500 Auto Accessories!

The auto accessories market is experiencing explosive growth thanks to the ever increasing number of new vehicle models being marketed all across North America. For more than fifty years consumers have been the chief benefactors of this unrelenting growth and the selection for you has never been better. Let’s take a look at some of the many automobile accessories available to auto enthusiasts like you and how you can get your hands on what you want!

By definition, automobile accessories are those items [including parts] that do not come with your vehicle. Yes, in some cases you can purchase a fully accessorized vehicle, but for the sake of clarity I am defining auto accessories as aftermarket purchases only.

Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, the accessories available for it will vary. The more popular the model, the more likely that someone, somewhere is making custom fitted accessories for it. Indeed, America’s most popular vehicle – Ford’s full size pick up trucks – have more than 500 different types of accessories made especially for that truck. These accessories come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and ultimately number in the many thousands of different items when calculated separately.

The following are just some of the many accessories available to owners of Ford’s F-150 pick up truck: air deflector, air scoop, bed extender, bed rail cap, bed rails, bed wing, body armor, body kit, brake light cover, bug shield, bumper, bumper cover, bumper guard, bumper mounting kit, bumper trim, cab spoilers, car wash supplies, cargo rack, door handle, door handle cover, door panel, door sill, fender flares, fender molding, front bed cap, front bed protector, front spoiler, fuel door, graphics, grille, grille guard, grille insert, grille shell, header panel, headlight covers, headlight trim, hood hinge, hood protector, hood scoop,mirror,mirror cover, mud flaps, nerf bar mounting kit, nerf bars, push bar, rear window protector, roll pan, roof rack, roof rails, running board mounting kit, running boards, running side box board, side molding, side skirts, side step, skid plate, spoiler, sport tubes, sun shield, tail light covers, tail light guard, tailgate, tailgate cable, tailgate cap, tailgate cover, tailgate handle, tailgate handle cover, tailgate handle relocator, tailgate net, tailgate protector, tailgate spoiler, truck bed rack, truck bed side rail, valance, vent visor, visor, wheel well trim, window covers, windshield wiper, wiper cowls.

As you can see the list is quite lengthy! Staggering better describes the market.

So, how did this whole business get started? Well, for the most part we have California to thank, particularly southern California. While New Jersey gave the world the turnpike and the parkway, the Golden State brought us freeways and a beach culture popularized by such groups as the Beach Boys, who sang about cars, girls, and the youth lifestyle. Sand, surf, girls, and driving go together, so if you are going to be in your car for a long time you might as well make it comfortable and personalize it, right? Thus, companies like Covercraft got started, specializing in car covers, while other companies were launched specializing in the building or modifying of entire cars, like Saleen.

Yes, your choices for auto accessories are simply fantastic: you can outfit your car the way you want it to look by giving it your personal touch well beyond what the automaker had in mind. Hey, this is America: the land of freedom and individuality. Accessorize your car today!

Natural Gas Vehicles Are Beating Out Electric Vehicles for Consumers Top Pick

Consumers have been selecting natural gas vehicles over electric vehicles at a rate of two to one. By year end there will be approximately 123,600 natural gas vehicles on our nation’s road as compared to 65,500 electric vehicles. Despite the lack of marketing or fueling infrastructure for natural gas, it is now the first choice among consumers looking to alternative ways to fuel their vehicles.

The drop in natural gas prices has helped fuel the demand; beating out the more heavily marketed and federally funded electric vehicles (EVs). Four years ago President Obama unveiled his vision of 1 million plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads by the 2015 and pumped $5 billion into funding for electric cars. In February the Obama admiration proposed the tax credit for plug-in vehicle be increased from $7,500 to $10,000 and also extend the credit to other alternative vehicles like natural gas.

In response to the higher demand from motorist, Honda began showing it’s Honda Civic GX natural gas vehicle in car showrooms across the country, where previously it had only been marketed as a fleet vehicle. It is currently the only NGV sedan on the market. Honda says the marketing is paying off big for them, and sales of the vehicle are continuing to break new monthly highs. Although the choices are few for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, it should be pointed out that conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles can be retrofitted for CNG. If natural gas is available at your home you can install a pumping station inside your garage.

