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We all have used batteries in the course of our everyday lives, whether consciously or unconsciously. With gadgets and technology, we often completely forget that batteries are everywhere. Until they stop working, that is! Its a little different with larger high-powered batteries. They are used and recharged and require maintenance. With the coming of the electric vehicle as a viable driving alternative, the conversation must soon turn to the realities of the electric vehicl...

Size Does Matter-electric Vehicle Battery Sizes

Size Does Matter-electric Vehicle Battery SizesWe all have used batteries in the course of our everyday lives, whether consciously or unconsciously. With gadgets and technology, we often completely forget that batteries are everywhere. Until they stop working, that is! Its a little different with larger high-powered batteries. They are used and recharged and require maintenance. With the coming of the electric vehicle as a viable driving alternative, the conversation must soon turn to the realities of the electric vehicle battery. Of immediate concern are capacity, size and weight.Now this article has as its focus the size of electric vehicle batteries. For example, a standard vehicle battery is measured in inches (9 x 12 x 7). The car battery market is well established and at the present time, size is inextricably tied to capacity. The real issue is power for acceleration and maintaining speeds above 10-15 mph which require lots of amperage (Amps). So, in the case of electric cars, more capacity means more amps and more amps require more electric vehicle batteries. This is where size plays a part; its about the space needed for sufficient battery storage.Size is not the only challenge with the use of electric vehicle batteries. With our existing technology, with size comes weight and this further complicates electric vehicle efficiency. Having a car full of batteries leaves little room for people, additional payloads and everyday shopping items. Were already used to golf carts; now were seeing the two seater electric vehicles coming into its own in urban areas. We havent solved all the problems yet, but the process has finally begun people are now considering driving electric vehicles, battery issues aside. Alternative lifestyle isnt just for hippies anymore.People are changing their opinions, with growing concern about environmental impact, economic sustainability and the rising cost of dependence on oil-based fuels. All these factors are playing their part in what could become a great national transformation. Hybrids are bridging the gap while an old industry reinvents itself. Eventually the electric vehicle battery issues will resolve themselves. Meanwhile, take a quiet stroll and think about what a quiet, peaceful ride in the fresh air would be like. You never know, we might even enjoy slowing down to stop and smell the roses.

Do You Have A RDX Too?

Do You Have A RDX Too?

The RDX, as in Acura RDX from Honda, is a Japanese SUV. This key, on my new custom Acura key chain, operates a worldly vehicle. The creators are Japanese, but it was designed for the American market. The topper is that it drives like a German sports car.My satin chrome valet key chain is engineered to last a lifetime, just like my new Acura RDX. The valet key chain is designed to come apart so the vehicle key will be on one end and the home and office keys will be on the other. It is really two key chains in one. The Acura RDX is really two vehicles in one, a sporty sedan, and a load carrying SUV perfect for all those outdoor trips camping or skiing. Just check out the innovative storage compartments, plus comfortable seating for five in this shamelessly under priced car.The Acura RDX is turbo charged, and when it kicks in, it makes a wonderful whooshing sound. It has the same excitement factor when driving that can be possible with the BMW 3 series. You are strongly tempted to pull out all the stops and drive it hard. In a 1,000 mile southern California comparison test with 4 compact SUVs, the RDX came is first, no sweat.Comfort along with major performance is the goal of over 20 years of research and development. A good example of high tech is the tilt steering wheel which also telescopes. Safety has not been neglected with the Acura RDX. It was rated highest (5 stars) in frontal and side crash tests, as well as having electronic stability control. No wonder this company is a leader in safety, putting into practice their goals of creating and improving an environmentally sound line of automobiles.Acuras concern with the environment includes recognizing the impact they have on the community in Lincoln, Alabama where the factory is located. Acura has made it a point to preserve the environment at the manufacturing facility and beyond by installing state of the art pollution control devices. Acura commits to efficiently using materials and energy to preserve the natural state of their factory location. The goal of producing greener, more fuel efficient cars, with lower emissions, and excellent aerodynamic designs, keeps everyone striving to build better automobiles and environment.Acura has just celebrated their 20th anniversary of producing better and better cars. Among the innovations, are offering up to $1,000 towards the cost of aftermarket adaptive equipment so those with disabilities will have the same opportunities to drive and ride in this vehicle.Just as the Acura has several models in their line of vehicles, there are also several choices in the style of key chain, you choose to compliment your car. Most of these are designed to be handsome and long lasting, can be customized, and may well be the collectible of the future. So you may want to order more than one of them, so you and your spouse and everyone else in the family can each have one.

