By on September 13, 2017

Concept EQ, Exterieur Concept EQ, exterior

Everyone’s doing it. It’s as popular as the fidget spinner and Pokémon Go crazes all those years months ago. In a rush to signal their environmental bonafides and display their dedication to the Next Big Thing, luxury automakers are tripping over themselves in an effort to promise an all-electrified model lineup as soon as technology and finances allow.

This time, it’s Mercedes-Benz. The world’s oldest car brand doesn’t want its rivals cashing in once governments around the globe start turning off the fossil fuel taps. So, earlier this week, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche stepped up and made a promise we’ve heard ad nauseum as of late: every model in the brand’s lineup will soon sport some form of electric propulsion, be it a hybrid setup or full-on battery electric powertrain.

For Mercedes-Benz, this means 50 hybrid or EV models, including at its irrelevant-to-Americans Smart brand. The move isn’t without a steep cost, however — Daimler is bracing for a slashing of vehicle profit margins. In some cases, the green collected from green cars could be half that of a gasoline Benz. What to do? (Read More…)

By on May 17, 2017

traffic (Michael Gil/Flickr)

Earlier today, we mentioned Volvo was preparing to dump its diesel-burning engines because the EU is aggressively pursuing anti-diesel legislation. While it’s easy to accuse Europe of being fraught with fringe environmentalists, the truth is that the continent spent decades avoiding restrictions on diesel-burning passenger vehicles, sold loads of them, and has suddenly found itself with its green pants around its ankles.

In addition to hazy skies, air pollution isn’t exactly great for your health. A recent study published in Nature found diesel engines produced 5 million more tons of nitrogen oxide than previously estimated for 2015. The research focused on vehicles in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea and the United States and uncovered that we’ve grossly overestimated the amount of good being done by our global regulatory efforts. Companies are practically guaranteed to be falsifying testing results while others are openly incapable of reaching government-enforced guidelines.

Who cares? It’s not like anyone is dying, right? Well, not exactly. (Read More…)

By on October 10, 2016

Exhaust pipe of running vehicle, Image: By Ruben de Rijcke (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The German government has passed a resolution to ban the sale of internal combustion engines in the European Union by 2030.

Receiving bipartisan support in the German Bundesrat, the resolution calls on the EU Commission in Brussels to ensure only zero-emission passenger vehicles be approved for sale within the next fourteen years.

While the act has no direct legislative implications for Europe as a whole, German regulations could still undoubtedly influence and shape future automotive policies in the EU.

(Read More…)

By on June 29, 2016

2017 Jaguar lineup

Jaguar Land Rover’s brands are as British as crumpets and the Union Jack (ignore the fact that it’s owned by India’s Tata Motors), so concerns over Britain’s vote to leave the European Union should fall squarely on its tweed-covered shoulders.

The automaker is keeping a stiff upper lip, at least in public, with a spokesperson saying the company doesn’t plan to make changes to its strategy, Reuters reports.

A $1.34 billion assembly plant in Slovakia is going ahead as planned, said Jaguar Land Rover strategy director Adrian Hallmark, who called the Brexit a “short-term issue” during a news conference. (Read More…)

By on June 27, 2016

FCA

After Britain referendumed themselves right out of the European Union last week, there was plenty of talk about how the country’s automakers would fare in the wake of the Brexit.

But what about an Italian-American automaker? Today, investment bank Goldman Sachs removed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles from their “conviction” buy list, citing uncertainty over the fate of the EU, Bloomberg reports. (Read More…)

By on June 24, 2016

2017 Jaguar lineup

The UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is tasked with, according to the SMMT, promoting “the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad.”

Prior to the June 23 Brexit vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the SMMT insisted that voting “remain” was critical to the UK automotive industry. Brexit could jeopardise jobs, automakers were in agreement that remaining was important, and pointed to the UK’s 800,000 auto industry jobs and its £15.5 billion contribution to the economy as reasons to stay in the European Union.

