2018 This year, the Libs replaced Prime Minister Malcolm agile innovator Turnbull with someone or other. The "banking" royal commission [www] revealed that banks, and AMP, etc., had been doing things that you or I would get locked up for; it was only small consolation to watch the execs squirm with embarrassment under questioning. The evidence for global warming got stronger, again. Takata airbags are still being replaced! The price of ULP bobbed around between ~au$1.30 (March) and $1.60+ (Nov.) per litre before falling below $1.20 (Dec.). Rolls Royce launched the 'Cullinan' SUV (groan, 10 May). Maybe flying "cars" are close – see the Lift Hexa below (19 Dec.).

31 Dec Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.16/l; min $1.11 ([Perth] avg $1.15/l, min $1.07); oil us$45/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.56, €0.62, ¥78

27 December 2018: "What a century of bushfire data teaches us about how to save lives this summer ..." — [abc].  Also see the [cfa].

26 December 2018: Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
28th: Line honours went to 'Wild Oats XI' – [abc]. 'Alive' won on handicap.
26 Dec Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.21/l; min $1.16 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.10); oil us$43/b
24 Dec Mon au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.56, €0.62, ¥78

26 December 2018: "Heatwave sees temperatures soar above 40°C across southern Australia ..." — [abc], [27/12]. Also check the [bom].

24 December 2018: "Paris could soon ban diesel cars after the city won a court ruling against the European Commission's decision to relax emissions laws. ..." — RAC [www].

23 December 2018: "Holidaymakers planning to head to Bremer Bay [WA] are being told to delay their plans as a bushfire bears down on the south west townsite. ..." — [abc]. Also see DFES [www].

21 December 2018: Mercedes released details of the diesel G 350 d "G-wagen" 4WD, [www].

21 Dec Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.30/l, min $1.12); oil us$47/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.56, €0.62, ¥79

21 December 2018: "Serious decline for British car manufacturing in November ... fell by a substantial 19.6% in November, with 129,030 units manufactured ..." — SMMT [www].  (And, "Production of cars in the UK tumbled by almost 20% in November compared with a year earlier ..." — [bbc].)

21 December 2018: "Huge hailstones batter parts of Sydney as a severe storm sweeps through ..." — [abc].

20 December 2018: 'State of the Climate', "... Australia's climate has warmed just over 1°C since 1910 leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events. ... with carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations rising above 400ppm since 2016 and the CO2 equivalent (CO2-e) of all gases reaching 500ppm for the first time in at least 800,000 years. ..." — [bom]. (Also see the [abc].)

20 December 2018: "2019: close to record-breaking year, forecasts Met Office ... forecasts the global average temperature for 2019 to be between 0.98°C and 1.22°C, with a central estimate of 1.10°C, above the pre-industrial average period from 1850-1900. Since 1850, 2016 is the warmest year on record with a central estimate of 1.15°C above the same baseline. ..." — metoffice [www].

20 December 2018: "Soldiers are about to get their hands on the Army's new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs), and the first unit will start receiving the trucks as the New Year begins. ..." — US army [www].

20 December 2018: "Sending texts, daydreaming: What drivers are really doing behind the wheel ... studies showed that a younger generation raised on technology were 'more distractible' and had 'shorter attention spans' than children in the past, and called for more mindfulness education for learner drivers. ..." — T. Jacks, The Age, [www].  Based on, "Mindfulness Predicts Driver Engagement in Distracting Activities", K. L. Young et al, Mindfulness, [www][8/11/2018]. Also see MUARC, 10 Oct., below.

19 December 2018: The Lift Hexa is an electric human carrying "drone" with 18 rotors. "With an airframe built entirely of carbon fiber, Hexa weights in only 432lbs and is compliant with the FAA's Powered Ultralight classification so no pilot's license is required to fly." — Lift Aircraft [www].

19 December 2018: "This year marks the 50th - and final year - of Morgan using a V8 engine. ..." — Morgan [www].

18 December 2018: "For years, Facebook gave some of the world's largest technology companies more intrusive access to users' personal data than it has disclosed ..." — NYT [www].

18 December 2018, .uk: "... According to JLR [Jaguar Land-Rover], speculation that up to 5,000 jobs may be at risk is just that - 'media speculation'. ..." — [bbc].

17 December 2018: The 'Bloodhound' Land Speed Record project recently fell into administration but "the Joint Administrators were contacted by a number of other interested parties and a purchaser for the business and assets has now been secured, which will allow the project to continue. ..." — [www] at [www].

16 December 2018: "Record breaking rain in north Queensland as ex-Tropical Cyclone Owen crosses the east coast. Communities between Cairns and Townsville have experienced more than half a metre of rain since yesterday ..." — [bom].

16 Dec Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.24/l, min $1.15); oil us$51/b
14 Dec Fri au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.57, €0.63, ¥82

15 December 2018: COP24 ended with an "agreement" on implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement on CO2, [www] at [www]. Whether it is enough, in time – given that America, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait did not like the recent UN report (see 27 Nov.) on how to stay below 1.5°C warming (e.g., [bbc]).

15 December 2018: "Cyclone Owen crosses Queensland coast as category three system ..." — [abc].
And, "Severe storms head towards Melbourne [after] yesterday's deluge ..." — [abc]. See the [bom].

12 December 2018, .uk: Theresa May survived a leadership challenge, 200:117, but the PM's brexit plan looks shaky.
19 Dec. Brexit: "'Horrified' firms warn time is running out ..." — [bbc].

December 2018: A friend sends a link to the Government's 'Australian Military Sales Catalogue' [.gov.au] – in case you want to buy an ASLAV, Bushmaster, M113AS4 or Hawkei, say.

11 December 2018: "... The current track shows [ex-TC] Owen moving west through the Gulf and becoming a category 1 system tomorrow morning, after which it may rapidly intensify ..." — [bom].   12 Dec.: category 2.   (Also see the [abc], [13/12], and the 2 Dec. below.)

11 Dec Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.41 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.18); oil us$53/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.57, €0.63, ¥81

11 December 2018: The 2019 Toyota RAV4 "goes on sale in December in the U.S. with a starting MSRP of us$25,500. Hybrid versions are expected to be on sale in the U.S. in late-March 2019, with a starting MSRP of $27,700." — SAE [www].

10 December 2018, recall PRA #2018/17211: Toyota Lexus LS500 "is equipped with a stop-start system that automatically stops and restarts the engine when the vehicle is stationary (e.g., at a stop light). Due to improper programming of the engine control computer, the engine may stall during acceleration from the stationary position when the engine restarts within a specific time range after the engine stops. ..." — .gov.au [www].

9 December 2018: "The Country Fire Service [CFS] is bracing for another day of extreme heat in South Australia as it continues to battle and contain a fire on Kangaroo Island. ..." — [abc].

8 December 2018: RM Sotheby's Petersen Automotive Museum Auction, Los Angeles [www], including lot 241 a 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scagliett, chassis #0628, engine #0628 (sold us$22,005,000).

8 December 2018: "Australian 4WD Hire company admits customer it was suing did nothing wrong ... Gold Coast-based company Australian 4WD Hire comes after the ABC heard from customers who had been charged for speeding fines they believe did not exist. ... The ABC also understands at least one 4WD was not comprehensively insured, despite the company advertising all its vehicles were comprehensively covered. ..." — [abc].

7 December 2018: "Fluoride ion batteries are potential 'next-generation' electrochemical storage devices [batteries] that offer high energy density. ... [but] high temperatures ... report a liquid fluoride ion-conducting electrolyte with high ionic conductivity, wide operating voltage, and robust chemical stability based on dry tetraalkylammonium fluoride salts in ether solvents. ..." — 'Room-temperature cycling of metal fluoride electrodes: Liquid electrolytes for high-energy fluoride ion cells', V. K. Davis et al, Nature, 362(6419), 1144-1148, 2018 [www]. Also see Honda [www].

7 December 2018, .uk: "Bloodhound supersonic car project axed ... The project [was] planned on running on Hakskeen Pan towards the end of 2019, when the water in the lakebed evaporated and the ground had become dry. The Bloodhound would have tested at 500-600mph (800-965km/h) before tests approaching its top speed in runs during 2020 or 2021." — [bbc].

7 December 2018: The Sowda mechanism, another variable compression ratio, internal combustion engine and prototype — SAE [www]. (Also see Nissan, 14 Dec. [2017.)

6 December 2018: "The temperature at Fitzroy Crossing [WA] is tipped to reach 47°C on Saturday ..." — [abc].  "Buninyong fire prompts emergency warning for Scotsburn, Durham Lead near Ballarat [Vic.] ..." — [2].  And, "[A] blaze, a  Little River, between Werribee and Geelong started just before midday ..." — [7/12].  ("Queensland heatwave smashes BOM November records, Stradbroke Island keeps burning ..." — [4/12].)

6 December 2018: "Facebook chief's emails exposed by MPs ..." — [bbc].

6 December 2018: "Greenland's ice sheet melting rate is accelerating ..." — [abc]. Also see Nature [5/12].

6 Dec Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.18); oil us$53/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.57, €0.64, ¥81

5 December 2018: "... The global atmospheric CO2 concentration reached 405.0±0.1  averaged over 2017. For 2018, preliminary data for the first 6-9 months indicate a renewed growth in EFF of +2.7% (range of 1.8% to 3.7%) ..." — 'Global Carbon Budget 2018', Corinne Le Quere et al., Earth System Science Data (ESSD), [www]. (Also see the [bbc].)

5 December 2018, .au: "There's a new place to lodge complaints about the banks - and it's already been flooded ..." — [abc]. See the AFCA [www].

5 December 2018: The World Motor Sport Council made certain decisions including the 2019 F1 and 2019-2020 WEC calendars — FIA [www].

3 December 2018: "Ford F-Series Pickups produce a record nine straight months topping 70,000 trucks sold; Ford Expedition sales up 7.9%, ..." — Ford [www].

2 December 2018: COP24, the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Katowice, Poland (80% dependent on coal), [www]. See 15 Dec. above. (Also see the [bbc].)

2 December 2018, IDQ20065: "At 10 am AEST Sunday, a tropical low with central pressure 1004 hPa was located over the northern Coral Sea near latitude 13.7 south, longitude 154.1 east, which is about 530km east northeast of Willis Island and 960km east northeast of Cairns. ..." — [bom].
(Became tropical cyclone (1) 'Owen', 3 Dec., and then weakened, 4 Dec., and became a low again. But see 11 Dec above.))

1 Dec Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.26/l; min $1.16 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.18); oil us$51/b
30 Nov Fri au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.57, €0.64, ¥83

1 December 2018: Bonhams Bond Street Sale auction [www], including lot 9 the ex-Martin Brundle/ Jean-Louis Schlesser/ Jan Lammers/ Mike Thackwell V12-engined 1985 Jaguar XJR6 World Endurance Championship (WEC) Group C racing coupe, chassis #285 (not sold); lot 25 a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 4.2-Litre Sports Saloon, chassis #DB5/1926/R, reg. HMA 610C (sold £743,000).


November 2018: "... Virtual Fencing ... Working in partnership with the Tasmanian Government, a trial site was chosen in the North-West ... early results indicate an 60-70% effectiveness of the Virtual Fencing product on Australian Wildlife. ..." — Wildlife Safety [www]. Also see, "... Virtual fence devices are an active electronic protection system that warns animals that a vehicle is on a road. ... activated by approaching headlights, which causes them to emit sound and light stimuli and alert animals to oncoming traffic. ..." — .tas.gov.au [www].

30 November - 9 December 2018: LA Auto Show, Los Angeles [www], including Audi electric 'e-tron GT' concept [www]; Jeep Wrangler 'Gladiator' crew-cab (2020) [www] and [www]; Mazda new '3' with a spark controlled, compression ignition 'SkyActiv' engine [www]; Porsche new '992' generation 8 of the '911' [www] and [www]; Toyota revised 'Prius'; Rivian 'R1S' and 'R1T' prototype electric SUVs (2020?).

30 November - 3 December 2018: The 2018 Holden Monaro Nationals, and the 50th anniversary, Launceston, Tasmania [www] (and [abc]).

30 November 2018, .au: The "Banking" Royal Commission finished public hearings. It will deliver its report in Feb. 2019. See, 'The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry' [www], and e.g., the [abc], and examples of testimony [www].

29 November 2018: "The long-term warming trend has continued in 2018, with the average global temperature set to be the fourth highest on record. The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years ..." — WMO [www].

29 November 2018: "Queensland bushfire emergency continues ..." — [abc] and [2].

29 November 2018: "Most of Australia is likely to see a hotter than normal summer period, according to the Bureau's 2018-19 Summer Outlook released today. ..." — [bom].  Outlook: "... Warmer than average days and nights are likely for almost all of Australia for December to February ... El Nino conditions are likely ..." — [www].

29 November 2018, brexit: "Bank [BoE] and Treasury predictions showing UK would be better off within EU undermine PM's position ..." The G [www]. (Also see the [bbc].)

28 November 2018: "... Sydneysiders woke to thunder and torrential rain on Wednesday morning ... Among the worst-affected areas was Mosman, on the lower north shore, where more than 111 millimetres of rain was dumped before 8.30am. ..." — [abc].

27 November 2018: "... Global CO2 emissions increased in 2017, after a three-year period of stabilization. If the emissions gap is not closed by 2030, it is extremely unlikely that the 2°C temperature goal can still be reached. ..." — UN Environment [www].

27 November 2018: "Audi, Airbus and Italdesign test Flying Taxi Concept ... combines a self-driving electric car with a passenger drone ... till a 1:4 scale model ..." — Audi [www].

27 November 2018: "... reduction of salaried workforce ... future products will be allocated to fewer plants next year. Assembly plants that will be unallocated[!] in 2019 include: Oshawa Assembly in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly in Detroit; Lordstown Assembly in Warren, Ohio. Propulsion plants that will be unallocated in 2019 include: Baltimore Operations in White Marsh, Maryland; Warren Transmission Operations in Warren, Michigan. ..." — GM [www].
And, "General Motors has announced it will halt production at five North American facilities and cut 14,700 jobs [due to] slowing sedan sales & the impact of Donald Trump's tariffs. ..." The G [www].
26 Nov Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.18); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.57, €0.64, ¥82

25 November 2018: "'Electrifying' new Range Rover Evoque ..." — SAE [www].

25 November 2018 (#21/21): United Arab Emirates F1 Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].) Hamilton had won the F1 Drivers World Championship in Mexico, and Mercedes the F1 Constructors World Championship in Brazil.

25 November 2018: "Some see nuisance and infrastructure pressures, but dockless electric scooters and other small rideshare vehicles probably are too useful to be regulated away. ..." — SAE [www].

25 November 2018, Qld: "Up to 800 people have been told to leave their homes in Deepwater and Baffle Creek immediately as a 'dangerous and unpredictable" bushfire bears down on their communities. ..." — [abc].

24 November 2018, .au: Victorian State election. Labor defeated the Lib/NP coalition comprehensively [abc], [2] and [3].

24 November 2018: "The impacts of climate change are already being felt in communities across the country [USA]. More frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events, as well as changes in average climate conditions, are expected to continue to damage infrastructure, ecosystems, and social systems that provide essential benefits to communities. ... With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century—more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states. ..." — NCA [www].

