Wow, my friend Rick Moss started something here. The video he sent me (see immediately preceding post) was a video from flixxy.com. I'd never heard of flixxy but it looked inviting so I decided to explore some of their popular video showings. One of the first I ran into is this French car powered completely by compressed air.
Can Someone Tell Me The Flaw in This Air-Powered Car?
by Dan Shafer •
I've run into this video once or twice before but each time I do, I wonder, "Is there some fundamental flaw in this design that prevents it from being adopted worldwide?" And, "Why can't I buy one of these right now, today, here in Monterey?" India's Tata Motors was reported in late 2008 to be preparing to bring this vehicle to the U.S. this year and planned to begin taking reservations more than a year ago. A search of the Web today reveals no information at all about Tata's possible role in all of this. Maybe the Tata Nano's success as the cheapest ($2500) car in the world sidetracked their planning. Or maybe the fact that their Nanos had the unfortunate tendency of spontaneously bursting into flames distracted the company.
Wikipedia's article on the car dubbed the OneCAT by Tata marketers said, "In December 2009 Tata's vice president of engineering systems confirmed that the limited range and low engine temperatures were causing difficulties." As far as I can tell, nobody other than the car's inventor is working on this vehicle for commercial introduction. Durability is apparently another problem. But none of these issues sounds like a deal-breaker. If any of the large U.S. or Japanese automakers wanted to do so, they could almost certainly partner with the inventor's company and bring this car to fruition.
Yeah, I know that if everyone starting driving these the entire petrochemical industry at the foundation of the world's economy would go into rapid decline and collapse. But would a few million such cars on the roads be all that economically damaging? And how about the trade-offs with the environment? Is it worth keeping the human race alive to replace some chunk of the oil economy with something this intelligent?
Obviously there's something wrong with the picture. What is it? Surely not dollars? Perish the thought!