This week in car news: June 6-10, 2022
We publish a ton of car news stories during the working week (70-odd as a rule), and it can be tough to keep up with everything – which is the rationale behind this weekend list.
In short, here are some key articles from our news desk since Monday of this week summarised, just in case you missed them at the time.
The likely new top-selling EV has landed
Tesla’s hotly-anticipated Model Y SUV has finally been priced for Australia.
The electric SUV will kick off at $68,900 before on-road costs for the rear-wheel drive model, simply called Model Y, while the Model Y Performance will set you back $98,689 before on-roads.
There’s no all-wheel drive Long Range model on offer in Australia at launch. Deliveries are expected to start between August and November, led by the rear-wheel drive model.
FULL STORY: 2023 Tesla Model Y price and specs, delivery times confirmed
Belt up, fools!
New cameras in Queensland have recorded over 100,000 infringements for the use of mobile phones and the lack of use of seatbelts over the past six months.
Between November 1, 2021 and May 25, 2022, a total of 100,375 infringement notices were issued based on images taken by these cameras. While the majority of these (71,596) were for mobile phone use, 13,651 infringement notices were issued for drivers not wearing seatbelts and 15,128 were for passengers not wearing seatbelts.
“We gave people a lot of warning that these were coming. If you’re doing the wrong thing, driving distracted or not got your seatbelt on, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble,” said Queensland’s Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey.
FULL STORY: Queensland cameras record over 100,000 mobile phone and seatbelt offences
Dodgy DPF finding leads to class action, appeal
Toyota has lodged an appeal with the Australian Federal Court, which earlier this year found defective diesel particulate filters (DPFs) opened it up to a potential billion dollar class action.
The carmaker says it will challenge the factual and legal basis behind the award of damages, focusing on people eligible for the resultant class action who did not suffer DPF issues.
In April this year the Court negatively assessed Toyota Motor Australia (TMC) on the matter of faulty DPFs in the huge-selling HiLux and Prado, plus the Fortuner. It found TMC engaged in misleading conduct in connection with marketing and selling the relevant vehicles.
FULL STORY: Toyota appeals Federal Court finding as DPF class action looms
Rideshare to drive EV uptake
Ride-sharing service Uber will halve service fees for electric vehicle drivers between now and mid-2025, in a bid to encourage its operators to move away from petrol, diesel, and hybrids.
The new policy, announced this week, follows a successful 12-month trial in Australia. Uber says the move is equivalent to a $26 million investment in the Australian electric vehicle (EV) market.
The first 2500 drivers to make the switch are eligible for half-price service fees, up to a value of $3500 per year.
FULL STORY: How Uber is pushing Australian drivers to go electric
What’s next for Polestar?
What comes after the Polestar 2? The Polestar 3, of course. The electric Polestar 3 SUV has been uncovered for the first time, ahead of its reveal in October 2022.
The large SUV will go head-to-head with the BMW iX and Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV when it launches, and is set to spearhead the Polestar brand’s charge in the USA.
Under the skin, the 3 will share its bones with the next-generation Volvo XC90 – likely to be known as the Embla. It’ll be made in China and the USA, with production to kick off early in 2023.
FULL STORY: 2023 Polestar 3 targeting 600km range
Bucking the downward trend
It’s not all doom and gloom out there in the automotive industry. Despite ongoing stock shortages and waiting lists, some vehicles are actually growing in uptake during 2022.
That goes against the overall market, where sales are down 4.1 per cent largely on account of insufficient shipments – a consequence of semiconductor shortages and COVID-led factory shutdowns for the most part.
Here are 10 relatively well-known, mainstream offerings showing good growth across 2022 in both percentage and numerical terms, relative to the same period in 2021. They’re listed alphabetically.
FULL STORY: 10 cars with sales growth in 2022, belying the gloom
Stretched Ranger incoming?
It looks like Ford might have some stretching plans for its new-generation Ranger ute. On June 3 we were able to capture exclusive images of what looks like a longer version of a Ford Ranger while parked at an IKEA in Melbourne.
Seemingly normal from the cabin forward, this spied Ranger prototype is left-hand drive and has a longer tub than the regular double-cab ute with extra space between the rear door and rear wheel. There’s also a side-exit exhaust on the right-hand side.
It’s unclear how much longer this spied prototype actually is in comparison to the existing 2023 Ford Ranger dual-cab, but going off the images it looks like an extra 25-30cm long.
FULL STORY: 2023 Ford Ranger spied with extended tray
Apple CarPlay evolves
Forget about iPhone vs Android, the next battle between Apple and Google will be played out in the car.
Announced this morning at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), the next-generation of CarPlay will be integrated deeper into new cars than the current, phone-based system.
Along with the central infotainment display, the next-gen CarPlay system will integrate with the driver’s readout and supplementary screens used to control things like climate.
FULL STORY: Next-generation Apple CarPlay will control more than media
Subaru plugs in, and fans are keen
Don’t expect to see it here before mid-2023, but already the Subaru Solterra has notched up thousands of expressions of interest from brand enthusiasts and those keen to buy into Subaru’s first all-wheel drive EV.
At least, that’s according to Subaru Australia managing director Blair Read, who gave CarExpert an early look at the vehicle, here in Australia for on-going evaluation ahead of its market launch.
“We’ve already shown the car to various dealers and Subaru customers and I can say the number of people who have registered their interest in what is Subaru’s first ever all-electric vehicle runs into the thousands,” Mr Read said.
FULL STORY: 2023 Subaru Solterra, strong buyer interest in brand’s first EV
The Western Australian police force is trialling two zero-emission vehicles: the Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric crossover, and Toyota Mirai hydrogen-fuel cell sedan.
This trial – and publicity exercise – is intended to showcase whether these electrified vehicles have potential for frontline policing applications in the future.
Both the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Toyota Mirai have been decked out with WA Police Force branding, police radios, lights and sirens.
FULL STORY: Hyundai Ioniq 5 EV, Toyota Mirai hydrogen car join WA police