Meet the air car

I’m surprised there is even a question over whether the air car should get the green light. What is the air car you ask? Well, it was introduced last week at the New York Auto Show and was designed by Formula One race car engineer Guy Negre.? According to the Times New Herald there’s a person interested in bringing a plant to New Paltz, NY.

It sounds like some kind of dream car: a car that runs primarily on compressed air, gets 100 miles to a gallon of fuel (be it gas, propane or biofuel), produces negligible pollution (and none at city speeds), can hit speeds of 90 mph, has four doors, seats six passengers and costs between $18,000 and $20,000.

You’ll have to wait a couple of years, but if Shiva Vencat has his way, you’ll have your chance at the end of the decade. Not only does Vencat want to sell you his super-green Air Car, he wants to build the plant that would manufacture it somewhere in Ulster County. […]

Vencat heard about Negre’s car almost 10 years ago.

“I was intrigued,” Vencat said. “I visited him and said I was interested, that I’d like to be his representative in the U.S. He said he couldn’t afford to pay me. I said I’d do it in exchange for the rights to a single one of his plants in the U.S.”

Let me repeat that. A person capable of building a production plant for these cars has known that this technology has existed for a decade. Ten years. We could have been rolling these cars off into the market. What’s the delay? This is almost reprehensible.

Sadly, it looks as though 2010 will be the target date for these cars.? “There’s something else besides pollution that will be missing from the Air Car: the middleman. Plans call for the establishment of manufacturing plants across the world, with between 60 and 80 in the United States by 2010. Rather than sell their cars through dealerships, buyers will be expected to purchase directly from the plant.”


How the air car works

The Air Car’s engine uses compressed air stored in tanks that emit filtered air. When driving above 35 mph, an external heating chamber kicks in, expanding the volume of compressed air before it enters the engine, resulting in increased range. This chamber uses a small amount of fossil or biofuel, resulting in CO2 emissions two to three times less than existing hybrid vehicles.

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