(Read More…)

By on April 19, 2016

2015 Chevrolet Bolt EV Concept all electric vehicle – Exterior

When you’re in conversation with a self-described urbanist, it’s usually impossible to avoid numerous references to Amsterdam, that progressive utopia of bikes, tulips, marijuana-smoking tourists, and more bikes.

Well, expect to hear about it even more, now that Dutch parliament has passed a Dutch Labor Party motion to ban the sale of internal combustion vehicles in that country after 2025, according to Auto Express. The bill, which requires senate approval to become the law of the land, would see existing gas and diesel vehicles grandfathered, and the sale of new ones banned. (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2016

2015 Smart Fortwo ED

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has released its Greenest and Meanest cars for 2016 — and it’s bookended by vehicles from Daimler.

That, Europe wants to open up ECU code, Bosch says “You wouldn’t understand, so why bother?” and GayWheels takes aim at a possibly tasteless German Opel advert about, erm, rear-ending … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on December 16, 2015

Matthias Müller

The European Union’s anti-fraud office is investigating Volkswagen for misusing publicly funded loans to develop illegally cheating software in its cars, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

Volkswagen was provided the low-interest loans by the European Investment Bank to develop engines that were more fuel-efficient and produce less carbon dioxide, according to the report. In September, the automaker admitted that 11 million vehicles worldwide polluted more than advertised and used an illegal “defeat device” to fool emissions tests.

The automaker’s woes compounded Wednesday: A European bank — partly funded by the U.S. — announced it would suspend a $327 million loan to Volkswagen that would have been used to build a $1.2 billion factory in Poland. That factory was slated to build commercial vehicles.

(Read More…)

By on November 12, 2015

Volkswagen Wolfsburg

The New York Times is reporting that a loophole in emissions regulations for European cars could keep Volkswagen from paying billions to governments for illegally polluting cars. Regulators considered closing the loophole in 2011, but ultimately failed to do so, which could leave the escape hatch ever-so cracked for Volkswagen to run through.

According to the report, which cites internal meeting notes of European regulators in Geneva, automakers can send through testing cars programmed for special circumstances that daily drivers can’t access.

“A manufacturer could specify a special setting that is not normally used for everyday driving,” British regulators warned in 2011, according to the New York Times. (Read More…)

By on October 15, 2015

maxresdefault1

Volkswagen Group will recall 8.5 million vehicles in the European Union’s 28 member states, including the 2.4 million vehicles it is already being forced to recall by the KBA, Germany’s transportation authority, the automaker announced Thursday.

Vehicles from the Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda brands are included in the recall. The latest EA 288 diesel engine is not part of the recall.

Volkswagen said it will begin to rollout fixes in January 2016.

(Read More…)

By on October 8, 2015

Meanwhile, over in the EU, no one appears to have lost their minds over the Volkswagen scandal. Not at all. Totally sane.

By on July 18, 2015

Opel Bochum - Picture courtesy wa.de

Recent sales growth in the EU hasn’t been kind to Opel as the group is forced to reduce hours at two German plants.

According to Automotive News, Opel will cut production of the Adam and Corsa at Eisenach and Insignia and Zafira Tourer at Ruesselsheim. The move is due to Opel’s exit from the Russian market and what the automaker calls “moderate” gains in the rest of Europe.

However, within the EU, overall sales for all automakers are up 8.2 percent in the first six month of this year and 14.6 percent in June, according to ACEA.

(Read More…)

By on May 29, 2015

Jaguar F-Type S AWD

A handful of European automakers are lashing out against the prospect of the United Kingdom’s “Brexit” from the European Union via referendum in 2017.

(Read More…)

By on March 31, 2015

Honda-Civic-Type-R-2

On the heels of an announcement that Honda’s Alliston, Ontario plant will be the lead plant for the next generation Honda Civic, the same plant will also be responsible for building the next-generation CR-V for the European market.

(Read More…)

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