The Norwegians prefer electric cars
In March 58 percent of new cars sold in Norway were purely electric, the Norwegian Transport Organization (NRF) said. According to the NRF’s report, the share of electric cars in sales last year reached a record 31.2 percent. The rate was 20.8 percent in 2017 and only 5.5 percent in 2013. In the northern European country, owners of electric cars benefit from a number of tax and fee reductions, such as the toll and parking fees. In the Scandinavian country, the sale of new fossil fuel-powered cars is expected to cease by 2025. As far as the absolute number of electric cars sold per year is concerned, one million cars are driven by China. On the other hand, in terms of the share of new cars, Norway is taking the prime. Other Nordic countries such as Iceland, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands are at the top of the list. Next comes China ahead of Switzerland, Austria, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. According to the current report of the Baden-Württemberg Solar and Hydrogen Research Center (ZSW), China and the United States are the biggest growth engine of the e-car market. At present, there are 2.6 million electric vehicles in the Asian country, compared with 1.1 million in the US. The third is Norway, the fourth is Japan. There are 298 210 electric cars in the Scandinavian country and 246 390 electric cars in the “rising day” country. In the ranking of manufacturers, BYD, also known as the Chinese Tesla, is ranked 517,230 electric vehicles sold, the second is Tesla 500,390, while the third is Nissan 379,910 units sold. The Top10 includes BAIC, BMW, General Motors, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, SAIC and Toyota.
Toyota to give royalty-free access to hybrid-vehicle patents
Toyota Motor Corp announced it would offer royalty-free access to its hybrid-vehicle technology patents through 2030, as it seeks to expand use of lower emissions vehicles before the global auto industry shifts to all-battery electric cars.
The Japanese automaker said it would grant licenses on nearly 24,000 patents on technologies covering hybrid power systems, which comprise motors, power converters and batteries.
“Based on the high volume of inquiries we receive about of vehicle electrification systems from companies that recognize a need to popularize hybrid and other electrified vehicle technologies, now is the time for cooperation,” Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Terashi said in a statement.
Since pioneering the Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car, in 1997, Toyota has sold more than 13 million cars featuring the technology, which twins a conventional gasoline engine and electric motor, saving fuel by capturing energy during coasting and breaking and using it to power the motor.
Hybrid vehicles account for around 3 percent of all vehicles sold globally, eclipsing the roughly 1 percent share of all-battery electric vehicles (EVs), according to LMC Automotive.
Toyota vehicles account for more than 80 percent of the hybrid vehicle market.
Global automakers have pledged to electrify their offerings in coming years amid tightening global emissions regulations, but many acknowledge that shifting to all-battery EVs will take time due to the high cost of the required batteries.
Toyota has long held to its belief that its hybrids, whose fuel efficiency is roughly double that of gasoline cars, are a cost-effective alternative to all-battery EVs, due to their lower cost, lack of need for charging infrastructure, and because they operate more or less like gasoline cars.
Digital accident statment on web as well
The digital accident statement application is developing more, Association of Hungarian Insurance Companies (MABISZ) said recently. Since its launch on January 8, the Android and iOS application has been downloaded 173,000 times and it is available on laptops and tablets as well.
The number of claims submitted to insurance companies in this way is already over 1200. In February, in the first full month of departure, 570 applications were used for claims reporting, while 1,0007 claims were filed for thirteen companies in the compulsory motor liability insurance market.
Following the announcement, the system will send an email to all concerned with the completed pdf. format and the attached images. The MABISZ sends the claim form filled in with the E-claim application to the insurer of the party designated as responsible, – if the liability is contested, to both insurers concerned.
More and more insurers have started to send QR codes to their clients and place them on insurance documents when entering into new contracts (eg: certificate, green card). The QR Code is a two-dimensional barcode that contains the most important data of the contractor and the insured vehicle in an easy-to-read form. Its purpose is to speed up the completion process, but in the absence of this, a manual entry can also be made.
The application and the web interface can currently be used to report damage events involving two vehicles in Hungary. In case of multiple accidents, it can be filled with pairs. The paper-based, blue-yellow form is still available for everyone to report accidents.
In cases where the E-claim application is unavailable for any reason (eg in a foreign or unsecured vehicle), the traditional blue-yellow form will still be required. The app cannot be used to record casco damage for the time being.
EU road safety rules to help save lives
The EU institutions have reached a provisional political agreement on the revised General Safety Regulation. As of 2022 new safety technologies will become mandatory in European vehicles to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.
