Potential Delay in UK Petrol Ban Raises Concerns About Electric Car Adoption

(qlmbusinessnews.com Wed, 20th Sept, 2023) London, UK —

Potential Delay in Petrol Ban Could Hinder Electric Car Adoption, Warns Industry Chief.

The head of the UK's motoring industry group has cautioned that postponing the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars could deter drivers from transitioning to electric vehicles. Government ministers are reportedly contemplating shifting the planned ban from 2030 to 2035. Mike Hawes, CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), expressed concern that such a delay would send consumers an “incredibly confusing” message.

In 2020, the government set the policy to prohibit the sale of new pure petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, as part of the broader net-zero plan. However, several sources have suggested that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering scaling back the proposal, along with other green commitments, as a cost-saving measure.

Ford, a major UK car brand, and Stellantis, the parent company of Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen, and Fiat, have voiced their commitment to achieving 100% zero-emission new car and van sales by 2030, regardless of a potential ban delay. However, they stress the need for government clarity on crucial legislation, particularly environmental issues.

Economist Anna Valero, a member of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's advisory committee, argued that a delay would harm the UK and disrupt long-term investment decisions for a stronger, more sustainable economy.

While most consumers won't be immediately affected by the ban, the SMMT's Mike Hawes expressed concerns about its impact on car manufacturers and potential delays in consumers' electric car purchases. He stressed the importance of transitioning to sustainable transport to achieve net-zero emissions.

Edmund King, president of the AA motoring group, called the 2030 goal “ambitious but achievable” and emphasized the need for more certainty for the car industry and drivers to plan for the future.

The SMMT highlighted the UK car industry's success in securing investment for zero-emission vehicle development in recent months, including BMW's investment in its Mini factory and Tata's battery plant plans.

BMW stated that a delay to 2035 wouldn't alter its electric car plans, debunking reports suggesting it was a condition for its recent investment. Jaguar Land Rover affirmed that its net-zero plans remain on track and called for legislative certainty regarding the end of petrol and diesel car sales.

Mike Hawes also expressed confidence in the introduction of the zero-emission vehicles mandate, requiring 22% of cars sold by each manufacturer to be zero-emission from 2024.

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ULEZ: Sadiq Khan Hints at Potential Increase in London’s Road Charges.

(qlmbusinessnews.com Fri, 15th Sept, 2023) London, UK —

During a recent session of Mayor's Question Time, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, indicated that there might be future adjustments to the capital's road charges, which could encompass the Congestion Charge, low emission zone (LEZ), and ultra low emission zone (ULEZ). However, Khan clarified that a pay-per-mile system was not currently under consideration.

Khan's comments arose during a discussion with Conservative Assembly Member Emma Best, who questioned him about his prior statements regarding a scheme that would charge drivers based on when and where they drive in London.

The Mayor acknowledged that the city had been exploring the concept of pay-per-mile. He noted that as more drivers transition to cleaner forms of transportation, fuel duty revenues would diminish, potentially leading to higher road taxes and other costs. Consequently, road charging is an ongoing topic of review.

Khan stated, “It's not inconceivable in the future at some date, the Congestion Charge could go up or down, ULEZ could go up or down, LEZ could go up or down, as it did in the past. That’s a very different question and proposition to a pay-per-mile scheme. A pay-per-mile scheme is off the table – not on my radar.”

Additionally, Khan mentioned other ideas that had been explored, such as a fee for each car journey. He disclosed that he had considered a boundary charge, which he ultimately rejected, along with a carbon charge for each car trip. Khan also highlighted that Transport for London (TfL) had been researching driverless cars, although their widespread adoption remains distant.

Khan reassured Londoners that, as long as he serves as Mayor, pay-per-mile is not being considered. He cited the importance of offering this reassurance due to London now hosting the world's largest clean air zone.

This statement follows Khan's earlier remarks in March about his vision for a smart road user charging scheme in London, inspired by international examples like Singapore. In July, Khan clarified that there was no technology in place for pay-per-mile systems, despite comments from Transport Minister Richard Holden suggesting TfL was exploring such a scheme.

