The Next Generation Of Car?

Innovation is not dead thank goodness, for there are people out there who continue to advance the world of science, especially in areas where advancement is essential. This is very true when searching for ways to fight the continuing contamination of our atmosphere that is causing global warming, especially considering the grave warnings given out by scientists this last week (see my last post).

Apart from industry, one of the biggest pollutants on the planet are cars and trucks that leave in their wake clouds of CO2 and other pollutants because we use oil by-products to fuel them. So what is all the fuss about?

It would seem that Tata Motors of India have come up with a solution you will never have believed possible. A car that runs on air! That’s right you read it correctly – Air!

The Air-Fuelled Engine

The Air-Fuelled Engine

This is a car engine that runs not on polluting gas or diesel, or even batteries, but just the air around us. Tata Motors of India has scheduled the Air Car to hit Indian streets next year.

The CAT - The First Car NOT To Need Oil Products!

The CAT – The First Car NOT To Need Oil Products!

The vehicle was developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre for the Luxembourg-based company MDI and uses compressed air to push its engine’s pistons and make the car go. The Air Car, called the “Mini CAT” could cost around 365,757 rupees in India or $8,177 US.

Guy Nègre - A Very Clever Man

Guy Nègre – A Very Clever Man

The CAT is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis, a body of fibreglass that is glued not welded and powered by compressed air.  A microprocessor is used to control all electrical functions of the car.  One tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, turn signals and every other electrical device on the car.  Which are not many. The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

The Catmobile - Just What The World Needs

The Catmobile – Just What The World Needs

There are no keys, just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket.  According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees (80c) per 100 KM, that’s about a tenth the cost of a car running on petrol or diesel.  It’s mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car, a factor which makes it a perfect choice for city motorists.  The car has a top speed of 105 km per hour or 60 mph and would have a range of around 300 km or 185 miles between refuels.  Refilling the car will take place at adapted gas stations with special air compressors.  A fill up will only take two to three minutes and costs approximately 100 rupees ($1.78) and the car will be ready to go another 300 kilometres.

This car can also be filled at home with it’s on board compressor.  It will take 3-4 hours to refill the tank, but it can be done while you sleep.  Because there is no combustion in the engine, changing the 1 litre of vegetable oil is only necessary every 50,000 km or 30,000 miles. Due to its simplicity, there is very little maintenance to be done on this car. This Air Car almost sounds too good to be true.

As you  can imagine, this invention is not going to be popular with the oil companies if the world switches over to this technology, because they will see their bulging profits fall radically as the demand for oil slumps. If this idea really does take off they will be doing everything they can to sabotage the product, for they do not give a damn that their product is driving the human race to extinction,  just so long as they continue to make huge profits.

If Mr Tata and Mr Nègre  succumb to a mysterious illness or die in an accident, then you know how the the oil companies have reacted, as they have done in the past when faced with the prospect of sudden diminished demand for their oil.

Like you, I will await the outcome of this brave new idea, which will be good for the planet if it succeeds.

Roy.

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