Longest strike ever on German railways

January 24, 2024

Engineers of the state-owned railway company Deutsche Bahn started a six-day strike last night, the longest strike ever on German railways. The strike comes because of a long-running dispute over working conditions and pay between DB and union GDL. Train traffic in Germany is expected to come to a virtual standstill. It is now the […]

TotalEnergies buys majority stake in Danish wind projects

January 24, 2024

The French oil and gas group TotalEnergies has signed a deal with Danish sustainable energy company European Energy for a majority stake in two wind projects. Under the arrangement, TotalEnergies will take an 85% stake in the Jammerland Bugt project (240 MW), and 72,2% in the Lillebaelt South nearshore development (165 MW), both in Danish […]

Dutch MAN-boss: ‘hydrogen is no match for battery-electric truck’

January 24, 2024

Alexander Vlaskamp, CEO of German heavy truck maker MAN Truck & Bus, is no believer when it comes to hydrogen to decarbonize heavy transport. Although MAN develops both to a certain extent, he’s convinced that the limited supply and high cost of green hydrogen make a fuel cell truck unable to compete with battery electric […]

EU Commission blocks deal between Lufthansa and ITA

January 24, 2024

The European Commission has blocked plans by German airline group Lufthansa to take a minority stake in Italian airline ITA Airways. EU anti-trust regulators are “concerned after a preliminary investigation that the transaction could restrict competition on several short- and long-haul routes to and from Italy,” they said in a press release. This mainly concerns […]

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,” […]

Opel dusts off Frontera nameplate for next electric SUV

January 24, 2024

While the Manta is sent to the history books, German carmaker Opel has announced the comeback in 2024 of the Frontera nameplate – Opel’s 4×4 sold between 1991 and 2004 – for an entirely new SUV that will also feature a fully electric version right from the start. Details are scarce, but Opel CEO Florian […]

Stellantis CEO: ‘I want to avoid a bloodbath and the new platform will help me’

January 23, 2024

Stellantis has fully unveiled its STLA Large platform. Designed for large electric vehicles, it forms the basis for future cars in the D and E segments for the global markets. However, it is not a purely electric platform, which has a reason. This will be a pivotal year for the strictness of emissions regulations with […]

Yamaha acquires electric marine motor specialist Torqeedo

January 23, 2024

Japanese Yamaha Motors, a big name in marine engines – outboard and inboard – has fully acquired German electric outboard motor pioneer and world leader Torqeedo from Deutz. German ‘historic’ combustion engine manufacturer Deutz AG is more into burning hydrogen now, focusing on construction equipment and agricultural machinery, among others. It says in a press […]

Brussels Airlines and TUI fly to recruite more than 700 new crew

January 23, 2024

Brussels Airlines and its Belgian rival TUI fly are looking to recruit more than 700 people this year. Both airlines are mainly looking for stewards and flight attendants, but TUI fly is also looking for 15 future pilots, for example, while about 40 are needed at Brussels Airlines. Brussels Airlines, which had to lay off […]

BMW gives more details about its ‘Neue Klasse’ EVs

January 23, 2024

With the ‘Neue Klasse’ or ‘New Class,’ BMW will launch a new vehicle architecture for the electric future in 2025. The Munich-based company has a tight model schedule: six model series are to use the New Class base within two years. More details have become available. BMW already confirmed in March 2023 that six model […]

Three years of Brussels Zone 30: lower speeds and fewer injuries

January 23, 2024

Three years after the introduction of the 30 km/hour rule in Brussels, Brussels Mobility can only present a fine balance sheet: the introduction of the speed limit has not only led to less noise pollution and a general decrease in average speeds in the capital’s streets but has also reduced the severity of accidents, particularly […]

T&E: ‘Cars are getting 1 cm wider every two years’

January 23, 2024

Car manufacturers are making increasingly wider cars. For instance, the 1974 Volkswagen Golf was ‘only’ 1,610 m wide, but the 2019 version measured 1,790 m. Not to mention the Dodge Ram, which is more than two meters wide – 2,085 m, to be precise- overshooting the 1,80 m-wide parking spaces by almost 30 cm. The […]

