Elia: ‘Belgium produces more energy than it uses’

January 08, 2020

Last year, the total consumption of electricity in Belgium decreased by 3%. In 2019, consumption was 84,7 terawatt-hours or the lowest level since 2014. Older figures are not available. Decreasing consumption “We have seen a decline in the energy consumption for some years now,” says Elia spokeswoman, Marleen Vanhecke. “Especially the industry has improved its […]

CO2 emissions of cars up second year in row

January 07, 2020

CO2 emissions from new cars rose sharply in 2019 for the second year in a row. New cars emit an average of 121,2 grams of CO2 per kilometer in Belgium. This brings us back up to the level of 2014. There are a number of reasons for this negative evolution, such as the switch from […]

Belgian car industry is doing well in contrast with other EU countries

January 07, 2020

The situation of the car industry in Germany and other European countries is in stark contrast with the one in Belgium. The two remaining manufacturers, Audi in Brussels, and Volvo in Ghent are increasing turnover with 5,5-6%. The German car industry has seen its production numbers fall to a level as low as in 1996. […]

Belgians spend only 1% on public transport

January 03, 2020

According to the latest European statistics study by Eurostat, the average Belgian only spends 1,1% of its ‘consumer’ budget on public transport. It’s a low share compared to the French (2,4%), the Dutch (2,3%), the British (4,2%), or even the European average (2,6%). Three Belgians out of four also see public transport as too expensive, […]

Booming business: driving and flying on used deep-frying fat

January 03, 2020

The East Flemish family company, Quatra, collects 65.000 tons of used deep-frying oil annually, which is used as fuel for cars and will soon also be used for airplanes. “In ten years’ time, we have become the biggest in Europe.” At the beginning of 2019, Quatra invested 10 million euros for the construction of a […]

Zimmer composes sound for electric BMWs

January 03, 2020

Film music composer Hans Zimmer (62) from now on creates sounds for new electric BMWs. Zimmer created his first sound for the BMW Vision M Next concept car, but he will also make compositions for upcoming production models. From 2021 on, a driving noise is compulsory for electric vehicles, making them safer for pedestrians and […]

Dutch state doesn’t have to remediate environmental shortcomings

December 28, 2017

A The Hague court judge in the Netherlands has ruled that the Dutch State didn’t comply with European and WHO criteria for clean air, but he can’t oblige the government to do so. The environmental organization Milieudefensie, the Adem Foundation and some 57 individual citizens didn’t obtain a confirmation in any of their claims. “There […]

Sensors on E313 for self-driving car: ‘complete bullshit’

December 27, 2017

Flemish Minister of Innovation Philippe Muyters (N-VA) is investing 3 million euro in sensors along the Anwerp Ring and the E313 highway for the self-driving car testing project starting in 2019. “Complete bullshit, outdated and unnecessary today”, says Mark Pecqueur, professor at the Thomas More technical school and expert in the matter. EU Concorda project […]

Belgium and Netherlands to reduce emissions by 35 and 36%

December 22, 2017

The EU member states and the European Parliament have agreed on Thursday on the push back of greenhouse gases in the transport sector, agriculture, waste treatment, buildings and the construction sector. In general emissions have to be lowered by 30% compared to 2005. Belgium has to do better with 35%, The Netherlands have to do […]

Europe jams on the breaks: ‘Uber is transport company’

December 21, 2017

“Uber is a transport company and has to apply with local legislation in the member states”, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled on Wednesday. This means in most European countries Uber will be considered a taxi service, needing a licence. Professional drivers In many European countries where Uber is present in larger cities […]

Judge asks advice EU Court in Brussels’ air pollution case

December 20, 2017

The Belgian judge looking into the complaint filed by five Brussels’ citizens and Belgian NGO Client Earth against the Brussels Region for not doing enough to comply with EU regulations on air pollution, has asked the European Court of Justice for an advice, before ruling. Air Quality Directive The citizens and Client Earth sued Brussels […]

