Values of used electric cars show ‘unprecedented growth’

Electric car values

The latest figures from Auto Trader show  average values of used cars advertised by retailers are decreasing. Bucking the trend, however, are EVs, with ‘unprecedented growth’ in prices.

The average used car sold by a retailer was advertised for £13,001 in August 2019, compared with £13,115 in July. Like-for-like advertised prices are also down by 1.3 percent compared with a year ago.

By comparison, electric car values have risen by 30.4 percent. Alternative-fuel vehicle values are also up 5.7 percent year-on-year, which includes EV models.

Why have electric car values soared?

Electric car values

That’s an absolutely enormous jump in average value. It shouldn’t come as a surprise in what is still a fledgling market, however. Over recent years, a great deal of mid-level and premium electric vehicles have come to market. The Jaguar I-Pace, Audi E-Tron and Tesla Model 3 are just three heavy-hitters. 

Consider, for example, that these cars all cost around £50,000 new. The EV used market average value was previously dictated by sub-£30,000 cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe.

That’s not to mention the number of new electric cars that have been launched over the past 18 months. In short, there are more electric cars available, and most of them are fresh to market.

Used car value drop

Ford Fiesta ST - greatest cars of the decade

While the values of used cars previously rocketed due to the influx of nearly-new metal, that same influx has necessitated a market correction. With supply  catching up with demand, this mild drop is indicative of a stabilisation, says Auto Trader.

This is corroborated by an 0.8 percent year-on-year increase in value of cars aged between 10 and 15 years. Demand for second-hand cars remains strong, too. Searches for used and nearly new vehicles were up four percent in August 2019, compared with August 2018.

“Used car prices will naturally fluctuate,” said Karolina Edwards-Smadja, director of commercial products at Auto Trader.

“But over the last few months there’s been a variety of unprecedented factors affecting average prices, not least the realignment of market values over the summer, which resulted in some cars having up to £1,000 knocked off their sticker price. 

Electric car values

“Supply and demand is less of an issue, but we shouldn’t entirely dismiss the impact the spike in new car registrations three to four years ago has had.

“Add to the mix the ongoing economic uncertainty and there’s clearly been an unusual amount of pressure placed on second-hand car values. It will be interesting to see whether these factors have any further influence during the closing quarter of 2019.”

Jag queens: Jaguar teams up with drag acts for charity

Jag-racing drag racers

Jaguar has partnered up with Attitude magazine to launch an online mini-series with ‘the world’s most fabulous drag queens’. The aim is to raise funds for LGBTQ+ charities.

The ‘Jag Queens’ will be going head to head, racing Jaguar I-Pace SUVs. The first face-off, between Courtney Act, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and The Vivienne, has already taken place. 

The contestants are racing a quarter-mile for the top prize of £10,000 for their chosen charity. Everyone’s a winner, though – the runner-up will be get £6,000, while the remaining contestants will each receive £2,000.

Jag-racing drag racers

Not to spoil things too much, but the race doesn’t sound like a close one.

“I can’t tell you the exhilaration I felt when I zoomed across the finish line, but then I realised you hadn’t even started,” said Courtney to The Vivienne. “You didn’t even get to drive the car…do you even have a licence?”

“I think I misunderstood when they said it was an electric car,” said The Vivienne. “I thought you could just get in and it just went. I have a license for some things, but not driving.”

Jag-racing drag racers

Hosted by Channel 4’s Drag SOS star, Cheddar Gorgeous, the next heat is due out on October 3 at 9am UK time. Taking part are Peppermint, also a RuPaul veteran, and Miss Tickle, a contestant on BBC Three’s forthcoming North East Premier Show Girl series.

The winner will be facing off against Courtney Act in the final heat for the overall win, due for broadcast October 7 at 9am.

The chosen charities are the Albert Kennedy Trust, Stonewall Community Foundation, Sahir House and Angle Trust. Fans can donate, with money being split equally between the four charities.

13 percent knowingly drive with illegal tyres

illegal tyres

A new survey reveals many motorists knowingly drive with their car tyres in illegal condition, while even more don’t know how to check them.

Around 13 percent of respondents in a poll by Halfords Autocentres said they had knowingly driven on tyres with illegal tread depths. Just over a quarter (27 percent) said they hadn’t checked their tyre tread in the last three months, while 42 percent said they didn’t know how to.

