Robin Roberts provides his round-up of recent automotive news…
Classic cars have outperformed gold in terms of investment opportunity over the past decade.
Using Hagerty’s average pricing for classic cars, Vanarama (https://www.vanarama.com/) has reviewed how much a classic car can appreciate in a mere decade compared to other assets.
In 2020, the average second hand car lists for £15,000 according to the NFDA – so Vanarama has looked at 10 affordable classic cars (under £15,000) and tracked their increase in value 5 times between 2010 and 2020.
The research reveals that the average value increase of a classic car that you could buy for under £15k is an impressive 97% in just 10 years.
Vanarama also looked at how the value of commodities like stock, property and art would increase in value if you paid in the same price of the average second-hand car (£15k).
To provide an honest comparison – they have averaged the value increase across all the cars in the study to find that they still all offer better return on investment than property, art, gold and savings accounts.
Investment % Change:
3 years 35%
5 years 65%
7 years 101%
10 years 107%
3 years 19%
5 years 33%
7 years 50%
10 years 97%
3 years 14%
5 years 23%
7 years 33%
10 years 50%
3 years 13%
5 years 22%
7 years 32%
10 years 49%
3 years 12%
5 years 20%
7 years 30%
10 years 45%
Average Savings Account
3 years 1%
5 years 1%
7 years 2%
10 years 3%
While more and more companies are focusing on electromobility in order to meet climate targets, the scientific community has by no means reached a consensus on what the propulsion system of the future will look like.
This is shown in a new infographic from Block-Builders.net
The CO2 balance of an electric car looks much less attractive than that of a conventional combustion engine when taking into account the manufacturing process.
For example, production of an electric car generates 16.8 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, compared to 8.4 tonnes for a modern car with a diesel engine. As the infographics show, if an electric vehicle is used for 12 years, almost 60% of the total emissions can be attributed to the production phase.
Depending on battery size and consumption, an electric car must be driven for up to 300,000 kilometres before its CO2 balance is more favourable than that of a modern diesel.
The Association of German Engineers (VDI) suggests that all forms of propulsion could be climate-friendly and that all product developments should be pursued in parallel. However, other scientists arrive at significantly different conclusions.
While German manufacturers such as Volkswagen are strongly pushing and prioritising electric mobility, a different trend can be observed in China. The Middle Kingdom is aiming for a 55% market share for electric cars with batteries, hydrogen vehicles and plug-in hybrids by 2035.
However, high-ranking politicians there remain more open to conventional vehicles: “We do not want to stall petrol vehicles, as is happening in some countries,” as they say.
The climate debate is a key challenge for the automotive market. However the data available could hardly be more divergent. According to the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the CO2 equivalent of producing batteries for electric vehicles is around 154.5 kg / kWh, while the University of Eindhoven comes up with a CO2 equivalent of around 75 kg / kWh.
Stock market participants seem to take a much less controversial view of the situation. As the infographics show, 53.9% of Americans expect Tesla to show the strongest share price increases over the next 5 years. The US pioneer exclusively produces electric vehicles. 9.3%, on the other hand, are betting on the hydrogen stock Nikola to achieve the best performance.
“While statements from numerous corporate leaders as well as price developments on the stock exchange floor suggest that electric mobility is set to win the race for supremacy in the automotive sector,” argues Block-Builders analyst Raphael Lulay, “Controversial study results show that this is far from set in stone. Car companies seem to be well advised to continue to pursue all propulsion systems equally”.
The UK automotive sector is a valuable asset to the UK economy, generating £82bn and providing 832,000 jobs in the UK, said Matt Western MP, chair of the all party parliamentary motor group.
Writing the forward to a new report on Government plans to reach net zero carbon by 2050, which will be a huge challenge for society and industry in Britain, he said there is no silver bullet to kill the issue. “It is a key sector and a global R&D focus point with £3.75bn invested in 2019, yet government ambitions for phasing out the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles at some point in the 2030s mean the next few months will be critical in determining its future. The Government has pledged that by 2050 the UK will be a ‘net zero’ emitter of CO2. Emissions have reduced since 1990 and the UK has done well so far in meeting its CO2 reduction targets. However, at present, the UK is set to fall behind by 2023. Now that coal-fired power stations have closed down and we have started to use much more natural gas and renewable energy, road transport is one of the biggest CO2 emitters. We need to reduce this, and quickly.”
He went on, “While a clear and achievable target for ending the sale of petrol and diesel cars is vital for the industry to prepare for a managed transition to a cleaner future, we should not be fooled into thinking this alone will solve the problem. We need to address the decarbonisation of both vehicle and fuel to have any real hope of meeting our CO2 reduction ambitions.”
The UK has made signifcant progress in reducing its carbon emissions, but more needs to be done, and road transportation is a key area where improvements are required if decarbonisation targets are to be met. The number of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) is increasing, but there remain a number of significant barriers to uptake. These range from cost, to availability and practicality for the user.
