Proposed new emission standards may hit tradies says HIA

THE Housing Industry Association (HIA) is concerned about the impact the Federal Governments fuel emissions standards will have on the cost of doing business for tradies, according to HIA chief executive for industry and policy, Simon Croft.

“The Federal Government has stated that the new emissions standards won’t increase the costs of utes, 4WDs or other light-commercial vehicles nor restrict access to these types vehicles going forward," Mr Croft said.

“But other industry experts claim to have modelling that shows the new laws will add significant upfront costs and are likely to result in car manufacturers needing to scale back the key types of vehicles that our industry relies on to run and operate their businesses.

“At the moment there is no viable alternative to replace these vehicles," he said. 

“The building industry hasn’t been directly consulted on these new emission standards, despite their potential direct impacts and we would encourage the Federal Government to engage with our industry on the timing and introduction of the proposed new laws.

“Over the past three years, the building industry has faced significant construction price increases, arising from material and labour shortages, as well a range of changes to building, WHS, taxation and business compliance costs.

“Any further added costs, complexities or regulatory impediments being layered over the top of our industry at this time will only make their jobs harder and have downstream impacts on housing supply and affordability," Mr Croft said.

“HIA understands the intent of the proposed emission standards in reducing fuel costs and lowering emissions, however, the uncertainty of new laws and lack of information being released is not helpful.

“Therefore, we would encourage the Government to release their modelling to provide clarity and certainty on the new proposed laws to allow industry to adequately gauge the impact of the laws.

“If the government wants to build 1.2 million houses in five years it needs to consider the needs of the workers who are responsible for reaching that target," Mr Croft said.



Australia’s SEA Electric partners with Zurich to back global commercial EV growth

SEA ELECTRIC, the Australian all-electric commercial vehicle innovator, is collaborating with insurance giant Zurich – through its Zurich Resilience Solutions (ZRS) group – to assist global fleet transitions to sustainable technology.

SEA Electric Australia sales director, Joe Di Santo said the Zurich brand globally represented quality and integrity, with its risk engineering team of around 800 engineers set to work with SEA Electric customers to enhance their EV switch. 

ZRS provides specialised insights and tools – above and beyond insurance – to help companies across a wide range of industries manage traditional and evolving risks to become more resilient. Services are provided across a number of domains, including climate change resilience, supply chain risk, and cyber security.

“The Zurich brand is highly respected within the industry, so to be working in combination with them moving forward has significant positive outcomes for both businesses, and, importantly, SEA Electric customers,” Mr Di Santo said. “The offering Zurich brings to the partnership truly has the potential to complement, enhance and complete the purchase of SEA Electric vehicles.

“Transitioning to electric is a big commitment. Our customers look to and rely on SEA Electric for guidance around the implementation of best practice strategy when it comes to the circular economy of commercial electric vehicles. We take seriously our responsibility of connecting our customers with reputable and proven organisations such as Zurich, as we lead the country in the shift to sustainable transport.

“Zurich’s risk assessment service will assist customers in understanding and identifying the many considerations, both short and long term, that come with such a purchase, ensuring they are properly prepared and set-up to scale as needed,” Mr Di Santo said.

“Ultimately with Zurich, we will be able to share learnings and enhance each other’s product offerings.”

Mr Di Santo said SEA Electric would work to assist Zurich customers in their understanding of commercial electric vehicle operations with customer experience days and webinars, while Zurich’s risk engineering department would benefit from ongoing training from SEA Electric’s knowledgeable team.

For Zurich, the partnership confirms the commitment of the business in working with customers to achieve sustainability.

ZRS Australia and New Zealand chief, Mervyn Rea said, “We are delighted that Zurich’s leading risk and resilience capability is supporting commercial EV uptake in Australia. Zurich and SEA Electric share a common commitment to improving the sustainability and resilience of our customers and community and this agreement presents an important opportunity to further this.”

Available now from a nationwide dealer network, SEA Electric introduced the world’s first comprehensive range of all-electric commercial vehicles in 2021, covering models from 4.5t through to 22.5t, which are entirely adaptable to a wide array of final applications.



CarClarity loan platform is on the fast track

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

CARCLARITY, Australia’s first true car loan platform with an easy online application process, is set to revolutionise Australia’s auto market.

Zaheer Jappie, the founder and CEO of CarClarity, said the aim was to change the way people buy and finance car purchases.

He said CarClarity gave people the opportunity to examine options for a new car in 60 seconds. 

“It’s quite a different experience because we take into account the customer’s criteria, their credit score, their income, the car they’re buying and we actually give them real options up front,” Mr Jappie told Talking Business.

He said the process of the car dealership space in Australia and the financing of car purchases had not changed in 20 years.

“What we’re seeing in the other market globally is a big shift to more digital plays for buying a car and financing,” Mr Jappie said. “There’s a lot of hot-off-the-press overseas models that are doing very well and listing for big amounts of money and getting a lot of investment because customers’ needs are obviously more digital now and that’s now moving to the car financing space.”


Mr Jappie himself had been in the consumer financing space for 14 years and had worked for a lender and helped build their distribution channel.

