MR and Groen diagonally opposed about reversing Brussels Good Move plan

June 13, 2024

With the stalemate between the liberal MR party and Groen, the two big winners in the French and Dutch language groups in Brussels of the national elections, it looks like the Good Move mobility plan will become the topic of the municipal elections in October. MR president Georges-Louis Bouchez is determined that Good Move must […]

Elections: mobility ministers score very different results

June 10, 2024

Last Sunday was election day in Belgium. Citizens had to vote for three (Flanders, Wallonia) or four (Brussels) different parliaments: European, federal, and regional (an additional one in Brussels). The respective mobility ministers saw different faiths. Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) has not been re-elected in the federal parliament. Flemish Mobility Minister Lydia Peeters […]

EU definitely plans to raise import duty for Chinese cars

May 16, 2024

As the US government has now opted to quadruple trade tariffs on electric vehicles from China, Europe is also considering a (much more modest) increase. However, whether any of the trade war’s efforts will benefit customers remains to be seen. Apparently, the European Union will impose punitive tariffs on electric cars made in China before […]

Is Fisker going under? (Update)

May 08, 2024

Dark clouds seem to be accumulating above Fisker’s future. Magna, the company contracted to build the Fisker Ocean in Austria, says in its Q1 2024 financial report that it assumes no more will be built. Fisker has been looking for opportunities to save itself for a while already. Now, the company hired to build its […]

Historic UAW victory at VW’s Chattanooga plant (U.S.)

April 22, 2024

Of the 5,500 workers at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant (Tennessee, U.S.), 73% voted yes to being represented by the United Auto Workers Union (UAW). This is the first time a foreign car manufacturer in the U.S. has a union-represented workforce and also the first time in the South of the States. It’s a double victory for […]

Danish ‘:Dribe’ ogles Belgium for expanding its car subscription platform

April 03, 2024

Danish car subscription start-up ‘:Dribe’ is ogling Belgium to export its fully digital platform to the rest of Europe. Offering subscriptions of 30 days and the freedom to switch cars when needed, this concept of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) goes beyond any car leasing platform, the company claims. “We want to do this in collaboration with a […]

Incomprehension feeds the Belgian’s bias against EVs

March 22, 2024

A new spring announces itself; a such-and-such new ‘mobility barometer’ is showing up. For just over half of all Belgians (51%), there is little to no belief in a new dawn the electric car could provide by 2035. 36% even think it won’t happen before 2045-2050, and 17% say ‘never for me’. Still, 48% (+7% […]

Renault CEO Luca de Meo writes a ‘Letter to Europe’

March 20, 2024

Renault Group CEO (and current ACEA President) Luca de Meo has addressed a ‘Letter to Europe‘ to “all key decision-makers and stakeholders across Europe”. It’s an “Advocacy for a sustainable, inclusive, and competitive automotive industry.” With just a few months to go before the European elections, this twenty-page document calls for European mobilization “to succeed […]

EVs without needing servicing, is it possible?

March 20, 2024

Tesla is hiring a ‘Senior Manager Zero Service’, spotted a few days ago online. The candidate will join Tesla’s Service Operations organization “and lead the team responsible for identifying and eliminating the reasons our cars require service”. Is that possible? Do electric cars need no servicing at all? You will often hear that EVs […]

Wallonia axes Low Emission Zone plans due in 2025

March 14, 2024

Walloon Environment Minister, Céline Tellier (Ecolo), has declared that the plan for Wallonia to become a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) was “disproportionate, difficult to apply and not very effective.” The Walloon LEZ is now axed, but major cities will be able to introduce restrictions to enhance air quality, not only on vehicles. Introduced in 2019, […]

Among candidate investors ‘lining up’, Dumarey awaits bankruptcy Van Hool

March 14, 2024

According to Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon and Minister for Work Jo Brouns, several possible candidates are ‘lining up’ and showing interest in investing in a restart of bus manufacturer Van Hool in Koningshooikt (Lier). But that doesn’t mean avoiding bankruptcy, as some – like Belgian entrepreneur Guido Dumarey, a specialist in blowing new life into […]

Mercedes-boss urges EU to lower not raise tariffs on Chinese EVs

March 13, 2024

In an interview with the Financial Times on Tuesday, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius made a remarkable statement, rubbing up his French competitors by urging the European Commission to lower tariffs on Chinese EV imports instead of raising them. This would force European carmakers to make better cars, he added. “I’m a contrarian,” he said in […]

Van Hool: wrong horse or simply Murphy’s Law?

