Yep, you heard it right. Those clever boffins at French car giant PSA Peugeot Citroën have actually designed a car that can run on air.
This new hybrid vehicle should be available to buyers by 2016 and runs on a mixture of petrol and compressed air. This is a breakthrough in the world of hybrid vehicles, as heavy and rather expensive car batteries will no longer be needed.
So how does it work?
For the techies out there, it has a conventional petrol engine, which is linked to a hydraulic air motor and pump. When the car is moving, the air is pumped into a cylinder (like a balloon being inflated) using excess energy from the petrol engine and energy from the wheels and heat from the brakes. The air is then released to drive the hydraulic motor and this allows the car to run on air, petrol, or a combination of both.
Will it save on running costs?
According to its Scientists, the car’s petrol bills will become considerably cheaper than those of current cars. Petrol bills will be reduced by approximately 45% for the average motorist and for those about town, a staggering 80% because the car will be running on air four-fifths of the time. By the year 2020, these cars could be achieving an average of 117 miles per gallon, which is rather impressive.
How much do these cars cost?
Surprisingly, these cars won’t cost the earth. Buying a car fitted with Hybrid Air will be £1000 cheaper to buy than current hybrid vehicles. Plus, a family vehicle can also have this technology fitted, providing there is not a spare wheel in the boot – this is where the Hybrid Air motor has to be placed.
It is certainly clear that the hybrid race is on! We are seeing more and more hybrid vehicle inventions appearing in today’s market place, to produce cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles in an attempt to reduce damage to the environment and make vehicles more cost efficient to run.
Will this be the car that we’ve all been waiting for? Watch this space…