Friday, April 06, 2018

Pensioner arrested after stabbing burglar who broke into his home released without charge

PENSIONER Richard Osbourne-Brooks arrested after a serial burglar was stabbed to death in his home will face no further action.

Henry Vincent, 38, died after suffering a stab wound during the botched burglary on 78-year-old Richard Osborn-Brooks' home in South East London.

Police today confirmed the OAP would face no further action after he was arrested on suspicion of murder on Wednesday.

The decision to arrest him sparked outrage after The Sun revealed Vincent is a career criminal who targets elderly people - carrying out a spate of break-ins on the homes of vulnerable victims.

He was arrested and still under investigation over a distraction burglary in which a box of jewellery was stolen from a man in his 70s last November.

Vincent was named by Kent cops in connection with that crime along with an accomplice who was also allegedly with him when he broke into the home of retired RAC worker Mr Osborn-Brooks.

The Metropolitan Police released a statement today confirming they had spoken to Vincent's family over their decision not to charge Mr Osborn-Brooks.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "This is a tragic case for all of those involved. As expected with any incident where someone has lost their life, my officers carried out a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the death.

“We have approached the CPS for early investigative advice, as required under the guidance.

"We have received and considered that advice, and, at present - on the evidence available - we will not seek a charging decision. Therefore, no further action will be taken against the man

Update Uber Driver To Be Jailed Over Passenger Rape.

The Uber driver from previous post is tonight behind bars after being convicted of raping a drunken passenger.

The Uber driver, Muhammad Durrani, then took intimate pictures of them together as the woman lay helpless on the back seat of his car. 

Muhammad Durrani, 38, attacked the 27 year-old after picking her up outside a live music club in Clapham, south London. 

He followed his victim out of the car and up the steps to her front door, when they reached her home and carried her back to his Toyota where he performed a sex act before taking the intimate photos.

As Muhammad likes selfies, let's see how he likes this one!

This crime should never have taken place, TfL should have ordered a cease and desist against Uber back in 2013 when they found out that Uber London Limited were operating illegally. Instead they decided to cover up for Uber until their licence expire in 2017. 

TfL are responsible for the rape if this young lady and if it were my daughter I would be sueing all the directors and managers who were and still are involved in this cover up.


It would be very interesting to see if this Uber driver, Muhammad Durrani, was actually one of the 13,000 Uber drivers with a fake DBS certificate. 

Didn’t Helen Chapman say that she would personally vouch for all these drivers?

If Durrani is found to be one, should Chapman resign ???

Unauthorised Signage

One more thing, although you may feel like printing out the photo of the statement from Court News UK and displaying it in your vehicle to warn the unsuspecting public -who believe (misguidedly) that TfL are looking after their personal safety- don’t forget that Helen Chapman’s goons vigourously protect this company and you could be reported for ‘unauthorised signage’ 

Sadiq Khan is a lousy London Mayor. Why hasn’t anyone noticed?

Outside the realm of the press release and the TV interview, Khan is underachieving badly

According to people at City Hall, Sadiq Khan writes some of his own press releases. I can believe it: they’ve certainly become a lot more excitable since he took over. I like to imagine the Mayor of London, late at night, combing the thesaurus for fresh superlatives to bugle his ‘unprecedented programme of far-reaching improvements’ for the taxi trade (allowing black cabs in more bus lanes) or his ‘bold package of measures’ to revive street markets (creating a London Markets Board and an interactive map). One release even panted that Khan had ‘personally scrutinised’ the New Year’s Eve fireworks display ‘to make the acclaimed event the most exciting yet’.

Language like this — the bold mayor, the German Democratic Republic, the powerful Commons paperclips committee — is normally taken to mean the exact opposite of what its user intends. Yet even though we are nearly halfway through Khan’s term, most people still accept him at face value. Few seem to have noticed that, outside the realm of the press release and the TV interview, he is underachieving badly.

I worked for Khan’s predecessor, Boris Johnson, so perhaps I’m biased. But the figures aren’t biased. Before the election, Khan promised that his housing policy would ‘rival the NHS with its transformative effect on society’. He said he would ‘support housing associations… to ensure a minimum of 80,000 new homes a year’, more than in any year, save one, in London’s entire history.

