Chevrolet Bolt EV Electric Car

Post by Mark

Last week I got contacted by Chevrolet asking me if I’d be interested in test driving their fully electric car, the Chevrolet Bolt EV. Although I wasn’t interested in the Bolt specifically, I was interested in experiencing life with an electric car so I agreed to borrow the car for the weekend.

Right now I don’t think there is any other company in Kuwait that sells a fully electric car, I know both Toyota and BMW sell hybrids (a combination of regular petrol engines and electric motors) but can’t think of anybody else that sells a fully electric car so Chevrolet I guess are the first.

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, the Chevy Bolt isn’t a pretty looking car to put it nicely. If I’m driving around in an electric car I want it to look like an electric car and I guess by that I mean I want it to look futuristic with lots of things glowing blue and lots of sharp and angular shapes, like a car that wouldn’t look out of place on the set of Tron. The Bolt looks like an entry-level budget crossover vehicle and the car I picked up was a super boring white. But, I already knew that the Bolt wasn’t pretty, for me this was all going to be about the electric experience.

I picked up the car on Thursday and it was half-charged showing me I had a range of 161KM left till empty. That was fine since I only had a few errands to run and then I was heading home so I could charge the car there. There are no Chevy fast-charging stations around Kuwait, there is a Tesla fast-charging station at Al Shaheed Park but that isn’t compatible with the Chevy charge port.

If you want to charge the Bolt you need to use the charging cable that came with it which allows you to plug it into any regular power socket. My building’s underground parking lot has power sockets all around so when I got home I just plugged the car into one and headed upstairs. A few hours later I decided to check on the charge status and was surprised to see it barely charged. So I started playing around with the car settings and noticed the car had two charging options, 6Amps and 10Amps. According to the car infotainment screen, the car was currently charging at 6Amps (which is the default setting) and that the car would be fully charged by 1:15AM on Saturday. Keep in mind it was Thursday night at that point so 6Amps wasn’t gonna work for me so I switched the car to 10Amps charging. At 10Amps, the car would be fully charged by 1:45PM the next day. Not fast enough, but still a lot better than the original estimate I got.

Next morning I left the house early around 8AM and the car was around 80% charged showing me I had a 261km range. I later found out after reading the manual that it takes around 33 hours to fully charge with the 10Amp setting. That’s just too long although I guess if you’re charging the car every time you park it then it’s not so bad, but in my case, it was starting to give me anxiety. Friday I had a bunch of things I needed to do and by the time I got home that evening, I had around 60KM range left. Unlike with fuel, if you’re close to empty you can’t just fill up at any gas station, so once I saw my range drop to 60 I was like shit, I need to get home now. I really don’t need more anxiety in my life…

Other than the whole charging debacle the car felt like a normal car to drive. I liked the minimalist dash display which was the most electric thing about the car and it was a fairly comfy vehicle to drive. Although not a fast car, the electric motors made the car feel fast since acceleration from a standstill was fairly instant. You know, thinking about it now, I think the biggest issue I have with the car isn’t the looks, or the interior or the slow charging. I think the biggest issue I have with the Bolt is with the price which is causing me to set my expectations so high. The Chevy Bolt is selling for KD13,000 which might be considered affordable compared to other electric cars, but compared to what you’d get from a similarly priced petrol-engined car, it just feels overpriced.

If you’d like to test drive the car yourself or check it out you can do so by passing by the local Chevrolet dealer. They’re on instagram @chevroletalghanim

2019-07-21T09:46:13+03:00Jul 21, 2019|1 Comment

Chili’s Reopening on the Gulf Road

Post by Mark

After closing down their original location near the Kuwait Towers, looks like Chili’s is reopening again on the Gulf Road but this time closer to Green Island. The place looks practically done and could open any day now and they’re also opening a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf right next door. Here is the location on Google Maps.

This got me thinking if I should revisit all the old school restaurants of the 90s like Chili’s, TGIF, Johnny Carino’s, Nino’s, etc., and do some sort of nostalgic review? The best of the old school maybe? I don’t know, I need to think about this more.

