Mercedes-Benz ditches the manual gearbox

May 28, 2022

German premium carmaker Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will slowly fade out the manual gearbox from its entire range, mainly due to the increasing electrification of powertrains. The transition to fully automatic transmissions should begin next year. Stuttgart isn’t alone, as many carmakers have already switched to auto boxes and reserved manual transmissions for entry-level […]

Paris-Berlin TGV line for late 2023

May 25, 2022

On Tuesday, the CEO of the French railway operator SNCF, Jean-Pierre Farandou, announced that a new high-speed TGV line linking Paris to Berlin was in the making. It should be operational by December 2023, and connecting the two capital cities is around seven hours. “A few years ago, we thought it was a bit long, […]

London finally opens Elizabeth Line

May 25, 2022

Four years and five months late and three billion pounds over budget, London’s new Elizabeth Line finally opened yesterday. The Crossrail project is a 118 km railway line, which links Essex in the east to Reading in the west, tunneling underground through Central London. By 2026, Transport for London (TfL) estimates that the Elizabeth Line […]

‘Airless tire could be on the market soon’

May 19, 2022

Under development for many years, the airless tire for cars is still at a prototype stage, but some heavy-duty equipment already makes good use of it. Advantages include the complete resistance to puncture, lower maintenance, and easier recycling. However, this do-it-all tire is still facing issues with road noise and suspension. Goodyear is currently developing […]

Parisian ring road: one traffic lane replaced by trees in 2030

May 19, 2022

On Wednesday, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo announced new plans for the French capital city’s ring road. The ‘périph’, as Parisians call it, will feature an ‘Olympic way’ during the 2024 Olympic Games, reserved for athletes, officials, and emergency services. After the event, that traffic lane will be deleted, and the 10 hectares ‘freed’ will see […]

Toyota, CaetanoBus and Air Liquide partner for ‘hydrogen ecosystem’ in Europe

May 19, 2022

Giant Japanese carmaker Toyota has announced a significant partnership with the French world leader in gas and technologies Air Liquide for hydrogen mobility. Together with Portuguese bus manufacturer CaetanoBus, they will act on developing infrastructure and vehicle fleets to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen for both light and heavy vehicles. “We are uniting our forces […]

Report: ‘EV production won’t meet Paris Agreement’s climate objectives’

May 18, 2022

According to a report from InfluenceMap, a conglomerate of a UK-based non-profit and a US charity, the production of electric and hydrogen vehicles won’t be enough to meet the Paris Agreement’s climate objective of limiting temperature rise to 1,5°C. Zero-emission vehicles should represent 57,5% of sales and 20% of the whole fleet by 2030. However, […]

Nissan returns to profitability in 2021

May 13, 2022

After having suffered two financial years of losses, Japanese carmaker Nissan ends 2021 with a full-year net income of 215,5 billion yen (€ 1,6 billion) in spite of the currently extremely challenging automotive environment. The group benefited from its 2019 restructuration and NEXT strategy focusing on quality sales. “The business environment in 2021 remained extremely […]

Faurecia and Veolia jointly into recycled plastics for cars

May 04, 2022

French automotive suppliers Faurecia and Veolia have announced pioneering cooperation to use recycled plastics in automotive interior modules. They aim to achieve an average of 30% recycled content by 2025. The recycled material will be used in instrument panels, door panels, and center consoles in cars across Europe. “The use of recycled plastics is one […]

Stellantis invests CAD 3,6 billion for electric car manufacturing in Canada

May 03, 2022

On Monday, Stellantis announced a new plan to invest 3,6 billion Canadian dollars to secure the future of its two manufacturing facilities in Canada. The new capital injection will help the Windsor assembly plant add a flexible multi-energy vehicle architecture to its product portfolio. In contrast, the Brampton assembly will be upgraded to build all-electric […]

Will Porsche and Audi get a foot in Formula 1?

