Social Question

sandystrachan's avatar

Would you drive this car ?

Asked by sandystrachan (4387 points ) August 30th, 2009

Say it does come to your area , would you find yourself driving it . Or do you think its just another gimmicky fad , considering how cheap and efficient iit sound and earth saving it says Would you swap or just have it as a 2nd car ?
Also It isn’t really an earth saving car if Taken from the site ” Drivers also will be able to plug into the electrical grid and use the car’s built-in compressor to refill the tanks in about 4 hours ” That would cost even more money , and damage to the planet surely just like all those electric cars do .
Anywhoo Link

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27 Answers

Sarcasm's avatar

How exactly is the air/electricity not saving the earth compared to gasoline?

Bugabear's avatar

Well assuming that all the infrastructer is in place to support this car, then my answer to this would be no. No because I dont think its practical. Even though it’s cheap I dont think most people would be comfortable with driving a car that is power with compressed air. To me it sounds much more complicated than just sticking some gas in a car or plugging a plug into a wall. That just happens to be my answer. But it a good idea though. Would definitely be useful for something else. Maybe a golf cart?

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’ll try anything at least once so I’d give this car a test drive. You can’t get much cleaner transportation than something that runs on air. As far as owning one of these freaks of the automotive world, I think I’ll pass on that.

sandystrachan's avatar

@Sarcasm No1 is saying its not a good energy saver when compared to petrol, but to plug it to a socket for 4 hours isnt very energy savvy . Considering everyone wants us to stop leaving things plugged in .

Lupin's avatar

Save your money. I just ran some quick calcs on energy storage of compressed air . I used a delta of 200 bar vs the 300 par in the spec sheet and then ignored losses. That is good first approx.
Based on those assuptions, the 340 liter tank will hold 5.1 kwhr of energy. If you pay 0.12 per kwhr it will cost about $0.60 to fill it and with a typical 15 amp house electrical system it will take ~4 hours to fill. Sounds great and is consistent with their claims. Except… that is only 5.1 kwhr or a little over half a liter of gasoline energy equivalent. Would you leave your house if you knew you only had half a liter of gas in your car? The mileage stated is grossly inflated. That might be at a steady cruise at 12 mph with no accessories, no accels no decels. Unrealistic.
The tanks need to hold 300 atmospheres. Those are heavy even if you consider carbon fiber. Li Ion batteries are a much better bet.
Wait until you see a couple of them on the road before you plunk down your cash. The laws of physics are pretty hard to beat.

whatthefluther's avatar

With a top speed of 68 mph and range of 125mi the car shown might be practical for around town use but not on highways/freeways. And, of course those ratings will decrease substantially as the car is modified to meet strict safety standards. The “Related Story” link describes a dual energy engine (compressed air and heated compressed air which would require a fuel) that would improve top speed to 96 mph and range to 1000 miles which would be very acceptable. I’m with @Lupin tho, I would need to be convinced of the cost savings, pollution reduction levels, performance, safety and maintainability, but the inventors should be applauded for their ingenuity (or in this case, “enginuity”). This could be a very exciting developing technology especially if advances can also be made to reduce the cost and make readily available high pressure compressed air. See ya…Gary aka wtf

Lupin's avatar

If you could get compressed air for free that would be great. My $0.60 calculation assumed a compressor with 100% efficiency – the absolute best case.
The better deal would be batteries. You just don’t get the same energy density from compressed air. Well…. you can, but do you want to go up to 20,000 PSI? I don’t. It’s too scary. Wait until the first accident. There will be carbon fiber shards on the moon. ;-)
My analysis was just based on the numbers they presented and existing pressure tank technology. The car would be fun to play with.

RandomMrdan's avatar

no, I would not drive a car like that.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

No,

It’s obviously not driver or performance oriented.

