UK Banning Gasoline and Diesel Powered Cars By 2040

The United Kingdom is following France’s lead with a ban on the sale of vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel by 2040.

Internal pressures have been mounting as well, with the British government having lost legal cases filed by campaign groups. The national government has been taking measures along the way, including a May proposal for a scrappage program to get diesel-powered cars off UK roads.

Earlier this month, France called for the ban of all fossil fuel powered vehicles by 2040.

The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City, and Athens would like to ban diesel vehicles by 2025. London mayor Sadiq Khan has been calling on the national government to do more about the problem.

“Today we are confirming that that means there should be no new diesel or petrol vehicles by 2040,” environment minister Michael Gove told BBC Radio.

In an interview with Reuters TV, Gove said the goal is to get all the gasoline and diesel vehicles off UK roads by 2050. That comes from concern over health issues from air pollution and a commitment to meet climate change targets, he said.

Reuters TV put the issues in perspective, with it being nearly 65 years since the “great smog of London” nearly came to a standstill.

“Air pollution is still a major headache for the UK government,” Reuters TV said.

Nearly 200 million pounds (about $261 million) will be made available to local governments for rules that would restrict access by diesel-powered vehicles to extremely polluted roads.

Battery electric vehicles are expected to be the technology of choice in a country banning all fossil fuels used to power vehicles.

Electric cars currently make up less than 5 percent of new car registrations in the country, so there is a long way to go. Reaching 5 percent makes for a higher rate than other major markets including the U.S., where plug-in electrified vehicles make for about 1 percent of new vehicle sales; and China, where it accounts for about 2 percent of new vehicle sales.

The BMW i3, Renault Zoe, and Tesla Model S, have been the top three in UK electric vehicle sales this year, according to Auto Express.

Automakers, including Volvo, Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler, have made strong commitments to bringing EVs to market in Europe and globally. But questions remain over whether stopping the sale of “petrol” (gasoline) and diesel cars would be viable.

SEE ALSO:  Ford Launching Plug-in Hybrid Trial In Crowded London With Transit Custom Vans

A lack of EV charging stations is an issue to address, analysts and auto industry groups say. There’s also concern coming from automakers about building high volumes of EVs that may not sell.

“We could undermine the UK’s successful automotive sector if we don’t allow enough time for the industry to adjust,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

London mayor Khan is concerned that the government’s commitment isn’t enough, and that steps needed to be taken before 2040 to tackle the problem.

“We need a fully-funded diesel scrappage fund now to get polluting vehicles off our streets immediately, as well as new powers so that cities across the UK can take the action needed to clean up our air,” Khan said in a statement.



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Mercedes-Benz Joining Formula E Electric Racing Series

Mercedes-Benz will be competing against other automakers in the Formula E electric racing series starting in 2019.

The automaker is transitioning its motorsports division over from German racing series Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) to focus on Formula E. The company had played a visible role as a manufacturer sponsoring DTM for several years. The motorsports group will conclude its participation in DTM at the end of 2018, and enter Formula E in the 2019/2020 season.

In October, the company had purchased an option to join the Formula E series. There had been speculation that it would be making that commitment this year.

Mercedes-Benz has had a strong presence in motorsports racing over the years. It’s won championships with its hybrid technology in the Formula One series.

Electric racing has become the hotspot in motorsports, according to the division chief.

“In motorsport, like in every other area, we want to be the benchmark in the premium segment and also explore innovative new projects,” said Toto Wolff, the head of the Mercedes-Benz motorsports division. “Electrification is happening in the road car world and Formula E offers manufacturers an interesting platform to bring this technology to a new audience – and to do so with a completely new kind of racing, different to any other series.”

Audi made a similar move recently by announcing last year it would be leaving

the World Endurance Championship, part of which includes the world famous 24 Hours of Le Mans; and would be going over to Formula E. This month, Audi announced that for the 2017/2018 Formula E season it would be fully responsible for Abt Schaeffler Audi Sport.

SEE ALSO:  Mercedes-Benz Seeking Approval to Enter Formula E Electric Racing Series

Audi joined right before BMW announced its participation. BMW is partnering with the Andretti Formula E team to compete in Formula E series racing events staring in the 2018/2019 season.

Mercedes-Benz is the ninth auto manufacturer to join the series. Beyond Audi and BMW, the other six are Citroen DS, Jaguar, Mahindra, Renault, and electric carmaker startups Nio and Faraday Future.

Similar to what Wolff said, automakers have chosen to join the racing circuit as a testing ground for development of their electric drivetrains; and to hold a visible role as a company committed to EVs.

The Verge

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These Hybrid Cars Get Double The US Average MPG

Did you know you can spend the average low-30s price for a new car with average 26 mpg, or – if you care to save where it counts – you can buy a hybrid for less than the U.S. average price with double the U.S. average fuel economy?

Hybrid cars are meant to be thought of in that way, and with around 40 models now available, they are seen as a lower barrier to entry for those just wanting to save at the pump.

True, conventional cars’ mpg is inching upwards, and plenty get in the high 20s, into the 30s, but hybrids tend to blow these numbers away.

Numerous hybrids get upwards of 40 mpg, and as of this year, there will be three that get over 52 mpg.

