The limits of a ‘Green Deal’

March 16, 2020

Europe has launched its ‘Green Deal’ recently, and also in the States, there is a proposition for ‘a green new deal’ on behalf of the Democrats. Both deals have a big number of points in common, but they also have important limits, some say. Both plans want CO2-neutrality in 2050, the change to renewable energy, […]

China gingerly restarting, EU carmakers fear big blow

March 12, 2020

On Wednesday, part of the industry in China’s most coronavirus-struck region around Wuhan got the green light for a gingerly restart of production. So far, European carmakers managed to keep on going. But some have now to suspend part of production due to a shortage of spare parts. But the big blow is yet likely […]

ADAS, a blessing or a curse?

March 11, 2020

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are increasingly installed in cars. They can help the driver, but they can get too intrusive for some and, above all, they’re expensive. Some manufacturers ask themselves if this isn’t a bridge too far, advancing too quickly. Today’s driver assistance systems are foreboding the autonomous car of tomorrow. But lane-keeping […]

Brussels: ‘car-sharing fails due to cheap parking’

March 11, 2020

According to Brussels Mobility Minister, Elke Van den Brandt (Groen), the free-floating car-sharing sector is failing to work because parking is too cheap in the capital. This simplistic remark pushes Brussels deputy, Clémentine Barzin (MR), to call out the government to offer positive solutions and stop with punitive measures. While it was seen as the […]

Belgian first: fewer than 100 000 new driver’s licenses issued

March 11, 2020

For the first time in years, the number of new driver’s licenses issued has dropped below 100 000 in Belgium. Compared to 2018, the decline was 13,1% overall, and even 28,5% in the group of 18-year-olds. Over the last decade, the decrease was nearly 30% overall. A paradigm shift confirming itself? Last year, 97 361 […]

Maxime Picat: ‘PSA wants to make cars for everyone’

March 10, 2020

Many car manufacturers are struggling. Lately, their reaction to the different threats differ. In this article, we talk with Maxime Picat, since 2016 EVP at PSA and Operational Director for Europe. Our rendezvous was scheduled for Geneva, but we finally talked on the phone. Of course, Maxime Picat couldn’t hide being exalted by the fact […]

GAS fine for driving ‘a little too fast’ in zone 30

March 10, 2020

Flanders will allow local authorities is to have light speeding offenses fined via the ‘GAS’ (Gemeentelijke Administratieve Sanctie) fine administrative system. These local authorities have long been criticizing speeding offenses in a zone 30 or the town center is not a priority for public prosecutors. As a result, these roads are barely controlled, and many […]

Air-gen: making electricity out of plain air

March 10, 2020

American researchers at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (MA) have found a way to let a natural protein produce electricity using the moisture of plain air. Their ‘Air-gen’ – an air-powered generator – as they call it, can deliver pure ‘clean’ electricity on a non-stop 24/7-base, without needing any wind or solar energy. When […]

Flanders: increase in road fatalities, especially among pedestrians

March 10, 2020

In 2019, 304 people died in Flemish traffic, the highest number since 2016. What is striking is the increase in the number of pedestrians killed, from 32 to 44. The explanation may lie in the rise of SUVs and pickups. This is what the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Science (Vlaamse Stichting Verkeerskunde, VSV) reports on […]

Is Brussels’ LEZ unconstitutional?

March 09, 2020

According to a report from the auditor of the Council of State, the different driving ban depending on the vehicle induced by Brussels’ Low-Emission Zone (LEZ) would be contrary to Articles 10 and 11 of the Constitution, which provide for equality between citizens. Ever since the introduction of the low-emission zone in Brussels (LEZ), authorities […]

The electric company car is reaching cruising speed

March 09, 2020

More and more companies are offering their employees electric company cars, pushing them away from the combustion engine. “We are coming to a turnaround,” leasing companies say. “It is happening.” Lower TCO Although in terms of price tag, electric cars are, on average, 10 000 euros more expensive than models with a classic combustion engine. […]

Europe got 36 new hydrogen filling stations in 2019

March 06, 2020

Last year, the European network of hydrogen (H2) filling stations grew with 36 to a total of 177. Germany got the lion’s share with 22 new ones. Worldwide, 83 new H2 filling stations were opened: 38 in Asia, 8 in North America, and one in the Arab region. At the end of 2019, the total […]

