• Oct 1st 2009 at 7:02PM
  • 30
When a news article about a new car starts with this line – "Vehicle currently in development requires no fuel, no external charging" – it makes us worry. We're not exactly big fans of vaporware made of unobtanium. So, it is with skepticism that we read about a new compressed air car being developed by the team at Club Auto Sport in Silicon Valley.

The car that Magnetic Air Cars is working on is an updated version of a compressed air powerplant vehicle from 1932. While details are not precisely spelled out, the Custer air car technology that underlies what Magnetic Air Cars is working on uses air-bearing turbochargers to create mechanical energy. The turbochargers run on cold compressed air, MAC's CEO Manual Parks told the Almaden Times last year, and the powerplant also uses "super-capacitors, earth friendly recyclable batteries, solar power, magnetic motors and magnetic generators to compress entrained ambient air." Another interesting bit of tech is the "air bearings, capable of obtaining revolutions as high as one million RPM." Luckily, Parks says that, "Our solution does not violate the laws of energy conservation or the basic principles of thermodynamics." Whew. Read more about it here.

[Source: Magnetic Air Cars via Inhabitat]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Coming 2010 or sooner"

      This seems a highly ambitious release date, especially as the diagram only shows a *concept* vehicle that could easily have been pulled from Google.

      Probably a scam.
      • 5 Years Ago
      BINGO.... more 'magnet motor BS'

      These guys are either retarded or fraudsters...(or both).. either way they're an embarrassment to the entire EV industry.

      Just another variation of the magnet motor scam (ie. electric motors that claim to use no external power, just the force of permanent magnets on the rotor and stator LOL).

      They're about a legit as cold fusion!
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL here's a believer!

        Errrrr... the air has to be "COMPRESSED" by mechanical means, it doesn't just compress itself does it!! I think you missed to bit where they quite clearly refer to "magnetic motors and magnetic generators to compress ambient air"

        If you believe magnet motors actually generate power from thin air "requiring no fuel, no external charging", I've got a bridge I'd like to show you LOL.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I guess you missed the part about the COMPRESSED AIR?
      • 5 Years Ago
      From the PDF at http://www.magneticaircars.com/press/macflyer.pdf

      "A battery starts a magnetic motor… which in turn drives a small but powerful
      on-board air compressor. The air flow is then tubocharged and multiplied to
      where the resulting horse-pressure™ smoothly powers the car to incredible
      speeds… without ever getting hot and without ever having to be stopped for
      external recharging or refueling. And automobiles are just the beginning. How
      about vans, SUVs, trucks, boats, trains... even planes! You’re about to witness
      the birth of a whole new mode of transportation. Just imagine the possibilities!
      So sit back, believe it will happen, and then… watch it happen. It’s inevitable."


      WTF - horse-pressure!?! C'mon!
      • 5 Years Ago
      So a couple of technologically highly advanced Aliens decide to set up shop on Earth. Their goal is to produce an extremely advanced personal automobile transport system. It runs on a magnat(r)onic/gravitational cold fusion process. Common on their home planet, it not only is absolutely environmentally clean, it is actually beneficial and produces excess free energy.

      Everyone on Earth cries scam and impossible, government authorities say the Aliens idea can't meet any current existing engineering standards. So the Aliens can't get any investor startup money to launch production. The whole idea flops, and they return to their home planet broke, discouraged and sadder but wiser.

      I'm just having fun here, but there has to be some room to float the ideas of impractical dreamers and for risk takers to chase rainbows and fail. Sometime I will comment about HydraMotive Corp.(registered in Okla.) a miracle automotive transmission system that disappeared sometime in the early 60's along with my 100 shares.
        • 5 Years Ago
        never edit your own material, it can lead to embarrassing screwups. Custer in 1776???? no 1876.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just think all the indignation here over is an over reaction.

        In 1776 Custer led his troops against indians on horseback, that's all he had. Meanwhile back east in small towns in Indiana, Ohio, Leeds Eng., Cologne Germany, and several other places, mechanics were trying some new ideas concerning mechanical power transmission. The buggy whip carriage makers asked why, the mechanics answered why not.

        Most of you guys here will always be purchasers of the products of other peoples ideas.

        Myself, I think if they succeed great, if it's just fantasy...so what. It's no sweat off my butt, or you guys either as far as I know.

        Grow up people, you're just reading about something interesting that other guys are doing which really won't concern you unless they succeed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Should aliens land and hand this stuff over to us, I think they'd be well advised to demonstrate the product publicly before filing a patent. ;)

      • 5 Years Ago
      I love the thermodynamics bit. I can see the conversation now...

      "It pays to be careful 'cause the last thing I sold DID violate the laws of thermodynamics, and let me tell you, the investors were not pleased."

      "Then maybe you should worry about that million rpm you're talking about..."
        • 5 Years Ago
        RPM? You mean revolutions per month..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Judging from their list they are using a battery to run a motor to run an compressor to power some sort of pressure operated engine. Uhhh. Why not use the electric motor to power the wheels and avoid the inevitable losses of the compressor and engine?

