What’s News: Executive Order on EVs

Biden Wants Half of All Vehicles Sold in US by 2030 to Be Zero Emission

President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on Thursday establishing the goal of making half of all new vehicles sold in the United States zero emissions—either hybrid or fully electric—by 2030, according to the White House.

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Car Sale Problems.

Op-Ed by the Editors

2021 isn’t over but many people seem resigned to the fact that it won’t be a good year for car makers, and the way things are going 2020 could only be described as diabolical.

One way it might improve – and possibly the only way it can improve at the moment – is through online sales. At this time of crisis auto dealers can no longer rely on a friendly handshake (this is no time for cynicism so let’s just say it is a friendly handshake) to deliver on a deal. Studying the statistics, this old system will need to change drastically. J D Power’s figures measure the first 19 days of March verses previous years at the same time and demand has dropped 13%. Things are even more drastic in places such as LA and Seattle with a 22% drop in just a 19-day period.

So how do online services compare? Roadster, which serves US and Canadian dealers shows an increase in 6%. Tesla uses a similar system relying on internet deliveries and an app. Unfortunately, Tesla relies on signed paperwork being taken to a drop off point. How this would continue to work during these emergencies isn’t clear.

So, the most innovative way to do sales in the future could be an app but then again people are wary of parting with huge chunks of money online. Even a seller such as EBay recommends seeing the automobile before parting with cash.

It seems counter-intuitive to work this way but even when the covid restrictions lift fully, the recession will likely go into full swing and somehow business enterprises must carry on. Dealers haven’t embraced the online market as a major source of revenue but a recession could change that.

An idea being test marketed is trying the car for a week and seeing if they like it. How exactly this method works isn’t clear. Supposing a person doing the trial refuses to give it back? Surely there is workarounds for such things, but the adverts don’t spell those out.

We can’t just rely on the showroom. It’s an antiquated way of doing things which continued because “it seemed to work” or “it’s what the customers are used to.” Or most likely it’s highly lucrative for dealerships. At the moment however, it fails to work, customers just can’t use these methods in purchasing a car, they can’t get out of their home in many cases.

Some dealers like Chrysler are adapting to new ways of working. Prospective customers can explore the latest models on FaceTime as the sales agent walks around the lot.

It’s one way to keep money in circulation but maybe we can do more. After all, if not now when?

What Is The Car Etiquette?

People aren’t always sure of the etiquette in cars and sometimes they test the driver’s patience, or the driver tests the passengers’ patience. Here are some rules suggested from sites around the internet…

Generally Good Advice

  • You shouldn’t smoke or eat in another person’s car. (If you are the driver you shouldn’t eat or drink while you are driving.)
  • Do not keep giving the driver instruction from the back seat.
  • If you borrow someone else’s car make sure it is fully insured and then top off with gas before returning.
  • You should pay attention even when you are not in motion, the lights may change suddenly or the traffic in front may alter quickly.
  • It’s not a good idea to bang doors especially the trunk doors shut, just close them firmly. Speaking of doors, do not look into other people’s door compartments, it’s just nosy. Try to stay out of their glove compartment too.
  • Do not use the climate controls without the driver’s permission. Many of them don’t like you touching the radio or music system either.
  • You are allowed to move the seat but it’s best to move it back when you’ve finished the journey.
  • Another source of complaint for drivers is touching the windows or leaving trash lying around so make sure you clear up after yourself.

It’s sounding as if most drivers are temperamental, but drivers are ultimately responsible for what happens in a car and knowing expectations ahead of time will help keep the peace.

Who Gets Shotgun?

Let the lady or the most senior member of the party sit in the front seat. Other people suggest that the guest should have the first choice. After that you should offer them the seatbelt. Most people do try to open the door for a lady and close it for them.

Because of the amount of legroom, it is best for a pregnant woman to sit on the back seat, though other etiquette experts suggest a couple always have to sit together. This may be interpreted as saying that a couple always want to sit together, but this is not always the case. Ultimately it is up to the driver to decide.

Children shouldn’t be allowed to sit on the front seat until they are 13 years old. 8–10-year-olds need a booster seats though it is dependent on their size.

If you are in an Uber it is best to travel in the back as it helps you to exit quicker, you can use either door. It’s possible to sit in the front seat in Ubers, but don’t feel obliged to do so. Lyft often invite passengers to sit up front as a way of differentiating themselves from Uber, but the practicality of sitting in back often trumps that.

Rideshare Etiquette

Also, on the subject of Uber it’s hard to specify a female driver (presumably you can ask for one) for Uber and Lyft cars. With Safr you can.

Many people don’t know you can request more than one stop with Lyft or Uber by pressing the + sign after typing in the first destination. Remember though like a taxi waiting time will be added to the price of your journey.

A Couple Final Thoughts

If you are on the back seat with pets you should make sure they do not disturb the driver. There’s some logic here, no one wants the driver to lose control.

You should respect that sometimes the driver may need to concentrate at certain points in the journey and conversation needs to be kept to a minimum.

Most of this stuff is common sense, but maybe it’s worth reiterating as people forget. We are only human so give each other some grace.

Perks of Owning a Small Car

In the past decade, cars have been getting bigger and bigger to match our big families and busy lives. Many people operate by the phrase “Bigger is Better” when it comes to cars, but we have a different opinion. Small cars are different than they used to be, and surprisingly provide many more benefits than owning a larger vehicle.

If you are considering a new car purchase, take a moment to read the article below. We have compiled a list of some of the biggest benefits to owning a small car.

Fiat

Lower Price Tag

One of the most compelling arguments for a small car is that while they are smaller in size, they tend to have a smaller price tag as well. Making the switch to a smaller car will save you money immediately.  Depending on how expensive your large vehicle was, the difference could be quite significant.

