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Zero Pollution Car

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  • NHNE
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2000
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      NHNE News List
      Current Members: 387
      Subscribe/unsubscribe/archive info at the bottom of this message.

      ------------

      Thanks to Lambro.

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      SA MAY PRODUCE SQUASHED-AIR CAR
      By David Le Page
      The Mail&Guardian
      October 30, 2000

      http://www.mg.co.za/mg/za/archive/2000oct/features/30oct-aircar.html

      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
      hydrocarbons.

      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
      80km/h.

      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
      commercial vehicles.

      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
      combustion-electric hybrids.

      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.

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