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Frost & Sullivan Commends Audi’s e-Gas Project for Leading the Automotive …

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2014 European Future of Sustainable Mobility Visionary Innovation Award

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LONDON, Dec. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Frost Sullivan is proud to present the 2014 European Visionary Innovation Leadership Award towards a Future of Sustainable Mobility to Audi AG for the Audi e-gas project. With the e-gas project, Audi has pointed eco-conscious automotive original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs’) investment and innovation efforts towards other industries such as the energy sector, so they can share knowledge, gain expertise, and develop solutions for sustainable mobility.

“While the automotive industry is only now waking up to the concept of new mobility horizons, Audi has already blazed trails for both premium and mass-market OEMs to follow and envisage a world where urban-connected cities, connected living, and zero emission futures are a reality,” says Frost Sullivan Industry Analyst Yeswant Abhimanyu.

Already, urbanisation markers such as mega cities, regions, and corridors; innovating to zero concepts such as zero waste/emission, zero emissions from cars, carbon-neutral cities, factories, and retail stores, bricks and clicks; micro-mobility; and the Internet of Everything are all changing the automotive landscape. Audi has pushed the envelope in mobility with innovations in Audi e-gas, Audi e-fuels, Audi City, and Audi connect.

Audi has rolled out its CO2-neutral mobility vision with the e-gas project, wherein it uses CO2 as a raw material in the production of e-gas. The e-gas project specifically covers e-power, e-hydrogen, and e-gas to propel future vehicles. The e-diesel and e-ethanol projects are other outstanding examples of Audi’s approach to future mobility sustainability. E-ethanol and e-diesel have the advantages of being produced without biomass and also can be blended with fossil fuel. Better purity and use with existing diesel systems is an added advantage of e-diesel. Audi’s future mobility goal is to have mobility users drive the A3 e-tron emission-free in cities and the Internal combustion engine (ICE) with e-fuels outside of city limits.

Furthermore, the electrolysis plant that produces hydrogen for the production of e-gas is operated by renewably generated electricity, placing Audi among the few global vehicle manufacturers to develop and build an entire chain of sustainable energy sources (electricity, hydrogen, and e-gas). In this plant, hydrogen is made to react with CO2 from a biogas plant that is fed with organic waste in a methanation process. This CO2, which would otherwise pollute the atmosphere, is bound in to produce e-gas.

Audi’s push towards the development and production of climate-friendly synthetic fuels addresses concerns regarding the future of the internal combustion engine and ways in which CO2 emissions can be further reduced. The company’s excellence in strategy is exemplified by its corporate vision of combining climate-neutral mobility with automotive, to create harmony between ecology and economy.

“Audi’s aim is to develop fuels with emission-binding potential to reduce 100% percent of the CO2 that the vehicles are emitting when in use and with an overall GHG reduction of more than 70% in a complete life cycle calculation including the entire process of production and logistics,” notes Abhimanyu. “The use of e-gas from a plant that uses wind energy to fuel the Audi A3 g-tron illustrates the integration of this vision into its business strategy.”

Importantly, the e-gas project provides ‘flexibility in use’; wherein, the e-gas can be distributed to filling stations through the existing German public-gas network. Audi also astutely signed key partnerships to realise its visionary projects; for example, it built the facility in Werlte in cooperation with partners such as ETOGAS (formerly SolarFuel), MT-BioMethan, and EWE. Likewise, Audi partners with Joule for further RD in its e-fuel project.

Another key aspect of the innovation process is the focus on eco-balance. This balance is achieved by pursuing an integrated cradle-to-grave approach. It looks beyond the CO2 emissions related to tank-to-wheel and includes the well-to-wheel perspective of the energy used for motoring, and cradle to cradle assessments of the cars and its materials. The other point of focus is product innovation and investments in vehicles such as the A3 g-tron, which aids this eco-balance. It boasts advanced technology in fuel storage, lightweight design, recycling, efficiency, and range.

One of the key effects of the e-gas PtG project on society is that it identifies a place to store the excess renewable energy. If strong winds generate excess electricity, it can be converted to e-gas and stored in the public-gas network in Germany, which has more than 200 terrawatt hours of capacity.

“Audi has firmly positioned itself on a path towards sustainable mobility by building a chain of sustainable energy sources,” observes Abhimanyu. “This coupled with its continued developments in powertrain and drive technologies, lightweight approaches, and associated technology advancements, have made it a worthy recipient of the 2014 European Visionary Innovation Leadership Award.”

