Eureka, they’ve done it again! Automakers have made a most miraculous discovery in modern engine designs – air. Not so miraculous, you quibble? Would you be enticed to reconsider your position if you learned that compressed air engines (CAEs) offer low to zero pollution emissions with the main power source, air, basically free for the taking? There’s an air of genius in the vision.
CAEs, in fact, are quite feasible with little green air cars sprouting up at car shows everywhere. A handful of models are reaching the marketplace. Kudos to the tenacious visionaries who pushed their dreams forward through ever-surging criticism. It looks like vehicles engaging CAE technology and their advocates are here to stay awhile as engineers work tirelessly to harness the winds of change into viable, environmentally-friendly air-powered solutions.
Don’t let cynics convince you this technology has no future. History proves otherwise. Just take a look at the failed attempts at developing an internal combustion engine as an example of success in the face of obstacles albeit success with a cost. There were many failed designs tested using everything from gunpowder to coal gas as fuel and some designs running only briefly at a mere 10 mph. Eventually, gasoline-powered internal combustion engines were successful as is witnessed today. However, after years of choking on toxin-rich emissions produced by those engines, clean engine power in the form of CAEs is the breath of fresh air that fuels the promise of a cleaner and greener tomorrow.
Should CAE technology take flight, the planet can breathe an enormous sigh of relief as toxic emissions are reduced by 80 to 100 percent. An average fuel stop would cost a mere $2.00 per tank for compressed air that can carry an air car 125 miles. Compare that to an average cost of $19 to travel 125 miles in a gasoline-powered engine.* With CAE technology, oil changes would amount to little more than swapping out a bit of non-toxic, biodegradable vegetable oil. Spark plugs, batteries, antifreeze, and mufflers would become a thing of the past in our landfills.
CAE technology is definitely making headway and it’s quite realistic to expect CAEs to cross over into motorcycle, lawn mower, and power tool markets not to mention the world’s city bus and taxi systems. Experiments include a motorcycle prototype built using scuba tanks filled with compressed air. The motorcycle is capable of reaching speeds up to 87 mph. Luxembourg-based Motor Development International (MDI), a major player in the air car market, has branded their air car through the AirPod name. Reports indicate the AirPod is capable of reaching 68 mph and can be fueled in two to three minutes. MDI is marketing the AirPod as “small size, tiny price, zero pollution, fun, and futuristic design that can be driven with a joystick.”
In January 2007, MDI signed a $28 million license agreement with India-based Tata Motors allowing Tata to market and sell air cars in India using MDI’s technology. Tata wasted no timing moving forward with their MiniCAT which travels about 186 miles on a tank of compressed air. French automaker Peugeot Citroen has unveiled their air-hybrid car that runs on both compressed air and gas and boasting 117 mpg. Peugeot Citroen expects to have their air-hybrid car on the streets of Europe by 2016. The cost of both the compressed air engine (CAE) cars and the hybrid-air car are around $8,000.
So buckle up folks for this incredible journey into the future of sustainability. Tune into the collective consciousness of eco-friendly possibilities like compressed air engine (CAE) cars and hybrid-air cars. The world is evolving one green idea at a time as it embraces new technologies in the interest of a cleaner, greener tomorrow. There’s still a long way to go but hopefully many of us will get there in little green cars.
*Figured on an average gasoline cost of $3.69/gallon and gas mileage at 24 mpg.