Vietnam Electric Car Company, VinFast, Coming for US Market

Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest conglomerate, is planning on bringing its VinFast electric cars to the United States soon. Founded by Pham Nhat Vuong, Vietnam’s richest man, the group is looking to take on Tesla and GM on their home field for control of the electric auto market.

With a $2 billion investment and a battery leasing model hope to become Vietnam’s answer to Elon Musk’s Tesla. VinFast is the number five car brand in Vietnam and hopes to bring its company to N. America and Europe by next year.

VinFast appears fearless as it will not only be in competition with GM and Tesla in the US but Volkswagen and Toyota in Europe.

Their unique business strategy of leasing the battery (one of the most expensive parts of an electric car when it comes to final price) is their ace in the hole. They hope this cost reducing strategy will help them edge out their competitors.

VinFast claims it already has an SUV that will be one of the most luxurious cars currently available.

 

Driving in High Water Conditions

While melting snows don’t cause flooding in Ohio spring rain and storms can flood our local lakes and rivers. Also, some of our aging roadways both in the city and outside of them don’t drain water like they used to. In-city flooding during rain storms is very common.

So, what should one do if they find themselves driving in high water?

Like in blizzards, it is inadvisable to drive during flood conditions unless absolutely necessary. If you find yourself driving as flood conditions occur, try to avoid flooded areas and find alternate routes. If there are no other routes it is best to seek higher ground and wait out the flooding.

Don’t attempt to cross flood water either on foot or in the car. High waters can hide dips in the road and flood waters can even wash away the entire road!

If you find yourself driving in high water and your car stalls abandon it and find higher ground. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control or stalling. One foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles. This includes SUVs and pick-ups.

Quick Tips: Buying a New Car

Here are some things to consider when going to buy a new car.

While many think in terms of budgets most car experts agree that isn’t a way to shop for a car. You can turn a $400 monthly payment into a $300 by increasing the loan terms by a year. Just know what the maximum is you are willing to spend.

Know what models and features you want for sure, so you don’t get caught up in the moment at the dealership and end up paying for things you don’t really want or need.

Don’t talk about your trade in until you are ready to make a deal. Also, know what you have. Do some research and make some inquirers about what your old car is really worth.

If you’re thinking of financing, don’t let the rate of a loan influence the price of the car. Settle on the price of the vehicle you’re interested in before you bring up financing.

Know your credit score before you go to the dealership – that way there won’t be any unpleasant surprises.

Everyday Tips For Better Gas Usage

This one is an oldie, but a goodie, keep your tires inflated to their proper PSI. Many, many tests by people like the EPA, Popular Mechanics and even the pop science geeks from Myth Busters have proven time and again that properly inflated tires saves on gas.

The EPA estimates that loosing 100lbs of weight your vehicle carries could increase fuel economy up to 2 percent. Smaller cars will benefit more from shedding pounds. All of that “stuff” you endlessly carry around in your backseat, truck bed or trunk. Get rid of it!

It’s about the journey, not the destination, right? Don’t rush. Anywhere from 50-65 miles per hour is going to get a driver optimal fuel efficiency. This all varies according to the weight and design of the vehicle among many other factors.

Information from both the EPA  reported that driving habits like, hard braking, aggressive acceleration and speeding (defined by the EPA as driving over 70MPH) will significantly decrease fuel efficiency. Up to 33% according to the EPA.

2 minutes of idling equals up to 1 mile of driving. If you think about all the idling drivers do over a year, that is a lot of gallons of gas spent not getting from point A to point B!

 

The Best Ways to Keep Your Vehicle Clean

Wash your vehicles once a week for the best results. Contaminants can damage the paint. Bird waste and dead bugs are two organic ones that will do more damage than you think.

Try not to wash your car in direct sunlight. It is better for you and your car.

A good, deep sponge or washing mitt is a most. Organic materials like real sheepskin or sea sponge are the best options.

You should always wash you wheels and the tires first.

Make sure to use a car soap with plenty of lubricants to avoid scratching. Dish soap isn’t recommended as it can remove protective coatings.

Have two buckets. One for soap. One for clean water. Always dip into the clean water bucket first to remove any grit or dirt.

Pre-rinse the car well before washing to rid of debris and large grit. Wash from the top down to remove because the bottom of the car is usually the dirtiest.

Always dry your car by hand. First use a squeegee that is made for auto washing (paint safe). Probably a silicone one. Terry cloth isn’t recommended for drying mostly because it leaves lint. Dry the windows and mirrors first.

