Europe takes action against car manufacturers’ data hunger

February 10, 2020

Car owners must expressly agree to the use of virtually all data from their vehicles. Otherwise, a manufacturer, insurance, or navigation company may not store and use the data. The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) states this. The European watchdog wants to curb the data hunger of the car industry. Privacy It is widely known […]

FCA recovers financially from difficult year

February 07, 2020

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) experienced a clear recovery at the end of 2019, a difficult year for the group. This allows the Italian-American manufacturer to confirm its objectives for this year. FCA also reached an agreement with the Italian tax authorities, which accused it of undervaluing Chrysler to pay fewer taxes. FCA can, therefore, calmly […]

Volvo CEO: ‘We have no intention to pay EU fines’

February 07, 2020

Volvo CEO, Hakan Samuelsson, was in Brussels on Thursday to comment on the good results of the Swedish/Chinese car manufacturer last year. The Ghent factory is playing a major part in these positive evolutions. In 2019, Volvo sold 705.000 cars (+9,8%), (first time more than 700.000), and turnover increased with 8,5% to 26 billion euros. […]

ALD: ‘Netherlands needs 120 extra charging stations a day’

February 07, 2020

According to Leasing company ALD Automotive Netherlands, electric driving is doing very well in the country, but the expansion of the charging infrastructure is going far too slow. At the current sales level of electric vehicles, the Netherlands wil need 120 extra charging stations a day, ALD says. Europe’s largest leasing company saw its fleet […]

Ryanair sentenced by ASA for greenwashing

February 05, 2020

The British publicity watchdog, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), condemns Ryanair for a campaign, in which the Irish budget airline had positioned itself in the market as “the company with the lowest emissions in Europe”. Lowest emissions? “Everybody knows Ryanair has the lowest tariffs,” the campaign said, “but did you know it’s also the airline with […]

Swiss UBS bank predicts price war on plug-in hybrids

February 04, 2020

According to a study by Swiss business bank UBS, a price war on plug-in hybrids (PHEV) is a serious risk in 2020, as car manufacturers will struggle to comply by the end of 2020 with the EU’s stricter CO2 emission rules. The bank’s analyst warns that carmakers “will likely need to push PHEVs to their […]

Interview: Frans Timmermans on the EU Green Deal

February 03, 2020

Flemish newspaper De Morgen interviewed Frans Timmermans, ‘Mister climate’ of the European Commission, about the European Green Deal. Timmermans does not see the Green Deal as a fixed plan, but rather as a guideline with the ultimate goal of climate neutrality by 2050. For Timmermans, the Green Deal combines three major challenges in Europe: the […]

Merger talks between Stern and Hedin

January 31, 2020

The Dutch car distributor Stern is in merger talks with its Swedish competitor Anders Hedin Group. While a merger is not certain yet, it could be beneficial. Both Groups’ activities are complementary, geographically, as well as in the automotive brands they distribute. After a possible merger, the combination wants to list on Euronext Amsterdam. Stern […]

French to push aviation to 50% bio-kerosene by 2050

January 29, 2020

The French government has launched a ‘call of interest’ to the industry to set up a national bio-kerosine production, five times the size of Total’s current bio-refinery La Mède. It wants to push aviation to use 2% of bio-kerosine by 2025, 5% by 2030, and 50% by 2050, compared to 0,1% today. France is likely […]

German lithium processing plant to prevent battery shortage

January 29, 2020

Advanced Metallurgical Group (AMG) wants to build a lithium plant in Germany. The aim is to prevent a shortage of batteries once the European production of electric cars is running at full speed. The German automotive world warned for such a crisis last week. According to analysts, there will inevitably be a shortage of raw […]

Car manufacturers try to secure cobalt supply

January 28, 2020

While the price of cobalt has decreased due to an over-offer on the market, car manufacturers are nevertheless negotiating multi-year contracts to secure supplies. Tesla, for example, is negotiating with Glencore for its cobalt supply, like BMW already did. But why are manufacturers trying to secure a material that seems abundant? According to George Heppel, […]

Benelux tail-enders in EU’s renewable energy goals

January 24, 2020

On Thursday European Union published the ranking of the Member States for renewable energy. Especially the traditional industrial countries in the core of Europe – the Benelux, France, Germany, the UK, but also Poland – are failing well. A serious leap is still needed there to achieve the EU’s 2020 targets: a 20% share of […]

