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Yes, bowing to unpopular demand, this is our bumper all-green, all-the-time edition plus bonus tales of SUA (sudden unintended acceleration) with a sprinkling of bad manufacturer stories.

Over at Bentley this week, current boss Adrian Hallmark announced a near record profit based on customers wanting to pimp their ride.

Battler “Bruce Smith” (name changed to protect the guilty) had the company use wood from his own forest to make the car’s interior panels and knit a personalised tree emblem on to headrests.

Our spies tell us CEO Hally was investigating making an all-wood car, with a wood-fired electric engine, before he was headhunted by Larry Stroll to become numero uno at Aston Martin. The wood-fired engine is probably a lame substitute for the Bentley 4.0L twin turbocharged V8 that ends its run this month as Bentley works towards all electric all the time just as world demand for EVs is going down faster than CEO Teddy Smith’s Titanic.

Aston Martin shares have not been immune from the Titanic ­effect, with the stock halving in price over the last year.

Hally did a sensational job turning the VW-owned Bentley around, but will need all his skill over at Stroll’s place. Hally will be the fourth captain at the good ship Aston in as many years. He will replace a former Ferrari exec, who replaced a former Merc exec, who replaced a former Nissan EV lover.

And a 2022 report from classic car insurer Footman James shows that classic cars are greener than EVs.

“A battery-electric car creates 26 tonnes of CO during its production – emissions that would take a typical classic more than 46 years to achieve,” it says.

“A classic car notching up the national average of 1200 miles (1930km) emits 563kg of CO a year. By comparison, a Volks­wagen Golf has a carbon footprint of 6.8 tonnes of CO the day it leaves the factory, a figure it would take our average classic 12 years to match.”

And in Hyperdrive, Bloomberg’s “newsletter on the future of the auto world” is a ripper yarn by pen person David Welch on “How Hertz’s Bet on Teslas Went Horribly Sideways”.

You already know that the two scourges of the new gilt age, private equity and Elon Musk, were to blame for my favourite rent-a-car company’s (yes, I do pay full freight) second near death experience.

When Hertz followed the ­Titanic down in 2021, private equity stars Tom Wagner and Greg O’Hara, neither with any auto experience, bought the rental car company and brought it back to the surface with a $2bn capital raising and “a fully charged bet to swap Hertz’s gas-powered rental-car fleet for EVs … announcing an order for 100,000 Musk Mobiles and struck an exclusive deal to supply MMs to Uber drivers”.

In November 2021, Tommy and Greggie tripled their money in an NYSE float. But the SOS calls went out soon after.

T&G found that their customers didn’t want to drive electric cars; the ones that do have more prangs than conventional car renters; that the electric cars they were pranging cost a shed load more to repair than petrol guzzlers; used electric vehicle prices were going down faster than the Aston share price (which is a profit killer for rental companies who make money on selling their old cars), not helped by the Musker dropping new Tesla prices by 20 per cent; and then Hertz customers were arrested by the cops at gunpoint and thrown in the slammer for 30 days for stealing cars. Oopsie.

Turns out Hertz’s IT system was stuffed and it was falsely reporting rental cars as stolen. Hertz settled for $200m. Its share price has dropped from $40 plus change to $10.

Not surprisingly, Hertz has just appointed its fifth new captain in four years.

Talking of the Titanic, if you don’t fancy electric or wood, what about hydrogen? Yup the same hydrogen that powered the good airship Hindenburg, which burned and crashed in New Jersey in 1937 killing 35 people.

Well, if you buy a sub to The Australian today (intro offer $1 a week) you get to bid on the 2023 hydrogen-powered Hyperion XP-1 Prototype from former Brisbane person, now Dubai-based, Alexandra Mary “Alex” Hirschi aka Supercar Blondie. SB’s new caper is SBX cars – a digital auction site.

The Hyperion is good for 355km/h, 1600km and hitting 100km/h in tad over two seconds. It’s not so good for driving on the road because it’s not legal yet.

Production from the factory near Disneyland is soon and has been soon for quite a few years. SB is also selling a 440kW 2024 Tesla Cybertruck Foundation Series. This is the Musker’s entry into the lucrative US big ute market.

It’s the truck Motortrend mag said is “a pretty good truck hamstrung by a series of needless compromises for the sake of vanity”. Now who does that remind you of?

These are $60k new but with free shipping anywhere in the world will cost you about $100k.

Once again, we’re putting off manufacturers behaving badly until next week but let’s talk sudden unintended acceleration. SUA is when your car seems to take off by itself or have a mind of its own.

Unfortunately, all the research shows it happens when a driver thinks he/she is putting his/her foot on the brake but it goes on the accelerator. Interestingly, it never happens with professional drivers.

All happen in automatic cars. Sometimes the mats or parts of the car jam the loud button (Porsche/Toyota/Lexus/Audi). Less often it’s an electrical fault. Shouldn’t happen in new cars, which have shift locks and other stuff in place.



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