Advanced Vehicle Technologies and Insurance Costs

With the advent of increasingly expensive new vehicle technologies, collision repair shops are asking what kind of repairs might be considered good enough. For insurance companies, the question is when a vehicle should be written off because of cost consideration. With the advent of Advanced Vehicle Technologies (AVT), some vehicles that are still roadworthy may instead become writeoffs because of their high AVT content. Examples of AVT include using of high strength steels in vehicle structures, aluminum chassis, carbon fibre cells and body parts, advanced welding and bonding techniques, electric vehicles and hybrids and electronic safety features and driver aids.

The impetus for using AVTs is pretty simple – reduce fuel consumption and increase combustion efficiency, which in turn reduces exhaust emissions. To this end, manufacturers have sought to improve vehicle efficiency by using materials substitution, downsizing existing vehicle designs, systems or components as well as using new structural, systems or component designs. They have also adopted alternate materials in conjunction with these new designs. Other manufacturers have also improved efficiency of engine accessories by converting some systems like the water pumps and power steering systems to electricity-driven designs. All these add up to additional costs for the consumer, the collision repair shop and the car insurance company. This is when the question of what car insurance companies should pay for in terms of repair crops up. As the repair costs add up across the board, it will only be natural for insurance companies to increase premiums. While increased insurance premiums may not affect owners of expensive luxury or sports cars too much, imagine the impact this will have on lower-income car owners who struggle to make monthly payments. Bolstering this statement is the fact that technologies that only BMW or Mercedes employed half a decade ago have now found their way in entry-level cars like the Ford Focus. As an insurance industry expert has put it, “Advances in technology drive costs. We’re talking about the increasing complexity, the equipment required to make the collision repair and the training that’s necessary to make the repair successfully and correctly.”

This can change how commuters use their cars, such as reducing car use or giving up on certain kinds of trips altogether. With less use of cars, even collision repair shops will feel the pinch when less accidents result on average. One only has to look into collision repair data in mild winters to see what we’re talking about.

Unrevealed Truth About Electric Vehicles

Truth About Electric Vehicles

Japan has been researching EV (electric vehicle) technology since last 20 years but it is fact that Electric vehicle was invented before the gasoline engine vehicle. Electric vehicle did not really gain popularity because of weak batteries and recharge system. Now the scientists have found minerals like Lithium which can really move this technology to make a larger impact on the consumers.
As everyone of us know that there are 3-types of vehicles running on our roads.

Petrol/Diesel Vehicles
Hybrid Vehicles that are partially electric. &
EV-Electric Vehicles

Many new developers and enterprises are taking bold interest in the production of Electric vehicles, but still the big stake is with the main key players like GM, Honda, Toyota and Nissan. This monopoly will raise the prices because of the long time research and the expensive batteries. Mitsubishi IMIEV has a price tag of Japanese Yen (JPY) 3,980,000. Under Government of Japan support and zero emission promotion program a rebate of JPY 1,140,000 is available to the end-users. This makes a final price tag of JPY: 2,840,000

The 500Cycle motor that moves the car is in back, and the battery -LEV50 x 88 are the main components of IMIEV. It will charge to full in 14Hrs. from a house plug in of AC100V. But since a great time of about 14 hours is still un-acceptable to many. Therefore every maker is focusing in providing a quick battery charge solution to the users. Even the Govt. has announced to provide support is establishing more than 2,000 quick charge points by the year 2020. These points will be useful and the user can re-charge about 80% of the batteries in only 30mins. but still this will be a question because a tank fill up from gas station does not take more than 2 minutes.

Besides this if the user drives the car with full beam and full airconditioning positions then the battery won’t last even half the distance in full charge. Hence the drivers should keep in mind that IMIEV will only run for 80Kms. if airconditioning and lights are used continuously. But this is how the normal cars do and the alternator in the vehicles keep on charging the battery.