In total, 65 percent said they didn’t know the rules around worn tyres.

Tyre tread depth: the rules

illegal tyres

October is Tyre Safety Month, so what better time to make sure yours are up to standard? A tread depth of 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre is the legal minimum. In fact, experts recommend tyres be replaced when the tread wears below 3mm.

Not adhering to the rules on tread depth could land you with a £2,500 fine and three penalty points PER TYRE. That’s a potential £10,000 fine and a lost licence for four illegal tyres.

Also, make sure there are no tears, and that the rubber isn’t cracking or perishing. Check the date on your tyres to make sure they’re still at their best and look out for flat-spots. Keeping your car’s suspension alignment in check will maximise the life of your tyres.

illegal tyres

“We were surprised to find that so many Brits are driving with tyres below the legal tread depth,” said Halfords Autocentres expert, Martin Barber.

“Tread depth can reduce braking and steering ability especially in unpredictable weather and wet driving conditions. After completing millions of tyre checks to help keep Britain’s cars on the roads, we’re proud to offer a free tyre check for every motorist.”

Driven by dictators: cars of the most notorious world leaders

Cars of notorious world leaders

Auction house Bonhams can’t actually take credit for what has to be one of the most incredible sale rosters in history. Its recent hypercar lot was formerly the property of vice president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodorin Obiang Nguemabut. The cars were seized by Swiss authorities on charges of financial wrongdoing. We take a look at Nguemabut’s incredible collection, plus some more dictatorial motors.

Cars confiscated

Cars of notorious world leaders

In order to, in the words of Swiss prosecutors, ‘restore a situation that is in conformity with the law’, the cars crossed the block on September 30 2019. The 1.3-million Swiss franc cost of the case was paid in cash, in exchange for a yacht being returned. However, even a cohort of hypercars couldn’t raise the funds to see off Teodorin Obiang Nguema’s €30 million suspended fine, which he must pay on top of having his cars confiscated.

Fastest and most furious

Cars of notorious world leaders

Think of a hypercar and it’s probably in this collection. Headline heavy-hitters include the Bugatti Veyron, McLaren P1, LaFerrari, Ferrari Enzo, Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, Aston Martin One:77 and Koenigsegg One:1.

Under the hammer

Cars of notorious world leaders

 

The Veneno Roadster won the day, with a final equivalent of £6.76 million, including the buyer’s premium. The Koenigsegg went for the equivalent of £3.76 million, which some enthusiasts are calling a ‘bargain’. Indeed, it’s still more than Bonhams’ own estimate, which Koenigsegg called ‘harmful’ in a heated statement. The Ferrari Enzo followed the Koenigsegg, with a final sale price of £2.53 million. It even beat its successor, the LaFerrari, which brought in £1.78 million. Selling for between £1 million and £1.6 million were a Bugatti Veyron, Aston Martin One:77, Porsche 918 Spyder and Lamborghini Reventon Roadster.

Tour de force

Cars of notorious world leaders

 

Looking quite subtle amongst this assortment of hypercars was a Ferrari F12 TdF. Yet not all dictatorial leaders had quite such extravagant tastes when it comes to cars…

Adolf Hitler – Mercedes-Benz W31 Type G4

Cars of notorious world leaders

Perhaps the world’s most famous and infamous dictator, for reasons we don’t need to explain. Adolf Hitler’s chariot of choice was a Mercedes-Benz W31 Type G4. This was a three-axle military off-roader, designed almost exlusively to cater to Nazi leaders. It’s one of just 30 made.

Josef Stalin – ZIS-115

Cars of notorious world leaders

Following the defeat of Hitler and the Nazis in World War Two, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin was sometimes ferried around in the homegrown ZIS-115. This eight-tonne armored monster was produced between 1946 and 1947. The paranoid Stalin wouldn’t use any of the 32 cars made for more than two days.

Emperor Hirohito – Mercedes-Benz ‘Kaiserwagen’

Cars of notorious world leaders

In 1935, Japanese Emperor Hirohito received an armoured Mercedes 770 Grand Pullman Limousine. Given Japan’s alignment during the war, you can probably guess who facilitated the acquisition. The Pullman’s ‘Kaiserwagen’ nickname says it all.