22 November 2018: "Gas-fuelled [CNG/LNG] and electric trucks will be exempt from all MAUT road toll charges in Germany during 2019 and 2020. ... For heavy 5-axle Euro 6 trucks the coming MAUT rates will be raised from 13.5 eurocents per kilometre to 18.7 eurocents, which gas and electric vehicles can avoid altogether. ..." — VW [www].

22 November 2018: "The latest analysis of observations from the WMO GAW Programme shows that globally averaged surface mole fractions calculated from this in situ network for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) reached new highs in 2017 ..." — WMO [www].  And, "Concentrations of key gases in the atmosphere that are driving up global temperatures reached a new high in 2017. ..." — [bbc].

22 November 2018: "Falls Creek in Victoria experienced an unseasonable snowstorm ..." — [abc] and [2].

21 Nov Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.25 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.29); oil us$53/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.57, €0.64, ¥82

21 November 2018: "Independent mechanics say they will find it increasingly difficult to keep trading if the Federal Government does not force car makers to share computer codes and technical information. ..." — [abc].  Also see, "The ACCC has recommended that a mandatory scheme be introduced compelling the sharing of technical information with independent repairers as car manufacturers' voluntary commitments have not worked[+]." ACCC [4 May]. ([+] surprise?)

21 November 2018: "Raining mud: NSW dust storm expected to continue east after blanketing Broken Hill ..." — [abc].

19 November 2018: "Crashes resulting in injury and caused by a poor road surface are three times more likely to involve a cyclist or biker than all crashes, reveals the AA ... Overall the casualty rate for cyclists and bikers per billion passenger miles is around 25 times higher than for car occupants ..." the AA [www].

19 November 2018: A "31-year-old Mooroopna man faced the Wangaratta Magistrates' Court today after being charged by the Major Collision Investigation Unit following the November 2 crash. ... The truck driver has been charged with 15 offences including two counts of culpable driving, two counts of dangerous driving causing death and two counts of negligently causing serious injury. He is also facing charges of dangerous driving causing serious injury, reckless conduct endangering life and serious injury, and exceeding the prescribed concentration of drugs while driving. ..." — [abc]. (In a 1991 report (#18) muarc found that "... crash-involved [truck] drivers had poor coping behaviours in relation to driver fatigue but rated their ability in this area highly ... about a quarter of the drivers took pills to stay awake ..." — [www].)

19 November 2018: "Ford drivers whose [EcoBoost] cars have burst into flames say they are still being passed to their insurers, despite claims the company investigates them all itself. ..." — [bbc].
.au, recall PRA #2017/16003, Ford 1.6L EcoBoost Kuga and Fiesta ST: "localised overheating of the engine cylinder head, due to a lack of coolant circulation, may cause the cylinder head to crack, causing an oil leak. ... may result in a fire ..." — .gov.au [www].

19 November 2018: Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested on financial misconduct charges, e.g., [bbc][21/11].

17-18 November 2018: Bendigo Swap Meet [www].

17 November 2018: "Banking royal commission: What you need to know about the final round of hearings ..." — [abc]. "The Commonwealth Bank's [CBA's] relatively new chief executive, Matt Comyn, has laid blame for the mis-selling of consumer credit insurance firmly at the feet of his predecessor, Ian Narev. ..." — [20/11]. "... CBA chairman [Catherine] Livingstone answers for the bank's remuneration breakdown ..." — [22/11].

November 2018: Aston Martin released details of testing its future SUV(!), the Aston Martin 'DBX', which "is scheduled to be unveiled in the last quarter of 2019 and will be built at Aston Martin Lagonda's St Athan facility [Wales]" [www].

15 Nov Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.33); oil us$57/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.56, €0.64, ¥83

15 November 2018, .uk brexit: "The cabinet has backed a draft withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU, Theresa May has said. ... There is also a planned 21-month transition period after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 ..." — [bbc].  And, "Policy paper. Progress on the UK's exit from, and future relationship with, the European Union ..." — .gov.uk [www].

14 November 2018: "In-car pollution equivalent to passively smoking ... The levels of air pollution drivers experience while stuck in traffic jams is 140% worse than it is for pedestrians outside - and is equivalent to passively smoking a couple of cigarettes. ..." — RAC [www].

14 November 2018: "... Emden and Hanover will be transformed into production sites for electric vehicles. ... will form the largest network for the production of electric vehicles in Europe ..." — VW [www] and [2].

13 November 2018: "World Energy Outlook 2018 ... In power markets, renewables have become the technology of choice, making up almost two-thirds of global capacity additions to 2040, thanks to falling costs and supportive government policies. ..." — International Energy Agency (IEA) [www]; weo2018 [www].

11 Nov Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.32); oil us$60/b
9 Nov Fri au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.55, €0.64, ¥83

11 November 2018: Rememberance Day and, this year, the 100th anniversary of the end of hostilities of World War One. (E.g., see wikipedia [www].)

11 November 2018 (#20/21): Brazilian F1 Grand Prix, Sao Paulo.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. Mercedes secured the F1 Constructors World Championship. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

11 November 2018: "California wildfires: 250,000 flee monster flames ravaging state ..." — [bbc].

11 November 2018: Historic Commercial Vehicle Club display, Yarra Glen, Vic., [www].

9-11 November 2018: Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham, uk [www]. And auction [www]; lot 336 a 1987 Ferrari Testarossa, engine #333, chassis #ZFFAA17C000070397, sold for £100,688.

9 November 2018, usa: "... former US marine Ian Long entered a country and western bar in Thousand Oaks (Ca) on Wednesday night and killed 12 people, including a sheriff's deputy. More than two dozen were wounded. ..." The G [www].

6 Nov Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.52/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.60/l, min $1.43); oil us$63/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.55, €0.63, ¥82

6 November 2018 (Tues): Melbourne Cup – won by 'Cross Counter'.

5 November 2018, .uk: The Donington Park Collection museum of Grand Prix cars closed.

4 November 2018 (Sun.): London to Brighton [www].

3 November 2018: "A truck driver is expected to be charged over a head-on crash [2/11] which killed a mother and her son, and left the father, and the couple's baby and toddler fighting for their lives. Police said the truck was travelling on the wrong side of the Murray Valley Highway at Brimin, near Rutherglen, about 300km north-east of Melbourne ..." — [abc]. (Also see 19 Nov. above.)

3 November 2018 (Sat.): Regents Street Motor Show, London [www].

2 November 2018: Bonhams London to Brighton Run auction [www]. Lot 311 a 1903 Darracq 24hp Model JJ rear-entrance Tonneau, reg. #DE 11, chassis #4294, sold for £599,640. Also see 4 Nov..

1 November 2018: "JLR uses predictive technology to reduce motion-sickness risk ... to help reduce vehicle motion sickness by up to 60%. ..." — SAE [www].

1 Nov Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.59/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.57/l, min $1.41); oil us$66/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.56, €0.63, ¥80

1 November 2018: "Parts of Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales are set to swelter through record-breaking temperatures this week ... A series of early season records have already been broken in Queensland and the Northern Territory, and more are set to go. ..." — [abc]. Also see heatwave [www] at the [bom].


31 October 2018: "... Today, more than 77% of land (excluding Antarctica) and 87% of the ocean has been modified by the direct effects of human activities ... 20 countries contain 94% of the world's remaining wilderness (excluding the high seas and Antarctica). More than 70% is in just five countries – Russia, Canada, Australia, the United States and Brazil ..." — 'Protect the last of the wild,' J. E. M. Watson et al, Nature, 563, pp.27-30, Oct. 2019 [www].

31 October 2018, .uk: "Jaguar Land Rover makes loss as sales slide 13% ... The firm blamed lower sales in China for the decline, as well as uncertainty in Europe over diesel and Brexit. ..." — [bbc].

30 October - 2 November 2018: SEMA show, Las Vegas [www].

29 October 2018: "Rheinmetall Defence Australia has announced its first major Australian supplier contract for the production of its 211 Boxer 8x8 Combat Reconnaissance Vehicles for the Australian Army. Melbourne-based specialist vehicles company, Supacat Asia Pacific, has signed a partnership agreement with Rheinmetall for the design and manufacture of sub-systems for the Australian fleet of Boxer armoured vehicles. ..." — .gov.au [www].

28 October 2018: "High-profile automotive engineer and designer Prof. Gordon Murray is utterly confident of the potential for his company's latest iStream Superlight manufacturing system ... The forthcoming (2019) production V8 TVR Griffith sports car uses iStream technology ..." — SAE [www].

28 October 2018 (#19/21): Mexican F1 Grand Prix, Mexico City.
Results: 1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) would very probably have finished 2nd but for an 8th mechanical retirement – on lap 62. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) finished 4th but this was enough for him to win his fifth F1 Drivers World Championship. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)
27 Oct Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.64/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.40); oil us$68/b
26 Oct Fri au$1.00=us$0.70, £0.55, €0.62, ¥79

25 October 2018, .uk: "British car manufacturing declines -16.8% in September, with 127,051 units produced. ... capping off a turbulent first three quarters as global trade tensions, model changes and uncertainty over diesel and Brexit were exacerbated by testing backlogs due to new emissions regulations. ..." — SMMT [www].

23 October 2018: "For more than two decades, residents of Melbourne's inner west have been fighting a losing battle to get trucks off their streets. So the thought that Melbourne's freight load could triple by 2050 is, quite simply, horrifying to them. ..." — [abc].

22 October 2018: "... RACV alongside motoring clubs across Australia (NRMA, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT) ... has invested in Chargefox to build ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at 21 locations around Australia. ..." — RACV [www].

22 October 2018: "Singapore flying taxi trial set to begin in the second half of 2019 ..." — [abc].

October 2018: 'Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) on the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 ...', "... As a Freedom of Information release in January 2016 showed, more than 60 Federal and State Government Departments and agencies as well as several Councils and even greyhound racing organisations have made a request to access metadata. ..." — Communications Alliance [pdf] at [www].

22 Oct Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.58/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.42); oil us$69/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.54, €0.62, ¥80
21 October 2018 (#18/21): USA F1 Grand Prix, Austin.
Results: 1. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]; 2. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]. A good race. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

19 October 2018, .au: "A company given millions of taxpayer dollars to cull the devastating crown-of-thorns starfish on the Great Barrier Reef altered a scientific report about the 'poor management' of its own program, an ABC investigation can reveal. ..." — [abc].

19 October 2018, .uk: "MPs call for ban on petrol and diesel car sales by 2032 ..." The G [www].

18 October 2018: "#TestingAutomation ... Euro NCAP puts automated driving technology to the test ... Cut-in and cut-out scenarios are the most challenging of Euro NCAP's tests and all of the cars were found to be seriously lacking. None of the systems were able to help and crashes could only be avoided if an alert driver braked or steered away from trouble. ..." — Euro NCAP [www].

18 October 2018: "Recall PRA #2018/17095, 18MY Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, 18-19MY Mitsubishi ASX, 17-18MY Mitsubishi Outlander ... Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM) ... automatically applying the brakes to avoid collision or reduce impact. Due to incorrect operation of the software, the FCM system may continue to apply the brakes even though it is no longer necessary to avoid a collision or reduce impact. ..." — .gov.au [www].

18 October 2018: "Hail storm kills 400 kangaroos and 150 goats on properties in far-west New South Wales ..." — [abc].

17 Oct Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.52/l; min $1.45 ([Perth] avg $1.63/l, min $1.44); oil us$72/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.54, €0.62, ¥80

October 2018: 'Road Congestion in Australia', "... Over this report's 5.5-year reference period (1 January 2013 to 30 June 2018), average driving speeds have declined markedly in Australia's capital cities. Speeds in Sydney and Brisbane fell by 3.6% and 3.7% respectively. In Melbourne, the slow-down was even worse - 8.2%. ..." — Australian Automobile Association (AAA), pdf@[www]. (Also see the [abc].)

14 October 2018: "Storm Callum: One killed as Wales suffers 'worst flooding for 30 years' ..." — [bbc].

13 October 2018: "Kakadu Highway site of nine road fatalities in seven months ..." — [abc].

13 Oct Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.53/l; min $1.46 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.48); oil us$71/b
12 Oct Fri au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.54, €0.61, ¥80

13 October 2018, .uk: "Incentives for consumers to buy hybrid and electric cars rather than diesel or petrol alternatives have been slashed by the government ..." the G [www].

October 2018: 'Vera' is Volvo truck's experimental, electric, autonomous semi-trailer (artic.) – [www].

12-14 October 2018: Autoclassica, Royal Exhibition Building, Mebourne [www].

12 October 2018: The 2019 F1 calendar, and a handful of rule changes, were approved by the World Motor Sport Council — the FIA [www].

11 October 2018: Hurricane 'Michael' hit NW Florida, e.g., [bbc].

10 October 2018: "Drivers distracted every 96 seconds - first findings from the Australian Naturalistic Driving Study ... drivers are distracted for 45% of the time behind the wheel. ..." — MUARC [www]. The study: [www]. "About 1,300 people die and 33,000 more are seriously injured each year on Australian roads ..."  Also see 20 Dec. above.

10 October 2018: A prediction about the end of car ownership and of the car as we know it, "Why you have (probably) already bought your last car ..." — J. Rowlatt, [bbc].

9 October 2018: "Increased potential for warmer and drier than average conditions as Bureau raises ENSO Outlook to 'El Nino Alert' ..." — [bom]. Also see the [abc].

9 October 2018: "'You can't keep arguing this is just a cycle': Farmers struggling to manage impacts of climate change ... doesn't expect anyone will be farming his 6,000-acre property near Goondiwindi in the future. ..." — [abc].

8 October 2018: 'The outlook shows fewer tropical cyclones than usual are likely in the Australian region this season. ... "On average Australia sees 11 cyclones in its region in every season with 4 coastal crossings and we've never had a season on record without at least one cyclone crossing the coast," ...' — [www] at [bom].

8 October 2018: "... IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels ..." — [www]. "... we are already seeing the consequences of 1°C of global warming through more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes ... Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching 'net zero' around 2050. ..." Also see the [abc], [bbc] and the G [www]. But oh dear [9/10]. (Note, we are currently on track for +3°C to +4°C by 2100.)

8 October 2018: Morgan (uk) announced "'110 Anniversary' models ahead of their 110th anniversary in 2019 ..." — [www].

7 Oct Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.54/l; min $1.46 ([Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.41); oil us$74/b
5 Oct Fri au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.54, €0.61, ¥80

7 October 2018, .au: Bathurst 1000 [www]. 1. Craig Lowndes & Steven Richards (Holden Commodore); 2. Scott Pye & Warren Luff (Holden Commodore); 3. Scott McLaughlin & Alexandre Premat (Ford Falcon). Also see the [abc].

7 October 2018 (#17/21): Japanese F1 Grand Prix, Suzuka. 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Max Verstappen [Red Bull] – a cruise for 1st and 2nd but action behind them. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

7 October 2018 (Sun.), .au: Daylight Saving begins in some states (clocks forward 1hr at 2am→3am) [.gov.au].

6-7 October 2018: Melbourne Society of Model and Experimental Engineers Exhibition, South Oakleigh [www].