Each year, Frost Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated the understanding to leverage global Mega Trends, integrate the vision into processes to achieve strategic excellence. The award recognises the efficacy of the recipient’s innovative process and the impact it has on business and society at large.

Frost Sullivan Best Practices awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.

About Audi AG

“The Audi Group delivered approximately 1,575,500 cars of the Audi brand to customers in 2013. In 2013 the company reported revenue of €49.9 billion and an operating profit of €5.03 billion. The company is globally operating in more than 100 markets with production facilities in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Gyor (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium), Bratislava (Slovakia), Martorell (Spain), Kaluga (Russia), Aurangabad (India), Changchun (China) and Jakarta (Indonesia). Since December 2013, the brand with the Four Rings has been producing cars also in Foshan (China). In 2015, Audi will start production in Sao Jose dos Pinhais (Brazil), followed by San Jose Chiapa (Mexico) in 2016. Wholly owned subsidiaries of AUDI AG include quattro GmbH (Neckarsulm), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy) and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Bologna, Italy), the sports motorcycle manufacturer. The company currently employs approximately 76,000 people worldwide, thereof more than 53,400 in Germany. Total investment of around €22 billion is planned from 2014 to 2018 – primarily in new products and sustainable technologies. Audi is committed to its corporate responsibility and has anchored the principle of sustainability for its products and processes in its strategy. The long-term goal is CO2-neutral mobility.”

Oliver Strohbach
Media Communication, Audi AG

About Frost Sullivan

Frost Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.

Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation.
  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

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Turkey’s auto industry to benefit from exports to US in 2015

From the dire situation of 2009, when vehicle production in Turkey collapsed to sub-million unit levels last seen in 2004, the country’s automotive industry recovery has been impressive.

Repeating the production success of 1.235 million units in 2011 will be more challenging, but Turkey’s Automotive Industry Association, OSD, is positive the country’s automotive industry will maintain growth, reaching output levels of around 1.15 million units for the 2014 calendar year. The country has installed capacity of around 1.5 million units….

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Investment agency signs cooperation agreement with automotive industry …


MTI – Econews

Friday, December 19, 2014, 2:40 PM CET

Investment agency signs cooperation agreement with automotive industry association

Hungary’s Grand Automotive Coalition, a professional association representing the interests of carmakers, dealers and mechanics, has signed a cooperation agreement with the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA), HIPA said today.

HIPA said the coalition was an ideal partner in so far as it already closely cooperates with a number of its members.

The cooperation will extend to the coordination of communications activities and the organisation of joint professional events.

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Competition Gap in Automotive Industry Shrinking

A recent IHS Automotive analysis of U.S. new vehicle market share among vehicle manufacturers indicates the competition at the top has never been greater.

In the past 14 years, market share range among the eight largest OEMs in the United States has quietly declined from nearly 26 percentage points in 2000 to just 14 percentage points through October of this year, reflecting how intense the competition truly is in this market. The volume dynamic has also changed, with nearly 17.5 million vehicles registered in 2000. Based on the IHS Automotive projection for U.S. sales in 2015 to reach 16.7 million units, to gain 1% share, an automaker needs to sell an additional 167,000 vehicles. In 2009, during the trough of the recession, 1% could be gained by selling 104,000 vehicles.

General Motors and Ford Motor Company continue to lead the U.S. market, though their shares have shifted dramatically over time. Chrysler (now FCA) and Toyota have exchanged ranks in third place since 2000, with Toyota’s share increasing. Honda has remained as the fifth largest OEM based on market share, and its share has improved over time. Hyundai has improved nearly 6 percentage points in the timeframe, the largest increase among the top manufacturers.

“Since no OEM wants to slip in the rankings, each is doing everything possible to retain each tenth of a point share; including speeding up product redesign or launch programs, while opting to avoid risky product programs that could cause disruption in their product portfolio,” said Tom Libby, solutions consultant at IHS Automotive, who worked on the research.

With no manufacturer accounting for more than 18% of the U.S. market, the battle for consumer share will be fought on the marketing front more than ever before. This parity among the leading OEMs is moving them to identify and utilize the most efficient marketing tools across a wide array of potential marketing channels, including traditional national TV and print advertising and a nearly overwhelming variety of digital advertising tools and platforms.

