2011

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31 Dec 2011 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.31); oil us$99/b;
30 Dec 2011 Fri: au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.66, €0.78, ¥79
2011:  For most of 2011, ULP was between au$1.30 and au$1.50 per litre, the au$ between us$0.98 and us$1.10, and WTI crude oil between us$85 and us$105 per barrel with brief excursions below us$80 and above us$110.
Due to La Nina, 2011 was Australia's "third-wettest [year] since comparable records began in 1900" -- [bom][4/1/'12].

December 2011: The car section of the Dakar, getting away from Mar del Plata, Argentina, in the new year, looked the most open for some time with no works VW team -- [www].

26 Dec 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.32/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.33); oil us$100/b;
23 Dec 2011 Fri: au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.65, €0.78, ¥79

27 December 2011: Ex-tropical cyclone Grant caused flooding and closed the Stuart highway, NT, .au -- [abc][27/12], [abc][28/12], [abc][29/12].

22 December 2011, .au: "At 7am EST Thursday, Tropical Cyclone Fina (cat.1) ... was located over the Coral Sea ... about 1000km E of Townsville and 810km ENE of Mackay. ... not expected to directly affect the Queensland coast." -- [bom].  And, "a Cyclone watch is current for a developing tropical low for coastal areas from Dundee Beach to Nhulunbuy, inc. Darwin. ... At 3:30 am CST a Tropical Low was estimated to be ... 335km NNE of Darwin ..." -- [bom][22/12], [abc][24/12]. (Later cyclone 'Grant'.)

21 Dec 2011 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.36 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.30); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.65, €0.77, ¥79

21 December 2011: Crude oil, Brent us$107/b, WTI us$99/b [bbc][21/12], Tapis us$114/b AIP [www][20/12].

21 December 2011: Roebourne, WA, reached 49.4°C -- [abc].

20 December 2011: The European Environment Agency (EEA) published data, collected under 443/2009/EC, on CO2 emissions (gm/km) by cars sold in 2010 by various manufacturers
  EU12 EU15
Fiat 136.4 124.6
Peugeot 141.4 130.7
... ... ...
Audi 166.9 151.5
Daimler AG 185.4 159.7
-- [www].   "Road transport [inc. trucks] is responsible for 17.5%* of overall greenhouse gas emissions in Europe ... The average emission level of a new car registered in [EU] in 2010 was 140.3 gCO2/km. ... manufacturers must achieve a CO2 emission target of 130 gm CO2/km by 2015 as an average value for the fleet of new cars registered in the EU" -- [www]. (*Also see Feb 2008.)

20 December 2011: Ford announced the availability of a Ford Mustang "1967 convertible body shell [a] licensed Ford Restoration part [from] us$15,995 ... joining the '65 convertible, the '67 fastback and the '69 fastback. ..." -- [www].

19 December 2011: Saab finally filed for bankruptcy. Protecting its own IP, GM would not agree to a deal between Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan) and Youngman (.cn), or related (.cn) interests, to rescue Saab. "Swan does not expect to realize any value from its shares in Saab Automobile and will write off its interest in Saab Automobile completely." -- [www]. Geely had more luck with Volvo back in 2010.

December 2011: The FIA web site carried an EOI for "supplying cars in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 [Formula E] Championship", with rules and limits, including "Each race will consist of about 4 heats per car of 15 minutes each and charging of the cars will be authorised between those heats. Ideally the charging time should not exceed half an hour." -- FIA pdf@[www]. E for Electric.

18 December 2011: The final US troops withdrew from Iraq -- [bbc].

16 Dec 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.30); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$1.00, £0.64, €0.77, ¥78

15 December 2011: Race to the South Pole, ski race, the 100th anniversary of the Scott and Amundsen duel -- [race]@[www].

15 December 2011, .uk: "Car production rose by 8.5% in November and was up 6.1% over the first eleven months of 2011" to 1,248,012 v. 2010 -- SMMT [www].
For Jan.-Nov., Kia sold 2,307,947 vehicles worldwide, up 20.4% on Jan-Nov 2010 -- Kia [www][1/12].
For Jan.-Nov., "Mercedes-Benz cars division sold 1,230,863," up 7.1% -- [www][2/12].
Worldwide, VW delivered "7.51 million vehicles [from] January to November," 13.9% up on the same period 2010 -- VW [www][16/12].
In Europe (EU+EFTA) Fiat-Chrysler sold "nearly 886,000 vehicles", up 4% on Jan-Nov 2010 -- Fiat pdf@[www][16/12].
Worldwide, Mazda produced 1,068,466 vehicles, 10.3% down on Jan-Nov 2010 -- Mazda [www][22/12].
Worldwide, Mitsubishi produced 1,047,267 vehicles Jan-Nov -- Mitsubishi [www][22/12].
Worldwide, Toyota produced 6,270,279 vehicles, 10.8% down on Jan-Nov 2010 - Toyota [www][22/12].

12 December 2011, .au: Project 'Overlander' is to replace the army's Land Rovers [by G-wagens], Unimog, Mack and S-Liner trucks and trailers. "Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia [is] the preferred tenderer [for] up to 2,700 protected and unprotected medium and heavy vehicles under Land 121 Phase 3B. ... Thales Australia's 'Hawkei' [is] the preferred vehicle for [protected and unprotected light vehicles] ..." -- Defence [www], Thales [www]. (The US terminated its JLTV program, 2 Dec 2011, below.)

11 Dec 2011 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.31); oil us$100/b
9 Dec 2011: au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.65, €0.76, ¥79
11 December 2011, race 20: Indian F1 Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit. (Was to have been 30 Oct.; see FIA [www][3/6].)
But the Indian F1 Grand Prix was moved back(!) again to the 30 Oct. after FOTA objected to reinstating Bahrain (on 30 Oct.); see 10 June -- [bbc][10/6]. The season ended, 27 Nov., in Brazil. The FIA's prize giving ceremony was held in New Delhi -- [www][9/12].

10 December 2011, .uk: Warranty Direct's Reliability Index rated the Honda 'HR-V' (1998-2006) the most reliable 4x4 (well SUV), and 3rd= most reliable car -- [www].

7 December 2011, .au: Recall of diesel Holden JG 'Cruze' ser.1, and 'Epica' over possible fuel leaks -- [www], [www].

6 Dec 2011 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.32/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.31); oil us$101/b; au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.65, €0.76, ¥79

3-11 December 2011: 42nd Tokyo Motor Show [www]. (Press 30/11 & 1/12; trade 2/12; pubic 3-11/12.) Including Daihatsu strange 'Pico' & 'FC Sho Case' concepts, tiny 'D-X' sports car, & 'Mira e:S' [pdf] [www]; Mazda 'TAKERI' concept midsize sedan & 'CX-5' SUV [www]; Mitsubishi 'PX-MiEV II' concept hybrid SUV & 'Mirage' small car [www]; Nissan 'Esflow', 'Pivo3' & 'Townpod' electric concepts [www]; Subaru 'Advance Tourer' concept, new 'Impreza' & 'BRZ' sports car (with Toyota) [pdf]; Suzuki 'Swift EV' range-extender (series) hybrid, 'Regina' & weird 'Q-concept' concepts [www]; Toyota 'FCV-R' fuel-cell concept (2015??), 'Prius PHV' plug-in hybrid, 'FT-86 II' concept (~Subaru 'BRZ') [www]; VW 'Cross Coupe' SUV prototype.

2-4 December 2011, .uk: The 'British Military Tournament', Earls Court, London -- [www].

2 December 2011, .us: The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2012, terminated the JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle) program "based on excessive cost growth, unstable requirements, and new alternatives" (and US budget problems) -- Senate Appropriations [www](p.4).

 

November 2011, .au: Australia Best Cars awarded best 'light car under au$20K' to the Kia Rio Si, ..., 'small car under au$35K' to the VW Golf 90 TSI, ..., 'large car under au$60K' to the Ford Falcon FG Eco LPI XT (i.e., LPG), ..., 'all-terrain 4WD' to the Land Rover Discovery 4 -- [www].

29 Nov 2011 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.32); oil us$98/b; au$1.00=us$0.99, £0.64, €0.74, ¥78
28 November - 9 December 2011: 17th Conf. of the Parties (COP 17) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 7th Conf. of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP7), the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban 2011 -- [cop17]@[unfccc].
"Some of the developing world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters are bidding to delay talks on a new climate agreement ..." -- [bbc][27/11].
"Canada will announce next month that it will formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol ..." -- CTV.ca [www][27/11], ¿tar $ands? (It did, 12/12.)
"2011 world's 10th warmest year, [and] warmest year with La Nina on record ..." -- WMO [www][29/11].
"... just under 10% of .au's electricity came from renewable energy [Oct 2010 - 2011]. ... large rise on previous years due to a resurgent hydro sector [it rained] and more power generated by ... wind farms. ..." -- Clean Energy Council's Report 2011 [www][6/12]. Of that contribution, hydro 67%, wind 22%, bio 9%, solar PV 2%, ... .
At COP 17, "... governments decided to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, but not later than 2015. ..." -- pdf@[www][11/12] -- bit of an anti-climax.

28 November 2011: General Motors announced it "would open a preliminary evaluation of Volt battery assemblies after NHTSA test results caused electrical fires up to three weeks after an initial vehicle New Car Assessment Program side pole crash test. ..." -- [www], [bbc][8/12].

28 November 2011: Saab GB "filed for administration with the High Court in London ..." -- Saab [www].

28 November 2011: Daimler (Mercedes) announced that it would drop of the Maybach luxury brand by 2013 -- [www].

28 November 2011, .au: The Murray-Darling Basin Authority released its draft plan, proposing to cut water use by 2,750 giga-litres per year (cf 2009), phased in by 2019 -- MDBA [www], [abc].

27 November 2011, race (20) 19/19: Brazilian F1 Grand Prix, Sao Paulo [www]. (Start 2pm local, 4pm GMT.)
1. Mark Webber [Red Bull], 2. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 3. Jenson Button. [McLaren Mercedes]. Vettel claimed his 15th pole position from 19 races in 2011 (Nigel Mansell achieved 14/16 in 1992) but had to nurse a gearbox problem for much of the race. Lewis Hamilton retired with a gearbox failure.
2011 F1 Drivers' World Championship: 1. Sebastian Vettel, 392 pts, 2. Jenson Button, 270 pts, 3. Mark Webber, 258 pts. (1st 25pts, 2nd 18pts, 3rd 15pts, 4th 12pts, 5th 10pts, 6th 8pts, 7th 6pts, 8th 4pts, 9th 2pts, 10th 1pt.)
2011 F1 Constructors' World Championship: 1. Red Bull Racing, 650 pts, 2. McLaren Mercedes, 497 pts, 3. Scuderia Ferrari, 375 pts -- FIA [www].

27 November 2011: Historic Commercial Vehicle Club Annual Display Day, Sandown Racecourse, Melbourne, .au -- [www].

26 November 2011, NSW: "The State Emergency Service has begun assisting northern New South Wales communities about to be cut-off by floods ..." -- [abc], [bom].

26 November 2011: The first race of the EV Cup, Laguna Seca -- [www].
But "Organisers of the EVCUP [were] forced to pull the plug [groan] on their plans to start racing in California at the end of this year. Delays in final production of the electric cars to be used ..." --[www][14/10/'11]. (See Formula E, 27 Aug. 2012.)

25 November 2011: Mazda announced details of a capacitor-based "regenerative braking system," the i-Eloop, for introduction in 2012. But the aim seems to be very modest, although probably worthwhile, using a "12-25V variable voltage alternator" feeding into the capacitor under deceleration, to take some load off the regular battery powering vehicle accessories -- [www]. (Other manufacturers have mooted similar alternator tricks.)

24 Nov 2011 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.32); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$0.97, £0.63, €0.73, ¥75

25 November 2011: Crude oil, Tapis us$115/b, AIP [www][24/11]; Brent us$108/b, WTI us$97/b, [bbc][25/11].

23 November 2011: "Cutting emissions by 2020 to a level that could keep a global, 21st C., temperature rise under 2°C is technologically and economically feasible ..."  However "governments need to resolve the immediate future of the Kyoto Protocol, define the longer path towards a global, binding climate agreement, ..." -- UNEP [www].

23 November 2011: The RAC reckoned the cost of owning and running a new car in the .uk rose to £6.7K/year, up 14%. In order: Depreciation (17%), insurance (14%), fuel, finance, maintenance,... -- [www]. (Also see RACV, 30 June below.)

21 November 2011, .au: Holden issued a recall of 2008-2011 2.0-litre diesel Captiva series 1 SUVs because "the fuel feed hose could potentially leak diesel fuel" -- [www].

19 Nov 2011 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.33); oil us$97/b
18 Nov 2011: au$1.00=us$1.00, £0.63, €0.74, ¥77

18-27 November 2011: Los Angeles Motor Show (preview night 17 Nov, press 16-17 Nov) -- [www]. Including Ford 2013 'Shelby GT500' (what's CO2?), 'Flex' & next 'Escape' [www]; GM Cadillac 'XTS', Chevrolet 'Camaro ZL1' convertible & 'Spark' [www]; Honda 'Fit EV' & gen.-4 'CR-V' [www]; Hyundai 'Azera' [www]; LandRover 'DC10' prototypes [www]; Subaru 'BRZ' Concept STI [www]; VW 'CC' (not Passat!).

18 November 2011: On climate change, '... it is virtually certain that on a global scale hot days become even hotter and occur more often. "For the high emissions scenario, it is likely that the frequency of hot days will increase by a factor of 10 in most regions of the world" ...' -- IPCC [www], [abc].

17 November 2011, .uk: McLaren(-Automotive) officially opened its new factory where the 'MP4-12C' sports car will be built. It was a big enough deal for Prime Minister David Cameron to attend -- [www], [bbc].

16 November 2011: "Why doesn't Britain make things any more? ..." -- Aditya Chakrabortty, the Grauniad [www].

November 2011: "... The final aerodynamic tweaks are now being made to the surface of the Car, as we have to release the shape shortly for manufacture. ..." -- news from the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) Project [www].

14 Nov 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.32/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.32); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.64, €0.75, ¥79
13 November 2011, race (19) 18: Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, Yas Marina circuit [www]. (Start 5pm local, 1pm GMT.)
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [McLaren Mercedes]; 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel was on pole but suffered a puncture at the second corner of the first lap, damaging his rear suspension.

