The top 5 selling cars are 3 trucks and 2 SUVs. The FCAI, the peak body for Australia’s automotive industry, released new vehicle sales figures for February 2022. Sales in the ACT were slightly down (2.6%) compared with the same period in 2021. Apart from that, the trend remains: more and bigger trucks and SUVs.
Do not miss the cycling snapshot at the bottom of this article.
EVs reduce GHGs but SUVs cancel out any gains
The sales of electric vehicles (EV) are booming around the world. EVs are great but they do not solve the congestion problem in our cities where space is of a premium. Electric vehicles, though, reduce emissions of green house gases (GHG) and contribute to climate change mitigation. The sales of SUVs are also booming, which is unfortunate, as these vehicles are so big and heavy to cancel out any gains we have achieved from the sales of electric vehicles.
A recent analysis found the emissions saved from electric cars have been more than cancelled out by the increase in gas-guzzling Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Around the world, SUVs alone emit more carbon pollution than Canada or Germany, and are causing a bigger increase in climate pollution than heavy industry.Kimberly Nicholas, 12 best ways to get cars out of cities ranked by new research, The Conversation, 14 April 2022.
The tops selling cars in 2022
1. Toyota Hilux
2. Toyota RAV
3. Mitsubishi Triton
4. Ford Ranger
5. Toyota Prado
February 2022 cars sales graphs
Is the Prado an SUV? Yes.
The Toyota Prado
By comparison to its larger counterpart (Toyota Landcruiser), the Prado is a mid-sized SUV. It’s noticeably weaker engine contains a 2982cc with a four-cylinder inline four valves/cylinder, and also a dual overhead camshaft just like the Land Cruiser. Both operate on diesel, yet there are differences involving its performance. While both run on diesel fuel, this car has noticeably lower horsepower and torque at 171 bhp at 3400 RPM and 410 Nm at 1600 RPM, respectively. It uses an automatic five-speed transmission gear, so it technically has fewer options to work with compared to the Land Cruiser. Also, before I forget to mention, its engine isn’t a V8. Instead, it’s a four-cylinder inline diesel engine.
At first glance, it may seem as though the Toyota Prado is entirely inferior to the Land Cruiser in every way. There are other missing features that the Land Cruiser has, such as adjustable armrests and a speed-sensing door lock. Some aspects the Prado is better at also seems incredibly minor, such as a 0.1-meter improvement in its minimum turning radius. The main advantage it can claim over a Land Cruiser is that it’s cheaper and smaller, which may be more suitable for some households.Toyota Landcruiser vs. Prado Comparison, Westside Auto Wholesale, accessed 16 March 2022.
Do we collect similar data on bikes? No
One of the problems with the cycling sector in Australia is that we do not collect national data for bicycles. This article is made possible due to data collection. One of cycling’s challenges to gain legitimacy is the lack of data – in the booming age of data analysis! Policymakers and the Federal Government require data. Last year a study was commissioned to estimate the size of the cycling industry in Australia. A great idea, no doubt, but we require annual, ongoing reporting of bike sales and not just the occasional ad hoc studies. The German cycling industry does this through their peak body and that is how we know that electric bike sales are booming there.
Bike sales could be broken into categories as well. The type of data we require could look something like this, ideally, for each state and territory. Sport bikes have always been popular in Australia. Now we increasingly see the sale of utilitarian bikes that are designed for city transport – we will call these city bikes, as there is a lack of consistent designation for them. Cargo bikes are also gaining popularity, as they are great for families and have great commercial potential. Europe is leading these trends and Australia is – as often – just hobbling behind.
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The evidence for bike sales in the ACT is anecdotal – obtained from visiting bike shops and talking to staff. Nevertheless, an impression can be gained of trends. Electric bikes are booming. Mountain bikes (MTB) are extremely popular in the ACT, however, most people want to buy a MTB with dual suspension and not the cheaper hard tail (no rear suspension). Before Christmas, the 99Bikes chain had sold out their supply of dual suspension MTBs – country wide. Further, the sales person could not say when they would have them back in stock!
“We have bikes, just not what people want to buy.”99Bikes sales person, Christmas, 2021.
The COVID years have shown chronic supply issues of bikes and bike parts. The bike shops often contact wholesalers, just to find out that there is nothing available in Australia. Despite strong sales growth and demand the supply has been haphazard. All of this is a sign of a car-centric culture. Our poor children!