Volvo Cars has announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 will have an electric motor, marking a historic shift from cars with only internal combustion engines (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business.
The announcement represents a significant move to embrace electrification and highlights an emerging chapter in automotive history.
“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo president and CEO. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”
Volvo will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars.
The company will launch five fully electric cars between 2019 and 2021, three of which will be Volvo models and two of which will be electrified cars from Polestar, Volvo’s performance car arm. Full details of these models will be announced at a later date.
The decision follows this month’s announcement that Volvo Cars will turn Polestar into a new separately-branded electrified global high performance car company.
Volvo has also stated that it will offer a range of petrol and diesel plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid 48-volt options on all models. Although this means Volvo hasn’t committed to going fully electric, it does indicate that pure ICE cars will be gradually phased out and replaced by ICE cars with electrified options.
“This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car,” said Samuelsson. “Volvo Cars has stated that it plans to have sold a total of 1m electrified cars by 2025. When we said it we meant it. This is how we are going to do it.”
Independent fuel supplier, Waitomo, is taking a big leap forward for New Zealand’s petroleum industry by installing Vapour Recovery technology at its new Fuel Stop on the Bombay Hills, due to open on 29th May.
Vapour Recovery is still in its infancy in New Zealand – only a small handful of fuel sites currently feature this technology at the dispenser nozzle.
Waitomo is a 100% Kiwi-owned and operated company and has invested in the best technology available to help look after the environment and reduce emissions when dispensing petrol.
Managing Director Jimmy Ormsby says Waitomo is always looking for innovative solutions to problems customers face.
“We have already installed Vapour Recovery for our tankers at Fuel Stops so when they deliver fuel, the petrol vapour is returned to the tanker instead of escaping out of the vents and into the atmosphere,” Ormsby explains. “So it was logical for us to take that next step and install Vapour Recovery at the dispenser nozzle as well.
“While you’re dispensing fuel into your tank, the vapour is recovered by a vacuum unit so there are no nasty fumes. It is then condensed and returned back into the Fuel Stop tanks. To be clear, this technology does not reduce the amount of petrol our customers are dispensing – it is simply capturing the vapour that would have escaped into the atmosphere or been inhaled.”
Ormsby says the technology represents a significant investment for Waitomo. “If we were not in business for the long haul then it probably wouldn’t stack up. But we believe it is the right thing to do. It’s good for our customers, good for the environment and good for our business.”
Waitomo’s new Fuel Stop at Bombay, just off the Southern Motorway, will feature petrol and diesel pumps under a canopy for light vehicles, and a separate area for heavy vehicles which will have access to high flow pumps and Go Clear (Diesel Emission Fluid). Both areas have plenty of space for manoeuvring.
As with all of Waitomo’s sites, prices will be competitive and company fuel cards are available.
“Opening our Bombay Fuel Stop is another significant milestone for us,” says Ormsby. “This gateway links the North Island’s three main areas of economic growth, namely Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. We’re really proud to extend our Fuel Stop network even further and help raise our profile among the wider public.”
Waitomo will celebrate 70 years in business this June after being founded by Ormsby’s grandfather, Desmond, on the principles of honesty and integrity. The company’s motto is “Kiwis fueling Kiwis” and Waitomo now has 70 Fuel Stops and Service Stations across Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay and Manawatu-Whanganui.
Hunua MP Andrew Bayly will attend the grand opening on 29th May. He is a supporter of “responsible growth” and the new Vapour Recovery enabled site will support economic development within the region while minimising environmental damage.
Waitomo’s own fleet of mini-tankers will also benefit from the new Bombay development. “Our mini-tankers deliver bulk fuel to a wide range of industrial, commercial and private customers in the Bombay area. We’ll now be able to load them up at Bombay instead of the Wiri terminal, giving them a bit more range,” Ormsby says.
“It will also be another location that our large tankers can empty out before returning to Wiri.”
