Sometimes, amid the doom and gloom of our melting ice caps, doom-laden tabloid headlines and the malaise of humanity in general, we should take time to examine the evidence – and realise that not every member of society is hell-bent on ruining everything. Some folks are making good progress extracting us from the mire.
Take Ratan Tata. Not only has he stepped forward and saved Jaguar from near-certain death, but more recently he’s signed up and handed over several zillion rupees to help develop a car that really could make a difference. And I’m not talking about the recently launched Tata Nano.
I'm talking about something altogether more radical called the OneCAT – a three seater fibreglass car that weighs 350kg, runs on air, will cost around £2500, and can travel 200 miles for just £1.
When I heard about the OneCAT, which is being developed by French company Moteur Development International thanks largely to funding from Tata, I wondered whether the date wasn’t April the 1st. Yet the more you learn about the OneCAT, the more it makes sense.
The car runs on compressed air which then powers a piston engine. At higher speeds it burns a small amount of conventional fuel yet it is still classed as a zero emissions vehicle capable of around 70mph, with service intervals of 30,000 miles. A tank of compressed air takes about two minutes to fill and will last you for 10 hours, apparently, or approximately 190 miles, whichever comes first.
This, remember, is what the OneCAT is capable of right now. Imagine how its technology could be improved with a few more brains and bucks behind it. And by the way, Tata/MDI reckon they could have the OneCAT on sale ‘within a year.’
Oh yes, and did I tell you about the wooden supercar they’re developing in the States that weighs 1134kg, has a top speed of 240mph and does over 20 miles to the gallon?
Who said the end of the world is nigh?