Overdrive Podcast Radio Program Issue 15 – 2022

Hello and welcome to Overdrive a program about cars and transport. Everything interesting and new for the week. I’m David Brown

Overdrive: Dynamometers; Polestar in Aust; Which Car Drivers have a DUI

The times each story appears in the program are noted (mm:ss)

News (1:55)

Vehicle sales – Supply constraints make for some interesting trends

Vehicle sale numbers – Tesla and Polestar and in there and counting

Rating with cars have more drink-driving incidents from the users

Trucking Industry Anger After Budget Slashes Tax Rebate To Zero

Feature Story (8:29)

Modern vehicles are full of clever technology to get more efficiency, but they are tuned for average driving situations. Dynamometers can help tune a car, a truck, a motorbike or even a lawn mover to get good efficiency and, especially in the case of cars a trucks, vehicles can be tuned for your particular needs.

We speak to

Alan Evans the owner and MD of Dyno Dynamics the makers of quality dynamometers here in Australia. Great information from a local manufacturing company.

Feedback (16:44)

And a bit of feedback about a subject we raised last week.

Motoring Minute (18:36)

Information piece (19:43)

In the light of major electric car companies now being represented in our reported sales figures we chat to Samantha Johnson the MD of Polestar in Australia.

Motoring Minute (27:44)


Vehicle sales – Supply constraints make for some interesting trends

The FCAI has released the vehicle sales figures for March 2022.

Because of constrictions in supply, they are a reflection on the available stock as much as consumer preference.

With supply and demand both playing their part, significant trends for the first quarter of the year include:

  • Mitsubishi has done well and is in a clear third place in overall sales
  • Kia has moved into 4th place with greater sales than its sibling brand Hyundai in 5th though not by much. Kia’s Medium SUV the Sportage and its smallest SUV the Stonic led their charge.
  • MG was the 7th best selling brand and Isuzu ute is in 8th
  • The bigger luxury vehicle brands are well down – Mercedes sales are down 27%, BMW down 13%, Audi down 38%, Lexus down 15%.
  • A few European brands that are still selling in very low numbers but have had a welcome percentage increase include Renault up 97% and Peugeot up 22%.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has noted that in YTD terms the market is down half of a percent on last year, but this is the first time that Tesla and another electric vehicle company Polestar have reported their sales numbers so the percentage decline would be higher than the reported figure.

If the numbers are representative, then Tesla is the 15th best-selling company (out of some 50 car companies). It is one place ahead of Honda and ahead of many brands including prestige vehicles such as Audi, Volvo, Lexus, Porsche, Land Rover and many more.

Tesla accounted for 65% of full electric vehicles sold.

Vehicle sale numbers – Tesla and Polestar and in there and counting

The Federal Chamber of Automotive industries aims to represent the collective view of car companies in Australia.

But for some time, Tesla has not been a member, citing the cost of membership.

Tesla has now joined the group and for the first time the sales figures for the latest month – March 2022, include their numbers which appear to be very significant.

Also included are the figures for another electric car manufacturer, is the Swedish company Polestar which arose out of the Volvo car company that is now Chinese owned.

This is one indication of electric car manufacturers embracing the mainstream.

Samantha Johnson is the Managing Director for Polestar in Australia. Prior to an official announcement, I asked her if Polestar was a member of FCAI

Samantha Johnson: Absolutely. And especially I’ve just been appointed the board on the board of the Electric Vehicle Council and thank you very much. And really, that gives us a great voice and being able to really work on the areas that we feel are our high priority. So, you know, educating people on charging infrastructure and making sure that that’s done in the right way.

Rating with cars have more drink driving incidents from the users

Creating an image for a vehicle brand is one of the big aims of marketing.

But if that image is a macho, domineering, and/or performance picture it can have some negative consequences.

Insurify, a platform that compares insurance products for Americas, compiled information from their database of over 2.7 million insurance applications where drivers had to disclose their driving record. They then cross-referenced it to other data sets such as mileage travelled.

They compiled results of the number of drivers who own a particular model and who had one or more DUI citations on their record.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk-driving claims the lives of more than 10,000 individuals every year in the United States, An average of one per hour.

6 of the top ten vehicles where owners had one or more DUI citations were large utilities or as they are called in America, pickups:

The precision of the analysis is not clear, but the overall trends appear to have veracity that deserves closer attention.

Trucking Industry Anger After Budget Slashes Tax Rebate To Zero

The Federal Government’s halving of the fuel excise has been seen as a winner for motorists, but the National Road Transport Association is not happy.

They said that The Budget announced a 22.1 cents per litre reduction in fuel duty but Treasury’s fact sheet issued on Budget night says the effective reduction for heavy vehicle operators on public roads is only 4.3 cents per litre.

Their argument is that as well as fuel excise, which has been temporarily reduced, heavy vehicles pay a road user charge which has not changed and is currently 26.4 cents per litre but the budget reduced the Fuel Tax Rebate Credit (FTC) for heavy vehicles on public roads from 17.8c a litre to zero.

Given the reduction in revenue that will happen with the increased use of electric cars and this current debate about who benefits the most from the short-term budget move on fuel excise, it is time for a thorough review of road user charges.

An effective road user charge could vary the rate to suit good policy directions such as moderately higher cost for travelling in peak hours in urban areas or in the case of trucks, higher rates for more polluting trucks. Australia has a high average age of trucks where an older model can produce 60 times more pollutants than a vehicle that meets the current European standards.

You can find more information at Driven Media or previous programs are available as podcasts on iTunes or Spotify. OR our Facebook site OverdriveCity Originally broadcast 9 April 2022 across Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and Torque Radio affiliated commercial radio channels. 

About David Brown 604 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto