Industry needs showrooms to open at the earliest possible moment.

SOURCE: SMMT – Mike Hawes, Chief Executive.

Whilst the service and repair sector has been operating throughout lockdown, retailers have remained closed for all but click and collect during the majority of January, and, off the back of a £20.4 billion loss in revenue for the sector last year, the news that new car registrations fell by -39.5% last month highlights the incredibly tough environment in which the automotive industry is operating.

The last time January sales were this low was in 1970 and, with March fast approaching, the need to reopen car showrooms at the earliest opportunity is clear. While the current lockdown is absolutely necessary to suppress the virus, with the vaccine rollout gathering pace hopefully to get us out of lockdown, the industry needs a pathway to reopening. Retail showrooms are Covid-secure. They are usually large premises with high ceilings and low footfall, often managing customers on an appointment basis. Click and collect is helping but this cannot be a long-term substitute for the showroom experience.

Lifting the shutters will help secure the jobs and livelihoods of our workers, re-energise the consumer demand needed to support our manufacturing and enable us to continue on the Road to Zero by getting more of the latest electrified vehicles onto our roads.

Indeed, despite the overall downturn in January, battery electric vehicle (BEV) uptake grew by 54.4% to take 6.9% of the market, as the number of available models almost doubled from 22 in January 2019 to 40 this year. Combined, BEVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) accounted for 13.7% of registrations last month and there was good news too for commercial vehicles, which saw 2.0% growth.

SMMT analysis also released this week showed that 2020 recorded the largest ever fall in average car CO2 emissions, spurred on by increased uptake of BEV, PHEV and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). In fact, more than half of all BEVs registered in the past two decades were registered in 2020 alone. Combined with ongoing improvements to petrol and diesel engines, average vehicle CO2 dropped to 112.8g/km – a reduction of -11.8% compared to 2019 and -37.7% compared to 2000.

There can be no let-up in the pace of environmental improvement, however, as the industry must achieve a UK-only CO2 fleet average target of 95g/km this year or face severe penalties. This underscores the need to get showrooms open as soon as it is safe to do so; we must generate the demand required to reach the country’s green goals. Every day that showrooms can safely open will matter, especially with the critical month of March looming.

Christopher Macgowan


Posted in automotive | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Industry needs showrooms to open at the earliest possible moment.

Williams Advanced Engineering and OXIS collaborate in marine sector.


  • Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) is collaborating with OXIS Energy to provide the world’s first battery system for a luxury electric boat
  • Combining their industrial expertise, the two companies are working together for the advancement of a greener, cleaner world
  • WAE will design and build a state-of-the-art 400kWh battery system using lithium-sulfur cell technology from OXIS Energy – a world first for luxury boats
  • The modular, high-energy density system has potential for all sizes of zero emission marine craft and is applicable to a number of other sectors including aerospace, aviation, urban air mobility, transportation, marine and defence
  • The first public viewing of the boat is planned at the Monaco Boat show in 2021

Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) is working with fellow Oxfordshire-based firm, OXIS Energy Ltd, on the production of a world-first battery system, designed for an all-new 40ft electric luxury boat.

The craft, from Yachts de Luxe (YdL) of Singapore and designed by the renowned boat designer, Jean Jacques Coste, will be the world’s first ever luxury boat to be powered by Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) cell and battery systems technology. The objective is to achieve a range between 70 and 100 nautical miles at cruising speed – setting new standards for range in electric boats.

WAE will be responsible for the state-of-the-art 400 kWh battery system, which comprises ultra-light, high-power/high energy density Li-S cells – provided by OXIS Energy Ltd, – and the battery management system (BMS). The design and manufacture of the cell modules, the BMS and its installation will be carried out by WAE at its dedicated battery facility in Grove.

High performance batteries and BMS are core to WAE’s business. The company was the original supplier of batteries to the entire grid of FIA Formula E World Championship cars in 2014, a relationship that has been revived for 2022-23 season with WAE being awarded the exclusive contract to supply the Gen3 battery system. WAE also supplies battery systems to ETCR and Extreme-E.