Few expected Khan to keep such epoch-making promises. But we did expect him to do something. City Hall figures show, however, that in the first year of Khan’s term, London did not start building a single social rented home. By comparison, Johnson started 7,439 homes for social rent in his first year as mayor and 1,687 in the first year of his second term, after the economic crash. With two years of Khan’s term nearly now gone, the great social justice warrior has finally managed to begin (drum roll) 1,263 social rent homes, many of a type he once denounced as ‘not genuinely affordable’.

The same pattern applies in most other mayoral policy areas: big promises, followed by things going inexorably backwards. Crime is up by 12 per cent since he took office, with a far bigger rise in murders. February and March were the first months in history when London homicides exceeded New York’s. On transport, Khan claimed that he could ‘both freeze fares and invest record amounts modernising London’s transport infrastructure’. Fares have, in fact, only been frozen for some travellers. But the impact (together with a cut in government grant) has still left Transport for London so short of money that it can no longer pay the interest on its debts.

As it said in a leaked memo: ‘If this was our household budget, this would be the same as not having enough money left over from our salary each month to pay our interest–only mortgage or get our car serviced.’ TfL has now been forced to suspend routine road maintenance, stop many investment programmes, and make serious cuts to the bus network. Even the first phase of this has reduced services by 7 per cent overall — and on some routes by 50 per cent.

For the first time in 25 years, public transport use is falling, with tangible impacts on congestion. The drop might, of course, have been greater without the fares freeze: but in London it is the quantity and quality of service, more than its price, which has driven usage. And each year, the revenue foregone, and the damage to services, will compound.

Khan’s promise of both real-terms fare cuts and increased investment exemplifies his greatest weakness — his wish to have it both ways, or more brutally his long-standing inability to make decisions. Depending on how strictly you count it, for instance, Khan as mayor has voiced between two and six different ‘no. 1 priorities’. As an MP, he once went straight from voting in parliament for post office closures to a public meeting where he protested against post office closures. He wobbled interminably over Boris’s Garden Bridge, reversing his position five times. He was against Heathrow expansion, then in favour, and is now against it once more — and so the list goes on.

In politics, making decisions which make a difference — building homes, raising fares to invest, taking roadspace for cycle lanes — is contested and risky. So it’s easy to see why Khan prefers to act like the shadow cabinet member he once was, using the job mainly as a platform to build his personal profile and attack the government. It wasn’t me, Miss, it was the Tories!

But Khan is not in opposition. He is in office, the holder of substantial powers and responsibilities, and there is a limit to how long he can carry on blaming all London’s problems on others. Nor is it in Londoners’ interests to attack the government constantly when it gives you most of the money you spend. Perhaps Khan is becalmed because he saw the mayoralty mainly as a stepping stone to his actual goal of the Labour leadership. Now that option has receded, his lack of purpose at City Hall has become clearer.

Yet for the moment, at least, people seem very happy with Khan. His approval ratings are high. Those who watch him closely — most of his Labour colleagues in councils and the London Assembly, a handful of journalists — know he’s not doing well. But why hasn’t the public noticed?

For one, the mayor of London is under less political and media scrutiny than any other major leader. London’s paper, the Evening Standard, does a bit but not enough. The national press sees him largely as local news. Most people’s knowledge of Khan is limited to favourable snapshots: lantern-jawed TV clips after terror attacks, or encounters with the kind of enemies anyone would kill for. Every ding-dong with Donald Trump, Chris Grayling or a far-right turniphead disrupting one of his speeches is political gold for him.

Khan also benefits from two important hopes held by most decent people: that Britain’s multi-faith society should succeed, and that Labour should be rescued from the claws of the hard left. At the same time it’s assumed he speaks for Londoners on Brexit — Londoners who are happy only because the regressive impacts of his policies haven’t bitten yet (the bus cuts, for instance).

But it’s also because the Tories are so useless. Khan’s underperformance — along with the gift that is Momentum — could help them avoid at least total disaster in May’s London borough elections. Why aren’t they jumping on it?

TIME TO GO SADIQ. Nice photo, but then you've had a lot of practise !

Source : The Spectator 

Uber - Boris Said It Was Illegal

It was during the City Hall tenure of London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson that driver and rider matching service Uber was first allowed on to the capital’s streets, and then permitted to expand to the detriment not only of established taxi and private hire operators, but the very ability of the city’s traffic to keep moving, such has been the congestion caused by Uber vehicles cruising in search of jobs.

