Category Archives: Fun Facts

The Tesla Cybertruck

The latest and 6th vehicle to join the Tesla family was unveiled on November 21st, 2019. The all-electric pick-up truck immediately turned heads and garnered some gasps with its unique design that looks to be something straight out of an 80’s sci-fi film and belongs on an alien planet. Aptly named “The Cybertruck”, Tesla will be releasing it’s one-of-a-kind truck in 3 different price ranges, each with varying degrees of specs.

According to Tesla, the Cybertruck is designed with a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton, where every component is designed for superior strength and endurance, from Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin to Tesla armour glass; making this truck’s body tougher than any other car on the market. The smooth monochrome exoskeleton puts the shell on the outside of the car providing the driver and passengers maximum protection.

Claiming that the Cybertruck is “Better utility than a truck with more performance than a sports car,” Tesla promises more versatile utilities such as 3,500 pounds of payload capacity and adjustable air suspension, a 6.5-foot long bed with a rolling cover that can slide up and down and even an advanced 17-inch touchscreen with an all-new customized user interface. Tesla also states that the Cybertruck’s top-end model with Tri Motor AWD can accelerate from 0-60 mph in as little as 2.9 seconds and up to 500 miles of range.

The Cybertruck is available for pre-order right now for a fully refundable $100 to get in line. Production is expected to begin in late 2021, with Single Motor RWD production expected to begin in late 2022. Tesla has also added the availability of the full self-driving capabilities for an extra $7000, where you can pre-order the software that will allow the truck to drive itself.

So, if you see yourself driving around in this “other-worldly” vehicle in the near future, go right ahead and place your pre-order here!

Ford & McDonalds: The Coffee Cars

Jumping-in to combat climate change, Ford has announced that they are teaming up with McDonalds USA to use coffee waste to make parts for their cars: specifically their headlights.

I know what you’re thinking: cars made out of coffee? What!?

Here’s how it works:
The famous automaker will be taking recycled coffee chaff waste from the fast-food giant. Chaff is the dried skin/husk that is removed from the coffee bean after the roasting process. These are always a bit of a nuisance and mostly discarded afterwards, which makes it the waste of roasting coffee beans.

But as the saying goes, one man’s waste is another man’s treasure and Ford is planning to use a chaff composite for interior car components, and under the hood; because when heated and mixed with plastic and other additives, coffee chaff can be formed into pellets and various other shapes. According to Ford, they will be diverting it from a landfill to its laboratory, where it will be engineered into bioplastics.

According to Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, “McDonald’s commitment to innovation was impressive to us and matched our own forward-thinking vision and action for sustainability.” The first car part to be produced using the chaff will be headlamps. With each headlight installation needing chaffs from about 300,000 beans, McDonald’s USA plans to divert a “significant portion” of its North American coffee chaff to Ford. “Like McDonald’s, Ford is committed to minimizing waste and we’re always looking for innovative ways to further that goal,” said Ian Olson, senior director, global sustainability, McDonald’s. “By finding a way to use coffee chaff as a resource, we are elevating how companies together can increase participation in the closed-loop economy.”

As a result of this partnership, manufacturing the car parts will be 20% lighter, which is better for fuel efficiency and will require 25% less energy during the moulding process than with traditional plastic. In addition to reducing food waste, the effort will use less petroleum and lower CO2 emissions.

Hybrid Cars

What is a hybrid car?
Hybrid cars are electrified vehicles that still use an internal combustion engine, which means combining a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor. The main advantage of a hybrid is that it consumes less fuel and emits less CO2 than a conventional petrol or diesel-engine vehicle.

How do hybrid cars work?
Driving a hybrid is similar to driving an automatic car, so there’s little compromise on performance. A hybrid combines at least one electric motor with a gasoline engine to move the car, and its system recaptures energy via regenerative braking. Unlike an Electric Vehicle (EV) or Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), hybrids also have a petrol or diesel engine to fall back on if the electricity supply is diminishing.

