Posts tagged with "TESLA"

Tesla Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Tesla’s Record High R&D

Tesla spends more on research and development (R&D) than any other automaker.  According to data presented by StockApps, the firm spends $2,984 on R&D per car produced. That’s thrice the industry average and higher than the collective R&D budgets of Ford, General Motors (GM), and Chrysler per car.

Commenting on the report, StockApp’s Edith Reads had this to say.” Tesla spends more than any other carmaker on R&D in order to maintain its lead in EV technology. And if you ask them about it, they’ll tell you this is the key to keeping their customers happy—which is what keeps them in business.”

Tesla’s investment in R&D is paying off

Its vehicles are not only making strides in environmentalism, they’re also safe, fast, and excellent at technology integration. Elon Musk‘s commitment to spending time developing new products and services is what makes Tesla successful.

Tesla is famous for its ambitious production goals. So if anyone is going to invest in making those dreams a reality, it’s them. And you can see why: while most carmakers focus on marketing themselves as a brand first and foremost, Tesla is focusing on making every car a piece of innovative engineering.

No Advertising Spending

Further, Tesla’s spending proves they are future-focused, unlike other manufacturers. While Tesla spends $0 on advertising per car, the industry average is $485. This further illustrates that consumers want to buy vehicles for their functionality and rely on testimonials for brand awareness rather than beautifully crafted commercials.

The company’s lack of an advertising budget is even more impressive than its R&D spending. Tesla’s unique business model becomes clear when we consider what its competition spends per vehicle on advertising. Ford and Toyota spend $468 and $454 per car respectively. 

Despite not spending anything on advertising, Tesla is technically a marketing magnet. That’s why it is one of the world’s fastest-growing brands. The firm dominates the press and social media engagements. Most of that comes from widely popular Elon Musk.

Toyota Reverse Gif by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

2023 TOYOTA bZ4X

While consumers become increasingly knowledgeable of the functionality and basics of Hybrid vehicles, their desires and curiosity will follow. As of late, Toyota assembled the opportunity to experience this new generation of automotive at their media conference E-volution 2.0 – increasing awareness and designed to dispel myths and the benefits, in efforts to declare the battery initiative as the rule and not the exception. In tail, igniting the shared responsibility to a carbon neutral future of driving. 

Many of us are cognizant of global warming and the dangers that it precedes, such as severe weather and acidic oceans. This has resulted in rainforests burning and quickened extinctions of wildlife. While people might not be able to completely give up cars for travel, the Toyota team has provided greener options as electric cars already have a smaller carbon footprint than gasoline vehicles. Read about how electric vehicles help tackle climate change

Last week, Toyota invited 360 MAGAZINE to the unveiling of the all-electric bZ4X at the ALil A Marea Beach Resort in San Diego, California. As a leader in electrification, the introduction of bZ4X represents the first of a global series of battery-electric vehicles to be introduced under the global “Toyota bZ” DNA. bZ4X will have a manufacturer-estimated range of up to 250 miles for XLE front-wheel drive models, which is almost enough to transport you from LA to Vegas. Moreover, FWD offers ample traction on the road while decreasing production costs. What’s exciting is there is also the choice for a dual electric motor for AWD. 

“With zero emissions and an exhilarating drive, the bZ4X is hitting the market at just the right time as we expand our already comprehensive electrified product lineup,” said Veep of Toyota Marketing, Mike Tripp. He continues, “As a human-centered company, Toyota remains committed to offering customers a diverse portfolio of products to meet their individual needs and move us toward a carbon neutral future.”

Design

The SUV was developed in partnership with Subaru. Thus, it’s a doppelganger of the Solterra crossover – sleek, modern and bold. The 20-inch wheels include a familiar clean design. The aerodynamically designed front exudes sex appeal featuring a hammer head shark boxed style that meshes well with Toyota’s RAV4. Don’t forget full LED lighting that add a nice futuristic touch to the outside. A panoramic sunroof is included on the limited trim. On the inside, expect soft-tex seating materials laid throughout along with a roomy cabin. 

Hybrids 

75% of buyers believe a Hybrid electric vehicle must be plugged in to charge. Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by two systems; an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that is charged through regenerative braking from energy stored in the battery. Whereas fuel burning vehicles build performance as the engine speeds. Since 1996, Toyota has paved the way in customer acceptance with the release of the Prius. With 20 miles to the gallon becoming synonymous with core technology and environmentally friendly fuel-efficient means of transportation. Now at 50 MPG, it dominates the automotive industry with a portfolio approach that there is no one size fits all solution. This vigorous tribe of Electrified vehicles encompasses the following: SiennaVensaRav4 Prime and the bZ4x.

Technology

A few major highlights surrounding the up-to-date technology include a digital key feature and wireless charging. The digital key gives owners the ability to lock, unlock, and start the vehicle with a tap of a smartphone. Convenience is key! It’s more easy than ever to swap cars with friends and family without the hassle of misplacing a physical key. Charging is also compatible with 150 kW direct current quick charging; capable of 80% charge in 30 minutes. Take climate control to a new level with seat and steering wheel heaters, plus a front-seat radiant foot-heater (a first for Toyota). 

