Sunday, November 21, 2010


French compressed air car still rolling along

by Larry Geller

I thought I would check in on the progress of the French compressed-air car. No expensive battery is needed—it runs on air.

It’s no more green than an electric car, of course, because it all depends on how the electricity is made that compresses the air.

It’s small, it’s hot inside, the range is still limited (but similar to electric cars). It is certified for use in Europe. Probably it is still far from commercialization.

Check out this CNN video for the latest news on the MDI compressed air car.

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Thanks for the link. Compressed air might be a good alternative to batteries if the required pressure was not so high. This little car needs 5,000 psi air, according to the website. It has a range of 100 miles, but it recharges in only 1.5 minutes.

If it had a range of 40 miles (like the Chevy Volt on full-electric power) and could charge at local gas station pumps, it might be a hit. The technology might work even better on a non-electrified railroad; it would be much quieter than a car or diesel bus, and with no fumes.

The French in the 1800's before they electrified the trams( Light rail cars) in Paris were run with compressed air!
This would be very feasible. Instead of having all that expensive light rail infrastructure, we could go back to trolley buses that would top up the air tanks at every stop. This would be a great solution for small towns to run their bus services very effectively and at a very low cost of investment.

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