New technologies on the market can help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads, 90% of which are due to human error. In May 2018, the Commission proposed to make certain vehicle safety measures mandatory, including systems that reduce the dangerous blind spots on trucks and buses and technology that warns the driver in case of drowsiness or distraction. Advanced safety features will reduce the number of accidents, pave the way towards increasingly connected and automated mobility, and boost the global innovation and competitiveness edge of the European car industry.
Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error. We can and must act to change this. With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when the safety belts were first introduced. Many of the new features already exist, in particular in high–end vehicles. Now we raise the safety level across the board, and pave the way for connected and automated mobility of the future.
The new mandatory safety features include:
1. For cars, vans, trucks and buses: warning of driver drowsiness and distraction (e.g. smartphone use while driving), intelligent speed assistance, reversing safety with camera or sensors, and data recorder in case of an accident (‘black box’).
2. For cars and vans: lane-keeping assistance, advanced emergency braking, and crash-test improved safety belts.
3. For trucks and buses: specific requirements to improve the direct vision of bus and truck drivers and to remove blind spots, and systems at the front and side of the vehicle to detect and warn of vulnerable road users, especially when making turns.
The Commission expects that the proposed measures will help save over 25,000 lives and avoid at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038. This will contribute to the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 (“Vision Zero”).
In addition to protecting people on European roads, the new advanced safety features will help drivers get gradually used to the new driving assistance. Increasing degrees of automation offer significant potential to compensate for human errors and offer new mobility solutions for the elderly and physically impaired. All this should enhance public trust and acceptance of automated cars, supporting the transition towards autonomous driving.
The political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission in so-called trilogue negotiations is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and Council. The new safety features will become mandatory from 2022, with the exception of direct vision for trucks and buses and enlarged head impact zone on cars and vans, which will follow later due to the necessary structural design changes.
In recent years, the EU has introduced a range of mandatory measures, which contributed to an estimated reduction of 50,000 fatal traffic casualties per year. These measures include electronic stability control systems on all vehicles, as well as advanced emergency braking systems and lane departure warning systems on trucks and buses.
In 2017, the Commission launched a public consultation to gather stakeholder views on potential improvements to current vehicle safety measures. In May 2018, the Commission then proposed a review of the General Safety Regulation and the Pedestrian Safety Regulation, under the Third “Europe on the Move” set of actions. The revised General Safety Regulation goes hand in hand with an efficient safety management of road infrastructure, where the Commission’s proposalwasagreed in February 2019.
The Commission also presented a Communication on Connected and Automated Mobility to make Europe a world leader for autonomous and safe mobility systems. As a first deliverable for connected mobility the Commission had adopted new rules that step up the deployment of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) on Europe’s roads. C-ITS allow vehicles to ‘talk’ to each other, to the road infrastructure, and to other road users – for instance about dangerous situations, road works and the timing of traffic lights, making road transport safer, cleaner and more efficient.
Commission applies Leaseurope standards
The European Commission has demanded more pricing transparency from the major car rental companies. The objective is to avoid unpleasant surprises for renters at the end of their rental period. Avis, Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz and Sixt are thus to modify the way in which they present their tariffs. In particular, the companies are being asked to include all rental costs in the tariffs they present, including fuel, insurance, airport charges, mileage allowance and other applicable conditions etc.
According to a report in Déplacements Pros, Sixt and Enterprise are said to be already there, Avis will be by May of this year, Europcar in June and Hertz by the beginning of next year at the latest.
Contacted by ourselves, European leasing association Leaseurope’s deputy Director General Richard Knubben had this to say, somewhat tempering the ‘sudden’ nature of the Commission’s request:
“Well, in fact the Commission is recognising the improvements we have made overall for the industry. Just over 2 years ago we developed what we call the Leaseurope car rental guidelines, which set a basic standard of performance/operations for the industry. These guidelines formed the basis of bilateral discussions between the Commission and the 5 major rental operators, where they pledged a specific timeline to implement said guidelines.
This process has now been successfully concluded, hence the (Commission’s) press release. For this reason, the press release also specifically includes a link to our guidelines. So it’s not so much the Commission demanding something new, it’s the culmination of 4 years of work, which we proactively started together with the Commission to develop a new standard for Europe. Now with the revamped UCPD, this will in effect become the ‘norm’ for regulators across Europe.”