The manufacturer has no quality or reliabilty pedigree.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

not a chance in hell. I’m all for the environment and such but that thing is damn ugly.

casheroo's avatar

It looks like a deathtrap.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

It probably wouldnt meet US crash and output standards anyway.

cwilbur's avatar

@Sarcasm: The energy to make the car go has to be generated somehow. Is it better to generate it through internal combustion of gasoline or through burning coal to generate electricity?

Sarcasm's avatar

@sandystrachan No, they’re saying to not leave things plugged in if they don’t need to be. The fact that I should turn off a light as I’m leaving a room is completely unrelated to, say, me deciding to get a refrigerator.
@whatthefluther How fast do you go on freeways?
@cwilbur Coal isn’t the only source of energy, last I heard. There’ve been some crazy tales about magical “Solar panels” and “wind turbines” which generate power. Obviously with some kind of satanic magic, but power nonetheless.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

@Sarcasm:

Regarding top speed.

On paper the cars low top speed doesnt seem like a problem: Top speed 68, highway speed limit 70, no problem!

In reality the car stuggling at 100% to keep up with traffic going 75? Big problem.

Sarcasm's avatar

Move over to a slower lane?
65 is the speed limit on our freeways. Sure, people are going 75 in the fast lane, but generally people hover around 65 here in most of the lanes.
Wouldn’t want to be pulled over by a cop while driving one of those things anyway.

Zaku's avatar

Clearly it depends on the truth of how it actually performs and what it actually takes to operate and maintain it. I see several people inventing their own statistics and answering no to those. I don’t like the look of it but if it truly is inexpensive, non-polluting, and energy-efficient, doesn’t fall apart and performs semi-reasonably, sure I’d consider driving it. Or, I’d wait for a body style and performance model that I liked.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

@Zaku: There won’t be a true performance model, at least in our lifetimes. Anything that would pass as such today would be a totally spartan weekend toy, not exactly a problem for some but there still are significant ‘fuel’ range issues.

@Sarcasm: theres a reason even your average turdly, off the rack sedan is capable of speeds significalntly higher than the speed limit: Cars that arent capable of higher speeds at least in an emergency are a hazard.

Theres yet another issue: Good carmakers design their cars to perform smoothly, quietly and stabily at 110MPH or so with the thinking that it will then perform very well at ‘normal’ speeds.

This vehicle doesnt allow for that at all.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Ill take one of these instead.

Lupin's avatar

The top speed is not an issue. The question is how long it takes to get there. We test cars all the time at our lab. We weigh the cars and then set inertia weights to match the mass. To simulate the road load we enter the hp required to keep it moving at a set speed , usually 50 mph. That is determined by taking an actual car, putting it on a test track at 60 mph and letting it coast down to 50. We measure that time and incorporate that in to our dynos. It only takes 8–10 hp to keep a full sized car moving at 50 mph. That depends upon the CD drag coefficient of course. The HP requirement goes up as speed increases. There is a f(v^2) squared component to overcome wind resistance and a f(v) linear component to overcome rolling friction. This car looks reasonably slippery . Just eyeballing it, I figure its road load at 50 is more like 5–6hp. At 68 mph it would take about double that. So I calculate the HP as 10–12 hp if 68 is the top speed. . It will take you a long time to accelerate to highway speeds.

cwilbur's avatar

@Sarcasm: of course, there are other methods, but quite a bit of the electricity in the US is generated by burning coal or nuclear power.

I find it risible when “environmentalists” decry “dirty” gasoline power in favor of “clean” electric power, while demonstrating a complete ignorance of where that electricity comes from.

Fred931's avatar

As long as I drove it in a major city and not a rural area, then maybe. Of course, it’s Indian., which can mean a whole variety of bad things.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

It will smell of curry.

whatthefluther's avatar

@Noel_S_Leitmotiv…Perhaps it will also mobilize the Windows and HP quick-repair teams?
See ya…Gary aka wtf

sandystrachan's avatar

@Noel_S_Leitmotiv Do German cars smell decaying Jews ?
I thought the car was french .

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

LOL, The car i saw in the link was made in India i thought.

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