Some people may think the title to this article is impossible. It's not. Implementing it will be harder than most anything the average person ever did. Why you ask? Well you are not only taking on the big oil but the Federal government. If you develop a car that runs on compressed air, your taking on the whole system. Oil companies own big pieces of the automobile industry and they are definitely going to be against it. The government will fight you for a different reason. If no one buys gas, no one pays fuel taxes. If no one pays fuel tax how does the government fund highway repairs. So oil companies and the Federal Government have a vested interest in making sure air powered cars do not happen.
The wheels in many minds are already spinning and asking, "How do you compress the air without electricity." The answer is you don't, but it is the source of the electricity that makes it a Zero Fossil Fuel vehicle. You simply use renewable sources such as wind and solar to generate the electricity to power the motor that makes the compressor work. You may need some sort of battery storage to get enough electricity. The neat thing is if the system is built right it can run and put air in storage tanks for use when needed. A banked air system with big enough storage can refill the air tanks on the present air powered car designs in about three minutes. About the same as pumping a tank of gas. The range of air powered cars already designed and on the market is 120 miles at 70 miles per hour which is as good or better than most electric powered cars. The neat thing is you can carry a small fuel powered compressor with you to provide air to get you home in an emergency. That is not the case with an electric powered car.
If you might be interested here are a couple of links so you can see a couple of the systems that are presently out there. The links are short YouTube videos so you can see how they work. The first is where French technology is at and the second is where the United States is at with the technology. We are definitely behind the curve on this. I think the college kids who built the one in the second video used some type of air powered impact wrench to provide power. I can not really tell, but it is what it looks like to me. My attempts to contact the people in the video have not been very successful. Anyhow the first link explains a lot about how it works. Link for the French car http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRpxhlX4Ga0&feature=related and here is the video link for the American system http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBeky4EuyBc
There is quite a difference in the level of technology. My present goal is to build me a small four wheel version I can use around the area I live in. I only need about a ten mile range to go to town and back and I am sure with some trial and error I can build myself a system that will meet my needs. As I sit here typing and looking out at the foot of snow on the ground it makes me see one downside to the air powered car. With no combustion or cooling/heating system how would you provide heat. From my years in the trucking industry I know there is a battery operated heater that runs on diesel fuel. It will run for up to eight hours on just over a gallon of diesel fuel They are totally efficient and they work. I'm back. Didn't even know I was gone did you. Anyhow the heating system would be a very simple issue to fix. I think I would definitely go with one that runs on diesel and then I could make my backup compressor run on the same thing and only have to have one tank. Running an alternator should be no problem. So most of the systems I need are already on the market. All I need to do is create my own power source and the web and YouTube offer hundreds of variations
Developing the whole system could be kind of pricey. The upside of the system is that it could be adapted to take me totally off the grid and be energy self sufficient. In event of a major or mega disaster that may not be a bad position to be in. If you read my 4/25/2012 blog... Worse than Katrina. It offers a couple of scenarios that are not that far out there and which definitely could or may happen at some time in the future. Having been a Boy Scout as a youth, their "Be Prepared" slogan has helped me in planning things all the course of my life. At least this offers some ideas on how to beat the system and help protect the environment at the same time. I encourage to share this with your like minded friends. While I have been read in 62 countries my numbers are not that big, but they are growing. I appreciate the time you spent reading this and invite your comments.