The new Bombay Fuel Stop is just one of several new developments Waitomo currently has underway. Work has now begun on a new Fuel Stop in Palmerston North and two new trucks from Dutch manufacturer DAF will soon join the company’s existing fleet of 25 Mitsubishi FUSOs to cater for growing customer demand.
| A Waitomo Petroleum/Chocolate Ink Communications release || May 16, 2017 |||
KUALA LUMPUR (Nikkei Markets) -- Malaysia's Sime Darby, the world's largest palm oil producer by acreage, Tuesday announced the sale of its vehicle distribution business in Australia and New Zealand, yet another step as the conglomerate restructures its sprawling operations.
The buyers, Inchcape Australia and Rick Armstrong Motor Group in New Zealand, will take over the business that distributes Peugeot, Citroen and DS vehicles in the two countries effective June 1. Apart from the brands under French car maker Groupe PSA, Sime Darby Motors also represents other names ranging from Nissan to Ferrari in the two markets.
Sime Darby said in a statement that the decision to divest the Australasian distribution businesses was reached after "careful consideration" and was in line with its strategy to "focus on the expansion of its retail car and commercial truck footprints on both sides of the Tasman."
Sime Darby Motors is involved in the retail, distribution and assembly businesses and has a presence in 10 countries across the Asia Pacific. The company represents 30 brands, ranging from luxury names such as BMW and Rolls-Royce to mass-market marques such as Hyundai.
Analysts said Tuesday's deal would allow Sime Darby to sharpen its focus in the competitive automotive business. The unit's profit before tax slumped 25% in the 2015 fiscal year that ended June 30 and rose less than 6% in the most recent fiscal year.
Sime Darby wants "a more focused business strategy that they are working on rather than be exposed to every part" of the automotive market, said CIMB Investment Bank Analyst Ivy Ng.
The contribution to Sime Darby from the PSA business in Australia and New Zealand is "very minimal," said Chye Wen Fei, an analyst at Hong Leong Investment Bank. "For a big entity like Sime Darby, it doesn't quite make sense to pay so much attention to a smaller one."
The Malaysian conglomerate is in the midst of restructuring its operations that range from plantations to healthcare. That could lead to the creation of three separate listed entities housing its plantation, property, and trading and logistics businesses.
Before announcing the restructuring in January, the company sold some industrial assets in Australia and properties in Singapore, as well as part of its stake in property developer Eastern & Oriental last year.
Sime Darby's mainstay plantation business accounted for more than a quarter of its total revenue of over $10 billion in the fiscal year 2016 while property development made up 7%. Those two businesses could be listed by the end of 2017 or in early 2018.
Shares of Sime Darby ended flat at 9.33 ringgit ($2.16) on Tuesday, in line with the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI.
--Jason Ng and Alexander Winifred
--Nikkei Markets is a real-time financial news service for South East Asia's markets published by Nikkei NewsRise Asia Pte Ltd, a Nikkei and NewsRise joint venture company. Nikkei Markets provides wide companies coverage in the region, including the Nikkei's Asia300 companies.
| A Nikkei Asian Review release || May 16, 2017 |||
The Terms of Reference for the Fuel market Financial Performance Study Energy have been released today, says Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins.
The Study, being undertaken by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, will take an in depth look at fuel company finances to determine if the price New Zealanders are paying at the pump is reasonable.
“Petrol and diesel are fundamental to New Zealander households and businesses and I am concerned that the difference between what fuel is imported and sold for (fuel margins) has steadily increasing over a number of years.
“We need to know why this is happening and determine if what people are paying at the pump is reasonable or whether companies are making super-normal profits.
“This study will offer new insights into our fuel sector and help us understand if there is an issue and, if there is, show where we need to focus to address it.
The Fuel Market Financial Performance Study will look specifically at returns on capital employed of the major businesses at different parts of the value chain. These returns will then be assessed against an appropriate cost of capital and compared with fuel suppliers in other countries.
The Study will also consider margins and other market performance measures as another way of providing insight into industry profitability.
“This is a technical study but I do expect some observations to be made about regional price differences.
“I am pleased that the companies involved – Z Energy, BP, Mobil and Gull – have all said that they will co-operate with MBIE. The companies were also consulted on the Terms of Reference,” Ms Collins says.