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Increasing volatility will define the global auto industry in 2015

In the run-up to the end of the year, Automotive World publishes selected extracts from its ‘Guide to the automotive world in 2015’. The full report – to be published in January 2015 – will be available exclusively to Automotive World subscribers.

In this article, Randy Miller, EY Global Automotive Transportation Leader, discusses the likely scenarios for the global light vehicle landscape in 2015

The global automotive industry is expected to continue to grow at a moderate pace in 2015, with the US and China being the growth engines, and a slow growth in most other markets. In addition, some external factors, including geo-political issues and flight of capital from emerging markets, are inhibiting a high growth in sales. However, the long-term prospects of the industry remain positive….

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Shattering the glass ceiling in the Canadian automotive industry

Susan Gubasta has deep roots in the car business. Her dad owned several dealerships in Canada and he passed his passion down to her.

Today, Gubasta is president and CEO of Mississauga Toyota Scion – one of just a handful of women who hold that sort of automotive job in Canada.

Gubasta worked her way up the corporate ladder more than 20 years ago, learning the ropes. It wasn’t always smooth sailing.

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“When I was learning, specifically in service and parts, people wouldn’t take me seriously because I was a female and I’m not technical,” says Gubasta. “I don’t need to be technical. I have technical people I work with that can answer those questions. I’m there to help run the business and steer things in the right direction. But people didn’t take me seriously because, ‘Well, you’re just a girl and what do you know?’”

But she persevered. “There’s going to be naysayers no matter where you are and what you do,” Gubasta says. “You rise above it and keep driving forward.”

Perceptions started to shift when she became general manager. “The last 10 years have been amazing because I was embraced right from the get-go working with other dealers from the Toyota brand,” she says. “I felt so intimidated walking into meetings, but they embraced me and it was a whole different world. When you get to that level, they think, ‘She is here for a reason – she has proved herself.’”

Out of 82 Toyota dealerships in Ontario, Gubasta is one of only four females at the helm.

“The auto industry is male-dominated. The difficulty is the hours. We are a store. We are a retail environment. We’re open until nine o’clock Monday to Thursday and Saturday, so women that have families find it more difficult to manage and have the proper balance in their lives,” says Gubasta, who is a mother of a seven-year-old son.

Gubasta strives to mentor young women, especially employees such as Sarah White, 25. White is the only female service adviser on staff. She knows cars. Her dad is a mechanic, her family drag races for fun, and she worked at Chrysler’s National Parts Distribution Centre to pay for university. Despite her background, she faces stereotypes often.

“The hardest part was my first day walking in as a service adviser and being introduced to all the men, especially because I was replacing another male,” says White. “These men had a look on their face – being young and female – this girl doesn’t know what’s going on with cars. I had that predisposition to overcome. Once you’re able to show your numbers those looks change.”

It wasn’t just male co-workers who had preconceived notions. “I had a woman who was a bit chauvinistic. She wanted to hear specifically from a man,” says White. “So it’s not necessarily men that perceive it that way.”

She’s even stereotyped when answering the phone. “They think I’m the receptionist. They’ll say, ‘I just asked to be transferred to an adviser.’ I’ll say I’m the service adviser. I had one man actually say, ‘Oh sorry. I didn’t mean to be a sexist prick.’”

White says the key to overcoming stereotypes is to work hard and show customers you care. “You keep professional,” she says. “You keep calm. Then they realize I do have extensive knowledge and I do care about their vehicle. Once that is established, then they break down that barrier.”

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COMMENT: Rouble trouble for the auto industry in 2015

2014 has been a rollercoaster year for Russia, a year that is set to end more differently than anyone might have expected 12 months ago.

The feeling of goodwill in the days that followed the Sochi Winter Olympic Games is but a distant memory, overshadowed by Russia’s defiant stance on the Ukraine crisis, the country’s resultant international isolation and its recent admission that it faces recession in 2015.

As we write, the rouble’s freefall (down 50% in 2014) has been temporarily slowed following the government’s decision to start selling foreign exchange. Too little, too late, is the general consensus. This action may help to halt the rouble plunging against the dollar, but it will do little to halt plunging oil prices – the country depends on US$100 a barrel for oil which is currently trading at around US$60 – rising interest rates and the effects of sanctions.

One OEM senior vice president told Automotive World that the volatility in the Russian market is such that a swing (read: decline) of 500,000 units in a year is of much less concern than it would be in an established market like Germany

However, Russia’s highly volatile and rapidly worsening situation has given an interesting short-term boost to certain industries, including automotive and consumer electronics. Aware that their roubles may rapidly lose value, people are spending their cash and boosting retail sales ahead of anticipated major price increases.