As well as having high gravimetric energy density and low predicted costs, the Li-S cells are a safer option for electric marine applications. Furthermore, OXIS’ Li-S technology contains no toxic or rare earth materials in the make-up of its cell technology, making it a safe option for open water transportation. At the end of life, the materials used in the Li-S cells can be disposed of without damaging the environment.

The latest programme celebrates a history of collaborations between Williams Advanced Engineering and OXIS designed to revolutionise the rechargeable battery market including a UK funded, Lithium Sulfur Future Automotive Battery (LiS:FAB) project and the ALISE programme; a pan European collaboration focused on the development and commercial scale-up of new materials and understanding electrochemical processes involved in Lithium Sulfur technology.

“We’re extremely proud to be involved in this exciting initiative which we believe showcases the way in which the UK is positioning itself to be at the forefront of this emerging market. In addition, the application has relevance for a number of additional sectors including aerospace, aviation, urban air mobility, transportation and defence” said Craig Wilson, Managing Director, WAE.

“As an organisation, WAE has huge expertise in the design, development and assembly of advanced battery systems, including a number of applications in the highly demanding world of motorsport. These lightweight, high performance electrification skills have also been applied to other sectors and we are looking forward to working with OXIS Energy to further explore the potential in the marine sector” said Iain Wight, Director, Business Development, WAE.

Huw Hampson-Jones, CEO, OXIS Energy, added, ““Williams has a significant level of battery technology expertise and skills across the range of vehicle applications. This expertise, combined with OXIS’s world leading Centre of Expertise in Lithium Sulfur, gives vehicle manufacturers, on land, sea and in the air the confidence to engage with our next generation of rechargeable battery technology, with the necessary assurance to achieve their desired mission profile, at a high level of performance and safety – far in excess than what current technology offers.”

Christopher Macgowan


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Williams Advanced Engineering and OXIS collaborate in marine sector.

Spending review.

Source: Dom Browne from Transport Review.

Infrastructure gets pride of place in Spending Review

Dom Browne 25 November 2020

The chancellor Rishi Sunak used to the 2020 Spending Review to launch a new strategy for UK infrastructure, supported by an infrastructure bank and a place-based ‘levelling up’ fund.

The Government’s comprehensive national infrastructure strategy, released today, will be supported by  £27bn of public funding next year, with the Spending Review 2020 ‘delivering £100bn total investment in 2021-22 to support the recovery’.


The strategy is based ‘around three central objectives: economic recovery, levelling up and unleashing the potential of the Union, and meeting the UK’s net zero emissions target by 2050’, government officials said.

‘These objectives will be supported by the creation of a new infrastructure bank to catalyse private investment in projects across the UK; as well as through a comprehensive set of reforms to the way infrastructure is delivered.’

Mr Sunak revealed that the bank would be headquartered in the North of England ‘and will work with the private sector to finance major new investment projects across the UK starting this spring’.

The bank will also be able to lend to local and mayoral authorities for key infrastructure projects, and provide them with advice on developing and financing infrastructure.

He also announced a new ‘levelling up’ fund worth £4bn in England and up to £0.8bn for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland under the Barnett Formula.

‘It will be open to all local areas in England and prioritise bids to drive growth and regeneration in places in need, those facing particular challenges, and areas that have received less government investment in recent years. The Government will set out further details on how to support levelling up across the UK in the New Year,’ Treasury officials said.

Local areas can bid for up to £20m from the fund, which will be managed jointly between the Treasury, the Department for Transport and the communities department, MHLG.

The chancellor said it would take ‘a new, holistic place-based approach to local areas’.

‘Projects must have real impact, must be delivered in this parliament and they must command local support including from their member of parliament. This is about funding the infrastructure of everyday life, a new bypass, upgraded railway stations, less traffic, new libraries, museums and galleries, better high streets.’

The Spending Review also confirms multi-year funding certainty for existing projects such as school and hospital rebuilding, and flagship transport schemes.

