Dark side of the electric car: its life cycle

November 23, 2017

Electric cars are regarded ‘greener’ and and alternative for the combustion engine. But are they really? When studying the whole life cycle, the electric car often reveals its dark side according to an article in the Financial Times, published also in Trends. With its petrol engine, a simple Mitsubishi Space Star doesn’t resemble a futuristic […]

Flemish government gives ‘greener’ transport sector financial leg-up

November 23, 2017

Transport companies willing to invest in sustainable technology and road safety can get a 100.000 euro financial leg-up from the Flemish government from this week on. Condition is that the investment goes further than the strict legally obligation. SCR-systems The subsidies – up to 80% of the investment and limited to 100.000 every three years […]

Paris adopts 500-measures climate plan

November 21, 2017

The French capital of Paris has adopted on Monday its climate plan for 2024. The plan, counting some 500 different measures to be issued, was voted by all political parties of the city government and will be presented to the Paris Council beginning 2018. The plan is to be submitted for eventual amending to the […]

’30 kph in cities, 90 on motorways to improve air quality’

November 15, 2017

Traffic experts see only one solution for the problem of the ever worsening air quality in Flanders: the speed limits must be reduced. Minister of Transport Ben Weyts (N-VA) is not convinced. “These results are worrying,” says bio-engineer Roeland Samson (University of Antwerp) about the air pollution in East Flanders and by extension throughout Flanders. […]

Elia: ‘Gas needed for electricity to replace nuclear’

November 15, 2017

In a report, unveiled on Wednesday, Belgian national grid managing company Elia, states that in spite of renewable energy sources, new gas powerhouses will need to be build to replace nuclear power after 2025. Elia sees three possible scenarios. And it urges the government to act fast. Basis scenario The basic scenario starts from the […]

Wolfsburg orders 14 fuel cell trains from Alstom

November 14, 2017

Last week, the German city of Wolfsburg (Lower Saxony) signed an 8,4 million euro deal with Alstom to equip the region with 14 hydrogen-powered trains. The development of the fuel cell train comes from a 2014 initiative regrouping Alstom and four German Landers. Wolfsburg, the home city of Volkswagen and dieselgate, will see its regional […]

Céline Fremault: ‘it’s either a toll or kilometre tax for Brussels’

November 14, 2017

Brussels Environment Minister Céline Fremault (cdH) announces the installation of 300 charging points in the capital just as the COP23 is taking place. She also claims that reducing transport emissions in Brussels goes through with either a toll system or the kilometre tax. For the 23rd UN Climate Conference (COP23) taking place in Bonn Germany, […]

Global CO2 emissions are rising again

November 14, 2017

After three years of stabilization, global carbon dioxide emissions are rising again. This is shown by a new study released in the margin of the 23rd United Nations Climate Conference in Bonn (COP23). China in particular bears debt for the increase. By the end of 2017, 41 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide are expected to be […]

Rubber pads to reduce train noise by half

November 14, 2017

Belgian railway network administrator Infrabel has presented a new rail pad, a rubber mat between the rails and sleepers, that reduces the noise nuisance of rail traffic by an average of 3 decibels or nearly half. “Infrabel will undoubtedly inspire other operators in Europe,” said Minister of mobility François Bellot (MR). Infrabel presented the new […]

‘Hydrogen could represent one fifth of total energy in 2050’

November 14, 2017

According to a McKinsey study, if necessary investments are realized, hydrogen could represent one fifth of the total of energy consumed in 2050. The Hydrogen Council considers this fuel could power 10 to 15 million cars as soon as 2030. “Deployed on a big scale, hydrogen could represent one fifth of the total of energy […]

Audi: all synthetic diesel, made out of CO2

November 10, 2017

Creating diesel out of CO2 from the atmosphere isn’t a theory anymore. The proof is that Audi will build a synthetic diesel production plant in 2018. This possibly ideal fuel emits less sulphur and would be neutral in terms of CO2, but its production will be marginal for now due to costs. Producing fuel synthetically […]

Lampiris switches entire fleet to electric

November 10, 2017

At Lampiris, all workers will have to drive electric by 2021. The Liège based energy supplier wants to become an electric pioneer in the world of company fleets. “We are the first in Belgium to completely switch to electric cars, but at the same time it is becoming a testcase’, says Gaëtan Mondet, general manager […]

Dutch prefer ‘big’ over ‘green’ cars again

November 10, 2017

Dutch car buyers are going massively for ‘big’ performing cars again, rather than a ‘green’ car, now that the fiscal incentives for the latter are scrapped. That’s why the CO2 emissions in the Netherlands are rising for the second year, being 10% higher again. Last year it was already clear that CO2 emissions were rising […]

Europe ‘spares’ car makers in battle for less CO2 emissions

November 09, 2017

Towards 2030 CO2-emissions of cars and vans in the EU have to be reduced by 30 %. The actual legislation says 95 g/km for cars and 147 g/km for vans by 2021. The European commission wants an enforced CO2-reduction of 15 % towards 2025 and 30 % towards 2030. A measure that is approved, neither […]

