Monday 13th of July 2020

not the g-spot...


As Ford calls it quits Australia today (shutting shop in 2016), no matter who would get the gig to govern this country in September (note: the Liberals/conservatives have gone completely bonkers) , one needs to be a lateral thinker in order to improve urban transport of people — improve our air quality and mitigate global warming at the same time. 

This is where the Gus mobile — or the G-Car — comes in. Conceived about 35 years ago, this little electric concept car is ready to take over... Well, not quite... Some engineering development and tests need to be done but basically, this is the simple future of city travel... Since it was designed on a napkin in a restaurant, batteries and solar panels efficiency has improved quite a lot.
Many people use a car to go and work in the city everyday... It's an average of 40 minutes each way in traffic that crawls at at average less than 20 km/h... The idea here is to use smaller cars (electric) and an improved public transport with smaller units, though employing more people. We should mention here that electric cars, in general, have a faster acceleration than petrol cars. 
With a daily range of 60 to 70 kms and a maximum speed of 50 km/h with a speed-limiter recharging the batteries on a downward slope, the G-Car would improve travel time as well as reduce the need for larger heavier batteries... The G-Car is designed to fit two persons and a couple of carry packs. bicycle rack optional. A larger version for four people could be made available.

On the road:
For example the road tax (the weight tax) would be eliminated — only a rego fee would be counted to identify any car (make, model, weight, engine type) of say $20.00 plus plates if new (say $20.00).
Main roads, secondary roads and all exits/entry points would be all smartly e-tagged.
Bicycles, electric motorbikes, small electric cars such as the G-Car (the Gusmobile) would pay nothing. All others vehicle would pay an incremental fee according to weight, engine efficiency and distance travelled... The bigger the car, the more "tag tax" per kilometres travelled.
Trucks would have a special rating as well. All council trucks should be electric.
More dedicated bus lanes. Most buses to be electric as well
Priority vehicles get a free pass but are counted. 
Far less traffic lights, most being replaced by dedicated lanes for turning traffic, left and right — and roundabouts.

Electricity supply:
This change of transport mode would end up reducing carbon emission of urban transport by 60 per cent within 10 years and to 80 percent within 15 years. The G-Car and other electric vehicles would be recharged by special dedicated power-lines coming from arrays of solar panels at Barangaroo, at Balmain Power Station and at other areas such as Parramatta, as well as local wind turbines.
There would be money to be made. Entrepreneurs and oil companies alike, having to retool some of their purpose and dedication, could still make a more efficient buck...
A more friendly environment would grow out of this... 
Unless we do this soon (like now), by 2032 (only twenty years from now) we will pay a hefty price — for having more than 460 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere.
(note: we have not paid the price yet for having 400 ppm of CO2 in the present atmosphere. The real bill still to come.)
It's never too late, but the urgency calls — now.
a2b means travelling from A to B — the small distances we do in our gas guzzlers' 98 per cent of all our travels...
Gus Leonisky
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loose steering...


No hint of returning the Falcon design rights to the taxpayers and car owners who have subsidised its development.

No talk of donating the Falcon badge to the country that rightfully owns it.

No chance of another car company taking over the Falcon and reviving it.

Just goes to show we don't have an “Australian” car making industry.

Australians should be mad as hell that an American company can make a decision overnight in Detroit then hours later pull the plug on one of our national icons.

We need to decide whether we want to be in control of our economy and tax dollars or leave it to Detroit and Nagoya.

We are at the whim of Ford, General Motors and Toyota.

We are at the whim of their governments.

When the Japanese government slashed the value of the yen, Australian cars lost out.

When the Americans pumped their economy full of cash and slashed interest rates, Australia lost out.

When the Americans rescued their car industry after the GFC, Australians were doomed to losing the Falcon.

Yet we kept pumping in money with too few guarantees.

We need to grab the wheel and regain control.

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We need to build better smarter cars in tune with the future, not the past...


the chinese are doing it...


