Automotive

Tesla Cybertruck: A design failure or stroke of genius?

Weirdly futuristic

Illustration by MJ Jucutan

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As a pickup truck lover, I make it a point to stay updated with new models coming up through launches and announcements. Several companies are gearing up to launch their EV trucks like the Rivian R1T and Lordstown Endurance to name a few, and they already got me hyped for the future of trucks and off-roading.

So when Tesla announced that they were making their own truck, it got me excited. Plus, seeing the concept design renders on the internet got my expectations high.

Although when the launch day came and I first saw posts about Tesla’s Cybertruck and what it looks like, I ignored it thinking it was just a prank. I knew Musk has a sense of humor so I waited thinking he’ll soon announce that it was all a joke. But days passed and I realized that this guy wasn’t kidding at all.

I kept asking “Why? Why does it look like an old school iron? Why is the roof triangular? Why is it so weird?” But, I only needed to watch one video to change my mind. It seemed weird at first, but then you’ll realize that this truck is a potential game-changer.

The body may seem simple and minimalistic but it is in fact designed as an exoskeleton. Let me paint you a quick picture: the body is made of ultra-hard 30X cold-rolled stainless-steel structural skin which is so rigid, a 9mm bullet will literally shatter on impact. This type of metal is extremely difficult to mold and cannot go through traditional sheet metal stamping. Basically, the metal used is harder than the stamp itself and only through folding can this material be formed. Thus the shape of the Cybertruck.

If you still haven’t figured it out, this thing is pretty much a tank.

Unlike any other truck bed, the Cybertruck seems to be the most versatile of them all.  Boasting 100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage, plus it comes with a magic tonneau cover that’s strong enough to stand on.

It is a vault on wheels and it’s exciting to see what modular upgrades you can do with this truck bed. It also features an adaptive and self-leveling air suspension system that can give up to 16 inches of ground clearance.  Being able to adjust the ride height makes it super easy to access and load the truck bed.

Stepping into the Cybertruck, you will find a very clean and minimalist design. The interior matches the exterior in uniqueness and simplicity. It will seat six people comfortably and features an all-new 17-inch touchpad.

Tesla’s reputation on performance has set the standard high on EVs and we can expect no less on the Cybertruck. A powerful all-electric drivetrain with extraordinary traction control will catapult this heavy truck from 0-60 mph in only 2.9 seconds! That is hyper-car car territory. And though horsepower and torque have not yet been revealed, we can be sure that they will not disappoint. There will be three models in the line-up: A single motor RWD with 250 miles of range, a dual-motor AWD with 300 miles, and the top-spec tri-motor AWD with 500 miles. All models will come with the full self-driving autopilot system.

Even though the window demonstration failed, the rest of the truck is ingeniously purpose-built. People don’t prefer change and we normally reject something we’re not used to, but most of the time we end up loving it. The same thing applied to me —  the more I got to know about this truck, the more I started loving it.

A truck this bold could only disappoint people or make them love it. And though I still haven’t been in one, I still would have to say it is a genius piece of work — a game-changer and a trendsetter. It will be the start of a new era of pickup trucks and the start of the futuristic-looking trend. My first impression of this truck was close to an off-the-street, put-together vehicle. But after learning all about it, I see it as a stealth F-117 Nighthawk bomber. And I absolutely love it.

But that’s just a pickup fanboy’s opinion. What do you think about the Tesla Cybertruck? Is it something you’d even consider?

Automotive

Save with Honda’s fuel-efficient vehicles, PMS

The Honda BR-V, City, and Brio

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With fuel prices skyrocketing lately in the Philippines, it makes sense to invest in a fuel-efficient car complemented by regular Periodic Maintenance Service (PMS) provided by its company.

And as Honda continues to improve its vehicles’ fuel economy in different driving condition, the manufacturer is offering the following models for customers to save more:

  • Honda BR-V: 22.58 kilometers/liter
  • Honda City: 25.17 kilometers/liter
  • Honda Brio: 24.39 kilometers/liter

The models underwent fuel economy runs organized by Honda Cars Philippines in partnership with the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP).

Among the parameters were cruising speeds of 60 to 80 kph at 1,500 to 2,000 rpm, aircon setting of 24 degrees, and blower fan speed of 1.

Periodic Maintenance Service

Aside from picking the right vehicle, Honda also recommends two maintenance visits a year at any of their authorized Honda dealers.

This way, cars will stay in shape with a good-tune up, and ensure better performance in the long run that saves owners more money.

Customers may also visit Honda’s Virtual Showroom for a more detailed guide on preventive maintenance, as well as their technologies like Honda SENSING and Honda’s driver assistance and collision avoidance.

