Silver Credit Cards

The lowest in the hierarchy of precious metal named credit cards, silver credit cards have been around since the conception of credit cards in the mid-1950s. Today silver cards have been surpassed in prestige by gold credit cards and platinum credit cards and so have more commonly come to be known as 'standard' or 'basic' credit cards.

Advantages of silver credit cards

The advantages that silver credit cards have over other types of cards include:

* lower annual membership fees (if any)

* lower threshold salary which you need to earn if you want to apply

* the same credit limit as other credit cards if you have a good credit history or manage your card sensibly

* 0% interest for between 6 – 9 months when transferring your account balance from one credit provider to another

The simple fact is, if you are not that fussed over the 'image' you portray when you are out shopping with your credit card, and are more concerned with how you manage your credit card debit, then silver credit cards are certainly more favorable than any other credit cards on offer.

Disadvantages of silver credit cards

* lower cash withdrawal limits

* less rewards in rewards promotion packages, such as a lower percentage rate cash back return with cash back credit cards or lower airmiles with airmile credit cards

* less travel perks – for example, if you have a gold or platinum card you may be entitling to automatic upgrades when traveling, but as there are more more standard silver credit cardholders, it is illegally this benefit will be afforded to you as well

* less prestige, which may mean retailers are less willing to give you the same service as they may provide to gold and platinum cardholders.



Source by Joseph Kenny

The Electric Car

A Brief History and What’s Next? 

The Beginning

At the end of the 19th century, any vehicle not pulled by a horse or mule was considered an alternative power vehicle, powered by steam, electricity or gasoline. But oil was discovered in Texas in 1901 and by 1920, gasoline fueled internal-combustion engine vehicles dominated the marketplace. Electricity and steam powered vehicles became distant also-rans. Oil was cheap, effective, readily available and easily transportable. It was also dirty, noisy and smelly but these characteristics were minor in comparison with its cost and availability.

Electric cars were introduced in the first half of the 19th century. At the end of the 20th century, electric vehicles held most world speed and distance records. They were cleaner, quieter, easier to operate and easier to maintain than steam or gasoline fueled cars but had a fatal weakness: battery technology limited the driving range of electric cars to between 40 and 50 miles before needing a 6 to 8 hour charge. Electric vehicles continued to be manufactured in the U.S. through 1939.

The ZEV Mandate

No electric cars were produced in the U.S. between 1939 and 1996. That changed when General Motors produced the EV1 in response to California’s 1991 zero emission vehicle mandate which required 2% of all new cars sold by major auto manufacturers in California in 1998 to meet ‘zero emission’ standards. The first EV1 autos used lead-acid batteries. Second generation GM EV1 cars had a range of 160 miles using nickel metal hydride batteries. A total of 4-5,000 electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. under the ZEV mandate.

In 2001 GM and Daimler Chrysler sued California for regulating fuel economy in violation of U.S. law, after which California relaxed the zero emission vehicle mandate. In late 2003, GM cancelled the EV1 program and other manufacturers soon followed suit. The film “Who Killed the Electric Car?” suggested that GM’s EV1 program was canceled once California relaxed its zero emission vehicle mandate because 1) production was no longer essential; 2) electric cars impacted the oil industry; and 3) sale of electric cars adversely affected GM’s replacement parts after-market. Virtually all EV1 cars, leased to the public, were recalled and destroyed by GM who estimated that they invested $1 billion in development of the EV-1. General Motors recently announced that the electric Chevy Volt (hybrid electric vehicle) will be available for sale in the U.S. in 2010.

Enter the 21st Century

According to the US Department of Energy, more than 60,000 electric cars are in use in the US with more than 15,000 operational in California. More than 800 vehicles (mainly Toyota RAV4 EVs), produced during California’s zero emission mandate have survived with several logging more than 110,000 miles, proving durability and maintainability.

What’s next?

