A round-up of this week’s news from the world of fleet and motoring
Shell to deploy ultra-fast chargers across Europe
Royal Dutch Shell are to partner with carmakers to bring ultra-fast chargers to 10 European countries.
Shell’s agreement with charging network operator Ionity – a joint venture between BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen – will bring high-powered charging docks to 80 highway sites in 2019, the company said in a statement.
The high-powered chargers will be capable of topping-up an electric car in five to eight minutes — up to three times faster than is currently possible.
The Shell sites will form part of a network of 400 fast-charging stations planned by Ionity by 2020. Each charging point will have a capacity of 350 kilowatts, compared with today’s industry standard of 50kW.
Head of retail for Shell said István Kapitány: “Customers want to go on long journeys in their electric vehicles and feel confident that there are reliable, comfortable and convenient places to charge them quickly.”
An average of six fast-charging points will be installed at each of the 80 sites chosen by Shell in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the UK.
The number of electric vehicle charging points in Europe nearly tripled from 2014 to 2017 to reach almost 120,000, according to the European Alternative Fuels Observatory.
With an additional 20 stations expected to be added in Germany, about a quarter of Shell’s stations along highways in Europe will offer high-power electric charging within two years, Kapitány told Reuters.
HMRC release latest advisory fuel rates
HMRC has released its latest advisory fuel rates (AFRs), which will come into force from 1 December.
There are four changes: a 1p per mile increase for diesel-engine vehicles and LPG vehicles over 2,000cc and a 1ppm increase for petrol and LPG vehicles between 1,401cc and 2,000cc.
All other rates remain unchanged.
UK courier fleets put on 50% more vans in run up to Christmas
UK courier fleets hire over 50% more vehicles to cope with demand triggered by online deliveries over Black Friday and in the run up to Christmas.
Courier insurers Staveley Head looked at data from some of the UK’s biggest brands including Amazon, Argos, Royal Mail and Hermes over the Black Friday weekend. The firm predicted £7bn would have been spent over last weekend – which works out at £1,736,111 a minute. This resulted in approximately 225 million parcels in transit before the end of the year.
Around 82,000 lorries and vans were expected to be on UK roads delivering Black Friday parcels.
The company estimated parcel delivery firm Yodel, who supported Amazon and Argos delivering parcels, used an extra 7,000 vehicles to make Black Friday deliveries on top of their usual 2,500.
Hermes was expected use an extra 3,000 vehicles in addition to the usual 10,000. They were set to have delivered 750,000 parcels on the Sunday (26 November) after Black Friday.
During Amazon’s busiest 24-hour period, a lorry leaves one of its warehouses every 1 minute 33 seconds.
An extra 49,000 seasonal staff will be hired across Royal Mail, Argos and Amazon.
Amazon UK alone hired 20,000 across all departments, on top of its 24,000 regular employers, to cope with Black Friday demand.
Argos will be hiring an extra 10,000 for the Christmas period.
Royal Mail hired 19,000 to deal with all the deliveries, as well returns.