New NS boss Rintel: faster trains to Brussels, Berlin, and beyond

August 27, 2020

Marjan Rintel, Dutch national railway company NS’s new boss, announces its international ambitions. With faster international train connections, it wants trains to become a viable alternative for flying to destinations under 700 km. Brussels and Berlin are the first cities that will get a faster connection. From 2024, they can be reached half an hour […]

Colruyt family invests in high-voltage network technology

August 26, 2020

Korys, the investment group of the Colruyt supermarket family, invests in Ampacimon. With its smart sensors, the Liège technology company ensures that high-voltage cables are less likely to overheat. As a result, they can transport up to 50% more power. Ampacimon has customers from India to South America, Japan, the USA, Canada, and power grid […]

Merger between Nissan and Honda: might it work?

August 19, 2020

The Japanese government has been, and might still be pushing for an alliance between Honda and Nissan. A partnership would have been proposed to both manufacturers at the end of 2019. That’s what the Financial Times says, which also reports that Honda would have rejected the idea. But the corona crisis might have put the […]

Profits per car vary hugely between manufacturers

August 18, 2020

During the first half of this year, Porsche made just under 10 000 euros with every car it produced. This makes the German sports car manufacturer the most profitable car brand of the moment. That is shown in calculations by Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from the Center of Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany). Tesla […]

Electric Mercedes eVito for HelloFresh deliveries in Ghent

August 14, 2020

HelloFresh, the German company that delivers meal boxes at home, is doing so emission-free in Ghent. To this end, it is working with Mercedes-Benz, which supplies electric eVito vans. They are ideally suited for local deliveries. The eVito vans from HelloFresh are equipped with a refrigerated cargo hold, not a simple job with an electric […]

Tesla splits shares to become more accessible

August 13, 2020

Tesla has announced that it will split its shares in five. In concrete terms, this means that if you have one share worth about $1 400 on Friday, August 28th, you will have five shares worth about $280 on Monday, August 31st. With the split, Tesla will make its share more accessible for smaller investors. […]

Promising hydrogen project to clean up the steel industry

August 12, 2020

Swedish steel company SSAB cooperates with mining company LKAB and energy company Vattenfall to produce steel with hydrogen instead of coal. As a result, CO2 emissions would decrease dramatically. This could revolutionize one of the most polluting industries in Europe. Revolutionary process Next month, the Hybrit pilot plant should be ready for use. Hybrit stands […]

Ioniq becomes electric car division of Hyundai

August 11, 2020

Now just a model name, Ioniq, will become the brand name for the electric cars of Hyundai Motor Company. Hyundai also announces a series of new all-electric models. With a specific brand for electric vehicles, the South Korean brand underlines the importance it attaches to that market, and the role it wants to play in […]

Corona crisis pushes Porsche SE in the red

August 11, 2020

The Porsche SE holding ended the first half-year with a net loss of 2,38 billion profit of a year ago. Although a realistic prognosis is difficult, the holding company is still counting on net profit for this year. Porsche SE, owned by the Piech and Porsche families, controls 53,3 percent of the Volkswagen Group. This includes […]

Corona changes Uber’s business model to deliveries

August 10, 2020

For the first time ever, Uber made more money from deliveries than Uber passenger rides. In the second quarter, its revenues from rides fell by two-thirds. The number of active monthly users fell from 99 million last year to 55 million. Meal deliveries doubled. The California-based company reported a net loss of $1,8 billion and […]

Cadillac to launch its first-ever electric car

August 07, 2020

GM’s luxury brand, Cadillac, has unveiled a concept of its first fully electric car, the Lyriq. Cadillac will only launch the crossover model in 2022. But the brand has promised most of its models will be electric by 2030. The Lyriq is part of GM’s plan to launch 20 fully electric cars by 2023. Cadillac […]

Ex-Waymo pioneer gets 18-months sentence for data theft

August 06, 2020

Anthony Levandowski is sentenced to 18 months in jail for stealing business-sensitive documents when he moved from Waymo to competitor Uber in 2016. Levandowski was the brain and driving force behind Waymo, the Google company that develops autonomous cars. Levandowski took thousands of ‘top secret’ computer files with him from Waymo to Uber. “This is […]

