Episode 42 : Thing of the Past - More Giulia Reviews, Coffee & Cars Event, Nissan buys into Mitsubishi, FIAT & Opel called to regulator, Airscarf battle, New London Charges

More Giulia Reviews

The chaps start this week's show with some follow up on the Alfa Giulia reviews. Now there are some for versions you will more likely see, drive or potentially own. Alan and Andrew discuss some of these reviews and hope that the niggles that have been reported are sorted for the production versions.

Coffee and Car Event

Moving on to this week's news Alan starts with a recap of his first Coffee and Car event, run by Great Escape Cars. Roughly 300 cars of all shapes, vintages and levels of customisation were on display. Click here for the article (yes, he wrote actual words!) and here for a video of what he saw. The drivers managed to raise over £600 for Acorn Children Hospice, well done to everyone for that! 

Nissan buys into Mitsubishi

Last week we were met with the slightly surprising news that Nissan had bought a 34% controlling stake in Mitsubishi. Alan and Andrew are curious whether Mitsubishi will be independent and what is really in this deal for Nissan.

Talking of Mitsubishi and the whole reason a stake could be bought, the company confirmed that US and UK spec cars are not affected by the issue in Japan. 

FIAT and Opel summoned to German Regulator

FIAT and Opel have been summoned to the German regulator. This has yet to take place, so it will be interesting to see what comes of this. Incidentally, Opel have strongly refuted claims they use any software or device to run their engines so they produce reduced emissions. They are currently waiting for the environment group to inform them of the tests they ran and the data they collected.

Airscarf patent battle

In Germany, Mercedes lost their patent battle over their Airscarf ventilation system, which their convertible cars use. They have been instructed to deactivate them in new cars and inform authorities of how many they have sold since their introduction. Alan expresses his incredulity over the court ruling. Maybe in a bit of a ranty way. Possibly. Currently, this does not affect the UK.  

50000th Nissan Leaf produced in UK

Last week the chaps missed the news that Nissan had produced it's 50000th Leaf in the UK. Both Andrew and Alan congratulate Nissan on the achievement. 

Also Nissan announced how they are helping to develop the technology for Leaf owners to put electricity back into the National Grid and allow them to earn money.

Mayor of London toying with new charges

Andrew brings up the matter of the additional areas and charges for cars entering London. The new Mayor of London has suggested that the charges may be brought in sooner than 2020 and that the area and remit may increase. For example, an additional charge for the dirtiest cars.

Andrew gets a tad cross about this. He argues such a plan is unimaginative. Whilst air quality does need to improve this will hit the poorest harder. Where are plans to encourage working from home, for those whose work is suitable? Where are plans to encourage car sharing? Where are plans to encourage businesses to open more, smaller offices, further from the center of the city? Where are plans to improve the public transport network so it can cope with the extra numbers of people who will be forced to use this following the additional costs? 

A scrappage scheme will not help, those who generally own dirtier cars cannot afford to buy newer, cleaner cars. 

Andrew had a twitter conversation with Caroline Russell, The Green Party Spokesperson for Transport. She said that clean buses and taxis were coming to London, but that "private car trips should be a thing of the past". She also tried to claim poorest communities don't have access to cars - but did not reply when asked for information on this. What utopia does she think exists where it is practical to do without private car journeys? All in all London is doing a great job at not enticing to visit or work in.

Last week Alan was in Norway. He noticed that there are electric cars all over the place. So perhaps we need to look into how the Norwegian scheme has been so successful.

Electric PSA vehicles

In more optimistic news, Peugeot, Citroen and DS are working with Dongfeng to develop their own electric cars. PSA are going to have to play a little catch up on other manufacturers.

2016 Diesel Car's Cars

The chaps round the show out with Diesel Car's Cars of the Year 2016. Congratulations to Kia for their Sportage being heralded No.1! Next time Andrew will use the scroll wheel on his mouse too!

Here is the excellent PetrolBlog review of the Citroën C4 Cactus, that Andrew mentioned.

Formula E in Berlin

Alan reminds everyone that the next FormulaE race is in Berlin this weekend.

Electronic driving license

Alan spotted that DVLA are developing an electronic version of driving licenses.

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