Posted tagged ‘electric cars’

Air Car Is Heading For Mass Production

September 25, 2011

The Air Car is the brainchild of Guy Negre, a French inventor and former Formula One engineer. In February, Negre’s company, Motor Development International (MDI), announced a deal to manufacture the technology with Tata Motors, India’s largest commercial automaker and a major player worldwide. “It’s an innovative technology, it’s an environment-friendly technology, and a scalable technology, ” says Tata spokesperson Debasis Ray. “It can be used in cars, in commercial vehicles, and in power generation. ”


01-aircar-production-launching next year-guy negre, MDI, Motor development International

Though Negre first unveiled the technology in the early 1990s, interest has only recently grown. In addition to the Tata deal, which could put thousands of the cars on the road in India by the end of the decade, Negre has signed deals to bring the design to twelve other countries, including South Africa, Israel, and Germany. But experts say the car may never make it to US streets.

01-air-car-engine

The Air Car works similarly to electric cars, but rather than storing electrical energy in a huge, heavy battery, the vehicle converts energy into air pressure and stores it in a tank. According to MDI’s Miguel Celades, Negre’s engine uses compressed air stored at a pressure of 300 bars to pump the pistons, providing a range of around 60 miles per tank at highway speeds. An onboard air compressor can be plugged into a regular outlet at home to recharge the tank in about four hours, or an industrial compressor capable of 3,500 psi (likes those found in scuba shops) can fill it up in a few minutes for around two dollars. Celades says optional gasoline or biofuel hybrid models will heat the pressurized air, increasing the volume available for the pistons and allowing the car to drive for nearly 500 miles between air refills and about 160 miles per gallon of fuel burned.

Early media reports speculated that Tata could have an Air Car on the market by the end of 2008, but Ray says it’s likely to be a couple of years before the technology is available. Until the Indian models hit the streets, the best way to see an Air Car in action is to cross the pond and check out Negre’s prototypes in France- a trip entrepreneur J. P. Maeder says is worthwhile. “It’s not a fantasy, ” he says of the car. “It can make a real impact in how personal transportation will develop from here. ”

In 2003, Maeder formed ZevCat, a Califonia company that aims to bring the Air Car to America. So far, however, he says his plans have stalled for financial reasons: Without enough money to build and crash test prototypes, he can’t demonstrate the technology for investors who might be willing to fund more prototypes.

The car might garner more attention in the US if it makes it to market in India or elsewhere before other burgeoning technologies like plug-in hybrids or fuel-cell electric cars. If that were to happen, compressed air could become the “next big thing” for green-minded drivers, says Larry Rinek, an auto analyst with the international market-research firm Frost and Sullivan. But Rinek questions whether the car will have mass appeal. Another unknown is whether the vehicle could pass crash tests.

“This is an R and D novelty; it’s a curiosity that is nowhere near ready for primetime, ” says Rinek. “It’s unknown and untrusted, particularly here in North America” where, he says, adoption of new technology moves “very slowly. ”

SOLAR POWER IN CARS

September 10, 2011

solar-auto-carsSolar energy is one of the many renewable sources of energy that is used for fueling vehicles, running consumer products and for the efficient running of homes and business establishments. Solar power is harnessed with the help of solar cells and solar panels which are placed in the item that has to be powered.

The solar car is something that is envisioned to materialize in the future, with some countries already having solar cars racing across countries.
With this, it is proven that it is viable to indeed produce and manufacture solar power cars in bulk, in the near future so that everyone will soon own a solar power car.

Of course, once solar power cars are manufactured, it does not implicate that all other fuel sources for cars on highways will be removed. All that is done in solar power cars is the supplementation of traditional fuel with solar energy so that you save not only on your economy, but also save the environment in more ways than one every year.

The solar power cars that are used in races today run only on solar power, and thus look odd in appearance. This is because these cars are designed in such a way that they can collect maximum solar energy with which it is possible for the car to gain the required speed and desired efficiency.

The solar cells used in solar power cars are large, and usually cover the entire vehicle. However in case of commercial uses, solar cells are much smaller and designed so that the vehicle not only looks attractive, but is also efficient in its functioning. Solar cars can be used for short commutes in town as these cars can work only on solar energy.

The batteries found in the vehicle stores excess solar power so that this power can be used when solar power is not available on demand like on cloudy days and at nighttime. The engines found in these solar power cars are very much like the engines found in electric cars found today. In addition to this, the cars are lightweight, so that solar power can be used more efficiently.

At present, there are many types of solar power cars in the development stage today, which are also available for sale. However as these cars are in the developmental stage, the car is not available to the general public. With so many benefits found in solar power cars, its cost will not be much higher than the cost of the traditionally powered vehicles of today.

Another benefit of solar power cars is there is no hassle of stopping at gas stations for gas nor is there the need of getting worried of rising gasoline costs. With a solar power car, you save on the money that you would have otherwise have needed for buying fuel to run your car. In addition to this, with solar power cars you will be doing your bit in stopping global warming problems as there are no fuel emissions from solar power cars.