Fuel Efficiency

In addition to saving money up front by switching to a smaller car, you will also save money on the fuel for your car. Smaller cars have much better fuel efficiency, so they use less fuel to go the same distances. Their engines are also lighter and have less weight to carry around.

Less Maintenance

Smaller cars require much less maintenance than larger vehicles. There is less weight bearing down on the tires and gears, and less momentum that the breaks have to stop. These are just a few examples. Keep in mind, this does not mean that a smaller car does not need less regular maintenance, like oil changes. Your car will still need to have regular oil changes and be inspected by a professional at least once a year. It is just more likely that less problems will be found with a smaller vehicle.

Easier to Maneuver

Great strides have been made to increase the maneuverability of large cars. SUV’s and trucks have improved greatly in their abilities to maneuver well. However, there is still no comparison with the handling of a small car. Small cars can move and turn much more easily than larger cars. This is convenient and makes driving more enjoyable. Having a car that is easier to maneuver is ideal on narrow and crowded city streets.

Parking

In addition to being easier to maneuver, smaller cars are also much easier to park. On crowded city streets, parking spots are extremely limited. At times, only small spaces open up that seem like they aren’t even full parking spaces at all. If you are driving in a small car, you are in luck. You are much more likely to find a parking space that you can fit into if you are driving a smaller car. SUV’s and trucks need more room and are harder to maneuver into tight spots.

Safe

Years ago, smaller cars were not as safe to drive in as larger cars were. Luckily, things have changed. Both small and large cars are required to go through the same rigorous crash testing. Smaller cars have the same safety features as their bigger counterparts. The frames of both small and large cars are made of the same strong and protective materials. The only difference is that larger vehicles just have more metal surrounding them, so there is more material to come between you and another car in the event of a crash.

Eco-Friendly

Small cars tend to have more features that make them environmentally friendlier than larger cars. Certain small cars brands, like the Smart Car, produce extra small, electric cars that really minimize their carbon footprint. Many other companies have small cars that are electric, plus have other high-tech features that conserve energy and are eco-friendly. Larger vehicles do not have the capability to be electric yet, so they have a larger negative impact on the environment.

The Benefits of Small Cars

As you can see, there are a multitude of benefits that come with owning a small car as compared with a large car. Before purchasing your next vehicle, take some time to consider the pros and cons of both. There is a great chance that you will find smaller cars have many more pros than cons.

A Look At The Best Cars For Commuting in 2021

Hyundai Elantra

Most drivers spend their time commuting, though it may not be the best driving experience in the world. It is a vital part of our culture however; there is even a set of towns known as “part of the commuter belt.” Lets dive into the phenomena of commuting and the types of car best suited for it.

The Company Car:

The 1960’s was especially known for the introduction of a specific commuter vehicle; the company car, given as part of the job package. As the name suggests the vehicle does need to have the approval of your company and are usually of the “city car” appearance, rather than something like an SUV. It’s part of something called an incentive package. Starting around World War II, when businesses were capped on how much they could pay employees, businesses have responded with incentives. They initially took the form of retirement and health insurance plans, but in the 60’s they also included a company car, and it’s a tool to attract talent still today.

According to the website mybusiness.com 71.3% of all businesses have a company car, while an additional 6.1% have a “car allowance,” for fuel and so on.

The company car comes in many forms starting with a fleet vehicle which you can take home with you overnight. The car is owned and maintained by an employer but you don’t have to put miles on your personal car getting to and from work.

Another common type of company car is when the company leases or buys a car for your use, pretty much without restriction. In this scenario, you typically make your own maintenance arrangements and pay for it yourself, but at least you don’t have a car payment to deal with. Not many people realize that you can sell the company car in the future. For this reason, it may be worthwhile using your own private vehicle on the weekend or whenever you aren’t at work.

Sometimes the company will pay for maintenance just to be sure you’re taking care of it. There are a few companies that also pay for gas, with the stipulation that you’re not charging them for personal use gas–on vacation for example. It’s a bit of gray area.

Non-Company Commuter Cars

For the rest of this post, I will assume that you don’t have a company car. If you commute more than 60 miles a day it pays to have your own vehicle, it is best to look for something fuel efficient and comfortable. It is not cost-effective for a couple to rely on one car if both of you commute, but it all depends on maintenance costs, insurance and how much you earn.

The top three priorities for a commuter car are fuel efficiency, comfort, and reliability.

Nissan Leaf

Good cars for a commuter include the Nissan Leaf especially for those who require an eco-friendly car. It helps if your workplace has charging stations. The 40kWh charger allows for 149 mile range. Confusingly the e-Pedal system that they utilise is a mechanical system, but it gives, according to reports, effective braking.

Reviews Chevy Sonic

An alternative would be the Chevrolet Sonic which has an abundant level of space allowing you to sit in comfort whether in the back or the front. Also adding to the driving enjoyment is Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay.

Chevy Cruze

Hyandai Elantra has similar plus points in its upholstery with its sizable headroom and legroom, as does the Chevrolet Cruze which has the special upgrade of heated seats, which is so important when commuting on a cold day.

Maybe you will get a new car for the new year – keep life fresh?

Best of the Web: new radar for visual self-driving cars.

Just like with any new technology, autonomous cars have faced their fair share of speed bumps from concept to product, especially when it comes to navigating in inclement weather. Recent developments in autonomous car technology, however, could be the solution to this problem.

Similar to human drivers, self-driving vehicles can have trouble “seeing” in inclement weather such as rain or fog. The car’s sensors can be blocked by snow, ice or torrential downpours, and their ability to “read” road signs and markings can be impaired. 

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