Business travelers continue trend of ride-hailing services preference
With corporate travel increasing with an ever growing economy, travelers have shown their preference turning to ride-hailing services when they are on the road.
Expense management firm Certify, with their year-end analysis of more than 50 million expense reports in 2017 has concluded Uber and Lyft were the choice for more than two-thirds of the corporate travel receipts it analyzed.
Didi targets car-sharing business with a major alliance
Didi Chuxing, the powerhouse ride-hailing service in China, has formed an alliance with 12 car makers to build an electric vehicle sharing network as it continues to expand alongside the country's booming economy.
This major alliance will include the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and Chinese auto manufacturers Geely Auto, BAIC and some third party providers, some of which will be owned by DiDi. The network aims to provide vehicles for short term rentals.
WWE Superstar finds loaded gun in car rental
Shelton Benjamin, 42, a black WWE wrestler took to twitter on Wednesday to vent his frustrations upon finding a loaded pistol in the glove compartment of a vehicle he rented from Budget Car Rental.
He tweeted "Thank you @Budget(LIT) for your great service of putting my reputation, freedom and quite possibly my life in jeopardy I've unknowingly been driving your car around the last 4 days with a F'N LOADED GUN in the Glove compartment!!"
CVG plans for new $150M car rental facility
The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has seen a recent boom of not just travelers pass by their terminals but also cargo. With the new influx, the airport has decided on a new project for a $150 million consolidated car rental facility.
eZhire raises seed funding from Jabbar Internet Group
eZhire is a startup based in Dubai and they want to change the way people rent a car.
Led by Jabbar Internet Group, the start up has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding.
According to a statement by the company, investors Ali Al-Salim, co-founder, Arkan Partners, and Sahm A. Yaghi, Partner, Al Jal Investors were also part of the round.
Car Rental Legislation targets "21st Century weapons of terror"
Rep. Josh Gottheimer announced legislation he plans to introduce that will require car rental companies to share information on renters with federal agencies. The announcement comes from the steps of where a memorial will be placed for Darren Drake, a man killed in a NYC terror attack last October.
Daimler expand their car rental alliance
Daimler has announced they are open to considering a broader alliance and a partial listing of its mobility services operations, which include short-term car rentals.
The word "mobility" has become the new industry buzzword, used as a fill-in for electric vehicles, autonomous development and ride-sharing/hailing programs.
San Francisco sues Turo
The city of San Francisco is suing Turo Inc. for operating without permits at San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
Turo is a start up that allows car owners rent out their personal vehicles to other users of their system.
San Francisco is accusing Turo of failing to pay the fees required to operate legally at the airport.
Saudi Ride-Hailing seeks Women Drivers
In a historical move towards genders equality in the ultraconservative Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, women were given the right to drive. The change which will take effect in June 2018, was announced in a royal decree.
Since then, due to countless new legislation and reforms, many new opportunities have arisen for women in the kingdom which revolves around their ability to drive.
A Saudi ride-hailing service Careem is currently looking to take advantage of the new influx of potential employees and are now seeking to hire women drivers, known as "Captainahs."
ORIX injects $25M into OAIS
The current self-driving car rental market in India has been dominated be startup companies. But they will be facing growing competition from a major Japanese player.
Orix Corporation Japan has injected an additional $25 million USD into Orix Auto Infrastructure Services Limited (OAIS) to accelerate growth in its existing businesses, expansion of its self-driving car rentals vertical - MyChoize and the launch of an affordable housing finance company in India.
The company plans to capture 10 percent market share within a year.
From car rentals to trade, China developing Cuba's tourism industry
As China has become Cuba's leading trade partner, the country has also become a key developer of tourism in the once isolated Caribbean island nation.
With investments exceeding 700 million USD and increasing presence of Chinese goods and know-how, China has become the key to promoting Cuba's tourism industry.
"Everyday we want to use more Chinese products and technologies in the tourism sector," said Jose Daniel Alonso, director of development and investment at Cuba's tourism ministry.
San Antonio Airport Opens $178M rental facility
San Antonio International Airport has officially opened their new Consolidated Renal Car Facility or CONRAC. The brand new, state of the art $178 million facility will allow travelers to conveniently access car rentals in one centralized, on-site location.
The first two levels will be dedicated to be a short-term garage while the next five levels will be designated for car rental operations. Access to the rental car area will be available through the sky bridge, taking passengers directly from the airport's mezzanine level to the terminal which leads to the car rental front desks.
Enterprise alerted More than 7900 Local Government Offices about fines
In an effort to address outstanding fines, parking and toll violations by their car rental customers, Enterprise Holdings Inc. decided to provide its contact and processing information to more than 7900 local governments within the United States and Canada.
Their goal is to reduce the backlog of unpaid tickets and the trouble of collection.
The major influx of unpaid tolls and fines is due to the addition of more bridges and tunnels turning towards cashless pay tollways.
Car Rental revenue up after Uber and Lyft added
Uber and Lyft have recently been allowed to operate at St. Louis' Lambert International Airport and they have not affected the overall take from the other ground transportation operations.
The two ride-hailing services have been operating at the airport for three full months now.
In fact, since allowing the ride-hailing services to operate, the airport has seen overall revenue derived from parking lots and garages, car rental services, and taxi operations increase by about one percent over the same period in 2016.
Car Rental Experience Satisfaction on the rise
The car rental experience satisfaction is on the rise but it is not because the services have been improving.
A study regarding car rental satisfaction from J.D.Power said car rental customers were more satisfied in 2017 when compared to previous years. However, the driving force behind the increase of satisfaction is due to the decrease of rental rates and fees. The average reported daily rental car rate has declined by roughly $11 per this year.
Experts believe Car Rental Market to grow to $124.56 billion
The global car rental market's growth is expected to hit $124.56 billion by 2022.
North America is expected to remain at the top over the forecasted period, the region accounted for 44.6% share of the global market revenue in 2016. The internet and growth of smart technology is one of the major reasons that has allowed the industry to flourish in North America.
The increase of industrialization and the booming tourism industry of China, Japan and India are expected be behind the driving force of growth in Asia Pacific.
Saudi's reforms impact country's car rental economics
Only Saudi nationals will be allowed to work at car rental outlets starting March 18th this year, the statement confirmed by the spokesman of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Khaled Abu Al-Khail.
He also noted that the ministry will also provide support and assistance for the shift which includes training and qualifying staff for nationalization. They will also provide electronic training for people in targeted activities, providing technical and financial support for young people looking to invest in free entrepreneurial work, holding career forums to assist matching employers and potential employees and providing assistance in inspection in cooperation with nationalization commissions.
Car Rental Companies taking advantage of electronic tolling
Car rental motorists have been charged additional fees for handling electronic tolls or been forced to pay unreasonable administrative fees for each toll.
Most of the major car rental companies such as Hertz, Dollar, Avis, Budget and Payless offer customers two options when it comes to tolls. Either the renter can subscribe to the company for handling electronic tolling, which does not cover the cost of the tolls itself, or waive the service and be held liable for the cost of the tolls with the addition of absurd administrative fees.
Car owners could be eligible for refund on ex-rental cars
Thousands of car owners in Britain could be eligible for a refund as part of a "used car scandal."
According to lawyers, owners may be entitled to compensation payouts if they bought an ex-rental car from dealers without disclosure. The damages could carry between 25 and 100 percent of the vehicle's value for misleading advertisement.
Ex-car rental vehicles are sometimes advertised as only having one previous owner and while that fact is true, car rental vehicles are utilized at a much higher degree than a personal vehicle.
Splend raises $7.2 million for expansion
Splend is Australia's largest car rental provider for ride sharing drivers. The company was launched in July 2015 with the sole purpose of letting anyone generate income by driving for Uber, even if they did not own a vehicle. Their fleet of 1700 vehicles currently operate not only in Australia, but also in Toronto, Mexico City and London.
The company has raised over $220 million in debt financing from Element Fleet Manage, the world's largest fleet management business, in addition to a $7.2 million cash injection in exchange for 12.5% percent equity of the company.
BlueSG hits a milestone only to be followed by some speed bumps
Singapore's first electric car-sharing firm BlueSG hit a major milestone with over 3300 members registering and over 5000 rentals within the first three weeks of operation. Singapore, the island city-state off the coast of Malaysia, is home to over 5.6 million people.
The company launched on Dec 12th with 80 vehicles and 32 charging stations. Their goal was to release an additional 30 vehicles and 10 charging stations before the end of 2017. The final goal is to expand their fleet to 1000 electric vehicles with an additional 2000 charging stations by 2020.
Turo heads to Germany
Turo announced on Wednesday a $92 million funding round led by Daimler which included a deal to take over the automaker's German rental service, Croove.
The series D funding round brought Turo's total funding to $193 million and brought on new investors such as South Korean conglomerate SK and Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures as well as existing investors Kleiner Perkins, GV and Shasta Ventures.
Car rental rates spike in Houston as demand rises
"There's a fine line between supply and demand pricing and gouging," said Neil Abrams.
Abrams, president of Abrams Consulting Group Inc., tracks car rental rates.
The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has left Houston with over 30,000 homes destroyed and an estimated of 1 million vehicles destroyed in just the metro area of the city.
Europcar illegally operating in the UK for two years
Europcar is on the biggest car rental firms in Europe and they are currently facing accusations of operating illegally in the United Kingdom for the last two years which mean thousands of customers could claim their money back.
The company is accused of selling rental agreements which has a duration of over 84 days, which requires an agreement with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), when they did not have the license to do so.
Hurricane Harvey destroys hundreds of thousands of cars
As Hurricane Harvey slowly dissipates and with the skies clearing up and the water receding, the residents of Houston are facing the damages the hurricane has left in its wake.
Many without shelter, now face the task of rebuilding their lives.
The 40,000 homes lost is a staggering figure.
A foreigner is driving' car sticker on Japanese car rentals
Tokyo, Japan has been selected for the host city for the 2020 Olympics games.
The country has been hard at work preparing themselves for the international spot light. A plethora of changes has already been implemented which includes lifting restrictions on tattooed bathers at public bath houses, revision of map icons and adding English text to street signs.
Ford expands their ventures into China
Ford has announced that will setting up a new joint venture with China's Anhui Zotye Auto to produce affordable electric vehicles for the Chinese market.
In addition to producing vehicles, the joint venture will also be creating a service infrastructure and marketing of electric vehicles.
Major auto manufacturers partnering with Chinese companies is nothing new.
MyTripCar the new car rental start up
The car rental industry is plagued with scams and price gouging tactics, it has become such an unpleasant experience that a startup is making headlines trying to change the status quo.
European startup, MyTripCar launched in 2015 in Spain and the company plans on taking the multi billion car rental industry.
The company headquarters in Alicante now has over 20 staff members.
Terrorist attacks spur Vehicle rental reforms
Renting a vehicle may have just gotten harder in Europe.
After a string of terrorist attacks involving using vehicle rentals as a weapon to harm people have forced some the government in Britain to look into more safety procedures before allowing people to rent vehicles.
Car rental companies in the past have enjoyed allowing anyone with a credit card, a valid driver's license and properly insured to rent and operate their vehicles.
Hertz cancels on hundreds before eclipse
The eclipse this week was a major event for North America.
