ANCAP awards 5 star safety ratings to 5 more models

The new Mazda 3, Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Touareg, Lexus UX and Range Rover Evoque have all achieved maximum 5 star ANCAP safety ratings in the latest round of independent vehicle testing.

Assessed against the most stringent crashworthiness and crash avoidance criteria, 5 stars have been awarded to all variants of each model.

“It is encouraging to see safety continuing to be prioritised across the market,” said Mr James Goodwin, ANCAP Chief Executive.

“The physical protection offed by the popular-selling Mazda 3 was excellent, scoring a record high 98% for Adult Occupant Protection.”

“Petrol and hybrid-powered Toyota RAV4 models scored well across the range of tests, with strong performance of its autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system seen across a range of speeds and scenarios with cars, pedestrians and cyclists.  In the oblique pole test, engineers noted an issue with the deployment of the side curtain airbag and penalties were applied.”

“In the Large SUV segment, the Volkswagen Touareg offered ‘Good’ protection in side impact testing.  ‘Marginal’ levels of protection were noted for the chest of the driver in both frontal crash tests and the oblique pole test.”

“All FWD and AWD variants of the hybrid Lexus UX are fitted as standard with a range of safety assist features including AEB, lane support and blind spot monitoring, and ‘Good’ performance was seen across testing of these features.”

“The Range Rover Evoque offers a range of active safety assist systems, and tests of its autonomous emergency braking scored well.  Tests of lane support functionality showed some ‘Good’ performance however the system does not intervene in more critical emergency lane keeping scenarios,” Mr Goodwin said.

Full Technical Reports


Toyota to introduce Autopilot driverless vehicles to its warehouse

Toyota Australia together with Toyota Material Handling Australia and Toyota Fleet Management will be introducing a fleet of autonomous Autopilot vehicles in to its Altona warehouse from its operation start in 2020.

Manufactured in Sweden by Toyota Material Handling Europe, the fleet itself will consist of six Autopilot Tow Trucks (TAE500) and one Autopilot Reach Truck (RAE160), the flagship model when it comes to warehouse automation.

They will apply Autopilot driverless technology to achieve mobility in conveyance, towing, lifting, and be able to autonomously place product throughout the warehouse and pick orders for customers.

All models in the range will also have the ability to be used in manual mode as conventional warehouse vehicles allowing complete flexibility in operations.

Built with the reliability and serviceability of their manual predecessors, the new hybrids will also include integrated navigation and leading safety systems.

The safety systems include scanners and obstacle detection devices which are designed to stop the vehicle and minimize the risk of a collision, ensuring protection for people, equipment, and infrastructure.

Fleet Management, Emergency-Stop buttons, warning sounds, and lights will be standard across the range together with a blue LED warning light projected in front of the vehicle, to assist in noisy environments or when Autopilot is approaching around a corner.

In addition to enhanced safety, Autopilot will also deliver energy efficiencies via Lithium-Ion battery technology, automatic charging, high vehicle utilisation, and low maintenance costs.

Toyota Australia Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley, said the mobility company has a thorough understanding and appreciation of the importance of automation technology.

“Toyota Australia will continue to develop, progress, and employ these new ways of thinking whenever possible,” Mr Hanley said.

“We are extremely committed to delivering the highest level of reliability, performance, and productivity, and Autopilot ticks every one of these boxes,” he added.


Election 2019 – a fleet management perspective

As Australia heads to the polls tomorrow, voters will have their chance to have their ultimate say on which party they would like to see form government. And while a variety of issues including climate change, housing affordability, economic security, social and health issues carry the bulk of the Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison campaigns – here at AfMA what we’re really interested in is what the parties are considering for our automotive future and in particular their commitment to electric vehicles (EVs).

So to take the guesswork out of things, we’ve compiled a list of each of the major and smaller parties EV policies heading into the 2019 campaign and what promises have been made across the board. Make your vote count this Saturday and don’t forget to indulge on a “democracy sausage” at your polling station tomorrow as well.


The Coalition (Liberal/National Parties)

The Morrison government’s electric vehicles policy has not yet been written but environment minister, Melissa Price has said the Coalition was aiming for “25% +” of all new vehicles to be electric by 2030.

It is expected that a Liberal government policy would be released by mid-2020 but proposed targets and costing are yet to be confirmed, amid growing concerns among conservatives within the party about the viability of electric vehicles on the whole.

