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Electrified Vehicles: The Basics

Electrified Vehicles: The Basics By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | March 2018 With so many different categories, there is understandably some confusion among consumers about electrified vehicles. When we talk about “EVs” we usually mean vehicles that run only on electricity—the industry calls these Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs). But there are many categories of vehicles that have various degrees of electrification, and there can be overlap. If you’re thinking of electrifying your lifestyle, we’re here to help cut through the haze! What is an electrified vehicle? Before we get into the differences between all these categories, let’s talk about the similarities. Nearly all electrified vehicles have the goal of improving efficiency—there are a few that are just about performance, but you probably can’t afford one of those. Mostly they do this by keeping your car from giving off a bunch of heat, which would just be energy lost to the environment. If instead of creating heat the vehicle can use that energy in other ways, it can be much more efficient. Photo credit: Brembo Brakes are one great example. Most cars brake using friction, which heats up the calipers and rotors. Electrified cars use “regenerative braking,” which basically turns your brakes into little generators powered by the car’s momentum. While they’re slowing the car down, they’re also pumping that energy into a battery for later use. But the biggest creator of heat in [...]

2018-03-21T00:56:47+00:00 Mar 2018|News, Research|

Electric Vehicles: What’s the Deal?

Electric Vehicles: What's the Deal? By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | March 2018 The current moment seems to be quite the debutant ball for electric vehicles. Auto manufacturers have all, in turn, announced major commitments to electrifying their fleets, as a growing number of countries—largely in Europe, but including China and India—publicize plans to phase out internal combustion engines. But the picture is complicated by the demand side, where there seem to remain significant barriers to mass EV adoption. Here we’ll take a look at these developments and tease out some insights about what the future of the EV market might look like. Who’s banning traditional engines? Several countries have come out with policy stances that essentially aim to put internal combustion engines (ICEs) in the rear-view mirror. Norway is the most aggressive here, banning them by 2025, while India and the Netherlands peg the date at 2030 (this has also been proposed in Germany). Britain and France are more relaxed, with a target of 2040. China has yet to plant its own stake in the ground for a total ban, but the largest car market in the world has made regulatory moves that require its sales to comprise 10% EVs by next year and 12% by the following year. These are big jumps, considering the EV penetration in China in 2017 probably didn’t break 2%. Country Internal Combustion Ban Starts Norway 2025 [...]

2018-03-12T20:57:43+00:00 Mar 2018|News, Research|

2019 Volkswagen Arteon

2019 Volkswagen Arteon Can this new “Four-Door Coupe” stand out when all sedans now have this style? By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | Feb 2018 Among the handful of new model unveilings at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the Volkswagen Arteon was among the most anticipated. The Arteon is the key to both VW’s design evolution and value proposition at a critical juncture for the brand. We were on hand for the Arteon’s official reveal and got a close-up look at this new flagship. Here are the details on the all-new VW Arteon. What is this vehicle? The Arteon is Volkswagen’s newest entry to the entry luxury midsize segment, intended to be the brand’s “halo car” and a “spiritual successor” to the CC. Though the Arteon is billed as a replacement for the CC, it’s quite a bit larger. The body is longer and wider, anchored by a wheelbase that is more than 5 inches longer than the CC. Volkswagen says the Arteon is “a true fastback,” due to its sloping rear roofline, but this car is functionally a midsize sedan, and that’s where it will compete. Who is this vehicle for? If you are planning to buy a midsize car in the near future, the Arteon is worth a look. Since VW hasn’t yet provided pricing, it’s tough to compare the Arteon to specific competitors, but we know the Arteon is [...]

