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 presses forward on its road safety advocacy programs

Reducing road accidents and fatalities one youngster at a time

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Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) demonstrates its commitment to “Safety for Everyone” through its Teen Smart road safety workshops, designed for senior high school students.

For years, the company has been conducting seminars and workshops on road safety for teenagers. Thousands of young adults have already participated in the Teen Smart program.

This year, the program got some fine-tuning — aiming to strengthen the youth’s consciousness on the concept of road safety.

Inspired by “Safety for Everyone”, the initiative deepens the sense of responsibility among teenagers and young adults, and how they can help reduce road accidents and fatalities. The program also includes practical things they can do even as pedestrians, passengers, or drivers.

The Teen Smart Program was opened through a virtual signing held on November 12, 2021. Sessions will be delivered by Honda Motor Japan-trained instructors of the Honda Safety Driving Center.

Online learning sessions will run from November 2021 until May 2022, targeting public schools in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, Philippines.

For more information about the Teen Smart program and other sustainability initiatives, visit hondaphil.com.

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Automotive

Honda unveils long-term plan for road safety using technologies

Safety for everyone

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File Photo: Honda Brio RS 1

Honda Motors held the world premiere of advanced future safety technologies the company is currently developing for its ultimate goal of zero traffic collision fatalities by 2050.

Honda will strive to attain its goal by utilizing two key technologies. One is the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Intelligent Driver-Assistive Technology to provide advanced assistance to drivers.

The other is the Safe and Sound Network Technology which connects all road users, both people and mobility products, through telecommunications, to be able to accurately predict potential risks and help people avoid collisions before they occur.

Zero traffic collision fatalities by 2050

Striving for a collision-free society for everyone sharing the road is represented by Honda’s global safety slogan, Safety for Everyone.

Honda has been pursuing the research and development of safety technologies from the perspective of both hardware and software.

For the pursuit of a collision-free society, Honda will expand the introduction of Honda SENSING 360, a recently announced omnidirectional safety and driver-assistive system, to all models to go on sale in all major markets by 2030.

Moreover, Honda will continue working to expand application of a motorcycle detection function and further enhance functions of its ADAS (advanced driver-assistance system).

Safety for each individual

Honda also unveiled the Intelligent Driver-Assistive Technology which uses ADAS sensors and cameras to recognize potential risks in the vehicle’s surroundings.

This enables AI to detect driving risks and determine optimal driving behavior on a real-time basis to offer assistance accurately suited to the driver’s mindset and current traffic situations.

Next-generation driver assist technology

In developing the future of driver-assist technologies, Honda is taking into consideration three essential points:

  • No driving operation errors (Operational assist) where the vehicle offers AI-based assist to reduce drifting and other risks;
  • No oversight / No prediction errors (Cognitive assist) where the vehicle communicates risks with visual, tactile and auditory sensations; and
  • No errors due to daydreaming and careless driving (Attentiveness assist), where the vehicle helps reduce driver fatigue and drowsiness.

Technologies in the research and development phase include risk indicators, seatbelt control, 3D audio, bio feedback, and vibration stimulus through the backseat.

Mutual safety for all road users

Honda also established the Safe and Sound Network Technology which connects all road users through telecommunication.

The system will understand and recognize situations and the surrounding environments of each driver.

Through the communication network, information about potential risks in the traffic environment will be aggregated in the server and risks are predicted using the reproduction of the traffic environment in the virtual space.

Collision-free society

Honda is also utilizing existing telecommunication technologies to realize its vision of a “collision-free” society for all road users as these techs will enable everyone sharing the road to be connected and coexist.

With the Safe and Sound Technology, information about potential risks in the traffic environment are detected using information obtained from roadside cameras, on-board cameras, and smartphones.

This information gets aggregated in a virtual space that replicates the traffic situation, taking into consideration as well the conditions and characteristics of each road user.

Honda is aiming for real-world implementation of the said technologies after 2030, as the car company is working on standardizing them in the second half of the 2020s.

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11th generation Honda Civic now in the Philippines

New look, more features

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Honda Cars’s 11th generation All-New Honda Civic is now available in the Philippine market, as announced by the company virtually via livestream last November 23.

The iconic sedan features a new clean-cut look along with a range of high-tech features, along with a standard VTEC turbo engine for a powerful driving experience.

For the 11th generation, Honda focused on Design, Dynamics, and Human Machine Interface (HMI) to achieve an “Exhilarating Civic” grand concept.