Cng And LPG In Italy

Cng And LPG In Italy

The author had an opportunity to ask from the people who make a business survey the in Italy and found that the market of gas for vehicles was a quite interesting because many people do not know that in some countries, the engines of the cars they drive in everyday life have been modified in order to be able to burn other kinds of gas that cost more lower than diesel or benzene.Italy is a country that uses gas as their fuel, which are Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).The number from LPG Euro cars users association and the number from the manufacturer that produces modification kits for cars for other kinds of fuel indicated that there are 1.3-1.4 million cars that use LPG (or GPL in Italian), while 0.3-0.4 million cars use CGN (or Metano in Italian). Italy is a country that uses these two kinds of fuel the most in Europe, as well as the production of modification kits for cars.On April 28th, 2006, the price of LPG in Italy was Euro 0.63/liter (USD 0.75), while Benzene was Euro 1.50/liter (USD 1.76), which was 2.35 times difference. It is the normal system that the price of LPG is lower than 2.3-2.5 times of Benzenes, while CNGs is around Euro 0.50/Kilogram (USD 0.60). This means that CNGs price depends on weight, not on volume.Although LPGs and CNGs prices are much lower than diesel and benzene, the growth rate of them in Europe is slightly slow and starts to reach their peak point. We can see from many countries in Europe such as England, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and France, or some countries in Asia such as Japan and South Korea, small-sized cars with low-rate fuel burning engines are more likely to be the majority rather than large-sized cars with high-rate fuel burning engines. Modification of cars for CNG or LPG is more suitable for large-sized cars rather than small ones because it needs some space in the cars to install it, and the installation fees and price for the equipment are high around Euro 1500.00 so that the break-event point will be around 2-3 years or more.The general property of gas is no color and smell, but what we can smell from it is from the chemical mixed in so that we could notice the gas leak. Gas for cars is the fully burning fuel, and this helps reduce the green house effect which causes the global warming. However, there is also a disadvantage from it. It is a fuel that can harm engines in the long-term because it is gas itself. There is no lubricity property, and it also creates high temperature in burning process.Even though the gas for cars has nothing to do with our everyday lives, in many countries, it is widely used because of the different price of fuel in each country. If the price is too high, the alternative choice is always considered in users calculation, especially with the public cars which run for very long distance each day. The cheaper one means the cheaper cost. Therefore, gas for cars would be a topic that must be talked about whenever the price of gas so high that many people cannot afford to use.

Do You Make These 5 Mistakes When Buying Car Insurance?

Do You Make These 5 Mistakes When Buying Car Insurance?

Here are some of the common mistakes many car insurance policyholders make. See if you recognize yourself:You assume the insurance salesman is your friend.Insurance salesmen are exactly that -- salesmen. And they do get compensated with bonuses and other rewards for selling certain types of policies. Those policies are not always the policies that are best for you. Remember that the next time you are shopping for auto insurance. Generally speaking, insurance salesman are rewarded for selling the smaller policies that leave the insurance company less exposed in the event that you want to make a claim. These are the policies that are most profitable for the insurance company. So, as surprising as it might sound, you may actually be under-insured.To make sure this doesn't happen to you, make sure that you have the basics: liability coverage, comprehensive coverage and collision coverage (see below).Your deductible is too small.Many consumers think that they need to protect themselves against every little scratch and dent. That's a bad idea. You should only insure yourself for those things that you cannot afford to lose. If your car is only worth a few thousand dollars, don't spend that much on premiums for collision coverage by buying a small deductible.Another reason this is a bad idea is that you'll be tempted to nickel and dime your insurance company with every little thing that happens to your car. Eventually, your premium will go up or they could say, "we're declining future coverage."So seriously consider getting a much higher deductible -- maybe even as much as $1000. You'll save money and your coverage will probably extend to a much higher limit.All your cars have the same insurance coverage.If one of your cars is an old beater, don't cover it the same way that you cover your other cars. For example, if you have an old pickup truck that you use to transport building materials and you don't care if it gets dented or scratched or whatever, just get the minimum amount of coverage on it. Who knows? Maybe you just drive it a few miles a year. Get insurance that is appropriate for that vehicle and cover your other vehicles in ways that are appropriate for them.All your cars are jointly owned.There's really no reason to own a car jointly. If you share ownership with your spouse, it's possible that you could be exposed to liability if your spouse causes an accident. In other words, both of you could be sued. Similarly, when your child buys a car, or if you buy them a car, put the car in your child's name. That way, you can avoid liability for any accidents caused by your child.You forgot your umbrella.Here's how umbrella coverage works: if you're in a very bad car accident that causes a lot of property damage that is beyond which your insurance policy covers, you may have to pay massive amounts of money out-of-pocket. This is what umbrella policies are for: to protect you from liability that is way beyond the limits of your standard auto insurance policy. These umbrella policies are usually pretty cheap (a couple of hundred dollars) and can give you important coverage.ConclusionHopefully this article has showed you some things that you can do, that will help you avoid common mistakes that car owners make when they buy auto insurance.