Benito Mussolini – Lancia Astura

Cars of notorious world leaders

Italian dictator Mussolini was more patriotic in his choice of cars. A succession of Lancias is topped by his special-commission Astura models, including cabriolets for parades and a streamlined version for his private collection.

Josip Broz Tito – Mercedes-Benz

Cars of notorious world leaders

Yugoslavian dictator Josip Broz Tito is considered the figurehead for one of the world’s only ‘successful’ communist dictatorships. In his time as the Yugoslav president between 1953 and 1980, Tito frequented the back seat of many specialised Mercedes-Benz limousines. As is becoming apparent, the three-pointed star is a firm favourite of some of the world’s most divisive leaders.

Chairman Mao – Hongqi Red Flag

Cars of notorious world leaders

Chinese dictator Chairman Mao chose a Hongqi Red Flag for his travels. The company that introduced the Red Flag in 1958 is now known as the China FAW Group. It built 1,500 of them in a 24-year production run.

Fidel Castro – ZIL-111

Cars of notorious world leaders

Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro was famously in cahoots with the Soviet Union, leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. It also led to Castro becoming the proud owner of a 1963 ZIL-111 cabriolet limousine, as gifted to him by Soviet premier, Nikita Khrushchev.

Kim Jong-il – Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser

Cars of notorious world leaders

Kim Jong Il, deceased supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – the self-given name of North Korea – was another Mercedes enthusiast. His patronage supports the popular view that the 600 Grosser was the ultimate dictator’s car.

Robert Mugabe – Rolls-Royce

Cars of notorious world leaders

Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe seemingly wanted to make more impact than even a Mercedes 600 was capable of. In spite of his open criticism of the West, and Britain in particular, he was a sucker for a vintage Rolls-Royce.

Mikael Gorbachev – ZIL-410152

Cars of notorious world leaders

The last leader of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev stayed loyal to the ZIL marque. The 410152 limousine was on Russian government duty right up until 2007 – 18 years after its 1989 debut. Gorbachev actually disliked the Soviet elite having nice cars to waft around in, claiming they shouldn’t enjoy such privileges over and above the people of the USSR.

Muammar al-Gaddafi – Fiat 500

Cars of notorious world leaders

Gaddafi, tyrant as he was, did at least have the health and happiness of the planet at heart. He was allegedly a big collector of electric cars and other environmentally-friendly vehicles. He even commissioned Italian coachbuilder Castagna Milano to build a one-off electric Fiat 500. Fiat’s own electric 500 is pictured. Imagine it green, with no doors, and you’re almost there…

Sadam Hussain – Bentley S1 Continental

Cars of notorious world leaders

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain finds less fame than his son Uday for extravagant taste in cars. While Uday collected Ferraris and Porsches, Saddam preferred something more sedate. He confiscated a 1958 Bentley S1 Continental to join his Mercedes-Benz Grosser. Its owner wouldn’t sell it to him, apparently.

Kim Jong Un – Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Cars of notorious world leaders

While depicted in the 2015 comedy ‘The Dictator’ as a lover of expensive motors, there’s little conclusive evidence of Korean Kim Jong Un’s taste in cars. We expect he’s got a well-stocked garage, but his day-to-day wheels are modern equivalent of a Mercedes Grosser: an S-Class limousine.

Hyundai recruits boss of flying cars

Hyundai recruits boss of flying cars

Dr. Jaiwon Shin has landed at Hyundai to head up its newly established Urban Air Mobility Division.

The aeronautics engineer is a former associate administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA, as well as a co-chair of the White House National Science and Technology Council’s Aeronautics Science and Technology Subcommittee.

As executive vice president and head of Hyundai’s air mobility division, Dr. Shin will lead the company into a “new era of developing smart mobility products within the aviation industry”.

Hyundai will leverage his expertise in airframe, engine, safety and air traffic management technologies to develop solutions for safe and efficient airborne travel.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Shin said: “Having worked on cutting-edge aviation research and development at NASA for 30 years, I am very excited and humbled by the opportunity to now shape urban air mobility strategy at Hyundai Motor Group.

“The new team at Hyundai will develop core technologies that will establish the company as a driving force in urban air mobility, a sector that is expected to grow into a market worth $1.5 trillion (£1.2 trillion) within the next 20 years.”

Last-mile parcels and air metros

Hyundai recruits boss of Urban Air Mobility

Urban Air Mobility is expected to become a critically important part of a range of solutions designed to reduce traffic problems in the world’s mega cities.