      Actually their statement that they are using turbochargers to create energy IS in conflict with the basic principles of thermodynamics. This has all the earmarks of a scam.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It sounds like the energy for the battery which runs the motor comes from the air compressor,which is different from what you said.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why not use the electric motor to turn the wheels? because thats boring and doesn't involve magic and a million rpms. .... wouldn't you rather have a magic car?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Judging by how afraid of being labeled unscientific author of the article is, and how sarcastic some responses addressing something they admit they don't even know what it is, it seems like there is no difference between religious wackos and scientific wackos. Mention something outside of their belief system and they go apeshit.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yep, it is often difficult to tell the difference between the delusional and the glib con artist, their spiels are often alike. The only real telling difference is the con artist carefully disguises his moneygrubbing to avoid scaring off the marks, but the delusional will come straight out and plead for investments to support their "wonderful idea" (which never quite works right, but they're sure that with enough testing and luck...)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I gotta agree. Some of these twerps are ready to crucify and gut these people and they barely even comprehend whats being talked about, or on the other end *think* they know all there is to know and if some nobody is talking up something that hasn't been already invented they must be running a scam or trying to bring down the laws of physics.

        Most new inventions are received as either ingenious or implausible..and the "ingenious" part almost always comes after the item is a finished, glossy product, ready for sale by phone or foot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't confuse "science" with quackery (or out-and-out fraud... hard to tell here).

        If they do believe in this goofy project, it's because they have no genuine understanding of science. And if they don't actually believe in it, they're lying con-men.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "there is no difference between religious wackos and scientific wackos. Mention something outside of their belief system and they go apeshit. "

        The difference is the scientific principles a) explain the physical world in precise detail and b) make testable predictions about the world. "Precise", "testable", "predictions" mean "involving numbers and math". Anyone who makes this phony comparison with religion has no idea how detailed the math is and how accurate the predictions are . Electromagnetic fields and thermodynamics are well-understood and our theories of them are spectacularly accurate at the scale of motors and engines; go read the Wikipedia articles on them to see a simplified account of their math.

        Scientific revolutions do occur. Our understanding of electromagnetic fields has been revolutionized by the discovery of photons and quantum behavior. BUT, the new theory has to explain (again, mathematically) why the old one seemed to work! Quantum electrodynamics explains why Maxwell's field equations and classical Newtonian physics remain excellent approximations.
      • 5 Years Ago
      give me thermodynamic working of air car
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a scam. The guy being interviewed either has no understanding of basic physics or is telling a bald faced lie.
      "We believe our engineers have developed a solution for manufacturing air while the vehicle is in motion which may provide an unlimited driving range."

      This group is full of it, but compressed air powered cars might work. It works for power tools. My money it on BEVs though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can follow the idea of using a turbo to create motion, that sounds ok. What I still can't figure out is their plan for compressing the air. It's never explained well.

      They mention solar... Are they planning on running a compressor while parked/off regen? It seems like it would be more efficient to just charge a battery.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "How do they compress the air?"

        Ask a simple question, get this bizarrely complicated answer:
        "There is enough energy available through the use of super-capacitors, earth friendly recyclable batteries, solar power, magnetic motors and magnetic generators to compress entrained ambient air."

        "magnetic motor/magnetic generator" sounds like any other permanent magnet electric motor/generator, but it's a usually a codeword for the awesome mysterious power of magnets to move things without losing any juice. In other words, perpetual motion machine!

        What's so funny is the proof Manual Parks [sic] offers that it'll work is some guy allegedly made an air car travel 500 miles 75 years ago. So he hypothesizes that "Custer in 1932 may have used some type of magnetic motor and generator to heat the air until the tanks reached 200 PSI." Just like Nikolai Tesla did bizarre amazing things to pull electricity from the air!! The lost secret knowledge!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I really think our schools need to teach students a lot better about magnetism, because often it seems that 90% of the pseudoscience out there has to do with magnets.

        A magnet can be viewed as sort of a three-dimensional spring. You can capture energy falling into the potential energy well of a magnet, while you have to expend energy to leave it. An electromagnet turning on has to expend energy in building up its magnetic field proportional to the newfound potential energy of objects that can fall into its field.

        And that, as they say, is that. There's nothing mystical about electromagnetism; it's quite well understood, and well tied to the other two well-understood fundamental forces (the weak force and the strong nuclear force). It's gravity that's the "odd man out", not electromagnetism. And it's not that we don't know how gravity behaves; we've studied it under countless conditions. It's that we don't know why it behaves the way it does; it's incredibly weak. I.e., you touch two strong magnets together and they'll stick like glue, but you push two boulders together, and their attraction to each other is nearly imperceptible. Gravity also has some unusual relativistic effects. But electromagnetism? Meh. It already fits neatly into physics and is very well understood.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This really looks fake.. The whole system they describe looks too complicated to be efficient.. Whatever..

      Anyway, why don't we see anything being done regarding real magnet motors that only use the magnetig energy to move, instead of electricity? Are they too weak to make a car run or something like that? If that's true, maybe they could use one of these running forever to create electric energy to charge a car battery right from inside the car.. Maybe the energy made isn't great either..

      If any of you know something about magnetic motor news, say here
        • 5 Years Ago
        magnetism and electricity are two sides of the same thing; Electromagnetism.
        In a dynamic case (e.g. in a motor), you can't have one without the other.
        If you have a electron running through a wire ("current") you get a magnetic field around it.
        If you have an atom with a spin, you get a magnetic field (some metals can have these kinds of spins alligned over several atoms forming uniform crystals. Large enough crystals create a "permanent" magnet)
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only way I see compressed air cars working is if you have a very high pressure tank and a compressor at home. You would loose a lot of energy while compressing the air for the car but if the car could run 500miles on a compressed charge then even if it isn't as efficient as a battery it might win converts due to the range.

      Just saying like these guys that our car doesn't break any physics laws does mean that it will work.
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