Archives – November, 2014

Winterization Tips for Your Electric Car

imagesIt is essential to know what it takes to winterize an electric car and maintain good performance in the cold. Some of the tips that can be applied in winter-proofing an electric vehicle will be highlighted in this article. One of the key tips is winterizing your electric car batteries. The batteries are the major cause of electric car suffering during cold weather. During the cold season, the battery range can drop to 5-10 miles from the normal 30-35 miles. Cold results in slowing down of the chemical processes taking place inside a battery. Consequently, the battery fails to take charge they way it does in warmer conditions.

To winter-proof an electric car battery pack, drivers are advised to keep driving during winter for the batteries to be maintained in the charge and discharge mode. Charging is also recommended as it warms up your electric vehicle battery. It is usually enough to just have a large battery bank coupled with insulation and garaging. Insulation can be done using cheap Styrofoam that is easy to find. A fluffy fiberglass can also be utilized for insulation. Some people also prefer to use a heat tape or heating pads under car insulation. Keeping an electric vehicle in an insulated garage may also be helpful during the winter.

Winterization of non-battery electric vehicle components is another aspect to keep in mind. This will help in maintaining the efficiency of an electric vehicle. To keep things moving in the cold, it is advisable to lubricate the transmission, as well as wheel bearings using winter-appropriate artificial materials. This results in increased battery power. The tire inflation also makes a major difference during winter. Several appliances in a car glide smoothly during summer when the liquid is loose and free. During the winter, the liquid’s viscosity lowers and turning the wheel takes a lot of battery energy. Fortunately, there are several companies that manufacture vehicle lubricants that remain runny at all rimes, even during the cold season.

Keeping yourself warm is also fundamental. An electric car by itself will not generate excess heat to keep the driver warm. Other options must be considered. Some people may just wear coats, thermals and whatever they can to survive without utilizing battery energy or cabin heat. An alternative to consider is installation of a ceramic heater that will keep cold off the vehicle or cabin. This ceramic heater is either powered by an auxiliary battery or a battery pack that uses a DC/DC converter.


Leave a Comment November 28, 2014

Why You Should Buy Lamborghini’s Hybrid Asterion this Holiday Season

Lamborghini_Asterion_-_2014_Paris_Motor_Show_01It is clearly evident that the flavor of the month right now isn’t a V12 engine that releases carbon dioxide emission that is enough to choke your average polar bear. Why not gift yourself or a loved one with a worthwhile hybrid car that is environmentally friendly? Right now, most of the automakers are considering various means of minimizing dangerous emissions and improving the fuel economy. They are doing so while at the same time maintaining performance figures that will excite teenage schoolboys. The Asterion hybrid is one of the choices to think of, owed to its features that will be highlighted below.

A key feature of the Asterion is its V10 engine with 607 bhp with a volume of 5.2 liters. This engine is the same as that of the Huracan. Additionally, this hybrid car’s performance has been boosted significantly by its three powerful electric motors. It has 907 bhp as the total output. Surprisingly, the car can move around solely on electricity for approximately 30 or more miles. The automakers have also revealed that when both the electric and gas engine motors are running, the Asterion can achieve 282 miles per gallon. The car is more economical compared to a family hatchback and its speed is comparable to that of a Ferrari.

From a complete standstill, the hybrid Asterion can hit 185 miles per hour and rocket to 62 miles per hour in just three or less seconds. The catch however, is that in real world, this figure may not be achievable. You are essentially driving on a 5.2-litre V10 as soon as the batteries run out of juice. The second catch is that it might cost a fortune if you desperately require one. However, it may eventually be worth the investment.

It is clear that designers opted for a softer approach with the hybrid Asterion. This is because the objective of Lamborghini was the creation of a sophisticated cruiser instead of a mad, track-day demon. For a driver to have a fantastic view of the road, the car seats are not only cosseted, but also set higher in the cabin. The ride is also set up in such a way that the driver’s comfort is assured. The driver gets to enjoy handy gadgets inside the cabin. The exterior of the car is associated with legendary Miura elements, which are not bad at all. Some of the gadgets include a trendy TFT display located at the back of the car’s steering wheel. There is also a tablet device that serves in controlling most of the hybrid vehicle’s functions.



Leave a Comment November 28, 2014

Nissan Makes Car Recalls

nissanCar 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.




2 Comments November 21, 2014

The New Battery Driven BMW

bmwBMW 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.


Leave a Comment November 21, 2014

Owning Hybrid Cars Can Cost Less

toyotaHybrid 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.



Leave a Comment November 14, 2014

Electric Cars Becoming More Popular

YAKUMO DIGITAL STILL CAMERAIt 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.



Leave a Comment November 14, 2014

Improved Range and Powertrain for the New Volt

imagesGeneral 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.


Leave a Comment November 7, 2014

Hybrid Options in the Market

jlr-4The 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.


Leave a Comment November 7, 2014

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