Motor Industry Update 18 June 2021

Renault Group Photo credit: Renault

Renault Group creates Renault ElectriCity

As part of the ongoing Renaulution strategic plan, Renault Group has signed an agreement with the trade unions it works with for the future of the Renault sites in the Hauts-de-France region, creating the largest electric vehicle production centre in Europe.

The creation of Renault ElectriCity will group together the industrial sites of Douai, Maubeuge and Ruitz, and total nearly 5,000 employees and in so doing, Renault Group hopes to make these plants the most competitive and efficient production unit for electric vehicles in Europe, with some 400,000 vehicles being produced a year by 2025.

The plan is to create 700 permanent jobs between 2022 and the end of 2024, with 350 new jobs at the Maubeuge site and 350 new jobs spread over the Douai and Ruitz sites.

The Hauts-de-France region has what is necessary to become the European reference in terms of know-how and production throughout the electric car value chain. Renault plans to form partnerships with universities to create training schemes adapted to the changing automotive market and will contribute to research work and will also participate in innovation initiatives in partnership with start-ups in order to support future developments in the automotive world by participating in ‘Incubator’ type initiatives.

Vanarama and OVO Energy create an unbeatable EV offer

Vanarama and OVO Energy last week launched an innovative new partnership that will give OVO Energy new and existing members the best deals on electric car leasing and help them to get unbeatably low EV running costs.

This new ground-breaking arrangement between the UK’s biggest online vehicle leasing business and largest independent energy supplier will allow existing OVO Energy members to access the best electric vehicle leasing deals through an exclusive new partner site. They will also qualify for a years’ free insurance (worth an average £538) as well as a fully installed EV home charger.

In addition, OVO’s ingenious Free Green Miles scheme which converts EV miles into a reduction in energy bills, means that customers can save money on charging their vehicle as well as on their household energy bills.

Andy Alderson, CEO and founder of Vanarama, said:

“More and more motorists are looking to make the switch to electric motoring, and we are determined to make it as easy and affordable as possible for them to do so.

“This new partnership with OVO is incredibly exciting and brings together a range of benefits to create an unbeatable offer that other brands can’t even come close to.”

Spark EV Technology

Photo credit: Spark EV Technology

Motorists believe government needs extra 20 years to ban petrol and diesel vehicles

New research commissioned by the world’s leading range prediction specialist, Spark EV Technology, has found that two thirds of motorists show a real lack of confidence in the UK meeting the Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. In fact, most of the drivers surveyed believe it will 2052 before the country will realistically be ready for the ban.

The in-depth study of a thousand targeted motorists also revealed that over half of UK motorists are concerned they don’t have charging facilities where they live, while 64 per cent say that having reliable information about how much battery charge is left is an important factor when considering buying a new electric vehicle.

Justin Ott, CEO and founder of Spark EV Technology, said:

“If the UK is serious about banning new petrol and diesel vehicles, we need politicians to step in and address the barriers holding people back from driving an EV.

“EVs need to be affordable, and drivers need to have the confidence that they have enough range to reach their destination and that they will have access to the equipment to re-charge their vehicle when they need to.”

There also appears to be a split across the UK as regards the willingness to adopt EVs, with 83 per cent of Londoners being more likely to make the switch by 2030 but motorists in Scotland and the Northeast of England less inclined to make the switch in time for the ban.

SYNETIQ’s green parts sustainability initiative

SYNETIQ, the UK’s largest integrated salvage and vehicle recycling company, has published an infographic on green parts use as part of ‘Our Road to Tomorrow’, designed to educate and inform the public on the sustainability benefits of green parts, and forms part of the foundation of SYNETIQ’s commitment to sustainable motoring for all.

The infographic below explains Green Parts, how they are sourced, their safety and how they help drive a more responsible route to car use now and into the future as they work towards becoming a carbon neutral company.

The use of genuine OEM green parts produces less CO2 emissions than the manufacture of new replacement items, negating the impact of manufacturing totally new parts, which require more energy, more raw materials and more cost, aligning perfectly with the waste hierarchy.

By using safety-checked, pre-existing OEM parts, consumers can make savings of up to 75% off OEM RRP on parts.

Tom Rumboll, CEO of SYNETIQ said:

“With major insurance groups such as Allianz now allowing private motorists to request Green Parts for their vehicle repairs, as well as fleet users, SYNETIQ is proud of the vast COsavings that it is helping to achieve across the industry.

“As part of our internal sustainability strategy, titled The Road to Tomorrow, SYNETIQ is investing heavily in ensuring that our own processes are as sustainable as our green parts. From carbon literacy training for employees, to increased EV use and even external educational programs for consumers, SYNETIQ is committed to a greener motoring future.”

Green Parts Infographic

SYNETIQ’s Green Parts Infographic – Credit: SYNETIQ

Fleet industry calls for review of the Advisory Electricity Rate for EVs

The Association of Fleet Professionals and the BVRLA have joined forces to call upon Government to take steps to ensure that the Advisory Electricity Rate (AER) for electric vehicles is fit-for-purpose, with concerns that the current 4 pence per mile rate, which has remained unchanged since 2018, is no longer reflective of real-world conditions.

These Advisory Rates are used by employers to determine reimbursement rates for employees claiming business mileage, with HMRC publishing updated AFRs quarterly for petrol, diesel, and hybrid vehicles.

Paul Hollick, chair at the AFP, explained:

“The HMRC’s current rate was set at a time when business use of EVs was in its infancy and is quite a blunt instrument, using the same rate whether for a small city runabout or a large luxury 4×4. Clearly, the fuel costs of these vehicles are not the same.

“The Advisory Fuel Rates (AFRs) used for petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles recognise that there are different engine sizes that have different fuelling costs. A similar approach needs to be adopted for their electric equivalents.”