November 2011, .uk: FleetNews announced the FN50 2011 "UK's most reliable cars and vans" based on its knowledge of leased company cars. "[1] the BMW 3 Series is the most reliable company car, ... [2] the Honda Accord retains its second place from 2010. ... [3] The Volkswagen Golf has leapt to 3rd place from 10th, ... Most reliable car manufacturers: 1. BMW, 2. Audi, 3. Honda, 4. VW, ..." -- [www]. Also see 10 Dec. above.

12-13 November 2011, .au: Bendigo National Swap Meet -- [www].

11-13 November 2011, .uk: 'Classic Motor Show', Birmingham -- [www].

November 2011, .uk: Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) announced "plans to recruit more than 1,000 [staff] at Solihull" -- [www].

10-14 November 2011: Dubai Motor Show [www]. Including the launch of the SSC (Shelby Super Cars) 'Tuatara' [www], [www].

9 Nov 2011 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.33); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.64, €0.75, ¥80
9 November 2011: 'World Energy Outlook 2011' due for release -- IEA [www].
"... In the 'New Policies Scenario', cumulative CO2 emissions over the next 25 years amount to three-quarters of the total from the past 110 years, leading to a long-term average temperature rise of 3.5°C. China's per-capita emissions match the OECD average in 2035. Were the new policies not implemented, we are on an even more dangerous track, to an increase of 6°C. ..." -- IEA.
Also see [bbc], Grauniad [www].

November 2011, usa: "The U.S. government has no evidence that any life exists outside our planet, or that an extraterrestrial presence has contacted or engaged any member of the human race. In addition, there is no credible information to suggest that any evidence is being hidden from the public's eye. ..." -- Phil Larson, on behalf of the White House, in response to two petitions, each from ≥5000 people, [www].

8 November 2011, .au: "Carbon tax passes Senate ... law from July 1 next year. ... $23/tonne ..." -- [abc]. (If the government should last that long.)

November 2011: When the economic times get tough the HAGI (Historic Automobile Group International) index of rare classic motorcars gets going, up -- [www].

7 November 2011: Swan and Saab announced they had "taken notice of a press statement issued by General Motors ... [on] the proposed sale of all shares in Saab ... to Pang Da ... and Youngman [.cn] ..." -- [www] -- GM's concern being over its IP in Saab.
Update [www][18/11/'11].

6 November 2011: In F1, from 2012, (Team) Lotus will become Caterham F1 Team, Lotus Renault GP will adopt 'Lotus' as its chassis name, and Virgin Racing will become Marussia F1 Team -- FIA [www].

6 November 2011 (Sun.), .uk: The London to Brighton run for veteran cars -- [www] & [www][7/11]. A 1900 Lohner-Porsche front wheel drive, series-hybrid, "Mixte" entered -- [www]. And . . .
5 November 2011 (Sat.): The 2nd RAC Future Car Challenge. 1: Gordon Murray Design 'T.27' (EV) using 7.0kWh energy.
4 Nov 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.36 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.34); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.75, ¥81
4 November 2011 (Fri.): The associated Bonhams auction, 101 New Bond Street, London, [www].

5 November 2011, .uk: '"Several" people were killed and 43 injured in a 27-vehicle crash on the M5 near Taunton ...' -- [bbc], Grauniad [www].

2 October 2011: In spring 2012, "Peugeot will launch its new ['208'] in the B segment - small, Supermini ... 3-door and 5-door. ..." -- [www]. Unusually for a new car, it is smaller and lighter than its predecessor but claimed to be roomier inside.

1 November 2011 (Tues): Melbourne Cup Day.

 
30 Oct 2011 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.36); oil us$93/b
28 Oct 2011: au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.66, €0.75, ¥81
30 October 2011, race (18) 17: Was to be, Indian F1 Grand Prix, New Delhi, on 3/6 moved to season finale.
Reinstated Bahrain F1 Grand Prix (originally was to have been 13 March).
But, back to plan-A after FOTA objected to reinstating Bahrain on this date; see 10 June -- [bbc][10/6]. ...
30 October 2011, race (18) 17: The inaugural Indian F1 Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit [www].
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Jenson Button [McLaren Mercedes], 3. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari].

28 October 2011: Swedish Automobile announced "a memorandum of understanding [for] Pang Da and Youngman [(.cn) to buy] 100% of the shares of Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) and Saab Great Britain Ltd. (Saab GB) for ... €100million. ... [and] long term funding to Saab Automobile. ..." -- [www]. (There were previous memoranda of understanding -- see 13 June, 16 May.)

October 2011: J. Rogelj et al, 'Emission pathways consistent with a 2°C global temperature limit', Nature Climate Change, 1(7), [doi:10.1038/nclimate1258]. "... We find that in the set of scenarios with a 'likely' (>66%) chance of staying below 2°C, emissions peak between 2010 and 2020 and fall to a median level of 44Gt of CO2 equivalent in 2020 ... confirms that if the mechanisms needed to enable an early peak in global emissions followed by steep reductions are not put in place, there is a significant risk that the 2°C target will not be achieved."

26 October 2011, .eu: The new Ford 'Ranger' pickup (ute) was awarded a five star safety rating by Euro NCAP -- [www].

26 October 2011, .uk: RM Auctions annual Battersea sale, inc. a 1972 Alfa Romeo 33-3 TT racer chassis #AR11572/010 -- [www]. A 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB 'Tour de France' Berlinetta, chassis # 1039 GT, sold for £2,240,000.

25 Oct 2011 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.39 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.38); oil us$92/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.65, €0.75, ¥80

25 October 2011: The 50th anniversary of 'Private Eye' -- [www].

24 October 2011, .au: Choice's 'Shonky Awards' 2011 include the 'Cherry J1' hatchback which carries the warning: "Roof rails are for cosmetic purpose only. Do not use." -- [www].

23 October 2011, .au: Bonhams auction 'Collectors' Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Automobilia & Number Plates,' Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Building, [www]. Lot 363 a 1958 Lancia Aurelia B20GT 6th series coupe, chassis #B20S 1813, engine #B20 4361, sold for au$159,000.

21-23 October 2011, .au: MotorClassica, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne -- [www].

October 2011: It was again confirmed that the earth really has been getting hotter -- about +1°C from the 1950-1979 mean -- this time by the 'Berkeley Earth Team'; see [www] at [www].

21 October 2011, .uk: "... petrol prices 134.51 p/litre ... Diesel, now averaging 139.65 p/litre ..." -- The AA [www].

20 Oct 2011 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.39); oil us$86/b; au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.65, €0.74, ¥78

20 October 2011: Saab announced that the administrator of its reorganization would "apply for termination of the voluntary reorganization of Saab Automobile AB ... and two subsidiaries ..." -- [www]. Saab objected against this. (See 28 Oct. above.)

17 October 2011, .au: The Bureau of Meteorology warned that "climate models are trending toward another La Nina episode, which would lead us to expect a slightly higher than average number of tropical cyclones" over this summer -- BOM, WA [www], NT [www], Qld [www].

19 October 2011, .uk: Only 100 plug-in electric cars were registered in September (937 for Jan.-Sept.), with 98 (910) being eligible for the government grant of up to £5000) -- DFT [www], SMMT [www]. (Also see 1 January below.)

16-23 October 2011, .au: 'World Solar Challenge', Darwin to Adelaide -- [www]. The solar car entered by Tokai University (.jp) won the Solar Challenge, reaching Angel Vale at 1.22pm on Thursday 20 Oct.; bushfires in the NT on day 1 caused some delays. (Also see October 2009.)

16 October 2011, race (17) 16: Korean F1 Grand Prix, Yeongam [www]. (Start 3pm local, 6am GMT.)
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Lewis Hamilton [McLaren Mercedes], 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull). It was an interesting race with some close duels. Red Bull clinched the F1 Manufacturers' World Championship.

16 October 2011, 7.30pm, .au: The series 'Wide Open Road - Here Come The Petrol Heads' started on ABC TV, [www].

15 Oct 2011 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.39); oil us$87/b
14 Oct 2011: au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.65, €0.74, ¥78

14 October 2011: Toyota announced that it would enter the FIA/ACO "World Endurance Championship in 2012," including the Le Mans 24-hour race, with a petrol-electric hybrid LMP1 car -- [www].

12 October 2011: Melbourne 'Ride to Work Day' (bicycle) -- [www].

12 October 2011, .au: The Federal Government's emissions trading legislation passed the House of Representatives -- [abc].

10 Oct 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.39); oil us$83/b; au$1.00=us$0.98, £0.63, €0.73, ¥75

10 October 2011, .au: The Federal Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency's report, 'Caring for our Australian Alps catchments,' predicts by 2050 "higher temperatures of 0.6 to 2.9°C ... annual precipitation [set] to decrease by 24%. ... no areas of snow lasting more than 60 days; more frequent drought conditions; more frequent extreme fire weather conditions and severe fires; and a greater incidence of severe storms ..." due to climate change -- [www][10/10/'11], [abc].

9 October 2011: Ineson et al, 'Solar forcing of winter climate variability in the Northern Hemisphere', Nature Geoscience (2011) "... Here we drive an ocean-atmosphere climate model with ultraviolet irradiance variations based on [the Spectral Irradiance Monitor (SIM) satellite's] observations. ... the model responds to the solar minimum with patterns in surface pressure and temperature that resemble the negative phase of the North Atlantic or Arctic Oscillation ..." -- [www]; also see [bbc].

9 October 2011, .au: Bathurst 1000, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW -- [www]. 1. Garth Tander & Nick Percat (HRT), 2. Craig Lowndes & Mark Skaife (TeamVodafone) Holden.

9 October 2011, race (16) 15: Japanese F1 Grand Prix, Suzuka [www]. (Start 3pm local, 6am GMT.)
Results: 1. Jenson Button [McLaren Mercedes], 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull]. Vettel thus became the 2011 F1 drivers' world champion making it two in a row.
6 Oct 2011 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.41 ([Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.37); oil us$81/b; au$1.00=us$0.96, £0.63, €0.72, ¥74

6-7 October 2011: RM Auctions Hershey sale includes what is claimed to be the world's oldest running motor car, an 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout (sold us$4,620,000) -- [www], [www].

5-8 October 2011: Bonneville World Finals -- [www].

2 October 2011 (Sun), .au: The start of daylight saving -- [www]. The clocks went forward one hour at 2am (not in Qld, NT or WA).

2 October 2011: Tesla showed its production 'model S' electric sedan (for 2012) from us$49K after US tax credit -- [www].

1 October 2011: Munich, Bonhams auction of BMW manufactured and powered Motor Cars and Motorcycles and BMW related Automobilia -- [www]. Lot 175, the 1969 BMW 'Spicup' convertible coupe concept by Carrozzeria Bertone, chassis #V.0010, engine #V.0010/2800, sold for €460,000.

 
30 Sept 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.39); oil us$83/b; au$1.00=us$0.98, £0.63, €0.72, ¥75

30 September 2011: Citroen revealed the 'C4 Aircross', a small SUV with 4x2 or 4x4, 1.6 petrol or diesel, or 1.8 diesel. And Peugeot, the '4008' SUV (4x4 or 4x2) for 2012, 1.6 or 2.0 petrol, or 1.6 or 1.8 diesel -- [www].

September 2011: The Fiat Panda got bigger and was "revamped [with] new Euro 5 engines ... 1.3 MultiJet 16v 75HP ... as standard and the 1.2 8v 69HP [113 gm CO2/km] ... [and] methane or LPG engines, and with front-wheel or four-wheel drive ..." -- [www].

29 Sept 2011, .uk: On the roads, "1,850 people [were] killed [in 2010], 17% lower than in 2009 and 22,660 were seriously injured, down 8%. Motor vehicle traffic fell by 2% over the same period. ..." -- Dept. for Transport [www].

28 September 2011, .au: "A huge grass fire in the Simpson Desert in the [NT] ... has been burning near Poeppels Corner on the [NT], [Qld] and [SA] borders for more than a week. ..." -- [abc], CFS (SA) [www].

28 September 2011: "U.S.-based private equity firm North Street Capital has agreed to buy ... Spyker from its parent company Swedish Automobile (SWAN.AS), the [FT] reported ..." -- Reuters [www], FT [www].
Swedish Automobile continued to suffer severe indigestion over Saab.
"Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan), announces it has reached conditional agreement with North Street Capital, LP (NorthStreet) about the main terms of the sale of the Spyker sportscar business. ... approx. €32 million if and when the sale ..." -- Spyker [www][29/9].

27 September 2011, .au: "Chery Automobiles Australia - Chery J11 Vehicles ... The side impact capabilities of the vehicle may not adequately protect the occupants in the event of an accident. ..." -- recall 2011/12829 [www].

27 September 2011, .au: "... petrol prices are set to rise ... because of the weaker [au$1=us$0.99] and volatility in global oil prices. ..." -- [abc].

25 Sept 2011 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.39); oil us$80/b
23 Sept 2011: au$1.00=us$0.98, £0.63, €0.72, ¥74
25 September 2011, race (15) 14: Singapore F1 Grand Prix [www]. (Start 8pm local, noon GMT.)
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Jenson Button [McLaren Mercedes], 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull). With five races remaining, the win left Vettel one point short of clinching the F1 drivers' world championship: Vettel 309pts, Button 185pts, Alonso 184pts, Webber 182pts.

24 September - 4 October 2011: Royal Melbourne Show, Vic., .au -- [www].

21 September 2011: Saab (and subsidiaries) "... received approval for their proposal for voluntary reorganization from the Court of Appeal ..." -- [www][21/9].

20 Sept 2011 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.42 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.35); oil us$88/b; au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.65, €0.75, ¥78

20 September 2011: Healey Sports Cars Switzerland Ltd (HSCS), owners of the 'Jensen' name, appointed CPP Global Holdings to build "an all-new Jensen Interceptor" to be launched in 2012 to go sale in 2014 -- [www].

20 September 2011: The release of the book, 'Private Eye: The First 50 Years, an A-Z', as part of the magazine's 50th (25 Oct.) celebrations -- [www].

16-18 September 2011 (Fri-Sun): Goodwood Revival, .uk -- [www]. And Bonhams auction (16th) including lot 229 a 1971 Ferrari 365GTS/4 'Daytona' Spyder chassis #14605, engine #B1594 (sold £595,500), & lot 250 a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing' coupe chassis #5500202, engine #5500185 (sold £342,500) [www].

