2011 Chevrolet Volt – Vehicle Electrification Initiative

Beginning December 2010, the Chevrolet Volt will be on sale in limited quantitites and in limited markets in the United States. This unique car, powered by a lithium-ion battery pack and supplemented by a 1.4-liter four cylinder engine, has been in the works for several years. The hype has far exceeded the product’s impact, nonetheless the Chevy Volt could eventually lay the groundwork for future vehicles utilizing what GM calls its Voltec technology.

Modern EV

What is so special about the Volt? Many things including that it will allow GM to finally say that it has built and sold an electric car. GM did build a modern electric car dubbed the EV1 beginning in the 1990s, but that program was canceled. GM never got beyond the test phase for those vehicles and received criticism for “killing the electric car” with some people suggesting a widespread conspiracy with the oil companies.

Conspiracy theory aside, the earlier electric vehicle or EV likely cost too much to produce and that technology wasn’t as advanced as what will be found in the Chevy Volt. For one, the lithium-ion battery pack is far superior than the nickel-cadmium pack used in the EV1, offering better range and lighter materials. In addition, the testing GM has been doing with the Volt demonstrates that the car won’t wilt under Arizona desert driving conditions or freeze up in a Minnesota winter. Continue reading “2011 Chevrolet Volt – Vehicle Electrification Initiative”

Electric Cars the Future?

With the environment becoming an ever increasingly debated topic, as is reducing carbon emissions with one of the main contributors to this problem being auto mobiles. Over the past decade the cars on the road have become much cleaner and are leaps and bounds ahead of what they were in terms of carbon emissions. However there is still a call for internal combustion engines to leave the roads and to replace them with new electric car engines.

The technology has now become advanced enough for this concept to be seriously considered as an actual alternative to fuelled cars. These types of cars are powered and fuelled by battery packs that are placed into the car and are rechargeable. There is a lot of appeal for these cars to become much more popular as they do not use any fossil fuels which is a major contributor to global warming.

There seems to be a big demand for electric cars as a city car, which means that they will be primarily introduced in the cities so that it can have a direct impact on city pollution. Also be keeping them in cities initially, it means that the electric cars do not have to be able to cover extra long distances however this aspect of the technology should develop as the years pass. Continue reading “Electric Cars the Future?”

The Stories Behind Car Logos

“What fools indeed we mortals are
To lavish care upon a Car,
With ne’er a bit of time to see
About our own machinery!”

  • John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922), American author, editor and satirist.

Indeed, we care about and for cars more than we care for ourselves. And often, the first thing we care about is the brand, symbolized by the logo. Some of these car logos are famous throughout the world, instantly recognizable at a moment’s notice. The Mercedes Benz three-pointed star, the Ferrari prancing horse, the Chevrolet bow-tie – they represent the brand wherever there products are found. Here, we present the not-so-well-known stories behind some of these well-known logos, in no particular order. We have intentionally not included logos that are self-explanatory, such as those that include the name (or initial) of the brand – Ford, Honda, etc.

  • Mercedes Benz: Two German car manufacturers, Benz & Cie. and Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, merged in 1928 giving rise to Daimler Benz Co. The famous three-starred logo was originally designed by Gottlieb Daimler in 1909, and subsequently featured on Daimler Benz cars. After Daimler’s death, his partner, Wilhelm Maybach, took over the company and sold many Daimler cars to wealthy businessman Emile Jellinek, who later bankrolled development of a new line of cars named after his daughter Mercedes. Hence, the name. The logo is supposed to represent the brand’s “domination of the land, the sea, and the air.”

  • Ferrari: The famous Cavallino Rampante or “prancing horse” logo has its origins in a chance meeting between company founder Enzo Ferrari and Countess Paolina, mother of Count Francesco Baracca who had been an ace of the Italian air force and used to paint a horse on the side of his planes. The Countess asked Ferrari to paint a horse on his cars for luck. The black color was used to symbolize grief at Baracca’s death in action while the yellow color represented his birthplace of Modena.

Continue reading “The Stories Behind Car Logos”

The Transmission System of the Electric Car

The transmission system of the electric car is almost the same as that of the regular car. As you do the conversion of gasoline to electric, you will need to retain the transmission of the car. The transmission is the device needed to give you a smooth transition form one gear to the other. Be it automatic or manual transmission, you will need to get the car moving with this component.

You will need to retain the clutch that will permit you to change the gears from one to the other smoothly.

