Malaysia supports the development of electric cars

Malaysia is committed to reducing carbon emission and fully supports the development of electric cars.

The world had used fossil fuel for over a century to drive economic growth.

 

We have prospered and increased global wealth but all this has come at a cost. Carbon emission is affecting the climate.

Climate changes has brought devastation to all parts of the world. We cannot continue on the same trajectory.

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We need to reduce carbon emission and the electric car is the solution. I truly believe this is the car of the future.

The agreement was between Putrajaya Corporation and Formula E Malaysia, the exclusive rights holder for the FIA Formula E championship race in Asia.

Putrajaya Corporation was represented by its president Aseh Che Mat while Formula E Malaysia was represented by its chairman Johann Young.

 

Formula E is a new FIA championship featuring Formula cars powered exclusively by electricity. For the inaugural season, all 10 teams, each with two drivers, will compete using the new Spark-Renault SRT 01E car.

So this race is about introducing change. It will make people believe that if you can have a Formula E car racing at top speed above 200kph, then there is no reason not to believe that the electric car will be the car of the future.”

That can only be good for Malaysia as next year is Visit Malaysia Year.

 

Electric Cars in UK

Britain is to lend India’s Tata Motors 10 million pounds to develop and make electric vehicles in the UK, the government said on Friday.

The loan towards Tata’s 25-million-pound plan to build an electric car in England is the first under the government’s Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP) to encourage low-carbon vehicle production.

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“The government is determined to help the car industry to exploit fully the opportunities offered by green manufacturing,” Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said in a statement.

“This loan will strengthen our electric vehicle manufacturing expertise, securing and creating high value engineering jobs in the West Midlands.”

 

Tata has developed an electric vehicle based on its Indica Vista passenger car and plans to begin production within months.

“The Tata Indica Vista EV will be the first four-seater electric car with a range of up to 200 km (124 miles) to become available this year in Europe,” the company said in a statement.

The Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) opened in Warwick in 2005.

A lot of people ignore chips or cracks in windshield

Are you driving around in a vehicle that’s an accident waiting to happen? If you have chips or cracks in your windshield, the answer may be “Yes.”

A lot of people ignore chips and cracks that are not in the driver’s line of sight because they figure they are no big deal, but that’s a big mistake. The windshield is a critical safety component in your vehicle and if it’s compromised in any way, it could fail you when you need it the most.

A  vehicle’s windshield has three basic functions: to prevent passengers from being ejected from the vehicle in an accident, to absorb the impact when an airbag deploys and to support the roof. In fact, industry experts have estimated that windshields provide up to 70 percent of the structural integrity in a rollover accident, and if left unchecked, damage caused by rocks and flying debris could ultimately cause them to crumble rather than protect the passengers.

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There’s also the issue of the approaching season change. Winter, and the cold weather that comes with it, is a compromised windshield’s worst enemy. If moisture gets into a crack, the constant cooling and heating of the glass can cause that crack to expand all the way across the windshield. And once a crack enters the driver’s line of sight, by law, the entire windshield needs to be replaced at a cost sometimes in excess of $500.

 

It’s crazy to let that happen when there’s a simple solution that will only cost you a fraction of that amount . There’s also the convenience factor. Because the tools needed are so compact, repair services can be performed pretty much anywhere at glass shops, oil and lube shops, automobile dealerships, and even in the driveway of your home or business.

 

 

Here’s how it works. The service technician injects an optically matched acrylic resin into the damaged area of the windshield. The resin replaces air trapped within the damaged area, and is then cured (hardened), creating a molecular bond that strengthens the glass and keeps the damage from spreading. Once cured, the resin is leveled to be flush with the glass surface, and polished to a glass-like finish. When executed properly, the repair will be nearly invisible and undetectable if you run your finger over it.

One of the best things about repairing versus replacing a windshield is that you don’t have to compromise the factory-installed seal . In addition, windshield repair is a more environmentally friendly service. The waste produced fits in the palm of your hand and weighs less than an ounce. Compare this to the waste from a windshield replacement, which, in addition to the damaged glass, includes adhesive containers, primers, moldings, and other non bio-degradable materials well over 25 pounds worth!

It is estimated that 1 in 100 windshields on the road today receive repairable damage in a given year, which has made auto glass repair a growing industry and has also created a growing demand for windshield repair technicians. Depending on the system and techniques used, just about anyone can complete professional quality repairs with just a few hours of practice, so business opportunities abound.

