Monday, April 21, 2008

A Bike That Runs on Air?? - Now That's Eco-Friendly!!

Gas Prices are sky-rocketing, and driving a car to work everyday is becoming even more taxing that taking a bus and a train, even with an hour-long commute! The tech world keeps talking about "alternatives to fuel" and "green vehicles", but these are not as easily available as we'd like to see. But what if I told you that you could design your own "air-powered bike" without much fuss and money? Before you start thinking I am a jester making funny jokes, let me tell you that this guy you see in the picture has already made one for himself!

After the air-powered watch, let me tell you about the current rocket scientist cum inventor Jem Stansfield who has successfully created an air-powered moped that helps save money and energy. He took a couple of air canisters normally used by firefighters for their breathing apparatuses, and lashed them onto a Puch moped. He claims that this is the world’s first motorcycle powered by fresh air, which eliminates pollution to a great extent.

The two compressed air cylinders drive a pair of rotary air engines that propel the bike to a top speed of 18mph, but it’ll only go about 7 miles until more air is needed. But unlike electric scooters, it takes just seconds to recharge from larger air tanks filled by a diving compressor; just a quick stop at a fill-up shop and you are good to go!. Surely not a bad idea if you live close to work, or use this for shorter distances.

Jem Stansfield built the scooter for a National Geographic channel documentary called Planet Mechanics. He is a true innovator in creating one of the most environmentally sound vehicles today. You can see him test ride it in Bristol when the programme is aired on June 3 at 6pm. No matter how crude it looks, I think this may be a step in the right direction for a greener Earth. Motor companies could actually perfect this technology to produce more air-powered cleaner vehicles, right?! Also check out this innovative hybrid-electric car that is soon to hit california streets.


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