Treasury officials said they were targeting ‘additional investment in areas which will improve the UK’s competitiveness in the long-term, backing new investments in cutting-edge research and clean energy sources of the future’.

Christopher Macgowan


Posted in Economics | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Spending review.

Tailgating – incidents are declining.

  • The number of reported accidents in Great Britain when following too close was a contributory factor fell to 3,584 over one year, latest official figures reveal
  • It means that tailgating accidents have halved over last five years
  • Leading driving experience provider welcomes the huge fall

The number of reported road accidents when following too close to another vehicle was a contributory factor has almost halved in just five years, according to analysis by of official government figures.

Indeed, the figures from the Department for Transport highlight that the reported accidents when following too close was a contributory factor have dropped dramatically by 48% year-on-year, from 7,023 in 2015 to just 3,582 in 2019, the latest year for which full figures are available.

It is one of the largest percentage drops of all the contributory causes of accidents caused by an injudicious action, which means due to a lack of judgement.

Dan Jones, operations manager at, said: “It’s very welcome to see such a dramatic drop in the number of reported accidents when following too close was a contributory factor.

“It could be due to a number of factors, perhaps most importantly though advanced safety features on modern cars, such as adaptive cruise control which help keep a safe distance from the car in front. But it would also be nice to think that drivers are now calmer and more considerate to their fellow road users.”

Meanwhile, more welcome news highlighted how the number of reported accidents when travelling too fast for the conditions was a contributory factor was also on a long-term decline, showing a significant decrease from 7,361 in 2015 to 4,666 in 2019, a decrease of 36%.

Additionally, there are also fewer reported accidents when disobeying automatic traffic signals, and disobeying ‘Give Way’ or ‘Stop’ signs and markings was a contributory factor.

Dan added: “Brits do appear to be becoming safer motorists in certain areas of driving, which has to be good news for all road users.”

For more information about, which offers a variety of driver training courses, including Young Driver Training for juniors aged 10 – 17, visit

Christopher Macgowan


Posted in automotive | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Tailgating – incidents are declining.

The Green Agenda – PM outlines 10 point plan for green revolution

SOURCE: Dom Browne, Highways Magazine

The prime minister has outlined a 10 point plan for a ‘green industrial revolution’ including bringing forward a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030.



New hybrid cars and vans will be sold until 2035.

‘The plan will mobilise £12bn of government investment to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK, and spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030,’ officials said.

With transport now the worst sector for greenhouse gases – accounting for 28% of domestic emissions – the Government has also pledged a wider investment in the electric car network as well as a commitment to active travel.

A £1.3bn fund has been allocated to the rollout of public electric vehicle chargepoints in homes, streets and on motorways across England – although at least £500m of this was already announced in the March Budget.

The Government also appears to have boosted its consumer incentive for those buying ultra-low emission vehicles by £50m, with £582m now allocated for grants up from £532 in March.

There will also be £500m over the next four years for the development and mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries, as part of an existing £1bn commitment to provide up to boosting the UK’s manufacturing base.

The ten points, which are designed around ‘the UK’s strengths’, are:

  1. Offshore wind: Producing enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling how much we produce to 40GW by 2030, supporting up to 60,000 jobs.
  2. Hydrogen: Up to £500m for first trialling hydrogen homes, then a hydrogen neighbourhood in 2023 and a hydrogen village by 2025, with the aim of creating a hydrogen town of tens of thousands of homes before the end of the decade. Of this cash, £240m will go into new production facilities to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.
  3. Nuclear: Advancing nuclear as a clean energy source with £525m to help develop large and smaller-scale nuclear plants, and research and develop new advanced modular reactors.
  4. Electric vehicles: Backing the UK’s manufacturing bases including in the West Midlands, North East and North Wales to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles and supporting infrastructure.
  5. Public transport, cycling and walking: Making cycling and walking more attractive ways to travel and investing in zero-emission public transport of the future.
  6. Jet Zero and greener maritime: £20m for a competition to develop clean maritime technology, such as feasibility studies on key sites, as well as support for creating zero-emission planes and ships. 
  7. Homes and public buildings: £1bn next year to make new and existing homes and public buildings more efficient as part of Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, extending the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme by a year and a target to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028.
  8. Carbon capture: An extra £200m of new funding to create two carbon capture clusters by the mid-2020s, with another two set to be created by 2030. This increases the total invested to £1bn, with the ambition of becoming a world-leader in the technology in order to remove 10MT of carbon dioxide by 2030, equivalent to all emissions of the industrial Humber today. 
  9. Nature: Protecting and restoring the natural environment, planting 30,000 hectares of trees every year.
  10. Innovation and finance: Developing the cutting-edge technologies needed to reach these new energy ambitions and make the City of London the global centre of green finance.