If you are impacted by the expanded ULEZ, feel free to share your experiences and thoughts below the video.

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Hyundai and Kia Recall 91,000 Vehicles in the US Due to Fire Risk

(qlmbusinessnews.com Fri, 4th Aug, 2023) London, UK —

South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia are recalling nearly 92,000 vehicles in the US due to concerns about a fire risk. The recall impacts multiple models and is linked to an issue with an electrical component in the transmission oil pump, which could potentially overheat.

Owners of the affected vehicles have been advised to park their cars outside and away from buildings until they can be thoroughly inspected. This recall is the latest in a series of fire-related recalls involving Hyundai and Kia vehicles in recent times.


According to Kia, there have been six reports of “thermal incidents,” but fortunately, no accidents or injuries have been reported. Similarly, Hyundai has recorded four similar reports and no crashes, injuries, or fatalities associated with the problem.

Aside from the fire risk, heat damage to the electrical component could lead to a short circuit that affects other vehicle controllers, as highlighted by Hyundai. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has urged owners to park their cars outside and away from structures until the necessary recall repair is completed.

The issue revolves around the electronic controller for the Idle Stop & Go oil pump assembly, which may contain damaged electrical components, causing the pump to overheat. Hyundai and Kia will contact vehicle owners in late September, and authorized dealers will inspect and replace the electric oil pump controller if necessary.

Both carmakers have informed the NHTSA that the problematic component was taken out of production in March.

In a separate recall incident earlier in March, Hyundai and Kia had recalled over 570,000 vehicles due to a potential electrical problem that could cause fires in the wiring when the vehicle is towing a trailer.


Additionally, in July, Hyundai recalled more than 13,500 vehicles in Australia due to a potential engine fault that could pose fire hazards.

Hyundai and Kia, while operating as separate entities, are part of the Hyundai Motor Group and share various components. Both companies have also experienced a sharp increase in vehicle thefts. In response to the rising thefts, they offered car owners steering wheel locks and software upgrades after TikTok videos popularized methods to easily steal their cars. The “Kia Boyz” trend gained popularity last year, featuring videos of thieves breaking into the vehicles and taking them for joyrides.

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Ulez expansion across London given go ahead by High Court

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 28th July 2023) London, Uk – –

The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) across London can go ahead after the High Court ruled it lawful.

Five Conservative-led councils had challenged the Labour mayor of London's plans to charge older, more polluting vehicles £12.50 a day from 29 August.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told the BBC: “This landmark decision is good news as it means we can proceed with cleaning up the air in outer London.”

Surrey Council's leader branded the decision “incredibly disappointing”.


The judge, Mr Justice Swift, said the mayor's expansion decision “was within his powers”.

He wrote: “Having carefully considered the decision published for the purposes of consultation, I'm satisfied sufficient information was provided to permit this wanting to respond to the consultation to provide informed responses.

“I'm further satisfied that when taking the decision on the grant to meet the cost of the vehicle scrappage scheme, the mayor understood the likely provision that would be made.

“While the consultation conducted was not in-depth, it was lawful.”

When and where will Ulez be extended

The Ulez currently covers the area between the North and South Circulars, but this judgment means it will be spread across Greater London from the end of August.

When it was first introduced in 2019, the zone covered the Congestion Charge area in central London, then was enlarged in October 2021.

The new borders of the zone will reach Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey.

You can check if your vehicle meets the emission standards on the Transport for London website.

City Hall has claimed that 90% of cars seen driving in outer London complied with Ulez standards which has been backed by the UK Statistics Authority, although the watchdog criticised the mayor over data transparency.

Mr Khan said: “The decision to expand the Ulez was very difficult and not something I took lightly and I continue to do everything possible to address any concerns Londoners may have.

“This unambiguous decision today in the High Court allows us to press on with the difficult but vital task of cleaning up London's air and tackling the climate crisis.”

On Wednesday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urged the mayor to reflect on the expansion in the wake of a by-election victory for the Conservatives in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, which he said was due to the “impact it's having on people”.

The action was launched by February by the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon, as well as Surrey County Council.

Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey Council, said: “Whilst we respect today's court decision, it is incredibly disappointing.”