Nissan Leaf another EV has set a total retail price of JPY 3760000 and after a Govt. discount of JPY770,000 the final price will become JPY2,990,000. Well as we discussed above that until the batteries are not loosening prices, these small babies will be expensive. Hence if you do own the vehicle for 7-years then it might become economical in comparison with present gasoline engines.
We believe that there are no instant worries about gasoline engines vanishing from this planet, they have been here for the last 100years or more and will remain around us in future.

GPS Vehicle System

GPS vehicle system is a series of connections with a vehicle and a remote computer that is monitoring the ongoing of that certain vehicle while it is in transit. The GPS device used for this is a GPS vehicle tracker. This vehicle tracker works as a system that monitors the progress and locations of the vehicle with a tracker attached to it. It is usually with the aid of an internet-connected computer because the data from the devise has to be downloaded as it updates itself every now and then.

The GPS vehicle system is a very convenient means of tracing and locating the exact location of a vehicle. It does all these plus a whole lot more. Knowing these will make you realize how useful a GPS vehicle system is. Here are some:

– A GPS vehicle tracking system can be used by companies with basic vehicle tracking needs. There are types of these trackers that show the exact vehicle location, where it passes and stops and the speed of the vehicle. It also has some features like automatic updating of its database and when the vehicle approaches the base station, the tracker automatically downloads the data it has stored. Moreover, some boasts of extra features such as “real time” tracking which is an every minute to as fast as 10 seconds interval between updates. The coolest one though, maybe the a kind of tracker that monitors the use of lights, control locks, horns and even has the capability of enabling or disabling the starter

– It can improve risk and safety in fleet operations by monitoring the brakes, speed. Some even have buzzers to alert the driver of any behavior that is unwanted, such as going over the speed limit or dozing off while driving. It monitors can also monitor fuel levels

– Stolen cars can also be easily located and pinpointed with the use of a GPS vehicle system. The people concerned can easily download data from the tracking system, allowing early retrieval of the stolen car.

Using this information, one can easily see the convenience and the way this has made things easier for many people. It has also helped in the economic growth of some sectors of the market, making the GPS vehicle system a valuable asset to the rising businessperson. It is also somewhat insurance to vehicle owners who, for sure, would want to get their precious cars back if ever they are stolen.

Alternative Fuel And Vehicle Technologies

INTRODUCTION

In today’s world, scientists, analysts, and researcher are continuously looking to find effective fuel optimum solution to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Though, there are considerable research going on to mitigate CO2 from existing fuel. Currently, Ethanol has great potential to minimize CO2 from air as it’s blend with agricultural products and most of the existing vehicles support ethanol. On the contrary, LPG is directly derived from natural gas and increases sustainable balance within the environment. However, on recent invention i.e. hybrid technology, known as electric vehicles have more wider benefit to the environment as well as ensuring ‘0’ carbon emission on air.

In most of the developing countries like, USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, electric vehicles are becoming more popular because of environmental concern and cost of energy.

This hybrid technology also increases battery storage capacity as a result this become viable solution for modern transportation. Battery better known as lithium composite phosphate (LCP) is rechargeable which uses LiFePO4 as cathode material and mostly used in portable items like cell phone, camera and laptops. Thus, most of the auto maker companies now a days becoming more environmental conscious and according to demand they now more focus on introducing new model of electric vehicle.

ALTERNATIVE FUEL FOR VEHICLES

Ethanol

In Australia, most of the vehicles run by ethanol but yet nobody knows how ethanol can affect their vehicles. A recent figure shows, 30 percent of Australian vehicles will be affected by 10 percent of ethanol. Though, the main agriculture products used to produce ethanol in Australia are wheat, wheat starch, sugarcane and sorghum. However, the main advantage of using ethanol is, organic and reduces air pollution but major disadvantage is it burns quickly. Currently, there are four types of ethanol available worldwide, such as E10, E85, E22 and E100 where in Australia E10 and E85 are available and others are still on consideration.

