French air powered car afloat by 2016
Ou la la
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 13:02
While hydrogen powered car technology is still a couple of decades away, and electric/electric-gas powered cars still aren’t as environmentally as they claim to be, it’s good to know that the French car company Peugeot is working hard to get a compressed air powered car into production by 2016.
Technology takes time to evolve, and becoming completely independent of fossil fuels is going to take time, so a European car manufacturer putting a very eco-friendly concept car in the public eye is a big step forward on reducing carbon footprints.
Many might be surprised to know that compressed air isn’t a completely new technology; despite not being talked about much, compressed air has been used since the 19th century. From powering mine locomotives and trolley cars, to being used as the center for naval torpedo propulsion, compressed air has been used as an energy source for a long time.
However, the biggest problem with getting compressed aircars into production in the past is that their engines don’t produce enough power, and compressing air can prove costly.
The Hybrid Air as this concept car has been named operates on compressed air, gasoline, or a combination of the two. Running mostly on compressed air would permit driver’s to drive up to 50 minutes in slower city conditions without using any gas. Underneath the car, a hydraulic pump forces compressed air against fluid that sets the wheels in motion, allowing the pressure is restored within 10 seconds when the car is completely stopped.
But when speeds reach 43 mph the car uses a standard three-cylinder gasoline engine with an automatic transmission. This groundbreaking hybrid system will give the car a massive 117 mpg. Over two times what a Toyota Prius offers.
Optimistically, this recent step in environmentally friendly technology should push car makers like the ambitious edge pusher Elon Musk of Tesla, to harness this technology for heavy car using Americans. With shares recently down in Europe for Peugeot hopefully this isn’t just one more concept car that we’ll never see on the road.