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Charging into the future

Electric vehicles (EVs) are not big sellers in Australia yet. In 2016 we bought only 1,369 EVs, a drop from 1,771 in 2015. Even then, most were plug-in hybrids, rather than all-electric vehicles. Yet carmakers say the future is electric. Recent moves by countries like China and the UK to limit or ban petrol and diesel suggest it’s true. Read More

The trouble with cutting emissions

The VW diesel emissions debacle showed the world it was all too easy to fudge the figures on cutting emissions. Now the Australian government is in discussions with industry on setting emission standards for new vehicles. Unfortunately, different groups come up with their own statistics, making it harder for consumers to know the truth. Read More

The future is fly and drive

Humans have always been fascinated by the idea of being able to fly because we are so earthbound. But watching birds take off and fly offers science a few ideas for how we might do the same. Just as birds, insects and other animals can walk and fly, there is potential for a flying machine that works efficiently on the ground and in the air. Read More

The safety (or not) of driverless cars

If we asked you to name one good reason for driverless cars, you would probably say safety. If 90% of crashes are caused by human error, eliminating humans should reduce the chance of crashing. In fact, experts say we could save 1.2 million lives each year because driverless cars are so safe. Read More

We might forget how to be good drivers

There are two big trends in driving that could be working against each another. One is that new vehicles come increasingly equipped with driving aids, such as lane-assist, self-parking and blind spot technology. The second is drivers are becoming lazy and more distracted by gadgets in their vehicles. What is the result? More road deaths and serious injuries and – worse – we forget how to be good drivers. Read More

Electric vehicles are humming right now

How many electric vehicles (EVs) have you seen on the road? Probably not many. Sales of EVs in Australia dropped 23% in 2016: only 701 plug-in hybrids and 668 fully electric. In September 2017, Australians bought 100,200 cars and only 93 were pure EVs while 907 were hybrids. No wonder the NRMA and Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) wants action to encourage us to go out and buy them. Read More

Are dealerships on the way out?

You might not want to buy a car but it can be fun looking around a dealership to see what’s on offer. That may soon change. Some 85% of leaders in the global auto industry are convinced 20-50% of dealerships will be shut within seven years. So what will local dealerships do then? And how will we buy a car? Read More

Safety tips for buying used cars

If you want to buy a used car, here are some tips about which models are safest. An Australian study, led by Monash University, gives 1-5 star ratings for nearly 400 models of vehicle. There was a huge difference between the best and the worst. In fact, a driver in the least safe car is 10 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed than in the safest car.

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Why and where people break down

There’s never a convenient time for your vehicle to break down but most people break down some time. The most common reason in NSW, according to NRMA, is flat batteries. In Britain, the top reason for AA callouts is tyre-related, ahead of battery faults. Read More

Change the law for driverless cars

If driverless cars are going to work on Australian roads, then we have to change many of our existing laws. For example, how do we define the driver? National Transport Commission (NTC) invited stakeholders to have a say on this crucial change coming to Australian roads. Read More