Boris Johnson said: ‘Although this year has taken a very different path to the one we expected, I haven’t lost sight of our ambitious plans to level up across the country. My 10 point plan will create, support and protect hundreds of thousands of green jobs, whilst making strides towards net zero by 2050.

‘Our green industrial revolution will be powered by the wind turbines of Scotland and the North East, propelled by the electric vehicles made in the Midlands and advanced by the latest technologies developed in Wales, so we can look ahead to a more prosperous, greener future.’

The Government will also launch a consultation on how to phase out new diesel HGVs, although no date has been set yet.

Christopher Macgowan


Posted in Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on The Green Agenda – PM outlines 10 point plan for green revolution

Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety

Constituency Road Safety Dashboard – launched today

Today (19th November), the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Transport Safety will meet with Roads Minister Baroness Vere to discuss the government’s policy on road safety.  

To coincide with this, PACTS and Agilysis have launched the Constituency Road Safety Dashboard. This provides unique information about all reported casualties and the other vehicles involved for each GB parliamentary constituency. With clear tables, maps and graphics, users can filter for particular information. It has been constructed by Agilysis for PACTS and is designed to assist MP’s. It is available online, free to everybody. 

It provides similar information, at a constituency level, to that published recently in the PACTS report. Conventional analysis focuses on casualty numbers, based on injured road user. The dashboard shows the other “conflicting” vehicles involved. This is important as the percentage of vulnerable road users injured on the roads is increasing and the government is promoting active travel. The new Dashboard is therefore a unique insight constituency into the road danger, particularly for pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists.

Christopher Macgowan


Posted in automotive | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety

The Ten Years of the Nissan Leaf

  • Government announces end of sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in ten years’ time
  • Nissan LEAF started its electric journey ten years ago, setting a template for electric vehicle success
  • 92% of European LEAF drivers would recommend driving an EV to friends and family
  • Consumer interest in EV rapidly gathering momentum with UK registrations up 168% in 2020

With a ten-year countdown to the end of new petrol and diesel car sales announced today, Nissan EV owners are already celebrating their own decade of change with the pioneering Nissan LEAF.

Unveiled in 2010 and first on sale in the UK a year later, the LEAF set the template for zero emission vehicles. Today, 92% of European LEAF drivers say they would recommend driving an electric vehicle to family and friends.

Over half a million LEAFs have been sold worldwide, with the 500,000th model rolling off the UK production line in Sunderland in September this year.

A Nissan spokesperson said: “Our success with the British-built LEAF shows just how quickly customers embrace electric vehicles once they’ve experienced them.

“No more shivering in a cold petrol station to refuel your vehicle on a Friday evening in the rain – just drive home and plug in overnight. Once you experience these little pleasures of EV ownership, you won’t want to go back.”

As the first mass-market electric vehicle, LEAF led the way in establishing the foundation for modern EVs. With an innovative approach to electrified mobility, Nissan LEAF is helping customers, cities and governments achieve a more sustainable future.

Battery technology developed for the LEAF is helping to power homes and businesses, including the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, and Nissan EV technology is at the heart of pioneering UK trials of vehicle-to-grid energy management services.

