Archives – August, 2014

Game Changing Features of the BMW i DC Fast Charger

bmw-i-dc-fast-charger-6One of the most pressing concerns among most hybrid car drivers in the market is the power of their batteries. The ability of their battery power to last as long as possible is what brings in the cost saving features of this technology. With the rising cost of fossil generated fuel, hybrid cars have been on the rise and this is the trend that is likely to fuel the growth of the hybrid car technology.

The BMW i DC charger looks like a blue box on a pole, but the truth of the matter is that this technology offers much more value than the low cost SAE Combo charger that is currently in the market. The company projects that this box is likely to bring in more people into the hybrid market. They believe the DC charging technology is the technology that is going to illuminate the future of hybrid car technology.

The current business strategy of the i DC charger is to get as many i DC chargers out in the market. The company is not in the business of selling the chargers. The main reason for having as many chargers as possible out in the market is to give support for the consumers who will be purchasing the hybrid cars that need this form of energy.

The first of these new boxes will be rolled out at selected 285 dealers in the United States. Most of these dealers already installed the cables and infrastructure that would be needed in supporting the boxes. The installation of the boxes will also be easier for those who did not have the set up ready because you do not need concrete for the wall unit. The SAE combo connector costs are also significantly cheaper compared to the competing plugs in the market such as the ChadeMO.

Some of the drawbacks of the BMW I DC charger compared to the traditional full sized DC chargers are that the alternative charger allows a maximum charge of up to 80% in 20 minutes. The BMW can only achieve this in about 30 minutes. The good news for the EV drivers out there in the market is that with the SAE Combo cars, they can use a ChargePoint card at the BMW charge stations. BMW has been in talks with both GM and VW regarding where to install the charge stations in the United States in a manner that will minimize on duplication of efforts in the whole process.


Leave a Comment August 28, 2014

Insight into the 2016 Chevy Volt

2016-Chevrolet-Volt-TeaserThe new Chevy Volt is expected to be making its way into showrooms early next year and bits and pieces about the exciting new car are already leaking into the media. The most exciting feature about the new Chevy Volt is the fact that it will have better fuel economy and efficiency compared to all of the earlier versions of the car. According to the company vice president, the current Volt has a mileage of about 98MPG and 37 MPG on premium fuel. The car has also been reported to have a 38-mile electric-only range. It is not yet clear how exactly the efficiency of the car will be improved, but we definitely expect the car to be lighter than the older version. There will be better aerodynamics and improvement in the powertrain.

Some of the big things that we still don’t know include information about the new gas propelled engine. According to Forbes, it will be reduced to a 1 liter, three-cylinder mill. This will be replacing the 1.4 liter, four-cylinder engine that is currently used in the present design. It will definitely not be of much surprise to find that the new Chevy will come with much more technology compared to previous versions.

GM recently announced that it would be changing its approach to marketing concerning the Volt. The company will be turning away from the mass-market mentality and will be focusing on the areas where there is a relatively higher popularity of the car. Some of these areas include the Northeast and the West coast.

There is also speculation that the new Volt will have an increased seating capacity. There will be an added seat at the back to increase the seating capacity to five. This is a feature that most of the current Volt owners would definitely love. However, there has been no official hint to indicate that this will be the case. We expect that battery of the new Volt to be the new 17.1 kWH version or even higher. This means that the company will seriously need to look into the repackaging structure and design. For instance, the company could try to eliminate the ridge that usually runs from between the two seats at the front of the car to the two rear seats. This will definitely have a significant effect on the weight of the car, as well as the battery positioning. The future of the new Chevy Volt definitely seems to be very bright.


Leave a Comment August 28, 2014

Meaning of Hybrid to Different People

Hyundai-Sonota-Hybrid-Feature-1213The number of hybrid cars is increasing by the day in the world market. It is, however, not surprising to find that many people around the world do not know a lot of things concerning the hybrid technology. However, this is not usually the case with gasoline-powered vehicles.

The hybrid car technology means many things to different people around the world. The obvious meaning of hybrid cars to most people around the world is that it is a vehicle designed to preserve the natural environment. The truth of the matter is that this is not all that the hybrid technology means. It goes far deeper than that. What we hear from most of the people purchasing hybrid cars is their desire to have a world where people work together to achieve a common objective. In this case, the objective is to make the world a better place through environmental conservation.

We asked a young woman who was still in college pursuing her education why she was considering buying a hybrid Civic Honda car. To her, the main reason that had pushed her to purchase a hybrid car is that it helped display her awareness about bigger issues existing in the world today that is beyond the grasp of most of the other students in the institution.

The girl went to a dealership with her dad to look for the car she was ready to purchase. The woman clearly had budget constraints because we gathered from her that she had worked all summer in a bid to save the funds that would enable her to buy her dream car. The car seller gave her an identical gasoline powered vehicle, but to our surprise, the woman turned it down saying that it was not what she wanted. The lady walked out of the dealership very upset because what the dealership was proposing to her as being the prospect of a good car was a big step down from her expectations.

