The Future of Cars As We Know It

We’re nearing the end of the first quarter of 2017 and already we’re faced with some pretty interesting car concepts. The 2017 Geneva Motor Show wrapped up recently and we were treated to some eye-popping concept cars!

It’s looking more and more obvious that the future is leaning towards ‘futuristic’ looking cars that often border or the absurd. One of whic is the Italdesign’s collaboration with Airbus called Pop.Up.

Yes, that is what it’s going to be called. It’s a modular, multimodal commuter pod that can be self-driven on the ground, lifted into the air by a self-driving multicopter, or dropped into a mass transportation system. It’s goal is to get occupants (just two) from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.

While it sounds all fancy and sparkly, realistically speaking, how is this to be applied with the current motorways and mass transportation systems we currently have in place? What is it going to run on?

Since the trend is going on more ecologically sustainable, it’s best to assume that it’s going to run on electricity much like Tesla.

Other car concepts were the Rinspeed’s Oasis car. It’s called that because it literally has a garden within the vehicle. Yes, complete with Bonsai trees and radishes. Another two seater car with a massive touchscreen display from Harman which comes with voice and gesture control.

Rinspeed envisions the Oasis car used on a ride-sharing setting where a person can select passengers to ride through a Tinder-like app.

To be honest, I don’t see much of a future for that type of vehicle other than a short-lived hype. As it’s only a two person car and the designer wants a Tinder like app for it, you’re practically riding a car which screams “HOOK UP WITH ME” or “WE’RE HOOKING UP”.

I don’t know if it’s just me but the car concepts of the future seem to have their heads in the clouds rather than focusing on fixing or bettering the present issues we have right now.

With sustainability as the common goal, car concepts should build around that. Also, they should keep their users in mind. Real living breathing users and not the fables they have in their heads.

Having two-seat cars is not feasible for a family. It’s not even feasible for a single person with a lot of things to lug around for daily things. It’s a little silly and wasteful to utilize brilliant designers and engineers for such concepts when they could be directed toward building better cars to service us now. In the environment we have.

While driverless cars are still the favorite for car manufacturers–with the cutthroat competition to win the race to deliver the first car to the masses–there is still room for other concepts, yes.

However, it would be best if they were grounded in reality since it’s something that we really need at the moment. What new car alternatives can we present for those who run cars that are over 30 years old? What realistic options can we provide for the betterment of all and not just a fancy flight of thought?

The future of cars as we know it are teetering on the edge of great potential or ultimate disaster.

This entry was posted in Cars.

Caring For Your Car Wrap In Winter

With our last post, we had some requests and questions from car owners asking about tips on how to suitably care for a vehicle wrap during winter. So today, we’ll try to address some of the questions that we got. Let’s get started!

“Can I wrap my car during winter?”

Yes, but it’s safer to not DIY it and do not do it outdoors. Regardless of the high quality material or brand that you’re using, one thing remains true: vinyl will expand and contract in accordance to the material and the temperature around the car. If you do not have the proper material and place to shut out the cold temperatures, the vinyl can become brittle, rigid, and non-pliable. The cold can affect the efficacy of the adhesive.

So take the safer route and get professional to do your vehicle wrap. You can go to a trusted car service company for a diagnostic and they’ll be able to give you a definitive answer on how to successfully install vinyl during winter.

“I don’t like ice on my car. Can I use a scraper?”

This is a big N-O. Ice can understandably cause annoyance for any car owner that wants to keep their vehicle pristine. However, if you use a scraper to fight the ice but no matter how gently you try to use it, there is an almost guarantee that you will end up scratching the vinyl. On a worse case, you can end up peeling your vinyl off.

This is particularly true for window graphics. We suggest using a brush with soft bristles–this is very helpful with fluffy snow. You can use a soft cloth to wipe of ice from door handles. If there’s some pretty persistent ice on your windows, using your heater first can help loosen it up so you can wipe it away. It may take a bit more effort but it’s the sacrifice needed to keep your investment intact.