May 03, 2022

After many years of speculations, German brands Porsche and Audi should enter the Formula 1 championship in the near future. The Zuffenhausen sports car brand is set to become Red Bull Racing’s power unit supplier while Audi could have its very own factory team. Both brands are jumping on the opportunity provided by the upcoming […]

Using phone while driving: 8-days to 5-years driving ban

April 27, 2022

The King’s Prosecutor in the Belgian Halle-Vilvoorde district has decided to crack down on drivers using their cell phones while driving. When caught, drivers will automatically be banned from driving for eight days to start. Further, they will be liable to a driving ban of up to five years with a fine of up to […]

Volkswagen admits looking into electric Amarok

April 27, 2022

At an event presentation for the new 2023 Volkswagen Amarok, a board member mentioned that the commercial brand is looking into an electric version of the still-to-be unveiled pick-up truck. Considering the PHEV’s pure electric range as too short, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle has already begun development on the platform the Amarok shares with Ford’s new […]

Audi’s Urbansphere: personal space for Chinese mega-cities

April 20, 2022

After the Grandsphere luxury limo and Skysphere grand tourer, Audi has unveiled its third vision of the future’s electric car. The Urbansphere has been specially designed for traffic-dense Chinese megacities, emphasizing interior and personal space. The concept benefits from 400 hp, four-wheel-drive, 270 kW fast charging, and level 4 autonomous drive based on the PPE […]

Luc Donkerwolcke: ‘Genesis X Speedium Coupé is not a show car’

April 15, 2022

Korean premium brand Genesis took the wraps from the X Speedium Coupé at the New York International Auto Show. This concept car must set the pace for the future design strategy of the brand. At the same time, Genesis announced the electric GV70 SUV would be its first-ever car produced in North America. “This car […]

Shareholders contest Stellantis topmanagers’ salaries

April 14, 2022

On Wednesday, most Stellantis shareholders (52,12%) gathered in a virtual general meeting voted against the manufacturer’s salary policy, which pays managers according to their performance. But despite the opposition, the group’s board decided to grant the substantial bonuses as planned. CEO Carlos Tavares will get €19 million, President John Elkann €7,8 million, and CFO Richard […]

Nissan takes control of e.dams Formula E racing team

April 13, 2022

After three seasons in Formula E, Nissan takes its former partner and French racing team e.dams under its wing. With this acquisition, the newly formed official Nissan team will continue to race as planned in Season 8. In addition, commitment to the Formula E Gen3 era, from Season 9 to the end of Season 12, […]

Alstom and Engie partner for hydrogen-powered freight trains

April 07, 2022

Two French industrial companies aim to replace all freight diesel locomotives on the non-electrified parts of the French rail network. Train manufacturer, Alstom, is set to develop a heavy-load fuel-cell locomotive, while energy provider Engie will produce and supply emission-free hydrogen from renewable energies. The new train’s first runs are scheduled for 2025. “Our ambition […]

Plastic Omnium ventures into battery production

March 30, 2022

On Tuesday, French automotive equipment manufacturer Plastic Omnium announced its ambition to get into battery production. The industrial group specialized in automotive body parts – and, more recently, hydrogen – is in exclusive negotiations to purchase Actia’s Power division to design and manufacture onboard batteries. The French group has also purchased an equity stake in […]

Uber takes all New York’s yellow cabs on board

March 25, 2022

Ride-hailing giant Uber is smoking the peace pipe with the New York yellow cabs by integrating their service on its app. Users and yellow cab drivers will be informed before booking on the nature of their ride and subsequent prices. Each has the option to reject. Nothing much changes on the streets, as only taxis […]

Brussels LEZ: Euro 4 diesel fines postponed until July?

March 24, 2022

According to the newspaper L’Echo, Euro 4 diesel cars driving inside the Brussels Low-Emission Zone (LEZ) won’t be fined until July. The newspaper reports that the official reason is new car delivery delays, but it also cites a computer bug at Brussels Taxation. Since January, Euro 4 diesel cars have been supposedly banned from the […]

‘Walloon car tax reform could rule out family estate cars’

March 23, 2022

While the reform on the Walloon car tax is drafted, with the implementation of CO2 emission standards and weight limits in the calculation, it’s fermenting trouble with opposition and the majority alike. Some fear it could rule out family estate cars in the future. Others think people will find a loophole by private leasing in […]

Gracq survey: ‘only two Walloon municipalities favorable to cycling’

March 23, 2022

In a recent survey, Belgian cycling association Gracq asked 13 500 people to judge the cycling environment of their municipalities. Only two, Louvain-la-Neuve and Marche-en-Famenne, have been classed as ‘fairly favorable’. All in all, only 6% of Walloon find their local cycling conditions good, while 77% consider it to be poor or very poor. Walloon […]

VW: two new Chinese joint ventures to secure battery production

March 22, 2022

On Monday, automotive group Volkswagen unveiled an agreement with Chinese partners to secure battery production in Asia. Together with Huayou Cobalt and Tsingshan group, the German giant will create two joint ventures to strengthen its position. The first one will be specialized cobalt and nickel production, while the second one will be in raw material […]

