KEY NOTES

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

CUR­RENT CHAM­PION

TESLA has wrapped up its Aus­tralian demon­stra­tion tour, claim­ing its elec­tric Road­ster drove more than 6000km and con­sumed 1067kW/h at $213.40. The tour ran from Mel­bourne to Port Dou­glas and in­cluded win­ning the in­au­gu­ral EV Chal­lenge Class of the Targa Tas­ma­nia. Na­tional sales man­ager Jay McCor­mack gave 46 test drives to prospec­tive cus­tomers and says the $241,938 Road­ster had ‘‘zero ve­hi­cle faults, zero flat tyres and, of course, pro­duced zero emis­sions’’.

FULL THROT­TLE

VE­HI­CLE pro­duc­tion at Toy­ota Aus­tralia’s Al­tona man­u­fac­tur­ing plant will re­turn to nor­mal — about 9000 ve­hi­cles a month — from June 6. Out­put has been re­duced to 50 per cent of preearthquake lev­els since May 9 to sus­tain parts sup­plies.

PUMP AND FIND

BOWSER­mounted TV mon­i­tors are spring­ing up at cap­i­tal city ser­vice sta­tions, fea­tur­ing traf­fic in­for­ma­tion, news, sport and fi­nance. Mo­torists can see the three near­est in­ci­dents caus­ing traf­fic de­lays dis­played on a map, along with the ex­pected travel times for the ma­jor road­ways in the area. The In­telem­at­ics in­for­ma­tion is on 800 screens at BP and United ser­vice sta­tions.

FLO­RAL AR­RANGE­MENT

DAN­DE­LIONS could soon find their way into your car. Ford and Ohio State Univer­sity are re­search­ing the wild flower as a sus­tain­able re­source for rub­ber. It is ex­pected to im­prove the im­pact strength of plas­tics and could be used as cup hold­ers, floor mats and in­te­rior trim. Re­searchers are us­ing the milky-white sub­stance that seeps from the dan­de­lion roots. It could join sus­tain­able ma­te­ri­als in Ford ve­hi­cles such as soy foam seat cush­ions, wheat straw-filled plas­tic for in­te­rior trim and re­cy­cled cot­ton from blue jeans as sound-damp­en­ing ma­te­rial.

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