Hydrogen Fuel Cells 

Kenworth Truck Company and Toyota Motor North America are collaborating to develop zero-emission T680s powered by Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains. This collaboration is part of the Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities grant dedicated to the state of California to develop a viable hydrogen network. With 48 stations open today, 360 MAGAZINE had the opportunity to visit a Shell facility during the trip for a tutorial to a foreign concept by Norm of the ride & drive team. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which use electric motors, are much more energy efficient. For instance, Mirai is innovative and defies the linear school of thought with regards to a Hybrid. It encourages more reasons to go Hydrogen. When you start the engine, hydrogen travels to the Fuel Cell Stack, where it combines with oxygen from the outside air to create electricity. At the core, it’s an extraordinary zero emission ride while the Hydrogen from the fuel tank and air entering from the intake meet in the Fuel Cell Stack. There, a chemical reaction involving the oxygen in the air and hydrogen creates electricity powering the vehicle. In the end, the only by-product is water, defining the future of fueling.   

The newly launched costal community

ALiLA Marea Beach Resort, is nestled alongside a magnificent stretch of the Pacific Ocean. Its robust design effortlessly blends into its natural habitat – like water and rock, making it an ideal locale for this activation. Similar in type to the lodging grounds, bZ4X is posed to marvel with its unwavering curb appeal and performance. Finally, Toyota has struck a cord with both environmentalists and car enthusiasts alike. The bZ4X is set to hit dealerships in late Spring of 2023.

Article: Armon Hayes,Vaughn Lowery, Krish Narsinghani, Kai Yeo

Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Tesla Undergoes Scrutiny For Video Games That Could Lead to Distracted Driving

Tesla recently came under scrutiny for video games that had the potential to lead to distracted driving. Tesla’s cars are equipped with a touchscreen display in the center console. This screen would allow drivers of Tesla vehicles to play video games while they are on the go.

However, some experts have argued this practice could lead to driver distractions and accidents on the road due to an increase in driver attention being devoted towards playing video games instead of focusing on driving itself.

Safety Concern For Everyone

While technology allows us to do many amazing things, it also comes with its own set of risks. With video games that can be played on the go, we now must worry about potential distractions while driving. This is not just a concern for Tesla drivers but all drivers using any technology while behind the wheel.

It’s important to remember that while playing video games on the road may seem like a good idea, it is not worth losing your life or someone else’s for. Though you have the latest innovative vehicle, this doesn’t mean compromising road safety is okay. So please, be safe while driving and put your focus on the road ahead, not the game you’re playing.

Tesla Responds to Criticism With New Safety Measures and Features 

As critics continue to voice their concern over Tesla’s new features, it’s essential to understand your responsibility for steering the wheel or in the driver’s seat. Tesla has responded to safety concerns by implementing new measures and features, but it’s ultimately up to drivers to be aware of their surroundings while using Tesla’s technology.

In a statement released on its website, Tesla explains that it has introduced several new safety measures, including “a pop-up section on the center display screen asking drivers to confirm they are still attentive and present when using Tesla’s Autopilot function.”

However, critics have continued to voice their concerns about Musk’s car company. On April 13th, 2018, The National Transportation Safety Board announced an investigation into a fatal accident involving Tesla’s autopilot feature. An NYC Injury Lawyer believes that this investigation will bring much-needed attention to the safety concerns surrounding Tesla’s new features.

Some of the most common causes of road collisions include:

Distracted driving: using a cellphone, eating, drinking, or any activity that takes your focus off the road

Drowsy driving: when you’re so tired you can’t keep your eyes open

Aggressive driving: speeding, tailgating, and weaving in and out of traffic

Impaired driving: drunk driving or using drugs while behind the wheel

Unsafe driving: when you drive in a way that puts your and others’ lives at risk

Drivers don’t always realize they’re distracted, leading to severe consequences. Learning how to identify the signs of distraction is crucial for drivers everywhere.

Tesla’s Autopilot System And Concern On Road Safety

Tesla is in the hot seat for their Autopilot system, which some say could lead to distracted driving. The company has been under scrutiny after several videos of people playing video games on their Tesla vehicles while the car is in motion.

This isn’t the first time that Tesla has been called out for safety concerns with their Autopilot system. Critics argue that the Autopilot system is too easily confused and easily distracted by things like video games. They worry that drivers could become overly reliant on the Autopilot system, leading to dangerous driving habits.

Tesla has responded to these concerns by saying that their Autopilot system is only meant to be used as an aid and should not be relied on entirely. Despite Tesla’s assurances, the company is still under scrutiny for its Autopilot system. With more and more drivers using the system, it will be necessary for Tesla to ensure that their Autopilot system is safe and reliable. Otherwise, they could face significant penalties from regulators.

How To Prevent Potential Road Collision Due To Distracted Driving?

A recent study has shown that many drivers use their smartphones while on the road. The number of smartphone users is expected to grow over time, leading to more car accidents related to distracted driving. These accidents can be prevented by taking precautions like limiting one’s phone usage or avoiding social media apps altogether.

If you need to use your phone while driving, some apps can help you do so safely. These apps include hands-free calling and texting features that allow you to use your phone without taking your eyes off the road.

It’s also important to be aware of the dangers of distracted driving. By understanding the risks associated with using your smartphone while driving, you can take steps to prevent accidents from happening. Stay safe on the road by being aware of your surroundings and using caution when using your phone. 