The Netherlands: €4 000 subsidy for private electric car

March 05, 2020

Dutch buyers of new electric cars will receive a 4 000 euros subsidy as of this summer. Those who buy a used car are eligible for 2 000 euros. That is what Stientje van Veldhoven, Dutch Minister for Environment and Housing (D66), wrote in a letter to the House of Representatives on Wednesday. 250 million […]

Ultium battery spearhead in GM’s massive EV offensive

March 05, 2020

American carmaker, General Motors, is launching a $20 billion (€18 billion) ‘electric offensive’ spread over all its brands. Spearhead is its third-generation EV platform and GM’s proprietary Ultium battery, promising ranges above 400 miles (643 km). “We believe in an all-electric future, and we will bring all the power and assets of GM to the […]

Coronavirus leads to nose dive in global vehicle sales

March 04, 2020

Global light vehicle sales figures from the first month of 2020 should make for alarming reading. Just 6,2 million were sold in January, the lowest monthly figure since January 2012, which saw 5,9 million units sold, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. Mike Vousden, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “While the drop […]

Chinese Byton M-Byte has found major Dutch importer

March 04, 2020

With Toyota-Lexus importer Louwman, the Chinese electric carmaker, Byton, has found a major Dutch importer for its SUV M-Byte. After MG’s electric SUV, this is the second Chinese car brand to come to Europe with affordable electric models. 45 000 euros Byton has a design center in Munich (Germany), and production and development facilities in […]

School introduces ‘drop-off valet service’ to avoid traffic stress

March 04, 2020

An elementary school in Courtrai has launched an original initiative. The school offers a so-called ‘limo service’. Parents are encouraged to drop their children at the school gate, and then a valet is taking care of the children. This way, the parents don’t have to step out of the car. They just wave goodbye, and […]

Dacia Spring: cheap EV for 2021

March 03, 2020

Renault’s daughter, Dacia, released the first news of its Spring concept, meant to be shown in a world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The Dacia Spring Electric Showcar wants to be the cheapest EV on the market, available in 2021. In September 2019, former CEO Thierry Bolloré promised us the most affordable small electric […]

Dutch to replace 4 000 traffic signs for 100 km/h limit

March 03, 2020

The decision to bring the maximum speed on the Dutch highways down to 100 km per hour will cost the state 19 million euros. That’s the estimation made by the Ministry of Waterways and Public Works (Rijkswaterstaat, RWS). Earlier estimates expected an investment of about 7 million euros. The Dutch recently decided to reduce the […]

VW ‘pulls plug’ on cars on natural gas

March 03, 2020

German carmaker Volkswagen will no longer develop new cars on compressed natural gas (CNG). According to its Chief of Development, Frank Welsch, in the German newspaper Handelsblatt, it’s more trouble than it’s worth as sales figures are low. VW expects them not to increase dramatically anymore and wants to bet entirely on the electric car. […]

Is no Geneva Motor Show the culmination point?

March 02, 2020

160 exhibitors are already breaking up their costly Geneve exhibition stands. The Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) has been canceled this year. The loss for the organizers is estimated at 30 million Swiss Francs; all the exhibitors have to pay their costs themselves. For a long time, the GIMS organizers insisted on the fact that […]

Renault adds Twingo Z.E. to its electric portfolio

February 27, 2020

French car manufacturer Renault has announced that it will add a full-electric version to its smallest car range, Twingo. The Twingo Z.E. will have the city as its favorite playground. At last, Renault has decided for the obvious. Its recent Twingo shares practically all technology with the Smart Forfour. This Daimler product is already two […]

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 […]

Dutch start testing first hydrogen train

February 27, 2020

Dutch railway manager, ProRail, is starting tests with the first hydrogen train in the Netherlands, on tracks between Leeuwarden and Groningen. During two weeks test runs will be done at night at speeds up to 140 km/hour. The train, a Coradia iLint from French train builder Alstom, was ‘pulled’ from Germany to its test destination […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

VW CEO Diess: ‘SUVs will become less popular’

February 26, 2020

Volkswagen Group CEO, Herbert Diess, has caused a certain turmoil with his statement that shortly, SUVs will lose part of their popularity. The cause? Electrification. Last year, VW still thought that half of the cars sold would be SUVs in 2025; now, the big boss apparently sees a change. This is remarkable, given the fact […]

Regarding battery production, VW wants to be a free-rider

February 25, 2020

VW wants its own battery technology and strategy. That’s why it’s joining with Northvolt to build a giga-factory in northern Sweden and another one in German Salzgitter. In doing so, VW is showing it wants to be a free-rider in the battery competition. Car manufacturers are all aware of the importance of batteries. To be […]

Tesla owners stuck in traffic jams at charging stations

February 25, 2020

The Dutch consultant KPMG had warned about this last week: black EV charging station Saturday. After all, people who are on winter sports with Tesla are suffering from a new kind of traffic jam, namely at the charging stations. On social media, films appear of long rows of Tesla cars at charging points of the […]

European companies fail to meet Paris climate targets

February 25, 2020

European companies are expected to double the share of their low-carbon investments if Europe wants to reach its 2050 carbon-neutral target. This is evident from figures collected by the specialist association Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a British NGO that collects information on the climate behavior of businesses. According to the annual report of CDP, some […]

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 […]

‘Diesel may die slowly, but it will die.’

