Electric car tips
Speed bump pain
SUVs don’t slow
Trucks in left lanes
Reverse needed by CD decision makers
Re: "CD finally booted“ (Motoring news, RA September) I could boot the people who make the decision to delete the humble CD player from modern cars. My wife and I regularly listen to talking books in our cars, particularly on our longer monthly trips up-country. Listening to digital radio is not an option for us older folk. As for streaming from a smartphone, we don’t want to use up our meagre data allowances streaming music or talking books. When we replace our cars, the lack of a CD player will automatically rule out that model for us.
Shane Doyle, Sunbury
I’m worried for Holden's future
"Motoring on“ (RA September), paints an upbeat picture of the future of automotive companies. But some may not know that when Holden announced its intention to close manufacturing, it was reported that it also considered closing the Lang Lang proving ground. Thankfully, it will not happen.
I’m not yet convinced Holden as a brand will be able to continue. It does not exist outside Australasia.
While only in my mid 30s, I’ve been left despondent since the reports of manufacturing closure. I had a passion for Australian-made cars. Now, I’m nonchalant. I hope those younger than me have a more sustained vigour, but if my loss of enthusiasm is replicated more broadly, I can’t see how local designers and engineers can continue to achieve the same innovation and results, when the rumble of Australian engines are no longer to be heard next door.
Anthony Wasiukiewicz,Yallourn North
Editor’s note: Australian engineers are highly regarded and will focus on developing world cars, thus building a respected cachet of “designed and engineered in Australia”.
A bugger history
I enjoyed reading the article on the rise and demise of the local car manufacturing industry, but thought the fates of Chrysler and Mitsubishi (regardless of the Victorian focus of the article) and Nissan should have been included. Nissan moreso, given it took over the Volkswagen factory in Clayton (which gets a mention, and is now home to HSV) and it still employs Victorians in its Dandenong casting factory.
Justin Scott, Chelsea Heights
In reply to Peter Henery ("Time to take charge“, Your Say, RA September), with electric vehicles charging may be a critical factor. EVs will not suit every drive, just 90 per cent of them. I hope that by the time Victoria builds electric highways, the next generation of the lower-priced EVs will have a range of 200 kilometres.
I have had a PHEV Outlander for two years, with 26,000 kilometres driven. I have only ever charged at home (Bendigo, Victoria) but as my average daily commute is only 25 to 30 kilometres, most of these are done using electricity.
Ian Belmont, Strathdale
Bumps are a pain
In response to “Call for a major bump in safety” (Your Say, RA September), as a person with chronic neck and back pain, most speed humps exacerbate pain and discomfort. I am sure many other drivers and passengers have similar concerns.
Most railway crossings, potholes and corrugations are best avoided, as are public parking areas, supermarket approaches and many private car parking facilities. Speed humps with smooth inclines and rounded tops are much gentler than the rigid, edged variety. It seems that these devices slow traffic, but it would be great if planners took pain issues into account when coming up with road and traffic control designs.
Susanne Bradley, Beaconsfield Upper
SUVS don't slow
I disagree with speed humps at roundabouts to slow traffic. I live in an area full of speed humps – sure they slow those few of us who still drive a car but they don’t seem to have any effect on the masses of SUVs that make every attempt to show in my mirrors the numbers embossed on their headlight lenses.
John Anderson, Donvale
Having recently been in Europe, it was interesting to see a difference in emphasis on the environment specification in vehicle reviews between there and Australia.
It seemed this is a cost factor as much as an environmental consideration. Take the United Kingdom as an example, vehicle tax depends on the CO2 emission rate, insurance with the UK’s RAC is reduced by up to 25 per cent and the London congestion tax can be avoided by those who drive low-emission cars.
In Australia, while emission figures are listed in reviews, they are not always commented on. I notice that the Toyota Yaris hybrid is on sale in Europe and rates less than 80g/km, possibly avoiding London car congestion tax.
Tom Maher, Aspendale
Melanie Ball’s assertion that “a bushwalk is an exhilarating experience requiring no special skills” is incorrect.
Skills are essential in the outdoors. Theoretical knowledge about where to go and what to wear is meaningless without the ability to apply it to specific situations. Skills develop through practice: combining sensory input and output. Knowing all there is to know about bushwalking makes me knowledgeable, not competent or skilled. To become so requires practice – applying knowledge and mastering skills through experience.
Kathleen Pleasants, Bendigo
Imagine the uproar
I have also been in Europe and seen the efficient use of the inside lane by trucks and the next lane for overtaking. It works very well for their conditions as Suzanne Stillman (Your Say, September, “No need for trial”) says. However the motorways in Europe don’t have freeway entrances or exits in close proximity, as we do. Can you imagine the uproar from the motoring population if they encountered a continuous line of trucks travelling in the left lane on the Monash freeway with the next lane full of trucks overtaking those in the left lane. For those motorists travelling through to regional areas it would be marvellous, but for those wishing to get on or off the freeway in the city confines it would be somewhat difficult, I think.
Terry Vyner, Kealba
Cruise with no control
For six years I had a car with cruise control, which I frequently used in 40k zones, of which there are many – schools, road works, shopping strips and (more often these days) local streets. I recently bought a new car with cruise control, which I found, to my dismay, I was unable to use in 40k zones. I complained to the dealer, but was told no cars can use cruise control in 40k zones. I pointed out that I had been using it in 40k zones for six years, with absolutely no ill effects. I would like to know how many other drivers are frustrated at not being able to use cruise control under 45k. It is much more difficult to maintain a slow speed than a fast speed and I can see no logical reason for this restriction.
Barbara Mann, Ormond