5 October 2018: "Toyota [Prius & Auris] car fault prompts massive recall ..." — [bbc].

5 October 2018: Bonhams Zoute Sale [www], including lot 41 a 1962 Aston Martin DB4 'Series V' Vantage Sports Saloon, chassis #DB4/1133/L (sold €1,121,250), lot 49 a 1936 Bentley 41/4-litre Cabriolet, chassis #B260GA (sold €408,250).

4-14 October 2018: Paris Motor Show (press 2nd, 3rd) [www].

4-7 October 2018: Melbourne Leisurefest, Sandown racecourse (RVs, caravans, camping ...) [www].

4 October 2018: "Broken Hill has received more rain in one evening than the whole year combined, with 34.2 millimetres of rain lashing the city overnight. ... The Central Darling Shire Council has announced road closures across several roads in the region. ..." — [abc]. Also see the Road Condition Report, [www].

2 Oct Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.61/l; min $1.46 ([Perth] avg $1.61/l, min $1.39); oil us$75/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.55, €0.62, ¥82

1-5 October 2018: First joint session of the Working Group I, II and III and the 48th Session of the IPCC, Incheon, Republic of Korea, [www]. "... meeting ... to consider its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C ... pursuing efforts to limit [warming] to 1.5°C. ..." — [www]. (Also see 8 Oct. above.)

1 October 2018: "Ford has offered to refund thousands of pounds to customers whose [EcoBoost] engines have failed, following a BBC investigation. ..." — [bbc].

1 October 2018: "'Switch-off sunglasses' block out screens ..." — [bbc].

1 October 2018: "South Australia is officially in drought, according to the State Government. ..." — [abc].


September 2018: 'Vehicle Safety Ratings Estimated from Police-Reported Crash Data, 2018 update,' report #335, "... Crashworthiness estimates and their associated confidence limits were obtained for 681 vehicle models classified into ten market groups. ... Accurate vehicle primary safety ratings were estimated for 275 makes and models of vehicle ..." — MUARC [www].

30 September 2018 (#16/21): Russian F1 Grand Prix, Sochi.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

29 September 2018: "Toyota UK has told the BBC a no-deal Brexit would temporarily halt output at its plant in Burnaston, near Derby. ..." — [bbc].

28-29 September 2018 (Fri., S.): Deniliqin Ute Muster [www].

28 September 2018, .uk: Truck "Driver smashes into car as he checks his phone ... jailed for five years for causing the death of ..." — [bbc].

28 September 2018: An earthquake struck off the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, and triggered a tsunami.
"At least 832 people were killed ... 7.5-magnitude ..." — [bbc].

28 Sep Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.64/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.54/l, min $1.39)
27 Sep Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.65/l; min $1.44; oil us$72/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.55, €0.62, ¥81

27 September 2018: "... Figures from the Australian Institute of Petroleum, released by CommSec, show that average pump prices for unleaded petrol hit four-month highs near 153 cents a litre last week. ..." — [abc].

25 September 2018: "[Brent] Oil prices have hit a four-year high of over [us]$81 a barrel ..." — [bbc].

25 September 2018: "... The 4-door JLTV will be outfitted with the Kongsberg Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS) with the Javelin Integration Kit (JIK) and .50 Caliber Machine Gun. The 2-door variant will house the Boeing Compact Laser[!] Weapon System (CLWS) and Kongsberg CROWS Low-Profile Remote Weapon Station (RWS) with a .50 Caliber Machine Gun. ..." — Oshkosh [www].

24 September 2018: "The Szorenyi rotary engine prototype uses a hinged rhombus rotor instead of the three-sided rotor found in traditional Wankel rotary engines. ..." — SAE [www]. Also see reda@[www].

23 September 2018, recall PRA #2018/17023: "BMW E53 X5 4WD Wagon ... Due to a possible mismatch of software and hardware within the airbag control, the front airbags may be activated whilst parking the vehicle. ..." — .gov.au [www]. That would give you a surprise.

22 Sep Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.39 ([Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.41); oil us$71/b
21 Sep Fri au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.55, €0.62, ¥82

22 September - 2 October 2018: The Royal Show, Melbourne [www].

21 September 2018: "A massive gold nugget worth at least $110,000 has been uncovered by a prospector in remote Western Australia. ..." — [abc].

19 September 2018, .uk: "Rule out 'no-deal' Brexit now, negotiators urged, as SMMT warns £5bn tariffs threat just tip of iceberg for auto sector ..." — SMMT [www].

18 September 2018: "Audi unveils production version of first-ever EV: e-tron ..." — SAE [www]. us$75K to $87K, 95kWh battery. Also see VW [www].

17 Sep Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.36); oil us$69/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.55, €0.62, ¥80

17 September 2018, .au: "AMP has admitted that it continues to deduct life insurance premiums from deceased customers' superannuation. ..." — [abc].

17 September 2018: "Typhoon Mangkhut: South China battered by deadly storm ..." — [bbc].

17 September 2018: "Wilmington cut off from North Carolina by [Hurricane] Florence flooding ..." The G. [www].

16 September 2018 (#15/21): Singapore F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. (Also see the FAI [www] and the [bbc].)

13 September 2018: "The UK's bulk interception powers, exposed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, have been found to be illegal by the European Court of Human Rights. ..." — [bbc].

7-9 September 2018: Goodwood Revival [www]
8 September, Bonhams auction [www], including lot 256 a 1990 Jaguar XJR-11 Group C Sports Prototype chassis #490 (sold £1,191,000); lot 308 a 1961 Bentley S2 Continental Sport Saloon, chassis #BC15CZ (sold £216,200), that James Bond would have liked.

5 September 2018, .uk: "UK new car market rises in August as one in 12 buyers goes electric ..." — SMMT [www].

5 September 2018: RM Sotheby's London auction, Battersea [www], including lot 156 a 2003 Ferrari Enzo (sold £1,973,750).

4-6 September 2018: Land Forces 2018, Adelaide Convention Centre, Australia (not open to the general public) [www].

2 September 2018 (#14/21): Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]; 3. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]. Quite an exciting race. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)
31 Aug Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.28 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.32); oil us$70/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.56, €0.62, ¥81

30 August - 1 September 2018, .uk: Salon Prive, Blenheim Palace [www].

30 August 2018: "Spring outlook shows dry conditions likely to continue ... spring rainfall is likely to be below-average for much of mainland Australia ... Daytime temperatures ... are expected to be warmer-than-average ..." — [bom]. Also see the [abc].

30 August 2018: "Giant dams proposed for northern Australia could support year-round irrigation ..." — [abc].

29 August 2018: 'Jaguar Land Rover makes eye contact with new AV research ... "We want to know if it is beneficial to provide humans with information about a vehicle's intentions ..." ...' — SAE [www].

29 August 2018: "Aston Martin to sell shares on the London stock market ..." — [bbc].

28 August 2018, .au: "Americana collection to go under hammer [in October] as collector calls it quits on classic cars ..." — [abc].

28 Aug Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.34); oil us$69/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.57, €0.63, ¥82

26 August 2018: Pebble Beach, Concours d'Elegance [www].

26 August 2018 (#13/21): Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps.
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 2. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 3. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

26 August 2018: SSC North America revealed details of its 'Tuatara' "supercar" near to release, [www].

25 August 2018, .au: "Lawyers for the banking royal commission have recommended the Commonwealth Bank [CBA] and the National Australia Bank [NAB] face criminal charges over their treatment of superannuation customers. ..." — [abc].

24-25 August 2018: RM Sotheby's Monterey Auction [www] (was [www]) including lot 124 a 1966 Ford GT40 MkII, chassis #P/1016, engine #HA 1697, 3rd at Le Mans 1966 (GT40s finished 1-2-3, sold us$9,795,000); lot 141 the one-off 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype, chassis #DP215, engine #400/215/01 (sold us$21,455,000), and lot 247 a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis #3413, engine #3413 (sold us$48,405,000).

August 2018: 1963 Ferrari 275 P, chassis #0816, engine #0816, won Le Mans in 1963 and 1964 — RM private sales [www].

24 August 2018, .au: Agitation by its right – esp. by Peter Dutton and Tony kill-Malcolm Abbott – caused the Liberal party to dump Malcolm no-banking-royal-commission Turnbull as leader; it then elected Scott lump-of-coal Morrison (45 votes), not Peter Dutton (40), as leader and hence Prime Minister.

24 August 2018: Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction, Monterey [www], including lot 20 a 1928 Bentley 61/2-liter 6-cyl., open sports tourer, chassis #BR2354, engine #BR2361 (sold us$1,655,000); lot 50 a 1931 Bentley 8-litre sohc 6-cyl. saloon, chassis #YX 5113, engine #YX 5115 (not sold); lot 70 a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, chassis #3337GT, engine #3337GT (not sold).

23 Aug Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.35 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.29); oil us$69/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.57, €0.63, ¥81

21 August 2018: "[The US] brings in a 25% tax on a second wave of [Chinese] goods worth $16bn (£12.4bn). ... China immediately imposed retaliatory taxes on the same value of US products. ..." — [bbc].

21 August 2018: "Truck driver charged after Corrigin crash killed mother, 10yo boy ..." — [www].

20 August 2018: Dave's funniest joke of the (Edinburgh) Fringe [www] [www] is Adam Rowe's, "Working at the Jobcentre has to be a tense job - knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the next day."

20 August 2018, recall PRA #2018/16939: "2018 (KL) Jeep Cherokee (AWD) ... A fault with the halfshaft assembly ... resulting in loss of power if driving or the inability of the vehicle to maintain PARK if stationary. ..." — .gov.au [www].

20 August 2018: "Ford is shifting from nine global platforms to five flexible vehicle architectures ..." — SAE [www].

19 August 2018, Melbourne: Max 11°C, "Snow possible above 500 metres", [bom][19/8].

August 2018: The 'Sion' small electric car by sonomotors, "€16,000 excluding the battery" (+rent or buy for ~€4K), has a range of "250km" and is covered in solar cells which "under proper[!] conditions ... generate enough energy, to cover [an extra] 30km per day". Available 2019. See sonomotors [www].

18 Aug Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.41 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.32); oil us$66/b
17 Aug Fri au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.57, €0.64, ¥81

18 August 2018 (Sat.): Henley on Todd "Regatta", Alice Springs, NT, .au [www].

17-19 August 2018, .au: National 4x4 Show Melbourne Showgrounds [www].

16 August 2018, NSW: "A large, out-of-control bushfire continued to burn near Bega on Wednesday evening ... Two other fires – in Budawang National Park near Ulladulla and Nowra ..." — [abc].  Winter it may be but all of NSW is in drought. And, "Victoria warned to brace for worst fire season in a decade ..." — [2].
14 Aug Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.55/l; min $1.44 ([Perth] avg $1.53/l, min $1.30); oil us$67/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.57, €0.64, ¥81

14 Augsut 2018: Fernando Alonso (37) announced that he would quit F1 at the end of the 2018 season. He won the driver's world championship in 2005 and 2006 while at Renault but his 2015+ stint at McLaren has been plagued by engine problems.

14 August 218: "Security researchers have identified a speculative execution side-channel method called L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF). ..." — Intel [www]. This security flaw affects 2015+ Intel processors. Also  see the [bbc].

8 August 2018, .au: CSIRO has "developed a metal membrane to extract pure hydrogen from ammonia ... [Hydrogen] is notoriously difficult to transport. ... [The] research addresses the conversion of ammonia back to high-purity hydrogen at, or near, the point of use. ..." — CSIRO [www].  And in the news [abc].

8 Aug Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.32); oil us$69/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.57, €0.64, ¥83

8 August 2018: "California's biggest wildfire on record is expected to burn for the rest of the month ..." — [bbc].

6 August 2018: "We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a 'Hothouse Earth' pathway even as human emissions are reduced. ..." — 'Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene,' W. Steffen et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., [www]. (Also see [www], The G. [www] and the [bbc].)

4 August 2018: The late Donald Campbell's (1921-1967) hydroplane 'Bluebird' (K7), recovered from the depths of Coniston Water (2001) and now restored, was refloated at Loch Fad, Isle of Bute — Bluebird Project [www].

4 August 2018: "China warns of tariffs on imported US goods worth $60bn ..." The G [www].

3 Aug Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.31); oil us$69/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.57, €0.64, ¥82

3 August 2018: Daniel Ricciardo announced that he would leave the Red Bull F1 team at the end of 2018 to join Renault for 2019, e.g., the [abc].

3 August 2018, .au: Vehicle sales experienced a "7.8 per cent decline in sales during July 2018 compared with July 2017 ... total sales of 85,551, down from 92,754 for the same month in 2017. ..." — FCAI [www].

2 August 2018: "Hottest July on record for much of Queensland prompts warnings of more to come ..." — [abc].  And, "... 2018 is the second driest autumn on record ..." — [6/8].

1 August 2018, .au: "A truck driver has been charged after a fiery crash on the M1 north of Sydney killed two people [and] severely injured five others ..." — [abc].


30 July 2018: "California's deadliest current wildfire [in Shasta County] is getting larger, officials warn, despite thousands of firefighters battling it. ..." — [bbc].

29 July 2018, .au: EarthCruiser released details of the "Earthcruiser Mercedes-Benz G-Pro, Escape, based on the 'Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon'" – a 3-berth 4x4 camper [www]. The compay also builds campers on Fuso, Isuzu and Iveco trucks, and on the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U430 which spends even more of the kids' inheritance.

29 July Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.29); oil us$69/b
27 July Fri au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.56, €0.63, ¥82
29 July 2018 (#12/21): Hungarian F1 Grand Prix, Budapest.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. In the Drivers' F1 World Championship, Hamilton 213 points, Vettel 189, Raikkonen 146. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

27-29 July 2018: Land Rover Show at Kelmarsh Hall, .uk [www].

27 July 2018: "Map of Indigenous massacres grows to include more sites of violence across Australia ... 250 sites have been documented across almost every state and territory. ..." — [abc]. See the map and information at the 'Centre for 21st Century Humanities' [www].

26 July 2018: "A video has appeared on Facebook showing a Victorian truck driver having a 'breakfast' of what appear to be illegal drugs in the cabin of a big rig. ..." — [abc].

26 July 2018: "The current heatwave could become the new normal for UK summers by 2040 because of climate change, MPs warn. ..." — [bbc].

24-28 July 2018: The War and Peace Revival, Kent, uk [www].

24 July Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.52/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.32); oil us$70/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.56, €0.63, ¥82

23 Jul 2918, .uk: "Full-fibre broadband should be fitted as standard in all new homes, the government has said. ... [and] all of the UK will have full-fibre broadband coverage by 2033, replacing the copper wire network ..." — [bbc].

22 July 2018 (#11/21): German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. Rain periods spiced the race up as they always do. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

20-22 July 2018: Silverstone Classic, uk [www].

20 July 2018, .au: "Bank-run super customers left behind, no retail funds make the 'top 10' ... The top performers are all industry-run growth funds ..." — [abc].

19 July Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.56/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.51/l, min $1.36); oil us$69/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.57, €0.64, ¥84

2018, .uk: "... In 1950 fewer than 20% of households owned a car. By the mid 1970s as many households had a car as did not and today 74% of households have at least one car. ... The 'baby boomers' who are entering retirement now have higher car ownership levels than previous cohorts and drive more. ... Whereas in 1993 55% of 17-20 year old males held a licence this is now 33% with the corresponding figures for women being 42% and 29%. ..." — The Commission on Travel Demand, [pdf] at [www]..

