No wonder global car giants “are getting serious about electric cars”, says Robin Pagnamenta in The Times. Sales of electric vehicles jumped by 70% last year to a global total of around 1.15 million – still a small fraction of the total global car fleet of more than one billion, but sales have rocketed in recent years.
Meanwhile, sales of hybrid vehicles, which combine a battery with an internal combustion engine, have climbed to around 900,000. China is a key growth driver, aiming for 12% of new cars to be electric by 2020, compared with 1% now.
“This is not just about economics, and voting to make our country poorer while Brexiters fantasise about the freedom to trade with non-EU nations with whom we already trade. The EU was set up primarily to unite a continent that had been tearing itself apart for centuries. And there are now uncomfortable echoes of the 1930s in the rise of extremist parties in mainland Europe. The last thing that the Europeans we are supposed to be ‘negotiating with’ are prepared to do is let Britain off lightly: they are rightly terrified about a domino effect… Yet… Brexiters… are kidding themselves into believing that the others do not mean what they say.”
William Keegan, The Observer
The bottom line
£1.1bn The value of gin sales in Britain’s pubs, restaurants, supermarkets and off-licences over the past year, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association. More than 1.1 billion gin and tonics were drunk, thanks in part to the popularity of new craft gins.
€15 The fine handed down to priest Norbert Appel, who, dressed as St Nicholas, was pulled over by police for speeding in Dortmund, Germany. Appel said he was running late for an appearance at a local school.
300,000 The number of Nintendo’s Famicon Minis that were sold during its first two weeks on sale in Japan. The product is based on its hugely popular 1983 video games console.
1,500 The number of jobs that online fashion retailer Asos is to create at its Camden headquarters in London over a three-year period. The company will expand its current offices by 40,000 square feet to house the extra staff.
€1.1m How much a mostly complete skeleton of a carnivorous allosaurus dinosaur, which went extinct 135 million years ago, sold for at an auction in Lyon, France.
£160,000 The amount raised on a crowdfunding website in two weeks by More United, a group led by television historian Dan Snow (pictured), which campaigns for a more tolerant Britain. More United has raised its target to £250,000.
£22.39 The extra tax payable on an average Band D property if council tax rose by the maximum 2% set by then-chancellor George Osborne last year. The government warned this week that council tax will rise further to cover the costs of social care.
£274m The amount Britain donated to the Strategic Climate Fund for developing countries without knowing exactly where the money was going, according to The Times. The US has threatened to halt its donations citing similar concerns.