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Fleet World’s five-minute industry briefing: This week’s top stories

All the key news in fleet from the last week…

gavel

The Government’s final plans to reduce air pollution in the UK are due on 31 July.

High Court rules against challenge to air quality plan

Environmental lawyers at ClientEarth have lost their latest legal battle against the Government.

Although the case saw ClientEarth claim that the current plans are “fundamentally flawed” and set out no evidence of any plans for concrete actions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the judge ruled there was “no merit” in the argument that the Government’s plan was unlawful.

For more details, click here.

Volkswagen Gen.E research vehicle

Volkswagen’s Gen.E research vehicle gives a hint of where the next Golf is going.

Volkswagen previews next-generation Golf with 250-mile range EV research car

Volkswagen has unveiled a new research car that could provide a heads up on the technology and design for the next-generation Golf.

Revealed at the brand’s Future Mobility Days 2017 at its Wolfsburg, Germany headquarters, the Gen.E research vehicle shows the carmaker’s plans for electric vehicle charging, which envisages charger-robot concepts for underground garages and car parks to connect the car to chargers.

For more details, click here.

Connected cars

BVRLA research suggests almost half of operators don’t have a clear understanding of their responsibilities under the GDPR legislation.

Government urged to consult on access to connected car data

The Government should consult on the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and access to data for third parties as new research.

Flourish – a multi-sector collaboration intended to advance the successful implementation of CAVs in the UK – has called for a government consultation, as it says that access to data for third parties will play a crucial role in the development of CAVs.

The call comes as a newly published BVRLA survey of members and fleet managers indicates that almost half of fleets aren’t ready for next year’s introduction of the GDPR legislation

For more details, click here.

Volvo range line-up

Volvo will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021 as it plans to introduce some form of electrification to all its models.

Volvo to launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021

Volvo’s line-up will gain five fully electric cars by 2021 in line with its plans to use electric motors in all cars from 2019.

The new all-electric line-up – part of the carmaker’s bid to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025 – will feature three Volvo models and two high-performance electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo Cars’ performance car arm that’s now being repositioned to focus solely on EVs.

Volvo will also introduce electric motor technology on its internal combustion engine line-up in the form of 48V mild hybrid technology.

For more details, click here.

vauxhall

EU antitrust authorities have approved PSA’s buyout of Vauxhall/Opel.

PSA acquisition of Vauxhall/Opel given green light

EU antitrust authorities have approved the proposed acquisition of GM’s Opel/Vauxhall automotive business by PSA Group.

The acquisition – which will create the second largest automotive company in Europe behind Volkswagen – also includes the acquisition of GM Financial’s European operations by BNP Paribas and Groupe PSA, which is also subject to the EU antitrust authorities’ review. The decision is expected in the second half of this year.

For more details, click here.

ACFO Autumn Seminar delegates

ACFO Autumn Seminar delegates will hear from a range of speakers about current and forthcoming industry changes.

ACFO Autumn Seminar to spotlight ‘unprecedented fleet management changes’

ACFO is turning the spotlight on ‘The State of the Nation’ at its Autumn Seminar, with a range of expert speakers.

Taking place on 21 September at MINI’s Plant Oxford, the event will bring a speaker line-up including Alison Avo of the DVLA, who will discuss issues including the increasing digitalisation of fleet services, and Sarah Green, head of Dart Charge service, Highways England, who will provide an update on Dart Charge and a range of other issues including developments in respect of charges for the two Severn Crossing bridges.

For more details, click here.

ioniq

Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid offers CO2 emissions of 26g/km.

Pricing announced for 26g/km Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid

Hyundai’s Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid is to go on sale this month, joining the electric and hybrid versions and bringing pricing from £24,995 OTR (including £2,500 PICG).

Debuted at the Geneva Motor Show and providing a rival to the Prius Plug-in, the Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid offers CO2 emissions of 26g/km – putting it in the 9% BiK bracket for 2017/18 – and giving up to 39 miles of pure electric driving, with a total range of 680 miles.

For more details, click here.

L-R James Watson and Matt Hattersley

(L-R) James Watson and Matt Hattersley join Skoda’s fleet team

Skoda appointments to drive true fleet growth

Skoda has made two senior appointments to its fleet team as it looks to drive true fleet growth further.

The changes see Matt Hattersley appointed as national fleet sales manager, reporting directly to Skoda head of fleet Henry Williams, while James Watson has taken over the role as contract hire & leasing manager for the southern region.

For more details, click here.

Simon Carr

Simon Carr, new chief commercial officer, Alphabet GB.

Simon Carr joins Alphabet as chief commercial officer

Alphabet has named former LeasePlan brand director Simon Carr as its new chief commercial officer, replacing Martin Quail.

The role will see Carr work on enhancing relationships with Alphabet’s customer base to collaboratively develop latest products and services.

For more details, click here.

smmt

Demand for new cars has started to cool following five consecutive years of solid growth.

Fleet registrations down as new car market declines

The UK new car market declined for a third consecutive month in June, with fleet as well as private registrations down, due to VED changes introduced in April as well as declining consumer confidence.

Fleet registrations fell 2.4% to 138,914 units from 142,316 while sub-25 business fleet registrations dropped 8.3% to 9,231 units from 10,065. Private registrations were down 7.8% to 95,309 units from 103,385.

For more details, click here.

roadworks

The changes to the funding would enable local authorities to improve or replace the most important A roads under their management.

Local roads to get multi-billion pound fund from VED charges

Councils could get a share of a multi-billion pound improvement fund for local roads, funded by Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), under new government plans.

The new Transport Investment Strategy unveiled by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling would mean that main roads that are currently overseen by local authorities would share the VED-funded National Roads Fund which was previously envisaged to be ring-fenced for national routes.

For more details, click here.

telematics webfleet

Black boxes and smartphone apps could be used to immobilise vehicles remotely. Image:TomTom Telematics.

Central telematics operation could halt vehicle use in terrorist attacks

Deploying a centrally managed platform for telematics devices could immobilise vehicles used for criminal activity, particularly in terrorist attacks.

According to telematics firm Trak Global Group (TGG), vehicles’ black boxes and smartphone apps could be linked to a platform, which would alert about potential incidents and enable the vehicle to be immobilised remotely, regardless of who supplied the hardware.

For more details, click here.

m3

The work provides a fourth lane of motorway between Farnborough and the M25.

M3 smart motorway goes live

The M3 ‘smart motorway’ has opened in Surrey and Hampshire following a £174m upgrade.

The work, first started in late 2014, has turned the hard shoulder into a fourth lane along a 13.4-mile stretch between Farnborough and the M25.

For more details, click here.

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Zipcar Flex vehicle

The new Zipcar Flex one-way car sharing scheme is intended to save members money.

Zipcar launches one-way car sharing service

Zipcar has introduced a new Zipcar Flex scheme in London, providing a one-way, drive and drop service expected to save money for members.

As well as being able to opt the original Roundtrip service, which operates from dedicated on-street Car Club Only bays across the city, members can now use the Zipcar Flex service to spontaneously jump into a car and drop off in one of thousands of approved parking bays within the designated ‘Zipzone’.

For more details, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.