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Yearly Archives: 2019

Honda E Electric Vehicle

Honda E Electric Vehicle

The new electric car from Honda, called the “E” is the first large production all battery electric powered vehicle from Honda.  The “E” will be marketed and sold in Europe.  Unfortunately the company has no plans to make them available in the US, too bad because this car is designed for the needs of urban San Francisco Bay Area drivers.  Small enough to cruise the congested city streets with ease in addition to fitting into the smallest of parking spaces.  The range is a modest 135 miles but offers a speedy charging rate, 10% to 80% in 30 minutes.  Honda has two HP options to choose from; 134 or the more powerful 152.  The exterior resembles a lovable, squeezable character right out of a Disney animated film but inside the “E” is loaded with high tech gadgetry and was designed without external side view mirrors which are replaced by two dash screens bringing the total to five which span the entire dash.   Other ... read more

Volkswagen Announces Electric Volkswagen ID.3

After the debacle with diesel emission cheating, Volkswagen has done a full 180 and in September, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, will introduce electric Volkswagen ID.3  Details are still pretty sketchy, but Volkswagen has announced that it will offer three versions -  low end version with electric range of 200 miles, mid level version with the range of 260 miles, and the high end version with electric range of 340 miles.  As all electric cars, it will be a lively vehicle, with excellent acceleration.  While we don't have many details, it is supposed to be priced similarly to a fully equipped Volkswagen Golf TDI.  Naturally when the electric Volkswagen will become available in the US, we will provide full service for ID.3 owners. In the meantime,  we are happy to service and repair most Volkswagen models you may currently own. We will, of course, continue to keep you informed about this new exciting electric car

What happens after Toyota Supra’s 4 years free Apple CarPlay ends?

Road/Show has announced the top level 2020 Toyota Supras will be equipped with Apple CarPlay.  The Apple CarPlay is the infotainment system used widely by BMW.  Toyota is not offering an android option for their Supras.  However, they have introduced Google’s equivalent smart-phone mirroring on select Canadian and USA models namely; Sequoia, 4-Runner, Tacoma, Tundra and SUV’s.    Apple CarPlay will be free on the applicable Supras for 4 years then mostly likely an annual subscription fee will be charged like BMW has been doing.  Toyota’s offer of four years free is quite generous compared to BMW who initially offered the technology as a one-time cost option but now gives one year free then charges an $80 per year subscription.  When Motor 1 reached out to Toyota’s Customer Care Senior Analyst of Connected Technologies, Jarrod Marini regarding the billing plan for the future he said “We haven’t decided yet” (w ... read more

Samsung and Volvo Partner

The Volvo group has forged an agreement with Samsung SDI to develop and supply battery cells and modules for its Volvo electric trucks. Samsung will supply these components to the Volvo Group to be assembled in their manufacturing facilities and are for use in Volvo’s all electric trucks. Volvo Trucks of North America has quickly moved into the all electric truck area, their FL Electric trucks began rolling off the assembly line earlier this year.  An all-electric garbage truck is also in the works for Volvo as is an autonomous, cab-less all electric truck.  No stranger to electric vehicles their sister company, Volvo Buses have been manufacturing and selling all electric buses since 2010. Volvo is now expanding their VNR series with an all electric.  This all electric truck is being tested in California now with sales beginning in 2020.  Volvo says the new truck is ideal for heavy urban distribution, drayage and other regional applications an option for cit ... read more

Volvo to recall half a million cars

Volvo has announced via email it would recall 507,000 vehicles Worldwide. The effected years are 2014-2019. The models include their entire line-up S60, S80, S90, V40, V60, V70, V90, XC60, XC90 and are for cars fitted with the 2 liter, 4 cylinder diesel engines. This recall is due to a faulty engine component that can catch on fire. This component the intake manifold and is made of plastic. This plastic apparently over time can melt down, deform and can catch fire.   The company has made no reports of accidents or personal injuries related to the recall.  Volvo will send all vehicle owners with those cars a notification by mail asking them to seek out a local retailer for corrective action.  

EV batteries are rapidly coming down in price

Bloomberg NEF – provider of energy research and information predicts (April, 2019) that the cost of EV batteries will come down rapidly.  It’s estimated that by 2025 the cost of an EV battery will only be 20% of the entire vehicle cost. Even sooner Bloomberg  NEF reports that by 2022 EV will become the cheaper option. As of 2015 the battery cost was 57% of the entire vehicle price.  While this year they are down to 33% of the vehicle cost. At Berkeley Bob’s we welcome the rapid development of electric vehicles. Our nationally ASE certified technicians have the latest tools and training to safely handle the high voltage battery in your vehicle. We appreciate the improvement in air quality that the widespread adoption of electric vehicles provides

Japanese Car Production in UK unlikely after Brexit

All this talk of Brexit and nothing has been resolved.  This week the EU decided to extend implementation until October 31, 2019.  The world’s waiting anxiously to see what the Brexit deal will mean for both Britain and the European Union.  There’s so much uncertainty on how Britain will conduct business in Europe after Brexit.  Either way the automotive car makers are getting nervous and have already made changes that are effecting their car production in Britain. In February, Nissan announced it had decided to cancel their plan to expand the Sunderland manufacturing plant which turns out 520,000 cars a year and employs 7700 people in Northern England.  The proposed expansion was to produce Nissan SUVs, Qashqai and X-Trail and would have increased the two assembly line plant to three, employed an additional 3300 jobs people and injected the local economy with an estimated £254m in wages.  Then, in mid March Nissan made a second announc ... read more



Hyundai Motor Company Goes Green – Soy Wiring Insulation

Engine electrical wiring harnesses have traditionally been coated with a covering that is made from petroleum based plastic, this covering is called insulation.  However, Hyundai along with a few other manufacturers (Toyota, Kia, Subaru and Honda) made an effort to change tradition and move in a “green” direction.  That is they decided to go eco-friendly (and safe a few bucks in the process) and change their vehicle wiring harness insulation composition to a soy based “bioplastic” product.  This new material will keep the plastic insulation out of landfills, be biodegradable and of course be cheaper to manufacturer.          That’s all good right?  Not so, as it turns out a group of rodents or rats and mice, to be exact,  found out about the new cache of soy based wire insulation being stored under the hoods of Hyundai automobiles everywhere.  The rodents not only feast on the (yummy?) ... read more


Hyundai Repair

New car batteries are failing sooner - JD Powers

JD Powers did an annual survey of vehicle owners, and results were quite interesting - newer cars are having more problems with batteries. It turns out auxiliary car batteries are failing sooner. Normally you would expect a good quality battery to last 5 years or so but now they are failing at an increased rate after two or three of years of use. As it turns out the culprits are info systems, entertainment systems as well as the modern key fobs.  Info and entertainment systems are known power hogs because software updates and telemetry communications that occur while the car is parked create additional drain on the battery – not terribly surprising. But the key fob is an interesting story.  It turns out many fobs are part of a proximity key system (that allows an owner to unlock and start the car while keeping the key fob in his or her pocket or purse).  This function can also drain a car battery’s charge at an accelerated rate when the activating key fob ... read more


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