Exterior

The All-New Civic had a full-model change, taking into consideration design elegance and sportiness. The compact sedan is longer compared to the previous design.

In front are newly-shaped headlights that can house full LEDS or projector halogens. Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are made standard across the range.

LED fog lights are also available for the V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING and the RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSING.

The sides also get an aesthetic upgrade, as well as improved driver visibility with the design changes in the door mirrors.

The entire rear end has also been redone, having a new pair of LED taillights. Other RS-exclusive details include black-painted side mirrors, door handles, sharkfin antenna and trunk spoiler, along with chrome-finished dual-exhaust pipes.

Interior

The 11th generation AllNew Civics interior also gets an overhaul towards a minimalist design.

Depending on the trim level, the AllNew Civic could either come with fabric seats, or a fine combo of suede and leather upholstery exclusive on the RS

The latest model sports cabin space than most sedans in the segment. Additional space was used to improve the ease of getting in and out of the car.

The new dimensions also make rear seat comfort better, while compartments are located all around the cabin for personal items.

For incar entertainment, all variants of the AllNew Civic come with touchscreen display audio that either measures from 7 to 9 inches.

Both screens are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capable, while the larger screen has Wireless Apple CarPlay.

The infotainment systems are powered starting with 4 speakers for the S and up to 12 for the RS variant on a Bose sound system.

Other RS-exclusive convenience features include automatic climate control, dual zone, and a 10.2-inch full-digital cluster display supported with steering wheel mounted controls.

Engine and transmission

One of the main highlights of the 11th generation AllNew Civic is the 1.5-liter 4-Cylinder DOHC VTEC Turbo engine found in all grades.

The latest model now has an all-Turbo variant range with the engine producing more torque than before.

The Civic’s new powertrain also has an additional 37 PS and 66Nm, versus its predecessors 1.8L Naturally-Aspirated. 

All trims of the Civic are paired with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

The compact sedan also has distinct driving modes including Econ, Normal, and lastly, Sport, that is particularly found in the RS variant.

Safety

To make driving the latest Civic safe for everyone, Honda SENSING is now standard in all variants of the 11th generation model.

The following features are included:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF)
  • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
  • Road Departure Mitigation System with Lane Departure Warning (RDM with LDW)
  • Auto High-Beam (AHB)
  • Lead Car Departure Notification System (LCDN) – New

The new Honda SENSING system uses a single monocular camera with a wider field of view combined with improved software.

This will make the recognition of vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian and road markings better.

The Honda’s G-force Control (G-CON) Collision Safety Body that enhances impact absorption for the added protection of passengers in the event a collision occurs.

In addition, the latest Civic has advanced safety features that are now available across all variants like Speed Sensing Door Locks, Multi-View Reverse Camera, and Keyless Entry System.

The Side Curtain Airbags, Honda LaneWatch Camera, and the Walk Away Auto Door Lock function, meanwhile, are exclusive on the RS variant.

Furthermore, other features such as the Driver and Front Passenger Airbags, Side Airbags, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), Child Lock, ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor, Security Alarm, and immobilizer are all included across all variants.

Pricing, availability, colors

The 11th generation All-New Civic is now available at all 37 Honda Cars dealerships nationwide and comes in five colors:

  • Morning Mist Blue Metallic (new color; V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING and S Turbo CVT Honda SENSING)
  • Meteoroid Grey Metallic (new color; RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSING, V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING, and S Turbo CVT Honda SENSING)
  • Ignite Red Metallic (exclusively for RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSING)
  • Platinum White Pearl (RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSING and V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING only) – for an additional PhP 20,000
  • Lunar Silver Metallic (exclusively for S Turbo CVT Honda SENSING)

Notably, Honda is offering the chance to choose Platinum White Pearl for all variants at no additional cost until November 30, 2021.

Customers who will reserve the All-New Civic V Turbo CVT Honda SENSING variant until December 31, 2021 are likewise entitled to a free Modulo Trunk Tray and Modulo Exhaust Pipe Finisher on top of all other promotions offered for the month of the vehicle release until January 31, 2022.

Below are all the available variants of the AllNew Honda Civic with their corresponding Suggested Retail Prices:

  • S Turbo CVT Honda SENSINGPhP 1,290,000
  • V Turbo CVT Honda SENSINGPhP 1,498,000
  • RS Turbo CVT Honda SENSINGPhP 1,690,000
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