All posts tagged: lowemission

How did Norway become the electric car superpower? Oil money, civil disobedience – and Morten from a-ha | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

How did Norway become the electric car superpower? Oil money, civil disobedience – and Morten from a-ha | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

I’m kneeling on the snow outside the king’s house, impersonating a 1980s heart-throb, with a man named Harald and an electric car. It’s a situation that probably needs some explanation. Harald isn’t the king, although the king of Norway is also called Harald; we just happen to be outside the monarch’s residence, a handsome red manor. I’m in Stavanger to find out how, in a world where transport contributes about 20% of CO2 emissions, Norway came to lead the world in electric car take-up. In 2023, 82.4% of private vehicles sold in the country were electric. In January, the figure was 92.1%. The goal is to hit 100% by next year. Meanwhile, in the UK, a ban on new petrol and diesel cars was recently pushed back from 2030 to 2035. Just 14.7% of new cars registered in January were electric. The situation in the EU is even worse: 10.9% of cars sold there in January were electric. Why Stavanger? Because, as well as – irony alert! – being its oil capital, Norway’s third city, …

Make used electric cars cheaper and tackle battery fears, peers tell ministers | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

Make used electric cars cheaper and tackle battery fears, peers tell ministers | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

Ministers need to intervene to boost the secondhand electric vehicle market and allay “uncertainty and concerns” over the health of their batteries, a House of Lords committee has said. Peers on the environment and climate change committee urged the government to step up efforts to encourage electric vehicle adoption amid consumer jitters over the cost of vehicles, the longevity of their batteries and the availability of charging points. Ministers should step in to tackle the disparity in upfront costs between EVs and petrol and diesel cars, and examine targeted grants to incentivise the purchase of electric cars, they said in a report. During their seven-month long inquiry, witnesses repeatedly called for a cross-industry battery health testing standard to provide “clear information and reassurance to consumers”. The study raised concerns over the secondhand market as most vehicles available for resale are sports utility vehicles (SUVs) or cars costing more than £40,000 sold on by businesses and early adopters of EVs, meaning they are “out of reach of most consumers”. The peers said grants should be awarded …

Electric car sales in UK flatline, prompting calls for VAT cut | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

The number of new cars registered in the UK has jumped by nearly 18% but electric vehicle demand is flatlining, prompting the industry to call for a VAT cut to stimulate sales. Annual figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) on Friday show 1.9m new cars were registered last year, well up on the previous year’s figure of 1.6m and the highest level since the 2.3m registrations of 2019. The increase is a boost for the automotive industry after the pandemic led to supply chain problems and a shortage of vital computer chips that slowed production. Across the year, 315,000 new battery electric vehicles were sold. That was 50,000 more than 2022, but the number being bought as a share of total registrations failed to grow as expected. They represented just 16.5% of the total, slightly down on last year’s 16.6%. The lacklustre growth in the electric vehicle market comes despite a government goal to totally phase out petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles by 2035, albeit one that was diluted by …

China’s BYD overtakes Tesla as top-selling electric car seller | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

Elon Musk’s Tesla has been overtaken by its Chinese rival, BYD, as the world’s top selling electric carmaker. BYD, which has been backed by the US investment billionaire Warren Buffett since 2008, has beaten Tesla’s production for a second consecutive year. BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams, said it produced 3.02m new energy vehicles in 2023. The American multinational Tesla announced on Tuesday that it made 1.84m cars. However, BYD’s sales figures include 1.6m battery-only cars, and 1.4m hybrids, which means Tesla is still the leader in the production of electric battery-only cars. Nevertheless, in the final quarter of last year BYD outsold Tesla in battery-only car sales – 526,000 to 484,000 – for the first time. Most of BYD’s vehicles sell at a lower price point than Tesla, which derives about 20% of its sales from the Chinese market. Chinese electric carmakers such as BYD and Nio have set their sights on becoming major players in international markets, with a particular focus on Europe. In December, BYD, which sells five models in Europe …

Making the switch to electric vehicles: ‘The biggest shock was the huge savings’ | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

Making the switch to electric vehicles: ‘The biggest shock was the huge savings’ | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

From the bottom of Max Berman’s garden in High Wycombe, he can see the M40 motorway, with cars shooting between London and Birmingham up one of England’s great asphalt veins. On some days, Berman says, he can see the diesel fumes suspended in the air. It was this awareness of pollution that led Berman, a 50-year-old working in the film industry, to switch to an electric vehicle (EV) in 2019. He found a pre-owned Volkswagon e-up! for £6,500 on eBay. Now Berman’s car is one of more than 940,000 fully electric vehicles on UK roads, according to government data. Most electric cars are already cheaper over the long term than petrol or diesel, according to research organisation Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and the UK government’s Climate Change Committee said in October that EVs “will be significantly cheaper than petrol and diesel vehicles to own and operate over their lifetimes”. That means Berman’s EV switch is one that many households are considering. And from 1 January, carmakers must ensure at least 22% of new UK cars …

Carmakers call on EU to delay 10% tariff on electric vehicle exports | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

Car giants including Renault, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have called on EU leaders to “act now” and delay plans for a 10% tariff on electric car exports from Europe. Renault’s chief, Luca de Meo, led the calls, saying that if the EU did not take action then policymakers would simply be “handing a chunk of the market to global manufacturers” including Chinese companies, which are making significant inroads. European and UK carmakers timed their call ahead of this week’s gathering of the joint EU-UK Brexit specialised committees on trade. The tariff is due to be enforced from January, but carmakers in the UK and Europe are pushing to delay its introduction by at least three years. The European commissioner Thierry Breton last week told the Guardian that the Brexit deal could not be re-opened just to appease some sectors of the motor industry, arguing that he had to ensure there was a level playing field across the entire “ecosystem”. The formal request to cut the tariff has been made by the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA), …

‘It’s an insult’: drivers react to Rishi Sunak’s electric car U-turn | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

Rishi Sunak’s announcement that he will delay banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by five years to 2035 in a U-turn on the government’s climate commitments has triggered international condemnation and anger from industry. The policy shift came on Wednesday, as the prime minister stated that there would also be a slowdown in the phasing out of gas boilers and that the requirement for landlords to make their properties energy efficient would be scrapped. Here, six UK drivers share their reaction to the electric vehicle (EV) policy change and explain how they will be affected. ‘It’s a desperate last throw of the dice’ Paul, 48, joiner in Glasgow: “I cannot afford to buy a new car but I’m determined not to buy another petrol vehicle. I have been running a 10-year-old Honda and planned to keep it for another few years until there are more secondhand EVs on the market. Sunak has betrayed us ‘hard working British people’ who are intent on doing the right thing. “If this is implemented and the …

Which local authorities in England have introduced low-emission zones? | Local government

The high court has dismissed a legal challenge by five Conservative-led councils against the expansion of London’s ultra-low emission zone (Ulez). Mr Justice Swift dismissed the councils’ case on Friday, which means drivers of vehicles that do not meet minimum emissions standards will be charged a £12.50 daily fee for entering the Ulez zone. The city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, sees the extension as vital to tackling air pollution, with owners of the most-polluting vehicles having to pay to drive in all of Greater London from the end of August. The implementation of low-emission zones (LEZs) is a growing trend, with at least 320 zones introduced across the UK and Europe as of 2022, according to a review published in the Lancet Public Health journal last month. Dr Anthony Laverty, a senior lecturer at Imperial College London and an author of the review, said it signalled that city governments were doing more than national governments in taking moves to protect public health and the environment. “It says that as a world we’re going to need to …