2015

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2015

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2014
 

Volkswagen shot itself in both feet by fitting "defeat devices" to its diesel cars to cheat on NOx emissions in the USA and other countries; see 18 Sept. below. Then there were questions about the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of its petrol cars! What were they thinking? In .au, the Libs dumped Tony coal-is-good Abbott as leader and PM and installed Malcolm agile-innovator Turnbull -- business as usual: There were noises about cutting government spending and upping the GST although major companies can pay little or no tax [abc][17/12], and continued moves to reduce consumer protection despite the widening scandal in the finance industry. WTI crude oil bounced around between us$40 and $60 per barrel, dipping as low as us$35/b in December; Brent was generally $2 to $5 higher. Coal prices also fell, making the task of implementing the COP21 agreement (13 Dec.) harder, and 2015 looks to be the hottest year on record (it was - see 21 Jan. 2016). Lewis Hamilton won his third Formula One Drivers World Championship, but something needs to be done about the tyres.

29 December 2015: "Dozens of cars and trucks are stopped in the Northern Territory town of Elliott, with a 300km stretch of the Stuart Highway closed. ... It follows the closure of the Victoria Highway at the weekend ..." -- [abc]. Also see NT roads [www].

29 Dec Tue au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.49, €0.66, ¥87
28 Dec Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.28/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.14/l, min $1.08); oil us$38/b
24 Dec Thu au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.49, €0.66, ¥88

27 December 2015: "About half the community of Daly River (Nauiyu) [NT] spent Saturday night in Darwin's Foskey Pavilion after being evacuated by helicopter and bus due to floodwaters. ..." -- [abc].

27 December 2015: "The number of properties lost in the Christmas Day bushfire along Victoria's Great Ocean Road has risen to 116. ..." -- [abc].

26 December 2015: Boxing Day. The 71st Sydney to Hobart yacht race [abc][31/12].

25 December 2015: "Towns evacuate as bushfire burns near Great Ocean Road ... The fire prompted evacuations from towns between Lorne and Apollo Bay on Victoria's SW coast, while the Great Ocean Road is closed between Torquay and Skenes Creek. ..." -- [abc].

23 Dec Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.07); oil us$36/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.49, €0.66, ¥88

23 December 2015, .au: "Motorists will soon have access to the same petrol price information as retailers, under a deal brokered by the competition watchdog [ACCC]. ... available to consumers for free and to third parties on commercial terms. ..." -- [abc].

22 December 2015: Crude oil WTI us$36/b; Tapis us$39/b; Brent us$36/b.

22 December 2015: "Oil price falls to 11-year low with global glut expected to deepen in 2016. Brent crude hits low of us$36.05 a barrel ..." -- The G [www]. And, "Fuel retailers profit from falling oil price at motorists' expense ..." -- [abc].

21 December 2015: "On Friday 18 December 2015, Groupe Renault and Gravity Motorsport S.a.rl, an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, formally and successfully completed the acquisition by Groupe Renault of a controlling shareholding of Lotus F1 Team Limited. ..." -- Renault [www].

19 December 2015: "Dangerous fire conditions are set to worsen across Victoria and South Australia today, as temperatures are forecast to soar into the 40s[C]. ..." -- [abc].
"... Saturday hit new highs with a top temperature of 45.1°C in Avalon breaking the previous record of 43.2°, Geelong was 44.4°C and 43°C at Aireys Inlet. ... A total fire ban remains in place across the state. ..." -- [20/12].

18 December 2015: "A severe fire warning is in place for much of Victoria today as fire crews and health authorities brace for extreme heat over the next few days. ..." -- [abc]. Also see [emergency].vic.gov.au], [cfa], and [bom].

18 Dec Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.12/l; min $1.07 ([Perth] avg $1.21/l, min $1.10); oil us$36/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.48, €0.66, ¥87

17 December 2015: "Forecast expects 2016 to be among the warmest years ... The outlook for 2016 is warmer than the Met Office's forecast for 2015, ..." -- metoffice [www]. (Also see [bbc].)

16 December 2015: "Ford pumps us$4.5B into electrifying 40% of its global product line by 2020 ... will add 13 new EVs and hybrids over the next four model years ... at a time of depressed North American sales of electrified cars in general, a result of low retail gasoline prices. Deliveries in 2015 through November of Ford's C-Max, Fusion, and Lincoln MKZ hybrid versions fell 25% to 59,301 units, according to Autodata. Sales slid 41% for Nissan's Leaf EV, 23% for Chevrolet's Volt plug-in hybrid, and 12% for the Toyota Prius. ..." -- SAE [www]. (That's 40% of the product range not volume.)

16 December 2015: The Defender 2,000,000 sale, Bonhams, New Bond Street, London: A 'D90', reg S90 HUE, chassis #SALLDWBP7FA473395, engine #150415101301DT224 -- [www]. Sold £400,000, proceeds to "the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Born Free Foundation" -- [www]. (Also see The G [www] and LR [www].)

15 December 2015: Jaguar is to enter Formula E next year, e.g., The G [www].

15 December 2015, .au: "The consumer watchdog [ACCC] says petrol margins are the highest on record, meaning that retailers are capturing much of the benefit from falling oil prices. ... the highest gross retail profit margins on record, at 11.8 cents per litre (cpl) in the September quarter. ..." -- [www]. ACCC report [www]. (Also see 10 Dec.)

13 December 2015: "COP21: Paris climate deal is 'best chance to save planet' ... aims to curb global warming to less than 2°C (3.6°F) ... pursue efforts[?!] to limit it to 1.5°C ..." -- [bbc]. Just have to make it happen now. One problem, coal and oil are as cheap as they have been for a long time.

13 Dec Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.16/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.20/l, min $1.12); oil us$36/b
11 Dec Fri au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.48, €0.66, ¥88

11 December 2015: "Stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic fell on Friday and oil sank further as fears about global oversupply mounted. ..." -- [bbc]. "The oil price has fallen to a new seven-year low ..." -- [2].

December 2015: "... Human-caused ignitions are the dominant source of ignitions for wildfires in south-eastern Australia and our results showed that for such ignitions, population density was the most important variable for the spatial pattern of ignitions. In future years, more ignitions are predicted in the coastal and hinterland areas due to population increases and climate change effects." -- 'Spatial patterns of wildfire ignitions in south-eastern Australia,' K. M. Collins et al, Int. J. Wildland Fire, 24(8), Oct. 2015, [www].

11 December 2015: "Weather models are in agreement that the current El Nino weather pattern is here to stay until April. ... [But] Record warm temperatures in the Indian Ocean are being observed, as they have potential to bring more rainfall to parts of Australia. ..." -- [www].

10 December 2015: "The chairman of embattled carmaker Volkswagen says a chain of errors led to the [NOx] emissions scandal ... The cheat device affects up to 11 million [diesel] cars worldwide. ... about 13% has been knocked off the company's value on the stock markets." -- [bbc].   However in the other VW scandal - the petrol car one - "The deviations found in the [CO2] figures for only nine model variants amount to a few grams of CO2 on average, corresponding to increased cycle consumption in the NEDC of approximately 0.1 to 0.2 litres per 100 kilometres [affect] approximately 36,000 vehicles ..." -- VW [www][9/12].

10 Dec Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.13 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.13); oil us$37/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.48, €0.66, ¥89

10 December 2015: Crude oil, WTI us$37/b; Brent us$40/b; Tapis us$43/b.

10 December 2015: "... OPEC members have been ignoring their own targets for 18 months and the result is an oil price that has plunged to six-year lows in Asia, and it is not likely to end any time soon. ... [But] FuelTRAC fuel analyst Geoff Trotter said '15 years ago oil companies claimed the retail margin was two cents a litre. Now it is more than 20 cents a litre.' The margins are even wider for diesel fuel." -- [abc]. (The AIP [www][10/12] seems to show that the retail margin is more like 12¢/l, and the wholesale margin similar.)

10 December 2015: RM Sotheby's 'Driven by Disruption' auction, New York [www]. Including lot 215 a 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT by Zagato, chassis #DB4GT/0186/R, engine #370/0186/GT [www] (sold us$14,000,000); lot 221 a 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti, 3490cc V12, one of four built, chassis #0626, engine #7, gearbox #10 7 S, driven by Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1956 Mille Miglia (sold us$28,050,000).

8 December 2015: "The strong 2015 El Nino event is near its peak. While sea surface temperatures remain close to record-high values, some El Nino indicators are now showing signs of easing. However, the current El Nino is likely to persist well into 2016. ..." -- [bom].

9 December 2015, .uk: "Motorists will be treated to petrol at £1/litre or under in time for Christmas if retailers 'do the right thing' and pass on savings in the wholesale price brought about by oil falling below us$40 a barrel for the first time since February 2009. ..." -- RAC [www].

3 Dec Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.13 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.13); oil us$40/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.49, €0.69, ¥90

2 December 2015: The FIA announced the 2016 Formula One Calendar including 21 Grand Prix, the USA GP provisionally. There will be more tyre choices, and more "tokens" for engine development. FIA [www].

1 December 2015: "Volkswagen US sales fall by 25% in November ... result of the continuing emissions scandal [18 Sept. below]. ... Other carmakers have seen a steady rise in US sales this year. ..." -- [bbc].   (28/11: "Volkswagen is facing slowing orders for new cars, with consumers shunning the carmaker after it admitted to understating fuel usage and carbon dioxide emissions ..." -- The G. [www].)

 

30 November 2015: "The next Bugatti is to be called Chiron ... after Louis Chiron, a legendary racing driver who won virtually all the major grands prix for the brand in the 1920s and 1930s. ... The world premiere ... is planned for the 86th Geneva Motor Show in [March] 2016. ..." -- Bugatti [www].

30 November - 11 December 2015: 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11), Paris [www]. Also see [bbc][1/12], [4/12], [9/12], [13/12]. (See 13 Dec. above.)

29 November 2015 (19/19): Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, Yas Marina (start 5pm local, 1pm GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. Boring at the front. Hamilton won the Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship at race 16, the USA GP, but the Pirelli tyres are ruining F1. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)
28 Nov Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.20/l, min $1.07); oil us$42/b
27 Nov Fri au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.48, €0.68, ¥89

27 November 2015: "Formula E and Kinetik today announced a partnership [to] launch a global race series for driverless electric cars. ... 'ROBORACE' will provide a competitive platform for the autonomous driving solutions that are now being developed by many large [companies] as well as top tech universities. The plan is for ROBORACE to form part of the support package of the FIA Formula E Championship, with the first race intended to take place during the 2016-2017 season. ..." -- FIA Formula E [www]. (Also see [bbc].)

26 November 2015, .au: "SA bushfires mapped ..." -- [abc].

26 November 2015: "Volkswagen Australia has been hit with its first round of lawsuits over the emissions testing scandal, with two class actions launched against the car giant. ..." -- [abc].

25 November 2015: " ... Data until the end of October showed this year's temperatures running 'well above' any previous 12 month period. ..." -- [bbc].

November 2015: October 2015 was "Australia's warmest October on record, and [had the] largest ever monthly mean temperature anomaly [+3.44°C] ... driest October on record for Tasmania, seventh driest for Victoria, equal-seventh driest for South Australia. ..." -- pdf@[bom].

24 November 2015: BAE Systems, with Iveco Defence Vehicles, was awarded a us$104 million contract to supply 16 prototype 8x8 Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) to the US Marine Corps -- BAE [www].

24 November 2015: "Volkswagen ... will deliver technical details on fixing cars fitted with emissions-rigging software to German regulators by the end of the month. ..." -- The G. [www], and [2]. (Also see scandal, 18 Sept. below.)

23 Nov Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.15/l; min $1.10 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.07); oil us$40/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.47, €0.68, ¥88

21 November 2015: "Mark Webber and Porsche (#17) team-mates Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard have won the World Endurance Championship (WEC) after the 6 Hours of Bahrain race. ..." -- [bbc].

20-29 November 2015: Los Angeles Motor Show (press, trade 17-19) [www]. Including Fiat 124 Spyder (Mazda MX-5′); Land Rover convertible Range Rover Evoque; Mazda next 'CX-9' SUV; Mercedes GLS 63 AMG; Subaru Impreza sedan concept;

20-21 November 2015: Warbirds Downunder, Temora, NSW, Friday evening & Saturday full day, [www].

19 November 2015, .au: "A class action that could top $100 million has been launched in the Federal Court on behalf of the owners of more than 90,000 VW, Audi and Skoda diesel vehicles that were fitted with devices to cheat emissions tests. ..." -- [www]. (Also see VW scandal 18 Sept.)

19 Nov Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.19/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.08); oil us$41/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.47, €0.67, ¥88

19 November 2015: "The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting very high temperatures for parts of New South Wales Friday (20 Nov.) ..." -- [bom].   And, "December temperatures are likely to be warmer than average for southern Australia, while rainfall is likely to be above average across southeast Queensland and northeast NSW, parts of the interior and southwestern Australia. ..." -- [bom].