As a result, Bozza, who shamelessly courted the cab trade in both 2008 and 2012, was so despised by it towards the end that it was no surprise when one cabbie drove up alongside him when he was cycling back to his home one evening, lowered the driver’s window, stuck out his hand, made a gesture suggesting stimulation by hand, and called after him “You’re one of them, you are, mate”. What a bell and cranker!

But what Bozza also did - although neither TfL, the Metropolitan Police, or the cab trade seems to have noticed it at the time - was to state unequivocally, in a mass-market newspaper, that Uber was an illegal operation. You read that right: he did so in his column for the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph. Worse, he suggested that breaking the law was not such a bad thing.

Read Tim Fenton's Latest on Zelo street, click link below

Thursday, April 05, 2018

New MOT rules could mean fines of up to £2,500

Stricter new rules around MOTs are being rolled out across the country next month and could see drivers facing a fine of up to £2,500 if they are caught breaking any of them. The new fines cover areas such as not having a valid MOT certificate in place or not reaching new MOT standards, particularly around failing to reach new emissions standards from diesel cars.

The new rules will start to take effect on May 20th, but the worrying thing is that most drivers are not aware of the forthcoming changes, nor are they aware of the massive increase in fines for non-compliance of the new rules that are coming into place.

Complicated rules

At the beginning of this year, we reported on a series of new measures put into place as part of the new MOT system that could catch out drivers. Now the rules are set to become law; drivers aren’t entirely aware of the new fine print that could end up costing them a lot of money, which can be up to £2,500 in some cases.

One example is putting your car in for the MOT early. If you put your car in for an MOT before it is due, and the vehicle fails, you could face a hefty fine if you continue to drive the car, despite the fact that the original MOT certificate still has a period left to run. That’s because if the car doesn’t get through the tighter new MOT rules, then it will no longer be classed as road legal, regardless of an existing MOT certificate or not.

The new rules starting in May will also include points on the licence and even a driving ban for drivers who are caught breaking them, which is unprecedented. Quite how this will be policed has not been made clear by the Government, and the Police have not indicated whether they would chase evaders from breaking the new MOT rules.

New confusing defect types

The new, more complex MOT rules also include a new series of defect types – dangerous, major and minor. There are also more strict rules on emissions for diesel cars, while cars that are 40 years or older could become MOT exempt.

RAC spokesman, Simon Williams, said “rather than MOTs being a straightforward black and white system of pass or fail, the new defect types could create confusion for drivers and testers. Each tester will have to use their judgement as to whether a defect is dangerous, major or minor and this could lead to differences from one garage to another.”

The types could also confuse drivers, especially between the dangerous and major fault categories. In the current system, if a car has a fault that means it fails the MOT, then it must be repaired before being used again. But under the new test, a vehicle with dangerous or major fault will automatically fail.

And, a minor fault on a diesel car could end up being a major one simply because of the fuel type. Any minor defects will be listed on the MOT certificate alongside the existing advisory notices system for things that the driver may want to get fixed before they deteriorate.

More tests

The new MOT rules also include yet more stress for diesel drivers with the introduction of more stringent regulations around emission testing. A diesel car can face an automatic fail if there is any smoke emitted from the exhaust in some cases. The diesel particulate filters or DPFs will also be checked, and if these are missing or altered, then the car will automatically be failed.

Other harsher tests revolve around the lights on the car. Reverse, front fog, and daytime running lights have all now been included as part of the MOT test. Reversing lights were introduced on inspections from September 2009 while daytime running lights were first added to tests in March this year. Front fog lights were also added last month.

Other tests being introduced next month include:

  • Obviously underinflated tyres
  • Contaminated brake fluid
  • Fluid leaks that pose an environmental risk
  • Warning lights for brake pads or if brake pads or discs are missing

You can sign up for a free text alert to remind you when your MOT is due which will tell you again if you haven’t had your car tested two weeks before the certificate runs out. You will need your number plate, mobile number or email address to sign up for this new service and avoid the chance of a fine for having no MOT in place

Denmark Hits 1,200 FormerUber Drivers With Additional Tax Bill

Denmark's tax authorities are demanding nearly 1,200 former Uber drivers to pay an additional $1.9 million in taxes for 2014 and 2015, after finding tax avoidance among close to all the drivers investigated.

The ride-hailing service launched in Denmark in 2014, but parliament passed a law in February 2017 that introduced more stringent requirements on taxis, such as mandatory fare meters and seat sensors. After the new rules were introduced Uber withdrew from Denmark.

