Business news round-up (9/11/2017)

Airlabs launches in-car air pollution filter

London-based engineering company Airlabs has launched Airbubbl, an in-car filter which it is claimed will protect drivers and passengers from the harmful effects of air pollution.

The Airbubbl is fitted to the back of a driver’s seat in a car

The device fastens behind the driver’s headrest and plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter, and works by sucking in polluted air, trapping NO2 on a re-engineered nano carbon filter, removes particulates, and directs clean air at head height to the driver and passengers using optimised airflow, the company claims.

Potential customers can pledge to buy Airbubbl via the crowdfunding website Kickstarter, for as much as £199 per unit, with an estimated shipping date of May 2018.

Commenting on the product, Airlabs chief executive, Sophie Power, said: “It is completely unique. There is currently no way to effectively remove NO2 inside your car and no products on the market that claim to do so.

“This technology should be mandatory for all new cars to integrate into their filtration system. Any professional driver such as a delivery van driver in an urban area should be able to ask for this technology for their wellbeing at work.”

CitiPark to combat air pollution through green initiatives

Car park operator CitiPark is introducing a range of measures across its parking network aimed at tackling air pollution and encouraging the use of low emission vehicles.

Following on from the launch of the organisation’s emissions based parking tariff at its site in central London, which offers a discount to drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles of around 20% of its regular tariff, the company is also rolling out electric vehicle charging across its network of sites.

A Tesla charging bay at a CitiPark car park

CitiPark’s Merrion Centre and First Direct Arena car park in Leeds give customers the option to use Tesla Destination charging bays and universal charging bays, which are compatible with all electric vehicles.

Tesla Destination charging bays were first installed at CitiPark’s Leeds Dock car park, with branches in Watford, Manchester and London also following suit.

Ben Ziff, Managing Director of CitiPark, said: “We believe that the infrastructures supporting the auto-motive industry and governmental green agendas should also be adopting the same forward-thinking approach. We are investing a great deal into all of our branches at the moment, not just aesthetically but operationally too.

“We are also proud to be partnered with Tesla as part of their Destination Charging programme and to contribute to the pursuit of sustainable transportation.

“Here at CitiPark, we are committed to the fight against rising air pollution currently being experienced across the UK and are continuously looking at ways to enhance our ‘Going Green’ initiative.”

Carmakers launch joint European EV charging network

Car manufacturers including BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group have announced a joint venture, IONITY, for the development of a High-Power Charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles across Europe.

The joint venture has a target to roll out a total of 400 HPC stations across the continent by 2020.

Based in Munich, Germany, the joint venture is led by chief executive Michael Hajesch and chief operating officer Marcus Groll.

Commenting on the venture, Mr Hajesch, said: “The first pan-European HPC network plays an essential role in establishing a market for electric vehicles. IONITY will deliver our common goal of providing customers with fast charging and digital payment capability, to facilitate long-distance travel.”

A total of 20 stations will be opened to the public this year, located on major roads in Germany, Norway and Austria, at intervals of 120 km, through partnerships with “Tank & Rast”, “Circle K” and “OMV”.

Through 2018, the network will expand to more than 100 stations, each one enabling multiple customers, driving different manufacturer cars, to charge their vehicles simultaneously, the organisation says.

With a capacity of up to 350 kW per charging point, the network will use the European charging standard Combined Charging System.

The founding partners, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group, have equal shares in the joint venture, while other automotive manufacturers are invited to help expand the network.