What kind of car should I buy?

The question of what kind of car should I buy? Electric, hybrid, conventional gas or diesel?

There are so many announcements lately, this company or that company going full electric on such and such day in the very near future. Really?

Let me begin with the fact I have been driving 3 kinds of hybrid predominantly in the last 8 years so I have some idea about it perhaps.

The Full Electric Car Conundrum

Should I or shouldn’t I jump the ship and go full electric? Both feet in, kind of just do it. Right?

Going electric has it’s advantages and some disadvantages.  Let’s see what are the cons and the pros.

The pros are:  The electric car will need less service as there are a lot less components to be dealt with. A full electric car will cost less money to run, to “fuel” or fill up and to maintain it.

Correct, these are the pros, providing it’s made half decently, it should be fine for a while.

How long? The battery pack has an 8 years manufacturer warranty so your battery pack should be fine for 8 years mostly worry free.

Keep one thing in mind it’s your responsibility to maintain a decent level of battery charge.  Meaning you can’t just leave and have your car sit for months on end.

It must be plugged in to get replenished or maintained, if you leave your vehicle for an extended period of time for any reason.

Also, a full electric vehicle is better for the environment over its entire life cycle than a gas-powered vehicle.

Electric cars, during everyday use, lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than gas-powered vehicles. The electric vehicle, biggest environmental impact is produced during manufacturing.

Cons are: You will need to work with the battery range on board and the time to have it recharged.  It could take considerable time and some effort especially in the winter when range anxiety is a real thing.

Electric cars have numerous different charging rates from basic 110 v to 800v systems. The higher the voltage the faster the charging rate is in direct correlation.

Electric BMW i4

Hybrids

Hybrid propulsion, which is both often convenient and has a very reasonable gas mileage, depending on the size of the battery. You may use only the electric motor, especially for quick local trips like going shopping or for groceries.

There are myriad different hybrids, so you will need an expert’s advice or need to study the subject vehicle as each has their specific traits like pros and cons.

Plug-in hybrids are very convenient and will cut your fuel cost substantially.  They are fairly complex. Having dual propulsion is inevitably more complex than having one.

Most electric and hybrid vehicles will have a sub 12 volt system. Which will require a traditional battery replacement every 4 to 5 years or so, to keep the on board consumers working properly.

Electric or high output hybrids  have a separate high voltage system. Mostly 380v or higher predominantly to provide the electric motor with large quantities of stable electricity when required.

The traditional consumer operated systems are 12v only at this point onward to prevent high voltage systems getting near the occupants of the vehicle at all times for safety reasons.

Pros and Cons for Hybrid Cars

Pros of the hybrid cars are ease of use and convenience. In most cases, if you run out of electricity the vehicle can continue on the on board gas engine. Some electric cars have similar set up for instance the i3 which has a REX on board.

Cons are: You have the complexity of the dual propulsion and have a battery to deal with as well. No special interaction required except if it’s a plug in hybrid. If you drive a plug in hybrid, than you are encouraged to have it plugged in to be recharged, as soon as possibly can.

Again just like an electric car, you can’t leave the vehicle unplugged for extended periods of time, or the battery pack will be damaged. All you need to do is plug it in into the wall and forget about it for storage purposes.

Repair and Maintenance

Finding a hybrid or electric vehicle specialist in case you need it, might not be simple. Especially if you live somewhere in a small town or in a small city.

Conventional Gas or Diesel Vehicles

Then there are the conventional gas or diesel vehicles which have been through a tremendous change in the last decade or so and still going on as we speak.

Pros and cons for the conventional gas or diesel vehicles are numerous. The pros are: Ready to repair and maintain anywhere. Easy to refuel and quick to do so. The network to repair and maintain the vehicle is straightforward, no special procedure and minimal preparation required for long term storage.

Cost of maintenance spread out over time, unlike say a lithium ion battery replacement on an electric vehicle.

Cons are: Emission is greater than hybrid or electric. Maintenance is more prevalent, requires periodic fluid and component replacement. Need to refueling to keep it mobile and tend to be noisier than hybrid or electric vehicles.

There are many other advantages and disadvantages of all of the electric, hybrid or traditional consumer operated systems.   I can talk about them for hours.

At the end, you have to make the decision: Which one to buy? It’s totally up to you and your needs and maybe your location where you live.

Your decision should be based on your needs. How are you going to drive that car? Short trips, long drives, or just leisure driving?

Any questions? How may we help? Telephone: 905.795.0419

Bosch ServiceTechmax Auto Repair Inc.

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Today’s Modern European Cars Engine

BMW of Today

Do you like BMW cars? Are you aspiring to buy a new or a used one? May be you know someone whom owns a BMW, the question is what makes them so special, why are they so popular you may ask?

Well, I may be able to answer some of your questions since I own some and working on them for decades and really like some of them (I own 4 BMW’s).

To explain it in a few words and describe the myth surrounds the BMW cars is, their way of design and build their cars, which is nearly the perfect blend of luxury and dynamics. They are the trade mark of the brands popularity over the years.