As outlined in this report, the needs of the varying segments of the road transport sector vary depending on the attributes of that particular vehicle and its use. The type of powertrain is best matched to its usage cycle. We therefore need to consider the usage of the vehicle when assessing the correct powertrain solution for a given vehicle.
It is therefore important to consider the principle that the cars define how much energy is used (fuel consumption), but it is the fuel that defines how much carbon is produced (carbon intensity).
Any policy changes should therefore focus on both aspects in a holistic Well to Wheel approach in assessing the emissions of a vehicle.
Making all new vehicles Zero Emissions at the tailpipe (FCEV/BEV) only works if the energy grid is zero emission, it also only addresses those new vehicles sold each year circa 2m per annum (2019), whereas introducing a low-carbon fuel impacts on all vehicles in the car parc, circa 40m.
The Government should adopt a technology neutral approach, allowing industry to continue to innovate. In doing so, the UK would be well placed to leadin the development and manufacture of these new technologies. We have a diverse automotive industry, centres of excellence in materials (NCC), the new battery research centre technology (UKBIC), a growing Hydrogen generation industry and one of the best supply chains around the globe.
However, government ambition needs to recognise the differing technology needs of the various vehicles on the market. We can research the best technology and build the best vehicles to be powered by this technology, but currently we have to import this technology from abroad. Given the fragility of supply networks halfway across the globe and the polluting effect of transporting components such as batteries, this is not a long-term solution for a UK automotive industry that wants to be a global leader.
The diversity of the UK automotive industry is also unique with a large number of small and niche manufacturers. These manufacturers often act as the route to market for new technology, so the UK has a distinct advantage.
There is a golden opportunity in a post-Brexit, post-corona virus world for the UK to become the global leader in state of the art zero emission technology, but we must find a way to support both the technology development and the industrial development that follows.
The analysis goes on to recommend six actions:
Decarbonise fuels not vehicles; adapt older vehicles to take cleaner fuels; different vehicles need alternative technologies; publication of the whole-vehicle CO2 footprint; link renewable energy and transport decarbonisation and finally, allow industry to innovate with a range of solutions not impose only one.
Naran Automotive, the new manufacturer of luxury ultra-high performance cars, has revealed the exterior design of its first model – The Naran.
The four-seater hyper-coupé will deliver an authentic GT3-style driving experience for the road when it arrives next year, combining the uncompromising performance and dynamics of a track-focused hypercar, with opulent ultra-luxurious materials inside and out.
Just 49 examples of the first-of-its-kind, four-seater, all-wheel-drive, front-mid engined hyper-coupé will be created. Each vehicle produced will be individually tailored to the personal taste of the collector, including the designation of a bespoke model name – a convention normally reserved for luxury superyachts.
Naran Automotive has brought together a team of world-class partners from the pinnacle of automotive design, motorsport, material innovation and powertrain development to create The Naran.
Jowyn Wong, founder of Wyn Design and visionary behind the Apollo IE and De Tomaso P72, is leading the design, while colour and materials design is being tailored by Kate Montgomery, former Aston Martin Lagonda designer.
The bespoke 5.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine is being crafted in Germany with partners Racing Dynamics and produces 1,048hp with a 0 – 62 mph time of under 3 secs and maximum where permitted of over 230 mph. The Naran will start from around the £750-850k mark, but all cars are dependent on the buyers configuration and so is very much price on application.
Cleanliness really has been put next to goodliness this year when shopping, socialising or simply being at home, but how about sitting in your car?
Here, according to Professor John Ward from the Department of Biochemical Engineering at University College London there is a problem,“Studies have found that on the average toilet seat there are 50 bacteria per square inch and the most heavily contaminated parts of a car number between 2,000 and 4,000.”
ATS (https://www.atseuromaster.co.uk/consumer) invited Prof. Ward to its garage in Brixton Hill, London to see what he’d find. Here, the professor and his team were given eleven cars owned by the general public to inspect, with the same six touch-point areas of each car under inspection.
The places in question?
The humble cup holder, the dashboard buttons, steering wheel, gear stick, seat belt catch, and finally, the door handle.
Swabs were placed in agar plates and incubated for 4 days at 30oC. Photos were taken of the bacteria growing before the plates were incubated for 3 more days at the same temperature.
In the report to follow, we identify what was found – as well as the potential harm these bacteria pose.
Germiest areas of the car – worst to best.
Beware “nooks and crannies”, Prof. Ward notes, as this is where tiny bits of debris and skin flakes accumulate. By contrast, the gear stick and steering wheel fare well, in part because their smooth and shiny surfaces retain less bacteria.
“As for the cup holder – it’s exactly that… a holder with a shape designed to hold and retain the cup… as well as any other small bits of debris. With some little bits of liquid, this provides quite a good little environmental niche for bacteria to be trapped and grow.”
In summary, Prof. Ward and his team discovered skin bacteria throughout all the cars. Alongside this, sinusitis-causing Staphylococcus aureus was present in the cup holders and on the seat belt catch.
Soil bacteria was discovered on drivers’ door handles and dashboard buttons, and mucus residue on places like the steering wheel.