Aerospace giant Airbus established an Urban Air Mobility division last year to “co-create an entire industry from scratch”.

Harini Kulatunga, head of unmanned aerial mobility solutions at Airbus, said: “By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will be urban. To help cities cope with this massive population growth, transport solutions need to safely and sustainably improve the way people get from A to B.

“Urban air mobility enhances the coverage and reach of the transportation system with minimal land impact [and] sustainable city development becomes possible.”

In November 2018, a report published by NASA found that a commercially viable market for last-mile parcel delivery and air metro could be in place by 2030.

However, the market for air taxis is likely to be limited to concentrated areas of high net worth individuals and businesses. An example would be an air taxi from Manhattan to the suburbs.

At the Global Urban Air Summit in Farnborough, Tim Johnson, policy director for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), argued that society has a “low tolerance [for risk] and high expectation of safety standards for air travel”.

Investment in the sector is expected to top $318 billion (£259 billion) from 2020 to 2040.

Great British classic cars by the sea

Classic cars at the seaside

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside, strolling along the prom, where the brass bands play, etc, etc. To many Brits, a trip to the seaside conjures up images of fish and chips, ‘kiss me quick’ hats and arcade machines, plus the smell of suncream and seaweed. Apropos of nothing, here’s a selection of Great British classic cars basking in the sun at the seaside. All photos by Martin Charles Hatch.

Vauxhall Chevette

Classic cars at the seaside

There’s something quintessentially British about this photo. All that’s missing is a pair of deckchairs and two people arguing about Brexit.

Triumph Herald

Classic cars at the seaside

Triumph called the Herald Convertible ‘a suntrap on wheels’, with a press advert picturing the car alongside a topless model sunbathing on the beach. Very racy and quite risque for the 1960s. What would the people who have the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) on speed dial say about that?

Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

Classic cars at the seaside

The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow became a firm favourite of ‘end-of-the-pier’ entertainers, lending it a kind of faded seaside glamour. Those days are gone – turn up in one of these and folk will think you own the bingo hall.

Lotus Elan+2

Classic cars at the seaside

The first Lotus not to be sold in kit form arrived in 1969, with the Elan+2 designed to be ‘capable of transporting two adults and two children, 1,000 miles in comfort with their luggage’. This one has made it to the beach.

Nash Metropolitan

Classic cars at the seaside

The Nash Metropolitan was a little slice of Americana, built in Longbridge. There’s an almost toy-like quality to its styling and it must have lifted the mood in post-war America and the UK.

Triumph TR7

Classic cars at the seaside

‘It only has two seats. It confirms her mother’s worst fears. And if you ever drove it flat out they’d probably lock you up.’ Triumph’s press ad from 1979 is yet another example of copywriting from a different era.

Morris Minor Traveller

Classic cars at the seaside

A beautiful example of a Morris Minor Traveller, complete with optional dog bowl. Dog not pictured, sadly.

Austin-Healey Sprite

Classic cars at the seaside

The famous headlights earned the Austin-Healey Sprite the nickname ‘Frogeye’, but the original plan was for the car to feature pop-ups. When these were ruled out on the grounds of cost, the familiar ‘bug eyes’ were added to the bonnet.

Jaguar E-Type

Classic cars at the seaside

The Jaguar E-Type: second only to the Nissan Sunny ZX Coupe on the list of the most beautiful two-seaters ever made.

Triumph TR6

Classic cars at the seaside

Up until its demise in 2009, Karmann was the largest independent car manufacturer in Germany. Although it’s most famous for the Karmann Ghia, the German coachbuilder was also responsible for the styling of the Triumph TR6. So now you know.

Triumph 2000/2500

Classic cars at the seaside

Here’s another British car to benefit from European input, with the last big Triumph styled by the Italian, Giovanni Michelotti. He also designed the Leyland National bus.

Triumph TR4

Classic cars at the seaside

Although the TR4 looked very different to the Triumph TR3/TR3A, it was based on the same chassis. Unlike its predecessor, the TR4 featured side windows and air vents, which prompted some Triumph purists to accuse the car of going soft.

Ford Escort GT

Classic cars at the seaside

The Escort arrived in 1968, with Ford marketing it as ‘the small car that isn’t’. Four models were available: De Luxe, Super, Super 1300cc and GT.

