Thursday, 22 October 2020

3 Electric Cars And Their Benefits

The invention of electric cars is still a relatively new concept that has sparked the automotive industries. This has led to different manufacturers worldwide embarking on the race to develop the best electric car. All this is in a bid to try and satisfy the ever-growing market. The reason behind the increased demand for these vehicles is that electric cars have environmental benefits too

If you’re looking to know the different types of electric cars and their benefits, don’t move a muscle. Here’s a detailed guide on three types of electric cars on the market and their benefits. With this in mind, you’ll better understand the reason behind the popularity of these cars. 

Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) 

Image by Marilyn Murphy from Pixabay
These cars are also referred to as all-electric vehicles or pure electric vehicles. The reason for this is that they don’t incorporate an alternative power source. This means they don’t have an internal combustion engine and instead get powered entirely by the rechargeable battery with a full-electric drivetrain. Its unique design doesn’t feature many moving parts, meaning it has fewer moving parts than other kinds of electric cars. 

As a result, these cars need less maintenance. Furthermore, its simplicity makes it an endearing choice to many people who love a contemporary yet simple look. 

With this car, tune-ups or oil changes will be a thing of the past. Instead, you can save money in maintaining the vehicle, which translates to a considerable sum of money throughout the car’s lifespan. Moreover, the batteries of BEVs are bigger than those found on PHEVs or HEVs. Therefore, you’ll be able to travel for longer distances when driving this vehicle. All this is without producing any carbon emissions, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice. 

Hybrid Electric Vehicles 

These are cars that are powered by both electricity and petrol. The battery is recharged by the electric energy produced by the vehicle’s braking system. This process is referred to as regenerative braking. 

At the start of your journey, HEVs use an electric motor and start using a petrol engine once the speed or load increases. All the controls are handled by an internal computer that guarantees the best economy is achieved for different driving conditions. 

The advantage of hybrid electric vehicles is its lower cost of ownership than conventional vehicles. These vehicles also have an improved fuel economy, making it an excellent choice when looking to save some money in running your car. 

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
This type of vehicle is powered by both electricity and petrol. They’re also referred to as Extended-range Electric Vehicles (EREVs). The charging of these cars gets done both through plugging it to an exterior electrical charging outlet and regenerative braking. With these cars, you can travel longer distances since the petrol engine prolongs its range whenever the charge becomes low. 

This thus makes this electric car a great choice if you often travel for longer distances. With this car, you also get to enjoy better flexibility. This is because it can quickly be filled up with gasoline if charging stations are unavailable at the time. You also enjoy flexibility with PHEVs as you can opt to drive fully on electricity when not driving beyond the car’s electric range. At the same time, they still feature a combustion engine should you need it.

Saturday, 17 October 2020

5 Steps to Buying a Used Car for Beginners

Buying a car can be a nightmare, especially if you are a beginner. It takes time and requires too much diligence. If credibility is of importance to you, you cannot wake up one day and get a car from anywhere. Acknowledge that it is a process. Do you want to buy a used car for the first time? Follow the steps below:

1)    Create A Target List

Buying a vehicle, whether used or new, needs diligence while creating a budget. Since there are many choices out there, you need to state your cost expectations and stick to it. Since you are a beginner, you may have no idea how to estimate your budget. Reach out for a reliable app that shows you features of various used cars. From there, you may have a clue on the characteristics you wish to have and do a complete MOT history check for the car. It is from here that you can research the prices in the market. If you create a budget blindly, you may end up buying a substandard car or one that you do not like.

2)    Identify The Used Cars

In the previous stage, you probably spotted a list of cars that favoured your interest and price. In this step, you make a conclusive decision on the specific vehicle you want to buy. Among the list, analyse the features versus the value. Pick one that most favours all your requirements.

3)    Contact The Seller

After you have spotted the car of your interest, contact the car dealer or the owner. Let them know of your interest. However, be careful. If you are dealing with a car dealer, certify they are legit. Check their history and review. If you cannot trace any past information about them, look for other dealers. Additionally, do not accept to pay any amount of money before you see the car.