Tips for buying a car

For most people, buying a car is a major investment. It is the second largest purchase of your life, after buying a home. People want to make sure their investment is wise and sound; but how do you ensure you are making a good choice?

The first thing is to understand that there is more to consider when buying a car than the sticker price.The total cost of owning a car must also factor in the costs of gasoline consumption, maintenance and repair, and insurance.

If you live in an area where it snows in winter, you may want to think about buying winter tires. This introduces another expense and a storage space issue. Even if you decide to go with all-season tires, keep in mind that rubber compound hardens and loses traction over time. It would be a good idea to work out a budget to replace those tires every five years or so.

Rocketing gasoline prices have propelled fuel economy to one of the hottest topics in the auto industry. Manufacturers are focusing on gas economy, and we have seen gas/electric hybrids gaining in market share. In May, U.S. President Obama had just raised the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standard, calling for a 35.5 mpg standard by the year 2016. With the rising gasoline price, consumers have begun to trade gas-hungry beasts for small efficient vehicles. This should be a key factor in your choice of cars. Fortunately, the gas economy is a clearly stated figure, determined by using national regulations, so comparisons are easy.

 

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The two remaining factors, namely the cost of repairs/maintenance and insurance, are less easy to measure. Cars need to be properly maintained, and you cannot assume the car will never require any repair throughout its life. Insurance premiums vary wildly for different cars, and even for the same basic policy on the same car and driver, the premium could be drastically different among different insurers. Each insurance company has a different way of calculating the rate based on the potential risk assessed through a wide range of data, such as driving history, traffic ticket history, claims history, and geographical location. So how do you navigate through this sea of confusion?

As simple and obvious as this is, its importance cannot be over-emphasized.  Especially the Internet    is quite different from even five years ago.

On the maintenance front,  finding a good mechanic and sticking with that mechanic. That mechanic will be your car’s family doctor. The more familiar he/she is with your car, the better. The best way to find a good mechanic is through friend referrals.

Some dealers will try to sell you an extended warranty in one form or another. Be sure you understand what it really covers. Some of these have specific conditions, which exclude warranty repairs. Another thing to keep in mind is to regularly maintain your new car. Regular maintenance includes oil change and assorted inspections. Keep a record of maintenance activities (i.e. invoices), especially if you don’t intend on bringing your car back to the dealer for maintenance. In the unfortunate event that something goes wrong and requires dealer repair, the dealer may ask to see proof that the car has been properly maintained before they will honor the warranty. Some luxury brands have a complete maintenance schedule and they will hold your hand each step of the way for the first three or four years, but you are very likely to pay more for this level of service.

 

Indeed, there is no shortage of information on the Net. As a matter of fact, there might be too much information, and it’s a mixed bag of truths and lies.

 

Before the global financial meltdown of 2008, the North American automotive industry thrived on the leasing model, where owners hopped from car to car in a three to four year cycle. As a result of the credit crunch and bad economic times, people are keeping their cars longer, and hence have a longer commitment to the purchase. This places more importance on buying the right car in the first place—the key is research, research, and more research. This is one major investment in which patience gives great returns.

A used car still has plenty of life

When it comes to value purchases, there are few that compare to buying a used car over a new one, since new cars begin to depreciate the minute they are driven off the lot.

If you are able to find a used car that still has plenty of life, you can save thousands from what you would pay for a new car.

While buying used can net you the best deal on a car purchase, it also requires you to do your homework to make sure you are truly getting good value. Here are six steps to help you rest assured that your used car purchase is a good one:

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Start by identifying the type of car you want to buy. Consider expanding your search to similar car models that offer the same types of benefits.

Use online resources  and car enthusiast forums to identify any red flags around given models or years. Focus less on reported reliability when the car was new and more on the car’s reliability today. Minor problems in the first year are much less important than major problems that might show up a few years down the road.

If you discover that a particular model might contain features that don’t age well, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid the car. If it’s a widely known issue that has damaged the reputation of that type of car but can be easily fixed, you may be able to find a bargain.

Aftermarket parts manufacturers often create good solutions for original problems. Again, it pays to do your research. Auto parts retailers  allow you to quickly check the availability and cost of replacement parts.

Once you have identified a specific car, use the car’s VIN number to buy a vehicle history report from Carfax.com or one of its competitors. Simply googling the VIN number can also pull up free auction records and sales histories that may be helpful. If the history report is different from what the owner has told you, there’s plenty of reason to proceed with caution.

Next, develop an inspection checklist to go over yourself as you test drive and examine the car. Check to make sure the license plates are current and verify whether the vehicle recently passed an emissions test if they are required in your area.