The last eclipse that spanned coast to coast was almost a century ago. But in order to fully experience the eclipse, you had to place yourself along the travel path where the moon was going to be between the Sun and our planet.
This once in a life time event prompted many people to travel and book trips along the path of the eclipse. Even Canadians were travelling south of the border to fully experience the eclipse.
Rumor: Car2go and DriveNow merger
The chief executive of car rental company and DriveNow partner Sixt hinted on Thursday they may be in talks to combine their car sharing services with Car2Go.
German auto manufacturers Daimler owns Car2Go while BMW owns DriveNow.
Ride hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft are in direct competition for the same market as the car sharing services of Car2Go and DriveNow. Both Uber and Lyft have started offering pay-per-use mobility services bringing more direct pressure to the German subsidiaries.
Hertz caught red-handed
An undercover investigation by the Daily Mail revealed how car rental companies are piling on additional surcharges to people travelling during the holidays.
Europcar, Goldcar, and Firefly, all owned by Hertz, all added charges to bookings by a report in Spain.
Budget and Thrifty, also subsidiaries of Hertz, quoted largely inflated costs for renting a car in person, while their websites posted similar vehicles at the same location for less than half the price.
Nobody rents electric cars
The hype is here. No matter how you look at it, the brilliant marketing of electric cars by Tesla has achieved their goal. Most new car buyers have now at least thought about buying electric. While full scale adoption has yet to be seen other than in countries like Norway and China, where there are extremely generous government subsidies, the talk is there. Many industry experts expect electric cars to dominate the road ways within the next two decades, and some countries already have pledged to ban the sale of gasoline powered vehicles within the next three decades.
Avis' woes continue
Avis Budget Group released their second quarter financial results this week. They posted an earning of $0.30 per share and a revenue of $2.24 billion. After the release of their report, the stocks were traded at a 10 per cent drop.
The sharp decline in stock value is because the company's posted earnings of $0.30 per share missed Wall Street's estimates of $0.54 per share.
However, the company's revenue figure of $2.24 billion barely beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.23 billion.
GM looking to fill void left by Uber
Two years ago, Uber had decided to expand their influence in the transportation market by starting a leasing program for drivers employed by their services. The original plan was to lease a vehicle to their drivers at a loss, but the loss will be recovered by an influx of drivers that would not have been able to work for the company if they did not have a vehicle.
Hertz shares rebound after CEO's statement
Since the rise of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, the landscape of the transportation industry has been changed dramatically. While the taxi industry where ride-sharing services are allowed to operate have seen a major downfall in revenue, the car rental industry has not been left unscathed. And while taxis may eventually be replaced by such services because they target the same market, the car rental industry may not see their own collapse since they occupy different markets where the ride-sharing services may not be able to replace such a replacement rentals.
ICBC confident insurance scam over
"We're very comfortable that behavior doesn't exist to any degree now," said Mark Blucher, CEO of ICBC.
He is referring to the insurance scam that has been happening all over BC.
"We've put in place procedures now to make sure that can't happen as often, and it's going to be managed really closely within the organization."
US auto makers slash rental fleet sales as sales continue to fall
As the overall pace of the US car sales market continues to fall for the fifth straight month, leading auto manufacturers said on Tuesday they will continue to slash low-margin sales to car rental companies. Last year in July the pace of car and light trucks sold amounted to 17.8 million units while the current amount of cars and light trucks sold this year is only at 16.73 vehicles.
Uber proposes subsidizing rides instead of building more commuter car parks in Australia
Uber wants the government to subsidize rides for commuters going to and from train stations, a plan which the Australian government is actively considering.
The ride-sharing giant has argued that it would encourage a rise in train patronage and it would also help reduce the need to expand current commuter car parks at a significant cost.
Toyota and Mazda, $1.6 billion US plant for electric cars
Toyota Motors and Mazda Motor have come together to build a $1.6 billion assembly plant in the United States. The two Japanese auto manufacturers announced their intentions on Friday as part of a partnership which will see the two companies join together to develop electric vehicle technologies.
Tossing a cigarette out of your car and you may lose your car
The weather forecast for Vancouver, BC has been showing nothing but sunny days for the past week and for days to come. But in reality, the skies have been covered in think smoke, and in some areas, the smoke is so dense, the sun is completely covered.
The smoke covering the city is the result of the epidemic of wildfires in the province. The province of BC has been experiencing a plethora of wildfires this year.
Formula E championship takes over Montreal
The final two races of the inaugural Hydro-Quebec Montreal ePrix electric car race is set to take place on Saturday and Sunday.
The race will be on a street course through the eastern end of downtown Montreal. For those familiar to the city, it is often plagued with poor traffic due to its share of construction sites and sewer repairs.
Blockage to homes and businesses in the city has drew numerous complaints from residents.
Tesla 3 hits the road
30 brand new Tesla 3's left the Fremont factory for the California roads Friday night.
At a releasing event, CEO Elon Musk drove on stage in a red Model 3 and handed 30 new electric vehicles to employees and early investors at a factory gala. He added new details about affordable sedan and rallied his employees for the challenges they face in the upcoming months.
Silvercar continues their expansion
Austin-based Silver is looking to break into the car rental business in Seattle.
Silvercar will be launching their services at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport starting on July 31st. They will be opening their fleet with 50 vehicles.
All Audi A4s.
Europcar faces major police probe
Europcar is one of Europe's largest car rental companies, but they are facing a major investigation over fraudulent repair costs.
The UK Trading Standards officers launched an investigation after they received a complaint about the French car rental company. The Serious Fraud Office is also planning to launch their own criminal inquiry into the accusations.
Taxis and Car Rentals on the decline after Uber and Lyft rises
Over the duration of the second quarter, Certify, a travel management firm which handles corporate travel transactions, analyzed over 10 million receipts filed. After analyzing the data, it has been concluded that car rentals and taxis continue their downward trend as Uber and Lyft continues to rise as the choice of transportation for business travelers.
Chinese ride-hailing operating in BC
Udi Kuaiche, a Chinese language Uber-like app is currently operating in Richmond and other parts of Metro Vancouver. However, all ride-sharing apps are unregulated and their services are illegal in BC.
The company, launched in March has been providing airport services and car rides in the Lower Mainland.
On their website, they are quoted "our company aims to serve everyone from the Chinese community and become the next leader in ride sharing."
Tesla factory a "Predator Zone" claims female employee
Female employees at a Tesla company town-hall meeting in March expressed their experiences of sexual harassment and mistreatment by male managers.
The company has already quickly responded with leadership and policy changes.
One employee, however, has gone as far as to call the factory a "predator zone" of harassment. This town-hall meeting was reported to have 70 to 100 people attending, but the CEO Elon Musk did not attend.
New report says Electric Car will account for all new car sales by 2035 in Europe
A Dutch bank has predicted that all new cars sold in Europe will be electric within the next two decades. The rise of the electric car in Europe will be driven by government support, falling battery costs and economies of scale.
ING has also warned that with battery powered vehicles accounting for all new car sales across the continent, European auto manufacturers may lose out to their Asian and American rivals which already have a lead in battery development.
Honda recalls 2.1 million vehicles
On Friday, Honda said they would recall roughly 2.1 million vehicles worldwide to replace battery sensors due to the risk of fire.
The spokesperson for the Japanese automaker, Chris Martin, said the recall would include 1.15 million Honda Accord vehicles, with the model years ranging from 2013-2016 in the United States and almost 1 million elsewhere.
Roughly 52,000 vehicles in Canada will be recalled.
China's electric car rules are "impossible"
For the last few years, China has utilized aggressive policies to tackle their growing pollution problem.
One of the major industries that contribute to pollution and is affected by the policies is the auto industry. Last month, the country has set an aggressive draft regulation for electric and plug-in hybrid cars to make up at least 20 percent of all new car sales by 2025.
Alphabet and Uber embroiled in a legal battle
The lawsuit between tech giants Alphabet against Uber has dragged in two more high profile executives.
Uber will be allowed to depose Alphabet CEO Larry Page as well as David Drummond, the company's chief legal officer and senior vice president of corporate development.
The depositions were requested by Uber, which is currently being sued for alleged patent infringement and stealing trade secrets by Waymo, the Google self-driving project that branched off to become a business under Alphabet.
Embattled Uber CEO resigns
Travis Kalanick, the CEO of the ride sharing giant Uber has resigned.
Uber's board confirmed the resignation on Wednesday. They released a statement that Kalanick will be taking time to heal from the death of his mother in a boating accident "while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber's history."
Removal of his position was from the pressure from investors. Although no longer CEO, he will remain on the board.
Volvo to shift to all electric
Volvo has announced they will introduce only fully electric or hybrid battery and combustion cars as of the 2019 model year.
This means the Chinese-owned Volvo is beginning to phase out their combustion only line up by next year. Volvo has previously vowed to sell 1 million electric and hybrid vehicles a year by 2025. However, the early phase out of combustion for the manufacturer was shocking even to industry experts.
Tesla Model 3 built
Earlier this week, Elon Musk had announced that he was expecting the very first production Model 3 to come off the line on Friday.
A day after this deadline, Musk has confirmed that Tesla has manufactured the first Model 3 production unit at their mega factory at Fremont and is now "going through final checkout."
This news is important to the four hundred thousand and still counting, of Model 3 reservation holders. Many have been waiting patiently for the production of the Model 3 for over half a year. But no one is more excited, nor critical of this first production Model 3 than Elon Musk.
Tesla adds deadline to buy a car and receive "free supercharging"
No, that is not to say Tesla owners which receive free supercharging are going to lose their supercharging rights.
Elon Musk has put a deadline for potential owners to buy a Tesla and still receive the perk of free supercharging.
The company's revised terms of access to its Supercharger network has mostly to do with phasing out of free unlimited Supercharging. The only exception was the opportunity for current owners to buy new cars with continued free Supercharger access in the future.
Tesla to look towards India
For industry experts, it is common knowledge that Tesla is looking to expand their production by building more factories and some of them may have to be in foreign countries.
Tesla currently only operates their Fremont factory and the production is nearing maximum capacity and with very little room for expansion. Experts believe that factory may be able to produce 1 million cars a year.
Tesla cuts Model S price to lure Model 3 buyers
Tesla has sweetened the deal for potential buyers.
During the annual shareholder meeting on June 6th, CEO Elon Musk announced new changes to the Tesla Model S sedan's warranty structure and major price cuts on used examples.
"Maybe somebody wants to buy a Model S for $35,000 to $40,000," he said "and they can have that today."
"And then when the Model 3 comes in, they can switch out to the model 3, if they want. Model S is still going to be - because it's more expensive car, bigger, there is more room for bells and whistles - it's still going to be our premium car."
Lyft continues to focus on renewable
In spite of Trump's announcement that the US would be pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, many US states and companies disagree with the president's intentions and have renewed their goals and commitments to the climate agreement.
While last year one of the founders of Lyft went on record predicting that "a majority" of Lyft's trips will be self-driving cars by 2021, the company has now set a goal that all of the electric, autonomous vehicles on its platform will be powered by "100% renewable energy."
Lyft and Jaguar forms new partnership
Although Lyft is the second largest US ride-hailing company, it has continuously gained automotive partnerships while their main competitor, Uber has been battling lawsuits and bad PR.
