Car manufacturers are increasingly becoming conscious about the quality of cars that they sell to their customers. It is for this reason that Nissan, one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world, recalled over 6000 of their Infinity hybrid cars. This is after the company discovered a fault in the acceleration system of the car. According to the company, the fault was caused by a bug in the software system. The company posted a comprehensive report about the problem on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
Nissan critics have hit the company hard on the recall. Most of them claim that the problem was not a surprise. According to Kyle Bazemore, a spokesperson for Infinity Media, the company intentionally ignored the fault in the system. This is because the company did not put in adequate measures to ensure that the fault was eliminated before the car went into commercial production. According to Kyle, the vehicle is able to pull out of the exit fail-safe mode and this leads to continued acceleration, although this can be overcome by the normal application of the brakes in the car. The possibility of this happening was discovered during numerous lab tests that were done by the company; however, the company chose not to act on the problem. Rather than taking the appropriate action, the company chose to go ahead and release the cars into the market as scheduled. It is therefore inaccurate to state that the fault in the system was unforeseen.
Car owners have also been complaining about these cars. One of these car owners recently told the car safety agency that this car was simply a menace in the roads. According to a complaint filed by the owner in the company website, the car feels like it is accelerating on its own. The owner further claims that he made numerous complaints to the car dealer and was told that the problem was not replicated in other vehicles. It is sad to note that more drivers have experienced the same problem. The dealers had resorted to telling concerned car owners that this is a normal hybrid car problem. However, in truth, it is a problem with the car and the manufacturer.
According to Nissan, the company learned about the fault in July and was able to trace the problem down to a programming error. The company finally made the decision to do the recall in September and it is still ongoing.
November 21, 2014
BMW has made a significant investment in green cars. This has been caused by the ever-increasing demand for green cars around the world. One such investment by the company has been in the BMW i3 model. This is an all-electric car. The company made an effort to make this model stand out from the rest of their cars in the market. The following are some of the features that make this car stand out from the rest made by the company and most of the other car manufacturers, as well.
The BMW i3 feels as different as the exterior of the car looks. The dashboard of the car is made out of eucalyptus; the design was apparently inspired by well-known furniture and architectural designers Charles and Ray Eames. Just like most of their modern furniture designs, the seats of the car are more comfortable than they actually look. This gives the car an extra elegant look and feel while driving the car.
The first drive in the car is an amazing experience all together. When you lift off the accelerator, you can feel the immediate effect caused by the regenerative braking of the car. You need to learn how to maintain some little acceleration even when you are slowing down to avoid any uncomfortable bumping that may result from abrupt braking. The car has very strong regen brakes that help makes driving feel like a one pedal affair. There has been some slight problem as a result of this feature. When you reduce the speed of the car slowly, the brake lights sometimes stay dark. This may confuse some road users.
The steering system of the car is quick and precise. The car has a relatively shorter wheelbase and this means that the car is able to maneuver easily through traffic. The car gives that feel of driving from a double decker mini cooper.
The i3 is definitely not the fastest car in the market. The acceleration of the car, however, is immediate and this can be very addictive for drivers. The car has a zero to 60 acceleration in 6.5 seconds according to tests. The car is able to pull with power of up to 93 miles per hour.
The BMW i3 has a stiff suspension. This is true because the car has an optional 20-inch tire. When combined with its high seats, rigid structure and a stiff suspension, the car experiences a smooth rocking motion when driving over an uneven road.
November 21, 2014
Hybrid cars, as well as other green cars are often purchased at a higher price compared to conventional non-hybrid cars. This implies that the higher initial ownership cost may offset their improved efficiency. However, this is not the case always. At times, owning a hybrid car may be in fact cheaper in comparison to owning its gasoline counterpart. A research conducted by firm Vincentric showed that the ownership cost relies on choosing the most appropriate type of hybrid car. An analysis of the cost of ownership conducted by the firm led to the finding that about 33% of hybrid cars will save the drivers money.
There is a need to have a long-term view so as to determine cost savings. It was determined by Vincentric that an average of $2,895 can be saved by hybrid car owners in terms of fuel over a time span of five years. This may still not be adequate in a few cases. Although the fuel economy has significantly gotten better, the cost of some hybrid cars is still higher than that of comparable non-hybrid vehicles. This cost is so high that several years of fuel savings would be needed to offset the sticker price.
