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What’s Stopping Electric Cars From Expanding

Posted by admin on April 14th, 2016 in Category Auto Parts, Automotive News, Car Insurance, Electric Cars, Green Cars, Junk Cars, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized, Wolrd Auto News (no responses)

The electric car is something many are interested in when it comes to saving the environment and fuel economy, but certain things have blocked the success it should have.

Now many people think that the electric vehicle’s time has finally come, with the roughly 300,000 orders for Tesla’s Model 3 providing a boost to advocates who have been disappointed many times. However, this sector of the blogosphere has a tendency towards uncritical thinking that deserves a lot more attention than it normally gets. History, as always, is informative.

An interesting piece from 2007 came to my attention recently, describing the apparent progress in the electric vehicle industry and suggesting a looming change in the automotive sector. It opened with “Putting the zoom into electric cars: Watch out, Detroit. A new crop of electric-vehicle startups aims to put a dent in the Big Three by applying the latest in high-technology engineering and design.” Granted, this was not a critical analysis of the industry but more of a general-interest story with the aim of cheerleading innovators, but it points to a number of problems with the sector.

Perhaps most informative was the status of the electric vehicles which the author (or an editor) described as the “Next Little Things.” The list seemed puzzling, as I recognized none of the names. Tesla was acknowledged separately, but an executive was quoted as saying they only aimed at a small subset of the market (which plan has since been modified), while others were said to be much more ambitious. Aptera, in particular, received attention for its unusual three-wheel design, described as looking like Batman’s girlfriend’s car, and the sales goals of 10,000 a month.

None of these vehicles is now in production, and most of the companies have disappeared, as have better known rivals like Fisker and A Better Place (a battery switching company), despite consistently positive coverage of them. A brief search suggests that only one of the companies, Zap, encountered significant skepticism, based on its record of unfulfilled promises and sales of a Chinese vehicle that proved to have serious quality problems. The others were typically heralded as revolutionaries who would transform transportation and the automobile industry.

The six companies seemed to have a similar operating concept: electric motors have many advantages over the internal combustion engine, they would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and were particularly appropriate as commuter cars, where short driving distances and stop-and-go traffic is the dominant environment. Styling was often a focus of the manufacturers, who wanted their product to stand out and have a “wow” factor. The vehicles were marketed as commuter cars or second cars rather than primary transportation, unlike more recent designs like the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and Tesla models.

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Millenials Entering Car Market Means Relief To Car Companies

Posted by admin on March 19th, 2016 in Category Auto Parts, Automotive News, Junk Cars, Site News, Uncategorized (no responses)

In a generation where transportation is not limited to just driving to and from your destination car companies have had some concerns. Millennials were once a source of panic in the auto industry. Dubbed the “go nowhere” generation, they weren’t getting driver’s licenses, never mind buying cars. Headlines declared it was “The End of Car Culture.”

New data suggests at least some of that worry was misplaced. Millennials — especially the oldest ones — are these days buying cars in big numbers. They just had a late start.

Now the largest generation in the U.S., millennials bought 4 million cars and trucks in the U.S. last year, second only to the baby boomers, according to J.D. Power’s Power Information Network, which defines millennials as those between 21 and 38 in 2015. Millennials’ share of the new car market jumped to 28 percent. In the country’s biggest car market, California, millennials outpaced boomers for the first time.

Industry watchers say it’s been hard to get a read on millennials because the generation is big and diverse, ranging from recent college graduates to settled-down suburbanites. Automakers were also unsure about the impact of new transportation choices, like ZipCar and Uber, which helped millennials delay car buying. But as they got jobs and started families, millennials headed into car dealerships just like previous generations.

“This whole idea that they’re not going to need cars is absolutely ridiculous,” said Steven Szakaly, the chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association. “The new car buyer age is just happening much later.”

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How Will Insurance Companies Deal With A Possibility Of Less Accidents

Posted by admin on February 8th, 2016 in Category Auto Parts, Auto Shows & Events, Automotive News, Junk Cars, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized, Wolrd Auto News (no responses)

When you get into an accident the first thing most people do is call their insurance company to report it. However, as autonomous driving technology advances, perhaps the most notable benefit is the promise of a striking reduction in accidents.

But fewer accidents will, according to a recent report, turn the entire auto insurance industry on its head.

“We think that over the next 20 to 25 years, the number of accidents will fall by 80 percent,” said Jerry Albright, principal of actuarial and insurance risk practice at KPMG, the consulting firm that released the report. “From a consumer perspective, this is a very good thing. You’ll see improved safety, fewer deaths.”

At Progressive’s investor relations meeting in 2013, John Curtiss, the company’s auto products development chief, said the industry had grown 90 percent over the previous 30 years, mostly because more vehicles were on the road. More recently, Mr. Albright said that most insurance companies had problems turning a profit over the last six years and that the changes autonomous vehicles would bring were sure to make profitability more elusive.

At risk is the lifeblood of the industry — $200 billion in premiums that the insurers collect every year from policyholders, KPMG says.

