Does Norwegian constitution allow drilling oil in polar region?

February 27, 2020

Does the Norwegian constitution allow drilling for oil in the Barents Sea? That is the question that Greenpeace Norway and the climate youngsters of ‘Natur og Ungdom’ (Nature and Youth) want to have answered by the Norwegian Supreme Court. That is why they’ve taken the matter to the highest jurisdictional authority of the country. They […]

‘Diesel waterpump on building site pollutes more then ten trucks’

February 26, 2020

Combustion engines in machines such as diggers, generators, and water pumps on construction sites pollute the air far more than expected. Stricter European standards have recently been introduced for these types of engines, often diesel engines. But in practice, the emission limits are regularly considerably exceeded. Experts say that people living near construction sites, in […]

Price of public charging often unclear

February 26, 2020

Unlike gasoline or diesel at the pump, the price of charging at a public charge point is rarely clear to consumers. As a result, they could be surprised by the amount of the invoice at the end of the month. For example, there is sometimes a ‘starting rate’ for charging and the rates of different […]

Brexit: is Nissan thinking of leaving Europe?

February 26, 2020

The president of Nissan Europe, Gianluca de Ficchy, has evoked the possibility that Nissan could leave Europe because of a no-deal Brexit. A key player in this story is Nissan’s Sunderland plant in north-western England. “If Great Britain is not capable of closing a free trade agreement with the EU after Brexit, there will be […]

VAB: ban cars based on measurements only

February 26, 2020

Tests of VAB show that one in eight particulate filters in Euro 5 cars are defective or removed. On the other hand, one in five Euro 4 diesel cars emit much less particulate matter than expected and are wrongly banned from Low-Emission Zones (LEZ). VAB, therefore, argues that the LEZ selection should be based on […]

Pickups: questioned in Flanders, still thriving in Wallonia

February 25, 2020

Total pickup sales in Belgium seems over the top, with 6 543 new registrations in 2019, compared to some 7 000 the year before. While Flanders is questioning the favorable tax benefits for this heavy and bulky vehicle, it still thrives in Wallonia and Brussels with more pickups sold than ever. But its reign is […]

German court grands Tesla permission to cut trees for giga-factory

February 24, 2020

Tesla has restarted the cutting of trees on a 92-hectare site where the first European plant of the electric car manufacturer will be built. Several environmental organizations had opposed the felling of trees, but the German judge swept away the objections. First European plant The American carmaker is in a hurry to get its colossal […]

LEZ: the lessons learned from Rotterdam

February 24, 2020

At the beginning of this year, the Dutch city of Rotterdam abolished its Low-Emission Zone (LEZ) that started in 2016. A measure in stark contrast with the city of Ghent, for example, where a LEZ has been introduced recently, and a possible expansion is causing a political uproar. The LEZ of Rotterdam was from the […]

‘Belgians admit driving way too fast’

February 21, 2020

More than one Belgian in three admits to not respecting the speed limits. Traffic safety institute, Vias, hopes that the increase in speed cameras and the arrival of extra average speed checks will finally lead to a change in mentality. Speeding drivers on the increase For the eight National Road Safety Survey, Vias conducted a representative […]

Walloon waterways transported equivalent of 2 million trucks

February 21, 2020

In 2019, the Walloon waterways transported 39 million tons of freight. If that amount had been transported on the road, it would’ve required two million trucks. Despite the slight 5,8% drop in activity compared to the last two years due to the drought, Walloon ambitions to enlarge the sector remain. Last year, the 451 kilometers […]

Montreal forbids shared e-scooters

February 21, 2020

Montreal has ended a pilot project with 680 shared electric e-scooters. The city cites the lack of respect of users for the regulations as the reason for the ban. Montreal didn’t have any fatal or serious accidents with the scooters. However, only 20% of them were parked in dedicated areas. There were 110 reports of […]