Cowboy aims at 75 000 bikes by 2024

March 15, 2022

The Belgian electric and connected bicycle start-up Cowboy aims high for its future. After having already raised $ 80 million in January and more than € 4,5 million through their last crowdfunding, the company is back at it with a new participative financing solution. With that new crowdfunding and the additional financing, Cowboy aims at […]

Rivian struggles to reach production goals

March 11, 2022

American electric pickup and SUV maker, Rivian, has announced on Thursday that production rates were lower than expected. Assembly started slowly at the beginning of 2021, not helped by a ten-day shutdown to adjust production lines, supply chain issues, Covid-19, and snowstorms. 2022’s expectations have been revised downwards as Rivian now plans on building 25 […]

Arval increases profit by 52%

March 08, 2022

On Monday, Arval revealed its 2021 results, and despite the current difficulties, profit is on the rise. The branch of BNP Paribas Group specialized in vehicle leasing and mobility solutions’ net profit reached nearly €700 million, equating to a 52% increase in one year. This strong performance is led by the growth of the activity […]

Automotive leasing booming: record year for ALD

February 11, 2022

2021 seems to have been a positive year for automotive leasing companies. After Arval posted good results, now is the turn of ALD Automotive with a record net income of €843 million, 71,2% more than the previous year. This growth is mainly due to tensions in the second-hand car market, which drove prices upwards. “Following […]

Arval grows fleet to 1,46 million in spite of pandemic and shortages

February 10, 2022

Arval, the branch of BNB Paribas Group, specialized in vehicle leasing and mobility solutions, has unveiled its 2021 results. Despite the pandemic and the microchip shortage, the total leased fleet grew by 6,4% compared to 2020, totaling at 1 469 753 vehicles. Moreover, orders have risen by 15% compared to the pre-Covid-19 period, while private […]

Bolt expands with ride-hailing offer in Belgium

February 09, 2022

As the debate on taxi services and ride-hailing in Brussels rages on, newcomer Bolt puts its cards on the table. Estonian company Bolt – previously known as Taxify – expands its e-scooter offer in Brussels with ride-hailing, as a competitor to Uber. The relatively young company doesn’t want to add oil to the fire and […]

French Verkor to build low-carbon battery gigafactory in Dunkirk

February 02, 2022

Grenoble-based industrial start-up, Verkor, has announced it will build the third battery Gigafactory of France in Dunkirk. The foundation stone for the plant should be laid in 2023, and the first high-performance, low-carbon battery should be delivered by 2025. Production capacity is planned to rise from 16 to 50 GWh by 2030. This €2,5 billion […]

Liège wants more bicycle parking spots

January 28, 2022

This year, Alderman for Mobility in Liège, Gilles Foret (MR), is planning an awareness campaign for the private sector regarding secure bicycle parking facilities. He aims to push companies to swap parking spots reserved for cars to ones for bicycles. The TEC is also pushing for bicycle facilities. This Thursday, the Walloon transport company announced […]

Deloitte: ‘one out of two Belgians to go electric or hybrid’

January 27, 2022

According to the Global Automotive Consumer Study 2022 from Deloitte, 48% of interrogated Belgians are planning for an electric or hybrid car as their next purchase. Yet, only one-tenth are planning to go fully electric as most remain skeptical about their impact on the environment. The most crucial factor for the switch remains fuel costs. […]

Schaerbeek going first in discouraging Brussels through-traffic

January 26, 2022

As part of the Region’s ‘Good Move’ mobility plan, 50 zones will benefit from profound road infrastructure redesigns by 2030. Schaerbeek leads the way with around twenty streets becoming one-way, the introduction of a filter that will only allow public transport or bicycles to go through, and a complete ban on all outside cars on […]

Engie and Safran invest in decarbonized synthetic fuels

January 21, 2022

Energy provider Engie and French aeronautics group Safran have both invested in Ineratec, a German start-up specialized in decarbonized synthetic fuels. The young company just closed a financing round of over $20 million, which will develop a sustainable synthetic fuel production plant near Frankfurt Airport that could yield up to 4,6 million littles from CO2 […]

Airbus to hire 6 000 workers worldwide

January 20, 2022

With hopes of the pandemic coming to an end, a mastodon of the world aeronautics industry, Airbus, is preparing for the post-Covid-19 boom in air transport and new greener airplane requirements with a new recruitment plan. In 2022, the company will hire 6 000 people, one-quarter of them for decarbonization, digital transformation, and cybertechnology. “Airbus […]