March 12, 2024

Belgian bus manufacturer Van Hool decided to cut almost half of its jobs at its headquarters in Koningshooikt after a series of cascading troubles eviscerated its competitiveness. Some point to Van Hool’s hydrogen strategy, others to the lack of support from public transport company De Lijn, but neither explanation offers a complete picture. It has […]

Driving an Isetta reincarnation: the Microlino Pioneer

February 13, 2024

It isn’t a car, and it isn’t a moped on four wheels. Still, it can reach a top speed of 90 km/hour, and you need a driver’s license B for it in Belgium. Officially, it is a fully electric lightweight quadricycle (L7e) that looks like the direct reincarnation of the ultimate bubble car of the […]

Akio Toyoda: ‘EV market share won’t surpass 30%’

January 24, 2024

Toyota Chairman and former CEO Akio Toyoda believes battery-electric vehicles will have a maximum market share of 30%, with the rest taken up by hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells, and ICE cars. “With a billion people in the world living without electricity, limiting their choices and ability to travel by making expensive cars isn’t the answer,” […]

Why Ford is slowing down electric F-150 Lightning for ICE Bronco

January 22, 2024

Ford Motor has announced it will slow down production of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck to one shift at its Michigan Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, starting in April, to adjust to a slower uptake expected in 2024. Meanwhile, Ford will add a third crew at the Michigan Assembly Plant to increase the popular Bronco […]

‘32% of Belgians prepared to buy new car, but not electric’

January 12, 2024

Belgium has always been a ‘car-loving country’, and although the pandemic and the energy crisis made Belgians lose the appetite to buy a new (or used) car, 32% of them are getting that itch again. That’s double the percentage of 2022, and 12% more than last year, according to a Traxio survey. But it won’t […]

ACEA: ‘EU lacks robust industrial strategy’

December 14, 2023

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) warns the European authorities of a Chinese dominance of the EV supply chain and the US government incentives for domestic automakers. According to ACEA, the EU electric vehicle industry risks losing ground even more without a robust EU industrial strategy. It risks putting the EU on the back pedal […]

ACEA president calls for ‘Kei cars’ in Europe

December 06, 2023

The current (and re-elected) president of the European Car Manufacturers Association (ACEA), Luca de Meo, has called for European ‘Kei Cars’ as one of the solutions to boost electric car sales and solve acute urban mobility problems. De Meo did so in his speech at the ACEA headquarters in Brussels while presenting the lobbying group’s […]

Fisker is having problems delivering its electric Ocean SUV

December 05, 2023

The electric car manufacturer Fisker is lowering its production forecast for 2023 once again. After last lowering its forecast to between 13 000 and 17 000 vehicles produced in 2023 as a whole, Fisker now only expects to produce just over 10 000 units. The reason given for this is the decision to produce fewer […]

T&E: ‘Europe’s car industry is still doing too little, too late’

October 04, 2023

In a striking opinion piece, William Todts, Executive Director of the NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), points at the mess the German car industry has made these recent decades and the efforts from the European Union to tackle the problem. “Earlier this month, Ursula von der Leyen sent shockwaves through the European and Chinese car […]

UK to postpone ICE exit, car industry reacts dismissive

September 21, 2023

The Prime Minister of the UK, Rishi Sunak (Conservatives), is attempting to water down the UK policy to ban the sale of new combustion vehicles in 2030. The British car industry doesn’t seem happy at all with this policy change. “To give us more time to prepare, I’m announcing that we’re going to ease the […]

Mobia’s Mobility Day shows vital need to better inform general public

September 20, 2023

At the second Mobility Stakeholders Day of the Belgian mobility federation Mobia on Tuesday in Brussels, guest speaker professor Dave Sinardet made those ‘stakeholders’ face the facts that there is a considerable gap to be bridged between the sector and the general public when it comes to the importance of everyday mobility issues and the […]

EU blows hot and cold in anti-subsidy investigation Chinese EVs

September 15, 2023

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s statement on Wednesday that the EU is to launch an investigation into China’s state support for makers of electric vehicles was brushed away by the Chinese government as ‘naked protectionist behavior.’ One that von der Leyen’s home car industry fears will backfire in a Chinese market they desperately […]

