The plan to ban new registrations of internal-combustion-engine cars from 2040 has generated many column inches about battery-powered vehicles. These lumpen, inefficient, short-range conveyances will not predominate, though, as they are long-winded to refuel. This is not the case if you swap battery technology for fuel cells. Oil refineries can use steam reformation of natural gas to produce hydrogen for use in fuel cells to power electric vehicles. The CO2 yielded is internal to the refining process (rather than external, as in gas-fired power stations) and at pressure, making it ideal for carbon-capture methods at source. The car’s sole emission is water, and refuelling is as quick as with petrol or diesel.
Andy Cole, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire
Barry Borman worries about what happens when you get a puncture at night and have no spare tyre (“A winter’s tale”, Letters, August 6). The answer is that you arrive home at 2am on an AA flatbed lorry and then waste the next day finding a tyre fitter with the correct tyre size and arranging transport to it. Full-size spares are the only way to go.
Tim Barrett, Hardingham, Norfolk
Chance to shine
I have a solution — somewhat radical — to assuage Barry Borman’s nocturnal tyre-repair fears. Carry a good torch.
Gordon Lilly, Tenterden, Kent
I am looking to buy a dashcam, but why do they all seem to be wired to a power socket in the car? Surely we should no longer have to contend with wires around the windscreen.
Keith Hicks, Lewes, East Sussex
[Many can be hardwired by a qualified electrician for a permanent, cable-free solution — see Nextbase’s hardwire kit here. Wires are hidden behind the interior trim. Halfords can hardwire your dash cam while you wait for £30. Or you could simply tuck the supplied 12V cable between rubber seals or fabric trim and plastic components yourself, running the cable along the roof lining, down the A-pillar, under the carpet in the passenger footwell and then into the cigarette lighter socket. For more dash cam info and our latest reviews, click here. Ed]
Like Ged Carpenter (“Undercharged”, Letters, July 30), we found our car’s battery went flat after three months. We bought a solar panel that plugs into the 12V socket. No problems since.
Liz Jones, Slough
Inaction speaks louder than words
The more illegal cars taken off the road by the likes of the Reg Check app, the better (“Tax check”, Letters, July 30). However, reporting is one thing; action is another. I am aware of a vehicle parked in a side road with no tax, no MoT and no insurance for at least six months. The DVLA, the police and the council have all been informed, but no one is taking any action. Why do we bother?
I’m intrigued. How do these apps gain free access to the DVLA database?
Steve Young, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire
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