15 Sept 2011 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.33); oil us$89/b; au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.65, €0.74, ¥78

15-25 September 2011, .de: 64th Frankfurt Motor Show -- IAA Cars [www]. Including Alfa Romeo '4C' concept; Aston Martin road-going V12 'Zagato' (£330K 2012, ≤150) [www]; Audi 'A2' & 'Urban' 1+1 electric concepts [www] 'A2' electric concept [www] & the S8's V10→V8 turbo [www] but also a W12 'A8' [www]; Bentley 'Continental GTC' (6-litre W12 2×turbo); BMW 'i3' and 'i8' hybrid concepts; Citroen 'DS5'; Ferrari '458 Spider' (convertible) [www]; Fiat new 'Panda', Chrysler 'Freemont' AWD & 'Qubo Trekking' van [www]; Fisker 'Surf' series hybrid concept; Ford 'Evos' plugin hybrid concept [www] [www]; GM Chevrolet revised 'Malibu' [www], and Opel/Vauxhall 'Astra GTC', 'Combo' van/ people mover, 'Zafira Tourer' (wagon) & 'RAKe' 2-seat electric concept [www], [www], [www], [www]; Honda next generation 'Civic'; Hyundai next 'i30' [www]; Jaguar 'C-X16' concept (?E-type?) [www]; Jeep (& see Fiat) 'Wrangler' with a new 3.6 litre V6 [www]; Kia 4-door sports sedan concept [www]; Lamborghini 'Aventador' LP 700-4 (see 4 March); Lancia (Chrysler!) 'Ypsilon'; Land Rover 'DC100' Defender & 'DC100 Sport' concepts (?2015? hmmm) [www], [www]; Lotus [www]; Mazda 'CX-5 Crossover' SUV [www]; Mercedes next 'B-class' (bigger, of course, B+?), 'SLK 250' CDI & 'SLK 55' AMG [www], [www], [www]; Nissan Infiniti 'Etherea' concept & 'M35h' hybrid [www]; Peugeot '508RX' SUV [www], and 'HX1' concept, hybrids (of course) [www]; Porsche next '911' the 991 (replaces 997) [www] [www]; Renault 'Frendzy' concept (sigh) & 'Twingo'; Ssangyong 'XIV-1' concept SUV (?Evoque.kr?) [www]; Subaru 'XV' (for 2012); Suzuki 'Swift Sport' [www], [www]; Toyota 'FT-86' (also see 21 Oct. 2009, and 3 March below) & 'Prius' plug-in hybrid [www], [www], & SAE [www]; Volvo 'You' concept [www]; VW new 'Beetle' take 2, 'Up' city car (Dec. 2011) & weird 'NILS' single-seat electric concept [www], [www], [www].

13 September 2011: "Australia's wholesale petrol prices have increased to a four-month high ... 142.8 cents/l last week ... " -- [abc]. Crude oil WTI us$89/b & Brent us$112/b [bbc][13/9], and Tapis us$120/b AIP [www][12/9]. (And the €-zone seemed increasingly shaky.)

12 September 2011: The British Geological Survey (BGS) published a "new supply risk index for chemical elements or element groups which are of economic value ... including rare earths, platinum group metals, niobium and tungsten. ... current importance of China in production of many metals and minerals. ..." -- [www]. (Think batteries, electric motors, catalytic converters, ...)

12 September 2011: Suzuki announced the "dissolution of the comprehensive partnership and the cross-shareholding relationship with Volkswagen AG" (was formed on 9 Dec 2009) -- [www][12/9]. After VW served "notice of cooperation agreement infringement by Suzuki ... [over] the supply of diesel engines produced by another manufacturer to Suzuki. ..." -- [www][11/9].
Then, 'Suzuki Motor Corporation ("Suzuki"), has sent a letter to Volkswagen AG today, countering [VW's] allegations ...' -- [www][22/9].
And Suzuki "served [VW] with a 'notice of breach' in relation to the companies' 9 December 2009 Framework Agreement. ..." -- [www][14/10].
Arbitration -- [www][24/11].
11 September 2011, race (14) 13: Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza [www], & see [www]. (Start 2pm local, noon GMT.)
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Jenson Button [McLaren Mercedes], 3. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari]. Quite an interesting race, with overtaking!
10 Sept 2011 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.34); oil us$87/b;
9/9/2011: au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.66, €0.76, ¥82

10-11 September 2011, .uk: Beaulieu Autojumble, National Motor Museum [www], and Bonhams auction (Sat. 10th). Lot 409, a "barn find" 1937 Bugatti type 57 Galibier Sports Saloon chassis #57380, with coachwork by Van Vooren, sold for £166,500, even with a little "rodent damage to the rear interior."

8-11 September 2011 (Thu-Sun), .uk: EcoVelocity, low-carbon motor festival, Battersea Power Station, London -- [www].

8 September 2011: AMSR-E Sea Ice maps, University of Bremen, reported that a new historic Arctic sea ice minimum had been reached, a low probably not seen in the last 8000 years -- [pdf]@[www].

8 September 2011, .au: "Supporters of the 'Outback Way' will meet at Yulara in the NT today and are expected to lobby for more investment in the road project. ... an unsealed road running from Winton in Qld through the NT to Laverton in WA. ..." -- [abc], and obw@[www][9/9/'11].

7 September 2011: Saab filed for voluntary reorganization (bankruptcy protection) "pending the inflow of the equity contributions of Pang Da and Youngman [.cn]" -- [www].
This was rejected by the court -- [www][8/9].
The unions filed for Saab bankruptcy of Saab Automobile -- [www][12/9].
But Saab (and subsidiaries) "... received approval for their proposal for voluntary reorganization from the Court of Appeal ..." -- [www][21/9]. (See 28 Oct. above.)
5 Sept 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.34); oil us$87/b; au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.65, €0.75, ¥81

5 September 2011: 'Why wind is cutting energy costs', G.Parkinson, "... modeling also suggests that the amount of electricity generated by [a 700MW] wind farm would cause pool prices to fall by up to 9%, reducing the average price in 2013/14 from ~$67/MWh (a carbon price would be included by then) to ~$61/MWh. ..." -- [www].

September 2011: The recent Australian movie 'Red Dog,' initially set in 1971, features the new publican and his wife driving to Dampier, WA in a series 3 Land-Rover; dates do just allow this (although a series 2A would be more likely). Koko, the star of the movie, delivers a beautiful performance.

4 September 2011 (Sun): Chelsea AutoLegends, Royal Hospital Chelsea, London -- [www].

4 September 2011: "The US government [...] will file a multi-billion dollar lawsuit against 17 major American and foreign financial institutions over losses of about $US200 billion on subprime bonds in the lead-up to the 2008 recession. ..." -- [abc].

2 September 2011: 'Influences on the Low Carbon Car Market - 2020-2030 Report' -- the Low Carbon Vehicle Partneship [www][2/9].
And, "The total cost of owning an electric or hydrogen vehicle is likely to fall substantially and approach those of conventional cars within 15-20 years according to a new study. ..." -- [www][6/9] -- i.e., not any time soon.

2-4 September 2011: Melbourne National 4x4 Show, Melbourne Showgrounds -- [www]. (Inc. the 'EarthCruiser' 4×4 camper [www].)

2-3 September 2011 (Fri-Sat), .au: Birdsville Races -- [www].

2 September 2011: Koenigsegg claimed several performance records for a "production" car with its 'Agera R' -- 0-300 km/h = 14.53sec, 0-200 mph = 17.68sec, 300-0 km/h = 6.66sec, 200-0 mph = 7.28sec, 0-300-0 km/h = 21.19sec[*], 0-200-0 mph = 24.96sec -- [www][2/9/'11], subject to ratification.
[*] Recognised by Guiness World Records, 27 Nov. 2011.

2 September 2011: R. F. Service, Algae's Second Try, Science, Vol.333, No.6047, pp.1238-1239, 2011 [doi:10.1126/science.333.6047.1238] (subscrn), on one of the great hopes for bio-fuels.

2 September 2011, .au: No o  o   o  -- "Ouyen, in NW Victoria, is bidding farewell to the Great Australian Vanilla Slice contest. ..." -- [abc], [www]. (First held 1998.)

1 September 2011: Charlie Whiting (FIA) said that "progress at India's new F1 venue, the Buddh Int. Circuit near New Delhi, is 'beyond expectations'. ...", which could mean anything or nothing at all. (See 30 Oct.)

1 September 2011: Swedish Automobile N.V. (Saab + Spyker) admitted to an "unbelievably tough quarter" and said that it was working, with its suppliers, towards a "sustainable restart of production." -- Saab [www].

 
31 Aug 2011 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.30); oil us$89/b; au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.66, €0.74, ¥82

30 August 2011: The FIA ratified the 2012 F1 World Championship calendar of 20 races (inc. Bahrain) -- [www].

30 August 2011: A Radical racer, electrified by Toyota, set a lap record for an electric car at the 20.8km Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit of 7m 47.794s. -- youtube [www]. (A Porsche 956 achieved 6:11.3 in practice for the 1000km race in 1983, and 6:55 was claimed for a petrol Radical in 2005 -- wikip [www].)

August 2011, .au: "Ute-opia is a travelling exhibition produced by the National Motor Museum for Holden to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Holden ute. ..." -- National Motor Museum, Birdwood, SA, video@[www], [www].

28 August 2011, race (13) 12: Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps [www]. (Start 2pm local, noon GMT.)
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Mark Webber (Red Bull). 3. Jenson Button [McLaren Mercedes]. Quite an exiting race, with overtaking!
And, "... Ferrari ... expects to have the [2014-style V6 engine] running as early as next year. ..." -- FIA [www][8/'11] (also see 22 June below).
26 Aug 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.36 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.30); oil us$85/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.64, €0.73, ¥81

26 August 2011: Libya's rebels transferred their base to Tripoli having ousted dictator Moamar Gaddafi (still missing) after a long fight -- [abc].

25 August 2011: Bloomberg New Energy Finance released a prediction that the carbon price in Australia will fall to au$16/tonne in 2015-2016 when the fixed price (to be au$23 from 2012; see 10 July below) ends and trading begins -- [www].

August 2011: How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean? C.Mora et al, PLoS Biol. 9(8): e1001127, 2011, [doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001127]: "... predicts ~8.7million (±1.3million SE) eukaryotic species globally, of which ~2.2million (±0.18million SE) are marine. In spite of 250 years of taxonomic classification and over 1.2million species already catalogued ... suggest that some 86% of existing species on Earth and 91% of species in the ocean still await description. ..."

23 August 2011: Toyota launched the next 'Camry' sedan.

22 August 2011: Ford and Toyota announced a preliminary agreement to develop "hybrid system ready for use later this decade on Ford and Toyota rear-wheel-drive light trucks and SUVs ..." -- [www], [www].

21 August 2011: 61st Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance -- [www]. Best in show was a 1934 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne. And Gooding Co auction, including lot 18 a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa body by Scaglietti chassis #0666TR engine #0666TR (sold us$16,390,000!), lot 42 a 1929 Bentley 41/2-litre 2-seat sports, and lot 123 a 1931 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Coupe (sold us$10,340,000) -- [www].

21 Aug 2011 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.32); oil us$83/b
19 Aug Fri au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.63, €0.72, ¥79

20-21 August 2011: The Big One, Shelsley Walsh Hill-Climb, Worcestershire, .uk -- [www].

20 August 2011 (Sat.), .au: Henley on Todd "regatta" Alice Springs, NT -- [www], [abc].

19-20 August 2011: Rm Auctions Monterey auction, including lot 148 a 1970 Porsche 911S Le Mans (sold us$1,375,000) featured in the Steve McQueen movie Le Mans -- [www], [www].

19 August 2011: The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, .us, and auction including lot 430 1927 Bentley 6.5-litre Sports Tourer chassis #BX2421, engine #DH2201, lot 432 1925 Bentley 3-litre 100mph Supersports 'Brooklands' 2-seater chassis #1161, engine #546 (sold us$601,000), lot 440 1957 BMW 507 Roadster chassis #70038, engine #40037 (sold us$1,002,500), and lot 453 1986 Porsche 962, chassis #962-121, engine #361 (sold us$810,000), being the 1987 & 1988 12-Hours of Sebring overall winner -- Bonhams [www], Quail [www].

August 2011, .us: 'The Road Less Traveled: An Analysis of Vehicle Miles Traveled Trends in the U.S,' by R.Puentes and A.Tomer, Brookings Inst. (Dec. 2008), "... Driving, as measured by national VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled), began to plateau as far back as 2004 and dropped in 2007 for the first time since 1980. Per capita driving followed a similar pattern, with flat-lining growth after 2000 and falling rates since 2005. ..." -- [www][8/'10].

17 August 2011: "The only Australian company which manufactures solar cells is closing the operation. Silex Solar ... [some blame] the New South Wales Government. ..." -- [abc].

16-19 August 2011: "Oshkosh Defense ... [presented] its TerraMax™ Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) technology at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Unmanned Systems 2011, hosted August 16-19 in Washington, D.C. ..." -- [www][15/8].

16 Aug 2011 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.29); oil us$87/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.64, €0.73, ¥80

15 August 2011: "The number of vehicles in operation worldwide surpassed the 1 billion-unit mark in 2010 for the first time ever. ... China played a major role in overall vehicle population growth in 2010, with registrations jumping 27.5%. Total vehicles in operation in the country climbed by more than 16.8million units, to slightly more than 78million, accounting for nearly half the year's global increase. ..." -- Wards Auto [www].

13-14 August 2011 (Sat-Sun): LandRover Max Show, Stoneleigh Park, .uk -- [www].

13-19 August 2011: Bonneville Speed Week -- [www].

11 Aug 2011 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.31 ([Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.28); oil us$83/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.63, €0.72, ¥79

11 August 2011: WTI crude oil us$83/b, Tapis crude oil us$110/b, Brent crude oil us$106/b -- [bbc], AIP [www].

11 August 2011, .au: "In the 24 hours to 9am Thurs. rainfall totals of up to 130mm were recorded in the E.Gippsland area [Vic.]. No significant rainfall is forecast for the remainder of Thursday. A major flood warning is current for the Mitchell catchment. ..." -- [bom][11/8].

10 August 2011: The SEA announced plans to add an electric class, 'Formula SAE Electric', to its 'FSAE' (student) racing series -- [www][10/8].