And now Jaguar Land Rover has announced they will join Lyft on developing autonomous driving technology and will also provide the ride-hailing company their vehicles for rent to their drivers. The automaker also disclosed their investment of $25 million in Lyft as part of a funding round closed in April, which valued the business at $7.5 billion.
Electric Cars predicted to be cheaper than petrol within a decade
The price of an electric car currently is more expensive than a conventional gasoline car of the same caliber. But automakers have used the reason of cheaper fuel and less costly maintenance will help displace the higher upfront price tag that owners have of buying electric.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance released a study predicting electric cars becoming cheaper than combustion engine cars by 2030.
Tesla workers suffer injury rate higher than industry average
According to a new study by Worksafe, a non-profit labor advocacy group, workers at Tesla's plant in Fremont, California suffer injuries at a 31 percent higher rate than the industry average.
Tesla has confirmed they have had safety issues in the past but they insist the issues are being resolved at a rapid pace.
BBB gives Payless a F
Payless Car Rental has received a F grade from the Better Business Bureau and has been accused of poor business practices by incurring additional hidden surcharges on their customers. The BBB has received over 830 complaints about the car rental company over the past three years.
The Better Business Bureau is a non profit organization focused on advancing marketplace trust. It is an organization where businesses and clients can address their grievances and ask for a non-bias mediator to resolve conflicts. However, while the organization does lack any real authority or power to punish anyone directly, they have brought this specific case towards to the governments of four states to pursue a resolution to the issue.
ICBC advises safety measures as threat of flooding in BC looms
For those living in BC, the rainy weather is constant throughout the year. But with the heavy rain over the last few weeks, and with many parts of BC experiencing flooding or has a chance of flooding, ICBC has advised certain safety precautions during this season.
The insurance company has advised drivers to find a safe location on high ground for the temporary storage of seasonal vehicles - snowmobiles, motor homes, trailers and RVs, since low-lying areas may be subjected to flooding. Do not store any valuable goods in your vehicle since these items are not covered by vehicle insurance.
New Battery extends electric cars' travel range to 620 miles
Even with generous government and privately funded incentives and subsidies, drivers in United States have been slow to adopt the electric car. For one, gas is relatively cheap in the United States, so for car buyers, new and old, fuel efficiency is pretty low on the priority list and that has made trucks, vehicles with the worst fuel efficiency to be the biggest seller in the country.
BMW Deploys more Electric Vehicles in Germany
There is no better way to expose the public to your products than making them available for testing at your target market's leisure.
That is what BMW is doing with their car-sharing program, DriveNow. Partnered with European car rental service Sixt, the car-sharing program has amassed a fleet of nearly 5100 vehicles, which includes gasoline, diesel and electric vehicles.
Already world renowned for their luxury class vehicles, BMW has made no surprises that their new focus will be on shifting to their new line up of electric vehicles.
China's electric car market showing no signs of slowing
While new car sales in the United States, the world's largest market, has plateaued, and adoption to electric cars has been painstakingly slow, the scene in China is quite the opposite. The market has yet to fully mature for the country of 1.3 billion citizens, and adoption of electric vehicles is at such a rapid pace, it may soon be the dominant vehicle on the road in Asian powerhouse country.
Kootenays pushing for electric
The Kootenays region is just east of Kelowna and it extends all the way to the border of Alberta. Known for the scenic drive on highway 1 which connects the country coast to coast, it is also an electric powerhouse. The region's dams generate more than half of the province's electric needs, supplying to a population of more than 4.7 million.
With such an abundance of electricity, the region's residents are taking a lot slower to the adoption of electric cars than those living in the metro area of Vancouver.
First to profit from electric cars, says GM
With all buzz in the auto industry surrounding electric cars and industry experts predicting a very positive forecast for the market, almost all automakers has or is in the process of developing a line of their own electric cars.
However, not many automakers are making a profit off their electric car sales. Many auto manufacturers are in the red producing electric cars but breaking even only because of government sponsored subsidies. Some automakers have even opted out of producing their own line because of how difficult it is to make money off them.
Canada looking towards make sweeping changes to impaired driving laws
According to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a nonprofit organization funded by alcohol distillers, positive drug tests were more common than presence of alcohol among driving accident fatalities who were tested in 2015.
The study concluded, of those tested, 43 percent motorists who died were under the influence of drugs which included illegal and prescribed, was present in their system during the accident compared to 37 percent who had alcohol levels above the legal limit.
Drugged driving surpasses Drunk driving deaths
According to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, a nonprofit organization funded by alcohol distillers, positive drug tests were more common than presence of alcohol among driving accident fatalities who were tested in 2015.
The study concluded, of those tested, 43 percent motorists who died were under the influence of drugs which included illegal and prescribed, was present in their system during the accident compared to 37 percent who had alcohol levels above the legal limit.
Uber aims for flying cars by 2020
On Tuesday, Uber announced that the ride-hailing service company will be partnering with a group of aviation companies to work on VTOL technology. VTOL stands for vertical takeoff and landing. The group of partners include Bell Helicopter, Embraer, Aurora, Pipistrel and Mooney.
Uber's ambition of air transportation is nothing new, last year in October the company released a 99-page white paper on the technology. Named "Uber Elevate," their philosophy is to build a network of small VTOLs which revolutionize personal transportation and commuting. In February, the company hired formed NASA engineer Mike Moore as its director of engineering to work towards realizing their goal.
Hertz and Dollar Thrifty reach consent agreement with Canada
Car rental companies Hertz Canada Ltd. and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Canada Inc. both have reached a "consent agreement" with Canada's Competition Bureau and has agreed to pay $1.25 million in penalties.
The two companies are owned by the same parent holdings, Hertz Global Holdings Inc., were under investigation by the competition watchdog bureau for advertising discount prices that were essentially impossible to achieve.
The two companies advertised discounted prices that consumers could not obtain due to various fees which were not in the advertisement. The bureau claimed the added fees would result in between an additional 10 and 57 percent to the final price.
Volkswagen plans electric line up
Volkswagen, Europe's leading auto manufacturer, plans to launch their first fully-electric car in China next year. The German automaker is the latest to release their own line up of fully electric vehicles following Tesla, which has been making waves in the electric car market and changing the landscape of energy providers, forcing auto manufacturing competitors to step into the scene with their own versions of fully electric cars.
Volkswagen is planning to roll out four affordable electric vehicles in the upcoming years and the Audi unit debuting an all electric crossover by 2019.
Ontario's auto insurance system "broken"
A simple explanation of how auto insurance rates are adjusted is based on how much of a risk the insurer takes on insuring a driver and their vehicle and how much would it cost to repair that vehicle should it be involved in an accident. Unfortunately, insurers also use averages to balance out the rates, so if you live in a city where it is very prone to accidents, then insurance rates would naturally be higher than a city where accidents are rare occurrences. Essentially, you are paying the cost of how much of a risk you are to an insurer.
Uber's new partnership offers $5 an hour car rentals
Uber has formed a partnership with Getaround to provide drivers a car to operate through their service. The new pilot program operating in San Francisco allows Uber drivers to use the Getaround app to rent cars on-demand.
Through the agreement, the drivers will pay a flat $5 per hour rate which includes insurance, gas and unlimited miles. It also includes a trial with the first 14 hours of free driving (during one continuous rental) for the first time free.
ICBC looking for technological solutions to solve distracted driving
"We're looking at every option to deter distracted driving including the potential use of new technologies," said Mark Blucher, President and CEO of ICBC.
Distracted driving is a plague for insurance companies all over the world. According to statistics from the RCMP, drivers who use handheld devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to cause injury. Even though it is almost illegal everywhere, it has done very little to deter many drivers from doing so. According to a survey conducted for ICBC, almost all drivers believe that distracted driving has led to an increase in crashes but almost 40 percent of surveyees admit to using their device at least some of the time while driving or stopped at a red light.
Uber launches initiative to add electric cars to Portland fleet
Portland, Oregon will be the first US city for Uber to launch their new environmentally friendly electric car initiative by adding more electric cars to their fleet. The reason Portland was chosen was because of the state's clean energy incentives and laws.
"We're starting this initiative here because Portland and the State of Oregon are national leaders in the transition to clean energy and electric vehicles," said Bryce Bennett, Uber's general manager for Oregon. "Last year the legislature had the foresight to pass one of the strongest clean energy laws in the nation, which empowers utilities to increase and improve the infrastructure needed to grow the electric car market. That legislation, and the plans now before the Oregon Public Utility Commissioner, are the catalyst for what we're starting."
Quebec, the electric car capital of Canada
Over the last few years, Quebec has quietly become the electric car capital of Canada. Half of all electric cars sold in the country has been sold in the Province.
This is all in thanks to one of the most generous incentive programs in Country. Quebec had offered an $8000 rebate to all fully electric vehicles, but since April 1st, the rebate amount is regulated by price. The current rebate sits at $8000 for vehicles under $75,000 retail cost, $3000 for vehicles worth between $75,000 and less than $125,000, and vehicles $125,000 and over are no longer eligible for a government sponsored rebate.
Tesla overtakes GM as number 1
As of 9:35 am in New York, April 10th 2017, Tesla has overtaken General Motors as the most valuable car manufacturing company in the United States and was worth more than $1.7 billion than the company whose well-being was once viewed as intertwined with the nation's success.
Tesla climbed 3.4 percent in the early Monday morning and reached a market capitalization to about $51 billion. This follows their trend last week Monday when the company saw a 7.1 percent climb following a quarterly report that the company's deliveries had exceeded experts' original forecast and giving off signs that the Model 3 will be on schedule for deliveries for the second half of this year.
Tesla orders 3000 km of cable
Tesla stocks had a huge boost this week seeing the company overtake Ford as the second largest auto manufacturer in the US, following their reports that they had more deliveries than experts had originally expected them to in the first quarter. Analysts took it as a sign that the production of the Model 3 will be on schedule for deliveries due the second half of this year.
Another sign that the company is well underway for the production of the Model 3 is the recent business deal made with an Austrian cable manufacturing company, according to a report from the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. The cable company, yet to be named publicly, will be supplying Tesla with shielded aluminum cables.
Canada's energy industry gathers to discuss impending threat of electric cars
Larry Burns, a former General Motors executive said the threat to the oil and gas industry is more near-term. "If you're not prepared for this inevitability, I think you're in trouble," he told conference attendees. Burns has consulted for energy producer Hess Corp. and Alphabet Inc.'s self driving subsidiary Waymo.
This was the tone that was set at a petroleum museum Monday, a conference set up to discuss the future and consider the threat of electric cars to oil production, the country's largest export. Experts believe there is a possibility that electric powered vehicles will make up 50 per cent of vehicles on the road by 2050.
Ford to launch plug-in Hybrid 2018
"The time is right for Ford to expand our EV lineup and investments in China," Ford Chief Executive Mark Fields said in a statement on Tuesday.
The auto giant announced their plans to launch a plug-in hybrid car in China by 2018. In addition, within the next five years, they also plan on a fully electric sports utility vehicle addition to their lineup. This moves in accordance to their objective of electrifying most of their fleet for the world's largest auto market.
