The Good Oil: GM's electric plans all in a spin

Cadillac's dramatic luxury coupe with extended-range electric vehicle technology.  Photo / Wieck
Cadillac's dramatic luxury coupe with extended-range electric vehicle technology. Photo / Wieck

Mary Barra, General Motors' senior vice-president of global product development, raised eyebrows with the announcement that the corporation will have built half a million "vehicles with electrification" in five years.

However,she wasn't talking about actual electric cars, but everything from small electric helpers in its eAssist vehicles to full-blown electrics like the Chevrolet Spark EV.

General Motors will sell 50,000 vehicles "with some form of electrification" this year alone, around 25,000 of them the Volt, soon to go on sale here as a Holden. The Volt is fulfilling its role as technology leader, spawning the Spark EV and a production version of the Cadillac ELR concept, she said.


BMW goes downhill and quickly

BMW has designed a new two-man bobsled for Team USA's 2014 Winter Olympic team. The company joined the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation to redesign the
sled that has been in use for the past 20 years.

The bobsled is now being evaluated. BMW used its expertise in lightweight materials,
aerodynamics and chassis dynamics.

The US has often taken gold in the four-man event, but the two-man team hasn't stood atop the podium since 1936.


He should have used his noodle

After stealing the car of a Chinese food delivery person, a thief in West
Hartford, Connecticut, USA, decided to make a little cash by continuing
to deliver the food to customers.

The miscreant's downfall came when the restaurant owner called customers to cancel the orders only to find out that one had been delivered. It didn't take police long
to catch him in the act. They also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the thief's
possession.


This will take time to bed in

Here's a seriously impressive way to indulge the young motoring enthusiast of
the house; well, it is if you're in the USA. The Corvette Twin Bed has working lights and can be bought with a matching Corvette dresser.

The company makes all manner of injection moulded plastic products for the kids including kitchens, jungle gyms, art easels ... and a complete bedroom suite of officially licensed Corvette furniture.


Bugger, Toyota UK ad banned

A TV ad for the Toyota 86 sports car has been banned in the UK for ''encouraging motorists to drive irresponsibly''.

It features a digital man in a sort of Dystopian video game world that, Toyota pointed out, would be impossible to reproduce under real-world conditions.

Toyota New Zealand had a similar problem nearly 25 years ago when a Barry Crump Hilux
commercial, named Scotty's Revenge, was accused of the same thing, and was dropped after just three showings.


Here's mud in your eye

What's the meanest 4WD straight off the showroom floor? America's Four Wheeler and PickupTrucks publication has pitted against each other seven showroom-fresh mud
pluggers from Ford, Jeep, Nissan, Ram and Toyota for the title of Ultimate Factory 4x4.

When the mud was wiped away, the winner was Jeep's two-door Wrangler Rubicon. The judges said: ''We rarely felt any electronic nannies try to take control away from the driver. The Wrangler is a driver's machine and it is impossible not have fun.''


We are the world

Apps are Us: Swiss company Blacksocks offers one that uses radio frequency identification chips inserted into socks so they can be automatically sorted. And an iPoo
app lets users to chat with fellow defecators from their own toilet.

A Pennsylvania, USA, teenager, fed up with his parents' commandeering of the basement for an marijuana-growing operation, turned them in to the cops. The parents had sophisticated hardware and 18 healthy plants.

America now has about 700 pet companies providing funeral services to pets. They're part of the estimated $65 billion ($79 billion) America spends annually on pets, a
total said to be higher than the GNP of more than 100 countries.

A 49 year old Welsh man has admitted that he made about 5800 random phone calls over 90 days to people just to listen to their reactions when he told them that his penis was stuck in a jar or vacuum cleaner.

A Chinese restaurant in Williamsburg, Kentucky, USA, was shut down by health authorities after a customer said he witnessed a roadkill deer carcass being
wheeled into the kitchen.


Number Crunching

1700
PETROL STATIONS in New Zealand

8800
PETROL STATIONS the UK

40,400
STATIONS in Japan, down from 60,400 in 1994

129,000
GAS STATIONS in the USA

- NZ Herald

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