8 August 2011: Nancy Wake (1912-2011), the WWII heroine known as 'the White Mouse,' died in London, aged 98. After the war she was awarded the George Medal (uk), the Medal of Freedom (usa), the Croix de Guerre (×3), the Medaille de la Resistance, and later made a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (fr), and, eventually, made a Companion of the Order of Australia (2004) -- [abc], the Grauniad [www], wikip [www], [bbc].
6 Aug 2011 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.29); oil us$87/b
5 Aug 2011 au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.64, €0.74, ¥82

6 August 2011: The first race of the EV Cup, Silverstone -- cancelled -- [www]. The 1st race now 26 November, Laguna Seca. (See Formula E, 27 Aug. 2012.)

5 August 2011: "The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) today expressed concerns over incorrect public comments made by ATECO Automotive regarding the recall of and modifications to the Chery J1 sedan. ... [the] J1 performed poorly ..." -- [www].

5 August 2011: Honda announced that it would "recall approx. 1.5 million vehicles in the U.S. to update the software that controls the auto. transmission. Certain 2005-2010 4-cyl. Accord, 2007-2010 CR-V and 2005-2008 Element vehicles [are] included ..." -- [www].

3 August 2011, .au: "VFACTS data shows 80,991 new vehicles were sold in July, 1.7% (or 1385) fewer vehicles than the same month in 2010. ... overall drop in sales for the year to date of 5.9% ..." -- FCAI [www].

3 August 2011, .au: "Neutral ENSO conditions persist in the tropical Pacific, ... the chances of an El Nino developing [are] now considered unlikely" -- the Bureau of Meteorology. And the 'Annual Climate Summary,' for 2010, "notes that 2010 was Australia's second wettest year on record, with floods affecting large areas of northern and eastern Australia. In contrast extremely dry conditions were experienced in the southwest of Western Australia, with that region experiencing its driest year on record. [And] notes that it was the globe's equal warmest year on record, while sea level was also at record high levels in 2010." -- [bom].

1 Aug 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.29); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$1.10, £0.67, €0.77, ¥86

August 2011: The FIA's 'InMotion' magazine included articles 'charging forward', pp.20-29, on whether a major racing series for electric vehicles is credible, and 'formula for change', pp.48-53, on future greener changes to F1 engine regulations (also see 22 June below) -- [www](pdf).

 
31 July 2011, race (12) 11: Hungarian F1 Grand Prix, Hungaroring, nr. Budapest [www]. (Start 2pm local, noon GMT.)
Results: 1. Jenson Button (in his 200th GP) [McLaren Mercedes], 2. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 3. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari]. A damp track, with drizzle at times during the race, kept things interesting. (Next race, 28 Aug..)

31 July 2011, .uk: Closing date of a 'Wintham Special Vehicles' auction, for the MoD, of the "last demobbed Left Hand Drive Forward Control 101" Landrover 'Vampire' radio van, Ref LC3786 -- [www][30/7].

30-31 July 2011, .uk: Bridgestone 'Electric Eco Rally', Oxford to London -- [www].

29 July 2011, usa: President Obama announced stricter fuel economy targets "for all new cars and trucks sold in the [US]. ... Model Years 2017-2025, requiring ... 54.5mpg (US g.) in 2025 ... [CO2] 163 grams/mile ..." -- [www], [www], & EPA [www]. (Still well behind .eu.)

28 July 2011: The US Army announced that following a two-year "Technology Development" phase, it was now "poised to conduct a full and open competition geared toward formal production" of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) -- [www]. (Also see 2 Dec. 2012.)

27 July 2011 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.28 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.30); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$1.11, £0.67, €0.76, ¥86

25 July 2011: The European Commission has adopted legislation that will enable car manufacturers to receive CO2 emissions credits if their new cars are fitted with approved 'eco-innovations.' ... the EU's goal [to] CO2 emissions from new cars to an average of 130g/km by 2015 ..." -- SMMT [www].

25 July 2011: The British 'Bloodhound' Super-Sonic Car (SSC) team announced progress following "the return of 300 workers to Hakskeenpan", in June, to resume clearing the track of stones -- [www].

24 July 2011, race (11) 10: German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, the middle race of the season [www]. (Start 2pm local, noon GMT.)
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [McLaren Mercedes]; 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Mark Webber [Red Bull] (4. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull). A cold track caused most teams trouble with tyre temperatures leading to a more interesting race.

July 2011: Chris Paine, who made the documentary 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' (2005), recently made 'The Revenge of the Electric Car' (2010) -- [www].

22 July 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.31); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$1.08, £0.67, €0.75, ¥85

22-24 July 2011 (Fri-Sun): Silverstone Classic, .uk -- [www].

21 July 2011: Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan) announced that "Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) continues discussions with its supplier base on material supply and delivery terms in order to be able to resume production at its Trollhattan plant. ..." -- [www]; also see [www][22/7], & DT [www][27/7].

20-24 July 2011: The War and Peace Show, The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent, uk -- [www].

20 July 2011, .uk: "Mid-July average UK pump prices [saw] petrol bounce back to £135.62p/l, [v.] 136.07 a month ago. Diesel almost returned to where it was a month ago at 139.68, [v.] 139.77 in mid June." -- the AA [www].

20 July 2011: "The European car fleet is getting heavier again, partly because the EU's carbon dioxide standards are more lenient for heavy cars than for light cars. ..." -- [www] @ [www].

18 July 2011: Shelby SuperCars unveiled its new creation, the 'Tuatara' -- [www], [www].

17 July 2011 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.31); oil us$97/b

15-17 July 2011: Pageant of Power, Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire, .uk [www], historic and contemporary automotive power, on Land, Sea or Air.

15-17 July 2011 (Fri-Sun): LRO "Billing" Show, .uk -- [www].

14 July 2011 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.28); oil us$98/b; au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.67, €0.76, ¥85

13-16 July 2011: The 'Ennstal-Classic', Austria -- [www].

11 July 2011: Peugeot revealed details of the '508 RXH' diesel-electric hybrid with 4WD -- [www].

10 July 2011, .au: The Federal Labor Government announced a Carbon Tax of au$23/tonne, from 2012, on the 500 worst polluters -- [www], launch [www], plan [www].
11 July 2011, .au: The Australian Automobile Association said that the "Federal Government's Carbon Pricing Package released today got it right in placing no extra financial burdens on Australian motorists ... all fuels for light passenger vehicles will be exempt ..." -- RACV [www].
(Also see 25 August, 12 October and 8 November above.)
10 July 2011, race (10) 9: British F1 Grand Prix, Silverstone [www]. (Start 1pm local, noon GMT.)
Results: 1. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 2. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull).

9-16 July 2011: Silk Way Rally, Moscow to Sotchi (Dakar Series) -- [www], [www].

7 July 2011, .uk: The dirty digger's (Rupert Murdoch's) 'News Corporation' announced that it would close the 'News of the World' newspaper / scandal-sheet as its very own scandal over NoW journalists hacking of mobile phones widened -- [bbc], [abc][19/7], Grauniad [www], [www][16/8], DT [www].

6 July 2011, .uk: "... Average new car CO2 emissions fell to a record low of 138.9g/km in quarter two, below 140g/km for the first time. ..." -- SMMT [www].

1-10 July 2011: Australian International Motor Show, Melbourne, Vic. -- [www]. (After 2010 in Sydney.) Including Audi revised 'A6', 'R8 GT'; BMW 'Vision EfficientDynamics' concept [www]; Ford revised 'Focus'; GM Holden 'Colorado' and series-2 'Cruze' & 'Captiva' [www]; Hyundai 'Veloster'; Lamborghini's new 'Aventador' (au$754,600); Land-Rover 'Evoque' (au$50K - $77K); Maserati 'MC Stradale'; Mazda 'Shinari' concept; Subaru's revised 'Subaru'; Suzuki 'Swift S' concept; Toyota's new Yaris city car; VW 'Scirocco R'.

 
30 June 2011, .au: The RACV released its annual survey of the costs of owning and running a car -- [www]. Costs ranged from $110.64/week for the "light" Suzuki Alto, to $387.21/week for the 4WD Toyota LandCruiser GXL diesel, under typical assumptions
30 June - 3 July 2011 (Thu-Sun): Goodwood Festival of Speed -- [www]. Dan Collins set the fastest time of 48.52s on the hill-climb in the 1981 Lotus 88B "twin chassis" F1 car.
And, 1 July, auction by Bonhams, inc. lot 464 the ex-Edith Field/ Innes Ireland 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 drophead coupe (open) chassis #LML/506 which sold for £606,500 -- [www], [www], [www].

29 June 2011: Toyota announced the recall of "45,500 Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h" hybrids over concern about their control boards -- [www], and recall 2011/12709 .au [www].

28 June 2011: Cash-strapped Saab got some relief with a conditional sell-lease deal on its property [www][28/6], and an order for 582 Saabs from China [www][27/6]. Later, "final approval ... for the sale and lease back" -- [www][7/7].

27 June 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.36 ([Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.27); oil us$91/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.65, €0.74, ¥84

26 June 2011: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb -- [www]. (The "week" from Tues 21 June.) Nobuhiro Tajima, driving his 'SX4' hill climb special, set a new record of 9 min. 51.28 sec. for the unlimited division, beating his own 2007 mark of 10:01.41. About 5km of gravel surface remains.

26 June 2011, race (9) 8: European F1 Grand Prix, Valencia [www]. (Start 2pm local, noon GMT.)
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull). All 24 starters finished the race. Webber's car slowed with a gearbox problem towards the end. The win left Vettel with six wins and two seconds out of eight races in 2011.

25-26 June 2011: Tankfest, Bovington Tank Museum, .uk -- [www].

24 June 2011: The World Heritage Committee awarded the Ningaloo Coast, WA, World Heritage listing. The area includes the spectacular but not well known Ningaloo coral reef -- [www], [www], [abc].

23 June 2011: Saab admitted that it was "unable to pay the wages to employees as it has not yet obtained the necessary short-term funding. ..." -- [www]. (See 28 June.)

22 June 2011 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.27); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.65, €0.74, ¥85

22 June 2011: Major changes to the engine type in F1 were put off until 2014 (was to have been 2013), when 1.6-litre turbo V6 (was to have been 4-cyl), limited to 12,000 rpm, controlled (limited) fuel flow, and with 120kW (doubled) KERS, will be introduced -- [bbc]. Ratified by the WMSC, but with a 15,000rpm limit -- FIA [www][29/6], [www][30/6]. (But more changes of plan would not surprise.)

22-24 June 2011: Salon Prive, Syon Park, London, .uk -- [www].

20-26 June 2011 (Mon-Sun): 49th Paris Air Show, Le Bourget, public 24-26 June (Fri-Sun) -- [www].

19 June 2011: Volvo (like other companies) has experimented with a flywheel kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) for road cars, this one incorporating a Torotrak CVT -- SAE [www].

18-19 June 2011, .uk: The Brooklands Double Twelve -- [www].

18 June 2011, .au: The Labor Federal Government "will provide more than three quarters of a billion dollars to help build" a 250MW solar thermal gas hybrid power station near Chinchilla Qld, and a 150MW photovoltaic power station near Moree NSW -- .gov.au [www]. It is claimed that, when completed (2015), they will power ~115,000 homes.

17 June 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.27); oil us$95/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.65, €0.74, ¥85

17 June 2011, .de: "... The merger [with VW] is and remains our clear, shared goal ..." -- Porsche [www].

13 June 2011: Spyker announced that Spyker, Saab, Pang Da Automobile (.cn), and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. (Youngman, .cn) had signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding which included an "equity participation" and a joint venture to build Saabs for China -- Saab [www].

13 June 2011 (Mon) .au: Queen's Birthday holiday (with enough snow for a few ski lifts to operate).

12 June 2011 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.31 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.28); oil us$99/b
10 June 2011 Fri au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.65, €0.73, ¥85
12 June 2011, race (8) 7: Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Circuit Gilees Villeneuve, Montreal [www]. (Start 1pm local, 5pm GMT.)
Results: 1. Jenson Button [McLaren Mercedes], 2. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull). The race started, in rain, behind the safety car. Conditions improved for a while, but the race was suspended (for two hours) on lap 24 due to more heavy rain. Button had an eventful race, including a spell in last place, but grabbed the lead on the last lap.

11-12 June 2011: 79th Le Mans 24-Hours Race -- [www]. (Start 3pm local time.) In the LMP1 class, diesel engines were reduced from 5.5-litres (in 2010) to 3.7-litres to slow the pace slightly. Benoit Treluyer took pole position with a qualifying lap of 3min 25.738s in an Audi R18 TDI. In the race: 1. Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer (#2 Audi R18 TDI, 3.7-litre turbo V6) 355 laps, 2. Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud, Pedro Lamy (#9 Peugeot 908 HDi, 3.7-litre turbo diesel) 355 laps, 3. Nicolas Minassian, Franck Montagny, Stephane Sarrazin (#8 Peugeot 908 HDi) 353 laps -- [www], [www]. There were long safety-car stints following accidents.

11 June 2011, .au: The Federal Labor Government announced "... new emissions standards on all new cars, 4WDs and utes sold in Australia ... [to be] fully implemented in 2018 ...", i.e., core Euro 5 by Nov. 2013 (on new models), full Euro 5 by Nov 2016, full Euro 6 by July 2018 (on all models) -- .gov.au [www][11/6], AA106/2011.

10-13 June 2011: Finke Desert Race, NT, .au -- [www].

10 June 2011: It appeared that the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix was "off again" (see 3 June) after rumblings from FOTA -- [bbc], & FIA [www].

9 June 2011, .au: The Australian Government released its final report into Carbon Emission Policies in Key Economies, i.e., Carbon pricing elsewhere (UK, USA, .de, ...), pricing mechanisms, and effects on industries -- [www], [www].

7 June 2011 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.29); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.65, €0.73, ¥86

7 June 2011, .au: RACV launched 'Car Blindspot Ratings' because many new car designs have poor visibility for drivers -- RACV [www], [www] -- e.g., VW Golf quite good, generally BMWs fair, Peugeots bad. Cyclists have known of this problem for many years.

7 June 2011: Audi began production of the 'Q3' SUV at VW's SEAT factory in Spain -- [www].

6-12 June 2011: MotorExpo, Canary Wharf, London, .uk -- [www].