Dieselgate not over (bis): Jeep, Suzuki, and Volvo under fire

January 24, 2020

This week, we already mentioned Mitsubishi and Daimler concerning possible diesel emission fraud. Today, we can add Jeep, Suzuki, and Volvo to the list. Dieselgate is not gone yet. The Dutch road traffic service, RDW, responsible for vehicle registration, has already noted in 2017 that there was possibly something wrong with the emission treatment of […]

Pressure for more international night trains from Brussels

January 21, 2020

The arrival of the Nightjet, the night train connection between Brussels and Vienna, has aroused a lot of interest. There is not only the mobility and ecological aspect, according to action groups, but the climate impact of such a night train is also eleven times smaller than the impact of the same journey by plane. […]

EU ‘Green Deal’ will cost at least €1.000 billion

January 21, 2020

European Commissioner Johannes Hahn estimates that the European ‘Green Deal’ will cost at least 1.000 billion euros. He now has to convince the European finance ministers of the ‘Sustainable Europe Investment Plan’. That plan is the investment structure of the ‘Green Deal’ that was proposed in December. To achieve its main goal, a climate-neutral Europe […]

Night train from Brussels to Vienna back on rails

January 20, 2020

More than fifteen years after the demise of the Donauwalzer, a night train has been running between Vienna and Brussels since Sunday. For 2020, a round trip is planned twice a week, from Brussels on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Austrian railway company ÖBB, which stands for Österreichischen Bundesbahnen, is running the route, in cooperation with […]

Diess: ‘VW definitely needs to speed up transformation’

January 17, 2020

Volkswagen CEO, Herbert Diess, wants the company to speed up its transformation into a technology company. He said that at a meeting with the company’s top management. Diess pointed out the rapid developments at Tesla and Toyota. Volkswagen’s current European sales figures don’t immediately demonstrate the need for change. In 2019, the group remained number […]

Belgian new ‘composite bicycle frame’ start-up gets big contract

January 17, 2020

The start-up Rein4ced, which specializes in the automated production of composite bicycle frames, will build frames for the bicycle giant Accell Group. Every year, the Dutch Accell Group sells more than 1 million bikes. The best-known brands in its portfolio are Batavus, Koga, Raleigh, Lapierre, and Ghost. For five years, Rein4ced worked on a new […]

Toyota launches Kinto mobility services in Europe

January 15, 2020

Kinto, a Toyota daughter providing new mobility services, was started over a year ago in Japan and is now coming to Europe. Kinto will start different services in different countries of the EU, according to what the specific market wants and is ready for. According to an Ernst&Young study, car manufacturers will have to draw […]

Renault President Senard: ‘the Alliance is not dead’

January 15, 2020

Jean-Dominique Senard was on a visit at the Brussels Motor Show. There he confirmed that the rumors about a possible divorce between Nissan and Renault were completely false. “On the contrary, we will see to it that the Alliance will be in full force again as soon as possible.” It was the newspaper, the Financial […]

Additional restructuring for Opel in Germany

January 15, 2020

PSA subsidiary, Opel, will cut 2.100 additional jobs in Germany through a voluntary redundancy plan. Employees born before 1963 will be able to opt for early retirement. The agreement made with the trade unions should lead to “further, clear improvement in our competitiveness,” says Opel boss Michael Lohscheller. In exchange, the manufacturer excludes redundancies until […]

Second-hand gasoline cars have become 22% more expensive

January 13, 2020

For most private users, a diesel car is no longer economically interesting. This is the conclusion of the mobility association, VAB, based on a new budget test. As a result of this ‘diesel anxiety’, second-hand gasoline cars have become 22% more expensive in two years. “Hardly anyone wants a diesel that is no longer allowed […]

CNG car not so good for climate?

January 13, 2020

A test from the Flemish public television has shown that CNG is not the most eco-friendly fuel to run a car on. Considering toxic exhaust gases, it’s still good, but climate-wise it seems that there is a bigger problem than expected. The test has been executed together with several academic experts and a test lab […]

Peugeot CEO: ‘Peugeot will comply in CO2 norm from Day One’

January 10, 2020

Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of Peugeot and visiting the Brussels Motor Show on Thursday, is clear. “We will be ready for the stringent EU emission regulations from Day One. And that doesn’t mean Peugeot cars won’t be attractive anymore, on the contrary.” The automotive sector is under pressure in Europe. The average CO2 emissions for every […]

Business is booming for 85-billion-dollar Tesla

January 08, 2020

Tesla is worth over 85 billion dollars on the stock market. This makes the manufacturer of electric cars worth twice as much as Ford. Only Toyota and VW are bigger. The company also makes more profit than expected and sells more cars than ever before. The future also brightens up financially. At the end of […]

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 […]