He got involved in car loans and helped distribute it Australia wide for finance brokers and got to understand how the system worked.

“What I realised was there was a huge opportunity here, where there is a disconnect between customer experience and expectations versus the reality of what happens,” Mr Jappie said.

The CarClarity company was set up with a lot of support from executives in the fintech world who have advised the business on its growth.

Mr Jappie said the business had been growing well during the lockdowns as a lot of people were buying cars for family trips “because they could not travel overseas”.

People are also looking for the opportunity to buy and finance and car purchase online, he said. 

Second hand utes, SUVs and four wheel drives have been selling well. People were actually paying more for these than new cars as new models were hard to get, Mr Jappie said.


Mr Jappie said customer feedback was a critical part of the CarClarity business model. The company does 10 customer interviews a month and those interviews provided some important guidance.

“The interesting thing was, when we started this process, we wanted to make it all digital, all online and people want that allowance to do that,” Mr Jappie said.

“They want to be able to do that online. But what a lot of our customers appreciate is actually talking to somebody once they have gone to our site, got their loan.

“They actually want to speak to somebody to help them and get the right advice. The customers’ feedback was they love the digital experience.”

CarClarity is now looking to expand and is talking to manufacturers about how it can work with dealership groups.

Mr Jappie said CarClarity was not looking to be disruptive. It just wanted to make the auto industry more efficient for customers.

“When you have a customer, a dealer and a lender, how can we make that triangle there have a really good harmony between all of them and make a better experience for all involved?” he said.

“That’s definitely the medium-to -ong term goal for us,” Mr Jappie said.

“We want CarClarity to be the home for car finance in Australia.”

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at

Hear Talking Business here:




Falcon GTHO Phase III sells for $1.3m and Holden VS GTSR tops $750k

A HSV HOLDEN VS GTSR W1 sold at auction on Saturday for $750,000, at an event billed as Australia’s most collectable line up of classic vehicles ever to go to auction.

Build #017 off the production line,16km on the odometer and the only one finished in the original colour VS GTSR XU3 Yellah, this brand-new car yet to be registered in Australia, was accepting online bidding for about a month on the Lloyds Auctions website. The online competition sparked a bidding war between Holden enthusiasts.

“Holdens just keep going up in value and as we have seen with other collectable Holdens within this auction, people are looking to get their hands on them as they become harder and harder to come by,” Lloyds Auctions chief operating officer Lee Hames said. 

“We had a range of people interested in bidding on these Holdens from enthusiasts and collectors but also investors looking to put their money into something they can also enjoy.”


This Holden wasn’t the only rare model to go under the hammer on Saturday as it was alongside a collection of extremely rare one-of-one Holdens which also achieved record prices.

A build #001 1996 Holden HSV VS GTSR, still wrapped in its plastic, with only 86km on the clock sold for $1,000,000, while a HSV GTSR W1 Maloo Ute reached a hammer price of $1,250,000 but went into negotiations and is expected to sell in the coming days.


However, in the end it was Ford that took the top honours for the auction in terms of pricing. 

Although negotiations on the W1 Ute that got passed in are expected to exceed the Ford’s record, at the auction itself  the rare Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III, in Yellow Glo, sold for $1.3 million.

In parallel, and in an Australian first, the non-fungible token (NFT) classic car art model of this exact Phase III followed directly after its sale selling for over $50,000.

“Holdens and Fords continue to appreciate in value,” Mr Hames said. “Anything of a limited build, celebrity affiliation, significant history or chrome bumpers just keeps going up in value and we urge any Holden or Ford enthusiast looking for advice to give us a call right now.”


RACV pinpoints Victoria's cheapest cars to operate overall

RACV has revealed Victoria’s most affordable new cars across a range of category types, making it easier for consumers to understand how much different vehicles will cost them to operate each month over a five-year period.

The results were collated as part of RACV’s Annual Operating Costs Survey and found the cheapest car in the Victorian market is the MG3 light hatchback, followed by the Kia Picanto S and the Kia Rio S light hatch in second and third place, respectively. The MG3 Core will cost owners $626.50 a month, the Kia Picanto S $662.93 and the Kia Rio S $705.71.

RACV’s Vehicle Operating Costs Survey highlights the overall cost of ownership of more than 80 of Australia’s best-selling and emerging models and has been running for more than 50 years.

The survey factors in the initial purchase price and loan repayments, registration charges, insurance, auto club membership, fuel or electric vehicle charging costs, tyres, servicing and repairs, all averaged over a five-year period. 

RACV’s calculations are based on a private vehicle with mileage of 15,000km per year, which is about the average distance travelled by Victorian drivers.

RACV head of communications and engagement, Andrew Scannell said the most significant cost of a new car was the up-front purchase price.

“Registration, insurance, and club membership make up about 15 to 20 percent, while fuel takes a 10 and 15 percent slice,” Mr Scannell said.

“Servicing costs consume between three and seven percent of the overall costs and tyres just one to three percent.

“Not surprisingly – and consistent with previous years’ results – light passenger cars are the most affordable vehicle segment.

“If you buy a light hatch, you can expect an average monthly cost of $738.43. Small cars are the second most affordable category with a monthly spend of $903.44, closely followed by small SUVs on $917.60.”

All-terrain 4x4 SUVs are the priciest vehicles to own and run, according to the survey, costing owners an average of $1634.29 per month, while popular 4x4 dual-cab utes were the next most expensive at $1533.62. Large family SUVs were the third priciest on $1404.53.

Victoria’s most expensive car to own and run is Nissan’s Patrol Ti upper-large SUV, which costs $2337.33 a month to keep on the road. The Patrol has a V8 petrol engine and is priced from $85,738 before on-road costs.

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles require an average monthly spend of $1280.83, which pleasingly is about $100 less than last year’s survey.

The following table details the average monthly cost of each car category as well as the cheapest model in each category:

Private vehicle average running costs in Victoria

Vehicle category

Average monthly cost

Cheapest model in each category and monthly cost

Light cars 


MG3 Core 1.5 4sp auto Hatch

Small cars 


Kia Cerato S 2.0 Hatch 6sp auto

Medium cars 


Toyota Camry Ascent 2.5 8sp auto Sedan 

People movers 


Honda Odyssey ViL7 2.4 CVT




SUV small 


Hyundai Venue (base) 1.6 2wd 6sp auto 


SUV medium 


Toyota RAV4 GXL 2.5 Hybrid FWD CVT

SUV large 


Subaru Outback 2.5 AWD CVT MY21 


All terrain 


Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLX 2.4 t/dsl 8sp auto

Light commercial 4x2 


Mitsubishi Triton GLX 2.4 T/dsl 6sp auto 4X2 Dual cab Pickup

Light commercial 4x4 


Mitsubishi Triton GLX 2.4 T/dsl 6sp auto 4X4 Dual cab Pickup


New South Wales overtakes others in 2021 electric vehicles policy ratings

NEW SOUTH WALES has topped the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) policy scorecard ratings for the first time, with a rating of 9/10. The ratings are contained in EVC's State of Electric Vehicles 2021 report, launched today.

The report also found 8,688 electric vehicles were sold in the first half of 2021, already eclipsing the 6,900 electric vehicles sold over the whole of 2020.

The NSW Government introduced its nation-leading Electric Vehicle Strategy this year. NSW narrowly beat the ACT (8/10) and the Northern Territory and Tasmania (7/10). 

Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia all scored 6/10. The EVC rated the Federal Government the lowest, rated 3/10, after "failing to make meaningful inroads in line with other comparable jurisdictions around the world".

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said with the global shift now undeniable, the question for Australia was one of speed.

"When you consider the rhetoric that was being pushed last federal election, the EV discussion in this country has come a long way quite quickly," Mr Jafari said.

"New South Wales has introduced Australia’s best electric vehicle policy to date. That $500 million of investment and package of incentives to accelerate the uptake of zero emissions vehicles is finally something comparable with jurisdictions overseas. I know the whole industry is buoyant about the effect it will have on electric vehicle availability and sales.

"The movement across most states and territories is now generally positive and that's providing greater confidence to private sector investors, which will pave the way for more places to charge and better services to support e-mobility.

"The chief headwind at the moment is, unfortunately, a continued lack of leadership on electric vehicles at the federal level. After promising a national strategy two years ago, the Federal Government has failed to deliver," he said.

"We need to see more electric vehicle models in Australia, particularly at lower price points. That's happening slowly, but if we want to accelerate the process and attract the globally limited electric vehicle supply, we need policies enacted at the national level, like fuel efficiency standards.

"Australia has more to gain than most countries on electric vehicles. If transition well we'll be able to meet our net zero goals, break our dependency of foreign oil, and improve our air quality." 


ARENA's funding for fast charging stations across Australia lauded

THE Electric Vehicle Council has welcomed a $24.55 million commitment announced by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to expand Australia’s fast charging network for electric vehicles (EVs).

The funding will be distributed to five charging infrastructure companies – Evie Networks, Ampol, Engie, Chargefox, and Electric Highways Tasmania. The companies will build 127 fast-charging stations in NSW, 106 in Victoria, 86 in Queensland, 33 in WA, 29 is SA, 10 in Tasmania, nine in the ACT and three in the Northern Territory.

Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said the charging infrastructure announcement was important on a number of levels.

"Obviously these new fast charging stations will provide a practical benefit to EV drivers, but beyond that they will also have a powerful effect on consumer sentiment," Mr Jafari said. 

"We know Australians are very interested in buying electric cars, but there is hesitancy about whether or not the government will back them with infrastructure and supportive regulation. 

"The highly visible construction of hundreds of new fast charging stations across the country should send a powerful message to consumers about the viability and practicality of making the switch to a zero-emission vehicle.

"Mass electric vehicle uptake is strongly in Australia's national interest, given it will clean the air of toxic pollutants, reduce our carbon emissions, and relive our dependence on foreign oil imports.

"If the Federal Government wants to seize the benefits of accelerating EV uptake, it should support this fast charging initiatives through consumer incentives and introducing long-overdue fuel emission standards, akin to those enforced in the US and the EU."


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