6 June 2011: BMW released details of its revised '1-Series' sedan -- small, but less so than before -- [www].

3 June 2011: The FIA announced the reinstatement of the 2011 Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, now to be on 30 October (was to have been 13 March), the moving of the Indian Grand Prix to the end of the season, and new engine regulations (1.6-litre, 4-cyl., turbo., 12,000rpm) for 2013 on -- [www]. But it was apparently off again by the 10th -- [bbc]. Also see 22 June.

3 June 2011, .uk: The documentary 'Senna', about the life of Brazilian F1 legend Ayrton Senna, scheduled for its UK release -- [www].

2 June 2011 Thur Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.29); oil us$100/b; au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.65, €0.74, ¥86

1 June 2011: Toyota announced a "voluntary safety recall [of ~]52,000 2001 through 2003 Prius vehicles ... to replace the electric power steering pinion shaft attachment nuts. ..." -- [www], & PRA # 2011/12625 .au [www][3/6].

 

31 May 2011, .au: The 'Garnaut Climate Change Review' released its final report 'Australia in the Global Response to Climate Change' -- [www], [www]. Among the recommendations is setting an initial Carbon price of au$26/tonne -- [www][31/5].

30 May - 10 June 2011: The Isle of Man TT -- [www].

29-30 May 2011: Motorsport at the Palace, Crystal Palace, London, .uk -- [www].

29 May 2011, race (7) 6: Monaco F1 Grand Prix [www]. (Start 2pm local, noon GMT.)
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Jenson Button [McLaren Mercedes]. The race was suspended on lap 72 following an accident which left Vitaly Petrov (Renualt) briefly knocked out. This let Vettel and Alonso fit new(er) tyres and there were no changes at the front during the last 6 laps once the race resumed.
And, the High Court ruled that Team Lotus (which entered F1 as Lotus Racing in 2010) can keep the 'Team Lotus' name, and that Group Lotus, owned by Proton (.my) and as in Lotus Renault GP in the 2011 season, has the rights to 'Lotus' for use on its road cars and in F1 -- [bbc][27/5], Team Lotus [www][27/5], Group Lotus [www][27/5].

29 May 2011: The 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 -- [www]. Results: 1. Dan Wheldon (Bryan Herta Autosport), 2. J. R. Hildebrand (Panther Rac.), 3. Graham Rahal (Chip Ganassi Rac.). Rookie J.R.Hildebrand was in the lead, on the last lap, hit a barrier, but got the car over the line.

28 May 2011 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.31); oil us$101/b
27 May 2011 Fri au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.65, €0.75, ¥87

27 May 2011: Fiat announced that it would buy the 6% of Chrysler held by the US Treasury since Chrysler's rescue, aiming at 57% of the company by late 2011 -- [www], & [www][3/6].

27 May 2011: Saab restarted production -- [www] -- it stopped 6 April due to a shortage of money, see 16 May below. Also, "Spyker Cars is to be renamed Swedish Automobile N.V." -- [www].

26-28 May 2011: Shell 'Eco-marathon' Lausitz, Germany -- Shell [www]. "France's Polytech Nantes is the current global record holder for with 4,896.1 km/litre [equivalent, using fuel-cell power,] achieved at the 2010 Shell Eco-marathon Europe EuroSpeedway Lausitz."
"... Team mecc-Sun from the Politecnico di Milano (Italy) designed and built a solar-powered car capable of travelling an outstanding 1,108 km on just 1 kWh* of energy ..." -- [www][28/5]. (*Look at the Boxster E, 24 May, for comparison!)

26 May 2011: Jaguar Land Rover did well for owner Tata in "FY2010-11, reporting net revenue of £9,906 million and a profit after tax of £1,043 million. Sales volumes improved to 243,621 [v.] 193,982 in the previous year" -- Tata [www].

25 May 2011: 'Euro NCAP' awared a top 5-star overall safety rating to the electric Nissan 'Leaf' -- [www], & Nissan [www].

24 May 2011: A Porsche press release on its 1600kg 'Boxster E' electric prototype gives some stats. on its systems: "two electric motors develop a total power output of 180kW ... lithium-iron-phosphate based battery ... Each [cell] has a nominal voltage of 3.3V & capacity of 20Ah. ... 440 cells good for ~170km (107 miles) ... For an overall weight of 341kg, the battery's energy content is 29kWh* of which ~26kWh are available ... max. [battery] power is 240kW ... 60kW more than the [motors] draw under full load." -- [www]. (A bit more oomph than your regular lead acid battery.) (*Look at the EcoMarathon, 26-28 May, for an interesting comparison!)

23 May 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.34); oil us$98/b; au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.65, €0.75, ¥87
22 May 2011, race (6) 5: Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Catalunya [www]. (Start 2pm local, noon GMT.)
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Lewis Hamilton [McLaren Mercedes]; 3. Jenson Button (McLaren).

21 May 2011 (Sat.): Auction of Aston Martin and Lagonda Motor Cars and Related Automobilia, Aston Martin Works Service, Newport Pagnell, .uk -- Bonhams [www], & Aston Martin [www]. Lot 333 a 1963 Aston Martin DB4 Series V Vantage 4.2-Litre convertible, chassis #DB4C/1108/R, engine #370/1151/SS, sold for £507,500, and lot 345 a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage Shooting Brake, chassis #DB5/2047/R, engine #400/2918V, sold for £430,000,

20-22 May 2011: Concorso d'Eleganza, Villa d'Este, Lake Como -- [www].
And (21 May) Rm's auction including a 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC 'Atalante', and a 1965 Ford GT Works Prototype Roadster, chassis #GT/111 (one of 5 built) -- [www]. "Also six automobiles from the official collection of Carrozzeria Bertone", [www]. A 1955 Ferrari 375 MM Berlinetta sold for €3,360,000.

20 May 2011: Aston Martin revealed details of the its "V12 Zagato concept to be premiered at the Villa D'Este Concours [above] on 21st May" -- Aston Martin [www].

20 May 2011: Bonhams auction 'Les Grandes Marques Monaco', inc. lot 122, a 1988 Lamborghini LM 002 4x4, chassis #12080 (passed in), and lot 138 a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing' Coupe, chassis #1980405500152 & engine #1989805500170 (sold €563,500) -- [www].

19 May 2011, .au: GM Holden "welcomed the announcement by the Federal Government today awarding $39.8million from the Green Car Innovation Fund to bring fuel-saving innovations to [the Holden 'Commodore']. ... to help reduce fuel consumption by more than 7% ... reduce CO2 emissions from the Commodore fleet by around 9,000 tonnes a year. ..." GMH -- [www], & gov.au [www]. So, if a car lasts 10 to 20 years, that's $200 to $400 per tonne CO2, a bit more than the $20-$40/tonne rate touted for a Carbon-tax (see 10 July above, $23).

18 May 2011 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.36); oil us$98/b; au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.65, €0.75, ¥86

18 May 2011, .uk: Historics at Brooklands, auction -- [www] -- inc., lot 225, a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona, 4.4-litre V12, chassis #16531 (as driven by Richard Hammond on Top Gear, v. James May in a power boat).

17 May 2011, .uk: "A limit on the total amount of greenhouse gases to be emitted by the UK between 2023 to 2027 has been proposed to cut Britain's emissions by 50% from 1990 levels ..." -- [gov][rel. #2011/041], [www][17/5], [www][18/5]. Meanwhile in .au, the Labor Government continued to struggle to sell its proposed Carbon tax while the Lib.+Nat. opposition remained in denial -- [abc][4/5], [abc][19/5].

16 May 2011: Troubled Saab announced that it had "signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., Ltd (Pang Da), ... [It] includes a strategic alliance consisting of a 50/50 distribution joint venture and a manufacturing joint venture [in .cn]" -- Saab [www]. (Also see 27 May and 12 May.)

14-15 May 2011, .au: Back to Booktown, Clunes, Victoria -- [www].

14 May 2011, Vic., .au: "Snow showers above 800 metres rising to 1400 metres during the early morning." -- [bom][13/5].

13 May 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.35); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.66, €0.75, ¥86

13 May 2011, Friday: Lucky for some.

12 May 2011: "The Australian Government has approved the purchase of an additional 101 Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles [for] operations in Afghanistan. ... 31 Bushmasters have been damaged beyond repair in recent years and their replacement with a further 70 vehicles will support current and future operations. ..." -- [www].

12 May 2011: Saab announced the termination of "the agreement by and between Hawtai [.cn], Spyker and Saab Automobile AB (Saab Automobile) with respect to funding and strategic partnership" -- Saab [www], Spyker [www]. (Also see 16 May, and 3 May.)

11 May 2011: Oskosh Defense announced that the US Army had ordered 400 more FMTV trucks from it -- [www].

9 May 2011, .uk: "The four former directors of Phoenix Venture Holdings Limited and MG Rover Group Ltd ... have each undertaken not to act in the management of limited companies for varying periods, of between three and six years. The disqualification undertakings conclude the enforcement action by The Insolvency Service on behalf of the Government. ..." -- .gov [www].

9 May 2011: VW triggered a public offer for truck maker Man SE when it announced that it had "increased its holdings in ordinary shares in MAN SE from 29.9% to 30.47%" -- Man [www], VW [www], [www][31/5], & MAN [www][7/6].

8 May 2011 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.40 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.34); oil us$98/b
6 May 2011 Fri au$1.00=us$1.07, £0.65, €0.73, ¥86
8 May 2011, race (5) 4: Turkish F1 Grand Prix, Istanbul Park [www]. (Start 3pm local, noon GMT.)
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Mark Webber (Red Bull), 3. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari]. In the drivers' world championship: Vettel 93 points, Hamilton 59, Webber 55.

7 May 2011: The price of crude oil tool a sudden nose-dive, WTI us$98/b, Brent crude us$110/b -- [bbc].

6 May 2011: Jaguar announced that, with Williams F1, it would build 250 'C-X75' hybrid sportscars (in ~2013 £700K+) based on the concept car shown at the Oct. 2010 Paris Motor Show. The production car's generators will be powered by a petrol engine rather than the show car's twin gas-turbines -- Jaguar [www], Tata [www], Williams F1 [www], & SAE [www].

4 May 2011: The EV Cup announced the "dates and circuits for its inaugural 2011 season" -- [www] -- the first race being at Silverstone, 6 Aug..

3 May 2011 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.41 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.35); oil us$113/b; au$1.00=us$1.09, £0.66, €0.74, ¥88

3 May 2011: Spyker and Saab announced "an agreement with Hawtai Motor Group Company Ltd (Hawtai) [.cn]. This agreement conditionally secures medium term funding and includes financing in the form of subscription agreements in the amount of €150 million as well as a strategic alliance for China including joint ventures on manufacturing, technology and distribution. ..." -- Saab [www]. (But see 16   12 May above.)

1-6 May 2011: 'Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics' (CLEO), Baltimore, including "... researchers from Japan will describe the first multibeam laser system small enough to screw into an engine's cylinder head" which, as a spark plug replacement, "promise[s] less pollution and greater fuel efficiency ..." -- [www][20/4].

1 May 2011, .uk: The Greenpower 'Corporate Challenge' 4-hour race, at Silverstone, for Formula 24 electric racing cars -- [www]. (24 as in 24 volts.)

 

30 April - 1 May 2011 (Sat-Sun), .uk: Donington Historic Festival -- [www], [www][1/2].

29 April 2011, .uk: The wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton featured a Bentley, a Rolls Royce Phantom VI, modern Jaguars, Range Rovers (favoured by the muscle), horse drawn carriages and, later, an Aston Martin DB6 Volante convertible lent by Prince Charles.

28 April 2011: Chrysler announced that it intended "to repay in full the outstanding obligations under the loans provided to Chrysler Group by the U.S. Dept of the Treasury & the Canadian federal & Ontario governments .. during the second quarter of 2011 ..." -- [www].

28 April 2011 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.34); oil us$113/b; au$1.00=us$1.09, £0.65, €0.74, ¥89

28 April 2011, .uk: "The government's hoped-for electric car revolution ... £5,000 purchase grant per vehicle ... just over 500 people signing up to the scheme since it was introduced at the start of the year. ..." -- The Grauniad [www].

27 April 2011: "Most nuclear reactors in Japan would fail to achieve a stable condition in the event that all regular power sources are lost ..." -- The Japan Times [www]. Their backup generators, for emergency cooling, are inadequate -- not good! (Also see 11 March below.)

27 April 2011: F1's 'Team Lotus' (not Lotus Renault) announced that it had bought 'Caterham Cars', the British firm that makes the 'Caterham 7' sports car (long ago the 'Lotus 7') -- [www](pdf).

April 2011: G. L. Peters, et al, 'Growth in emission transfers via international trade from 1990 to 2008' Proc. Natl Acad. Sci., 2011, [doi:10.1073/pnas.1006388108], on greenhouse gases and international trade. Not only does importing goods "out-source" jobs, it also out-sources CO2 creation. (Also see 23 March [2010].)

26 April 2011: Spyker-Saab remained short of cash: "Spyker Cars N.V. (Spyker) announces that the intended sale of Saab Automobile Property AB (Saab Property) is still uncertain ... Spyker and Saab Automobile continue to work on securing additional funding. ... Spyker and Saab Automobile are negotiating equity and debt financing and/or technology licensing with various strategic partners, including various Chinese car manufacturers. No commitments have been received to date. Finally, Mr. Vladimir Antonov awaits the approval from the NDO and the EIB to be allowed to act as a financier of Saab Automobile and to become a shareholder of Spyker." -- Saab [www][26/4], & Spyker [www][26/4], [www][21/4], & later [www][2/5], [www][2/5]. (Also see 16, 12, & 3 May above.)

26 April 2011 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.35); oil us$112/b
26 April 2011 (Tue) .au: substitute holiday for 25th = Anzac Day = Easter Monday.
25 April 2011 (Mon) .au: Anzac Day.
25 April 2011: Easter Monday.
22 April 2011: Good Friday.
23 April 2011 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.42 ([Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.34); oil us$112/b
21 April 2011 Thu au$1.00=us$1.08, £0.65, €0.74, ¥88

22 April - 1 May: New York International Motor Show -- [www]. Including Honda 2012 'Civic' [www]; Jaguar revised 'XK' GT & 'XF' sedan [www]; Subaru's next (US spec.) 'Impreza' [www]; Toyota Lexus 'LF-Gh' concept [www].

