FTA aims to make driver licence checking easy
25 April 2012
The Freight Transport Association, in conjunction with Licence Bureau, is now offering a driver licence checking service specifically tailored for FTA members.
Health and safety legislation requires companies to have a robust procedure for checking the licences of everyone driving their vehicles, whether HGVs, buses, coaches, vans or company cars. But the internal checking of licences is often time-consuming and inefficient. Crucially, revoked, disqualified, provisional and expired licences cannot always be identified when checked this way, particularly if drivers have duplicate licences.
The driver licence checking service means that this labour-intensive job can be managed on behalf of customers. Licence Bureau’s experience shows that companies using its services can achieve a high level of driver compliance within the first 3-6 weeks of enrolment in the scheme. Customers will have 24/7 access to online driver reports through a dedicated website, enabling managers to produce their own tailor-made reports.
Licence Bureau also provides customers with same-day alerts for high risk drivers.
The report includes:
• Licence status – full or provisional
• Licence category detail – categories entitled to drive, expiry dates and information codes
• Full details of disqualifications, endorsements, offence dates or conviction dates
• Licence expiry alert
• LGV/PCV entitlement and category expiry alert
• Photo card expiry alert
New Punto Van makes its UK debut at CV Show
25 April 2012
Fiat Professional’s New Punto Van made its UK debut at this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham’s NEC.
The New Punto Van replaces the Grande Punto Van in the Fiat Professional line-up and brings improved load capacity of 1.0 m3 and a payload of 520 kg. The new model combines the style of both the Grande Punto and Punto Evo passenger cars, so the interior features new sportier seat fabrics and on the SX version there is a new dashboard with soft touch materials and an elegant design.
Standard equipment on all versions includes ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), BAS (Brake Assistance System), remote central locking, electric front windows, electrically adjustable and heated body coloured mirrors, trip computer, driver and passenger airbags, radio/CD/MP3 player, electric power steering, height and reach-adjustable steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver’s seat.
New Punto Van will be available with one diesel engine, the 1.3 MultiJet II diesel, in three levels of power:
•75hp (55 kW) / 190 Nm max torque (at 1500 rpm)
•67.2 MPG (4.2 l/100km) combined fuel consumption and 112 g/km CO2 emissions
•85hp (62 kW) / 200 Nm max torque (at 1500 rpm) with Start&Stop
•80.7 MPG (3.5 l/100km) combined fuel consumption and 90 g/km CO2 emissions
•95hp (70 kW) / 200 Nm max torque (at 1500 rpm) with Start&Stop
•67.2 MPG (4.2 l/100km) combined fuel consumption and 110 g/km CO2 emissions
Start&Stop is standard equipment on the 1.3 MultiJet II 85hp and 95hp versions. The new range starts with the entry level 1.3 MultiJet II 75hp version at £10,990.00 (exc. VAT and OTR). For an additional £500, the 1.3 MultiJet II 85hp version is available, with 10hp more and Start&Stop, having a combined fuel consumption of 80.7 MPG and CO2 emissions of 90 g/km.
The SX trim level is available in combination with the 1.3 MultiJet II 95hp, adding a further £500 to the 85hp version but providing 10hp more, manual air conditioning and a driver’s knee airbag.
Drivers 'should get six penalty points' for
25 April 2012
..... using a mobile phone while driving
Mercedes-Benz unveils new small van
19 April 2012
Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the covers off its new small van, the Citan, which will go on sale in the second half of 2012.
The Citan will be the first small van for Mercedes-Benz, giving it a rival to the Citroen Berlingo and Fiat Doblo, and will be offered in a choice of three lengths. A result of a partnership with Renault, the Citan is derived from the Renault Kangoo, and shares its range of engines. But there are styling changes to ensure it looks part of the Mercedes-Benz family of vans, as well as a few changes to the interior.
Standard equipment includes adaptive electronic stability control (which takes account of vehicle load), and the Citan will be offered with three diesel engines with power ranging from 75bhp to 110bhp. A supercharged petrol version producing 115bhp will also be produced, although full UK specifications will be confirmed nearer the van's launch.
The petrol-engined Citan comes with a BlueEfficiency package as standard, which is optional for the diesel versions. Among other features this includes a start/stop function, battery and generator management, plus optimised low rolling resistance tyres depending on the variant which reduce fuel consumption.
New cars 18% more fuel efficient than the average
19 April 2012
New cars registered in the UK last year were, on average, 18.0% more fuel efficient than the average car on the road, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders in its 11th annual New Car CO2 report.
Data analysing the emissions of all new cars registered in the UK showed a continued trend in falling emissions and improving fuel efficiency. 2011 emissions fell by 4.2% year on year to 138.1g/km CO2 (equivalent to 52.5mpg), down by more than 23% since reporting began in 2000.
The Report shows that in 2011, almost half of new cars (46.8%) had emissions below the 2015 European legislative target of 130g/km CO2. Additionally, over 65,000 vehicles were exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) with sub-100g/km cars (equivalent to about 70mpg,) almost doubling their market share to 3.4%.
Reductions in average emissions were made across all segments (car sizes) versus 2010, contributing to the significant drop over the past decade. Executive and Specialist Sports made the biggest reduction over the past year, falling 9.5% and 7.0% respectively on 2010 figures while the Executive (-34.9%) and Mini (-29.9%) segments recorded the biggest improvements against the 2000 levels.
Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said, "Industry can be proud of the progress it has made in reducing CO2 emissions and improving fuel efficiency, 23 per cent since 2000. The UK motor industry recognises its responsibilities and the industrial opportunities from the transition to ultra-low carbon vehicles. Future environmental and economic success will be determined by sustained investment in new technology, R&D, infrastructure and consumer incentives. We are seeing steady improvement in conventional technologies and the emergence of a range of alternative technologies, creating one of the most innovative periods for the global automotive industry."
Achieving record market shares, diesel and alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) continued their rise in popularity, taking 50.6% and 1.3% of the 2011 market respectively. Petrol-electric hybrids accounted for 92% of all AFV volumes in 2011 with an average CO2 output of 104g/km, some 25% below the UK average. Though market development is in its earliest stages, EV registrations rose by 557% in 2011 to 1,098 units, aided by the introduction of new models and the Plug-In Car Grant.
UK automotive is a global leader for low carbon R&D, productivity and quality, exporting its products around the world. To retain this position and meet the stringent EU legislative target of 95g/km CO2 by 2020, successive governments must commit to a strong long-term industrial policy that provides the certainty required by international firms to sustain investments in low carbon R&D in the UK. Government needs to provide consistency on taxation and maintain and expand incentives like the Plug-In Car Grant, which encourage consumers to move towards low carbon and more fuel-efficient technologies.