Shiny Shiny daily round up: Is VW planning to launch convertible ID3?

VW is using social media to gauge interest in its electric ID 3 range, particularly the possible launch of a convertible ID.3 electric vehicle (like the one pictured above). Posting on LinkedIn, Volkswagen CEO Ralf Brandstätter suggested that an open-roof version of the brand’s electric hatchback “could provide an entirely new, extraordinary feeling of freedom”. He added that the concept is “a very tempting idea”, and that Volkswagen is considering how it could be taken to production. See story on Tech Digest. 

Genealogy site MyHeritage has introduced a tool which uses deepfake technology to animate the faces in photographs of dead relatives. Called DeepNostalgia, the firm acknowledged that some people might find the feature “creepy” while others would consider it “magical”. It said it did not include speech to avoid the creation of “deepfake people”. It comes as the UK government considers legislation on deep fake technology. See full story here:

Online review website Trustpilot has unveiled plans for a £1bn listing in London, further bolstering the city’s hopes to become an emerging hub for technology listings. The review company, which is based in Copenhagen, said it was planning to list around a quarter of its shares and looking to raise $50m (£36m) in an initial public offering, to help accelerate its growth plans. The float is expected to value Trustpilot at around £1bn. See Telegraph for full story. 

Energy giant Centrica has pulled forward two of its leading green pledges by five years, aiming to become a net-zero business by 2045 and to operate a fully electric vehicle (EV) fleet by 2025. The parent company of British Gas, Centrica said it planned to reduce its own emissions, as well as those from customers that use its electricity or gas, in line with the Paris Agreement’s more ambitious 1.5C warming scenario. See full story on Business Green

A new camera scheme is set to catch motorists in the act of disposing of litter from their windows, landing them with hefty fines. From April, Maidstone Borough Council in Kent will employ the use of LitterCam to seek out and fine drivers flouting the rules in the first pilot scheme in the country. Under current guidelines, fines begin at £90 and rise to £120 if unpaid after 15 days. The maximum on-the-spot fine in England is £150. See Daily Mail

A group of fifteen UK tech companies have come together to launch an initiative aimed at tackling the climate crisis and attracting green investment. The ‘Tech Zero taskforce’, which is led by Hayden Wood, CEO and co-founder green energy supplier Bulb, also includes UK tech luminaries allplants, Babylon, Citymapper, Faculty, GoCardless, Habito, Hopin, MoneySuperMarket Group, OLIO, Onfido, Revolut, Starling Bank, what3words and Wise. The group will work with the government’s Council for Sustainable Business and UK’s Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith MP to inspire other companies to help the UK meet its target of net zero emissions by 2050. See story on Transition Earth

The Grand Tour host James May has written about his love of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in a piece for the Sunday Times Magazine, summarising the advantages and disadvantages of them versus battery-electric vehicles. As an owner of both types of electric car, the 58-year old is one of fewer than 200 Toyota Mirai owners in the UK. The Mirai, launched in 2014, is Toyota’s FCEV, and one of only two hydrogen-powered cars currently offered in the UK (the other is the Hyundai Nexo). See story in Sunday Times Driving

Households could soon put their unwanted mobile phones and tablets out for collection with the rest of their recycling under plans currently being considered by ministers. In a statement to the Environmental Audit Committee, the Government said it was “exploring options for rolling out kerbside collections” for e-waste items. Ministers have also confirmed they are considering whether to require online retailers, such as Amazon, to collect old electronics to bring them into line with obligations on physical retailers. See story here:


Chris Price