Final Words

Whether you have the latest Tesla or any other car make, it is best to be safe while using the autopilot function. Losing your focus when navigating the steering wheel can lead to accidents and injuries. If you’ve been involved in a car crash, call a lawyer to help you with your case.

Photo via Donny Nordlicht of Polestar for use by 360 Magazine

POLESTAR 2 ANNOUNCED

Polestar, the electric performance car brand from Sweden, today announced the extended range, lower pricing, and bespoke configuration for the model year 2022 Polestar 2. The addition of a new single motor powertrain makes the vehicle more accessible than ever before, while simultaneously offering the greatest range of a Polestar 2 to date. Also new for 2022 is an optional heat pump, which is designed to extend the vehicle’s range up to an additional 10 percent under certain climate conditions.

The new Polestar 2 Long range Single motor offers the lowest price and longest range in the lineup, with an estimated range of 265 miles* and a starting price of $45,900 USD, or as low as $34,900 after qualified federal, state, and utility incentives**. Customers can also add on the available Plus and Pilot Packs to enhance the specification of their vehicle. Deliveries are expected to begin at the end of 2021.

The Polestar 2 Long range Dual motor is now available for bespoke configuration, allowing customers flexibility to order a car which best suits their lifestyle. Starting at $49,900, or as low as $38,900 after qualifying incentives**, the Long range Dual motor Polestar 2 has 408 hp and an EPA range of 249 miles – an increase of 16 miles over the 2021 car’s range. As with the single-motor Polestar 2, Plus and Pilot Packs are available to order. The dual-motor Polestar 2 also can be ordered with a Performance Pack for increased driver focus, and deliveries are expected to begin in October of 2021.

“We are excited to introduce the expanded Polestar 2 range, which offers an ideal configuration for every lifestyle,” said Gregor Hembrough, Head of Polestar in North America. “As we roll the brand out to 20 new US markets this year, we have the product, pricing and convenience to place Polestar at the top of consumer shopping lists.”

These new variants can be ordered with three optional packs that allow for a streamlined experience. These include:

  • The Plus Pack ($4,000) debuts a mechanical heat pump, which is designed to extend the vehicle’s range by up to 10% under certain conditions. The heat pump is complemented by a full-length panoramic glass roof, a premium interior featuring a Harman Kardon audio system, WeaveTech vegan upholstery, and high-level interior illumination. For those living in cold weather locales, the package offers a “must have” combination of comfort and range preservation.
  • The Pilot Pack ($3,200) offers enhanced safety and driver assistance features, such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Pilot Assist, Blind Spot Information System (BLISTM), Cross Traffic Alert, along with a 360-degree surround view camera and all-round parking sensors, plus more advanced safety features.
  • The Performance Pack ($5,000) features adjustable Öhlins suspension dampers supporting the front and rear forged 20-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, Continental sport tires, and Polestar’s signature ‘Swedish gold’ aesthetic details. (Only available on Polestar 2 Long range Dual motor.)

Additional single options include a ventilated Nappa leather interior ($4,000), 20” wheels with unique spoke pattern ($1,200), a semi-electric tow bar ($1,200) and metallic paint ($1,200).

All versions of the Polestar 2 feature the world debut of Google’s Android Automotive OS native infotainment system with key features such as Google Assistant and Google Maps built-in.

The Polestar 2 is available for online ordering at Polestar.com, and test drives can be scheduled via Polestar.com/test-drive. For those shopping now, Polestar 2 inventory available for fast delivery can be viewed at  Polestar.com/us/preconfigured-cars. For customers who prefer a physical car buying experience, Polestar is rapidly expanding its network of retail “Spaces” throughout the United States, with 25 showrooms planned to be open by the end of 2021. Each of these Spaces host Polestar Specialists who can answer questions, schedule test drives and assist with the digital ordering process.

About Polestar

Polestar is the independent Swedish premium electric performance car brand founded by Volvo Cars and Geely Holding. Established in 2017, Polestar enjoys specific technological and engineering synergies with Volvo Cars and benefits from significant economies of scale as a result. The company is headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden, and its vehicles are available and on the road in thirteen global markets across Europe, North America and China. In 2021, Polestar is expanding into five new markets in the Asia Pacific region.

In the US, the local Polestar office is located in the New York metro area, in Mahwah, New Jersey. Polestar Spaces have been opened in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, and Denver, Colorado, with more to follow in Atlanta, Boston, Central and Southern New Jersey, Connecticut, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Orange County, Calif., Seattle, South Florida and Washington D.C.

Polestar produces two electric performance cars. Polestar 1 is a low-volume electric performance hybrid GT with a carbon fiber body, 619 hp, 738 lb-ft of torque, and an MPGe of 60 miles – the longest of any hybrid car in the world. The Polestar 2 electric performance fastback is the company’s first fully electric, high volume car. The Polestar 2 model range includes two variants featuring a 78 kWh battery paired with dual- and single motor powertrains. The Polestar 2 Long range Dual-motor has an output of 408 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque.