Check brakes, hoses, belts, the body and underbody for signs of wear or damage. A dealer should be more than willing to put the car on a lift for your inspection if you are serious about buying the car. Make sure the heat and air conditioning work.

Do not worry if you are not a car expert and have no idea how to evaluate some systems on the car. Even if the car passes your personal inspection, you’re not done yet. Take the car to a trusted professional mechanic for an inspection.

I have been a car nut since I was a pre-teen and I only buy used cars, but I would still take any car I was considering spending a lot of money on to a professional mechanic for an inspection.

The mechanic will almost always find something you overlooked. His inspection may tell you to avoid a car or help you negotiate a fairer price. Use the mechanic’s report to immediately show the seller how much it will cost to replace needed parts.

If you’ve done your research and followed these precautionary steps, you’ll feel informed as you negotiate a selling price and can rest assured that you’re getting a quality vehicle. All that’s left is enjoying your new purchase.

Simple ways to increase fuel efficiency and save at the pump

As the cost of driving seems to rise every day, drivers are looking to get the most out of every tank of fuel. While some use alternate modes of transportation, many people need their cars on a daily basis. For those in the driver’s seat, there are simple ways to increase fuel efficiency and save at the pump.

Using money-saving driving techniques and car care tips is an easy way to help get the most out of every gasoline purchase.

The following are Shell “FuelStretch” tips designed to help drivers save money:

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Use cruise control on major roads and in free-flowing traffic. Maintaining a constant speed can improve fuel economy.

Avoid idling the vehicle. When you idle, you get zero miles per gallon.

Avoid driving at higher speeds. Gasoline consumption usually increases when driving at speeds over 60 miles per hour.

Plan your outings to avoid separate trips. Combine your errands into one outing to avoid short separate trips. This helps avoid unnecessary cold starts and keeps your car’s engine running warm and more efficiently.

 

Drive smoothly: Avoid heavy acceleration or braking. Speeding, and rapid acceleration and braking can lower your fuel economy by 5 percent at lower speeds around town and by 33 percent at highway speeds.

Replace dirty or clogged air filters. Replacing a dirty or clogged air filter with a clean one can improve fuel economy by as much as 10 percent. A car’s air filter can protect the engine from impurities.

Keep your engine well tuned and repair any problems immediately. If your car has failed an emissions test or is noticeably out of tune, repairing the problem could improve your fuel economy by 4 percent on average.

Make sure tires are not over or under-inflated. Proper air pressure cuts down on fuel consumed while driving. Keeping tires at the correct pressure can improve your fuel economy by more than 3 percent.

Minimize vehicle drag. Keep your trunk and back seat clear of unnecessary items that only add weight. Removing excess weight can reduce your gasoline consumption.

Use the recommended grade of oil in your engine. Following your manufacturer’s motor oil recommendation can improve fuel economy by up to 2 percent. Look for motor oil that says  Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to ensure it contains friction-reducing additives.

Choose a high-quality gasoline. Top automakers say that carbon deposits can build up on critical engine parts, which can decrease the power, performance and fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Audi, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen recommend using TOP TIER detergent gasolines to help keep engines clean. All Shell gasolines meet TOP TIER standards and stop gunky build-up on critical engine parts to help cars perform at their best.

 

Pay with a rebate credit card. Credit cards offer a simple way to pay for things quickly, but using a rebate credit card means earning rewards with every purchase. For example, with a 5 percent rebate on Shell gasoline purchases and a 1 percent rebate on all other purchases, the Shell Platinum MasterCard is one of the best rebate cards of its kind, helping consumers lower the cost of driving without sacrificing the quality of their gasoline.

Whether running errands around town or commuting to work, these money-saving driving techniques can help you use less fuel without drastically changing your lifestyle.

As we age,when to stop driving

As we age, it’s important to think about—and plan for—a time when we  may no longer be able to drive. But how do we decide when it’s time to transition from driver to passenger?

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In our busy suburban communities driving is essential to an independent lifestyle, and the decision to stop driving is a sensitive, personal one. In addition to creating practical challenges, giving up driving may stir feelings of anger, frustration, isolation, and depression, so it is not to be taken lightly.

 

With the significance of driving in mind, family members can help older drivers make the transition from driver to passenger. But how do you initiate this difficult conversation?  Here are  some advice.

First, help older drivers stay safe behind the wheel for as long as possible. Adult children can help aging parents regularly maintain their vehicles. And if it’s time for a new car, adult children can help identify choices with new technologies that can enhance safe driving, like reverse monitoring systems.

