THE ZERO POLLUTION CONCEPT TOTALLY NON-POLLUTING CARS
After more than thirty years with the combustion engines, the French engineer Guy Negre has developed a concept of a totally non-polluting engine for use in urban areas. The different versions of MDI engines provide the most comprehensive answer to the urban pollution problem: simple, economic and clean. This invention, which uses high pressure (300 bar) compressed air to store the energy needed for running the engine, is protected world-wide by more than 20 patents owned by MDI.
In urban areas, the engine powers a five-seat vehicle with a range of approximately 200 km using 300 litters of compressed air (300 bar) stored in either carbon or glass fiber tanks. A compressor driven by an electric motor connected to a standard electric outlet does the recharge of the compressed air tanks. A rapid recharge, using a high-pressure air pump, is also possible. To demonstrate the viability of the concept, three prototype vehicles equipped with air, mono-energy, and engines were developed. A taxi called "TOP" (Taxi ZerO Pollution) and pickups truck, were built. In May 1998, the first road tests of these prototypes were done in Brignoles, France. A great interest in the zero pollution concept has been expressed by the news media. Since May 1998, the taxi "TOP" has been the subject of more than 40 television programs and several newspaper and magazine articles around the world. The potential market for the "clean engine" concept is immense: e.g., vehicles such as taxis, buses, vans, delivery trucks, industrial warehouse tractors, golf buggies, lake or canal boats and many other applications in which fixed engines are primarily used in urban or restricted areas.
A version of MDI engine can, in addition to air, also function with the use of traditional fuel; petrol, diesel, natural or town gas, at very low consumption levels. The change of source of energy is handled electronically based on the speed of the vehicle; e.g. below 60 km/h it runs on air and higher speeds it runs on fuel.
To manage the development process successfully, MDI has contracted its product research and development activities to CQFD Air Solution, a company based in Brignoles, France. Here, under the direction of Guy Negre, some 30 engineers and technicians have at their disposal the most modern equipment for engine and vehicle development, testing and production, supported by the latest in information technology. As soon as the MDI engines and vehicles are commercially viable (within 1-3 years, depending on the version) they will have a market, with very limited competition, if any, for an estimated period of 10-15 years. The commercial strategy is currently concentrated on the urban markets, with products including taxis, delivery vans and pickup trucks. Based on a new concept of local vehicle production and sales, MDI promote regional manufacturing license rights in the form of franchised turnkey factory systems. Such a turnkey factory will have a normal production capacity of 2000-4000 vehicles per year and will employ some 130 people. A model factory is being constructed in Brignoles, France. It is estimated that the first zero pollution vehicles will be on the market in year2000
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