Brussels police gets access to live Stib/Mivb surveillance video feed

February 21, 2020

After years and numerous demands, Brussels police will finally gain access to the Stib/Mivb security video live feed in June. This new tool will significantly help police forces in their daily peacekeeping routine. Access to other transport operators’ security feed (TEC and De Lijn) is not yet planned. “Live access by police zones to the […]

‘Fake’ plug-in hybrids pay a lot more taxes in 2020

February 20, 2020

Plug-in hybrids that don’t fulfill the new requirements are much more expensive this year. The fiscal advantage of those lease-cars dwindles: halving of the fiscal deduction percentage, up to four times more benefit of all nature. Fraud use of these so-called ‘fake’ plug-in hybrids has caused new, more stringent requirements for PHEVs to comply with. […]

VCB: ‘Contractors avoid Low-Emission Zones’

February 19, 2020

Almost a quarter of building contractors do not want to work in the Low-Emission Zones (LEZ) in Ghent, Antwerp, or Brussels. That’s what a survey by the Flemish Construction Federation (VCB) shows. Contractors often do not have vehicles authorized to enter the LEZ. The renewal of specialized equipment that is still in good condition is […]

Ghent LEZ will be expanded after evaluation

February 18, 2020

The Ghent Low-Emission Zone (LEZ) will be extended during this legislature. However, when and in which districts will be thoroughly examined the next few years. The Ghent majority parties confirmed this on Monday during the municipal council. There will be a phased, zonally introduction, and a study to evaluate the social impact and flanking measures […]

Belgian drone pilots worry about new tariffs

February 18, 2020

Belgian authorities have set up a new Royal Decree draft on drone operations with new tariffs for registration, licenses, and training, to cite just a few, ranging from 25 to 5 000 euros. Drone pilots see those new, higher tariffs as arbitrary and worry they will ground all activities. “We’re facing a Royal Decree that […]

Autonomous cars still not ready in 2020

February 18, 2020

It is still not clear when and if autonomous cars will come on the market. Last year alone, thirty companies invested $16 billion in the technology, with no prospect of a launch date. Consumers are also critical. Executives at General Motors, Google subsidiary Waymo, Toyota, and Honda predicted a few years ago that their company […]

Tesla’s German giga-factory delayed by ‘illegal logging’

February 18, 2020

The felling of a part of the German forest in which Tesla’s European giga-factory is to be located has been halted. The environmental movement ‘Grüne Liga Brandenburg’ has gone to court because Tesla already felled trees without a building permit. Some 300 hectares of trees have to be cut down for the factory. Many German […]

More than 600 young drivers fined for ignoring ‘refresher course’

February 17, 2020

On January 1st, 2019, Flemish authorities introduced a mandatory ‘return moment’ for all young candidate-drivers, six to nine months after their application for their final driver’s license. The reason for the measure was to reduce the high number of accidents – one in five – in which young drivers were involved. Up to €4 000 […]

‘Low-emission zones under fire, but they are effective for soot’

February 14, 2020

Low-Emission Zones (LEZ) are dividing opinion in Belgium. Their results are not as impressive as many had hoped. The Flemish socialist party sp.a calls them asocial, causing a row with its green coalition partner in Ghent. Are LEZs effective or not? The Antwerp measurements give a mixed picture. After a year, the Flemish Environment Agency […]

Discussion about LEZ flares up in Flemish Parliament

February 13, 2020

A motion by the opposition party, Vlaams Belang, to introduce a ‘standstill’ in the area of low-emission zones (LEZ) did not obtain a majority in the Flemish Parliament on Wednesday. However, the doubts about the sense/nonsense of the LEZ also seem to be growing among parties. For example, sp.a also wants the LEZ not to […]

Flanders investigates ‘improper use’ of fiscal benefits for pick-ups

February 13, 2020

The Flemish Minister for the Budget, Mathias Diependaele (N-VA), starts an investigation about the improper use of the tax advantages attributed to pick-up vehicles. The sales of pick-ups have tripled in the past ten years. This success is mostly due to the fiscal advantages. When somebody registers a vehicle as a ‘light truck’, he/she pays […]