 

Second, family members should observe an older   one’s driving by taking a ride as a passenger and keeping an eye out for warning signs. It’s important to look for changes in driving abilities. These signs include:

Frequent “close calls” or near-crashes

Unexplained dents or scrapes on vehicles, fences, mailboxes, garage doors, etc.

Getting lost, even in familiar locations

Difficulty seeing or following traffic signals, road signs, and pavement markings

Slower responses to unexpected situations, trouble moving the driving foot from the gas to the brake, and confusing the two pedals

Misjudging gaps in traffic at intersections or on highway entrance and exit ramps

Experiencing road rage or inspiring it in other drivers

Easily becoming distracted while driving

Difficulty turning around to check the rearview while backing up or changing lanes

Receiving multiple tickets or warnings from law enforcement officers.

Third, if you notice a pattern of warning signs and an increase in frequency, then it’s time to initiate a conversation. It’s important to choose the right time, place, and messenger.

It’s important that the right person initiate the conversation .

Research indicates that 50 percent of married drivers prefer to hear about driving concerns from their spouses first, then doctors, and finally adult children. Whoever initiates the conversation should have a strong rapport with the older driver.

Whoever it is should be empathetic, armed with facts about the older person’s driving and able to offer ideas for alternative transportation if needed .

Avoid bringing up the topic of driving during family gatherings. Instead, look for a quiet, private time when all parties involved will have privacy and minimal distractions.

If it’s time to initiate a conversation with a parent or spouse about driving.

While many older Americans are staying safe on the roads and driving longer than ever before, for some, health-related changes in vision, hearing, flexibility, or cognitive function can make them less safe behind the wheel.

With planning, preparation and sensitivity, families can help make the transition from being a driver to being a passenger a bit easier for older drivers and those who love them.

Techniques for used car purchase

When it comes to buying a used car, you should not only bring in outside, but make a professional out of yourself, too.

By combining a physical inspection from a licensed mechanic (which you should always try to do), with the information directly available to you as a consumer, such as vehicle history reports, you can empower yourself with the knowledge and confidence you need to make the best decision possible. No one will dispute the fact that uncertainty is the most prominent and unwelcome part of the used car buying process. Since the first Model T rolled off the line, people have been fixing and selling vehicles without disclosing their full, and sometimes checkered, pasts. And, be it your first or 14th used car purchase, the questions always loom: Am I buying a problem vehicle? Has it been in an accident? How do I know this isn’t a lemon?

In this information age, you can arm yourself with the same information and techniques professionals use to answer these questions, and make an educated and confident used car purchase. These techniques include the following.

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Paint: Carefully check the paint job, taking note of any rust spots, dents, or scratches. Look at the sides of the car from end-on for waviness, which indicates paint work. Run your finger along the edges of the joints between panels. Roughness indicates residue left from masking tape, and uneven gaps between door, hood, and trunk panels and their openings indicate the possibility of a major repair. Consider bringing a small magnet with you. If the body of the car is steel, then a failure of the magnet to stick can indicate the extensive use of body compound to conduct a repair. When using this trick however, keep in mind that many newer models use fiberglass for certain body panels.

Fluids: Remove the oil filler cap. Check for signs of thick, dark, sludge, which may indicate the vehicle didn’t receive frequent oil changes. Look at the condition of the coolant in the overflow tank; filthy brown coolant means a rusted cooling system and possibly a leaky head gasket. Pull the transmission dipstick; the fluid should be pink or red. An old car may have dark transmission fluid, but the oil should not look or smell burnt. Check underneath the vehicle for fluid leaks.

Pedals and Steering: Examine the pedals for wear. While the paint and interior are often updated to make a car appear less worn, sellers rarely replace pedals. Also, with the engine off, jiggle the steering wheel back and forth. There should be less than 1 inch of play and no clunking noises. If there are, the car may need a steering gearbox, rack, or other front suspension repair such as tie rod ends.

Frame Damage: Never buy a frame-damaged car. Check the radiator core support, which connects the front fenders and holds the top of the radiator and the hood latch. It should be bolted, not welded, on either side. Inspect the bolt heads at the top of the fenders inside the hood; scratch marks indicate that the fenders have been replaced or realigned after a crash.

Uneven tire wear is another indication of possible frame damage. When cars are involved in a major collision and frame damage occurs, the frame often remains slightly off keel and the tire wear will show this hidden problem.

