Thursday, October 31, 2013

Manholes in NYC will be Electric Charging Stations

According to Computerworld we will see some manhole covers in New York City doubling as wireless-charging stations for electric vehicles equipped with wireless receivers as soon as next year. These wireless vehicle charging pads have first been developed by Delphi, auto electronics giant, and now they are working on an electric vehicle that all of the auto industry can use.
Here in New York City HEVO Power, the city's own startup company, will be piloting a program for wireless charging manholes around Washington Square Park next year sometime in early 2014.  HEVO, which stands for hybrid and electric vehicle optimization, has partnered with New York University, plans to use two wireless Smart Fortwo electric cars to test the practicality and efficiency of the manhole charge. HEVO's manhole will work by vehicles simply parking over the automated charger in parking spaces that are designated "green zone" allowing cars and trucks to recharge. This would enable the hybrid and electric vehicles to remove the charging wires by making a magnetic connection between charging coils in the car and the manhole.
HEVO hopes to use this technology to power commercial electric fleets owned by companies such as Frito-Lay and Pepsi.   The cost of these manhole covers will be competitive with the market value of $3,500 to $5,000.  The one glaring setback is the length of time it takes to recharge vehicle batteries.  The recharge time for Electric Vehicles is about 4 hours for a 24 kilowatt-hour(kWh) capacity battery.  This can be power a standard size economy car, like the Nissan Leaf.
Also in 2014 Toyota will test a wireless charging Prius in Japan, Europe and the U.S.  The electric car and the wireless charing stations are something hot to look for and its right around the corner!

                                                               2014 Toyota Prius

Friday, October 25, 2013

Best Time to Buy a Car

Patience is key to timing a big purchase like a new car.  It could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars or if you plan right can save you that much! Be patient and you can score a great deal on a new car!
Best Game Plan: Buy at the end of the year.
If you can wait, buy your new car in the last two weeks of December, when dealers are dying to beat their quotas. Every dealer has annual quotas and there are bonuses for salespeople who meet certain annual figures. This is your opportune time. It could mean up to $3,000 off from the price.  
Dealers have the added incentive of clearing last year's models to make room for the new year models. If you don't need the most updated features, you can find a great deal on a car that's only a few months old. Unless there's a major redesign on the model you want, the small difference between this year's and last year's model isn't as big as compared to price difference.
Next Best Game Plan: (If you can't wait until the end of the year.) There are some favorable times year round.  
End of the quarter/month: Just like at the end of the year, dealers get bonuses for reaching sales quotas each month and quarter.  Start car shopping in the last week of the month. If you are lucky to find a dealer who's just short of his goal, you have a good chance to get a  deal if you negotiate. 
End of the model year:  Find out when your desired car manufacturer is releasing their new model.  Sometimes they start shipping them around late summer or early fall, but some models start their new year as early as spring. This is where you can grab a current year model at a good price. 
When no one else is shopping: Stay away when dealers have lots of buyers. The spring brings out a volume of buyers when the weather is starting to warm up and people just received their tax refunds. Avoid this time, especially on the weekends. Figure out what you want before, and go to the dealer on a rainy or snowy day.  Bad weather days like these are typically slow for car dealers, and they'll be more willing to work with you on price.
A Must Game Plan: Don't buy before you know what you want
Know exactly what you want, and more importantly what you're not willing to pay extra for.  It will help you when you sit down to negotiate price with the salesman. If you saw a model on the lot that has everything you need inquire about it. If it's unavailable, ask if there's a similar model on the lot.
Don't agree to pay extra for something you don't want. If they don't have an exact model that your looking for ask the salesperson if he can special order it for you. It's important to ask how long it will take before you can see it. This may just help your chances of the salesperson  throwing in the extras you don't want for free just to make the sale that day.
It is always preferable to negotiate when the salesperson is ready.  You've got more leverage. But you have to be willing to hit the road without a new car if the salesperson isn't giving you the price you want. Shop around and let your salesman know that you have options. If you can get two dealers bidding against one another, they'll negotiate for you.
When it comes to purchasing a car timing is everything!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ford, Toyota Both Claim to Have Top-Selling Car

According to the Associated Press the  Ford vs. Toyota battle of who has the top-selling car in the world comes down to a name.
On Wednesday Ford claimed the title for its Focus compact during the first half of the year as cited by registration data gathered by the R.L. Polk & Co. research firm.
Erich Merkle, Ford's top sales analyst, reported that from January through June of this year 589,709 Focuses were sold across the globe, a 20 percent increase over the first half of last year.
Merkle said he could not release Polk's numbers for the Corolla but stated that the Focus beat the perennial #2 Toyota Corolla.   A Polk spokeswoman confirmed that the number provided by Ford was accurate.  They declined further comment. If the Focus beats Corolla for all of 2013, it would be the second year in a row that Ford is crowned this honor.  
But Toyota says Ford is playing a name game.  The Japanese automaker has said that they have sold cars under other names that are nearly identical to the Corolla.  In the U.S. it sold a Corolla hatchback under the Matrix name, and outside of the U.S. it sells cars that are almost identical to the Corolla under different names in different countries.  Ford doesn't tally these other nameplates in its Corolla count. Toyota disputes that if all the other nameplates are added in, the Corolla is the winner.
A Toyota spokeswoman said Wednesday that the company disagrees with Ford and is now preparing a response to Ford's claims.
Merkle attributes the Focus' gains to China, where sales more than doubled to 202,380 in the first half of the year.  There is a new version of the Focus in China that has been on the market for only about a year and it's still considered a new item there. 
Back home in the U.S. Focus sales aren't as hot, where they're up only 1 percent to 188,654 through September. This is in comparison to U.S. sales overall which are up more than 8 percent for the first three quarters of the year, according to Autodata Corp.
Due to the short volume of sales of the Focus and the C-Max gas-electric hybrid Ford has planned a two-week shutdown of the Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit during the fourth quarter to control inventory. This is the location where both cars are manufactured.
The Corolla has not been faring well in U.S. sales and fall behind the overall market. Recently they're up 5 percent through September as they put a new, sleeker-looking Corolla out in the market. It replaced its 5-year-old model with the newer version.