40% of speed pedelecs are leased by companies

February 13, 2020

Of the almost 30 000 speed pedelecs registered in Belgium, 40% are leased bicycles. This is apparent from figures collected by CD&V MP, Jef Van den Bergh. In Wallonia, the super-fast e-bikes with pedal assistance up to 45 km/hour have a harder time to breakthrough. All in all, Belgium has 29 725 speed pedelecs, and […]

Nissan sues Ghosn for €83,4 million before civil court

February 13, 2020

Nissan counter-attacks: last Wednesday, it has started a new procedure before a Japanese civil court and asks 10 billion yen (€83,4 million) compensation payments from its former CEO, Carlos Ghosn. The latter has fled Japan at the end of last year and has started lawsuits against his former employers. Nissan explains that the procedure is […]

Belgium to analyze car data to decide on speed limits

February 12, 2020

The Belgian government is currently discussing the idea of analyzing motorists’ driving behavior to detect accident-prone zones or areas where the speed limit should be lowered. Victor Rouard, a lawyer specialized in privacy, believes such a project could only work if the data are fully anonymous. Speed if often put forward as the major cause […]

Light moped users to wear helmet in The Netherlands

February 12, 2020

Both riders and passengers of light mopeds in The Netherlands will be forced to wear a helmet. The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (D66), states this in a draft bill. This means that only cyclists and drivers of so-called special mopeds are still exempt from the helmet requirement. Examples of special mopeds are […]

MR calls upon Brussels government to offer EV bonus

February 12, 2020

The liberal MR party has filed a new motion proposition to the Brussels Parliament calling the Region to inform and assist their citizens impacted by the Low-Emission Zone (LEZ). MR deputy, Anne-Charlotte d’Ursel, asks for the introduction of an EV and CNG car bonus. But Alain Maron (Ecolo), Environmental Minister, is completely opposed. After failing […]

‘Belgium won’t reach 2030 CO2 reduction goal’

February 11, 2020

According to economist Philippe Defeyt, chief of the Sustainable Development Institute (IDD), at the current rate, Belgium will fail to reach its -35% CO2 reduction objective for 2030 even if all cars become hybrid and electric. The economist calls for drastic measures in the form of a global speed reduction and intelligent kilometer tax. Belgium […]

Unions win court case on De Lijn’s new corporate structure

February 11, 2020

On Monday, the Antwerp Labour Court ruled in favor of the trade unions in a lawsuit against Flemish public transport company De Lijn. The latter had plans to change the company structure so that instead of six local works councils in the five provinces and the head office, one overarching works council and three committees […]

Freight rail line deletion could add 3.500 trucks to Brussels traffic

February 10, 2020

Belgium’s rail manager, Infrabel, is setting up the dismantling of Brussels’ 26A freight rail line for the summer of 2021. However, that unused line connects the Brussels port to the site of Schaerbeek Formation where the European fruit and vegetable center will soon be set up. With the related upcoming freight transport, the rail deletion […]

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 […]

Going electric to solve LEZ scooter pollution problem

February 07, 2020

The Flemish government no longer wants to admit polluting mopeds and scooters to the low-emission zones (LEZ) of, for example, Ghent and Antwerp. But the problem is that it doesn’t know how to realize this, as there is no inventory of the environmental performance of these vehicles. In recent years, moped owners have been forced […]

Vias: ‘Ignoring priority to the right causes 49 deaths a year’

February 06, 2020

Thirteen accidents occur every day in Belgium, in which people are injured because someone did not respect the priority rules. In 2018, 49 people lost their lives due to this. Although the number of accidents fell from 7.883 in 2009 to 4.661 in 2018, those accidents also caused more than six thousand injuries. That’s huge. […]

50% of Belgians won’t pay 5 euros to return online purchase

February 06, 2020

Approximately half of Belgians would change their online buying behavior if 5 euros had to be paid to return orders. This is the conclusion of a study commissioned by the Federal Minister of Economy and Consumers, Nathalie Muylle (CD&V). “We think climate awareness is important, but returns are massive.” Established habit Returning parcels free of […]

Is 6% of Belgian car sales fake?

