Zero Pollution Car
- NHNE News List
Current Members: 387
Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message.
Thanks to Lambro.
SA MAY PRODUCE SQUASHED-AIR CAR
By David Le Page
October 30, 2000
An extraordinary new vehicle with a unique power source is lined up for
production in South Africa, offering hope for those incensed by the cost of
The car, called the Taxi ZerO Pollution (TOP), runs off motive energy stored
as compressed air in tanks resembling those of scuba divers. The compressed
air impels a piston engine. In effect, it's a serious version of toys whose
power source is emptying balloons.
The TOP is the brainchild of a former French Formula One racing engineer,
Guy Negre. It looks similar to the micro-minibuses recently introduced by
the likes of Renault to the South African market.
The compressed air is stored in tanks holding 300 litres and attached to the
underside of the car. The body of the vehicle weighs only 700kg; the engine
itself is a mere 35kg. This means that the vehicle can theoretically be
driven for up to 10 hours in an urban environment at an average speed of
Plugged into a electrical power source, it can take as much as four hours
for the car to "re-fuel" as air is compressed and forced into the storage
tanks by a small compressor. But large-scale "air stations" could manage the
task in just three minutes for companies running fleets of air-powered
The projected cost in South Africa is around R74 000, near the bottom end of
the market. The vehicle's range is 200km, at a phenomenal projected cost of
just R2. If this scenario proves workable, the savings may well seduce many
who might otherwise be put off by the range limitation.
Details on the technology have yet to be revealed, but the concept is
significantly simpler than others being pursued by developers of
environmentally friendly transport, such as fuel cells and internal
Road tests of the prototypes have been done since 1998 in Brignoles, France.
A hybrid version of the engine runs on normal fuel at speeds higher than
60km/h, still with extremely low energy consumption.
But the car itself is not the only innovative part of the concept. The
production has been designed to be extremely simple, allowing factories to
be constructed for a minimal $8-million. Such a factory would produce 2 000
to 4 000 vehicles a year with a staff of 130. The factory concept is
designed to be franchised, and easily transported to developing countries.
The local branch of Zero Pollution Motors hopes to establish a production
line in Gauteng next year, being in production by 2002.
NHNE News List:
To subscribe, send a message to:
To unsubscribe, send a message to:
To review current posts:
Published by NewHeavenNewEarth (NHNE)
NHNE Website: http://www.nhne.com/
Phone: (520) 282-6120
Fax: (815) 346-1492
Appreciate what we are doing?
You can say so with a tax-deductible donation:
P.O. Box 10627
Sedona, AZ 86339-8627