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It might be. But mostly, we don’t know yet.
Nine engineers talking about green automotive technology will give you ten different opinions. So where is the truth? Should consumers think about hybrids, hydrogen, or high-mileage? Are batteries the way to go? Should we give up cars altogether and start biking everywhere we want to get to?
Right now, I don’t think anyone knows. And the thing is, it’s pretty hard to figure out.
For example, take a look at this video. Take everything at face value and your jaw will drop.
I know I was ready to get signed up for this incredible invention. But then I started looking around – at the comments on the video, an early mention of this technology, a CNN report, even Wikipedia – suggests that this might not be reasonable.
The biggest problem I’ve found so far is that there is no hard data about this car. There are no published safety tests, no long-distance tests, no concrete information to back up the claims made by these companies. These cars aren’t on the roadways anywhere, like they’re supposed to be.
Another issue: the air needed to make the car run must be obtained from an air compressor, which runs on electricity. And producing electricity releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. How much? Depends on how clean the electricity is.
I emailed Tata Motors in India, one of the car companies that was supposed to get these babies on the road. I received a kind response:
We refer to you query on the compress air technology, please find below response from Tata Motors for your reference.
The compress air technology is still in the project stage. It is being developed by MDI of France. Tata Motors has financially supported the development works and is licensed to deploy the technology as an when it is ready, only in India.
Tata Motors does not have any time frame for introducing it in India.
I’ve been trying to get in touch with MDI, but no dice yet. I’ve got another contact in Germany who might be able to tell me some more, and I’ll keep you posted on what I hear.