Electric Vehicles – Growing Presence on European Roads

With the cost of fuel skyrocketing around the world, and more consumers becoming conscious of the negative impact cars have on the environment, car manufacturers focus their production efforts on new full-electric vehicles as well as new hybrid models. Ford Motor Company has had development plans in the works for environmentally friendly vehicles to be increasingly prevalent on the roads for years-particularly in North America. As one of the many initiatives Ford is currently taking in the quest to provide the public with more fuel-efficient alternatives for vehicles, the company is promising to introduce five full-electric and hybrid vehicle models in Europe by the year 2013. This plan is part of Ford’s global electric vehicles plan. Electric and hybrid vehicles will greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions as well as reduce fossil fuel consumption.

While protecting the environment should be at the forefront of what people look for in purchasing a new vehicle, the hybrid car movement is still rather new, and the full-electric vehicle is still somewhat of an abstract concept to many consumers. According to a survey done by consumer reports, price, range and overall performance are generally top considerations for most consumers in the market when buying a new vehicle. Another consideration for people who would possibly consider buying an electric vehicle, is the accessibility of electric charging stations-people are more likely to buy, if they know it would be easy to “charge up” the vehicle conveniently. Ford, however, has a vision to bring a wide range of top performing fuel-efficient, “green” vehicles to millions.

John Fleming, Chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe and Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing and Labour Affairs, stated in a press release, “These new advanced technology models are key to Ford’s commitment to delivering a portfolio of alternative power train vehicles globally and to European customers in the next few years,”

The first full-electric car to be launched as part of Ford’s agenda is the Transit Connect Electric. This vehicle is a compact van, commonly used for workers that need to carry excessive cargo. The idea is that electric charging stations will be housed at the workplace for employees to charge-up before going on their route of daily work tasks. This full-electric vehicle was featured at the New York Auto Show in 2010. It is said to have a 40 KW, 300-volt Siemens electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery to power the vehicle for an estimated 120,000 miles total. With an 80-mile range, the Transit Connect Electric vehicle is said to be a “smooth, quiet ride” by a test driver. When connected to a 240-volt outlet, the vehicle would take six to eight hours to be fully charged.

The next car in Ford’s electric vehicle line up for its global electric vehicles plan will be the Ford Focus Electric, coming out in 2012. This vehicle will be powered 100 percent by lithium-ion batteries. The result of an all-battery powered vehicle is zero emissions. The range reaches 100 miles, and with a 220-volt outlet, takes six to eight hours to reach a full charge. The car will also have a handy interface which tells the driver specific details about the battery charge and range. The Focus is a compact electric vehicle with a modern exterior.

“Ford is committed to help lead the way to find creative solutions and ensure that electrified vehicles can deliver benefits to our customers, the environment and our business around the globe in a sustainable way,” stated Nancy Gioia, Ford Director of Global Electrification.

Ford will then launch two versions of the C-MAX-a hybrid-electric version and a plug-in hybrid-electric version-in 2013. The C-MAX will be the first hybrid-electric vehicle model launched in Europe, and the first model to utilize Ford’s new 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine. The traditional gas-fuelled C-MAX is a seven-seat vehicle that was launched in North America for the 2011 model year. A smaller version will be developed for the hybrid-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric versions releasing in Europe. The Ford plant in Valencia, Spain will be building the vehicles, which will be for the European market only. Fleming said, “The Hybrid-Electric and Plug-In Hybrid-Electric derivatives of the all-new Ford C-MAX are great news for the Valencia plant and region, for Spain, and for Ford customers across Europe.”

The last remaining hybrid-electric vehicle due to launch by 2013 is still yet to be determined. However, the launch of all five hybrid and electric vehicles have caused much hype since Ford originally announced its plan.

Why Purchasing Auto Parts Online Is So Great

In today’s fast-paced ever changing world, many auto owners don’t have the time to search for a hard-to-find accessory or part for their car. Don’t despair, because the availability of auto parts online are greater than you would ever dream of. Whether the part is as ordinary as an oil filter or a rare stock item for a classic 1970 Mopar Challenger, the place to buy auto accessories and car parts is online. Rather than spend all of your precious time making phone calls or thumbing through catalogs, all you have to do is plug in a keyword or two into a major search engine, and pretty soon you’ll get the information you need.

JC Whitney (jcwhitney.com) – Whitney has taken their mega-auto parts store and put it online. Because this company is one of the largest auto part retailers, this couldn’t have been a small taste. It’s just breathtaking to view their selection of auto parts online; they have everything from caps for the air valves on your tires to complete auto body kits. Even in the rare situation that you can’t find the part or accessory you’re looking for, the staff at JC Whitney will track it down for you. The award-winning web site is user-friendly, with navigation and a helpful search bar that narrows down choices to your car or motorcycle’s make and model. Whitney offers quality products at nice prices and delivers to any place on the globe.

Autozone (autozone.com) – Compared to JC Whitney’s almost hundred years old history, Autozone with only 20 years in the business may seem like a freshman. Nevertheless, Autozone’s selection is just as varied. The difference lies in that the customer needs to know exactly what item they’re looking for. One point where Autozone excels is with their troubleshooting, installation, and auto repair guides. Although they don’t have advice for every make or model, the instructions on what they do offer are listed simply and user-friendly. Also, if you register your car, Autozone will provide you with specifics for your it, from auto part recalls to auto body kits. If you can’t find the part on Autozone’s website, they encourage you yo call their customer service line and they will quickly research it for you. Another difference is that they only deliver car accessories within the United States.