CNG is safe or at least safer than gasoline, Although CNG is flammable, it has a narrow flammability range, and if released by accident it quickly disperses making it less likely to ignite than gasoline. CNG is also non-toxic, it dissipates when released and will not leak to contaminate soil and water supplies.

The natural gas used in vehicles is classified into two types compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas(LNG). According to fueleconomy.gov “eighty-seven percent of the natural gas consumed in the U.S.is also produced here; which greatly reduces are dependency on foreign imports. It is 60%-90% less polluting than traditional fuels. With 30%-40% less greenhouse gas emissions and is less expensive than gasoline. At the present time the main disadvantages of CNG vehicles is the lack of facilities available to pump the gas, fewer miles to the tank and few choice available by auto makers.

All gas vehicles depend on fossil fuel. The natural gas obtained from drilling is a fossil fuel and while no fossil fuels are considered to be renewable resources because of the millions of years needed for the earth to produce them; natural gas is primarily methane and methane gas can be produced as a renewable resource. Methane gas is currently being collected from landfills and produced from rotting vegetation and animal manure.

CNG vehicles are cheaper to operate than conventional vehicles and burn cleaner than gasoline vehicles. Electric vehicles running on electricity alone put out “0” emissions at the tail pipe, but the electricity providing that power is generated at power plants running off fossil fuels. The U.S. Department of Energy states that “PHEVs (plugin hybrid electric vehicles) and EVs (electric vehicles) typically have a well-to-wheel emissions advantage over similar conventional vehicles running on gasoline or diesel.

However, in communities that depend heavily on conventional fossil fuels for their electricity generation, PEVs (Plugin Electric Vehicles) may not demonstrate a well-to-wheel emissions benefit.”

The switch from diesel to CNG is the larger trend for cities and municipalities across the country. The U.S Department of Transportation provides grants for upgrading mass transit and many cities are already using those dollars to advance their fleets over to CNG vehicles.

The future for NGV remains uncertain; although the advantages seem clear, reduce dependency on foreign oil, cleaner energy for the environment, lower cost to fuel. The largest drawback is the lack of infrastructure for refueling. As government agencies along with private fleet owned vehicles begin to convert vehicles from gasoline to NGV the private sector will also begin to benefit from their expansion. Improvements in refueling technology and engine performance will also soon follow. It will likely be the consumers, who ultimately decide our next energy of choice.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles Are the Future of the Auto Industry

With the rise in the price of gasoline, more and more people are taking interest in electric vehicles as means of transport. Another major advantage of electrically operated vehicles is that these vehicles offer pollution free means of transportation. Therefore even if 70% of people start using an electrically powered vehicle, we will be free of global warming caused by emission of gases like CO and CO2. There will be almost no instances of cancer caused by pollution.

Electric vehicles are more energy efficient than the contemporary vehicles wherein the electric vehicles operates at approximately 47 percent of effectiveness, while a contemporary vehicle operates at about 19 percent only.

But the electric car which can truly replace a traditional car is still in the conceptual stage as the electric vehicle would need continuous electric power from the batteries. The major disadvantages of present day electric cars are the time period required for recharging the batteries and their limited range

Now, it has almost been a century since the electric car has been popularly discussed, but recent developments in the hybrid electric vehicles technology and the growing concerns for the environment has revived the drive for an hybrid electric vehicles and this has become a realization today

Due to this problem of recharging batteries, a new type of design conceptualized in the minds of researchers and they came out with a solution. The researchers have put forward a new electrical vehicle fitted with on board electric power storage system and means of generating power. The generated power would be stored in the storage system and would be used to drive the vehicle. This new type of vehicle is called hybrid electric vehicle or HEV.

The present day storage system in hybrid electric vehicle comprises of stack of lead acid batteries as these can be charged in parallel with the load. The generating system consists of electric generator powered by internal combustion engine.

Researchers are optimistic about the performance of the hybrid vehicles. They are sure that the hybrid electric vehicle or HEV will be far more fuel efficient than the traditional vehicle powered by internal combustion engine.