Friday 18 August 2017

They would say that. Diesel city limits? Female sports drivers. Number 500. Apple car.

Maserati Quattroporte cars are pictured during the media day at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 15, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Maserati Quattroporte cars are pictured during the media day at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 15, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Toyota would say it, wouldn't they?, but is worth recording anyway. One of their surveys here claims 97pc of hybrid drivers will continue to choose that mode of transport.

More pointedly, perhaps, is that 70pc of hybrid drivers have not considered changing to an electric vehicle.

The survey says having to charge a car for long periods would put them off (44pc) while 41pc blamed limited range. More than half (54pc) would choose a plug-in hybrid over a diesel or electric. The survey was carried out online among 350 Toyota hybrid drivers.

*Lots of people asked the obvious this week. Is Dublin next? That was in the wake of four major global cities saying they will stop the use of all diesel-powered cars and trucks by the middle of the next decade.

The mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens claim they are implementing the ban to improve air quality.

There is a growing, broad-based antipathy to diesel being used in congested areas - mostly on health grounds.

World Health Organisation (WHO) research says three million deaths a year are linked to outdoor air pollution and diesel contributes to this through particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Can we transform cars from diesel to something else and still get the performance, longevity and hard wear?

How long before that is feasible?

There is a mad rush to improve electric, hybrids and hydrogen cars - the latest development on supercapacitors could be a major step.

Developments on numerous fronts are accelerating. And they will, one day, make it possible to ban diesels from many urban areas. But your guess is as good as mine on when that will be. Maybe sooner than we think?

* The North is tops for female sports car drivers. Nearly a third (31pc) of all female sports car drivers in the UK are from there, a survey found.

* Maserati has celebrated the production of the 100,000th car at the AGAP factory where its Ghibli and Quattroporte saloons are built. The car in question was a white Quattroporte with the 350bhp V6 built by Ferrari. It's headed for China.

* The 2017 Seat Leon Cupra is being updated with 296bhp engine and there is an all-wheel-drive ST estate version planned.

* The 500th LaFerrari made a record stg£5.5m at auction - it's the one added to the original 499 production run. The proceeds are in aid of people affected by the Italian earthquake

*Volkswagen's Group's 13th brand is to specialise in ride-hailing and car-pooling in city centres and use specially-built electric vehicles.

*The Renault Scenic has just gone on sale - with the Grand Scenic from mid-January.

Prices start from €26,000 for the former and €28,400 for the latter.

*BMW will test autonomous vehicles in Munich next year as it seeks to keep up with ride-hailing firms such as Uber. It will have about 40 vehicles with self-driving functions in the city.

*Apple has said, officially, for the first time that it is working on technology to develop self-driving cars. Why are we not surprised?

*Toyota here is to open new garage in Heather Road at Sandyford. Looks impressive even before it is finished.

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