Tesla skyrockets past Ford, closing in on GM
A record jump for for Tesla shares this week saw it overtake Ford as the number 2 auto manufacturer in the US.
Tesla shares skyrocketed on Monday and the continued growth overtook Ford on Tuesday. Shares were traded as high as $304.81 and it closed at its highest ever at $303.70, up 1.7% on Tuesday, following Monday's 7.3% gain.
The recent gains for Tesla stock saw the company's market cap around $49.5 billion on Tuesday, in comparison to Ford's $44.4 billion. GM is still the country's number 1 auto manufacturer by market capitalization, which is sitting at $51.3 billion.
Enterprise Acquires Dooley
Enterprise Rent-a-Car Ireland, a subsidiary of US car rental giant Enterprise Rent-A-Car has acquired Dooley Car Rentals, the subsidiary and the car rental division of the Dan Dooley Group.
"I've always admired the Dooley brand, which, like Enterprise, has a culture that's built upon excellent customer service," said George O'Connor, the managing director the Irish branch of Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
The purchase includes a fleet of over 1400 vehicles, and the continuation of their business which includes international customers and contracts.
Car makers attending 2017 Mobile World Congress
The Mobile World Congress, also known as 3GSM, is the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry which reaches an attendance of over 100,000 from over 200 countries annually over a four day period. Aside it from being an exhibition, it also doubles as a conference featuring prominent executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners across the world.
Audi buys Silvercar
Audi already has a minority stake of the company Silvercar since last year during a series C funding round, where the automaker invested $28 million.
However, the auto giant, has now offered to purchase the US car rental service. Their intentions are to expand their presence in mobility services and use the start-up's expertise on car sharing.
Silvercar, was founded in 2012, is a car rental service which fills their fleets exclusively with Audi A4 models. Since its founding, the company has expanded to a total of 15 US cities. The company is based out of Texas and has raised over $60 million in funding so far.
"Range will no longer be a factor," says BMW chief
Aside from Norway, which has seen widespread adoption due to new electric car sales overtake new traditional combustion engine vehicle sales, and China which leads the world in electric car sales by units, the adoption of electric vehicles has been lackluster everywhere else.
The fear of shifting from the traditional combustion engine to a electric appears to be same throughout all markets, the potential of inconvenience.
And by potential of inconvenience, I mean the travel range and charging time.
ICBC Windshield Repairs Start Today
Starting today, ICBC will repair windshield chips for drivers with optional comprehensive coverage, as long as it is deemed safe to do so.
For those who has lived in BC two decades ago, ICBC had originally offered this sort of repairs but it was abandoned in 2001. The removal of the program saw drivers pay a $200 deductible for a new windshield, even if the chip was small and repairable.
The $200 deductible saw many drivers letting the rock chips stay because they could not afford to get them repaired. And under the replacement program, it made no sense to replace the windshield for every little chip and drivers would wait until those chips build up or form cracks across the windshield before going for the replacement. This was a definite safety hazard as the cracks would lower the integrity of the windshield and may cause a loss of vision for the driver.
Siemens takes up Swedish student start-up
German industrial giant Siemens has focused their attention on a group of Swedish University students that recently raised 1.2 million ($1.3 million USD) in a crowdfunding campaign.
The two parties have recently announced their new partnership which will see a production of 50,000 units of their lightweight city-friendly cars annually starting next year.
The start up, Uniti, was born of a student research program at Lund University and is led by Australian born CEO Lewis Horne. Lund University is one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious universities in Europe, and it is consistently ranked within the world's top 100 universities.
From Four cities expand to Thirty
Earlier this year, in a joint effort led by Los Angeles' mayor Eric Garcetti and fellow mayors of San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, they announced their request for information (RFI) to electric car manufacturers for the purchase of 24,000 electric cars to be supplied to their cities. Along the the national announcement, they also issued an open invitation for other mayors to join them in their quest to demonstrate the purchasing power of local governments across state lines.
German Post Office Pumping out Electric Cars
So what happens if your company is looking for something to meet its demands but does not exist in the market?
Most companies would settle for the next best thing and try to modify it to best fit their needs.
However, that is not what the German postal office did.
When Deutsche Post couldn't find a supplier to meet their demands of a zero-emission delivery van, instead of settling for the next best thing on the market, they went out and purchased a start up company developed their own. And due to their successful venture investment, they may now start selling those vehicles to fill the void in the market.
Technology the reason why insurance rates are up
Have you ever wondered why your auto insurance rates keep going up even though you're a good driver and haven't had an accident in between the last time you renewed your insurance?
One of major reasons for the rise in cost is distracted driving.
PSA acquires Opel
PSA Group, the maker of Peugeots and Citroens, has purchased Opel from the European operation of US's General Motors. The transaction, confirmed by both companies on March 6th, amounts to 2.2 billion ($2.35 billion USD).
However, many experts would not describe Opel a prize acquisition.
The current consensus between industry experts was that GM was doing itself right by selling a business that has been in the red for last 16 years straight. Opel currently has around 6% of the European market, a share that is way too small and inefficient in the kind of business where scale is key.
Chinese Self-Driving car to sell in US
Experts believe the majority of Chinese electric cars are years behind in technology compared to the major competitors in the Western market. And while the Chinese electric cars are extremely popular at home due to their affordability due to very generous government backed subsidies, they cannot compete in the Western market.
However, there are exceptions. NIO, the Chinese-backed startup formerly known as NextEV, which has been making headlines since their formation, plans to bring an autonomous electric car to the US by 2020, announced by their US CEO Padmasree Warrior on Friday.
Ride-Hailing a major focus for BC elections
The provincial elections in British Columbia are set for May 9th, and the New Democratic Party (NDP) is looking to wrestle control of the province away from the reigning Liberal party.
According to recent polls, the NDP has a slight advantage over the Liberal party with support sitting at 29 per cent compared to 26 per cent. But with the recent American presidential election, we all know polls don't really mean anything.
Some of the election issues raised this cycle has been hail-riding services, such as Uber and Lyft, which are currently unable to operate in BC due to certain laws. The Liberal government says it will allow said services into the province, should they be re-elected in the upcoming elections.
Police and ICBC teaming up to take down distracted driving
Distracted driving is defined as "where one or more of the vehicles involved had contributing factors including use of communication/video equipment, driver inattentive and driver internal/external distraction."
Everyone knows to not do it, so why is it such a huge issue?
ICBC finally making the right adjustments
ICBC is finally adjusting the fairness of basic insurance rates based on increasing the accountability of reckless drivers who cause more at-fault accidents.
The new changes to regulation was passed last week Friday but it will not take effect till next year May 6th, 2018.
Barry Penner, ICBC Board Chair stated "We believe that drivers who cause crashes should pay more than those who don't."
The much over due changes at ICBC will increase the basic insurance rate for drivers who cause more accidents than safe drivers.
Where do insurance rates come from
Auto insurance rates are based on many factors, but most importantly statistics influence your insurance the most. It is a reflection of how likely the insurer thinks you will make a claim and how costly that claim will be. This is why statistics determine the risks the insurer takes and decide how much to charge a driver for their insurance.
Here are some the main factors which determine the cost of insurance:
Age and experience. Young and inexperienced drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident. The lack of experience and judgement is a common reason for the age group of 17-25 to face more accidents than any other age group. This also means that this age group pays the most for insurance and it is not something that can be changed easily. Some insurance companies automatically charge less for drivers over 25, but that is not always the case.
Best intentions in Beijing, but will it work?
Beijing's policymakers announced last week they are in the process of changing regulations which mandated all of the city's taxis be converted to electric powered vehicles within the next five years.
The reason for the shift? Smog.
The city is notorious for its poor air quality. During the Olympics in Beijing, the air quality was a major issue for many of the athletes. Seven of the world's ten most polluted cities are in China according to the Asia Development Bank. And fewer than 1 percent of China's top five hundred cities meet he air quality standards set by the World Health Organization.
Beijing to transform entire taxi fleet to electric
In an aggressive move to further progress their leadership in the electric vehicle market, policymakers in Beijing announced plans to transform its entire taxi fleet to electric vehicles.
Within the next five years, electric cars and SUVs will replace their entire fleet of gasoline and diesel-fueled taxis. Current estimates put the fleet at 71,000 strong, with 4000 already electric powered roaming the streets of the capital city.
Making electric cars successful in China is a national priority for three major reasons.
Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority ushers in new regulations
Dubai is in the process of being the first city in the world to allow air taxis, which are expected to be opened to the public by late July this year. Aside from the air taxis, the city is also in the process of developing Elon Musk's Hyperloop, a super-fast train technology that would cut a normal hour and a half drive to an under 12 minute train ride. However, being the leader in transportation innovations does not mean the city has their regulations in place and last week they revised their regulations on car rental companies.
ICBC finances spiraling out of control
According to budget documents ICBC will be running an $833 million dollar deficit by the end of this year.
The number is a contradictory from the government's earlier projection that the auto insurance company would generate $678 million in surplus over three years.
Richard McCandless, a former deputy minister and author of an ICBC review, stated there were three constant issues which has lead to the current predicament.
He explains, first was a rapid increase in claims costs, both the total number and the average cost of each claim. Secondly, low interest rates have lowered ICBC's investment income. And lastly, it is the government's policy of suppressing the basic rate increase each year.
Ontario's new rebates under fire already
The provincial government of Ontario introduced a cap on electric vehicle rebates last year. The province already had one of the most generous incentive programs for electric cars in the country ranging between $5000 - $8500 per vehicle. But revisions in the incentives boosted the subsidies to $6000 - $10,000 per vehicle and an extra $3000 for larger battery capabilities and an additional $1000 if the vehicle has 5 seats. Such incentives put less expensive electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Spark EV at $31,745.
Mexico to build own electric car
This most recent American Presidential election has put Mexico on its toes. During Donald Trump's campaign, he has targeted Mexicans as one the many reasons for their woes in their economic disparity - the Mexicans have been an economic leech by stealing American jobs by luring American companies across the border.
Skurt secures $10 million in funding
The Los Angeles based on-demand car rental company has secured $10 million in funding in its Series A round with Upfront Ventures leading. It also included a strategic investment from BMW, as well as additional funding from Troy Carter's Cross Culture Ventures, Expansion VC, Greycroft and Magic Johnson.
Dash Cams, Why are they so popular
So first off, what is a dash cam? Dash cams are small video cameras that can be mounted to your car's dashboard or windshield that can record what is happening in front of your car. The newer and more expensive models may offer a more wider range of view and may even record sound. Even even motorcyclists using go-pros on their helmets are considered dash cams.
Norway leading the way
Norway has always been an exception.
While most countries are pushing for higher demand in electric cars with cash subsidies and benefits such as license plates, parking spaces and or free use of toll lanes and bridges, they also have a difficult time trying to reach 3% of market shares with electric vehicles. Norway. once again, is the exception. Norwegian's insatiable appetite for electric vehicles has pushed their electric vehicles to 37% of the country's market share.
What is fronting, and how can it affect you
In some surveys, more than half of young drivers are willing to use fronting to save money on car insurance.
But what is fronting?
Fronting is the illegal practice of having a driver declare themselves as the main driver of a vehicle for another driver in order to achieve a lower insurance premium rate. Usually in the scenario of an older and more experience driver, such as a parent, insuring a vehicle in their name but realistically the main driver of the vehicle is their inexperienced child.