February 06, 2020

Once again, there’s some commotion about the car sales figures in Belgium in 2019. Officially, 550.003 car sales were registered, a very good result, and second-best year ever. But 6% (34.952 cars) was deregistered a few months after registration and sold elsewhere. The practice is common knowledge in Belgium. Importer federation Febiac, which is delivering […]

Britain to pronounce combustion engine dead by 2035

February 05, 2020

Britain is going to ban – ‘subject to consultation’ – the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars, even hybrids by 2035. That’s five years earlier than initially planned and it can be even sooner, if feasible. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK has a responsibility to compensate for the historic CO2 emissions of […]

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 […]

Brussels: authorized officers control parked e-steps

February 03, 2020

A team of administrative staff has just been set up in Brussels to check whether the rules on free-floating devices such as e-steps, scooters, and bicycles are being properly complied with. With this measure, Brussels wants to reduce the nuisance caused by these means of transport on footpaths. This team is neither the result of […]

Ghent LEZ becomes ‘tourtist trap’ from February on

February 03, 2020

At the beginning of the year, the city of Ghent introduced a low-emission zone, but still tolerated offenders the first month. As of February 1st, drivers with old, polluting (diesel) cars will be fined. During the transition period, an average of 584 offenders got caught. More than 95% of Belgian drivers were in accordance with […]

British car industry first victim of Brexit

January 31, 2020

Since Brexit was voted in 2016, the British car industry shrank 25%. Last year total car production was 1,3 million units, far away from the 2 million that were predicted only four years ago. Of course, the crisis in the British car industry is not due to Brexit alone. The has also been the diesel […]

Tesla is doing well, thank you

January 30, 2020

For the second, consecutive time Tesla has registered a benefit in the last quarter of 2019. The net benefit turned out to be 105 million euros, and the equity rose with 1 billion dollars. Tesla now has approximately 6,3 billion dollars available. A few weeks ago, the estimated market value surpassed 100 billion dollars. The […]

Mobility club VAB doesn’t want any extra LEZs

January 30, 2020

Mobility Club VAB advises Belgian cities and municipalities not to introduce new low-emission zones (LEZ), for the time being. There are still too many uncertainties, they say. Measurements taken by the Flemish Environment Agency show that the impact on air quality is not convincing, especially when it comes to nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Consequently, according to […]

EVs still too dependent on incentives

January 30, 2020

In January, Tesla sold 36 Model 3 cars in the Netherlands. Last December, they were 12.117 units. Reason for this incredible gap? The tax incentives changed. Lower fiscal advantages have an immediate and important impact on electric sales. Last year, the Tesla Model 3 was the best-seller in the Netherlands; in total, 30.029 units were […]

Belgian Justice sends first digital traffic fines

January 30, 2020

The Belgian Federal Public Service Justice sent out traffic fines digitally for the first time on Wednesday. Immediately the number of fines was 5.000. This is done via the eBox, the digital letterbox of the government. In time, the paper fine may disappear. Transitional phase Some 830.000 Belgians today are already using the eBox. Only […]

Will Flanders keep its EV promises?

