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May in cars: what happened?

Hey readers, how was May? We hope you’ve had a good month, and that you’re all staying safe and healthy in Phase 2!

Over here, we can’t believe we’re almost through half of 2021. That’s wild. But we’re continuing to serve our customers every day (that’s you!) and help them find their perfect car match.

The world spins on, of course, and here’s our monthly roundup of highlights from last month, some updates from our blog, and a handful of fun links at the end. We really love the playlist for washing your car. What playlist? You’ll just have to read on and find out.


Image via Shutterstock

Car News from the Little Red Dot

Grab rides just got more expensive

Bad news for those of you who use ride-hailing service Grab––their fares are increasing by $1. Ostensibly, this is for a good cause: the $1 per ride will go towards most of its drivers in June, which sounds like a nice gesture.

The bad news: the fare hike is permanent, but the drivers won’t see that $1 per ride after June. How cheeky is that? Drivers have also suggested that the commission (an exorbitant 20%) should be lowered instead. We’d agree with that. If you can afford it, tip your Grab driver –– they work hard and they deserve it.

School holiday period will see a drop in ERP rates

Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) rates will drop by $1 across all gantries and time periods starting 27 May, just in time for the June school holidays. That’s because we’re likely to see less movement during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) measures. 13 half-hour time slots will cost $0 to drive through, which is really rather neat.

Sure, it’s not like we have that many places to go. But on the bright side, this does mean fewer traffic jams if you want to take that (safe, socially-distanced) road trip out to the coast to stare longingly at the sea.

Beware the OneService snitch...

Singaporeans are super kaypoh (don’t deny it ok) and the OneService app is only going to encourage that: users can now report illegal parking using the app, without even having to speak to an actual human on the LTA hotline. (Did you know there was an illegal parking hotline?)

On the one hand, community policing is probably a good way to encourage better behaviour and consideration for others when parking one’s car. On the other hand, citizens actively surveilling their fellow citizens is kind of, well, dystopian. If you’re using it, use it for good! And don’t forget to be nice to your neighbours.

Elsewhere in Car News

Yellow Lamborghini + Japan = perfect road trip

If you’ve been missing Japan (and we know we have) and it’s on your to-go list when borders open up again, check out these epic shots for travel inspiration. Lamborghini set their best-selling Urus loose across Japan, zipping across a huge variety of terrain from mountains, bridges, and coastal roads. The only thing better than a road trip to Japan is a road trip to Japan with a Lamborghini Urus, it seems.

Rolls-Royce launches its most exclusive car yet

Can a Rolls-Royce luxury car get any more exclusive than it already is? You already know the answer––of course it can. Enter the Boat Tail, which with around 1800 new parts developed specifically for each vehicle is easily “the most ambitious motor car ever created.” As if that weren’t enough, the Boat Tail is part of the company’s Coachbuild program, which is an invitation-only division creating custom cars for clients who are hand-picked by the CEO himself. They’re keeping mum about who commissioned it, but rumour on the street says it’s Queen Bey (and Jay-Z) herself.

Besides its looks and exclusive clientele, what makes the Boat Tail so deliciously desirable? Think luxury features like double refrigerators (to store those bottles of vintage champers) and bespoke timepieces for the car. The price isn’t being publicised, but you know what they say: if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.

Ford goes electric, and Elon Musk approves

This decade is the start of an inevitable shift to EV, and all the big carmakers are getting in on the game. Just look at the reception to Ford’s new EV, the powerful F-150 LIghtning: they apparently received 44,500 reservations in less than 48 hours after launching. If that isn’t an indication of consumer sentiment, what is? Elon Musk even stopped by to congratulate them for it.

This is just a part of their overall business revamp, a.k.a. Ford Plus. They’re pouring in a whopping $30 billion into EV by 2025, and aim to make 40% of their global fleet of cars all-electric by 2030. It’s ambitious, but if any carmaker can do it, it’s Ford––the original carmaker.

Ready, set, charge

More electric vehicles on the road means more chargers, and various countries are ramping up investment in charging infrastructure. For starters, California has announced $17.5 million to fund EV charging in rural areas––good focus, especially if you want to convince people in rural areas to switch from petrol-fueled vehicles to electric ones.

Over in the UK, Dutch company Fastned is teaming up with Tesla to create an Energy Superhub, which will feature 14 fast chargers and 12 Tesla Superchargers by the end of the year––great news for British EV owners, particularly if you’re based around Oxford. There’s also the Connected Kerb project being carried out together with Kent County Council: they’re installing chargers in massively underserved areas of the county.

Then there’s all the freebies for the following car owners: Lucid Motors has promised access to 350kWh of free charging for three years if you’re reserving the Lucid Air in 2021; Porsche Taycan owners get free unlimited charging for three years; and those owning a Ford Mustang Mach-E will get 250kWh free charging. How cool is that? It’s a shame you have to be in the US to take advantage of these deals.

A Few Things We Wrote This Month

At the car wash, babe: If you think you know how to wash your car, check out our article and see if you’re doing it right! Washing your car properly is Maintenance 101––a few extra steps will keep your car in good condition, which increases your resale value if you plan to sell it off.