Belgian court admits class action against Volkswagen

December 20, 2017

A Brussels civilian court decreed the class action demand against Volkswagen and Volkswagen importer D’Ieteren, emitted by consumer organization Test Aankoop/Test Achats, receivable. In 2016 the consumer organization started a class action against Volkswagen and D’Ieteren as a result of the revelations in ‘Dieselgate’, where VW has admitted using software in his cars (11 million […]

Dutch railways among best in class in Europe

December 20, 2017

In the Netherlands trains are running more on time and are generally younger than in other European countries. Actually Dutch railways (NS) are among best in class, according to a benchmark study NS and railway managing company ProRail ordered. But the travelers themselves are not that satisfied. The study was done on request of the […]

Old European diesels are polluting Africa

December 18, 2017

According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) 90% of the air pollution in cities that are in full demographic expansion, especially in Africa, are caused by road traffic. The UN organization is based in Nairobi, Kenya, one of the most affected African cities. According to a report in The Lancet (October) air pollution caused […]

Belgium on fifth place in European e-commerce

December 15, 2017

E-commerce is well established in Belgium. About 21% of Belgian companies reported sales transactions by internet, good for a fifth place in Europe. According to the European office of statistics Eurostat Ireland stands on the first place in the top five, followed by Sweden (25%) and Denmark (24%). Also The Netherlands – with 22% – […]

European car market grew with 5,9% in November

December 15, 2017

According to figures of car manufacturers federation ACEA, European car market grew with 5,9% in November, with all major national market growing, except for the UK. Great Brittain saw the market shrink with 11,2% again due to Brexit. In the five biggest markets, best of class was Spain with +12,4%, followed by France with +10,3%, […]

Netherlands to EU Court against German highway toll

December 14, 2017

Dutch minister of Infrastructure Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (VVD) goes to the European Court of Justice to protest against the German plans to levy a toll for passenger cars on highways from 2019 on. A recent study has shown that the tax plans would cost the Dutch car drivers 60 to 100 million euro a year. […]

Scania appeals against EU penalty of 880 million euro

December 14, 2017

On Tuesday the Swedish truck manufacturer Scania announced to lodge appeal against the 880 million euro fine the company is expected to pay for cartel agreements with five other European truck builders. Scania is the only of the five to contest the verdict. Price-fixing The five charged companies – Scania, Daimler, DAF, Volvo-Renault Trucks en […]

EU agrees on stringent homologation: fines up to 30.000 euro per car

December 07, 2017

On Thursday negotiators from the European Parliament and the European Council of 28 have reached an agreement on sharpening the car homologation procedures in the future to avoid another dieselgate scandal. Car makers can be fined up to 30.000 euro per car, if caught cheating with emission standards. The text is yet to be voted […]

Cities ask EU to enforce lower cabs and bigger windscreens on trucks

December 07, 2017

Nineteen cities, among which Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris and London, are asking the EU Commission to issue new standards for lorries used in cities to improve visibility for the driver and protect weak road users like cyclists. Seeing other road users In order to better see the other road users, the cities want the lorries to […]

PSA reclaiming money from GM on Opel-deal

November 30, 2017

In the beginning of this year PSA bought Opel from GM for 1,3 billion €. The French manufacturer now wants half of this money back because GM has failed to give all available information when the transaction was finalised. CO2 emissions The claim is due to the fact that GM has omitted to inform PSA […]

Airbus, Siemens and Rolls-Royce to build hybrid plane

November 29, 2017

European airplane builder Airbus, German technology concern Siemens and British airplane engine builder Rolls-Royce are teaming up to build a hybrid demonstration plane that will make its first test flight in 2020. This is what the three concerns announced on Tuesday at a press conference in London. One electric motor to start For the test […]

VW fined for 450.000 euro by Dutch ACM for dieselgate

November 28, 2017

The Dutch government Authority for Consumer and Market (ACM) has fined Volkswagen with the maximum fine possible, 450.000 euro, for using cheating software and misleading Dutch consumers. Cheating software Volkswagen claimed that its diesels complied with the European standards, but in 2015 the dieselgate scandal broke in the US, showing that the German car maker […]

