Blog & Updates

Why the Ferrari 250GT Lusso Doesn't Need a Stereo...

Author: Barry Scott / Published Date: 19 June 2015

Categories: Just Love Cars™

When you hear people talk about a car that has soul, the Ferrari 250 GT Lusso is what they're talking about. The clip is seven minutes long, but you'll wish it was longer. Wait until your lunch break, or grab a coffee right now, put your Do Not Disturb sign up, and enjoy...

Morning Ritual


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How do you become an F1 driver?

Author: Larissa Varela / Published Date: 13 March 2015

Categories: Just Love Cars™

Becoming a Formula One driver takes dedication, talent, and money. And you've got to start early. Listen to young Albert Carter's training schedule..

Albert Carter

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The cheapest petrol in ten years can be found in...

Author: Barry Scott / Published Date: 28 January 2015

Categories: Every Single Question, The Autopian, Just Love Cars™

The cost of filling the tank of a typical family sedan is now cheaper than it has been in ten years - in Adelaide.

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Autopia HQ - Published amongst World's Best

Author: Barry Scott / Published Date: 20 December 2013

Categories: Team Updates, Events, Just Love Cars™

When we moved office, we wanted our new environment to reflect the dedication we have to our work, and the love we have for cars.

We think we’ve done a pretty good job, and, as Autopia HQ has just been published in Chois Gallery’s ‘World’s Best Graphics’ - we’re not the only ones!

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For over 150 years, nobody knew how your car started...

Author: Barry Scott / Published Date: 27 May 2013

Categories: Just Love Cars™

As we said in the latest edition of Just Love Cars, car batteries are specifically designed to deliver a large amount of power in a short period of time - to start the car. They can do this because of the extremely high conductivity of the lead dioxide in the battery anode.

How this happens has always been a mystery however, as other similar oxides are actually electrical insulators, not super conductors.


Invented by French physicist Gaston Planté in 1859, the lead-acid battery was the first ever rechargable battery, and it's basically the same battery that’s in most cars today. It was such a breakthrough that the French saw fit to put him on a stamp.

That was 154 years ago, and it was only in January of this year that we finally figured out how it works!

A team of researchers from Oxford University, the University of Bath, Trinity College Dublin, and the ISIS neutron spallation source finally got to the bottom of it - and published a report of their research in a recent issue of 'Physical Review Letters'.

"The unique ability of lead acid batteries to deliver surge currents in excess of 100 amps to turn over a starter motor in an automobile depends critically on the fact that the lead dioxide which stores the chemical energy in the battery anode has a very high electrical conductivity, thus allowing large current to be drawn on demand,"
said Professor Russ Egdell of Oxford University's Department of Chemistry, an author of the paper.

"However the origin of conductivity in lead oxide has remained a matter of controversy. Other oxides with the same structure, such as titanium dioxide, are electrical insulators."

Through a combination of computational chemistry and neutron diffraction, the team has demonstrated that lead dioxide is intrinsically an insulator with a small electronic band gap, but invariably becomes electron rich due to the loss of oxygen from the lattice, causing the material to be transformed from an insulator into a metallic conductor.

The researchers believe these insights could open up new avenues for the selection of improved materials for modern battery technologies.

Professor Egdell said: "The work demonstrates the power of combining predictive materials modelling with state-of-the-art experimental measurements."

So it was the loss of oxygen from the lattice!
   Wonder if we’ll see a Professor Egdell stamp..?

With a novated lease you'll gain access to trade discounts on batteries, and all sorts of vehicle expenses, and if you want to find out how to extend the life of your car battery, click here.

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