July 14, 08
Roller-Coaster Executive Creates Monomobile Electric Rail Car

On Thursday, real-estate investor Jay Andress of Hyde Park and former roller-coaster company executive Andy Webster of Indian Hill were in Hyde Park Square unveiling their electric-concept car, dubbed the monomobile.

The car can run 50 miles without a battery recharge.

But the beauty of it, says Andress, is that it can recharge through a monorail-type system - with wheels on top, too - that constantly recharges the battery for long-distance drives.

The rail, combined with existing navigation system technology, lets the vehicle be self-guided, which Andress has calculated could create an $145 billion economic benefit to the nation by allowing people to work while they commute.

That led them to call it the "Liberator Car."

Because the car does not use gasoline, the only emissions would come at the point of electric generation, creating a 500 percent increase in energy efficiency, said Andress, who has been working on the one-person concept car for 15 years.

Their concept car, a used European electric car, was converted for $2,500. But what's the cost for the pair's entire vision? They figure on $10 million for every mile of rail constructed - about $500 billion to add it to the existing interstate system. Off the interstate, drivers could navigate without the rails.

"It's a lot of money," Andress said, "but we figure a $475 billion annual return on investment in energy and productivity costs."

Andress and Webster have been traveling the state trying to raise interest as well as $10 million to build a 1-mile test track in Southwest Ohio.