The new checks were based on information Denmark had received from the Dutch authorities, where Uber's European headquarter is based (UberBV).

Danish tax authorities said in a statement they had checked 1,195 Uber drivers' tax reports and of those  all 1,192 have had their tax changed now.

Those Uber drivers will have to pay a total of 11.3 million Danish crowns ($1.86 million / £1.3 million) in additional tax, it said.

154 cases have been sent to further investigation to check whether they have been roughly negligent and should be fined additionally.

Uber spokesman said, "Thousands of drivers in Denmark used the Uber app to get access to economic opportunities and we have always informed them of their fiscal duties".
"We support regulations that help self-employed people meet their tax obligations as has been rolled out by the Danish government," 

Source Rueters 



Every job dispatched by Uber has been, and continues to be dispatched illegally!
TfL, Mike Brown and Sadiq Khan all know this. TfL have known this since 2013 (as exposed by Tim Fenton on his Zelo Street blog) and continue to consistently cover up for Uber.

The Taxi trades New United Trade group members LTDA, UCG, RMT, and Unite also know this and have done nothing about it (not one proactive word on their Twitter feeds or websites). 

They now have a reactive policy of 'keep paying the subs and let's wait and see'.

We ask @TfLTPH, why are TfL allowing Uber To Continue ?

They have known since 2013 Uber's operation is totally illegal

Uber to suspend service in Greece after new legislation

Ride-hailing service Uber said on Thursday it would suspend its licensed service in Greece after the approval of local legislation which imposes stricter regulation on the sector.
Uber, which operates a licensed service in the Greek capital, has faced opposition from local taxi drivers who accuse it of taking their business.

"New local regulations were voted on recently with provisions that impact ride-sharing services," Uber said in a blog post. "We have to assess if and how we can operate within this new framework and so will be suspending uberX in Athens from next Tuesday until we can find an appropriate solution." 
Uber operates two services in Athens: UberX, which uses professional licensed drivers, and UberTAXI, which uses taxi drivers.

The new regulations require each trip to start and end in the fleet partner's designated headquarters or parking area, something Uber does not do. A digital registry of all ride-sharing platforms and their passengers will also be created.

The company launched in Europe in 2011, angering some local authorities and taxi drivers who said it did not abide by the same rules on insurance, licensing and safety.
Following widespread protests, court battles and bans, Uber has taken a more emollient stance under its new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, suspending operations in various cities in order to comply with local regulations.

UberX launched in Athens in 2015 and more than 450,000 people have used its smartphone app to book a ride. News of the new regulation last year angered some Athenians and tens of thousands signed a petition launched by Beat - a local ride-sharing service - in favour of ride-hailing services.
UberX drivers have to be employed by fleet partners such as car rental companies or tourist agencies and their cars could not be more than seven years old. 

The data registry and return-to-garage requirement will only apply to ride-hailing services like Uber and Beat, while taxi drivers will be able to use cars that are up to 22 years old.

Source Reuters 

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Hero Or Villain : Pensioner Arrested After Burglar Dies In Stabbing Incident.

Arrested 78 year old Richard Osbourne Brooks after stabbing armed burglar (38) to death in kitchen struggle when intruders woke him as he slept next to his wife

  • Police called to break-in in south-east London in the early hours of this morning
  • The 78-year-old was 'confronted by two men and forced into his kitchen'
  • He is said to have tackled a 'burglar' armed with a screwdriver, who was stabbed
  • The pensioner has been arrested after the man, 38, later died in hospital

A pensioner has been arrested after fatally wounding an intruder during a suspected burglary at his home, police said.

Two men entered the property in Further Green Road in Hither Green, south-east London, in the early hours of this morning.

One suspect, armed with a screwdriver, forced the 78-year-old home-owner into his kitchen when he discovered them, while his accomplice went upstairs, Scotland Yard said.

Officers were called to reports of a burglary in progress at around 12.45am and the London Ambulance Service took the wounded man to a central London hospital, where he died at 3.37am.

The force was unable to confirm whether the suspect had been stabbed with the screwdriver.

The pensioner suffered bruising to his arms and was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm, police said.

He remains in custody at a south London police station.

The dead suspect’s next of kin have been informed and a formal identification is due to take place. A post-mortem examination will be carried out in due course.

The Homicide and Major Crime Command is investigating.


