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Monday, March 06, 2006

 

Car spotting

One good thing about being a Parking Enforcer is if like me, you are a bit of a petrolhead; you get to drool over some seriously sexy machinery on the pretext that you’re thinking of booking it. Aston Martins, Bentley’s, BMW’s, Dodge’s, Ferrari’s and Rolls Royce’s cross our paths on a semi regular basis. The only problem is that the moment the owners clock you paying attention to their pride and joy, they tend to panic, run out and drive away or give you a right mouthful, so your viewing pleasure is somewhat curtailed.

However, this does not put me off looking, and I try to keep track of what’s up and coming via this web site. Nice concepts are the Ethanol burning Saab Aero X concept (Watch the official launch here) and the new fuel cell unit being touted by Honda as the future of motoring. Yes, I know that the concept is two years down the line from production but we shouldn’t dismiss fuel cells as opposed to more mainstream power units. As soon as the politicians find out how to tax it – bingo – the problem will be solved!

It’s interesting to see that in the USA they are already building networks of fuel stations for alternative fuel vehicles, and LPG is widely available over here. A cousin of mine reckons the money he spent on converting his Van fleet to LPG saves his business somewhere around 50% on the fuel bills and running costs, so every conversion pays for itself inside 9 months on the mileages he does. One of our lot runs his old Diesel on filtered chip shop oil, paying something around 40p per litre when all the costs are factored in, or so he tells us.

What this means is that, if through one reason or another, the oil tap in the Middle East suddenly dries up; the Western Nations will have enough oil of their own and still not have to give up individual transport like some the doomsayers would have you believe. Our mobile civilisation won’t be falling just yet. Well, at least not this month.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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