4)    Evaluate The Quality

Now that you have identified the car and contacted the owner, it is time to check out the small details. From the list of the qualities that you want, check each of them, and certify that the car satisfies them. While at it, do not forget to do the following:

  • Certify it is a certified used car
  • Consider taking the car out for a test drive
  • Get a mechanic to evaluate the car
  • Obtain the title history

5)    Negotiate And Finalise The Purchase

Look at this scenario. Car model A costs $100,000 but has more features than B, which costs $90,000. Your budget is $90,000. You can negotiate with the seller and buy model 'A' at the price of 'B.' Therefore, negotiation is an important step. It may land you a better model. After negotiating, complete the purchase, a process where most buyers go wrong. Aside from paying the money, ensure you do the following:

  • If there is a limited warranty, get it in writing.
  • Read, and understand, the contract terms and other documents, then sign it
  • Transfer the car's ownership and register it

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Why investing in a car safety check is beneficial

Are you planning to buy a used vehicle? What are some of the things you need to know about the vehicle before you make the purchase? How can you check the history and the performance of the vehicle you want to buy? These are things one needs to be concerned about when they are buying a used vehicle. Some companies can help you check the history of vehicles before you buy them. Such companies have even developed apps that one can use for this purpose. When one searches for the car history, they can get information such as the road tax details, MOT failures, and reasons for the same, as well as vehicle make, and model. The Car Check can also bring information such as MOT due date, road tax costs, Tax expiry date, carbon dioxide emissions, recorded mileage, and such other details that are good for your information purposes.

Photo by Christian Sutter from FreeImages
All the above details are good for your car safety. You see, unless you have the full history of a vehicle, you could be putting yourself into unnecessary problems. In this article, we shall discuss some of the advantages of investing in a car safety check.

Here are reasons to invest in car safety check:

Previous Vehicle Crash

Sometimes it is not easy to tell if a vehicle has had a previous crash by just looking at it. As such, car safety checks can give you this information. Car analytics can offer you this information and even inform you if the safety airbags were deployed during the crash. Sometimes even the seller of the vehicle may never know this information if they bought the car from another vendor. When you have information about car crashes and other mishaps and where they happened, it is easy for you to have the seller decrease the cost of the car. This is also good for your safety when you finally acquire the vehicle.

As-Is Agreements

When you buy a used vehicle, you agree with the seller on an as-is-agreement arrangement and this means that in case of a service warranty or other issues with the vehicle, you will not get any refund from the seller. Therefore, a car safety check is a good way to know the history of the vehicle and make the purchase on a point of knowledge. If the vehicle has issues that make you reluctant to buy it, then you can as well avoid it. You will not have to suffer the consequences of buying a vehicle without prior knowledge about it.

Odometer Rollback

It is possible to learn from vehicle history reports if the odometer has been rolled back to reflect the seller’s desired mileage. The odometer can easily be rolled back using today’s computer technology. However, with a history report, it is possible to tell the true mileage of a vehicle using gas mileage reports. Odometer rollback is a fraudulent activity that commonly happens and therefore one has to be very careful when buying a used vehicle. A vehicle inspection based on the car model and registration can give you all the information you require before you decide to buy the used vehicle.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Austrian Grand Prix Betting Preview: F1 is Back in July

By Takayuki Suzuki - https://www.flickr.com/photos/
78475089@N02/49028922522/, CC BY-SA 2.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83879385
As most F1 fans are well aware, the 2020 season will finally get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix taking place from July 3 to 5. The action will take place at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, and both fans and teams will be raring to get started after months of waiting around.

There will, of course, be two grand prix races at Spielberg this season, with another race – the Styrian Grand Prix – scheduled to take place a week later. You can get more details on the plans for the new F1 season, but, for this betting preview, we are going to concentrate on the first race of the season. Let’s dive in:

Race Winner
It won’t surprise you to learn that Lewis Hamilton is the race favourite, with a price of 9/5 (all odds here sourced from MansionBet UK) to get off to a winning start in Spielberg. That’s quite a big price when you consider Hamilton is odds-on to win the drivers’ championship. However, it’s probably reflective of the fact that Hamilton tends to start the season slowly by his standards. In fact, you will have to go back to 2015 to find a time when Hamilton won a season opener. Will that apply in Spielberg?