“Bill Shorten wants to end the weekend when it comes to his policy on electric vehicles where you’ve got Australians who love being out there in their four-wheel drives,” PM Scott Morrison said earlier in the campaign.

“[An electric vehicle] won’t tow your trailer. It’s not going to tow your boat. It’s not going to get you out to your favourite camping spot with your family.”

Morrison has a point if we are simply talking about EV towing capacity from today. Current low-end EV models do struggle to tow additional weights but higher end models around the $100,000+ price tag are already capable of providing ample range for towing between Melbourne/Grampians or Sydney/Narooma on a typical weekend getaway according to ABC’s Factcheck website.

Morrison’s claim also doesn’t take into account the fast-moving nature of EV technology – the EVs of 2030 will certainly have vastly improved charging and towing capabilities and be radically cheaper as well. Though concerns of where road funding will come – largely due to the absense of fuel excise from EVs – remains an issue that the party remains particularly vigilant upon.

Labor Party

Perhaps the most vocal of all the parties this election, Labor last month unveiled “Australia’s first” national electric vehicles policy package just days after the federal government confirmed its own strategy won’t be released for another year.

It’s proposed policies include a national electric vehicles target of 50 per cent of all new car sales by 2030, a government fleet target of 50 per cent by 2025 and tax deductions for businesses purchasing electric vehicles (EVs).

The package, part of a broader climate change announcement, was revealed by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in April on the eve of the federal budget.

“Cleaner cars and transport aren’t just good for the environment – they are cheaper to run. But Australia lags behind our competitor countries, whether it’s on electric vehicle take-up, or vehicle fuel efficiency. We have 10 times lower electric vehicle take-up than the global average, and we’re at risk of being left behind,” Mr Shorten said at the time.

“A Shorten Labor government will work with Australia’s transport sector to cut vehicle emissions, boost adoption of electric vehicles and help Australians save on their petrol bills.”

The Greens Party

It makes perfect sense for The Greens to actively set out to achieve sustainable EV solutions given their general focus on environmental and general climate change issues.

Under the party’s ongoing plan, a set percentage of electric vehicle sales by car manufacturers will be mandated so that fossil fuel cars are transitioned off the road, and the cost of electric vehicles will be significantly reduced in an attempt to allow more people to buy them sooner.

  • End the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2030, ensuring 100% of all new vehicles sales are electric or zero emission
  • Reduce the cost of an electric vehicle by up to 20% to make them more affordable
  • Require the major car manufacturers to sell a set percentage of EVs each year
  • Spend $150 million on fast charging infrastructure, ensuring you can get where you need with an EV
  • Legislate tough vehicle pollution standards

“Unlike the Liberal and Labor parties, whose decade of dysfunctional government has failed to deliver a plan to reduce emissions, the Greens are committed to re-powering our economy through clean energy. This includes our plan to immediately spark the transition from internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles,” the party says.

One Nation Party

Without really having any EV policy or commitment of their own the Pauline Hanson led One Nation has slammed the efforts of both the major parties throughout the 2019 campaign.

“Just days after Scott Morrison announced he wanted to send votes to the Labor party, Bill Shorten has announced he wants to get rid of half the cars in Australia and replace them with ones powered by batteries – this is the kind of left-wing nonsense that Scott Morrison is endorsing!” the party said in a release.

“This crazy car cull would require massive amounts of government regulation, drive up the prices of cars, fuel and electricity! This loopy plan shows you how out of touch the Liberals and Labor are with people in rural and regional areas.”

The basis behind One Nation’s concerns revolves around the idea of ‘range anxiety’, which in the short term remains a very valid concern for those in rural regions such as far-North QLD – the very heartland of One Nation itself.

“You simply cannot travel the distances you need to travel in rural and regional Australia in a battery powered car. And when this car cull comes it will hurt people in these communities the worst,” the party said.

In 2019, One Nation’s policy might stand up for regional voters, but even then only just. Rather than burying its head in the sand and throwing shade at other parties, it would be far more interesting to see the party actally consider and propose infrastructure solutions that might improve the situation for regional voters (ie – something similar to Queensland’s “Super Highway” charging network).

United Australia Party

Clive Palmer has seemed to be everywhere across the election campaign without delivering much in the way of policies or proposals right across the board. Indeed electric vehicles have never been part of the conversation so it’s a little difficult to get a gauge on where the party truly sits on the issue.

Though if this tweet from 2015 is anything to go by, one would guess Clive himself is somewhat of a supporter of the electric vehicle revolution – though really we’re clutching at straws with this one!