The Fuel Market Financial Performance Study is expected to be completed by June.Related Documents
Chinese companies started talking a decade ago about cracking the U.S. auto market with an array of low-cost passenger vehicles. That hasn’t happened, so instead they’re getting under the hoods of American cars by buying up parts makers at a record pace writes Bruce Einhorn for Industry Week.
Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp. supplies windshield-washer and ventilation systems to some of the world’s biggest carmakers, including Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. Last year, it spent more than $1 billion buying a Michigan maker of air bags and an Indiana manufacturer of assembly-line equipment.
Now, it’s on track for potentially the biggest deal yet -- using a subsidiary to bid for beleaguered air-bag maker Takata Corp. (IW 1000/616) and further entrench itself in chassis sold to U.S. drivers. The deal would continue an aggressive strategy that put Ningbo Joyson at the forefront of a record $1.6 billion in investments in U.S. companies by Chinese parts makers last year seeking global supply-chain access to compensate for a maturing home market.
Honda and Hitachi are teaming up to lower the cost of electric vehicle manufacturing. The motorThe motor pictured is from Honda's NSX supercar.
As electric cars become more common, manufacturers are battling to find new ways to improve their hardware and lower costs. Over at Honda, the desire to improve its battery-powered cars has led to a new partnership with Hitachi, which has a long history of building motors for electric vehicles.
Given the global push toward tighter emissions standards and the growing popularity of electric vehicles, both Honda and Hitachi are looking to lower the cost of mass producing motors. Should they be successful, the partnership could lead to cheaper electric cars for the masses – a situation where everyone wins. To make it happen, the two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to generate a "technological synergy" between supplier and manufacturer designed to "strengthen their competitive advantage and business foundation for the motors at the core of an electric vehicle."
Although the project will initially be based in Japan, there are plans to expand the joint venture with manufacturing and sales operations in North America and China. The two companies will be working in tandem, but they won't be exclusive – Hitachi will keep working with other manufacturers, and Honda will continue to use motors it builds in-house in Japan in some of its cars.
All up, the joint venture will be worth ¥5 billion (US$44,750,000) with Hitachi shouldering 51 percent of the load. The new (unnamed) joint venture company will be formally be signed into action at the end of March 2017, with work set to begin in June.
This isn't the first time Honda has joined arms with another manufacturer or supplier for cheaper, more advanced alternative powertrains. Earlier this year, the Japanese giant and GM teamed up to develop lower-cost hydrogen fuel cells, although that US$85 million deal represents a more significant investment than the Hitachi tie-up.
The Taxpayers’ Union says that the focus on petrol margins earned by fuel companies, is a classic ‘bait and switch’ by politicians to avoid questions about the enormous taxes they impose at the pump. Responding to Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collin’s announcement of a market study into fuel prices/returns to be undertaken by the MBIE, Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, says:
“While an examination into petrol company fuel margins is welcome, it is a bit rich to blame high fuel prices on the fuel companies when the amount of tax on fuel is nearly 20-times the reported profit by fuel companies on a per litre basis.”
“Z’s net profit on fuel is around 5 cents per litre. In comparison, at the current price of 91 octane total tax is 97 cents per litre.”
“If MPs were genuine in their desire to find out who is rorting motorists, they’d be examining petrol taxes, not just fuel margins. Until they do, their concerns about petrol prices are little more than crocodile tears.”
| A NZTaxpayers Union release | February 9, 2017 ||
SkyNews reports that The McLaren group's sports car arm will repatriate production and development of its chassis in a move creating at least 200 jobs.
McClaren has agreed a £50m deal to build a new production and research facility for its carbon fibre sports car chassis in the UK.
McLaren Automotive, a sister firm of the wider group which includes the Formula One racing team, is bringing the work back to the country from overseas in a move creating 200 jobs.
The roles would comprise mainly production staff, with 50 support workers.
The factory is to be housed next to the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) under a partnership arrangement, which includes a training programme for McLaren apprentices.
Full production is due to be reached by 2020.
Mike Flewitt, McLaren Automotive's chief executive, said: "In 1981, McLaren was the first company to recognise the exceptional properties of carbon fibre, and we have designed the highly technical material to be at the heart of every McLaren road and racing car ever since.
