Automotive

Hyundai introduces Kona EV for Philippine market

Ready to go electric?

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Launched alongside the Palisade, Hyundai showed off its Kona electric vehicle during the opening of the 2019 Manila International Auto Show. This is in addition to the Kona with a combustion engine that was also introduced in the Philippines.

Unlike its petrol counterpart, the Kona EV is designed to appear more futuristic with the absence of the traditional front grille. It looks more like one whole piece now with the body color carrying on to its front fascia.

Inside, it’s equipped with a seven-inch display that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so you can connect your smartphone and use your driving apps. A bridge-type center console with button-type transmission has made its appearance here just like with the Palisade. The rear seats also have a 60:40 split-fold setup.

Being a full electric vehicle, it no longer runs on internal combustion. Instead, it utilizes an electric motor that outputs 207PS of power and 395Nm of torque. It has Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), six airbags, and a smart key with push start/stop button.

The absence of a grille made way for the charging port to be situated here; just push the cover like a normal gasoline cap and it will pop open to reveal both the normal and fast charging ports.

For charging times, Hyundai says fast charging will take about 54 minutes, while filling it up on normal speed will require nine hours and 35 minutes to top it up. With just a single charge, Hyundai says the Kona EV can go up to 400km before needing to plug the car and recharge again.

The Kona EV will sell in the Philippines for PhP 2,388,000.

Automotive

Volkswagen ID.4 EV wins a Guinness World Record

For longest journey by an EV in a single country

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Electric vehicles are quickly increasing their viability for more than just short drives. Already, today’s vehicles can travel quite a lot on a single charge. Power efficiency is, of course, only one side of the story for electric vehicles. How do they fare on longer journeys with multiple stops? To exhibit their power in that front, Volkswagen just accomplished a monumental feat with the ID.4 EV: win a Guinness World Record.

In the United States, long-distance driver Rainer Zietlow and photographer Derek Collins took the electric vehicle for a spin around the country. Starting from Volkswagen’s American headquarters in Herndon, Virginia, the duo took a trip around 48 states and 628 Volkswagen dealerships. Throughout their trip, they traveled more than 35,000 miles.

As such, the Volkswagen ID.4 has officially bagged the record for longest journey by an electric vehicle in a single country. Naturally, the feat will be harder to duplicate especially in another country. It relies on the efficiency of the vehicle and the country’s infrastructure. Throughout the journey, the vehicle made stops at 208 charging stations from Electrify America.

To forever preserve the journey, Volkswagen documented the entire trip at https://vwid4-usatour.com/.

The Volkswagen ID.4 promises around 250 miles on a single charge. It is currently available for customers starting at US$ 39,995.

SEE ALSO: 24 Hours in Tagaytay

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Automotive

First Xiaomi car set for a 2024 launch

Promised by a Xiaomi exec

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Earlier this year, Xiaomi confirmed that the tech company will officially enter the smart vehicle industry soon. The new market isn’t a huge surprise for Xiaomi. The Chinese company is already known for expanding to different industries outside of its home in the smartphone market. Now, adding more news to its announcement earlier this year, Xiaomi has confirmed a timeline for the first Xiaomi car.

Reported by Reuters, Xiaomi chief executive Lei Jun has pegged the mass production for the first Xiaomi car sometime in the first half of 2024. However, amid multiple developments towards the new branch, Xiaomi has not announced whether they are producing the car themselves or partnering up with an existing player in the industry.

Soon after the initial announcement, Xiaomi registered its electric vehicle arm, officially confirming the company’s strides towards its automotive goals. Xiaomi has also recently acquired a self-driving development company called DeepMotion this year.

Xiaomi’s automotive efforts are still in its infancy stages. The company already obtained an initial RMB 10 billion investment set for a 10-year push in the industry.

Of course, creating a smart car is only the first step towards becoming a player in the smart car industry. Xiaomi will face heady competition when it finally releases its first product. Tesla is already a formidable player, and more players are already set to launch their own entries soon.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi has Smart Glasses too

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Reviews

CyberSoul X3 Pro review: Coasting just fine

For commuters who don’t want to use their last three brain cells

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Electric kick scooters (EKS) are flocking the streets more than ever. The advent of a personal mobility solution has caught the attention of commuters looking for an alternative form of transportation.

Presently, there is a myriad of electric kick scooters you can find. Several of which are costly to one’s pocket. We’ve driven some EKS in the past and recently, we’ve discovered a new gem unbeknownst to many.

Meet the CyberSoul X3 Pro — an electric kick scooter from CyberSoul, a young transport brand focused on safe, eco-friendly, and effective mobility.

