Car Reviews

Are Electric Cars Actually Greener Than Gas Cars?

Of course they are.

Many countries and local governments are now promoting electric vehicles as a key part of their decarbonization strategy, but are they right? Is battery power really more environmentally friendly than the internal combustion engine? Those questions are explained with a new ThEVox Network video.

Comparing the environmental footprint of any car can be tricky, because different companies have different suppliers, production processes, not to mention philosophies around supporting a low carbon economy. This is why ThEVox Network enlisted the International Council on Clean Transportation to help answer this one. The ICCT is a non-profit organization that was responsible for exposing Dieselgate to the world, so it’s safe to say that they know their onions when it comes to calculating emissions.

A recent ICCT study discovered that a typical electric car, using average European electricity, is almost 30% cleaner over its lifecycle, compared to even the most efficient internal combustion engine vehicle. In markets with very low-carbon electricity, such as Norway or France, electric vehicles are said to be more than 60% cleaner.

To understand more, the video explains what is known as a vehicle’s Life Cycle Assessment, which is split into four stages. Which ones? Press play and watch the video to find out

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Car Reviews

Volvo recalls 2.2 million cars for seatbelt fault

The huge safety recall applies to numerous Volvos made from 2006 to 2018, with 169,481 UK cars affected 

Volvo is recalling 2.2 million cars globally due to a securing cable that can suffer fatigue, weakening the action of the seatbelts.

The recall applies to examples of the S60, S60 Cross Country, V60, V60 Cross Country, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80 made from 2006 to 2018. All of those models are previous, rather than current-generation cars. 

Volvo says that instances of the fault manifesting are “extremely rare”, but that “in extreme cases, damage to the cable, which is located in a rubber sleeve on the outside of the seats, could result in reduced seat belt restraint function.” 

Volvo has received no reports from anywhere in the world of accidents or injuries caused by the fault. The firm added: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers, and are grateful for their cooperation as we look to perform this precautionary action.”

The Swedish firm, now owned by Chinese car maker Geely, actually invented the three-pointed seat belt in 1959 under the guidance of engineer Nils Bohlin, famously making the patent open so other firms could fit the life-saving device at cost price. Such a large recall for so fundamental a safety feature will, therefore, be all the more embarrassing for Volvo. It shows, however, that recalls are a part and parcel of the automotive industry and that no car maker is immune from.

This seatbelt recall follows a similar action for half a million Volvos in July last year due to a plastic intake manifold, which could melt and pose a fire risk. Both of these campaigns pale into insignificance, however, when compared to the Takata airbag scandal, a recall that affects around 60 million cars worldwide, and was caused by poorly manufactured airbag detonators, which have the potential to fire shrapnel at occupants’ necks and faces – although the issue mainly occurs in warm climates.

Cars affected by the Volvo seat belt recall: full list



Model Year


Production dates






2006-02-07 / 2016-04-08






2010-05-21 / 2018-08-14






2007-03-14 / 2016-04-27






2007-05-09 / 2016-05-30


S60 Cross Country




2015-04-13 / 2018-05-30






2010-06-22 / 2018-08-27






2008-03-18 / 2016-04-22


V60 Cross Country




2014-12-04 / 2018-


Has your car been affected by a recall? Tells about it in the comments…

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Mugello in current F1 cars would be ‘insane’ – Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo reckons Formula 1’s current cars around Mugello will be “insane” – with the Italian venue set to get the nod for a second race in Italy this year.

With F1 chiefs looking likely to expand the European season in September, there are mounting indications that the Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit will be allowed to hold a race on September 13, one week after Monza.

That would nicely coincide with Ferrari’s 1000th world championship grand prix .

The elevation changes and high-speed nature of Mugello have made it a favourite for fans and drivers, and Ricciardo says his previous experience of the track from a test in 2012 has left him relishing the chance of a return.

“That was a circuit I raced back in 2007 [in Formula Renault Italy], for the first time, and it was my favourite circuit that season,” explained Ricciardo.

“I loved just the flowing high speed corners and I think in F1, it would be amazing. We had a test there, I think it was back in 2012, in F1.

“But, you know, the cars now, these 2020 cars around there, would be insane! So yeah, I’m certainly excited if that one takes place.”

As well as Mugello being in the frame to get a grand prix, the Portuguese Portimao track has also emerged as a contender.

Ricciardo reckons that the Algarve track would be great for F1 too, having had experience of the track when he clinched the British F3 title there in 2009.

“I actually have good memories of Portimao,” he explained. “It was where I wrapped up the F3 championship.

“It was a circuit I really enjoyed: some good elevation and again quite good flowing fast corners. So, yeah, I’m not disappointed if any of these go ahead at all. I would be very excited.”

Ricciardo’s teammate Esteban Ocon says he has already been learning the Portimao line-up on his home simulator, as he welcomed the addition of new tracks to the 2020 calendar.