Family dispute threatens bus builder Van Hool

August 05, 2020

If the 18 family shareholders of Van Hool can’t reach an agreement on the postponement of repayment of €45 million, the survival of the bus builder is uncertain. That is what the financial website (the most prosperous Belgians) says on the basis of the annual report (p36-37) of the family’s holding. The shareholders control […]

Recycling activities prop up Umicore’s results

August 03, 2020

Umicore performed better than expected in the first half of the year, but only thanks to the recycling operations in Hoboken. It recorded revenues of €1,6 billion. Although this is down 4% on last year, earnings increased by 1% to €243 million. Operating cash flow (Ebitda) increased by 5% to 376 million euros. Recycling flourishing […]

Benoît Gilson new CEO at Infrabel

August 03, 2020

The Belgian Federal government has appointed Benoît Gilson (46) as Infrabel’s new CEO. He follows in the footsteps of Luc Lallemand, who left for the French railway infrastructure operator at the beginning of this year. Ann Billiau has since led the company that manages the Belgian railway network. Benoît Gilson, a former journalist, has been […]

Touring and ADAC plead for motorcycle airbag vests

July 30, 2020

Mobility organizations Touring and ADAC plead for motorcyclists to wear airbag vests. They could protect the rider in case of an accident or a fall. With almost 3 000 motorcyclists injured or killed last year, airbag vests are not a bad idea, they could save 10% more lives. Moreover, more safety could get more people […]

Newcomer Verkor to set up ‘giga-battery factory’ in France

July 30, 2020

Newly set up company Verkor wants to produce batteries ‘made in France’ for electric vehicles and stationary storage. The company announced on Wednesday its plan to open a ‘giga-factory’ by 2023. In the first phase, the plant will be capable of equipping some 300 000 EVs with batteries. The company is based in Grenoble and […]

ITER assembly brings nuclear fusion one step closer

July 29, 2020

Machine assembly has started at the ITER project, an experimental thermonuclear reactor to demonstrate the feasibility of nuclear fusion. Located in Provence (southern France), the ITER site covers an area of 180 hectares. In total, its financing is estimated at around 20 billion euros but the total cost remains difficult to assess. ITER is one […]

Daimler employees to work less to save the company money

July 29, 2020

As a result of the corona crisis, thousands of employees of Mercedes-Benz holding Daimler will receive fewer working hours. According to employee representative Michael Brecht, redundancies were avoided in this way. From October 1st to September 30th next year, employees in administrative and logistics positions will work two hours less per week. This was agreed […]

€185 million loss for financially sound Ryanair

July 28, 2020

Low-cost airline Ryanair had the “most difficult quarter in its history”. Between April and June, it suffered a net loss of €185 million. 99% of the fleet remained on the ground due to the paralysis of air traffic caused by the corona pandemic. Ryanair has resumed its flights since July 1st, a crucial period with […]

‘Airborne micro-plastics from traffic are big problem’

July 27, 2020

Plastic garbage is choking our planet, but breaking the wave of pollution still seems possible. On the other hand, some sources of pollution are, at this stage, difficult to limit. For example, microplastics generated by tire wear contribute ‘predominantly’ to plastic pollution. But with current technologies, there is no possible solution to deal with this […]

Tesla owes its profit figures to selling emission rights

July 24, 2020

A closer look at Thursday’s financial results shows that Tesla makes a profit thanks to ‘regulatory credits’. This is cash the company gets from governments for hitting environmental goals and from selling emissions rights. Without these credits, Tesla would make a loss. Tesla garnered applause because it was able to close the fourth quarter in […]

Tesla continues to make profit despite corona

July 23, 2020

The electric car manufacturer, Tesla, returned to profit in the second quarter. With a net profit of $104 million ($2,18 per share), the brand is doing much better than analysts who predicted a loss. The figures are vastly improved compared to the same period last year when Tesla recorded a loss of $408 million. It […]

Agreement with Lufthansa saves Brussels Airlines

July 22, 2020

The talks dragged on for months, but an agreement has finally been reached on support for Brussels Airlines. The rescue operation amounts to €460 million: €290 million via a loan until 2026 from the Belgian federal government, and a capital injection of €170 million from Lufthansa to its Belgian subsidiary. Negotiations only took off when […]