2018-03-12T21:27:09+00:00 Feb 2018|News|

Ram 1500 MOPAR Accessories Overview

Ram 1500 MOPAR Accessories Overview MOPAR Unleashes the Most Customizable Truck Ever By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | Feb 2018 The MOPAR performance brand may be most closely associated with Dodge, but the Ram truck family has made it clear that it wants and will get a piece of that action. Ram unveiled the redesigned 1500 pickup in January at the Detroit Auto Show, but came to Chicago with even more to show off. The MOPAR line was the highlight of the brand’s presentation at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. The Ram 1500 has the highest customer loyalty in the 1500 segment, beating out heavyweights like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado. What is this vehicle? The 2019 Ram 1500 Big Horn Sport 4x4 truck unveiled at the launch was finished in flame Red paint and customized with an outdoor enthusiast in mind. This model showed off the all-new Ram Rack adjustable storage system, designed specifically for cargo that doesn’t fit in the bed. In this case, two kayaks were secured to the rack, with the front ends strapped over the cab and the backs supported above the bed. This design leaves the bed open for more storage, and enables users to stand in the bed to secure and retrieve items on the rack. This item isn’t available yet, but MOPAR says it is on the way soon. The 1500 also showed off [...]

2018-03-12T20:23:09+00:00 Feb 2018|News|

2018 Chicago Auto Show Overview

2018 Chicago Auto Show Overview The Windy City showcases important vehicles for the coming year. By Cherise Threewitt, Contributor, Car-ED.com | Feb 2018 The Chicago Auto Show might not be the most important in the country in terms of new model reveals — that honor would go to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and, arguably, the Los Angeles Auto Show. However, Chicago’s positioning early in the calendar year and closer to new model year launch timing, as well as the sheer size of the two combined show floors which is the largest in the country, demands attention. Several auto manufacturers chose Chicago again for significant reveals, updates, and celebrations. This year, the halls of McCormick Place saw new model introductions kicking off on Thursday, February 8, followed by another day of media-exclusive previews and the annual First Look for Charity gala. The show opened to the public on Saturday, February 10, and wraps up on February 19. The Chicago Auto Show features vehicles from 40 manufacturers, ranging from concepts to prototypes to production vehicles. It’s a lot to take in, especially if you’re coming at it from a consumer’s perspective — learning more about your options for your next new vehicle — but we’re here to help. Here are some of the most interesting and important models that were on display at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. New model [...]

2018-03-12T21:30:57+00:00 Feb 2018|News|

Vehicle Preview: Lucid Air

Vehicle Preview: Lucid Air Setting the Definition of Luxury Mobility By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | February 2018 At the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, Car-ED had an exclusive chat with Lucid Motors VP of Design Derek Jenkins. He is what you would call "a designer's designer," with an impressive resume that shows he's helped put into place some of the most exciting and respected design languages in the industry, at brands like Audi and Mazda. Jenkins is tasked with bringing the company's first luxury EV sedan, the Lucid Air, to market by 2019, and he and Marketing Director Zak Edson gave us a thorough walk-around of their upcoming vehicle and some insight into the company’s plans for the rollout. Who is this company? Lucid has been around since 2007, at first focusing on battery technology under the name Atieva, but in the past few years has parlayed that research into developing their own car. Lucid is an electric vehicle luxury brand, and as such some see it as a challenger to Tesla. It has also lured away a decent number of Elon Musk’s employees, including Lucid Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson, but the upstart is aiming to best the Silicon Valley star in a few key ways. First of all is their battery and powertrain technology. Lucid says it’s making big advances in energy density and charging speed. In fact, the company has said [...]

2018-02-08T23:01:14+00:00 Feb 2018|Car Reviews, News|

Jeep Wrangler

2018 Jeep Wrangler Don’t Mess With a Good Thing By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | January 2018 The Jeep Wrangler is hitting showrooms with a major redesign, and enthusiasts are stoked. Without losing its legendary capability, the Wrangler will be more refined, with better fuel economy and more technology. With either two or four doors and a choice of 3 different roof types, plus its first ever full-time 4WD system, there’s  a Wrangler for…well, not everyone, but more people than ever. What is this vehicle? It’s exactly what you think: a rugged, go-anywhere, do-anything off-roader, with unmatched rock-crawling abilities and a whole host of removable parts, from roof to doors to its fold-down windshield. There were rumors that some of these details would go away, and that Fiat-Chrysler would go heavily aluminum with the structure, but the traditionalists have won out mostly, with only some body panels being made of soda can metal, and much more use of high-strength steel to achieve the needed weight reductions. The rear “swing gate” is actually made out of magnesium, which is even lighter than aluminum. Who is this vehicle for? Wrangler buyers tend to be a fairly diverse bunch, and its cross-shopping list would drop your jaw. That’s because for many shoppers it’s about the vehicle’s image and lifestyle statement, especially those drawn to its status as a rare four-door convertible—currently the only one on the [...]