According to KPMG’s report, the insurance industry could contract by as much as 60 percent by 2040 as accident damage payouts and premiums fall.

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2 Years Is A Long Time For Tesla To Fight Back

Posted by admin on January 18th, 2016 in Category Auto Parts, Automotive News, Car Insurance, Car Repair, Electric Cars, Green Cars, Junk Cars, Site News, Uncategorized, Wolrd Auto News (no responses)

2015 was a busy year when it came to cars and 2016 and 2017 seem to be no different.

Faraday Future debuted a stunning electric vehicle concept at CES 2016 on Monday night. But Tesla can do a lot between now and 2018 (or thereabouts) when Faraday plans to bring out a real car.

Executives from Faraday Future, the Chinese billionaire-backed startup,were dropping buzzy-sounding ideas like Variable Platform Architecture, battery strings, and “aero-tunnels” Monday night. Jia Yueting, the billionaire founder and chief executive of LeTV — a Chinese media company with a market value of over ten billion dollars — is putting down some serious bucks. He’s one of the principals investing $1 billion in a 3 million square foot manufacturing facility on approximately 900 acres in North Las Vegas. The project would create 4,500 direct jobs on site.

But the first production vehicle won’t be here for “a couple of years,” as Nick Sampson, a senior vice president at Faraday and a former Tesla engineer, said on stage Monday night (to be fair, he used the word “only” when stating a couple of years and also had praise for Tesla: “Tesla and Elon Musk have created something we should all applaud them for”). The challenge is, in a couple of years, the Tesla Motors TSLA -2.38% Model X crossover will be a maturing platform and pouring out of Tesla factories.  And of course that’s when the mass-market $35,000 Model 3 should hit the streets. And, needless to say, Tesla will have new car and technology announcements over the next couple of years.

Faraday claims it’s going to move fast and be able to crank out everything from FFZero1-like cars to SUVs to “even a pickup truck” based on its Variable Platform Architecture (see video at bottom). The VPA includes a battery structure arranged into “strings” — adding or removing strings changes the battery capacity and allows FF to develop new wheelbases. VPA also allows modular motor and power train configurations, including layouts with up to 4 motors and two or all-wheel drive systems.

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Feds Change Their Position When It Comes To Cars That Drive Themselves

Posted by admin on December 5th, 2015 in Category Auto Shows & Events, Automotive News, Car Insurance, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized, Wolrd Auto News (no responses)

LOS ANGELES – When driving there are certain rules to follow on the road, which have been put into question when it comes to autonomous driving, and now the U.S. government is deciding what position to take on the matter.

Federal transportation officials are rethinking their position on self-driving cars with an eye toward getting the emerging technology into the public’s hands.

Just two years ago, the U.S. Department of Transportation struck a cautious tone. Its official policy statement, published in May 2013, says cars should be limited to testing and not “authorized for use by members of the public for general driving purposes.”

For several years, Google and several traditional automakers have been running prototypes equipped with a suite of sensors and cameras around public streets and highways, mostly in California.

Those cars must have someone behind the wheel, ready to take over. Some have gotten into collisions, though the companies say a person in another car caused the accident in each case.

Google has advocated spreading self-driving cars into the public, once the tech titan concludes the technology is safe.

While states have taken the lead on regulating self-driving cars, policymakers in Washington hold some sway over states’ decision-making. California’s Department of Motor Vehicles in particular has asked for federal guidance as it struggles with how to move the cars safely from small-scale road tests to broader adoption.

In a written statement Monday, U.S. Department of Transportation spokeswoman Suzanne Emmerling said that with rapid development of the technology, federal policy is being updated.

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Will First Step Of Compensation From Volkswagen Prevent Future Litigation Action

Posted by admin on November 9th, 2015 in Category Auto Parts, Automotive News, Junk Cars, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized, Wolrd Auto News (no responses)

When it comes to compensation and litigation the steps and processes are very important, which is why attorneys are cautioning the people who are looking into compensation for the Volkswagen cars they purchased.

Volkswagen is offering $500 in cash and $500 in VW dealer credit to owners of its diesel cars, a first step in compensating them in the wake of a global emissions-test cheating scandal.

The “goodwill package” is a stopgap measure while the automaker works on a way to fix the cars, which contain software designed to evade U.S. pollution regulations.

The automaker says customers don’t have to give up their right to sue the company — as thousands already are — but some attorneys are disputing that and warning customers not to sign an arbitration clause required to get the money.

It is a complete end run around the litigation that is in place,” said Amy Williams-Derry, an attorney with Keller Rohrback, one of the law firm’s pursuing class action litigation against the automaker. “They are trying to buy off plaintiffs who have already sued and consumers who would benefit from a class-action recovery.”

Some of the hundreds of cases already filed seek to have VW buy back the vehicles for the full price the customers originally paid.

To get the money, VW customers must visit www.vwdieselinfo.com, enter their Vehicle Identification Number, their mileage and contact information. They will also have to take their car to a dealer to activate the gift cards to prove that they own the vehicle.

Customers will also get access to a free 24-hour roadside assistance program for three years.