Holland and Belgium to invest in cross-border charging and hydrogen stations

November 24, 2017

The Netherlands, Flanders and the Brussels Region have started together the BENEFEC project to realize cross-border infrastructures for charging electric cars, hydrogen stations and LNG-GNG gas stations. This was unveiled on Thursday by the Flemish environmental department (Vlaams Departement Omgeving) that coordinates the project. The BENEFIC Action aims at supporting the roll-out for the cross-border […]

Norway drops plans for ‘Tesla-tax’

November 24, 2017

Norway drops the so called ‘Tesla-tax’, the proposition to abolish the generous exemptions for electric cars if they weight more than two tons. The measure, that would become active in January 2018 was scrapped after a budgetary agreement between the right wing government and its centre-right allies. Tesla X more expensive The fiercely contested proposal […]

EU-Commissioner Bienkowska: ‘I wouldn’t buy a Volkswagen anymore’

November 21, 2017

Three years after dieselgate burst out, what has really changed? “I wouldn’t buy a Volkswagen anymore”, says EU Commissioner for Industry Elzbieta Bienkowska (53) in an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. She grew up in communist Poland, being the daughter of a car technician. And it was she who got to deal with the […]

London prepares for fully autonomous cars by 2021

November 20, 2017

London is preparing for the first level 4 autonomous cars – where human driver attention is no longer needed – on British roads by 2021. This is one of the elements of the financial budget that will be presented on Wednesday by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) Philip Hammond. The budget foresees […]

EU car market: 5,9% growth in October

November 17, 2017

The European car market is doing well, with a 5,9% growth in October compared to the same period last year. Registrations have majorly increased in France, Spain and Italy and Volkswagen Group still reigns on the EU car market with PSA and Renault taking second and third place. According to data from the European Automobile […]

EU Parliament wants advanced safety systems in every new car

November 15, 2017

All new cars should have advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) that can detect pedestrians, brake automatically in an emergency, warn for lane departure and adapt the speed of the car. This is the general idea of a resolution voted by the European Parliament on Tuesday to half the number of casualties in traffic by 2020. […]

‘Mr Russia’ to head Kia Motors Europe

November 10, 2017

To lead its European division, Kia Motors has chosen Yong Kew Park, nicknamed ‘Mr Russia’. Leading the Russian Kia division, he managed to make the South Korean the top seller in the Russian car market in one year. Today, one car out of ten sold in Russia is a Kia. USA, Africa, China and Europe […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

Opel to present its new plan to be profitable again

November 08, 2017

German car maker Opel, recently bought by French group PSA, will present its new recovery plan on Thursday. The brand has to face huge competitively deficits and might have to let go its redundant staff. Opel and its British sibling Vauxhall were taken over from General Motors by the French group PSA back in July […]

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 […]

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 […]

ACEA: ‘Electric car market only growing in wealthier countries’

November 02, 2017

“Electric car sales are progressing all around the world, but only evolve in EU countries with a GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of more than 30.000 per inhabitant, the more wealthy countries”, European Automobile Manufacturers Association ACEA explains. Since the beginning of this year, electric car sales are taking off. This market growth is pulled upwards […]

Car makers are freezing investments in UK due to Brexit

October 26, 2017

Toyota and Opel/Vauxhall are freezing their investments in the United Kingdom due to the uncertainty of what Brexit might bring. Toyota wants to be certain that a free EU market access without customs levies is maintained before investing in its UK plant. Toyota is uncertain about its future in the UK. In March, the Japanese […]

How China is killing the e-bike competition

October 24, 2017

The European Commission opened on Friday an anti-dumping investigation on Chinese electric bicycles, after complaints from EU bike producers. “These Chinese bikes are sold at ridiculously low prices and don’t respect the same quality standards as bicycles built in Europe.” Europe’s electric bicycles market is booming in terms of sales and production. In 2016, 1,1 […]

More EU inspections on German ‘car makers cartel’

October 24, 2017

Three days after invading the BMW headquarters in Munich, several other German car makers had a visit on Monday of EU inspectors, accompanied by inspectors of the German cartel authority, in the alleged ‘cartel investigation’. The EU press release did not specify which ones, but sources indicate this time Daimler and Volkswagen were targeted. Big […]