Hong Kong has launched a trial run of a fleet of electric taxis in a bid to tackle the island's serious pollution problems which, according to estimates from the independent think tank Civic Exchange, cause 3,200 premature deaths per year.

For the next six months, 45 low emission taxis will be trialled after a similar test in nearby Shenzen city proved successful.



Pay-as-you-drive electric car rentals are expected to help cut pollution and reduce traffic in Paris, as the new fleet of fully electric Autiolib' vehicles hits the French capital.

As of Monday, Parisians could take the bubble cars for a ride from more than 1,200 parking spots where they rest for recharge.

A subscription cost €10 a day or €15 a week, while an annual subscription of €144 subscription allows users to take the car for only half an hour each time for €5, just over the price of two underground tickets.

The Autolib' system builds on the success of the Velib' bicycle-sharing service and could provide a shop window for entrepreneur Vincent Bolloré and his nascent car battery business.

"We want to persuade people to shift from the concept of owning a car to that of using a car," Autolib' General Manager Morald Chibout told Reuters.

Soaring insurance and parking costs have already persuaded 25% of French citizens to cut back or give up on using their cars, according to a study published last year by Chronos TNS Sofres.

The little four-seater Bluecar, designed and manufactured exclusively for Bolloré by Italian designer Pininfarina, famous for sculpting Ferraris and Maseratis, will have a range of up to 250 km between before a recharge which will take about four hours.

Bolloré said his batteries are safer than the lithium-ion variety used by most of the car industry because they are less prone to overheating. They are also more stable when being charged and discharged.

Autolib' is an electric car sharing service which was inaugurated in Paris, France, in December 2011. The scheme intends to deploy 3,000 all-electric Bolloré Bluecars for public use, initially based around 1,120 citywide parking and charging stations.[1][2] A fleet of 1,750 Bluecars had been registered for the service through January 2013.[3] As of February 2013, the scheme has more than 65,000 registered subscribers, and offers 4,000 charging points.[4]'




revolutionary and sobering new car...

At this year's Tokyo Motor Show in late November, Toyota will unveil a sedan that -- despite the company's traditionally mediocre design and the car's moderate total output of about 100 kilowatts -- is likely to attract attention. It will be the world's first series-produced fuel-cell car to be sold on the market. Toyota has announced that it will be available for purchase starting in 2015.

The car is powered by a fuel cell -- a sort of power plant on wheels which combines hydrogen and oxygen in a controlled manner, producing electricity in the process. Although fuel cells have been around for a long time, they lost their allure when battery technology advanced, making fuel cells, in comparison, too expensive, too complicated and too inefficient. The battery seemed to have won the race.

This makes Toyota's project both revolutionary and sobering because it marks a turn away from the purely battery-driven electric car, which is being developed by almost every other automaker in the world. And ironically, this categorical renunciation is coming from the great master of alternative engine technology.

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of course...

When one looks at the sobering new Toyota (see above), one has to also get into the processing of hydrogen and also of the application of fuel cells for making domestic electricity independent from the expensive grids and coal burning power stations...

But life is never simple... There are engineering arguments that say the production hydrogen is actually creating more CO2 than burning carbon directly... So there. In the end despite what every one tries, we need to consume less, be prepared to deal with solar and wind power supplemented with geothermal industry and possibly a few more renewables we have not heard of yet... CO2 in the atmosphere is going to burn our ears and we need to limit the damage. We also know that methane can be used to power very efficient fuel systems in which burning is very slow but energy output is high...


And, despite what some climate change scientists may advocate, the nuclear energy is not a viable proposition for the future, on many fronts.

gone to the greater race in the sky...



Sir Jack Brabham, a three-time Formula One world drivers' champion and icon of world motorsport, has died at the age of 88.