Stellantis to ‘freeze’ Opel Manta-e plans for 2025

January 23, 2024

Those nostalgics waiting for the ‘electric comeback’ 2025 of Opels’s 1970s icon, the Manta, might be disappointed, as Stellantis is said to ‘freeze’ the plans, not to say ‘ditch’ them altogether. According to the French car magazine L’Automobile, an ‘internal evaluation’ has led to that decision. And if the French magazine’s sources are correct, there […]

CATL CEO: ‘Ultimately we’ll need tiny amounts of mined battery material’

January 23, 2024

“The growing demand for key materials can increasingly be met by technological advances, battery recycling, and global cooperation,” said Chinese battery giant CATL’s CEO Robin Zeng, attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. “At the end of the day, when we achieve 100% electric cars, there will be a very tiny amount of […]

Lucid appoints new boss for European operations

January 22, 2024

Lucid has found a replacement for Michael van der Sande as Managing Director for its European operations. Coming from Polestar, the German Alexander Lutz is taking over. He reports directly to Martin Winterhoff, the company’s current COO for Europe. Alexander Lutz previously served as the head of Polestar’s operations in Italy. He was promoted to […]

Macron’s social leasing plan: first EVs delivered at €100/month

January 22, 2024

In France, the first vehicles have been delivered within President Emmanuel Macron’s social leasing plan, a measure to lease a European electric car at 100 euros per month for those on the lowest incomes. The first vehicles were provided by the Stellantis Group, known for brands such as Peugeot, Citroën, etc. So far, about 91 […]

Brussels gets electric instead of horse-drawn carriages

January 22, 2024

Since last year, taking rides in horse-drawn carriages in the center of Brussels has no longer been possible. The city will come up with an alternative this summer: the horse-drawn carriages will be replaced by three electric ones, a unique in Europe, according to Brussels news site BRUZZ. The electric ones will be operated by […]

BYD considers bringing its hybrid off-road SUVs to Europe

January 22, 2024

Chinese auto manufacturing group BYD is reportedly considering expanding its European range with hybrid off-road models from its sub-brands Yangwang and Fangchengbao. The former is a 1200-hp luxury vehicle with tank turn capability, and the latter is a more affordable SUV that could rival the Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover Defender. BYD is expanding […]

Traxio: ‘For first time, more e-bikes sold in Belgium than classic ones’

January 22, 2024

For the first time last year, more electric bicycles were sold in Belgium than regular bicycles. E-bikes now have a market share of 51,2%. However, bicycle sales have decreased.  After the top year of 2022, bicycle sales dropped by 12,9%. Still, more than 600 000 units were sold (606 017 to be precise), or more […]

Volvo Car Gent rallied to production record last year

January 22, 2024

Volvo Car Gent celebrates a stellar year as it nailed a total production of 230 527 cars in 2023, marking a significant 19,4% increase from the previous year’s output of 192 991 vehicles. It’s the first time in four years that the factory has surpassed the figure of 200 000 cars per year. In 2024, […]

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 […]

European car market grows 14% in 2023, EVs have a 15% share (update)

January 22, 2024

European Car Manufacturers Association ACEA published the sales figures in Europe last year. In 2023, the EU car market concluded with a solid 13,9% expansion compared to 2022, reaching a full-year volume of 10,5 million units. All EU markets grew in the past year except for Hungary (-3,4%). Double-digit gains were recorded in most markets, […]

Valorauto recycling solution open to private owners

January 19, 2024

Starting in January 2024, Valorauto, a joint venture between Stellantis and recycling specialist Galloo, will expand its end-of-life vehicle recycling service to private owners. This service offers a free and responsible solution to the end-of-life management of vehicles weighing under 3,5 tons, for both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs), regardless of the brand […]

Brussels Airlines: new uniforms and more inclusive style guide

January 19, 2024

Brussels Airlines has presented new uniforms for its cabin crew, pilots, and airport staff. The style guide has also been completely updated: from now on, hairstyles and make-up are no longer gender-specific, which means that stewards can now paint their nails, for example. Visible tattoos are no longer taboo either. The new uniforms, which more […]

Green power with a roar: NamX HUV with hydrogen V8

January 19, 2024

The Afro-European start-up NamX has released more details about its first car, the HUV. It appears that the automaker is joining the league of combustion-engined hydrogen cars, as the driveline of HUV features a roaring V8. We didn’t see that one coming. All passenger cars on hydrogen today use a fuel cell to make the […]