Oh, it’s new! The shape of your body, it’s blue~

The CyberSoul X3 Pro, which we’ll call X3 Pro for brevity, looks like your typical electric kick scooter. The resemblance is uncanny to most EKS found on the streets.

What sets it apart are the intricate details and thoughtful design to make it functional. And of course, a user experience that’s enjoyable when going in on a ride.

Forgive me for the dust and dirt that you’ll find in the visuals. I’ve been using the X3 Pro for more than a month and even though I’ve been cleaning it regularly, I accidentally took photos and videos outdoors when it rained torrentially.

Granted, the dust, dirt, and wet deck and wheels are inevitable. And it’s something we’ll be talking about later on.

Locked me out and threw a feast

Out of the box, you’ll find the X3 Pro unfolded. It weighs 16.9kg, so lifting the electric kick scooter would be a piece of cake — if you’re a lifter, that is.

The material’s made of aluminum alloy — a strong yet light component commonly used in aeronautics.

The stem is easy to grip, and you can lock it firmly on a special hook to ensure it stays in its position when folded.

Upfront, you can find the shackle with two locking systems. The inner one automatically locks when you raise the stem, while the other one is a folding shackle familiar to most electric kick scooters.

This type of shackle needs extra pressure for both locking and unlocking the scooter’s stem. Frankly, I always find it difficult to apply pressure on the shackle since it requires strength from your fingers.

Though it’s hard and extremely tight, the process gave me peace of mind knowing that my electric kick scooter is firmly functional and secure.

Nonetheless, there’s a stand on its left side so you can park it while you fold and unfold, or just when you need to step away from your EKS for a moment.

Devil’s in the details, babe

The CyberSoul X3 Pro comes with a striking design adorned with intricate details that are both astonishing and bothersome. For one, the engraved style in its wheels and deck accumulate dust and dirt that are grueling to remove.

Unlike the Lenovo M2 Electric Scooter I test drove early this year, the X3 Pro uses a pair of tubeless tires. It’s the same tire you commonly see on automobiles.

A good thing about tubeless tires is that they’re more heavy-duty, and can keep up with your electric kick scooter’s performance. Tubeless tires are also puncture-resistant so you won’t have to worry about debris puncturing your beloved wheels.

It’s also undoubtedly stronger and can handle heavier load — both the deck and the tires. The X3 Pro has a maximum load of 120kg, so trust that it can carry you wherever you want to go.

The only con I would think about having a tubeless tire is how it can be a pain to have it repaired if it became flat or it badly needs to be changed.

But it shouldn’t be a big deal if you love riding on bicycles, scooters, and motorbikes. Or if you own one. The amount of love and care you’ll tend to those babies will be the same if you have the X3 Pro.

On its back, you can find the X3 Pro sporting a tail light that activates whenever you use the brakes. Speaking of brakes, the X3 Pro uses a double-brake system: an electronic brake on the front wheel and a disc brake on its rear.

Easy as knowing all the words to your old favorite song

Since we’re talking about brakes, the brake lever can be found upfront, situated on the left side of the handlebar. There’s also a headlight — which lights up decently when used in a dark alley.

Further, there’s a bell that I rarely use because I end up sounding like an ice cream delivery guy. But it’s loud enough to warrant attention from commuters and people on the sidewalk.

In the middle, you can find the multi-functional power button and the control panel with a simple interface. The display isn’t that legible under extreme sunlight, so you might need to cover it up when you want to preview the panel. Or you can just find a shaded area.

You can also just download the CyberSoul app and connect the X3 Pro through Bluetooth. The app houses important information such as your total mileage, its battery state, a light switch just in case you don’t want to press the button, and an option to lock your scooter for security.

Just a heads-up, having the X3 Pro locked via the app doesn’t mean the EKS will be immovable. You can still move it and let its wheels roll, but you won’t be able to speed up and use the throttle. So, consider having a chain and padlock for security.

On the right side, you can find the hook that lets you lock the handlebar when folded and the throttle that lets you navigate the electric kick scooter.

Unlike other EKS, the X3 Pro doesn’t use gears. Rather, it has two speed modes to choose from: Relaxing mode and Sports mode. Relaxing mode limits the speed up to 5km/h only, perfect for strolling.

If you want to move faster, you just need to double press the power button to switch modes. Riding while in Sports mode increases the maximum speed up to 25 km/h.

Devils roll the dice, angels roll their eyes

Riding the X3 Pro was blissful and liberating. The electric kick scooter felt durable, safe, and stable every time I step on it. Its deck is larger than the decks from previous electric kick scooters I’ve used before.

Surprisingly, it feels lighter when I was riding it. It was easy steering the handlebar, which I deem essential when navigating curves, slopes, and uneven roads. The performance is impeccable and smooth, thanks to its 300W motor power (which has a maximum output of 600W).