18 November 2015: "Three German backpackers and a farmer who tried to warn others about a bushfire burning out of control near Esperance in WA are believed to have died while still in their vehicles. ..." -- [abc].

17 November 2015, .au: "A scorching heatwave is building across the country this week with the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) forecasting severe and extreme conditions in some areas. ..." -- [abc]. Also see [bom].

16 November 2015: "A mature and strong El Nino event, which is contributing to extreme weather patterns, is expected to strengthen further by the end of the year ... this El Nino event [is] among the three strongest since 1950. ..." -- World Meteorological Organization (WMO) [www].   Also, "The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached yet another new record high in 2014 ... [CO2] reached 397.7 parts per million (ppm). ..." -- [9/11].

15 November 2015 (18/19): Brazilian F1 Grand Prix, Sao Paulo (start 2pm local, 4pm GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. Rather processional at the front. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

14-15 November 2015: Bendigo National Swap Meet [www].

14 November 2015, .uk: Silverstone Auctions, NEC Classic Motor Show Sale, including lot 311 a 1984 Renault 5 Turbo 2, mid-engined, chassis #VF1822000E0000935, engine #K11816000 (sold £38,152); lot 333 a 1991 Jaguar XJ220, chassis #SAJJEAEX7AX220693 (sold £315,000); lot 615 a 1957 Austin Healey, chassis #100/6 BN40/42832, engine #1C-H/42832 (sold £41,063); lot 646 a 1969 Marcos GT3000, chassis #5429 (sold £11,025) -- [www].

13 November 2015, recall PRA 2015/15039: Toyota Lexus "ES350 & ES300h vehicles equipped with Pre-Collision System (PCS), [may] interpret a steel expansion joint or plate that crosses the road surface as an object. ... may automatically apply the brakes. ..." -- [www].

13 November 2015: "Aerodynamic experts at [GM] are cautiously optimistic that a long-awaited leap in vehicle fuel efficiency is advancing toward near-term production: the replacement of the two exterior mirrors with camera-based streaming-vision technology - at no overall cost penalty. ... '... an easy 1.5 to 2mpg ...' ... side view mirrors contribute to the vehicle's total aerodynamic drag by an average of 2 to 7%. ..." -- SAE [www].

13 November 2015: "On 3 November 2015, the [Volkswagen] Group had already reported that irregularities may have arisen in determining the CO2 figures for type approval of around 800,000 vehicles. ... The internal investigations into the current vehicles of the 2016 model year provide results for narrowing down the actually affected vehicles with implausible CO2 figures. In total for the 2016 model year approx. 430,000 vehicles are affected across the Group. ..." -- VW [www]. (This is different from the diesel NOx scandal.)

13 Nov Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.25/l, min $1.07); oil us$43/b

12 November 2015: "A new report has found that the world's biggest economies are paying $633 billion in production subsidies every year to oil, gas and coal companies. The report by US environmental think tank, Oil Change International and UK humanitarian think tank, the Overseas Development Institute, found Australia is paying $7 billion on average annually in production subsidies to fossil fuel producers. ..." -- [abc].

12 November 2015, .de: "... The Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) regulator said on Wednesday it would run [NOx pollution] tests on models made by 23 German and foreign car brands on suspicion of further manipulation of nitrogen oxides emissions. ..." -- The G. [www]. (See VW scandal 18 Sept.)

10 November 2015: "Volkswagen offers $1,000 gift cards as 'goodwill package' [gwp@vw] to US owners ..." -- The G. [www]. (Also see VW scandal, 18 Sept. below.)

10 November 2015: "... the energy transition is underway, but [...] strong direction is needed from Paris climate summit ... [&] the plunge in oil prices has set in motion the forces that lead the market to rebalance, via higher demand and lower growth in supply ..." -- Intrenational Energy Agency (IEA) [www].

9 November 2015: "Global temperatures are set to rise more than one degree above pre-industrial levels according to the UK's Met Office. Figures from January to September this year are already 1.02°C above the average between 1850 and 1900. ..." -- [bbc]. Also see. "... As of 2014, about 2,000 GtCO2 had already been emitted, meaning society has used about two thirds of the 2°C [CO2-]budget. ..." -- MET office [www].

9 Nov Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.18 ([Perth] avg $1.14/l, min $1.07); oil us$44/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.47, €0.66, ¥87

8 November 2015, Vic.: Historic Commercial Vehicles Club Annual Display Day, Yarra Glen Racecourse [www].

8 November 2015, .au: "New modelling shows [the Lib's] proposed changes to the GST would raise the same amount of revenue as a carbon tax, but cost Australian households about three times as much. ..." -- [www].

5 November 2015, .au: "Flash flooding could occur in some parts of Victoria's north as rain and thunderstorms move across the state from S.Australia ..." -- [abc].

5 November 2015, .au: "... Modelling by CSIRO [www] shows it is possible for the country to grow its economy while protecting its environment, including limiting greenhouse emissions to stop global warming beyond 2°C ...", -- [abc].

5 November 2015: "A car that will be part of an Australian first trial of driverless technology has been unveiled in Adelaide. The Volvo XC90 ..." -- [abc]. Also see, "Researchers probe moral code for driverless cars ..." -- [4/11].

4 November 2015: Volkswagen admitted to manipulating the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures of some of its petrol cars (in addition to the diesel NOx scandal 18 Sept.) -- The G. [www].

3 Nov Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.32/l, min $1.05); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.47, €0.65, ¥86

3 November 2015: Crude oil Brent us$49/b, WTI us$46/b.

3 November 2015: "... The [US] Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ... claims [VW] installed defeat devices in VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles with three-litre engines in models with dates ranging from 2014 to 2016 ..." -- The G. [www].

3 November 2015 (Tues.): Melbourne Cup. 1. Prince of Penzance (100:1) ridden by Michelle Payne.

1 November 2015 (17/19): Mexican F1 Grand Prix, Mexico City (start 1pm local, 7pm GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3. Valtteri Bottas [Williams]. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

1 November 2015: London to Brighton Veteran Car run [www].

 

31 October 2015, .uk: Regent Street Motor Show [www].

30 October - 1 November 2015, .uk: The Classic and Sports Car Show, London, Alexandra Palace [www].

30 October 2015: Bonhams London to Brighton Run auction [www].

29 October 2015: "Volvo Cars is developing kangaroo detection technology to solve one of the most costly causes of traffic collisions in Australia. ... According to the National Roads and Members Association (NRMA) each year there are over 20,000 kangaroo strikes ..." -- Volvo [www].

29 October 2015: "Three quarters of cars stolen in France 'electronically hacked' ... The Smart Fortwo model was France's most-stolen car [12%] due its extreme vulnerability to attack, with the Ford Fiesta [11%] and Peugeot 406 [6%] models also popular among thieves ... The [uk] Metropolitan Police says some 6000 vehicles were stolen without keys last year - almost half of all thefts. ..." -- Daily T. [www]. Also see 15 August below.

29 Oct Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.14/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.24/l, min $1.07); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.47, €0.65, ¥86

29 October - 8 November 2015: Tokyo Motor Show [www]. Including Honda latest 'Clarity' fuel-cell concept; Mazda 'RX Vision' rotary engined concept [www]; Mitsubishi 'eX' SUV concept [www]; Nissan 'IDS' concept (~'Leaf'?) [www]; Subaru 'VIZIV' SUV concept [www]; Suzuki 'ESCUDO' (new Vitara) [www]; Toyota 'S-FR' concept ports car [www]. (Also see The G. [www].)

28 October 2015: "Volkswagen has reported its first quarterly loss for at least 15 years after taking a big charge to cover the costs of its emissions scandal. VW said it had set aside €6.7bn ($7.4bn; £4.8bn) to cover the scandal, leaving it with a €2.52bn pre-tax loss for the third quarter of the year. ..." -- [bbc]. (Also see 18 Sept.)

25 October 2015 (16/19): United States F1 Grand Prix, Austin (start 2pm local, 7pm GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. Heavy rain delayed qualifying until Sunday morning. The race began on a wet track and there were several incidents and crashes, and a good deal of overtaking. The lead was variously held by Hamilton, Rosberg and Ricciardo (Red Bull). Hamilton clinched the 2015 F1 Drivers' World Championship, his third to go with 2008 (in a McLaren) and 2014 (Mercedes). (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)
23 Oct Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.16/l; min $1.13 ([Perth] avg $1.24/l, min $1.10); oil us$45/b
23-25 October 2015, .au: MotorClassica, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne [www].
24 October: The associated auction [www] includes lot 20 a 1951 Hartnett 4-seater tourer convertible, chassis #11 (sold au$95,000); lot 33 a 1974 Marlboro Holden Dealer Team Holden Torana SLR 5000, chassis #ALH000378M (sold au$250,000).

22 October 2015: "The Dutch team Nuon has gone 'crazy fast' to win the the 3,000-kilometre World Solar Challenge car race from Darwin to Adelaide ... [Second place] Red One [team Twente] crossed the finish line three minutes and 35 seconds after Nuna 8 ..." -- [abc].

21 October 2015: Aston Martin unveiled a fully electric concept car, the 'RapidE', based on its four-door Rapide S -- AM [www].

21 October 2015: 'Back to the Future II' (1989) had Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travel to the future, '21 October 2015' -- The G. [www][2/1/'15]. Where's my flying car?

20 October 2015: "Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler are expected to be billed for tens of millions of euros in additional taxes as the European commission prepares to rule that they had unlawful deals with the Netherlands and Luxembourg. ... [and soon] decisions on more controversial cases involving Amazon's tax affairs in Luxembourg and Apple's arrangements in Ireland. ..." -- The  G [www].

19 Oct Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.19/l; min $1.16 ([Perth] avg $1.20/l, min $1.11); oil us$47/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.47, €0.64, ¥87

18-25 October 2015: World Solar Challenge, Darwin - Adelaide [www]. (Also see abc [17/10], [18/10].)

16 October 2015: "Volkswagen is to recall 8.5m diesel cars across the European Union in the wake of the emissions scandal. ..." -- The G [www]. "... The Volkswagen Group will recall a total of approximately 8.5 million [diesel] vehicles in Europe (EU28 markets), including some 2.4 million vehicles in Germany ..." -- VW [www]. (See 18 Sept.)

15 October 2015: Volvo outlined its strategy for electric and hybrid cars including "plug-in hybrid versions of its 90 series and 60 series larger cars" -- [www].

15 October 2015: "... a coupled ice-sheet/ice-shelf model to show that if atmospheric warming exceeds 1.5 to 2°C above present, collapse of the major Antarctic ice shelves triggers a centennial - to millennial-scale response of the Antarctic ice sheet ... Higher-emissions scenarios lead to ice loss from Antarctic that will raise sea level by 0.6-3 metres by the year 2300. ..." N. R. Golledge et al, Nature, 526(7573), pp.421-425 [www]. (Also see [www].)

14 Oct Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.28/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.30/l, min $1.12); oil us$49/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.47, €0.64, ¥87

14 October 2015: "A combination of slower global economic growth and the lifting of trade sanctions on Iran is likely to see an over-supply of oil well into next year, according to the International Energy Agency. ..." -- [abc].

14 October 2015, recall #2015/14956: "Audi A1 (8X), A3 (8P), A4 (8K), A5 (8T), A5 Cabriolet (8F), A6 (4F/4G), Q3 (8U), Q5 (8R) and TT (8J) vehicles, fitted with an EA189 Diesel Engine ... The emissions levels may not meet the regulatory requirements ..." -- .gov.au [www].

13 October 2015: 'The man who discovered the Volkswagen emissions scandal ... "This is the part that I find to be completely inexplicable. VW had a chance to fix it, and yet they continued to try and hide the fact they had a defeat device." ...' -- [bbc]. (See 18 Sept.)
11 October 2015 (15/19): Russian F1 Grand Prix, Sochi (start 2pm local, 11am GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. 3. Sergio Perez [Force India]. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) qualified fastest and led until a throttle failure caused him to retire. Mercedes nevertheless clinched the 2015 F1 constructors' world championship. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

11 October 2015: Bathurst 1000, .au [www]. 1. Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards.

9 October 2015: Bonhams Zoute auction, Brussels [www], including lot 22 a 1980 BMW M1 coupe, chassis #WB500000094301080, engine #WB500000094301080, one of 455 made (sold €465,750); lot 27 a 1992 Jaguar XJ220 coupe chassis #SAJJEAEX8AX220874 (sold €437,000).

9 Oct Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.28/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.30/l, min $1.12); oil us$49/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.47, €0.65, ¥87

9 October 2015, recall #2015/14950: "Volkswagen Group Australia Pty Ltd - 1.6L and 2.0L Diesel Engines in Various VW Vehicles ... Golf (2009-2013), Polo (2009-2014), Jetta (2009-2015), Passat CC (2008-2012), Volkswagen CC (2011-2015), Passat (2008-2015), Eos (2008-2014), Tiguan (2008-2015), ..., Caddy (2010-2015), Amarok (2011-2012) ... The emissions levels may not meet the regulatory requirements when the affected vehicle is driven under normal conditions. ..." -- .gov.au [www].
Also recall #2015/14951: "Skoda Octavia (2009-2013), Yeti (2011-2015), Superb (2009-2015) ..." -- [www]. (See 18 Sept.)