Sir Jack Brabham

  • Triple Formula One world champion - 1959, 1960, 1966
  • 14 Grand Prix victories
  • 13 pole positions
  • Australian of the Year in 1966
  • Awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1967
  • Knighted for his services to motorsport in 1979
  • Only F1 driver to win championship in car of his own construction
  • Contested 126 Grand Prix from 1955 to 1970

The Australian won the championship in 1959, 1960 and 1966 – the final time in a car of his own construction.

He retired in 1970, was knighted in 1978, and was named a National Treasure in 2012.

He died after collapsing this morning.

In a tweet this morning, his son David wrote: "Thanks for all the kind messages about my father's peaceful passing, it is appreciated by the whole family".

After serving in the RAAF during World War II, Brabham started his own engineering firm, buying and selling second-hand cars.

He began racing a short time later, racing midget cars on dirt tracks. He told Australian Story in 2009: "I managed to win the third race I started in, and never looked back from there".


From Gus' own old stack of useless stuff collection (1965):


Our sympathy to the family. 


the aussie car we did not hear about in the aussie media...

A group of Australian students and their new electric car prototype might give Elon Musk’s Tesla S a run for its money.

The Sunswift eVe went 310 miles on a single battery charge in a July test run. In contrast, the Tesla Model S can drive anywhere from 244 to 306 miles on a full charge.

And, it’s fast, too. Wired reports:

Australian university students, whose electric Sunswift eVe set a new world record for fastest average speed—more than 60mph—over 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a single battery charge, on July 23. That’s a big deal: Range is the biggest issue holding back the widespread adoption of EVs, and this record shows the car can drive hundreds of miles at a reasonable highway speed.

The eVe might not be as fancy as the Model S: It seats up to two adults instead of seven, and doesn’t yet boast any flashy features like a touchscreen dash or all-glass panoramic roof. But the car does have its own solar array — enough to power two hours of driving if parked in the sun for roughly eight hours.

The Washington Post reports that the eVe consumes “less than a third of the electricity at 20 kilowatt-hours when traveling at a cruising speed of 66 mph than the Tesla Model S, which uses fuel at a rate of 67 kilowatt-hours as it moves at a lower speed of 55 mph.”

a new little car...


The EO is a two-seat city car with sporty scissors-style doors and plenty of glass; it is stylish in a Star Trek shuttlecraft sort of way. It uses four in-hub electric motors to move its Smart ForTwo-like 1,650lbs (748kg) at speeds up to 40mph (64km/h).

The wheels are jointed at the ends of the axles, freeing the car to spin around while sitting in one spot. And to the certain delight of parallel-challenged parkers, the EO can pivot all four wheels 90 degrees and drive – sideways – right to the curb. It can move diagonally by turning all four wheels in the same direction, and even change direction the old-fashioned way, with front-wheel steering, should it come to that.


EO Smart Connecting Car 2

(Credit: Timo Birnschein/DFKI GmbH Robotics Innovation Center)


To allow it to fit into the smallest of parking spaces, EO pulls a neat trick. The back of the cockpit rises (along with the driver) and the axles pinch together, shortening the vehicle from 8.2ft to 4.9ft – shorter than a Vespa scooter.

Like any good transformer, EO is a robot in disguise. It was, in fact, developed by the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence’s Robotics Innovation Center. Not unlike Google’s self-driving car, the EO has an array of sensors – stereo cameras front and rear, 3D environment scanners and range-imaging cameras — that give it a real-time awareness of its surroundings. As its artificial intelligence gets better (and its creators insist it will, as sure as those batteries get better and lighter), the EO will be able to park itself, drive itself and come to pick you up when it is called. And probably stop off for a skinny latte on the way.



See and read about Gus' prototype at top...


if your find a parking spot in sydney, it's probably illegal...


It started out as a casual trip into the city for a quick catch up with old friends.

But after New York-based Josh Gaudry had faced a labyrinth of road tolls and was left bamboozled by a combination of nonsensical parking signage and nanny state laws, he decided "Sydney has lost the plot".