Study finds innocent drives penalized
It makes sense that if you get into a car accident and are at fault, the cost of your auto insurance premium should go up. It goes up when you are at fault because you are now more likely to get into another accident in comparison to a person that may never had an accident before. Just like how discounts work with auto insurance, if you are less likely to get into accidents then your annual premium should cost less because you're a safe driver. Even if the fault was split even 50/50 between the drivers in an accident, it does make sense to see a hike in your premium because the same logic still applies.
Police shootout costs a woman $1000
Shannon Ojero, of Brantford, Ontario lent her 2007 black Lexus to her daughter to go to Montreal and spend five days over New Years Eve. Angela Bradt, 17, had originally asked her mother to go to Toronto, but settled for Montreal since Shannon thought Toronto would be too dangerous for her daughter and friends, but little did she know they were at the wrong place and a bad time.
Returning to their hotel in the early hours of the 31st after some festivities, Bradt had parked the car to return to her room for less than 10 minutes before she heard gunfire erupt outside. The teenagers watched as police swarmed the area and shut down the street.
ICBC woes continue as snow storm halts the Lower Mainland again
As we saw in the last round of winter weather, ICBC is once again swamped with dial-a-claims.
Record breaking snowfall in the lower mainland has taken a toll on driving conditions. The auto insurance monopoly of British Columbia reported 21,254 calls in the first six days of February this year, in comparison only 17,820 were made last year on the same calendar days. Sam Corea with ICBC, "we've seen a 20 per cent increase in calls when comparing the two months."
Volkswagen invests $2 billion into subsidiary
Volkswagen AG has launched a brand new subsidiary to manage the $2 billion investment into boosting the use of zero-emission and electric vehicles. Dubbed Electrify America, the new company is part of the $14.7 billion agreed settlement between Volkswagen and US regulators for the repercussion of the diesel scandal.
The standalone organisation will manage the funding to oversee the promotion of zero-emission and electric vehicles. The $2 billion will go towards development, construction and maintenance of infrastructure which includes charging stations.
Ontario Expands Electric Vehicle Program
Ontario is expanding their program to assist people across the province to make electric vehicles more affordable in an effort to reduce greenhouse gases. They had a program, the Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP) previously in place but have made some major reforms which can almost quadruple the original savings.
The major change in the program is the removal of the $3000 cap in savings on electric vehicle incentives to 30 per cent of the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).
Save up to $11,000 on Electric Cars in BC
British Columbians looking to trade in their gas engine vehicle for an all electric vehicle got an additional $3000 boost on Wednesday from a non-profit society called BC Scrap-It.
The society had previously offered $3000 for those willing to buy a new electric vehicle and take their fossil fuel engine vehicle off the road, but has now doubled the dollar amount to $6000 as an assist.
In addition to the already in place BC government's Clean Energy Vehicles for BC program, in which $5000 is available towards a new electric vehicle purchase, the total amount of savings is up to $11,000.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick drops out of Trump's council
In a memo to employees, Kalanick said he was no longer participating because of the President's immigration order.
"Earlier today I spoke briefly with the President about the immigration executive order and its issues for our community, " Kalanick wrote. "I also let him know that I would not be able to participate on his economic council. Joining the group was not meant to be an endorsement of the President or his agenda but unfortunately it has been misinterpreted to be exactly that."
Electric cars fall short of highest safety rating
Two luxury electric vehicles participated but fell short of getting the highest safety ratings in new crash tests by the insurance industry.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested the 2017 models of the Tesla Model S and the BMW i3. Neither model achieved the institute's "Top Safety Pick" award, which is only given to vehicles that get the highest rating in five different crash tests and provides a crash-prevention system with automatic braking. In order to achieve a higher standard for the "Top Safety Pick-Plus" the vehicles must meet all the prior requirements and have good headlights.
Motorcyclists push for lane-splitting in BC
As California are set in the stages of legalizing lane-splitting, the government in British Columbia says there is no chance that will happen here as motorcyclists push for something similar to California.
The practice of "lane-splitting" is allowing motorcycles to travel between two lanes of cars as long as the motorcycle does not travel more than 10 km/h faster than the flow of traffic and does not exceed 35 km/h according to the BC Coalition of Motorcyclists.
#DeleteUber another SJW over-reaction
So how did #DeleteUber become a trend? It started on Friday, when President-elect Donald Trump issued an executive order immigration and travel ban from seven countries. The executive order which is effective immediately but only has a duration of 90 days, will bar all people coming from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen or 218 million people effectively according to 2015 data published by the World Bank, from entering the United States. The list of countries were already in a 2016 law concerning immigration visas as "countries of concern."
ICBC sets terms for independent review
The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia's Board of Directors has finalized the Terms of Reference and have set out a job posting on BC-Bid for a third party expert to collaborate with.
Although no official details on the terms have been made public, the first launched in order to identify key factors impacting basic insurance rates and to provide fair and affordable basic insurance for the province with a range of options to deal with future inflation.
Pay-As-You-Go Auto Insurance
Cuvva, a Scottish start up just raised £1.5 million (1.9 million USD) in new funding in a round led by LocalGlobe. The company aims to fill the gap in the auto insurance industry by offering hourly car insurance sold through a mobile app. This new type of insurance could potentially disrupt the status quo of auto insurance designed for car owners which do not drive frequently.
Many people nowadays opt to drive less even when they own a car, especially for those who live in the city or work in the city and that said city has a transit system where it may be more advantageous to take than to drive to avoid traffic.
Quebec electric car regulations sparks fear for manufacturers
A recently passed bill in Quebec has auto manufacturers expressing their concerns that it may be difficult to comply to sell a minimum amount of electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
The bill requires that starting in 2018 model year, 3.5 per cent of all auto sales in the province must be one of those variety of vehicles. And by 2025, the percentage is to rise to 15.5. And while many provinces in Canada have electric car friendly regulations, Quebec is the first to adopt such legislation.
Tesla in Germany
Any German seeking convey their national pride in their choice of vehicle should have absolutely no shortage of choices. With their many world renown luxury brands which offer an overwhelming amount of models, any elected official should be able to find their needs and wants from one of them. And while the country itself has invested heavily in their auto manufacturing industry, it has become almost an unwritten rule that all elected officials should be driving one.
However, one environment minister has other thoughts.
Wal-Mart moves to sell cars
Wal-Mart the world's largest hypermarket chain has decided to start selling cars via their new partnerships with dealership groups. The program, named CarSaver is an online auto retail platform launching on April 1st in about 25 Wal-Mart stores in four markets - Houston, Dallas, Phoenix and Oklahoma.
Auto Giants invest in Hydrogen as an alternative
Thirteen car and energy industry giants have gathered together to form the "Hydrogen Council" to push hydrogen as the world's next leading major fuel source.
The Hydrogen Council includes major auto manufacturers such as Daimler, Honda, BMW, Hyundai and Toyota. It also includes oil, energy and mining powerhouses such as Linde, Anglo American, Total, Engie and shell. All these companies are involved in either the supply or transport of carbon-based fuels, and in some cases both.
Atlas Choice goes to Administration
Car rental booking agency Atlas Choice has gone into administration. By going into administration effectively means the company has been taken under the management of a court appointed administrator, creditors or company directors. This comes a month after it was revealed that hundreds of their customers had their bookings cancelled.
Deloitte has confirmed they have been appointed administrator of the agency.
ICBC Dial-a-Claims up
ICBC is warning drivers to drive carefully during the winter weather and reminding drivers to slow down as accidents continue to pile up.
"We have ice, we have snow, we have slush and drivers perhaps are driving too quickly for the conditions," quoted ICBC spokesperson Sam Corea.
During the peak of the winter season and heavy snowfalls in December, there were as many as 5000 calls directed towards Dial-a-Claim a day. The insurance company still got 3500 calls on Friday, in comparison to 700 more per day in previous years.
Hyundai looking to boost investments in the United States
The Hyundai Motor Group announced Tuesday they are planning to invest $3.1 billion over the next five years in the United States. The South Korean group which also includes affiliate Kia Motors Corp., said the money will be spent on research and development of new technologies, upgrading existing facilities and potentially a new factory.
Hyundai Motor President Chung Jin-haeng said "The U.S. market is crucial to our success as a global auto maker. We will continue to expand our presence in the key market. Our investment will also help the U.S. efforts to create more jobs."
Donald Trump continues his rampage in the auto sector
U.S President-elect Donald Trump warned German auto manufacturing companies he would impose a border tax of 35 per cent on vehicles imported to the U.S. market. Similar to his previous threats of a border tax to U.S. automakers that had plans to build factories in Mexico, these companies that drew Trump's ire had a sharp hit to their shares.
Car theft up 51 per cent in Calgary
Calgary police has taken dramatic action and has released a montage of helicopter angled videos showing car thieves in action to expose the dramatic increase in vehicle thefts over the past year.
The video showed vehicles running red lights, nearly hitting pedestrians and police alike and causing accidents on major highways and plowing through fences in an attempt to avoid arrest from the police.
Largest electric vehicle purchase
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland has sent in a joint request for information to automakers for the first of its kind in United States for what could be the largest electric car order - 24,000 vehicles.
The west coast cities uniting municipalities from different states are sharing the goal of showing the purchasing power of local governments in the electric vehicle market. Their vision is to cut green house gas emissions, improve air quality and reduce fuel and maintenance costs by an average of 37 percent.
Fiat invests $1 billion
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced on Sunday that they are planning to invest $1 billion to modernize two current existing plants and create almost 2000 jobs in the United States. One of these plants would be able to produce the Ram heavy duty pickup truck currently being manufactured in Mexico
In the statement, the company declared they plan to produce a new Jeep and Grand Wagoneers at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan while they would produce a new pick up truck at their facility in Toledo, Ohio. These plans will be in place by 2020.
Samsung shows off the most powerful battery on the market
Samsung unveiled their newest battery which can give an electric car the driving range of over 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a 20 minute charge. This will surpass all current technology on the market and is promoting new technology which will fuel the growth of the next generation of electric cars and autonomous driving.
The South Korean powerhouse battery division, better known as Samsung SDI, announced the arrival of their new battery cell on Monday.
Experts predict Diesel will be obsolete as electric dominates
In a recent annual global survey conducted by KPMG, which surveyed automotive executives globally found 90% of the executives expect battery fueled electric vehicles will dominate the marketplace by 2025. Senior executives working for vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, financial and mobility service provides plus car users were participants in the survey.
ChargePoint Charging Stations
One of the biggest fears for potential owners of electric vehicle owners is running out of fuel before reaching their destination or next charging point. Technology has flourished in the recent years in adding distance travel capabilities on a single charge but the fact remains the lack of charging stations. But the capability to make a long distance journey has limited the use of electric vehicles.
Indiana to follow Michigan on fee for not using Gas
Indiana is looking to follow Michigan's footsteps in implementing a fee for electric car owners for not using gas. The stated goal of this fee is to help pay for road repairs.
Michigan is currently in the process of adding fees for electric cars which include hybrids and battery-electric cars since they do not use enough gasoline to generate the same amount of tax revenue as fossil fuel engine vehicles.