“I heard that road salt is bad for my vinyl. Is that true?”

Yes, this is very true. Road salt during winter is used to melt snow. That is pretty good since it helps keep our roads safe. The one time we’re not thankful for road salt is when it’s left alone on vinyl covered cars. When exposed to road salt for an extended time, vinyl corrodes and loses its color.

“How do I protect my vinyl from road salt?”

It’s always best to be proactive it certain situations–this is one of them. So ideally before winter starts, it’s best to apply a coating of wax and oil unto the body of your vehicle.

It’s also pretty important to remember which parts of your car (and your vinyl) are more susceptible to rust because of road salt like the doors, fenders, the good, and the tailgate. Remembering these areas will help give your priority areas that always need to be checked and cleaned for any road salt.

For some last minute protection, it’s best to wash your car around every 10 days or less–best time is whenever temperatures hit around 40 degrees F.

Now for some general tips:

  • Avoid driving through snow when it looks like its deep.
  • Avoid applying a wax coat during winter.
  • Wipe down your car with microfiber towel to absorb any excess moisture.
  • Don’t let snow turn into ice on your vehicle.

Just keep these tips in mind and your vinyl wrap should be safe and sound even during the harshest of winters.

This entry was posted in Wraps.

How You Can Wash and Care For Your Vehicle Wrap

If you’ve made the wise decision and invested in a vehicle wrap for your car or truck, you must probably wondering how best to wash and care for it. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in the worry. This is one of the more common questions that we’ve come across in our line of work.  Today, we’ll tackle how you, as the owner, can wash and care for your vehicle wrap.

While washing a wrapped vehicle is a tad different from one with a standard paint job, it really isn’t a complicated task and can be accomplished without breaking your wallet.


When washing your wrapped vehicle, there really is no need to bust out any specialized tools. In fact, most car owners are surprised at how simple the tools needed for the task are. For starters, any clear and soft sponge, cloth, or microfiber towel works! These are quite effective in scrubbing away any dirt or grime off your wrap.

While you can use car washing brushes, it is advised that you use them very carefully. Brushes are notorious for keeping hardened dirt around bristles that can scratch and damage your vinyl wrap. If it something that can ding normal paint jobs, they’ll be able to hurt wraps as well.

If you’re a car owner that wants to pressure wash your wrapped vehicle, keep it below 2,000 psi. Ensure that the spray nozzle is used and uses a 40 degree wide angle spray pattern. It is also important to keep your water’s temperature below 60 degrees Celsius. To avoid damaging your wrap, keep the nozzle at least 12 inches away from the car’s edges.

Soaps and Solutions

While certain stores and shops will suggest that you buy the latest and more popular brand on the market like 3M–we’ve found that any quality car wash soap is as effective as the larger brand ones. With that said, it is important to note that you mustn’t use home or kitchen cleaners on your car. While this may seem like a no-brainer, you would be surprised at the sheer number of damaged wraps because of that simple mistake.

Also, avoid using any chemicals like solvents, oil based cleaners, and bleach. If you happen to have isolated stains on your wrap, using Isopropyl rubbing alcohol and a soft rag will be your best friend. You can rise the area with cool water after the rubdown.


Incidentally, there really isn’t a difference in the frequency of washing a wrapped vehicle and a painted vehicle. It is actually advisable for car owners with wrapped vehicles to wash their vehicles quite often. Particularly if they’d want their wrap to look cleaner and stand out from most. Developing a once in a week wash routine will help keep your wrap in stellar condition.

Special attention must be given if you live or drive in an area that’s riddled with dust, mud, or dirt. In such cases, more steady and frequent washing routines are required to avoid any build-up on your wrap.

Wrapped vehicles can be brought to car washes BUT they must preferably be an automated brushless car wash. Brush car washes, particularly automated ones, will be too rough on the vinyl film and can cause peeling or lifted edges.

Keep these little pointers in mind that you’ll keep your investment as good as they day you installed your vinyl wraps!