8-11 October 2015, .au: Melbourne Leisurefest, Sandown Racecourse [www].

8 October 2015: "Volkswagen's US boss has admitted he was aware early last year of the emissions cheating affecting millions of the company's vehicles. ..." -- [bbc]. (See 18 Sept.)

7 October 2015: "Volkswagen Australia says more than 91,000 cars in Australia are affected by the diesel emissions scandal ..." -- [abc].

6 October 2015: "With Australia in the grip of an extreme El Nino weather event, more heatwaves and a heightened bushfire risk are expected this summer. ..." -- [abc].

5 October 2015: "VW emissions scandal [see 18 Sept.] will impact future engine controls, testing ... industry engineers should expect greater oversight over automotive testing and validation in the aftermath of what some are calling 'TDI-gate.' ..." -- SAE [www].

5 October 2015: "Driverless robot taxis to be tested in Japanese town ..." -- The G [www].

5 October 2015, .au: "The Federal Government is set to announce it will spend $1.3 billion on new light armoured personnel carriers for the Army. The Hawkei vehicles will be manufactured by Thales Australia in Bendigo and will replace part of the Army's ageing Land Rover fleet. ..." -- [abc]. Also see defence [www].

5 October 2015, vic.: "... CFA warns bushfire season may start early ... There were 62 bushfires in Victoria on Saturday ..." -- [abc]. Also see the [cfa].

5 October 2015: Bonhams Preserving the Automobile auction, Philadelphia, Simeone Foundation Auto. Museum [www].

4 Oct Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.25 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.12); oil us$46/b
2 Oct 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.70, £0.46, €0.63, ¥84

4 October 2015 (Sun.), .au: Start of daylight saving (ACT, NSW, SA, Tas., Vic. [.gov.au]).

4 October 2015, .uk: The last flying Avro Vulcan "XH558 to make final public display flight at Shuttleworth ..." -- [bbc].

3 October 2015, .au: "Volkswagen AG said today it was suspending sales of some diesel vehicles in Australia that may have been fitted with devices designed to mask the level of emissions. ..." -- [abc].

2-3 October 2015 (Fri., Sat.): Deniliqin Ute Muster [www].

2 October 2015: In a road test, the new Volvo XC90 SUV "alarmingly activated the brakes on a number of occasions while passing a car parked on the side of the road." -- drive [www]. Obviously no truck was tail-gating at the time.

1 October 2015, .uk: "For the first time anyone who buys faulty goods will be entitled to a full refund for up to 30 days after the purchase. ..." -- [bbc].

1 October 2015: The 2016 "season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne will move forward to March 20 ..." -- [abc].

1 October 2015, .uk: "Volkswagen is suspending the sale of 4,000 vehicles in the UK in the wake of the emissions scandal. The company said the vehicles may be equipped with the device that cheated emissions tests in the US. ... VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat ..." -- [bbc]. (See 18 Sept.)

1 October 2015, .au: "ACCC investigates Volkswagen following emissions scandal ..." -- [abc].

 

30 September 2015, Vic: "Noojee's famous dinosaur returns [to] the Noojee Hotel ..." -- [abc].

30 September 2015, recall 2015/14930: "MY 2015 Honda Accord FHEV [hybrid] ... Due to electrical 'noise', the vehicle may suddenly switch to fail-safe EV mode while cruising at highway speed, causing the internal combustion engine to shut off with visual and audible warnings. ... maximum speed will be limited to approximately 60km/h. ..." -- .gov.au [www].

30 September 2015: In Paris, the FIA WMSC released the provisional 21-race, 2016 F1 calendar -- [www].

29 September 2015: Tesla launched its 'Model X' electric SUV [www], and e.g., "... new electric sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Model X, with much fanfare in California. ..." -- The G. [1/10].

29 Sept Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.11); oil us$44/b; au$1.00=us$0.69, £0.46, €0.62, ¥83

28 September 2015: "Audi and Skoda say they have a total of 3.3 million cars fitted with the software that allowed parent company Volkswagen to cheat US emissions tests. ..." -- [bbc]. (See 18 Sept. below.) Also see [30/9].

27 September 2015 (14/19): Japanese F1 Grand Prix, Suzuka (start 2pm local, 5am GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. Hamilton (P2) overtook Rosberg (P1) in the first two corners and the latter fell back to 4th before eventually recovering to 2nd. Next Grand Prix, 11 Oct., Russia. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].) There were reports that Renault was close to buying the Lotus team.

26-27 September 2015, .au: LROs EXPO'15, Camden, Bicentennial Equestrian Park, NSW [www].

26 September 2015: "... The new VW boss [Matthias Muller] did not reveal how many staff had been suspended or who they were, but the company said the [emissions] scandal was the result of 'unlawful behaviour' of engineers and technicians involved in engine development. ..." -- The G [www]. (Also see 18 Sept.)

25 September 2015, .de: "... The German automotive industry is dismayed by the manipulation of exhaust tests found at Volkswagen in the US. A practice involving the wrongful use of a special piece of engine software is inacceptable. ..." -- Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Assoc. of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the closing IAA press conf., [www].

25 September 2015 (Fri.): The near complete Bloodhound "car" for the world speed record attempt went on show in London -- [www].

24 September 2015: "Germany's transport minister says Volkswagen has admitted using the same fake emissions test in Europe as it used to falsify results in the US. ... He also said other manufacturers' vehicles would be checked. ... [VW] shares have tumbled some 30% ..." -- [bbc]. (Also see 18 Sept.)

24 September 2015: "October to December likely to be wetter than average in southwestern and central Australia; drier than average in parts of the southeast and northeast. ..." -- [bom].

24 Sept Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.20/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.11); oil us$45/b; au$1.00=us$0.70, £0.46, €0.63, ¥84

23 September 2015: VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn resigned over the emissions scandal. (See 18 Sept.)

22 September 2015, on the VW emissions scandal: "... Discrepancies[!] relate to vehicles with Type EA 189 [diesel] engines, involving some eleven million vehicles worldwide. ..." -- VW [www].

22 September 2015: "The German government has warned that the Volkswagen emissions fixing scandal is putting at risk the reputation of the country's automotive industry, as shares in Europe's largest carmaker slumped by nearly 20%. ..." -- the G [www] and [2]. Also see [bbc], [2]. (See 18 Sept.)

20 September 2015: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board (EPA and CARB) revealed their findings that while testing diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they have detected manipulations that violate American environmental standards. ..." -- Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG [www]. (See 18 Sept.)

20 September 2015 (13/19): Singapore F1 Grand Prix (start 8pm local, noon GMT).
Qualifying surprised, 1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari); 2. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull); 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari); 4. Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull); 5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 6. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), but ... Race results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari], 2. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. (Also see FIA [www] and [bbc].)

19-20 September 2015, .uk: The Battle of Britain Anniversary Air Show, IWM Duxford, [www].

19 Sept Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.21 ([Perth] avg $1.28/l, min $1.14); oil us$45/b
18 Sept 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.46, €0.63, ¥86
18 September 2015: "EPA, California Notify Volkswagen of Clean Air Act Violations ... issuing a notice of violation (NOV) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America [VW] ... alleges that four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009-2015 include software that circumvents EPA emissions standards for certain air pollutants. ... 'Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,' ... a sophisticated software algorithm on certain [VW] vehicles detects when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and turns full emissions controls on only during the test. ..." -- EPA [www]. Also see [bbc] and The G [www]. Has any other car maker just broken out in a cold sweat?  (Also see the VW gearbox problem and response of, for example, 12 June 2013.)

17-27 September 2015: 66th IAA Cars, Mobility Connects, Frankfurt Motor Show, .de [www]. Including Audi 'e-tron' electric concept [www]; Bentley 'Bentayga' 4x4 SUV (£160K+) [www] [www]; BMW Mini next 'Clubman' is less mini (or more?); GM Vauxhall next 'Astra'; Jaguar 'F-Pace' SUV; Kia 2016 Sportage; Mazda KOERU crossover concept; Mercedes 'Concept IAA' [www] (& see the G [www]); Nissan 'Gripz' SUV concept [www]; Peugeot 'Fractal' electric concept; Porsche new 3-litre turbo engines in 911 Carrera and Carrera S [www]; Rolls Royce 'Silver Dawn' (2016); Suzuki 'Baleno' [www].

17 September 2015: "Renault will stop supplying engines to F1 teams as soon as possible. ... the company's relationship with Red Bull is likely to end this year. ..." -- [bbc].

14 Sept Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.22/l, min $1.07); oil us$45/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.46, €0.62, ¥85

14 September 2015: Crude oil, WTI us$45/b, Brent us$48/b, Tapis us$49/b, Terminal gate ULP Adel. Melb. Sydney Bris. au$1.21/l, Perth au$1.20, Darwin au$1.24, Hobart au$1.26; diesel Perth au$1.16/l to Hobart au$1.22/l [www].

14 September 2015, .au: The Liberal party dumped Tony Abbott as leader, and Prime Minister, replacing him with Malcolm Turnbull.

13 September 2015: GM Holden revealed the final model 'Commodore VFII' to be built in Australia until local manufacturing ends in 2017. "... most powerful Commodore ever built ... VFII V8 models boast new, more powerful 6.2-litre LS3 engine ... 304kW ... 570Nm ..." -- GM Holden [www]. (Ford Australia plans to end local car production on 7 October 2016, and Toyota in late 2017. Funny thing is, with the recent fall of the au$, you'd have thought...?)

11-13 September 2015: Goodwood Revival [www].
12 Sept.: Bonhams auction [www]. Lot 365 a 1935 Aston Martin Ulster 2/4-seater Tourer coachwork by Enrico Bertelli, reg CMF 764, chassis #D5/570/U, engine #D5/570/U, sold for £740,700 [www].

11 September 2015: "The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted US oil output next year will see the steepest fall since 1992 thanks to low oil prices. ... US crude oil was trading at more than $90 a barrel a year ago, but now costs around $45. The UK's Brent crude has also halved in price from a year ago and is currently trading at about $48 a barrel. ..." -- [bbc].

9 Sept Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.21 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.09); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.46, €0.63, ¥85

9 September 2015: "The contraction of Britain's offshore oil sector has already stripped out 65,000 jobs, according to a new report. ... the oil price has fallen from $115 (£75) last summer to below $43 (£28) last week ..." -- [bbc].

7 September 2015: "Stories belonging to Australian Aboriginal groups tell of a time when the former coastline of mainland Australia was inundated by rising sea level. Stories are presented from 21 locations ... In most instances it is plausible to assume that these stories refer to events that occurred more than about 7000 years ago, the approximate time at which the sea level reached its present level around Australia. ... For each of the 21 locations, the minimum water depth (below the present sea level) needed for the details of the particular group of local-area stories to be true is calculated. This is then compared with the sea-level envelope for Australia ... [the stories] appear to have endured since 7,250-13,070 cal years bp (5,300-11,120 bc). ..." -- 'Aboriginal Memories of Inundation of the Australian Coast Dating from More than 7,000 Years Ago,' P.D.Dunn & N.J.Reid, Australian Geographer, 47(1), online 7/9/'15 [www].

7 September 2015: RM Sotherby's London sale (auction) [www], including lot 106 a 1984 4x4 mid-engined Peugeot 205 turbo 16, chassis #VF3741R76E5100152, engine #XU8T1AZZZ000149 (passed in); lot 161 a 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta 'Lusso', chassis #5885, engine #5885 (sold £1,232,00); lot 171 a 1995 (pre VW) Bugatti EB110 Super Sport, chassis #ZA9BB02J0SCD39038, engine #0022 (sold £627,200) [www]; lot 172 a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione 'Tour de France' by Scaglietti, chassis #0897GT, engine #0897GT (sold £4,760,000) [www].

6 September 2015 (12/19): Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza (start 2pm local, noon GMT). Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari], 3. Felipe Massa [Williams]. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) qualified 2nd but had a poor start and fell right back; he finished fifth. Nico Rosberg's engine failed 3 laps from the end while lying third. (Also see FIA [www] and [bbc].)

5 September 2015: Bonhams Chantilly Sale (.fr) auction [www], [www]. Lot 11, the 1971 Maserati 'Boomerang' Coupe (fully functioning) concept car by Giorgetto Giugiaro, sold for €3,335,000

4, 5 September 2015 (Fri., Sat.): Birdsville Races [www].

4 September 2015: "The multi-thousand-dollar laser ranging (lidar) systems that most self-driving cars rely on to sense obstacles can be hacked by a setup costing just $60, according to a security researcher. ..." -- IEEE [www].