Vincentric reported that there are still a number of hybrid cars that can save money for their owners. Topping the list are the Toyota Avalon Hybrid and the Lexus Ct 200h, which have savings of $3,200 and $7,600, respectively. Other models that were shown to have a cost advantage in comparison to their gasoline counterparts are Hyundai Sonata, Audi Q5, Lexus ES 300h, Infiniti QX60, Toyota Camry and Lincoln MKZ hybrids. Even the Acura ILX mild hybrid, which has been discontinued, also showed a high cost advantage. It is essential to take note of the fact that some of the mentioned hybrids such as Infinity QX60 and Audi Q5 are rare and almost nonexistent at auto-dealers.
On average, the cost of owning a hybrid car in a time span of five years was found to be $1,445 more compared to non-hybrid car ownership. The gap is not expected to reduce any time soon. The competitive advantage of hybrid vehicles may be eroded by improved efficiency and lower prices of gas. Some of the factors that contribute to the current high competitive advantage for hybrid vehicles include the ability to provide single or double electric motors, assorted power electronics and a battery pack with a high voltage. Generally, it is convenient to own a hybrid car considering the many advantages it offers.
November 14, 2014
It is clearly evident that the future is geared towards electric cars. It seems fuel powered engines are gradually being phased out. The big question is whether now this is the right time to adopt the electric car systems fully. The certainty of hybrid and electric cars gaining popularity in the future is being proven through the big car manufacturers increasingly creating new models to meet customer demand. Range is no longer a major issue, thanks to the gradual improvement in infrastructure. It is now not hard to imagine a future where a majority of the cars in the roads will be hybrid or electric cars.
Right now, pure electric cars do not have a huge selection but it has definitely improved. The range is also great for daily use. The electric cars’ prices in the United Kingdom are reasonable mainly because of governmental intervention in offering free tax and taking 5,000 Euros off the price. Drivers can even save more if the petrol costs are offset. Tesla tops at one end with the Model S, which is famed for its self-driving smarts and all-wheel drive and goes for approximately 50,000 Euros. The automaker’s latest model will be in the United Kingdom’s market in July 2015.Other renowned brands such as Ford, Nissan, VW, Renault and BMW are also making pure electric cars whose prices are affordable.
There are a few key numbers that most people will be juggling when going electric. These include charging time, range, power and price. With respect to price, Renault Zoe is the most affordable at 14,000 Euros, Nissan Leaf goes for 16,500 Euros, VW e-Golf goes for 26,000 Euros and finally BMW’s i3 is the most costly at 31,000 Euros. With respect to range, Nissan Leaf wins with a range of 124 miles. The charge is almost even for all cars, and it is around 80% in 30 minutes. The Nissan Leaf also tops in terms of power utilization.
Hybrid cars have existed for many years now, and Toyota Prius leads with a dual-drive system. Currently, they are extremely popular, with most drivers choosing the Prius. Recently, the hybrid market has grown, with such cars being flexible with respect to charging. This implies that drivers can charge their cars anywhere, even away from home. In this way, they may choose not to utilize the car’s fuel engine, which could be reserved for long-distance drives. It can thus be concluded that there is a positive future for hybrid machines and electric cars.
November 14, 2014
General Motors has been one of the leading companies at the forefront in development of cars using hybrid technology. The company recently made a significant step by unveiling their latest version of the Chevrolet Volt. The car will be ready for the commercial market in 2016. The car comes with a completely revamped drivetrain. This will come as good news to most consumers in the market because it will greatly improve on the fuel economy of the car.
This new version of the Volt plug-in hybrid is designed to use a gasoline engine when the battery power of the vehicle is depleted. This significantly improves the driving range of the car. The car is scheduled to be market ready by next summer. The engineering executives at General Motors are optimistic about the major upgrades in the battery life of the 2016 model of Volt. The car will come loaded with an electrified transmission and a 4-cylinder engine. This is referred to as the Voltec system. This is expected to increase the driving range of the car by up to 12 percent from the current rating of 380 miles. This of course will be affected by factors such as weather and speed.
The new Volt model is also expected to offer a stronger low speed acceleration. There will also be smoother operation in the range extender mode. This is expected to increase the usability of the car, which will come as good news for most drivers around the world.
The developers of this new Volt model designed the car using input from the owners of the earlier models of the car. This was intended to design a car that would address the problems of most of the drivers in the market so as to come up with an acceptable product. The company found that most of the users of their earlier car models do more than 80 percent of their driving in the electric only mode. The company also discovered that a majority of the Volt owners charge their cars more than once a day instead of charging their cars overnight as recommended. This means that most of these car owners have access to curbside charging stations and also have a greater preference to use battery power for their vehicles than use their engine power.
