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Budget 2015: Vehicle Excise Duty (Road Tax) reform for new cars

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In yesterday’s 2015 budget the UK Chancellor announced sweeping reforms to Vehicle Excise Duty (Road Tax).

The reforms will introduce a new banding system which will “pave” the way to additional funding to fix the UK’s crumbling road network.

For cars registered after 1 April 2017, VED will be transformed into three bands – zero, standard and premium.

The banding will see only the very cleanest of cars which emit no CO2 qualifying for free Vehicle Excise Duty. The standard band will see the vast majority of drivers (95%) paying just £140 a year, £26 less than the average cost to motorists.

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Posted in Budget

Audi turns water and carbon dioxide into the “e-diesel” fuel of the future

TDI-Clean-Diesel.e-deisel

Turning water and c02 into fuel for cars might seem like something more akin to historical feats of religious spectacle but the boffins at Audi may have just done just that.

Audi have recently produced their first batch of what it calls e-diesel. This magical fuel is a synthetic diesel based solely on readily available resources (h20 and co2) that don’t require costly and often dangerous extraction processes as seen in fossil fuels.

The process itself requires just water and Co2. Firstly the water is broken down into hydrogen and oxygen by means of high-temperature electrolysis. The resulting hydrogen reacts with the CO2 in synthesis reactors, again under pressure and at high temperature. This reaction produces a liquid made from long‑chain  compounds, known as blue crude. Like fossil fuels, blue crude can be refined into fuel, namely Audi’s e-diesel.

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Posted in fuel technology

SMMT: March UK car sales hit 21st century high

new uk car cales smmt march 2015

The UK car industry has continued its record growth with figures released by the SMMT showing that March 2015 proved to be the best month since 2009, hitting 21st century highs.

Figures show that a whopping 492,774 cars were registered last month, making March the 37th month of continued growth for the UK car industry.

The figures are a stark contrast to levels seen after the financial crisis. In fact the UK market surpassed pre-recession registration levels some seven months ago, helping bolster the economy and “drive” it out of recession.

In response to the figures the SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said “The best month this century for new car registrations is a welcome boost for the UK’s thriving automotive sector. The challenge for a new government and industry will be to maintain this momentum and to strengthen Britain’s manufacturing capabilities through continued investment, innovation and policies which maintain our global competitiveness.”

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Posted in Car Sales

EVs to get a big boost with £43m plug-in vehicle funding

charge electric car tesla model S red

Electric car (EV) ownership is set continue its upward trend as the Government confirmed that UK will receive £43m in cash for plug- and EV vehicle funding.

The funding will see a flurry of charge points installed into homes, hospitals, train stations and A-roads.

Of the £43m, £11m of funding will be provided to boost the UK’s position as a world leader in low emission vehicle technology innovation. It will provide financial support to 50 organisations, ranging from small businesses to major universities, working together on 15 research and development projects.

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Posted in EV Electric Cars

London gives the 98MPG Metrocab the thumbs up

metrocab-london-electric-taxi

The 98MPG Metrocab has become the first zero-emission capable taxi to be licensed by Transport for London. The British designed, engineered and built Metro cab will operate on a trial basis as a London Hackney Carriage.

The first few Metrocabs are already in operation on the capitals streets, offering quiet and efficient rides to the public.

The Metrocab is powered by two electric motors assisted by a range extending with a 1-litre petrol engine generator capable of  recharging. the battery pack. This system is similar to systems offered on both the Vauxhall Ampera and BMW i3 electric cars. to the The recharging process can take as little as 10 minutes whilst driving. The vehicle can also be charged via any mains electric outlet providing even lower fuel consumption.

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Posted in EV Electric Cars

Our top five tips on keeping your DPF clean

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In today’s world of ever tightening emissions regulations, diesel particulate filters (DPFs) have become common place to help keep those dirty diesels rolling off the production line. Without them, many diesel engines would have been retired in the light of Euro 5 & 6 emissions standards.

DPFs may well be great for the environment but the cost of DPF regenerations, repairs and replacement can run up eye watering bills (a lesson we’ve learnt first hand!).

So what can you do to keep your DPF filter trouble free and your wallet intact? Here’s our top five tips on keeping your DPF clean and trouble free.

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Posted in dpf-diesel-particulate-filter

Health Effects Institute report: Clean diesel technology does not increase lung cancer risk

diesel fumes car

A report published by the Health Effects Institute has revealed that new clean diesel technology does not increase the chance of lung cancer.

The report, funded jointly by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was based on a study by the institute on “lifetime animal exposure” to clean diesel emissions. The report found that found no evidence of carcinogenic lung tumors in the rats used for the study. It also concluded that concentrations of particulate matter and toxic air pollutants emitted from NTDE (new technology diesel exhaust) are more than 90% lower than emissions from traditional older diesel engine designs i.e. with a diesel particulate filter fitted.

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Posted in health study
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