Jensen C-V8

Classic cars at the seaside

This Jensen C-V8 is powered by a massive 6.3-litre Chrysler V8 engine, giving it a top speed of 140mph. It was a fine Grand Tourer, but it’s not the Jensen everyone remembers.

Morris Oxford MO

Classic cars at the seaside

Believe it or not, this Morris Oxford MO was dumped on Landguard Common in Felixstowe in the mid 1960s. After life as a makeshift children’s playground, it found its way to the port where it spent years under a tarpaulin. The transformation is incredible.

Humber Sceptre

Classic cars at the seaside

Too often overlooked, the Humber Sceptre was a posh, plush and almost flamboyant British family car. The Humber name disappeared in 1976.

Standard Vanguard

Classic cars at the seaside

The Standard name died earlier, in 1963, but the company had an illustrious past. It developed a strong reputation in the 1930s, before buying Triumph after the Second World War.

Ford Popular

Classic cars at the seaside

Today’s Ford Focus can trace its roots back to the Popular via the Escort and Anglia.

Austin A40

Classic cars at the seaside

Having enjoyed watching historic racing, this looks ripe for some kind of motorsport conversion. Andrew Jordan has got a lot to answer for.

Diesel particulate filter warning light

Diesel particulate filters: why are they a problem?

Diesel particulate filter warning light

If you drive or are considering buying a modern diesel car, the chances are you’ll have heard about diesel particulate filters. But what are they – and why can they be a problem for motorists?

A diesel particulate filter (DPF) is designed to capture and store exhaust soot to reduce emissions from diesel cars. This prevents harmful diesel particulate matter from being pumped into the atmosphere.

A DPF has been a requirement of all new diesel cars since 2009 when the Euro 5 emissions standard came into force. However, particulate filters date back to 1985 when Mercedes became the first manufacturer to introduce them on the 300D sold in California.

Later, in 2000, the PSA Group re-introduced the principle when it used a cerium-based fuel additive for regeneration on the Peugeot 607 2.2 HDi. Today, there are two main types of DPF – passive regeneration and active regeneration.

Passive regeneration

Passive regeneration uses normal exhaust temperatures and nitrogen oxide (NO2) as the catalyst to oxidise particulate matter in the DPF. This tends to occur at high speeds, typically on a motorway or A-road, with the engine running for a good 30 minutes or more.

The main advantages of passive regeneration are that it requires no input from the driver, the process takes place automatically and there are fewer components.

However, it relies on the motorist making regular trips on motorways and A-roads, and without this, problems can occur. It’s for this reason that manufacturers introduced so-called active regeneration.

Active regeneration

Active regeneration uses the car’s ECU to sense when the filter is getting clogged with soot and injects extra fuel into the engine to raise the temperature of the exhaust, triggering regeneration.

This tends to occur around every 250 to 300 miles and will take up to 10 minutes to complete. In theory, this shouldn’t cause any issues, but problems will occur if the system is unable to complete the regeneration.

If the process is interrupted too many times, the DPF warning light will illuminate and you’re advised to take the car to a motorway, dual carriageway or A-road for 15 minutes for regeneration. If you continue to ignore the warning light, the car will go into ‘limp home’ mode.

There is a third form of DPF, which uses a fuel additive to lower the ignition temperature of the ignition temperature of the soot particles to enable the regeneration to happen at a lower temperature. The additive is stored in a separate tank or ‘bladder’ and should be replaced every 70,000 to 100,000 miles.

Make sure the tank is refilled when a warning light appears on the dashboard because, without the fluid, the DPF will become blocked.

Oil dilution

A significant disadvantage associated with active regeneration is the dilution of the engine oil caused by small a small amount of diesel during the post-injection cycles, where fuel is injected into the cylinder after the regular combustion. A thin layer of fuel can build up on the cylinder walls, which leads to premature engine wear, and drivers are warned to consider shorter oil service intervals.

There have been various studies into the engine oil dilution issue and the scale of the problem varies according to the make and model of the diesel car in question. Evidence suggests that the problem is worsened when the regeneration process is halted prematurely or when a car is used for short trips.

Modern systems should alert the driver via a dashboard message when the oil dilution reaches a certain level, but regular services remain critical to the long-term health of the engine. There have been some high-profile issues concerning some major brands, which will be explored in a later update.

