ChiaFong

Posts Tagged ‘Car’

The Kia

In Car on 12 October, 2006 at 4:00 pm

Kia is really going aggressive.  I bump into one of their roadshow in a neighbourhood shopping mall and the price you need to pay to own one of their car is just about S$35k.  Cheap!

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Hybrid cars only suitable for Sales person?

In Car on 4 September, 2006 at 3:00 pm

Recently, I went to check out the latest Honda Civic Hybrid.  During the test drive, the sale executive told me that hybrid cars are actually more for people who travels a lot; People like insurance agent, sales executive and so on.  According to him, 80km per day is not consider a lot, thus a hybrid car is not suitable.  I beg to differ.

Let’s do some calculation.  If you travels a lot, like say 80km per day, your annual distance would be 30,000km.  You are now driving a normal car which can give you 12km/liters.  Using the lowest grade of petrol that can be found easily in Singapore (which is Octane 95 and cost currently $1.632/liters, your annual petrol cost would be $4,080.  Compare that to a Civic hybrid having 22km/liters and thus gives you an annual petrol cost of $2,225.  Thus, petrol saving per year would be $1,855.  For the calculation of car cost, let’s assume that the normal car is a Honda Civic 1.6 which cost $72,000 (having the same fuel consumption as 12km/liters) and the Civic hybrid cost $79,500.  A difference of $7,500 which means that to break even, you need to drive the Civic hybrid for about 4 years (provided that petrol remains as high, which is very likely).

This shows that if you travels quite frequently, clock an annual mileage of 30,000km and you intend to drive the car for 10 years, go for the Civic hybrid.  The hybrid car will save you $11,130 after the initial 4 years.

What is a Hybrid car?

In Car on 22 August, 2006 at 3:00 pm

A car is considered a hybrid if it satisfy 3 conditions:

  1. Not using the main engine while idling
  2. Able to recycle the energy use for braking back into the charging of the electric motor
  3. While accelerating, the electric motor will be able to assist the main engine

The car has to satisfy all 3 conditions because only with all 3 mechanisms can the car be able to save enough petrol so as to be substantial enough to be considered as a “Green” car.  This is especially true when newer technology actually allows certain car to achieve the first condition.  This kind of car, though without any electric motor, makes use of an added Lithium-ion battery to power the car while it is idling.  This unfortunately does not translate into substantially more saving of petrol dollars.

Current hybrid cars are still making use of Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries as there are some problems when trying to make large Lithium-ion batteries.  Large Lithium-ion batteries are prone to combustion and thus are not ideal to be placed in an automotive vehicle.  If this and other problems can be solved by the industry it will herald in a new era for hybrid or even pure electric cars.  With Lithium-ion batteries, hybrid or pure electric cars will be able to get great efficiency, acceleration and range, all at the same price or even cheaper than today’s conventional cars.

Rainy day

In Personal on 27 April, 2006 at 7:26 am

There is something funny in Singapore during rainy days and I don’t know whether is it just us or this is happening in other countries as well.  Somehow during rainy days, Singaporean forgot how to drive.  There will always be accident on rainy days and you can bet on it that all the major express way will be jam with cars due to these accidents.

Today is no exception.  It rain and the jam is right in front.  Thus the usual journey took an extra 20mins to complete.  Is it because most Singaporean don’t change their tyres even though the tyres are already bald?  I just wonder.

The Legend

In Car on 14 February, 2006 at 5:39 am

It was the end of 1950s, a tractor maker went to Modena to tell Enzo Ferrari that the clutch on his car was unsatisfactory.  Enzo Ferrari was not someone who can take criticism, after talking with this tractor maker, he dismiss him saying “What does a tractor maker know about super cars?”.  This tractor maker felt insulted.  He took his car back home and fixed the problem himself using his own tractor clutch.  He then took a long hard look at the car’s engine and vowed that he will build himself a super car that will meet or beat Ferrari at his own game.

In 1964, 13 Lamborghini 350 GT were built and Ferruccio Lamborghini, the tractor maker, change the history of automobile forever.

COE is all time low

In Car on 20 January, 2006 at 5:12 am

In Singapore, before you can own a car, you need to purchase a Certificate Of Entitlement (COE), and this piece of paper is not cheap 5 to 6 years ago.  This is partly due to the close bidding system at that time, meaning anyone who wants to own a car bid for a price without knowing what is the current highest bid.  So at that time, that paper cost about SGD 40,000 – 50,000.  Together with tax, owning a 1.5 litre Honda Civic will rip you off SGD 100,000 in total!  Back to modern day Singapore.  We are using an open bidding system now, anyone can find out what is the current highest bid and thus the price normally will not go outrageous.  The latest bidding exercise ends with just slightly over SGD 8,000 for one COE!

But I still like my Honda Fit!