The Donald Tweets; Ford scraps Factory
On Tuesday Ford Motor Company announced their cancellation of plans to build a $1.6 billion factory in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and instead will be investing $700 million at a factory in Michigan.
Although Ford Chief Executive Mark Fields claims the the decision to cancel the new factory and opt to invest in the United States has nothing to do with President-elect Donald Trump's twitter criticism of specifically Ford moving jobs out of America, cancellation of the factory does seem to show Trump had an effect. Fields claims the cancellation comes amidst the decline in demand for small cars in North America and even if Trump had not been elected, the cancellation would have still happened.
One in Six Cars are Potentially Dangerous
An estimated one in six cars have outstanding safety recalls on them says auto industry experts. There are currently approximately 23 million cars in Canada, and one in six translates to almost 4 million cars on the road with a safety recall.
These safety recalls if left unattended will lead to safety defects which may result in accidents, crashes, injury or death according to manufacturers. However there's nothing stopping Canadian dealerships from selling a car with an open recall. No province or territory have laws which require a safety recall be repaired before registration. Not only that but safety or mechanical inspections currently do not require safety recalls to be fixed.
Auto Insurance out of Control in Ireland
According to new figures, the number of uninsured vehicles in Ireland has almost doubled over the last five years. Privately owned vehicles that do not have insurance increased from just over 85,000 in 2011 to 151,392 last month, which represents a growth of 4.5% to 7.4% of total vehicles in Ireland which do have have insurance.
Record Electric Car Sales
Move over United States, there's a new number 1 on the leader board. The Chinese market had a record 43,441 new electric cars on the roads in November. That is another 36 percent increase over last October and 56 percent compared to last year. The new additions put China first in the plug-in market share at 1.4 percent, ahead of the United States at 1.1 percent and Europe at 1.2 percent.
If China continues on this trend, the electric vehicle market will end the year with over 350,000 new units, more than doubling their entire fleet since the beginning of the year at a grand total at over 650,000 vehicles. United States will follow at roughly 560,000 units and Europe at 630,000.
ICBC Basic Insurance Increase 4.9
Basic auto insurance for motorists in British Columbia will see a price increase of 4.9 percent.
The provincial government has announced it has directed the BC Utilities Commission to approve the rate increase for next year but it wants the insurance company to ensure the rates are in line with inflation for the long term.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone is also launching a third party review on keeping rates affordable. "It is also the job of government to make sure ICBC is a viable organization, not just today or next year but well into the future," quoted Stone. "I've heard a message loud and clear that people are worried about the increasing cost of living."
Blackberry Reinventing Self
Blackberry was at one point in the last two decades was one of the top competitors in the smart phone market. The Canadian company had their very own unique analog keyboard personal digital assistant that doubled as a phone, all of your bosses had one, it was a status symbol of the business class. They had a large loyal customer base which knew when the next model was going to be released, all the stores carried at least 10 different models. They were a powerhouse.
Introducing the Air
Tesla competitor, California electric car start up Lucid Motors revealed their top secret project today, the Air. The company describes their new vehicle will offer a luxury interior and sport-oriented driving, with production beginning in 2018.
Lucid Motors cited four areas of focus of design with the development of the luxury sedan: electrification,autonomous driving, connectivity and ride sharing.
Norway a Leader in Reducing Emissions
Norway currently has 100,000 electric vehicles on the road. Although the total number of electric vehicles falls behind major countries such as United States, China and Japan, Norway boasts the world's highest number of electric cars per capita. The United States leads at a commanding 400,000 size fleet of electric cars followed by China at 250,000 and Japan at 125,000. The Netherlands is closely behind Norway in fleet size as they are just under 100,000 units themselves.
Tesla Settles out of Court
United States electric car maker Tesla Motors has agreed to pay 126 unsatisfied Norwegian car owners in an out-of-court settlement which was scheduled to begin on Monday. Lawyers for the owners and the company told Oslo District Court in a joint letter they were withdrawing their case.
The Death of Diesel
A recent report published by UBS has forecasted diesel engine vehicles will almost disappear from the global market within the next ten years as it currently faces a disastrous situation from a combination of competition from electric cars and a negative perspective leading to tougher regulations.
Ice Bombs Could Shut Down Bridges
First heavy snowfall of the year for Vancouver and the Lower Mainland has the roads covered in snow, slush and black ice. But one unexpected turn of events this winter for Vancouverites has been the ice bombs dropping onto vehicles traversing the Alex Fraser and Port Mann bridges.
So far to date, ICBC says they have received over 40 calls from drivers claiming to have their cars damaged by the falling ice and snow while driving over the two bridges.
Viral Video Gets a Man a Car
A video of a man riding a scooter down the Queen Elizabeth II Highway in the middle of a snow storm on Sunday went viral this week. Filmed by a Calgary realtor Kim Star in a 26-second video, shows a man trying to drive his scooter in ice and snow covered asphalt with blowing winds.
For those who are not familiar with weather in Calgary, it boasts as the sunniest city in Canada, getting 332.93 days of sunshine a year.
Samsung Partners Up with Start Up
Lucid Motors has partnered up with Samsung SDI. The latter will be supplying the start up company with lithium-ion batteries that the two companies boast will outperform what is currently available on the market. The terms of the deal was no disclosed but it follows Lucid Motor's announcement last week to open a factory in Casa Grande, Arizona.
The new factory will cost roughly $700 million dollars and is expected to employ up to 2000 workers. Their plan is to produce cars capable of 1000 horsepower by 2018. Chief technology officer Peter Rawlinson also said they plan to offer at least one variant model to operate 400 miles on one single charge.
Poorer neighborhoods pay for the most in car Insurance
Car insurance rates have been on a steady decline on the whole in the province of Ontario but they are on the rise in Toronto and vary dependent on which area residents live in. Toronto is one the most iconic cities in Canada, it's metropolitan area boasts as the most populous city in the country at 5.6 million residents.
A recent study conducted by Kanetix.ca shows the average rates for a single 35 year old with a clean driving record in a 2013 Honda Civic is up $88 from last year to $1886.
Safe Driving During Snow Season
As the snow season approaches, the rise in fender benders also rises. The best way to avoid an accident is to be prepared yourself. The worst thing you can do is go out and drive unprepared and go about your daily routine as if it was normal. You need to practice basic driving winter skills and build extra time in your daily schedule. Here are a list of tips and simple rules that are encouraged for driving during the snow season.
Daimler to Invest $11 Billion
Luxury automaker Daimler is planning to invest up to $10 billion euros ($11 billion USD) in developing electric cars.
This comes a week after a group of six automakers, including Daimler announced they were planning on expanding super fast charging sites all over Europe in order to be more competitive against Tesla. The current trend shows automakers are investing heavily into electrics cars. A decade ago they were avoided since they had a very limiting operating range, high costs and were not profitable.
NDP Wants Auditor General to Step In
Opposition NDP wants the BC's Auditor General to probe into the worsening financial crisis at the Insurance Corp. of BC. NDP critic Adrian Dix wrote to Carol Bellringer, the Auditor Genearl on Monday, explaining and urging her to examine the government's financial withdrawals from ICBC and the resulting implications to ratepayers.
This comes a week after ICBC announced they were planning on dropping insurance for luxury vehicles worth $150,000 or more.
European Car Rivals Joint Venture
Motivated by the success of US rival Tesla, top car makers in Germany have agreed to jointly invest in thousands of ultra-fast charging sties across Europe. The fast charging sites will help the consumers accept electric cars and make it a more viable alternative to fossil fuel vehicles.
Tesla has received hundreds of thousands of preorders for their mass production Model 3 and a factor contributing to that success is the amount of fast charging sites they had produced all over the United States and Canada.
Jaguar Land Rover Eyes United Kingdom for Electric Cars
Jaguar Land Rover has announced their plans to build and design electric vehicles in the United Kingdom. This comes two days after the government promised $390 million pounds ($485 million USD) to support green technologies.
The company is Britain's biggest car maker and the plans to develop and produce electric vehicles will potentially create thousands of jobs in the automotive sector around its Coventry base after the Brexit vote. Jaguar Land Rover currently operates three automotive plants in central and northern England. And they have been opening new factories all over the world to meet demand.
Curbing Rising Car Insurance in BC
Recently ICBC has suffered a monumental amount of setbacks such as skyrocketing claims, increase cases of insurance fraud and more injury claims which has lead them to project a worst-case scenario rate increase of 42 percent by 2020.
For the time being, the vehicle insurance provider company in BC is projecting the worse-case scenario figures at up 4.9 percent in 2016, 6.4 percent in 2017, 7.9 percent in 2016, 9.4 percent in 2019 and 7.9 percent in 2020.
Average Lifespan of Cars Up
The average lifespan of cars in the United States continue to get longer and has now hit a record high in recent years. The boost in lifespan of cars offers service providers and part makers continuous work to keep vehicles on the road.
According to IHS Markit, the average age of cars and light trucks on the road hit 11.6 years old. The firm deals in collection of vehicle-registration data. They estimate 264 million light vehicles are in operation in the United States. Both figures are up from 2015 and present records. Although it is a slight increase from 11.5 years average from last year's figure, it still represents the current trend.
Car Rental Rates Spikes During Holiday Season
According to a new survey conducted by CheapCarRental.net - travelers during the Thanksgiving holiday period are going to be paying an extremely raised price for car rentals. Cities that are the most frequently traveled to such as Atlanta see over a 200 percent price increase during this period.
The survey compared car rental rates for 30 destinations in the United States for the period spanning November 23 to 27, 2016. And they used the largest volume airport associated with each respective city as the pick-up and drop-off location.
New Electric Super Car Breaks Records
Chinese electric car startup NextEV just revealed their new brand NIO on Monday and launched the world's fastest electric car in the world. At the launch event at the Saatchi Gallery in London, UK, NextEV unveiled the NIO EP9.
The record breaking NIO EP9 super car has 1360 hp and can accelerate from rest to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 7.1 seconds.
SolarCity and Tesla Merger
"So the basic proposition will be: Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and - by the way - generates electricity?" asks Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors. "Why would you get anything else?" All of this, minutes after the Tesla-SolarCity deal was approved.
A majority of Tesla Motors shareholders approved plans for the all-electric automaker to acquire solar energy firm SolarCity on Thursday, November 17th 2016. Although Elon Musk is the largest shareholder of both companies, Tesla shareholders voted 85 percent in favor of the deal.
Volkswagen cuts 30,000 jobs
Europe's largest automaker announced on Friday they are planning to cut 30,000 jobs over the next three years. The cuts are needed to reduce costs as it works to overhaul its plants in Germany. They are attempting to boost their profits in the wake of the huge emissions scandal.
The vast majority of the job cuts, approximately 23,000, will be from its home market, Germany. The company said reductions in Germany had been agreed with union leaders and will be achieved by voluntary redundancies, closing positions as they become vacant and early retirement.
Connected Cars are the Future
What is a connected car? It is a vehicle that offers internet connectivity along with a local WLAN network. So a vehicle that can connect to the WiFi and allow your other devices connect to WiFi.
Millions of cars on the road are already connected and their numbers are growing astronomically. Annual sales of connected car technologies are predicted to triple to $130 billion USD by 2021. It is predicted that one in five passenger vehicles will be connected 2019.