16-22 July 2018: Farnborough International Air Show, [www].

July 2018: Aston Martin released pretty pictures of the VTOL light aircraft 'Volante Vision Concept ... personal air mobility ... room for three adults ... flying autonomous hybrid-electric vehicle' — see A.M. [www]. (Also see the [bbc][18/7].)

16 July 2918: Larry Perkins, the ex F1 and V8 Supercar driver, has found equipment that was dumped to lighten loads from Henry Barclay's 1904 expedition to the Simpson Desert – as reported in the [abc].

16 July 2018, .au: "My Health Record opt-out period begins ... From today, people who do not want their medical records stored on the national electronic database will have three months to opt out. ..." — [abc].
"How can I opt out? There are three key ways: By visiting [www.myhealthrecord.gov.au] and opting out using the online portal. Over the phone by calling 1800 723 471. Or on paper by completing a form and returning it by mail. Forms will be available in 2,385 rural and remote Australia Post outlets, through 146 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and in 136 prisons. ..." — [abc].
14 July Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.33); oil us$71/b
13 July Fri au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.56, €0.64, ¥83

13 July 2018: "Opener unveils zero-emission, all-electric personal aerial vehicle ... Opener's BlackFly is the world's first ultralight, all-electric, fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. ..." — SAE [www].

12-15 July 2018: Goodwood Festival of Speed [www].
13 July, Bonhams auction [www], including lot 341 a 1968 Jensen FF Mk1 coupe (4WD), chassis #119/022 (not sold); lot 336 "2 VEV", a 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato (sold £10,081,500), lot 359 a 1931 Bentley 4 1/2-litre supercharged tourer, chassis #SM 3925, engine #SM 3928 (sold £2,017,500), and lot 370 the 1965 Aston Martin DB5, chassis #DB5/1885/R, driven by James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) in the 1995 motion picture 'GoldenEye' (sold £1,961,500).

12 July 2018: "Oil prices suffered steep falls on Wednesday after Libya said it would boost supply, even as investors fear that trade tensions will hit demand. ..." — [bbc].

12 July 2018: "Global investors rattled as all-out trade war moves step closer ..." The G [www].

10-12 July 2018: Birdsville Big Red Bash Music Festival [www].

10 July 2018: The RACV's annual report [www] on the cost of motoring shows, for example, that the cost of running a Suzuki Swift is $118, a Toyota Camry SL V6 $253, and a Toyota Landcruiser GXL $386 per week, for five years of ownership.

9 July 2018: "Nearly four years after Qantas Founders Museum acquired their Lockheed Super Constellation in Manila, Philippines, the external restoration of the aircraft to the original Qantas livery in Longreach is now complete. ..." — [www] at QFM [www].

9 July 2018: "Nissan admits falsifying emissions tests in Japan ..." — [bbc].

9 Jul Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.32 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.31); oil us$74/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.56, €0.63, ¥82

9 July 2018: "New homes in England could be required to be fitted with electric car charging points, under proposals announced by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. ..." — [bbc].

8 July 2018 (#10/21): British F1 Grand Prix, Silverstone.
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 2. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. Hamilton (P1) made a bad start and a collision at turn three with Raikkonen (who was given a 10s penalty) further dropped him to last place; his progress back to 2nd made for some interest. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

7 July 2018 (Sat.): International Air Day, Yeovilton, Somerset, .uk [www].

5 July 2018, .uk: "... UK new car market declines by moderate -3.5% to 234,945 registrations. ... Strong growth for petrols and plug-ins can't offset heavy diesel declines, with demand down -28.2% as buyers hesitate. Year-to-date market falls -6.3% ..." — SMMT [www].

5 July 2018: "Jaguar Land Rover's £80bn UK investment plan at risk after hard Brexit ..." The G [www].

5 July 2018: In the Atherton Tablelands, "Melting bitumen leaves motorists 'sinking' into Queensland road, destroys tyres ..." — [abc].

5 July 2018, .au: "Hottest financial year [July – June] on record BOM data shows ..." — [abc].

4 Jul Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.55/l, min $1.32); oil us$74/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.56, €0.63, ¥82

4 July 2018: "Audi confirms e-tron EV to use cameras instead of side mirrors ..." — SAE [www]. (Where approved.) Also see Audi [www].

2 July 2018: "UK weather: Heatwave to continue for another two weeks ... BBC forecaster Gemma Plumb said England and Wales saw temperatures of between 25°C and 29°C while Scotland and Northern Ireland reached between 20°C and 24°C. ..." — [bbc]. The poor poms.

1 July 2018 (#9/21): Austrian F1 Grand Prix, Spielberg.
Results: 1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]; 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. Both Mercedes retired with (different) mechanical problems. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

June 2018: "BP has entered into an agreement to buy Chargemaster - the operator of the UK's largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network ... Figures from BP's Energy Outlook 2018 estimates there will be twelve million electric vehicles on the UK roads by 2040 ..." — BP [www].

30 June 2018: "Australia's iconic stock routes are languishing after years of neglect and are in danger of being privatised, drovers and ecologists warn. ..." — [abc].

29 June - 1 July 2018: Tankfest 2018 [www], Bovington Tank Museum, uk.

29 June 2018: "Electric car buyers claim they were misled by Nissan ... They say charging the Leaf can take three times longer than claimed on Nissan's website. ..." — [bbc].

29 June 2018: "... increased [US] import tariffs could lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and abroad for this iconic American company, and risk less - not more - U.S. jobs. ..." — General Motors in Comments on U.S. Section 232 National Security Investigation of Imports of Automobiles and Automotive Parts, Inv. No. DOC-2018-0002, [www].

29 June Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.52/l; min $1.39 ([Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.32); oil us$73/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.56, €0.63, ¥82

29 June 2018, .au: "BAE Systems beats Spanish and Italian designs for $35 billion warship building program ... nine high-tech, anti-submarine frigates ... will begin construction in Adelaide in 2020 ..." — [abc]. Also see .gov.au [www].

28 June 2018: Australia's Best Cars 2018, e.g., 4x4 dual cab 1. Ford Ranger XLT 3.2 $60.5K, 2. VW Amarok TD1420 Core $51.7K, 3. Toyota Hilux SR5 $61.2K, etc. — RACV [www].

28 June 2018: "Volvo Trucks [and] FedEx demonstrate a 3-truck platoon on North Carolina highway ..." — SAE [www].

28 June 2018: "The Tarn Shelf in Tasmania's Mount Field National Park is a window to the Cretaceous Period ..." — Ann Jones, 'Off Track', [abc].

28 June 2018: "The rate of road death in the Northern Territory has eclipsed that of every other Australian jurisdiction every year for more than 20 years. ..." — [abc].

28 June 2018, .uk: "Ticketmaster has admitted that it has suffered a security breach ..." — [bbc]. Users may be at risk of identity theft frauds.

26 June 2018, .uk: "... Brexit uncertainty thwarting investment as SMMT repeats call for customs union membership. ..." — SMMT [www].

26 June 2018: 'Donald Trump has said Harley-Davidsons should "never" be built abroad ...' — [bbc]. Harley-Davidson had revealed plans to move some production to Europe because the EU put tariffs on some US imports in resonse to Trump's tariffs on some EU imports.

25 June 2018, recall PRA #2018/16841: "Automobili Lamborghini SpA - Aventador Coupe and Roadster ... The engine in affected vehicles may stall without warning under certain driving conditions ... arrange for an appointment with an authorised Lamborghini dealer for an engine software update. ..." — .gov.au [www]. None are immune.

25 June 2018, recall PRA #2018/16849: "FCA Australia Pty Ltd - 2014-2018 (KL) Jeep Cherokee. Computer software for the Power Control Module (PCM) is faulty. In certain circumstances this may affect cruise control and the possible locking of speed or cause acceleration of the vehicle. ..." — .gov.au [www].

24 June 2018, .au: Lake Eyre is about 40% full, e.g., [abc].

24 June 2018: From this day, women in Saudi Arabia were officially allowed to drive. A long way to go: Several women's rights activists are in prison. E.g., see the [bbc].

24 June Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.58/l; min $1.39 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.35); oil us$69/b
22 June Fri au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.56, €0.64, ¥81
24 June 2018 (#8/21): French F1 Grand Prix, Le Castellet.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

24 June 2018: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb [www]. The electric Volkswagen ID R, driven by Romain Dumas, set a new outright record of 7 min 57.148 secs. The previous record of 8:13.878 was set by Sebastian Loeb in 2013 driving a Peugeot 208 T16. Paving the road was completed in 2012.

24 June 2018: Simply Land-Rover, Beaulieu Motor Museum, .uk [www].

June 2018: Suzuki released details of the new (4th-generation) Suzuki Jimny 4x4, still with a chassis, part-time 4WD with low range, a bit squarer than the previous model, [www].

June 2018: "... Recently a number of crocodiles have been trapped in the Mary River, just 105 kilometres north of Noosa and 250km south of their usual range. Irukandji jellyfish too, appear to be expanding south, with 10 suspected stings near Fraser Island and a child stung at Mooloolaba last year. ..." — [abc].

23 June 2018: "Trump threatens car tariffs after EU sets up £2.5bn of levies on US ..." The G [www].

21 June 2018: "Astro Aerospace, a Northrop Grumman Corp. business ... is partnering with carbon composite manufacturer Paterson Composites in Toronto to build components for its new, state-of-the-art, autonomous aerial transport vehicle, the Astro Aerospace Passenger Drone. ..." — SAE [www].

19 June 2018: "The U.S. Marine Corps has awarded BAE Systems a $198 million contract to deliver an initial 30 Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV), with options for a total of 204 vehicles which could be worth up to $1.2 billion. ... with teammate Iveco Defence Vehicles ... 8x8 open ocean-capable vehicle that is equipped with a new 6-cylinder, 700HP engine" — BAE [www].

19 June 2018: Red Bull F1 (Aston Martin Red Bull Racing) announced that they would switch from Renault engines to Honda in 2019, [www]. Toro Rosso have been using Honda engines in 2018. McLaren switched from Honda to Renault for 2018.

19 June Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.38 ([Perth] avg $1.57/l, min $1.36); oil us$65/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.56, €0.64, ¥81

19 June 2018, .au: "The Bureau's ENSO Outlook has been upgraded from INACTIVE to El Nino WATCH. ..." — [bom]. Also see the [abc][20/6].

18 June 2018: "The chief executive of German carmaker Audi, Rupert Stadler, has been arrested in connection with an investigation into the diesel emissions scandal. ... The [cheat] devices were initially found in VW's cars, but its Audi subsidiary has also been embroiled in the scandal. ..." — [bbc] and [22/6]. VW [www].

16-17 June 2018: 86th Le Mans 24-hour race [www]. 1. Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi & Kazuki Nakajima (Toyota) 388 laps, 5,288.666 km); 2. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi & Jose Maria Lopez (Toyota) 386 laps; 3. Mathias Beche, Thomas Laurent & Gustavo Menezes (Rebellion Racing, R13-Gibson) 376 laps. (Also see the FIA [www].)  And, "... the hydrogen fuel cell is the ACO's next target, with the introduction of a special class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2024 ..." — Automobile Club de l'Ouest [www][15/5].

16 June 2018: "The central Australian outback was once home to a large flightless bird thought to be the largest bird ever to walk the planet. The goose-like Dromornis stirtoni is thought to have stood about three metres tall and weighed up to 650 kilograms ... More is being discovered about this giant, flightless creature from extensive digs at a the fossil-rich Alcoota site, 200 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs. ..." — [abc].

15 June 2018: "A historic outback Queensland pub has been gutted after being engulfed by flames last night. ..." — [abc].

14 June Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.34 ([Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.36); oil us$67/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.56, €0.64, ¥83

14 June 2018: Antarctica "lost 2,720±1,390 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, which corresponds to an increase in mean sea level of 7.6±3.9 millimetres ... Over this period, ocean-driven melting has caused rates of ice loss from West Antarctica to increase from 53± billion to 159±26 billion tonnes per year ..." — 'Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 to 2017', IMBIE, Nature, 558, pp.219-222, 2018, [www].  (Also see the [bbc].)

14 June 2018: "Car giant Volkswagen has been fined €1bn (£880m) by German prosecutors over its diesel emissions scandal. The Braunschweig public prosecutor found VW had sold more than 10 million cars between mid-2007 and 2015 that had emissions-test-cheating software installed. ... But it pales into insignificance compared with the fines and compensation the group has had to pay out in the US - which add up to well over €20bn. ..." — [bbc].

13 June 2018: "Dubbed the Starship Initiative, the collaboration between Shell and Airflow Truck Co. on the Starship Class-8 concept truck achieved a 178.4 ton-mpg for freight ton efficiency (FTE) in a recent cross-country [USA] drive, which is a nearly 248% improvement over the North America average FTE of 72 ton-miles per gallon for trucks. ... The final total truck and cargo weight was close to 73,000 lb (33,112 kg) - 28% heavier than the average total gross vehicle weight of 57,000 lb (25,855 kg) for a U.S. on-highway Class 8 truck. The 39,900 lb (18, 098 kg) payload had 77% more mass than the U.S. average payload of 22,500 lb (10,205 kg) ..." — SAE [www].

12 June 2018: "Carmaker Use of the Word 'Autonomous' a Danger to UK Roads. ... Today's Assisted driving technologies are 'not Autonomous systems', are 'still in their infancy and not as robust or as capable as they are declared to be.' ... Thatcham Research and the ABI (Association of British Insurers) are today issuing an urgent call to carmakers and legislators for greater clarity around the capability of vehicles sold with technology that does more and more driving on behalf of motorists. The call comes in the wake of growing reports of people crashing whilst over-relying on technology which is not yet designed to drive the car independently. ..." — Thatcham Research [www].

11 June 2018: "The German government has ordered car maker Daimler to recall 238,000 [Mercedes] vehicles in Germany after they were found to be fitted with illegal software that masks diesel emissions. ..." — [bbc].

11 June 2018: "This autumn has been the fourth-warmest on record in Australia, with below average rainfall for most of the country, according to the Bureau of Meteorology's autumn summary. ..." — [abc].  And, "An exceptionally warm autumn for Australia; nationally the fourth-warmest autumn on record ..." — [bom].

11 June 2018 (Mon.), .au: Queen's birthday holiday.

10 June 2018 (#7/21): Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Montreal.
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)
9 June Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.37 ([Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.37); oil us$66/b
8 June Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.64, ¥83

8-11 June 2018: Finke Desert Race [www].

7-8 June 2018 (Thu-Fri): London Concours [www].

7 June 2018: 'A Process for Capturing CO2 from the Atmosphere', D. W. Keith et al, Joule, "... Depending on financial assumptions, energy costs, and the specific choice of inputs and outputs, the levelized cost per ton CO2 captured from the atmosphere ranges from 94 to 232 $/t-CO2." — [www].

5 June 2018, recall PRA #2018/16806: BMW F90 M5 Sedan. "Faulty software may cause the fuel pump to stop working while the car is in motion." — .gov.au [www].

5 June 2018: "Most of the technology to deliver new-age, disruptive flying machines ["flying cars"] is well within reach in the foreseeable future, and the work by Embraer, Airbus and others, underlines that this is now a serious proposition, worth considerable investment funding. But many factors could yet hamper public adoption ..." — SAE [www].

