pedestrians during night-time driving and bicycle riders during daylight and will provide Intersection Turn Assist to help guard against collisions with oncoming traffic, or with pedestrians crossing the vehicle’s path when making a turn at a junction. The new Lexus ES range will go on sale in the UK in late 2021. Details of specifications and prices will be announced nearer the time of introduction.
  15. The all-new Toyota Yaris Cross displays its authentic SUV character in the Dynamic grade model*, revealed for the first time today This version of the hybrid B-segment SUV has a distinctly different character from the Excel** model shown at Yaris Cross’s world premiere in 2020. The Dynamic grade emphasises the car’s suitability for life beyond urban streets, for time spent exploring and enjoying the great outdoors and open roads. The Dynamic’s essential ruggedness can be seen in the front under-run and lower bumper protection plate at the rear. The specification also includes a set of silver roof rails and 18-inch wheels with a dark grey finish. In the cabin, a sense of purpose is expressed in piano black trim details and a black headlining. The supportive seats are upholstered in a supple, leather-like material with a specific Dynamic pattern and there is a deco line running across the black, soft-touch instrument panel and inner door mouldings, finished in Yaris Cross’s signature Warm Gold colour. Leather is used for the steering wheel and shift lever gaiter. Premiere Edition The Premiere Edition is the ultimate version of the Yaris Cross Dynamic. Exclusive features include leather seat upholstery, special-design 18-inch machined alloy wheels and a power tailgate with kick-sensor for hands-free operation. The specification also provides a head-up display and a bi-tone paint finish with range of colour options. It will only be available during the first 12 months of Yaris Cross sales but will be included in the pre-sales reservation programme. Yaris Cross – all urban, all SUV Although built on the same Toyota modular GA-B platform as the new Yaris hatchback, Yaris Cross has a higher driving position and increased ground clearance, true to its genuine SUV status. It joins Toyota’s growing hybrid SUV range alongside RAV4 – the world’s original and best-selling recreational SUV – the new seven-seat Highlander and the C-HR compact crossover. The platform gives the car fundamental high body rigidity, a low centre of gravity and a well-balanced chassis, ensuring agile and sure-footed handling and excellent ride comfort. The hybrid powertrain is based on Toyota’s 114bhp 1.5-litre Atkinson cycle fourth generation system which debuted in the new Yaris hatchback. Its exceptional efficiency is expected to deliver low CO2 emissions and a generous EV all-electric driving capability. Advanced equipment features Yaris Cross customers will be able to specify a number of sophisticated and advanced equipment features. These include (available according to grade) intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD-i), wireless mobile device connectivity with Toyota Smart Connect and a Toyota Teammate Advanced Park automated parking system. Full details of the UK model line-up, specifications will be announced in the coming weeks. During the pre-sales period, customers will be able to submit “keep me informed” requests and make reservations, both online and at their local Toyota centre. * Adventure grade in European markets; ** Elegant grade in European markets
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