Volkswagen is establishing worldwide production network for electric cars: eight MEB plants on three continents by 2022
The Volkswagen brand is forging ahead consistently with its electric offensive and has now announced the first production location in North America. In future, the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee is to produce vehicles based on the modular electric toolkit MEB, a new generation of electric cars. For this purpose, Volkswagen is investing about €700 million ($800 million) in the plant. The expansion of the plant will create up to 1,000 new jobs plus additional jobs at suppliers. The first electric car from Chattanooga is to roll off the production line in 2022. Over the next few years, eight MEB plants are to be developed in Europe, North America and China. Volkswagen is building up the production capacity needed to sell more than 1 million electric cars per year by 2025.
Volkswagen and Ford are committed to exploring potential collaboration on EVs, autonomous vehicles and mobility services through alliance
Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company today announced the first formal agreements in a broad alliance that positions the companies to boost competitiveness and better serve customers in an era of rapid change in the industry.
Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed that the companies intend to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. The alliance will drive significant scale and efficiencies and enable both companies to share investments in vehicle architectures that deliver distinct capabilities and technologies.
The companies estimate the commercial van and pickup cooperation will yield improved annual pre-tax operating results, starting in 2023.
In addition, Volkswagen and Ford have signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate collaboration on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles and have started to explore opportunities. Both companies also said they were open to considering additional vehicle programs in the future. The teams will continue working through details in the coming months.
“Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society,” Hackett said. “It will not only drive significant efficiencies and help both companies improve their fitness, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility.”
Diess added: “Volkswagen and Ford will harness our collective resources, innovation capabilities and complementary market positions to even better serve millions of customers around the world. At the same time, the alliance will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness.”
The alliance, which does not entail cross-ownership between the two companies, will be governed by a joint committee. This committee will be led by Hackett and Diess and will include senior executives from both companies.
Commercial van and pickup collaboration
Ford and Volkswagen both have strong commercial van and pickup businesses around the globe, with popular nameplates such as the Ford Transit family and Ranger as well as the Volkswagen Transporter, Caddy and Amarok.
The companies’ collective light commercial vehicle volumes from 2018 totaled approximately 1.2 million units globally, which could represent the industry’s highest-volume collaboration as production scales.
Demand for both medium pickups and commercial vans is expected to grow globally in the next five years. The alliance will enable the companies to share development costs, leverage their respective manufacturing capacity, boost the capability and competitiveness of their vehicles and deliver cost efficiencies, while maintaining distinct brand characteristics.
Through the alliance, Ford will engineer and build medium-sized pickups for both companies which are expected to go to market as early as 2022. For both parties, Ford intends to engineer and build larger commercial vans for European customers, and Volkswagen intends to develop and build a city van.
A victimless crime? IAM RoadSmart backs police speeding crackdown and calls for drivers to take responsibility for their actions
The UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, has backed the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) current crackdown on speeding on our roads – saying that there is clear evidence that ‘speed kills.’
The NPCC is encouraging police forces around the country to highlight these dangers in their own areas in the two-week campaign, which started yesterday (14 January).
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Many people see speeding as a victimless crime – that is total nonsense. Many drivers think they can easily handle the speed they drive, and assume their skills are great enough to handle an emergency. We at IAM RoadSmart would like to ask those people to take a long, hard look at their attitudes and stop kidding themselves they are always safe.”
The latest annual road safety statistics shows that the contributory factor of 'exceeding speed limit' was recorded in 203 fatalities, 1,212 serious injuries, and 5,855 slight injuries.
In addition, the figures reported for those who crashed because they were ‘travelling too fast for conditions’ revealed 136 fatalities, 1,327 serious injury collisions and 4,483 slight injury collisions.
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, NPCC Lead for Roads Policing, said to IAM RoadSmart: “Driving or riding at safe speeds is a key theme of the National Roads Policing Strategy and the speed campaign during January means police forces across the UK will focus on those who are travelling too fast on our roads, putting themselves and others at risk by doing so.