There are some planned automotive investments going ahead – Toyota recently invested in its Russian factory, and Ford has begun production of the EcoSport at its JV with Sollers. These investments may surprise, but one school of thought suggests playing the long game. One OEM senior vice president told Automotive World that the volatility in the Russian market is such that a swing (read: decline) of 500,000 units in a year is of much less concern than it would be in an established market like Germany; the OEM SVP was confident that Russia would bounce back, and continue on its path to Europe’s number one car market.

There’s another school of thought, however, that says that months before the Olympic flame even reached Sochi, it was already clear that Russia was showing much less growth potential than it had over the rest of the last decade. In the years after 2008, the pace of market growth and development, and the fact that the country appeared to have ridden the financial crisis that damaged so many other economies, made Russia a must-have on many OEMs’ target market lists. Now, with slow and patchy recovery in mainstream Europe, Russia’s current crisis looks set to have a significant negative impact on the automotive industry in 2015.

Months before the Olympic flame even reached Sochi, it was already clear that Russia was showing much less growth potential than it had over the rest of the last decade

The experience of 2014 has shown how quickly strong consumer confidence can be shattered. Asian OEMs which had bet on Russian growth are suffering; major global OEMs announced several production cuts in recent months, and that was ahead of the latest, most difficult of market conditions.

Across the 12 months of 2015, it’s hard to see anything other than a major economic decline that will make a major dent in the Russian car market’s long-anticipated rise to the top – a dent that could take years to repair.

Martin Kahl is Editor, Automotive World.

The Comment column is open to automotive industry decision makers and influencers. If you would like to contribute a Comment article, please contact

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10 Awesome New Features in the Auto Industry


Source: Honda

The 2015 model year is officially upon us, and with it a smorgasbord of new and redesigned cars, trucks, and SUVs. While that’s reason enough for auto buffs, or anyone looking to buy a new vehicle, to get excited, it’s what comes inside and outside of the new slate of models that is another reason to pay attention.

We’re talking, of course, about the slew of new features that slowly but surely become standard over time. This year, we have all kinds of new things to look forward to, from new construction techniques and materials to futuristic technology that allows drivers to see in all directions, and even in the dark. There are things that many people could only have dreamed of five years ago, and it really makes you wonder where we’ll be in terms of automotive technology a decade from now.


But in the short-term, there are several new engineering and design improvements to be excited about. These new features serve a variety of purposes — from assisting drivers during their every-day activities, to improving on fuel economy and efficiency. With so many new features out there, what should you be the most excited about? What vehicles have that new quirk you simply can’t wait to try out or experience for yourself? We’ve put together a list of 10 new auto technologies, and where you can find them, for your reading pleasure.

Read on to see 10 of the coolest new auto technologies on the market.

Source: Glenn Chapman/Getty Images

Source: Glenn Chapman/Getty Images

1. Self-driving features

A long-gestating technology has been self-driving or autonomous vehicles. It’s been a long wait, but it’s finally starting to trickle into the mainstream. Pioneered by companies like Google, many automakers are now starting to adopt and implement autopilot features into their engineering, all in an attempt to make the driving process safer and more enjoyable. Volvo is one company that is spearheading the advance and should have vehicles on the market within a couple years. Tesla is also starting to implement autopilot features, and it’s likely not too far down the road before we’re all relaxing during the commute, rather than worrying about merging and speed limits.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

2. Parking assist

Similar to self-driving technology, parking assistance is a feature that many new models are starting to adopt as standard. Companies like Ford, Chevrolet, BMW, and others are bringing the feature into the fold, and before long it will probably be standard across all segments. The technology itself basically works as you might expect — you find a parking spot, hit a button, and the vehicle will carefully maneuver itself into position. This is a godsend for many drivers who are stressed-out by the idea of parallel parking, or have a hard time in tight parking garages.


Source: Ford

3. Aluminum construction

One of the more widely-reported new developments in the auto industry is the adoption of new construction materials. The most obvious is aluminum, which has been adopted by a number of manufacturers. Most consumers are looking forward to the new aluminum-based Ford F-150, which is being seen as a big gamble in the eyes of many. The F-150 is America’s perennial best-selling vehicle, and by switching things up, Ford’s running the risk of alienating its customers. Of course, fuel economy and efficiency will be improved as a result, and other automakers will be watching closely to see what happens, as this will be the largest mass-market test of aluminum alloys to date.

Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

4. On-board Wi-Fi

This is what so many people have been waiting for: the opportunity to connect to your own, private, on-board Wi-Fi network while on the road. No more burning through all of the data allotted to you by your data plan, the world’s automakers are turning vehicles into wifi hotspots, allowing for streaming and continuous connection no matter where you go. Chevrolet and Ford are two of the leaders in this category, but, again, it is something that will likely sweep over the entire industry before long.

Source: Hyundai

Source: Hyundai

5. Interactive computer systems

While “interactive computer systems” may be kind of a broad description, that’s because it’s a broad subject area. Computer systems in today’s vehicles are becoming much more intuitive and interactive than in previous generations, but what is truly making them special is the ability to connect with other devices. Some cars are able to sync with wearable technology, like Google Glass, to make the driving experience pretty incredible. Of course, there are some legal hurdles to overcome.

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

6. Fuel-saving tech

Again, this is a rather broad description, but that’s because there are simply so many small engineering quirks and features being added to the fold that it’s hard to pick just one. As we saw before, aluminum construction could be added to the pile, but other features, like plug-in technology, direct-injection engines, and more. In fact, the average fuel economy for vehicles across the board is on the up and up, all the way to more than 24 miles per gallon. Expect that number to keep increasing.

Source: Audi

Source: Audi

7. Night-vision assist

For those looking at purchasing a new luxury car, be on the lookout for one of the most exciting new features out there: night-vision. That’s right, night vision has finally made its way to the streets, and is being used in cars produced by companies like Audi and Mercedes. There are plenty of videos that show how the new technology actually works, but the image above gives the basic idea. Will night vision become standard? Will regulators allow it to fly? We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s still pretty damn cool.

Source: Infiniti

Source: Infiniti

8. 360-degree cameras

The ability to see every single angle around your vehicle is pretty extraordinary, and thanks to 360-degree cameras, it’s an advantage that many drivers can now use. Some vehicles have had this feature for a while, like certain Infiniti models, but it’s now trickling down into more consumer-class vehicles. There are also third-party cameras that you can buy and install yourself. For anyone who has had trouble navigating tight parking garages or congested, narrow streets, these cameras are invaluable.

9. Collision-avoidance technology

Though some reviewers and critics have found collision-avoidance technology to be troublesome, it’s still a fairly cool invention that will likely be perfected with time. BMW and Cadillac are two manufacturers that have been lauded for their systems, which work by using camera and radar to predict when a crash is imminent, and take control of the vehicle to try and avoid it. Again, many people are uncomfortable with having control taken from them when behind the wheel, but with more time to gestate, this technology — when paired with self-driving features as well — could become incredibly popular.

10. Attention assist

Finally, our list is completed by something that is so simple, we’ll wonder why we haven’t had it as a standard feature for years: attention assist. For drivers who are feeling drowsy or having trouble keeping focused behind the wheel, attention assist technology can prompt you to pull over or take a short break. Some people will undoubtedly find this annoying, but we’ve all had moments where our attention span has waned when behind the wheel. Again, this is likely something that will improve with time, but for now, Chrysler and Mercedes are both starting to implement it.

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Auto industry calls for mandatory inspections

If you drive a car that’s over 10 years old, the auto industry is urging you to get it inspected as soon as possible.

They’re following a recommendation made in late November by the Quebec coroner’s office, which says faulty mechanics are responsible for 31 road deaths between 2006 and 2012.

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s executive director of its Quebec division Michel Tremblay admits the automotive industry – from parts suppliers to garage mechanics – would benefit from mandatory inspections, but he adds consumers would benefit too, especially when it comes to safety.

Quebec, he says, needs to join other provinces that require some sort of mandatory inspection. He says it currently has none.

“It’s beyond understanding why, in a context where there’s a lot of disruptive driving in the province of Quebec, the government has never implemented such a measure,” he says.

The Quebec auto insurance board, however, disputes the industry’s numbers.

It says faulty mechanics is responsible for only two per cent of road deaths.

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Auto industry urges London rethink on Ultra Low Emission Zone

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called for a rethink on the current proposals for an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London.

In an open letter to the Mayor of London, the SMMT welcomes plans from Transport for London (TfL), but says the scheme, due to be implemented in 2020, should enforce the latest emission standards for both petrol and diesel vehicles.

