Electric Car News Roundup – 48

electric car news

Leeds Delays Launch Of Clean Air Zone Due To Coronavirus 


Leeds City Council has joined Birmingham in delaying its Clean Air Zone (CAZ) due to the coronavirus pandemic. The CAZ was set to come into effect on September 28th but has now been suspended ‘until further notice’.  The Class B CAZ will cover over half of Leeds city centre, with HGVs, buses and coaches set to be charged £50 per day for travelling in the zone if they fail to meet the minimum emission standards.  

clean air zone leeds
Clean Air Zone (CAZ) Leeds (credit: Air Quality News)

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There is no other way of putting it across.  This is simply terrible news.  One of the very few positives from the ongoing coronavirus tragedy, is the reduction in pollution. Satellite images of a less polluted planet have been received with great enthusiasm from across the globe, to include the UK. It is indeed unfortunate that Leeds City Council has failed to learn from the current crisis.  Yes, we understand that the local councils have an obligation to assist their communities in this challenging time, but there are many other ways to offer financial assistance that does not entail an increase in air pollution.  What concerns us further is the comment that this has been suspended ‘until further notice’.  Does this mean that it may not be enforced even in 2021?


Electric Cars To Literally ‘Go Green’ From 2025 


In a new initiative to ‘crowd boost’ the popularity of electric cars, the Car Alliance of Britain (CAB) has announced that all of UK’s new electric cars and zero-emission cars are to be painted green from 2025, 10 years before the ban on combustion engine cars comes into force. 

green electric cars
Green Electric Cars (credit: Which?)

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This initiative highlights an important point, that we at e-zoomed have been vocal about via the ongoing green plates consultation.  It is imperative we increase the visibility of green cars on our roads and introducing green number plates for ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV) certainly helps.   However, we do not believe all battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) need to be painted green to achieve a comprehensive impact on increasing visibility.  However, that should not stop fleets and private owners from adopting cars with the colour green, if indeed they do want to impress up on the environmental credentials of their electric car and fleets.  


VW Still Aiming For ID.3 Electric Car Rollout By August 


Group faces large fines if it fails to sell enough battery-powered vehicles in 2020.  Volkswagen still expects to deliver its ID.3 mass-market electric car in August, even as it refuses to rule out job cuts if coronavirus-induced shutdowns outside of China continue. 

volkswagen
Volkswagen

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There is no doubt that automotive manufacturers across the globe face a daunting 2020 and potentially 2021.  Clearly, the sooner the production facilities in key geographies like Europe and the US are restarted, the better for all stakeholders.  

However, it is too early to predict and quantify the real fallout from the coronavirus predicament.  We believe consumer demand will remain lackluster for the next 12 months, as households adapt to a new reality, socially and economically.  Expect significant casualties in the global automotive sector.  Yes, there is some glimmer of hope, in that, China is emerging from the crisis, with production facilities coming back to life.  However, the supply chain remains fragile in the automotive sector and this may further escalate problems for OEMs.  In regards to EU-wide regulations, we believe there will be some leeway from regulators, given the current unprecedented crisis.


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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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