BMW cars have one thing in common, they have amazing handling characteristics due to deliberate designs which makes them one of the most dynamic handling German cars. You can use a BMW as a family car or as a sport car, the choice is yours and it can depend on your driving style or even on your mood.

Whenever you have a chance and can see all the German autobahn burners in one place at one time, I can show you what makes them so special.

BMW i8BMW i8

For instance, stand back and look at any BMW of today or from yesterday and you will see the suspension is pushed all the way forward front and rear. The engine is pushed back far as could have been to give your car a mid engine configuration, this brings amazing handling characteristics.

Naturally all BMW’s have wickedly well sorted suspension geometry, to enhance the dynamics even further, a precision tuned suspension with proper damping and spring rates that makes a very dynamic package. This suspension can be further enhanced with the M sport package to take dynamics to the near extreme ?level of street legal dynamic performance.

It’s safe to say BMW engineers created most BMW cars with near perfect balance of performance ?and precise handling with excellent feedback from the chassis dynamics as being their ultimate goal ?all along. The weight distribution between the front and rear axles makes BMW superbly agile.

You might ask, why other car manufacturers not use the same or similar design?

I do have answers for you, there are several reasons… But there is not just the suspension and weight distribution makes a BMW a popular car. There are many other things.

If you’re interested to discuss this subject in more elaborate details ?I’m happy to oblige at your convenience in person.

Contact us fro more at: (1) 905.795.0419

Have fun and happy motoring.

Related: Read more about BMW i8 and BMW i3 electric car.

BMW, the environment and their employees in North America

BMW AG, located  in Munich, Germany.  It’s subsidiary in Canada is: BMW Canada Inc. It was formed in January 1986 to support BMW customers better, bringing services closer to many local enthusiasts through a stronger presence and structured organization.

Their current head office is in LEED certified building in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

How BMW getting ahead by putting the environment at the top of their agendas? For example their head office is established as a green and Eco-friendly structure.

As part of BMW plans eco friendly production BMW is testing various forms of alternate energy  throughout its manufacturing network.

The company US hydrogen storage and distribution facility fuels hydrogen powered equipment at its Spartanburg facilities. They streams methane gas from the nearby landfill to produce on-site renewable hydrogen for the plant electrical requirements. This location alone saved 92,000 tons CO2 every year.

Than BMW ads solar energy to their alternative energy portfolio. The company stated: “Adding a new alternative energy platform to our energy portfolio is another step in our commitment to sustainable methods of generating power at our factory,” said Duncan Seaman, Department Manager, Market Operations USA & Canada. “It is the perfect complement to our existing landfill gas-to-energy and hydrogen fuel cell program and offsets the fossil fuel requirements otherwise needed to run our facility.”

They use solar energy in many different location. The latest installation of 400 solar modules (in US) , each capable of producing 240 watts of energy, now provides power to BMW’s Zentrum Museum, as well as the new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

To manufacturing the BMW i3 zero emission electric vehicles, to make them more environmentally friendly, the company use electricity, produced by local wind turbines. So far they build the i3 only in Leipzig, Germany.

BMW is manufacturing carbon strands that form the basis of the i3’s carbon-fiber reinforced plastic bodywork at a new US $100 million plant built in Moses Lake, Washington, using raw material shipped from Japan. This location was selected, beside a hydro electric dam  to reduce CO2 output due to the high power demand of the carbon fiber components manufacturing.

There are numerous other initiatives at BMW, all aimed at leading the way on on the environment. Some of them are really simple: The company changed the setting of their employees PC’s. With this simple move they save 27,000 megawatt hour a year, the equivalent of 12,200 tons of CO2.

In their vehicle, the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid they use  laser light technology, an improved head light system, that contributes better nighttime vision and use 30% less energy, compeered to the alredy highly efficient LED headlights.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=m3JAtvsqfF8

BMW i8 Hybrid

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BMW i3 Electric car

Tomorrow’s Electric Cars

The electrification of tomorrow’s cars are going into high gear since there are some rules mandating the percentage of new cars to be sold has to be 4.5 percent electric by 2018 for all the states whom adopted California emission standards.

The percentage of zero emission electric or plug in hybrid cars will have to increase to 22 percent by 2025. The companies whom can’t meat the mandate will have to buy clean air credit (ZEV credit**)  from Tesla*  or Nissan since they are the major provider of the credits. Since Tesla became a major manufacturer of electric cars all the other car manufacturers are getting worried.

2015 Tesla S2015 Tesla S
Tesla’s 2015 S model is priced form US $69,900 – US $93,400.

They are willing to spend billions to catch up or surpass Tesla and their future electric automobiles, in particular the Germans will take the lead in the expenditure of major research and development of a slew of new plug in hybrids and near zero or full electric zero emission cars.Please keep in mind Tesla will not stand by and watch their success to be tarnished by others so it will be interesting to watch as the titans of the car manufacturing will fight out the next stage of the future of the automobile, stay tuned and enjoy the ride.*When Tesla Motors reports its first-ever profit, much of the money will come courtesy of the state of California.