In most conversions, automatic transmissions are discouraged. They are not used for various reasons. Mechanically, they are not energy efficient. If you use this type of transmission, you stand to incur energy losses. The loss will mean you will not get optimal performance with your car. Again you may damage your motor with the the automatic transmission. According to transmission experts, the automatic gearing depends on an idling engine to keep hydraulic pressure up. At a stop, the engine will stop running and thus lose pressure. You can overcome this with an additional pump but it all amounts to building up expense for the conversion. Continue reading “The Transmission System of the Electric Car”

How to Buy Classic Car Insurance

Collector Car Insurance and Classic Car Insurance

If you are fortunate enough to own a classic car – or any collectible automobile – then you want to ensure that your luck does not run out because of having inadequate insurance coverage. Call it covering your butt – or covering your “asset” – but by all means, call one of the major providers such as American Collectors, Haggerty, or Parish Heacock insurance companies and let them put you in the driver’s seat in terms of professional protection of your cherished automotive investment.

How to Kick the Tires on Classic Car Insurance

The whole idea of insurance is that it needs to do what you expect of it in an emergency, when the rubber really hits the road. And classic car insurance is as different from conventional auto insurance as, well, a classic car is from your run of the mill generic vehicle.

When you buy a classic car insurance policy, you are essentially purchasing protection for those times when – God forbid and knock on wood it doesn’t happen – disaster strikes in the form of a fire, a collision, or an act of theft or vandalism. Just as we now have modern airbags to save us in the event of a crash, we also have collector’s car insurance, to protect us with adequate moneybags when calamity throws a wrench in the works. Continue reading “How to Buy Classic Car Insurance”

Wheel And Tire Maintenance For Your SUV

Your SUV’s wheels and tires are one the most essential parts of your vehicle. Because SUVs, such as the Land Rover Range Rover, are 4WD, it can go through any terrain that the planet could offer. And when it does, the tires and wheels of your SUV do not just obviously help you to reach your destination because it is the major equipment that makes your vehicle move. However, the functions of the wheels and tires do not just end there. These parts also emphasize the overall appearance of your vehicle. Moreover, the wheels can actually improve your cars performance just by effective cleaning. Like any other car parts like Land Rover Range Rover parts, SUV wheels can eventually be corrosive and tires could wear out because of certain factors.

Getting your SUV perfectly cleaned on a local car wash is a great idea. However, the only drawback of it is the cost that you would be spending in a car wash. Why go to a car wash if you could clean your wheels by yourself, right? So here are some few guides in effective cleaning and maintenance of your vehicle’s wheels and tires.

Before we proceed to the cleaning session, first you should know the factors that made your wheels and tires unpleasant. Whenever you use your SUV for a long travel or even in a short trip, dust particles attack the surface of your wheels. Other unwanted dirt on your wheels and tires include road tars, mud, and different soil crumbs. Acid rain and winter salt are effective destroyers that can make your wheels brittle. Continue reading “Wheel And Tire Maintenance For Your SUV”

How Do Hybrid Vehicles Get That Great Gas Mileage?

The term that really applies is HEV, which stands for hybrid electric vehicle. These are the most fuel efficient vehicles available for majority of us.

While actual configuration may vary due to the design intentions of the manufacturer, they generally combine a small (by regular vehicle standards) gasoline engine with an electric motor.

While the gasoline engine does most of the locomotion at highway speeds, when less fuel is required, it also is available to provide the extra power that the electric motor cannot provide or sustain for long.

The electric battery/motor combination can start the car moving in some instances, maintain systems without the gasoline motor having to idle at stops such as lights and in drive thrus, and can assist the gasoline motor as it propels the hybrid vehicle down the road. Not only is fuel being saved while the electric motor is maintaining vehicle systems in what would normally be idling situations, but this means that less pollution is being emitted into the air, usually within the confines of our most polluted areas…our cities. Continue reading “How Do Hybrid Vehicles Get That Great Gas Mileage?”

A Car Brake Repair Primer

The security of your car is vital, whether it is a Mercedes or a Mazda – even the safest vehicle on earth can have brake failure. If your car’s brakes don’t work properly, the consequences could be fatal. Thus, the brakes are probably the most important part of your vehicle. Car brake repair knowledge is always good to have because you never know if or when your car’s brake system will let you down. If this happens while you’re driving let’s say in the desert, miles away from the nearest garage, you should be able to

Perform a brake inspection and troubleshoot the problem
Know what it takes to do a car brakes repair
If possible, do the fix yourself
If not, be able to describe the problem to someone who is able to repair your automobile brakes.
To become able to perform the work listed above, the first thing you need to know is how a car’s brake system works.

A drum system is utilizing hydraulic pressure to press a pad against a brake drum to slow down the speed of the vehicle. Here is how it works: Continue reading “A Car Brake Repair Primer”