2018-07-24T20:47:55+00:00 Jan 2018|Car Reviews, News|

Subaru Ascent

Subaru Ascent Rising Above the Outback By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | January 2018 A new 3-row crossover from Subaru debuted at the LA Auto Show, which will bring the brand back into one of the hottest segments in the market. The Ascent won’t hit showrooms until next year, but it should help the brand extend its reach in the U.S., and sustain its momentum. What is this vehicle? The 2019 Ascent marks Subaru’s return to the 3-row SUV game for the first time since 2014, when the Tribeca left the market. While the Tribeca was smaller and more upscale than most of its competitors—telegraphed by its swanky Manhattan neighborhood namesake—the Ascent is a more conventional approach. It’s dimensionally similar to the larger competitors in the mid-size segment, like the Ford Explorer, so it has one of the most spacious interiors in the class, and can carry up to 8 people up the mountain. Who is this vehicle for? Big families and carpoolers can finally check out Subaru, and the brand can retain even more of its fierce loyalists who might have looked elsewhere when the Outback no longer met their needs. Subarus are highly popular in the Pacific Northwest and mountainous regions like Colorado, since the brand has been built on its all-wheel drive heritage. This expansion into one of the hottest segments in the industry is likely to broaden that appeal [...]

2018-01-23T18:12:53+00:00 Jan 2018|Car Reviews, News|

Autonomous Vehicles: Hype vs. Reality

Autonomous Vehicles, Hype vs. Reality By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | December 2017 At the recent AutoMobility LA conference that led into this year’s LA Auto Show, there were a few topics that were on the lips of nearly every attendee. These included electric vehicles, the connected car, and the major future disrupter, autonomous vehicles (AVs). What will the impact of autonomous vehicles be? While EVs may change the product mix that car companies will be offering to their customers, self-driving cars have the potential to change their entire business model. And indeed, it’s not just the auto industry that autonomous technology will impact, but the countless other industries with which it’s connected, like public transit and ride-hailing, hotels and hospitality, and even media companies that seek to capture a piece of the attention that’s freed up when we no longer have to attend to the driving task. To be sure, autonomous vehicles are now considered a future inevitability, but a significant portion of the current discussion is now dedicated to teasing out when we’ll actually be seeing these vehicles on the road in any legitimate numbers. But in order to understand how these vehicles will actually impact our lives, it’s important to first define what we mean by autonomous technology. How to talk about autonomous vehicles Some people who talk about autonomous cars may assume that cars will either have the technology [...]

2018-01-23T18:23:25+00:00 Dec 2017|News|

On Your Radar: Sub-Compact Utilities

On Your Radar: Sub-Compact Utilities By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | December 2017 Auto show season kicked off last Friday, when the LA Auto Show opened to the public. It features 20 world debuts and runs until December 10th at the LA Convention Center. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, going to one of the shows in the coming months—whether it be one of the big ones in Detroit, New York or Chicago, or a smaller regional show—is a great way to see what’s out there. Whatever segment you happen to be looking in, there are no doubt several vehicles that just aren’t on your radar. In a new series of posts, we wanted to take a look at some popular segments and point out a few entries that might not have caught your attention, but are definitely worth looking into. We start with one of the hottest segments in the industry, which has been growing quickly in both offerings and sales. The Sub-Compact Utility Segment What is it? These cute utes are often based on subcompact cars—the Honda HR-V, one of the top sellers in the segment, is built off the Fit platform—offering the cargo room, increased ride height and aggressive styling of SUVs, but with reasonable fuel economy. They also usually offer all-wheel drive for buyers in colder regions. Who is it for? Younger buyers grew up during the [...]

2018-01-18T05:17:23+00:00 Dec 2017|Car Reviews, News|
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