Monday 1 May 2017

One phone call and you're out; electric Irish car; Norway to end diesel/petrol cars

The level of phone use at Irish wheels is disgusting
The level of phone use at Irish wheels is disgusting

One mistake and you're out. That's the message being hammered home to young and inexperienced drivers in the UK as new rules on mobile phone use come into force today.

The penalties are doubling. That means you get SIX points as well as a £200 fine if caught using your phone behind the wheel.

That is enough to lose a licence for those who have had one for under two years.

It means you'd have to apply and pay for a new provisional licence, pass theory and practical parts of your test all over again.

Does it sound extreme? Yes. And good on them.

It should be brought in here across the board. The level of phone use at Irish wheels is disgusting. We've been given several chances to stop. Now we need drastic action, like what they are doing in the UK where use of a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel will invoke punishment if you are making a call, using it on loudspeaker, texting, filming, taking a picture or using the internet.

And that applies, as it should, even when you are sitting stationary in traffic.

* We're told there will be a new Irish electric car on the road by the end of next year or the beginning of 2019.

The Alex e-roadster is under development and will be built by Fintos Electric Cars here in Ireland.

The project is in its third year of design and research.

The lead engineer is Limerick man Mike Keane who was formerly head of engineering at Williams Engineering (Williams F1) in the UK.

He certainly knows what's required as he has led teams working on electric prototype cars for Aston Martin, Jaguar and Nissan (also lead engineer in building five Jaguar C-x75 stunt cars for the James Bond film Spectre).

The Alex e-roadster is a lightweight two-seater electric with claimed high performance and long range built mostly with carbon fibre and lightweight composites.

Best of luck to all concerned.

* The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Transdev have agreed a joint deal to "explore" development of fleets of electric driverless vehicles for public and on-demand transportation.

Ultimately they are planning on working to develop a transportation system that will let you book cars and allow mobility operators to operate self-driving car fleets.

* Skoda has sold its two-millionth vehicle in China - a Superb 1.4 TSI.

* Irish Olympic silver medal winner Annalise Murphy has already begun her preparations for the next Games in Tokyo.

No doubt she'll find her new top-of-the-range Mercedes-Benz Vito Mixto a great asset as she goes for more glory.

The extra-long 190bhp vehicle has been supplied to her under an exclusive sponsorship arrangement with Mercedes. Bring home the gold Annalise.

* Norway's government is planning on phasing out petrol and diesel cars by 2025. It is targeting the sale of only zero or low-emission models.

* SEAT have unveiled an electric e-Mii concept and it previews lots of connectivity elements which will make it into models from 2018 - such as a digital key and real-time traffic forecasts

* Reports suggest that MINI is 'considering' - what a great word - moving its Electric Vehicle production to Germany because of concerns over Brexit. Nervous times for all.

Indo Motoring

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