4 Sept Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.20/l; min $1.11 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.08); oil us$47/b; au$1.00=us$0.70, £0.46, €0.63, ¥83

3-5 September 2015, .uk: Salon Prive, Blenheim Palace [www] and auction [www].

2 September 2015: "The climate targets so far submitted to the UN by governments collectively lead to global emissions far above the levels needed to hold warming to below 2°C ..." -- Climate Action Tracker [www].

2 September 2015: "The current El Nino weather phenomenon could be one of the strongest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). ..." -- [bbc]. Also see, "... surface water temperatures in the east-central tropical Pacific Ocean are likely to exceed 2°C above average, potentially placing this El Nino event among the four strongest events since 1950 (1972-73, 1982-83, 1997-98). ..." -- [wmo].

2 September 2015, Vic.: "The number of insurance claims relating to collisions between vehicles and animals declined in 2014 ... the majority of collisions involving kangaroos occurring around 6am, while wombat incidents peaked at 9pm. ... RACV received 3593 kangaroo-related claims ..." -- RACV [www].

1 September 2015: "Making diesel out of thin air sounds like something from science fiction. But small companies in Germany and Canada are doing precisely this ... Sunfire estimates its e-diesel will sell for €1-€1.5 (73p-110p) /litre - slightly cheaper than the current UK diesel pump price of 119p/litre. But a lot depends on government policy. ..." -- [bbc]. (Check, no not 1 April.)

 

30 August 2015: Seeking to "terminate [Suzuki and VW's] business and capital alliance ..." An arbitration tribunal "ordered VW to divest forthwith those [Suzuki] shares to Suzuki or a third party designated by Suzuki ..." -- [www]. Also see [bbc].

30 Aug Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.16/l; min $1.11 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.08); oil us$45/b
28 Aug 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.46, €0.64, ¥89

27 August 2015: "The outlook for the next three months indicates: A wetter-than-average spring is more likely in western and central Australia. ..." -- [bom].

27 August 2015: "The Trackers: WWII military vehicle enthusiasts go on outback road trip to save historic collection ... The point of departure is different each time, with Adelaide being chosen this year to bring attention to that city's National Military Vehicles Museum ..." -- [abc].

25 August 2015: "The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) has awarded Oshkosh Defense, LLC, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, a $6.7 billion firm fixed price production contract to manufacture the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). ..." -- Oshkosh [www]. And, "The average manufacturing cost per vehicle, minus kits and add-ons, will actually be below $250,000" -- .mil [26/8].) Also see, "... The Army and Marine Corps will procure approximately 17,000 vehicles under this initial contract, with a decision on full rate production by the Department expected in FY18. ..." -- .mil [www]. The JLTV is the replacement for the HMMWV (Humvee).

25 Aug Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.19/l; min $1.17 ([Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.11); oil us$38/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.46, €0.62, ¥85

25 August 2015, NSW: "Severe east coast low hitting late in season ..." -- [abc].

23 August 2015 (11/19): Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Romain Grosjean [Lotus]. Hamilton had a straightforward day but there was some overtaking behind him. Lying third, Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) suffered a tyre failure at high speed two laps from the end of the race. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

21-23 August 2015, .au: National 4x4 Show Melbourne Showgrounds [www].

August 2015: "The July average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.46°F (0.81°C) above the 20th century average. As July is climatologically the warmest month for the year, this was also the all-time highest monthly temperature in the 1880-2015 record, at 61.86°F (16.61°C), surpassing the previous record set in 1998 by 0.14°F (0.08°C). ..." -- NOAA [www].

August 2015: "... report estimates that by 2025, Li-ion EV battery pack prices from a leading manufacturer such as Panasonic should fall to $172 kW.h, while the 'laggard manufacturers' should achieve pack prices around $229/kW.h. Most automotive packs currently cost around $400/kW.h ..." -- SAE [www].

20 Aug Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.22/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.12); oil us$41/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.47, €0.66, ¥91

20 August 2015: An interesting article on effective charity in the Guardian [www]. Also see 'Giving What We Can .org' [www].

18 August 2015: "El Nino has continued to strengthen over the past fortnight. The ocean and atmosphere are reinforcing each other, with tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures well above El Nino thresholds ... Typically, El Nino peaks during the late austral spring or early summer, and weakens during late summer to autumn. ... usually associated with below-average winter-spring rainfall over E. Australia and above-average daytime temperatures [in the S.] ..." -- [bom].

18 August 2015: "Western Australia's Pilbara region is experiencing one of its best wildflower seasons ..." -- [abc].

18 August 2015: "Melbourne has been named the world's most liveable city for the fifth year in a row [in] Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) liveability survey of 140 cities. ..." -- [abc].

16 August 2015: Pebble Beach Concours [www].
15-16 August 2015: Goodings Pebble Beach Auction [www], including lot 39 a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale (sold for $16,500,000); lot 50 a 1982 Porsche 956, chassis #003, outright winner of the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans (sold us$10,120,000) [www].

15 August 2015 (Sat.): Henley on Todd "Regatta" NT, .au [www].

15 Aug Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.25 ([Perth] avg $1.33/l, min $1.14); oil us$43/b
14 Aug 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.47, €0.66, ¥92

15 August 2015, finally published: 'Dismantling Megamos Crypto: Wirelessly Lockpicking a Vehicle Immobilizer', R. Verdult & F. D. Garcia, 22nd Usenix Security Symposium, Aug. 14-16, 2013, Washington D.C.. "The Megamos Crypto transponder is used in one of the most widely deployed electronic vehicle immobilizers. It is used among others in most Audi, Fiat, Honda, Volkswagen and Volvo cars. Such an immobilizer is an anti-theft device which prevents the engine of the vehicle from starting when the corresponding transponder is not present. This transponder is a passive RFID tag which is embedded in the key of the vehicle. In this paper we have reverse-engineered all proprietary security mechanisms of the transponder, including the cipher and the authentication protocol which we publish here in full detail. This article reveals several weaknesses in the design of the cipher, the authentication protocol and also in their implementation. We exploit these weaknesses in three practical attacks that recover the 96-bit transponder secret key ..." -- [www]. They can steal your car. Also see [bbc].

14 August 2015: 'The Climate Change Authority (CCA) has described the Government's emission reduction targets as "substantially weaker" than its recommendations and believes Australia will "slip further behind the efforts being made by comparable countries". ...' -- [abc].

14 August 2015: "Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Stuttgart ('Porsche SE'), welcomes the decision by the Stuttgart public prosecutor to suspend the investigations against the 12 members of the supervisory board in office in 2008. The allegation made by the Stuttgart public prosecutor that these persons were responsible for jointly aiding and abetting violation of the prohibition on information-based market manipulation by omission in connection with Porsche SE's acquisition of the shareholding in Volkswagen AG in 2008 has proven to be without merit. ..." -- Porsche [abc]. (Also see 26 March below.)

13-15 August 2015: RM Auctions Monterey Auction [www], including lot 107 a 1998 McLaren F1 'LM-specification' chassis #SA9AB5AC4W1048073 (sold us$13,750,000); lot 113 a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti chassis #6105, engine #6105 (sold us$17,600,000); lot 217 a 1950 Ferrari 275S/340 America Barchetta by Scaglietti chassis #0030MT, engine #0030MT (sold us$7,975,000); lot 227 a 1938 Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine chassis #167 671, engine #147 547/38 (withdrawn).

13-14 August 2015: Bonhams Quail Auction, Carmel, CA [www], including lot 56 a 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Compezione Alloy Berlinetta (sold us$8,525,000); lot 72 a 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort (sold us$1,457,500).

11 August 2015: "At the Usenix security conference ... researchers from the University of California at San Diego [revealed] a technique they could have used to wirelessly hack into any of thousands of vehicles through an [OBD2 dongle] ... designed to be plugged into cars' and trucks' dashboards and used by insurance firms and trucking fleets to monitor vehicles' location, speed and efficiency. By sending carefully crafted SMS messages to one of those ... to transmit commands to the car's ... turning on the Corvette's windshield wipers and even enabling or disabling its brakes. ..." -- Wired [www].

11 August 2015: Australia "plans to cut carbon emissions by at least 26% of 2005 levels by 2030. ... Australia is the largest emitter per capita. ..." -- [abc], [2] and [3], [bbc]. ("Australia has submitted its new climate action plan to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). ..." -- UNFCC [www].)

10 August 2015: "Over a period of four years Findlay Kember made a number of trips along the length of the Ledo-Burma Road - also known as The Stilwell Road - which runs from Ledo in India's NW state of Assam, through Myanmar and ends in Kunming in the SW Chinese province of Yunnan. ..." -- [bbc].

10 August 2015: "The search for Kurlpurlunu. How the Walpiri people of Central Australia rediscovered the ancient Dreamtime site in the Tanami Desert. ..." -- [abc], CLC [www].

9 Aug Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.17); oil us$44/b
7 Aug 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.47, €0.68, ¥92

9 August 2015: "A rare dusting of snow has fallen over Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Range, in Western Australia's Great Southern ..." -- [abc].

9 August 2015: 70th anniversary of the dropping on Nagasaki of the second atom bomb, the plutonium bomb "fat man".

7 August 2015: "Skoda ranks highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates in the UK, according to the inaugural J.D. Power 2015 UK Vehicle Dependability Study ... with a score of 77PP100. Kia ranks second with 83PP100, followed by Suzuki with 86PP100; Nissan with 87PP100; and Toyota and Mercedes-Benz in a tie with 88PP100 each. ..." -- J.D.P. [www]. (Chevrolet owners don't look.)

6 August 2015: 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima. See e.g., The G. [www]. It is believed that more than 15,000 nuclear weapons currently exist.

4 August 2015: "Range Rover 2013 to 2016MY vehicles [&] Range Rover Sport 2014 to 2016MY vehicles ... Some customers have reported the inability to secure the door in the closed position ... [&] there have been reports that one of the doors has opened whilst the vehicle was in motion. ..." -- .gov.au [www].

4 August 2015: "Volkswagen Australia has removed all information from its website on the ability of [its Multivan people mover] to cross flooded roads ..." -- [abc].

4 Aug Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.19); oil us$45/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.47, €0.67, ¥91

3 August 2015, .us: "... The aim of the revised Clean Power Plan is to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations by nearly a third within 15 years. The measures will place significant emphasis on wind and solar power and other renewable energy sources. ... will be an issue in the 2016 election ..." -- [bbc]. See the EPA [www].

3 August 2015: The Swincar E-Spider by Mecanroc (.fr) -- [bbc]. Swincar [www].

1 August 2015, WA: "Avon Descent white water race kicks off over full course after late rainfall ..." -- [abc].

1 August 2015: "Melbourne shivers through coldest July in 20 years ... The average top temperature was 13.3°C in July, the lowest mark since 1995, when it was 12.9°C. ..." -- [abc].

 

31 July - 2 August 2015, .uk: Carfest North, Oulton Park [www].

31 July 2015, .au, the forecast Aug. to Oct.: A "Drier-than-average season is generally more likely for parts of the N and far SE, while wetter in the W. Warmer nights are very likely for most of Australia, with warmer days likely for much of the E, and along the S coastline. Current outlook reflects the much warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean and El Nino in the Pacific." -- [bom].

30 July 2015: "Top Gear's Clarkson, Hammond and May to make new show for Amazon ..." -- The G. [www]. (Also see 25 March below.)

30 July Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.15); oil us$49/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.47, €0.67, ¥91

28 July 2015: "Pan-American Highway Land Rover team returns to complete 1961 voyage. ... three adventurers are set to return to Alaska in a bid to finish the last leg of the 40,000-mile journey in the same battered [series-2] Land Rover which almost took them across the Americas. ..." -- [bbc].

July 2015: The last remaining German WW1 A7V Sturmpanzerwagen (tank) "Mephisto will be temporarily loaned by Queensland Museum to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra from June 2015 ... Upon its return in April 2017, Mephisto will go on permanent display in the new Queensland Remembers Gallery at the Queensland Museum ..." -- QM [www]. Also see the AWM [www].

26 July 2015 (10/19): Hungarian F1 Grand Prix, Budapest (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari], 2. Daniil Kvyat [Red Bull], 3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull). The Mercedes were 1 and 2 on the grid but made poor starts and, after many incidents, finished 6th and 8th. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)
25 July Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.21 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.17); oil us$48/b
24 July 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.47, €0.67, ¥90

25 July 2015: RM Auctions, Sotherby's, Motor City auction, Plymouth, Michigan, including lot 142 a 1988 Lamborghini LM002 4x4, chassis #ZA9LU45AXJLA12109, body #133 (sold us$192,500) -- [www].

25 July 2015: "Fiat Chrysler has issued a safety recall affecting 1.4m vehicles in the US, after security researchers showed that one of its cars could be hacked. ..." -- [bbc].
24th: "FCA US LLC is conducting a voluntary safety recall to update software in ~1,400,000 U.S. vehicles equipped with certain radios. ... an ongoing software distribution that insulates connected vehicles from remote manipulation, which, if unauthorized, constitutes criminal action. ..." -- FCA [www].

