As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Australia’s Best New Car News, Reviews and Buying Advice


A Big Weekend At Bathurst

It was a big weekend of racing that happened at Bathurst.  The 2024 Repco Bathurst 12 Hour race proved to be an eventful and exciting race, and it was a dominant performance from Matt Campbell, Ayhancan Guven, and Laurens Vanthoor who all drove faultlessly to take out the win in their yellow Manthey EMA Porsche race car, number 912. 

The race was fraught with changeable weather throughout the day, meaning that a skilful pit crew needed to remain on the ball for selecting the right tyre for the driving conditions.  There were numerous cars involved in crashes with or without other race cars, and against barriers that forced the teams out of the race.  At multiple stages, the skies opened up, lashing down torrential rain that made driving quickly extremely risky in the wet.  Throughout the day, these changing conditions made it very important for the teams’ pit crews to match up their car with the right tyre, enabling them to be set-up for successfully completing the race. 

It was less than three seconds between first and second place, with team number 75 and its drivers (K. Habul, J. Gounon, and L. Stolz) guiding their SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG into second place.  And it was less than four seconds behind the race leader and team number 22; drivers L. Talbot, K. van der Linde, and C. Haase bringing their Wash It/Jamec Team MPC Audi home for third place.

The excitement didn’t end there.  Previously, in the build-up to the big race, a new closed-cockpit race record was set by Jules Gounon driving an unrestricted Mercedes-AMG GT3 car.  Gounon, the three-time defending 12 Hour Bathurst race winner, clocked a 1 minute and 56.6054 second lap.  Though this was an unofficial lap record (official lap records are set during racing itself), his time was quicker than the previous closed-cockpit track record (1 minute and 58.690 seconds) set in 2019 by Luke Youlden in a Brabham BT62.  During this fastest lap for closed-cockpit cars, Gounon, in the Mercedes-AMG GT3, was hitting 270 km/h on Mountain Straight, 200 km/h into the Cutting, 240 km/h into McPhillamy, and 302 km/h into The Chase.  This bid for a race record was part of Mercedes-AMG’s celebration of its 130th anniversary of being involved in motorsport.

And if you think that reading about it is exciting enough, try and take yourself there next year to actually watch at least some of it live. Motorsport is a lot more exciting when seen live in person, where you can feel the air shake, smell the fumes and see what those speeds actually look like as the vehicles pass you.  Or if the full 12 hours of Bathurst isn’t for you, then check out another motorsport event – something that should be on every car enthusiast’s bucket list.

Or just enjoy the highlights reel:

Paying For The Roads We Drive On

Across the Tasman, there are plenty of people getting annoyed at the increase in large, damaging potholes that have developed over the last few years on NZ’s tarmac road surfaces, even on main State Highways.  Over there, for quite some time, EV owners have been getting a free ride on the coattails of motorists using an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle and who pay their fair share of road user chargers (RUCs) and/or a large portion of tax levied on the fuel at the pumps for the roading upkeep.  This got me thinking about how should we be fairly introducing EVs to the masses while maintaining our roading systems?  I realize it’s likely to be a bit contentious, but it’s not a question just for New Zealand’s new government to answer; it is also worth giving a bit time to thought and discussion here in Australia. 

In Australia, we pay quite a lot of money into the pool of government funds that is received on yearly vehicle registrations.  According to the Australian general insurance provider, GIO, the average cost for a family car is likely to be around $1240 per year.  The excise tax (an indirect tax charged by government on the sale of a particular good or service) on the common fuels used in Australia (as of 1 February 2022) is $0.442 per litre.  Introducing a direct road user charge as a replacement for fuel excise tax is something that has been bandied about at various high levels of government in Australia.  The idea gains extra weight particularly when you consider the seemingly imminent transition from fossil-fuel and the ICE to electric vehicles (EVs).  

A transition from ICE vehicles to EVs changes the maths and raises eyebrows for those harbouring the more philosophical questions involving fairness and equality for all socioeconomic groups.  Without some form of direct user charge for the EV motorist, they would otherwise make no contribution to the roads’ upkeep. 

If, in the future, we do end up going entirely electric, the current $12 billion or so of annual revenue from fuel tax will need to be replaced from some other scheme or source.  It seems quite economically sound to simply charge for owning and using cars on a scale according to the number of kilometres driven.

