FleetDrive 27 - February 2021 | Page 34

Ford has taken a significant step forward in its European transformation with a commitment to go all-in on its electric passenger vehicles and to substantially grow and electrify its leading commercial vehicle business .
Ford has committed that by mid-2026 , 100 percent of Ford ’ s passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zeroemissions capable , all-electric or plug-in hybrid , and will be completely all-electric by 2030 . Similarly , Ford ’ s entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable , all-electric or plug-in hybrid , by 2024 , with two-thirds of Ford ’ s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030 .
Ford ’ s drive to a fully electric future will be spearheaded by a $ 1 billion investment in a new electric vehicle manufacturing centre in Cologne – with its first European-built , all-electric passenger vehicle let to roll off the lines in Cologne starting in 2023 .
“ We successfully restructured Ford of Europe and returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2020 . Now we are charging into an all-electric future in Europe with expressive new vehicles and a world-class connected customer experience ,” said Stuart Rowley , president , Ford of Europe .
Road safety has improved significantly in the UK during 2020 , according to a new report .
The data from the Department for Transport shows that UK traffic collisions in the 12 months up to June 2020 dropped 16 % while road deaths fell by 14 % compared to the equivalent period in the preceding year .
The drop in UK road deaths and casualties is directly linked to the reduction in traffic as a result of national lockdown restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic . In April 2020 , for example , during the first lockdown which commenced on 23rd March , casualties fell by 67 % as road traffic reduced by 49 %.
Neil Greig , director of Policy & Research at the UK ’ s largest independent road safety charity , IAM RoadSmart , said : “ Despite fears that speeding has increased substantially during the first lockdown it does now look as if the number of casualties has gone down in line with falling traffic numbers .”
“ This is certainly good news as it shows that the vast majority of car , van and lorry stuck drivers to the rules .”
Tesla Inc . is closing in on an agreement to make electric vehicles in India for the first time , opening up a new growth opportunity after setting up production in China .
Tesla has picked Karnataka , a southern state whose capital is Bangalore , for its first plant , the state ’ s chief minister said over the weekend . The automaker has been negotiating with local officials for six months and is actively considering car assembly in the suburbs of Bangalore .
Despite the hype , Tesla ’ s foray into India may well prove challenging – EV sales in India currently comprise less than 1 per cent of new vehicles sold .
“ Considering the price of a Tesla , Elon Musk probably won ’ t be able to sell an EV to most of the population in emerging economies ,” said Pedro Pacheco , a Munich-based senior research director at Gartner Inc .
“ However , looking at the size of the population and the potential for economic growth , Tesla will probably target a fast-growing group of affluent individuals that , in absolute terms , compares quite favourably to what we see in many developed countries .”