Bookmakers really believe that Max Verstappen can get close to Hamilton this season, and at 2/1 he is almost neck and neck with the Brit in this race. The Red Bull Ring is seen as home turf for Verstappen and his Red Bull team, and he did win the race back in 2018 and 2019. Elsewhere, Charles Leclerc is priced at 4/1, Sebastian Vettel at 11/2 and Valtteri Bottas at 6/1.

Podium Position 
You can get the likes of Hamilton and Verstappen at short prices to finish in the podium positions in this race, but an interesting candidate for punters is Red Bull’s Alexander Albon. Verstappen’s team-mate has never finished in the top three before during his short career, but he has the goods to start delivering on his promise. He is cited at 3/1 for a podium finish, and it looks like an interesting bet to make, especially if you consider Red Bull’s insider knowledge of the circuit. He is a much larger 28/1 if you fancy the upset of an outright win.

Fastest Qualifier 
Similar to the race winner odds, the markets for pole position have Hamilton at 7/4 and Verstappen at 9/5. Intriguingly, Bottas is the next in line at 7/2. That tells you that bookmakers have faith in the Mercedes car to deliver fast laps, but that they still believe the jury is out on the Finn having the nous to consistently deliver race wins like his team-mate.

Winning Team 
Mercedes is the firm favourite for delivering a win on the day, with bookies factoring in the chances of either Hamilton or Bottas taking the chequered flag at the end of the race. It’s hard to look beyond the price offered of 11/10 for Mercedes. However, if you do believe Albon has a chance this season, then the 9/5 offered for Red Bull is only marginally smaller than the price for a Verstappen win. That might be the value bet.
Artes Max from Spain / CC BY-SA
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)
Overall Thoughts 
Whether we like it or not, this is not going to business as usual for F1. Starting the season in the middle of summer is not ideal for any team so you can expect some surprises. As such, it might be the opportune moment to take a risk on your betting strategy, perhaps by overlooking the usual candidates. Whatever happens, it will be fantastic to see those cars line up on the grid once more.

All odds were correct at the time of writing.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Ayrton Senna's Lotus years, by Ibrar Malik

As we mark the upcoming 26th anniversary of Ayrton Senna's passing, most will undoubtedly dwell upon the more celebrated cornerstones of his extraordinary career. His obliteration of the opposition during qualifying at Monaco '88, or the race at Donington Park '93. His compelling personality which shone through during interviews. Or what might have been with Williams had he not tragically met his untimely death at the '94 San Marino Grand Prix. This blog aims to be slightly different, by briefly looking at Senna's formative years at Lotus.

Coming into 1985, the Norfolk-based team had not won a race since the sudden death of its charismatic founder, Colin Chapman, in December 1982. Lotus had endured a turbulent '83 season. But it bounced back superbly to become a regular frontrunner again during '84, enjoying its most successful season since 1978. The newly-released book, Team Lotus: Beyond the Colin Chapman Era, details precisely how the team achieved this. But by the end of '84, it seemed a key ingredient to elevate Lotus back to the winner's circle was missing. Enter, Ayrton Senna – Lotus's new signing for 1985. 

Senna was widely touted as a future world champion following his stellar performances within the unfancied Toleman during 1984

Monday, 20 April 2020

The Top 5 Favorites To Win The 2020 F1 World Championship


The 2020 F1 World Championship season is just around the corner. With the world’s top sports leagues slowly returning to action, Formula 1 recently confirmed that they will be opening their 2020 season next month, beginning with a double-header in Austria’s Red Bull Ring on July 5th.

Oddsmakers have put defending and six-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton as the odds on favorite to win the 2020 F1 World Championships. Aside from Hamilton, 19 other drivers are eyeing to become the next Formula One world champion.

