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’’.
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.
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.