Although there is no zero emission mandates in place, the marketplace has spoken. The combination of high gasoline prices, global warming and the absurdity of U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern sources of oil has inspired development and manufacture of electric vehicles.

o Five low-speed (neighborhood) model electric vehicles and six expressway capable electric vehicles are currently in production.

o In addition to Chrysler, Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan, VW and Renault, a dozen or more new auto firms have introduced or plan to introduce electric cars by 2010.

o The industry is rapidly moving towards new battery technology. Tesla Motors and Miles Electric Vehicles amongst others are now using Lithium-ion battery technology.

Europe and Japan

Since the first oil embargo in 1973 Europe has shown a continuous interest in electric vehicles. Today, electric cars are being built across Europe from Norway to Italy. Not to be left out, Mitsubishi and Subaru announced that they would be manufacturing lithium ion-powered cars before 2010. Toyota and Honda and Nissan will also have production models available in the U.S.

Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

43 states and Washington D.C. allow operation of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) that can travel on streets which have a maximum 35 mph speed limit. Local jurisdictions have the right to ban their use or may require licensing and liability insurance. NEVs must have seatbelts, four wheels, windshield safety glass, windshield wipers, headlights, taillights, and turn signals but airbags aren’t required. NEVs cannot legally travel faster than 25 mph. They’re usually equipped with lead acid batteries offering a range of about 30 miles. Prices range from around $6000 to more than $14,000.

Freeway Electric Vehicles

Aside from Toyota RAV4 EVs, most electric vehicles operating in the U.S. in 2008 are NEVs. Freeway capable vehicles are expected to be readily available by 2010. In addition to Tesla, Chevy (Volt), Mitsubishi, Nissan, Honda (hydrogen fuel cell technology) and Toyota, we can look for electric vehicles from Think (Norway), Smart EV (Mercedes) and Zenn (Toronto).

Electric Vehicle Benefits

o Pure electric vehicles are true zero emissions vehicles. No greenhouse gases are emitted during vehicle operation.

o Gasoline is eliminated, replaced by grid sourced electricity generated from traditional and increasingly renewable sources. Many electric vehicles have factory installed or aftermarket solar panels installed on roofs.

o Fuel cost (electricity) per mile is 20-25% of gasoline or flex-fuel cost.

o 95% of the energy used to recharge EVs comes from domestic sources. Dependence on foreign oil is reduced.

o Very low vehicle operation and maintenance costs.

o Self energy generation through regenerative braking.

o Simple battery recharging through standard household 110V outlets and recharging stations.

o Electric vehicles are in production and available today at prices in a similar range to that of traditional gasoline and hybrid cars. A few models are also available in the luxury price range.

Limitations

o 250-300 mileage range using Lithium-ion batteries

o Battery cost, weight, disposal

o Few commercial battery recharging stations

o At-home battery charging is not practical for apartment dwellers and those who cannot park near their home

Overcoming limitations

o EV mileage range will increase as battery technology improves.

o Battery footprint, cost and weight will be reduced through new technology.

o Battery recharging stations will spread as EV production increases

Implications and Consequences

o Physical vehicle characteristics and conveniences will change. Vehicles will take on non-traditional appearances

o Vehicle reliability and durability will increase

o Vehicle operating costs will decline as fuel costs, repair costs and replacement parts costs will all decline

o Reduced congestion due to smaller vehicle footprint

o More consumer choices

o Reduced dependence on fossil fuels, imported oil

Stan Gassman, BSC Sustainability Services, Copyright 2008-2009



Source by Stan Gassman

The Internet and Auto Insurance

If you were told to look for vehicle coverage where would start? If you are the typical sixteen seventeen year old and own a personal computer you are automatically going to the internet. This is the first place we now go for everything. Is it because we gave up on the yellow pages of the telephone book? No, not really it is because we can have the information at our fingertips in the matter of minutes. Everyone is getting used to having information within the first ten minutes that if it takes longer than that why bother. Do you think an auto insurance webpage has the information available to answer that quickly? Yes, I do.

