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August news round-up

Clean Air Strategy consultation nears conclusion

The consultation on the government’s draft Clean Air Strategy draws to a close tomorrow (14 August).

Launched in May, the consultation seeks views on proposals to address air pollution from a range of sources including domestic wood burning and ammonia from agriculture.

Within the strategy ministers have also promised to give local authorities new powers to take ‘decisive action’ in the most polluted areas through local Clean Air Zones, including powers to control the use of diesel-powered machinery and to ensure cleaner domestic burning.

As part of the consultation, Defra has also asked for views on whether additional policies could be implemented to address air pollution.

The consultation will inform the final Clean Air Strategy and detailed National Air Pollution Control Programme, to be published by March 2019.

Ocado takes delivery of first hydrogen dual-fuel van

Hydrogen fuel specialist ULEMco has delivered the first hydrogen dual-fuel van to online supermarket Ocado.

Converted from a standard Mercedes Sprinter, the van will go into immediate service from the Ocado spoke in West Drayton, making conventional deliveries of groceries to customers in the area.

It will make use of the public hydrogen refilling stations that are already up and running in the capital and around the country.

“Ocado is committed to reducing vehicle emissions across its fleetâ€?, said Graham Thomas, fleet services manager at Ocado. “Deployment of this first dual-fuel van represents an important step in developing our plans for cleaner, more efficient fleet operation. We’re particularly interested in ways to ensure we guarantee customer service and achieve the vehicle utilisation levels we currently experience with our conventional vans. Hydrogen dual-fuel looks like an option that can deliver both, and we’re excited to see how it performs in our world.â€?

“We are naturally delighted to see another major UK organisation recognise the role that hydrogen fuel can make to achieving cleaner cities. The practicality of converting standard commercial vehicle types has been proven in a growing number of OEM modelsâ€?, said Amanda Lyne, CEO of ULEMCo.

Car dealers may not be prepared for WLTP

Many car dealers are unaware of upcoming changes to the law from next month around the testing of new cars ready for sale in the UK, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has warned.

WLTP – the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure – will come into full effect for all new car registrations from September 2018 and replace the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

Under the old test, vehicles were tested in the lab on a rolling road but now they will have a 90-minute real world driving test. The new test cycle has been in place for new types of cars entering the market since September 2017, but will apply to all new car registrations from September 2018.

In preparation for this the NFDA has been working closely with Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) to help inform the automotive industry of the changes.

However, the organisation has warned that many car dealers still remain unaware of the changes in the law.

“It is concerning to see that a third of dealers remain unaware of the upcoming Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) which comes into effect on 1 Septemberâ€?, said Sue Robinson, NFDA director, commenting on surveys suggesting that up to 61% of dealers are not up-to-speed with the timetable for the roll out and are unclear on what the new testing means for new cars after the deadline.

Ms Robinson added: “It is vital that manufacturer’ expectations are realistic and feasible and that dealers know what products they are going to be supplied with and their status.â€?

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