New research claims that cars could in the future be powered by air. Sounds crazy, but we thought the doors on the Starship Enterprise that opened when Captain Kirk approached them, or the communicator he used to talk to the Enterprise when he was on a planet were all crazy space age ideas, yet in just a few years, we found that doors in our supermarkets all opened automatically when we are near them and most of us have a communicator in our pockets, called a mobile phone.
So it’s not worth writing this off, as it appears that companies are already investing big money into what’s being referred to as “air hybrid technology” and clever people from Universities are already claiming it works.
The concept for this totally new type of air powered engine is that we capture around 48% of the energy generated when our cars brake and store it in a small air tank as compressed air for later use. The air could provide extra power to the engine when the car starts and would save fuel by avoiding the need for the car to idle when it’s sitting in traffic.
Fact is however that if you just Google “air-powered cars” you will find stories dating back to 2002 and earlier giving information on how it all works and in fact a proto-type was being shown at the Paris Motor Show in 2002, with claims of 65mph top speeds and a 200km range, but the prototype at Paris, had a compressed air tank and that you simply pumped the tank up at home like you might do a bike tyre, but by using the cars on-board compressor, although the air would be stored at around 150 times the pressure of a car or bike tyre.
A spokesperson from Lund University in Sweden who knows all about combustion engines said that city busses could reduce their fuel consumption by 60% by using this new technology and that as a bonus, “air-hybrids” would be cheaper to manufacturer as well, so if this really does work I guess in a few years time, we will all consider it as “logical captain”.