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PHEV · 27 September 05

PHEV Schematic

A friend sent along a link the other day to Energine. Energine, a Korean company, makes a PHEV, or Pneumatic Hybrid Electric Vehicle, which runs off of a combination of compressed air or electric/batteries.

CNN ran an article earlier this year with a few details. Basically when the car needs a little extra oomph the air engine kicks in. Looks like a nice around-town car, with top speeds around 30mph.

The pictures in their gallery will have to suffice for those of us who don’t read Korean. I especially like the photo showing the air engine running under water.

PHEV Robot?

One of Energine’s pages showcases alternate vehicles which can use the PHEV technology (so I’m guessing), including this groovy looking track drive robo-arm contraption.

I read that they are shooting for a release date sometime next year.

Energine isn’t the only air powered vehicle coming to the market. The Air Car from France has been in and out of the news over the past few years as they get closer to releasing their MiniCat air powered car. You can find out more about the engine powering it here.

Comments 10
  1. SeanG    Sep 28, 2005 10:44 AM    #
    Air powered engines – it’s fascinating. Is it like the little water rocket I used to pump up and then blast off as a kid?
    I like the picture of the Korean robot – but it looks more threatening than helpful. Haha.
  2. — Michael B    Sep 28, 2005 11:32 AM    #
    There’s some interesting Air technologies emerging here in Australia too. http://www.engineair.com.au/ has a rather unique engine design, which is quite compact and light-weight.
  3. Jerry Halstead    Sep 29, 2005 08:42 AM    #
    Sean: I used to have one of those rockets too…what a blast! Water Rockets are even more fun!

    Thanks for the link, Michael. Interesting engine…any news on commercial availability yet?
  4. — Marvin Kitzerow    May 20, 2007 12:20 PM    #

    ,Air powered vehicles are the future, here and now. They make hybrid gas and electric, bio-fuel, electric and hydrogen vehicles obsolete. The technology is too simple not to work. Air/steam engines powered mighty locomotives for decades. Until there was a way to store energy that was practicle other than coal energy, powering an automobile was not practicle. What makes air driven vehicles possible is the invention of the ultralight, high pressure, carbon fiber air tank.

    So far, as I can see, the companies that are the nearest to production are manufactured by MDI in France and the PHEV being manufactured by Energine Motors in South Korea>

    The world needs to get behind these companies and promote this technology just as Tata Motors Limited, the 5th largest passenger car company in the world is doing in India.

    This exciting technology is a God send not only to humanity but also to world peace and global warming! I can easily see solar powered air compressors producing the air that propels these vehicles making them the first truly, zero emission automobiles. To continue manufacturing fossil fueled automobiles, in light of this compressed air technology, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. A compressed air refueling infrastructure is user friendly and will be able to be implemented almost over night. Almost all small residential garages already have air compressors that will be able to refuel air cars at home. Besides air refueling at service stations, there will be air dispensing stations at K-Mart, Walmart, 7/11 etc.

    For too long mankind has suffered at the behest of the oil barons who have gotten rich off of oil and used their profits to wage wars and cause consternation in the world. By being able to refuel our vehicles with compressed air that we generate on our own, for next to nothing, there will be an enormous boost to the economies of the world!

    Any automobile manufacturer who does embrace compressed air technology will be “left out in the cold”!

    I can’t express how excited I am to be witnessing this technology coming to fruition. I have put my name at the top of the list and can’t wait to recieve my first compressed air vehicle.

    Marvin R. Kitzerow Jr

  5. Gavin Shoebridge    May 20, 2007 15:46 PM    #

    Looks interesting but my personal choice would still be electric.
    If anything, just for the lack of noise, vibration & moving parts.

  6. — James May    May 20, 2007 17:22 PM    #

    Good luck Marvin, Please tell us all about your compressed air car when it arrives. I agree, we need to move away from fossil fuels in an orderly fashion.

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  8. — Ben Brown    Jan 19, 2008 11:49 AM    #

    I am REALLY looking forward to air cars and think we need them NOW. I think the Korean and French companies are right on. I also want to encourage air car clubs because they will help bring these cars to the public’s attention.

  9. — paul    Mar 09, 2008 22:38 PM    #

    I would say that all these comments are useless unless we test drive the vehicle. When and why haven’t we yet? It’s probably cause it’s not practical for a wide variety of vehicles “yet”.

  10. Kustomatic    Feb 17, 2009 02:36 AM    #

    I think air powered cars are great. But I still want them to build a solar + Electric vehicle. That’s more energy saving since compressed air will be more expensive.