After a two year absence, Mr Gaudry and his wife Anoushka Szlagowska returned to Australia at Christmas to introduce their baby, Freddy, to family and friends. But in one night out on December 23, he racked up seven tolls, a parking metre fee and, following a brush with one of "Sydney's most confusing parking signs," a $248 fine.


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if your find a parking spot in Sydney, it's probably illegal... Confusing signs? RUBBISH. Most parking signs in Sydney say BUGGER OFF, WE'LL GOUGE YOUR EYES OUT for one hour or TRY ME, I'M YOURS FOR 2 MINUTES, AFTER THAT THE RANGERS WAITING IN THE BUSHES WILL BOOK YOU TO THE MAX... 


Hey take it easy... Next time go by plane, bus, taxi, uber or walk... Bicycling is becoming a problem. The Premier of the State and his gay police want to get U off the roads with new TOUGH regulations and removal of all bicycle-lanes. 

german car makers needing to do catch up...


At the start of this year, Karl-Thomas Neumann was planning a minor revolution. His plan was to transform German carmaker Opel, known for basic models like the Astra and the Corsa, into a purely electric brand. Electric cars were to be designed at Opel's R&D center in Rüsselsheim, near Frankfurt, destined for the world market.

As the head of Opel at the time, Neuman was convinced that the end of the internal combustion engine was closer than many believed. He now hoped he could bring the necessary technology to Germany.

His idea was also born out of necessity. As a small manufacturer, it is especially challenging for Opel to adjust its internal combustion-powered cars to increasingly stringent emissions standards. Opel vehicles had attracted unwanted attention because of their excessive emissions and Neumann was at least trying to treat the diesel crisis as a chance to start over.

His ambitious electric plan for Opel failed, however, when the company's U.S. owner, General Motors, suddenly lost interest in the European market and sold Opel to French rival PSA in the summer.

Neumann no longer works for Opel, but he still believes his ideas are the right ones. The former CEO fears that the auto industry - especially BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen - has underestimated the momentum of the transformation, and that it is resting on its laurels instead of developing new concepts.

The German auto industry needs "a clean break," says Neumann. It has to "accept that diesel is gradually going extinct." Of course, he adds, the auto industry can still make money with internal combustion engines for a number of years. "But it's time to reduce complexity, that is, develop a much smaller number of different engines," says Neumann. He recommends car companies use the money they save to invest heavily in electromobility.

He has a warning for the entire sector: Unless the auto industry consistently reforms itself, it "runs the risk of being outpaced by new competitors from China and the United States."

Customers and, in some cases, companies, are still skeptical. The arguments against electric cars cited by critics include their lack of significant range, high costs and questionable carbon footprint.

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developing bigger gas guzzlers...

The Trump administration officially announced Monday that it will scrap fuel economy and emissions targets for cars and light-duty trucks sold in the United States and set new weaker standards, effectively undermining one of the federal government’s most effective policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times anticipated late last week, the two agencies responsible for auto standards — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — both claimed that their internal reviews have found the Obama-era standards to be too strict, and that the agencies would go back to the drawing board to revise standards for model years 2022-2025. 

The weaker standards, expected to be revealed in coming months and reported to be well below the current targets of 54.5 miles per gallon (or roughly 35 miles per gallon in real-world driving conditions), will be celebrated as a victory for the automakers, which have been lobbying the Trump administration since the day after the presidential election and which used a major trade group to peddle climate science denial in support of the rollback.

“The Obama administration's determination was wrong,” EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement. “Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high.”

Many argue, however, that weakened standards will hurt the average driver, who will have to pay more for gasoline to fuel the less efficient vehicles. Energy Innovation’s peer-reviewed modeling simulator, for instance, shows how a rollback on emissions standards would cause nearly $400 billion in increased consumer costs between now and 2050.


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of cobalt and electric thingies...

This week, CNN published a startling multimedia report on cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The investigation revealed troubling conditions in so-called “artisanal” cobalt mines, where hand mining operations are carried out with a combination of unsafe working conditions and child labor. As is all too often the case with resource extraction — whether for cobalt in Congo, oil in Ecuador, or coal in West Virginia — unsafe, unhealthy local labor practices deserve media exposure.