In the future, the Polestar 3 electric performance SUV will join the portfolio, as well as the Precept – a design study vehicle released in 2020 that is slated for future production. Precept showcases the brand’s future vision in terms of sustainability, digital technology and design. In April 2021, Polestar announced a goal of creating a truly climate-neutral car by 2030 without carbon offsetting through tree-planting.

Photo via Donny Nordlicht of Polestar for use by 360 Magazine
Green Car by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Concentric Q×A

In the current age of digital technology, car owners are being forced to consider their vehicle’s susceptibility to ransomware attacks. These malicious cyber-attacks can expose your personal data to online hackers. However, there are certain measures that car owners can take to help prevent security breaches. Proactive car owners are utilizing services like Concentric to safeguard their technology and online identity. 360 Magazine spoke with Laura Hoffner, Chief of Staff at Concentric, and Sam Connour, Concentric Intern, about how to best practice car system security.

What steps can proactive car owners take to protect their vehicles from security threats and hackers?

First, understand that all digital property can be hacked.

Second, as a result, be conscious of what personal technology you connect to or tether with. Understand that if you connect your phone to your car via Bluetooth, someone hacking into your car will then result in vulnerability to your phone (and everything else connected to your phone such as your home Wi-Fi, addresses, credit cards.)

Third, ensure your vehicle’s software is up today. Car makers, like Tesla and Jeep, are known to push out patches for these potential holes hackers can access. Keeping your vehicle up to date will aid in that effort.

Finally, protect that vulnerability by being aware of the modifications you’re making to your vehicle’s software. Don’t let unknown devices connect to your car, and be wary of who has physical access to your vehicle

What makes a car susceptible to ransomware attacks?

Cars are now equal [in terms of susceptibility] to computers as a result of their connectivity capabilities both to the internet and to Bluetooth. If a car is connected to an insecure and unprotected internet connection, hackers are capable of installing malware into a vehicle’s operating or infotainment systems.

What models of cars are the most likely to encounter hacking/privacy issues?

Cars with self-driving capabilities, or features such as lane assist or automatic braking, are particularly at risk. But practically any vehicle made in the past 20 years can be hacked. Generally, vehicles [from] 2007 or newer run a higher risk of personal information being compromised. Car makers, with a warning from the FBI, are taking steps to beef up cybersecurity within their vehicles.

Should customers be weary of certain car brands when buying technology systems for their vehicles? How can consumers find quality retailers with safe car products?

Rather than it being a concern about specific car brands, consumers should instead educate themselves on the risk associated with these vulnerabilities and take proper protocol to mitigate those risks.

Can Concentric offer any services for car owners looking to safeguard their vehicles?

Concentric offers holistic security solutions for our clients. Included in that is a residential risk assessment that can identify specific concerns and vulnerabilities. This is where personal risk associated with property would be assessed, [as well as] physical and behavioral recommendations.

How did your experience as a Naval Intelligence Officer and in the Naval Reserves translate into your current role at Concentric?

Understanding the threat landscape both nationally and internationally– as well as the acknowledgement that we make both micro and macro decisions about risk daily– ultimately prepared me to understand the corporate security landscape. Holistically viewing a problem set and identifying creative solutions are [at] the core of Naval Intelligence, thus it wasn’t a large leap to bring that mindset over with me from the government side.

As Concentrics’ Chief of Staff, what is your best advice regarding car related security?

Car-related security advice is the same as all other security advice we have: educate yourself, your family, and your team to know what risk decisions you are making that have vast implications across your security vulnerability spectrum. Additionally, security is not something to think about when you’re in a crisis. Avoid or better prepare yourself for the crisis beforehand by taking steps to vastly reduce, or eliminate, your vulnerabilities to exploitation.

Tesla Illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Tesla Outperformed Rival Stocks

Tesla is among the notable growth stocks that have recorded significant returns for investors. Despite the electric vehicle manufacturer’s stock slumping in 2021, it has maintained an edge over competitors.

According to data acquired by Finbold, Tesla stock registered an ROI of 224.93% between June 2021 and June 2020, outperforming some of its major competitors. Among the selected vehicle manufacturers, Tesla only trailed China-based NIO, which had almost double returns at 539.13%. Ford Motor ranks third with returns of 152.28%, followed by General Motors at 141.08%, while Volkswagen AG ranks fifth at 116.62%.

Other stocks with key returns include XPeng (75.47%), Oshkosh (74.08%), Navistar (60.29%), Toyota  42.19%), and Honda (25.22%)

Between the period, Tesla also maintained a superior stock price growing from $191.95 in 2020 to $623.71 in 2021. Elsewhere, last year, NIO’s stock price was at $6.9, while in June 2021, the stock stood at $44.1.

Tesla benefiting from green energy debate 

Having established its position as a  leader in electric vehicle manufacturing, Tesla stock benefitted from some of the initiatives around environmental conservation. According to the research report:

“In the wake of a new focus towards the climate change agenda, Tesla has been at the center of attention, with more investors betting on the company. Some jurisdictions are also enacting legislation favouring consumers opting for electric vehicles, and as a leader in the sector, Tesla stands to gain.”

Based on the Tesla returns, it is clear the massive gains made in 2020 were enough to sustain profitability for investors despite the stock slumping in 2021. The growth was mainly guided by fundamental factors like greater retail investor interest in the stock and the inclusion of the S&P 500 index. To increase recession profits, check out this step by step guide that aims to help anyone achieve wealth and expand profits at any time, even during and after economic recessions.

