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

2019 Auto Focus Summer Test Drive Festival kicks off

Making car-hunting easy

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Scouring the market for a new vehicle? One of the things you can do as a responsible buyer is to know and experience what you’re getting before you actually spend your hard-earned cash. Auto Focus (the same guys from STV), once again offers you the chance to test drive that vehicle you’re eyeing at this year’s Summer Test Drive Festival.

Held at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds starting May 2 to 5, the event aims to be a one-stop shop for prospective buyers and showcases a wide range of competing standard and luxury models — all ready for test drives.


“Buying a car and selecting a particular model suited to one’s individual purpose, preference, and budget, can actually be a long-winded process,” said STV Chairman and CEO Ray Butch Gamboa. “This may require multiple visits to various dealerships at varying locations, test driving and comparing varying vehicles, and working out the best financing options. Usually, these couldn’t be done in a day, or even two,” he added.

With the convenience of this event, prospect buyers can just go to one location, see and test drive a wide variety of vehicles, and work out the best financing options depending on your budget. Say goodbye to dealer hopping since all the participating brands are just a few steps from one another.

Brands present at the event include Honda, Kia, Hyundai, MG, Mitsubishi, Nissan, SSangYong, Subaru, Suzuki, GAC Motors, and Toyota.

The festival will be open starting today, May 2, from 11AM to 9PM. Admission to the public is free.

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Automotive

Honda’s 2019 Brio RS variant is a sporty subcompact

Dibs on Carnival Yellow!

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Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. has introduced the second generation of the Brio. This establishes their entry to the A-segment passenger car category in the country while adding a twist of modern sportiness at the same time.

Being a small vehicle, it could be challenging to make it look sporty. But Honda was able to transform what one would usually call “cute” into something that looks like this.


The 1.2 RS variant boasts a Piano Black front grille, 15-inch alloy wheels, side sill garnish, rear bumper garnish, and tailgate spoiler. Inside, there are noticeable orange accents that go with its black fabric seats with the same highlights — all exclusive to this model.

To top that off, its 7-inch audio system is paired to a six-speaker setup including tweeters. This should ensure that you get a high-quality listening experience.

1.2 RS Black Top

Now, if you want something more flashy, you can opt to go for the two-tone 1.2 RS Black Top variant. This Brio comes either in an exclusive Phoenix Orange Pearl or Carnival Yellow — both appealing in their own ways.

Apart from the RS and RS Black Top variants, there are two more models in the lineup: the 1.2 V CVT and 1.2 S MT. They’re the same Brio in essence, although they don’t come with most kits and some bells and whistles of the upper-tier models.

The front grille also has a honeycomb design and multi-reflector halogen headlights which then come with LED parking light guides. At the rear, they now have a redesigned tailgate that allows for better rear visibility and also adds to the rigidity of its body. Meanwhile, its tail and brake lights stretch to the edge of the vehicle and highlight the wide stance of the Brio.

Inside, tech features include manual air conditioning with a digital display, Bluetooth connection, and a 7-inch touch display for the 1.2 V CVT. The 1.2 S MT, on the other hand, comes with a 1-Din audio head unit.

In terms of capacity, packing the vehicle shouldn’t feel too cramped with its 60mm extended wheelbase compared to the first generation, in addition to the 90mm extended cargo area. This simply translates to more legroom for the passengers. And if you need to move numerous items, fold down the back seats and you have space big enough to fit a couple of big boxes.

Under the hood of all variants is a new 1.2-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Like the 2019 Civic, the transmission is based on the company’s Earth Dreams Technology for better acceleration and efficient fuel economy. For drivers who still stick to driving stick, there’s the five-speed 1.2 S MT variant for you to consider.

The available colors are:

  • Taffeta White (all models)
  • Modern Steel Metallic (1.2 RS CVT, 1.2 V CVT, 1.2 S MT)
  • Rallye Red (1.2 V CVT and 1.2 S MT)
  • Carnival Yellow (1.2 RS Black Top CVT and 1.2 V CVT variants)
  • Phoenix Orange (1.2 RS Black Top CVT only)

To further sweeten the deal, Honda is offering a special introductory SRP that will last until the end of June 2019:

  • 1.2 S MT – PhP 585,000
  • 1.2 V CVT – PhP 646,000
  • 1.2 RS Navi CVT – PhP 727,000
  • 1.2 RS Black Top Navi CVT – PhP 732,000

The new Brio also achieved a Four Star ASEAN NCAP safety rating, thanks to the company’s G-CON technology. This should enhance impact absorption in case of collisions. It also has dual SRS airbags for the driver and front passenger, while an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) comes as standard.

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Automotive

2019 Honda Civic now with updated style and features

Comes in two engine options

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The 2019 Honda Civic is here and it’s sleeker than ever before.

Civic’s 10th-generation sedan comes with a sportier vibe thanks to modifications on its exterior. Up front, it has a newly designed bumper and full LED headlights with integrated Daytime Running Lights (DRL). Overall, it still has that familiar front fascia by the Japanese company.


2019 Honda Civic RS Turbo

There are three variants for the 2019 Civic. The top-of-the-line Civic RS Turbo stands on exclusive 18-inch Belrina Black RS alloy wheels. This variant also has leather seats and leather interior trims, adding a premium feel inside to complement its stylish exterior. Meanwhile, the 1.8 E CVT model comes next with a 16-inch Shark Gray Metallic alloy wheels.

2019 Honda Civic 1.8 E CVT

Both these models sport a 7-inch touch display that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. They make calls, navigation, and in-car entertainment easily accessible even while driving. Additionally, the instrument panel in front is customizable to show relevant information to the driver.

2019 Honda Civic 1.8 S CVT

The last and final variant is the 1.8 S CVT. It is the entry-level offering of Honda that aims to give customers one of the best value for money in the C-segment category. It comes with halogen projector headlights with integrated DRLs, 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels, and a 7-inch touch display audio system.

Under the hood, there are two engine options for the new Civic. A 1.5-liter turbocharged DOHC i-VTEC engine runs the RS Turbo, while a familiar 1.8-liter SOHC i-VTEC engine can be found on both the 1.8 E CVT and 1.8 S CVT variants.

Needless to say, both engines are partnered with a CVT which is based on Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology for responsive performance, acceleration, and efficient fuel economy.

Boasting a Five Star ASEAN NCAP safety rating, additional features include an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Vehicle Stability Assist, Hill Start Assist, Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Brake Hold, and dual front driver and front passenger SRS airbags. The RS Turbo CVT variant takes it a bit further with additional front driver and passenger side airbags.

The New Civic is priced at PhP 1,608,000 for the RS Turbo CVT, PhP 1,185,000 for the 1.8 E CVT, and PhP 1,115,000 for the entry-level 1.8 S CVT.

The 2019 Civic will come in five colors depending on the model:

  • Cosmic Blue Metallic
  • Lunar Silver Metallic (1.8 E and 1.8 S only)
  • Modern Steel Metallic (RS Turbo and 1.8 E only)
  • Rallye Red (RS Turbo only)
  • Platinum White Pearl (additional PhP 20,000)

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