Car Leasing - Who Benefits From A Car Lease?

The television, internet, and newspapers are filled with advertisements from car dealers touting super low prices on leasing a car. Many individuals are confused with the lease process and completely rule it out as a viable option when searching for a new car. Although leasing a vehicle does not benefit everyone, many car owners would greatly benefit by leasing a car instead of buying one, either new or used. If you are wondering if you will benefit from a car lease, consider the following thoughts:Average Annual MileageIf you drive your car over the river and through the woodsand then some, then leasing may not be right for you. Generally, "car lease" s have a strict mileage maximum and you are heavily penalized if you go over this distance limit. Although this distance differs from lease to lease, the average limit for annual miles allowed in a leased vehicle is around 15,000 miles.If you can easily stay within that mileage limit, then leasing a car may be a great option for you. However, if you will blow through those given miles several times over, then you should think again about leasing. Many car lease companies charge as much as $800 for an additional 4,000 miles driven over the mileage limitand the charges can get steeper depending on how many miles you drive over the limit.Low Out of Pocket CostsIf you need a car for transportation but do not anticipate on driving it a great deal, then leasing works out as an excellent option. Many individuals who have a car lease enjoy the low out of pocket costs when it comes to bringing the car home. Instead of hefty down payments typically associated with buying a car, leasing a car requires a small down payment or none at all!Additionally, the initial taxes or fees usually tacked on to the cost of a new car do not apply to lease cars, so you can easily start a lease with a couple of hundred dollars instead of the thousands you would need when buying a car. Furthermore, instead of a hefty chunk of your monthly salary going towards a car payment, the lease payments are generally a great deal less expensive since you only pay for the depreciation of the cars value during the lease period.No Need for a LoanSince you will not have to try to finance the entire cost of the car, leasing a car is great for individuals who would otherwise need a loan. Many banks severely restrict giving car loans to individuals with outstanding debt, including a mortgage, medical bills, or student loan payment. Leasing a car is an excellent way to bypass the banks and skip the entire loan process. If you find yourself unable to get a loan or will be forced to pay extremely high interest rates, think about leasing a car instead of buying one.Newer Cars More OftenIf you are a car lover and are constantly craving that new and improved model that just hit the showroom floor, then consider leasing a car. Leasing is a great way for individuals to continually exchange cars for the newest model without having to lose the money invested if they were to continually buy and sell cars. If you plan on keeping a new car every year or every couple of years, leasing a vehicle is probably your best option over buying.Whatever you decide when it comes to leasing a car, do your research and choose a company and car that will meet your every expectation. Know the exact terms of the lease agreement, including any potential charges that may be incurred at the termination of the lease.