Bromley Council leader, Colin Smith, said: “To the legion of families who will now have to trade in perfectly good cars at significant cost they can't really afford, for a newer vehicle they don't want or need, I can only say sorry.

“We've tried our very hardest to protect you but ultimately, today's judgement does mean that the mayor has taken another step closer to getting his way.”

Harrow, Surrey and Bromley, which spent £32,000 contesting the expansion, have confirmed they will not appeal the court's decision.

Air pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, can cause and worsen respiratory problems like asthma, and can affect those with heart conditions, according to multiple scientific studies.

Dr Anna Moore, a respiratory doctor working at a London hospital, called Ulez a health policy which was “going to improve the health of millions of Londoners”.

She said: “I see patients suffer from the effects of toxic air week in and week out. There is no organ in the body which is not harmed by air pollution.”

Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC, said: “While the principle of cleaning up London's air is the right one, it has come at a time where drivers can ill afford to replace their vehicles during a cost-of-living crisis.


“This is being made by worse by new evidence which shows drivers are having to pay far more than they should have to purchase a compliant vehicle on the second-hand car market.”

Steve Tuckwell, the newly elected MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, said: “Uxbridge and South Ruislip sent mayor Sadiq Khan a clear message last week – halt your Ulez expansion.

“Londoners cannot go on being ignored by the Labour Party, who are making the choice to expand Ulez, saddling families and businesses with a £4,500 a year charge – a tax on carers, parents, patients, sole traders and all hard-working Londoners.”

By Harry Low

Co-op Funeralcare announce plans to offer ‘Water cremations’

(qlmbusinessnews.com via news.sky.com– Mon, 3rd July, 2023) London, Uk – –

The practice, known as resomation, involves the corpse being enclosed in a biodegradable pouch then placed in a container filled with pressurised water and a small amount of potassium hydroxide.

Co-op Funeralcare has announced plans to offer a new form of burial as a sustainable alternative to traditional burials or cremation.

The UK's largest funeral provider has announced that it will introduce the practice, called resomation – also known as water cremation or alkaline hydrolysis – later this year.


The practice consists of the deceased being enclosed in a biodegradable pouch then placed in a container filled with pressurised water and a small amount of potassium hydroxide.

This rapidly converts tissue and cells into a watery solution, with one cycle taking approximately four hours.

Soft bones remain and these are dried then reduced to a white powder, which can be returned to relatives in an urn.

Research suggests that resomation is a more sustainable option as it does not release toxic gases, air pollutants or polluting fluids.

Cremating a body leads to the release of carbon dioxide and potentially toxic gases while burials can lead to the risk of groundwater contamination.
The Co-op, which arranges more than 93,000 funerals a year, said it will be working with sustainability experts and academia to further validate existing research during its initial regional pilot.

It said pilot locations to be announced later this year with the intention to expand the service to all Co-op clients.

It has also updated the government on its plans to make the process available in the UK and said that questions on new burial methods were raised at the Synod of Church of England earlier this year.

The practice is growing in popularity in the US, Canada and South Africa, but burials or gas cremations remain the two options for UK families.

Anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who died in 2021, is the most high-profile figure to choose resomation for his own funeral.

Its introduction in the UK will mark the first time in more than 120 years that a new alternative to burial or cremation will be widely available for funerals since the introduction of the Cremation Act in 1902.

It is understood that resomation is not illegal but will be subject to compliance with relevant health, safety and environment regulations.

Meanwhile, the Law Commission is currently reviewing existing laws to see how they can accommodate new burial methods.

A YouGov poll commissioned by Co-op Funeralcare found that 89% of UK adults had not heard of resomation but once explained, almost a third said they would choose it for their own funeral if available.


Furthermore, nearly a fifth of adults who have arranged a funeral in the last five years said they would have considered resomation for their loved one's funeral had it been an option at the time.

Gill Stewart, managing director of Co-op Funeralcare, said introducing “innovative and sustainable options” for clients is “an absolute priority”.

“Up until now choice has been limited to burial or cremation,” she said.

