Engie jumps with Arval onto lease market for EVs

January 07, 2020

Together with the leasing company Arval, the energy company Engie will lease electric cars. Under the name Numobi, they want to manage a fleet of 30.000 electric cars in Belgium by 2030. All-in The energy company Engie and the leasing company Arval expect the demand for electric company cars to skyrocket in the coming years. […]

XR unveils action plans for ‘Brussels Motor Show of Lies’

January 07, 2020

Environmental movement Extinction Rebellion (XR) is proposing a ‘menu’ of eight or more disruptive actions to be performed on Saturday 18 January at the Brussels Motor Show they call the ‘Salon of Lies’. Among these are suggestions of pouring ‘fake blood’ or sticking oneself with superglue to the cars. On its website, XR details how […]

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. […]

‘Artificial Intelligence has to be more human’

January 02, 2020

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can break through if it consumes fewer data and can make connections like humans. That’s what Mieke De Ketelaere says in the weekly magazine Trends. De Ketelaere has been working with artificial intelligence for more than twenty years. Since May, she has been drawing up the strategy for artificial intelligence at IMEC. […]

XR calls for boycott of ‘Brussels Motor Show of lies’

January 02, 2020

The Belgian branch of the global environmental movement, Extinction Rebellion (XR), calls for a boycott of the Brussels Motor Show. They baptized it the ‘Salon of Lies’ in a press release. XR is planning actions on Saturday 18 January to ‘disturb’ the motor show’s last weekend. Details will be published later. In that press release, […]

Ghosn’s escape surprised everybody

January 02, 2020

The escape of former Alliance CEO, Carlos Ghosn, has surprised many people. He was under confinement in Japan attending his trial and wasn’t allowed to leave the country. Last Monday, he made a ‘James Bond’ escape to Libanon, apparently aided by a private company hired by his wife, Carole. His Japanese lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, has […]

Small BMW dealers are quickly disappearing in Belgium

December 29, 2017

Small BMW dealers in Belgium are facing tough times. They are pushed to make big investments and the BMW importer wants bigger dealers. The last 5 years 19 of the 69 Belgian BMW dealers changed hands. BMW is doing well in Belgium. This year the German manufacturer will again sell more than 40.000 vehicles and […]

Geely takes major part in Volvo Trucks

December 28, 2017

Chinese car maker Geely, already owning car division Volvo Cars, is taking a major part in AB Volvo, the group building trucks under Volvo brand, Renault and Mack. By acquiring 8,2% of the capital and 15,6% of the voting shares from the Swedish Cevian Capital fund, it becomes the prime share holder. 3,25 billion euro […]

Clean Air Act saves far more lives than previously thought

December 27, 2017

A study of researchers at MIT (Massachussets Institute of Technology) shows that the environmental measures included in the US Clean Air Act save far more lives than previously estimated. Small and ultra small particles in the air, due to combustion and other pollutants in the air, are responsible for premature death of 4,2 million inhabitants […]

Explosion of van sales in Belgium due to online shopping

December 27, 2017

This year already 80.000 vans were sold in Belgium, a 14% increase compared to last year. These record sales are mainly due to the increase in online shopping. Today there are approximately 800.000 vans in Belgium and that’s 150.000 or 18,8% more than 3 years ago. If you take the foreign vans that circulate in […]

‘Ferdinand Porsche: automobile legend without scruples’

December 26, 2017

Ferdinand Porsche, legendary figure from last century’s automobile history, didn’t hesitate a moment to get help from the Nazi party without any compromise to reach his goals. Wolfram Pyta, director of the center for research on Nazi crimes in Ludwigsburg (Germany) wrote a tarnishing book about it. SS member “For opportunistic reasons Ferdinand Porsche enlisted […]

Paris starts digging 200 km extra metro tunnels

December 26, 2017

Beginning 2018 thirty tunnel boring teams will start digging out 200 km extra tunnels under the French capital for its ‘Grand Paris Express’ network. This pharaoh-sized building project that was launched as an idea by president Sarkozy in 2007 and started three years later, will be finished by 2030. 600 km of tunnels The 200 […]

Soon 130 kph speed limit on Belgian motorways?