NMBS/SNCB curtails opening hours of station ticket offices

January 18, 2024

From March 1st, opening hours will change in almost all Belgian railway stations where there are still ticket offices. No ticket office will remain completely closed, but opening hours will be reduced in all but four of the 91 stations where there are still ticket offices. The Belgian public railway company wants to use its […]

Febiac: ‘Motorcycles regained popularity in 2023’

January 18, 2024

Last year, Belgium registered 25 359 new motorcycles, 2,7% more than the previous year. According to the car and two-wheeler federation Febiac, motorcycles are increasingly popular, so registrations and the number of driving licenses issued are growing. For a long time, motorcycles were mainly seen as recreational vehicles. However, today, they’re increasingly popular among commuters. […]

Ford rejuvenates Kuga: new face, more hybrid power

January 18, 2024

Since 2021, the Ford Kuga has been Europe’s best-selling plug-in hybrid. The SUV has received a mid-cycle refresh, including a redesigned nose, updated technology, and a slightly more powerful plug-in hybrid drivetrain. Sales of the new model are set to kick off in January 2024. Although it was slow to launch due to battery problems […]

Van Peteghem willing to lend ICE company cars some tax relief

January 18, 2024

The Belgian federal government is poised to decide on a proposal from Minister of Finance Vincent Van Peteghem (CD&V) to give owners of company cars on diesel and gasoline some tax relief. The rabbit in van Petegehem’s hat adds the more modern WLTP data to the NEDC measurements, dampening the shock jump. Owners of company […]

Dutch crisis manager to put Van Hool back on track

January 18, 2024

With the immediate appointment of Mark Zwaaneveld (62) as co-CEO, Belgian bus and touring car builder Van Hool is getting a shrewd crisis manager in-house to put the company back on track after four years of doom. Zwaaneveld will focus on a restructuring plan, while Filip Van Hool (59), the founding family’s third generation, runs […]

Dieselgate: VW once again condemned by German justice

January 18, 2024

The administrative court of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany has once again declared that the update for diesel engines Volkswagen proposed in the aftermath of dieselgate is also illegal. The homologation by the official German car agency Kraftfahrt Bundesamt (KBA) is invalid. The German NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) has presented the update to the court and welcomes […]

Sixt to buy up to 250.000 cars from Stellantis

January 17, 2024

German car rental company Sixt is to buy up to 250 000 cars for its rental fleets in Europe and North America from Stellantis, the group behind brands such as Peugeot, Citroën, Opel, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Fiat, and Jeep. The order involves several billion euros, although both companies are not naming precise amounts. The move […]

Ligier Benelux to import electric bike trailers K-Ryole

January 17, 2024

The French micro-mobility specialist Ligier will import K-Ryole’s electric transport solutions to Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The purpose is to offer even more zero-emission micro-mobility solutions for building and logistics. K-Ryole is a French manufacturer of innovative, electrically supported bike trailers and trolleys, especially suited for last-mile delivery. The bike trailers are mainly used […]

BYD Sea Lion 07 specs leak ahead of launch

January 17, 2024

BYD expands its Ocean line-up with the Sea Lion 07, a mid-size electric Coupé-SUV that should compete with the Tesla Model Y. Ahead of its official launch in the first half of 2024, China’s MIIT leaks the new model’s technical specifications. The Sea Lion 07 will have three powertrain variants, including two single-motor versions and […]

Northvolt gets nearly €5 billion in loans for expansion

January 17, 2024

Swedish battery maker Northvolt will get 4,6 billion euros to expand its large battery factory in Sweden and the Revolt Ett recycling plant next door. It is the largest green loan given to a company so far in Europe, according to the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is issuing the loan with 23 commercial banks […]

Chinese BYD commissions first of four giant car carriers

January 17, 2024

BYD (Build Your Dreams) has commissioned the first of what will probably become a fleet of four giant ro-ro ferries with up to 7 000 cars to ‘fuel’ its expansion into Europe. According to Chinese press agency Xinhua, the BYD Explorer 1 has set sail from China’s southern city of Shenzhen to the Dutch port […]

