Thursday, January 7, 2010

Unlimited Fuel Cars

GM’s Concept Car: The 2010‘Obama-wagen’

The "Green Hell" Blog pokes some fun at government running the car industry on "hot air" and I found it hilarious. Whether you agree with what the government is doing with mandates or not (I do not) it is clear we are moving to smaller and and thus more dangerous cars. Smaller cars means less metal. Less metal means less protection and thus more preventable deaths.

Speaking of running on "hot air"... I was watching the "Planet Green" channel ( and they have a show called "The Planet Mechanics". It is like "Ask This Old House" where two guys in a van roam the roads offering to solve problems with "Green" solutions. They visit "true believers" who would pay any price to "Go Green". It is actually entertaining even to me and reasonable to watch for a prepper.

One time they visited a sandwich shop and built a delivery bike that ran on compressed air. Click the link and for a trailer of the episode.

(Air-Propelled Sandwich)

The air-powered bike was a clunky but it worked well enough. However, given the infrastructure required to support it (a large air compressor at the sandwich shop) it was wildly inefficient and expensive. That doesn't make the idea wrong. It simply makes it appealing to a highly specialized market. A more likely market to solve the same problem (air pollution) is electric cars but causing a secondary problem with lead battery disposal. Alternately they could have tried hydrogen-fuel cars but those are a bit futeristic for the Planet Mechanics. They are more concerned with building green with whatever they can lay their hands on right now... including old junk.

From a "prepper" standpoint, an air-car might make some sense because of ease of availability of "fuel" but the effort required to build up enough pressure in the tanks makes this solution impractical in a "grid down" situation. You would need pressures equivalent to "scuba tank" pressures which is fairly high. 

Alex Shrugged


Prepper - Someone concerned with preparation for likely disasters lasting days/weeks/months. This is different from a "survivalist" who is preparing for an extended disaster of a year or more which suggests a fundamental breakdown of society.

True Believer: A book I read a number of years ago that still rings true to me today. Written by a longshoreman, Eric Hoffer goes through the mindset of those people who follow mass movements.

Air-powered car: It actually exists. (See Popular Mechanic review) It runs about as long as an electric car and looks rather flimsy since they are trying to reduce the weight of the car.
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