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SAfrica may produce squashed-air car

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  • David Haith
    This piece may be slightly off topic but relevant in the sense that new non-polluting technologies are out there in the wings. If air pressure cars come in and
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2000
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      This piece may be slightly off topic but relevant in the sense that new
      non-polluting technologies are out there in the wings. If air pressure cars
      come in and the oil industry begins to take a back seat, might the world be
      ready to receive more exotic energies following UFO disclosure? Regards,
      Dave Haith

      > >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
      > 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
      > toys whose power source is emptying balloons.
      > >
      > > The TOP is the brainchild of a former French Formula One racing
      > 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
      > be driven for up to 10 hours in an urban environment at an average speed
      > 80km/h.
      > > Plugged into a electrical power source, it can take as much as four
      > 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
      > 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
      > of the market. The vehicle's range is 200km, at a phenomenal projected
      > 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
      > 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
      > 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
      > line in Gauteng next year, being in production by 2002.
      > >
      > > a.. Zero Pollution Motors was not answering calls.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > -- The Mail&Guardian, October 30, 2000.
      > >Here's a link about it

      > >
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