Although this story is not Taxi related, it reminds me of an incident that took place about 15 years ago. An older Cabby (George), who in his younger days was a Generdier Gaurd, was in Camden News about to pick up a radio job. 

He had vacated his Taxi to ring the door bell when he heard a shout "Stop him". 
As he turned, he saw a man running towards him, being chased by two uniformed police officers. 
As the man passed, George stuck his leg out and the young man went flying. 

To cut a long story short, the man was seriously injured in the fall and George was arrested. Lucky for George though he had legal cover and was soon released on bail. 
The police later dropped all charges, but it just goes to show how easy it is to wind up on the wrong side of the law. Had the case gone to court and George convicted, he would have lost his licence, all for helping the police catch suspect mugger.

The 78 year old pensioner from South London fought back, after being attacked in his own home and has now found himself in a police cell. In my eyes the man is the hero, not the villain.


The Burglar who was stabbed has now been names as Henry Vincent 38 who was wanted by police in connection to other burglaries in the area. 

From Twitter LENNY ETHERIDGE said :
It was his duty to protect his wife upstairs. Better to die fighting, than shirk your responsibility and leave your family at the mercy of evil men. I hate burglars. But when they break in whilst you are there, it becomes home invasion - a hundred times worse.

Uber Driver Carried Woman Into Backseat Of His Car ‘To Rape Her’

An Uber driver followed a young lady customer from his car to her doorstep and as she looked for her keys he pick her up from behind, carries her back to his Prius and raped her on the back seat of his cab, a court heard. 

Muhammad Durrani, 38, attacked the 27 year-old woman after picking her up outside a live music club in Clapham, south London, jurors heard. 

When they arrived at her home he got out of his car and followed her to her front door. 

As she struggled to find her keys, he came at her from behind, lifted her up in his arms and carried  her back to his Toyota. 

He then put her on the back seat, got in the car and raped her it is claimed by the prosecution. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

If CC Machines Can Have A Tip option, Why Can’t They Have A Validation Option?

I always felt it sensible for C/Card machines to have a "Validate" option available to drivers in cases where the journey was either quite long or if the driver had doubts or suspicion a card may not work (out of date etc)

As we are not empowered (trusted) by the PCO to examine any card physically it would surely be a simple software addition to allow a passenger to enter the card into any machine with a validation option to create confidence all round.

Currently, there is not, I personally would refuse anyone who I suspect holds an out-of -date card unless I see it close up, It is not unreasonable to ensure a potential passenger proves they have adequate funds to cover the Journey (particularly a longer one) before its commencement, and that applies to cash or card remembering we are all vulnerable sole traders who are regularly targeted and more often than not abandoned by the police in time of need, so every Taxi driver must vigorously protect their business from fraudulent exploitation and no licensing authority could reasonably argue against that right.

Be Lucky.


Val Shawcross Asked What Measures Are In Place To Stop Bus Drivers Moonlighting As Ûber Drivers.

We've all seen the Ûber Prius outside bus garages, we've known for years that some bus drivers are moonlighting as Ûber drivers.... This apparently is not allowed!

But what safe gaurds are inplace to protect the public. Surely you'd think TfL would have this covered....

Well think again....

In the same manner that they passed the Buck and put the responsibility for customer complaints to be dealt with by Ûber themselves, TfL say its the bus company's responsibility to check that their drivers are not registered as Taxi or private hire drivers. 

This was the reply which came back from deputy Mayor Shawcross. 

Dear Val Shawcross,

I recently attended a Transport User Group meeting where the question was asked by a local residents association about TfL licensed private hire vehicles parking in residential areas in or near to Fulwell Bus Garages.

Those representing the Bus Operators stated that there was a limit to the number of hours a bus driver could drive on a daily basis (10 hours), which included driving to and from home and the Bus Garage.

What system, if any, is there in place for TfL and the Bus Operators to check if bus drivers are licensed by TfL as private hire drivers and vice-versa regarding driving for more the allowed hours?



       Regular sights outside bus garages 

Dear Mr Xxxxx,

Thank you for your email received earlier today. I am responding on Val's behalf.

The bus operators, who employ bus drivers, have employment contracts that state drivers must not engage in any other paid or unpaid work without their written consent. No bus company has agreed to a driver working in a second driving job such as for a taxi or private hire firm. When isolated cases of drivers 'moonlighting' have come to a bus operator's attention, action has been taken by the operator. We have also put an additional assurance process in place enabling bus operators to check if their employees are licensed on our taxi and private hire database - and could be holding two jobs.