Other tips

In addition to making the right choice and maintaining good use of one’s car, Honda suggests these following tips for a more fuel-efficient vehicle:

  • Plan and combine trips: Carpooling and using navigation apps reduces consumption and avoids rush-hour traffic
  • Drive smoothly, not aggressively: Hard breaks, sudden accelerations, and the like increase fuel consumptions and emissions
  • Minimize idling: Fuel is best consumed in motion; staying idle for too long burns fuel without getting anywhere
  • Get rid of all extra weight: The more weight the car needs to pull, the more effort the engine needs which leads to more fuel consumption

Keep tires properly inflated: A study suggested that as low as a 1 percent decrease in pressure can lead to a 0.3 percent reduction in fuel economy, so keep those tires checked

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News

VanMoof reveals next-gen S5 and A5 e-bikes

On sale worldwide for US$ 2,998

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VanMoof next-gen S5, A5

Urban e-bike developer VanMoof has announced its latest generation e-bikes: the VanMoof S5 and VanMoof A5.

Their fully re-engineered features include an ultra-silent powerful motor, long-range battery, powerful boost, and the latest VanMoof anti-theft tech

Both e-bikes come in gray and are on sale worldwide starting from April 5, 2022 for US$ 2,998.

Deliveries will start from July 2022, while a range of accessories will become available in early summer of 2022.

To manage demand and delivery times, riders get access to purchase via waitlist. Sign up to the waitlist at vanmoof.com.

Easy, intuitive use

The VanMoof S5 and A5 have the industry-first Halo Ring Interface which is integrated into the e-bikes’ handlebars and shows speed, battery levels, and connectedness.

The VanMoof anti-theft technology has been improved with a revamped in-wheel kick lock, bigger pin, and new auto retract function.

The bike can secure itself with a tap, and is able to unlock automatically upon the rider’s return.

Both e-bikes also come with a new optional phone mount and USB-C charging port for riders to turn their phones into instant dashboards suitable for navigation or on-the-go charging.

Ultra-smooth riding experience

With a series of improvements and an award-winning design, the S5 and A5 are poised to have elevated stability, usability, and overall riding experience.

The ultra-silent Gen 5 motor, long-range battery, and powerful boost make up the bikes’ connected power system.

This system includes a complex network of intelligent sensors that are engineered to give riders an ultra-smooth riding experience.

Both the S5 and A5 respond to the rider’s pace and movement, thanks to upgraded electronics, rebooted torque sensor, and Gen 5 E-shifter.

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Automotive

Improved electric car Changan Eado EV460 available in PH

An alternative as fuel prices continue to soar

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Eado EV460

With vehicle fuel prices continuing to soar, car buyers might want to consider shifting to a more sustainable electric vehicle (EV).

One premium option is the Eado EV460 car from Chinese automobile manufacturer Changan.

The Eado EV460 was one of five offerings introduced to the Philippine market back in 2020.

The model was hailed as China’s greenest vehicle and Model of the Year at the China Green Car Annual Awards back in 2018.

Thanks to further research and development, the Eado EV460 now has three-in-one electric drive, which allows the more optimal usage of energy for every charge.

The car model takes about eight hours to fully charge, and only 30 minutes for a fast-charge of about 30 to 80 percent on quick charge stations.

Premium features

Eado EV460

Aside from the Eado EV460’s efficient power consumption, it also boasts more features that make the car keep in step with most fuel-powered sedans in the market, including:

  • A Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM), powered by a Ternary (lithium ion) battery that yields a maximum power of 136PS and maximum torque of 245NM
  • Estimated cruising range of 430-550 kilometers at 60 kilometers per hour
  • Sturdy, well-built, simple design; classy interiors with plush leather seats
  • Mono-digital display, 7-inch digital instrument cluster, and 10-inch high-definition touch screen
  • Cruise Control that lets driver lock on to their desired speed
  • Connectivity features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Aside from that, safety wouldn’t be a problem either as the Eado EV460 has smart safety features, including:

  • Six airbags
  • Smart key with illuminated push start/stop button
  • Anti-lock Braking system
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Brake Assist
  • Traction Control System
  • Hill Hold Control
  • Emergency Stop Signal
  • Reverse Camera
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • ISOFIX
  • Child Safety Lock
  • Seatbelt Reminder
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Price and availability

The Eado EV460, now available on order at PhP 1,828,000 at Changan dealerships nationwide.

Interested customers may also take a first-hand glimpse of the Eado EV 460 at the Changan Pavilion at the Manila International Auto Show on April 7 to 10, 2022 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

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