Old Car Technology Revisited: Ecological Vehicles, Pneumatic Motors for Air Powered Cars & More

There is nothing new about pneumatic motors and air powered cars, the idea for pneumatic motors for use in ecological vehicles and air powered cars has been around since 1687. The first ecological vehicle using pneumatic technology was a locomotive that was operational by the end of the 19th century, it was the precursor for the technology being used today to develop ecological vehicles with air powered motors. No gas use, no pollution, little to no fuel costs.

Designers of pneumatic motors were looking to the future of ecological vehicles with the use of use of thermodynamics as early as 1872. The pneumatic motors designers implemented boilers in the pneumatic motors of the locomotive to heat the air and enable the locomotive to travel greater distances between air fill-ups.

In 1889, two-stage pneumatic motors were introduced, which enabled the air powered locomotive to travel even farther between air fill-ups and allowed for urban transportation via ecological vehicles to begin.

Charles B. Hodges was the first person to invent and sell air powered cars. These ecological vehicles were marketed by the H.K. Porter Company and sold to the U.S. mining industry. Air powered cars presented no safety threats to the mines or miners.

In 1932 the first print advertisement appeared for air powered cars. The ad touts air powered car as having ‘four fuel tanks which will drive the car 500 miles at 35 miles per hour. The engine requires no cooling system, no ignition system, no carburetor, nor the hundreds of moving parts in a standard gasoline motor.’ The story which accompanies the advertisement for air powered cars goes on to gives details of how air powered cars debuted in Los Angeles and ‘whizzed around city streets at not one cent of cost to the driver’.

That is an old technology well worth revisiting, the ability to drive ecological vehicles that do not cost the driver one cent to operate.

After the second world war, pneumatic motors, air engines, air powered cars or any other like term describing the technology was shunned and on rare occasions when the technology of pneumatic motors was mentioned, a disclaimer was added that pneumatic motors were inefficient and of little use. Pressure from oil companies and the push towards gasoline engines instead of air powered cars brought about this sudden disinterest and disassociation from the ecological vehicles with pneumatic motors.

The oil shortage of the 1970’s brought about a change in attitude, and the old technology of pneumatic motors was revisited, with Terry Miller developing an air powered car in 1979. Terry Miller built his Air Car One for $1,500, showing the world that ecological vehicles, air powered


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  1. TheBrit

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