Just two years ago, the pinnacle was 50 mpg under the U.S. EPA test cycle, and now there are three with more possibly on the way.

Here’s the list:

2016/17 – Toyota Prius Liftback

Called the “Liftback” to distinguish it from siblings – the Prius c subcompact hatch, Prius v small wagon, and Prius Prime plug-in hybrid – the Prius Liftback is “the Prius” everyone hears most about.

Now in a fourth generation, since its 2000 launch (it began in Japan in ’97), the electrified veteran whose name is synonymous with “hybrid” is rated 52 mpg in most of several trims, and 56 mpg in a special Two Eco version.

In redesigning it, Toyota made it roomier, and much better handling than the Prius of yesteryear. The company so wanted to prove this, that it took media to a retired Air Force base in California and let them stomp on it through the sharp curves of an autocross course.

The difference between the 2010-2015 generation-three and the new one riding on Toyota’s stiffer New Global Architecture, and a rear double wishbone suspension is quite noticeable.

Operationally, the car functions with great satisfaction, and its frugality at the pump means longer intervals between fillups, thus lower fuel costs.

Powered by an evolved 1.8-liter hybrid architecture, the system actually beats that of the smaller and lighter Prius c, rated 46 mpg. It also is the basis for the Prius Prime, which while we’re not giving it its own entry because it’s a plug-in hybrid, not regular, it deserves note.

The Prime actually gets 54 mpg in hybrid mode, and adds the bonus of 25 miles of all-electric range after its 8.8-kWh battery has been charged.

It offers all the benefits if the Liftback, some say it’s styled nicer, and guess what? Unlike the first 2012-2015 generation, this plug-in comes with no real cost premium. It actually starts around $28,000 thus within the Prius mid-20s to low 30s pricing scheme. And, it’s eligible for a $4,500 federal tax credit, meaning it may net for less than a comparable Liftback.

Is it a no brainer therefore? Well, more regular Prius Liftbacks are sold than the Prime, so it has yet to catch on. It does sacrifice some rear storage, and not everyone wants to plug in, though this is not a bother, and actually a benefit.

Both are worth checking into further.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

The Ioniq is Hyundai’s direct competitor to the Prius line, and on paper edges it out in a few ways, though really, it is a qualified decision which to choose.

If all you care about is mpg, the Ioniq Hybrid wins, being rated 55 mpg and 58 mpg in a more-efficient version sold as well.

Hyundai styled the Ioniqs along the lines of the Prius, but made the lines less jarring, and it tends to blend in to the crowd much better. Some say it looks better, as the Prius has had its detractors, and sales are down this year despite the improvements.

SEE ALSO: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Review – First Drive

As a car benchmarked on Toyota’s original, the Ioniq also matches it with a plug-in hybrid version, which while not sold yet in the U.S., is coming, and could get similar mpg plus 27 miles EV range, again beating the Prius by a little.

Powered by a 1.6-liter hybrid system, using one motor, not two like the Prius, the Ioniq further deviates by offering a six-speed dual clutch automatic, instead of the ubiquitous continuously variable transmission.

Hyundai did this along with the styling to make it have more mainstream appeal, as there’s been some pushback against CVTs which can drone without perceptible stepped gear changes, as an automatic provides.

The car is all new, however, so it has much less of a track record. How it may hold up, and how its resale value may fare next to the established Prius is an open question.

To help tackle that, per standard Hyundai practice, the Ioniq also undercuts the Prius in price by a couple thousand, starting a bit over $22,000 and working up to around $27,500.

2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid

Due soon, is Toyota’s just announced 2018 Camry Hybrid which absolutely jumps to the head of the pack – for now – of midsized hybrid sedans.

Promising an astonishing 52 mpg in base trim, and 46 mpg in higher trims, the restyled car looks sharp and now matches the Prius, albeit with more power and style.

SEE ALSO: Will Toyota’s 2018 Camry Hybrid Rise Back To The Head of Its Class?

This vehicle also rides on a new architecture, with more strengthening and safety built in.

It refreshes a venerable model that had been introduced in 2012, and refreshed with same 40-41 mpg powertrain intact in 2015.

2018 Accord Hybrid.

The midsized hybrid sedan segment, by the way, is the most packed with choices from several automakers. The former champ, the 48-mpg Honda Accord Hybrid is also being completely overhauled for 2018, also looks good, and it may have higher-than-48-mpg fuel economy for 2018. Could it actually match or beat the Camry Hybrid?

Unlike Toyota which announced its projected mpg numbers with announcement of the car, this month Honda’s announcement omitted that detail. Whether that’s an indicator or not, is anyone’s guess, but the car has had a history of outdoing its rivals.

Toyota however is the unquestioned dominator of the hybrid segment, and has held overall hybrid market share in the high 70-percent range.

The new Camry Hybrid arguably makes the case all the more to go hybrid over conventional alternatives because the conventional alternative would be a nearly identical sibling with mpg in the high 20s, low 30s.

Pricing for the new 52-mpg hybrid LE starts at $28,685, the 46-mpg SE stickers from $30,385, and the 46-mpg XLE is $$33,135.

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