Category Archives: Used Cars

Chevrolet Suburban Luggage Test: How much fits behind the third row?

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Continue reading Chevrolet Suburban Luggage Test: How much fits behind the third row?

Chevrolet Suburban Luggage Test: How much fits behind the third row? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2024 10:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ontario will suspend driver’s licenses for convicted car thieves for at least 10 years

TORONTO — Canada’s most populous province has announced it will suspend driver’s licenses for at least 10 years for those who have been convicted of stealing a car.

Ontario Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria said those convicted three times of auto theft would have their licenses suspended for life.

Penalties will increase on second and third convictions.

Sarkaria said a car is stolen every 14 minutes in Ontario, which has a population of about 15.6 million. Car thefts in the province have increased dramatically in recent years, especially in Toronto, the largest city in Canada, leaving many residents frustrated.

Authorities have said thieves target relatively new vehicles, including high-end pickup trucks and SUVs, which are then exported to markets in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

“Driving is a privilege, not a right. If you are shameful enough to prey on other members of the community for your own reckless gain you’ll lose that privilege,” he said.

Sarkaria said the province is also implementing stiffer penalties including a one-year license suspension for those convicted of stunt driving.

Study tries to assess average driver’s fuel cost over a lifetime

The site Go Banking Rates (GBR) attempted to figure out how much the average American driver spends on gas, per state, over the course of that driver’s decades behind the wheel. Considering the methodology, it’s probably best to look at this as a financial relationship between states regarding projected current outlay or how much drivers in each state drive on average. We’ve already got questions about what’s happening in Wyoming.

First here’s how GBR got the numbers it fed into the equation, all sourced from either government data or the American Automobile Association (AAA). It gives the average American a 61-year driving career, from 16 to 77, that number multiplied by average yearly driven miles per state. Car-wise, the average vehicle has a 13.4-gallon gas tank and gets 24.4 miles per gallon, going 329.4 gallons on a full tank. Take the average resident’s annual mileage per state, divide that by the distance traveled on a full tank, that gives the necessary number times the driver has to fill the tank every year. Since the fixed tank size is 13.4 gallons, multiply the number of full tanks by 13.4 for the required number of gallons annually, then multiply that by the average price of a gallon of gas in a state. Then multiply that by 61. Voila, large numbers.  

Using easy numbers, say a driver does 12,000 miles per year in a particular state and gets 300 miles out of every tank, that’s 40 full tanks every year. Say the tank size is 15 gallons, multiply that by 40 tanks, that’s 600 gallons. If the average price of gas in this fictional state is $3 per gallon, that’s $1,800 per year. Multiply 1,800 by 61 years of driving to get $109,800 over the course of this fictional driver’s life. The unexpected finding about this easy setup is that, according to GBR numbers, $109,800 would be the sixth-cheapest lifetime cost of gas for a U.S. resident, above Pennsylvania ($108,670), below New Jersey ($110,735). 

We aren’t clear on the specific pages where GBR got some of its numbers, such as the average tank size and average fuel economy. Of the 25 best-selling vehicles last year that have fuel tanks — so, not counting Tesla — the smallest tank size award goes to the Toyota Corolla Hybrid at 11.3 gallons, rising to 13.2 gallons for a standard model. Last year’s DOE report on 2022-model-year vehicles claimed 26.4 mpg on average for all new light-duty vehicles.

And forget about averaging the price of gas over 61 years; the average nationwide price of a gallon of gas in 1963 was 32 cents. While it’s true the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that $0.32 in 1963 is equivalent to $3.29 in today’s money, those are very different prices. Forget about getting the same mileage out of every tank, too. And diesel drivers get no seat at this table. 