However, for Tesla to remain with the upper hand, the company needs to look out for competition.

Read the full story with statistics here.

Road trip illustration for 360 magazine by Gabrielle Archuleta

Starting A Car That Has Been Sitting For Months

Whether you’re going on vacation for a while or temporarily relocating to another location for work, you may need to leave your vehicle for an extended period of time without using it.

If you are in this situation, it’s important to know how not driving your car for a month or more will affect its performance, including its ability to safely start.

What Happens If You Don’t Start Your Car For A Month?

Cars are designed to be driven, not to sit idle for months. When left unused, engine fluids start to break down and parts that aren’t getting lubricated begin to corrode. Even worse­–animals may move in, chewing on anything they can reach. Rodents often chew through wiring harnesses or other car parts that are made out of organic materials, which can cause substantial damage.

Tires are also affected by inactivity. When a car is not being used, the air will slowly start to leak out of its tires, especially in the cold weather. The weight of the vehicle will press down onto the deflating tires, which can cause flat spots. Filling the tires with air often solves this problem, but sometimes flat spots become permanent.

Moisture can also start to accumulate in the gas tank if the car is left unused for a long period of time. Over time, this can lead to corrosion.

How long can a car be left unused? In general, the longer a car sits, the worse these problems can become. But, it’s not all bad news.

Leaving A Car Unused For 3 Months? Here’s What to Do Before Starting It

If you plan on leaving your vehicle unused, it’s important to know how to start a car that has been sitting for two weeks, two months, or even two years.

Even after a few months, most modern cars can still be safely started. That is, providing the battery still holds a charge. However, there are a few simple checks you should make first. This will help you quickly identify problems while making sure your car is safe to start.

Here’s what to do:

Check The Engine Oil

Check the oil level using your vehicle’s dipstick. If you’re not sure where the dipstick is located, refer to your owner’s manual for a diagram. The correct oil level should be between the two indicator marks on the dipstick.

Be sure the engine is cooled off for at least ten minutes before you check the oil. When you go to check the oil not only should you take notice of the level, but also you should observe the color and consistency. If this oil is thick and gritty and the color is dark, then it’s likely time for an oil change. Be aware that if your oil level is low, you should not drive your vehicle until you have topped it off to the recommended level with the recommended oil.

Check All Exterior Lights

Check that your headlights, fog lights, high-beam lights, brake lights, reverse lights, and indicators are all working before you head out on the road. The easiest way to do this is to grab a friend or family member, so one person can activate the various lights and the other can check if they’re working.

Check For Signs Of Leaks

Before you check the engine oil and coolant levels, take a look at the floor under the car to see if there are any signs that something has been leaking. As a general rule, you can typically narrow down the issue by observing the color of leak, though it’s always best to have a professional inspect and diagnose the leak before driving:

  • Black or light brown usually indicates an engine oil leak
  • Red or brown usually indicates a transmission leak
  • Clear, red or brown usually indicates a power steering leak
  • Transparent yellow or brown usually indicates a brake system leak

Driving your car while it’s leaking fluid can cause serious (and expensive) damage. It’s important to avoid driving if there are any signs of a leak. Check for any leaks underneath your car before taking your car for a drive for the first time in months.

Check The Brake Fluid

To check your vehicle’s brake fluid level, you need to identify the brake master cylinder reservoir. It is typically mounted at the rear of the engine, in line with the position of the brake pedal. Your owner’s manual should be able to show you exactly where it’s located.

You’re simply performing a visual check of the fluid level against the markings on the translucent brake fluid reservoir. Remove the cap of the reservoir and note if the fluid looks healthy or dirty. If your brake fluid is low, it could indicate a problem with your brakes that will need repair as soon as possible. Dirty brake fluid can indicate water contamination has occurred, in which the vehicle’s brake system will need to be flushed.

Inspect The Battery

The first issue you may encounter if your car is left idle for an extended period of time is car battery problems. Batteries slowly lose voltage over time when left idle. If you haven’t had your car hooked up to a trickle charger or any other type of voltage maintainer, the voltage will have likely dropped below the amount necessary to start the car. Jump starting your vehicle may solve the problem. After the jump start, let your vehicle run for 5 – 10 minutes to recharge the battery. Then, switch it off and attempt to restart it. If your car won’t restart, there could be a problem with the battery or your vehicle’s electrical system. This issue can leave you stranded if it’s not remedied.

Before you attempt to jump-start your vehicle, remove the battery cables and check that the battery terminals are clean and clear of debris and corrosion.

Ideally, the battery should have a full charge before the vehicle goes into storage. Further, the battery should be disconnected from the engine to prevent discharging. The charge should be checked every three months. The battery should be recharged if it drops under around 12.4 volts.

Check The Gas

It only takes one month for the gas in your tank to start breaking down. As the lighter components of gas evaporate and oxidate, gas loses its combustibility and becomes less effective. As it degrades, it forms a gummy residue that gets released into the fuel system– increasing the likelihood of a blockage occurring. Old fuel can cause an engine to misfire and stall.

