Forget hydrogen fuel cells. They may only produce water as exhaust, but hydrogen is highly explosive and requires a lot of energy to produce, negating some of its green credentials. But a car powered on compressed air, well that may be the holy grail of environmentally friendly vehicles.
The OneCAT is the brain-child of French inventor Guy Negre. Negre has claimed to be on the verge of a breakthrough for over a decade, but he may finally be able to deliver on the promise. Negre recently struck a deal with Indian car maker Tata who are behind the Nano, the world’s cheapest car. Tata is putting the finishing touches on the engine design and has given generous financial backing to Negre to finish his concept car.
The OneCAT can be filled up with compressed air in under three minutes or plugged in to an electrical outlet and filled with air via the on-board compressor in about four hours. When driving in the city, the car will be a genuine zero emissions vehicle. For longer trips, a small fuel burner, which will operate with a wide variety of liquid fuels, will heat the air to expand it and increase pressure on the pistons and extend its range (which has yet to be revealed). In fuel burning mode, the OneCAT will get the equivalent of 120 miles per gallon.
If the price stays around its estimate £2,500 ($4,885) and the range is enough get around fill ups ever other day, Negre and Tata may have a revolutionary vehicle on their hands.