WRC kicks off hybrid future in Monte-Carlo

January 19, 2022

As the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) is about to start at Monte-Carlo this Thursday, the highest class is going hybrid. The new rules and specifications of the all-new hybrid powertrains have been laid out. Toyota, Hyundai, and Ford cars will benefit from a ‘hybrid boost’ during the stages, and some connecting roads between […]

Tavares: ‘electric is tech chosen by politicians, not by industry’

January 19, 2022

In an interview with four European media, the CEO of Stellantis, Carlos Tavares, gave his thoughts on Europe’s campaign to phase out the internal combustion engine by 2035. The 63-year-old company director believes that switching to more expensive EVs without a progressive transition could create a social fracture. One year after the fusion of French […]

EU Court of Justice dismisses ruling on Euro 6 diesel

January 14, 2022

This Thursday, the European Court of Justice overturned the partial annulment of a European regulation relaxing Euro 6 emission standards. It had been requested and obtained back in 2018 by the cities of Brussels, Paris, and Madrid, which saw the relaxing as a ‘license to pollute’. After the dieselgate scandal was brought to light, the […]

Swiss study: ‘plug-in hybrids are swindle with CO2 standards’

January 13, 2022

A recent study ordered by the Swiss canton of Valais reveals that, on mountain roads, plug-in hybrid vehicles emit up to four times more CO2 than their homologated data. One of the authors even qualified those cars as a swindle. Following that report, the canton of Valais has withdrawn subsidies for plug-in hybrids. Switzerland isn’t […]

Acerta: ‘22% of all Belgian employees got a company car’

January 12, 2022

According to HR company Acerta, there have never been as many company cars. In 2021, 22% of all employees benefited from one, which is 2,6% more than in 2020, and even 26,1% more than five years ago. Nearly two-thirds of company cars are still diesel-powered, while hybrids grew in one year from 2,5% to 5,7% […]

CSC union sees free public transport in Wallonia ‘achievable’

January 07, 2022

According to the CSC National Secretary in charge of Wallonia, Marc Becker, free public transport in Wallonia is a social affair in addition to an issue of mobility. Such a measure would help to reduce social inequalities. The union notes that companies should also pitch in to finance free public transport, which it estimates at […]

Stellantis and Amazon get together for connected vehicles

January 06, 2022

Global carmaker Stellantis and Amazon have announced a new partnership in which both companies will collaborate to deliver software solutions for the automaker’s future digital cabin. Vehicles from the fourteen-brand strong company will also work with Amazon’s AWS cloud server for all over-the-air services. “Working together with Amazon is an integral part of our capability […]

Toyota overtakes General Motors in sales in US

January 05, 2022

For the first time since 1931, giant American group General Motors loses its first place on its home turf. Somewhat spared from the microchip shortage, Toyota takes the lead after selling 2,3 million cars and pick-up trucks (+10%) while GM follows with 2,2 million vehicles (-13%). Stellantis sits in the third position with 1,8 million […]

Lufthansa: 18 000 empty flights only to keep precious slots

January 05, 2022

German air transport group Lufthansa is set to cancel 33 000 flights by late March due to the effect of the resurging pandemic. However, to keep its allocated take-off and landing slots at European airports, the airline will have to ensure 18 000 flights, full or empty. Belgian Federal Mobility Minister, Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo), asks […]

France installs noise meter traps for boisterous motorbikes

January 04, 2022

In the French department of Yvelines, near Paris, a new kind of automated police control has been installed. This time, for the first time in France, it controls noise from scooters and motorbikes. From this Tuesday on, the noise level meter will be active in Saint-Lambert-des-Bois, and after its homologation, fines of €135 per vehicle […]

Goodyear launches EV-specific tire

December 31, 2021

Goodyear has announced and released its first-ever tire designed specifically for electric vehicles. The new ElectricDrive GT tire line focuses on efficiency and features sound technologies and an asymmetric tread pattern to reduce road noise. “With the continued growth of the EV segment, Goodyear recognized an opportunity to provide customers with a tire designed for […]

France imposes mandatory ‘sustainability warning’ on car ads

December 30, 2021

As of 1 March 2022, all automotive ads published in France will have to feature a new warning notice about pollution. It will read: “For short journeys, favor walking or cycling”, “Think about carpooling”, or “Use public transport every day”. Just like food and beverages advertisements are accompanied with the mention “Eat five fruits and […]

