Who Will Kill the French Air Car?
Friday March 30th 2007, 1:56 pm
Filed under: cars/bikes/etc,daily life,environment,health

the air carIn 1991, Guy Négre, a French ex-Formula One engineer, founded a company (Moteur Developpment International or MDI) that would continue the development of his invention, the Air Car. He would ultimately aim to put it on the global market and manufacture it. To date, it is not available to purchase. Why isn’t it – 16 YEARS LATER? Will the same fate kill the Air Car as it did the Electric Car?

What is the Air car?
The Air Car is a car that uses compressed air technology and is powered by an air engine. It does not use any gasoline whatsover. Compressed air is stored in carbon or glass fiber tanks at a pressure of 4,351 pounds per square inch (psi). This air is fed through an air injector to the engine and flows into a small chamber, which expands the air. The air pushing down on the pistons moves the crankshaft, which gives the vehicle power. It is inexpensive to manufacture, and most importantly, does not pollute.1

Advantages Over the Hybrid
I may be one of the few to say this in public but I honestly don’t know why hybrids are getting all the buzz. Admittedly, they pollute the air less than standard cars, but they still do pollute AND they create a different pollution problem that is horrible. That itty-bitty detail seems to be getting overlooked. People should know that they have mongo sized batteries and no one can tell me exactly how long they last and where they will end up like other dead batteries. But we know where they’ll end up, don’t we? Yup, in a landfill. Batteries are one of the most hazardous elements to leach into soil from landfills, so while the beloved hybrid won’t pollute the air as much, they will cause harmful pollution in other ways. I personally find that biodiesels and Air Cars (with their zero pollution) are the true wave of the future but I can’t fight multinational lobbyists – so I think hybrids may be here to stay for a while.

In any case, I’m rooting for the Air Car even if isn’t the most attractive car (either is the hybrid!), and even if it will suffer a slow, torturous, unfair death. Or will it? One very big company in India, actually THE biggest automobile company in India (Tata Motors) has agreed to help further develop the air engine technology. Plus, the Air Car has been in news more and more lately so at least I know it is still alive and kicking. Go Air Car go!

The Air Car
Watch a video of The Air Car on YouTube
Zero Pollution and Low Cost
Tata Motors

1 From How Stuff Works

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