We publish a ton of car news stories during the working week (70-odd as a rule), and it can be tough to keep up with everything – which is the rationale behind this weekend list.
In short, here are some key articles from our news desk since Monday of this week summarised, just in case you missed them at the time.
The peak lobby for Australia’s car brands has been pilloried for pitching a fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions-reduction scheme that’s less demanding on its members than similar policies in Europe or the United States.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the lobby group in question, retorts that it wants EVs and hybrids to flourish, but claims there are reasons why Australia cannot follow the same path to decarbonisation as other nations.
An already widely-cited story in the Sydney Morning Herald accused the lobby of “a wide-ranging secret campaign” to delay the rollout of EVs and hamper the government’s desired 43 per cent CO2 cut by 2030. So what’s the full story here, you ask?
Toyota has increased its planned factory output over the next few months as it tries to reduce wait times across markets – including Australia where demand is at a high.
In one of its regular production bulletins, the world’s biggest carmaker said it now sought an average output of 900,000 cars per month during the September to November period.
Its previous three-monthly target, which comprised August to October, was 850,000 cars per month.
Nissan Australia is engaging with some of its most enthusiastic fans to generate more buzz around its soon-to-launch new Z.
With the local media launch just weeks away, the company says it surprised members of the Z Car Club of NSW during the group’s annual President’s Run.
The publicity stunt saw an all-new Z waiting for the group as they climbed to the Beaufoy Merlin lookout, just outside the historic mining town of Hill End in NSW.
There’s been no shortage of pre-launch hype for Australia’s new cheapest EV, the BYD Atto 3, but finally the proverbial rubber has reached the road.
The first truckloads of BYD Atto 3 SUVs have arrived from China and rolled onto trucks, starting in Brisbane. As reported earlier, three shiploads departed China with the first batch.
The company claims to have more than 4000 sales banked, with deliveries to buyers scheduled to kick off this month.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is grappling with a rise in hooning, with its police force employing a criminal psychologist and its Legislative Assembly launching an inquiry.
“It seems to be post lockdown, after COVID, we’ve seen an increase in this sort of risky, dangerous behaviour,” Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan, ACT’s Chief Police Officer, told ABC News.
“We’ve actually engaged a criminal psychologist to look at some of the reasons why people are doing it and thinking about how we can divert kids.
Hertz has confirmed it plans to have “hundreds” of Polestar 2s on its fleet in Australia by the end of 2022, and “thousands” by the end of 2023.
As of today, it offers 70 cars spread across Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, and Launceston.
The rollout is part of a broader global deal between Hertz and Polestar that will see it buy 65,000 cars between 2021 and 2026, and follows the launch of the Tesla Model 3 in Adelaide and Canberra. More makes and models will follow.
FULL STORY: Hertz on why your next rental car might be an EV
A hybrid version of Australia’s best-selling small SUV has been revealed, though it’s unclear whether it’ll come here to satiate strong hybrid demand at this stage.
The 2022 MG VS is based on the ZS family of SUVs, which in Australia includes the petrol-powered ZS and ZST and the electric ZS EV.
We’ve contacted MG Australia to confirm if there are any plans to bring the VS here and await a reply.
FULL STORY: MG ZS Hybrid SUV revealed, with a new name
Australians are now taking delivery of their Shanghai-made Tesla Model Y electric SUVs, about two months after the company announced pricing here.
The company said to expect deliveries to get underway in August, and is therefore right on time. People early to put money down are receiving messages alerting them to their car’s arrival, at which point they can lock in a pickup time at a Tesla delivery centre.
“It’s brilliant to see our new owners taking delivery only two months after orders began. A huge thank you to both our awesome local team and our colleagues at Giga Shanghai for making this happen,” said Tesla’s country manager for Australia, Thom Drew.
FULL STORY: Tesla Model Y Australian deliveries begin
The all-new MG 4 EV hatchback could (and probably should) become Australia’s cheapest electric car when it gets here in the first half of 2023 – if UK market pricing is taken as a guide.
The Chinese brand’s first ground-up EV sold for export will kick off there at £25,995, equivalent to $A45,000. But this isn’t the figure that’s of interest, rather it’s how this compares to equivalent UK-market EVs also sold in Australia.
For example, the MG 4 undercuts the base MG ZS EV in the UK by £3500, equal to around $A6000. This same electric SUV kicks off in Australia at $46,990 drive-away, suggesting a circa $40,000 price here should be what to expect.
Electric vehicle sales are spiking in Australia, albeit from a very low base, with all States and Territories now offering purchase incentives in various shapes and sizes.
Lack of customer choice is a problem for those wanting to get a new EV, however. Buyers in Europe, North America and much of Asia have far more electric cars to choose from.
Many of Australia’s car brand executives say they battle to convince their overseas bosses to allocate EV stock to us – in large part because Australia lacks a CO2 emissions-reduction scheme.
FULL STORY: All the EVs coming to Australia