This entry was posted in Wraps.

The Matte Finish: A Closer Look

In previous posts, we’ve talked about how vinyl car wraps have made customizing one’s car accessible and a more feasible option for all. Vinyl doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and for good reason! Wraps are quite easy to remove for professionals and learned car owners.

So today, we take a closer inspection at one of the more popular vinyl wrap finishes that exists in the market today: MATTE.

Now, matte has arguably been a rather sought after finish for several things, including cars, for years now. When glossy paint was launched into the market, there was an eventual call to have a finish that went in the opposite direction. Something that did not reflect the lights or the area that surrounded it. Matte is the preferred finish as it is the one that fully shows off surfaces and curvatures and the end result is a smooth and subtle sheen.

The more preferred or requested color for a matte finish is black as it exudes class and power. Car owners that usually join car shows and contests make use of matte to give their vehicles a little extra in terms of appearance. Normally, glossy cars reflect the bright lights that surround it. Matte black cars serve to stand out as sleek dark silhouettes. Don’t be fooled by the low-profile look that it may have! Having a muted look can really show off the curves of any vehicle.

If cost continues to be a concern, there’s a whole lot of good news in that department. The continuous development and improvements of vinyl wraps have contributed to driving down production costs of specialized materials like matte. When it was first introduced, Matte wraps would go for $80-$600 per sq. m. A regular vehicle will use about 29 sq. m. Today, the cost of matte goes for $40-$400. Quite a bit of an improvement!

Gone are the days where black was the only sought after matte color. If ever you are in the market for good quality matte wraps for your car, brands like Avery and 3M have various colors to suit your tastes. After black hit the market, the colors that launched after were white, green, silver, and even silver. A more recent development is the matte paint protection wrap. This is for car owners that are presently satisfied with their car color but want a less glossy exterior. Clear matte vinyl offers the same aesthetic benefits of colored vinyl matte wraps but with the bonus addition of protection against chips, scratches, swirls, fading, and corrosion.

Matte vinyl wraps stay at peak condition for about 3 to 5 years after application. With proper maintenance and care, it extends from 8 to 12 years. Maintenance would mean suitable cleaning conditions. It’s best to learn the best way to clean your matte wrapped vehicle from your trusted car service crew. More likely than not, they’ll have any sprays that you can use to better keep your wrap in prime condition.

It is also essential to note that the more recent matte wraps no longer need sprays so it’s best to truly inform yourself about the model of wrap you’re getting so as to get the most bang out of your buck! So if you’re ever going to have your vehicle wrapped with vinyl, matte is a good choice overall.

This entry was posted in Wraps.

Vinyl Car Wraps

Vinyl Car Wraps: Every Car Owner’s Friend

Any person who’s ever aimed to buy a brand new car will know that the color of the car adds or deducts from the total purchase price. Sometimes, car buyers may even end up having to settle for a color they don’t want. After that comes the saving up funds to get your car repainted into the hue you want. Sounds arduous but thankfully there are now more options available for car owners everywhere! Specifically: Vinyl Car Wraps.

A Vinyl Wrap is basically a giant sticker that you can put on and take off from surfaces with very little difficulty. A Vinyl Car Wrap is an even bigger sticker that can have a specific design or decal for your vehicle. Despite it only being quite popular now, it’s been around for quite a while. It’s been the go-to of most companies for their mobile advertising as it is a lot cheaper than a more permanent space, durable, has the option of being interchanged with other ads, and the application is fairly easy. Luckily for the everyday consumer, technology has advanced sufficiently that vinyl wraps are more affordable to produce. This automatically means that the overall cost of getting a vinyl wrap for your car has gone down significantly.

If you’re looking to use a vinyl wrap for your car, there are several factors you need to consider: make and model of car, how much of your vehicle is going to be wrapped, who’s going to do the wrapping, what design are you aiming to apply, what film type of vinyl will be used, etc.