Four out of ten Dutch citizens against owning a car

August 14, 2023

More than four out of ten Dutch citizens think their country has to eliminate the idea that everyone has to own a car. Energy provider Zonneplan did a panel survey of 2002 Dutch inhabitants about their views on car possession. The most popular argument against car possession is the high environmental impact of the car […]

BMW R&D Chief: ‘Energy transition with the consumer, not against him’

August 03, 2023

The German car manufacturer BMW Group sees in the evolution of the car market a confirmation of its credo: an open technology with ample room for BEVs but also attention to other solutions, even (at least for a certain period) internal combustion engines. Frank Weber, BMW’s Head of R&D, said in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: […]

Is there a new Saab coming?

August 01, 2023

The spirit of Saab might prevail, finally. An unknown investor has probably purchased the NEVS Emily GT project; hope is glimmering for the ill-fabled manufacturer. There is now a slight chance that a purely electric Saab sedan will occupy the streets again. The mismanagement of owner General Motors and the horrendous fumbling of potential overtakers […]

Tata to build battery ‘gigafactory’ in the UK

July 20, 2023

The Tata Group will build its first battery cell factory outside India in the UK. The British government has now officially confirmed what had already become apparent. At the beginning of February, it became known that Tata Motors was looking for a location for its European battery cell factory in Spain or the UK. However, […]

T&E: ‘Smaller cars can reduce demand for critical metals’

July 18, 2023

Cutting battery sizes, improving chemistries, and reducing private car journeys can cut the expected consumption of critical materials in BEVs by 36-49% by 2050, says the NGO Transport & Environment based on a new analysis of a study ordered and conducted by the green group. Demand for battery raw materials in Europe will increase rapidly […]

Driving another Chinese-Swedish premium EV: Zeekr 001

July 13, 2023

Eventually, it was to become Lynk & Co’s first fully electric model. Still, after reconsideration, it was labeled ‘too good’ to resist the temptation to put it on the market as a new premium brand: the Zeekr 001. Not to be expected this year in Belgium, but ready for Sweden and the Netherlands, we got […]

Dacia means business, also with EVs. We drove the Spring ‘Extreme’

July 12, 2023

‘Dacia goes extreme’ is the new slogan of Renault’s daughter Dacia. ‘Extreme’ is, in fact, the new top-of-line version for all Dacias, but the Spring gets a second, more powerful variant with it. We drove it on Belgian roads. Until now, the Dacia Spring, the cheapest EV on the Belgian market, had a 188 kg […]

Pussyfooting with Maxus’ electric ‘VIP shuttle’ MIFA9

June 27, 2023

With its 5,27-meter length and full two meters width, the Chinese Maxus’ MIFA9 is quite a giant-looking full electric people mover for seven or eight persons. A challenge to test drive on narrow roads in the hinterland of Namur. But that proved surprisingly pleasant: a rather pussyfooting elephant, we would say. The price of its […]

Driving the Opel Astra Electric: is it really that efficient?

June 22, 2023

After a long wait, Opel has finally finished the development of its Astra Electric, which means we got to drive it. Thanks to its new Nidec electric motor, the compact hatchback promises, quite frankly, astonishing efficiency figures. Or is it too good to be true? In the battle between the technically similar e-308 and Astra […]

Will there be another ‘car show’ in Brussels in 2024?

June 14, 2023

402 Automotive, a Dutch organizer of car shows and events, seems to want to fill the gap the cancellation of the Brussels Motor Show 2024 organized by sector federation Febiac has left. The Dutch event specialist wants to replace the Brussels Motor Show (BMS) with an ‘innovative car show’ with a lot of attention to […]

Driving the NIO ET7, China’s challenger to EQS and i7

May 09, 2023

When picking up the NIO ET7 in Amsterdam for a week-long test drive, it was apparent right from the first moment we stepped into the 5,1-meter sleek sedan this is not your average Chinese low-budget electric car. This one is conceived to be a luxurious ‘second living room’ on wheels, playing in the highest categories […]

In-house developed e-motor gives Volvo XC40 and C40 a 34% range boost

May 05, 2023

In the second year of the C40 Recharge’s existence, Volvo created a brand-new, compact e-motor for it… and we saw that it was good. Developed in-house in Sweden, it makes its entry in the new rear-wheel drive 2024 versions of the XC40 and C40 Recharge, both manufactured in Ghent, Belgium. got the opportunity to […]