“We've seen from the rapid uptake of newer funeral options such as direct cremation, that when choice in the funeral market is broadened, this is only a positive thing both for the bereaved and for those planning ahead for their own farewell.”

UK food price inflation causing problems for farmers

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 2nd June, 2023) London, Uk – –

Pembrokeshire is famous for its potatoes and Tessa Elliot is passionate about growing them.

But she said price rises have made the past year “shocking” for farmers as well as consumers.

She said her family farm has faced “almost daily” cost increases for essentials like seed and fertiliser.

Those increases have fed into the price spiral that has hit shoppers with painfully high food bills.


Food prices in the UK have soared at their fastest rate for almost 45 years, with grocery prices rising by 19.1% in the year to April.

“I know people are paying more for their bag of potatoes or bag of carrots, but it's not because we want more money,” said Tessa.

“Our costs have gone up drastically and we are still trying to understand where we can even make a profit.”

Cash flow is always a challenge for potato farmers, who can wait more than a year to be paid for their crops after harvesting.

But since the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, food production costs have jumped.

“For fertiliser we were paying £290-odd and it shot up to £900 for that same bag,” said Tessa, whose family has run Cresswell Barn Farm for more than 40 years.

“Seeds were up £40 a tonne. Labour costs went up. There was nothing that didn't go up double, if not more.”

While those costs undermined farmers' profits, they also translated into higher costs for consumers, with food prices increasing by nearly a fifth between April 2022 and April this year.

The Competitions and Markets Authority is currently investigating all supermarkets over high food and fuel prices amid allegations that customers are overpaying.

But supermarkets insist they are working to keep prices “as low as possible.”

Matthew Hunt runs Filco, an independent chain of supermarkets in Wales, said: “It's very much a perfect storm at the moment, you're seeing cost increases coming from all directions – the three major ones are fuel, labour and energy.”

He said his company was not passing on the full cost increases to customers: “It's squeezing how we operate and we have to look at ourselves and see where we can take costs out of our operations.”

The UK government has floated the idea of a voluntary cap on basic food prices, but that's had a cold reception from the industry.

“It's a nice soundbite,” said Matthew. “How it would work in stores is confusing to me.”

When will food bills fall?
But with energy prices having fallen considerably in recent months, what are the prospects of a substantial slowdown in food price rises?

“The good news is that we do think food price inflation has now peaked,” said James Walton, chief economist at the grocery industry organisation the IGD.


However he warned that might not lead to “major” price reductions.

“What we're looking at, we think, is food prices levelling off,” he said.

“A lot of the things that have driven food pricing remain pretty much in place. The war in Ukraine is ongoing, Russia remains cut out of major food markets, there are still shortages and wage costs are very sticky.”

By Felicity Evans

Why So Many Luxury Apartments Are Popping Up In The U.S.

Source: CNBC

An apartment building boom is unfolding in cities across the U.S. Many of the new units come with “luxury” amenities, like pools and fast-access to transportation. Experts say the uptick in supply is welcome news, but won’t ease rent inflation anytime soon. As a result, many cities remain stuck in a price-elevating housing shortage. Washington lawmakers are now scrutinizing regulations that slow the pace of homebuilding, in an attempt to slow rent inflation.

Can Indian Seaweed Replace Plastic?

Source: BI

Thin-plastic food wrappers make up half the garbage floating in our oceans, but they’re difficult to recycle. One company has invented a way to replace these plastics with seaweed. Now, it stands as a finalist for Tom Ford’s Plastic Innovation Prize worth more than $1 million.


Tesco accused of greenwashing over ‘biodegradable’ teabags

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 28th Feb 2023) London, Uk – –

Complaint filed against retail giant after an experiment found that the teabags did not biodegrade after a year buried in soil

A team of researchers has filed a complaint against Tesco, saying its “biodegradable” teabags do not fulfil that claim following an experiment that involved burying them in soil for a year to see what happened.

Dr Alicia Mateos-Cárdenas from University College Cork (UCC) set out to investigate how well teabags advertised as biodegradable broke down. She buried 16 Tesco Finest Green Tea with Jasmine pyramid teabags in garden soil. However, when the teabags were dug up, they remained intact.


