A couple of days ago, Jeremy Rifkin made the headlines with his prediction of a post-petroleum world. In other words -- and in a somewhat distant future -- he envisions a time when hydrogen replaces oil as the main source of energy.
In case you want to know more about this emergence of hydrogen as source of energy, here are two articles I recommend reading:
But hydrogen is expensive to masterize. What about air? It's abundant, and it's cheap. A french engineer, Cyril Nègre, is building non-polluting cars running on compressed air.
Jon Sopel reports.
Engineers in France believe they have come up with the answer that environmentalists and economists have spent years searching for: a commercially viable, 100% non-polluting car, which costs next to nothing to run.
The latest prototype will be unveiled on Thursday at the Paris motor show -- le Mondial de l'Automobile.
The writer drove an earlier version of a prototype, but not the latest one.
It is said to be much quieter, a top speed of 110 km/h (65 mph), and a range of around 200 km before you need to fill the tanks up with air.
And what about the cost?
Cyril Nègre, the head of Research and Development at Moteur Developpement International (MDI) cars, reckons a full tank of air would be about 1.50 euros. And for that you can drive knowing that you are pumping nothing harmful into the atmosphere.
After reading this article, I went to the MDI Web site. MDI is based in Luxembourg, employs about 100 people and has a couple of factories.
Here is what the engine looks like.
And here is a car seen from above.
MDI hopes its vehicles will be certified this year and will sell them starting in 2003. Basic models -- van, pick-up, taxi and family car -- will go for approximately 9,460 euros (taxes excluded).
If you're interested, you can send them an e-mail and you'll be put on their waiting list.
I wish them good luck.
Source: Jon Sopel, BBC Europe, September 25, 2002
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