"The now-iconic McLaren F1 was the world's first road car to be built with a carbon fibre chassis and every car built more recently by McLaren Automotive has the same.
"Creating a facility where we can manufacture our own carbon fibre chassis structures is therefore a logical next step."
He added: "At the AMRC, we will have access to some of the world's finest composites and materials research capabilities, and I look forward to building a world-class facility and talented team at the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre."
The next-generation 2018 Holden Commodore Sportwagon has been revealed today, thanks to an online reveal of the new model in its European form.
At the same time, Holden has confirmed it will continue the Sportwagon name, rather than introduce the Sports Tourer badge worn by the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia version shown in today’s reveal.
Before today’s virtual unveiling, the new Commodore wagon was unceremoniously revealed in December when an undisguised car was spotted during promotional filming.
Identical to its liftback sedan companion up front, the wagon is set apart not only by the obvious body differences, but also courtesy of a chrome roof trim that runs along the top of the windows and down the D-pillar, terminating inside the deep red LED tail lamps.
The new wagon measures 4986mm long and rides on a 2829mm wheelbase, the latter matching the liftback while the former represents an 87mm stretch.
By comparison, the current Commodore Sportwagon rides on a much longer 2915mm wheelbase, although its overall length is shorter at 4919 to 4939mm (depending on variant).
In the rear cargo area, the Sportwagon claims 520 litres of storage space with the rear seats upright, growing to 1640 litres when laid flat. The new liftback model offers 490 to 1450 litres.
On the convenience front, access to the loading area will be improved through the addition of a powered tailgate operated by foot gesture. A second swipe of the foot beneath the rear bumper will close the tailgate, and an obstruction detection sensor will stop the process if needed.
As with the liftback, the Sport Tourer will be offered with 2.0-litre turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines. Front- and all-wheel drive configurations will also be on offer, depending on the specification.
Australian variants of the new Commodore will also get four-cylinder engines, although a naturally aspirated 230kW/370Nm V6 will also feature at the top end of both the liftback and Sportwagon lines.
GM’s new nine-speed automatic transmission – developed together with Ford – will make its local debut in the new Commodore range, while the all-wheel drive system will be the same ‘Twinster’ design that features in the Ford Focus RS, supplied by UK company GKN.
Standout technology in the new Commodore will include IntelliLux LED matrix headlights, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist with steering correction and lane departure warning, rear-cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, adaptive suspension, and a head-up display.
Other features will include massaging seats, rear one-touch folding seats, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, auto up/down for all windows, and active noise cancellation.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will also feature, operated through an 8.0-inch main display.
A jacked-up Country Tourer model, rivalling the likes of Subaru’s Outback, will also be offered in Europe and, while not confirmed for Australia, the massive popularity of anything vaguely SUV-styled could make this one a shoo-in for our market.
Watch for more on the local version to be revealed in the weeks or months ahead. Expect to see the new Insignia Sports Tourer at next month’s Geneva motor show.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges says the publication of guidance on public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) is timely as New Zealand’s fleet reaches more than 2500, exceeding all targets.
The guidance will support public charging infrastructure by providing clear recommendations for both investors and those enabling the development of charging station sites, such as local authorities.
“This guidance is an important step towards developing a safe and consistent nationwide charging network that EV drivers can depend on,” Mr Bridges says.
“It not only marks an important milestone in the Government’s EV programme, but will help reassure drivers that EVs are the way of the future and here to stay.
“While we expect most charging will continue to take place at home or the workplace, reliable public charging infrastructure is crucial to provide drivers with the confidence to make longer trips. It can also influence the decision to buy one.
The Transport Agency worked closely with local and central government and industry to identify recommendations that will best meet the long-term needs of EV drivers.
“Central to the recommendations was ensuring they took into account emerging fast-charge technology and overseas market shifts, learning from the failures and successes of other countries,” Mr Bridges says.
This guidance supports the development and roll-out of public charging infrastructure and is part the government-industry programme to help reach 64,000 EVs in New Zealand by the end of 2021.
The guidance and information about the programme of work can be found at www.nzta.govt.nz/ev and www.electricvehicles.govt.nz.