5 June 2018, .au: "... since April, growing concerns about risks to global crude oil supplies have caused international oil prices, and local retail petrol prices, to jump dramatically, peaking in May. ..." — ACCC [www].  "... "Consumers have recently been paying around $1.60 [per litre] for petrol," said ACCC chairman Rod Sims. "These prices are higher than any time since mid-2014 in some cities." ..." — [abc].

5 June 2018, .uk: In May, "... Average petrol prices hit 129.4p a litre, while average diesel prices also rose by 6p to 132.3p a litre. ..." — [bbc].

4 June Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.39 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.34); oil us$66/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.65, ¥83

4 June 2018: "General Motors has settled a legal action brought by a motorcyclist knocked over by one of the carmaker's self-driving vehicles. Oscar Nilsson sued soon after the collision with the GM Cruise car in December 2017. ..." — [bbc].


31 May 2018: "Warmer and drier conditions predicted to continue in winter ... The winter outlook follows one of Australia's warmest autumns on record and its second-warmest summer on record. Southern mainland Australia has also had one of its driest autumns on record. ... winter rainfall is likely to be below average for New South Wales, South Australia, northern Victoria and western parts of Western Australia. ... Daytime temperatures across much of the country are likely to be warmer than average, with the greatest chance (more than 80%) in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. ..." — [bom].

30 May Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.54/l; min $1.39 ([Perth] avg $1.57/l, min $1.39); oil us$67/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.57, €0.65, ¥82

30 May 2018, .au: "A truck driver accused of attacking two schoolteachers in a violent act of road rage on the Tullamarine Freeway is 'withdrawing from ice', a court has heard. ... allegedly began tailgating the two schoolteachers along the Tullarmarine Freeway and repeatedly beeping the horn about 1.10pm on Saturday. The truck then allegedly side-swiped their car which pushed it towards a concrete barrier, damaging the tyres, side mirror and doors. ..." The Age [www].

30 May 2018: "A Tesla car has crashed into a parked police car in California. The driver suffered minor injuries and told police she was using the car's driver-assisting Autopilot mode. ..." — [bbc].

28 May 2018: "Takata airbag recall. What should I do if my car is on Australia's 'future recall' list? ... another million cars had been added to a 'future recall' list ... Audi A5, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Skoda Octavia, Ford Mondeo, Volkswagen Golf, Holden Cruze and Toyota Yaris, among other models ..." — [abc].

27 May 2018 (Sun.): 102nd Indianapolis 500 [www]. 1. Will Power, 2. Ed Carpenter, 3. Scott Dixon. Also see the [abc].

27 May 2018 (#6/21): Monaco F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] – which was the order in which the top three started. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

26 May - 8 June 2018: Isle of Man TT [www].

26-27 May 2018: Historic Winton, Vic., .au [www].

26 May 2018: "The Republic of Ireland has voted [Friday] overwhelmingly to overturn the abortion ban by 66.4% to 33.6%. ..." — [bbc].

25 May 2018: "Fiat Chrysler is recalling 4.8 million US vehicles over a defect that could prevent drivers from turning off cruise control. ... The recall involves automatic cars from various models built from 2014 to the end of 2019. ..." — [bbc].

25 May Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.57/l; min $1.22 ([Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.38); oil us$71/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.65, ¥83

25 May 2018: "Two bushfires are threatening lives and homes in Albany and other communities across Western Australia's south coast ..." — [abc].

24 May 2018: "Drought-breaking rains reach dry beds of Lake Eyre ..." — [abc].  And, "Rain that fell over two months ago in north west Queensland has finally hit South Australia's Lake Eyre ..." — [2].

24 May 2018: "Greenhouse warming is a predicted consequence of the Chicxulub impact ... report an ~1% decrease in δ18O values (~5°C warming) beginning at the boundary and spanning ~300cm of section (~100,000 years). The pattern found matches expectations for impact-initiated greenhouse warming." -- 'Postimpact earliest Paleogene warming shown by fish debris oxygen isotopes (El Kef, Tunisia)', K. G. MacLeod et al, Science, 24/5/2018, [www]. Also see, "... "If we turn off our fossil fuel lifestyle tomorrow, it'll still take 100,000 years for the changes we've already imposed upon the Earth to come back down to something like the pre-industrial revolution state." ..." — the [abc].

24 May 2018: "Preliminary Report Released for Crash Involving Pedestrian, Uber Technologies, Inc., Test Vehicle ... data obtained from the self-driving system shows the system first registered radar and LIDAR observations of the pedestrian about six seconds before impact, when the vehicle was traveling 43mph. As the vehicle and pedestrian paths converged, the self-driving system software classified the pedestrian as an unknown object, as a vehicle, and then as a bicycle with varying expectations of future travel path. At 1.3 seconds before impact, the self-driving system determined that emergency braking was needed to mitigate a collision. ..." — NTSB [www].

24 May 2018: "Uber is to shut down its self-driving car programme in Arizona after one of its cars killed a pedestrian there in March. ..." The G [www].

23 May 2018: "Defence company takes legal action to block Auditor-General report criticising Army's Hawkei project ... Thales Australia recently applied for a Federal Court injunction against the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) over the report, which is yet to be tabled in Federal Parliament. ..." — [abc].

20 May 2018, .uk: "MOT rules are changing from 20th May 2018, with new defect categories and stricter rules for emissions from diesel cars. ... It will also fail if the MOT tester finds evidence that the DPF has been tampered with. ... From 20th May 2018, most vehicles won't need an MOT from the 40th anniversary of when they were registered. ..." — RAC [www][8/5].

20 May Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.34); oil us$71/b
18 Apr Fri au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.56, €0.64, ¥83

17-20 May 2018: The London Motor Show, ExCel, [www].

17 May 2018: BMW "unveiled an initial design concept for the BMW iNEXT. The pure-electric BMW iNEXT will be built at Plant Dingolfing from 2021. ..." — BMW [www].

17 May 2018: "It's official - independent chains sell the cheapest petrol, at least in capital cities. The independents were on average the lowest priced petrol retailers in the five largest capital cities, according to a report released by the Australian Competition Commission (ACCC) this week. ..." — [abc]. Also see 13 May below.

16 May 2018: "The new Volvo S60 sedan - to be launched later this spring - will be the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine, highlighting Volvo Cars' commitment to a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine. All new Volvo models launched from 2019 will be available as either a mild petrol hybrid, plug-in petrol hybrid or battery electric vehicle. ..." — Volvo cars [www].

15 May Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.53/l, min $1.35); oil us$71/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.55, €0.63, ¥83

14 May 2018: "Volvo Trucks recently unveiled two full electric trucks, ... The company launched the two-axle 16-tonne (35,275-lb) Volvo FL Electric in April, powered by a single 185kW electric motor offering a continuous output of 130kW and 425Nm (313 lb.ft) of torque. This drives through a two-speed transmission to the rear axle. The truck can be equipped with two to six lithium-ion battery packs, offering a driving range of up to 300km (186 mi). ... [And] the Volvo FE Electric. This six-wheel chassis, with a gross weight of 27 tonnes (59,525 lb), uses two electric motors offering 370kW or a continuous output of 260kW. ..." — SAE [www].

13 May 2018 (#5/21): Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Barcelona.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

13 May 2018, .au: "New data out today reveals that prices for petrol vary significantly by retailer, with Coles Express the most expensive on average across the five main capital cities, and Woolworths and independents generally the cheapest, meaning consumers who switch brands can save significant dollars. ..." — ACCC [www].  And full report [www].

12 May 2018, "Le Mans [16-17 June] 2018: can anyone beat Toyota's hybrids? ... Last year, Porsche and Toyota were the sole factory contenders in the excruciatingly expensive Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) category. After notching its 19th win in the endurance classic, Porsche quit the WEC, citing plans to instead focus on the vastly cheaper battery-electric Formula E series. ..." — SAE [www].

12 May 2018, .au: "Long-term forecaster offers sneak peek into upcoming snow season ... Heavy blizzards like the one that has just hit the Australian Alps are rare ..." — [abc].  And, "Southeast Tasmania recorded some exceptionally high rainfall totals overnight, as a series of intense storms tracked east to west on the southern side of a powerful low pressure complex. ... Wind gusts have exceeded 100km/h at many locations in Tasmania and southwest Victoria. And while rainfall totals to 9am this morning have been lower through Victoria, they are set to increase today and tomorrow. A Flood Watch has been issued for Gippsland and the Upper Yarra. The cold snap also lowered the snow level overnight down to around 700m on the mainland and some towns in the Central Tablelands of NSW awoke to a dusting of snow. ..." — [bom][11/5].

12 May 2018: RM Sotheby's Monaco auction [www], including lot 146 a 1950 Ferrari 195 Inter Coupe by Ghia, chassis #0113S, engine #0113S (sold €590,000).

11 May 2018: Bonhams Les Grandes Marques a Monaco auction [www], including lot 119 the ex-Ayrton Senna final Monaco Grand Prix-winning, 1993 McLaren-Ford (Cosworth) MP4/8A F1 car, chassis #MP4/8-6, engine #510 (sold €4,197,500).

11 May 2018, .au: "Parts of Gippsland in eastern Victoria are expected to get a months worth of rain on Saturday as a low pressure system crosses the state, bringing with it high winds and intense bursts of rainfall. ... Snow has also been falling at Victoria's major ski resorts including Mount Hotham, Falls Creek and Mount Buller. ..." — [abc].

10 May 2018: "Safety investigators in the US are investigating a crash in which the battery of a Tesla electric car caught fire, burning two teenagers to death. ... Lithium-ion batteries like those used by Tesla can catch fire and burn rapidly in a crash, although Tesla has maintained its vehicles catch fire far less often than those powered by petrol. ..." — [abc].

10 May 2018: Rolls Royce launched the 'Cullinan' SUV, 5.3m×2.1m×1.8m, 2660kg, 6.75 litre twin-turbo V12, 563bhp/420kW, 850Nm/627lb ft, [www]. (Also see [bbc].)

10 May 2018: "UN talks have been officially suspended as countries failed to resolve differences about implementing the Paris climate agreement. ... Delegates struggled with the complexity of agreeing a rulebook for the Paris climate pact that will come into force in 2020. ..." — [bbc].

10 May 2018: "Gunbarrel Highway's legacy lives on 60 years after it was forged in the desert ... a rough desert track that stretches 1,300 kilometres from Carnegie Station in Western Australia to Victory Downs in the Northern Territory. ... Led by Len Beadell, the Gunbarrel road construction party worked tirelessly over four years and completed the ambitious project in 1958. ..." — [abc].

10 May Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.33 ([Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.36); oil us$71/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.55, €0.63, ¥82

10 May 2018: "BMW is recalling more than 300,000 cars in the UK because of an electrical fault that has caused some vehicles to cut out. ... Last week an inquest heard that BMW failed to recall thousands of potentially dangerous cars despite complaints from customers over the loss of power from as early as 2011, until a fault led to the death of a Gurkha veteran, Narayan Gurung. ..."The G [www].

10 May 2018: "... A Dutch husband and wife team are crossing Australia on their around-the-world trip in their 1915 Ford Model T, dubbed the most influential car of the 20th century. Dirk and Trudy Regter from the Netherlands just crossed the Nullarbor after leaving Holland in 2012 as part of a global crusade that will clock in 130,000 kilometres and spans 50 countries. ..." — [abc].

9 May 2018: "Australia is an island nation that depends heavily on imported fuel - and our stockpile is critically low. According to recent reports, we have just 22 days' worth of crude oil, 59 days of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), 20 days of petrol, 19 days of aviation fuel, and 21 days of diesel in reserve. ..." — [abc].

9 May 2018: "... Lagonda has confirmed plans for its first production model: a radical, sector-defining zero-emission [electric] SUV. ..." — Aston-Martin [www].

8 May 2018: "Uber's self-driving car saw the pedestrian [19 March] but didn't swerve - report ..."The G [www].

5-6 May 2018: 11th Clunes Booktown Festival, Vic., .au [www].

4-6 May 2018 (Fri.-Sun.): Donington Historic [www].

1 May 2018: "... For all the searing criticism, the irony of the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority's [APRA's] report into the ethical vacuum in which the Commonwealth Bank [CBA] has operated is that it perpetuates the very climate it condemns. ... [CBA] has been forced to put aside an extra $1 billion in reserves to cover the potential fallout from its misdeeds. And, once again, we have a regulatory body delivering the legal equivalent of a slap with a wet lettuce. ..." — [abc].

May 2018, .jp: "Starting in May, owners of the 100% electric Nissan LEAF can turn in their used batteries and, for a fee, receive refabricated ones. Nissan is using the battery-refabrication capabilities of 4R Energy Corp., a company established through a joint venture with Sumitomo Corp., to offer the program. ... initially offer 24-kilowatt-hour refabricated batteries for 300,000 yen[*] apiece ... Exchange costs for brand-new Nissan LEAF batteries are 650,000 yen for 24kWh; 800,000 yen for 30kWh; and 820,000 yen for 40kWh. ..." — Nissan [www][26/3/2018].  ([*] roughly au$3,660.)

29 April 2018 (#4/21): Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix, Baku.
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari], 3. Sergio Perez [Force India]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

25 April 2018: Anzac Day.

21-22 April 2018: Pajero Challenge, Vic., .au [www].

20 April 2018, .au: "The banking royal commission has revealed more systemic, shocking and unconscionable behaviour than could have been predicted ... the Commonwealth Bank charged dead people for non-existent advice ..." — [abc].  And, "The head of Australia's largest wealth manager [AMP] has resigned after the company admitted lying to regulators for more than a decade. ... Australia is holding a royal commission - its top form of public inquiry - into misconduct in financial institutions. ..." — [bbc].

20 Apr Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.24 ([Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.28); oil us$68/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.55, €0.63, ¥83

19 April 2018, recall PRA # 2018/16731: "Takata airbag inflator (beta) fitted to 2003-2008 production [Mitsibishi] CH Lancer Sedan/Wagon and CY and CZ Lancer EVO Sedan. ..." — .gov.au [www].
And, 2018/16715: "Toyota Corolla (ZRE152 & ZRE153), Yaris (NCP93) & Rukus (AZE151) ... Airbag inflator: As it gets older, a combination of high temperatures and humidity can cause the airbag inflator propellant to degrade. If an affected vehicle is involved in a collision triggering the airbag, the metal inflator housing may explode/rupture under too much internal pressure. ..." — .gov.au [www].
And, 2018/16729: "SAAB 9-3 and SAAB 9-5 model years 2006-2011 Frontal driver airbag made by Takata that uses phase-stabilised ammonium nitrate without dessicant. ..." — .gov.au [www].

18 April 2018: "Audi and Porsche Offices Raided as Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Drags On ..." — Fortune [www].

17 April 2018: "The electric vehicle revolution will bring problems of its own ... electric vehicles have a concerning supply chain. Cobalt, a key component of the lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, is linked to reports of child labour ... The elements used in battery production are finite and in limited supply. ... In Australia, the avoidable social cost of traffic congestion in 2015 was estimated at A$16.5 billion. ... In Copenhagen, for example, bikes now outnumber cars in the city's centre, which is primed to be car-free within the next ten years. ..." — M. Brueckner, the Conversation [www].

