A project I have been following for some time is the Air Car. It has been making progress and I am a happy bunny on more than one level.
The Air Car is an invention by a Frenchman, Mr Negre, it uses a lightweight but safe tank to store energy in the form of compressed air, produced via an electric pump. This is then released to drive a motor. As most kids educated before New Labour screwed up our schools and banished basic things like physics would know, when you compress something it heats up and when you decompress it cools down. The Negre innovation is to also have the decompressed air in the motor as the car runs absorb heat from the surroundings and so get a second bite at the cherry, i.e. it absorbs heat from the environment and then gains some additional pressure. This is used to assist in expelling subsequent decompressed air ready for the next charge.*
Tata is involved. India is a good place, I would say as it is highly likely the decompressed air would be able to absorb plenty of heat from the surroundings. Could probably provide a nice supply of air conditioning, too!
Newer models use full hybrid aspects, much as a very interesting Mini does, to provide an on-board fuel-powered compressor to extend the range even further. The article says up to 900 miles on a single gallon, but something there rings an alarm. Typo, I think - 900 miles on a single air tank + fuel tank, with 100mpg sounds more like it to me, unless the heat from the engine is to be used to assist in compression...maybe it is. Anyone?
What I like about it is, it is another step in busting the Antediluvian ambitions of the Sandalistas and Watermelon crowd who basically hate cars for being cars - the use of fossil fuels is a convenient stick, the real hatred I suspect is this personal private freedom and related aspects of individualism, "consumption" and rejection of the "egalitarian" herd/clay.
Go read the article.
* This is an example of simplicity that is obvious when explained yet is devilishly hard to realise beforehand and/or implement elegantly. I bet a number of you are saying "yeh so what, that's easy/obvious" - well, where were you, eh? Why didn't you do it? It is VERY HARD to invent/realise things like this. People who do not appreciate hard-won simplicity like this are the ignorant, unappreciative, contemptible swine.