Unfortunately, CNN’s promotion of the investigation and headline misappropriate the blame, leaving casual readers to conclude that electric vehicles are responsible for these awful labor conditions.

The headline that ran in the top spot on’s international edition on Monday warned of the “Real cost of green energy” and asked, “Sure, your electric car is better for the environment. But is it really ethical?”

In reality, electric cars still represent a small percentage of the market for mined cobalt, and laptops, cell phones, airplanes, medical equipment, and military applications are large consumers of the raw material.


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electric battery factory....

Running On Empty

Germany Lags Behind Asia in E-Car Battery Race

The Chinese conglomerate CATL wants to build Europe's largest electric car battery plant near Erfurt, Germany. Having failed to build a gigafactory of their own, German carmakers are worried the project represents a mortal threat.

The vulnerability of the German auto industry will soon be on full display at a major highway junction near Erfurt. The Chinese conglomerate CATL plans to build a factory for electric car batteries smack dab in the middle of the country. If all goes according to plan, it will take up 87 hectares (215 acres), making it the largest such factory in Germany and perhaps even in Europe.


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flat pack electric car...

It took a German engineer who spoke limited English three years — and flat-pack parts sourced from China and Taiwan — to build the first electric car to be manufactured in Australia.

Key points:
  • By the end of 2019, ACE EV want to have built 100 cars, including the Cargo, a ute, and a two-door hatch
  • The vehicles will not be sold to the public initially, instead being pitched to small businesses and companies for about $40,000
  • A number of electric garbage trucks are on the roads in Perth and Melbourne, including one completely built and assembled in Australia


The two-seater van was built in an unassuming warehouse south of Brisbane by a motley crew for small Queensland start-up ACE EV.

They hope it will beat Australia's resistance to the new technology by being one of the most affordable on the market.

Managing director Greg McGarvie kept costs down by designing a carbon fibre shell made from flat packs manufactured in China and Taiwan.

They were shipped to their warehouse at Logan, south of Brisbane, and glued together to make the Cargo, which will be launched in Sydney on Tuesday.


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hydrogen forever...

Since Orkney started planning its hydrogen-based economy in 2016, the process hasn’t always been this smooth. When five vans, including this one, arrived in 2017, the islands didn’t have hydrogen for them, as production was still not underway. After managing to charge the tanks, the planners encountered another potential issue: who can fix a broken hydrogen vehicle in a community of 21,000 people?

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In response to the challenges, the Orcadians flew in an expert to train a local mechanic, created fresh educational programmes for ferry operators and drafted regulations to update maritime law to allow hydrogen use in vessels. And they aren’t stopping there. If everything goes according to plan, by 2021 the islands will have the world’s first sea-going car-and-passenger ferry fuelled only by hydrogen.

The archipelago might seem an unlikely place for such cutting-edge aspirations. But if it can succeed, it may inspire other communities to move away from fossil fuels too. As Lidderdale says: “If we can dream that you can run a ship on hydrogen, there’s no reason others won’t follow.”

Clean energy

Unlike petrol or marine diesel, burning hydrogen does not, in itself, produce any harmful by-products. Now, as we drive through Orkney’s capital of Kirkwall, hydrogen combines with oxygen inside the van to produce an electrical reaction that powers the engine. The only tailgate emission is pure water. In other words, there’s no air pollution and no greenhouse gas emissions (such as carbon dioxide) that contribute to global warming. Beyond cars, hydrogen could be used to heat buildingspower electrical facilitiespropel trains, ferries and cargo ships and for industrial processes.

Another benefit of hydrogen? If you have too much, you can store and transport it at a large scale with relative ease. As one Bloomberg New Energy Finance consultant wrote in a column published last year, hydrogen “is one of the most promising ways of dealing with longer-term storage, beyond the minutes, hours or days that could be met by batteries”.


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