He added: “Respecting the speed limit is fundamental to reducing danger on our roads. Enforcing those limits falls to the police and officers will be doing just that to ensure all road users remain as safe as possible.”
Neil added that in order to reduce the number of people who become victims of speeding motorists, it is essential that all authorities work together to tackle this issue, rather than ad hoc individual measures.
He continued: “If you combine ‘too fast’ with the far bigger numbers of contributory factors attributed to ‘driver or rider error’ and ‘behaviour and experience’ then it is clear that education still has a huge role to play in reducing the toll of death and injury on our roads.”
Ford is pushing the boat out for the RNLI by supplying the charity that saves lives at sea with a replacement fleet of new vehicles.
Ford will ship 210 new vehicles to the RNLI this year, followed by a further 120 in 2020 and again in 2021 – including 100 Ford Rangers total as beach patrol vehicles for its lifeguard service.
Chevin Fleet Solutions has joined the green fleet revolution and proudly announces that over half of its company vehicles are boasting such credentials. Having joined the Go Ultra Low campaign in 2016, Chevin committed to ensuring that at least 5% of its fleet is electric by 2020.
The local authority has more than 160 vehicles and the new additions are its first electric cars with three electric vans due to arrive soon.
The Renault Zoes will be based at Lancaster Town Hall and the council’s White Lund Depot in Morecambe and replace two diesel Ford Fiestas the council has on hire.
The council’s team of mechanics will receive additional training to maintain the new electrically powered arrivals and to enable them to extend the council's vehicle maintenance, servicing and MOT packages on offer to local businesses and members of the public.
Coun Darren Clifford, Cabinet member for climate change, said: "We all want to live in a greener and healthier environment and introducing electric vehicles is one of a variety of ways we can achieve this aim.
“The council is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations and this marks the beginning of our journey to decarbonise our fleet.
“A successful bid for grant funding by the council to the Office of Low Emission Vehicles will also see the installation of charging points at five of its public car parks across the district and one privately managed car park in Lancaster.”
One of the UK’s leading providers of specialist commercial vehicles has secured a major deal with a local authority worth more than £25 million.
Go Plant Fleet Services will supply and maintain a wide range of machines and equipment for Harrow Council as part of an initial eight-year contract. The full service agreement, which includes fleet management services, will also incorporate the authority’s substantial workshop and the TUPE transfer of 10 existing maintenance staff. Up to three additional jobs will also be created by the move, which went live on January 1.
UK Power Networks Services will work with UPS, High Speed 1 and WMG on an innovative new project to assess the feasibility of using wireless charging to support the use of electric vehicles in commercial fleets on London’s roads.
Nearly 3 MILLION UK motorists feared to be driving illegally - new research drives case for scrapping 20m sight test
Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd will be introducing three distinct trim levels to the Vito van and crew range to ensure customers can clearly identify the right vehicle for their needs.
Launching in January 2019, all Vito models will benefit from a leather steering wheel (and gear selector on manual models), comfort driver’s seat, automatic headlights, and parking sensors, and will have a choice of PURE, PROGRESSIVE and PREMIUM lines.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has announced details of its new Engineered To Go programme that offers off-the-shelf conversions to even more businesses.
Launching with a host of conversions on the Crafter model, the new programme kicks off with a range of Dropside, Tipper and Luton products available to buy direct from the standard price list.
As SMMT data reveals that fleet sales for 2018 were down seven per cent signalling the worst new car market performance in five years, one vehicle manufacturer is predicting a sea-change in traditional fleet procurement for 2019. According to Honda, 2019 will likely see an increase in grey fleets and end-user purchasing.
SMS plc choose converted Peugeot Vans for their engineers who replace and install gas and electricity meters.
Utility metering specialist SMS plc has taken delivery of over 170 PEUGEOT Boxer, Expert and Partner vans, which will be used by engineers across the company’s various divisions. The vehicles will play a crucial role in assisting engineers who replace and install gas and electricity meters.
These days there always seems to be a driving myth doing the rounds on social media but that’s exactly what a lot of them are — myths.
