Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Air Powered Car pt2

I while ago I posted a story about a French design for a compressed air powered car read it here.

BBC news have done a story on the development. The car should be on sale within a year and may cost as little as £2500 for a 5 seater. It can be refueled from a compressor in 3 minutes or plugged into a domestic supply overnight and refuel with an onboard compressor in 4 hours. It can also burn various liquid fuels to preheat the air increasing it's range.

The company MDI is planning a range of products from sales of the actual motors, through a range of small cars and even including buses. Their website can be found here.

Read the BBC story here.

Here is an artist's impression of one of the small car models.

Cycling in London

London is about to receive a £500 million investment towards improving cycling in the city. The scheme will include 6000 hire bikes. These will be available from docking stations where users of the scheme can unlock them, use them and then place them in another docking station when they are finished. This is similar to the Velib scheme in Paris shown below.

The scheme will also include 12 new cycling routes as well as clearly marked bike zones linking parks, waterways and key destination around the city. The aim is 5% of all journeys in London being made by bike by 2025. Personally I think that 5% in 17 years is pretty unambitious and that it will take a hell of a lot more than £500m to change the way Londoners travel. However I have seen the system in Paris and it was very popular so it may take off (assuming Londoners don't steal or vandalise all of the bikes).

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Renewable Suber Grid pt2

In August 2006 I wrote a post about a plan for a renewable energy super grid covering Europe and North Africa read it here.

The plan is now going ahead. The company behind this is the Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Company (
TREC). The plan is to build commercial concentrated solar power stations in North Africa that would sell electricity to Europe while simultaneously desalinating sea water as a by product of energy production.

Germany and Algeria have already reportedly signed a deal to lay cables stretching as far north as Aachen on the German-Belgian border. read more here.