21-28 April 2011: The 14th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (Auto Shanghai 2011), Shanghai New Int. Expo. Centre -- [www] (media 19th, 20th). Including Audi 'Q3' SUV; BMW 'M5' concept & new '6-series' coupe [www]; GM Chevrolet 'Camaro' ser.5 [www] & next 'Captiva' SUV [www]; Citroen 'DS5'; Kia 'K2' [www]; Land Rover usual suspects [www]; Mercedes new A-class concept [www]; MG (SAIC) 'MG5' concept; Mitsubishi 'Concept Global Small' car [www]; Nissan next 'Tiida' [www]; Peugeot 'SXC' (:-) crossover concept [www]; SAIC 'E1' electric; Subaru 'XV' SUV concept; Toyota ‘G's REIZ’ concept & 'FT-86 II' concept [www]; Volvo 'Concept Universe' (!) sedan [www]; VW (retro-) 'Beetle' take 2.

21 April 2011: Nobuo Tanaka, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), warned "The age of cheap energy is over ..." And assuming "implementation of national pledges made at the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020 [and] that new measures are introduced after 2020 to maintain the pace of decline in carbon intensity [then] by 2035, three-quarters of the world's oil production from existing fields will need to be replaced." -- IEA [www], & [abc]. (Also see 25 March.)

21 April 2011, .uk: "Car output rose by 14.8% in March 2011 and was up 13.0% over the first quarter" ... to 135,052 (March), 357,230 (Jan.-Mar.) -- SMMT [www].

21 April 2011: S.M.Kang et al, 'Impact of Polar Ozone Depletion on Subtropical Precipitation', Science, online 21 April 2011, [doi:10.1126/science.1202131], [www], "Over the past half-century, the ozone hole has caused a poleward shift of the extratropical westerly jet in the Southern Hemisphere. [Argue this] substantially contributed to subtropical precipitation changes. ... that precipitation in the Southern subtropics in austral summer increases significantly when climate models are integrated with reduced polar ozone concentrations. ..."

20 April 2011: "Kamkorp Autokraft, part of the Frazer-Nash group, has announced that it has acquired the assets and goodwill of Bristol Cars ... from its administrators ..." -- Bristol [www][20/4], [www]. (Also see here.)

18 April 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.34); oil us$109/b; au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.65, €0.74, ¥88

18 April 2011, .au: The price of ULP "is at a two-and-a-half-year high ... average price [of ULP] rose from 143.9 c/l last week to 144.6 c/l. ..." -- [abc]. (And ULP ~$1.67/l, diesel ~$1.74/l in Alice Springs -- [abc][20/4].)

17 April 2011, race (4) 3: Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shangai [www]. (Start 3pm local, 7am GMT.)
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [McLaren Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull). There was a fair bit of overtaking - Webber started from 18th place on the grid due to poor tyre choice in Q1, but that did leave him with good tyres for the race.

14-17 April 2011: Top Marques, Monaco -- [www].

14 April 2011, .au: Has Ford decided to give up on car manufacturing in .au? ... "Ford is cutting 240 jobs from its two Victorian plants because of a drop in demand for larger cars. ..." -- [abc] -- the only sort Ford builds in .au. There are doubts over the long term future [~2015+] of a locally designed, and built, Ford Falcon -- see 16 Jan. 2010. And, 24 July 2009, Ford decided not to build the Ford Focus in Australia (as had been announced in July 2007 [abc]), but to import it from Thailand instead.

14 April 2011: "The World Bank has warned that rising food prices, driven partly by rising fuel costs, are pushing millions of people into extreme poverty. ..." -- [bbc].

April 2011: R. Howarth, R. Santoro, A. Ingraffea, 'Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations', Climatic Change, 2011, [doi:10.1007/s10584-011-0061-5], "... 3.6% to 7.9% of the methane from shale-gas production escapes to the atmosphere in venting and leaks over the life-time of a well. These methane emissions are at least 30% more than and perhaps more than twice as great as those from conventional gas. ..." -- and perhaps even twice as bad as coal over 20 years. (Methane is a worse greenhouse gas than CO2.)

13 April 2011, "Licensed to skill: Contributory factors in accidents, ... presents the analysis of five years worth of accident data, recorded by the police between 2005 and 2009. ... Factors including 'failed to look properly' 'loss of control' and 'poor turn or manoeuvre', accounted for 65.3% of fatal ..." -- the Institute of Advanced Motorists [www], [www].

13 April 2011: "The new Audi Q3 is a premium SUV in a compact form. ... on sale in June ... €30K (.de)" -- Audi [www] -- both front-WD and 4x4.

13 April 2011: "The first [MG] MG6 sports fastback rolled off the production line at MG Motor's factory in Longbridge ..." -- SMMT [www].

13 April 2011: "... the question now is whether the existing world infrastructure can support 1.4 billion active vehicles ... One replacement for petroleum that seems simple enough is bio-derived fuels, such as ethanol. ... Additional viable paths include algal biofuels and liquification from natural gas and coal, as well as DME from biomass. ..." -- SAE 2011 World Congress panel on alternative fuels [www].

13 April 2011 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.34); oil us$106/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.64, €0.73, ¥90

12 April 2011: Passing its benchmarks, Fiat increased its share of Chrysler Group by 5% to 30% (UAW Veba 59.2%, US Treasury 8.6%, Canadian Gvmt 2.2%) -- [www][12/4].

11 April 2011: Bonhams auction of Collectors' Motor Cars at the RAF Museum, Hendon, inc. a 1999 Ferrari F50 Barchetta, chassis #ZFFTA46B000106395, engine #43578 (lot 345, sold prior), and Jenson Button's 1978 Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta Boxer (lot 337, not sold) -- [www].

10 April 2011, race (3) 2: Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, Sepang Int. Circuit, Kuala Lumpur [www]. (Start 4pm local, 8am GMT.)
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Jenson Button [McLaren Mercedes], 3. Nick Heidfeld [Lotus-Renault].

9 April 2011: Crude oil reached fresh highs, 'West Texas' us$113/barrel, 'Brent' us$125/barrel (spot), 'Tapis' us$130/b [7/4] -- [bbc][9/4], AIP [www].

8 April 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.36 ([Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.35); oil us$111/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.64, €0.73, ¥90

8-10 April 2011: Brisbane National 4x4 Show, RNA Showgrounds -- [www].

6 April 2011: "The Victorian Government is removing cattle from the Alpine National Park, ahead of a Federal Government review of the controversial grazing trial. ..." -- [www]. (Also see 7 Feb. below.)

4-8 April 2011: 'Greenhouse 2011,' the science of climate change, conference, Cairns, Qld, .au -- [www], [www], [abc].

3 April 2011 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.34); oil us$108/b
Fri 1 April: au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.64, €0.73, ¥86

3 April 2011: Eric Comas and Sebastien Chol, driving a Tesla 'Roadster 2', won the 5th 'Rallye Monte-Carlo des Vehicules a Energie Alternative' -- [www].

3 April 2011 (Sun), .au: The end of daylight saving -- [www]. The clocks go back one hour at 2am (not in Qld, NT or WA).

1-3 April 2011, .au: Longford Revival, Tasmania -- [www].

1 April 2011: Toyota announced that it had "won a ... case in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York that was seen as an early indicator of the strength of the legal theories behind current unintended acceleration claims against the Company. ..." -- [www]. (Also see 10 Feb. below.)

1 April 2011, .uk: 'Young Marmalade' car insurance for young drivers announced the introduction of "in-car [monitoring] technology, which reports [to the wwweb] how the car is being driven ..." -- [www].

 

31 March - 3 April 2011: The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival, Corryong, Victoria, .au -- [www].

31 March 2011: Warranty Direct's (.uk) reliability index rated the Toyota Corolla (1997-2002) the most reliable car -- [www][31/3]. (And avoid the Mercedes-Benz SL!)

30 March - 3 April 2011, .de: TechnoClassica, Essen. Vintage, Classic and Prestige Automobiles, Motorsport, Motorcycles, etc. -- [www]. Volvo took six P1800s to mark the P1800's 50th anniversary -- [www].

30 March 2011, .au: Australians love giant things . . . "a giant Australian meat ant is to be installed at Augathella, NE of Charleville" in Qld -- [abc].

29 March 2011: Update paper 8, 'Transforming the Electricity Sector', from the Garnaut Climate Change Review -- [www]. (If CO2 from electricity generation could be "solved", transport would hardly matter, and would follow in any case.)

29 March 2011: The aircraft carrier HMS 'Ark Royal' is for sale by the uk Ministry of Defence, "tender closure: Monday 13th June 2011 at 10am" -- [www].

28 March 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.34); oil us$105/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.64, €0.73, ¥84

28 March 2011: A transport "plan" by the European Commission (EC) includes "cities to completely phase out petrol cars" by 2050, and other measures, to achieve a "60% cut in greenhouse gases from all modes of transport" -- EC [www].

27 March 2011 (Sun), race (2) 1: Australian F1 Grand Prix, Melbourne -- [www]. (Start 5pm local, 6am GMT.)
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Lewis Hamilton [McLaren Mercedes]; 3. Vitaly Petrov [Lotus-Renault] (was 'Renault' in 2010). World Champion Sebastian Vettel took pole position 0.778 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton, a huge margin in F1. He was not seriously challenged in the race.

26-27 March 2011: Pajero Challenge, Vic., .au -- [www].

26 March 2011, .au: The NSW Liberal party won the NSW state election in a landslide -- [abc].

25 March 2011: 'Peak Oil Production May Already Be Here', R.A.Kerr, Science, 331(6024), pp.1510-1511, 2011, [doi:10.1126/science.331.6024.1510], "... Despite a near tripling of world oil prices, non-OPEC production, which accounts for 60% of world output, hasn't increased significantly since 2004. ..." (also see 21 April above).

25 March 2011: After a near death experience in 2009/2010, Saab sold 31,696 cars in 2010 v. 27,482 in 2009 -- Spyker [www]. It needs to sell more.

March 2011: UK prices for MGs soon available 'MG6', 1.8-litre petrol turbo 4-cyl, are 'S' £15,495, 'SE' £16,995, 'TSE' £18,995 -- [www].
MG has been Chinese owned since 2005.

23 March 2011 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.36); oil us$104/b; au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.62, €0.71, ¥82

23 March 2011, .au: "Technology innovation is the key to reducing carbon emissions cheaply. ... six pollution pricing schemes ... In each case, costs to reduce pollution, and actual prices, were much lower than governments and their experts expected. Governments consistently got it wrong when picking in advance which technologies would deliver the cheapest reductions. Environmental markets routinely led to innovation to reduce emissions at lower cost in practice than in forecasts. ..." -- The Grattan Institute [www], [abc].

21 March 2011: The population of car city (Detroit) declined from 950K in 2000, now "several demographers [predict] an official count below 800,000" -- The Detroit News [www].

March 2011, .uk: The 'Vulcan to the Sky' charity, which keeps the last airworthy Vulcan bomber flying, asked for donations to support its summer programme -- [www].

18-20 March 2011: Phillip Island Classic, Vic., .au -- [www].

18 March 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.34); oil us$103/b; au$1.00=us$0.99, £0.62, €0.71, ¥81

17 March 2011: Fighting between forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi and (reform-) rebels continued in Libya -- [abc] [bbc]. (See 26 Aug. above.) The Bahrain government cracked down on protesters with the help of troops from Saudi Arabia -- [bbc].

17 March 2011, .au: Update Paper 6: Carbon pricing and reducing Australia's emissions -- The Garnaut Review [www].
(And the RACV on petrol -- [www][21/3].)

16 March 2011:In the uk, "sub 130gm CO2 /km* cars [now] represent almost 40% of the market v. less than 1% in 2000" -- SMMT [www]. (*The European fleet target for 2015.)

16 March 2011: Many Japanese car plants remained shut down following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami of the 11th, and subsequent power shortages, e.g., Mazda [www], Nissan [www], Suzuki [www], Toyota [www].

14-20 March 2011: Corowa Swim In, Vic., .au, the year of the British and European vehicle -- [www], [www]  (military vehicles).

15 March 2011: "... climate change is real." -- Tony Abbott, leader of the Liberal party.   But . . .
14 March 2011: "I don't think we can say that the science is settled here. ... whether carbon dioxide is quite the environmental villain that some people make it out to be is not yet proven." -- Tony Abbott [abc], [www][15/3].

14 March 2011, .fr: Renault executives presented "sincere apologies and regrets, personally and in the name of Renault, to Messrs Balthazard, Rochette and Tenenbaum, who were wrongly accused" in the Renault "spy scandal" -- [www], [www]. See 13 January below.

14 March 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.36 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.35); oil us$100/b; au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.63, €0.72, ¥83
14 March 2011 (Mon), .au: Labour Day.
12-14 March 2011 (Sat-Mon), .au: Scoresby Steamfest, 1200 Ferntree Gully Rd., -- [www].
11-14 March 2011 (Fri-Mon), .au: Port Fairy Folk Festival -- [www].

13 March 2011 (Sun), race 1: Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir -- [www]. (Start 3pm local, noon GMT.)
The race was cancelled (see 21 Feb.) due to political unrest in Bahrain (and much of the Middle East).

11 March 2011: Japan was struck by a magnitude-9 earthquake with an epicentre about 70km east of the Oshika Peninsula, NE Honshu. The associated tsunami obliterated nearby coastal towns. The Fukushima I nuclear power station, with six reactors, was badly damaged -- wikip [www]. (Also see 27 April above.)
It later became apparent that three of the reactors had suffered melt-downs and possibly even "melt throughs" -- [abc][9/6], [abc][10/6]; still "record-high radiation on site. ... at least 10 sieverts per hour ..." -- [abc][2/8]; and,
on the 66th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima, "I will deeply reflect on nuclear power's 'myth of safety' ..." Japanese prime minister, Naoto Kan -- [abc][6/8]. The PM later resigned -- [bbc][26/8/'11].
"Elevated levels of radioactive strontium ... found 250km from the ... nuclear plant. ..." -- [abc][12/10/'11].
"New research has found that radioactive material in parts of north-eastern Japan exceeds levels considered safe for farming..." -- [bbc][14/11/'11]. See T. J. Yasunaria et al, 'Cesium-137 deposition and contamination of Japanese soils due to the Fukushima nuclear accident', PNAS, Nov. 2011, [doi:10.1073/pnas.1112058108]['11].
"Molten fuel rods ... may have eaten two-thirds of the way through a concrete containment base ..." -- [abc][2/12/'11].
The government announced that "a 'cold shutdown' condition marked the stabilisation of the plant. ... [but] it could take up to 40 years to fully decommission the plant and clean up surrounding areas." -- [bbc][16/12/'11].
"... dismantl[ing] the plant [and] removing the nuclear fuel. ... could take up to 40 years" -- [bbc][28/2/'12].