Didi and Avis Partner Up
China's Didi Chuxing announced their partnership with Avis Budget Group to allow over 300 million Didi users to rent cars through their app when they travel internationally.
Didi continues to expand their operation portfolio with this move. They first started in June 2012 as Didi Kuaidi, a taxi-hailing app in China. Now they have expanded to over 400 cities in China and expanded their operations into providing private car-hailing, chauffeur services, car rentals and even bus services in certain Chinese cities.
How Quiet is too Quiet?
One of the selling points of hybrid and electric vehicles, aside from being Eco-friendly and fuel efficient, are how quiet they are. But apparently being too quiet is a problem. Under a new rule released Monday by the Obama administration, new hybrid and electric cars are required to make noise when travelling at low speeds. The purpose of this rule is because pedestrians; especially those who are blind or have poor eyesight will be able to hear them.
Samsung Buys Harman
Samsung is making a break into the world's biggest mobile technology - connected vehicles. The electronics company announced on Monday that it will be buying audio company Harman for $8 billion. Harman produces JBL and Harman Kardon brands of equipment which will allow Samsung to enter the competitive world of connected vehicles. This is the biggest deal ever for Samsung.
President-elect Trump has not even taken office and the dust from victory in the election not even settled, he has made huge impacts on the auto industry. The election held not even 48 hours ago, puts Republican Donald Trump as the 45th US president. This has already put new pressure on automakers and manufacturers that depend on open trade with Mexico.
Shares fell for US automakers and suppliers which rely on production in Mexico to provision their US manufacturing and sales operations.
Icahn Doubles Down
Carl Icahn, 80 year-old billionaire investor, has more than doubled his stake in Hertz Global Holdings.
A day after Hertz announced they missed their projected earnings by a huge margin, investors have started dumping the car rental company's stock. Everyone except Carl Icahn. Already the biggest shareholder, and in an explicit show of support for John Tague, the CEO of Hertz, Icahn doubled his stake in the company. Icahn had brought Tague,a former executive from United Airlines, to power late 2014, a few months after Icahn had successfully fought to obtain three director seats.
A day after Hertz served termination notices to more than 150 drivers who shuttle cars from remote parking lots to be made available for customers, posted dismal third quarter earnings. Florida-based Hertz Global Holdings, the parent company of Thrifty Car Rental, Dollar Rent A Car and other Hertz car rental franchises missed earnings per share significantly.
They posted readjusted earnings of $1.50 per share against analyst estimates of $2.73 per share. The company's revenue also fell 1.3% to $2.54 billion and total expenses rose 5% to $2.43 billion. Analysts had originally estimated revenue of $2.59 billion according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Unlimited Free Use of Supercharging Stations to End
Tesla Motors, world famous electric car producer, has announced this week to stop offering unlimited use of its supercharging stations. There are currently 734 supercharging stations world-wide. This move comes months ahead of their schedule to start selling a mass-market electric car.
Car Rental Companies still Opaque after agreeing to Transparency
After scandals of hidden fees and indecent business practices which lead to price gouging customers, large car rental companies declared they would be more transparent with their pricing and let their customers know exactly what will be charged before they left the lot with the rental. While some have followed through, a select few decided transparency really isn't their shade. They continue to smuggle hidden fees into small print of contracts, and sometimes not revealing them at all, not until it was time to pay.
Tesla Hints Tesla Network
At the event announcing their new autopilot software, version 7.0, Tesla reps hinted at the future for a Tesla-run ride sharing program - the Tesla Network. Tesla's release of Autopilot was released earlier this month at an event that the Tesla team promised would share their progress and developments for the company. The company also announced that all their vehicles will be fully autonomous capable - although the software for that has yet to be completed.
Uber sued by Desoto, Flywheel
In another lawsuit against the ride-hail giant Uber, Desoto, recently re branded as a ride-hailing company called Flywheel, is accused of predatory pricing tactics. Flywheel is the oldest cab company in San Francisco. They accuse Uber of lying about the availability, pricing and safety of its rides, lying to drivers about the income they can earn, discriminating against disabled passengers, genders and race, and illegally increasing fares during peak hours through a surge charge.
Autonomous vehicles have been reaching headlines of every news outlet. Self driving cars was a dream decades ago, but the day when it is plausible is reaching closer every day. China released a 450-page road map for the development of autonomous vehicles with the goal of self-driving cars to be on the market between 2021 to 2025. Elon Musk announced Tesla will be able to send one of their models from Los Angeles to New York without any human assistance by next year.
Racially Discriminate: Uber and Lyft Drivers
Some of the problems that littered the traditional economy of ride-hailing services were supposed to be solved by the new age of technology through the use of smartphones. While traditional cab and taxi services have long endured accusations of racism and discrimination, the new age of Uber and Lyft - rival ride-sharing services, were supposed to solve.
Bullying Autonomous Vehicles
In a recent London School of Economics study that polled European road users on their attitudes towards autonomous vehicles - revealed drivers would be tempted to drive aggressively around or "bully" autonomous vehicles. There would be many ways to torment the passengers and the autonomous vehicle; suddenly braking in front of it or putting themselves in their way to cut them off, or drive in an aggressive and dangerous manner to see how the autonomous vehicle reacts.
Electric Cars Could Save the US Billions
The carbon footprint left by internal-combustion engines poses not only a threat to the environment, but also to human health. Death and health issues stemming from long exposure of pollution and climate change come in the form of asthma attacks, flood fatalities, and respiratory illnesses. The ugly truth on the nation's dependence on fossil fuel is a tough reality for everyone, and yet because it is so hard to quantify it is hard to grasp the damage and the dangerous situation everyone is in.
China's Parking Problem
You may have experienced parking shortages - concerts, events, grand openings, shopping malls, but that is due to a congregation to a popular location within certain hours of the day. Now imagine that is the scene of everywhere you go, every hour of the day - to the hospital, to school, the office, that is the current problem in China.
China's long term plan - self-driving cars
China has issued a road map for the long term plan of developing a highly or fully autonomous vehicle for the world's largest auto market. The plan aims to be ready as early as 2021. The 450-page roadmap was issued by the Society of Automotive Engineers of China (SAEC) which lays out the blueprint for the development of every aspect of the automotive industry until 2030.
A Speed Bump for Autonomous Driving - Car Washes
Fully autonomous driving is the future most car makers are moving towards. There are many features that provide semi-autonomous driving and a glimpse of that future such as self-parking, keeping the vehicle centered between highway lanes and auto-braking systems.
What happens when you use the wrong fuel for your Vehicle
It happens. It's a very simple mistake; one careless moment and someone could be putting in the wrong fuel in the vehicle. The most important part is to know how to fix the problem without damaging your vehicle any further.
Mercedes has announced their stance on the "Trolley Problem" sparking debate on self-driving cars
The "Trolley Problem" and in its many various forms is an ethical conundrum based on an out of control trolley. The decision maker has to decide one of two routes for the trolley to take, each being a sacrifice to save the person(s) on the other route. A very common version is there are five adults on one route and a pregnant woman on the other.
Elon Musk - "You're killing people"
"If, in writing some article that's negative, you effectively dissuade people from using autonomous vehicles, you're killing people," said Musk, CEO of Tesla as he criticized the media on Wednesday for covering driverless car crashes while ignoring the 1.2 million people who are killed in car accidents worldwide annually. This was quoted as he was persuading that his self-driving technology to be twice as safe as people driven cars and he is adamant that the public sees his opinion and vision.
GM and Audi now in Car Rental Market in San Francisco
The two major car makers, General Motors and Audi both have launched new car rental operations in San Francisco. While traditionally car makers partner up with rental companies such as Enterprise or Hertz, it is a new type of rivalry for manufacturers to directly work with renters.
Enterprise Inducted into the MSEP
Enterprise Holdings is currently the world's largest car rental company, measured by revenue, fleet and employees. This week Enterprise Holdings was inducted into the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP). The MSEP is a program part of the Department of Defense (DoD) to connect potential employers from over 335 companies to military spouses.
Expense management supplier Certify analyzed more than 10 million business traveler receipts and expenses during Q3 reports Uber accounted for 48 percent of ground transportation transactions. To be fair, one Uber receipt equates to one one-way trip while a car rental will represent many more.
Car Rental Market to Exceed $90 Billion by 2020
Zion Research has published a new report titled "Car Rental (Luxury Cars, Executive Cars, Economy Cars, SUV Cars and MUV Cars) Market for Local Usage, Airport Transport, Outstation, and Other End-users: Global Industry Perspective Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2014-2020". According to the report, the global car rental market was valued at about USD 41.5 billion in 2014.
What is Maven?
Maven is a car-sharing service that is quickly growing in the US. As of this week, it now operates in nine markets - Ann Arbor, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington, New York City and now San Francisco since its launch at the beginning of 2016. So how does Maven stack up against its rivals such as Zipcar?
250,000 within Three Months
Avis Car Rental announced this week that its mobile app has gained over 250,000 members, all within three months of launch. Their new mobile app puts unprecedented control of the car rental experience in the customers' hands through its Avis Now features and has already logged over 100,000 rental transactions.
Things to look out for when renting a car
With new services such as car-sharing and ride-sharing apps, traditional car rental services have still flourished in this new age of technology. Why? Because people still need to rent a replacement rental after an accident or people still need a mode of transportation during business travels. While there are many pros and cons to all aspects of the market, I want to remind everyone of a few things of car rentals that could save you some money.
Your Car Rental Company Might be spying on you
One of the major car rental services has admitted to having cameras installed in about one in eight of its cars in the United States. These cameras are built into Hertz' NeverLost dashboard assistant that offers routing help and local city guides. These cameras were launched in 2014 and it has been out for a while now but the story has only gotten traction recently since people began realizing that a camera was pointing at them.
Unpaid Car Rental Fines
Car rental services in Oman lose thousands of rials from tourists and business visitors who leave the country with unpaid fines. Nearly half of their customers have cost companies revenue in the form of traffic signal violations, parking and speeding tickets. According to Budget Rent A Car up to 25 percent of the fines are rendered unredeemable.
How to make money on your vacation
The average vacation costs over $1000 per person during a weeklong trip. This may not seem like a lot to some people but it is quite a bit of money. There are lots of ways to recuperate some of the costs by renting out a few things which you leave at home and people may want to use.
Your next key will be your smart phone
Technology for vehicles has advanced very far in the past decade. It wasn't very long ago that every single vehicle required a physical key, which required you to insert it into the lock to unlock it. Then came wireless fobs. Buttons on a small pad which would allow you to unlock and lock your car without physically touching it.
Tips and Advice for Car rentals
Car rentals are quite easy nowadays, with so many agents, apps and websites that will help you. But here are some tips and advice that will help save you money and a headache later on.
GM makes a huge splash in the Chinese Car Rental Market
General Motors Co. has just made an undisclosed amount of strategic investment in Feezu, a Beijing-based self-service car rental start-up. Feezu allows their members to rent and return cars anywhere anytime without interacting with customer service staff.
Connected Rental Cars and Your Privacy
The FTC and the BBB both have issued comments recently urging consumers to protect their digital information in car rentals. The newest vehicles in the car rental industry are exactly the same as the newest vehicles on the market. Most of them offer an infotainment system which offers a USB port which could sync to your phone.