Why, because if they want to stay competitive in a technology driven world they will make it happen where they provide sufficient information for the person to make the final telephone call or provide the contact information that is needed for the agent to call them back. At some point there is information that will need to be verified. Initial information can be preliminary and for that you can answer yes and no simple questions. For example, some of the questions could have been you over eighteen? Do you have a current drivers license? Do you have current auto insurance? What state do you live in?

These few questions will tell you whether or not you will be able to make payments or make a onetime payment to get started on your auto insurance premium. The age will tell you whether or not you are eligible for a discount being under or over twenty five. The state will give you an idea if auto insurance rates because all states are not created equal when it comes to auto insurance rates. If you are able to get contact information after answer the few questions listed above then you most likely have a very good chance at providing auto insurance to this new client. People want information and not a life story.

So unless you are asked a bunch of questions let the auto insurance company sticks to the answers. If you look at it another way with the technology, yes we are getting the information quicker and we are becoming a population that does not always like to talk. Instead we want the bottom line and that is the cost of your auto insurance.



Source by Anthony M. Peck

Import Auto Repair and You, What You Should Know

Let's face it. Your imported car is beautiful. Having gone to so much trouble to bring it home to you, it will likely be one of those items that you take very good care of. However, being the nature of things, time and life situations may take their toll on the vehicle. Being an imported car, there are some things that need to be considered as you look into import auto repair in Portland. Including things like listening to the recommendations of the manufacturer, using only legalimate and specialized parts, and being extra cautious about everything, including servicing and maintenance, will do a lot to extend the life of your vehicle. To you, this is not just any car.

First of all, and what you are already doing very well, a piece of advice to take is this: be careful to pay attention to how the car is looking and running. Of course you will have frequent servicing scheduled with a company that specializes in import auto repair in Portland, but it is important to watch the daily runs of the car, and attend to anything that might be of interest. This will greatly help you to avoid or quickly take care of most problems that arise, and can save you time, money, and worry in the long run.

If you ever have any questions, refer always to the recommendations of the manufacturer, found either in the owner's manual, online, or obtained directly from the company itself. Those who built it can do much to keep it running. Trust their judgment, and do not scrap on good parts and services, just to save a little cash. It is advised that you follow strictly the recommendations outlined in the packet. Follow the recommended guidelines relating part replacement, safety, and the timeline for "check-ups." Many of these questions can be answered by specialists in import auto repair in Portland.

Just be careful with your care. Check the tires often, keep them appropriately filled. When you need to replace any parts, do so with parts that are genuine, and designed for luxury import cars. By disregarding this piece of advice, you risk causing further damage, as well as lowering the value of your car.



Source by Chris Hegi

Car Rental in Los Angeles – Best Places to Drive Your Rental Car in Los Angeles

There are several great drives to seek out while enjoying the rental car. Of course most travelers will want to avoid the freeways during rush hours, but there are plenty of scenic routes to see in Los Angeles. Perhaps one of the most beautiful drives is Pacific Coast Highway. Situated along the bluffs overlooking the beaches and Pacific Ocean, PCH offers an unrivaled combination of scenic attractions. Commonly referred to on street signs as "PCH", this highway's most beautiful route is between Laguna Beach and Malibu. Sometimes the traffic is slow, but that gives the traveler a great chance to snap photos and take in the scenery.

Another great drive in Los Angeles is the stretch of Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills. This street is well-known for housing famous celebrities. It is not uncommon to pass celebrities, paparazzi or other famous people while taking this scenic route. Winding and open, the road resemblies a mellow mountain drive.

Griffith Park is another interesting area to drive through in Los Angeles. Located in West Los Angeles, Griffith Park has many long and winding roads surrounded by lush trees, greenery and lowers. It is very common to see wild coyotes running through the park. Drivers may want to stop and look through the observatory over Hollywood and West LA

These are just a few of the best places to drive in Los Angeles with your rental car. For more information and articles on this subject please see our website address located in the Author Signature below.



Source by Peter G Coles