According to this list of highly-rated F1 betting sites, the following five drivers are the favorites to win the 2020 Formula 1 Drivers Championship.

Lewis Hamilton


Leading the list of the top five favorites is Briton Hamilton. The 35-year-old has dominated the F1 scene during the current decade, winning five out of the last six F1 World Championships, including the last three. Hamilton has won 22 out of the last 40 Grand Prix races over the last two years and showed no signs of slowing down last season.

Hamilton set the record for most points earned in a season with 413 last year. He is just seven wins behind the legendary Schumacher's record of 91 career wins and one shy of the German's record seven F1 World Championships. With 11 race wins each in 2018 and 2019 plus world title in both seasons, Hamilton has both Schumacher records in sight in 2020.

During the preseason testing last February, Mercedes looked good as ever and ran many laps without major issues. With an innovative steering system, Mercedes’ cars are primed for success in 2020. With one of the greatest (if not the greatest ever) on the steering wheel, there is no question why Hamilton is the betting favorite to win a fourth consecutive F1 World Championship.

Max Verstappen


In 2015, Max Verstappen was the youngest driver to ever compete in an F1 race. Five years later, the now-22-year-old son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen continues to improve and is coming off a 2019 season where he won a career-high three races.

The Belgian Red Bull driver finished third in the 2020 F1 World Championship, his best finish ever. Aside from three Grand Prix wins, Verstappen also had two poles, three fastest laps, and nine podium finishes in 2019. Except for two races that he didn’t finish, Verstappen placed in the Top 10 in all other races last season.

Red Bull also looked good during preseason training and they trailed only Mercedes in lap runs during the first practice session. If Red Bull’s cars can be reliable and fast, Verstappen might be able to pick up more wins in 2020 and challenge Hamilton for the F1 World Championship.


Charles Leclerc

Ferrari’s highly touted rookie had an impressive debut season in 2019 where he became the youngest driver to win the Pole Trophy (with seven poles in 2019) and the first non-Mercedes driver to do so since 2014. The 22-year-old Monegasque also finished fourth in the 2019 F1 World Championship while winning two Grand Prix races last year.

Leclerc's win at the 2019 Italian Grand Prix was the first time in a decade that Ferrari won its home turf race and Leclerc's victory came one week after his first-ever F1 race win in Belgium. Although he only had three podium finishes in the six races after his win in Italy, Leclerc is seen as the future of Ferrari and F1 racing.

With Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel set to leave the team at the end of the year, Leclerc should be the lead driver for Ferrari in 2020. And he will need to take charge from the front despite the presence of his more bemedaled teammate. Ferrari has not won since Kimi Raikkonen triumphed in 2007, and the pressure is on Leclerc to deliver what his predecessors could not.

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas is Lewis Hamilton’s running mate at Mercedes. The 30-year-old Finnish driver is coming off his best season ever in Formula 1 after finishing second behind Hamilton in the 2019 F1 World Championship.

Bottas had a career-high four wins last season and he also had five poles, three fastest laps, and 15 podium finishes in 2019. He finished with a personal-best 326 points and was the only driver within striking distance of Hamilton throughout the year.

Bottas and Hamilton were a dominant pair last season as Mercedes won the first eight races of the 2019 F1 World Championship and 10 out of the first 12. The duo finished 1-2 in the first five races of the season and six out of the first eight overall as Mercedes ran away with the 2019 Constructors title. With Mercedes assuring the Finn that they aren’t going after Vettel at the end of the season, Bottas should be primed for a big year in 2020.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel was supposed to be Lewis Hamilton’s chief rival last year, but the German driver faltered and had his worst full season ever. Vettel only won a single race in 2019, which is his lowest output since going winless in 2014. With Charles Leclerc emerging for Scuderia, Vettel is at a crossroads after announcing that he will leave the team at the end of the year.

