Electric autos information and renewable energy technology by Daniel Sumanth, TX: There’s more pressure than ever to consider an electric car – not just through rising fuel costs and concerns around road pricing and city-centre emissions zones. Culturally owning an electric car is becoming a more mainstream way of signalling affluence, environmental responsibility and awareness. There’s even a counter-cultural reaction from fans of petrol and diesel familiarity. The reality is that the best electric cars provide a perfectly sensible means of transport for most drivers and their families, once new habits are learned. Find more details at Daniel Sumanth, TX
The Model Y is Tesla’s second SUV, and it has been designed to be more manageable and less flashy than the larger Model X. It wouldn’t be unfair to think of the Model Y as a larger version of the Model 3, both cars share similar styling and are even claimed to share 95% of the same technology. This is far from a bad thing. Both the performance and long-range variants of Model Y are four-wheel drive, this means that traction is plentiful, resulting in impressive acceleration 0-60mph times of 4.5 seconds for the Long Range and 3.5 for the Performance. Although these figures are impressive, this small SUV performs well as a family-lugger, too. Space is more than enough for all five passengers, and with 854-litres of luggage space in the back plus 117-litres up front, the weekly shopping trip should be an absolute breeze.
Solar energy systems generally don’t require a lot of maintenance. You only need to keep them relatively clean, so cleaning them a couple of times per year will do the job. If in doubt, you can always rely on specialised cleaning companies, which offer this service from around £25-£35. Most reliable solar panel manufacturers offer 20-25 years warranty. Also, as there are no moving parts, there is no wear and tear. The inverter is usually the only part that needs to changed after 5-10 years because it is continuously working to convert solar energy into electricity (solar PV) and heat (solar thermal). Apart from the inverter, the cables also need maintenance to ensure your solar power system runs at maximum efficiency. So, after covering the initial cost of the solar system, you can expect very little spending on maintenance and repair work.
With all-wheel drive, the next step up is undeniably faster, lopping two seconds off its benchmark sprint time. But it also has a slightly shorter range, costs considerably more and doesn’t feel entirely comfortable to drive quickly. Every version features impressive ultra-rapid charging at up to 250kW, so if you can find a fast enough public charger, a top up from 10 to 80% is possible in less than 20 minutes. Its interior is no less desirable, thanks to a dashboard dominated by a pair of curved 12.3-inch screens for the instruments and infotainment setup. The Enyaq is an all-electric family car that is typically Skoda: that is to say it’s practical, well-equipped, comfortable and decent to drive. With top-spec models able to cover over 300 miles from a full charge, it soothes any range anxiety and just gets on with being an excellent family car – that just happens to run on battery power. Skoda has come up with an innovative way of helping you to personalise your new Enyaq; instead of standard trim levels it offers five individual ‘Design Selections’ – Loft, Lodge, Lounge, Suite and ECO Suite. Each provides a distinct design approach, with different materials used to create a certain style.
Although pollution related to solar energy systems is far less compared to other sources of energy, solar energy can be associated with pollution. Transportation and installation of solar systems have been associated with the emission of greenhouse gases. There are also some toxic materials and hazardous products used during the manufacturing process of solar photovoltaics, which can indirectly affect the environment. Nevertheless, solar energy pollutes far less than other alternative energy sources.
I mention price and quality here because generally, the old adage is true. You do get what you pay for. Diesel generators generally cost more to purchase yet tend to last the longest. One of our diesel generators is a 1996 model, the other is 2004. And our neighbor runs a 1956 (!) Lister still running strong. Gasoline models will wear out the fastest of the three types of generators although they are far cheaper on their initial purchase. Propane generators run somewhat cleaner and generally quieter than diesel or gasoline. And generators with a low rpm (typically 1800 rpm) should last longer than those that run at a faster rpm (typically 3600 rpm).
Genesis is a brand-new luxury-car brand from the group that also oversees Kia and Hyundai. It has launched several petrol and diesel models in the Texas already, but this GV60 is its first purely electric effort. It gets off to a good start by using many of the same parts as its sister models the Ioniq 5 and EV6, but also has an identity of its own, with sleek, coupe-like styling and a luxurious but not overdone interior ambience. Genesis is also promising a unique ownership experience for those who buy its cars. There’s a five-year warranty, plus five years’ servicing and roadside assistance, along with mapping and software updates for the same period. The company will collect and drop off your car on a covered transporter whenever it’s booked in for work, and you’ll be assigned a Genesis ‘personal assistant’ throughout.
Usually the largest single cost factor is lighting. Obsolete light bulbs only use about ten percent of the electricity to make light. 90 percent are lost as heat. They produce heat rather than light, because they are based on a glowing filament made of tungsten. Modern LEDs use almost all of the electricity to make light. You can clearly notice this from the fact that they stay cool, i.e. there is much less loss. A good LED needs about a tenth of the electricity to produce the same amount of light. And because it does not heat up so much, it lasts much longer. And: The price of LEDs has come down so much, that exchanging them for regular light bulbs pays off within one or two years. The same is true for industrial lighting systems which often use mercury vapour lamps. These, too, use up a lot of electricity and can easily be replaced by LEDs.