2012 Half year financial report

Italy 

In February, the Law Decree no. 5 on "Urgent measures for simplification and development", was approved. Some simplifications concern road traffic, licences/authorisation to ride/drive vehicles, the contracting out of the traffic information service, regulations on exhaust gas testing and speed control equipment. In particular, pursuant to Article 11 section 8, combustion and exhaust devices of vehicles must only be tested when they undergo their MOT.

A Consolidated Act on a highway code reform was presented in early 2012 and adopted in late June by the IX Parliamentary Committee for Transport, Postal Services and Telecommunications. Under this act, a part of the highway code will be deregulated, to speed up procedures to change requirements that are frequently updated. The Consolidated Act will be examined by parliament, discussed by competent Committees in the Senate and then finally approved.

The Chamber of Deputies is currently examining a bill for the Promotion of low emission vehicles (Lulli/Ghiglia/Scalera law decree). The priority objectives of the bill are:

a) the development of sustainable mobility;

b) the development of an Infrastructures Plan, including private infrastructures, to establish a network for recharging electrical vehicles;

c) measures to promote research into alternative engines;

d) incentives for purchasing vehicles with low polluting emissions, based on CO2 emission levels. So far, a maximum limit of €70 million has been established for vehicle incentives, for each year from 2013 to 2015 (mainly for use by third parties, companies and small businesses), for electric, hybrid, LPG, natural gas, biogas, biofuel and hydrogen vehicles that produce CO2 exhaust emissions below 120 g/km;

e) further measures, such as the possibility for regions to allow vehicles with low emissions to be exempt from paying vehicle tax.

European Union

In the first half of 2012, the Commission, Parliament and Council of the European Union continued its work on the co-decision process that will lead to publication of the future “Framework Regulation for the type-approval and market surveillance of two-, three-wheeler vehicles and quadricycles”.  This regulation will significantly change the current legal framework. Final approval of the regulation being discussed is scheduled for autumn and its entry into force is expected for 2016. The EU intends issuing a specific directive for mopeds, that will only introduce Euro 3 pollution limits from 2014 onwards.

New aspects introduced by the regulation include:

  • the obligation for motorcycles up to 125cc to have advanced brake systems/combined brake systems, and for bigger engine two-wheelers to have ABS,
  • further and more stringent measures to prevent unlawful vehicle alterations,
  • reclassification of existing categories of two-, three-wheelers and quadricycles,
  • the obligation for vehicle manufacturers to freely provide information on repairs and maintenance to independent industry operators,
  • new pollution limits, which will become increasingly stricter over the years, and further testing on vehicle environmental performance (evaporative emissions, durability, etc.),
  • a single test cycle (Revised World Motorcycle Test Cycle-WMTC), which will be the same for all vehicle categories, to measure pollutant emission levels, from 2020 onwards,
  • the introduction of on board diagnostics (OBD) for some vehicle categories.

While the regulation has been discussed, the Commission has also prepared four Delegated Acts of procedures for the performance of tests necessary for vehicle type-approval. These Delegated Acts concern environmental performance, functional safety and vehicle construction requirements, as well as administrative requirements concerning the type-approval procedure. 

United Kingdom 

As from January, motorcycles can travel in London along the bus lanes of most "Red Routes", i.e. main roads that account for 5% of the city's road network, but are occupied by up to 30% of traffic. This new measure delivers numerous benefits, and chiefly shorter journey times, fewer pollutant emissions in the air and a focus on two-wheeler vehicles as a key part of London's transport strategy. 

Portugal 

In April 2012, the Portuguese government adopted the new Directive 2006/126 of the EU Commission on driving licences, that will come into force in the entire European Union on 19 January 2013. Within the framework of requirements for which the EU directive grants each member country discretionary powers, the Portuguese government has established the following:

a) persons aged 24 years and over may directly hold an A type licence (to drive two-wheelers with a maximum power above 35kW), even if they have not previously held a lower category licence (A2);

b) holders of a B type licence for cars only, may:

  • ride two-, three- or four-wheelers with a maximum speed ≤45 km/h and engine ≤50cc or maximum power up to 4kW),
  • motorcycles with a maximum engine of 125cc and maximum power ≤11kW,
  • three-wheelers with a power above 15 kW (in the latter case, from 21 years of age onwards).

France 

France's Interministerial Committee for Road Safety (CISR) has established that all drivers of vehicles must have a breathalyser on board, as from 1 July 2012. This measure concerns car drivers and persons driving quadricycles with an engine above 50cc and motorcyclists; moped riders are excluded. Fines for failure to observe this regulation will only apply starting from November.

Vietnam 

Since 1 January, a vehicle registration tax on two-wheelers has been in force, which varies depending on the vehicle value. In the city of Hanoi, for example, the tax is 4 million Dong (equal to approximately €150) for motorcycles of a value over 40 million Dong (€1500), 2 million Dong (approximately €75) for motorcycles of a value ranging from 15 to 40 million Dong (approximately €565-€1500) and 500 thousand Dong "(approximately €18) for vehicles of a value not exceeding 15 million Dong (approximately €565)

Since 1 June, a tax has been compulsory with revenues being channelled into road maintenance. The amount of the tax depends on the vehicle's engine size. In any case, the tax is less than €10/year.

In May 2012, a national regulation was introduced, establishing a limit on the evaporative emissions of two-wheeler tank emissions. To comply with this regulation, no changes were necessary for the Group's vehicles as they already meet the requirements of the regulation.

India 

In March, the Central Government published Statutory Order S.O 436(E) which amended some CMVR (Central Motor Vehicle Rules) - the main tools governing motor vehicles in India. In particular, standards were updated on:  hydraulic tubing for brakes, the identification of controls and indicators, and electromagnetic interference and compatibility. These standards will be applied to newly approved vehicles, on different dates, starting from Spring 2013. Some new standards were also published on: the type-approval of electric and hybrid vehicles, anti-spray systems, drive batteries for electric vehicles; these new standards will be adopted between the end of 2012 and end of 2013.

USA 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering amending standard no. 108 on "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment” with the development of a performance-based standard, i.e. that gives manufacturers the chance to choose the technology to use to guarantee compliance with requirements of the standard.

The NHTSA has proposed a standard to update current requirements and test procedures in standard no. 122 (Motorcycle Brake Systems), to harmonise them with the recently issued corresponding UN Global Technical Regulation no. 3.

The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act (PSEA), issued in 2011, foresees that the NHTSA will propose a standard making it obligatory for hybrid and electric vehicles to have an acoustic alert system to alert pedestrians with sight defects that vehicles are approaching when they are travelling below cross-over speed, i.e. the speed when the noise of tyres, air resistance or other factors make the vehicle identifiable even without alert systems. At present, the proposed standard is in the initial stages of approval and the legislators are evaluating whether the regulation will apply to electric two-wheelers.