Obviously, we don’t recommend sniffing gasoline, but gas that has started to break down will have a distinct sour smell that resembles the smell of varnish. One option is to siphon a small amount out of your fuel tank and check the color. Old gas will be darker than fresh gasoline, and you may even be able to see the gumminess that have started to form.

If your car has been sitting for three months or longer, it is recommended to drain the tank and fill it with fresh fuel. For a car that has been sitting for a month or two, it is recommended to top up the fuel tank with fresh gas and dilute the old gas before it passes through your vehicle’s fuel system.

Finally, if you find you just aren’t driving your car much and it’s likely to sit idle for 30 days or more, a fuel stabilizer should be added to the gas. This will prevent degradation for up to 12 months. It is the easiest way to avoid damage to your cars fuel system.

Inspect The Tires

A visual check of the tires should be performed to make sure they are in good condition, before attempting to drive the vehicle. Air pressure should be checked and adjusted to the manufacturer’s recommended psi. This can be found on a sticker that is usually located on the driver’s door jamb. You could also find the recommended psi for your tires in your owner’s manual.

Upon inspection, your tires may look normal. But, when you get behind the wheel to take your car for its first spin in months, instead of the familiar smooth ride you may feel a vibration through the steering wheel and hear an unfamiliar noise. This is caused by a flat spot in the tire– a problem for any car that sits idle for extended periods of time.

This occurs when a stationary tire has to bear the load of a vehicle for an extended period. As the weight of the vehicle presses down, the bottom of the tire spreads out on the ground. As time goes on, the rubber gets stiffer, leaving flat spots on the tire.

Generally speaking, as you drive the car and the tires get warm and regain flexibility, the flat spots will disappear. This usually takes around 15 minutes. In extreme winter temperatures, these flat spots can become permanent if a vehicle hasn’t moved for several months.

Tires can develop flat spots if your car sits for an extended amount of time. Check your tire pressure before starting your car again to make sure it is at the recommended psi.

Check For Rodents

When the weather cools off, rats and mice look for warmer shelter and can be disastrous for car owners as their engine bay doubles as this season’s hottest rodent hotel. After mice have made a car their new home, their sharp teeth can cause serious damage to engine hoses, plastic panels, and wiring.

Signs that your car may have a mouse problem include:

  • Droppings and an associated bad smell
  • Unfamiliar noises when you switch on the fan or heater, indicating the presence of a nest
  • Food scraps in unusual places
  • Check engine light on your dash, indicating wiring damage
  • Bite marks on hoses and wires

Getting mice out of your car can be a time-consuming job. Not only will you have to find and remove their nest, but you’ll also have to clean and disinfect the area around the nest, and more than likely repair any damage they caused. There are many methods to prevent mice from moving back in such as spraying peppermint oil or putting out moth balls. Forget the ultrasonic sound repellants though–they won’t do anything besides put a hole in your wallet.

How Often Should You Start Your Car

Leaving a car unused for three months—or even three weeks—is not ideal. If possible, start your vehicle a couple of times per month when it is not being used. It’s best to not only start the vehicle, but to also drive it for about ten miles before putting it back in storage.

Starting the vehicle without taking it out for a quick spin will warm up the engine, but nothing else. It could also drain the vehicle’s battery, which will make it harder to start next time.

On the other hand, starting the car and driving it for 10 miles will fully warm up other parts of the vehicle, including the transmission, brakes, and suspension. Driving this short distance will also give your vehicle’s battery a chance to recharge, so it’s easier to start in the future.

Consider asking a close friend or relative to help.  Maybe they can take your car out once in a while when they go out to dinner or to run chores.

How to Prepare For Not Driving Your Car For A Month

If you plan on leaving a car unused for 3 months, there are certain steps you can take to keep it in good condition during this period of inactivity. Here’s what to do:

  • Use a car cover. You should always cover a vehicle that is not being used—even if you are storing it indoors. A car cover can protect your vehicle from long-term storage hazards, such as bad weather and animals.
  • Wash it. Be sure to thoroughly wash your vehicle before putting it in storage. Leaving water stains or other debris on your vehicle for a long period of time can lead to paint damage.
  • Get an oil change. An oil change will remove the dirty oil, which contains contaminants that could damage your engine while the vehicle isn’t being used.
  • Fill your gas tank. If the gas tank is empty or even half full, moisture will start to accumulate if the vehicle is not being used. To prevent this problem, fill the gas tank prior to putting your vehicle in storage.
  • Place the vehicle on jack stands. If you plan on not driving your car for a month or more, it’s best to take the wheels off and prop the vehicle up on jack stands. This requires additional work, but it will prevent flat spots and other forms of tire damage.
  • Don’t use the parking brake. Rust can form in the braking system if the vehicle is left in storage for a long period of time. If the parking brake is applied, this rust can cause the brake pads to fuse together with the rotor. That’s why it’s best not to use the parking brake before leaving your vehicle for a month or longer.

Following these tips can help preserve the life of your vehicle while it’s not being used.

What to Do If Your Car Takes A Long Time to Start After Sitting

Found a potential problem? Is your car taking a long time to start? Or unsure about any of these steps? The next step is to get a professional to inspect your vehicle and advise you of your options. Car repairs can be expensive, but giving your vehicle a thorough check-over before hitting the road will save you money in the long run.