The 32-year-old is a four-time world champion, having won the F1 World Championship in three consecutive seasons from 2010-2013 while driving for Red Bull. He had been Ferrari’s ace since coming over in 2015 but has not delivered the title that Ferrari has been longing for.

Vettel was outperformed by Leclerc last season, and his status as the team’s ace has been put in doubt. The German was in talks for a contract extension earlier this year, but the negotiations broke down and Vettel will be leaving Scuderia after the 2020 F1 World Championship season.

Monday, 13 April 2020

Monza 1994 - Team Lotus's Last Hurrah, by Ibrar Malik

One of the victims from a turbulent 1994 F1 season was Team Lotus, which finally succumbed to its financial struggles during the year. Like Brabham two years earlier, a once-great name would vanish from F1. Lotus was Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi as well as Ayrton Senna's first top team in F1. The upcoming 1983-'89 Lotus book (http://www.1994f1.com/lotusprintbook/) charts how Team Lotus went from being regular a frontrunner during the mid-1980s to a midfielder only a few years later.

After its release on May 1 2020, we then intend to write a follow-up print book covering the team's final years of 1990-'95. This follow-up book explains how Lotus then changed ownership at the end of '90 and went from merely surviving that winter to finishing an incredible fifth in the '92 constructors' championship. It seemed the former seven-time world champion team was on a clear upward trajectory having re-establishing itself as a regular point scorer. More good news came in the form of its leading driver, Johnny Herbert, re-signing within the team for another five years by the end of 1992. Unfortunately this revival under Peter Collins proved short lived because behind the scenes debts were still piling up. The team only survived two more seasons in F1 after '92.

Monday, 30 March 2020

New Motor Sport Magazine article: Nelson Piquet - the underrated three-time F1 champion

By Zocchi Massimiliano - Own work, CC0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/
index.php?curid=15885577
Nelson Piquet is a three-time Formula 1 world champion. Yet you would hardly know it. Or you wouldn't if you use as your sole guide the usual debates about F1 greats, at any stretch.

So why is this? The expressed consensus view is that Piquet impressed and won his first two titles at Brabham where all was laid out for him. Then he moved to Williams alongside Nigel Mansell and was 'found out'. But, as is often the case, the consensus view doesn't tell the whole story.

In my latest for Motor Sport Magazine, and with the help of Piquet's long-time Brabham team manager Herbie Blash, I seek to unravel the mystery.

You can have a read here: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/articles/single-seaters/f1/nelson-piquet-the-underrated-three-time-f1-champion

Saturday, 21 March 2020

New Motor Sport Magazine article: Ayrton Senna - the forgotten great drives

By Instituto Ayrton Sennaderivative work: Karpouzi - This file
was derived from:  Senna 1992 Monaco.jpg, CC BY 2.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28935488
Monaco 1984. Estoril '85. Donington '93. Some of the great drives by the revered Ayrton Senna fall from the tongue, and are harked back to regularly.

But even so there are some Senna Formula 1 performances that are about as magnificent but perhaps crowded out from the retro features.

So, on what would have been the late great Brazilian's 60th birthday, for Motor Sport Magazine I have looked back at some of the somewhat more forgotten, but still sensational, Senna drives.

You can have a read about them here: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/articles/single-seaters/f1/ayrton-senna-the-forgotten-great-drives

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

New Motor Sport Magazine article: Alesi vs Senna: the battle for victory in Phoenix

By ALESI_Jean-24x30-1999.
jpg: Studio Harcourtderivative
 work: Materialscientist (talk)
 - ALESI_Jean-24x30-1999.jpg,
 CC BY 3.0, https://commons.
wikimedia.org/w/index.
php?curid=15699671
Thirty years ago today, Jean Alesi in a Tyrrell announced himself to Formula 1 with an incredible performance, including an incredible battle with Ayrton Senna's McLaren-Honda, in Phoenix for the United States Grand Prix of 1990.

In my latest for Motor Sport Magazine, I tell the tale.

You can have a read here: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/articles/single-seaters/f1/alesi-vs-senna-the-battle-for-victory-in-phoenix