Motor Industry Update 3 June 2021

PEUGEOT e-Expert Hydrogen PEUGEOT e-Expert Hydrogen - Photo credit: Peugeot

PEUGEOT begins production of new e-Expert Hydrogen

PEUGEOT has become one of the very first manufacturers to produce a light commercial vehicle that is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

The brand-new PEUGEOT e-Expert Hydrogen is the latest model to fulfil PEUGEOT’s “power of choice” promise, which gives customers the option to choose a powertrain that suits their needs without compromising capability. As PEUGEOT’s first fuel cell vehicle, the e-Expert Hydrogen emphasises the brand’s ambitious goal to offer an electrified vehicle across its entire model range by 2025.

The 100% electric battery-powered PEUGEOT e-Expert is based on the EMP2 (Efficient Modular Platform) and is a fully electric vehicle, combining two on-board power sources. Firstly, a hydrogen fuel cell, located in the engine compartment at the front of the vehicle that supplies electricity to the electric engine by recombining the hydrogen contained in the tank with oxygen from the air, resulting in only water vapour being emitted from the exhaust pipe.

Secondly, a permanent magnet electric motor with a maximum power of 100 kW, delivering 260 Nm of maximum torque is located on the front axle and is similar to that of the PEUGEOT e-Expert.

Powered by the innovative “mid-power plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric” system, the PEUGEOT e-Expert Hydrogen can fill up with hydrogen in three minutes and is fitted with a 10.5 kWh battery that helps power the electric motor and gives the vehicle a range of over 245 miles.

The hydrogen tank system is located under the floor to maximise load capacity and is available in Standard (4.95m) and Long (5.30m) lengths and has a maximum payload of up to 1,100kg and towing capacity of up to 1,000kg.

The driver can choose between three driving modes: Eco, Normal and Power, depending on the driving conditions. Eco (60 kW, 190 Nm) is optimised for range, while Normal (80kW, 210Nm) is ideal for daily use. Power (100 kW, 260 Nm) optimises the vehicle’s performance when carrying heavy loads.

The PEUGEOT e-Expert Hydrogen will be available from the end of this year in France and Germany. For more information, visit: www.peugeot.co.uk

Clean Air Zones

Clean Air Zones – Image credit: BVRLA

Clean Air Zones

This week Birmingham launched its Clean Air Zone (CAZ) with road users being reminded to assess the impact on their journeys and explore options for upgrading non-compliant vehicles.

Vehicles are not banned in the Birmingham Clean Air Zone, however, older and more polluting vehicles (pre-Euro 6 (VI) diesel and pre-Euro 4 petrol) will need to pay a daily charge to enter the zone, with research suggesting that around 60% of the 200,000 vehicles that enter the city centre each day could be affected.

Birmingham is the second CAZ to be launched this year, following Bath, with zones being planned in Bristol, Bradford, Portsmouth, Greater Manchester, Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside.

London currently operates a more stringent Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and this is to be extended to an area 18-times larger than the original Low Emission Zone by 25th October 2021.

Car subscriptions will end balloon payments

Car lease balloon payments could soon be coming to an end with the introduction of car subscriptions.

Currently if you lease a vehicle, you are normally faced with a hefty fee often payable when a car lease or PCP comes to an end. For years motorists have been faced with three options when their contract has run its course. Firstly, to keep their vehicle by paying a final balloon payment often amounting to several thousand pounds, secondly, find the money for a new down payment or sign up to a new deal or lastly simply hand back the keys of the car.

Many drivers will have taken out GAP insurance (a policy to protect them in case a vehicle’s value at the end of a contract does not cover the outstanding finance) while those who decide to buy the car outright, are faced with depreciation, seeing thousands of pounds wiped off the value of their new car as soon as they drive it off the forecourt.

Thanks to the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic, many people have found themselves tied into expensive contracts they no longer need or can no longer afford following a change in their personal circumstances, with recent data suggesting that 80% of drivers didn’t use their car at all during the lockdowns, essentially wasting more than a billion pounds on payments for cars they didn’t drive.

A car subscription on the other hand, offers drivers complete flexibility and brings an end to this and other financial worries that have plagued car buyers’ peace of mind.

Drivers who choose a vehicle subscription will find thousands of new cars to choose from for subscriptions of anywhere between one and 36 months. Deposits are fully returnable at the end of the contract and can be carried over to a motorist’s next car. All parts and maintenance are included for the duration of the contract, meaning there are no unexpected repair bills and fully comprehensive and totally transparent insurance can be included in the monthly subscription payment required.

Toby Kernon, CEO and founder of Wagonex, currently the UK’s biggest vehicle subscription business, says:

“The whole point of car subscription is to find a new, more user-friendly and flexible way of owning a car.

“We’re all used to subscribing to all sorts of products and services these days and so why should cars be any different.

“Why would anyone want to take out a big loan to buy a car they’re going to lose money on or pay to repair something they don’t actually own. Also, when times are so uncertain, why would they want to sign up for a big financial commitment when they don’t know what the future may hold.

“Car subscription offers a solution to all these problems and more.”

More information is available on wagonex.com.

April 2021 New Car Production

April 2021 New Car Production – Image credit: SMMT

April UK car production rebounds

UK car production rose substantially in April according to the latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders with 68,306 cars being made in Britain compared to just 197 a year ago when Covid restrictions effectively brought manufacturing to a standstill. The performance was -3.8% below the April 2019 output. So far this year UK factories have turned out 374,864 cars, with April’s performance offsetting earlier declines to drive a 17.3% overall increase, but -15.0% down on the same four-month period in 2019.

April UK engine production increases

UK engine factories made 129,691 engines in April, an increase on last year when just 1,147 were produced. April 2021 output is however down -22.9% on a five-year average for the month but year-to-date output rises 10.4% to 665,195 units, driven by increased production for the domestic market, but is still down on five-year average.