To help you sort the driving laws from the fake news, the RAC have put together some definitive answers to a few of the most common motoring unknowns out there.
Many drivers report aches and pains from driving such as lower back pain, stiff shoulders and neck, cramp in the foot or leg, headache or eye strain. In 2016, around 30.8 million days of work were lost to musculoskeletal problems, according to government figures.
Prolonged exposing to driving has shown to be a risk factor for back pain, with the risk increasing for anyone who drives for more than 20 hours a week.
And it’s not just sitting in a fixed position that can cause problems. Getting in and out of the vehicle can be uncomfortable for around 9.7% of older people according to a study at Loughborough University.1
Reaching and pulling the boot door down to close is difficult for 12% of older females, while turning to adjust headrests and adjustable seatbelt fixings can also cause problems for some.
Other common causes of injury include:
Edinburgh City Council has been running 12 new Mellor Orion low floor buses to help meet the demands of a rapidly growing city population and forthcoming Low Emission Zone plans.
Applications for European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) permits close at 11.59pm on 18 January 2019.
The duty of a responsible government is to continue to prepare for a range of potential outcomes including a no deal scenario.
ECMT permits will allow you to continue operating in the EU after March 2019 in the event of ‘no deal’.
Annual and short-term (30 days) permits
ECMT permits are available as annual or short-term permits (valid for 30 days). All applications will be considered first for annual permits.
If you're not successful, your application will automatically be considered for a short-term permit, subject to availability.
Neither annual nor short term permits will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
We’ll inform operators in due course if they’ve been awarded an ECMT permit.
Apply for a permit
Applications close at 11.59pm on 18 January 2019.
Find out more information and how to apply for an ECMT permit
Verizon Connect, one of the leading suppliers of fleet management solutions, has been awarded official supplier accreditation by the Fleet Operator Recognition (FORS) scheme, demonstrating its commitment to improving the safety and productivity of fleets across the UK.
FORS is a voluntary scheme for UK fleets which aims to raise safety standards and improve the quality of operations across fleet-based businesses. Through its array of resources, including classroom and eLearning courses and bespoke guides, it helps equip both drivers and fleet managers with the tools they need to meet its standard requirements and enhance the performance of commercial vehicles on Britain’s roads.
The scheme has three levels of recognition for organisations meeting its safety, efficiency and environmental criteria. Verizon Connect has been awarded supplier accreditation for its ability to help fleets operators in FORS’ Bronze, Silver and Gold categories improve road safety, increase efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and promote compliance.
Commenting on securing accreditation, Derek Bryan, VP EMEA at Verizon Connect, said: “Verizon Connect prides itself on helping to improve the safety, productivity and efficiency of fleets, while lowering operational costs so we’re proud to have been awarded supplier accreditation by the FORS. Many companies rely on our platform to promote best practice across their business. Lots of businesses are considering ways to not only manage their vehicles and employees, but also track the performance of other valuable equipment across the supply chain, and we look forward to working closely with FORS to help them drive efficiencies and promote safe operations.”
You can find out more information about the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) via its website, which you can see here. Further information about Verizon Connect can also be found here.
Since opening in December 2003, the M6toll has been a driving force in alleviating congestion and pollution in the Midlands, taking thousands of trucks, vans and cars off the M6 and local roads every day.
Drivers and commercial fleet operators rely on the M6toll to reach their destination ‘on time, every time’, reducing the time UK drivers spend behind the wheel.
As the quickest and most reliable route through the region, the M6toll is used by thousands of businesses, commuters and leisure users each year – over 18m journeys in 2018 - helping drivers steer clear of the most congested and accident prone sections of the M6.
Revised criteria applies to existing haulage, bus and coach operators and new applicants.
The 2019 financial standing levels for standard operator licence holders and applicants have been confirmed.
The rates will come into effect on 01 January 2019.
There will be no change at the current time to the rates of finance which must be available to support a restricted licence or application.
Source: Office of the Traffic Commissioner
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