What is constant is that Wyoming residents drive huge miles on average every year, so that state leads the table for the average cost of gas over a lifetime at $201,698, beating California at No. 2 by a gargantuan $34,000. Based on government data, average vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita in Wyoming in 2011 was 16,272 miles, beating Alaska residents by almost 3,000 miles per year. In 2014, Wyoming folk did 16,410 miles per year on average, beating Georgia residents by more than 3,500 miles. Three years later, Wyoming dwellers were up to 16,900 miles per year, by 2019, it was more than 24,000 miles per year. The top 10 states for lifetime gas price in the study were:

  1. Wyoming: $201,698.22
  2. California: $167,226.71
  3. Nevada: $158,450.88
  4. Georgia: $158,176.59
  5. New Mexico: $156,656.37

Head over to Go Banking Rates for the rest of the list.

At a New York school, Soap Box Derby racing is on the curriculum

One wouldn’t ordinarily consider the Bronx as part of the country’s racing heartland. But in the insular, yet passionate, universe that revolves around soapbox cars, these neighborhoods in the northeast part of the rugged borough have become a fulcrum for soapbox competition.

With the help of a recent New York Times story about the teens and pre-teens who build their own vehicles to compete — they hope — in July’s Soap Box Derby World Championship in Akron, Ohio, racing on four small wheels has become an ultimate quest.

Times reporter Bernard Mokam centered his piece in the parking lot of Public School 111 in the Baychester neighborhood, where one recent morning about 30 soapbox derby teams, competitive elementary and middle schoolers and their teachers, assembled to continue the chase for the championship. This year, more than 50 racers from 31 schools are competing.

The event this summer, officially known as the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship, attracts nearly 400 contestants from around the world. There are more than a hundred cities where drivers vie for the title of “local champion” and the opportunity to race in Akron on this track:

All of the local races and rallies are posted on the organization’s site here. “Race Week” in Akron runs from Sunday, July 14, to Saturday, July 20. Specific information about those days, the scheduled activities and tickets can be found here.

Racing by gravity — which is what soap boxes do — dates backs to kids tossing go-karts down hills in the 1930s. Myron Scott of the Dayton Daily News, who photographed a group of young men with their homemade rides, sensed a publicity opportunity back then and eventually convinced the Chevrolet brand to sponsor a nationwide competition.

The first All-American Soap Box Derby race was held on August 19, 1934, watched by a crowd estimated at 45,000; boys from 34 cities competed in the all-day affair. Robert Turner of Muncie, Indiana, piloting a car riding on bare metal wheels with no bearings, was crowned the first All-American Champion. In 1975, Karren Stead won the World Championship, the first of many girls who would go on to claim the title, although girls had been racing in the derby for decades.

This year marks the 86th running of the race, and kids and teens ages 7 to 20 are eligible to drive in one of three divisions, decided by age.

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Back in the Bronx, racing wasn’t just about the sport, the Times said, but was also “a manifestation of the science curriculum in District 11 — one of a handful of New York City districts that have turned to soapbox to engage pupils and ultimately get them excited about going to, and being in, school.”

Expenses can be high. Each soapbox car costs $1,800, which includes basic parts and related race fees. The schools in the Bronx also contribute to help pay for the winners’ trips to the championship race.

Following the team during a race, the Times found fifth-grader Jayden Trapp of P.S. 68, who faced off at the top of the hill against Valentina Ross. “In last year’s race,” the story said, “she lost in the final heat, missing out on a chance to represent P.S. 83 in Akron, Ohio. She was determined not to let that happen again. ‘You have this guilt built inside of you,’ said Valentina, a 13-year-old from the Morris Park neighborhood.”

Alas, it was not to be. The lights went green. “It was close, but Jayden outpaced Valentina, who said she was disappointed but not angry. Jayden’s burgundy soapbox car went on to victory, and this July, he will get a chance to race for the championship in Akron.”

What does RPM stand for?

You notice it every time you get in the car — when you start the engine, the gauge called a tachometer tells you the RPMs. But, particularly if you don’t have a manual transmission, maybe you don’t entirely understand what that’s about, why it’s important, and you’re a little too self-conscious to ask. No worries, we’ll break it down for you here in this video. 

Transcript: What does RPM stand for? RPM stands for “revolutions per minute.” It’s a measure of how fast the engine is spinning. In general, the faster an engine spins, the more power it makes. An engine works by burning air and gas to push the pistons down. That force makes the crankshaft spin, which is what ultimately drives the wheels of the car. How much force is transmitted to the crankshaft is called torque. Horsepower is a measure of work over a period of time.

