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Driving On Air

The car manufacturer Zero Pollution Motors plans to introduce the six-seater Air Car CityCat to the U.S. market. Developed by Formula One race car engineer Guy Negre, the Air Car is equipped with a revolutionary dual-energy compressed air engine, achieving a fuel efficiency of 106 miles to the gallon. At low speeds, this vehicle emits only air from its tailpipe making it a good option for ‘green’ inter-city traveling. The Air Car is built with Compressed Air Technology (C.a.t.) and is designed to be relatively affordable, as it is estimated to cost approximately $18,000 and to consume only small quantities of fuel.

The CityCat is capable of reaching a top speed of 96mph. When driving at a speed of over 35mph, the Air Car heats the air by using small amounts of fuel – gasoline, propane, ethanol, or bio fuels. Even when it does use fuel, the car produces emissions of 0.158lbs of CO2 per mile, still much less than any other currently available car. Before the air is compressed, it runs through carbon filters that clean it from all impurities so that the engine’s performance is not disrupted.

The six-seat Air Car’s body is made of fiberglass and injected foam, while its chassis is composed of light aluminum rods and is impact-resistant. All electrical components in the vehicle are connected via wiring harness and receive signals from a central microprocessor. When the car key is removed, this system becomes an anti-theft alarm, providing additional safety. The Air Car is equipped with a dashboard computer which, aside for displaying the driving speed on a screen, also incorporates options such as Internet connection and GPS.

The air tank is metal-free, composed of carbon fiber with a thermoplastic lining. When driving at high speeds, the compressed air tank refills itself. Still, the company explains it will also be possible to refill the tank by plugging it into a regular power outlet (refilling the tank is estimated to cost approximately $2).

TFOT has recently covered other interesting concept cars, including Chrysler’s Jeep Renegade – a ‘green’ sporty two-seater vehicle constructed of environmentally friendly materials, a new bio-fuel powered sports car named CCXR, and “sQuba”, which is the world’s first ‘green’ diving car.

More information on the Air Car can be found on Zero Pollution Motors’ website.