Thank you again for raising your concerns with us. 

Kind regards

David Vorster
Communications and Engagement 
Taxi & Private Hire | Transport for London | Surface Transport 

Source : LTDF 

Electric Vito From Mercedes-Benz : No Range Extender, 90 MilesMax...Electric Taxi?

Mercedes appears to be looking towards the same mass market as the LEVC....the mid range delivery van market. 
Electric Vito Taxi alleged to be a let down.  

Hasn't really improved since this write up 8 years ago:

Takes six hours to recharge with a maximum range of only 90miles, that could reduce to 60miles with a full load. Unless this model is upgraded, it's not really suitable for Taxi work.

  • • Electric drive planned for all commercial model ranges in the Mercedes-Benz line-up.
  • • eVito launches in 2018, with further model ranges to follow as of 2019.
  • • Fast implementation of the eDrive@VANs strategy with five cornerstones: holistic ecosystem, industry expertise, profitability, co-creation and technology transfer.
  • • A one-stop shop – state-of-the-art vehicle, robust charging infrastructure, service on-the-ground and connectivity services.
Mercedes-Benz plans to offer all its commercial van model lines with electric drive. 
This will start with the mid-size eVito, which is now available to order, with deliveries commencing in the second half of 2018. Further model ranges will follow, starting in 2019. The leading van manufacturer presented its holistic electric drive strategy at the eDrive@VANs workshop in Berlin. The focus was not just on the electric van itself, but also on a technological ecosystem tailored specifically to customers’ business needs. A holistic strategy based on five cornerstones delivers an innovative total-system solution covering the entire value chain of commercial usage. In order to meet this goal, customer co-creation plays a central role in product development, integrating the strategic partner and their industry expertise into the development process. The new eVito is the first production vehicle to have been developed using this strategic approach.
“We are convinced by the necessity of electric drive in our vans, especially in city centre applications. That said, electrification of the commercial fleet is not an end in itself, but follows the same principles as a classic drive when it comes to profitability. With our eDrive@VANs initiative, we’re showing that only holistic mobility solutions extending beyond the drive itself present a real alternative for commercial customers. The eVito is the starting point and will be followed by the new -generation of our Sprinter as well as the Citan”, says Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
A commercial fleet must be able to meet transport needs economically and competitively – this principle applies regardless of the type of powertrain. If fleet electrification is to compete on equal terms with the classic internal combustion engine, it will need more than the right economic parameters such as the cost of purchasing and operating the vehicles. Just as important from the perspective of total cost of ownership is the integration of a robust charging infrastructure as well as comprehensive service and maintenance management.
Mercedes-Benz Vans plans to electrify all its commercial model ranges over the next few years, starting with the eVito. The second all-electric production model from Mercedes-Benz Vans after the 2010 Vito E-Cell starts at 39 990 euros (in Germany excl. VAT). The exclusive pre-ordering phase for the mid-size van begins today in Germany, with market launch scheduled for the second half of 2018. The first 1000 orders on the microsite will also be rewarded with a service package including Wallbox. The eVito will be followed in 2019 by the eSprinter. The line-up will then be rounded off by the Citan. The commercial model ranges with electric drive will thus cover all requirements from people moving to goods transport.
The Mercedes-Benz Vans electric mobility strategy is based on the five cornerstones – a holistic ecosystem, industry expertise, profitability, co-creation and technology transfer:
1. Holistic ecosystem augments vehicle development
An off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all electric model for tradespeople, couriers and people movers has no long-term future, which is why Mercedes-Benz Vans is pursuing tailor-made total-system solutions based on expert advice. Dialogue between customers and the specialists at Mercedes-Benz Vans will enable the individual adaptation of operating concepts to meet sector needs, fleet size and driving profile as well as the structural prerequisites for creating a dedicated charging infrastructure on company premises. The advice provided thus extends well beyond choosing the right vehicle variants and industry-specific equipment details. The use of connectivity solutions specific to electric vehicles as well as financing and mobility concepts will also be addressed at the early planning stages. The Mercedes-Benz Vans dealership network offers top-quality, nationwide service in electric mobility as the basis for reliable, round-the-clock management of maintenance and servicing. This ecosystem includes the following elements:
  • Robust and intelligent charging infrastructure
  • Connectivity solutions for charge status, battery range and optimum route planning in real-time
  • Consulting: eVAN Ready App and TCO tool for analysis of driving behaviour and overall costs
  • Rental vehicles for peak periods
  • Driver training programme for electric fleets
Employee training is particularly crucial to the effective use of an electric van in everyday business as the right driving style can have a positive impact on maximum range.
2. High level of industry expertise for precisely the right product fit