At higher RPM, the engine is burning more air and fuel. That means it makes more power and consumes more gas. The tachometer usually displays RPM in thousands. So if the tachometer is pointing to the “2,” it’s turning at 2,000 revolutions per minute. Drivers with manual transmissions use the tachometer as a reference point for when to shift. Not enough RPM could make the engine stall. Too many could hurt the engine.

The engine’s RPM limit is displayed on the tachometer as a red area known as “redline.” Exceeding this limit could cause severe engine damage. It’s generally most efficient to shift at lower RPM. Every car is different, but your owner’s manual may have guidance on efficient shift points.

These are the top 5 safest states for older drivers

It’s no secret that our bodies change when we age, making some everyday activities more difficult and dangerous. A new report from CNN Underscored Money showed that older drivers are more likely to be involved in a crash, but some states are far more hazardous than others.

The study looked at drivers aged 55 and older by comparing 17 metrics, including insurance, licensing and road safety. It found that Minnesota was the safest for those drivers, with the sixth-lowest rate of fatal crashes and the fewest pedestrian crash fatalities. The top five safest states include:

  1. Minnesota
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Hawaii
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New York

Massachusetts and New York are significantly more densely populated than the first three states on the list. Drivers in Massachusetts receive vision screenings when renewing their license after 75, and New York had the third-highest rate of insured drivers, helping them climb into the top five.

CNN noted that New England and East Coast states were the safest for older drivers, with eight of the top 10 safest coming from those areas. New England and Midwestern states had the lowest fatality rates, with Rhode Island showing the fewest fatalities and Massachusetts coming in third.

The study also looked at road safety and conditions. States in the Deep South, Southwest and West were the worst in these areas, though data for the least safe places were not included. These states lacked quality infrastructure, with more bridges and roads considered to be in poor condition per 1,000 square miles of land area. They also had higher rates of uninsured drivers and fewer age-related checks before renewing a driver’s license. Some states showed more unlicensed drivers.

While the study is interesting, it’s important to note that some of the metrics might not be directly related to driving safety. CNN looked at median incomes, and while some research has shown that lower-income areas tend to have more crashes than affluent regions, higher-income drivers have also been found to be more aggressive behind the wheel.

The average car on American roads is now 12.6 years old

Auto journalists and enthusiasts love buying new cars, but the general public isn’t as hyped about the process. A recent study from S&P Global Mobility found that the average age of vehicles on U.S. roads has continued increasing, reaching 12.6 years in 2024.

That figure, which applies to cars and light trucks, grew two months from 2023’s study. That increase has presented a prime business opportunity for aftermarket parts and service providers. S&P Global Mobility’s aftermarket practice lead, Todd Campau, said, “With average age growth, more vehicles are entering the prime range for aftermarket service, typically from six to 14 years of age. With more than 110 million vehicles in that sweet spot – reflecting nearly 38 percent of the fleet on the road – we expect continued growth in the volume of vehicles in that age range to rise to an estimated 40 percent through 2028.”

Owners holding onto their cars means fewer are heading to scrapyards, though the number of scrapped vehicles has not increased since last year. That said, two cars are scrapped for every new passenger car registration, adding up to 27 million vehicles leaving the roads since 2020 with just around 13 million new ones registered.

Even with the pace of scrapping, the number of vehicles on our roads has grown significantly since last year. As of January, there were 286 million vehicles in service, two million more than last year. The number of vehicles aged six years or less fell from 98 million in 2019 to 90 million in 2024, driven in part by pandemic-related shortages and supply chain issues.

At the same time, the number of EVs in service continues to grow, despite some prognosticators’ view that the sky is falling. There were 3.2 million EVs in operation at the beginning of this year, an increase of more than 50 percent since 2022. That said, S&P noted that the 3.5-year average age of EVs on the roads could increase in the near term as adoption slows.

Remember last year’s Memorial Day traffic jams? Expect much worse this year

You didn’t think summer travel would be easy, did you?

