Friday 27 April 2018

Shortcuts with Eddie Cunningham: Rewards for keeping your phone face-down in the car

Shortcuts with Eddie Cunningham

WE may not be feverishly queuing to buy electric vehicles (EVs) but there appears to be a strengthening of demand. Stock image
WE may not be feverishly queuing to buy electric vehicles (EVs) but there appears to be a strengthening of demand. Stock image
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

* Toyota, Topaz and the RSA are dong their bit to keep us from using phones at the wheel with their app that rewards with a free hot drink if you leave your mobile face-down.

But should we go further? Should there be a 'driving' move to disable phones inside the car?

The question is being asked in the UK and elsewhere. Campaigners are saying phones should have a driving mode to disable them inside the car.

The charity Brake and Be Phone Smart, a campaign by the RAC, is calling on the motor industry to include an opt out setting to block calls, messages and notifications when you're behind the wheel.

They claim the technology is urgently needed to tackle "the needless deaths and serious injuries" arising from drivers using hand-held mobiles.

The group has written to Android, Microsoft and the GSMA (Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association) to put pressure on for the technology to be included in all new mobiles.

What do you think? Tell me at

*WE may not be feverishly queuing to buy electric vehicles (EVs) but there appears to be a strengthening of demand.

Market leader Nissan is awaiting the Irish arrival of its new Leaf, which it expects will double sales.

I understand Hyundai is hoping for greater supplies of its electric IONIQ to meet demand for the 181 market.

A senior executive told me recently the company could have sold another 200-250 this year and that selling stick levels haven't been available since spring. Given the size of the new EV market, that is a big number.

To date 550 EVs have been registered here (up from 371 in 2016). There is also a high level of used EV imports, especially Nissan Leafs.

The Leaf retains a slender new-car lead over the IONIQ (235 v 227), with the Renault Zoe on 41. Tesla is making headway here with 19 Model S and seven Model Xs registered. BMW's i3 accounts for 11 registrations.

* The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is going to invest the best part of €10bn in electric and autonomous cars. It intends on producing a huge range of electric vehicles that can drive themselves in large measure.

* I don't know why I'm glad Jaguar has said it will not make an estate (Sportbrake) version of compact saloon the XE. It was made as a compact sports saloon, so leave it at that.

* Tesla is to reveal a lorry - yes, a lorry - next week with an upper range of 480km.

* They're chunky, heavy and always in the bottom of your pocket or handbags, so I think few would shed tears if we didn't need to lug car keys around with us. BMW is thinking - thinking, mind you - of getting rid of them. I'd be delighted.

* Be warned, the number of cars on UK roads that are showing mileage discrepancies - and costing motorists more than £800m (€900m) every year - is increasing. That's according to hpi, the UK authority on vehicle checking services.

It says that the number of cars affected has also increased to one in 16, from one in 20 cars under three years ago. Just reminding you to be careful if buying in the UK.

* With nothing on our market that is remotely electric, Mazda is planning the electrification of all models after 2030, according to reports. Seems a long way off doesn't it?

Irish Independent

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