She checked them at three weeks, just over three months, six months and 12 months, and found no change. She flagged her paper to two researchers at the UCC’s Environmental Law Clinic, who have now collectively reported the supermarket to a consumer protection watchdog in Ireland.

The complaint says that a customer would reasonably expect a product labelled as biodegradable to break down in the open environment within a year, or sooner. The Tesco Finest Green Tea with Jasmine pyramid bags showed no signs of degradation after 12 months due to the type of bioplastic they are made from, according to the complaint sent to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

The company has recently changed suppliers but the academics argue that the teabags are still made from the same plant-based bioplastic, called polylactic acid (PLA).

Tesco said that the packaging clearly states that its teabags are not approved to be disposed of in soil or home composting, but need to be industrially composted (having been put in a local council food waste bin). A Tesco spokesperson said: “We strongly dispute the claims made in this study and believe that the findings are misleading. The method of decomposing teabags used in the study does not reflect the on-pack advice we give customers.

“All our own-brand herbal teabags have been certified as industrially compostable, which means they can be disposed of in food caddies and council collections, biodegrading with organic matter through in-vessel composting. We do not advise customers to dispose of these teabags in home compost bins or soil.”

The researchers say Tesco should change “biodegradable” to “plant-based” or “compostable” if they cannot rot down in gardens or compost bins. “It is fair to assume that any PLA teabag will not biodegrade in the open environment,” said Mateos-Cárdenas, from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UCC, who published a paper on the biodegradability of teabags in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. Her findings formed the basis of the subsequent complaint.

“The fact that they come from another supplier is meaningless,” she said. “We have proven that Tesco is misleadingly selling their teabags using greenwashing practices. We are hoping that the CCPC will urgently act.”

Given that the teabag showed no sign of disintegration after a year, it is reasonable to believe it could persist in the soil for much longer, the researchers argue. If the average consumer has two cups of tea a day, they could have more than 700 teabags in their home compost bin or in the garden after one year. This renders Tesco’s claim “not only false, but also misleading and unsubstantiated” under Irish and EU consumer protection legislation, the complaint says.

The researchers want investigators to look into the broader issue of retailers making misleading claims about materials biodegrading, with such claims being “rife”.

“It is incumbent upon Tesco and others to ensure that their products live up to their advertised claims,” said Mindy O’Brien, coordinator of Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment, who is calling on the CCPC to investigate the claim to avoid further greenwashing. “Now more than ever, consumers are motivated to purchase a product that appears to be more sustainable. There is no room for false or misleading green claims.”

The complaint follows research led by Prof Mark Miodownik from University College London which found most plastics marketed as “home compostable” don’t actually work, with as much as 60% failing to disintegrate after six months.


“The results do not surprise me,” he said, commenting on this latest research, which he was not involved in.

“If the product hangs around for years before biodegrading, which is the reality for many products labelled biodegradable, they are part of the problem not the solution. There are innovative companies out there trying to make a difference, but they don’t use the term biodegradable because they know it’s code for greenwash.”

Find more age of extinction coverage here, and follow biodiversity reporters Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield on Twitter for all the latest news and features

By Phoebe Weston

Take Advantage Of The Sun’s Rays

Even though they are more common, many people still want to learn about and understand solar energy. The best way to understand what solar can do for you is to dedicate yourself to learning everything possible. Start with this article.

When it comes to solar energy, the sky is truly the limit, so learn about your options before you buy. How much space are you allowed, by local law, to fill with solar equipment? Can you sell excess energy back to the grid? What sort of regulations are in place?

If you run a business you know that there are a lot of costs associated with that, one of them being your energy bill. If you have been looking at ways to save the company some money, you should switch over to renewable solar energy. This will not only save you money, but let people know that you are environmentally conscious.

To help keep your solar energy panels running efficiently, keep a record of your solar panels performance. On this record, note when the days are overcast and how much energy your panels produced. This will help you plan your energy consumption better. For example, if the forecast is cloudy, then you should wait to do household chores that use a lot of energy.

