Automotive

4 electric car myths, debunked

What you should know about the car of the future

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Did you know that the first electric vehicle was invented by Scottish inventor Robert Anderson in 1832? Back then, electricity-powered cars were nothing but curiosities and novelties. Now, electric vehicles are readying themselves to take over the car industry in just a few decades.

As with all revolutionary technology, reception for electric cars is lukewarm at best. Most consumers are still wary with converting to full electric, citing an unstable and uncertain future for the industry.

With the car and fuel industry hanging in the balance, gas car companies have a lot to gain by downplaying the benefits of electric vehicles. Due to the lack of information available, unproven myths inevitably pop up. Myths, as always, need to be debunked especially when electric cars overtake gas car production.

Myth 1: Electric cars are more expensive than gas cars

The cost of an electric vehicle is the most hotly contested aspect of EVs. Admittedly, the world’s most famous electric car, the Tesla Model S, still falls under the luxury car category. The battery-powered car still hovers around the US$ 100,000 range.

Budget-friendlier alternatives are out now, but their price ranges are still a bit more than a conventional car. The Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan Leaf both cost around US$ 40,000, for example.

Illustrations by Yanni Panesa

 

Additionally, installing a home charging station compounds that price by about US$ 600.

It’s no surprise that most consumers are turned off by the exorbitant costs of EVs. However, the one-time price tag fails to show how much cheaper it is in the long run.

Right now, the cost of one kilowatt-hour (the standard for EVs) is below the cost of one liter of gasoline. Roughly estimating, one kWh costs 20 cents, while one liter of gas costs US$ 1, according to today’s standards.

The Nissan Leaf carries a 40kWh battery. Charging it to full will cost 40kWh x US$ 0.20 = US$ 8. Meanwhile, a 40L gas car will cost 40L x US$ 1 = US$ 40. Added with a much steeper maintenance cost, gasoline vehicles will quickly overtake the cost of EVs in the long run. (Of course, actual costs will still vary on usage, real prices, and road conditions.)

Myth 2: EVs don’t perform as well as gas cars

Don’t be fooled. Even if EVs are remarkably silent on the road, they are hiding powerful engines that are quickly catching up to the standards of speed today.

At their core, gasoline vehicles are inherently faulty. Their emissions aren’t only a hit on air pollution; they also mean that a car wastes a huge portion of their energy through heat, smoke, and other harmful pollutants.

On the other hand, EVs convert up to 62 percent of their stored energy for movement. For comparison, gas cars only use up 21 percent of their energy.

In terms of mileage, EVs can travel up to 193 kilometers on a full charge, adequate for a day’s worth of traveling. However, gas cars still rule the road by hundreds of kilometers more. It’s only a matter of time before EVs catch up, though. The industry-leading Tesla Model S 100D already tops out at 530+ kilometers.

Finally, when it comes to speed, EVs can do well to catch up with you in traffic. For example, both the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Bolt reach speeds of up to 150km/h. While the more widely available EVs can still be woefully left in the dirt on a straightaway, the Tesla Model X blazes through with a top speed of 250km/h.

Amid all of this, EVs do their jobs quietly. If you’re not paying attention, an EV can sneak up on you from behind. Besides air pollution, EVs avoid noise pollution, too.

Myth 3: Maintaining an EV is more trouble than it’s worth

Both an EV and a gas car take you from one place to the other. EVs just do it with far fewer components. Unlike conventional cars, EVs aren’t frequent visitors to the mechanics. Fewer parts mean fewer components to maintain.

That doesn’t mean that everything is breezy, though. Replacing the battery is a nightmare for your budgeting. For example, a Nissan Leaf replacement battery costs US$ 5,499.

Thankfully, batteries are a lot more durable than you would expect. The Nissan Leaf guarantees a battery life of eight years or 100,000 miles (or approximately 161,000 kilometers). Most electric car brands already offer warranties (including replacements) before their batteries expire. Moreover, electric car batteries are completely recyclable. You might even get a trade-in return for your old battery.

Currently, the only hurdle impeding an electric car’s maintenance is the lack of able mechanics who specialize in EVs. On the bright side, by the time that you’ll need a thorough repair on your EV, the employment industry will have evolved to accommodate your needs.

Myth 4: Electric vehicles are the saviors of the environment

There is no doubt that EVs eliminate the carbon emissions that gas cars will always emit. Even from their construction, EVs carry a design trait that puts them beyond gas cars: They don’t have a tailpipe.

Currently, 75 percent of air pollution comes from motor vehicles. With their energy-efficient design, EVs eliminate the pollution caused by carbon emission. Converting to an EV is one of the greenest decisions you can make to save the environment.

However, it has its own fair share of gray areas. Critics often share the myth that EVs only displace the emissions from the tailpipe to a coal plant’s smoke stack.

Which is partly true.

 

On their own, the world’s main methods of producing power are terribly unprepared for a sudden surge in demand. Despite recent developments in renewable energy, coal power is still the world’s leading generator of electricity.

Hypothetically, if everyone in the world adopted EVs right now, coal plants would have to exponentially increase their output, creating more smokestack emissions as a result.