Cybertruck illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Summer Tires In Winter; Why It Is Not Advisable To Use Them

Seasons are not constant. They keep changing, so should your tires. Tires that are made for use in the summer cannot be used on hard slippery winter roads. Although the hassle involved in changing the summer tires can be costly and tedious, it is worth ensuring you are safe during the transition.

Because you know your area better, you can determine when to change the tires. In some areas though, the conditions are mild, making it unnecessary to change tires if you are using the all-season ones. Here are reasons why you should not use your summer tires in winter. Take a peek.

  1. Some of the Dangers for Using Summer Tires During Winter
  2. Loss of Traction and Poor Grip

Summer tires are made with lower resistance to make them perform efficiently and minimize noise. However, the resistance is not enough to be used on icy roads.

When compared to summer tires, winter tires are made with deep tread. It helps with braking and high rolling resistance which keeps vehicles steady on the road. The sipes on winter tires provide a firm grip on the snow.

Extreme cold can make tires break. The compound used in making winter tires is soft, which makes it adjust to extreme weather. It becomes stiff when the temperatures go down, causing them to lose traction or even break. 

All-season tires also have deep treads and sipes to make them suitable for all weather. But, these can only be ideal in areas where temperatures do not reach their extremes. In such conditions, these tires lose their traction as well and their grip is not good.

  1. Risk Damage Due to Cold Temperatures

The roads do not have to necessarily be snowy or icy to affect summer tires during the winter season. When the temperature drops, the compound used in making cheap summer tires stiffen. The elasticity and the traction get lost. This results in tire cracking and chipping off the tread block. 

When tires reach this damage extent, they are unsafe for use and car owners should replace them as soon as possible. Failure to do so, you could be risking damaging the rim and worse causing accidents because the car is prone to slipping.

  1. All-Season Tires as an Alternative

These tires are better alternatives to cheap summer tires for those living in places with mild conditions. Although it is not advisable to use them in extreme winters, they don’t pose a huge risk like the summer tires when used in the right conditions. 

For places with mild conditions, drivers can save time used in changing tires and money for buying and installing new ones.

  1. When Do You Need Summer Tires?

Summer tires are often not suitable for use in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. During summer, the temperatures exceed this level. This time is ideal to fix your winter tires on your vehicle to enjoy that grip.

  1. When Do You Need Winter Tires?

Since summer tires are used when temperatures shoot above7 degrees Celsius, winter tires are used when the temperature falls below this value. These tires provide an aggressive grip that reduces the braking distance. 

When used in warmer conditions, the compound used in making these tires becomes overly soft and wears out fast.

  1. When Do You Need All-Season Tires?

Although they are called all-season tires, they cannot be compared to those specially made for certain conditions. They are limited to the weather extremes. It means that if the temperatures are too hot or too cold, these tires are not as efficient. 

But, when used in mild conditions, drivers of vehicles that use these tires can enjoy a saving cost on fuel. They also last long when compared to other tires because they can easily adapt to different conditions. They are also quiet and this makes motorists feel comfortable and peaceful when driving. 

Manufacturers understand the need for road safety in different seasons. That is why they produce season-specific tires. They have different features that make them efficient for the season they are meant for. Why would you risk when you have options that can help you and your loved ones stay safe?

Cybertruck illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Cybertruck × Tesla

Cybertruck hits 1 million pre-orders milestone exceeding Tesla’s last 2 years deliveries

Despite being a new entrant in Tesla’s electric vehicle models, the Cybertruck continues to attract more interest from potential buyers. The market enthusiasm surrounding the model has resulted in a pre-order milestone beating other Tesla vehicle delivery in recent years.

According to data acquired by Finbold, as of May 25, 2021, the estimated Cybertruck reservations were 1.08 million. The figure is more than the 866,750 total vehicles delivered by Tesla in two years between 2019 and 2020.

Last year, the electric vehicle manufacturer delivered 499,550 vehicles, while in 2019, the figure stood at 367,200. Furthermore, Tesla has recorded a steady annual increase in vehicle deliveries, with the figure surging 558.2% between 2016 and 2020. In 2016, 2017 and 2019 the delivered stood at 75,890, 103,020 and 244,920 respectively.

Small reservation fee potentially driving Cybertruck demand 

The report explains some of the driving factors in record Cybertruck reservations alongside the potential impact on deliveries. According to the research report:

“The massive interest in the Cybertruck also reflects the conditions set by Tesla for reserving the vehicle since customers need to deposit a refundable $100. The amount is affordable, but analysts have remained skeptical about the reservation numbers getting converted into deliveries. In the end, Tesla fans can take the money from their bank account, reserve the Cybertruck and get a refund later.”

Despite Tesla recording impressive Cybertruck pre-orders, the company still faces competition from other players who are ramping up their products for the electric truck niche. For example, both General Motors and Ford have announced their entry into the market.

Read the full story with statistics here

ID TechEx Research electric-battery vehicles image for use by 360 Magazine

1000 Mile Battery Vehicles

Many Routes to 1000 Mile Battery Vehicles, Reports IDTechEx 

It is easy to make 1000-mile battery-electric vehicles, and the effect on market uptake will be profound. For example, a typical city-dweller today might charge only once every two months and vacation where chargers are rare.