Sales of electric cars go up in EU, Belgium stays behind

November 09, 2017

Sales of electric cars in the European Union increased again in the third quarter. This says European sector organization ACEA. Sales increased by nearly 61 % to 23.841 cars on a yearly base. In Belgium growth was limited to 21 % or 560 cars. Almost all EU-countries saw a strong growth. In the Netherlands sales […]

‘Car industry will fail to achieve 2021 CO2 targets’

November 09, 2017

While Europe is setting the bar higher for 2025 and 2030, the majority of car manufacturers will even fail to meet Europe’s CO2 emission targets set for 2021. Heavy fines are waiting for them, which in some cases can amount to up to 1.7 billion euro. This is the conclusion of the British consulting firm […]

Container shipping company CMA-CGM to drive ships with natural gas

November 08, 2017

French shipping company CMA-CGM decided to equip its future container carriers with a power plant running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) to reduce emissions. Deliveries are planned for 2020. CMA-CGM claims to be “the first maritime shipping company in the world to equip its container carriers with this power plant”. Using LNG as fuel will […]

La Rochelle launches first ever hydrogen powered ‘sea bus’

November 08, 2017

As part of the Yélo 2 project, La Rochelle city’s sea shuttle replaced its batteries with four tanks of hydrogen and a fuel cell creating the first ever hydrogen powered “sea bus”. The experiment will continue until August 31st 2018. The small sea shuttle from La Rochelle has seen its powertrain change as part of […]

EU: ‘Belgium not fulfilling climate promises’

November 08, 2017

At the start of the climate conference in Bonn, the European Commission published its report on the implementation of the EU climate agreements. Belgium scores poorly: CO2 emissions rose last year again in Belgium. In Wallonia and Brussels in particular, European climate experts see a significant increase in CO2 emissions. In Flanders, there is no […]

‘Plug-in charge’ to prevent occupying charging points to long

November 08, 2017

Electric cars tend to stand two thirds of the parking time at a public charger without actually charging batteries. This learns a spot-check by NewMotion, the Dutch charging station network company that was taken over by Shell last month. A fee of 0,22 euro per hour seems to be a solution. Juice-point sticking The average […]

Second hand diesel cars increasingly difficult to sell

November 07, 2017

According to recent figures from the Flemish mobility organization VAB, the price of the second hand diesel car take a serious dive. The sector even predicts that prices will dip further. Already today, VAB sells only 16% diesel-occasions compared to 84% used cars on petrol. Five years ago this balance was 61% diesel-occasions to 39% […]

New collective claim of 15.000 against Volkswagen

November 07, 2017

More than 15.000 clients of German car maker Volkswagen put in a collective claim for in total more than 357 million euro as compensation for the dieselgate emission scandal. The class action was filed by American law-firm Hausfeld at a German court. Next year, Hausfeld announced, it will start more cases for duped VW-owners. 7.000 […]

ICCT: cars consume 42% more than advertised

November 07, 2017

Fuel consumption of new cars on the road is in average 42 % higher than what the type-approval test results promise. This says a survey by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). In 2001 the difference was only 9 %. The ICCT is a non-governmental organization based in Berlin and the US, that published […]

Belgian electric bike built out of bamboo

November 07, 2017

One year ago, 31-year-old Perrine Collin launched Cycad, a young company building electric bikes out of bamboo. They now offer these ecological bicycles for long term rent at a degressive rate. “I met Narciso while I was working for an NGO in the Philippines”, explains Perrinne, “He was building bicycles out of bamboo and I […]

Merkel puts brake on strikter EU car CO2 emission standards

November 07, 2017

Last few weeks, German chancellor Angela Merkel’s entourage is lobbying heavily in Brussels to put the brake on the EU Commission proposal for new CO2 emission standards until 2030 it is to present on Wednesday. These would imply a general CO2 decrease of 25 to 35% for cars and vans, eventually with an interim deadline […]

Brussels’ Groenendael wildlife ecoduct nears completion

November 06, 2017

Construction works on the Groenendael ecoduct are nearing completion with cars driving under it and animals from the Sonian Forest already able to cross the Ring without danger. Grading and leveling works of the different adjacent sites should be finished in December and specific plantation is due beginning 2018. The ecoduct’s layout takes into account […]

BMW, VW, Daimler and Ford to build 400 fast charging stations in Europe

November 06, 2017

Four big car makers have created a joint venture under the name Ionity with the objective to build about 400 fast charging stations all over Europe by 2020. The point is to have one charging point each 120 km. One year ago, BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler and Ford signed a memorandum for the construction of a […]

Dutch industry asks government to invest in hyperloop

November 06, 2017

“The Netherlands should have the first test section of the hyperloop in Europe, a vacuum tube through which passengers can travel at speeds up to 1.200 kph. That’s why the government should make a one-off investment.” This is the message sent today to The Hague by companies and the semi-public sector. Cost for the construction […]