New ‘Brussels Auto Show’ opens, expecting 130.000 visitors

January 17, 2024

From January 17 to 21, Brussels will host the Brussels Auto Show (BAS) at the Heysel. This new formula from Dutch organizer 402 Automotive fills the gap left by the canceled Brussels Motor Show and focuses on car enthusiasts rather than the general public. On the halls’ 60 000 square meters, visitors will have chances […]

AC Future shows eTH, an RV that turns into a home, at CES

January 17, 2024

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, California-based AC Future presented the ETH, a fully electric RV concept designed by Pininfarina with expandable walls that convert it into a luxurious living area and a mobile workspace. The AC Future eTH stands for ‘Electric Transformer House’, which is a great way to describe the […]

Moment of truth for Nedcar: 2.000 people fired

January 17, 2024

Wednesday is the moment of truth for 2 000 employees of Dutch contract builder VDL Nedcar in Born, as the company has summoned everybody to show up and get to know the final end day of their work. Only 474 will escape the hatchet. The employees are informed department by department and can get answers […]

Dutch Fastned expands to Spain

January 17, 2024

After opening its first station in Denmark in Q4 2023, Dutch fast-charger provider Fastned is now expanding to Spain, where it won a first tender for seven stations along highways. The first Spanish station will be built in Casarrubuelos (Madrid) along the A42 to Toledo, featuring eight 400 kW chargers. The goal is to build […]

D’Ieteren opens first… Maserati concept store near Antwerp

January 16, 2024

Maserati gains a new showroom in Belgium with Maserati Center Antwerp, a new concept store built in collaboration with D’Ieteren. The Belgian VW importer is expanding its business into the luxury segment, including creating dealerships of brands outside the Volkswagen Group portfolio. D’Ieteren may be best known as the Belgian importer of VW Group brands […]

Spy shots reveal new Lancia Ypsilon’s design in full

January 16, 2024

The future Lancia Ypsilon has been photographed in all its glory and without camouflage during a promotional photoshoot in Italy. The new model will surely come with a fully electric variant and will be launched later this year. The first new Lancia for over a decade showcases a new brand design inspired by the recent […]

BMW CFO: ‘The tipping point for ICE is already there’

January 16, 2024

BMW chief financial officer Walter Mertl said in a recent media roundtable BMW has passed the tipping point for combustion engine vehicle sales and now generates most sales growth from electric cars. “The tipping point for the combustion engine is already there,” the CFO said, adding that, in his view, it had been passed last […]

Lufthansa targets 13.000 new employees

January 16, 2024

Lufthansa Group plans to hire around 13 000 new employees this year. These include pilots, cabin crew, technicians, and IT specialists, according to the German airline group, which also has airlines Eurowings, Brussels Airlines, Swiss, and Austrian Airlines. According to Aviation24, at least 380 of them will be recruited for Brussels Airlines. Lufthansa is looking […]

Q8 and Storm to invest €250 million in fast charging stations

January 16, 2024

Gas station operator Q8 and energy company Storm will build a network of up to 200 fast charging stations in Belgium – about half with a shop or restaurant. That is what both companies announced on Monday. They call it “a unique partnership”. The project represents an investment of up to 250 million euros. Both […]

One in seven Belgian trains delayed or abolished in 2023

January 15, 2024

The punctuality of Belgian public railway company NMBS/SNCB’s trains fell to the lowest level in five years last year. More than 46 000 trains were also canceled, a record. “This is not what passengers are entitled to,” the rail operator and NMBS/SNCB responded. Specifically, 87,5% of trains arrived at their final destination or in Brussels […]

Record number of drivers fined in Brussels LEZ

January 15, 2024

Last year, the Brussels region fined a record number of motorists who entered the Brussels low-emission zone (LEZ) with a car that was too polluting. Almost 30 000 drivers – 29 643 to be precise – were fined, an increase of almost 60% compared to 2022. In 2020, 12 321 fines were issued; in 2021, […]

Giga Storage to set up EU’s largest battery park in Belgium

January 15, 2024

The Dutch energy storage company Giga Storage plans to develop Europe’s largest battery park in Dilsen-Stokkem (Belgium). The 60 MW energy storage project will have a 2 400 MWh capacity. This means that the average energy consumption of 330 000 families can be stored here each day and fed back into the electricity grid. “In […]

