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  #1  
Old 10-01-2004, 08:40 AM
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TeamM3 TeamM3 is offline
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New euro-car runs on compressed air

what's next; a steam engine?

I'm sure I'll get :aty:'d

ps: I hear Borla is already developing a high flow Ti exhaust system for it


European Car Runs on Compressed Air
But Some Environmentalists Question Benefits
By LAURENCE FROST, AP

PARIS (Oct. 1) - Record-high oil prices might seem like bad news for the auto industry. But one European manufacturer plans to make a type of car unaffected by $50-a-barrel crude - cars that run on compressed air.


AP
The compressed air powered Air Car will first be sold in France, with production starting next June.

"It's safe, doesn't pollute, doesn't explode, it's not poisonous and it's not expensive," said Sebastien Braud, a representative for Luxembourg-based Moteur Developpement International.

Inside the Air Car, an electric pump compresses air into a tank. The air in turn pumps pistons that take the vehicle up to 70 mph. The car can travel 50 miles at top speed on a full tank, and farther at lower speeds.

The company plans to make two versions - a three-seat compact priced at $9,850 and a six-seat sedan for $16,000.

The air pump that fuels the car plugs into an ordinary household socket and takes four hours to recharge.

"When you get home you normally plug in your cell phone," Braud said. "Well, now you do that with your car, too."

Slightly pricier Air Cars achieve higher speeds and longer ranges by running on a combination of compressed air and conventional gasoline or bio-fuels derived from organic matter.

MDI says the air-only models meet the needs of most urban drivers, who average just 11 miles a day. And the only exhaust that comes out of the tail pipe is cold air.

The already attractive economics of the Air Car - MDI claims a recharge costs just $2.50 at French electricity prices - will become even more persuasive if oil prices stay high.

"It certainly can't hurt," said Braud. "It will help encourage people to switch over."

The company says the cars - the brainchild of former Formula One engine designer Guy Negre - initially will go on sale in France, where production is to begin in June.

The price of a barrel of light sweet crude eased back on the New York Mercantile Exchange after Tuesday's record intraday high of $50.47 but remained around the $50 mark Thursday.

But auto analysts played down the Air Car's chances of taking off, unless a major car maker buys the technology and markets it through its own network.

"If you buy a Peugeot or a Renault, you know that there's a dealer close by if you have a problem," said Gaetan Toulemonde of Deutsche Bank Securities. "If your car has only one dealer in France, what are you going to do when it needs repairs?"

Toulemonde said about 10,000 electric cars had been sold in France since major manufacturers introduced them a decade ago. Many now outperform the Air Car in terms of speed and range but nonetheless remain niche products.

Environmentalists are also wary about the Air Car's claimed benefits. Converting energy from electricity to compressed air is inefficient, according to Karsten Krause of the European Federation for Transport and Environment, a green lobby group based in Brussels.

By consuming much more energy from the power plant than it delivers on the road, Krause said, it could even do as much environmental damage as some gasoline cars.

"You may not have any pollution from the car itself," he said, "but you're just transferring the environmental burden to another place."

Krause's organization pushes a much simpler recipe for cutting greenhouse gas and toxic emissions from vehicles. If consumers ditched their SUVs and other gas guzzlers and chose engine capacities reflecting their real needs, he said, fuel consumption would drop by a third.
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Last edited by TeamZ4; 10-01-2004 at 08:44 AM.
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  #2  
Old 10-01-2004, 08:52 AM
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Yeah, I don't get the energy conversion thing, either. If you need to feed it electricity, why not just use that?
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  #3  
Old 10-01-2004, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz
Yeah, I don't get the energy conversion thing, either. If you need to feed it electricity, why not just use that?

cost and no hazardous waste batteries that require replacing
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:03 AM
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Um, something has to hold the electricity that runs the compressor. That would be a battery.
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  #5  
Old 10-01-2004, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz
Um, something has to hold the electricity that runs the compressor. That would be a battery.

no, it's not a battery powered compressor, you use a wall socket to run the compressor which stores compressed air in a pressurized vessel just like you charge up an electric car, the stored energy method is different that's all

Quote:
The air pump that fuels the car plugs into an ordinary household socket and takes four hours to recharge.
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  #6  
Old 10-01-2004, 09:22 AM
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I read that to mean it recharges a battery that runs the compressor.

In either case, not praticularly intriguing to me.
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  #7  
Old 10-01-2004, 09:44 AM
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Ford has an offshoot of this but it repressurizes that tank during braking and uses a gas/diesel engine once the vehicle is underway. Essentially the ford one is used for initial propulsion (the most inefficient time for gas engines).

They're testing it on large trucks and buses. So far it's shown to reduce emissions, increase mileage and offer far faster acceleration. Kinda cool.
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2004, 03:12 PM
christy98M3 christy98M3 is offline
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I was in line at starbucks the other day and the lady in from of me was talking about this car. I was thinking to myself yea right a car that runs on air Guess she was right. Pretty cool
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2004, 04:31 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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I kinda like the idea-- although it doesn't say anything about range. I like the simplicity of it and the fact that it doesn't involve batteries.
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2004, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robg
I kinda like the idea-- although it doesn't say anything about range. I like the simplicity of it and the fact that it doesn't involve batteries.
we need to work on those reading comprehension skills

Quote:
The air in turn pumps pistons that take the vehicle up to 70 mph. The car can travel 50 miles at top speed on a full tank, and farther at lower speeds.
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2004, 07:31 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamZ4
we need to work on those reading comprehension skills
Woops-- guess I read it too quickly.
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2004, 08:14 AM
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The cool thing is that what comes out of the exhaust is actually cleaner than regular air (because it is filtered first before being compressed in the tanks).

The sad thing is that this technology isn't garnering a lot of interest because it's actually low-tech (compared to fuel cells and hybrid)
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2004, 02:14 PM
LarryN LarryN is offline
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Yeah, but when it's running, does it sound like a balloon let loose as it PLLALALLALALAA around the room?
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  #14  
Old 10-11-2004, 12:46 PM
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I find the claim that it "won't explode" interesting. Try piercing that high pressure tank and see what happens. There's won't be a lot of fire, but
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  #15  
Old 10-11-2004, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryN
Yeah, but when it's running, does it sound like a balloon let loose as it PLLALALLALALAA around the room?

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