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First Car Running on Compressed Air

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Emitting only a breeze of fresh air might seem like a dream, but it's the latest invention by French engineer Guy Negre. He estimates the new vehicle will cost about 4,000 Euros and travel a maximum speed of about 93 miles per hour.

As a former Formula one motor racing engineer, Negre strongly believes he is introducing the car of the future to the market — he's hoping by the beginning of 2010. According to Negre, his engine is twice as efficient as regular cars, using up to 60 percent of its capacity, and offers a zero-pollution vehicle suitable for urban driving.

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[Guy Negre, French Inventor & Engineer]:
"Some experts say there are 400 thousand deaths in Europe, due to traffic pollution. So our ways with cars in cities will have to change completely, so we will need clean cars, I think one day or another, polluting cars will be banned from cities, which means there will be only electric cars left, and ours."

The car's engine will move the pistons using pressurized air. The engine, topped by an electric motor, emits only fresh air out of an almost frozen exhaust pipe. Some experts, however, are skeptical.

[Daniel Favrat, Industrial Science Expert]:
"The major challenge is that pressurized air has a very weak energetic capacity. If you take a small car with 40 liters of capacity with normal fuel, that equals, with air pressurized at 300 bars, only two deciliters of petrol. So you see the extraordinary challenge to produce such vehicles. That's why I'm personally a little skeptical."

In its current design, Favrat argues, the car does not meet modern security standards, which require heavy materials.

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