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Electric Vehicles Pose Risks for Emergency Responders

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In a crisis, first responders rely on their experience and training to safely deal with dangerous situations. As the world moves toward a future where electric vehicles become mainstream, these men and women require new skills to confront unfamiliar electrical and mechanical systems.

The risk of untrained people interacting with high voltage from an EV fire is a scary proposition. In the case of a highway accident, would the average first responder know how to safely turn off the power from the car’s battery? How about a garage fire where an EV is being charged; potentially with 220 volts?

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is well aware that electric vehicles pose a threat to untrained response teams, repair crews and passengers. The agency has recently released a report entitled “Safety Risks to Emergency Responders from Lithium-Ion Battery Fires in Electric Vehicles.”

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The lengthy report includes several case studies and includes a section entitled “Guidance for Emergency Responders.”

This guidance includes:

Easy to understand Battery Disconnect procedures

Teams need access to understand how to disconnect the battery for specific vehicles.

Fire Suppression Methods

The NTSB recommends using large amounts of water to extinguish fires and cool batteries.

The risk of Thermal Runaway and Re-ignition

Emergency and repair crews need to take action to mitigate instances of re-ignition, which can happen weeks after battery damage first occurred.

Procedures to release stranded energy in damaged batteries

Those involved in the recovery, repair and storage of damaged EVs need to deal with stored energy in batteries, particularly if external circuits and wiring mutilated or shorted out,

Formatting of Emergency response guides

Emergency guides be in a standard format, so first responders can find necessary information quickly, with a minimum of searching.

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Upgraded Guidance and Information sharing

Vehicle manufacturers need to enhance their safety guides and manuals, so fire and repair crews have a more in-depth understanding of proper repair and storage of damaged EVs.

Fire and emergency crews have decades of experience working on crippled vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines. Best practices for working safely around wrecked gasoline-powered cars and trucks are well established.

Many of these entrenched methods do not apply to electric vehicles. EVs require completely different measures in case of wreck, fire or flood. Even highly experienced first responders will need training in the proper methods to handle EVs in an emergency. Failure to understand the intricacies of high voltage mechanisms could spell disaster for themselves, their crews and bystanders.

 

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The Exciting Future of Electric Cars

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These cars will not only reduce the damage to our environment, but it will come along with more helpful advancements as we are going to learn from this article. Car manufacturers are all up in gear to come up with the best version of these types of cars to eat the competition in the market. This will at long last benefit the customer since they will be spoilt for choice in terms of which cars from what company has better appealing characters suiting their needs.

These vehicles are already in the market already but in selected countries in the world. The real realization of more cars in our streets is expected to be in early 2018. Companies such as General Motors is said to be preparing to release their Chevrolet EV within weeks from now. Nissan is also said to have gearing closer to releasing their EV before 2020.

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Volkswagen showcased their electronic car model which they are calling it e-Golf I.D recently in an exhibition in France. It is one of the first one to be produced by their group- Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) that deals specifically electric cars. They are set to release it in 2020 with its reproduction set to begin in 2025.

It is expected to have a 400-600km of range. The I.D electric motor is expected to be placed in the back of the car. This will allow the front while to have a lighter turning circle. The I.D will also have a pilot mode. This means that the car will have an option for self-drive. This will give the driver time to chat with passengers or do other stuff.

Its horsepower will be placed in the rear will have zero emotions and with very little noise which is great for environment preservation.

Amazingly the I.D will have no door mirrors commonly known as a side mirror. It will have an inbuilt camera in the front giving you the picture of how your rear, right and left look like.

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The headlights are the one thing that will leave you excited. They look at the driver when approaching and signal when in I.D pilot mode. They will also look at the pedestrians and other road users as well as turning to the direction the car wants to move. Isn’t that amazing? That is the great future we are soon to see.

These are just some of the advancements that we are hoping to see and confront with as these cars hit our roads fully in the near future. Be ready to find more designs as competition will call for more unique and amazing details.

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4 Reasons Why Some New Cars Do Not Come With a Spare Tire

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If you are on the hunt for a new vehicle, and a spare tire is something important to you, be sure to pay attention to everything your potential new car comes with. That is because many car manufacturers are not putting spare tires in newer model vehicles anymore. If you find this interesting, wait until you learn why some producers have chosen this practice. Continue reading to learn the top 4 reasons why some new cars do not come with a spare tire option.

1) Improved Fuel Efficiency

With the trending green movement becoming so popular that it is almost ingrained in most consumers shopping tendencies, it is no surprise that many car manufacturers are attempting to improve their vehicle’s fuel efficiency. One effort to accomplish this has been to eliminate the extra weight of a spare tire. This may seem like a trivial amount, but the absence of a spare tire can reduce a vehicle’s overall weight by 30 to 50 pounds. That is because you must also consider the additional weight of the jack and wrench. The benefits from this type of elimination also helps car manufacturers meet the strict EPA guidelines.

