I enjoy science fiction, but I must admit that I’ve never read any of the works by Jules Verne. I know. It’s terrible, but I have never really taken to reading. I think it’s because books don’t come alive to me, as they did for Bastian Balthazar Bux (the kid from The Never Ending Story movie. Or was that a book? Sheesh!). Anyways, I always wished that reading would appeal to me, but I have not been hooked…yet. [Note: I'm hoping one day I will be a reader of many books. Sometimes I think reading is an acquired taste, while other times I just figure that it's a lot like taste buds - they change over time. One day you love a certain food and hate another type. Five years later and there you are loving the food(s) you once hated. But I digress. Big time.]
Back to Jules Verne. Here are a couple of quotes from Jules Verne:
The Mysterious Island (1874): “Water decomposed into its primitive elements (Hydrogen and Oxygen), and decomposed doubtless by electricity, which will then have become a powerful and manageable force. Yes, my friends, I believe that water will one day be employed as a fuel.”
Paris in the Twentieth Century (1863): “Our modern cities, with streets a hundred meters wide and buildings three hundred high, and which are always maintained at the same temperature, and with the sky furrowed by thousands of aero-cars and aero-buses!”
Jules Verne predicted a lot of stuff. Water used as a fuel. Water-powered vehicles. Aero-cars. Aero-buses. In Paris in the Twentieth Century, Verne even predicts the internet (in telegraph form), televisions, the electric chair, calculators and high-speed trains which run on compressed air. Sounds like a bunch of 20th century hogwash, right? I jest. Many of his predictions have become a reality, and now it seems that Zero Pollution Motors has realized the vision of using compressed air as a fuel for automobiles. Here are some of the designs of the first air cars, cars powered by gas and air:
I know. I know. It’s more weird car designs. There must be some scientific law that states: “All cars with new fuel technologies must look really weird.” Regardless, ZPM is hoping to sell these cars in the United States as early as 2011, and the price tag will be $18,000-$20,000. That’s pretty good for a car that gets about 100 mpg and runs on compressed air and a small conventional engine. I dunno. I think it’s pretty cool. You can read more about it here if you want.
I like the idea of all of these energy efficient cars, but I’m still waiting for a perfected version of Mr. Fusion. Just imagine if Doc Brown hired the ShamWow guy to sell Mr. Fusion. I’d own four of them like five months ago!
I mean, I can run on beer. Why can’t a car? Just kidding. I don’t run. And I don’t drink beer. But I still think the notion of using trash as fuel is terrific!
Bonus: Just because you may want to know who invented the compressed air technology for cars – it was a dude named Guy Negre. Here he is, standing between two air cars from ZPM:
They don’t call this thing an Air Pod for no reason. It looks like an escape pod from a submarine. If only submarines had such awesome escape pods.