The problems of a blocked DPF

Diesel exhaust

If regeneration doesn’t take place, the DPF will need to be cleaned or replaced, landing you with a bill upwards of £1,000. A quick trawl of some forums and discussion threads suggests you could be charged up to £5,000, which might be more than the car is worth.

Which means it’s vitally important to look after your DPF and to pay close attention if you’re buying a high-mileage diesel car. That’s because a well-maintained DPF should have a life of 100,000 miles, or significantly lower if the car has been used for shorter trips and regular regeneration hasn’t taken place.

How to avoid a blocked DPF

To avoid a blocked DPF, you can start by not buying an inappropriate car. Typically, if you drive less than 12,000 miles a year, a petrol, hybrid or electric vehicle would be more suitable for your needs.

Diesel cars are more expensive to buy and tend to be more economical on longer trips, making them unsuitable for short trips and urban driving.

If you’re driving a diesel car with a DPF fitted, read the manual to understand whether your vehicle uses passive or active regeneration, and make sure you know how to look after the filter. Using the right engine oil is very important.

The RAC says that performance modifications can damage a DPF, as can the use of low-quality fuel. Even running the car low on diesel can cause problems as the car may avoid regeneration to save fuel.

Can you remove a DPF?

Diesel particulate filter removal

It is an offence to use a vehicle modified in a way that it no longer complies the emissions standards it was designed to meet. To this end, the removal of a DPF would land you with a £1,000 fine for a car or £2,500 for a light goods vehicle.

Further issues include an immediate MOT fail if the DPF has been removed, along with invalid insurance as the car has been modified from original specification. Obviously, you need to be on your guard if you’re buying a high-mileage diesel car. Insist on seeing the latest MOT certificate – details are stored online – and check that the DPF is present.

Read more:

London’s Direct Vision Standard: everything you need to know

Direct Vision Standard for London

From 26 October 2020, HGVs over 12 tonnes will be BANNED from entering or operating in Greater London unless they pass a new Direct Vision Standard (DVS).

The date coincides with the new London-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards for heavy goods vehicles.

The Direct Vision Standard is being rolled out to protect and improve the safety of all road users, particularly pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. It includes a new star rating based on how much a lorry driver can see through their cab windows.

Lorries are rated from 0 to 5, with any 0-star vehicles over 12 tonnes banned unless they incorporate a series of safety measures (Safe System) to reduce the risk to vulnerable road users. The Safe System includes the following:

  • Blind spot elimination and minimisation, i.e. a fully operational camera, Class V and VI mirrors and a sensor with driver alerts.
  • Warning of intended manoeuvres, i.e. audible left-turning warning system and pictorial stickers.
  • Physical impact minimisation, i.e. side-underrun protection.

Operators and drivers are also advised to take part in appropriate training, although this is not a requirement for the Safe System permit.

Fitting a Safe System will not change a vehicle’s Direct Vision Standard star rating, but will bring the safety standard of the vehicle up to a level required for a permit.

The Direct Vision Standard will affect 188,000 HGVs operating in London, with some 35,000 expected to be banned in 2020 and 94,000 by 2024 if standards aren’t improved.

From 26 October 2024, all 0 to 2-star HGVs will be banned unless they prove a Progressive Safe System. Transport for London (TfL) will review the system in 2022, taking into account new technology not currently available.

HGVs account for just 4 percent of London’s traffic but are disproportionately represented in fatal collisions. From 2015 to 2017, HGVs were involved in 63 percent of cyclist fatalities and 25 percent of pedestrians.

‘Vital for saving lives’

Direct Vision Standard information

Christina Calderato, head of transport strategy and planning at TfL, said: “Our Direct Vision Standard and its associated HGV Safety Permit is vital for saving lives on London’s streets and achieving Vision Zero.

“We thank the freight industry for their input and support throughout the stages of development. We are just three months away from the first permits being issued and encourage all operators to check the star rating of their vehicle, so they are prepared and compliant.”

Permits will be issued from 28 October 2019, with enforcement beginning on 26 October 2020. The Direct Vision Standard will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be enforced on ALL ROADS within the Greater London Boundary.

Non-compliant HGVs will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) of £550 per day, which will be reduced by 50 percent if paid within 14 days.

Direct Vision Standard ratings for Euro IV, V and VI vehicles are available from vehicle manufacturers. The contact details for each manufacturer can be found here.

