Peter Dearman and his air-powered car

To power a car you typically need gasoline and explosions; or perhaps high-voltage, chemical-filled batteries. But what if you could run a car without any of that? What if all you needed to power your vehicle was air?

British inventor Peter Dearman, the man behind the Dearman Engine Company, has developed a system of propulsion out of thin air...literally.

Here's how it works: when you cool air to -390° F it turns into a liquid. Dearman pours that "liquid air" (liquid oxygen, nitrogen) into a holding tank onboard a vehicle. The liquid is then converted back into a gas via anti-freeze. This expansion and release of air turns a motor that powers the car.

Dearman shows off his air-powered car to ABC News in the video clip below:

ABC News notes that, "range is 3 miles, with a tailwind [and] top speed is only 30 [miles per hour]." You can see that the homemade system utilizes salvaged materials like a garbage can and lumber scraps. But, apparently, a more refined version of the concept is forthcoming.

"With Ricardo and a cluster of Universities, the company is now currently working on sub-system optimization and a fully characterized demonstration engine is scheduled to go into testing during mid 2013 to provide the ground-work for field trials," says DearmanEngine.com.

[Source: ABC News]