24-26 July 2015: Silverstone Classic, uk [www].

23 July 2015: Ferrari, which is being spun off from Fiat Chrysler, made an IPO in New York.

23 July 2015: SAE on last June's Le Mans 24-hour race, [www].

22-26 July 2015: The War and Peace Revival, Kent, uk [www], "this year's War and Peace at Folkestone Racecourse will be the last one ever." But it seems that the show will be back in 2016.

22 July 2015: "Security experts are urging owners of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles vehicles to update their onboard software after hackers took control of a Jeep over the internet and disabled the engine and brakes and crashed it into a ditch. A security hole in FCA's Uconnect internet-enabled software ..." -- The G. [www]. (Also see 25 July above.)

20 July 2015, .uk: "... the 2015 Defender Challenge continues ... Round three will see a new Bowler-modified, V6 supercharged powered Defender 110 ... 3-litre ... 8-speed auto ... 400hp ... 0-60mph under 6 secs ..." -- Land Rover [www].

20 July Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.24 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.19); oil us$51/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.47, €0.68, ¥91

20 July 2015: "... The six most walkable cities in the US are 38% wealthier, they have a higher GDP than the rest. ..." -- RN [www].

19-25 July 2015: All American Soap Box Derby, Ohio, [www].

19 July 2015 (10/20): German F1 Grand Prix (start 2pm local, noon GMT). (See 18 March below.)

17 July 2015, Qld: "Snow falls near Girraween National Park on Queensland's Granite Belt ..." -- [abc].
17 July 2015, nsw: "Southern Highlands snow causes road chaos ..." -- [abc].
15 July Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.32/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.21); oil us$53/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.48, €0.68, ¥92

15 July 2015: "A European expert on renewable energy says Australia risks missing out on a huge opportunity for cheaper and cleaner electricity if it does not encourage investment in wind power. ... Europe was on track to get half of its electricity from wind power by 2050 ..." -- [abc].

13 July 2015: A prototype "piloted" (self driving) Audi RS7 "turned in lap times [2:01.01] that were better than those of sports car drivers" at Sonoma Raceway in California -- Audi [www].

13 July 2015: "Land Rover is recalling more than 65,000 cars to fix a software bug that can unlock the vehicles' doors. ... The glitch affects Range Rover and Range Rover Sport vehicles sold between 2013 and now. ... [Also] BMW X5s ... Ford Focus and Fiestas, Audis ..." -- [bbc]. (Also see 27 October 2014, and 4 Aug. above.)

13 July 2015: "A major cold front that has brought snow and ice to parts of New South Wales has prompted authorities to close roads across the state's south and to the west of Sydney ..." -- [abc].

13 July 2015: "Experts from UK, US, China and India release[d] independent climate change risk assessment ... risks of climate change should be assessed in the same way as risks to national security or public health. ..." -- CSAP [www].

13 July 2015: Tony coal-is-good Abbott's Lib/NP government "has been accused of trying to shut down the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) by stealth after ordering it not to invest in wind and small-scale solar power projects. ..." -- [abc].

11-12 July 2015: Flying Legends Air Show, IWM Duxford, Cambs, uk [www].

11 July 2015: "A strong cold front sweeping across South Australia and Victoria will hit parts of western New South Wales, with blizzards expected in the alpine region. ..." -- [abc]. Also see [bom].

10 July 2015: The FIA released a provisional F1 calendar for 2016 with 21 races starting with Australia (3 April) and including Azerbaijan (Baku, 17 July) -- [www].

July 2015, .uk: Most reliable cars 1. Honda Jazz, 2. Mitsubishi Lancer, 3. Vauxhall Agila, 4. Toyota Yaris, ..., down to BMW M5, and Audi RS6 in last place -- Warranty Direct [www]. (Also see 7 Aug. above.)

10 July Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.21); oil us$53/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.49, €0.67, ¥91

10 July 2015: "Oil prices could fall further says International Energy Agency ..." -- [bbc].

9 July 2015: "Residents and holidaymakers are advised to prepare for a burst of cold weather over the weekend which will see temperatures drop to zero in many locations in New South Wales and Victoria. ..." -- [bom].

8 July 2015, .uk: In the budget, from 1 April 2017 Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), or "road tax", on new cars changes, "First Year Rates of VED will vary according to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the vehicle. A flat Standard Rate (SR) of £140 will [then] apply ... except for zero emission cars which will pay £0. Cars with a list price >£40K will [pay] £310 [plus] SR for the first 5 years in which a SR is paid" -- .gov.uk [www].

8 July 2015: "ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company, knew as early as 1981 of climate change [but] spent millions over the next 27 years to promote climate denial. ..." -- The G. [www].

7 July 2015: "Autonomous [electric] taxis could greatly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions of US light-duty vehicles ... could result in decreased US per-mile GHG emissions in 2030 per AT deployed of 87-94% below current conventionally driven vehicles (CDVs), and 63-82% below projected 2030 hybrid vehicles ..." -- J. B. Greenblatt & S. Saxena, Nature Climate Change, [www].

6 July 2015: Nissan Australia has decided to close its parts warehouses across the country in October ... will outsource its warehousing ..." -- [abc].

6 July 2015: "Rare amateur footage has revealed the extraordinary changes that took place in the Pilbara region of Western Australia following Lang Hancock's discovery of iron ore. ... footage of sheep mustering in the late 1930s, cyclone damage in the 1940s, the British atomic test at Montebello Island in 1952 ..." -- [abc].

5 July 2015: Greek referendum on whether or not to accept a bailout. (Greece owes €22,000 per citizen mostly to European banks, the ECB and the IMF - see Reuters [www].)
They voted 'no' by 61%, [bbc], The G. [www]. Will Greece leave the euro? (6 July: au$1.00 = us$0.75 = £0.48 = €0.68 = ¥92.)
Maybe a deal -- [bbc][16/7]? The G. [www][23/7].
5 July Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.24); oil us$60/b
3 July 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.49, €0.68, ¥93
5 July 2015 (9/19): British F1 Grand Prix, Silverstone (start 1pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. Late rain spiced things up, otherwise Williams would have had third. (Also see FIA [www] and [bbc].

3 July 2015: "Australia's 2015 new car [sales] topped half a million, with the 125,850 new cars sold in June 2015 [+6.4% on June 2014] ... 2015 year-to-date total to 578,427 ..." -- FCAI [www].

3 July 2015: "Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) faces action over the mishandling in the US of car recalls ..." -- [bbc].

2 July 2015: "Jaguar Land Rover has agreed a manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr, an operating unit of Magna International Inc, to build some future vehicles in Graz, Austria. ..." -- JLR [www].

2 July 2015: "... Australia's average petrol price fell from a high of almost $1.60 a litre last July, to $1.08 in February, and back to $1.40 last week. ... pump price changes have been broadly in line with the benchmark Singapore petrol price, which accounts for 20% of Australia's imports. ..." -- [abc].

2 July 2015: The FIA F1 Strategy Group proposed "Increased restrictions on driver aids and coaching ... starting from this year's Belgian Grand Prix - with a particular emphasis on race starts ... an extra power unit per driver in the first year to any new manufacturer ... will apply retroactively to Honda for the 2015 season. ..." -- FIA [www]. Also see [bbc].

1 July 2015, .uk: "The heatwave has been playing havoc with the cars of Britain's motorists ... 2015's hottest day so far - Wednesday, July 1. Temperatures have hit highs of 34°C (93°F), following the 33°C (91°F) experienced on Jersey and 30.5°C (88°F) over mainland Britain the day before. ..." -- RAC [www]. Poor things.

1 July 2015: "JLR reveals some R&D secrets ... Watching the alpha and beta waves of one's brain ... [JLR] sees 'a degree' of [car] autonomy entering the market soon after 2020 for use on dual-carriageways, followed progressively by lesser roads, and ... fully autonomous vehicle a reality around 2025. ..." -- SAE [www]. Also see 'Mind Sense' at Tata [www][17/6].

 

June 2015, .au:
30 June Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.20); oil us$58/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.49, €0.69, ¥94
Based on 5 years of ownership, 15,000km/year, the RACV's annual survey of motoring costs ranges from Suzuki Celerio 5dr 1.0 ($13K on-road) $98/week through, e.g., Hyundai i30 Active 1.8 ($26.5K) $159/week, Toyota Hilux SR 3.0 diesel 4x4 ($49.2K) $250/week, Toyota Prado GXL 3.0 diesel ($65.7K) $280/week and Toyota Landcruiser GXL auto 4.5 diesel ($91K) $366/week, up to Nissan Patrol ST-L auto 5.6 ($89.5K) $444/week -- RACV [www], [2].

30 June 2015, .uk: 'Reducing emissions and preparing for climate change. 2015 Progress Report to Parliament' -- [www]. Also see [bbc].

29 June 2015: 'Australian Story' episode #22, ABC TV, on Mark Webber [abc], transcript [abc], austory [abc], repeated 2 July. Also see [2].

27-28 June 2015: Tankfest, Bovington, Doreset, uk [www], [www].

25-28 June 2015: Goodwood Festival of Speed [www]. (Thurs, Moving Motor Show.)
It was reported that Lotus is planning an SUV for ~2019.
26 June: Bonhams auction [www] including lot 323 a 1935 Aston Martin Works Ulster 'LM19' Mille Miglia, RAC Tourist Trophy, French Grand Prix, Le Mans 24-Hours Competition Sports Two-Seater, chassis #LM19, engine #LM19 (sold £2,913,500); lot 340 a 1999 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster, chassis #WDB297397Y000008 (sold £1,513,500).
25 June Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.28 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.22); oil us$60/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.49, €0.69, ¥96

24 June 2015: "A Dutch court has ordered the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020 ... Campaigners brought the case on behalf of almost 900 Dutch citizens. ..." -- [bbc].

24 June 2015, .au, recall 2015/14784: "Dorel Australia Pty Ltd Maxi Cosi A2 Euro Convertible [child] Car Seats ... fabric around the harness adjuster mechanism may get caught in the mechanism, allowing the shoulder harnesses to loosen ..." -- [www], and [abc].

22 June 2015: "The two millionth Series Land Rover and Defender has been produced ... a very special bespoke Defender 90 Station Wagon. ... [It] will be sold by auction in December at Bonhams ... [& on show at] the Goodwood Festival of Speed, UK on 25-28th June." -- LR [www].

22 June 2015: "Western Australian adventurer Ben Carlin made headlines when he went on an eight-year journey, over both land and sea, in an amphibious army jeep ['Half Safe'] after World War II and now his old school is paying homage to his incredible story. ..." -- [abc].

21 June 2015 (8/19): Austrian F1 Grand Prix (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3. Felipe Massa [Williams]. (Also see FIA [www] & [bbc].)
20 June Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.23); oil us$60/b
19 June 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.49, €0.68, ¥96

20-21 June 2015, .uk: The Flywheel Festival of historic motoring and aviation, Bicester, Oxfordshire [www].

18 June 2015: The UNHCR reported that "the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to a staggering 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago ... Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee (16.7m), internally displaced (38.2m), or seeking asylum (1.8m). ..." -- [www].

17 June 2015: "Chris Evans has landed the job of replacing Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC's Top Gear ..." -- [bbc]. (See 25 March below and, 30 July above.)

16 June 2015, .au: "... the emergence of domestic solar and storage systems have forced the big [electricity] utilities to scramble to protect their shrinking fiefdoms. ... since 2010, electricity supplied by fossil fuel generators has declined by 9.5% ..." -- [abc].

15-21 June 2015: Paris Air Show (19-21 public) [www], [bbc].

15 June 2015: "A peak in global energy-related [CO2] emissions could be achieved as early as 2020 and at no net economic cost, the International Energy Agency said on Monday in its new World Energy Outlook Special Report on Energy and Climate Change. ..." -- IEA [www].

15 June 2015: Victorian "first-time drink-driving offenders who register a blood-alcohol reading greater than 0.1 will have their cars impounded ..." -- [abc].

14 June Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.32/l, min $1.15); oil us$60/b
12 June 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.50, €0.69, ¥96

13-14 June 2015: Le Mans 24-hour race [www], [www]. 1. Nico Hulkenberg, Earl Bamber, and Nick Tandy (#19 Porsche 919 hybrid), 395 laps; 2. Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley (#17 Porsche 919 hybrid); 3. Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer (#7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro). In a real show of innovation, the LMP1 class featured turbo charged and natural engines, petrol and diesel engines, hybrid systems with flywheels, batteries and supercapacitors, and even front wheel drive (Nissan). (Also see [bbc], and SAE [www][23/7].)

12-14 June 2015: Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, Cheshire [www].