The nature of the study meant that harmful bacteria like Burkholderia and Prevotella didn’t show up on the agar plates, but Prof. Ward believes these “commensal microbiomes” are likely present and can be harmful to people with heart problems and pacemakers.
Prof. Ward’s final advice is clear, “clean your car as you would your home.” Wipe down surfaces, and take particular precautions if you have children, as they can pick up viruses you might not encounter otherwise.” Most germ-riddled areas ranked most to least:
1. Cup holder –100% (in 11/11 cars tested)
2. Dashboard buttons – 90% (in 10/11 cars tested)
3. Seat belt catch – 90% (in 10/11 cars tested)
4. Steering wheel – 82% (in 9/11 cars tested)
5. Door handle – 64% (in 7/11 cars tested)
6. Gear stick – 55% (in 6/11 cars tested)
A study by Comparethemarket (https://www.comparethemarket.com/) shows almost a third (31%) saying the cost of lessons put them off from learning, and a further 31% of people say that they can’t afford to purchase a car or its running costs.
Nearly a quarter (24%) of Brits have said they simply don’t want to drive, and the fear of getting behind the wheel was another determining factor with nearly one fifth (19%) saying they’re scared of other drivers on the road and having an accident.
Two thirds (69%) of Brits have said they regret never learning to drive, and 40% don’t think they’ll ever learn.
There are considerable differences between male and female respondents too. Nearly a quarter (23%) of women claimed the main reason they never learnt to drive was that they’re scared of other drivers, while just 10% of men said the same. A further 22% of women admitted they’re scared of having an accident, but only 11% of men agreed.
Those aged between 18–24 have been financially hit hard by the pandemic, so it’s unsurprising that this age group said they’ve never learnt to drive due to affordability (28%).
Of that age group 69% are keeping positive and will look to learn to drive in the future.
Dan Hutson, head of motor insurance at comparethemarket.com said: “Our research shows that for the majority of people who can’t drive, the cost of buying a car and running it is the determining factor that puts people off learning, especially those aged between 18-24. For the 69% of 18-24 year olds who plan on learning to drive in the future, it’s worth noting that buying a car is likely to be more expensive than insurance. The pandemic hasn’t helped this and has forced many young people into financial difficulty, impacting their ability to fund the running costs of having a car. The easiest way to combat this is by switching. Our statistics indicate that 17 – 24 year olds can save over £200 by switching to a better deal on the market”.
Hyundai Motor Company and INEOS announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to explore new opportunities to accelerate the global hydrogen economy after the Korean company has successfully introduced their own Nexo SUV fuel cell car.
Hyundai and INEOS will jointly investigate opportunities for the production and supply of hydrogen as well as the worldwide deployment of hydrogen applications and technologies. Both companies will initially seek to facilitate public and private sector projects focused on the development of a hydrogen value chain in Europe.
The agreement also includes the evaluation of Hyundai’s proprietary fuel cell system for the recently announced INEOS Grenadier 4×4 vehicle. This cooperation represents an important step in INEOS’ efforts to diversify its powertrain options at an early stage.
Hyundai’s proprietary modular fuel cell system, which evaluation vehicles will use, has already proven reliable and effective in the Nexo SUV.
The world’s first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV has the longest driving range among hydrogen- powered vehicles in the market. Hyundai is one of leading company in the field of fuel cell technology having started the world’s first mass production of fuel cell electric vehicles in 2013.
“INEOS’ move into the development of a fuel cell electric vehicle and hydrogen ecosystem marks yet another milestone towards sustainable and clean transportation,” said Saehoon Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of Fuel Cell Center at Hyundai Motor Company. “Hyundai believes this will provide an important low-carbon option across a wide range of sectors. We also hope our decades-long expertise in hydrogen fuel cell work in synergy with INEOS’ expertise in field of chemistry to realize the mass production of green hydrogen and fuel cells for the Grenadier.”
Peter Williams Technology Director INEOS, said, “The agreement between INEOS and Hyundai presents both companies with new opportunities to extend a leading role in the clean hydrogen economy. Evaluating new production processes, technology and applications, combined with our existing capabilities puts us in a unique position to meet emerging demand for affordable, low-carbon energy sources and the needs of demanding 4×4 owners in the future.”
INEOS recently launched a new business to develop and build clean hydrogen capacity across Europe in support of the drive towards a zero-carbon future. The company currently produces 300,000 tons of hydrogen a year mainly as a by-product from its chemical manufacturing operations.
Through its subsidiary INOVYN, INEOS is Europe’s largest existing operator of electrolysis, the critical technology that uses renewable energy to produce hydrogen for power generation, transportation and industrial use. Its experience in storage and handling of hydrogen combined with its established know-how in electrolysis technology, puts INEOS in a unique position to drive progress towards a carbon-free future based on hydrogen.
In 2018, Hyundai Motor Group announced its mid- to long-term roadmap, Fuel Cell Vision 2030, to increase annual production of hydrogen fuel cell systems to 700,000 units by 2030.