In its zeal to push electric cars into the market, the state has created a system in which Tesla can make as much as $35,000 extra on each sale of its luxury Model S electric sports sedans. That’s because the Palo Alto company qualifies for coveted state environmental credits that it can turn into cash.

These Zero Emission Vehicle credits could put as much as $250 million in Tesla’s coffers this year, according to one Wall Street analyst, and they are a key reason the 10-year-old automaker has survived this long. Tesla gets to sell the credits to other automakers that need them to satisfy tough California regulations.

**So wait, what’s a ZEV credit? California forces automakers (based on their sales) to sell a certain number of zero emissions vehicles in order to generate credits; the more ZEVs you sell, the more credits you earn. Companies with a positive credit balance can sell them to other manufacturers who don’t meet the set standard at an undisclosed rate.

The most drastic change though came in GM, which went from buying over 876 ZEV credits in 2013, to needing to buy just 4.4 in 2014. That’s a HUGE turnaround, and it can be attributed to steady Chevy Volt sales, as well as the Chevy Spark EV.

Chevy Volt2015 Chevy Volt

The Canadian EV credit is depending on the size of the battery and it’s up to $8,250 per vehicle in Ontario, and there is also a government grant – rebate for a dedicated home charging station to endorse EV or plug in hybrid vehicle use.

Further more, there is a green plate in Ontario for most plug in hybrids and for EV cars, which currently allows you to drive on the HOV lanes in Ontario with a single occupant, again to endorse low emission vehicle use true out the province.

BMW i3 Electric Car

BMW i3The facts you may like to know about the new BMW i3 electric car.

The vehicle is made of CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic). You may recognize the material from the M3 coupe or the M6 roof which was made from the same material as well.

The question remains why invent a new way of making a vehicle when you already have made and perfected the steel body construction for many decades? The answer is the weight savings are substantial to offset the weight of the battery pack. It was important to start with a new way to approach this matter. Continue Reading…

BMW ActiveHybrid 5

BMW ActiveHybrid 5BMW ActiveHybrid 5.  Is it the ultimate hybrid – driving machine?

The ActiveHybrid 5 is BMW’s contribution to the world of hybrid motoring. It was created to use electric motors, without sacrificing the ability to get across the intersection and up to speed quicker than most of the other cars. The 5-series hybrid not only use electric motors but also does so with considerable style and operating with a combination gasoline electric power train.

There are obviously many other alternative offerings if you are looking for hybrid car, even in the mid-size-luxury segment, but for the moment, at least, the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 represents the most sophisticated performance hybrid yet, a seamlessly smooth driving machine, that advances the state of the art in its class.

Contact us for more details at: (1) 905.795.0419

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BMW ActiveHybrid 3

The 2013 ActiveHybrid  3’s engine is based on the 335i’s 3.0 liter in line six, twin turbo charged engine. This is a traditional rear wheel drive BMW with the assistance of a lithium ion powered electric motor.

BMW ActiveHybrid 3BMW ActiveHybrid 3

It’s only available with an 8 speed automatic transmission .

The 2013 Active Hybrid 3 Series is faster than the 335-i  due to the 35 horsepower advantage and 32 pound feet of added torque as well. Worth to note; It is slightly heavier than the 335-i by 300 pounds, but has a longer differential to make it more relaxed on highway driving.

The battery pack resides in the trunk which gives the Active Hybrid a better 50-50 weight distribution as well.

The Active Hybrid BMW 3 Series has an electric only mode as most hybrids do. It’s called the BMW Drive Experience Control in this case.

The most efficient mode called the Eco Pro which will provide the best fuel economy and at a push of a button you can engage the Sport Mode which will sharpen all the senses at will. After all it is a true BMW at heart .

With the combination of the 6 cylinder 3 liter gasoline engine and the help of the 55 horsepower electric motor it will achieve a 0-60 time in approximately 5 seconds flat, which should give a 335-i driving experience at a better than 328-i fuel economy at will .

Currently the BMW Active Hybrid 3 Series does not have true competitor, as it is unique to the Sport Active Hybrid designation where it is a blend of amazing fuel economy and or a lightening  fast sports car at will.

This double personality makes this Bavarian beauty the choice of the real driving enthusiast. Well done BMW, we are looking forward to the electrified future of the BMW automobiles.

Related: BMW i3 Electric Car

BMW i3 Electric Car

BMW i3BMW i3 Electric Vehicle

BMW not just only has been hyping up its new electric  vehicle for a couple of years now, and despite teasers about innovative tech features and full carbon-fiber body structures, it is fact, this electric vehicle will be available in the Canadian BMW dealers car list very soon.

Apparently there was a lot of  mystery, about this new electric vehicle, which offers Star Trek like technology… It called inductive battery charging, and it an engineering “wonder”.

However, the mystery has been lifted about all the details except how the thing actually drives…. Like a BMW? Like a  Smart car, or like a go kart? Or it might drive, like no small car before?

I guess we will find it out, when we drive it… However, one thing is sure. As of June 15, 2013, looks like the price of the BMW i3 starts at around  $53,000 US. Also according to different car related Internet news websites, BMW already have received reservation for 100,000 i3 vehicle.  Read more about the BMW i3