I was surfing around some popular articles around the web yesterday and came across an article about a new “air car” that I thought would be an interesting topic to share as it relates to potential big savings.
What is the Air Car?
It’s a car with brand new technology, developed in France, that will allow an engine run on compressed air. Yes, you read right, AIR. A new engine was designed by a former formula 1 engineer, and uses compressed air to move the pistons in their breakthrough engine.
According to their specifications, the Air Car will be able to travel approximately 200km on a fillup (~$2.50/fillup). How fast can these little air dinkies go? An impressive 110km/hr, much faster than I expected. I was also surprised at the price point. Hybrid cars sold now retail at a premium, sometimes $3-$5k higher than their gasoline counterparts. These air cars however, will be sold at around $10,000 CAD/USD.
You can find more info on the MDI Air Car site.
Another big question is, what about refill stations? From the prototype refill station in France, they say that it will take approximately 3 minutes to fill up the air tanks. I believe the cars can come with a system where you can simply plug the car into a wall socket which will power the air compressor built into the vehicle.
I’ve also read that they plan to make a gasoline/air hybrid where the gasoline will power the air compressor. They estimate that with this type of system, one tank of gasoline will be enough to drive from Los Angeles to New York.
When Can I Buy It?
You’re probably thinking that this technology will take forever to reach the market place. Au contraire (as the French would say), the prototypes are already on the roads in Europe with production expected by the end of the year (2008).
The Obvious Benefits
Car owners will know that a car is a money pit. With this new Air Car, the cost to fuel (and probably maintain) the vehicle will be cut 5-10x. Not only will it be friendly on the pocket book, it will help the environment also as it emits ZERO greenhouse gases.
As with any new technology, there are many unknowns. Will it pass government safety standards? Will the new technology be reliable? Will it ever make it to North America?
Finally, how will these babies would run in the snow? :)
Check out the video below on the new Air Car (feed readers, click here to view the video)[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDEmI8YxBR8[/youtube]