The new Volt design took all these factors into consideration and designed a car that would help solve most of these challenges. This comes in the form of the new Volt.
November 7, 2014
The term hybrid has become a sort of buzz word in the market at the moment. The number of hybrid cars is set to increase by more than twice within the next two years in the world market. This is only an estimate according to the most recent research findings. The main reason behind the rise in popularity of this car type is the fact that they have more fuel economy compared to most conventional cars in the market. With the cost of fuel on an ever increasing trend it is easy to justify the increased demand in these cars in the market.
So what exactly is a hybrid car? The term hybrid is used to refer to a car that uses more than one source of power to run. Most of the hybrid cars that have been developed for commercial use in the market use battery power and a conventional internal combustion engine. When the power from one source is depleted, the vehicle automatically switches to the other source of power. There are some models of hybrid cars that use both electric power and the power from their conventional engine while others have been designed in a way that makes use of electric power only. The problem with the electric only cars is that they still have a low driving range compared to the conventional cars in the market.
On top of the above two options, there are plug in hybrid cars. These are hybrid cars that can be recharged just like plug in electric cars. There is also the range extender hybrid cars. These are powered by electric power, but also have an internal combustion engine that acts as a generator to power their batteries.
Car manufacturers have also started manufacturing diesel powered hybrid cars. This comes as good news to consumers because of the low level of fuel consumption that these type of vehicles have. Manufacturers are making a wide range of vehicles in this category ranging from super mini-hybrid cars such as Honda’s Jazz and the Porsche Cayenne.
Despite the fact that these may not be the most fuel efficient cars in the market, they make a significant effort to reduce their fuel consumption. Some of the latest generation cars such as the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder are already making use of the hybrid car technology to boost the performance and efficiency of their vehicles. The hybrid technology is infiltrating the market at a high rate and with so many cars to choose from, consumers are spoilt for choice.
November 7, 2014
With car companies seeking to take advantage of the rising demand for electric and hybrid cars, car companies are introducing attractive payment terms to entice customers. Tesla Motors has recently introduced a new package of lease offers for its line of S full electric vehicles. The option comes with a three month return policy. According to Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk at Tesla, this is an exciting offer for their customers because they offer a longer period of three months within which they can return the car. This is something that most of their competitors have not been able to do. This means that if a customer for any reason does not like the car, they are free to return the car to the company and the remaining lease obligation will be forfeited.
There are some limitations for this offer that have been stipulated by the company. Some of the limitations include the fact that a driver cannot use the offer to immediately lease another Tesla Model S. However, drivers who would like to upgrade to the new model can easily do this with some additional fee to cover the difference between the value of their old car and the value of the new car.
The company has also signed an agreement with a local bank in the United States to start giving out leases for the Tesla car model at a rate lower than what the company is offering. According to the CEO of the company, the leases provided through the bank will be up to 25% cheaper than what Tesla will be offering. This is sure to come as good news to consumers who would like to save some money while shopping for their car.
According to the company spokesperson, the deal with the bank was not motivated by the sales performance of the company. The demand for the Tesla cars continues to remain strong. There have been long-term plans of getting into this agreement with the bank for some time.
This month the company made an addition into their car portfolio. The company has introduced a four-wheel drive version of the Model S. This car offers a significant upgrade on the previous models. The car features simultaneous driving capabilities that give the drivers hands off the wheel and foot off the pedal highway driving capabilities. It is encouraging to note that the stocks of the company have been on the rise since the beginning of 2013. This means that the company has been doing everything right and there is little chance that they are wrong on this one.
October 31, 2014
The Chevrolet Volt has so far been one of the slowest selling cars in the General Motors car portfolio over the past few years. The company is determined to turn things around and are now planning to release a new version of the car in 2015. Most of the parts production for the car will take place in Michigan. According to the Chief Executive of GM, Mary T. Barra, the new version of the Volt will come equipped with better driving range and fuel economy. This reaffirms the long-term commitment of the company of moving towards electric car technology.
The car will be able to store more power in its batteries and this means that the car will be able to drive further on battery power. The acceleration of the car will also be improved. The engine design will come from the new engine family that was recently introduced by the company. This design is meant to reduce the fuel consumption of the car.
