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

BMW reveals the new F 750 GS, F 850 GS, and F 850 GS Adventure

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New colorways are here!

BMW Motorrad released the first GS in 1980. The year 2020 marks the GS line’s 40th anniversary and to make the occasion a little more festive than it already is, three of their mid-size models are getting the upgrades they so deserve. New paint jobs are also on the table, including a black and gold combination with yellow accents.

General changes to the three GS models include new tape designs and the respective style designation on the fairing side panels of the style variations. All models now have new LED flashing turn indicators as standard and a USB charging device at the front right of the cockpit. ABS Pro and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) are now also standard, for even more braking and accelerating safety.

So what’s new in the 40th-anniversary editions? Let’s do a quick run-through.

BMW F 750 GS

The BMW F750 GS now comes in a classic white with the tank cover painted in the same hue. You also get matte black rims and handlebars. The seat comes in black and red to provide an exciting contrast. There’s also the San Marino Blue metallic colorway which gives you a tinted windscreen with sporty accents, rims in metallic granite grey, silver handlebars, a black and grey seat, and a galvanized radiator grille.

The special edition for the 40th anniversary meanwhile gets a “40 Years GS” lettering on the side panels, yellow hand guards, and a black and yellow seat with GS lettering. It unmistakably pays homage to the icon from 40 years of GS history: the BMW R 100 GS. The rims are painted in matte black, while the handlebars are silver with a galvanized radiator grille.

BMW F 850 GS

This model comes in a new Racing Red colorway that provides great contrast to the black rims, fork tubes, and seat. The Rallye option comes in Racing Blue Metallic with gold rims, black fork tubes, and a galvanized grille.

Its anniversary edition is in Black Storm metallic and features the anniversary logo. You also get yellow hand guards, gold rims, and a seat that comes in a black and yellow color combo. A GS logo is also printed on the fork tubes while the galvanized grille comes in silver.

The F 850 GS will also get additional upgrades in the form of the new windscreen adjustment mechanism as well as a TFT display including convenient connectivity functions.

BMW F 850 GS Adventure

This model comes in Ice Grey but what caught our attention is definitely the Rallye style. Together with gold-colored rims and fork stand tubes, the new BMW F 850 GS Adventure looks both dynamic and elegant. The Sport windscreen and a rally seat upholstered in black or grey with a seat height of 890 mm reinforce the sporting appearance of this particular model.

The new BMW F 850 GS Adventure also has a dedicated version to the anniversary of the BMW GS models as the “Edition 40 Years GS”. Prominent features of the anniversary GS painted in Blackstorm metallic are the “40 Years GS” lettering and yellow hand protectors. Black-coated fork standpipes, gold rims, and a black and yellow double seat bench with 860 mm seat height. Like the 850 GS, it also gets a TFT display with convenient connectivity functions as part of the standard equipment on board.

More options for your next adventure

The new GS models feature new components of the Pro riding modes optional equipment. This means that as in the GS models with boxer engines, a reworked throttle response in dynamic riding mode now ensures even more dynamics and driving enjoyment.

Furthermore, dynamic engine brake control and Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) now feature in Pro riding modes. Other new Pro riding mode features include the preselection of up to four riding modes for the button assignment on the right handlebar controls. Although this is only in conjunction with the Connectivity optional equipment in the BMW F 750 GS.

You can also opt for an extra low seat bench as well as modified lowered suspension. These will be available as optional equipment for all three models in the future, ensuring even better ground accessibility when stationary.

Since completely switching off the ABS will no longer be permissible under legal homologation regulations in future, the Enduro and Enduro Pro riding modes will provide adapted controls for this purpose. The ABS function can still be switched off on the rear wheel in Enduro Pro riding mode on the BMW F 850 GS and BMW F 850 GS Adventure.

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Accessories

Xiaomi adds Electric Scooter Pro 2, Smart Band 5, TV stick to IoT lineup

More Xiaomi devices and accessories to choose from!

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By now, people are familiar with the fact that Xiaomi has an expansive portfolio of products. That portfolio is getting some new, exciting additions — namely the Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2, the Mi Smart Band 5, and Mi TV Stick.

Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2

This product is targeting a very particular need. Too long to walk but not far enough for a drive? That’s where this mobility tool comes in.

The Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2 can travel up to 45km, at speeds up to 25 km per hour. It can effortlessly climb 20 percent incline slopes and accommodate a week’s worth of trips on a single charge.