January 29, 2020

According to Flemish Environment Minister, Zuhal Demir (N-VA), Flanders is keeping its promises regarding the number of electric vehicles and charging points by the end of the year. The installing companies, on the other hand, sound the alarm bell. Five years ago, the previous Flemish government launched a plan of action called ‘Clean Power for […]

Increasingly fewer offenders of Antwerp LEZ

January 28, 2020

Last year, the city of Antwerp caught 20.774 Belgian drivers for entering the low-emission zone with an unauthorized vehicle. The number of infringers more than halved compared to the 42.455 the year before. In 2019, only 0,25% of all Belgian cars were offenders. Whether the number of foreign infringers has reduced is not clear. Fewer […]

German insurers want EU to impose alcolock in every car

January 27, 2020

German insurers want new cars in the EU to be fitted with an alcolock as standard. In Germany, there were 13.500 accidents involving alcohol in 2018. Such a European directive is easier than legislation per country, according to the insurers. New traffic law In the case of an alcolock, the driver must blow into a […]

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 […]

Brussels Minister pleads for 5G test zone

January 24, 2020

Brussels Minister for Employment and Digital Transition, Bernard Clerfayt (DéFi), pleads in favor of the development of a 5G test zone in the Belgian capital city. In addition to preparing Brussels for the future, including self-driving mobility, this test aims at studying the impact of 5G waves exposure. The development of the fifth generation 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 […]

100 kph limit on Brussels ring-road will be introduced in 2020

January 24, 2020

The speed reduction from 120 km/hour to 100 km/hour on the Brussels ring-road will be introduced before the end of 2020. That is what the Minister of Mobility and Public Works, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), announced in the Flemish Parliament on Thursday. Air quality The speed reduction is one of the 350 measures of the […]

Constitutional Court trashes Belgian law on ‘cash for car’

January 23, 2020

On Thursday, the Belgian Constitutional Court has destroyed the ‘cash for car’ law the demissionary government installed in 2018 to convince people to trade in their company car in exchange for a fiscally advantageous net fee of up to 700 euros per month. But the benefits will stay valid until a new law is ratified, […]

‘European car market will shrink for the first time in 7 years’

January 23, 2020

ACEA, the association of 16 European car manufacturers, predicts that the European car market will recede by 2,0% in 2020. This will be the first time in seven years. “We stand before a shrinking market,” says newly appointed ACEA president, Mike Manley, also the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobile. In 2019, the market still progressed […]

Dieselgate not over yet: 1,6 billion extra costs for Daimler

January 23, 2020

The consequences of ‘dieselgate’ are still looming everywhere. Especially the German car manufacturers are suffering from it. Daimler foresees a further 1,5 billion euros of additional costs, Volkswagen has been condemned to a 135-million-euro fine in Canada. On Wednesday, we were talking about Mitsubishi under investigation by German justice; now the bad news is returning […]

Mitsubishi under diesel fraud investigation in Germany

January 22, 2020

German justice has carried out a series of searches in different locations for suspected diesel fraud. The cars concerned were produced by the Mitsubishi group. Ten different locations were searched, among them company offices of Mitsubishi. The prosecutor’s office has declared that “there are presumptions that cars (of Mitsubishi) are equipped with a fraud software […]

Brussels’ pilot to monitor free-floating services in real-time

January 22, 2020

Brussels Mobility has launched a pilot project with Parisian start-up Vianova to gather and analyze the data from free-floating scooters, bicycles, and mopeds operating in the Region. It helps to enforce the drop-off zones thanks to GPS data. It also shows that Brussels City and Ixelles are the most used areas, counting 60% of all […]

Will robot-taxis ever find a real-life use?

January 21, 2020

Autonomous shuttles and robot taxis are supposed to replace the car and other transport with a safer and more intelligent form of mobility. However, while their development has been going on for a few years, questions about usage, economic models, public acceptability, and real-world safety remain. For years, humans have been dreaming of tomorrow’s mobility. […]

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 […]

Brussels wants zero road casualties by 2030

January 17, 2020

On Thursday, municipalities, police zones, mobility operators, and citizens’ associations gathered for the Brussels Mobility’s Road Safety summit. The authority wishes to put road safety as a number one priority and reduce the death toll to zero by 2030. The Region will find a solution for accident-prone areas by tackling speed, pedestrian crossings, two-wheelers, the […]