Mercedes-Benz joins multinationals in global carbon-neutral goal

July 22, 2020

Nine multinationals, including Mercedes-Benz of the Daimler Group, have joined forces at Microsoft’s initiative to reduce their carbon footprint. They will share their research and strategies to enable all companies to become carbon-neutral by 2050. The initiative is called ‘Transform to Net Zero‘. The companies involved in the effort include Danish carrier AP Moller-Maersk, Starbucks, […]

Bus builder Van Hool in trouble

July 20, 2020

The corona crisis is causing problems at bus builder Van Hool in Lier. Orders are down, turnover is plummeting, 300 people have been laid off at the factory in Macedonia, 70 temporary jobs have been cut in Belgium, and construction of the factory in the US has been put on hold. Van Hool employs 4 […]

France sole EU car market growing thanks to premiums

July 17, 2020

In June, The European automotive market fell by 22,3% year-on-year overall. The situation is less dramatic than in the previous three months, thanks, in particular, to the French support plan. Within the EU, France stood out as the only country to post an increase (+1,2%). This is a consequence of “the new measures to stimulate […]

Belgium blames Lufthansa for Brussels Airlines situation

July 16, 2020

On March 17th, Brussels Airlines requested a €290 million state aid to survive the corona crisis. Today, there is still no deal. Minister of Finance, Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) attributes the situation entirely to the owner Lufthansa. Twenty-four video calls, six versions of agreements – mostly Belgian – and three letters to the Prime […]

CDH wants premium to boost electric cars in Wallonia

July 14, 2020

Electrifying the Walloon car fleet, that is the mission that the MP André Antoine (CDH) has set himself. Noting that other countries are encouraging the purchase of electric vehicles with financial incentives, André Antoine proposes that Wallonia should do the same. The former minister now sits in the opposition in the Walloon Parliament. He wonders […]

Rush on second-hand cars to go on holiday

July 10, 2020

Belgian used car sales increased by almost 22% in June compared to the previous year. Now that planes are not perceived as the most corona-proof way to travel, people quickly want a car to go on holiday. And there are long waiting lists for new cars. Furthermore, there is also still some reluctance to take […]

Dutch subsidy for electric car already used up

July 10, 2020

After barely a week, Dutch subsidies for private individuals wishing to buy a new electric car have already been fully used up. Ten million euros had been earmarked, enabling 2 500 private individuals to buy an electric car with a €4 000 subsidy. The scheme came into effect on 1 July, and the money has […]

EU Parliament votes ‘Mobility Package’ for transport sector

July 09, 2020

The European Parliament has voted the long-awaited ‘Mobility Package’, containing a series of directives to combat social dumping in the road transport sector in Europe. The directives also define the working framework for truck drivers. On the agenda: improvements in rest periods, driving times, and the installation of tachographs in vehicles. Vans over 2,5 tons […]

Corona causes NMBS/SNCB €400 million headache

July 09, 2020

Guaranteeing the service during the corona crisis and its aftermath will cost the national railway company, NMBS/SNCB, a great deal of money. The company is counting on a loss of €400 million this year. Railway manager Infrabel will face a deficit of €47,7 million. These losses will continue to weigh on the figures in the […]

Tesla second biggest ‘car dealer’ in The Netherlands

July 08, 2020

Tesla is almost at the top of the list of the largest Dutch car dealers. According to figures published by market analyst Aumacon, only Van Mossel Automotive Groep is bigger. Tesla overtakes Stern Groep and Pon Automotive in the ranking to take the second place. This shows the importance of the electric brand in the […]

Post-lockdown second-hand car market is booming

July 07, 2020

Unlike new car sales, the second-hand car market is booming. In June, the number of registrations rose by 22% compared to the same period in 2019 in Belgium. The lockdown seems to have reinforced the shift to second-hand cars. “The recovery has been very slow. In May, the decline was still more than 31%. But […]

Agreement on limiting post-nuclear energy bill

July 02, 2020

Limiting subsidies and lowering federal taxes should ensure that the CRM support mechanism for the construction of gas-fired power stations should not increase the consumers’ energy bill. That is the agreement the Belgian parliament came to. The breakthrough was reached through unprecedented cooperation between the MPs of Groen and N-VA. It is not a perfect […]