E10 in Australia

After 1st of July 2003, 10 percent ethanol was allowed to mix with normal petrol and blending higher than 10 percent require engine modification as it was identified that using E20 with 20 percent mix often makes trouble on unmodified engines.

Problems of E10 (E-10 Ethanol Fuel Problems, n.d)

1. Ethanol 10 damages vehicle engine and carburetor.

2. Water above 5 percent cause serious damage on the vehicle’s performance.

3. Water freezing in winter causes serious effect on performance.

E85 in Australia

E85 is suitable for flex fuel vehicles and currently only Caltex is selling on 40 retail stores (Monitoring of the Australian petroleum industry, 2011). Though E85 is very environmentally suitable but not suitable for all engines especially, trucks, busses as it damages the fuel system.

Problems of E85

1. Burns quickly compared to other petrol.

2. Decrease vehicle’s millage per gallon up to 15 to 25 percent compare to other gasoline

3. Prices of E85 are more convenient compare to performance and per km.

CURRENT POLICY OF ETHANOL IN NSW

According to NSW government, 2 percent mandate policy for ethanol, wholesalers require to make up to the minimum 2 percent of total volume of NSW sales (Graham, Reedman, Poldy, 2008).

POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE FOR ETHANOL

The main advantage of this new policy will be benefitted on new vehicles. However, considering the sustainability issue on environment, ethanol could be future fuel for all vehicles. On the other hand, though ethanol is an environmentally friendly fuel but yet in Australia, availability of ethanol are insufficient in different places. The reason behind is, as ethanol mainly based on agriculture products, farmers are reluctant to produce crops in higher price for fuel besides inadequate government subsidy also a major factor on ethanol price.

COMPARISON OF COST AND CARBON EMISSION BETWEEN E10 AND E85

Cost of E10

The prices of E10 are very sensitive in different petrol stations in Australia. Most of the petrol companies in Australia have freedom to fix the price in accordance with standard fuel quality.

Site Name and Price of E10 ($)

Budget Strathfield $1.34

Caltex/Woolworths Taren Point $1.35

7 Eleven Sans Souci $1.35

Caltex/Woolworths Strathfield $1.36

Caltex/Woolworths Miranda $1.37

Caltex/Woolworths Carnes Hill $1.37

Source: My price search, MotorMouth Pty Ltd, 2012 (Updated, 10/04/2012)

Carbon emission rate E10

Though there are not huge differences on regular petrol; E10 only saves 5 percent of gas emissions and the full cycle emission (t CO2-e/kL) is 2.44 compared to 2.56 to regular petrol.

Cost of E85

Currently, only in few petrol stations are have E85 fuels which is difficult for consumers to switch to E85. Generally, the price ranges in different petrol stations approximately $124 to $135.

Carbon emission rate E85

Compare to other fuels, E85 has lower rate of emission on greenhouse. Generally, on an average 15,000 miles per year, 372 grams/mile (approx) CO2 can be reduced only using E85.

LPG IN AUSTRALIA

LPG is the combination of 50 percent propane and 50 percent butane and western Australia has the largest reserve of this natural gas (What is LPG? 2011). Generally, LPG powered vehicles produce less CO2 to the environment i.e. 203 gm CO2 0e/km. According to the RARE consulting; using LPG might reduce 13 to14 percents carbon dioxide from air (Wong, 2011). In Australia, due the huge demand of energy requirements, LPG could be an alternative solution for vehicles, industrial or household use in coming years.

CURRENT POLICY OF LPG IN NSW

According to LPG Australia, current policy, “LPG industry will support government to ensure sustainability as well as future energy sources to reduce carbon and ensuring LPG achieve a level of capability to support government’s alternative fuel requirement; LPG market will require transitional support to achieve 10 percent of transport energy requirements”(LPG Australia policy, 2010).

POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE FOR LPG

Using LPG in vehicle not only matches with current policy but also ensure affordable environmental solutions. The main advantage of LPG is, it burns clearly on air and it’s 60 percent cheaper than other petrol. It should be noted, LPG also increases engine life for vehicles. On the contrary, the potential disadvantages are LPG convertastion cost i.e. approximately between AUD 2000 to 2500 as well as maintenance cost of engine. One more drawback is performance compare to fuel driven vehicle, is way too low and high risk involved while installing LPG cylinder in all vehicles.

COST AND CARBON EMISSION COMPARISON OF LPG

Cost of LPG

Australia has vast reserves of LPG for next 30-50 years. This means, price of LPG will be lower due to high availability. The annual average price of LPG is 54.5c.

Site name and Price ($)

Caltex Crossroads Truckstop $0.72

BP Kemps Creek $0.78

Caltex/Woolworths St Marys $0.79

Caltex/Woolworths Surry Hills (Redfern) $0.79

Caltex/Woolworths Kingswood $0.79

Caltex/Woolworths Werrington $0.79

Source: My price search, MotorMouth Pty Ltd, 2012 (Updated, 11/04/2012)

Carbon emission rate of LPG

In Australia, the rate of carbon emissions compare to other types of fuels are relatively higher than LPG. According to the department of sustainability, environment, water, population and communities in Australia, in every litre of petrol used in the vehicle, 2.3 kg CO2 are released into the air (Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, 2008).

CO2 Tailpipe Emissions/Liter of Fuel Consumed

Fuel Type CO2- Emissions

Petrol -2.3 kg

LPG -1.6 kg

Diesel -2.7 kg

Source: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, 2008

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The invention of technology Electric Vehicle is the ultimate way for zero carbon emission on environment without any doubt. This has been proven, EVs are twice more efficient than normal petrol driven vehicles. This is mainly because of, the battery inside EV is more productive as it uses renewable energy i.e. solar sources. In 2006, Australia greenhouse gas emission rate was 576 million tones where 89 percent tons was generated only from road transport.

CURRENT POLICY FOR BATTERY EVs IN NSW

Carbon emission Policy: NSW government is currently introducing the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) which restrict air pollution capacity on industry which currently defined as ‘Carbon Tax’. Though, this policy create controversy on media people and business entities. As a result, currently, many companies, industry are protesting against this policy and as a matter of fact, this policy now on under consideration.

POTENTIAL ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGE FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLE

The main potential advantage of this policy is to eliminate harmful pollution from the environment and reduce dependency on oil. On the contrary, since electric vehicle in new on market and there is no sufficient infrastructure, plant, station available for people, this will create huge problems for people while travelling long distance. More precisely, fully battery powered vehicle can travel up to 160 km and after that if there is no service station to recharge the battery then this will become a serious matter for travelers. A part form this, price of purchase electric vehicles are higher than normal vehicles such as start from $20,000 which is beyond of thinking for common people.

COST AND CARBON EMISSION OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE

Cost of electric vehicle

To charge the battery of an electric vehicle, costs only 1 to 3c per kilometre depending on location and demand.

Carbon emission rate of electric vehicle

Electric vehicle can produce 27 percent (i.e. 164 g/km) less CO2 than petrol vehicle (Better place, 2011).

CONCLUSION

This is very clear from above analysis, ethanol, LPG and electric vehicle can provide sufficient benefit to environment but comparing various factors and investigate different current issues; we can say, purchasing LPG or converting into LPG could be ultimate solution on price and environment. The main reason is, LPG has lower emission rate, cheap cost and availability of natural resources in Australia. Though, ethanol and electric vehicle requires government support, which require large amount of investment. In recent news shows, carbon reduction through electric vehicle is a mere ‘fantasy and also stated electric vehicle produce higher emission than petrol because of the energy consumption while manufacturing batteries. On the other hand, switching to EVs requires 16 percent extra electric capacity which is equivalent to 10GW or six nuclear stations (Jha, 2010). Therefore, considering the above facts, purchasing an LPG vehicle will be most beneficial.