December 22, 2017

Federal Minister of Mobility François Bellot (MR) is thinking of changing the speed limits and including a new maximum speed on highways in his new road code, due in the first half of 2018. On certain parts of the highways were traffic isn’t too dense, the maximum speed of 130 kph could be allowed instead […]

Ghent wants its own public transport

December 21, 2017

The city of Ghent wants to organize its own public transport. According to Alderman of Mobility Filip Watteeuw (Groen) Flemish public transport company De Lijn cannot cope with the actual mobility needs of the city. “The situation now is so dramatic that it is time for action”,Watteeuw says. Reformation plan Watteeuw thinks that De Lijn […]

Eindhoven: mega vacuum cleaners for better air quality

December 21, 2017

Eindhoven (The Netherlands) is the first city in the world experimenting with mega vacuum cleaners to get polluting particles out of the air. Researchers of the Technical University Eindhoven selected the Town Hall’s Square ‘Stadhuisplein’ as a suitable location for this experiment. At this location the local car parking garage causes concentrated pollution, especially because […]

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 […]

CEO Eberhard Kern to leave Mercedes-Benz Benelux

December 21, 2017

Eberhard Kern, CEO of the Mercedes-Benz Benelux organization headquartered in Brussels, is leaving for the German head office by April 1st 2018. Who is going to succeed him in Belgium and what Kern’s new function in Stuttgart will be, is not clear yet. The 53 year old CEO started his career at Daimler AG in […]

Belgium to lift ban for overtaking trucks on 2×2 highways

December 20, 2017

Belgium will abolish the general ban for heavy trucks of +7,5 tons to overtake on 2×2 lane highways in the first half of 2018, federal Minister for Mobility François Bellot (MR) confirmed this week. Overhauling will still be forbidden when it’s raining, as it is today. For the first time in three years the minister […]

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 […]

France to build pilot plant to transform electricity into gas

December 19, 2017

The French gas network company GRTgaz and a couple of industrial partners are building in Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône) a pilot plant for transforming surplus green electricity into synthetic methane gas. A major storage solution for surplus electricity when the grid is saturated. Surplus green electricity The surplus electricity of solar panels and wind mills will be […]

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 […]

Dutch to ban polluting mopeds from bicycle paths

December 14, 2017

Several of the biggest cities in The Netherlands, considering to ban mopeds – besides motorbikes – from the bicycle paths, are allowed to do so. This was decided by a majority in the Dutch parliament. Until now mopeds had to ride on the bicycle paths at a maximum speed of 25 km/hour. Now cities have […]

BIPaSS: one app to pay for parking in Brussels

December 14, 2017

Last Wednesday the Brussels agency ‘parking.brussels’ launched a new regional parking platform to uniformize the payment for parking in the Brussels’ Region, BIPaSS. Anderlecht and Molenbeek already introduced the system, the other 17 communities of the Brussels Capital region will follow. Spring 2018 By Spring 2018 you will no longer need cash money to pay […]

Zetsche to leave Daimler for TUI in 2018

December 14, 2017

German’s most famous captain of industry, Dieter Zetsche (64), head of Mercedes-Benz Cars since 2006 and chairman of the board of management at Daimler AG, will no longer be part of the car company. Next year he will replace Klaus Mangold (74) as chairman of the board at travel organization TUI. Vehicle business In 1976 […]

Flemish start-up offers empty space in trucks for bulky goods

December 13, 2017

Vengo, a young start-up company in Hasselt (Belgium), has installed an online platform to organize the transport of bulky goods, exploiting the empty space in trucks and vans. “As much as 80% of all trucks on the road are not completely loaded. Twenty percent is even empty. We therefore decided to provide a transport service […]

Weatherman: ‘one SMS from the boss and traffic jam shrinks’

December 13, 2017

With snow bringing the country to a standstill beginning this week, KMI weatherman David Dehenauw launches a simple idea: “One SMS of the boss to work at home today and the traffic jams will shrink visibly”. Minister of Work Kris Peeters (CD&V) sees the point. Severe weather conditions His proposal is that when severe weather […]

PepsiCo orders 100 Tesla e-trucks

December 13, 2017

PepsiCo has placed an order for 100 electrical Tesla trucks. The company plans to use them for the transport of snacks and beverages from production sites to distribution centers and retailers in a range of about 800 kilometers, the range Musk promises the semi-trucks can offer on one charge. 10.000 vehicle fleet The 100 Tesla […]

Belgians drove new record of 84,3 billion km by car

December 12, 2017

All Belgians together drove a new record of 84.3 billion km in 2016, being 0,4% more than the year before. This is shown by a new study of the federal mobility administration. 4% more than the Dutch The new record is on average 4% more than the Dutch do, 6% more than the French and […]

France considers 80 kph on national and secondary roads

December 12, 2017

France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is determined to do something about the numerous fatal accidents on the French roads. On Monday he declared to be prepared to bring back speed limits to 80 km/hour on certain bidirectional national and regional roads. They seem to be the most dangerous and the most fatal: two third of […]

First hydrogen bicycles on French roads

December 12, 2017

On Monday the first hydrogen bicycles were launched in Sint-Lô (Normandy, France). A world premiere, according to Christophe Bruniau, sales manager at Pragma Industries. The bicycle company will provide the region with 20 bicycles, 40 more will follow for other regions in France. The company estimates to sell several hundreds of bikes in 2018. Fuel […]