10 June 2015 (Wed.), .uk: Brightwells auction, the Stondon Museum Collection part 2, Leominster, Herefordshire, [www]. Included were a 1970± Abbott self-propelled gun FV433 (sold £13,000, hammer price), a 1974 Bond Bug (sold £3,800), and a 1973 Jensen Interceptor MkIII (sold £16,000).

10 June 2015: "... Motoring journalist Andrew Frankel and racing driver Rebecca Jackson drove an Audi A6 TDI ultra 1,158.9 miles almost non-stop for nearly 28 hours from the Netherlands to Hungary, passing through Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia [14 countries] ... averaging 75.9 miles to the gallon (mpg) ..." -- RAC [www]. (NB. imperial gallons.)

8 June 2015 (Mon.), .au: Queen's Birthday.

7 June 2015 (7/19): Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Montreal (start 2pm local, 6pm GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Valtteri Bottas [Williams]. Not a lot of action. (Also see FIA [www], [bbc].)

6-12 June 2015: Isle of Man TT [www].

6-8 June 2015: Finke Desert Race [www].

6-7 June 2015 (Sat., Sun.): Steam Rally, Echuca Moama, Vic., [www].

6 June 2015 (Sat.), Vic.: Start of Queen's Birthday (8th) long weekend.

4 June Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.26/l; min $1.21 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.18); oil us$60/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.50, €0.69, ¥96

3 June 2015: "Vehicle thefts across Victoria increased 11.5% in 2014, according to Victoria Police statistics ... [#1] Holden Commodore (117), [#2] Ford Falcon (49) ..." -- RACV [www].

3 June 2015: TVR announced that at would be back in business with a new 2-seat, Cosworth V8, sports car in 2017 -- TVR [www].

2 June 2015: "Bosch developing new water-injection system for production engines ..." -- SAE [www].

2 June 2015: "The Japanese car parts maker, Takata, is intending to replace a chemical used in its airbags, as it tries to fix a fault that led to six deaths and multiple injuries. ..." -- [bbc].

1-11 June 2015: Bonn Climate Change Conference [www]. (Also see 30 Nov. above.)

1 June Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.26/l; min $1.22 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.19); oil us$60/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.50, €0.70, ¥95

1 June 2015, recall 2015/14734 & 2015/14720: "PQI Pty Ltd T/as Pro Quip International-Pro Quip Standard Plastic Fuel Can" and "... Platinum Plastic Fuel Can sold exclusively by Supercheap Auto ... the screw cap may split when tightened or sealed. ..." -- .gov.au [www], [www].

1 June 2015: "A chilly start to winter has blanketed Victoria's alpine regions in snow with ski resorts preparing for a bumper opening weekend. ..." -- [abc].
And "About 20cm of snow has fallen throughout New South Wales' ski resorts ... Just before 7am today it was -8°C at Thredbo. ..." -- [abc].

June 2015, .au: BP on winter (alpine) diesel, [www], ADF2303.doc, 10/2/2005.  And Caltex, "alpine diesel [has] a cloud point approx. 4°C below the limit specified in AS 3570 for the corr. month & location" -- [www][12/2012].

 

30-31 May 2015: Historic Winton, Vic., .au [www].

28 May Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.29/l; min $1.26 ([Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.21); oil us$58/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.50, €0.71, ¥95

28 May 2015: Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar and now Lamborghini "confirmed the launch of a sports utility vehicle (SUV) and signed a deal to build the car in Italy. ..." -- [bbc]. Also see L's 'Urus' SUV concept, Beijing, 27 April 2012.

24 May 2015 (6/19): Monaco F1 Grand Prix, Monte Carlo (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). Hamilton set pole, and cruised away from Rosberg and Vettel in the race until lap 65 during a safety car period caused by a crash (Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso). In a tactical blunder, Mercedes called Hamilton in for new tyres but this dropped him back to third, where he stayed. (Also see the FIA [www], [bbc].)

24 May 2015: Bonhams Spa Classic auction [www], including a 1990 Porsche 962 C, chassis #962-155 (sold €1,495,000).

24 May 2015: 99th Indianapolis 500 [www].

24 May 2015, NSW: Beaches north of Port Stephens will be closely monitored over the weekend to ensure conditions are safe for 4WD access, after storms caused serious erosion problems. ..." -- [abc].

23 May 2015, .uk: 'The DVLA has revealed its entire list of "suppressed" [rude] car number plates, all banned from Britain's streets ... 46 page list ...' -- The G [www].

22-24 May 2015: Villa d'Este Concourse, Lake Como [www].

22 May Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.26 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.21); oil us$61/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.50, €0.71, ¥95

20 May 2015: With both kinetic and heat energy recovery, "F1 engines now have a thermal efficiency of more than 40% - better than a road-going diesel engine. ..." -- [bbc].

20 May 2015: "Japanese airbag maker Takata has said that mechanisms in the airbags of almost 34 million cars are defective. ..." -- [bbc].

18 May 2015, .au: The good news, "The Federal Government and Labor have reached a bipartisan deal on changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET)". The bad news, "to lower the RET from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000" -- [abc].

17 May Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.22); oil us$60/b
15 May 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.51, €0.71, ¥96

17 May 2015: "Royal Dutch Shell has been accused of pursuing a strategy that would lead to potentially catastrophic climate change after an internal document acknowledged a global temperature rise of 4°C, twice the level considered safe for the planet. ... A 4°C global rise by 2100 would entail a sea level rise of between 52cm and 98cm ... The Shell document says: '... 'We also do not see governments taking steps now that are consistent with 2°C scenario.' ..." -- The G. [www]. Also see 'New Lens Scenarios' -- Shell [www]. And working paper 15/105, 'How Large Are Global Energy Subsidies?' [Ans = $5.3 trillion6.5% of global GDP.] -- IMF [www].

16-17 May 2015: UK Slot Car Festival, Heritage Centre Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire [www]. Sponsored by Scalextric.

15 May 2015: The Formula One (F1) Strategy Group voted for, from 2016, "a free choice of the two dry tyre compounds (out of four) that each team can use during the race weekend", and from 2017, "faster cars: 5 to 6 seconds drop in lap times through aerodynamic rules evolution, wider tyres and reduction of car weight, reintroduction of refuelling (maintaining a [100kg] max. race fuel allowance), higher revving engines and increased noise" -- FIA [www]. Also see the [bbc].

14 May 2015: In the continuing Takata airbag saga, "Nissan and Toyota said they were recalling at least 6.5 million vehicles globally, while Honda said it would follow suit ..." -- [abc]. Also see 22 October 2014, and 20 May above.

14± May 2015: Mad Max 4: Fury Road, general release. Max Rockatansky, Tom Hardy; Imperator Furiosa, Charlize Theron; Dir., George Miller; ubend [www].

12 May Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.33/l, min $1.19); oil us$59/b; au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.51, €0.71, ¥95

12 May 2015: "The Bureau of Meteorology's latest update on the El Nino - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) today confirms El Nino thresholds have been reached in the tropical Pacific for the first time since March 2010. ..." -- [bom]. Also see [bbc].

12 May 2015: "Victoria is bracing for wild winds across the state, blizzards in alpine areas and possible flooding in Melbourne. ..." -- [abc].

12 May 2015: "Google Inc revealed Monday that its self-driving cars had been in 11 minor traffic accidents since it began experimenting with the technology six years ago. ... The Google cars have been rear-ended seven times, often when stopped 'but also on the freeway' ..." -- The G. [www].

11 May 2015: Audi's next A4 will offer a 2-litre Miller cycle engine -- SAE [www]. Mazda have used Miller cycle engines.

11 May 2015: 'The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has found the gap between regional and city petrol prices has shrunk drastically. ... "The gap between regional and city prices is now only 1.9¢/l, whereas it was up around 17, 18¢/l a couple of months back," [ACCC chairman] Mr Sims said. ...' -- [abc].

10 May 2015 (5/19): Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Barcelona (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. A dull race. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

8 May 2015: "Tony Abbott pledges $100m for key northern cattle roads to reduce financial risks of bad weather ..." -- [abc].

8 May 2015: 70th anniversary of VE Day. See [bbc].

8 May 2015, .uk: General election. The Conservative party, previously in a coaltion with the Liberal-Democrats, won with a small majority (331/650) in its own right. [bbc], and [9th].

7 May Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.20); oil us$61/b; au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.52, €0.70, ¥95

6 May 2015, us: "Daimler Trucks drives first autonomous truck on public roads ... granted a license for road use in the State of Nevada ..." -- Daimler [www].

4 May 2015: "Heat stress ... in Australia ... amounts to 0.33 to 0.47% of Australia's GDP. ..." -- K. W. Zander et al, 'Heat stress causes substantial labour productivity loss in Australia', Nature Climate Change, [www].

4 May 2015, .au: Subaru reduced the list price of the Subaru 'XV' SUV by au$1250, on top of January's $750 drop. The XV is now from $26.5K to $35K. Also see [www].

3 May 2015 (5/21): Provisional Korean F1 Grand Prix. (Removed Jan. 2015.)

2 May Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.18); oil us$59/b
1 May 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.51, €0.70, ¥95

2-4 May 2015 (Sat.-Mon.): Donington Historic [www].

2 May 2015: "Thousands of people living in the upper reaches of New South Wales north coast rivers have been isolated by floodwaters. ..." -- [abc].

1 May 2015: Cyclone Quang made landfall near Exmouth, WA, weakening to a tropical low, e.g., [abc].

1 May 2015: "Severe storms roll across southern Queensland ..." -- [abc] and [2].

1 May 2015: Electric car maker Tesla revealed details of its 'Powerwall' home battery in 7kWh daily cycle us$3K (e.g., for solar cells), and 10kWh weekly cycle us$3.5K (backup) models. "Deliveries begin this summer" -- [www]. In the long term, owners of power stations should be worried. Also see [bbc].

 

28 April 2015, credit cards: "A new app in New Zealand [but not .au] allows consumers to opt out of payWave and PayPass. ... Visa and MasterCard ... tap and go ... near field communication (NFC) ... Resentment across the Tasman about being force-fed payWave and PayPass has led New Zealand bank ASB to give consumers the option of turning off the technology as of April this year. ... credit card number, expiration data and CVV number (the three numbers on the back that online merchants frequently ask for) could be 'ripped' (copied) from your card via the RFID chip. ... [or] a crook could simply rack up a series of $100-or-less payments with your card ..." -- Choice [www].

28 April 2015: In Europe, "all new cars [must] be equipped with eCall technology from April 2018. In the event of a serious accident, eCall automatically dials 112 - Europe's single emergency number. ..." -- EC [www].

28 April 2015, .uk: "UK average new car CO2 emissions [fell] to all-time low of 124.6g/km, beating EU target by 4.2%. ... In 2014, more than two thirds of new cars (68.6%) met or fell under the 130g/km EU threshold ... benefitting from the £0 first year Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rate. ..." -- SMMT [www].

28 April 2015: Intelligent Energy has 'introduced a 100-kW (134-hp) fuel cell platform producing 3.5 kW/L and 3.0 kW/kg, claiming a "world-leading" stack power density. ...' -- SAE [www].

27 April 2015: "... about 75% of the moderate daily hot extremes over land are attributable to [global] warming ..." -- E. M. Fisher & R. Knuti, 'Anthropogenic contribution to global occurrence of heavy-precipitation and high-temperature extremes', Nature Climate Change [www].

27 Apr Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.29/l, min $1.18); oil us$57/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.52, €0.72, ¥93

25 April 2015: "Parts of Sydney and the Blue Mountains were blanketed by large hailstones ..." -- [abc]. (More, [26th].)

25 April 2015: Anzac Day, 100th anniversary.

24 April 2015: "... 'Oil will provide about 90% of transportation usage though 2040,' said Tahmid Mizan, Senior Technical Advisor at ExxonMobil Corp. ..." -- SAE [www].

23 April 2015, .uk: "Stolen vehicles down 70% in a decade ... Vehicle theft at lowest point since 1968, as industry invests billions in security technology. ..." -- SMMT [www].

22-29 April 2015: Shanghai Int. Auto Show (Auto Shanghai) [www].

22 Apr Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.22/l; min $1.18 ([Perth] avg $1.24/l, min $1.18); oil us$55/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.52, €0.72, ¥93

22 April 2015: "Oil prices 'will hit optimum level' as demand grows ... Brent crude was at us$63 a barrel on Tuesday, up 40% from its January low of $45 a barrel ..." -- [bbc].

22 April 2015: "The SES has warned storm-battered New South Wales residents that winds as high as 100km/h will continue to hit areas including Sydney, the Illawarra and the Central Coast ..." -- [abc]. "Second storm brings gale-force winds, rain to Sydney, Central Coast" -- [2] Also see [bbc].

21 April 2015: "Annual traffic safety forum ... Driver error may cause 94% of the nearly 33,000 annual motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S., ..." -- SAE [www].

20 April 2015: "Top 200 firms including Gazprom, ExxonMobil, BP and Anglo American hold four to five times more fossil fuels in existing reserves than can be safely burned ..." -- The G. [www].
And, "Australia's Direct Action climate policy challenged by US, China and Brazil at the UN ..." -- The G. [www]. Also see [abc].