A partial wrap, of course, would cost less than say a full wrap. A larger car like a truck will cost more compared to an old model of Volkswagen. And it’s not just large vehicles that you can wrap with vinyl; even motorcycles, scooters, and bicycles can be wrapped with vinyl nowadays. The process is fairly simple, the every day consumer can even DIY it themselves. Novice application kits are now being sold on the market for as low as $29. Also, a car owner that knows how to apply, care for, and remove vinyl properly now empower themselves to more opportunities to wrap their vehicle at an even lesser cost. This is why a lot of car lovers now are known to keep changing the vinyl wrap on their cars just for fun.

Partial car wraps, like the one for just the doors, hood, or rear cost as little at $250 to $300—less, if you’re doing the application yourself. Full car wraps can range from around $2000 to $5000.

Considering all this, why would it be a good idea to choose a vinyl car wrap over getting your car repainted? The answer is simple: vinyl car wraps can be removed and changed whenever you want. Also, the different finishes that car enthusiasts usually aim for with a new paint job is now completely doable with a vinyl car wrap. You want a chrome, matte, gloss, or carbon fiber finish? It’s fully achievable now with vinyl. Most people are now growing more aware that vinyl wraps (with proper care) can last pretty long. The average has been noted to be seven to twelve years. Graphic printed upon vinyl wraps aren’t as durable but still last on an average of five to seven years.

If at the moment vinyl car wraps are a bit on the pricey side for you, just waiting a few years can see a dramatic decline in pricing as the technology we have is constantly improving. Most car lovers are pretty happy with vinyl car wraps as it opens up more chances for them to express themselves through the various colors, designs, and types of vinyl currently in the market today.

Car Wraps 101

Car Wraps 101 – All You Need To Know About Wrapping Your Car

Car wraps have quickly revolutionized the mobile advertising sector. They are sometimes referred to as mobile billboards. The wraps are decals with graphics applied directly on the car to change its appearance. The decals or labels are temporary fixtures that can be removed and have the vehicle back to its originals paint color.

What Is A Car Wrap?

The wraps are often vinyl signs or decals used to wrap or cover sections or entire surfaces of vehicles. The earlier version of wrapping was done using actual paint but this has been modernized to the use of magnetized vinyl signs. The decals have graphics printed on the surface and then laminated to protect the vinyl and the graphics from UV rays and abrasions.

How Is The Wrapping Done?

The wraps are often placed on sections of the car that are visible. Such sections include the truck, the hood, and the doors. The car roof is considered to have the least visual effect. Vehicle wrapping can either be a full wrap or a partial wrap. A partial wrap can have one part of the car wrapped, half of the vehicle, or a third of the vehicle wrapped. A full wrap entail a complete covering of the vehicle though the roof can at time be excluded.

What Do Wraps Do?

As mentioned, car wraps are mainly used for advertising purposes. Often, wrapping is done or van, buses, and large truck though salons and other small cars can also get wraps. The objective of wrapping is to have a low cost advertising strategy that ensures the intended message gain a big coverage.  Wrapping is often considered by private businesses that have a fleet of vehicles. They choose to wrap their cars to advertise their business. Alternatively, some private vehicle owner allow their cars to be wrapped and used and advertising platforms but for a fee, of course.

Vehicle wrapping has gone mainstream to a point where single color wraps are the new way of giving vehicles a short-term color change.  AZ Car Wraps is the leader in Phoenix for color change wraps. The single color or solid color wraps have gained popularity more so because they are designed to easily blend in with the car’s original color paint especially in sections that the wrap may not cover such as the door seams. Nevertheless, today’s wrapping technology make it possible to do fine detailed wrapping to even parts such as door handles.

How Much Do Car Wrapping Cost?