Adding another aspect to your discussion on this topic down at the pub might earn you a free drink, so how about considering the damage caused to roads according to the weight of the vehicle driving over it?  A UK report carried out by researchers at the University of Leeds suggested that EVs can damage roads at twice the rate of an equivalent-sized ICE vehicle.  According to the data, the average EV adds 2.24 times more wear and tear to roads than an ICE vehicle of similar size.  They also think that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with a mass of over 2000 kg contribute 2.32 times the rate of road deterioration. 

So could the fuel excise could be scrapped altogether, and all vehicles should be taxed via a user pays system based on the weight/mass of a vehicle?  This sort of deal might actually help lower emissions in the long run because the lighter the car, the more frugal it is, EVs, hybrids, and ICEs all included.  The cost of road repairs is also related to the CO2 emissions as well, so the fewer road repairs are required, the lower the emissions emitted – well, in theory anyway.  What do you reckon?

Affordable Electric Mobility: A Quick Guide to Australian EV Incentives

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are at the forefront of the automotive industry’s green revolution, offering a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional fossil-fuelled cars.

However, the perception of high upfront costs has deterred many Australians from making the switch to EV cars.

So, to address this concern, both federal and state governments across Australia have introduced a variety of incentives to make EVs more affordable.

Let’s explore the many EV incentives available throughout Australia and provide insights into how you can maximise savings when buying an Electric Vehicle.

What are the incentives for EVs in Australia?

Please note: these are current numbers as of date of publication: Nov 2023

Federal EV Incentives in Australia

1. FBT Exemption 

Effective from July 1, 2022, eligible low or zero-emission vehicles are exempt from fringe benefits tax (FBT) – a significant reduction that can result in thousands of dollars in annual savings. 

2. 0% Import Tariff 

The Australian Federal Government has eliminated the 5% import tariff on EVs, which reduces the upfront costs of purchasing an EV. Without the import tariff, EV owners can save up to $2500 in purchase prices. 

3. Higher LCT Threshold 

The luxury car tax (LCT) threshold for EVs has been set significantly higher than for non-EVs. For the 2023/24 financial year, the LCT threshold for EVs was $89,332 ($76,950 for non-EVs). This allows EV owners to purchase more expensive cars before qualifying for the LCT. 

These Australia-wide incentives are also supported by various state-specific incentives that can help to further reduce the cost of EV ownership across Australia. 

State incentives for Australian EV owners

To maximise your savings, it’s best to combine both federal and state incentives, provided you are eligible for both. Here are some of the state-based incentives that may be available to you.

What incentives are available for EV owners in NSW?

  • NSW EV RebateThe state government offers a rebate of $3,000 for the first 25,000 new battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles priced below $68,750.
  • NSW Stamp Duty ExemptionEligible new or used battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell light vehicles priced up to $78,000 are exempt from stamp duty, potentially saving you up to $3,000.For more information, check: NSW Electric Vehicle Rebate.

What incentives are available for EV owners in Queensland?

  • Queensland Zero Emission Vehicle Rebate SchemeThe state government offers a rebate of $3,000 for the first 25,000 new battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with a dutiable value below $68,750.
  • Discounted Registration and Stamp DutyQueensland offers lower registration and stamp duty rates for hybrid and electric vehicles (compared to Internal Combustion Engine vehicles), potentially resulting in significant ongoing savings.

    For more information, check the: Queensland Zero Emission Vehicle Rebate Scheme.

What incentives are available for EV owners in Victoria?

  • $100 Registration Fee DiscountLight zero and low-emission vehicles (ZLEVs) are eligible for a registration discount of up to $100 per year.
  • Exemption From ‘Luxury Vehicle’ RateEVs in Victoria have a flat stamp duty rate of $8.40 for every $200 in market value.For updates, check: Victoria Zero Emissions Vehicle Subsidy.

    These incentives are available for EV Owners on the East Coast.

    You can utilise these alongside the federal incentives mentioned above to maximise cost savings when buying a new EV.

What state EV incentives are available for the rest of Australia?

Now’s a great time to consider buying an EV

The available incentives at both federal and state levels make owning an EV in Australia more affordable and accessible than ever before.

These incentives not only promote sustainable transportation but also help individuals minimise their environmental footprint and personal spending.

When considering the purchase of an EV, be sure to explore the specific incentives available in your region and leverage the opportunities to maximise your savings on the road to a greener future.

Find the right EV at the right price with Private Fleet

Private Fleet empowers you to gain all the benefits of a fleet purchase but as a private buyer – and get advice on the latest EV incentives!