The media is fond of making comparisons between the Toyota Corolla and a Prius or the Civic hybrid to the conventional one. These comparisons very often look logical, but in the minds of the consumers, the difference has not been able to come out as clearly as it should. The reaction of the girl on the suggestion that she should buy a conventional gasoline powered car shows that there is something else at work in the minds of people as they choose whether or not to purchase hybrid cars. In the end, the college girl worked out a lease arrangement with the dealer and was able to have her hybrid.


Leave a Comment August 22, 2014

The New Rolls Royce Hybrid

Rolls-Royce_102EX_EV-668Most of the car manufactures around the world are beginning to realize that more and more people are preferring hybrid cars. Most of the hybrid cars in the market have so far been the medium prices cars that a majority of people with moderate income are able to afford. Luxury car manufacturers are starting to enter the hybrid market because they realize that there will be a demand for these vehicles. It is for this reason that luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce recently announced that their new models for 2016 and 2017 will involve some form of electrification in their powertrain departments. The development program for this new model is already in place and it is expected to be ready for the market by mid 2016.

According to the company, the car will be built on the success of the Phantom Wrath and Ghost. The company intends to continue with its bold shape and graceful styling that has allowed them to captivate and keep their fair share of the market from various regions around the world.

According to the chief executive officer of Rolls Royce, this move opens an exciting new chapter in the great story of Rolls Royce. The company plans on introducing an exciting and contemporary version of a pinnacle drop head touring car. This will introduce even more differentiation between men and women concerning Rolls-Royce ownership.

Competitors such as the Bentley are also putting up plans for their own version of the hybrid because they definitely would not want to be left behind in the technological revolution that is quickly taking shape. BMW has also been in the mix in developing their version of gasoline-electric hybrid cars. This shows why Rolls-Royce has invested so many resources into ensuring that their high-end version of the hybrid car will be rolled into the market within the estimated timeframe.

According to the chairman of the Rolls-Royce company, the announcement of the new hybrid model will help build on the success of their current models. The introduction of this technology will also play a key role in fulfilling the commitment by the company to ensuring that their stakeholders are able to enjoy long term and sustainable growth. This new car is currently undergoing a series of rigorous prototype testing as it undergoes the various stages of the development cycle. As soon at all of the development stages are completed, the car will be ready to be introduced to enthusiastic consumers. We look forward to having this technology in our roads in the near future.


Leave a Comment August 22, 2014

Profile of Hybrid Car Drivers

balls-313There are a number of big celebrities who have been spotted driving hybrid cars. Some of these top celebrities include the likes of Tom Hank, Sting, Tim Robbins, Meryl Streep, Cameron Diaz, Ed Beasley and Leonardo DeCaprio. However, with the popularity of hybrid cars increasing by the day, so are the numbers of hybrid car drivers. We look into recent research by a group of social scientists that seeks to categorize some of the common characteristics that these drivers have.

Hybrid car drivers have a relatively higher income compared to the usual car buyer. On average, the incomes of a majority of hybrid car drivers are about $100,000 a year compared to $85,000 earned by most of the average buyers. A study by Scarborough Research shows that about 42% of hybrid car drivers have an annual income of more than $100,000.

Hybrid car owners are often a few years older than the average car buyer is. These drivers have an average age of about 50, compared to the average age of 40 for owners of conventional gasoline powered vehicles. Research conducted by J.D. Power shows that only 2% of hybrid car owners are below the age of 24. Twenty-nine percent are between the ages of 45 and 54, and 33% of these drivers are over the age of 55.

Research also shows that hybrid car owners have a relatively higher level of education when compared to the rest of the car owners. The researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute also showed most hybrid car drivers expected the prices of fuel to increase at a rate faster than the number of people in the market. This shows how pessimistic this group of people is concerning the cost of fuel compared to other car owners in the market.

The Scarborough research made a lifestyle study on over 110,000 hybrid car owners in an effort to establish the relationship between their consumer behavior and political patterns. According to this research, the following are the major shared behavior characteristics of hybrid car owners:

  • They love skiing, hiking, and yoga more
  • About 14% of these identified themselves as Republicans, 38% were Democrats while 34% identified themselves as Independent.
  • This group of people consumes more decaffeinated coffee organic food, and yogurt compared to most of the public.
  • These owners have shown to have better than average tech savvy skills. More than 75% of them regularly use email. Over a third of them use their mobile phone to send text messages and take photographs. Their online traffic seems to be moving towards sites that offer news and information.


Leave a Comment August 14, 2014

Demystifying Top Excuses to Wait t Buy a Hybrid

ostrich-313For a while now, hybrid cars have started to dominate the market. Part of their successful uptake has been caused by the increased environmental awareness and the ever-increasing cost of energy. As you start planning for your new car, the hybrid option may be a very good fuel-efficient option. The following are some of the top excuses that you may find yourself trying to come up with and some of the counterpoints that suggest why purchasing that hybrid car would be the best choice you can make.

1. Hybrid cars have good mileage, but I am waiting for further improvements that are very likely to come in a year or two.