The Autonomous Car Market
In the 20th century, Henry Ford had a vision that every individual would be able to afford their own vehicle and travel as they please. This vision has come true but has left us with a congested road system, air pollution and many safety concerns.
Evercar suspends operations
Evercar is a three-year-old Los Angeles-based service that rents electric and hybrid cars to drivers for delivery and ride-hailing services. They effectively suspended their services on Monday, even though the company had expanded its operations to the Bay Area last month and is now shutting both down.
Car-sharing in the US
With the newest talk of autonomous vehicles, a recent poll states that 80% of Americans will always want the option of driving on their own. However, living in the metro area of cities, owning a car may seem like more of an inconvenience than a benefit.
Car-Sharing on the rise in Europe
Car-sharing has become a prominent way for car owning in Europe. With rising fuel prices and overhead a lot of people have turned to peer-to-peer rental sites to make car ownership more affordable. The business model is very similar to Airbnb - car owners post their vehicles on a service's website and users ask to rent them out.
Used cars for sale could have been an Uber
In Canada, each province has their own list of disclosures auto dealers have to give to the potential customer when selling a used car. They may have to disclose if it has been a rental car, from a taxi company, police services, emergency vehicle and the list goes on but not if it was an Uber ride.
Does your rental car allow others to spy on you?
With the new age of technology being so user friendly, all it takes is for you to plug in your smart phone into the USB of the vehicle and all your information will be sync'd. You could receive your phone calls, have the vehicle read out its texts, let you know when you receive an e-mail and there are lots of tools which help you in this new age. But what if the car you are driving is a rental?
Ford Ranger makes a surge
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa achieved a record-breaking month in August, with the highest number of Ford Rangers exported to date. The Ranger, assembled at Ford's Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, exported a total of 8548 vehicles to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The future of Wi-Fi and your car
Wi-Fi in vehicles, whether from the factory model or in aftermarket devise are expected to reach 61 million per year by 2020. This just like the when the cell phone market was revolutionized will create the boom of an era of consumer services and applications for vehicles.
More Millennials are Leasing Cars
The market demand for rental cars or short term car leasing is increasing. It has become more apparent that the advantages of leasing and car rentals are more favored by millennials. Although car ownership provides long-term financial benefits, it is an immediate long-term commitment; leasing offers flexibility, which allows this generation to be able to make decisions where they are not tied down to financial assets.
Some Car Rental expenses to avoid
It is very important to make sure when you are booking a vehicle rental online, that you actually use the correct time of pick up. Some people assumed that once they make the reservation that the vehicle will be waiting for you till the desk closes for the night. That is not true and do not be so naive.
Car Rental Reward Programs
A lot of people enjoy the freedom of having a car rental when they are travelling. Whether it is for business or vacation, a rewards program will help benefit those that are always renting vehicles.
Zipcar reaches 1 million
Zipcar has just announced they reached the million member milestone. Zipcar currently operates in more than 500 cities and towns spread out in eight countries across the globe. As a result of Zipcar's milestone, more than 413,000 vehicles are not on city streets, significantly improving congestion and parking challenges according to the company.
Getting a good price on Car Rentals
When it comes to car rentals, a lot of people get confused when they are at the counter right before they drive off with the vehicle. Just before you sign for the car, they ask if you if you want any kind of waivers and most car rental services offer at least four different kinds.
What is an international driver's license?
It is a small passport-like booklet issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and is either recommended or required by more than 150 countries - essentially everywhere but English-speaking nations. Some countries say it's the law for non-native drivers to have one, while others simply recommend it to help break down communication barriers during travel.
Tesla Model S the ultimate rental car
Renting a car is more often a necessity than a luxury. However the new Tesla Model S is one of the many cars that is now offered in car-sharing apps where people have chosen to purchase a bit more expensive car and then lend it out to help make up for payments.
Car Rentals Services Still Strong
Car rental service companies are expanding their fleets and are seeing a growth in their revenue despite the growth of ride-hailing and car sharing services. Industry watchers warn that the industry could see its market share shrink should the car rental services not continue to innovate.
Uber earlier this month launched their first mass test of self-driving taxis in Pittsburgh. It is a huge step for the ride-hailing service's ultimate goal to move from drivers to driverless. Uber's rival, Lyft decleared that within five years their company's autonomous cars would rule the road which would result in the disappearance of private car ownership in cities.
Car sharing to finance Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S is definitely priced in the high-end with a starting price of $66,000 but it has been known to attract customers willing to stretch their budget in order to be a part of the electric car revolution. With the current age technology and car sharing methods becoming the new norm, a lot of Tesla owners are now putting their vehicles in a part of car sharing services.
Daimler Trucks and their electric trucks
Daimler Trucks now believes it is the right time to invest in the market for electric trucks. "Now is the right time ... If you start too soon, you lose a pile, if you come too late, you lose the market," Wolfgang Bernhard told the paper in an interview.
Car rental coverage is not required
A very common misconception is whether you need to buy optional liability waivers when renting a vehicle. The optional liability waivers could be expensive and a pushy salesman may try to tell you, you cannot leave the lot without it. Optional collision-damage waivers represent a "significant" source of income for car rental companies. So there are a few ways to protect yourself in these car rentals.
When is the best time to use your credit card
Not everyone is a fan of using credit cards. However, they are pretty convenient and they allow you to earn rewards and there are some additional benefits to using credit for your purchase. One of the most important benefits is fraud protection. And some other credit cards even offer car rental insurance.
Myles and the car rental economy
Myles is newest boom in the car rental economy in India. CEO Sakshi Vij operates India’s largest self-drive mobility service company. Myles focuses on being a technology platform that connects the fleet operator with a car user.
Car Rental Franchise
If you want to be your own boss, franchising a car rental service may be your best bet. Unlike starting your own business, you will have many advantages. In the car rental industry, a recognizable name and brand awareness is very important and will increase your chances to compete.
Enterprise leaves ALEC
ALEC stands for American Legislative Exchange Council. It is a network of lawmakers, researchers and business leaders that advocates limited government and free markets.
Social Media recovers stolen car
Jennifer Allen woke up to a car owner's nightmare. Her BMW had been stolen overnight along with her purse, her laptop and her husband's work briefcase. Immediately notifying the police about the theft, she turned to social media at around 10:30am.
Rental Car Insurance and What You Need to Know
Car rental occurs primarily for two reasons. Either you are on vacation or your primary vehicle is in the shop and you need a replacement to continue with your daily routine. It can be very frustrating after an accident to figure out everything. Before you head to the rental service, you must do a few things.
Turning your smartphone into secure car key
Gemalto and Valeo has partnered up to create a virtual car key system called Valeo InBlue. With InBlue, drivers can now use their smartphone or connected watch to lock, unlock and start their car, control applications and remotely access useful vehicle data using Bluetooth.
The story of Zoomcar and India
Greg Moran always knew his first business venture would have to be in India. It was a well thought out and calculated idea which started taking form in his college days at the University of Pennsylvania when he pursued a bachelor’s degree in international relations. At the university Moran had made friends with students from Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Pune. Frequent and lengthy discussions about India with friends, quickly gave Moran the idea that India was an opportunity waiting to be explored.
Reading the Fine Print in Car Rentals
Victor Vance and his friend Teresa Flores decided to go travel and explore South Africa for a trip of a life time. They decided to rent from Hertz since it was a well-established company in the US. After paying for the maximum coverage he could buy and accept Hertz’ collision damage, theft and super waivers the impossible happened.
Rental Cars and Insurance - What you need to know
Two most common reasons for rental cars is after your primary vehicle gets into an accident or as a means of transportation during travelling. It is important to understand what your insurance policy covers and how to use them.
Lyft aims for majority of rides to be self-driving by 2021
Lyft co-founder and President John Zimmer took to Medium to post his vision on "The Third Transportation Revolution", which will be fueled by self-driving cars. In the piece, Zimmer claims that autonomous vehicles will account for the majority of Lyft rides within five years.
Trips - The newest Google app and what you need to know
Google just launched Trips on Monday, describing it as a personalized tour guide in your pocket. The app offers a city guide, tips from Google's travel experts and personalized recommendations based on your Google history. Any emails pertaining travel, car rental reservations that you may have sitting in your Gmail account will be logged into your Google Trips app.
The Sharing Economy
The success of the new sharing economy has been made successful through the use of the internet. Carpooling is an example of the large-scale sharing of private goods which has been renovated. Most private car owners have an excess on the immediate needs of the vehicle and it remains mostly idle most of the time.
Why Tesla is going to win the driverless-car race
CEO Elon Musk is famous for being a visionary. One of his visions is the driverless-car and although he is not the one to come up with the concept of it, he is one of the few competitors in the race. The race to perfect the controversial auto pilot, pricing and fleet vs ownership are very important issues.
Always check your credit card before renting a car
The rental car industry has flourished since there has never been a significant decline for their services. All services offer a wide range of selection of cars at low prices, but what can significantly add up is the insurance they offer. Luckily, many credit cards offer many benefits which include car rental and insurance for car rentals. But before you decline all the insurances, make sure you know what your credit card offers and the risks and benefits of the insurances offered.
Avis to buy out France Cars
France Cars is a privately-held vehicle rental company. The Avis Budget Group, Inc. has agreed to purchase the company in an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will add 8,000 cars, vans and light trucks to the Avis Budget Group fleet which will propel the operation to the second largest light commercial vehicle fleet in France.
Australian woman attempts to steal a car
Car theft is not uncommon. In fact it happens everywhere in the world. Now the reason why one car theft has caught international attention is due to the hilarious nature of the lack of logical planning from the would be thief. A woman from Ballarat, Australia, located 110 km NW of Melbourne, rented a car for a day in February 2016 and then decided to never return it.
Newest Luxury Vehicles now boast clean fuel technology
Clean fuel technology was once associated with low costs, minimalize carbon foot print and economical. The image of using clean fuel once clashed with luxury. Consumers felt clean fuel cars cannot be associated with luxury for luxury intertwines with the words excessive and extravagance. BMW has now challenged that status quo by releasing luxurious models of hybrid and electric cars.
Ontario court rules against hearing-impaired driver for discovery
An Ontario court has ruled against a request from a London, England resident and Hertz Canada Limited, the firm he rented a car from in Canada, to be examined for discovery in person in Britain for an accident which occurred in Sept 2012 in Toronto, Ontario. The credibility issue on trial is whether the plaintiff, Alves, cut off the defendant, Gaughran and Hertz or was it the other way around.
Better think twice before syncing your phone
With today's technology becoming more user friendly than ever, sometimes we might have to stop and think if it is too friendly for our own good. Everything nowadays can be sync'd to our smartphones, which may contain everything from music to personal and important information about us. We may have no problem if the devices we're syncing our smartphones to belong to us, but what if we're renting the device?
Classic showroom auto retailers could be a thing of the past
During the financial boom of Generation Y, the showroom business bloomed using the sales model of incentivising salesmen to make them responsible for maximising the bottom line. In those days, charismatic friendly salesmen were the key to survival of showrooms since consumers in past, valued customer experience as much as three times more than vehicle design, which meant a happy customer was more likely to interact with the same dealership after a purchase.