Touring monitor confirms Belgians having cold feet to switch to EVs

April 13, 2023

A lot of Belgians still have cold feet when it comes to switching to an electric car, especially in the case of private cars. One in three is plainly negative toward EVs, and only one in four is willing to consider buying one in the next five years. Moreover, higher purchase prices and soaring energy […]

Taking the new electric Aiways U6 Coupé-SUV to the road

April 11, 2023

To see it actually appear on European roads, we’ll have to wait until summer, but a limited number of international journalists got the opportunity to test some pre-production models of the new Chinese Aiways U6 on Portuguese roads. took the challenge, and the U6 didn’t disappoint. Again, the Chinese prove they can give a […]

EU Commission bows to Germany

March 27, 2023

The EU Commission and the German government have agreed on a compromise on how new cars with combustion engines can be registered after 2035 as long as they run on climate-neutral fuel. The original regulation on the phasing out of internal combustion engines is not to be touched again, and the exceptions will now be […]

Average German’s appetite for gasoline car churns up again

March 27, 2023

German Targobank’s yearly Car Study, a survey conducted by survey institute Forsa, shows that the average German is again increasingly falling back on gasoline cars rather than an electric one when considering buying a new car. The tendency is quite apparent: 30% would prioritize it, compared to 22% the year before. The eagerness to switch […]

T&E: ‘two-thirds of planned European battery production is at risk’

March 07, 2023

More than two-thirds (68%) of lithium-ion battery production planned for Europe is at risk of being delayed, scaled down, or canceled, a new analysis of Transport & Environment (T&E) shows. Tesla in Berlin, Northvolt in northern Germany, and Italvolt near Turin are among the projects that stand to lose the greatest volumes of their slated […]

T&E: leasing companies overcharge EVs by up to €8.370 in 36 months

March 02, 2023

The ten biggest leasing companies in Europe, managing today a fleet of 12 million vehicles, are ‘overcharging’ electric cars systematically on average by 57% or €233 per month, and €8 370 over 36 months, compared to a similar vehicle on gasoline. They claim lower resale values based on uncertainty on battery degradation, among others. Still, […]

Thierry Koskas is the new CEO of Citroën

February 24, 2023

Vincent Cobée, the current CEO of the Citroën brand, part of the Stellantis Group, will be replaced by Thierry Koskas as of March 1st. Cobée, recently cited in our articles, “has decided to pursue personal projects outside the company”, as it always sounds in official press releases. “In the light of the growing challenges related […]

European car sales 11,3% up in January

February 22, 2023

According to the figures of the European Car Manufacturers Association ACEA, in January, the European Union passenger car market grew by 11,3% to 760 041 units, starting the new year on a positive note. However, one must consider that this was mainly due to an unusually modest comparison base in 2022 when the lowest January […]

Dacia VP: ‘Excessive weight is not acceptable’

February 21, 2023

In an interview with the British car magazine Autocar, Dacia Vice-President for Sales, Marketing, and Operations Xavier Martinet says that a much greater emphasis needs to be put on weight efficiency when designing (EV) cars. “If we’re serious about collectively reducing emissions, then excessive weight should not be acceptable.” Martinet made his statement when he […]

Ford to cut another 3 800 jobs in Europe (Update)

February 15, 2023

It is now officially confirmed that Ford Motor Company is again planning to cut thousands of jobs. Some 3 800 across Europe before 2025, but the biggest part of it will be in Germany (2 300) and the UK (1 300). The proving grounds in Belgian Lommel also seem to be threatened. The American number […]

Porsche plans super-EV for high-luxury segment

February 10, 2023

Porsche’s new electric flagship should be launched in 2027 and will be a seven-seater, off-road-capable luxury crossover. Porsche previously announced that it is working on an electric SUV positioned above the familiar models. Now, the first technical data have surfaced. According to information from the British magazine Autocar, the SUV will be more than five […]

With 270.000 visitors Brussels Motor Show secures its survival

January 23, 2023

The 100th-anniversary edition of the Brussels Motor Show (BMS) welcomed some 270 000 public visitors in nine days. That’s considerably less than in the heydays before the pandemic, but it still makes it the most popular indoor event in Belgium. The organizers hoped that 300-350 000 people would have found their way to the halls […]

CEO Stellantis: ‘We can no longer wait for governments to take decisions’