Shifting Gears: The Future of Cars in 2020 & Beyond

The future of cars undoubtedly seems exciting. Up to this point, cars were viewed primarily as a convenient method of transportation. The main advancements were made in reliability, safety, performance, and overall comfort. However, the advent of the internet and artificial intelligence unlocked a whole new field of progress in the auto industry.

An automobile of the future is not just a machine for driving to your desired destination. It’s a fully automated system that makes all the decisions for you while you enjoy the latest content on its premium audio-visual system.

Want to change the route? Just give a verbal command and the cars of the future will know what to do. Worrying about crashing or getting a citation? The vehicles of tomorrow will carry self-driving software that is so reliable, humans do not even come close.

Reducing carbon emission is another crucial challenge for the car industry. Electric and hybrid cars, with their replicable batteries, seem like a convenient solution. However, future cars could rely on even more advanced fuels.

The following infographic has been kindly shared to AfMA by the Carsurance team and paints a vivid picture of what’s to come in the future. We look forward to having a deeper discussion with you regarding the future of cars at the upcoming 2019 Australasian Fleet Conference on May 22 – May 24.


Podcast: Marty Andrews (Chargefox CEO)


Chargefox, Australia’s only public ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging network, has expanded with the opening of its third ultra-rapid charging station in Toombul Shopping Centre, Brisbane last week.

The state-of-the-art ultra-rapid charging station can charge two cars simultaneously, delivering up to 350kW and 400km of charge in 15 mins (or 200km of charge in 8 mins) and is backed up by 100% renewable energy. The station also has an Australian made 50kW fast charger, which can deliver 60km per 15 minutes.

Chargefox is the biggest and fastest growing open charging network in Australia for modern EVs. It has been operating charging stations across Australia and New Zealand for 12 months and has managed more than 25,000 charging sessions on more than 350 plugs across Australia and New Zealand, dispensing a total of over 190MWh of electricity for drivers via it’s iPhone and Android mobile apps – that’s enough electricity to power the average household for a decade.

With an additional 19 ultra-rapid charging stations in development by the Melbourne-based start-up, the Chargefox network will connect Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide, as well as having stations in Western Australia and Tasmania by the end of 2019. This will make electric vehicle charging faster and easier for all Australians and support efforts to bring Australia’s vehicle emissions in line those of the USA and Europe.

AfMA’s Daniel Braid chats with Chargefox’s CEO Marty Andrews about the opening of the Toombul site and what the future of Chargefox’s ultra-rapid charging network looks like from a fleet management perspective and for the general public.


The 2019 Australasian Fleet Conference & Exhibition is your chance to explore and consider pursuing electric vehicles for your fleet solutions. Don’t miss this opportunity to network and meet with other like-minded fleet professionals on May 22-24

Don’t have a full conference pass but want to attend? Click here to book your tickets now.


Glenn Starr to shine at this year’s Fleet Networking Dinner

The 2019 Australasian Fleet Conference & Exhibition is not just about learning about fleet management – we want delegates to have the chance to network and gather in a fun and relaxed environment.

As such we are delighted to welcome Glenn Starr to perform for our attendees at this year’s annual Networking Dinner on Thursday May 23rd.

Glenn started his entertainment career in radio at the age of 16, in the 15 years he was in the industry Glenn covered all area’s including sales, promotions, production and On Air.  Not Long after starting in radio Glenn began DJing parties and wedding and moved into hosting karaoke shows. 

Singing has always been a passion of Glenn’s, this became apparent at the age of 5 when he sang the theme to The Greatest American hero instead of a nursery rhyme as the class recorded their voices on a tape recorder.

On Thursday May 23rd Glenn Starr and his big band will deliver unforgettable music – with all the style and sophistication of the man himself.  Classic standards come alive. Come Fly With Me; For Once In My Life; Sway. Hits that have been revolutionised.  From big brass, and bold bass; to perfect piano. An 8 piece big band; Or a full orchestral ensemble.

“Charisma and charm. Crowd participation. And a presence so enchanting…Glenn Starr delivers a performance that will leave you, quite simply, wondering if you’ve just witnessed the real thing. A lifetime of destiny, and years in the making.”

Don’t miss your chance to connect with us on Thursday, May 23rd as part of our 2019 Fleet Conference & Exhibition.

The networking dinner is FREE for delegates, sponsors and exhibitors who purchased or received a full conference pass as part of their package.

