This briefing document provides a fortnightly overview of the main automotive industry stories making the news and key product announcements. It also includes some of the interesting stories and campaigns that have made the news from outside the automotive sector over the past two weeks.
Key industry stories from the last two weeks:
EV, Environment & Autonomous
- Electric car sales soar, but chip shortage hits the market
- Stellantis and Amazon collaborate on digital cockpit for future EVs
- Volvo to run first unsupervised autonomous driving trials this year
- ‘Right time’ to end electric vehicle grants, says Pod Point CEO Erik Fairbairn
- Char.gy conducts public wireless EV charging trial
- Carmakers report booming UK sales of electric vehicles
- Stellantis cuts electric MPV prices as combustion variants axed
- New Coventry EV battery factory secures backing from council
- Renault To Become Electric-Only Brand In Europe By 2030
- Asda delivery drivers use in-cab technology to cut CO2
- Aston Martin Lagonda profits hit by delays with Valkyrie ‘hyper car’
- Jaguar Land Rover forecasts improved supply after 2021 sales dip
- Tesla Cybertruck reportedly delayed until 2023
- Detroit motor show to return in 2022 after two-year absence
- Rolls-Royce, British luxury car-maker, posts record sales in 2021 with over 5,500 ultra-expensive models bought worldwide last year
- VW becomes UK’s best-selling car brand for first time
- Bentley cruised to record year in 2021 with luxury cars in high demand
- Toyota becomes best-selling manufacturer in US for first time
- BMW sales grow 9.1% in best-ever year
- Smart motorway rollout paused as emergency refuge areas increased
- Pothole-related breakdowns hit three-year high
- Porsche Taycan CT Breaks ‘Greatest Altitude Change’ Record
- Hennessey Venom F5 deploys full 1,800 horsepower in latest test
- Racing lines: Stage is set for another great year of motorsport
- VW Group will discuss F1 racing for Audi and Porsche next month, paper says
- Maserati enters Formula E in 2023 as part of electric push
- Subaru will attempt Nürburgring lap record with 1,000-hp racer
Product Launches / Unveils
Key industry product launches or unveils:
- Rolls-Royce to show second £20 million Boat Tail in May
- New 2023 Peugeot e-308: EV hatchback to bring 250-mile range
- Citroen C5 Aircross refreshed for 2022
- Volkswagen Aero-B: EV saloon winter tests as 2023 launch nears
- Subaru STI E-RA is 1073bhp electric track weapon
- All-new Toyota GR GT3 concept hints at motorsport ambition
- Rugged new Lexus NX PHEV Offroad Concept launched at Tokyo
- Lexus ROV buggy concept revealed with hydrogen power
- Sainsbury’s to pay store staff at least 10 pounds an hour
- BBC Three to return to terrestrial TV on 1 February 2022
- M&S out-spaces rivals at Christmas as shoppers return to high street
- Sanctus, a mental health ‘coaching’ start-up, raises £4.25 million from ScaleUp Capital
- Bolt, Uber’s rival, is valued at £6 billion as it raises £524 million
- Britons set to drink nearly 8 million pints of low-or-no-alcohol beer this Dry January, says BBPA
- The Green Planet takes over Green Park Tube station
- BrewDog Offering Unlimited Alcohol-Free Pints To Customers During Dry January
- McDonald’s Trialling Its First Loyalty Points Reward Scheme
- PMQs: Boris Johnson faces calls to quit after lockdown party apology
- Influencer Elle Darby apologises over racist tweets
- Pubs, bars and restaurants lose £10,335 each in disastrous Christmas week
- Shoppers avoid first day of post-Christmas sales as footfall drops amid Covid concerns
- Halfords sales slide as Omicron fears keep shoppers away
- CON SCARE UFC star Conor McGregor’s Black Forge Inn pub PETROL BOMBED
- ‘Props to the Golden Globes for always choosing absolute chaos:’ Fans slam awards show’s ‘baffling’ Twitter feed fail to acknowledge their wins as ceremony moves online
- Love Island’s Molly-Mae Hague blasted after ‘Thatcherite’ comments on poverty and hard work
Research and insights:
A new poll has revealed that the vast majority of drivers who bought an electric car would never go back to owning a petrol or diesel model. The research from Zap-Map showed 91% of owners are ‘extremely happy’ with their zero-emission vehicles with just 1% hoping to return to fossil fuels.
Improved range and better-charging infrastructure have made a big difference in consumer customers when it comes to choosing an EV over a traditionally fuelled car.
The research, one of the largest surveys of electric car owners so far, showed that once drivers take the leap to EVs they don’t wish to turn back.
- More than 48% said that their current vehicle was their first EV
- 28% of those made the purchase in 2020
The poll asked 3,306 EV drivers how they would rate ownership of a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Petrol Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) out of a maximum 100.
- The average of the two categories was 91
- Petrol and diesel owners scored 74
The research also highlighted increased confidence in long journeys; most respondents (53%) said they have driven more than 200 miles in their EV in a single trip.
And almost a quarter of respondents (24%) said they had driven more than 300 miles in one trip.
Transport Minister Trudy Harrison has called for a move away from private car ownership and towards increased use of shared transport. But a new poll has revealed a huge resistance to her transport plans.
- In a poll of 3,276 people, a staggering 91% said private car ownership should not be banned in cities.
Ms Harrison, MP for Copeland, said the country needs to abandon “20th century thinking centred around private vehicle ownership” and said it was “staggering” that nearly two-thirds of car trips are taken by lone drivers. She stressed the importance for British roads to introduce “greater flexibility, with personal choice and low carbon shared transport” such as bike-share schemes, car clubs, e-scooters, and digital demand responsive transport services like Uber.
Richard Dilks, chief executive of shared transport campaigners CoMoUK, welcomed Harrison’s comments, which he said demonstrates that shared transport is on the Government’s agenda.
In October, London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone tax was extended from a 21 square km area of central London to cover London outskirts, affecting a 225 square km zone. The move aims to encourage city dwellers away from private car ownership and towards using public transport to decrease toxic air pollution.
Since the introduction of ULEZ in 2019, there are now 44,100 fewer polluting cars driving in the zone every day, and toxic NO2 concentrations have been reduced by 44%.