With solar bodywork having done some of the job, even feeble existing chargers will cause little delay in charging time. Indeed, solar bodywork is a “get-you-home” feature that is capable of suddenly making battery-electric vehicles acceptable in most of the world­– increasing their market potential and accelerating economies of scale in production, making battery-electric vehicles more affordable.  Meanwhile, today’s EV would be easier to sell to country dwellers if they had a folding solar panel “lifeboat” offered as an optional extra. See the IDTechEx report, “Solar Vehicles 2021-2041 2nd Edition”.

Learn from the sea. Many solar boats can already be bought with effectively infinite range because they have so much area available for solar. Some have the generating capacity to supply three houses on arrival. For heavier sea-going ships, adding wind turbines works because at sea, the wind is rarely head-on at a speed less than the craft’s. The large Manta ocean clean-up boat from Sea Cleaners is the latest example. Even energy-independent ships are possible by combining these technologies with others.

Land vehicles lag in energy-independent technologies because they have less surface area per passenger, but the newly viable single-crystal silicon on the sides (as demonstrated by Sono Motors at CES 2021) is a step in the right direction. Student solar racers get energy independence using 3­­–5 compound solar that is unaffordable for most applications as yet. They also get ultra-low drag factors by squeezing the riders. Nonetheless, these things benchmark what is coming to a car, robot shuttle, and truck near you.

For example, following solar golf cars, Aptera, a Californian solar car start-up, promises 1000 miles for those willing to mix it with Class 8 trucks while sitting in a three-wheeled egg. More mainstream, Tesla and Lucid already get past 500 miles range by utilizing low drag factor, light-weighting, more efficient power electronics, and other strategies such as aluminum monocoque, even before adopting solar. Indeed, Tesla Roadster doubles the battery to get 620 miles. Lightyear solar family cars approach 500 miles range with exceptionally extensive solar bodywork, but also offer more efficient in-wheel motors. More efficient motors have been important for Tesla’s exceptional range, and better motors are on the way. See the IDTechEx report, “Electric Motors for Electric Vehicles: Land, Water, Air 2020-2030”.

When feasible, Elon Musk wants solar that unfolds on arrival and will pump more than one kilowatt. Many vehicles are largely glass, but solar building windows are obviously coming to vehicles, starting with Hyundai promising a translucent solar roof.

In 2018, Tesla began to adopt wide-bandgap semiconductors (silicon carbide) in the Model 3’s main inverter, which are more efficient and save on the weight and space of the cooling equipment. Supercapacitors are barely used in on-road BEVs, but they can improve range in many ways now they appear with higher energy density and at a lower price. They grab more braking energy, and they facilitate deep discharge of the newer batteries that can tolerate such things.

The roadmap of other range-extending technologies is equally rich. Infrared harvesting surfaces under the vehicle may work in hot countries. On top and sides, adding perovskite to silicon will grab infrared and light over a much wider spectrum, increasing electricity by at least 10% (multilayer perovskites promises 100%). Autonomous taxis, shuttles, and buses dispensing with the weight and space of the driver can go further. In windy countries, wind turbines that erect when the vehicle stops can be viable. Indeed, the US Department of Defense funds trials of electricity generation by using tethered drones from vehicles, up where the wind is stronger and more consistent.

Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, advises, “VW Group and many others work on structural batteries and supercapacitors to increase range – no more dumb bodywork. Meanwhile, Tesla and Lucid commercialize a first step in that direction. Equally challenging, but still a possibility is using higher voltage to increase range beyond the current focus on charging time. 800-1000V is pioneered by VW Group, Lucid, Rivian, GM, Hyundai, Kia, and other carmakers and their suppliers such as Hitachi, Borg Warner and others. In principle, it increases efficiency and lightens weight.”

“We are currently working on the start of production for several premium 800-volt projects,” says Bert Hellwig, who is responsible for electric drive system development at ZF. “We supply a Chinese OEM with the complete electric driveline, including power electronics, for several models. For a European sports car manufacturer, ZF provides power electronics for a high-voltage application. Further series start-ups are already on the horizon.”

There is much more. Thermal management and all materials and systems can perform better and get lighter, both of which increase range. See the IDTechEx reports, “Materials for Electric Vehicles: Electric Motors, Battery Cells & Packs, HV Cabling 2020-2030” and “Thermal Management for Electric Vehicles 2020-2030”. For example, a transparent heater film applied only where needed on vehicle interiors has been shown to save up to 30% of that electricity.

Meeting all these factors in the middle is intermittent catenary and intermittent road rails and coils–charging vehicles as they hurtle by– and an increasing number of cars able to charge other cars (Sono Motors’ Sion is again an example). Batteries charge fast initially, so the profusion of lamp post chargers topping up in London, for example, can be a good alternative to scarce and expensive fast chargers, particularly as vehicles double their range. Battery improvements promise large range increases. Volkswagen targets 40% more energy density by 2030.  In other words, vehicle designers can now choose which of the many routes to 1000-mile range they will pursue with plenty of choices.

For the whole picture, see the IDTechEx report, “Electric Vehicles: Land, Sea and Air 2021-2041”.

For the full portfolio of Electric Vehicle research available from IDTechEx, please visit this website.