Flanders promotes ‘green’ asphalt for less CO2

November 06, 2017

From January 2018 on, the Flemish region will promote the usage of a ‘greener’ kind of asphalt, that reduces CO2 emissions by one third when applied. Ben Weyts (NV-A), Minister for Public Works, even wants to make the ‘green asphalt’ mandatory form 2021 on. The asphalt used is a new kind that only needs 110 […]

Mobile gas power plant at sea to supplement wind farms

November 02, 2017

Dutch start up Circular Energy from Delft has worked out a concept to ‘harvest’ gas at sea on mobile gas power plants and produce electricity without CO2 emissions. The gas power plant can compliment wind farms when there is no wind and use their power lines to supply to the grid on the shore. A […]

Wallonia: mobility plan to reduce car usage from 83 to 60%

October 31, 2017

The Belgian Walloon regional government has agreed last week on an ambitious plan to reduce car usage from 83 to 60% by 2030. Its Transport, Mobility and Road Safety Minister Carlo di Antonio (cdH) wants 4 out of 5 car trips in the future to be with at least two passengers and boost public transport […]

Stone martens see your car cables as a threat

October 30, 2017

The stone marten is again on the up in Flanders. Side effect of this is that the number of cars with chewed through cables peaks. Although not scientifically proven yet, substances on the rubber coating of the cars wiring might be similar to the one stone martens use to mark their territory, so they attack […]

Greenpeace to sue Flemish and Walloon governments for air quality

October 27, 2017

Environmental organization Greenpeace is preparing the summons for court to demand ‘representative measurements of air pollution’ from the Flemish and Walloon governments to know the impact the air quality really has to people’s health. On 11 September, after conducting its own NOx measurements in Antwerp showing far higher values than the official ones, Greenpeace sent […]

Plug-in hybrids: government reworks its tax reform bill

October 27, 2017

After numerous driver associations reached out to the government concerning its new and harsher tax plan for plug-in hybrid cars, the federal government reworked its copy. The new draft exempts cars such as the Toyota Prius PH or the Passat GTE, but its still reduced the tax advantage on what the government calls “fake hybrids” […]

Underground storage solution for 75% of Belgian CO2 emissions?

October 27, 2017

Without drastic measures Belgium will never achieve the CO2 targets set by the Paris agreement. Kris Welkenhuysen, researcher at the Belgian Geological Service, thinks in theory two thirds of industrial CO2 emission could be stored underground in the former coal mines or under the North Sea. Welkenhuysen studied the matter for his PhD thesis in […]

100.000 Belgian cars still drive around with cheating software

October 26, 2017

More than two years after the dieselgate scandal, around 100,000 cars are still circulating in Belgium with the so-called cheating software. According to D’Ieteren, importer of the Volkswagen group’s brands, some 1 million letters have already been sent out. However, 30% of customers have not yet had an update carried out. This update is completely […]

Kilometer tax on regional roads to tackle cut-through traffic

October 26, 2017

Because of the persistent nuisance of cut-through traffic, the kilometer tax for trucks is to be extended to some district roads. This was confirmed by a reliable source to De Morgen. Minister of mobility Ben Weyts (NV-A) is expected to put the proposal up for approval in parliament on Thursday. The kilometer tax for trucks […]

Jost Group orders 500 Iveco lorries on gas

October 26, 2017

On Wednesday East Belgian transport and logistics company Jost Group announced its  order of 500 LNG-trucks  (Liquified Natural Gas) at the Italian truck and bus maker Iveco. With these 500 Iveco Stralis NPs the transport company wants to convert 35 per cent of its fleet to LNG along with the intention to built up its […]

Belgian LEZ-fines will also apply to French and Dutch

October 26, 2017

Belgian Federal Minister for Mobility, François Bellot (MR), is going to amend the law on the crossroads bank for vehicles, so that French and Dutch citizens can also be fined if they violate the rules of the Low Emission Zone (LEZ). At present, foreign drivers who violate the LEZ-legislation cannot be booked. Due to the […]

London fights air pollution with 10£ ‘Toxicity-Charge’

October 24, 2017

London mayor Sadiq Khan starts his fight against growing air pollution by making every pre-2006 car driving in the city pay a 10 pound (11,21 euro) ‘Toxicity-charge’, officially called ‘Emissions Surcharge’ in addition to the already existing congestion charge. In the near future, every new bus and taxi will have to be hybrid or electric […]

Lower road taxes to promote transport by water

October 24, 2017

The Flemish government agreed on lowering the threshold for refunding road taxes to transport companies that (partly) use waterways or railway instead of sending trucks on the road. The required minimum of 220 transshipment moves (from truck to boat) is lowered to 100. “After an adjustment of the rules, that were so severe hardly any […]

Free floating bike-sharing ‘banned’ before it arrives

October 23, 2017

Commercial free floating bike-sharing is on its way. Thirteen Flemish cities are approached by companies that intend to install those bicycles. To prevent the situation to derail like in Holland, measures have to be taken before they arrive, Ghent alderman Filip Watteuw (Groen) thinks. Unlike city-bikes such as Velo in Antwerp or Villo in Brussels, […]