Auto Repair Insurance: Extended Warranties Myths And Facts

How much insurance does one need? You have the big four: home, health, life, and car insurance. Then theres a second category, which starts getting a little hazy with credit card insurance, purchase protection plans, fraud insurance and more. Extended warranties, also called extended service contracts, or extended service policies fall into the mist of this second category.Extended warranties are supposed to pay (in full or in part) for specified repairs for a specific period of time after the expiration of the factory warranty. They can be a great value. They can also be a significant waste of money. It gets quite foggy in the details. What exactly is covered? How long? How much? Are there hidden charges?There are numerous extended warranty companies and an even wider variety of warranty packages available: silver, gold, platinum, platinum-plus, and a host of other confidence-building words. Whats the best plan, and are extended service contracts worth the money? Extended warranties, like life insurance policies, are a numbers game. Theyre a gamble. You pay $2500-$4500 for a 2 year, 100,000-mile protection plan and hope that you get at least that back in warranty repairs. The provider on the other hand, hopes to pay out less than it insured.There are three major types of plan providers: The manufacturer, the dealership/third party, and third party providers. Each one has its assets and liabilities (discussed ahead).What exactly is covered in an extended service plan? As mentioned above, whats covered depends on the package purchased. Some plans only cover the power train: the mechanical components of the engine, transmission, and rear-end. Others cover the power train plus some electrical components. Still others cover electrical, advanced electrical, and computer components. Some only cover whats listed in the contract. This is called a Stated or Named contract. This means that if its not stated, its not covered. Some cover bumper-to-bumper, similar to a manufacturer warranty, except trim pieces, upholstery, exterior components, cosmetic items, and a number of other exclusions.Never before has the adage, The devils in the details, been so applicable.Manufacturer Extended Plans:Extended service plans from the manufacturer are the best in terms of coverage, convenience, and quality. Coverage is similar to the warranty while the vehicle was under its original factory warrantywith similar exclusions stated above. The billing is direct, meaning you dont have to pay out-of-pocket, except for a deductible, if applicable. Quality is great too, as an extended warranty from the manufacturer will only use factory parts. They also have money, so theres less risk of bankruptcy.The down side of manufacturer extended service plans is that they are not cheap. These plans are generally the most expensive, require low mileage standards, and necessitate servicing your vehicle at a dealer for coverage.Dealership/Third Party Plans:Extended warranties from a dealership are actually from a third party insurer. These providers are generally reputable, but not always. However, if there is an issue (such as the warranty provider filing chapter 11, which is quite frequent in the extended service contract business), the dealer may step in to cover any repairs that would have been covered under the defunct plan. Also, claims are easier: billing is direct because the dealership has a working relationship with the provider, and there is usually agreement on price.Some dealers set up their own internal extended warranty, which is honored by the selling dealer. This is rare, and should not be confused with a manufacturer warranty. Important: extended warranties are often passed off as manufacturer warranties. Theyre not. This is a sales trick. Also be aware that there is a significant mark up, as the dealership is merely acting as the middle man. Lastly, extended warranty companies often go bankrupt without warning.Third Party Plans:These plans are called third party plans because they are outside the responsibility of the manufacturer and the service center performing the repairs (unless theres a working relationship with a repair shop as stated above).There are hundreds of extended service contract companies. Some have good reputations, some dont. Third party plans are frequently sold by used car dealers. You may also receive an official looking notification in the mail stating that your warranty is expiring, and directing you to call an 800 number ASAP. This is a marketing tactic by an independent warranty provider. Despite the official appearance of the postcard or envelope, its not from the manufacturer. Manufacturers do not send out reminders about warranty expirations.Given the wide-variety of third party plans there are numerous red flags.1) Claims: Extended warranty companies will be quick to tell you that filing claims is easy, and that the service center gets paid immediately via a credit card. Thus, theres no out-of-pocket expense for you. However, the warranty company cant dictate a service centers policies. Some service centers will only accept payment from the repair customer. Thus the burden is on the repair customer to fill out the forms, contact their warranty company, and await reimbursement via check, which can take 2-8 weeks.It is the service centers responsibility to contact the extended warranty company to let them know whats wrong with the vehicle and to check coverage. This process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 20 days, sometimes more, depending on the degree of repairs and especially the amount. (See $1000 and Adjusters ahead)Service centers and extended warranty companies frequently battle over the fair price of repairs. Many repair shops no longer negotiate, and just state the price, leaving the contract holder (i.e., the service customer) responsible for the difference.2) Rentals: Rental coverage is a great benefit. However, there are fixed rates and time limits. In other words, the warranty company is not going to pay to have you drive a Mercedes-Benz, even if you drive a Benz. Rental allowances range from $25 to $35 per day. Also, rental coverage is based on the number of hours it takes to repair the vehicle, NOT how long your car has been at the shop.3) $1000 and Adjusters: Repairs that approach $1000, or that require a significant amount of work, will be cause for the warranty company to call in an adjuster to confirm the diagnosis. This will delay the repairs by a minimum