January 19, 2023

After leaving the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) last year, Stellantis has just announced they will stop all European lobbying efforts. CEO Carlos Tavares made the decision as a way to be more proactive than reactive in terms of future mobility strategies. “We no longer have lobbyists. We do not negotiate anymore,” Tavares says. “We […]

Rolls-Royce and Co: newly preferred toys for the super rich (update)

January 11, 2023

In 2022, the high-luxury daughter of BMW, Rolls-Royce, sold 6021 cars. Never before has the illustrious company sold so many cars: 8% more than the previous record year, and that was 2021. Bentley sold more than 15 000 cars, also a record. So the Ukrainian war, the energy prices, etc., don’t affect the buying habits […]

Everybody ‘premium’? How the ‘generalists’ are losing their clients

January 10, 2023

When one follows the car market and the manufacturers’ policies, one of the ever-recurring words is ‘premium’. There’s almost no manufacturer anymore that doesn’t want to be –be it partly – premium, at the same time neglecting a (big) part of its former sales base. It’s becoming very crowdy in this premium part of the […]

Stellantis CEO Tavares warns: ‘Middle-class consumers will buy Chinese’

January 09, 2023

In an interview with the German specialized magazine Automobilwoche at the Computer Electronics Show  (CES) in Las Vegas, Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares warns the industry that many European middle-class customers will buy Chinese in the future. “The price difference between European and Chinese cars is considerable,” he says. “If we do nothing about this, consumers […]

Belgian car sales -4,4% in 2022, BMW number one again

January 03, 2023

Despite an excellent December month (+20,6% compared to last year), the Belgian car market regressed by 4,4% compared to 2021. This was due to significant deficits in sales in the first seven months, which couldn’t be compensated by the progress in the last five months. As the Belgian market stays dominated by company cars, BMW […]

Driving the Chinese MG4: bang for your buck

December 29, 2022

You won’t be stared at for its modern but not unique looks when driving by, as this family hatchback – MG’s latest EV washing ashore in Europe – could be one in a thousand. Unless you chose that ‘Fizzy Orange’ color. Driving the basic version for the first time on Belgian roads, this MG4 proves […]

And now for something completely different: we drove the Smart #1

December 29, 2022

The era of the original Smart two-seater has gone. In came the new Smart, a completely different approach and the fruit of a collaboration between Mercedes and Geely. The new #1 is also a completely electric car, like the latest ‘old’ Smarts, but every other similarity halts here. The newcomer is a crossover that tries […]

Toyota produces 5th generation hybrid powertrain in Europe

December 22, 2022

Toyota has announced a €77 million investment for producing fifth-generation hybrid powertrains at its Poland and UK plants. The powertrain will be built in the UK and Turkey and used for the first time in the new Corolla. Seven production lines will be upgraded at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland (TMMP) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK […]

T&E: ‘Truck emissions spike 94% during Black Friday week’

November 25, 2022

Truck transport is massively polluting, and the emissions from transporting retail goods spike 94% during Black Friday week. However, there is a ready-made solution in the form of zero-emission trucks, the European environmental lobbying group Transport and Environment (T&E) says. Black Friday is notorious for peak consumerism and waste. Trucking retail goods is a dirty […]

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse: ‘We are not leaving the lower-priced segments’

November 12, 2022

Lately, almost all manufacturers are talking about becoming more premium in their future plans, abandoning the lower A- and B-segments. One should expect from a premium/luxury player like BMW the same. But this has been recently denied by the big boss himself, Oliver Zipse, talking at an event hosted by car supplier Bosch. A few […]

After grey, blue, and green: turquoise hydrogen the horse to bet on?

November 08, 2022

It’s getting colorful but complicated. We already know grey hydrogen, the least environmentally friendly form, as it still generates CO2 when produced from gas, and blue hydrogen, where the CO2 is captured and stored. There is ‘green’ hydrogen, generated mainly by electrolysis using renewable electricity from solar or wind energy. But why not consider ‘turquoise’ […]

Paris Motor Show was not really ‘Mondial’ anymore (update)

October 25, 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the Paris Motor Show ‘Mondial de l’Auto’ last week. But in the wake of the difficulties almost all motor shows are experiencing post-pandemic, the Mondial seems to have lost its global character. As a result, only 400 000 visitors showed up, while the previous edition attracted more than a million. […]