19 April 2015 (4/19): Bahrain F1 Grand Prix (start 6pm local, 3pm GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]; 3. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes). It was Hamilton all the way but Rosberg had duels with both Ferraris. (Also see the FIA [www] & [bbc].)

18 April 2015: "Birdsville's only police officer to retire after long stint in remote Queensland ... Senior Constable McShane is called upon for about five desert rescues a year. ..." -- [abc].

17 Apr Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.24/l; min $1.21 ([Perth] avg $1.32/l, min $1.18); oil us$57/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.52, €0.72, ¥93

16 April 2015: "ANCAP has awarded the new generation Mitsubishi Triton a 5 star safety rating ..." -- [www].

16 April 2015: "Australians could be free to import new cars from overseas under a controversial Federal Government plan to deregulate the market. ... once the local automotive industry closed in 2017. ..." -- [abc].

14-16 April 2015, .uk: Commercial Vehicle Show, NEC, Birmingham [www].

14 April 2015, recall PRA 2015/14645: "WK/WD 2011 WK Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0L Diesel & 2012-2013 WD/WK Jeep Grand Cherokee Petrol Engines ... vehicles may experience a failure in the Fuel Pump relay ..." -- .gov.au [www].

14 April 2015: "Investment in large-scale renewable energy in Australia has plummeted by 90% in the last 12 months ... according to analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). ..." -- [abc].

13 April 2015: "As mustering and trucking cattle hits full swing across the Northern Territory, some of the major stock routes in Central Australia remain a problem. ... Tanami road and parts of the Plenty Highway were in a terrible state. ..." -- [abc].

12 Apr Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.24 ([Perth] avg $1.29/l, min $1.20); oil us$52/b
10 Apr 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.52, €0.72, ¥93
12 April 2015 (3/19): Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shangai (start 2pm local, 6am GMT).
Results: No surprises this time, 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. (Also see the FAI [www] and [bbc].)
8 April 2015, .uk: March was the "best month this century with nearly half a million, 492,774, cars registered ..." -- SMMT [www], RAC [www].
And 7/4, .au: "... sales up 8% on March 2014 figures. The total 105,054 sales is the largest March sales market ever recorded. ... Private purchases of SUVs increased 15.6% ..." -- FCAI [www].

8 April 2015, .au: "Top firms paying less than 10% tax, Senate committee hears ..." -- [abc].
And "Google, Apple and Microsoft deny tax avoidance at Senate inquiry ..." -- [9/3].

7 April 2015, .au: "One in 14 truck drivers pulled over by police in Victoria over the Easter long weekend tested positive for illicit drugs, Victoria Police say ..." -- [abc].

7 April 2015: "... Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has today published photographs depicting the first key milestone in the vehicle's [project Cullinan, an SUV] development programme. ..." -- RR [www].

7 Apr Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.25 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.20); oil us$52/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.52, €0.70, ¥92

6 April 2015: Easter Monday.

5 April 2015 (Sun.), .au: Daylight saving ends.

3 April 2015: Good Friday.

3-12 April 2015: New York Auto Show [www].

2 April 2015: "A US jury has awarded us$150m (£100m) to the family of a four-year old boy that died in a crash involving a [1999] Jeep Grand Cherokee in 2012. ..." -- [bbc]. Also see 1 Aug. 2014.

2 Apr Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.23 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.20); oil us$48/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.51, €0.70, ¥91

2 April 2015: "In preparation for international climate talks in Paris this December, a scientific panel has completed a technical evaluation of the meeting's official goal - to keep the global average temperature within 2°C of pre-industrial levels. ..." -- Nature [www].

1 April 2015: "The quest for the self-cleaning car ..." -- SAE [www]. Also see Science [www][6/3].

 

31 March 2015: "The US has pledged to tackle climate change by cutting its carbon emissions 26-28% by 2025. ..." -- [bbc].

29 March 2015 (2/19): Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, Kuala Lumpur (start 3pm local, 7am GMT).
Results: To everone's surprise, 1. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari); 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes). It seemed to be largely down to tyre choice and tyre preservation. (Also see FIA [www] & [bbc].)
28 Mar Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.26 ([Perth] avg $1.30/l, min $1.20); oil us$49/b
27 Mar 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.53, €0.72, ¥93

28-29 March 2015, .au: Pajero Challenge [www].

27 March 2015, .uk: "An ultra low emission zone is to be introduced in central London in 2020 in a bid to tackle air pollution ..." -- RAC [www].

26-29 March 2015: Australian Motoring Festival, Melbourne Showgrounds [www].

26 March 2015: "The [weather] outlook for the next three months indicates: Likely to be wetter than normal over most of Australia, outside of the tropics and Tasmania. Warmer than average days likely over the tropical north, parts of southeastern Australia, and the far southwest of Western Australia. ..." -- [bom]. (Also see [abc].)

26 March 2015: "The Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart today dismissed a claim for damages against Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Stuttgart, (Porsche SE). The US-American plaintiffs [inc. hedge funds] had asserted claims for damages of about 1.2 billion euro from alleged short selling as well as swaps and options relating to ordinary shares in Volkswagen AG in 2008 (ref. no. 28 O 183/13). ..." -- Porsche [www]. (Also see 14 Aug. above.)

25 March 2015: "Jeremy Clarkson's contract will not be renewed after an 'unprovoked physical attack' on a Top Gear producer, the BBC's director general has confirmed. ... Clarkson was suspended on 10 March, following what was called a 'fracas' with Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon. ..." -- [bbc], [2], TG [www]. (See 17 June and 30 July above.)

24 March 2015: There were "record-breaking temperatures associated with an exceptional hot spell during March 2015, which affected large parts of northern and central Australia. ..." -- [bom].

March 2015: "6 out of 10 teen crashes involve driver distraction ..." -- AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety [www]. Also see The G. [www].

23 March 2015, .au: "The rate of drivers picked up for drug-driving now exceeds the rate of drink-drivers, and up to 30% of fatal road accidents are caused by drivers using illicit substances ... 16% of road fatalities "involved a driver or a rider with illicit drugs'. ... in Victoria, 56,000 drivers were drug tested and one in 16 returned a positive result, compared with one in 267 drivers testing positive for alcohol. ..." -- [abc].

23 March 2015: "... battery electric vehicles (BEV) ... Li-ion battery packs ... industry-wide cost estimates declined by ~14% annually between 2007 and 2014, from above us$1,000/kWh to around us$410/kWh ... and that the cost of battery packs used by market-leading BEV manufacturers are even lower, at us$300 per kWh, and has declined by 8% annually. ..." -- B. Nykvist & M. Nilsson, 'Rapidly falling costs of battery packs for electric vehicles,' Nature Climate Change, 5, pp.329-332, [www].

23 Mar Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.13 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.20); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.52, €0.72, ¥94

22 March 2015: "The oil price is unlikely to reach again the record levels seen in the past few years, according to Saudi Arabia's representative at Opec. ... Brent crude closed at us$55.2 a barrel, while US oil was us$46.5. ..." -- [bbc].

21-22 March 2015: "The London Film Museum will remain dedicated to 'Bond in Motion' until further notice. ... [and is] hosting a weekend of Bond-themed celebration ..." -- LFM [www].

21 March 2015: "Climate scientists at leading universities are joining forces to discuss the basis of a set of principles governing investment in fossil fuels. ... Over 80% of coal, 50% of gas and 30% of oil reserves are 'unburnable' under the goal to limit global warming to no more than 2°C, according to one recent analysis." -- [bbc].

20 March 2015: Tropical cyclone Nathan "reached the [Qld] coast about 4:00am as a category four system between Cape Melville and Cape Flattery ..." -- [abc], [21/3], [bom].

20 March 2015: "A pastoralist on Western Australia's Ningaloo Coast [N.W. Cape] says the future of his station remains uncertain, as last minute lease negotiations continue. ... several lessees, located between Carnarvon and Exmouth, who are still negotiating boundaries and exclusion zones with the State Government ..." -- [abc].

20 March 2015: Malcolm Fraser died aged 84. He was Australia's 22nd prime minister, from 1975 to 1983. Fraser resigned from the Liberal party in 2009. See the [abc] & [bbc].  Also see 21 October 2014.

18 March 2015: "Tesla chief executive Elon Musk thinks that once self-driving cars become widely used, traditional human-driven vehicles may need to be banned. ..." -- [www].

18 Mar Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.22/l; min $1.13 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.21); oil us$43/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.52, €0.72, ¥92

18 March 2015: "There will be no German Grand Prix [19 July] this year, the boss of the Hockenheim circuit has told a German newspaper. ..." -- [bbc], more [20/3], & FIA [www].

16 March 2015: "The coastal West Australian town of Carnarvon is today expected to be declared a natural disaster zone in the wake of Cyclone Olwyn ..." -- [abc] & [14/3].

15 March 2015 (1/19): Australian F1 Grand Prix, Melbourne (start 4pm local, 5am GMT).
Team (engine), drivers: Ferrari (Ferrari), Sebastian Vettel & Kimi Raikkonen; Force India (Mercedes), Sergio Perez & Nico Hulkenberg; Lotus (Mercedes), Romain Grosjean & Pastor Maldonado; Manor Marussia (Ferrari), Will Stevens & Roberto Merhi; McLaren (Honda), Jenson Button & Fernando Alonso; Mercedes (Mercedes), Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg; Red Bull (Renault), Daniel Ricciardo & Daniil Kvyat; Sauber (Ferrari), Marcus Ericsson & Felipe Nasr (but see [abc]); Toro Rosso (Renault), Max Verstappen & Carlos Sainz jr; Williams (Mercedes), Felipe Massa & Valtteri Bottas.
Fernando Alonso suffered concussion in pre-season testing in Barcelona and missed the race on medical advice being replaced by Kevin Magnussen. Giedo van der Garde won a court case against Sauber that he had a valid contract to drive for them but elected not to do so. Manor Marussia attended but did not manage to get their cars running in time.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari). It was Mercedes and the rest all weekend. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)
13 Mar Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.24/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.18); oil us$48/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.52, €0.72, ¥93

12 March 2015: Bonhams Amelia Island auction [www], including a 1936 Wanderer W25K Roadster.

11 March 2015: "SMMT puts record straight on diesel cars ... Euro-6 ... Average CO2 emissions for new cars in the UK in 2013 were 128.3g/km ..." -- SMMT [www]. (Also see "... modern gasoline [petrol] direct-injection (GDI) engines ... can emit more hazardous fine particulate matter than a port fuel-injected engine (PFI), or even the latest heavy-duty diesels equipped with a particulate filter. ..." -- SAE [www][21/12/2014].)

11 March 2015: Tropical Cyclone Olwyn approaching the Pilbara coast [WA], expect impacts from Thursday ..., and
Tropical Cyclone Nathan ... Warning continues between Coen and Cape Tribulation [Qld] -- [bom].  But "Nathan has changed track and is now heading slowly toward Solomon Islands ..." -- [abc][13/3].

10 March 2015: "The competition watchdog has announced Darwin as the site for its first in-depth investigation into high petrol prices. ..." -- [abc], and ACCC [www]. Also see the ACCC's quarterly petrol report [www].

9-15 March 2015, .au: Corowa Swim In, the year of the Emergency Vehicle and the Year of General Motors [www].

9 March 2015: Labour Day, Vic., .au.
7-9 March 2015: Steamfest, National Steam Centre, Scoresby, Melbourne, Vic. [www].
6-9 March 2015 (Fri-Mon): Port Fairy Folk Festival [www].
8 Mar Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.26/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.29/l, min $1.18); oil us$50/b
6 Mar 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.51, €0.71, ¥94

5-15 March 2015: 85th Geneva Motor Show [www]. Including Alfa Romeo '4C Spider'; Aston Martin 'Vulcan' track car & 'DBX' electric SUV(!) concept [www]; Audi revised 'R8' [www], 'Prologue' concept; Bentley 'EXP10 Speed 6' concept [www]; Ferrari '488 GTB' 3,902cc turbo V8 [www]; Honda 'HR-V' SUV; Hyundai 'Tucson' SUV; Kia 'Sportspace' (estate) concept [www]; Koenigsegg 'Regera' [www]; Lamborghini 'Aventador SV'; Land Rover 'Evoque' convertible (2016) [www]; Lotus 'Evora 400' [www]; McLaren '675LT' (long tail) & 'P1 GTR' track car; Mercedes AMG 'GT3' racer; Morgan revised 'Aero 8'; Nissan Infiniti 'QX30' crossover prototype; Porsche 'Cayman GT4' & '911 GT3 RS' [www] [www]; Quant 'F' 4-seat electric sports car; Ssangyong 'Tivoli' SUV; Toyota Lexus 'LF-SA' concept [www]; Zenovuo sports car.