February 20, 2020

Ferdinand Dudenhöffer is a renowned car expert in Germany, director of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) of Duisburg University. He is a close follower of the car market (especially in Germany) and sees the diesel engine slowly fading away. The industry has admitted to this too. A lot of car manufacturers have severely reduced […]

D’Ieteren injects another million in ‘promising’ used-car leasing

February 20, 2020

D’Ieteren, Belgium’s major car importer, pumps another million (€) in it’s Lizy daughter, focusing on a ‘promising market’ of second-hand car leasing. After one year, Lizy signed up some 300 clients, mostly SMEs, with two to 40 employees and self-employed people. And it’s going fast, with a 25% growth per month. Huge potential According to […]

Driving the MG ZS, first Chinese EV on Belgian market

February 19, 2020

Today, MG launches an electric SUV model in the B-segment on the Belgian market. Apart from the British name tag, it is the first fully Chinese EV-SUV available here. We drove it, and it is something to reckon with. With a base price of just under 31 000 euros, this MG ZS EV offers a […]

Up to 30% of bikers-to-be are women now

February 19, 2020

An increasing number of women are catching the motorcycle bug. According to driving schools, they represent around 20 to 30% of clients. No exact data exist in Belgium, but numbers are increasing in neighboring countries such as the Netherlands and Germany. No, the motorcycle isn’t reserved only for men. While those antiquated views unfortunately still […]

Tesla to use CATL’s cobalt-free batteries for China

February 19, 2020

American electric carmaker, Tesla, is said to be negotiating with Chinese battery producer, CATL, to use their ‘cheaper’ cobalt-free modules for Shanghai-built Model 3s. Tesla would be the first US automaker to use lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries. Sources close to the dossier say price reductions for these batteries could be “a double-digit percentage”. Waiting on solid-state […]

‘Master plan needed for looming capacity deficit Dutch grid’

February 19, 2020

The capacity of the Dutch electricity network threatens to become problematic rapidly as demand for new connections grew sevenfold already. Grid manager Alliander calls upon the government to come with a ‘master plan’ and ‘all hands on deck’ to avoid major blackouts at the end of the decade. Alliander’s CEO Ingrid Thijssen chose an electricity […]

‘Carmakers to pay €14 billion in CO2 fines’

February 17, 2020

According to a study from PA Consulting, the thirteen carmakers active in Europe will have to pay 14 billion euros in CO2 fines in 2021. PA adds that to keep emissions under the 95 g/km limit, EV sales should increase by 1 280%. 2020 is already an exciting year for the automotive sector. Most major […]

Renault plans 2-billion-euro cost cut and factories closing

February 17, 2020

Facing turbulences in the upcoming months, Renault prepares for the worst with a new cost-cutting plan, plus closing factories is considered. The Group faces a 141 million euros net loss for last year, the first in ten years, due to a drop in activity, falling contributions from Nissan, and France’s tax burden. 2020 doesn’t start […]

CMB: ‘Hydrogen is fuel of the future’

February 17, 2020

The Belgian shipping company, CMB, is planning to have a first large container ship operational on hydrogen. “We have to do something about the climate,” the company says. Turning point Shipping is a polluting sector. More than 95% of the 60 000 vessels that transport 12 billion tons of goods overseas use polluting fuel oil. […]

Polestar 2 kicks off, we drove it

February 17, 2020

Volvo/Geely’s electric brand, Polestar, is really coming on the market now. Apparently, the interest of the visitors at the Brussels Motor Show, its first public appearance as a car to be bought, was higher than expected. From Friday on, orders are happily awaited. We were invited to Volvo’s confined testing site near Gothenburg to make […]

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 […]

IEA: ‘Global CO2 output from energy production stagnates’

