ZPM Air, on the Roads by 2011...
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ZPM is hard at work to put an air-propelled vehicle on the roads in the US by 2011. The car is supposed to work by combining a good old fashion engine with an air compressor. For speeds of up to 36 mph (58 km/h), the compressor comes into action and squeezes the hell out of the air found in the car's specially-designed tank and propels it forward for around 20 miles (32 km). After that, it gets back to the usual engine...
Downsides? Well, many of them...First of all, it takes about four hours to pressurize the air tank, so you would need to "plan" your emergency trips accordingly. Then, there's the design of the ZPM cars (take a look at the one showcased in Geneva, for instance). And there's the price... ZPM plans to sell the car in the US sometimes in 2011, at a price estimated in between $18,000 and $20,000 and, even if ZPM promises the equivalent of 100 mpg (2.3l/100 km), that still seems like a lot to ask for.
Even experts disagree with the idea. Harold Kung, professor at Northwestern University told AP: "Air compressors are one of the least efficient machines to convert electricity to work. "Why not use the electricity directly, as in electric cars? From an energy utilization point of view, the compressed air car does not make sense."
The good (or bad) news is that the license to use the technology behind the air car was sold by its inventor, Guy Negre (head of Motor Development International) to Tata Motors as well. We wonder how long will it take for the guys over at Tata to develop the Nano Air? The cheapest car to buy and operate. Ever...
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comments written so far
On 15 May 2011 at 20:50 UTC, Rick said:
So, when and where can I purchase one?
On 19 July 2011 at 21:11 UTC, max said:
i thought of a compressed air motor 20 yrs ago but never did anything about it . my idea was to have the engine fill the tanks and have a seperate system compress the air and with 2 tanks it would never run out of air if you are interested send me the air pressure specs. and from that i will know if my idea will work
On 10 March 2012 at 04:39 UTC, Forest said:
What happened to this car and did it make it here yet? I think I heard on the news that a deal was struck with the car companies here and the oil companies that made it so ZPM could not sell cars here. Is this true?
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