As a pioneer in the development of battery-electric vehicles – the MB 100 van was powered by an electric motor back in the mid-90s – Mercedes-Benz Vans combines experience garnered over two decades with comprehensive industry expertise from its everyday sales and marketing activities. Even more so than in private ownership, vehicles used for commercial purposes must be tailor-made exactly to their respective use. Diverse types of trades and services, providers of courier or package delivery services and companies involved in the public or private transportation of people call for very different solutions. Starting with the Vito and following in 2019 with the Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz Vans will offer versatile and flexible base electric vehicles that can be adapted during the purchasing process in their range and load facilities to suit their specific usage scenarios. The new eVito will embody this very variability from market launch.
3. Focus on profitability and low TCO
When it comes to operating costs (total cost of ownership), the newcomer stands on an equal footing with the diesel-powered Vito. The higher purchase price is offset by lower energy and maintenance costs as well as tax savings. A prerequisite is the appropriate framework, such as attractive electricity pricing. Rapid developments in battery technology promise that, going forward, electric-drive vehicles will be amortised faster than those with conventional engines and will offer distinct commercial and environmental benefits. Furthermore, the holistic approach and the provision of a complete eDrive ecosystem significantly reduces operating costs across the entire lifecycle compared with piecemeal, isolated solutions, and offers customers of the eVito significant efficiency benefits and thus commercial added value.
4. Customer co-creation a new focal point of development
The electrification of the model line-up is accompanied by a paradigm shift in development – with customer co-creation taking centre stage. For instance, strategic customers such as logistics service provider, Hermes, and its specific requirements are integrated directly into the ongoing development of the electric vehicles and services. Hermes and Mercedes-Benz Vans agreed on a cooperation earlier this year, and will embark on a pilot phase in Hamburg and Stuttgart at the start of 2018. The electric fleet, which will be used for parcel deliveries, will subsequently be rolled out to other urban areas and reach a total of 1500 electric Vito and Sprinter by 2020. The strategic cooperation also includes working together to generate a concept for an efficient charging infrastructure at Hermes logistics centres, and IT services for optimum control of the electric fleet. In addition, the entire delivery process will be accelerated through the likes of automatic load-space systems that facilitate automated loading and unloading of packages.
Mercedes-Benz Vans is working with its customers to drive the innovation process in last-mile solutions, and not only with a view to the courier and package delivery sector. “The results from customer co-creation for the last mile can be transferred over to other sectors. At the end of the day, all customers can benefit from this transfer of knowledge and technology”, explains Mornhinweg.
5. Expertise and technology transfer from the Daimler Group
The core brand promises of Mercedes-Benz Vans apply regardless of the type of drive – there can be no compromises in ergonomics, workplace safety, comfort and safety in future either. The vehicle must also be attractive to the drivers who use it day after day. In order to guarantee these hallmark attributes, Mercedes-Benz Vans is building on proven vehicle concepts and further augmenting them with an all-electric powertrain developed in-house. This is founded on its access to the extensive technological resources of Daimler AG. Carrying over modular elements from car development that have a high degree of maturity guarantees first-class quality. The Group is investing heavily in electric mobility and making systematic use of the synergies between the car and commercial vehicle divisions. Deutsche Accumotive – a Daimler subsidiary based in Kamenz near Dresden – supplies batteries for the eVito. Different battery charging systems and tiered battery sizes set new benchmarks in economy and the cost/benefit ratio. In addition to high investment in other areas of the Group, Mercedes-Benz Vans will invest a further 150 million euros in the electrification of its commercial line-up over the next years.
The new eVito – range of around 150 km, top speed of up to 120 km/h, payload of more than 1000 kg and cargo volume of up to 6.6 m3
With an installed battery capacity of 41.4 kWh, the range of the new eVito will be around 150 km. Even in unfavourable conditions such as low outside temperatures and with a full load, it will have a range of 100 km. The mid-size van is thus perfectly configured for city-centre use by delivery companies, tradespeople and public transport providers. The battery can be fully charged in around six hours, while an output of 84 kW and up to 300 newton metres of torque deliver dynamic performance. When it comes to top speed, the customer can choose between two options: A maximum speed of 80 km/h fulfils all requirements in city traffic and urban areas, while conserving energy and increasing range. If more speed is needed, the customer can choose a top speed of up to 120 km/h.
Initially, it will be possible to pre-order the eVito with one of two wheelbases. The long-wheelbase version has a total vehicle length of 5140 mm, while the extra-long version measures 5370 mm. The electric model demonstrates its suitability for everyday use not least with a generous load space. It can accommodate a maximum payload of 1073 kg and a maximum load volume of 6.6 m3. Installation of the battery beneath the vehicle contributes to the unrestricted usability of the entire load space. The maximum gross vehicle weight stands at 3200 kg.
Mercedes-Benz Vans is driving the transition from pure vehicle manufacturer to provider of holistic mobility solutions with the adVANce strategic future initiative launched in autumn 2016. The strategic reorientation is also a response to the core challenges of current megatrends – increasing urbanisation with growing traffic levels in urban areas, stricter requirements for air purity and the demand for sustainable mobility. Under the adVANce umbrella, the brand with the three-pointed star will have invested around 500 million euros by 2020 in areas such as the integration of a wide range of connectivity solutions into its vans, innovative hardware solutions for the van sector and new mobility concepts

