07 July 2008

the air car

air car

Motor Development International (MDI) may have a solution for breaking the world's dependence on oil! And the answer is...drum roll please...The Compressed Air Car!

Models like the CityCAT can hit up to 68 mph with a range of 125 miles. They can be made into a hybrid as well to extend the range.  The best part is that it costs only around $2.00 to fill up with compressed air! (it holds 340 liters of air) Coming in at an estimated cost of around $13,000 it's also affordable.

These cars are ZERO emission! In fact air motors generally release cleaner air than they intake due to the air filter. Cars that are actually purifying the air? What a concept. And unlike fuel cells or electric cars they don't have batteries, which means they are more easily recyclable.

models       taxi

[proposed models of the Air Car under-development]

The only catch is they are tiny! They actually make the smart car seem large. So don't count on seeing them any time in the United States because I doubt they would pass safety requirements. They actually sort of remind me of those Fisher Price Power Wheels for kids.

They go into production this year in India.

More information can be found on MDI's website: http://www.mdi.lu/


Anonymous said...

I was wondering how much money it costs to generate the compressed air. I was thinking of the electricity costs. MKL

KatherineLP said...

wikipedia's entry says approx. $3 worth of electricity per tank. downside is that you can refill quickly with a air compressor, but a home system would take several hours running off the grid, so I imagine that would be more in terms of electricity usage.

Another disadvantage is that the tanks are under immense pressure, so if there are any cracks in the tank it could explode. Also since it's only air it won't be as efficient in cold temperatures. (air loses pressure when in cold temperatures...think of a balloon and how it will shrink or expand depending on the temperature)

Also eventually they'd be a tax on the air...so who knows what it would work out to cost. BUT one thing that is a guarantee is that is won't be using fossil fuels!

there is a lot more info over at the manufactuer's website or even the "compressed-air car" entry on wikipedia.