Highways and airports are likely to be jammed the next few days as Americans head out for Memorial Day weekend getaways and then return home.

AAA predicts this will be the busiest start-of-summer weekend in nearly 20 years, with 43.8 million people expected to travel at least 50 miles from home between Thursday and Monday. The Transportation Security Administration says up to 3 million might pass through airport checkpoints on Friday alone.

And that is just a sample of what is to come. U.S. airlines expect to carry a record number of passengers this summer. Their trade group estimates that 271 million travelers will fly between June 1 and August 31, breaking the record of 255 million set – you guessed it – last summer.

The annual expression of wanderlust is happening at a time when Americans tell pollsters they are worried about the economy and the direction of the country.

A slowdown, and in some cases a retreat, from the big price increases of the last two years may be helping.

Airfares are down 6% and hotel rates have dipped 0.4%, compared with a year ago, according to government figures released last week. Prices for renting a car or truck are down 10%. The nationwide price of gas is around $3.60 a gallon, about 6 cents higher than a year ago, according to AAA.

Johannes Thomas, CEO of the hotel and travel search company Trivago, said he thinks more customers are feeling the pinch of prices that have plateaued but at much higher levels than before the pandemic. He said they are booking farther in advance, staying closer to home, taking shorter trips, and compromising on accommodations — staying in three-star hotels instead of five-star ones.

Many travelers have their own cost-saving strategies, including combining work and pleasure on the same trip.

“I have largely been able to adapt by traveling at strange hours. I’ll fly out late at night, come in early in the morning, stay longer than I intended, and work remotely,” said Lauren Hartle of Boston, an investor for a clean-energy venture firm.

Hartle, who flew from Boston to Dallas on Wednesday for a work conference, plans to attend a summer family gathering in North Carolina but is otherwise considering trips closer to home — and maybe by train instead of plane.

Catey Schast, a nanny and piano teacher in Maine, said her Boston-Dallas flight cost $386 round trip. “It wasn’t terrible,” but it was higher than the $200 to $300 she paid in the past to visit family in Texas, she said.

Schast plans a beach vacation in Florida in July. High prices could discourage her from taking other trips, but “if I really want to go somewhere, I’m more of a how-can-I-make-this-happen type of person, as long as I have the time off work.”

As in past years, most holiday travelers are expected to travel by car – more than 38 million of them, according to AAA. The organization advises motorists hoping to avoid the worst traffic to leave metropolitan areas early Thursday and Friday and to stay off the roads between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

“We haven’t seen any pullback in travel since the pandemic. Year after year, we have seen these numbers continue to grow,” AAA spokesperson Aixa Diaz said. “We don’t know when it’s going to stop. There’s no sign of it yet.”

There’s certainly no slowdown at airports. The number of people going through security checkpoints is up 3.2% this year. The TSA said it screened 2.85 million people last Friday and nearly as many on Sunday — the two busiest days of the year so far.

TSA predicts it will screen more than 18 million travelers and airline crew members during the seven-day stretch that begins Thursday, up 6.4% from last year. Friday is expected to be the busiest day for air travel, with nearly 3 million people passing through checkpoints. The TSA record is 2.91 million, set on the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year.

“We’re going to break those records this summer,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said.

The agency, which was created after the 9/11 terror attacks, has struggled at times with peak loads. Pekoske told The Associated Press that pay raises for front-line screeners have helped improve staffing by reducing attrition from more than 20% to less than 10%.

Airlines say they also have staffed up since being caught short when travel began to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring and summer of 2022.

With any luck from the weather, travelers could see fewer canceled flights than in recent summers. So far this year, U.S. airlines have canceled 1.2% of their flights, according to FlightAware data, compared with 1.4% at this point last year and 2.8% in 2022 — a performance so poor it triggered complaints and increased scrutiny from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Even before the holiday weekend started, however, storms caused widespread cancellations at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the biggest hub for American Airlines. The carrier dropped more than 200 flights, or 5% of its schedule, by late afternoon.

Stranded travelers were not happy.

