Air Car

Air Car

Two inventors -- one in France, one in Australia -- design pollution-free vehicles that run on compressed air. Detroit, are you listening?

In a world of escalating oil prices and climate crisis caused at least in part by auto pollution, two international inventors are working on designs which could revolutionize transportation. Guy Negre of France and Angelo Di Pietro of Australia both design car engines that run on compressed air technology (CAT.)

In this “Beyond Tomorrow” science program from Australia, aired by the Discovery Channel, reporter Graham Phillips takes a close look at these pollution-free cars and the inventors behind them.

Guy Negre is leading the way in designing the first commercial air-driven car and has been working on it with his company Motor Development International (MDI) in southern France for around 15 years. The cars are lightweight, with many aluminum components, and run on compressed air technology. The emissions are filtered air, cleaner than outside air. Negre’s air car is designed for city driving, can travel around 70 miles per hour and has a 90-mile driving range. Refilling can be done by plugging in at home or at a special high pressure air station. MDI’s OneCAT air car was displayed at the 2008 New York Auto Show.

Angelo Di Pietro is working on compressed air technology in Australia. His engine is small and super lightweight with a unique design. Instead of pushing pistons up and down as in conventional gas engines and the French Air Car, Di Pietro’s design moves a single rotary piston around to power the central drive shaft. Di Pietro designs his vehicles for locations where air and noise pollution can cause health hazards, such as produce markets and warehouses. Di Pietro strives for an engine alternative that is environmentally friendly, comparable in power and inexpensive.

This video includes interviews, clips of the prototype cars on the road and explanations and graphics of compressed air technology. Could something so simple be the solution to our global energy crisis?

If you liked the heralded feature-length documentary “Who Killed the Electric Car?” you will enjoy this.

Length: 8:52