To fully test the electric kick scooter’s capabilities, I went around my village where there are 40- to 60-degree slopes, along with uneven, cracked, and bumpy roads.

It’s the perfect spot for my test drives and I did it gracefully even when the roads are wet caused by torrential rains.

I’ve been an adventurous soul and despite the warnings that electric kick scooters shouldn’t be used on a slippery road, I still did it anyway.

The tubeless tires made a screeching noise, or what I call ‘the sounds of horror’ since the roads were too slippery for the wheels to handle. Despite that, I went downhill on a 40-degree slope.

We were flyin’, but we’d never get far

Riding down like a daredevil, the maximum speed went beyond 25 km/h — capping at 28 km/h. This made the lights flash a warning sign of overspeeding. But I still ignored it. At that time, I was the only one on the road and there were no pedestrians on sight.

But going uphill is another story. With a maximum of 24-degree incline, the X3 Pro struggled driving upwards. Its velocity deteriorated the higher I went — from 23 km/h on a 20-30 degree slope to 19 km/h as I move higher. Then, it alternated between 14 to 15 km/h while I was moving up around 50- to 60-degree slope.

If you didn’t build any momentum, the max velocity would play between 10 km/h to 11 km/h. Riders were laughing at how slow I’ve been going up when they pass by me, and some were even worried if the EKS’s motor can handle the drive.

Move to me like I’m a Motown beat

Moving forward, you need to find a sweet spot when using the throttle. Pressing hard would result in the electric kick scooter speeding up uncontrollably.

When you’re speeding up, especially on a flat surface, removing the pressure on the throttle won’t slow you down. However, putting light pressure on the brake lever would signal the brakes that you’re about to slow down.

Just don’t hit the brake suddenly lest you’ll slip up and possibly crash on a wall. It’s common sense for most motorists, but if you’re a beginner, consider this a heads-up.

On another note, your brake lever is your friend on a downhill ride. The electric kick scooter automatically speeds up when it detects movement on a downward slope, so you don’t need to use the throttle anymore. All you have to do is find the sweet spot for the brake as you slow down sliding on a slope.

Can I go where you go?

I had the CyberSoul X3 Pro for more than a month now, and it has been an excellent companion for short-distance trips. Whether it’s picking up an order at the entrance of our subdivision, or going on a stroll to visit neighborhood cafes.

But for what it’s worth, the X3 Pro can be your solution to the never-ending traffic and unstable transportation system. That is if you live in third-world countries.

Surprisingly, major roads have been adding designated bicycle lanes. The government has regulated electric kick scooters, too, as personal transportation for the average commuter.

My office is situated seven to eight kilometers away. A back-and-forth trip can accumulate a 16-kilometer range — still enough since the X3 Pro has a total range of 55km on a single charge. I’ve never fully drained the battery; the closest I get was having it down to 12 percent in which I realized I need to charge it.

You can fully amp up its juice by charging it for seven hours. I find that a bit slow for an electric kick scooter with only a 12,000mAh battery since most EKS has more. Nonetheless, the X3 Pro doesn’t have a lot of functions to tinker with or background processes that might drain the battery quickly.

It’s still a win for some, especially when you can last two days or more without constantly having your rideable plugged near a wall socket.

Take the long way home

Aside from having an aerospace-graded material, there’s also one feature that the CyberSoul X3 Pro gives me peace of mind: an IP rating.

With an IP55 rating for dust and water protection, the X3 Pro can handle the usual dust, dirt, mud, and drizzle of rain. But not enough to ride offroad and during heavy rains.

Of course, it’s ‘kwazy’ to even do that. The right thing to do is wait under a roof to protect you and your electric kick scooter. Case in point: motorists hiding under a footbridge during a sudden barrage of rain.

Having an IP rating gives comfort and security that the circuitry inside your rideable won’t unexpectedly shut down because it drizzled one day when you’re out riding on the streets.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

What I like the most about the CyberSoul X3 Pro is how it exudes an all-arounder vibe. It’s simple, easy to operate, functional, and a bit snazzy. The experience is dedicated to commuters who don’t want to use their last brain cells trying to figure out how to drive from one point to another. Which is remarkable, honestly. Especially for simpletons like yours truly.

It could very well be my GadgetMatch. And anyone who needs a personal mobility solution because they just need to take the matter of transportation into their very own hands. Or feet.

Of course, there are other options to choose from since we all have different needs and lifestyles. But whatever you choose, make sure you wear a decent helmet. And don’t forget to keep your eyes on the road. Lastly, drive safely.

The CyberSoul X3 Pro retails for PhP 26,990. In the Philippines, it’s distributed by Xiaomi Zone — a global authorized reseller available in Lazada.

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