Luckily, the world isn’t ready to go full EV yet. Early predictions still date the takeover to 2040. We still have a lot of time to adjust our energy consumption for more energy-efficient means, like solar, hydro, and nuclear.

In reality, EVs can’t save the world by themselves. The myth that they just displace damage is only half-true. However, the environment can’t survive with 50 percent solutions. It has to rely on us changing our perspectives on energy.

Electric vehicles are the future. But with unchecked energy consumption rates, that future can look quite grim.

SEE ALSO: The Best Car Tech of CES 2018

Automotive

Honda Civic Type R debuts in the Philippines: Price, availability

Most powerful model yet

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Honda Civic Type R

Honda is starting 2023 with a bang, introducing the 6th generation Civic Type R to the Philippine market.

The most powerful yet from the line, the all-new sports car-looking Civic Type R will feature a handful of improvements from its exterior design all the way to a more ergonomic and immersive cabin inside.

Some changes include a wider and lower overall build, wider rear doors, a reshaped rear bumper, an elongated hood, and an aggressive front bumper design featuring a honeycomb grille mesh.

The LED headlamps and taillamps have also been redesigned, complementing the matte black finish on the 19-inch alloy wheels.

Of course, the Civic Type R isn’t just all about appearance; underneath the hood is a powerful 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC VTEC, turbo-charged in-line 4-cylinder engine for up to 420 Nm of torque.

The car features a 6-speed manual transmission with a Rev Match Control system for more precise and smoother shifting.

Immersive, comfortable interior

Inside the all-new Civic Type R is an immersive cabin with distinct features only available on the specific model.

There is an aluminum shift knob for added sportiness and a serialized Type R plate on the dashboard. The car has racing-inspired Alcantara seats, while a black and red motif stands out in interior finishes.

Behind the steering wheel is a 10.2-inch fully-digital instrument cluster. For its infotainment setup, the Type R features a 9-inch touchscreen with support for various connectivity and multimedia functions, such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a 12-speaker Bose system.

Another exclusive offering for the Type R is the Honda LogR Performance Datalogger that monitors driving activity using both the car’s sensors and a built-in vehicle app.

Other comfort features include automatic air-conditioning, smart key card entry, one push start system, wireless charging, and more.

Advanced safety features

The 2023 Civic Type R comes with the full suite of Honda SENSING features, such as:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Road Departure Mitigation
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Auto-High Beam

Aside from these, the car also has a camera mounted behind the windshield which has an improved field of view (100 degrees from 50 degrees) while at the back is a multi-view rear camera.

Other safety offerings include:

  • Anti-lock Brake System
  • Electronic Brake-Force Distribution
  • Vehicle Stability Assist
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Electric Parking Brake
  • Auto Brake Hold
  • ISOFIX child seat anchor

Price, availability

The all-new Honda Civic Type R retails for PhP 3,880,000 for the 2.0 VTEC Turbo Honda SENSING MT variant.

Visit any of Honda’s 37 car dealerships nationwide for the virtual showroom here for more details.

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Automotive

Xiaomi EV spotted in China

Named Modena

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Image source: CarNewsChina

How do new cars get their first test runs on real roads? Common in the automotive space, prerelease vehicles often go on extensive tests on actual roads while disguised with non-revealing designs. As vehicles, electric vehicles are no different. A year ahead of their projected release date, Xiaomi and its first electric car have made surprise appearances in Chinese roads for test drives.

Reported by CarNewsChina (via ArenaEV), Xiaomi has reportedly unleased its unreleased electric vehicle in China. The timing of the tests foretell important tests for winter conditions, an important metric for vehicles in a country that gets its fair share of icy weather. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun reportedly participated in the tests himself.

All of the test vehicles were clothed in black fabric to obscure the final design. Spotters won’t be able to deduce much except from the outline. Speculations are already out and about, though.

The vehicle, codenamed Modena, will come with a variety of battery options including one from Chinese EV mainstay BYD. The battery will supposedly charge from empty to around 80 percent in just 15 minutes. It will also reportedly come with an unreleased automotive chipset from Qualcomm. It might ship with a price tag hovering between RMB 260,000 to RMB 350,000.

As with their first announcement back in 2021, Xiaomi is expected to launch the Modena sometime in 2024. Besides the first vehicle, the company is also working on another vehicle codenamed Lemans.

SEE ALSO: First Xiaomi car set for a 2024 launch

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Accessories

Best of CES 2023

Next-Gen Foldables, Record-Breaking Electric Car, and a 3D Laptop without 3D Glasses

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There were a lot announced during CES 2023 — and by that we mean A LOT.

But some of our favorites include a portable solar-powered fridge with a built-in ice maker, a record-breaking electric vehicle that can go farther than any before, a laptop with a 3D display, heck even the future of foldable smartphones was unveiled!

Featuring the ASUS ProArt Studiobook 16 3D OLED, Mercedes-Benz VISION EQXX, the next-gen foldables care of Samsung Display, and many more!

Know more of them by watching our Best of CES 2023 round-up!

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