of 24-48 hours. It may cost you additional money when an adjuster is involved. You may be charged to have your vehicle pulled back into the shop for inspection, as well as for the time spent with the adjuster.4) Tear-down Charges: In many cases, an extended warranty company will require that a particular component be taken apart for inspection to determine if the repair is indeed needed and covered. This puts the service customer in a very awkward position. The customer will have to authorize potentially hundreds of dollars of tear-down expense in the hopes that the repair is covered. If its not, the customer is out the hundreds in tear-down PLUS the actual repair. This does happen!Common Myths:1) "Extended warranties cover maintenance services and brake work."No. Extended warranty plans do not cover maintenance or wearable items. Brake pads and rotors are wearable parts. Maintenance such as coolant, brake and transmission flushes, tune-ups, services, oil changes, bulbs, wipers, and more are not covered.2) "They told me its bumper-to-bumper, so it covers everything right?"Wrong. Not even a factory warranty covers everything. When pitching the sale for the extended warranty, one is very often lead to believe that he or she will have nothing to worry about. This is just not true on so many levels. For example, if your bumper falls off its not covered.3) "I dont have to pay anything, right?"Wrong. Despite the claims of 100% coverage, there are many factors involved. The labor rates, labor hours, diagnostic times, parts prices, and machine work are just a few items that often conflict with a service centers policies. Some extended contracts only pay a maximum of $55 per hour, and only allow one half hour for diagnostic time. This is generally unacceptable to the service center, as labor rates have skyrocketed to over $100 per hour at many dealerships, and average $75 at local shops. Moreover, with the complexity of todays vehicles, diagnostic time is at a premium. The customer pays the difference.4) "If I have an expensive problem, I can just purchase an extended service contract."Its unethical, but its an option many attempt. However, most service contracts have a minimum time requirement before the first claim can be filed: usually three months. Also, many contracts require that your vehicle be inspected by a service center to check for pre-existing conditionsjust like life insurance.5) "My contract lasts up to 100,000 miles."Only if the time limit doesnt run out first. All extended warranty plans have a time limit. For example, a typical contract will state that the vehicle is covered for two years or 100,000 miles, which ever comes first. During the sales pitch, however, the emphasis will be on the 100,000 miles, not the time.6) "If my car breaks, it gets fixed like new."Actually, depending on the contract, an extended warranty company can insist on installing remanufactured or even used parts.Items commonly not covered by extended warranties: Any component with a pre-existing condition Any component related to a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) Many components that has been updated by the manufacturer Extra components necessary due to manufacturer updates to complete the repair Trim pieces: molding, cup holders, dashboard, console, body parts, glass Many accessories: radios, DVD players, TVs Many expensive electronics: climate control units, navigation assembliesService contract positives:Some service contracts are transferable, and may thus increase the resale value of a vehicle. Many come with trip interruption reimbursement, towing and 24-hour road side. Some plans can also be financed, or have E-Z Pay Plans. Others offer a money-back guarantee.What should you do?Youll get lots of advice about doing the research, comparing plans, and reading the fine print. This is all sound advice. But what about doing the math?Lets say a plan costs $2500 for 2 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. To break even youll need a minimum of $1250 per year in covered repairs, excluding regular maintenance. Remember covered is the vital word here.Another way to break it down is to anticipate having to pay $104.17 per month over the next two years in covered repairs. Do you want to take that bet?What could happen?You could double your money or more in repair work. You could conceivably get a new engine and transmission (or used ones anyway). You could also easily spend $2500 for a service contract, and still have to pay another $2500 for repairs, which for a variety of reasons, were not covered under your plan. Now youre out $5000.Alternatively, you could keep the initial $2500. In many ways all an extended warranty does is prepay for repairs. You could stick the money in the bank and collect interest. Then you could withdraw the money for repairs as needed.Another consideration thats rarely discussed is the cause of the problems. Many car repairs problems are the result of wear and tear, neglected maintenance, physical damage, or acts of Godsuch as flood damage. None of this is covered. The gamble only covers failed components.If the vehicle youre driving does cost $2500 to $4500 in repairs due to outright failed components, is it a vehicle you even want to consider keeping? A vehicle that needs this kind of repair work due to mechanical, electrical, or computer failures may not be worth it. The $2500-$4500 would be better spent on an upgrade to a quality vehicle rather than insuring a lemon.Theres no question that auto repair is expensive, and even quality cars break from time to time. But do they breakdown to the tune of $2500-$4500? Thats a hefty bet on a possibility.Terence OHara from the Washington Post makes an excellent assessment about extended warranties in general. He writes:extended warranties play upon a basic human trait to avoid loss, even if it means sacrificing a possible future gainthe gain is all the other things of value that a consumer could buy with the money that was spent on a warrantyWhats the best plan?Money in your bank account!

Summary

We all have used batteries in the course of our everyday lives, whether consciously or unconsciously. With gadgets and technology, we often completely forget that batteries are everywhere. Until they stop working, that is! Its a little different with larger high-powered batteries. They are used and recharged and require maintenance. With the coming of the electric vehicle as a viable driving alternative, the conversation must soon turn to the realities of the electric vehicl...