10 March 2011, .au: 'The Science of Climate Change', update paper released by the Garnaut Climate Change Review -- [www].

8 March 2011: The European Commission released a 'Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050' -- [www].

8 March 2011 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.35); oil us$105/b; au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.62, €0.72, ¥83

8 March 2011: International Women's Day -- [www], [wfwi].

March 2011: Bristol Cars (.uk) went into administration. (Also see 20 April above.)

6 March 2011 (Sun), .au: Dandenong Ranges FWDC Swap Meet, Yarra Glen, Vic., .au (8am-2pm) -- [www].

4 March 2011: GM announced that its hybrid Chevrolet 'Volt' (Opel 'Ampera') would be sold at "€41,950 (inc. VAT) in Germany ..." with a 160,000km/8-year warranty on the drive & battery -- [www]. Seems to have dropped €1K(?) -- [www][17/2]. (The Volt went on sale in some US states in late 2010.)

3-13 March 2011: 81st Geneva Motor Show -- [www]. Including Alfa Romeo '4C' prototype; Aston Martin DB9-based revived 'Virage' 6-litre V12 £150K [www], V8 'Vantage S' [www]; Audi A3 concept [www]; BMW 'ActiveE' electric prototypes, and fuel efficient realities [www], & Mini 'Rocketman' concept (is actually quite small!); Chrysler Jeep 70th anniversary special editions [www]; Ferrari 'FF' (Four seats, 4WD(!), not 'FF', £227K 12/2011) front engined 6.2 litre V12 [www]; Fiat 'Freemont' (with Chrysler input) [www] and a visit from Mephistopheles(!) [www]; Ford 'B-Max' people mover, 'Ranger Wildtrak' ute and 'Vertrek' SUV concepts [www]; GM Opel/Vauxhall 'Ampera' (again), 'Zafira' concept, revised 'Antara' SUV [www]; Gumpert 'Tornante' concept; Hyundai 'i40'; Jaguar compact 'B99' concept by Bertone, 'XKR-S' launch of the 'S' [www]; Kia next 'Rio' (from 1.1 litre 3-cyl diesel 85 gm CO2/km late 2011) [www]; Koenigsegg 'Agera', & 'Agera R' 5-litre V8 1,115hp [www]; Lamborghini 'Aventador LP700-4' 6.5 l V12 £200K+; Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography edition [www], 'Range-e' diesel-electric hybrid Range Rover Sport prototype claiming 89gm CO2/km [www] [www] [www] [www] (also see 28 Feb 2009 and [www]); Lotus race cars [www] & range extender engines for hybrids [www]; Maserati 'GranCabrio Sport'; Mazda 'Minagi' small SUV concept [www]; Mitsubishi 'Concept Global Small'(!) [www]; Morgan '3-Wheeler' [www]; Pagani 'Huayra' 600hp 6-litre V12 [www]; Peugeot '508', '3008 HYbrid4', revised '308' [www]; Porsche '918 RSR' ... [www], petrol-electric 'Lohner Sempervivum Vivus' (c1900) replica; Renault 'Captur' crossover concept [www] [www]; Rolls Royce Phantom experimental electric prototype (102EX), with a Lotus drivetrain [www]; Saab '9-5 SportCombi' (4x4), 'Phoenix' :-) concept [www] [www] [www]; Seat 'IBX' concept; Smart 'Forspeed' concept; Ssangyong 'Actyon' crew cab ute (looks normal!); Subaru 'Trezia' compact wagon (113 gm CO2/km) & 'Boxer Sports Car Architecture' concept [www]; Suzuki 'Swift S-concept' [www]; Tata 'Pixel' concept [www]; Toyota 'FT-86' coupe concept (take 2 -- see 21 Oct. 2009); Volvo 'V60' diesel plug-in hybdrid prototype (1.9 l/100km, 50 gm CO2/km, 50km elec.) [www] [www]; VW 'Tiguan', 'Bulli' electric people mover concept; and [bbc].  . . . If corporate wishful thinking could dispel the after effects of the GFC, climate change, high oil prices, and peak oil.

3 March 2011: The Bloodhound SSC team announced plans for the "first full test firing of their 122kN (27,000lbs) prototype hybrid rocket in the UK. ..." -- [www].

3 March 2011 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.27); oil us$102/b; au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.62, €0.73, ¥83

3 March 2011: As Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi hung on in the face of protests [abc] [bbc] ([bbc][8/3]), West Texas int. us$102/b, Tapis us$118/b, Brent us$117/b -- [www][3/3].
And .au, terminal gate prices: ULP Melb. au$1.32/l, Perth $1.33/l; diesel Melb. $1.36/l, Perth $1.37/l -- AIP [www][3/3].

1-6 March 2011 (Tue-Sun): Australian International Air Show, Avalon (nr. Geelong), Vic., .au -- [www]. (Industry 1st-4th, public 4th-6th.)

1 March 2011: The European Court of Justice ruled that "UK insurers can no longer use gender as a risk factor [from Dec. 2012] when calculating premiums." Young women, being safer than young men, had been paying about half as much as young men; see the [AA].

 

28 February 2011, .au: "[2010] which began with El Nino conditions in the Pacific before rapidly transitioning to La Nina conditions during the autumn, was Australia's second-wettest on record, after 1974 (also a La Nina year); ... [but] It was the driest year on record for southwest Western Australia ..." -- [bom], [www].
And "Victoria had its wettest summer [Dec-Feb] on record ..." -- [abc]; "... a recent study of extreme weather events across the globe suggests that there has been an increase in the frequency of such events over recent decades, and this trend is consistent with what we expect under global climate change ..." -- [bom].

28 February 2011, .au: "The Prime Minister got behind the wheel at the official unveiling of the Australian-made four-cylinder 'Cruze' at Holden's car plant in Adelaide's northern suburbs. ..." -- [www], [www].

26 February 2011 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.29); oil us$98/b
25 February 2011 Fri au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.63, €0.73, ¥83

25 February 2011: US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks claim that "Libya's sovereign wealth fund holds $US32 billion in cash and "several American banks are each managing $US300-500 million". ...' -- [abc]. (See 26 Aug. above.)

25-27 February 2011 (Fri-Sun): Race Retro, Stonleigh Park, Coventry, uk -- [www].

25-26 February 2011 (Fri, Sat): Southern Swap Meet, Ballarat Airport, Vic., .au -- [www].

24 February 2011: "After 80 days of travel time on the road and over 28,000km ... 3 electric vehicles of the inaugural Zero Emissions Race completed their journey around the world ... in Geneva" -- [www].

24 February 2011, .au, CK006/2011: "Pedestrian Safety and Bull Bars. The Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, restated again that the [.au] Government will not be banning bull bars ..." -- [www][24/2].   CK004/2011: " ... Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) proposing the adoption of an internationally agreed standard to improve pedestrian safety by making the front of vehicles more energy absorbing. ..." -- [www][8/2].

24 February 2011, .au: The Labor prime minister, Julia Gillard, announced details of the government's proposed carbon price scheme, saying the price on carbon would be fixed for a period of three to five years before moving to a cap-and-trade system. ..." -- [www], [www][28/2]. (Also see 7 Feb. below.)

24 February 2011, .uk: ULP had an "average price of £1.2883 per litre" -- the AA [www]. (That's au$2.05/l.)

24 February 2011: Spyker Cars N.V. which bought Saab from GM (see 26 Jan. 2010), moved to sell "its Spyker sports car business ... to CPP Global Holdings Ltd ... owned by Vladimir Antonov. ..." -- Spyker N.V. [www].

24 February 2011: In the continuing floor mat saga, Toyota announced "a voluntary safety recall of approximately 20,000 2006 and early 2007 model year GS 300 and GS 350 ... approximately 372,000 2004 through 2006 and early 2007 RX 330, RX 350, and RX 400h vehicles, and approximately 397,000 2004 through 2006 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles ... Approximately 603,000 2003 through 2009 4Runner, ... 17,000 2008 through 2011 Lexus LX 570; and ... 761,000 2006 through 2010 RAV4 ..." -- [www].

23 February 2011: The end of the legal investigation "against two former management board members of Porsche SE" over alleged share price manipulation "can be expected at the earliest at the beginning of the year 2012. ..." -- Porsche [www]. This may delay the VW-Porsche merger.

23 February 2011: The VW 'Amarok' became the first dual cab ute to be awarded a 5-star safety rating -- ANCAP [www].

22 February 2011: Ex-tropical cyclone Carlos reformed off the Pilbara coast [WA] and, at 5am WST, "was estimated to be 95km west northwest of Port Hedland and 135km northeast of Karratha and moving southwest at 22km/h" -- [bom].

21 February 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.25); oil us$86/b; au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.62, €0.74, ¥84

21 February 2011: Brent crude us$105/b [www][21/2], Tapis us$106/b [www][18/2] (WTI us$93/b [22 Feb.]); see [abc][22/2].

21 February 2011: The Bahrain F1 Grand Prix (13 March) was cancelled due to political unrest -- FIA [www].

20 February 2011 (Sun): The Victorian 4WD Show, Wandin, Vic., .au -- [www] (Melways 119/G7, 9:00-4:30).
yellow

18 February 2011: Anti-government demonstrations in Bahrain put the opening F1 Grand Prix (13 March) in doubt, [abc], [bbc] (cancelled 21 Feb). The presidents of Tunisia and Egypt were recently toppled by protests -- [bbc]. Subsequently there were demonstrations for reform from Morocco [bbc] to Iran [bbc]. Troops opened fire on protesters in Libya -- [bbc][20/2], Grauniad [www][21/2] & [www][22/2]. (See 26 Aug. above.)

17 February 2011: Pardeep Pall et al, 'Anthropogenic greenhouse gas contribution to flood risk in England and Wales in autumn 2000', Nature vol.470, pp.382-385, 17 Feb. 2011 [10.1038/nature09762], claimed that "it is very likely that global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions substantially increased the risk of flood occurrence in England and Wales in autumn 2000." The 2000 floods damaged nearly 10,000 properties.
And Seung-Ki Min et al, 'Human contribution to more-intense precipitation extremes', Nature pp.378-381, same issue [doi:10.1038/nature09763], claimed that "human-induced increases in greenhouse gases have contributed to the observed intensification of heavy precipitation events found over approximately two-thirds of data-covered parts of Northern Hemisphere land areas."
(Also see [doi:10.1038/470316a].)

17 February 2011, .au: "At 2:00am WST tropical cyclone Dianne, cat. 1, was estimated to be 385km northwest of Exmouth [WA] and 480km north northwest of Coral Bay and [was] near stationary. ..." -- [bom], [abc][18/2].

16 February 2011 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.26); oil us$84/b; au$1.00=us$1.00, £0.62, €0.74, ¥84

16 February 2011, .au: "... At 6:30pm CST tropical cyclone Carlos, cat. 1, was estimated to be 20km southeast of Darwin and 130km south southeast of Snake Bay and is slow moving. The cyclone [was] expected to remain slow moving near the coast tonight, before taking a south or southwestward track during Thursday. ..." -- [bom], [abc].

16 February 2011: "Honda will recall 97,201 model years 2009 and 2010 'Fit' vehicles in the U.S. to replace the lost motion springs, components within the engine valvetrain. ... may bend or break ..." -- [www].

14 February 2011: Ricardo (.uk) announced the start of its "new state-of-the-art, high performance engine assembly facility [at] Shoreham ... designed and configured [for] its lead customer, McLaren Automotive, [to supply] the all-new McLaren M838T 90°, V8 twin-turbo engine [for the] MP4-12C ..." -- [www].

14 February 2011: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was "only" us$86/barrel but Brent crude oil was up at us$104/barrel -- [bbc][14/2].

11-20 February 2011: Chicago Motor Show -- [www] (media 8-9th, public 11-20). Including: Chrysler Dodge 2011 'Charger R/T' (and SRT8 MY2012), 'Durango R/T' SUV, ... [www]; GM Chevrolet 2012 'Camaro ZL1' [www]; Toyota MY2011 'Matrix' 5-door hatch [www], various 'Prius' [www].

11 February 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.25); oil us$87/b; au$1.00=us$1.00, £0.62, €0.74, ¥83

11 February 2011: "Without mitigation, and in the absence of negative feedback from climate change, global emissions will double between 2005 and 2030. ... The Dept of Climate Change & Energy Efficiency estimates that Australia's emissions are projected to rise by 24% above 2000 levels by 2020, under current policies ..." -- the Garnaut Climate Change Review [www][11/2].

10 February 2011, .uk: What Car reported that British motorway services charge average premiums of 5.2% on ULP and 3.4% on diesel -- [www]. Food was +12% to +15%, or more, cf. the high street.

10 February 2011: Toyota welcomed the findings of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on its "Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i) ... un-commanded acceleration of the vehicle cannot occur. ..." -- [www].
"... NHTSA did not find a vehicle-based cause of [unintended acceleration] incidents ..." -- NHTSA [www]. (Also see 1 April above.)

7 February 2011, .au: The 'Garnaut Climate Change Review' started releasing a number of "update papers":
11 February 2011: 'Global Emission Trends',
  7 February 2011: 'Towards Effective Global Zction on Climate Change',
  3 February 2011: 'Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Climate Change Action',
[www], which was timely given the recent extreme weather events in .au.

7 February 2011, Vic. .au: To meet an election promise, the recently elected Liberal government of Victoria allowed 400 cattle back into the Alpine National Park, at six sites, to "[investigate] the use of strategic cattle grazing as a tool to reduce bushfire risk in Victoria's high country." -- DSE [www][7/2], [www][7/2]. Conservationists were unimpressed, likening the "scientific grazing" to Japan's "scientific whaling". (Also see 6 April above.)

February 2011: The documentary 'Senna', about the life of Brazilian F1 legend Ayrton Senna, was recently released in Brazil and Japan -- [www].

7 February 2011, .uk: Construction of the Bloodhound 1000mph car formally began -- B.SSC [www], [bbc].

6 February 2011 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.28 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.26); oil us$89/b

5 February 2011: The SAE's Automotive Engineering Int. published a test on the Toyota 'Prius' plugin hybrid (PHV) that is "scheduled for introduction early [2012]," concluding it is "likely to provide a maximum of 3500-4000mi (5600-6400km) per year of EV operation" -- [www].