Monday, April 02, 2018

Joe Lewis Sings The American Song Book

I hope you're having a good Easter
Well, the first Gig date has been confirmed!  Friday 25th May at the Horseshoe in Clerkenwell Close, EC1
Come & join myself, accompanied by the legendary '17 Piece' Denmark Street Big Band as we revisit those classic songs from the Rat Pack / American Songbook era. *Sinatra *Martin *Davis Jr *Darin *Bennett *Anka & more.. 
It promises to be a Swinging night in May! 

Tickets are £15 and are selling fast! 
Want one? Let me know..

And, if you haven't already, go and give @DenmarkStreetBigBand a Like & Follow.

Uber Is Shutting Down Its Little-Used UberRush Delivery Service :Little By Little, Bit By Bit.

Their name rolls out across the dusty plains, like grave yards filled with tombstones, waiting for a name.

Not long ago, on-demand package pickup Shyp closed its doors, saying it had failed to achieve critical mass for its explosive growth strategy and a last-minute pivot to business customers was too little, too late. Now UberRush, Uber’s delivery service for merchants in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, is following suit and will soon be out of business.

TechCrunch reported on Friday that the NYC Rush team sent out an email to customers informing them the service would shutter at the end of June 2018, adding that while the company believes in “big bold bets,” they had to move on to other applications of Uber technology. The site confirmed to TechCrunch the June 30th shutdown date was official:

“We’re winding down UberRUSH deliveries and ending services by the end of June,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We’re thankful for our partners and hope the next three months will allow them to make arrangements for their delivery needs. We’re already applying a lot of the lessons we learned together to our UberEats food delivery business in over 200 global markets across more than 100,000 restaurants.”

TechCrunch noted that it had long since forgotten the service even existed, which is generous given its existence at all may have eluded notice for many in the first place. In April 2017, Uber discontinued UberRush courier service for restaurants, encouraging them to switch to its UberEats program. It wasn’t a good omen for the already minor Uber division, given that Quartz reported at the time that former employees said restaurants were the bulk of its business and that UberEats was simply more lucrative:

While Uber will likely continue to face supply constraints from its Eats push, the food delivery platform offers a more attractive value proposition than Rush did. That’s because with Eats, customers place their orders through Uber’s app. The company collects a delivery fee ($5 in most cities), a cut of around 30% from the restaurant, and a cut of 25% to 30% from the courier on each order, rather than the flat mileage-based fees on Rush.

In any case, the market for people willing to pay premium prices for somebody to go pick up their packages is apparently a good bit smaller than the market for having someone pick up your pizza.

This is hardly Uber’s biggest recent loss, though, as the company has continued to shed billions of dollars as part of an exhaustive growth strategy that is hitting a wall in some markets. The company recently bailed on its Southeast Asia division, opting to sell it and the 600 million potential customers living in the region to competitor Grab in a deal that has attracted the attention of Singaporean anti-competition authorities.

Source : Gizmodo