It has a built-in LCD where riders can view and control different things. You can check real-time speed, choose a riding mode, connect to Bluetooth, and monitor headline status.

It has a 300W motor, a double braking system, shock-absorbing pneumatic tires, and an easy folding design so you can pretty much take it wherever you go.

If you’re a first-time user, you will receive safety reminders and tips through your mobile device. Speaking of safety, it sports front, rear, and side reflectors as well as a 2W headlight that can illuminate up to 10 meters ahead. All for the sake of better visibility.

Launched alongside it  is the Mi Electric Scooter 1S. It’s a more streamlined model for casual commuters. It can travel up to 30 km at speeds up to 25 km per hour and offers an upgraded display, headlight, and other safety features.

Mi Smart Band 5

We’ve discussed this in more detail when it was first announced, and this is essentially the global version.

But here are the basics you need to know: it has a 1.1” color AMOLED display with 20% more screen than its predecessor and has over 65 dynamic displays and six band colors.

On the functionalities side, it has most of what you can expect from a fitness band. It has a variety of workouts and trackers all so you can monitor your health and wellness better. The international suggested retail price is EUR 39.99. 

Mi TV Stick 

Turn your dumb UHD TV into a smart one! If you’ve been yearning for a Smart TV but don’t have the budget for one. Your next best option is to get the Mi TV Stick. Provided your TV has an HDMI port.

Powered by Android TV with DTS surround sound, Google Assistant, and Chromecast — it’s your ticket to a relaxing Netflix and Chill session.

Inside it has a quad-core CPU, 1GB RAM + 8GB storage. It comes with a Bluetooth remote control with dedicated buttons for Google Assistant, Netflx, and Prime video. It’s SRP is EUR 39.99. 

Mi TWS Earphones 2 Basic

Here’s something for your basic TWS fix. It promises up to 5 hours of uninterrupted use from a full charge. Total battery life hits the 20-hour mark thanks to the included charging case.

As for functionality, again, anything you expect from TWS, you’ll likely find here. Sound is adequate, pairing should be easy, and there’s some level of environmental noise cancellation for your convenience.

Suggested retail price is also EUR 39.99.

Pricing and availability in other markets will be revealed once they become available.

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Automotive

Nissan Ariya ushers a new chapter for the company

It’s an All-electric Crossover SUV

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Nissan has been heavily marketing their EV efforts. The company is taking things to the next phase with the introduction of the Nissan Ariya. It’s their first all-electric Crossover SUV complete with smart functionalities.

The Nissan Ariya represents the company’s design transformation which also includes the unveiling of a new logo. It also takes the powerful performance and capabilities of zero-emission vehicles to a new level.

Its all-electric drivetrain combines excellent power delivery, charging capabilities and range. There are different configurations to choose from. These include two-wheel-drive and e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive versions, as well as two different battery sizes.

The e-4ORCE all-wheel control system balances performance with all-weather capability. The system’s twin electric motors provide a balanced, predictable ride, while delivering sports car-level power.

Tech-ladden smart car

The Nissan Ariya is equipped with tech to help you If you’re pretty challenged behind the wheel . It has the ProPILOT 2.0 which is an advanced driver assistance system. It comes with ProPILOT Remote Park and e-Pedal features.

The Ariya also has Nissan’s Safety Shield system which includes Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking and Rear Automatic Emergency Braking technology.

The Ariya is accompanied by Amazon’s Alexa. Couple that with its all-new human-machine interface, it lets customers use natural speech to adjust car settings. Worried about updates? The car’s firmware can all be updated over-the-air (OTA) so keeping it up-to-date should be a breeze.

Subtle, futuristic interior

The exterior design isn’t the only thing that was given a fresh look. The Nissan Ariya has an interior who’s design language follows that of “Timeless Japanese Futurism.”

Nissan’s designers took advantage of the car’s new EV platform. It allows for a flat floor and its compact climate control components give the Ariya the most spacious cabin in its class.

The lounge-like interior features Zero Gravity seat and provides a welcoming and comfortable environment for driver and passengers alike.

New car, new logo

Debuting on the Nissan Ariya is Nissan’s new logo. The company says it symbolizes the company’s dedication to keep innovating for new generations of customers.

The company name remains at the center of the logo. This should communicate an instantly recognizable brand that evokes past milestones and memories while also conveying evolution.

Moving forward, it will appear in coming Nissan models as they’re introduced or refreshed.

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