Backed by decades of vehicle industry experience, fleet buying power and a network of car dealers across Australia, we are here to ensure that buying your next electric vehicle will be as straightforward as possible for you.

Shopping for a car is an enjoyable process – let us make it hassle-free, too.

Reach out to us today for a seamless and simple car-buying experience.

NOTE: All of the above information is true as of writing at Nov 2023. To ensure accurate information about federal and state-specific incentives for EV owners, check the official websites of each state’s Transport Department.

Internet of Things (IoT) and the Australian Automotive Industry: what you need to know

Internet of Things (IoT) and the Australian Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is consistently evolving. And quite recently, one thing has revolutionised the way we drive: the Internet of Things (IoT).

While the IoT is a relatively new technology type, it has quickly become prominent and is now part of the everyday lives of people in Australia and beyond. If you’ve ever worn a smartwatch, used your phone to control your thermostat or created a shopping list on your smart refrigerator – all these are proof that the IoT is both popular and practical.

Naturally, this technological phenomenon is also reshaping the way vehicles of today are designed, manufactured, and driven.

So, in this article, we’ll explore what the IoT is, its role in the Australian automotive industry, its benefits and how this intersection is revolutionising the future of driving.

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the collective network of interconnected devices, vehicles, and other objects that share data and communicate over the Internet.

In IoT, devices are equipped with sensors, software, and connectivity features that allow them to collect and exchange information with other devices in the network without human intervention. Some of the most popular uses of the IoT are seen as wearable devices used to monitor health. It’s also used in smart home security systems and WiFi-enabled home appliances such as smart refrigerators and dishwashers.

In the automotive context, the use of IoT (also referred to as automotive IoT) can range from sensors in vehicles to traffic lights and even smart city infrastructure.

What are the applications of IoT in the automotive industry?

The impact of the Internet of Things on the Australian automotive industry is best observed in the following innovative advancements:

1. Connected cars are powered by automotive IoT.

IoT technology has enabled the rise of connected cars.

Connected cars are equipped with sensors that collect data about the

  • vehicle’s performance,
  • surroundings and
  • driver behaviour.

This automotive data can then be communicated to service providers for:

  • remote diagnostics,
  • predictive maintenance and
  • overall enhancement of the driving experience.

2. IoT is utilised in vehicle fleet management.

For businesses operating vehicle fleets, IoT provides real-time monitoring and management capabilities. It allows fleet managers to track the following:

  • vehicle location,
  • fuel consumption and
  • vehicle health.

This way, routes and maintenance schedules can be optimised to streamline operations.

3. Smart traffic management is also possible with IoT.

IoT plays a crucial role in creating smart cities with intelligent traffic management systems. It enables traffic lights, road sensors, and cameras to communicate with vehicles, enhancing safety and improving traffic flow.

Cities like Singapore, London and Barcelona use this technology already.

the applications of IoT in the automotive industry

What are the benefits of automotive IoT?

Automotive IoT is designed to improve the overall driving experience. It comes with several benefits, including:

Data-driven insights

The data collected by automotive IoT devices provides manufacturers with valuable insights they can use for predictive analytics and predictive maintenance. These insights can then be used to design better and safer vehicles, improve the manufacturing process and enhance customer experiences.

Enhanced road safety

Since automotive IoT technologies provide real-time data and alerts that can be used to assess risks of malfunction, they can help reduce road accidents and promote road safety.

Increased efficiency

With available data, manufacturers can improve the manufacturing process. Businesses with fleets can even use IoT technologies to improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs, while every single driver can benefit from increased accessibility with IoT.

While automotive IoT may still have some limitations, the ongoing advancements in automotive technology are opening up an exciting future where our vehicles can seamlessly integrate into a digital world.

Whether you’re headed on your dream adventure or just driving around running errands, it’s good to know that there are technologies that can make the driving experience more convenient and safer for everyone.

Find the right smart and connected vehicle for you with Private Fleet.

Private Fleet empowers you to gain all the benefits of a fleet purchase but as a private buyer.

Backed by decades of vehicle industry experience, fleet buying power and a network of car dealers across Australia, we’re here to ensure that buying your next vehicle will be as straightforward as possible while taking advantage of the latest technologies.

Shopping for a car is an enjoyable process – let us make it hassle-free, too.

Reach out to us today for a seamless and simple car-buying experience.