Nissan unveils sporty Ariya Nismo ‘on steroids’

January 15, 2024

Nissan has brought the new summit of the Ariya range to Tokyo Auto Salon. The Ariya Nismo builds on the e-4orce version and turns up its dual electric motors, while the Japanese manufacturer has used its experience in Formula E to elevate the driving experience. Two versions of the Nissan Ariya Nismo are inbound, with […]

Volkswagen Group increases EV sales by one third in 2023

January 15, 2024

Volkswagen has published its Group-wide sales figures for the past year. According to the figures, the Volkswagen Group delivered 771 100 fully electric vehicles worldwide in 2023. Across all drive types, Volkswagen achieved total sales of 9,24 million vehicles in 2023, an increase of 21% compared to 2022. The 771 100 fully electric vehicles delivered […]

SD Worx study: company car trend reversing in Belgium?

January 15, 2024

The share of company cars fell back last year for the first time. Though the success was still trending before 2023, the sharply rising cost of electrification and the dampened interest from younger staff are pulling the brakes on Belgium’s ‘wage on wheels’, according to HR company SD Worx. In a probe, SD Worx analyzed […]

Red Sea Houthi attacks bring Volvo Car Gent and Tesla to standstill

January 15, 2024

Since Monday, production at the Ghent factory of Volvo Car has come to a standstill, as supplies got exhausted due to container ships having to choose an alternative 10-day longer route to avoid the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. Volvo hopes to be able to restart on Thursday. Earlier, Tesla told Reuters it would […]

Kia’s Platform Beyond Vehicle: Uber first to snap (update)

January 15, 2024

Kia has shown its vision of the future of mobility at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, with a modular ‘Platform Beyond Vehicle’ (PBV) that takes another stab at creating a continuously customizable vehicle. But this is no simple fantasy: the first model, the Kia PV5, will enter mass production in 2025. Kia’s Platform Beyond Vehicle […]

Dutch Qbuzz chooses Van Hool for another 112 e-city buses

January 15, 2024

After signing last year a contract with Qbuzz, a public transport operator in the Netherlands, to deliver 54 battery-electric buses of its latest type A battery-electric city bus, Belgian bus builder Van Hool may deliver another 112 before the end of this year. That’s a gift from the gods, as up to 65% of the […]

Stellantis and Tiamat to build sodium-ion batteries in France

January 15, 2024

The French start-up company Tiamat Energy is planning a factory for sodium-ion battery cells with an annual capacity of 5 GWh in northern France and is receiving financial support from Stellantis, among others. Tiamat Energy is a sodium-ion cell developer spun off from the French National Research Centre CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). […]

IEA: ‘World’s renewable energy capacity increased by 50%’

January 12, 2024

According to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy production capacity has increased by 50% in the past year. The IEA says the increase is faster than ever in the last thirty years. Due to the rapid growth, there is a real chance that global capacity will triple by 2030. Last […]

Mullen Five RS: another 1.000-hp ‘race-ready’ American EV

January 12, 2024

Mullen Automotive, a US-based manufacturer mostly specialized in converting Chinese EVs for its domestic market, has brought a self-developed high-performance electric crossover to CES 2024 in Las Vegas. The Mullen Five RS promises over 1 000 horsepower, 0-100 km/hour in less than two seconds, and a 2025 launch. Those figures sound promising, but Mullen Automotive’s […]

Hertz sells off one-third of EV fleet and returns to ICE

January 12, 2024

Rental company Hertz announced that it will ditch approximately 20 000 electric cars in the US, equivalent to about one-third of its global EV fleet. Hertz names unsatisfying customer demand as one of the reasons and will reinvest in combustion-engined cars. The news smudges the company’s leading move two years ago, ordering 100 000 zero-emission […]

‘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 […]

Naias returns to winter time in Detroit

January 12, 2024

After a brief flirtation with warmer months, the North American International Auto Show NAIAS), also known as the Detroit Auto Show, is returning to its original January exhibition month. Rod Alberts, executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA), told the Detroit Free Press on Thursday that the 2025 Detroit auto show will begin […]