It’s been a busy week in the car industry hot off the back of Goodwood Festival of Speed with new releases (Aygo 2.0), UK car sale figures released (more of that in a bit) and some great developments in the green auto sector. We’ve rounded up the best stories on offer to present to you. If you want to engage and ask us anything about these stories use the #AutoEco hashtag on Twitter. We run #AutoEco alongside Motorwise who you can reach on the @motorwiseuk handle. You can follow and interact with us using the @charlestrentltd handle.
1. New car sales at a 9 year high
It has been announced today that UK new car sales are at a 9 year high. New car sales leapt 6.3% in June to reach the best first-half performance since 2005. This is fantastic news as we look to escape the grips of recession and see growth in the automotive industry. One reason for this high are affordable and attractive new vehicle financing options. Dealerships have packages catered for every budget and have seen record numbers of Ford Fiestas, Vauxhall Corsas and Ford Focuses being driven off the forecourt.
It can be argued that the main reason drivers are opting for new cars is to seek reductions in everyday running costs which new eco-minded vehicles offer. With engines offering greater performance at lower cost than ever before demand has sharply increased. Drivers are also able to make substantial savings on the cost of road tax with many new vehicles exempt from tax or paying a minimal amount compared to common vehicles aged between 7 and 10 years old. Going green is no longer just the ‘cool’ hipster thing to do. For many it’s become a necessity.
2. It’s go, go, go for Formula E
Testing has begun at Donington Park this week for a revolutionary new racing series. Formula E is the flagship electric racing car series that will travel the world. The series will travel 10 cities and include an ‘E-prix’ around Battersea Park, London in June 2015.
The series has been created to raise awareness of electric vehicles and many preconceptions that people have regarding performance. The main difference you’ll notice between Formula 1 and Formula E is the noise. There are no hulking engines with roars as they rev, instead you will hear a sound not too dissimilar to a sewing machine as the electric vehicles get up to speed.
The biggest challenge that Formula E will face is generating a worldwide fanbase and attempting to poach fans who are more used to smell and sounds of traditional racing than the whizz of an electric engine. Would you watch this series? Let us know using the #AutoEco hashtag on Twitter.
3. Toyota announce first hydrogen fuel cell electric car
The future is now (well it will be in a year!). Toyota has unveiled its first zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCV) in Japan and now Aspen this past week. Projected for release in Europe in summer 2015 it will have a reported price tag of £40,000. This earmarked price has surprised a lot of people in the auto industry who believe this is too low a price for such ground-breaking technology. The sedan will have a range of 300 miles on a full fill-up which will take between 3-5 minutes. With this level of performance this is seen to supersede current electric vehicles (EVs) and dawn a new age of zero emission vehicles.
If you would like to engage with us and find out more about any of these stories use the #AutoEco hashtag on Twitter. Perhaps you own an electric vehicle already and are looking ahead to hydrogen fuel cells. You may well be an F1 lover and couldn’t imagine racing without the familiar sights, sounds and smells. Let us know!