Overdrive Podcast Radio Program Issue 19 – 2022

Overdrive: In-car distractions; Tim Schenken Formula 1 Driver; BMW iX3; Nissan’s four new models

Welcome to Overdrive, a program about the wonderful world of motoring and transport. I’m David Brown

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

News (1:42)

  • Are modern vehicles’ information and control systems a help or a hindrance with driver distraction?
  • Nissan’s much needed four new models
  • BMW’s all-new electric iX3
  • NZ Clean Car Discount goes into stage two

Feature Story (7:35)

We were very fortunate to get an interview with Tim Schenken – the Australian racing car driver who raced in Formula 1 in the early seventies.

His early start is a great reflection on motoring in the fifties and his struggles in Formula 1 were not through a lack of talent.

Feedback (20:45)

An incredible reaction to one of our videos.  The detail that some people see is surprising to say the least and

We have had some massive feedback from our story about 1958 FC Holden

Motoring Minutes

  • Subaru BRZ (19:35)
  • Citroen C4 (27:59)


Are modern vehicles’ information and control systems a help or a hindrance to driver distraction?

Modern vehicles have many ways to make information available to drivers, about the car’s performance or entertainment options, or even inputs to assist in the driving task.

But excessive information or poorly communicated information and actions can be a distraction more than a help

Overdrive has put a team together to constructively look at how drivers are interacting with modern systems, and to encourage best practices in future vehicle designs.

Issues include:

  • Excessive information
  • Information that is not relevant to the immediate driving task
  • Information that is difficult to read – some numbers and symbols on vehicle screens are about the size of the bottom line of an eye chart
  • Symbols that are not commonly understood
  • Information that may encourage more aggressive driving or
  • Simple tasks that require multiple steps

This is all part of what is more formally called the human-machine interface.

The team includes:

  •       David Brown

Engineer BE (Hons)

Traffic engineering, transport planning, policy development, and behaviour change

  • Michael Regan, PhD
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Research Centre for Integrated Transport Innovation
  • University of NSW, Sydney
  • Alan Evans
  • Former President of the NRMA
  • Managing Director of Dyno Dynamics
  • Terry Thompson – OAM
  • President – Govt. Liaison Council of Motor Clubs Inc.

Evan Jones

  • Former Safety Officer with the Railways Department

Ian Andersen

  • Research Fellow

We are also in conversation with an expert in the subject of ergonomics not just from physical aspects such as the setup of the driver’s seat but from a broader perspective of the emotional responses you can create for a regular or an infrequent driver of a vehicle.

If you have any comments you would like to make about your own experiences you can send a note to feedback@drivenmedia.com.au

BMW’s all-new electric iX3

BMW’s Medium sized SUV the X3 is the bestselling vehicle in the first four months of 2022, in the above $60,000 part of that segment ahead of Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Wagon, Volvo XC60, Lexus NX, Audi Q5.

They now have an all-electric model the iX3.

With a sizable 80 kW/hr battery it’s rated range is 460 km.

It can take a charge up to a rate of 150kW which is not industry-leading. This means it can charge from 10 to 80 percent in 32 minutes.

It has good space inside and comfortable, quiet travel even at highway speeds.

With a very credible 210kW and 400Nm and sure-footed handling, it copes with a spirited drive on a twisty secondary road.

It has adaptive LED Headlights while BMW Laserlight can be specified as a $2,000 option. At speeds above 60 km/h, the dynamic Laserlight module increases the high-beam range to a maximum of 650 metres and follows the course of the road.

The digital screen for the driver is uncluttered and generally easy to read. A great feature is the adaptive cruise control with a one-press button that will set the speed to the current speed limit.

Its price from $114,900 plus on-road costs

With the fifth-generation BMW eDrive unit the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission are housed within a single housing. The motors drive the rear wheels.

This highly integrated electric drive system topology located in the model-specific rear axle subframe allows a substantial reduction in both the installation space required and the weight of the components relative to the power they produce.

This has brought about an increase in power density of around 30 percent compared with the BMW eDrive technology previously featured in electrified models.

The latest version of the electric motor also demonstrates efficiency of up to 93 percent – an increase of 53 percent on modern combustion engines.

NZ Clean Car Discount goes into stage two

On the first of July 2021 NZ implemented the first step in its Clean Car Discount program

An owner could apply for a fixed rebate if their car was a low-polluting vehicle on the eligibility list.

The scheme was introduced to make it more affordable to buy low CO2 emission vehicles.

From 1 April 2022, the Clean Car Discount has become a sliding scale based on a vehicle’s CO2 emissions. Vehicles with zero or low emissions will qualify for a rebate and those with high emissions will incur a fee.

The monetary values can be substantial.

In New Zealand dollars the maximum rebate which is given to zero CO2 emissions is $8,625 for a new car and $3, 450 for a used car

At the other end of the scale, depending on your level of CO2 emissions, you could be charged up to a maximum of $5,175 for a new car or $2,875 for a used car.

In Australian dollars, for new cars, the maximum rebate is nearly $7,800 and the maximum fee is nearly $4,700

There is a band range as a cross-over point where no rebate or fee is offered between 146g/km and 192 g/km.

This would mean, for example, a normal petrol-engined Corolla, Camry, or RAV4 would pay little or no fee while their hybrid models should get a reasonable rebate.

Speaking to industry people in NZ, it appears that while there is general support for climate action the impact on personal finances is likely to produce some significant trends in buyer preference and some significant opposition.

It is also a concern that the scheme is targeted at passenger vehicles and does not address more specific areas such as polluting trucks.

Several of the conditions include

Getting the rebate

If you get a rebate under the Clean Car Discount scheme, you will not have to pay income tax on the rebate. One of the following will apply, the rebate will be:

Paying the fee

A fee payable under the Clean Car Discount scheme is a capital expense.  Because it is a capital expense, you will not get a deduction for the amount of the fee.

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 7 May 2022 across Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and Torque Radio affiliated commercial radio channels. 

About David Brown 566 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