Don’t have a full conference pass but want to attend? Click here to book your individual dinner/full conference tickets


What’s on offer at this year’s fleet conference?

In just over two weeks the entire fleet community is set to gather for what’s to come at this year’s 2019 Fleet Conference and Exhibition on May 22-24. This year is set to be our biggest conference yet with a larger than ever contingent of delegates, speakers and suppliers coming to represent, share and exhibit with us. We’re also excited to be adding a safety field day out at Sandown Racecourse, the graduation ceremony of our latest Swinburne cohort, plus we’ll get to celebrate excellence at our annual Fleet Awards Ceremony.

So to help take the guesswork out of the whole proceedings we’ve captured the key highlight’s from this year’s conference that you ought to keep an eye out for. Whether you’re in fleet, OH&S, HR, sustainability, procurement or finance there’s certainly plenty on offer this year.

Day 1 Highlights

All-new Safety Field Day – Sandown Racecourse                                      

The safety field day is opened to paid delegates and special guests of AfMA. The day will incorporate active safety demonstrations and provide an opportunity to drive and experience a range of electric vehicles (passenger and commercial).

The field day activities are designed to demonstrate the effects of weight on vehicles. Participants will be able to feel the difference between an unladen, fully laden and fully laden with a GVM upgrade equipment. These sessions will include light commercial, van and station wagon vehicles.

Cohort groups will rotate through the active safety demonstrations in the morning or afternoon and experience electric vehicles in the other half of the day if they choose. Spaces are limited and delegates will be contacted in the weeks prior to the conference in order to book their participation in the active safety demonstrations and or the electric vehicles.

Active Safety Demonstration – Impact of Weight                                        

A variety of active safety demonstrations will be carried out to show how the weight of a vehicle can dramatically affect its handling dynamics, braking distance and overall performance. Covered demonstrations will include:

  • Emergency Braking
  • Dynamic Lane Change
  • Slalom / Stability
  • Cornering Force

Active Safety Demonstration – Advanced Driver Assist Systems            

Automotive safety technology is pretty easy to wrap your head around, but advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are a little harder to pin down. Come and see up close how a variety of systems actually work, including:

  • blind spot monitoring
  • adaptive cruise control
  • following distance warning
  • lane keep assist
  • lane departure warning
  • self-parking
  • adaptive headlights
  • fatigue warning

Test Drives – EVs, Hybrids & Commercial EVs                                                 

This is a unique opportunity to view and test drive a suite of electric and plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles from a range of manufacturers including BMW, Hyundai, Jaguar, KIA, Mitsubishi, Mercedes, Nissan, Renault, Tesla and Toyota.

In this session you also get an opportunity to drive and experience a range of commercial EV’s from a small commuter bus, Pantech and garbage truck. It may even be possible to experience a tipper.

Day 2 Highlights

Keynote – Fleet Industry Responsibilities and Remuneration    

The roles and responsibilities of those operating within the fleet industry are as varied as types of companies running fleets of vehicles. In fact, AfMA has over 100 different titles for members who manage vehicles.

This keynote will reflect on the remuneration survey being completed in 2019 and will highlight the variations in roles, responsibilities and remuneration across Australia.


Plenary I – The Changing Face of Fleet Management                                       

Whilst key elements and day to day tasks/functions of fleet management haven’t changed in decades, the deliverables have.

In this plenary you’ll hear from industry specialists from Australia, America and Belgium who’ll present their views on this changing landscape of fleet management. Think technology, IoT, data, safety, environment, mobility, strategy and knowledge loss.

Where are you on this 3-dimensional chess board of fleet management?


Plenary II – Road Safety – Arriving First                                                             

You’re driving to your next meeting, you hear the screech of tires, the smashing of metal, smoke and debris fills the air as your slam on your brakes.

To your horror two vehicles are strewn across the road in front of you. What do you do next?

Whilst we hope we’ll never face this situation, the fact is, the longer we spend on the road the higher our chances of being a first responder to the scene of an accident.

In this session you’ll hear from experts on what to do, how to do it, your obligations morally, legally and how to understand and cope with the trauma of dealing with this event. Attendees will be provided with a check list they can provide to their drivers to educate them in case they are involved in a similar situation


Fleet Awards & Networking Dinner                                                                   

This year AfMA Conference Dinner will be held at the completion of Day 2, May 23rd at the beautiful Plaza Ballroom at the Regent Theatre. Alongside a delicious dinner we are delighted to welcome Swing Star – Tribute to the Kings of Swing to perform for us plus we will be celebrating excellence in fleet at our annual AfMA Fleet Awards ceremony.