Chinese BYD to build electric cars, trucks and buses in Morocco

December 11, 2017

Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD (Build Your Dream) has signed a protocol agreement with the Moroccan government to build an electric car factory on the outskirts of Tanger. Later on, three more factories are planned for building batteries, electric heavy trucks and buses and trains. With a huge Chinese home market, BYD is by far […]

Mayors want also a roof on Brussels ring road

December 08, 2017

8 mayors have joined thoughts and forces to ask for a roof or a tunnel on part of the Brussels ring road (approximately 15 km). It’s the part that crosses the “Zoniënwoud” wood, declared world heritage by Unesco and in danger because of the pollution of thousands of cars per day crossing right through it. […]

Wallonia becoming ‘de facto’ Low Emission Zone from 2020 on

December 08, 2017

The Walloon government (MR-cdH) has agreed on the legal framework to start phasing out polluting cars from 2020 on, becoming a ‘de facto’ Low Emission Zone (LEZ) on the entire territory. Every car, van or minibus entering will need to have an eco-sticker on the windscreen, comparable with the Crit’Air system in France. Like Antwerp, […]

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 […]

Dieselgate: senior exec Volkswagen US jailed for seven years

December 07, 2017

A Detroit judge has convicted ex Volkswagen US executive Oliver Schmidt to seven years imprisonment and a fine of 400.000 dollar for his role in the dieselgate affaire. Schmidt, who pleaded guilty to get a lesser punishment, was in charge of VW’s environmental and engineering office in Michigan in 2014-2015. Cheating software The court found […]

Nissan to launch robot-taxi service by 2020

December 06, 2017

Japanese car maker Nissan is counting on launching its commercial robot-taxi service ‘Easy Ride’ together with local partner DeNa by 2020, year of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. That was announced on Tuesday. To AFP news agency a Nissan spokesman declared that “up to 2020 it will be launched first in limited numbers in a […]

Mercedes engineers hire Tesla X to ‘dismantle’

December 06, 2017

It’s not uncommon in the car industry that one buys a competitors’ new product to take it apart and study it. But hiring a Tesla X to test it to the extreme, dismantle and reassemble it as Mercedes-Benz engineers apparently did in Bavaria, is rather exceptional. According to German magazine Der Spiegel, the Tesla X, […]

Transport now biggest polluter in US

December 06, 2017

Power stations are no longer the biggest source of CO2-pollution in the United States. They have been overtaken by the sector of transport. It’s the first time in 40 years that the production of energy isn’t the biggest CO2-polluter any more. Power stations aren’t the biggest CO2-source any more  in the United States. The whole […]

Brussels Motor Show opens up for new mobility

December 06, 2017

The 96th Brussels Motor Show, to be held from 12 to 21 January 2018, opens up for the first time for new mobility forms going from micro-mobility devices to car sharing with a complete palace dedicated to “#WeAreMobility” during the last 4 days of the show. All major car brands will be present in Brussels, […]

“Brussels is slowly getting stuck.”

December 04, 2017

Former CEO of Brussels public transport company STIB/MIVB Alain Flausch leaves the Union of Public Transport which he has lead for 6 years. He is disappointed about Brussels and Belgium as a whole: “We should take other cities as an example,” he claims. In his 6 years as Secretary-General of the international Union of Public […]

Electric car still more expensive, but gap is closing

December 04, 2017

Dutch driver association ANWB figured out how much an electric car is still more expensive than a petrol car, approximately 10% they claim. This price difference is practically the same in Belgium, but the gap is closing. ANWB took the average cost of 13 electrical cars (middle class) and compared them to 13 petrol cars. […]

Philippe Dehennin (FEBIAC): ‘the friendly neighbouring dealer is not dead yet’

November 30, 2017

Since June 2017 the Belgian Association of Car Manufacturers and Importers (Febiac) has a new president. Phillippe Dehennin left BMW in 2016 and is now the head of what is commonly known as the “car lobby” in Belgium. He is convinced mobility will evolve to multi-modal and inter-modal, but that doesn’t mean that the car […]

CMB: Belgium’s first hydrogen ferry to avoid Antwerp traffic jams

November 30, 2017

Belgian shipping group CMB will use a hydrogen ship, the ‘Hydroville’, to transport people and avoid traffic jams in Antwerp. It is considering hydrogen as an alternative fuel to propel his  entire fleet of (big) ships (in total 96 vessels). Green and clean The Hydroville has been baptised on Wednesday 29th and will cruise to […]

Wallonia: anti-pollution sticker for every car in 2020

November 29, 2017

Walloon Minister for Environment Carlo Di Antonio (cdH) is working on a law proposal to allow every city and municipality in the region to install Low Emission Zones (LEZ) and enforce car drivers to have a sticker on every car, indicating the pollution-level. By 2023 Wallonia wants to forbid all cars – diesel and petrol […]