2019-07-21T08:17:56+03:00Jul 21, 2019|1 Comment

No Parking Vehicles to Roam the Streets

Post by Mark

In a bid to stop people from parking illegally the MOI have launched new “No Parking Vehicles” to drive around areas and ticket illegal parkers. The vehicles have cameras located on the outside to capture the license plate of violators automatically without having to leave the car making it really convenient.

Not sure how I feel about this, I think I preferred the previous method of removing license plates and towing cars since those were instant punishments that caused a lot of headache to the violators. I don’t think this new system will be as effective since violators will only know they got fined way after the incident.

In any case, not being pessimistic or anything but based on the history of MOI ideas, this won’t last long anyway before things go back to normal.

Thanks Meshari

2019-07-18T09:37:44+03:00Jul 18, 2019|19 Comments

Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

Screenshot from Finding Steve McQueen

The movies below are now showing at Cinescape, Grand Cinemas and VOX:

New This Weekend:
A.M.I. (3.9)
Finding Steve McQueen (6.3)
The Kid (6.0)
The Lion King (6.2)
The Sonata (6.4)

Other Movies Showing Now:
Aladdin (6.5)
Anna (6.7)
Annabelle Comes Home (7.0)
Avengers: Endgame (9.2)
Crawl (7.1)
Escape Plan: The Extractors (4.4)
Spider-Man: Far from Home (8.2)
Stuber (5.7)
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (6.5)
Toy Story 4 (9.0)

The movies below are also now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

Amazon Adventure 3D (6.6)
Fly Me to the Moon (4.5)
Galapagos 3D (8.6)
Oceans: Our Blue Planet (7.4)
Volcanoes 3D (6.6)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.

2019-07-18T09:19:04+03:00Jul 18, 2019|6 Comments

Quickly 3D Print Yourself!

Post by Mark

Back in September, I posted about a cool new 3D printing service at Best Electronics where you can get a very realistic miniature figurine of yourself (and of you and your friends). That didn’t last long since the very next day Best were forced to close down the service due to religious reasons.

But, Best recently opened up a new store in The Avenues, it’s near Saveco in the basement in a pretty hidden location. But, the good news is they’ve brought back the 3D printing booth and have it set up there. So if you previously wanted to 3D print yourself but missed out, you should probably pass by Best quickly before it gets shut down again.

2019-07-17T09:25:30+03:00Jul 17, 2019|3 Comments

Kuwait Airways Upgrading their Business Class

Post by Mark

When Kuwait Airways introduced their new fleet back in 2016 my initial impression of their business class was that it didn’t look premium and it felt overcrowded with their 2-2-2 seat configuration. My favorite business class configuration has always been the Qatar Airways 1-2-1 arrangement on their 787 Dreamliners and it looks like Kuwait Airways will be adopting a similar setup on their new planes.

According to a recent press release, Kuwait Airways will be installing B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats on their upcoming A330-800neo which are the seats used on airlines like Qatar Airways and Virgin. The current seats in comparison are the regular B/E Aerospace Diamond seats so it’s going to be a really good upgrade.

Kuwait Airways is expecting to enter 8 A330-800neo aircraft into service in 2020.

2019-07-16T10:08:15+03:00Jul 16, 2019|8 Comments

Municipality Building Turning into a Museum

Post by Mark

The current Municipal Council building would be turned into a museum under the umbrella of the National Council of Culture, Arts and Letters, said Chairman Osama Al-Otaibi Monday.

After relocating to a new one, the old building would be preserved due to its historic significance, Al-Otaibi told a press conference. Source

I’m so glad they realized the importance of the building and won’t be demolishing it. After the decision to demolish Sawaber and the Ice Skating Rink, I wouldn’t have been too surprised if they had decided to demolish this building as well.

The Kuwait Municipality building was designed by the architect Sami Abdul Baki and constructed between 1959 and 1962 by The Arab Contractors. I tried to find information on the architect but really couldn’t find anything other than a design he had proposed for the Martyr’s Square in Lebanon that never came to be. Interestingly, the Kuwait Municipality building features arcs similar to the one in his Martyr’s Square design (check below). So either that was his design signature or, maybe since it was never executed in Lebanon he decided to implement it into this building.

If anyone knows what other buildings he might have designed in Kuwait let me know in the comments below.

Image on top and building information was taken from Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989

2019-07-16T09:39:33+03:00Jul 16, 2019|5 Comments