THE AIRCAR IS REALITY
A French designer of engines for Formula One racing cars has turned his attention to creating an engine that runs on, and emits, only air! By all accounts, this is no pie-in-the-sky dream invention either - as the vehicle’s release is slated for later this year.
With a top speed of 110kph (68mph) and a range of about 200kms (125miles), it looks to be an entirely useable commuter, and more. In fact, once the initial model is on the market, there are plans for a hybrid version - a car that will use a small amount of fuel to generate the compressed air required for the main engine - resulting in a 4,500km range (2,800 miles) from just one tank of fuel.
The vehicle´s electrical system is also revolutionary. MDI bought a patent designed to reduce the usual set of electrical cables to just one. A tiny radio transmitter is used whose signal is picked up and converted by microcontrollers in each device in the car: lights, intermission, etc. The design is 20 kilos lighter and makes maintenence much simpler. What about keys and alarms in such a system? Well, just turn off the mini-emitter (the size of a small keyring).
At MDI we have also been looking into a new system to replace keys. A card could be used to gain access and start the car. To open the car, the card would just be read automatically, without having to insert it into any slot. The card´s proximity would be enough to unlock the car.
*Consumption is less than one Euro per 100Km (Approx 0.75 Euro, according to use, i.e. about a tenth that of a petrol car). This makes it an attractive prospect for any driver, professional or not.
*As no combustion takes place, there is no pollution. Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 a 300 Km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where the 80% of motorists drive at less than 60Km.
*Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In 2 or 3 minutes, and at a cost of approximately 1.5 Euros, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometres.
*As an viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can be connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank in 3-4 hours
*Due to the absence of combustion and, consequently, of residues, changing the oil (1 litre of vegetable oil) is necessary only every 50,000 Km.
*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.
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