Saturday, August 09, 2008

Are Electric Cars Obsolete?


Driving on Fresh Air


There have been various media stories going around for several years regarding a car which is 100% pollution free, runs on a few cents worth of compressed air, and all that comes out the tail pipe is more fresh air!!!

You roll up to a special service station and hook up the very high pressure compressed air and in a few minutes the car is ready to go for up to another 125 miles before re-filling.

Three Times the Range of the Best Electric Cars!

The bigger long-range cars being planned will take up to an hour to re-fill but to balance that, the range is up to a whopping 1200 to 1600 Km or 745 to 994 Miles. WOW!!!! - That is THREE TIMES the range of the very best electric car prototypes currently available. WOW again!

What is this car? Who makes it? How does it work? How much will it cost? Is it practical or is it another “Pie in the Sky”?

I have been totally fascinated, and very excited doing my research for this post. These cars could make electric cars obsolete, at least, that is until they develop a much - much - much better battery.

These Cars are ready for Production.

The original manufacturers and developers of the “Air Car” are French company MDI. They have been developing and testing the concept for 15 years. The design is now pretty well perfected. There is a full range of compressed air powered vehicles in planning, including buses.

Production agreements have been signed with Tata, the Indian car manufacturer, which has been in the news lately with the world’s cheapest car. It is one of the companies making the air driven car. It will produce initially two models with a speeds of up to 108Km/h 67 miles per hour, and a range of 200Km or 125 miles.

US Manufacturer

Another production arrangement is with US manufacturer ZPM (Zero Pollution Motors)

ZPM intend manufacturing a six-seater, family-size compressed air car based on the CityCat along with other models . The CityCat will have an estimated 96mph top speed and a range of up to between 745 and 994 miles. It will have a dual fuel system, using a very small amount of bio-fuel or gas etc.

It will feature the Compressed Air Engine (CAE) and Compressed Air Multiplier (CAM). Initially there will be three models on offer.

It all started in France with MDI.

MDI (Motor Development International) is a 15 year old French company headed by Guy Negre. He is the inventor of this particular “Air Car”.

A former aeronautics and Formula One racecar engineer, Mr. Negre has been working diligently with his son, Cyril, an engineer with Bugatti, and about thirty other engineers to bring the Compressed Air technology to market (CAT). To date, the company holds many patents in over 120 countries for their innovative Air Car s vehicles.

How it works

The car has an engine which uses nothing but compressed air to drive the pistons. The power is stored in several very large specially manufactured safety tanks of air compressed to 300 atmospheres.

These tanks, which are mounted under the car, are made in a very special way. I will discuss this and other aspects of the cars soon.


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