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2) Increased Storage Space

Although it may not seem like a simple donut or spare can take up a lot of room, in smaller vehicles, its absence can make a huge difference. Vehicles like sports cars, compact cars, eco-conscious cars, electric cars, and even smaller-sized sedans, can all benefit from the lack of a spare. The added spaces allows for a more comfortable ride.

3) Batteries and Emissions Equipment

In contrast to adding more storage, eliminating a spare tire is a must for many car manufacturers because there is too much space occupied by other equipment. This includes hybrids, electric cars, and diesels. The batteries and emissions equipment of these vehicles takes up the space that would typically house a spare.

4) Decreased Manufacturing Costs

The elimination of a spare tire naturally saves car manufacturers money; hundreds of thousands, in fact. However, many car manufacturers use that savings to improve other performance, aesthetic, and mechanical features. So sometimes, it is a “give and take” situation.

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What To Do Without a Spare

If you are the driver of a vehicle that lacks a spare, whether because it was manufactured that way to you just don’t have one, there are still options for you on the road. You can always purchase a properly sized spare or donut for your vehicle, along with the proper tools (i.e. jack, torque wrench, road triangles, etc.).

If you ever find yourself with a flat on the side of the road without one, you can contact a 24 hour emergency roadside assistance service. Some insurance policies actually cover roadside assistance needs, or have their own roadside assistance service. Simply dial the number and wait for help to arrive. Most emergency roadside assistance services operate on a 24 hour basis, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. That is why they are called “emergency” roadside assistance services.

 

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Why Tesla’s New Semi-Truck Pricing Is A Game Changer

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Tesla just unveiled the pricing for its semi-truck and once again, it’s beating all expectations!

Initially, when this model was first announced, people were making disparate guesses as to pricing in relation to battery size. Some assumed that if the vehicle comes with a thousand kilowatt hour battery with a 500-mile range, the price tag would most likely fall within the $200,000 t0 $250,000 range.

Tesla Semi-Truck Priced Competitively

They’ve finally released the actual costs and frankly these numbers are mind-blowing. The starting price is at $150,000 for the 300-mile range model, $180,000 for the 500-mile range model, and $200,000 for the fully loaded Founders Series model, which should also be at the 500-mile range.

To put this in perspective, the entry-level price for a diesel-powered semi-truck is approximately one hundred thousand dollars. If you prefer something that’s more reliable or that has more features, you’ll have to look at the $110,000 to $120,000 range.

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Interestingly enough, when you consider the difference between the two models (300-mile range and 500-mile range models), what were actually seeing is a bargain-priced upgrade.

Viewed from this angle, the announced pricing even becomes more cost-effective and attractive. We’re talking about an upgrade cost of only $15,000 for every additional 100-mile range (about 200-kilowatt more battery muscle)!

Of course, these calculations could be way off, these are based on initial numbers and observations and there will be corollary costs involved with every purchase. But, if the math proves right, this is indeed a game-changer!

The Elon Musk Factor

Of late, Tesla seems to be making inroads and getting a lot of mileage over the competition. They already have the clear technology edge, thanks to a forward-thinking decision to go big on R&D.

And, they have Elon Musk.

“Let’s face it, people purchase a Tesla EV because it’s a great car with a wonderful tech, they invest in Tesla because they believe in Elon Musk,” observed TColey 100, a keen observer in the EV space. “Elon Musk is Tesla’s most valuable asset and that is what the competition has to contend with.”

When it comes to Tesla, online discussions would often – naturally so – gravitate around the areas where the company excels in. EV technology, batteries, and their massive super charging network, those topics are par for the course.

But, if there’s one differentiator who’s making things happen for Tesla that could only be Elon Musk. Comparisons have been made and tons of pages have been written about the man. The closest tech visionary that comes to mind is, of course, Steve Jobs.

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They’re both dream chasers who caused massive disruptions in their respective industries searching for breakthroughs. They do what they do best because they see that it can be done. It’s unfortunate that Jobs died early. The way things are shaping up, Musk is poised to achieve far greater things before he’s done.

This piece is not intended to glorify Tesla or Musk. Far from that, the company has its own set of shortcomings to deal with but its leadership and direction remain sound. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

 

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What Are Ethanol Engines and How Do They Work?

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Ethanol is a fuel source that is actually extracted from plants, such as corn or sugarcane, and then refined into an alcohol. This alcohol is suitable to be used as biofuel to power all sorts of vehicles and equipment. When it comes to cars, ethanol fuel is widely used in hybrid vehicles with “flex fuel” engines. Surprisingly, there are various similarities between these flex-fuel hybrid car engines, and standard automotive engines. Continue reading to learn more about ethanol engines, and how they work compared to standard vehicle engines.