Parts America (partsamerica.com) – Parts America has a nice and clean website. With a minimum of graphics and pictures, it gives you exactly what you need to find what you want. A user friendly search engine allows you to narrow your search based on the kind of vehicle you have. You’ll also find a section about summer maintenance, and if your make and model has had any known problems, they are divided into categories including power systems and transmission. You won’t find many exentric car additions, just auto parts you’d need to make any repairs to any part of your vehicle.

O’Reilly Auto Parts (oreillyauto.com) – This company has been a part of the car accessory scene for fifty years and is slowly expanding their website to include buying auto parts online. From the list of parts for any style of car to auto body kits, the site will display everything they offer. You can tell by exploring the web site that O’Reilly is still working out some of the bugs in their search engine. Don’t let that discourage you. Missing what this site has to offer would be unfortunate. They provide great variety if you want to buy car parts or accessories online.

Fortunately, the days of hunting down vehicle parts and accessories from one end of town to the other are gone, thanks to the amazing selection of auto parts online. Now you can literally search the ends of the earth for all kind of things you might need for your car. Whether you use one of the sites listed in this article to track down custom auto body kits or find that accessory for your Lamborghini in Milan, you can do it easily and quickly from your recliner and expect it delivered at your door within days.

Eliminate Chronic Car Problems With Electric Vehicle Conversions

Regardless of where you travel to in Australia, you will always be putting miles on your car. Unfortunately, the parts used in high performance engines found in modern cars wear out much faster than the ones used years ago. For example, the fuel pump in modern cars often dies out after 60,000 to 90,000 Km of travel. If you check your warranty information, you will most likely find that the fuel pump is not covered after 60,000 Km, even on an extended warranty plan. If your odometer reading is approaching this number, electric vehicle conversions may represent a cost effective way to get out of chronic expenses associated with a high mileage vehicle.

Critical Car Parts and High Compression Engine Wear

Not so long ago, fuel pumps were one of the easiest things on a car to replace. All you really needed to do was search around near the carburetor, take the old pump out, and then put the new one in. Typically, it was a job you could accomplish in under an hour, right in your own back yard. At the same time, fuel pumps tended to cost well under 100.00.

By contrast, today’s vehicles use fuel injectors that require a very high compression ratio from the fuel pump. This type of pump is almost always housed in the fuel tank. They also cost several hundred dollars per unit. In order to replace the pump, you will need to take out the fuel tank, and then hope the mechanic will not damage the neck of the tank while removing the old pump. Because it tends to be a difficult job, you may wind up paying well over $1500.00 to have a new pump installed. On top of that, if they do damage the gas tank, you may wind up spending an additional $1000.00 to solve that problem.

Once the fuel pump is replaced, it can significantly alter the electrical system of the vehicle. For example, a number of cars and trucks develop computer problems, as well as a tendency to die out randomly once the new fuel pump is installed. Electric cars are virtually maintenance free. Electric vehicle conversions are worth exploring, and much safer in this type of situation. At the very least, you won’t have to worry about the motor dieing at an inconvenient time.

While you may not be aware of it, compression gaskets, valves, fuel injectors, and engine heads wear out faster when exposed to higher combustion temperatures and compression ratios. No matter how well you maintain and service your vehicle, it will not change this aspect of modern engine performance. Once your car passes the 100,000 Km mark, the best of the engine and transmission lifespan will be used up. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why very few manufacturers will guarantee a vehicle engine and transmission past 100,000 Km. Under these conditions, electric vehicle conversions offer a viable, safer, and cheaper alternative to help you maintain reliable transportation.

Deep Engine Computer Problems and Internal Combustion Engines

Even though the computer modules in your car are often housed in easy to reach places, they obtain data from sensors deep within the engine. For example, oxygen sensors may be positioned within the cylinder head. There are also some sensors that may be housed deep in the engine block. In some cases, these sensors monitor the flow of oil and coolants through the block. Once these sensors malfunction, they can cause piston heads to seize up, as well as ruin other critical parts of the main engine. At the same time, replacing these sensors may cost several thousand dollars if the engine has to be taken out, or the warranty on the electrical system is up.

Therefore, when the fuel pump causes changes in the electrical system, it can have hidden consequences. As with other electrical devices, when a new component is added, it can disrupt the pattern, and lead to serious consequences. When you make use of electric vehicle conversions, you will not need to worry about disrupting the electrical harness or the engine sensors. In fact, you will no longer need to worry about an engine block at all. Instead, your vehicle will run on a nice, quiet electrical motor that requires very little in the way of maintenance.

The Best Cars for Electric Fuel Conversions

If you buy a used car, you will always worry about repairs if you do not take steps to change the engine, transmission, and fuel pump. That said, if another used car is in better shape than the one you have now, you can always see about getting an electric car conversion in the near future. At the very least, you can have peace of mind knowing that you will get many years of trouble free driving out of it.

People that own cars today do not realize they could have a financial time bomb sitting on their hands. Regardless of whether the fuel pump dies in the middle of traffic, or the engine gaskets blows, it will cost you to have the vehicle repaired. When you are under pressure to get your car back as quickly as possible, you will most likely go on paying bigger repair bills, rather than evaluate the expanded benefits associated with electric vehicle conversions. Take the time now to evaluate your financial commitment to owning a petrol car. Switching to all electric is easier than you realize.

Today, electric vehicle conversions are available right here in Australia. You can easily extend the life of your current vehicle, and help do your part in providing for a cleaner more sustainable future, especially in your part of the world. When it comes right down to it, if you own a car or two, the best thing you can do is look into electric vehicle conversions today.