Meanwhile, EV sales are rocketing in the UK, with battery electric vehicle registrations increasing by 168% from Jan-end October, compared to the same period in 2019[i], as more buyers than ever switch on to the benefits of zero emission motoring.

10 insights from Nissan’s first electric vehicle decade with LEAF: 

  1. LEAF achieved a number of ‘firsts’

As the world’s first mass-market EV, LEAF has secured unprecedented achievements. In 2011, it was the first-ever EV to win the European Car of the Year award in the 47-year history of the prize.

  1. LEAF’s power has more than doubled

On average, LEAF’s battery capacity and range have increased by 160% and 120% respectively.[ii] These increases have ultimately boosted customers’ confidence on the road. Today, LEAF offers more than double the original power, enhancing the electrified driving experience.

  1. LEAF is about all new technologies

LEAF introduced unprecedented technologies that helped drivers optimise efficiency, including the innovative e-Pedal for one-pedal driving, regenerative braking and Eco-Mode. LEAF paved the way for future Nissan EVs, such as the new Nissan Ariya all-electric coupé crossover.

  1. Since LEAF’s arrival, public charging infrastructure is growing fast

The number of public charging points increased hugely over LEAF’s life, from 2,379 in the EU in 2011, to 213,367 today[iii]. Nissan supports this infrastructure growth across Europe, having helped expand 20 of the EU’s charging point ‘corridors’.

  1. LEAF customers are happy drivers

92% of European LEAF drivers would recommend driving an EV to friends and family.[iv] With expert support offered by Nissan and at dealerships, customers continue to feel satisfied and happy about owning and living with a LEAF.

  1. Once you drive a LEAF you don’t lose the spark

As a result of all-round satisfaction with their electrified experience, 74% of LEAF owners say they are likely to purchase another EV in the future. 

  1. Electric mobility created new services for customers

As LEAF developed, so did a wider customer experience. This included the development of the Nissan Charge app that allows EV owners to monitor price and availability of charging points in real-time – including those at Nissan dealerships.

  1. Each LEAF’s life is very efficient

Electric cars, like Nissan LEAF, are highly efficient. From the start of production process, through the end of an EVs lifecycle, they generate up to 80% less CO2 than equivalent combustion-engine cars[v]. As its technology and design is refined, the sustainability of LEAF is increasing, helping achieve a cleaner future.

  1. LEAF batteries have more than one life

EV batteries can be repurposed and recycled. 148 batteries helped to create the world’s largest energy storage system at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena in 2018.

  1. LEAF batteries are safe and reliable

LEAF batteries have proven to be extremely durable, without any critical incidents reported to Nissan since its launch in 2010 and 180,000 units sold in Europe and counting. LEAF comes with an industry-leading, 8-year / 160,000km battery warranty – with an extremely low number of warranty claims.

Join Nissan’s ‘Electrify the World’ movement by following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and by using the hashtag #ElectrifyTheWorld.

Christopher Macgowan


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Ten Years of the Nissan Leaf

Miniature Mayhem at Beaulieu

Join us from Saturday October 24th to Sunday November 1st to celebrate all things miniature with our new exhibition “Motoring in Miniature – the Toys of Your Childhood” and brand new play area Little Beaulieu.

Motoring in Miniature at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

Christopher Macgowan


Posted in National Motor Museum | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Miniature Mayhem at Beaulieu

Beaulieu launches a truly unique event.

Grab a picnic blanket and get ready to enjoy a summer’s evening at Beaulieu in the New Forest as it hosts its first ever Park & Picnic.

All visitors are invited to drive into the Beaulieu visitor attraction, park-up within the museum grounds and enjoy a picnic in the parkland with live music and exclusive access to the Beaulieu attraction including the National Motor Museum and new adventure play area, Little Beaulieu.