Purchase batteries to store excess solar energy. These batteries are similar to rechargeable batteries; however, they use the sun's energy to power up the batteries. This energy can be used in the evenings and at night to help power your appliances, televisions and lighting requirements. These batteries are relatively inexpensive making them a great choice for the beginner.

In an effort to encourage citizens to use greener forms of energy, many governments agencies are offering rebates and tax credits for choosing solar energy. It is possible to see as much as a thirty percent rebate of the solar array cost. Check the web for the different credits that you qualify for.

Before signing any agreement for installation of solar energy products, get at least three estimates. Once the estimates are in your hand, read each one carefully to ensure that the installation is up to your standards. Each estimate should include a time frame of completion, a list of materials and the estimated amount of labor charged.

Your solar energy system can not only save you money, but help you make it too. If your system happens to make more energy than you need, then you can sell it to the local energy company in your area. Imagine receiving money to produce energy instead of spending money to produce the same amount of energy?

Think about heating your hot tub or pool water with solar energy. These devices are some of the most energy consuming things that people have in their homes these days. If you use solar energy instead of standard energy to power these you could greatly reduce your carbon footprint and save money in the end.

Solar water heaters have been around for hundreds of years. For over 50 years people have been using them to heat everything inside and outside the home. Over the years, these solar water heating systems have become much more efficient. If you are located in sunny areas of the country, you should look into buying a solar water system.

Make sure to watch the light on your solar panel inverter regularly. Check it at least a couple of times a week, while sunlight is hitting your panels. The light should be green. If it is not, your panels might not be working correctly, and it is time to call in a technician.

Don't work with pushy salespeople. Unfortunately, you'll run across quite a few of these in the solar panel business. Be firm and tell these pushy sales people that you will decide after you have examined all the facts. Tell them that if their deal is what they claim, it should be around in a month or so. Decisions made under pressure are rarely smart ones.

Don't assume that just because a company sells and installs solar panels means they are good and trustworthy people. Shop around. Get a minimum of three quotes. Read all contracts. Check backgrounds of potential contractors. Deal with this like any other home-improvement project that you would otherwise do.

Consider selling extra energy back to your local utilities. If you live in an area of abundant sunshine, you may be able to not only save money on your power, but earn a little extra too. Many power companies allow solar energy users to sell extra power back to them, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunity.

Lots of folks have been interested in solar power for a long time. However, many people don't know enough about solar energy and its many benefits. The above article has offered a useful starting point for launching your own study.

Why Cloud Seeding Operations Are Ramping Up As Winter Gets Underway

Source: CNBC

States and utility companies are investing in “cloud seeding” – a way to artificially increase precipitation in the drought-ridden American West and worldwide. By seeding storm clouds with a substance called silver iodide, it’s possible to increase the efficiency of storms by 5-15%. It’s no cure for drought, but it can be a valuable water management tool, which is why cloud seeding operations are ramping up across the country as winter gets underway.


Why Modern Agriculture is Embracing Aeroponics Potato Farming

Source: Noal Farm

Modern farming method is growing potatoes using aeroponics. Aeroponic growing is a soilless method where plants are grown, supported at the top, with their roots hanging into a box. A solution of nutrients mixed in water is periodically pumped into the box and misted onto the hanging roots. The roots stay hydrated and absorb their nutrients without having to stay suspended in soil or water.

Ford to investment £140 mln in Uk EV plants to boost output

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Thur, 1st Dec 2022) London, UK —

Ford Motor Co (F.N) will invest an extra 149 million pounds ($180 million) to boost output of electric vehicle (EV) power units by 70% at its engine factory in northern England as the U.S. carmaker accelerates its push to go electric.

Electric drive unit production capacity at the Halewood plant will increase to 420,000 units a year, from 250,000 units, starting in 2024, the Detroit-based carmaker said on Thursday.


The move will bring Ford's total investment in the combustion engine factory's transition to production of EV parts to 380 million pounds.

“This is a very significant and important part of scaling up for our transformation,” said Tim Slatter, head of Ford in Britain. “This is a really big deal for Ford’s business in Europe.”

The EV power unit, which consists of an electric motor and gearbox, replaces the engine and transmission of a fossil-fuel vehicle.

