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article imageMove Over Biofuel Technology: There's a New Hybrid in Town and It Runs on Air

By Nikki Weingartner     Sep 16, 2008 in Environment
If you're in the market for a hybrid, a New York company called Zero Pollution Motors may have a product for you. With prototypes available in family and econo-sized models, the company is expected to begin taking orders in mid-2009.
What's a hybrid? It's something, such as a computer or power plant, having two kinds of components that produce the same or similar results, at least according to Houghlin Mifflin's definition. And in a world of painfully high gas prices, it is safe to say that hybrid automobiles are a fantastic alternative to the gas guzzling big dawgs we see on the streets today.
With the EPA listing the Toyota Prius Hybrid Electric, the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Camry Hybrid as the top 3 "Fuel Economy Leaders," it just doesn't seem that any improvements could be likely.
A new hybrid is getting rid of gas altogether. And guess what, it isn't using electricity or some Back To The Future type of trash technology that converts garbage into fuel. This baby will run on compressed air.
The New York-based company called Zero Pollution Motors is pledging to build its first car by 2010 and at 106 miles to the gallon (of air), potential buyers and skeptics are rubbing their hands and tapping their feet in anticipation.
According to the news article in Switched, the engine works something like this:
The car's engine would apparently work like a locomotive -- rather than steam, however, compressed air would move the pistons to propel the car along. When the car hits 35 mph, a fuel-powered external combustion system kicks in and heats the air, further increasing its volume and giving the vehicle more power.
It was designed by Formula One race engineer Guy Negre. More on the company and its concept can be found here on the company's website.
The cost of the cute little air tank? Around $18,000 US. The cost to fill it up? Free.
Now wouldn't that be a breath of fresh, or compressed, air!
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