Overdrive Podcast Radio Program Issue 50 -2020

Make Buses Sexy; Solar car for commuting; Second-hand car sales; Green number plates and Bentleys

Hello and welcome to Overdrive, a program that canvases issues related to cars and transport. I’m David Brown


  1. Gum tree and second-hand vehicles (1:39)
  2. Triton (2:30)
  3. This breakthrough electric vehicle never needs to be plugged in (3:29)
  4. Green numberplates launched, research predicts a boost in EV sales (4:29)
  5. Bentley’s first EV kicks off the brand’s bold reinvention (5:31)


  • We talk a lot about new car sales but how is the market in second-hand cars going. We talk to David Lowe from Gumtree Cars (6:35)

Motoring Minute

  • Audi S4 (12:31)


  • One of Overdrive’s desired transport Policies is to “Make Buses Sexy”. Brian Smith is doing a big project in Canberra to achieve just that.  He tells us why it is a rewarding but tough task. (13:42)

Motoring Minute

  • Audi SQ5 (21:52)

Quirky News

  • And we continue with Brian Smith in a lighter chat on a report that tries to understand why children like to look at garbage trucks. (23:00)



In the last two months, growth in new car sales has been strong for vehicles that could be used for recreational activities, such as SUVs and utes.

But what is happening in the new car market is also reflected in the second-hand market.

David Lowe is the marketing manager at Gumtree cars, the market site on which you can advertise a vehicle.


We’re seeing a trend towards both the term on sight. So a four by four or four wheel drives off about 70 per cent. So we’re seeing that up dramatically. And then I go into the classic. What he said for Toyota is up to 20 per cent. So that’s the third quarter. And you classics like Land Cruiser is up 13 per cent. We’re seeing extend right out to patrols and ranges and so forth.


While recreational vehicles have shown promise in recent car sales, it is a bit of a fickle market.

In October last year Mitsubishi release an update of their Triton ute with particular emphasis on improved capability for mid-spec 4 wd models.

The market responded well.  In November and December 2019 sales of their 4 wd models were up over 25%.

But for November 2020 their sales are down some 50%.

When we recently tested a Triton ute, of course, a friend needed to move some furniture.

When he rode in the Mitsubishi, he was surprised at how relatively quiet it was, showing that utes are getting more car like.

The Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux are the class leading dual cab utes but the Triton is quite a few thousand dollars cheaper and at the moment they have driveaway prices from $37,000.

This breakthrough electric vehicle never needs to be plugged in

In the 1950s the three-wheeled Messerschmitt was tiny and light and thus the ultimate economy vehicle.

Now a company is planning a three wheeled car with zero fuel costs.

It looks futuristic with an aerodynamic shape and is built out of strong, lightweight materials including carbon, Kevlar, and hemp.

But its biggest feature is the solar panels on the body that, they say, provides enough power to run it.

Aptera says their “Never Charge Vehicle” can gain 8 kms of travel for every hour in the bright sun or about 65 kms per day.

The limitations are obvious, such as the reduction on cloudy days, but Aptera believes an average commute is 25 kms, so it would be an ideal commuter car.

The “Never Charge Vehicle” will be priced in the US from $35,000 to $62,000 in equivalent Australia dollars.

Green numberplates launched, research predicts boost in EV sales

While some utes have the brand name of the vehicle in huge letters across the tail, there has been, in previous years, little specific badging to highlight the particular model of your vehicle.

Utes are now leading the charge for model recognition with names like Ranger Wildtrak and coming soon the Ranger FX 4 Max.

But what about cars that make an environmental statement.

In the UK all new and used zero-emission cars (currently only electric vehicles) are now eligible to wear green-badged numberplates to help distinguish them from petrol and diesel vehicles.

Research carried out by Nissan and Yougov claims that 32% of people surveyed would be more likely to buy an electric car because of the new plates.

This seems high but the plates could be the gateway to zero-emission parking zones, exemption from road charges and even zero-emission lanes.

Bentley’s first EV kicks off brand’s bold reinvention

The image of Bentley owners is often seen as those who have little concern for the people or the environment around them.

But Bentley’s debut electric vehicle, due in 2025, will spearhead a series of radical new models as Bentley pursues new market segments.

Bentley, which is owned by the Volkswagen Group, has committed to offering only battery-electric vehicles from 2030 onwards.

The first EV will take the form of a high-riding saloon. It will be based on a VW Group architecture, which is being developed by Project Artemis, an Audi-led initiative to develop an advanced EV platform.

Bentley bosses are not expecting a major leap in battery technology any time soon, so the firm’s first electric models will be designed to match the range and weight limitations of the current systems. The result will be models that differ significantly from Bentley’s current line-up.

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 12 December 2020 across Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and Torque Radio affiliated commercial radio channels and has a weekly audience of over 450,000.

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