美真人實境秀 「空氣車」贏百萬投資 盼年底上市

Category: 水新聞 Created: Friday, 12 June 2015 09:45
Hits: 791

摘譯自2015年5月4日ENS美國,加州,洛杉磯報導;周念學編譯;蔡麗伶審校

造價一台10,000美元、端靠壓縮空氣發動的「空氣車」AIRPod,在美國真人秀節目《創智贏家》(Shark Tank)中獲得500萬美元的投資。製造商表示,有望在2015下半年生產出首台在美銷售的空氣壓力車。

       空氣壓力車AIRPod。圖片來源:維基百科。(CC BY-SA 3.0)

新款空氣車:AIRPod

節目中,投資人兼賽車愛好者Robert Herjavec,同意投資空氣壓力車製造商──零污染汽車(Zero Pollution Motors)5百萬美元。這位出生於克羅埃西亞的加拿大籍投資家,也相對將獲得該公司一半的股份。

總部位於紐約的零污染汽車,是第一家獲得MDI授權製造空氣車的美國公司。

1950年代美國當紅歌手帕特·布恩(Pat Boone)擁有Zero Pollution Motors在夏威夷的製造銷售權,他與來自美國的Ethan Tucker一同在節目上推銷對環境友善的新款空氣壓力車AIRPod。

AIRPod將在全美各地區的微型工廠經由一連串設計、製作、安裝、組合、試車等統包方式製造。有別於傳統車輛拼裝工廠,這些工廠將會製造AIRPod全車的80%,並在當地銷售。

無空氣汙染 又省養車費用

Tucker和Boone表示,這項壓縮空氣產生電力的技術,可節省車子的相關花費和使用燃料後產生的空汙問題,也對環境保護有重大效益。

momentimedia
空氣壓力車AIRPod。圖片來源:momentimedia。(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

AIRPod空氣壓力車是由法國發明家、環境保育人士Guy Negre所研發。Guy Negre曾在1980年代設計飛機與一級方程式賽車的引擎。

AIRPod的發動方式是把燃料箱冷空氣壓縮300倍的大氣壓力後,加熱並灌注到活塞式發動機的汽缸中。零燃料,故無空氣汙染疑慮。Negre指出,因內部過濾機制,從排氣管排出的空氣比灌注到裡面的空氣要乾淨。

Tucker說,夏威夷是生產AIRPod的首要理想地點,因為夏威夷島位於美國外環、太平洋的中間,需依賴每周船運汽油補給,且有車輛壅塞、空氣汙染的問題。

就像現今在加油站為輪胎充氣般,AIRPod可在空氣壓縮站灌氣,不過比起傳統加油站,AIRPod需要較大的容量和較高的壓力。

在家也可利用電動空氣壓縮機為AIRPod灌氣,而Negre希望,有朝一日駕駛只需在加氣站花3美元左右便能在3分鐘內灌完氣。

Compressed Air Car Wins $5 Million Deal on Shark Tank
LOS ANGELES, California, May 4, 2015 (ENS)
AIRPod 的車門設計。汽車研發國際公司(MDI)提供。
AIRPod 的車門設計。汽車研發國際公司(MDI)提供。

AIRPod, a $10,000 car that runs on compressed air, has won a development deal on the American TV program “Shark Tank.”

Robert Herjavec, one of the investors, or sharks, agreed to invest US$5 million in Zero Pollution Motors, the U.S. licensee for Luxembourg-based MDI, developer of the Air Car as a compression-based alternative to the internal combustion engine.

Pat Boone, left, and Ethan Tucker pitch the AIRPod on Shark Tank (Screengrab from video courtesy ABC TV)

In return Herjavec, a Croatian-born Canadian businessman, investor and auto racing enthusiast, will acquire 50 percent equity in Zero Pollution Motors.

Pat Boone, the famous music star from the 1950s, joined Ethan Tucker of Brattleboro, Vermont, who owns the Zero Pollution Motors rights to manufacture and sell the AIRPod in Hawaii, to pitch the new eco-friendly compressed air car to the sharks.

The AIRPod will be built in regional turnkey micro production factories throughout the United States.

Unlike the huge traditional auto assembly plants, these plants will manufacture 80 percent of the vehicles and will sell them in the same location.

Investor and race car driver Robert Herjavec offers $5 million for the Air Car on Shark Tank (Screengrab from video courtesy ABC TV)

This method will decrease costs and logistic problems and also has a significant beneficial impact on the environment, Tucker and Boone explained to the sharks.

Hawaii is the anticipated location of the first production plant.

Tucker told the sharks the islands are an ideal location for an AIRPod factory because it is a contained location, is overloaded with vehicles, suffers from air pollution and is dependent on weekly shipments of petrol.

Herjavec agreed to put up the $5 million, but only if ZPM is able to get the rights to manufacture and sell the AIRPod in the entire United States.

The AIRPod vehicle was developed by French inventor and environmentalist Guy Negre. The vehicle design is owned by MDI Sa based in Luxembourg.

An AIRPod with doors open (Photo courtesy MDI)

To power the vehicle, cold air compressed in tanks to 300 times atmospheric pressure is heated and fed into the cylinders of a piston engine.

No combustion occurs, so there is no air pollution. Negre has said that the air emitted from the tailpipe is cleaner than the air that goes in, due to an internal filter.

The AIRPod can be refilled from a compressed air station, similar to those that exist today at gas stations for the inflation of tires but with larger capacity and higher pressure.

The AIRPod can be refilled with air at home using an electric compressor and Negre hopes that, one day, drivers will be able to recharge the cars in filling stations in three minutes for as little as three dollars.

Zero Pollution Motors intends to produce the first compressed air car for sale in the United States by the second half of 2015.

※ 全文及圖片詳見:ENS


台灣環境資訊協會