This, it claims, would reflect the step change in clean diesel technology and help ensure similar schemes across the UK and Europe are harmonised.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The implementation of the ULEZ will accelerate the take-up of ultra low and low emission vehicles, but a harmonisation of standards – a technology neutral approach – for petrol and diesel vehicles would strengthen the initiative.

“Currently, the proposed requirements differ for cars and vans. SMMT is urging London to be more ambitious with a universal Euro-6 standard for both petrol and diesel vans and cars which would remove any confusion, strengthen the uptake of cleaner technology and bring air quality benefits sooner.”

He continued: “The automotive industry is investing billions of pounds in the UK and abroad to develop technologies to lower vehicle emissions.

“The ULEZ can accelerate the take up of these cleaner technologies and bring air quality and carbon reduction benefits to London sooner.

“Today’s diesel vehicles are light-years away from those built just a decade ago.

“Intelligent engine design and highly efficient exhaust aftertreatments, including particulate filters, capture over 99% of particulates and around two-thirds of NOx emissions.

“ULEZ proposals should support the introduction of these technologies now, technologies which are being introduced ahead of the ever-tougher legislative requirements which will be implemented over the next few years.”

The current proposals for an ULEZ for London dictate the 2006-standard Euro-4 for petrol vehicles and the latest Euro-6 for diesel vehicles.

Given the introduction date of 2020, it would therefore allow petrol vehicles of up to 14 years of age to enter without penalty.

By this date the European fleet average will be approaching 95g/km of CO2, whereas a typical petrol car of Euro-4 vintage would have CO2 emissions some 72% higher.

Euro-6 petrol and diesel vehicles are on sale now and mandatory from next year meaning that under SMMT’s proposals, by 2020, qualifying vehicles would be up to six years old and would be reasonably affordable, potentially on their third owner.

Crucially, regulators can be assured that they will be delivering the air quality benefits as Euro-6 vehicles have engine management systems which constantly monitor and manage emission performance – a major advance on earlier models’ technology. 

Underlining the progress made by car makers, SMMT also said that it is vital that the ULEZ actually delivers on congestion reduction to allow the automotive industry’s new technologies to work effectively. There must be no side effects to the ULEZ which actually increase congestion or else any air quality benefits will be negated.

The success of the automotive industry’s commitment to improved emissions is indisputable, says the SMMT.

Average CO2 emissions for new cars in the UK in 2013 were 128.3g/km, down 29.1% since 2000. The 2013 figure marks a milestone as it exceeds the pan-European 2012-2015 target (sub 130g/km).

Work on CO2 reduction has been matched by technology to cut other pollutants, resulting in filters which capture over 99% of particulate (PM10) emissions.

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels from diesel cars have also been cut by 64% since 2000.

Criticisms that vehicles fail to deliver real world improvements compared to ‘controlled test cycle conditions’ are also being addressed, with the Euro-6 standards to include ‘real world’ driving emission testing for the first time, it says. This will give confidence to regulators and consumers alike that these new vehicles are delivering real benefits.

Those benefits include carbon reduction as diesel engines are key to reducing road transport CO2 emissions. Diesel cars emit up to 20% less carbon than their petrol equivalents – essential if the UK and Europe are to meet their climate change ambitions, says the SMMT.

Looking to the future, Hawes added: “We need an integrated approach on air quality at local, regional, national and European level.

“Fleet renewal, or the uptake of new vehicles on the road, is critical in reducing emissions. Proposals such as London’s ULEZ can help deliver this goal.

“Air quality is often a local issue so we need a flexibility that allows for focused initiatives like the ULEZ but which sit within an overall framework of harmonised standards across Europe.

“The automotive sector must have certainty in policy direction so technology investments can be targeted on addressing key issues such as air quality and climate change.”

Engine manufacturing is a crucially important part of the UK automotive industry with more than 2.5 million engines built in the UK in 2013, says the SMMT.

Engine manufacturers include Ford in Dagenham and Bridgend, Bentley in Crewe, BMW at Hams Hall, Honda in Swindon, Jaguar Land Rover in Wolverhampton, Nissan in Sunderland, Toyota in Deeside and Cummins in Darlington.

Significant new investment into the manufacture of engines in the UK has been announced over the last few years.

Ford announced in the last month that it will invest £190m in diesel engines at its Dagenham plant, creating 318 jobs. Jaguar Land Rover’s new engine manufacturing centre in Wolverhampton marks an investment of more than £500m, creating 1,400 jobs.

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