Day: March 9, 2020

Formula 1 team prospects for the upcoming season

LONDON (Reuters) – Team by team prospects for the 2020 Formula One season that starts in Australia on March 15.

 

MERCEDES (44-Lewis Hamilton, 77-Valtteri Bottas)

The champions, clear favourites and team to beat as ever. Chasing an unheard of seventh successive title double, with Lewis Hamilton aiming to equal Michael Schumacher’s record seven drivers’ titles. An innovative dual-axis steering (DAS) wheel system has been the talk of testing. Hamilton’s future will be a running saga but Mercedes want him to stay, Bottas must convince the team if he is to continue with them into the new era.

Likely outcome: More champagne, both titles.

 

FERRARI (5-Sebastian Vettel, 16-Charles Leclerc)

Ferrari say they are behind Mercedes on speed and engine power but rivals suspect the Italians have something in reserve. The first few races should give a clearer picture. The car has

Renault Morphoz concept a battery-swapping, shape-shifting Gallic EV

Electric vehicles are still groping their way into the structural convenience enjoyed by ICE-powered vehicles. Not so long ago, swapping battery packs was considered one viable way to achieve consumer-friendly ease and range. Renault and Israeli start-up Better Place released the “unlimited mileage” Fluence Z.E. with swappable batteries in 2011, two years before Better Place went bankrupt; Tesla didn’t shut down its battery-swap station until June 2015. Renault’s returned to the argument of exchange with a beautiful Gallic argument called the Morphoz. Note the lines of the stout electric crossover concept in the photo above, looking reminiscent of a swoopier Fisker Ocean. Then note the same vehicle in the second photo above, stretched in front and back, now recalling a futuristic Range Rover Velar prowling Elysium that perhaps made one too many visits to Elysium’s DUB wheel gallery. And although

Electric cars and the future of auto maintenance

Moving from internal combustion to electric power does more than reduce tailpipe emissions: it will fundamentally shatter today’s auto maintenance and service sector.

The decline is mathematical. With one-fifth the number of powertrain parts and an almost total elimination of oil (a), the typical automotive dealer will suffer 35% declines in maintenance and service revenue, or roughly $1,300, for an EV versus an internal combustion engine vehicle over a five-year period (b).

But this disruption is not even. Two of the top three maintenance items — oil changes and brake service (24% and 5%, respectively, of all maintenance transactions in the U.S. market) — are reduced or eliminated entirely by the move to EVs (c).

Why are brakes impacted? EVs often use a process called regenerative braking, which slows vehicles down while also saving energy. The reduced wear on pads