Grab a hamper and soak up the atmosphere in the serenity of the Beaulieu grounds, for what promises to be a relaxing evening for the whole family to enjoy together. Although we expect to see some beautiful classic cars in attendance, this evening is open to all. The Beaulieu Park & Picnic evenings will take place on Thursday 13th August, Thursday 20th August and Thursday 27thAugust 2020 from 5pm until 8pm when the attraction will close.

With tickets strictly limited, those visiting will be able to enjoy exclusive evening access to the National Motor Museum that hosts one of the finest collections of cars, motorcycles and motoring memorabilia in the world. This now includes, ‘Motoring in Miniature – the Toys of Your Childhood’, a brand new exhibition which showcases more than 800 toy cars and pedal cars, and celebrates miniature motoring memories and much-loved playthings of the past.

To keep the younger ones busy, Little Beaulieu will remain open throughout the evening. This enchanting new adventure play area will allow younger visitors to burn off some steam, whilst parents can relax and enjoy live New Orleans style jazz music, performed by local group ‘Acoustic Jass’. Tunes by this dixieland jazz band range from well-known jazz and blues, to the great American songbook and popular tracks of the early twentieth century

For those wishing to unwind without the worry of packing a picnic, the Brabazon Restaurant will be open and offering take-away fish and chip suppers, freshly cooked pizza and a Ploughmans style picnic box (meat or vegetarian). The café will also be open for cold and hot drinks, light snacks and ice-creams.

Cars will be parked in the parkland surrounding the National Motor Museum with enough space to picnic alongside whilst ensuring adherence to social distancing. Since reopening to the general public on Saturday 4th July and following careful preparation and measures aimed at keeping both its visitors and staff safe, the Beaulieu attraction has been awarded the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard from Visit Britain. This means they are following Government and industry Covid-19 guidelines and have processes in place to ensure social distancing and cleanliness at all times.

Tickets for Thursday 13th August, Thursday 20th August and Thursday 27th August must be pre-booked online in advance. Entry is £28 per car and includes admission for 2 people. Additional passengers are £10 per adult and £5 per child (age 5 – 16), and under 5’s go free. Capacity for these new exclusive evenings at Beaulieu will be limited and sold on a first-come first-served basis.

For more information, or to buy your Beaulieu Park & Picnic tickets, please visit

Christopher Macgowan


Posted in National Motor Museum, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Beaulieu launches a truly unique event.

David Beckham Aston Martin V8 Volante

DAVID BECKHAM is rumoured to own a vintage luxury car collection valued at $3,000,000, but this may have reduced slightly as one of them is now up for grabs on Auto Trader.

Golden Balls’ own Aston Martin AMV8 Volante is currently being advertised on Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital marketplace for new and used cars, for a cool £445,000, via Aston Martin Works.

This beautiful vintage car comes in deep red, with cream leather interiors, deep pile carpets and burr walnut, as well as the sought-after X Pack engine. With a five-speed manual gearbox and 432hp, the V8 can do 0-60mph in 5.2 seconds, and a top speed of 168mph.

Previously registered under Beckham’s personal plate ‘DB1001’, the V8 Volante was often spotted by paparazzi in the UK. Immediately recognisable by its gleaming metallic paint, the V8 would be seen regularly cruising along West London’s streets.

The Beckhams held on to the Volante for 15 years before selling it in 2018. David even shipped it over to Madrid during his time with Real Madrid football club, showing a clear fondness for this particular model.

The Aston Martin AMV8 Volante is in pristine condition and was even showcased at the London Classic Car Show in February before lockdown. One of just 78 similar cars, it has been meticulously maintained by its previous owners and is ready for immediate sale.

Auto Trader’s Rory Reid says, “We know David Beckham is a bit of a petrolhead, owning cars ranging from Bentleys and Rolls-Royces to, of course, Aston Martins. This AMV8 Volante is a gorgeous classic so I’m not surprised he held on to it for so long. It’s cool to know someone in the public can now buy this car – well as long as you’ve got half a million spare of course – just by heading onto Auto Trader.”

For other celebrity cars, visit

Christopher Macgowan


Posted in automotive | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on David Beckham Aston Martin V8 Volante