Brigade Electronics has provided this handy infographic, which provides a useful overview for HGV drivers and operators. For more detailed information, download TfL’s guide, which includes details of how to obtain a Safe System permit.

Direct Vision Standard: summary

  • Star rating system for HGVs over 12 tonnes.
  • Based on how much a driver can see directly through their cab windows.
  • Zero rated vehicles will need to be improved by fitting Safe System measures.
  • Free Safety Permit available from 28 October 2019.
  • Direct Vehicle Standard enforcement begins 26 October 2020.
  • Minimum star rating increases from 1 to 3 from October 2024.
Maserati plans new electric models

Maserati commits to new models with electrification and autonomous tech

Maserati plans new electric models

Luxury vehicle manufacturer Maserati has announced plans to release new models featuring electrification in the near future.

The company, part of the multinational Fiat Chrysler Automobiles corporation, has stated that 100% of all vehicles will continue to be made in its multiple Italian factories

Following the fall of global sales volumes in 2018, Maserati has been keen to return to profitability. A total of 10 new or updated models is set to be released between 2020 and 2023. 

Sparking the Italian Renaissance 

Maserati plans new electric modelsKey to the future will be electrification, with the Ghibli saloon set to receive a hybrid drivetrain in 2020. Initially launched in 2013, the Ghibli is currently offered with a choice of turbocharged V6 petrol or diesel engines. 

Set to be produced in the company’s Turin factory, the Ghibli will play an important role in revitalising the firm. European sales of the executive four-door have declined from a peak of 4,600 in 2015, to just 2,500 in 2018.

Maserati also promises that updated models will also gain enhanced autonomous driving technology. This will begin with Level 2 highway-assisted capabilities, progressing to Level 3 that allows the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel.

Turning the clock back

Also included in the announcement is news of the previously postponed Alfieri sports car concept. 

After being displayed at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, production of the 2+2 coupe was initially slated to begin in 2016. This was subsequently postponed to allow the company time to focus on the Levante SUV.

Now a launch is expected in 2020, with plug-in hybrid and full electric versions of the new sports car expected from the Modena factory. 

Investment in customisation

Maserati plans new electric modelsMaserati will also add a new SUV to the range, with the first vehicles set to roll off the production line in 2021. This will follow a planned $800 million investment at the facility in Cassino.

Also due to be replaced are the longstanding GranTurismo and GranCabrio models, with the coupe version having been on sale since 2007. Maserati promises that both versions will be replaced with all-new creations, and will be part of the electrification efforts.

Finally, the company has also invested in a new paint shop and customisation programme, mimicking that now offered by Italian rival Lamborghini. Customers visiting the Modena factory will be able to watch their new car being painted.

Petersen Ford GT Charity Auction

Build slot for Ford GT supercar to be sold in charity auction

Petersen Ford GT Charity AuctionThe Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is set to auction the opportunity to purchase a Ford GT supercar.

Ford has been notably selective about who it has allowed to buy the mid-engined GT, with customers having to submit an application form to even request the chance to buy one. 

However, a charity auction to be held as part of the Petersen Museum’s 25th anniversary celebrations could help sidestep those allocation issues. 

Silver anniversary celebrations

Petersen Ford GT Charity AuctionAs part of the special 25th anniversary gala event, set to be held on Saturday, October 5th 2019, one of the last public build slots for the Ford GT will be auctioned. 

The winning bidder will then have the opportunity to purchase a new Ford GT, built exactly to their personal specification. This includes the choice of 2020, ‘21, or ‘22 model years, along with special versions like the Heritage Edition or Carbon Series. 

Described as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity, the auction will raise money for the Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation. The Foundation provides education programs to more than 100,000 each year, and also helps preserve the museum’s collection of vehicles.

Blue Oval bonanza

Petersen Ford GT Charity AuctionThe charity auction will form the centerpiece of the anniversary gala, which will also honor the Ford Motor Company. Bill Ford, executive chairman of the company, and great-grandson of Henry Ford, will be attending the event. 

RM Sotheby’s have been appointed to organize the Ford GT auction, with a variety of bidding options. Those interested can place bids in person at the gala, or via telephone with prior arrangement. 

Prices for the 647 horsepower Ford GT begin at $500,000, meaning the lucky bidder will need to be prepared to dig even deeper to purchase their finished vehicle.