Technical inspection: 271.793 Walloon cars overdue in 2021

December 30, 2021

According to recent data unveiled by the Walloon Minister of Road Safety, Valérie De Bue (MR), out of the 959 615 cars presented at the technical inspection in Wallonia between early January and late November, 25 140 were over six months overdue. Drivers had to pay a €48 surcharge. The Hainaut leads the pack with […]

BNP Paribas Fortis to offer lowest ‘ecomobility’ EV loan rate ever

December 28, 2021

As usual, during the Brussels Motor Show period, BNP Paribas Fortis bank and its subsidiary, Fintro, are launching a specific car loan with a lower rate. This year, the bank puts the emphasis on electromobility with a 0,60% rate for new environmentally-friendly vehicles as well as other soft mobility means of transport. January in Belgium […]

Tesla blocks ‘Passenger Play’ feature while driving

December 24, 2021

Since December 2020, Tesla offers a new feature on its cars called ‘Passenger Play’. It allows passengers to play arcade games on the center screen and that even while driving. The National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched an official probe in the matter, due to the road safety concern. Today, Tesla announced a new […]

Rough times for car dealers: lay-offs to survive

December 22, 2021

Talking to BFM Business, Francis Bartholomé, President of the French National Council for Automotive Professionals (CNPA), explains that 60% of car dealers are planning to lay off some staff. After the Covid-19 pandemic plagued the sector in 2020, the car market is now facing the chip shortage. In Belgium, the story is much the same. […]

France: €400 million for automotive subcontractors

December 17, 2021

As part of Macron’s ‘France 2030’ recovery plan, automotive subcontractors and equipment manufacturers will get a 300-million-euro support fund for their diversification. Additionally, €100 million will support employment in affected industrial areas. Minister for the Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher (LREM), announced that these funds would accompany structuring projects to help a sector not only hit by […]

Parisian taxi company withdraws 37 Tesla Model 3s after deadly accident

December 15, 2021

On Saturday, a serious road accident involving a Tesla Model 3 taxi left one person dead and 20 injured, three of whom were seriously injured. While the taxi driver was not in service and the cause of the accident is still being investigated, Parisian taxi company G7 has decided to temporarily withdraw its 37 Tesla […]

Super police check targets Brussels vans and public transport vehicles

December 10, 2021

On Thursday, Brussels Mobility organized a ‘super police check’ on the right bank of the Willebroeck canal. The transversal operation joined police forces with the labor inspectorate, customs authorities, and the Federal Agency for Food Chain Safety (AFSCA/FAVV) to inspect taxis, trucks, refrigerated vans, or school buses. Out of 120 vehicles checked, two were seized, […]

Peugeot electric-only in Europe from 2030

December 09, 2021

In an interview with media Automotive News, Peugeot CEO Linda Jackson confirmed that the brand will be fully electric by 2030. However, the boss draws the line to Europe, as Peugeot’s line-up for international customers will still feature internal-combustion engines (ICE). The French brand will follow its Stellantis stablemates DS, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and Opel […]

Worldwide survey: only 33% believe SUVs pollute more

December 08, 2021

In a recent worldwide survey conducted by the Cetelem Observatory on the popularity of SUVs, it emerges that sales are expected to continue growing. Out of the 11 000 web respondents from 17 different countries, only 33% consider that SUVs pollute more, and 29% of them say their next purchase will be an SUV. For […]

Toyota to assemble batteries in North Carolina from 2025

December 07, 2021

On Monday, giant carmaker Toyota announced the precise location of its future battery giga-factory, set to be built in the United States. The 1,29-billion-dollar plant will be built in Greensboro, North Carolina. Toyota says it has chosen this site for easy access to renewable energy. Production should start in 2025 with enough batteries to power […]

Mercedes-Benz invests €60 billion in electric future

December 03, 2021

German luxury car and van manufacturer Mercedes-Benz has announced an important 60 billion euros investment plan for 2022 to 2026. Following the separation with Daimler Truck, the former Daimler Group aims at going all-electric by the end of the decade, wherever market conditions allow. “Our goal is technological leadership in the automotive luxury segment and […]

France: €500 million for more EV charging points

November 30, 2021

On Monday, French Transport Minister, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari (LREM), announced that the State will allocate an additional 500 million euros to develop the country’s EV charging network. The ‘Advenir’ program, which promotes the installation of publicly accessible charging points through incentives, will get €200 million. The growth of the electric car market is undeniable, especially since […]