5 February 2011: Heavy rain brought flash flooding to parts of Victoria and Melbourne -- [abc], [bom].

5 February 2011: Bonhams Automobilia, Motos de collection et Automobiles d'exception au Grand Palais, Paris -- [www]. Including ex-Luigi Scarfiotti, Scuderia Ferrari, 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spyder chassis #8513033, engine #8513033, est €950-1250K (not sold); ex-Raffaele Cecchini, Giuseppe Campari, 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Spyder Supersport chassis #0312961, engine #0312961, est €750-900K (ditto). But a 1933 Bugatti Grand Prix type 51 2-seater, chassis #738, sold for €943,000.

4 February 2011: "Total production of [the] Mazda ... MX-5 sports car ... reached 900,000 units on Feb. 4, 2011 ..." -- [www].

2-6 February 2011, .fr: Salon Retromobile, Paris, Port de Versailles -- [www].

February 2011: New blood in the "top performers", i.e., top economy, at the .au Government's 'Green Vehicle Guide', [www], including the electric Mitsubishi 'iMiEV' and Tesla 'Roadster'. The Suzuki 'Alto' (from 4.7 l/100km, combined), Alfa Romeo 'MiTo' (from 5.5 l/100km, comb.), etc., are cheaper. The Hyundai 'i30' was #4 seller and #20 on economy, the manual diesel rated at 4.7 l/100km.

1 February 2011, Tue., .au: "A Cyclone Watch [was] current for coastal and island communities from Cooktown to Yeppoon, and adjacent inland areas ... At 4:00am EST severe tropical cyclone Yasi, category 3 was est. to be 1390km east northeast of Townsville and 1290km northeast of Mackay moving west at 40km/hr. ..." -- [bom].
Wed., 2 Feb.: "At 7:00 am EST severe tropical cyclone Yasi, category 5 was estimated to be 555km east of Cairns and 560km northeast of Townsville moving west southwest at 30km/hr ... Wind gusts near centre [to] 295km/hr" -- [bom].
Thu., 3 Feb.: TC Yasi crossed the Queensland coast about midnight near Mission Beach, south of Innisfail -- [abc].
Fri., 4 Feb.: Yasi was downgraded to a 'tropical low' as it approached Mount Isa but it still brought heavy rain through N. Queensland -- [abc].
1 February 2011 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.25); oil us$92/b; au$1.00=us$1.00, £0.63, €0.73, ¥82

1 February 2011: Oil prices rose on fears that unrest in Egypt might cause problems at the Suez canal, and that the unrest might spread to oil producing countries. (And there might be profit taking.)

1 February 2011: A F1 test session at Valencia with some teams revealing their 2011 cars. Pirelli tyres, moveable rear wings (but fixed front wings), and KERS, came in for 2011.   Ferrari, Force India, Hispania (HRT), Lotus-Renault (was Renault F1 Team in 2010), McLaren Mercedes, Mercedes, Red Bull, Sauber, Team Lotus, Toro Rosso, Virgin Racing, Williams. (And a legal spat over the two uses of 'Lotus', for "the English High Court for 21 March 2011" -- [www][25/1/'11]. See 29 May above.)

 

31 January 2011: Chrysler posted a "net Loss [of] $652 million" for 2010, in large part due to a "net interest expense [of] $1,228 million" on its debt -- [www].

29 January 2011: Tropical cyclone Anthony was expected to turn to the southwest, intensify slightly and approach the Queensland coast, and ...
tropical cyclone Bianca off the WA coast was weakening but "could still have an impact on the South West of WA" -- [bom][29/1].
5.45pm EST, 30 Jan., Qld: "A Cyclone Warning is now current for coastal and island communities from Lucinda to Sarina" -- [bom][30/1], & [abc][31/1].
9.26am 30 Jan., WA: "Ex-TC Bianca has weakened below cyclone intensity..." [but (1.30pm)] "severe weather warning for abnormally high tides for people in coastal areas between Jurien Bay and Dunsborough."

28 January 2011: Ford reported "Full year net income [of] $6.6 billion [and] pre-tax operating profit [of] $8.3 billion [for 2010] an increase of $8.3 billion from [2009]" -- [www].

27 January 2011: "The [US] Dept of the Army today released its ... 2011 Tactical Wheeled Vehicle strategy, defining how the Army will modernize and sustain its tactical wheeled vehicle fleets [to] 2025. ..." -- [www].

January 2011: Researchers at Cambridge U. suggest that global energy consumption could be cut by 3/4 by relatively simple means, and by 85% using current technology -- J. M. Cullen et al, Reducing Energy Demand: What Are the Practical Limits? J. Environ. Sci. Technol., Jan. 2011, [doi:10.1021/es102641n]; also see Chem. & Eng; News [www].

January 2011: Noble cars revealed details of a "production-ready" version of the Noble 'M600' (4.4-litre V8) -- [www].

27 January 2011 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.32/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.25); oil us$88/b; au$1.00=us$1.00, £0.63, €0.73, ¥82

27 January 2011: Euro NCAP revealed its best performing, i.e., safest, cars of 2010: Executive category: BMW 5 Series, small Family category: Alfa Romeo Giulietta, supermini category: Honda CR-Z, small off-road 4×4 category: Kia Sportage, small MPV category: Toyota Verso -- [www].

26 January 2011: Pagani revealed the new 'Huayra', successor to the Pagani 'Zonda' -- [www].

26 January 2011 (Wed): Australia Day.

25 January 2011: VW showed its 2-seat 'XL1' prototype, which "consumes just 0.9 l/100 km ... 24gm CO2/km," at the Qatar Motor Show (26-29 Jan.) -- VW [www].

25 January 2011: "Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) ... announced ... a voluntary safety recall [of] ~245,000 2006-2007 Lexus GS300/350, 2006-early 2009 Lexus IS250, and 2006-early 2008 Lexus IS350 vehicles sold in the U.S. to inspect the fuel pressure sensor installation. ..." -- [www], and also PRA #2011/12306 [.au][1/2/2011].

25 January 2011: "... floodwaters are moving between Kerang and Swan Hill [NW Vic., .au], with residents of communities, including Murrabit West, Benjeroop and Pental Island, advised to evacuate. ..." -- [abc], [vicroads], [bom].

23 January 2011 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.33/l, min $1.23); oil us$89/b

21 January 2011, .uk: "... UK petrol prices ended the first decade of the 21st century with their biggest monthly leap -- up ... 6.13p/litre ... to a new record of 128.27p/l [au$2.07/l] while diesel prices went up ... to 132.75p/l a litre" -- the AA [www].

20 January 2011: Aston Martin announced that production of its 'Cygnet' city car (based on the Toyota 'iQ') would "commence in April 2011 ... from £31K" -- [www].

20 January 2011: "... About one-quarter of [Victoria] has now been affected by the unprecedented floods. ... The Wimmera River peaked at Dimboola ... In Kerang, further NW, the town's main levee continues to [hold] ... The next town in the path of the floods is the tiny community of Jeparit ..." -- [abc], [vicroads], [bom].

17 January 2011 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.24 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.23); oil us$92/b; au$1.00=us$0.99, £0.62, €0.74, ¥82

15-23 January 2011: North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Detroit -- [www] (press 10-11th, industry 12-13th, charity 14th). Including BMW Mini 'Paceman' concept; BYD (.cn) 'S6DM' SUV hybrid concept, electric 'e6'; Chrysler new '300' sedan [www] [www]; Ford 'Vertek' SUV will replace 'Kuga' [www], 5-door 'Focus', Lincoln 'MKX' (2011), various electrics [www]; GM Buick 4-door 2.4-litre 4-cyl 'Verano' (2012) [www], Chevrolet 'Volt' of course; Honda new 'CR-Z', all-new 'Civic' concept [www]; Hyundai 'Curb' crossover concept, 'FS' sport coupe [www] [www]; Kia 'K7' concept [www] [www]; Mercedes revised 'C-class', 'E350', 'E550' convertibles, 'B-class F-Cell' (fuel cell) [www] [www]; Porsche '918 RSR' hybrid prototype racer (flywheel KERS) [www]; Saab '9-4X' [www]; Saleen 'S7' supercar; Subaru hybrid Tourer concept; Toyota hybrids new 5-seat 'Prius V', small 'Prius C' prototype (2012), Prius plug-in (2012), 'FT-CH' hybrid concept [www] [www]; VW US-spec 'Passat' (bigger, US built), 'NCC' hybrid concept [www] [www].

15-23 January 2011:European Motorshow, Brussels, .be -- [www]. Including Saab '9-3', '9-5', & .eu debut of the'9-4X' crossover [www].
The next Suzuki Swift was taken into custody:
Jan

15 January 2011, .au: "Emergency services are combating flood threats on dozens of fronts in [NW] Victoria ... The Wimmera River is still rising at Glenorchy ... Horsham [is] bracing for the worst flooding in a century. ..." -- [abc] & [17/1], [vicroads], [bom].

14 January 2011, .au: "Several towns across Victoria's western and central districts are bracing for further inundation, at levels likely to exceed last September's devastating floods ..." -- [abc], [bom].

14 January 2011: Mitsubishi announced that its electric "i-MiEV [was] on sale in 15 European countries ..." -- [www].

13-16 January 2011: Autosport International, the racing car show, NEC Birmingham, uk -- [www] (trade 13-14, public 15-16).

13 January 2011: "Many road crashes involving male drivers reflect 'misplaced' confidence among men ... men are nearly 70% more likely to be involved in a car crash than women ..." -- the AA [www]. Nothing new there. Also see "The categorisation of drivers...", below.

13 January 2011: Renault filed "a complaint against persons unknown [over] industrial espionage, corruption, breach of trust, theft and concealment. ..." -- [www]. (See 14 March above.)

13 January 2011, .au: "Premier Anna Bligh says Queensland is facing a reconstruction effort of post-war proportions ... The Brisbane River ... peaked this morning at 4.46 metres. ... the number confirmed dead [is 13]. ..." -- [abc], [bom] & qld.gov.au/[floods]/. The Bruce Highway remained cut.
By 25 Jan., the confirmed death toll from the SE Qld floods stood at 22, with 9 still missing -- [abc][25/1].

12 January 2011 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.24 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.22); oil us$91/b; au$1.00=us$0.98, £0.63, €0.76, ¥82

12 January 2011, .au: "Brisbane and nearby Ipswich are bracing for unprecedented flooding ..." -- [abc], [bom].

11 January 2011, .au: "The Brisbane River has broken its banks ... predictions of the biggest floods to hit Queensland's capital since 1974. ..." -- [abc], [bom].

10 January 2011: Fiat's ownership interest in Chrysler increased from 20% to 25% under the terms of their operating agreement -- Fiat pdf@[www] & [www].

9 January 2011: Peter Yates who directed 'Bullitt' (1968) died. The movie contains what is still arguably the finest car chase.

8 January 2011, .au: "The Mary River region in SE Queensland ... The Bruce Highway is closed at the Inglewood Bridge near Gympie." -- [abc]. "Rainfall totals of up to 300mm have been recorded since 9am Friday causing major flooding between Gympie and Tiaro. ..." -- [bom].

7 January 2011 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.22 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.22); oil us$88/b; au$1.00=us$0.99, £0.64, €0.76, ¥83

7 January 2011: St. George in Queensland waited for its "second record flood in 10 months" -- [abc], [bom].

7 January 2011: Ford revealed an electric Ford Focus for late 2011, "one of five new electrified vehicles Ford will deliver by 2013 in North America and Europe" -- Ford [www].

7 January 2011, .uk: "The 2010 market rose by 35,847 units to 2,030,846 units, ending 1.8% up on 2009 figures. ... The Ford Fiesta was the best selling new car ..." -- SMMT [www].
6 January 2011, .au: Making the 2nd highest total ever, "... 1,035,574 passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were sold in the calendar year 2010 (up 10.5% or 98,246 vehicles compared to 2009.) ..." -- FCAI [www].  The #1 vehicle was the Holden Commodore (45,956), #2 the Toyota Corolla (41,632); the #1 brand was Toyota (214,718).
.us: 2010 Car, van, SUV sales 11,554,580, 11.1% more than 2009 (but 2009 and 2010 were the lowest since 1982) -- DT [www].

January 2011: 'The categorisation of drivers in relation to boredom', Harvey et al, Transportation Planning and Technology, 34(1), pp.51-69, Feb. 2011, [www].  Abstract: "... develops the concept of driver boredom by utilising a cluster analysis to describe different types of driver. A two-step cluster analysis of a 49-item questionnaire measuring driver boredom attitudes and perceptions was performed on 1563 UK drivers, yielding four groups, labelled as 'young, inattentive and dangerous', 'enthusiastic and attentive', 'slow and unwilling' and 'safe and experienced'. These clusters are compared to ascertain personality and affect differences and whether or not there are different crash and penalty histories. The significant differences found enable the clusters to be seen in wider terms than simply boredom; they are considered in terms of theories of flow and arousal and also in light of previous attempts to classify driver types. This paper reports analyses that are part of a larger study of driver boredom."  (Also see news@[ncl.ac.uk][4/1/'11].)

1-16 January 2011: Dakar, Argentina & Chile -- [www].
Results: Bikes, #1 Marc Coma (KTM), Quads, #1 Alejandro Patronelli (Yamaha), Cars, #1 Nasser Saleh Al-Attiya and Timo Gottschalk (VW), Trucks, #1 Vladimir Chagin, Sergey Savostin and Ildar Shaysultanov (Kamaz).

1 January 2011: UK motorists become entitled to a 'Plug-In Car Grant' of up to £5000 when buying a qualifying low carbon car with CO2 emissions <75gm/km: Mitsubishi i-MiEV (£29K Jan.), Smart fortwo electric drive (£tba, Jan.), Peugeot 'iOn' (£415/m Jan.), Nissan 'Leaf' (£28K Mar.), Tata 'Vista' (£tba, Mar.), Citroen 'CZero' (£415/m early 2011), Vauxhall 'Ampera' (£34K 2012), Toyota 'Prius' Plug-in Hybrid (£tba, 2012), Chevrolet 'Volt' (£tba, 2012) -- DFT [www], Grauniad [www], SMMT [www][12/2010]. (Also see 19 October above.)

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