Truck and Auto Accessories – Splash Guards

The main function of the mud flap is to keep dirt, slush and other debris from being kicked up by your truck’s tires, protecting both your truck and the windshields of the drivers behind you. Usually, people don’t pay much attention to mud flaps, but these days, the standard variety of truck and auto accessories have become yet another form of automotive self-expression.

The most iconic of these truck and car accessories characters is simply known as “The Mud Flap Girl”. We’ve all seen her before: She’s the buxom silver silhouette of a long-legged beauty lounging with one leg provocatively crossed over the other, hair blowing in the wind. Bill Zinda of Wiz Enterprises in Long Beach, California, created this famous character to promote his line of truck and auto accessories and based the character upon a famous model named Leta Laroe.

Another famous character to make an appearance on these truck and car accessories is Yosemite Sam pointing his two cartoon pistols with a caption beneath declaring, “Back Off!” or, “All Fired Up”. Other Warner Brother characters have also made appearances, such as a frightened Daffy Duck and an overly upset Tweety Bird.

These mud flap characters are so engrained in our psych that they have gone beyond truck and car accessories and began appearing in commercials together. One famous commercial created for the Superbowl in 2006 had the Mud Flap Girl and Yosemite Sam driving away in a Honda Ridgeway.

Sadly, it appears that both of these figures have been targeted by legislation, when officials in Arizona tried to pass a ban on the two icons on the grounds of political correctness (one promoting sex and the other promoting gun violence). For the time being, the legislation on these truck and auto accessories has been struck down.

As long as that law doesn’t pass, you can find quality auto accessories and mud flaps that can have anything on them from your favorite sports team logo to the picture of your dog.

Manufacturers know a good thing when they see it, and customized truck and auto accessories, such as mud flaps are big money makers. If you don’t want Yosemite Sam or the Mud Flap Girl, you can have your own mud flaps customized with whatever you want on quality materials to continue protecting your truck and showing everyone who you are at the same time.

The most popular use of custom mud flaps nowadays are for company cars. If you’ve ever been caught behind a large semi on the highway, or maybe stuck in traffic behind a moving van, you may have noticed that mud flaps are an effective advertising tool. Most companies spend a little extra in this truck and auto accessory to manipulate their vehicles to carry their company name and phone number on mud flaps.

More than mere truck and auto accessories, mud flaps can be a unique form of showing off who you are or acting as a clever bit of advertising. Never before have truck and car accessories been so interesting, versatile and amusing – while it protects!

Electric Vehicles: The Dream of the Young

While many people seem to have varying options about electric vehicles, the younger generation seems to be excited about the prospect of cars running on electricity. No matter what kind of car it is they approve of having all electric cars. Electric vehicles do have many benefits such as great fuel mileage and great efficiency, and this seems to be a great point to many young people.

Why the Fascination?

Since electric vehicles seem to run silently and be an innovative vehicle, it seems to have beaten out the older days of engines that shook the ground with their rumblings. Today it seems that silence is more important and leaves quiet time for thinking. Today’s young people seem to have a fascination with a style that allows quietness and uniqueness instead of conformity.

Just Thinking…

If young people enjoy these electric vehicles so much then perhaps it is time to start catering to them. Today many companies are creating electric cars for kids. These types of vehicles are very popular and even parents seem to enjoy what they have to offer. Electric vehicles for kids are far beyond the light foot powered kid cars of yester years!

The Issue of Weight and Safety

Among adults one concern that many people have with electric vehicles surrounds the issues of safety and weight. Various countries have electric vehicles of various models that are being used but most of them fail when it comes to passing safety tests in America. While the batteries in electric vehicles do add some weight to the vehicles, the electric cars are still quite light, which of course does make them more efficient.

One electric vehicle that was made by Chrysler a few years ago was actually not much more than a golfing car that had been re-worked. There was a lot of marketing done for the vehicle but many seemed disinterested in this product. Although the product really did not sell, the company did meet certain goals that it found important.

Driving around town usually results in traveling slower, and many times electric vehicles are great for these lower speeds. In the future, there may be electric vehicles that weight more, and then perhaps they will be able to meet the safety standards of the United States. Although it has not happened yet, one can still hope. In spite of the disadvantages, many young people are still interested in electric vehicles and perhaps in the future there will be greater success with these vehicles in America.

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.