Types of hybrids:
There are three different types of hybrids and each work in a different way.

Parallel/Full Hybrid
This is the most common type of hybrid. A full hybrid is a car which can drive under its own electric power, petrol or a combination of both. They are sometimes called ‘parallel hybrids’. The car’s wheels can be powered in three different ways: either directly by the engine, by the electric motor alone, or a blend of the two power sources. The Toyota Prius is the most widely known example.

Mild Hybrid
A mild hybrid car cannot drive under electric power alone and doesn’t improve fuel economy to the extent that a full hybrid system can. The engine never drives the car; it only produces energy for the electric motor. The Honda Jazz r is one of the more popular examples.

Plug-in Hybrid
As its name states, this type of hybrid can be plugged into an electric outlet to recharge their batteries, as well as being charged on the move. It carries a much larger battery pack that must be fully recharged using an external electricity source from the home or public charging station. Popular plug-in hybrids include the BMW i8 and VW Golf GTE, with both cars having bigger battery capacities to enable a longer electric range.

Unique Parking Garages in the World

We’ve all had to endure the painstaking process of driving through the lanes, winding around those sharp corners and squeezing into tight spaces as we search for an empty parking spot. In a country like India that has an ever-growing population where malls and shopping locations are always crowded – and admittedly people don’t always park according to the guidelines – finding an empty parking spot can be an arduous task. If only someone could come up with a design like these unique parking garages built across the world.

Autostadt Car Towers
The Autostadt Car Towers have made it into the 2014 BOOK OF GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ with vehicle transport technology that has been recognized as the “ world’s fastest automatic parking system in the world” in the category “extraordinary elevators”. With a record speed of two metres per second, new vehicles are transported – in one minute and 44 seconds from the entrance of the towers to the highest parking space. This makes the fully automated high-rise parking system the fastest in the world.

Marina City
Completed in 1964, these twin towers were well ahead of their time. Marina City was originally designed by Bertrand Goldberg to be a small town square in the heart of the city. The upper half of Marina City is home to 450 different apartments and offices while the lower half is dedicated to parking, with 896 parking spaces per building.

Umihotaru
Built on a 650m manmade island (Kisarazu artificial island) surrounded by 360º of water in the middle of the Tokyo Bay Aqualine, Umihotaru is a bridge/tunnel combination that connects the city of Kawasaki with the city of Kisarazu across the Tokyo Bay. The unique and unusual “Umihotaru Parking Area” is designed in the shape of a cruise liner, stands five levels tall, with parking on levels 1 through 3, and commercial facilities on levels 4 and 5. This is the only shopping mall on the sea where you can enjoy panoramic 360º views of Tokyo Bay, as well as many shops, restaurants and services.

Eureka Car Park
Inspired by the work of Swiss artist Felice Varini – who is well-known for his giant vector art superimposed on buildings, this cavernous concrete car park beneath Melbourne’s Eureka Tower used a 3-D chalk drawing technique to transform regular directions into visual puzzles. The design team painted keywords and directions directly onto the garage walls and floors. The words “In,” “Out,” “Up, ” and “Down” snap into alignment to convey information at key decision-making points along the way; with colour codes such as Red = out, Green = in, blue = up and yellow = down.

Robotic Parking Garage
This parking garage in Dubai is currently the world’s largest robotic parking garage and can handle 250 cars per hour with a 765-vehicle storage facility. Robotic Parking Systems can reduce the land area used for parking by 50% as compared to traditional ramp style parking. The robotic automation ensures that the cars are parked as efficiently as possible. It is the first automated parking garage in the Middle East region.

Herma Parking Building
Looking more like a museum or gallery the luxurious façade holds an unconventionally chic parking garage. Herma Parking Building is located in the subcentre of Yongin City and is designed to feature precision openings spread out across the building. The 853-sq-m structure is covered with five layers of over 635 polycarbonate panels and 930 stainless steel pieces.