 

Vehicle History Report: Beyond your own firsthand detective work, checking a car’s vehicle history is one of the most important things you can do before making a purchase. Vehicle history reports like Experian’s AutoCheck pull data from various sources, including state department of motor vehicle records, auto auctions, and dealers.

In much the same way as a credit score distills large amounts of information into a simple, easy-to-understand numeric score, this first-ever vehicle score makes it easier to understand the vehicle’s full history and compare that car against the average score of similar vehicles.

Vehicle history reports factor in reported events, such as, title and registration information, accident and auction data, the vehicle’s emission history, whether it’s ever been repossessed or stolen, whether the vehicle has ever been a government car, police car, or taxi, and whether it’s ever been leased. The AutoCheck Score does the analysis for you, helping you easily understand what a vehicle history report really says about that used car.

Becoming a savvier car buyer will not only allow you to make a better investment, but it can also protect you and your family from an unsafe vehicle. Gone are the days of simply kicking tires and staring blankly under the hood. With a little research and some careful inspection, you can steer clear of problem used vehicles.

How to maintain a Vintage Car

Here are a few basic tips to help keep your old auto looking its best.

 

Like skin, all soft materials need moisturizing now and again. Old car leather interiors need special care and cleaning and so does rubber, and not just the rubber tires. Hoses and all rubber parts need lubricants and moisturizers to keep them supple, strong, and in tact.

 

Replacing vintage parts is not as easy as it sounds. While using any new replacement part may work, using parts from the original make, model, and year of your car keeps the auto’s value higher than if you used dissimilar car parts.

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The new levels of ethanol in gasoline may have adverse effects on the metals in an antique automobile engine. Older engines were designed to run on straight gasoline, and using ethanol without protection may cause corrosion of some metals in the engine. It also may damage natural rubber and cork parts.

 

Keep it out of the elements. Freezing temperatures and sunlight do the most damage. Keeping the car in the garage helps to keep it covered and closed up, which will reduce the dust build up and keep out the critters and bugs that may want to set up house in the seat cushions. If you live in a cold climate, you may want to connect it to an engine warmer if you plan on starting it up in the winter, to keep the battery alive.

   Install a water separation filter and fuel filter keep spare filters on hand.

Replace fuel lines and gaskets or O-rings with new ethanol-resistant materials.

Repair or replace the fuel tank if it has been damaged.

 

Run a nonalcohol-based fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL year-round.  STA-BIL Brand Fuel Stabilizer contains additives to protect against rust and corrosion caused by ethanol fuel blends.

 

Caring for a vintage car takes a bit more time and effort than maintaining a car built in more recent times. Materials like leather, rubber, and even the metal parts, need extra TLC to keep them from wearing out and cracking from age and sunlight damage.

Many owners of old cars tend to baby their vehicles and therefore don’t take them out very often. While it’s good to keep the mileage low, it’s important to get the engine’s RPMs running high. This cleans out the carburetor, valves, circulates oil, and helps the engine run better, longer. So take your vintage beauty out on the highway and get it up to speed. With all your special care, you’ll want to show it off.

Tesla Opened Up All of Its Patents

Tesla co-founder and chief executive officer Elon Musk said the company would not take legal action against anyone who “in good faith wants to use our technology”.

Musk said on the company’s website that the industry would benefit from open-source sharing of technologies.

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Tesla Motors  says it would allow others to use its intellectual property in hopes of speeding up development of electric cars by all manufacturers.


Any patents owned by Tesla supplier Panasonic Corp are not included in the sharing move, Musk said. Panasonic has said it plans to be the sole manufacturer at Tesla’s planned “gigafactory” for battery production.

 

Musk said his company will continue to file for patents in part to keep competitors from attaining them and then blocking Tesla and others from using the information.

He said the company was founded to speed the growth of sustainable transport.

“If we clear a path to the creation of compelling electric vehicles, but then lay intellectual property landmines behind us to inhibit others, we are acting in a manner contrary to that goal,” he said.

Musk said the move included all of Tesla’s patents, including several hundred current ones and several thousand in the future.

“We think the market’s quite big enough for everyone,” Musk said.

Investors should not worry that the decision would hit Tesla’s bottom line, he told reporters on a conference call.

“It doesn’t really harm Tesla but helps the industry,” Musk said on the call, “and I think actually it will help Tesla, mostly with respect to attracting and motivating the world’s best technical talent.”

He said investors should be more concerned about whether a company is able to attract and motivate the best talent than the contents of its patent portfolio.

“Putting in long hours for a corporation is hard,” said Musk on the conference call. “Putting in long hours for a cause is easy.”