15 April 2018 (#3/21): Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai.
Results: 1. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]; (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)
15 Apr Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.24 ([Perth] avg $1.32/l, min $1.24); oil us$67/b
13 Apr Fri au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.55, €0.63, ¥84

15 April 2018: "Firefighters spent a long night battling an out-of-control blaze in Sydney's south-west which burnt through a major military base and threatened homes in several suburbs. ..." — [abc].

14 April 2018, .uk: "... From 20 May ... a completely new MOT, which motoring experts believe will lead to many more diesel car failures. ... the new test, which should establish that the diesel particulate filter (DPF) in the exhaust is working correctly. Cars will have their emissions tested by new equipment to the standard issued at the time of manufacture. The vehicle will fail if the DPF has been tampered with, or if it produces 'visible smoke of any colour'. Owners who have deliberately removed particulate filters to improve the car's performance face a bill of £1,000 or more, or having to scrap the car. ..."The G [www]. (Also see 'Overview of MOT changes from May 2018,' [.gov].uk.)

April 2018: Two km of electrified road have been opened near Stockholm, Sweden. A vehicle can connect to two conductors under the road – rather like a giant Scalextric track – to charge batteries or to power an electric car or truck, e.g., VTI [www], the local [www]. ?rain, snow, ice?

12 April 2018: Volkswagen replaced CEO Matthias Muller with Herbert Diess, [www].

12 April 2018: "The May to July rainfall outlook ... shows the far southeast of Australia is likely to have a wetter than average three months. Parts of northern Australia are also likely to be wetter than average, however, as May-July is the start of the northern Australian dry season, very little rainfall is needed to exceed the median. The rest of the country has roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average three months. May to July daytime temperatures are likely to be warmer than average for southern Australia. ..." — [bom][12/4]. (Also see the [abc].)

11 April 2018: "Speaking ... at SAE International's WCX 2018 in Detroit, long-serving auto-industry executive and revered 'car guy' Bob Lutz cut to the chase: humans who enjoy driving and car companies that rely on the concept of branding have another 20-25 years, then 'It's all over' as utilitarian, soulless automated vehicles handle nearly all conventional transportation needs. ..." — SAE [www].

10 April 2018: "Sydney has its hottest April day on record ... the temperature climbed to 35.4 degrees Celsius at its Observatory Hill site in the city on Monday. That eclipsed the previous record of 34.2C, which was recorded on April 6 in 2016. ..." — [abc].  And, "... Several places have already set new temperature records, including Nullarbor which had a top of 42.2 degrees Celsius on Monday - the hottest April temperature ever recorded in South Australia. ..." — [11/4].  Also see "unseasonal hot conditions which affected large parts of Australia during April 2018. ..." — [bom][13/3], and "... 9 April was Australia's hottest April day on record ..." — pdf@[bom].

10 Apr Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.26 ([Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.27); oil us$62/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.55, €0.63, ¥83

10 April 2018: "Slowly and steadily a great flood is trickling its way across the outback. Birdsville is being surrounded and the Channel Country is finally living up to its name. ... Large parts of Australia had a lot more rain than usual in March. ... In early April, following the March downpours, the rainwater had well and truly made it to Birdsville - does that mean it will make it to the lake [Eyre]? Mr Preece resisted being drawn on the topic. There is still a lot of ground to cover and it is expected to take a week or so before the peak of the flood reaches the lake - if it makes it at all. ..." — [abc].

9 April 2018, .au: Australian Frontline Machinery is selling ex-army 4x4 and 6x6 Land-Rovers, trailers, 4x4 Unimogs, 6x6 Mack trucks — [www].

8 April 2018 (#2/21): Bahrain F1 Grand Prix.
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; 3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; The first ten laps were quite exciting with numerous overtaking moves. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

7 April 2018: "Traffic in New York is slowing down. Jams are endemic in Manhattan ... It seems a place ripe for wide use of ride-hailing apps that, you might think, would alleviate some of the congestion. Except, those apps appear to be making things worse as traffic has slowed in line with the growing popularity of apps such as Uber and Lyft, suggests a study by transport expert Bruce Schaller. ..." — [bbc].

6 April 2018, recall PRA #2018/16693: Hyundai Santa Fe, "A manufacturing fault may cause the steering wheel assembly and column to separate.[!] ..." — .gov.au [www].

5 Apr Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.27); oil us$63/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.55, €0.63, ¥82

5 April 2018, .uk: "Car registrations plunged in March, according to figures from industry body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Preliminary data shows the UK new car market shrank by 15.6% last month, compared with March 2017. Demand for diesel vehicles fell by 37%, but petrol car demand rose by 1%. ..." — [bbc].

4 April 2018: Opening Ceremony of the 21st Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast, Queensland.

4 April 2018: "... At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Toyota engineers unveiled a new 2.0-L four-cylinder gasoline engine family it dubs 'Dynamic Force.' ... claims the conventional version will achieve 40% peak thermal efficiency & the hybrid engine will reach 41%. Toyota engineers will explain the engines in further detail in an SAE Technical Paper to be presented at WCX 2018. ..." — SAE [www].

2 April 2018: "Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt is announcing the completion of the Midterm Evaluation (MTE) process for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks for model years 2022-2025 ..." — EPA [www]. And, "... By 2025, each manufacturer's fleet fuel economy was intended to average at least 54.5mpg[US]. But years of inexpensive gasoline and the resulting consumer preference for larger vehicles prompted Pruitt's EPA to maintain that a reevaluation of the regulations was in order. ..." — SAE [www].

2 April 2018, .au: "Over the past 24 hours, conditions over the Coral Sea have been favourable for tropical development, and on Sunday morning, Iris was renamed a Tropical Cyclone. It's currently a Category 1 system centered around 330km northeast of Townsville and moving southwest. ..." — [bom].  And, "Tropical Cyclone Iris has intensified to be a category two system and is starting to speed up as it moves southwards in a line roughly parallel to the north Queensland coast. ..." — [abc][3/4].

2 April 2018: Easter Monday.
1 April 2018: Easter Day, Sunday.
1 April 2018 (Sun.) .au: Daylight Saving ends in some states (clocks back one hr at 3am→2am).

1 April 2018: "Electric carmaker Tesla says a vehicle involved in a fatal crash in California was in autopilot mode, raising further questions about the safety of self-driving technology. One of the company's Model X cars crashed into a roadside barrier and caught fire on 23 March. ..." — [bbc]. And, "... Autopilot was engaged with the adaptive cruise control follow-distance set to minimum. The driver had received several visual and one audible hands-on warning earlier in the drive and the driver's hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision. The driver had about five seconds and 150 meters of unobstructed view of the concrete divider with the crushed crash attenuator, but the vehicle logs show that no action was taken. ..." — Tesla [www][30/3].  Also see [bbc][13/4].


30 March - 8 April 2018: New York Auto Show [www].

30 March - 2 April 2018: Land-Rover 70th Celebration, Cooma, NSW, .au.

30 March 2018: Good Friday.

30 Mar Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.23); oil us$65/b
29 Mar Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.29 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.23); oil us$64/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.54, €0.62, ¥82

29 March 2018, .uk: "British car manufacturing declines -4.4% in February to 145,475 units. ... Domestic demand falls for seventh consecutive month, with output for the UK down -17.0%. ..." — SMMT [www].

March 2018, .uk: "New Car CO2 Report 2018 ... mean average CO2 is still a third (-33.1%) lower than in 2000. Despite cars being ever more efficient, the average UK new car CO2 has risen 0.8% in 2017, the first rise in two decades. ..." — SMMT [www].

29 March 2018, .uk: "A London court has indicated that it will give the green light to a group lawsuit by around 60,000 English car owners against Volkswagen, over the 'dieselgate scandal'. ..."Daily T [www]. (Also see, "Volkswagen's car 'graveyard' in California. Volkswagen has spent more than $7.4 billion (£5.2 bn) to buy back around 350,000 diesel vehicles after the emissions scandal. They're being stored at sites across the US." — [bbc].)

28 March 2018, .uk: "One year to Brexit, SMMT sets out UK Automotive industry priorities ... Following a total of 1.731m vehicles made in 2017, a modest fall to 1.729m Is expected for 2018, followed by 1.713m in 2019. ..." — SMMT [www].

28 March 2018, .au: "Point-to-point speed cameras proposed amid bad start to the year on NT roads ... Road toll by year: 2017 - 1,225 nationwide (31 NT), 2016 - 1,300 (45), 2015 - 1,209 (49), 2014 - 1,153 (39), 2013 - 1,193 (37), ..." — [abc].

27 March 2018: "Jaguar Land Rover and Waymo today announce a long-term strategic partnership. Together, the two companies will develop the world's first premium self-driving electric vehicle for Waymo's driverless transportation service. ... Waymo Jaguar I-PACEs, equipped with Waymo's self-driving technology, fitted with production-ready self-driving technology, will start testing later this year. ... Up to 20,000 I-PACEs will be built in the first two years of production and be available for riders of Waymo's driverless service ..." — Jaguar [www].

26 Mar Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.19 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.19); oil us$66/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.55, €0.62, ¥81

26 March 2018, .uk: "The Department for Transport has released £8.8m to improve and expand hydrogen refuelling infrastructure for fuel cell cars across the UK. ... New refuelling stations are currently planned for Birmingham, Derby, Southwark and Isleworth. The project also includes procuring hydrogen fuel cell cars for emergency services ..."Daily T [www].

25 March 2018 (#1/21): Australian F1 Grand Prix, Melbourne.
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 2. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].) Now with Renault power, Fernando Alonso's McLaren finished 5th.
Entrants, team (engine) drivers: Ferrari (Ferrari) Sebastian Vettel & Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]; Force India (Mercedes) Sergio Perez Mendoz & Esteban Ocon [Force India]; Haas (Ferrari) Romain Grossjean & Kevin Magnussen [Haas]; McLaren (Renault) Fernando Alonso & Stoffel Vandoorne [McLaren]; Mercedes (Mercedes) Lewis Hamilton & Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes]; Red Bull (TagHeuer, i.e., Renault) Daniel Ricciardo & Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; Renault (Renault) Nico Hulkenberg & Carlos Saiz jr [Renault]; Sauber (Ferrari) Marcus Ericsson & Charles Leclerc [Sauber]; Toro Rosso (Honda) Pierre Gasly & Brendon Hartley [Torro Rosso]; Williams (Mercedes) Lance Stroll & Sergey Sirotkin [Williams]; 10 teams.

24 March 2018: "Global stock markets have been rattled again by fears of a trade war between the world's two largest economics after China retaliated to Donald Trump's plan to impose tariffs on up to $60bn (£42.4bn) worth of Chinese products. ... In response to the US tariffs on China, the Chinese foreign ministry suggested soybeans, aeroplanes, cars and cotton could be targeted. ..." The G [www].

24 March 2018: "Elon Musk has had the official Facebook pages for his Tesla and SpaceX companies deleted. The #deletefacebook movement has grown after data firm Cambridge Analytica was accused of obtaining the personal information of about 50 million users. ..." — [bbc].

23-25 March 2018, .uk: Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show, NEC, Birmingham [www] (and auction 24-25 March [www]).

23 March 2018: "[Tropical cyclone] Nora is currently a Category Two system located about 250km north of Nhulunbuy and continues to rapidly intensify as it moves towards the south-east. A Tropical Cyclone Warning is current for parts of the Northern Territory between Elcho Island and Cape Shield, and also parts of Queensland's Peninsula Coast from Thursday Island to Pormpuraaw. ..." — [bom].  And, "Tropical Cyclone Nora has struck the far north Queensland coast as a category three system. ... The cyclone is expected to weaken slowly and may remain a category three system as it approaches Kowanyama on Sunday morning, packing very destructive wind gusts of up to 190 kilometres per hour. ..." — abc [25/3].

23 March 2018: "Six vintage Maserati sportscars meant to take part in an Australian tour will be sent back overseas because it's unclear if they contain asbestos. ... Border Force initially refused to release the other six Maseratis unless holes were drilled in them to test for asbestos. ..." — [abc].

22 March 2018: "LiquidPiston Inc. ... has reimagined combustion engines with a new platform that can run on multiple fuels, including diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline. This platform uses an optimized thermodynamic cycle and a new rotary engine architecture. This architecture involves only two primary moving parts, a shaft and a rotor, and corrects the major performance, sealing, and lubrication issues of previous rotary engine designs such as the Wankel. ..." — SAE [www]. Also see LiquidPiston [www].

21-25 March 2018: Techno Classica, Essen, .de [www].

21 Mar Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.23/l; min $1.18 ([Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.24); oil us$63/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.55, €0.63, ¥82

21 March 2018: "Coastal communities in north-east Arnhem land should prepare now for the predicted Tropical Cyclone Nora, which is expected to hit the region on Friday. ..." — [abc].

20 March 2018: "The BMW Group confirms that the Munich public prosecutor has opened an investigation regarding a software update which has been mistakenly allocated to around 11,400 BMW 750d and BMW M550d vehicles. On 20 March, employees of the prosecutor's office searched two BMW Group locations in connection with the investigation. ..." — BMW [www]. (Also see, "German prosecutors have raided the headquarters of BMW as part of an investigation into the suspected use of emissions cheating software. ..." — [bbc].)

19 March 2018, .au: "The Rural Fire Service (RFS) has announced 69 houses have been destroyed and 39 damaged in a blaze that is still actively burning in the coastal town of Tathra [NSW], near Bega. ..." — [abc].

19 March 2018: A woman pedestrian, crossing the street in Tempe Arizona, was hit and killed by a Uber autonomous car (with a human monitor on board), e.g., The G [www], [bbc]. (Also see 8 May above, and 6 March 2019 and 6 November 2019.)

19 March 2018, .uk: "Dozens of vehicles have been stranded on the A30 dual carriageway in Devon amid heavy snow. ..." — [bbc].

19 March 2018: "Eighteen homes and 42 sheds have been destroyed or damaged in Victoria's worst fires of the season ... Watch and act warnings are still in place for grass fires at Terang, Garvoc and a bushfire near Gazette, but fire crews have been helped by favourable conditions overnight. ..." — [abc].

18 March 2018: "Bushfires near Warrnambool intensify, houses lost in Victoria's west ...There are five main fires of concern. They include the Gazette, Penshurst fire north-west of Warrnambool; the Gavroc fire south-west of Terang; the Terang, Cobden fire which is causing the most concern; and a smaller fire at Camperdown, east of Terang. ..." — [abc]. Also see the [cfa].

16-18 March 2018, .au: National 4x4 Show Brisbane Showgrounds [www].

16 Mar Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.23); oil us$61/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.56, €0.63, ¥82

16 March 2018, .au: "Category 1 tropical cyclone Marcus has formed north of the Tiwi Islands, and Darwin and areas of the northwest Top End coast are now under cyclone warning. Darwinites can expect a wet and windy period from late Friday evening and throughout Saturday. ..." — [bom]. Also [abc][17/3].

15 March 2018, Vic.: "The number of criminal incidents recorded by police in the year to 31 December 2017 was 380,066. This is down 9.6% from 420,219 incidents recorded in the same period last year. The number of offences recorded by police in the year to 31 December 2017 was 504,070. This is down 8.6% from 551,662 offences recorded in the same period last year. ..." — .vic.gov.au [www].