February 12, 2020

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global CO2 emissions from energy production barely increased last year. Emissions amounted to 33,3 billion tons in 2019 compared to 33,1 billion in 2018. And this despite the growth of the world economy by 2,9%. Total CO2 emissions are still going up, though. The stagnation is mainly because […]

Aramisauto thrives on shift from new to second-hand cars

February 12, 2020

PSA daughter, Aramisauto, France’s online ‘musketeer of second-hand cars’, according to Le Monde, is surfing on the wave of private car buyers going increasingly for second-hand rather than new. In 2019, Aramisauto saw its sales in its three markets – France, Belgium, and Spain – veer up with 8% to €748 million, being up to […]

Car-sharing stalls at 180 000 users in Belgium

February 12, 2020

While in Flanders the number of people car sharing is still rising, in Brussels their number is decreasing. That is the conclusion the federation draws from the customer data of the fifteen car-sharing systems that are active in Belgium. According to Jeffrey Matthijs, the coordinator of, there are now a total of 180 […]

Solution for fine dust particles from brakes?

February 11, 2020

Brake dust is an essential source of fine particulates from vehicles. Tallano, a French start-up, developed a sort of mini-vacuum cleaner called ‘Tamic’, mounted right nearby the brake calipers to catch the dust. These particles in the air are known to cause severe pulmonary complaints with people. A study by the Royal British Academy of […]

‘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 […]

Volvo and Geely ready for fusion

February 11, 2020

The Swedish car manufacturer Volvo was already owned by the Chinese carmaker Geely for 99% but was acting independently. Now they’re thinking of fusing into one big company to better withstand the uncertain future and its many challenges. By working together, Volvo and Geely estimate themselves to be well-armed to face the changes. “This combination […]

Flanders brushes aside climate experts’ advice

February 11, 2020

Flemish authorities are turning a deaf ear to the warnings of the climate experts that were selected to assist the Flemish government in working out a Climate and Energy Plan. Hardly one year ago, former Minister for the Environment, Koen Van den Heuvel (CD&V), decided to make up a team of scientific experts to support […]

More Brussels citizens choose cycling

February 10, 2020

The latest study from the Bicycle Observatory notes that the share of cycling in Brussels has increased by 8,9% between 2018 and 2019. Electrically assisted bike usage is also growing, especially for the daily work-to-home commute where they accounted for a fifth of all bikes last year. Whatever its form, the bicycle is getting more […]

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 […]

‘Dutch prefer private lease over car-sharing’

February 06, 2020

Researchers of consultancy agency Automotive Insiders have discovered that it is difficult to seduce Dutch drivers by shared cars. Hardly 4% of the Dutch use platforms like Greenwheels, Car2Go, and Snappcar. These platforms experience more and more competition of companies that lease cars to private drivers. 500.000 users In the past decades, several concepts were […]

Coronavirus: 1,7 million cars less being built?

February 06, 2020

As the coronavirus crisis in China, affecting industries from Airbus over Apple to Hyundai, keeps on dragging until March, the effect on the automotive industry worldwide could be up to 1,7 million cars less produced in 2020. The latter is predicted by analysts of the London-based global market research company, IHS Markit. Moody’s Analytics, economic […]

Mercedes stops development new internal combustion engines

February 05, 2020

German vehicle manufacturer, Daimler, has announced that it will no longer develop new internal combustion engines (ICE) for passenger cars. Instead, it will concentrate on battery technology and electric motors. It was the Head of Development, Markus Schäfer, who declared that there were no development projects anymore for future ICE. Emission rules and fiscal measures, […]

Tesla valuation: justified or soap bubble?

February 05, 2020

Tesla is now the highest-rated American car manufacturer ever with a market capitalization of 145 billion euros. It is currently worth as much as Volkswagen, BMW, Peugeot, and Renault put together, although it builds fewer cars than any of them. Only Toyota is ahead of the list of carmakers with the highest market value. The […]

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 […]

Dutch to build first hydrogen-powered residential area

February 04, 2020

The municipality of Hoogeveen is going to build the first hydrogen-powered housing project in The Netherlands, called Van der Veen home zone. The project will consist of about a hundred houses, and the construction works will start by the end of 2020 to be ready by 2023. Hydrogen-heated homes The installation of technical hydrogen systems […]

OECD sees room for CO2 tax and road-pricing in Belgium

February 04, 2020

In its annual report on Belgium, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) sees room for a CO2 tax and road-pricing. In this context, OECD senior executive, Angel Gurria, points to international tendencies whereby countries reduce corporation tax and tax on labor because that is good for stimulating economic growth, but, on the other […]

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 […]