Ford has committed to selling only fully electric cars in Europe by 2030 and only electric commercial vans by 2035. That puts it ahead of the European Union's plans to effectively ban the sale of new fossil-fuel passenger cars by 2035.

Slatter said Ford plans to have nine fully electric models on sale in Europe by 2024, with Halewood supplying power units to assembly plants in Romania and Turkey for five high-volume models, including an electric version of the popular Puma SUV.

Halewood is expected to supply 70% of the 600,000 EVs the company aims to sell in Europe annually by 2026, Ford said.

The latest Ford investment includes 125 million pounds in the plant itself and 24 million pounds in the development and testing of new EV parts for production at Halewood.


Ford said the investment will safeguard more than 500 jobs.

The UK government contributed to the initial EV power unit investment at Halewood, which was announced by Ford last year.

By Nick Carey

Sizewell C nuclear plant confirmed by UK government with £700m public stake

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Tue, 29th Nov 2022) London, Uk – –

EDF’s Suffolk plant will create 10,000 highly skilled jobs and help secure UK energy security, ministers say

The government has confirmed the Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk will go ahead, backing the scheme with a £700m stake.

Ministers said the move, first announced in Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement, would create 10,000 highly skilled jobs, provide reliable low-carbon power to the equivalent of 6m homes for more than 50 years and would help secure UK energy security.


The government also said it would set up an arm’s-length body, Great British Nuclear, which would develop a pipeline of nuclear projects beyond Sizewell C.

The plant in Suffolk, developed by the French energy company EDF, will be the second of a new generation of UK nuclear power reactors, after the delayed Hinkley Point C scheme in Somerset, which is under construction but has experienced delays and climbing costs since it was first given the go-ahead.

The EDF chief executive, Simone Rossi, said replicating Hinkley Point C’s design at Sizewell would provide more certainty over schedule and costs, adding: “It will deliver another big boost to jobs and skills in the nuclear industry and provide huge new opportunities for communities in Suffolk.”

However, opponents of the scheme criticised the approval decision on cost and environmental grounds. The Greenpeace UK policy director, Doug Parr, said: “The launch of Great British Nuclear is clearly ironic as new nuclear is neither great nor British. Projects have been plagued by massive delays and ballooning costs while the government is seeking to have Sizewell C – a French-designed and built reactor – funded by foreign investment funds.

“It’s hard to work out what drives the government’s enthusiasm for new nuclear. It‘s not cheap, or clean, or necessary as there are better, quicker and less expensive options to deliver electricity. Not to mention that technology is steadily becoming available to cover the periods when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. On top of all that, there’s no value-for-money assessment available for Sizewell C so UK taxpayers are essentially buying it sight unseen.”

A spokesperson for the Stop Sizewell C campaign said: “Sizewell C can neither lower energy bills nor give the UK energy independence. Despite the government’s paltry £700m, there is still a huge amount of money to find, and no one is prepared to come clean about what the ultimate cost will be.”

The Sizewell announcement comes after ministers also set out plans to reduce energy demand by 15% by 2030, with a new £1bn Eco+ energy efficiency scheme, and a public awareness campaign – previously blocked under Liz Truss’s administration as being too “nanny state” – to help save energy this winter.

It also comes as Rishi Sunak is facing pressure, including from some Tory MPs, to U-turn on plans to keep the ban on onshore windfarms in England – one of the cheapest forms of energy.

The business and energy secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “We need more clean, affordable power generated within our borders … today’s historic deal giving government backing to Sizewell C’s development is crucial to this, moving us towards greater energy independence.”

The Nuclear Industry Association chief executive, Tom Greatrex, hailed the announcement as “a defining moment for UK energy security”. He said: “Sizewell C will be one of the UK’s most important green energy projects ever, cutting fossil fuels, providing clean, affordable power for a very long time, and creating thousands of highly skilled jobs.


“This investment, alongside the support for Great British Nuclear and the energy security bill, shows the government is serious about building new nuclear capacity alongside renewables and paves the way for the development of a pipeline of new nuclear projects, including small modular reactors, to strengthen energy independence.”

The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, said: “Today’s investment in Sizewell C represents the biggest step on our journey to energy independence – the first state backing for a nuclear project in over 30 years.