15 March 2018: "The repair bill for a section of the Great Northern Highway in WA's Kimberley badly damaged in recent flooding is expected to exceed $16 million, with water still inundating the road almost a month after Tropical Cyclone Kelvin passed over the region. ..." — [abc]).

15 March 2018: "... General Motors today announced it will build production versions of its [autonomous] Cruise AV at its Orion Township assembly plant in Michigan. ... The Cruise AV, which the company plans to commercialize in 2019, is the first production-ready vehicle built from the ground up to operate safely on its own with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls. ..." — GM [www].

12-18 March 2018: 39th Annual Corowa Swim-In and Military Vehicle Gathering, Corowa, Vic., "Year of the Land-Rover", [www].  (Also see Land-Rover.)

14 March 2018: The physicist Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) died, aged 76, [abc], [bbc], wikip [www], Nature [www]. And the Simpsons [bbc].

14 March 2018, surprise: "Young drivers are twice as likely to say they've been a passenger with a driver who used their mobile phone in the last year, according to new AA Charitable Trust research. Among young drivers aged 18 to 24: Half (53%) said they had been driven by a driver using their hand held mobile phone, compared to a quarter (26%) of all drivers. One in nine (11%) said they'd been a passenger in a car with a drunk driver compared to 5% of all drivers. 82% said they'd been in car with a speeding driver compared to 71% of all drivers, and A quarter (26%) said they had been riding as a passenger without wearing a seat belt compared to 19% of all drivers. ..." — The AA [www].

14 March 2018: "Queensland has won the race to build $5 billion worth of fighting vehicles as part of the largest purchase in the Australian Army's history. German contractor Rheinmetall is set to build the 211 light armoured ['Boxer CRV'] vehicles at a new facility in Ipswich, west of Brisbane. ... " — [abc].  (To replace the ASLAV. CRV = Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle.) Also see, Rheinmetall [www], and "LAND 400 Phase two" — .gov.au [www].

12 March 2018 (Mon.): Labour day holiday.
10-12 March 2018: Steamfest, National Steam Centre, Scoresby, Melbourne, Vic. [www].
9-12 March 2018 (Fri-Mon): Port Fairy Folk Festival [www].

10 March 2018: RM Sotheby's Amelia Island auction [www], including lot 133 a 1991 Lamborghini LM002 4x4, chassis #ZA9LU45A3LLA12214 (sold us$296,500); lot 187 a 1931 Bentley 8-litre Special, chassis #YF5006, engine #YF5006 (not sold).

9 March 2018: "Audi is convinced of the potential of the fuels e-gas, 'e-benzin' (e-gasoline) and e-diesel ... Global Bioenergies produces gaseous isobutene (C4H8) in a demonstration plant. In the second step, the Fraunhofer Center for Chemical Biotechnological Processes (CBP) in Leuna uses additional hydrogen to transform it into isooctane (C8H18). ..." — Audi [www]. Petrol (gasoline) is principally some form of C8H18 – see 'octane'.

8-18 March 2018: Geneva International Motor Show [www], including Aston Martin electric 'Lagonda' concept (2021?) [www] (see 9 May above) & 'Valkyrie AMR Pro' [www]; Audi new 'A6' and 'e-tron' prototype [www]; Bentley 'Bentayga' SUV V6 hybrid & V8 [www]; Jaguar 'I-Pace' electric SUV (~June, from £63.5K (minus £4.5K)) [www] SAE [www]; Mercedes 4th 'A-class' [www]; Peugeot next '508' sedan; Porsche electric 'Mission E Cross Turismo' concept [www]; Subaru 'Viziv' estate prototype [www]; VW 'Vizzion' autonomous electric concept (2022?) [www].

8 Mar Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.23); oil us$63/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.56, €0.63, ¥83

8 March 2018, .au: "Drivers are strongly urged to check whether their motor vehicle has been recalled to replace faulty Takata airbags. These recalls affect a large number of car makes and models and a small number of motorcycles. ..." — .gov.au [www] and [2].

8 March 2018: Bonhams Amelia Island auction [www], including lot 186 a 1939 Bentley1/4 Tourer, chassis #B163MX, engine #T6BF (sold us$197,120).

6-9 March 2018: F1 testing, Circuit de Catalunya. Also see [bbc].

6 March 2018: "Hackers aim to exploit vulnerabilities in CVs, pushing security to the forefront. ... Cyber-criminals hope to exploit vulnerabilities in connected trucks and off-highway vehicles with the aim of wreaking havoc or extorting funds from vehicle owners or equipment makers. Now that most commercial vehicles are connected, protecting them from attackers with multiple layers to provide defense in depth is becoming a necessity. ..." — SAE [www].

5 March 2018: "... Areas including Burdekin, Charters Towers, Etheridge, Palm Island and Townsville have been battling heavy rainfall since last month. ... Regional councils in western Queensland are also assessing whether to make a claim for disaster relief. Over the weekend, the low-pressure system dumped heavy rain on parts of the parched outback. ... More rain is expected to hit north Queensland in the coming days ..." — [abc].

4 March 2018: 'US President Donald Trump has stepped up his war of words over trade tariffs, threatening to "apply a tax" on imports of cars from the European Union. ... The trade wrangle began on Thursday when Mr Trump vowed to impose hefty tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. ...' — [bbc].

3 Mar Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.32/l, min $1.23); oil us$61/b
2 Mar Fri au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.56, €0.63, ¥83

2 March 2018: "Major flooding is easing at Giru, south-east of Townsville in north Queensland, after the Haughton River reached a record peak late on Thursday. ..." — [abc].

1 March 2018, "UK weather: Storm Emma to bring snow, gales and rain ..." — [bbc].  "Parts of the UK are braced for up to 50cm of snow, as Storm Emma brings worsening conditions. ..." — [2/3]. And, "Flights and trains have been cancelled and drivers stranded as sub-zero conditions continue across the UK. ..." — [3/3]. (See the Met Office [www].)


28 February 2018, .au: "... March is likely to be drier than average for much of the interior extending into northern Queensland. There is an increased chance for a wetter than average March in parts of eastern Australia and Tasmania. Daytime and overnight temperatures for autumn are likely to be warmer than average over much of the country, with strongest chances in northern Queensland and Tasmania. Cooler nights are favoured in northern WA. ..." — [bom].

28 February 2018: "UK supercapacitor results suggest challenge to battery technologies. Polymer materials developed and tested at the universities of Surrey and Bristol appear to have better energy storage properties than lithium ion batteries and could be used in supercapacitors ... A series of serendipitous results led Dr Donald Highgate, director of research for Superdielectrics Ltd and alumnus of Surrey University, to realise that material originally developed for quite different applications was outperforming energy storage materials currently on the market, and he now believes these materials could form a vital link in systems to charge large numbers of electric cars. ..." — S. Nathan in The Engineer [www]. (Also see the [bbc][6/3].)

28 February 2018: "The Federal Government has ordered 2.7 million vehicles off the road to remove dangerous airbags that shoot shrapnel into people's eyes, faces, necks and chests. Takata airbags have already killed one person in Australia and seriously injured another. They have been linked to more than 20 deaths around the world. ..." — [abc].

27 February 2018: Ricardo "has developed a new engine concept called CryoPower that the company believes can offer significant emissions and operating fuel cost reductions over current diesel powertrains. ... Air enters the cylinder during the intake stroke. During the combustion stroke and after the intake valve has closed, liquid nitrogen[!] is injected into the cylinder. The spray evaporates and cools the intake air as the pressure increases. Near TDC (top dead center), the exhaust valve opens and the high-pressure intake charge is released from the compression cylinder into a heat exchanger. Once in the heat exchanger, the intake charge is heated by the exhaust gases. The intake mixture is then released into a second cylinder over a short crank angle near TDC. Fuel is then injected into this high-pressure and high-temperature condition, which allows for ignition and expansion without the typical mixing tumble and swirl requirements. After the power stroke, the combustion gas is released from the expansion cylinder through an exhaust valve and back through the heat exchanger. ..." — SAE [www].

26 February - 1 March 2018: F1 testing, Circuit de Catalunya. (It snowed on the 28th [bbc]!)

26 February 2018: "Flood-stranded truckers and tourists a financial boon for Kimberley businesses ... Wet weather has dumped more than Broome's average annual rainfall on the region in just two months ..." — [abc].

25 Feb Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.27 oil us$64/b
23 Feb Fri au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.56, €0.64, ¥84

24 February 2018: "After more than 24 hours of heavy rain across south-east Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has cancelled all severe weather warnings for the region, indicating the worst is over for the time being. ..." — [abc].

23-25 February 2018: Race Retro, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry [www]. And, Silverstone Auctions [www].

22 February 2018, .uk: "A lorry driver was twice the drink-drive limit and another was on a hands-free call in cruise control when they were involved in a motorway crash which killed eight people, a court has heard. ..." — [bbc].

21 February 2018: "The reopening of the flooded highway network in WA's north has offered temporary relief for truckies and travellers, but weary residents are being warned the abnormally hectic cyclone season may be set to continue, with a chance of more severe weather and flooding next week. ..." — [abc] and [2].

21 Feb Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.21 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.24); oil us$62/b; au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.56, €0.64, ¥85

19 February 2018: "Planning is continuing for a nuclear waste disposal site in the South Australian outback, despite opposition from local residents. A number of sites are still being considered by the Federal Government, including two sites at Kimba, on the Eyre Peninsula and at Barndioota, south of Lake Torrens, near Hawker. ..." — [abc]. Also see 10 Aug. 2023. (Still say it should be in the basement of Parliament House, Canberra, where it would be perfectly safe.)

18 February 2018 (Sun.): The Victorian 4WD Show, Lardner Park, near Warragul, adults (16+) $15, [www]. Note the new location for 2018.

17 February 2018: "Tropical Cyclone Kelvin has started tracking towards the coast. It is likely to cross the coast as a Category 1 or 2 system during the early hours of Sunday morning ... Tropical Cyclone Kelvin has developed off the west Kimberley coast and is gradually strengthening. ..." — [bom].

16 Feb Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.17 ([Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.24); oil us$61/b; au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.56, €0.63, ¥84

15 February 2018, TC advice #6: "... A tropical low is moving across the northwest Kimberley. During Friday [16th] the low is expected to move off the west Kimberley coast and is likely to rapidly develop into a tropical cyclone. It is expected to strengthen into a Severe Tropical Cyclone (Category 3 or higher) before making landfall, most likely during Sunday along the east Pilbara or far west Kimberley coast. ..." — [bom].
(16th: "... estimated to be 90 kilometres west of Broome and 75 kilometres north northwest of Bidyadanga ..." — bom.)

15 February 2018: Williams F1 "has revealed a first look of its 2018 Formula One challenger, the Williams Mercedes FW41, at the team's season launch in London this evening. ... " — Williams [www].

15 February 2018: Having stopped building cars in Australia last year, GM Holden revealed the new German-built 'Commodore', 2-litre turbo petrol, 9-speed auto, front-wheel drive, from au$36K, and 3.6 V6 petrol, 9-speed auto, AWD — GM [www]. (Not much information about a diesel option.)

15-18 February 2018: The London Classic Car Show [www].

15 February 2018: 'Jim Ratcliffe, the multibillionaire chemicals tycoon and Brexit supporter, has handed a contract to create a "British" successor to the Land Rover Defender to a company in Germany. ... [His] chemicals company Ineos had signed up more than 200 German engineers to create a new "world-class 4x4", the idea for which he first conceived in a pub near Buckingham Palace. Ineos said Stuttgart-based engineering firm MBtech will "take the initial design concepts through to a fully engineered vehicle - followed by prototypes" produced in 2018 in Germany. ...' The G. [www].

14 February 2018: [Haas] F1 revealed its new 'VF-18' car. All 2018 F1 cars will feature the "halo" head-protection device.

14 February 2018: "Tax-free billions: Australia's largest companies haven't paid corporate tax in three years ... For the three years to June 2016, EnergyAustralia's 1.7 million electricity and gas customers across eastern Australia helped it record $24 billion worth of income on which no tax was paid. ... Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which hasn't paid corporate tax in Australia for at least four years. ..." — [abc].

11 Feb Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.20 ([Perth] avg $1.34/l, min $1.26); oil us$59/b
9 Feb Fri au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.56, €0.63, ¥85

8 February 2018: Bonhams Les Grandes Marques du Monde auction [www], including lot 337 a 1926 Bentley 3-litre Red Label Speed Model Tourer, chassis #LM1342 (sold €701,500); lot 410 a 1986 Lancia Delta S4 Groupe B Rallye, mid-engined, 4x4, chassis #0051 (not sold).

8 February 2018: "Parts of the UK that backed a Leave vote would face the heaviest hit as a result of Brexit, according to estimates by government officials. ... They suggest that in England, the North East and West Midlands would see the biggest slowdown in growth. ..." — [bbc].

8 February 2018: "Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division put the Army's [Chevrolet Colorado] ZH2 fuel-cell electric vehicle through the rigors of operating in jungle terrain during a training exercise here [Hawaii] in late January. ... The ZH2, fitted with a hydrogen fuel cell and electric drive, has a stealthy drive system which produces a very low smoke, noise, odor and thermal signature. ..." — [.mil].

7-11 February 2018: Retromobile, Paris [www].
9 February 2018: Retromobile 2018 auction by Artcurial [www], including lot 87 a 1963 Ferrari 250/275P, the 1964 Le Mans winner, chassis #0816, engine #816/3 (withdrawn prior).
7 February 2018: RM Sotheby's Paris auction [www], including lot 172 a 1953 Ferrari 166 MM Spider, chassis #0272M, engine #0272M (not sold).

February 2018: "For decades people have been dreaming of a flying car, PAL-V is now making it reality at the Geneva International Motor Show [8 March] ..." — PAL-V [www]. (The PAL-V 'Liberty' is a folding gyrocopter.)

6 February 2018: "Falcon Heavy [rocket] successfully lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. ..." — SpaceX [www] and [www]. The test flight carried chief executive Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster as a dummy payload. (Also see "... the probability of a collision with Earth and Venus over the next one million years to be 6% and 2.5%, respectively. We estimate the dynamical lifetime of the Tesla to be a few tens of millions of years." — H. Rein et al, arXiv [www][13/2/18].)

6 Feb Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.23 ([Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.26); oil us$64/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.56, €0.63, ¥85

6 February 2018: "Electric vehicles are growing in popularity ... but rapid technological advances and plummeting battery prices are shaping up as the industry's Achilles' heel when it comes to resale. ... data shows they have been depreciating much faster than petrol, diesel and hybrid cars. ..." — [abc].

6 February 2018: "Truck driver charged over fatal Dubbo crash refused bail ... the semi-trailer when it ploughed into several cars stopped at the roadworks on the Newell Highway near Dubbo last month, killing a young couple and injuring several others. ... the accused had a significant driving history, including having his licence previously suspended in NSW twice and once in Queensland, as well as numerous speeding offences. ..." — [abc].

5 February 2018: "Snow has caused travel disruption in parts of the UK, as temperatures plummeted overnight. Police warned drivers to take extra care after wintry conditions led to a series of accidents on the M20 motorway in south-east England. ..." — [bbc]. (See the Met Office [www].)

5 February 2018: "Downing Street has insisted Britain will leave the customs union after Brexit amid claims of Tory disunity over the UK-EU future relationship. Theresa May [PM] has faced calls to set out clearly what she wants to secure from the negotiations leading up to the UK's departure in March 2019. ..." — [bbc].