 

26 February - 1 March 2015: 3rd F1 test session, Barcelona, Spain.

24 Feb Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.17/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.20/l, min $1.11); oil us$49/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.50, €0.69, ¥93

24 February - 1 March 2015, .au: Australian International Airshow, Avalon, Vic. [www] (trade 24/2 on, public 27/2-1/3); [abc].

23 February 2015: "By 2025, solar power in sunny regions of the world will be cheaper than power from coal or gas. ... the cost of producing solar power in central and southern Europe will have declined to between 4 and 6 cents per kilowatt hour, and to as low as 2 to 4 cents by 2050, according to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems commissioned by Agora Energiewende. ..." -- Agora Energiewende [www]; [bbc].

23 February 2015: Land Rover released details of the 2016MY Evoque. More efficient 2-litre diesel engines will permit "an all-wheel drive version under 130g[CO2]/km" -- [www]. (Also see Range Rover Sport Hybrid [www].)

20-22 February 2015: Race Retro, Stoneleigh Park, uk [www].

19 Feb Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.17/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.28/l, min $1.11); oil us$52/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.50, €0.68, ¥92

19-22 February 2015: 2nd F1 test session, Barcelona, Spain. (See [bbc] [2].)

19 February 2015, Qld: "TC Marcia upgraded to a Category 2 system, still on track to cross the Capricorn Coast early Friday morning. ..." -- [bom]. Also see [abc], [2], [bbc].  "... destructive wind gusts up to 285km/h ... category 5 ..." -- [abc][20/2], [22/2].

19 February 2015: The "Australian Government has given First Pass approval for project LAND 400 Phase 2 - Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability. ... The [present ASLAV] fleet will reach the end of its life around 2021 ..." -- [.gov.au].

18 February 2015: " Most inventive roadside repair ... a 1960s-vintage Land Rover on a farm in Hertfordshire failed to start due to a broken condenser [i.e., capacitor] ... AA patrol Mario Papademetriou .. wir[ed] up a potato with a couple of screws ..." -- The AA [www].

18 February 2015: Rolls Royce '... is developing an all-new Rolls-Royce "... that offers the luxury of a Rolls-Royce in a vehicle that can cross any terrain ..."' -- R R [www].

17 February 2015: Nissan revealed a front wheel drive(!), hybrid, LM P1, Le Mans [13-14 June] race car, the GT-R LM Nismo -- SAE [www], [www].

17 February 2015, NT: "Tropical Cyclone Lam [cat 2] is continuing to move westwards. Winds increasing at Nhulunbuy overnight. Warning zone: Maningrida to Cape Shield, including Nhulunbuy. ..." -- [bom], [19/2]. Also see "... an expected category four cyclone on Wednesday or Thursday. ..." -- [abc], [20/2], [21/2].

16 February 2015, recall PRA 2015/14559: "NS, NT, NW and NX Pajero diesel vehicles built between 10/10/2006 to 10/03/2014 ... engine timing chain tensioner ... lack of the tension control ... timing chain may break ..." -- [www].

16 February 2015: ABC TV's Australian Story, 'Ask the Leyland Brother,' tells about Mike and Mal Leyland, [16/2], [abc]. Also see West to East.

14 Feb Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.18/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.22/l, min $1.04); oil us$53/b
13 Feb 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.50, €0.68, ¥92

13 February 2015: "UN climate talks in Geneva have ended with agreement on a formal draft negotiating text for the summit in Paris in December. ..." -- [bbc].

8 February 2015: James Bond will drive an Aston Martin in the coming movie 'Spectre', but there will be Jaguars, Range Rover and a Land Rover 'Big Foot' too -- [www].

5 February 2015: Bonhams auction Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais [www] including a 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Supercharged Gran Sport Spider, chassis #AR 108 14314, engine #AR 108 14314.

4-8 February 2015: Retromobile, Paris [www].
6 February: Artcurial's Retromobile auction [www], including a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, sold €16.3 million; a 1928 Bugatti type 43 Grand Sport #43171 (ex Malcom Campbell); a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 (ex Roger Vadim), sold €1.9 million.

4 February 2015: RM Auctions Paris sale [www], including three Lamborghini Countachs lot 125 1977; lot 143 1989, sold €330,400; lot 164 1980, sold €392,000. Lot 139 a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, sold for €840,000.

1-4 February 2015: First F1 test session, Jerez, Spain.
4 Feb.: See [bbc].
 

31 January 2015, .au: Queensland State election.

January 2015: Not a recall you see every day, PRA number 2015/14517 "Unimog Models U400 and U500 ... Target: 6 vehicles ... The compressed air system vent valve may become blocked. ... pressure increase in the air dryer which may result in the top of the air dryer detaching. ..." -- [www].

27 January 2015: 70th anniversary of the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz, e.g., [abc].

26 January 2015: "A 'potentially historic blizzard' could dump up to 90cm (3ft) of snow on the US north-east coast ..." -- [bbc]. See weather.[gov].

26 January 2015: Prime Minister Tony Abbott really is a joke -- "Prince Philip and former Defence Force chief Angus Houston have been named Australia's newest knights under an honours system reinstated by Mr Abbott last year. ..." -- [abc]!

26 Jan Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.03/l; min $1.00 ([Perth] avg $1.08/l, min $1.01); oil us$46/b
23 Jan 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.53, €0.70, ¥95

26 January 2015: Australia Day.

23 January 2015, .uk: "1,528,148 cars [were] manufactured in the UK in 2014 - a 1.2% increase on the previous year and the best year since 2007. ..." -- SMMT [www].

21 Jan Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.05/l; min $1.00 ([Perth] avg $1.07/l, min $1.02); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.82, £0.54, €0.71, ¥97

19 January 2015: 'Saudi Arabia can cope with low oil prices for "at least eight years", Saudi Arabia's minister of petroleum's former senior adviser has told the ...' -- [bbc]. Russia and Venezuela passed out at the news.

17 January 2015: Dakar 2015 ended. Cars 1: Nasser Al-Attiyah & Matthieu Baumel (BMW "Mini"); trucks 1: Airat Mardeev, Aydar Belyaev & Dmitriy Svistunov (Kamaz); bike 1: Marc Coma (KTM); quad 1: Rafal Sonik (Yamaha) -- [www].

16 January 2015: "The year 2014 ranks as Earth's warmest since 1880, according to two separate analyses by NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists. ..." -- NASA [www].
"... global temperatures [were] 0.68°.C (1.24°.F) above the long-term average ... 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred since the turn of the century. .." -- [bbc].
"Labor, Greens pressure Tony Abbott to act ..." -- [abc][17/1].

16 Jan Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.08/l; min $1.05 ([Perth] avg $1.17/l, min $1.06); oil us$48/b; au$1.00=us$0.82, £0.54, €0.71, ¥96

15 January 2015: "... the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Rod Sims, said regional consumers were probably right to feel they were being gouged by petrol retailers. ..." -- [abc]. (Also see the ACCC [www].)

15 January 2015: Bonhams Scottsdale Auction, Arizona [www], including lot 128 a 1966 Ferrari 275GTB race car, chassis #09079, engine #09079, internal #1116/64, 1969 Spa-Francorchamps winner (sold us$9,405,000) [www] [www]; lot 159 a 1978 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40, chassis #FJ40-264950, engine #2F-342072, <40K miles (sold us$35,200); lot 183 a 1977 FJ40 (sold us$38,500).

12-25 January 2015: The North American International Auto Show (Detroit, press 12-13, trade 14-15, charity 16, public 17-25) [www]; [bbc]. Including Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid [www], next 'Q7' very slightly smaller; Ford next 'GT' twin-turbo 3.5 V6 [www] [www]; GM 2016 Chevrolet 'Volt' hybrid [www]; Mercedes 'GLE 63 AMG' muscle SUV; Mini Cooper [www]; Nissan 'Titan' (!) ute [www]; Volkswagen (VW) 'Cross Coupe GTE' concept i.e., an SUV [www].

12 January 2015: Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to build the Jaguar 'F-Pace' SUV (2016) -- [bbc].

12 January 2015: 'Uncertainty surrounding the renewable energy target (RET) has made the large-scale sector of the industry in Australia "uninvestable", a clean energy analyst says. A report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance said large-scale energy investment fell 88% - to $240 million - in 2014 [v. 2013]. It was the lowest level since 2002 ...' -- [www].

12 January 2015: "The price of Brent crude oil has fallen ... to a new six-year low [of] us$48.74/b ..." -- [bbc].

11 Jan Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.11/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.18/l, min $1.09); oil us$48/b
9 Jan 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.81, £0.54, €0.69, ¥97

9 January 2015: "Heavy rain and flooding affecting large parts of Australia have left one man dead and small towns and communities cut off. South Australia has been hit particularly hard ... 120 mm of rain fell in South Australia's far north since Thursday night, with a further 100 mm expected before Monday ..." -- [abc], [10/1]; [bom].

8-11 January 2015, .uk: The Racing Car Show, NEC, trade 8th & 9th, public 10th & 11th, [www].

8-11 January 2015, .uk: The London Classic Car Show [www].

8 January 2015: "... Honda has been fined a record us$70m (£46.4m) by US regulators for failing to report deaths and injuries to authorities. ... In November, Honda admitted that it did not report 1,729 cases involving deaths or injuries between July 2003 and June 2014. ..." -- [bbc].

8 January 2015: "Some parts of Victoria are expected to be deluged with a month's worth of rain in 72 hours, with flash flooding likely, the [BoM] has warned. ..." -- [abc], [9/1]; [bom].

8 January 2015: "... globally, a third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80% of current coal reserves should remain unused from 2010 to 2050 in order to meet the [global warming limit] target of 2°C. ..." -- C. McGlade & P. Ekins, 'The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2°C', Nature, v.517, pp.187-190 [www].

7 January 2015: In 2014 "... The best [safety] performers in their size categories ... were: Large Family Car: Mercedes-Benz C-Class; Small Family Car: Nissan Qashqai; Small MPV: Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan; Small Off-Road 4x4: Land Rover Discovery Sport; Supermini: Skoda Fabia" -- Euro NCAP [www].

6 Jan Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.13/l; min $1.12 ([Perth] avg $1.15/l, min $1.09); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.81, £0.53, €0.68, ¥97

6 January 2015: "The US oil price [WTI] fell below the symbolic threshold of us$50 a barrel for the first time since April 2009 ... The price of Brent crude also fell on Monday, dipping 6% to $53 a barrel. ..." -- [bbc], [abc].

6 January 2015: "... the Bureau of Meteorology Annual Climate Statement 2014 [www] confirms Australia has recorded its third-warmest calendar year since national records began in 1910. ... mean temperatures 0.91°C above the long-term average ..." -- [bom].  "Seven of Australia's ten warmest years on record have occurred in the 13 years from 2002 ..." -- [www].  "Victoria recorded its hottest year on record for maximum daytime temperatures in 2014 ... [And] the mean maximum temperature was 1.53°C above average ..." -- [abc].

5 January 2015: "Provisional full year figures for 2014 show it is the UK's warmest and fourth wettest year in records dating back to 1910. It is also the warmest year on record in the Central England Temperature series, which dates back to 1659 ... eight of the UK's top ten warmest years have happened since 2002. ..." -- MET Office [www], [www].

5 January 2015: "Several cybersecurity-related standards are being developed under SAE International's Global Ground Vehicle Standards group's Vehicle Electrical System Security (Cybersecurity) Committee. ..." -- SAE [www]. (Stopping carhacking.) Also see 3 Dec. 2014.

3-17 January 2015: Dakar 2015, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Buenos Aires (4th) to Buenos Aires (17th) [www]. (On 26 March 2014 Peugeot announced its return to the Dakar.)

3 January 2015: Leaving Southampton, the 'Hoegh Osaka' began to list and was deliberately grounded on Bramble Bank. The ship's cargo included a Rolls Royce 'Silver Wraith', 65 Minis, and 1200 Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.
8 Jan.: "... on high tide the ship refloated of its own accord" -- The G. [www]. (Still listing at ~45°.)
Later: [22/1], [27/1].

2 January 2015: "Fires burn across Victoria, South Australia ..." -- [abc], [3/1], [3/1], [5/1]; Vic. [cfa], SA [cfs].

2 January 2015: Subaru announced that "Manufacturer's list prices (MLP) for the ... Forester range will reduce by au$1000 for every variant, while each XV will be $750 less and every Impreza $500 less" from 16 Jan. -- Subaru.
(Also see 4 May above.)

1 Jan Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.15/l; min $1.12 ([Perth] avg $1.25/l, min $1.10); oil us$53/b
31 Dec 2014 Wed au$1.00=us$0.82, £0.53, €0.67, ¥98

1-4 January 2015: Summernats, Canberra [www], [abc].

1 January 2015: "... 248 people were killed on [Victoria]'s roads in 2014, which is five more than in 2013. ..." And, it is thought that "the number of ice- [methamphetamine-] affected fatalities overtook the number of alcohol-affected fatalities in 2013." -- [abc]. Also see 23 March above.

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