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GO A HEAD, TELL US WHAT YOUR REALLY THINK

Jim Thorn, email

But please, keep it tight (no more than 200 words) and do include your suburb if via email: wheels@wheelsmag.com.au You can also have your say on Facebook (search for Wheels Australia), Instagram or Twitter

LETTER OF THE MONTH

INCONVENIENT TRUTHS ABOUT ELECTRIC CARS

IN ALL THE ‘EXCITEMENT’ over electric cars, I think there have been some real-world problems that have been totally overlooked.

HAS ANYONE COME UP WITH A SOLUTION TO THE MASSIVE AMOUNT OF WASTE?

LETTER OF THE MONTH PRIZE

To Jim Thorn for bringing a sobering dose of reality to the EV debate, a year’s subscription to the newlook Wheels. All power to you, Jim!

Almost all people who live in apartments or have to park on the street will never be able to own an electric vehicle. I have never seen this mentioned once, yet large numbers of people, me included, are in this position.

Secondly, if you regularly fast-charge any battery you will greatly reduce its longevity.

So in reality, that eliminates all quick charges unless you want a worthless heap of metal a year after initial purchase.

Finally, has anyone come up with a solution to the massive amount of waste that will be produced once these vehicles reach their end of useful life? Of course not!

Just some things for all the luvvies to consider while they pursue their utopian dreamtime.

You’re right about the inconveniences facing EV owners without off-street parking, Jim, though work is under way on the recycling issue. Nissan is already reusing first-gen Leaf batteries to power camping equipment, for example

– Ed

Jim Thorn, email

“ WITH GPS DATA WE CAN DETERMINE WHAT THE $PEED LIMIT IS … AND HOW FA$T THEY’RE GOING!

PLUGGING HOLES IN THE ECONOMY

WHILE PONDERING Ash Westerman’s piece on car companies being required to include ‘Big Brother’ technology in future vehicles, for our safety (Wheels, May 2019), it occurred to me that the more likely motivation for such tech will come when the government’s bean counters realise the impact of growing EV sales on their coffers. Safety is a consideration; dwindling fuel excise is compelling!

Initially the pollies will think of replacing the 40c-a-litre excise with a simple road charge.

A bit of technology to log distance travelled, upload it (perhaps using a phone app) and bill us a few cents a kilometre (can’t wait for that revenue-neutral calculation).

However, I’m betting that the very next thought will be, “Hey, while we’re at it, with GPS data we can al$o determine where they are … what the $peed limit is … and how fa$t they are going!” All in the name of our $afety, of course.

Your cynicism is entirely justified, Brian, and very well observed. So please stop giving them ideas

– Ed

Brian Wood, email

IN PRAISE OF P76

AFTER READING Inwood editorial in the May issue, had to comment on the whole business of a car’s weight. have written the only book on the subject of the Leyland P76 (Leyland P76: Anything but Average) and during my research for that interviewed many of the key people involved in its creation. By opting to go with the aluminium alloy 4.4-litre V8 engine, which incidentally weighed less than 10kg more than the 2.6-litre SOHC six, they could optimise the whole structure and saved nearly 300lb body-in-white weight versus the contemporary Holden Kingswood, Ford Falcon and Chrysler Valiant.

The US-owned companies designed their bodies to cope with heavy sixes or evenheavier V8s. They knew Leyland had the better car from an engineering point of view. That is why they tried so very hard to discredit the car and stop vendors supplying Leyland!

A comment from Evan Green, whom met later, when asked about the P76 and the London-Munich Rally: “No way the Kingswood, for example, would have survived what the P76 did in that rally, no way!”

Gavin Farmer, email

WRONG FOCUS

PROMPTED BY THE brief note in the March issue about the coming demise of the reardrive BMW 1 Series, had a test drive of an M140i. I was hugely impressed by the power and amused that the car cost only slightly more than a 318i (for the badge buyers). But ultimately, was disappointed by BMW’s emphasis on comfort over sportiness. My Focus ST feels more alive, especially the steering, a point lost on the BMW guy who was more a sales person than a car guy. No manual gearbox also didn’t help. will be interested to see what the new ST is like next year, and what else is around then.

Kym Haines, email

CHARGING FACES THE TEST OF TIME

CONGRATULATIONS on the excellent article by Ash Westerman in your May edition on driving the Nissan Leaf on trips away from the city. Most refreshingly, Ash dealt with real facts and did not give us the pie-in-the-sky rubbish usually served up by ill-informed cave dwellers.

One other problem EVs will face is if you arrive at a charge station and all outlets are occupied. You will have to wait up to twice as long to get a recharge. Could be hours.

The article was spot-on about renewables not being able to supply base-load power in their current forms, especially at night and when the wind is not blowing. There will be the need for coal-fired or (CO2-free!) nuclear power plants for a long time to come.

Roger Miller, email

SMALL ISSUE WITH THE COROLLA

CAMERON KIRBY’S long-term report on the Corolla (Wheels, April 2019) states, “The boot can easily swallow a pair of camping chairs and an esky primed with snacks, while the compact dimensions meant it was easily able to slot in between the hulking dual-cabs in the dusty car park.” This was very misleading as the Corolla has the smallest boot in class – even smaller than the Yaris – while having larger overall dimensions than the previous Corolla. Sounds like Cameron got his interior and exterior dimensions mix up, as the new Corolla is smaller inside and bigger outside.

Ian Gibson, email

NEW LOOK IS LOOKING GOOD

I JUST WANTED to say how impressed I’ve been with the last two editions. Apart from their clear and beautiful layout, the articles have tight content and tremendous variety. As you turn the page something new pops up to excite or stimulate. also believe your writers have collectively stepped up their craft. There seems to be a focus on elevating headings, facts and a greater injection of personality. It’s excellent. I’m also enjoying the blend of people and machines. The yank CEO [Mark Reuss] was intriguing, as were Dicker [Roden Cars] and Mäkinen. Their journeys enrich our own.

Some may measure the success of your magazine purely on circulation figures but for me, and many others, it is in the quality that the magazine now exudes and its assertiveness to lead its readers into the future. Bravo.

Sliding your letter under the nose of our publisher netted us a long lavish lunch, David, so we owe you one – Ed

David Stewart, Mudgee, NSW

CORRECTION: Last month’s feature drive of the Nissan Leaf mentioned ChargePoint as Nissan’s energy provider partner. This is incorrect, the company in question is JET Charge. We apologise.

“Mum, you should have bought a CX-5” GETTING ’EM STARTED YOUNG

Max Gleeson is clearly a kid going places. While his current wheels might require a dollar deposit, he’s obviously destined for bigger and better things. What’s more, he looks odds-on to save a few bucks when it’s his time to take the plunge on a new car.