The awards seek to identify advances in best practice in Fleet Management and to bring these to the attention of its members and the industry. Since their introduction in 1996 the awards have recognised new approaches and applications that have produced substantial reductions in costs, lowered emissions and improved safety outcomes.


Day 3 Highlights

 Keynote – Women in Fleet Management                                                           

Women have been operating in fleet management for decades and a few have ascended to very senior roles within organisations. Whilst this is true, there remain many challenges for women within fleet.

Perhaps these challenges are no different for men in fleet management however one thing is different and that’s the limited number of women in senior roles. Further, fleet management roles can be a little insular to other fleet managers therefore limiting the opportunity to be a role model for other women in fleet.

This keynote will outline the journey of the US based Automotive & Fleet Leasing Association (AFLA) has been on with their Women in Fleet Management group.


Plenary III – Mobility Management – The Future and the Now!             

Mobility as a Service (MaaS or MassService) is utopia but perhaps the first step is Mobility as a Solution (MaaSolution). Whilst we are some way from MaaService bringing every kind of transport together into a single intuitive mobile app. MaaSolution is here and now.

MaaSolution is about asset utilisation, be it your asset or someone elses. Most vehicle assets are used less than 10% of the time providing opportunities to do more with them such as vehicle pooling or realising it might be cheaper to use someone else’s assets.

In this session you’ll hear from the RACV about their new app Arevo. It’s represents the early stages of MaaService and we’ll explore some unique MaaSolutions. Thinking outside the square delivering substantial savings and improved services.


Plenary IV – A Seat At The Table                                                                           

A fleet managers role is challenging, multi-disciplined and often undervalued within an organisation. How does the fleet manager maximise their influence, gain a seat at the management table and ensure their voice is heard?

This panel discussion looks at the role of a fleet manager in a number of operational environments, their responsibilities, experiences and practical ideas to influence outcomes and demonstrate value. It might seem simple enough, but going above and beyond takes strategy and an understanding of your organisational goals outside of fleet management.

Based on their own experiences, our experts will discuss winning solutions and open your mind to what is possible.


Toyota to provide four vehicles for the 2019 Conference

AfMA is once again pleased to welcome Toyota Motor Corporation Australia and Toyota Fleet Management Australia as the proud partners of the 2019 Australasian Fleet Conference & Exhibition. As part of their 2019 display, Toyota will be exhibiting four vehicles – i-Road, Corolla Hatch Hybrid CV Ascent, Haice and the RAV4 – giving attendees the chance to see emerging vehicle technology up close and made considerations for their future fleet purchases.

Come along, be inspired and make sure you make the most of this practical opportunity with Toyota and all of the other manufacturers at this year’s event on May 22-24  Tickets and more information about the 2019 Conference is available via the following link.

Car 1 in Plenary Room:

  • Make/Model:  Toyota i-Road – Concept Vehicle
  • Colour:  Blue
  • Body Type:  Mini
  • Transmission Type:  Automatic
  • Registration: Unregistered
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Overall Dimensions:
    • Length: 2,345mm
    • Width:  870mm
    • Height: 1,445mm
  • Total Vehicle Weight: 300kg

Car 2 in Plenary Room:

  • Make/Model:  Toyota Corolla Hatch Hybrid CV Ascent
  • Colour:  Unknown at this stage
  • Body Type:  Sedan
  • Transmission Type:  Automatic
  • Registration: Unknown
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Overall Dimensions:
    • Length: 4375
    • Width:  1790
    • Height: 1435
  • Total Vehicle Weight: 1400kg

Car 3 in C1:

  • Make/Model:  Toyota Haice – Long Wheel Base
  • Colour:  White
  • Body Type:  Van
  • Transmission Type:  Auto
  • Registration:
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Overall Dimensions:
    • Length: 5265mm
    • Width:  1950mm
    • Height: 1990mm
  • Total Vehicle Weight: 3300 kg

 Car 4 in C3:

  • Make/Model:  Toyota RAV4
  • Colour: Unknown at this stage
  • Body Type:  Sedan
  • Transmission Type:  Automatic
  • Registration: 1OL1BF
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Overall Dimensions:
    • Length: 4600mm
    • Width: 1855mm
    • Height: 1685mm
  • Total Vehicle Weight: 1705kg