Formula E get set to race through London

// London is set to gain another tourist attraction next year under plans being drawn up to allow Formula One-style cars to burn rubber on its roads for the first time. Electric racers would streak past Nelson’s column and Buckingham Palace at up to 200mph under the proposal, confirmed last week by the company behind the new Formula E racing series. Formula E is sanctioned by the FIA, which governs all motor sport, and is set to start next year. Its brief is to prove that racing need not be a gas-guzzling jamboree. The man behind it is Alejandro Agag, a Spanish businessman and former chairman of Queens Park Rangers football club. He has already signed up Rome and Rio de Janeiro and is negotiating with other cities, including Beijing, Los Angeles and Cape Town. Agag says London would be the jewel in the…

Looking forward to the new Mercedes CLA

// The new Mercedes-Benz CLA sits between the A- and C-Class in the Mercedes line-up with sleeker, sportier design features and an aggressive front-end. It’s a sleek, four-door coupe based on the A-Class hatch, aiming for a younger, more style-conscious audience, and will be available to order from March 2013. The centre console is dominated by three silver-shadow trimmed air-vents and a free-standing infotainment screen, which is also framed in silver. Mercedes says that this electroplated galvanisation gives the interior materials a “cool-touch” feel. Interior space is less than that in the A-Class hatch, thanks to the lower roof line and the “2+1” rear bench which is only really suitable for two adults or, at a stretch, three children. The new CLA will also feature Mercedes’ Distronic Plus braking assist system which uses radar and other sensors to help avoid accidents. Following the success of…

Are your drivers legal?

// Many drivers face a fine of £1,000 if they fail to update their photo-card driving licences, according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. It started issuing photo-card licences 15 years ago and more than 30 million drivers now have one. These are usually valid for 10 years and there is a legal requirement for drivers to renew the photograph at the same time as they renew their licence. However, two million drivers have failed to do this. And this means they could be fined up to £1,000 should they be pulled over by the police, who then discover that the photo and licence is out of date. Even failing to notify the DVLA that you have changed address could be costly. Victoria Ford from the DVLA believes the reasons for updating the photograph on your licence are clear. “Appearances can change and…

Introducing the Alfa Romeo 4C

// The Alfa Romeo 4C is the exciting new model from the historic Italian sportscar manufacturer picking up the mantle of the 8C, Spider, TZ, 33, Monza to name a few. Promising to be the fastest car in its segment with powerful but clean modern turbocharged engine and stunning looks. A 2013 launch has now been confirmed for the model and the finished 4C production car is expected at the Geneva motor show in March. If, like us, you can’t wait to see more of this stunning car then check back to our blog as we’ll be keeping you posted with pictures from the show. 

Do your fleet drivers need an eye test?

// Research from Specsavers Corporate Eyecare reveals that one in three drivers do not meet the legal standard of vision for driving. Over a period of eight months, Specsavers carried out screening tests on visitors to its Drive Safe roadshows. Previous studies had estimated the number of drivers with substandard vision to be one in six. This new evidence suggests the actual figure could be worse still. The increased risk to all road users is clear but there are also implications to be considered by employers. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that an employer’s duty of care extends to all work activities, including driving for work purposes – even if this constitutes only an occasional short trip for a meeting. With one in three drivers likely to fail to meet the legal eyesight requirements, employers too are at serious risk if they…

Companies could save £350,000 by switching 10% of their fleets to electric

// Companies could cut the running costs of their fleets by an average of £350,000 and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 5% (830 tonnes) each year by replacing 10% of their current vehicles with electric models. The potential savings were identified in a British Gas study, conducted by TRL, the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory. The report found that converting 50% of a fleet to electric vehicles would result in an average annual cost saving of £1,753,000 for companies and reduce CO2 emissions in Britain by around 26% (2,320,000 tonnes). The report found that some sectors can achieve greater benefits than others from a 10% switch to electric vehicles. Fleets in the financial services sector stand to make the highest average fleet saving at £484,000 a year and could cut annual CO2 emissions by 5.7%, or 800 tonnes. The top five sectors that would…

Warning over ‘hidden’ diesel running costs

// Fleet operators could be in for a nasty financial shock if they fail to take account of the cost of replacing diesel exhaust fluid when calculating vehicle service, maintenance and repair budgets. Diesel exhaust fluid – which is best known to fleet operators as AdBlue, although that is a commercial trademark – is designed to treat exhaust gases and help vehicles meet stringent exhaust emissions standards. First introduced into HGVs, a tank containing the fluid is now fitted in most light commercial vehicles and is increasingly to be found in cars. However not all car makers highlight the cost of topping up the diesel exhaust fluid tank or the cost of a ‘clean and drain’ in scheduled servicing costs. Car and LCV diesel exhaust fluid tank capacities range between 18 and 31 litres and the fluid costs around £1.10 per litre. Typically a…

Grey fleet safety

// Guidance for fleet managers on grey fleets (privately-owned cars used on business). Managing the grey fleet is a key safety issue fleet managers need to address. In the UK, employee-owned cars used for business are nearly seven years old, on average, and therefore do not benefit from the latest safety technology. This compares unfavourably with company cars which leave service on average after four years. Research by road safety charity Brake, has found that even among companies that subscribe to its Fleet Safety Forum, nearly one in three (32%) report their policies on vehicle checks and maintenance do not extend to grey fleet vehicles. At Fleetdrive we offer useful guidance documents and provide advice to help managers reduce risks associated with grey fleet drivers. We highlight the importance of providing alternatives to grey fleet use in the first instance, and if drivers do…