“I love the old school circuits like Mugello or Imola,” said the Frenchman. “That was a track I raced not so long ago as well in F3. I still have to learn Portimao.

“I’ve done a lot of laps, obviously on my home sim, which was good. But yeah, I’m happy to do a lot of races. And if that’s the way we can do more more in the future, then it’s fantastic.”

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Car Reviews

This Video Says Tesla Cars Are Great Even If The Company Isn't

Did Andy Rogerson, from EVM, hit the nail on the head? Or is he wrong?

It’s been a while since we last published a video from the EVM channel. Andy Rogerson had just bought a Tesla Model 3, and we wrote about it on March 16. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to hit hard, and he did not make a review of his car then. That only happened recently, and the youtuber states it seems like a long-lasting marriage. He also says that the vehicle is excellent even if many cannot say the same about Tesla.

His comparison to marriage comes from those moments in which he looks at the car and says, “this is why I chose you,” along with those he wants to split ways with the machine. Considering what he says about Tesla, his metaphor would be perfect if he compared the company to a bad mother-in-law.

Rogerson says the car is great and that there is a reason for all these automotive channels on YouTube to seem to be made by apologists. According to him, anyone that gets to drive a Model 3 would fall in love with it for the product it is. Chris Harris already said that he loved the EV, but did not buy out of fear of having to be part of “the club.”

The bad points of his experience with the car come from the finishing and quality issues, such as the way the rear bumper does not integrate well with the body. What bothers Rogerson is that it is something so evident in his Model 3, like the aspects of your wife’s – or husband’s – personality that you are sure that are due to the way she/he was raised. In Tesla’s defense, the company promised to fix that.

He is also annoyed by the “non-premium” aspects of his car, such as the lack of knobs, the way the frunk lid closes, and the “fake leather” – as Rogerson names the synthetic leather Tesla calls vegan. Imagine a spouse that lacks more sophisticated manners in a situation that requires that.

Apart from the cost-cutting elements of his Model 3, he is positively impressed with his car’s performance and its running costs. The latter is the reason why he never bought a BMW 3 Series, the car he always wanted to have.

Finally, Rogerson mentions some people had bad experiences with Tesla but that they were not due to the car, but instead to Tesla. We get that many times whenever someone reports an issue, such as the paint problems the Model 3 has. All owners so far said they loved their EVs: what they can’t stand is their “mother.”

What do you think about that? Would the experience with these cars be better if the company was different? Is Rogerson wrong in the points he makes? Feel free to share your comments on his video below. Be sure to watch it fully.

Source: EVM 

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Car Reviews

Project CARS 3 Developer Blog Explains New Tire Physics, Confirms Pit Stops Are History

With just two months to go until Project CARS 3 arrives on our consoles and PCs, Slightly Mad Studios has started a developer blog to give some insight into the game.

The blog essentially consists of a group of important studio figures discussing one aspect of PC3. We don’t know how many SMS has planned, but that fact that the first article there is “#1” is a pretty good sign that this is due to be a reasonably lengthy endeavour.

For the first entry, the developers are talking about tire physics. It’s an interesting and somewhat technical read that certainly addresses player concerns about whether the simulation model underneath PC3 is diminished from PC2. The upshot is that it isn’t, but the blog post does confirm one particularly contentious detail that fans brought up during the first gameplay video earlier this month.

First the good news. PC3 will continue to use the tire model that SMS has previously developed for the first two games. The studio calls it “Seta”, and it’s actually three different simulations working together. Seta models the exterior carcass of the tire separately from the main bulk, with a third layer between them. The outer layer is 30μm thick, and both heats and cools very quickly. Beneath that is a 0.5-1.0mm layer that takes longer to dissipate heat, with the bulk of the tire even slower to heat up or cool down.

For Project CARS 3 that final layer now behaves differently. Rather than acting as an enormous heat sink, the “bulk” layer now has a fixed condition — which is always optimal. That means that in PC3 tires won’t wear down, and with neither tire wear nor fuel consumption, the game has no need for pit stops.

Nick Pope, the principal vehicle handling designer, explains that this is a conscious decision to make PC3 more about actual driving and less about engineering tactics

“By removing tyre wear and fuel usage, we could in turn remove pitstops, which resulted in much closer and more consistent racing. Thus, the whole process of getting to the part that matters most — the actual racing and driving of these amazing cars and their upgrades — became a far easier and more streamlined affair.

“All these game design decisions have had great results in terms of the racing — with the tires at their optimal range all the time and fuel at optimal load, there is no break in the action to stop for more fuel or new rubber. It’s pure racing action, and it’s just made Project CARS 3 into a much better racing-driver experience.”

That appears to be a definitive line in the sand for PC3. Much of what the developers discuss in this blog article centers on removing any distractions from the job of just driving a car flat out — and that includes simplifying certain vehicle settings options. It certainly won’t come as welcome news to players who enjoy the tactical aspects of endurance racing.

You can read the blog’s first entry right here — and let us know in the comments what you think of this particular design choice.

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