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What is the technology behind the magnetic air car?

How it Works...or Worked...or How it Should Work

Let's walk through the process of getting the Magnetic Air Car fired-up and ready to drive.

First, at the turn of a key or the push of a button or the swipe of a card -- or however this car was supposed to start -- a 12-volt battery (similar to the one in your car) sparks the vehicle to life.

The battery starts a magnetic motor, which runs a pump compressor that works to fill two 10-gallon storage tanks with air compressed to 200 pounds per square inch in 10 minutes or less. The compressed air then runs four air-bearing turbochargers, which according to the company can reach speeds of one million revolutions per minute and don't need maintenance for 100 years. This is where the latest in punctuation might come in handy -- the interrobang: ?!

The compressed air is sent to a pneumatic torque converter, which transfers the power generated by the Air Cycle Machine (as the company called it) to a transmission and then to the wheels. And voila! You're driving a magnetic air car.

In theory, since a prototype was never seen in public, the Magnetic Air Car would never have to be refueled, would have unlimited driving range, and thanks to a water filtration system that was said to clean the air as it was recycled within the system, any air leaving the magnetic air car would have actually been cleaner than the air that went into it. Oh, and buyers were also to receive a free unicorn with purchase.

To be honest, the technology doesn't seem that far-fetched. It's basically an electric car with air tanks rather than lithium-ion batteries. But the claims of unlimited driving range and no maintenance for a century make it seem like it's creeping into perpetual motion territory, which should make most of us turn a skeptical eye.

Magnetic Air Motors did indeed file a patent for this propulsion system in 2008, and the patent was granted in 2011. In other words, there's still a slim chance this thing could leave the realm of vaporware and become (at least) a prototype in the real world. Maybe.