Ethanol Engines

Cars that run on ethanol fuel are quite similar to standard engines in automobiles today. In fact, the only significant difference is that ethanol engines can utilize the biofuel, ethanol; while standard car engines use oil-based gasoline. In hybrid or “flex fuel” vehicles, the ethanol is injected into the engine in the same manner that gasoline is consumed in standard cars. Its gas mileage is slightly less than that of a non-hybrid gas-powered vehicle; however, the fuel emissions are much less harmful to the environment. This is one of the greatest advantages of ethanol engines. It is also cheaper than gasoline; another highly admired advantage to ethanol engines.

For people who own non-hybrid vehicles, there is still an ethanol option; for example, some standard vehicles can operate on a mixture of 10% ethanol fuel. There are many gas stations around the country that provide this convenience.

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Here are some interesting and respected facts about ethanol car engines:

  • Ethanol fuel has a 113 octane rating.
  • Ethanol is the highest performing fuel on the market today.
  • High-compression engines run smoothest on ethanol fuel.
  • Blended ethanol fuels keep fuel systems cleaner for longer.
  • Ethanol fuel does not leave behind gummy residues and deposits.
  • Ethanol promotes optimal performance in vehicles.
  • Ethanol prevents winter-time complications by doubling as a gas-line antifreeze.
  • Blended ethanol fuels are approved under several U.S. manufacturer’s warranties.

Additional Motorized Commodities That Can Use Ethanol-Based Fuels:

  • Speed Boats
  • Motorcycles
  • Lawn Mowers
  • Snowmobiles
  • Jet Skis
  • Tractors
  • Farming Equipment
  • And More!

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Do You Have an Old Ethanol-Based Motorized Commodity Laying Around?

If you own an ethanol-based motorized commodity that does not run any longer, or simply takes up to much space around your property, consider selling it for cash on the spot for a junk car buyer. They accept all junk motorized commodities, including cars, trucks, vans, boats, watercrafts, trailers, tractors, construction equipment, farming and landscaping equipment, and more.

 

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Some Tips Related To The Car Conversions For Novice Drivers

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The regular hike in fuel prices across the world has become at the matter of concern for motorists across the world and therefore they are searching for different fuel options which could facilitate them to economically drive their vehicle. Going through this issue huge discussions and debates are going in the cyber world to find the best solution to the problem. Interestingly converting the engine configuration of existing car has emerged as the reliable way to combat the problem and therefore lots of motorists are converting their existing gasoline car into electric car.

Well, this might surprise you but in recent years electric car conversion has originated as the highly preferred ways for minimizing the cost of driving a personal car to huge extent. An interesting benefits enjoyed by the converting the gasoline into an electric car is decline in the expenses on fuel followed by pollution free environment. Apart from this another worth mentioning benefit of an electric car is that there are lots of countries throughout the world which offer huge discount on different types of taxes levied on car owners, along with this the owners of electric cars are free to enter any country without any restrictions.

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But, the problem from which almost every car owner struggles is absence of knowledge about the whole conversion project. There are lots of people who believe that converting their existing car into an electric car is the best option to enjoy its maximum benefit. Anyway this might be their personal opinion because on the basis of my knowledge gained from various authentic sources, to convert a car into an electric car the best way is to hire a donor car. Because hiring a donor car for conversion will offer you maximum benefits that you expect from your vehicle. There is plethora of expert technicians across the world that offer the facility of car conversion to the owners willing to minimize the expense on fuel consumption.

If you are also speculating to convert your existing car into an electric car then there certain factors which you should consider, before you visit to any of technicians.

1. Which donor car is best for you: Although electric cars offer maximum benefits to their owners in terms of fuel efficiency and emission norms, but still depending upon their make the owners have to invest substantial amount on its maintenance and conversion. Before generally the conversion process involves the replacement of existing engine with powerful motor and additional equipments. If you have a hatchback then it will remain a small engine and same for a sedan. Along with this you should also make sure that converting kit is available in the market for specified car.

2. AC system or DC system: As a general practice the car conversion companies suggest for DC engine system due to its affordability, but the system requires use of various batteries for covering the long distance. On the other side AC engine system is capable for covering long distance smoothly but due to its sophisticated nature it is quite expensive than compared to DC system.

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3. Running distance: An electric car could be driven at the top speed of 70 miles per hour up-to 50 miles, after which it requires charging. To avoid any problem of battery drainage while driving it would be better to assess your driving kilometers before starting the journey.

4. Weight of battery: This might surprise you but weight of the battery also affects the performance of an electric car to huge extent. Because if a heavy battery is installed in your car it will require more power to run it, which means quick drainage and need of charging quickly. Therefore enjoy smooth durability it is imperative to install compatible battery in your converted car to enjoy its hassle free drive.

 

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