Electric bike-scooter hybrids from Wheels settle in Brussels

July 01, 2020

The American start-up, Wheels, launches its free-floating electric shared bikes in Brussels. The first 50 bikes of this mobility platform are primarily located in the city center, but the fleet should be expanded to 500 bikes within a month. Brussels is the eighteenth city in the world where Wheels are available. In Europe, it is […]

LKQ Belgium to lay off a quarter of its staff

July 01, 2020

Automotive parts distributor, LKQ Belgium, has announced its intention to lay off 108 people. This represents about a quarter of the staff. It has started the Renault procedure, and a works council will take place again this week. After approval by the works council, the plans will be executed in the period September 2020 to […]

Antwerp deregulates taxi services, Uber now welcome

June 30, 2020

The Antwerp city council has abolished the city taxi regulations, which allows Uber to operate in the city from now on. By deregulating taxi services in the city, more competition will become possible, which should benefit mobility. According to Antwerp Alderman for Mobility Koen Kennis (N-VA), the decision is a consequence of the new Flemish […]

‘Fight against the car’ gets Paris mayor Hidalgo re-elected

June 29, 2020

The socialist Anne Hidalgo is re-elected mayor of Paris, but for a long time, it seemed that she wouldn’t get a second term. Her fight against the car in the French capital was the spearhead of her campaign. But problems with the Velib’ shared bikes and Autolib’ shared cars (now replaced by Mobilib’) made Hidalgo’s […]

French rush on ‘eco-friendly’ cars because of incentives

June 26, 2020

The sale of eco-friendly cars in France is a big success. The desire for newer, less polluting cars, including second-hand ones, has been stimulated by government measures. On the one hand, it reinforced the ecological bonus: €7 000 for the purchase of an electric vehicle, and €2 000 for a plug-in hybrid. On the other […]

Dutch Mobility Alliance: urgent measures needed to avoid chaos

June 25, 2020

The Dutch Mobility Alliance fears more traffic casualties because of changing mobility preferences since the corona outbreak. More people use their cars or get on motorbikes and bicycles. Once restrictions and obligatory homeworking are lifted, this could create chaos. The organization asks the government to take urgent measures. Proposed measures are to stimulate teleworking and […]

Class action lawsuits in other EU countries made possible

June 24, 2020

In the future, disadvantaged European consumers will be able to initiate group actions in legal cases with a transnational character. This is the result of an agreement between the European Parliament and the EU Member States. The EU commissioner for consumer rights launched the proposal two years ago. The individual countries still have to transpose […]

Marjan Rintel first woman to lead Dutch railway company

June 24, 2020

Marjan Rintel is the new president of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS). Rintel is currently an operational director at the company, where she has been active since 2014. On October 1st, she succeeds Roger van Boxtel, who will retire. For the first time in their 82-year history, NS will have a female […]

French citizens’ climate convention proposes 110 speed limit

June 23, 2020

The French Citizens’ Climate Convention has presented 150 proposals to the Minister for Ecological and Solidarity Transition, Elisabeth Borne. Among them, a speed limit of 110 km/hour on highways, which is a sensitive matter in France. Their aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. The convention is made up of 150 […]

BMW to stop X1 production at VDL Nedcar

June 18, 2020

BMW wants to stop the production of its X1 model at VDL Nedcar in Born, The Netherlands, in 2023. By doing this, the German car manufacturer cancels the contract concluded last autumn. This guaranteed that the BMW X1 would be assembled in the Netherlands until 2030. What BMW’s decision means for the 5 000 employees […]

Triumph Motorcycles introduces first e-bicycle

June 17, 2020

Motorcycle manufacturer, Triumph, is going back to its roots, introducing the Trekker GT e-bike. While Triumph started as a bicycle importer 118 years ago, it is the company’s first e-bike. The Trekker GT may lack the company’s retro looks, but Triumph promises it offers the same ‘passion for performance and riding fun’. Power comes from […]

BP will leave $17,5 billion oil reserves untouched

June 16, 2020

BP estimates to book a value reduction of $17,5 billion for its gas and oil fields in the second quarter. The British company expects a much lower demand and price for oil in the coming years, partly as a result of the corona pandemic. $55 for a barrel of Brent oil for the period 2021-2050, […]

High post-lockdown discounts on large car stock

June 15, 2020

Car dealers give high discounts after the lockdown to liquidate their stock cars and improve their cash position. With up to over 30% off, discounts, sometimes higher than during the Brussels Motor Show. This is traditionally the bargaining period for cars in Belgium. “Dealers today have a stock that predates the lockdown, and is now being replenished,” […]