“Once complete, this mega project will power millions of homes with clean, affordable, homegrown energy for decades to come.

By Guardian staff and agency

Co-op supermarket to trial reduced lighting in stores

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Wed, 12th Oct 2022) London, Uk – –

Co-op is trialling reduced lighting in stores as a way of saving money as energy bills continue to soar.

The supermarket is rolling out dimmer lighting in around 500 of its 2,500 convenience stores across the UK.

It is understood the cost saving measures could reduce electricity bills by up to £4,000 a year for a single store.

It follows supermarket chains such as Sainsbury's and Morrisons making similar moves.



Co-op could potentially cut its energy bills by as much as £10m if similar savings were made across all of its stores.

A spokesman for the company said it was trialling the initiative to reduce its environmental impact and help cut costs in the long run.

The company is reviewing how it can become a “more energy efficient business, without compromising safety and still achieving a positive store environment and shopping experience” for customers, the spokesman said.

Co-op is not the first retailer to cut back on the use of lighting in stores.

Sainsbury's lowers lighting when it is bright outside or during less busy hours.

This is part of its long-running environmental plans to save energy and meet its goal of being net zero in its operations by 2035.

Last year, it finished the roll out of LED lighting right across its supermarkets to cut energy consumption.

It also uses a system that automatically monitors and controls lighting in stores to ensure that its sites are only lit when required.

Morrisons also dims the lights for the first and last hour of trade in most of its stores, as well as its “quiet hour” on a Saturday. The supermarket has done this since the coronavirus pandemic and it helps to reduce its energy bill.

Costs jump

The UK faces “a significant risk” of gas shortages this winter, industry regulator Ofgem said last week, which could have an effect on electricity supplies.

Energy costs, which were already rising, have soared as the conflict in Ukraine reduces the availability of Russian gas.

Prices have also risen because demand for energy has rocketed since Covid restrictions ended.



The National Grid has also announced it will launch a scheme from 1 November which incentivises businesses and households to reduce their electricity use at key times to help reduce pressure on the energy supply this winter.

The company said larger businesses will be paid for reducing demand, for example by shifting their times of energy use or switching to batteries or generators in peak times.

Britain at ‘significant risk’ of gas shortages this winter, says regulator

(qlmbusinessnews.com via uk.reuters.com — Tue, 4th Oct, 2022) London, UK —

 UK faces a “significant risk” of gas shortages this winter and a possible emergency due to the conflict in Ukraine and limited supplies in Europe, the energy regulator has said.

Although Russia only meets about 4% of Britain's gas needs, a disruption in supply to Europe has contributed to driving up British prices and makes it harder for Britain to secure gas from others.

In a letter to power company SSE (SSE.L), regulator Ofgem said Britain faced the possibility of a “gas supply emergency” in which gas supplies to some gas-fired power plants are curtailed, which can stop them from generating electricity.


Responding to the publication of the letter, Ofgem said in an email: “This winter is likely to be more challenging than previous ones due to the Russian disruption of gas supplies to Europe.”

In the event of gas supply issues the regulator and Britain's National Grid could be forced to curb supply of gas to gas-fired power stations to make sure enough supply remains available to households.

“We need to be prepared for all scenarios this winter,” Ofgem said in the email.

“As a result, Ofgem is putting in place sensible contingency measures with National Grid ESO (Electricity System Operator) and GSO (Gas System Operator) as well as the government to ensure that the UK energy system is fully prepared for this winter,” Ofgem said.

SSE had contacted Ofgem for clarity over imbalance charges which could see power generators forced to pay for failing to produce promised electricity, if emergency measures meant they did not get the gas they needed.


Gas-fired power plants were responsible for more than 40% of Britain's electricity production last year while the fossil fuel is also used to heat around 80% of British homes.

Britain's National Grid (NG.L) said in July there could be periods where electricity supply is tight this winter, given uncertainty over supplies of Russian gas to Europe, but that it expects to be able to meet demand.

National Grid is expected to announce its winter outlook on Thursday.

Reporting by Susanna Twidale and Sachin Ravikuma