The company intends to focus most of their production functions for their Volt components in its Michigan plant. This is meant to reduce the cost of production of the vehicle, which will in turn translate to lower purchase cost for consumers. The company also has plans for moving their plant for producing electric drive systems from Mexico to their transmission plant located in Detroit. Their new gasoline engine will now be produced in Flint. All this has been strategically planned to ensure that that company is able to cut costs and come closer to their consumers so as to be able to meet their needs better. The company recently announced that it will be injecting an additional $300 million into their plants to support their car electrification process.
Over the last nine months the sales levels for the Volt have been slipping. In the United States alone, the sales dropped by about 13%. This was a setback in the overall sales levels of the company because the company recorded an overall growth of 4%. The company feels that the drop in the sales level of the Volt has been caused by the availability of cheaper gasoline, which has made conventional cars more attractive to consumers recently. The Volt version that is currently in the market is able to drive for up to 40 miles purely on electric power. The mileage for its engine is about 35 mpg. The new version is expected to significantly improve these numbers.
October 31, 2014
Car manufacturers are increasing their car portfolio by the day and Lamborghini has decided not to be left behind in this revolution. Lamborghini unveiled the Asterion LPI 910-4 this year. This is so far the company’s first plug-in-hybrid vehicle.
The company maintained its naming convention using the 910 suffix. This convention refers to the 5.2-liter V10 engine combined with three electric motors. The LP1 is an Italian term that indicates that the engine of the car is located at the rear end of the car. The number 4 in the name is used to imply that that the car is a four-wheel drive.
According to the company, the car can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in a space of 3 seconds. The car has a top speed of up to 200 mph. It is also amazing to note that the car can drive for up to 30 miles on electric power alone.
The name of the car, Asterion, seems to have deviated from the conventional naming system for the company. This is because the name is of Greek origin. The customary name for naming cars in the company has all along been naming cars after fighting bulls. The company CEO justified this deviation in the naming convention by stating the fact that the Asterion is a name of a Minotaur, which in its nature is a hybrid of a man and a bull. This is exactly what this car represents to the world and to their consumers. It is the hybrid of two powerful technologies that seek to take advantage of the strengths gained from each other.
The company is now laying down plans to have the commercial production of this vehicle within the shortest time possible. The company has set forth an ambitious plan of building machines that use less fuel, release lesser amounts of harmful gases into the atmosphere, and increases the performance of the vehicle beyond the capacity of their current range of conventional vehicles in the market.
The company has already invested a significant amount of its resources into research and development on the hybrid technology. The release of the Asterion LPI 910-4 will be the stepping-stone of the company into the production of this new technology fleet of cars. With the hybrid market demand increasing by the day, we can be optimistic that this is going to be a successful venture.
October 24, 2014
Toyota prides itself as having been the first company to start the commercial production of hybrid cars in the world. The Toyota Prius hybrid car was the first hybrid vehicle to be commercially produced and has since then spurred the hybrid car revolution. The company has continued to grow in terms of the number of units being sold around the world. Over the past nine months alone the company was able to sell over one million hybrid cars. This brought sales to the 7 million mark since the sale of their first hybrid car. This is so far the highest number achieved in any of the hybrid car manufacturers around the world.
The Japanese car manufacturing company has so far produced 28 different models of hybrid cars. This number of course includes the Prius plug-in hybrid car. Toyota has so far been able to sell their hybrid cars in over 90 countries around the world. The model strategy for the company for the 2014-2015 financial year includes a release of about 15 new models of hybrid cars. In the UK, the company has put in place plans to have the Lexus NX 300h crossover model released this year.
The company passed the 6 million mark earlier this year when it more than doubled the 3 million sales that was recorded back in 2011. The company now has plans of introducing a new line of vehicles that will be hydrogen and cell powered. The company hopes to emulate the success of the Prius. The introduction of these new vehicle models is expected to build on the 7 million sales revenue that was recorded at the end of September 2013.
Some of the reports from the company that would likely appeal to the environmental conservationist include the fact that there has been visible effect on the environment. The company reports that there has been a reduction by about 49% in the amount of toxic carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere. On the same measure the company also reports that there were fuel savings of over 18,000 million liters of petrol. This is good news considering that the natural resources around the world such as gasoline are increasingly becoming scarce. This means that the cost of fuel is also increasing. Toyota realizes this and the company has been doing all the research to ensure that the hybrid vehicles they produce are increasingly less reliant on the fossil fuel.
The company says that it will continue with its efforts to increase the performance of their vehicles, reduce costs, and expand its range of products.
October 24, 2014