 

New Land Rover Hybrids

Land Rover is looking to trade out the V8 turbodiesel in the Range Rover Vogue and RR Sport with new six-cylinder mild hybrid diesel engines. Land Rover is already using four-cylinder mild hybrid engines in the new Discovery Sport and Evoque. The new six-cylinder diesels plus the Discovery Sport and Evoque will form the base of Land Rover’s high end stable.

No details have been confirmed but the rumor is the engine will be 220kW 3.0-litre six-pot mild hybrid. It will be available on the higher end versions of the Range Rover Sport. The expectations of this new powertrain include big fuel savings and better stop/start because of the integrated belt starter.

The more advanced version of that engine will give you 257kW and is likely to end up in the HST variants. This will replace the 4.4-litre diesel V8 from Ford. Rumors speculate this engine will provide 700Nm of torque and 0-100 time of around 6.5 seconds for the Range Rover Sport.

These engines will both be used in the larger Range Rovers. It is also thought these two engines will end up in the Jaguar F-Pace eventually.

Porsche Claims 911 May Never Go All Electric

Porsche, the world-renowned luxury automaker from Germany, stated that it expects to increase sales of its all electric vehicles in the coming years. However, fans and customers should not expect an electric vehicle version of the company’s celebrated 911 sports car in the near future if at all.

Oliver Blume, Porsche CEO, that the 911 would absolutely be the last of their models to be modified for full electrification if it ever becomes electric at all. Porsche seems to stand firm on its declarations about the future of 911 even amid announcements they will plan for about 80% of their vehicles to be electrified by 2030.

Porsche called the 911 their “icon.” Porsche stated during a recent press conference that the concept of the 911 doesn’t allow for it to become fully electric and remain a 911. Specifically they stated the read mounted engine as the primary reason, that they weight of the batteries in the rear would be make the car undriveable.

Porsche reported 17% percent of its global sales were electrified last year. A third of those sales were in Europe.

 

Tesla’s Fremont, CA Plant Experiences Another in a Series of Fires

Fremont Fire Dept. firefighters responded to a “working fire” at the Fremont, CA Tesla plant according to a statement by the Department.

No civilians or firefighters were injured according to the Fremont Fire Department.

The report stated the fire occurred in an area of the factory under construction. This is Tesla’s primary assembly plant in the U.S. although they are building a second in Austin, TX.

While the plant had recently shot down for at least two days due to parts shortages, this is just the first in a series of costly fires at the plant. Including multiple fires in its paint shop.

The factory is known to have received “notices of violation from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The EPA is also reviewing the factory for possible violations of the Clean Air Act.

This time the fire was contained to vehicle manufacturing stamping machine. The cause of the fire was determined to be “molten aluminum and hydraulic fluid.”

 

Volkswagaen’s 2026 Project Trinity to Change EVs Forever?

In 2026 Volkwagen’s Project Trinity will roll out as a innovative electric vehicle. It will include autonomous driving and introduce a new business model that includes new functions for the vehicle as a downloadable service.

It has previously been described as “highly efficient” and as having an “iconic design.” The glasshouse style of the concept (likely used to display the LED focused interior) will not likely influence the look of the first production car.

Volkswagen, under its Accelerate plan, will release one new EV per year.

The Trinity EV will be based on some elements from the MEB EV platform but will include new powertrains and more advanced software. The software will provided increasingly advanced systems in terms of connectivity, technology and driving.

Volkswagen looks to set new standards with both distance and charging—the goal to have charging take no longer than a typical fuel stop.

The New Tesla Model S Won’t Have a Shifter?

Tesla and fonder Elon Musk have announced that the new Model S will have no shifter as the car will “guess” which direction the driver wants to go based on what it sees with its sensors, its navigation map and the context of the data. Basically, the Model S is making an educated guess on whether to go forward or backwards.

Electrek reported that the car will use its Autopilot sensors to decide, intelligently and automatically, the intention of the driver and chose a drive mode for the vehicle. As an example, if the Model S is facing a garage wall the computer will detect this and automatically shift to reverse once the driver presses the break.

According to Musk drivers will be able to manually override this feature and shift the car themselves from the main touchscreen. Though Musk stated he believes after a few days of driving people won’t want to go back to having to use a shifter.

Tesla no longer keeps a communication or PR department so these details cannot be confirmed.

One big change to the new model is a yoke-style steering wheel. It was originally though this new steering wheel was part of the new AI shifting system but that now does not seem to be the case.