The shape and weight of the car bears a significant influence over the amount of power consumed by the vehicle. The hybrid technology improves fuel economy by spreading the energy consumed by the vehicle over several loads during the driving cycle. This helps in avoiding fuel burn when it is not needed by the vehicle. Additional comfort and safety features that are often included in the vehicle are often responsible for the increase in the weight of the car. This results in poor gas mileage. This means that unless we dramatically change the shape and weight of our vehicles the gas mileage is not likely to change by any significant margin.

2. Hybrid cars are great but expensive; I am waiting for the prices to drop.

The battery of the hybrid car is what significantly increases the cost of the hybrid cars. Hybrid car manufacturing companies are continually doing research on reducing the cost of these batteries. With the ever-increasing cost of energy, the cost of fuel is likely to offset the premium that you pay for owning a hybrid car.

3. Hybrid Technology is unproven, I am waiting for it to become more stable before I invest in a hybrid car

The first hybrid car was introduced into the market in 1997 in Japan. The first hybrid car in the United States was introduced in 2000. This is certainly a lot of real world testing on this vehicle technology. These cars have proven to have the best batteries in the market. It is comforting to note that hybrid cars come with a 10-year warrantee for your peace of mind. Most of the major car manufactures from Porsche to Volvo have started venturing into the hybrid car technology. Money and many other resources are being invested in improving the hybrid car technology because the whole world is slowly moving towards it.


Leave a Comment August 14, 2014

Driving Trends

060801_trafficJams_hmed_1p.hmediumBack in the 1970s, the United States government introduced regulations around emission control technology, emissions of hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide from cars in the United States. As a result of this regulation, the harmful gas emission from cars in the country has decreased by over 60% over since then. This is very good news for the government and the environmentalists out there who are continually pushing for measures to be put in place to curb the ever-rising levels of environmental pollution. Despite all of this progress, the bad news is that there has been very little improvement in the air quality over this period. This is has been caused by a number of factors.

There has been an increase in the use of cars. This is because more people have the financial capability to purchase their own cars. Research shows that there has been an increase by over 150% in the vehicle miles traveled in the United States. There are currently about 200 million cars in the United States alone, while there are about 700 million cars in the whole world. If cars continue to increase in the same rate, there may be over one billion cars by 2025. This is a disaster waiting to happen. This is why there has been an increased focus on the manufacture of hybrid cars. This is because these cars have lower emissions and may help in curbing pollution.

Some of the factors that you should look at to get the true picture of the correlation between cars and the environment include the following:

  • The most air polluting activity that a private citizen can participate in is driving a car
  • By 2003, the American census showed that 1 of 3 people in the United States drive a car to work.
  • Less than 5% of the population in the US use public transportation to move from one place to another.
  • An average American spends about one hour of their day in a car and collectively, Americans spend over 8 billion hours a year in traffic.

Considering all of these driving trends and the effect that they have on the environment, you need to be conscious of the driving decisions that you make because this has a direct impact on the environment. The choice that you make on the type of car you buy is a vote on the manufacturer to continue making that car. You should therefore give more votes to manufacturers of hybrid and electric cars because you will be voting for reduced environmental pollution. This means that the future will be safer.


Leave a Comment August 7, 2014

Toxicity of Hybrid Batteries

582872464_3f61f753fd_zThe past decade has seen an increase in the number of hybrid cars in the market in many parts of the world. The increased uptake of the hybrid car technology can be attributed to the increasing level of environmental awareness and government efforts. Governments are passing legislation that is meant to encourage hybrid cars because of their low environmental pollution rate and low energy consumption rate. However, there are some concerns starting to arise concerning the hybrid technology. Some people are starting to get worried that the hybrid car euphoria is starting to turn into a toxic nightmare because of the harmful nickel and hydride that are found in hybrid car vehicles. These compounds often end up in landfills that result in nasty corrosive substances.

There has been very little argument that lead is extremely toxic. This is because studies have proven that prolonged exposure to lead can cause brain and kidney damage, hearing loss, and learning disabilities among children. The auto industry uses a large amount of lead in the manufacture of their batteries every year. This lead is either recycled or released into the environment. This released lead can be very dangerous to the living population and the relevant stakeholders are increasingly raising concerns over a viable solution to help curb this problem.

Lead is cheap and this makes it difficult to find the best most viable replacement to be used in the manufacture of batteries. The introduction of the hybrid cars in the market seems to have reignited the lead debate. This is because the hybrid technology has moved towards making cars more electric and less mechanical. This has resulted in the impression that lead is heavy and thus research into alternative lighter material is being carried out.

The most popular metals used in the manufacture of batteries in order of popularity are lead, nickel and lithium. Research on all of these metals has shown that lead has the most pervasive effect on the environment compared to the other metals. Lithium has been proven to be the least harmful to the environment. The severity of lithium, is however also dependent on the type of material that is used together with it. The use of lithium with cobalt is the most problematic. The effect is also dependent on the recycling technology that is in place at the time.

Nickel is not as dangerous as lead, but it is considered to be dangerous because it is a possible carcinogen. There are also challenges about fully recycling the nickel that is used in hybrid car batteries.



Leave a Comment August 7, 2014

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