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New Safety Technology You Can Add To Old Cars

Posted by admin on October 8th, 2015 in Category Auto Parts, Automotive News, Car Repair, Junk Cars, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized, Wolrd Auto News (no responses)

If you haven’t bought a new car within the past couple years it may be out of touch when it comes to safety technology. Older cars will lack many high-tech safety features, like a rearview camera, that are increasingly found in newer cars.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to be left out of the technological revolution. Audiovox makes a rearview camera that can be added on.

The rearview camera is one of the most popular of a growing list of add-on devices and services that promise to bring modern features to aging jalopies.

“Lane departure and collision warning, pedestrian warnings, high-beam control and traffic sign recognition — all of those can be retrofitted in a customer’s car,” said Elad Serfaty, a vice president at Mobileye, whose technology is built into a variety of vehicles from BMW, Volvo and other carmakers that offer collision detection and prevention.

A warning and monitoring system that can be added to older vehicles, like the Mobileye 660, costs roughly $1,000 including a professional installation, Mr. Serfaty said, but he pointed out that the benefits could outweigh the costs. A Highway Loss Data Institute study of Honda Accords and Crosstours equipped with lane departure and forward collision warnings, for example, found a 14 percent reduction in damage claims compared with models without the systems.

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Watch Out, Speed Cameras On A Lookout, Resulting In Better and Safer Drivers

Posted by admin on September 8th, 2015 in Category Auto Parts, Automotive News, Car Repair, Electric Cars, Green Cars, Junk Cars, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized, Wolrd Auto News (no responses)

Even going 5 Miles per hour over the speed limit can be dangerous when driving on busy, main roads. Are excellent can occur because you no longer have enough time to stop because you’re going so much faster. So hopefully having speeding cameras placed around cities will finally correct the bad habit of speeding.

Speed cameras can substantially reduce the likelihood of deadly collisions and result in long-term changes in driver behavior. If all U.S. communities had speed-camera programs like the one recently studied, some 21,000 deaths or serious injuries would have been prevented in 2013.

Those are the main findings of a report released earlier this week by theInsurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit financed by the insurance industry.

“We hope this research will help energize the discussion around speed,” Adrian Lund, president of the institute, said in a statement. “We’re all accustomed to seeing posted limits ignored, but it’s a mistake to think nothing can be done about it. Automated enforcement is one of the tools we have at our disposal.”

The study was based in Montgomery County, Md., a large community near Washington, D.C., where speed cameras were introduced in 2007 and used on residential streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less and in school zones. After seven years, cameras reduced the likelihood of a driver exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 mph by 59 percent, compared with similar roads in two nearby Virginia counties that did not have speed cameras, according to the study.

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Teens Caught Texting Blame Over-Protective Parents

Posted by admin on August 5th, 2015 in Category Auto Parts, Automotive News, Car Insurance, Electric Cars, Green Cars, Junk Cars, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized, Wolrd Auto News (no responses)

Texting and driving is serious due to the amount of deaths caused by not paying attention.

 

Teenagers calling themselves safe motorists overwhelmingly admit to checking phones when behind the wheel, and those who text while driving say they are often distracted by parents who expect immediate responses, a survey found.

 

More than half of the teens confessed to texting while driving to update their parents, and 19 per cent said moms and dads expected a response within one minute, according to a study issued Tuesday by Boston-based Liberty Mutual Holding Co. and Students Against Destructive Decisions.

 

“We have a generation of parents that are used to being very connected with their children,” Stephen Wallace, chief executive officer of SADD, said in an interview. “They’re looking for that constant communication.”

Of the almost 3,000 fatal crashes in 2013 caused by distracted drivers, 10 per cent of those deaths were teens, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Auto insurers including Allstate Corp. and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. have publicized the risks of distracted motorists.

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US Citizens Now Keep Their Cars Longer Than Ever

Posted by admin on July 30th, 2015 in Category Auto Parts, Auto Shows & Events, Automotive News, Car Fun and Humor, Car Insurance, Car Repair, Electric Cars, Green Cars, Junk Cars, Odd News, Site News, Uncategorized, Wolrd Auto News (no responses)

How often do you look outside your car as you drive to work and see an older version of the model you drive? Older cars are staying on the road and in the market through different avenues of car sales.

The average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. is rising, even as consumers snap up more new ones — a paradox attributable to substantial increases in reliability.

The typical car on the road in the U.S. is a record-high 11.5 years old, according to a new IHS Automotive survey.

Yet Americans are buying cars at an annualized rate of more than 17 million vehicles, marking a high not seen since before the Great Recession. In fact, U.S. vehicle owners bought 42% more cars than they scrapped in 2014, according to IHS. The number of light vehicles registered in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 257.9 million units.

How are vehicles getting older, while Americans are buying newer cars, too?

Simple: They’re either keeping the old ones along with the new ones — know anyone who bought a new car and kept their old one in the driveway? — or the vehicle made its way into the used-car market, where someone else bought it..

“Vehicles are simply lasting longer than ever before,” Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive, told USA TODAY. “The consumer is hanging onto their vehicle longer than ever before.”

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