“Our flight got canceled right before the check-in. And now there’s no flights here until Friday because (open seats on other flights) went really quickly. We might wind up driving. Isn’t that terrible?” said Rosie Gutierrez of Allen, Texas, who was trying to get to Florida along with her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

American’s chief operating officer, David Seymour, said the airline has beefed up its staffing and technology in preparation for the seasonal rush.

“It’s a long summer, but we’re ready for it. We have the right resources,” he said.

American is offering its most ambitious summer schedule ever — 690,000 flights between May 17 and Sept. 3.

United Airlines forecasts its biggest Memorial Day weekend, with nearly 10% more passengers than last year. Delta Air Lines expects to carry 5% more passengers this weekend, kicking off its heaviest summer schedule ever of international flights.

According to AAA, the top domestic and international destinations are familiar ones. They include Orlando, Las Vegas, London, Paris and Rome.

So what about nervousness over the economy?

It’s important to note that people often say their own finances are better than average. In an AP survey from February, 54% said their personal situation was good — but only 30% felt the same about the nation’s economy.

That could explain why they can afford to splurge on travel.

___

Rebecca Santana and Rick Gentilo in Washington contributed to this report.

Here are all the EVs with 800V charging available in 2024

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Continue reading Here are all the EVs with 800V charging available in 2024

Here are all the EVs with 800V charging available in 2024 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 May 2024 12:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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U.S. drivers in this study have the lowest fuel costs in the world

Owning a car comes with a bunch of unexpected expenses, but most people understand that fuel costs are a big part of the process. Britain’s Xcite Car Leasing recently analyzed fuel costs compiled by GlobalPetrolPrices.com, which showed that drivers in the U.S. pay the least in fuel costs worldwide.

That is, the U.S. is cheapest at least among the nations included in the study. Because Xcite is a British firm, it was most interested in comparing the United Kingdom to the U.S. and the rest of Europe. Note that not even, say, Canada is on this list. But it’s a good reminder that the United States, which among other things is the world’s biggest petroleum producer, is better off than many/most places, if not all.

The United States joins Turkey and Bulgaria as the three countries in the survey with the cheapest global fuel prices. The data looked at gas, diesel and electricity prices in May 2023, and even measured availability of public EV chargers.

The top 10 countries with the cheapest gas prices:

  1. United States
  2. Turkey
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Romania
  5. Hungary
  6. Spain
  7. Sweden
  8. Austria
  9. Portugal
  10. Poland
  11. Czech Republic
  12. Belgium
  13. Germany

The United States’ gas prices were only slightly cheaper than Turkey’s, at 97 cents per liter — which comes out to $3.67 a gallon. (And in fact, the U.S. average price in that calculation is actually higher than the average calculated by AAA for that week in May, which was $3.53.)

The U.S. average for diesel was $1.05 per liter ($3.97/gallon). Turkey landed at $1.26 per liter. Both have solid electricity prices, but they are behind other countries’ EV charging infrastructure to a notable degree. The United States has just 0.05 chargers per square mile compared to the Netherlands, which has 9.02.

Italy was ranked as the most expensive country in the study for fuel, thanks in part to its high electricity costs and sparse EV infrastructure. Xcite noted that the country’s fuel costs are not the most expensive, an honor that Denmark earned, but Italy’s poor scores in electricity costs and other areas helped it grab the “top” spot.

The Xcite study was conducted with an eye on the European market. There, diesel costs are expected to climb significantly over the next two decades. Countries like Sweden and Turkey could see diesel fuel prices increase by as much as 80 percent over the next 30 years.

Diesel prices are one thing, but gas (petrol) prices are another. Switzerland is expected to have the highest gas prices by 2050. Turkey and the U.S. remain at the bottom of the list, but all countries in the study showed significant gains in gas prices over 30 years.

Just looking as far out as 2030, the data indicate Americans will be paying an average of £0.89/liter ($3.37/gallon), still the cheapest by far. While on the more expensive end of the range, drivers in Denmark and Sweden could be paying over £2/liter — that’s $9.60/gallon.