The cost of wrapping a vehicle depends on several factors. The first thing to factor in is the type of brand to be used. The top car wrapping brands are Arion, 3M, Avery, and Orascal. Here are the main elements that determine the cost:

  • The graphic design for the vinyl decal
  • The size of the vehicle to be wrapped
  • The condition of the vehicle’s surface
  • The type of vehicle wrap brand preferred
  • The nature or structural flow of the vehicles surface
  • How long the wrap should stay on the car

With such issues among others factored in, full car wraps can cost between $2,500 and $3,500. Prices can go lower if the wrapping is partial or the graphic details or not complex.

The Miracle Startup: Tesla Motors

The last known motor company to launch and be successful at their enterprise was Ford Motor Company in the year 1956. It was such a surprise then that a young company that launched in the year 2010 managed to break through such an established market. Tesla Motors, more commonly known as Tesla, has been quite victorious in seizing the interest of the public with its goal to hasten the transition from gas guzzling machines to more sustainable means.
Sustainability is the goal that so many motor companies seem to falter at. Yet it was a concept that one Martin Eberhard and one March Tarpenning held on to and acted upon in the year of 2003. The company they founded specialized in designing, producing and manufacturing electric cars that are geared to be more affordable to the every day consumer. Eberhard served as Tesla’s chief executive officer (CEO) while Tarpenning was the chief financial officer (CFO). The leadership mantle of CEO has since transferred to Elon Musk, a man also known for co-founding PayPal.
It was on June 29, 2010 that Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The IPO launching accumulated over $225 million USD for the company.
The flagship launch of Tesla introduced the world to the Tesla Roadster, a completely electric sports car. The first highway-legal electric car, it made use of lithium-ion battery cells (like the one used in laptops and cell phones) and clocked a whopping 394 km on a single charge. What captured the world’s imagination was the fact that this all-electric car produced no tailpipe emissions. It seems as though the possibility of transitioning to sustainable energy was no longer just a pipedream. Accordingly, it became a roaring success and Tesla was able to sell more than 2,400 Roadsters during the time of its production. Sadly, the production of the Tesla Roadster halted in the year 2012 as Tesla’s primary focus shifted on the development and production of Tesla’s newer car model: the Model S sedan.
Tesla Motors’ Model S sedan gained widespread praise for its performance and design after its production and deliveries to retail distributors in 2012. Also in the year 2012, Tesla established stations that they called Superchargers in several states in the US and key locations in Europe specifically for the purpose of charging batteries swiftly and at no extra cost for those who purchased Tesla units. Supercharger is a trademarked direct current technology that provides units up to 120 kWH per car. Tesla’s Supercharger network now links several mainstay routes in North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe.
By the year 2014, Tesla had half the market value of Ford Motors. While Tesla Motors was founded in San Carlos, California, its headquarters are located in Palo Alto, California. Since its foundation, Tesla has gone on to partner with several other manufacturing giants like Daimler, Toyota, and others. It still operates as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), something that was unusual compared to the other manufacturers. In the same year of 2014, Tesla had announced that it would establish what they called a “GigaFactory”. The $5 Billion plant is aiming to reduce the battery cost of Tesla units by 25-30%. The GigaFactory is a co-project with Panasonic which also specializes in battery research and development.
Of course it hasn’t been a ride full of rainbows for Tesla. They’ve had their share of controversies and lawsuits through the years. One of the more early disputes occurred in 2008 where Tesla Motors had sued Fisker Automotive regarding information leakage and theft of confidential designs. However, it was later announced that an arbiter had found the dispute in favor of Frisker. Tesla issued a statement that it would no longer pursue the issue. The year 2009 saw a sort of family spat as there was a founder dispute. Eberhard had filed a suit against Tesla and Musk for slander, breach of contract, and libel. Eberhard later withdrew the case and parties involved reached an amicable final settlement. The year of 2015 saw the website of Tesla to be compromised and defaced. Around the same time, Tesla’s Twitter account was momentarily compromised.
Regardless of the troubles it has seen, which, includes a dip in the net income in the year 2015, Tesla’s assets and equity remain on an upward trend. This year, Tesla employs more than 14,000 people worldwide. What the world is now waiting for is the opening of Tesla’s GigaFactory in the year 2020.