Up to 22 000 job cuts at Lufthansa

June 12, 2020

Lufthansa will cut 22 000 jobs to try and overcome the difficult financial situation caused by the corona pandemic. Lufthansa’s objective will be to avoid redundancies “as much as possible”. To this end, the company is counting on temporary unemployment and agreements with the trade unions. This reduction in the workforce will not only affect […]

Ford and VW to produce 8 million commercial vehicles jointly

June 11, 2020

Ford and Volkswagen have signed agreements that expand their global alliance for building midsize pickup trucks, commercial vehicles, and electric cars.  Ford and Volkswagen first announced the plans at the beginning of last year. The two automotive groups already work together on autonomous technologies, through Argo AI. Ford leads the European light commercial vehicle (LCV) […]

Dutch automotive sector wants scrapping premiums

June 10, 2020

The Dutch associations of car importers (RAI) and distributors (Bovag) advocate a ‘smart’ car scrapping scheme. Owners of old, polluting diesel cars should be encouraged to exchange their car for a much cleaner, younger one. While Belgium doesn’t plan any sales aid, the Netherlands recently launched a €4 000 premium for the purchase of new […]

‘Corona will have 10-year impact on French car industry’

June 09, 2020

According to consulting firm AlixPartners, the coronavirus hits the automotive industry in France particularly hard. It does not expect a return to growth before 2030. Even before the pandemic, the firm warned about a crisis in the industry. After a peak in sales of 2,7 million vehicles in 2019, these will drop to 1,8 million […]

Dethleffs: electric motorhome without range anxiety

June 08, 2020

Electrification is also entering the world of camper vans. Major German motorhome manufacturer Dethleffs is the first to introduce a series-produced electric camper van, the Globevan E:Hybrid. It is based on the Ford Transit Custom PHEV and costs €74 900 in Germany. The Globevan E:Hybrid is powered by a 93 kW/126 hp electric motor powered […]

Covid-19: curse or blessing for Artificial Intelligence?

June 05, 2020

The corona crisis disrupts artificial intelligence because it uses data that completely changed during the crisis. The sudden changes in our consumption and mobility behavior make it difficult for AI to make well-founded predictions. Automated inventory management systems, marketing algorithms, fraud detection systems… they were all struggling. The mobility landscape has also been shaken up drastically. […]

VW investments show importance Chinese market

June 04, 2020

The Volkswagen Group is investing €2 billion in China. Half of the money will be used to increase VW’s share in the joint venture with the Chinese JAC Motors to 75%. With the other half, the Germans will take a 26% stake in battery supplier Gotion High-tech. The investment demonstrates the importance the group attaches […]

After Ford, Volkswagen invests $2,6 billion in Argo AI

June 03, 2020

Volkswagen invests $2,6 billion in the start-up Argo AI, which could already count on investments from Ford. The company specializes in the development of autonomous technology for vehicles. VW and Ford now jointly control Argo AI. VW’s investment is part of a broader alliance between the German brand and Ford. The two manufacturers will jointly […]

ICAO lists recommendations for post-corona aviation

June 02, 2020

The UN agency International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) proposes a series of recommendations for the post-corona recovery of the sector. The most important are: wearing a mask, temperature controls, and aircraft disinfection. Everything to avoid the obligation of quarantine and social distancing by leaving every second seat in aircraft empty. This health protocol is the […]

CREG: ‘€940 million yearly subsidy cost for replacing nuclear’

May 29, 2020

The Belgian Federal energy regulator, CREG, has concerns about the subsidy mechanism for gas-powered electricity plants to replace nuclear power plants, the ‘Capacity Remuneration Mechanism’ (CRM). It feels there is room for an €800-million saving. Federal Energy Minister, Marie-Christine Marghem (MR), devised the plan as an incentive for electricity producers to create extra capacity by […]

Recycled plastic roads ready for the market

May 28, 2020

PlasticRoad, a road-building system made out of recycled plastic, is ready for commercialization. One and a half year-long testing on cycling paths in the Dutch towns of Zwolle and Giethoorn has shown the material and construction can take heavy loads and are durable. From 2021, the company will produce on an industrial scale. The system […]