You know that scene in Transporter 2 when Jason Stratham is shooting it out with a half-naked woman in a hospital? When he sets up an oxygen tank to fire like a projectile and explode in the face of his foe? It’s a trope that’s been used in a ton of movies and TV shows. But it also appears that the same trope might have inspired a group of students at the University of Cairo to develop a car that only runs on air. Regular ol’ air. Except it’s not really a car. And it’s not very fast. And it seems pretty dangerous. And it’s unclear if it’s better for the environment. But it looks like a lot of fun to drive!
The group of undergraduates built the vehicle in an attempt to make an eco-friendlier car, as is all the rage. The physics seem pretty simple. A canister of compressed oxygen drives the motor and creates enough horsepower to go 40 km per hour. One tank can go about 30 km before you need to “refuel” with another canister.
The students say the price of the “car” — let’s be honest, it’s really a dune buggy — will be just about $1000 to build as the engine is fairly simple and since it involves no combustion, it doesn’t need things like radiators to cool it.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe. Oxygen or any other gas compressed into a tank has a tremendous about of potential energy. The reason it can power the buggy is the same reason that a catastrophic accident could occur, as in the video below.
The buggy could definitely go a long way though, especially in developing countries and countries with energy issues, but it’s far from perfect. It does look like a blast though! Since it has no emissions, we figure it would be perfect for our office.