5 February 2018: "[In Dec. 2017] Carbon Engineering team demonstrated 'Air to Fuels' [A2F] by directly synthesizing a mixture of gasoline and diesel using only CO2 captured from the air and hydrogen split from water with clean electricity. ..." — Carbon Engineering [www]. (Also see Audi 8 Nov 2017, and The G [www].)

2 February 2018, .au: "An area twice the size of Victoria has been cut off in Western Australia's Kimberley region after a severe storm on Monday decimated the only highway servicing the region. The Kimberley received record rainfall in January, including 639mm in four days, flooding the Great Northern Highway and sweeping away bitumen. ... About 100km of the road between Broome and Derby has been damaged, with another 12km still underwater near Roebuck Plains south of Broome. ..." — [abc].

1 Feb Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.22); oil us$65/b; au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.57, €0.65, ¥88

1 February 2018: "New South Wales has teamed up with bordering states and the ACT to launch a major blitz targeting 'cowboy' truck drivers, while their union says the whole industry needs an overhaul. ... Authorities are targeting drug and alcohol use, fatigue, speed and vehicle roadworthiness. ..." — [abc].


31 January 2018: "Heavy monsoonal rains at the end of January has put the wet season back on track for cattle producers in the Top End of the Northern Territory. ..." — [abc].

January 2018, .uk: "Diesel Cars Are 3 Times More Likely To Break Down Than Petrol ... Diesel models also cost 20% more to fix when something does go wrong ... Based on analysis of 30,000 faults on 3-8 year old cars across a 12-month period ..." — Motoreasy [www].

January 2018: Dana has been testing a continuously variable transmission (CVT), Variglide, which uses rotating spheres to transmit torque from an input ring to an output ring. Tilting the spheres changes their points of contact and their effective input and output diameters, thus changing ratio. Dana, [www].

27 Jan Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.30 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.26); oil us$66/b
25 Jan Thu au$1.00=us$0.81, £0.57, €0.65, ¥88

26 January 2018: Australia Day.

26 January 2018: "F1 and TV rights - what does the future hold? ... [In the UK] Sky will take on exclusive rights to F1 from 2019. ... F1 says it is pursuing a mix of free-to-air, pay TV and OTT (internet streaming), and that the specific solution will be different in each country. But in being tempted by pay TV to boost income, it is no different from many other sports. ... To take the UK as an example, the average audience in the last year of the BBC coverage in 2015 was 3.1m. Channel 4's was 1.9m last year. Sky's in 2017 was 652,000. ... F1 plans to mitigate the same free-to-air audience fall with its OTT offering. ..." — [bbc].

24 January 2018: "General Motors is facing one of the first lawsuits to involve an autonomous vehicle, after a collision between its Cruise self-driving car and a motorbike in California. Motorcyclist Oscar Nilsson is suing GM stating that the Chevrolet Bolt, which was operating in autonomous mode with a backup driver behind the wheel, 'suddenly veered back into Nilsson's lane, striking Nilsson and knocking him to the ground'. ... 7 December ... [car] at 12mph and the motorcycle 17mph. ..." — The G [www].

23 January 2018: "The US has approved controversial tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels. ... But China and South Korea, whose manufacturers will be most heavily affected, criticised the move. US officials said more trade enforcement actions would follow. ..." — [bbc]. Will cars be next?

22 January 2018: "A new plan has been announced to bring car manufacturing back to South Australia, just months after Holden shut up shop. UK billionaire Sanjeev Gupta is looking to buy equipment from the former Holden factory, with aspirations to manufacture electric vehicles in the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth. ..." — [abc]. Yeah, hmmm, maybe, it would be nice.

22 January 2018: "Jaguar Land Rover will cut production of some vehicles [at Halewood] amid uncertainty over Brexit and changes to taxes on diesel cars. ... Vehicle makers have blamed Brexit confusion and a hike in diesel taxation for a general fall in UK car sales. ..." — [bbc]. (Also see 21 Jan..)

22 January 2108, .uk: "Nearly 7 in 10 new cars available with driver assistance systems, with 1.8 million buyers a year benefitting from collision avoidance technology. Autonomous emergency braking [AEB], parking assistance and blind spot sensors also top the list of most popular tech. Road accidents fall 10% in five years as advanced safety tech helps keep drivers safer. ..." — SMMT [www].

22 Jan Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.22 ([Perth] avg $1.28/l, min $1.22); oil us$63/b; au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.58, €0.65, ¥89

21 January 2018: 'Air pollution: Are diesel cars always the biggest health hazard? ... However, modern diesels actually emit very few particulates - because they are equipped with special filters. ... "Modern diesels essentially do not have a particulates problem," he says. "The filters clean up 99% of the particles. So long as they are not tampered with, they are very effective". But diesels also produce nitrogen oxides, or NOx - and how they deal with those is also very important. ... Euro 6 has applied to all new cars sold since September 2015. ... "If you take the cleanest 10% of diesels and the dirtiest 10% of petrol cars, then actually the petrol models will have double the NOx emissions of the diesel ones" says Mr Molden. ... Meanwhile, manufacturers are also trying to make petrol engines more efficient and economical - using so-called "direct injection" technology. But that improvement comes at a price. It can mean they produce much higher levels of particulates. So there is a risk petrol engines could actually become dirtier.' — [bbc].  Also see the 'EQUA' index, Emmission Analytics [www][26/6/'17].

21 January 2018: "Coorong wetlands bird numbers at record low as algae spreads ... at their lowest recorded levels. ..." — [abc].

20 January 2018: End of the 2018 Dakar (see 6 Jan. below) [www]. Bikes, 1. Matthias Walkner, KTM; Quads, 1. Ignacio Casale, Casale Racing; Cars, 1. Carlos Sainz & Lucas Cruz, Peugeot; SxS, 1. Reinaldo Varela & Gustavo Gugelmin, South Racing Can-Am; Trucks, 1. Eduard Nikolaev, Evgeny Yakovlev & Vladimir Rybakov, Kamaz.

19 January 2018: The Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle to go on sale this year in Canada Starting in Quebec ... launch starting with select fleets in Quebec. ... Mirai needs a source of hydrogen ... hydro-electricity ... Mirai can travel more than 500km on a tank of hydrogen. ..." — Toyota [www].

18-19 January 2018: RM Sotheby's Arizona auction [www] including lot 236 a 1921 Alfa Romeo G1, chassis #6018, engine #6018 (sold us$445,000); lot 250 a 1954 Jaguar D-Type works car, chassis #XKD 403, engine #E 2065-9 (not sold).

18 January 2018: Bonhams Scottsdale Auction [www] including lot 6 a 1995 Land Rover Defender 90 hard top, 3.5 V8, chassis #SALDV2285SA962124 (sold us$85,800); lot 44 a 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder, chassis #550A-0145, engine #P90127 (ex Porsche works car, sold us$5,170,000).

18 January 2018: "Provisional figures for global average near-surface temperatures confirm that last year, 2017, was the warmest year on record without the influence of warming from El Nino. ... 2015, 2016 and 2017 were the three warmest years in the series ..." — Met Office [www].  And, "During 2017, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.51°F (0.84°C) above the twentieth-century average. This was the third highest among all years in the 1880-2017 record, behind 2016 (warmest) and 2015 (second warmest). ..." — NOAA [www].

17 January 2018: "Achates Power OP [Opposed-Piston] engine begins real-world test phase ... fitted to Ford F-150 demonstrators ... 2.7-L, 3-cylinder [petrol] ... compression ratio was increased from 16:1 to 18.5:1 ... expected to achieve a combined 37mpg on pump gasoline - 4mpg better than the proposed 2025 CAFE regulations - and deliver 270hp (201kW) and 480 lb-ft (650Nm). ... superior to those produced by Ford's new 3.0-L V6 diesel that will be available in the 2018 F-150. ... true compression ignition ..." — SAE [www].

17 January 2018: "Land Rover today announces a limited-edition high-performance version of the iconic Defender, with up to 150 [5-litre] V8-powered examples re-engineered to celebrate the Land Rover marque's 70th anniversary in 2018. ... from £150K ..." — Land-Rover [www] & [2].  That's the old model, 90s and 110s, last made January 2016, not a replacement which might be coming soon.

17 Jan Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.28/l; min $1.22 ([Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.26); oil us$64/b; au$1.00=us$0.80, £0.58, €0.65, ¥88

17 January 2018, .uk: "Three-fifths of new cars must be electric by 2030 to meet greenhouse gas targets, ministers have been warned. ... Currently, fewer than 5% of new car sales are 'alternatively fuelled', which also includes hybrid models. ..." — [bbc].

17 January 2018, .uk: "Heavy snow is causing disruption across parts of Scotland with drivers stuck in long queues on the motorway between Scotland and England. ..." — [bbc].

16 January 2018: "The Thales Hawkei has been deployed to Iraq as part of the Australian Department of Defence's LAND 121 project. Two vehicles - one in the two-door configuration and one in the four-door configuration - have been deployed to Iraq's Taji Military Complex as part of a test to examine their sustainability in-theatre and ability to deploy to and from an operational area. ..." — Janes [www].

16 January 2018: "Two people have died and eight more have been taken to hospital after a 'horror' multi-vehicle crash near Dubbo, in which a truck allegedly failed to stop at roadworks. ..." — [abc]. (See 6 Feb. above.)

15 January 2018: "A driver has died after a fuel tanker and two other trucks collided on the M1 Pacific Motorway in the Lake Macquarie region, sparking explosions and a bushfire. ..." — [abc].

14-28 January 2018: The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS, Detroit, press 14-16, trade 17-18, charity 19, public 20-28) [www]. Including FCA Jeep 2019 'Cherokee' [www]; Ford 2019 'Ranger' [www] & electric plans [bbc]; GM Chevrolet 2019 'Silverado' [www]; Mercedes the new 'G-class' [www] & SAE [www]; Nissan 'Xmotion' SUV concept [www].

13 January 2018: "... Starting in 1939 as government subsidised mail service, Connellan Airways (renamed Connair in 1970) is credited with opening up the Australian outback. ... Mr Frederkison is one of a number of volunteers who helped to find and restore one of the Heron airplanes used by Connellan Airways from the early sixties. ..." — [abc].

13 Jan Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.24 ([Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.25); oil us$64/b
12 Jan Fri au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.58, €0.65, ¥88

13 January 2018: "Perth could see five times its monthly average rainfall in one day when the remnants of ex-tropical Cyclone Joyce arrive in the metro area after tracking south from the Kimberley. ..." — [abc].

12 January 2018: "Meet the Cruise AV: the First Production-Ready Car With No Steering Wheel or Pedals. GM files petition asking DOT permission to safely deploy self-driving vehicle in 2019 ..." ‐ GM [www].

11-14 January 2018: AutoSport International, the racing car show, NEC Birmingham uk [www].

11 January 2018: "German car maker BMW and Japanese manufacturer Nissan are facing legal action over the use of Takata airbags which have been linked to 18 deaths worldwide. ... All up five manufacturers including Honda, Subaru, Nissan, Toyota and BMW are now facing class-action law suits. ..." — [abc].

10 January 2018: "Land Rover will mark its 70th anniversary with a series of events and celebrations in 2018, beginning with the restoration of the vehicle that started it all - one of the three pre-production Land Rovers shown at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show launch. ..." — Land-Rover [www].

10 January 2018: "Australia's third-warmest year [2017] on record, with the annual national mean temperature 0.95°C above average. Maximum and minimum temperatures warmer than average; particularly maxima, which were the second-warmest on record (1.27°C above average). ..." — Annual climate statement 2017, [bom].

9 January 2018: 'Almost the entire green turtle population in parts of the northern Great Barrier Reef is now female "... sea turtle sex is dependent upon the temperature at which the egg incubates and considering that warmer temperatures produce more female hatchlings ..." ...' — [abc].

8 January 2018: "A new [electric] car [the 'Byton'] designed by former BMW and Apple employees has been unveiled. ... official launch at the annual CES trade show in Las Vegas ... When in full self-driving mode, or stationary, the front seats can turn towards each other ... Among its investors is Chinese internet giant, Tencent. ..." — [bbc].

8 January 2018: "2017 was 3rd warmest year on record for U.S. 16 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters made for costliest year on record ... The average U.S. temperature in 2017 was 54.6°F (2.6°F above average), making 2017 third warmest year in 123 years of record-keeping ... In fact, the five warmest years on record for the U.S. all have occurred since 2006. ... " — NOAA [www].

7 Jan Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.31/l, min $1.25); oil us$61/b
5 Jan Fri au$1.00=us$0.79, £0.58, €0.65, ¥89

7 January 2018: "Sydney hits its highest temperature recorded since 1939 with Penrith reaching 47.3°C ..." — [abc].

7 January 2018: "... [Donald Trump] also said he 'would qualify as not smart, but genius ... and a very stable genius at that!' ..." — The G [www].  (In response to the publication of 'Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,' by Michael Wolff.)

6-20 January 2018: The 2018 Dakar (stage 1).   Peru, Bolivia, Argentina — [www].

6 January 2018: "Parts of southern Australia are sweltering in scorching temperatures today, with some areas also warned of a catastrophic fire danger. ... Temperatures of 40°C were recorded in [Victoria's] north-west at Mildura and Walpeup ..." — [abc].  "A short, sharp burst of very hot weather is on the way for South Australia and the southeastern States during Friday and Saturday. ..." — [bom][5/1].

6 January 2018: "North America's East Coast is shivering in a record-breaking freeze just a day after a deadly 'bomb cyclone' dumped snow as far south as Florida. In parts of US and Canada, temperatures are expected to fall below -20°F (-29°C), said the National Weather Service. ..." — [bbc].

5 January 2018: "What are the new F1 technical rules for 2018? ... Goodbye to T-wings and shark fins ... Hello to halos ..." — FIA [www].

4-7 January 2018: Summernats, Canberra [www].

4 January 2018: "The first complete temperature datasets for 2017 show that last year was the third in a row of exceptionally warm years ... the global average surface air temperature exceeded 14.7°C ... the warmest year on record not influenced by warming El Nino conditions in the tropical Pacific ..." — ECMWF [www].

4 January 2018, .au: "Top Enders [NT] may experience some relief from the hot and sticky conditions as early as next week, with the onset of the monsoon expected to arrive in the coming days ... Territorians endured the fifth warmest year on record with the mercury at Jervois in Central Australia hitting 45.8°C on December 29. ..." — [abc].

4 January 2018: "... carbon tailpipe emissions have risen for the first time since 1997, with new cars averaging 121.04g/km, up 0.8% on 2016. Last year, UK new car CO2 emissions fell for the 19th consecutive year and this is the first year the figure has risen since records began. ..." — SMMT [www].

2 Jan Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.27 ([Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.25); oil us$60/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.58, €0.65, ¥88

2 January 2018: "The billionaire co-founder of struggling Chinese technology giant LeEco has defied a demand from regulators to return to the country. ... Last July its electric car business Faraday Futures suspended plans for a $1bn (£775m) electric car factory in Nevada. It also pulled out of a joint project with British carmaker Aston-Martin to design and build an electric car. ..." — [bbc].

1 January 2018: Fireworks [abc].

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