Dutch plug-in car fleet crumbles

November 24, 2017

More and more second had plug-in hybrids are leaving the Netherlands because demand has dropped to nearly zero nationally. By abolishing the fiscal benefits, the government made the plug-in hybrids to expensive for the average Dutch driver, says the knowledge centre for the automotive branch Aumacon. According to figures of the Ministery of Infrastructure and […]

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 […]

Dark side of the electric car: its life cycle

November 23, 2017

Electric cars are regarded ‘greener’ and and alternative for the combustion engine. But are they really? When studying the whole life cycle, the electric car often reveals its dark side according to an article in the Financial Times, published also in Trends. With its petrol engine, a simple Mitsubishi Space Star doesn’t resemble a futuristic […]

Ghent kicks off with XC40 as world centre for compact Volvo

November 23, 2017

On Wednesday Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel (MR) was invited to drive the first Volvo XC40 to be sold to a Swedish customer, off the assembly line in the factory in Ghent. Volvo Gent will produce 108.000 to 115.000 XC40s per year for a major part of the worldwide market (except China), including the US […]

Brussels: more employees willing to hop on the bike

November 22, 2017

Having the opportunity to test a bike of your choice first, shows to be a good way to get employees to hop on the bike permanently. 87% of participants to the Brussels’ ‘Bike Project’ are using a bicycle to commute to work on a daily base since. For the new edition of the ‘The Bike […]

Record traffic jams in Belgium and Netherlands

November 22, 2017

Tuesday morning both Belgium and the Netherlands saw record traffic jams, mainly due to bad autumn weather and accidents. November is the busiest month in both countries, but observers see a structural increase of traffic jams year after year. We’re losing half more time in traffic jams than 5 years ago. Records in both countries […]

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 […]

What is D’Ieteren going to do with one billion euro cash ?

November 21, 2017

With the sale of 40% of its Belron business, Belgium’s largest car importer, family concern D’Ieteren, is sitting on a pile of one billion euro in cash. Asked by newspapers L’Echo and De Tijd what D’Ieteren is going to do with it , CEO Axel Miller answers “not to be in a hurry in looking […]

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 […]

‘Elon Musk scatters new promises but can’t fulfil old ones’

November 20, 2017

Last week Elon Musk surprised the world again after introducing the Tesla Semi electric truck, with a late Steve Jobs like ‘one more last thing’: a new Tesla supercar rolling out of the back of one of the trucks. The charismatic entrepreneur keeps on scattering new promises, but can’t fulfil the old ones up today, […]

OnePark: ‘booking.come’ of car parking

November 17, 2017

French start-up OnePark collects 12 million euros to develop its activity in France and Europe. OnePark offers drivers the possibility to reserve vacant parking spots from hotels or companies, with an app. A kind of ‘booking.com’ of car parking. OnePark is a French start-up that claims to be number one in parking spots booking to […]

Belgian government’s ‘cash-for-car’ bogged down

November 17, 2017

The new ‘cash for car’ regulation that the Belgian government has developed as an alternative to so called ‘salary cars’ is not yet in place. The Council of State has serious reservations about the proposal. In the proposal now on the table, workers can trade in their company car for more net pay (‘cash for […]

Tesla unwraps 600 km range Semi e-truck

November 17, 2017

After revolutionizing the electric car, Tesla’s flamboyant CEO Elon Musk wants to do the same for heavy transport lorries. Musk himself drove a prototype of the ‘Semi’ on stage in Hawthorn, California, on Thursday, a fully electric 40 ton lorry with a range of 600 to 800 kilometres. Tesla’s Semi is a futuristic looking lorry […]

‘Middle-lane driver public enemy no 1’

November 16, 2017

Guess what is the biggest annoyance of motorists on the highway? Indeed: the persisting middle-lane driver. This is shown by a poll by Vias Institute, the Belgian road safety institute. Staying in the middle lane is annoying, but is it also dangerous. “Other road users are forced to pass by left,’ says Stef Willems, Vias’ […]

30-zone: number of accidents increased by 21%

November 15, 2017

In two years, the number of accidents in 30-zones has increased by 21%. Admittedly the number of zones has increase too, but the major part of drivers is still driving too fast. The Walloon government is working on installing “intelligent 30-zone” active only during school periods. 283 is the number of accidents recorded in 30-zones […]

Elia: ‘Gas needed for electricity to replace nuclear’

November 15, 2017

In a report, unveiled on Wednesday, Belgian national grid managing company Elia, states that in spite of renewable energy sources, new gas powerhouses will need to be build to replace nuclear power after 2025. Elia sees three possible scenarios. And it urges the government to act fast. Basis scenario The basic scenario starts from the […]