Air Substitute Promises Better Performance from Tires

As if it wasn't humiliating enough having to pay to use gas stations' air pumps, a US-based company is marketing an air substitute for car tires it claims will increase gas mileage and improve vehicle safety and performance. The product, PurigeN98 is a tire-inflation gas created by drying and deoxygenating air, leaving 98 percent pure nitrogen — which happens to be the tire gas of choice for racing cars, airplanes and huge industrial trucks. The company plans to roll out its "Nitroflator" system to car dealers, auto and tire service centers, and fleet operators in the US before approaching the direct-to-consumer market. We've already seen ads for nitrogen-filled tires from tire outlets, which are marketing it as a safety and gas-saving solution you have to pay extra for. Looks like there's a new competitor in town. Evian, anyone? [Update: Where have we been? Not at Costco, for sure, because that warehouse club has been offering their tire customers a free nitrogen fill-up since 2004. Thanks to all who wrote in.]

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