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AirCar - runs on compressed air

May 17, 2008
After apocalyptic scenarios related to the global warming began to interest scientists, there already began to appear results of exploration in the field of energy economy and some other ecological technologies. In June 2007 Popular Mechanics announced that India, specifically Tata Motors, had begun production of the first car moved by air. This year, Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM) announces that production of the similar model, destined for USA market is expecting to begin till the end of 2009, or at least 2010.

They have also tried to find some other solutions in nonpolluting propulsion domain. For example Daewoo a South-Korean company, created a Matiz concept with a hybrid engine: air electric. Australian company EngineAir also developed a "rotative engine" moved by pressed air. K'Airmobiles presented two working concepts "VPA" (Vehicle with Pneumatic Assistance) and "VPP" (Vehicle with Pneumatic Propulsion) in the end of the last year; maximum weight of such a model being limited by 250 kg.

Propulsion technology of the AirCar's engine was developed by the former Formula 1 engineer for MDI (Motor Development International) from Luxemburg. While in the internal-combustion engines pistons are moved be the explosion of the fuel, then in an AirCar the moving is realized by air under pressure.

ZPM hope that soon the production of AirCars will be more than 10000 units annually. Models that will be launched will be OneCat, with two seats (as was produced in India) and MiniCat, with three seats. The company is also intending to launch a model called CityCat with six seats.

One refueling with 340 l of air under pressure will cost approximately 2 USD and will assure autonomy for more than 1000 km at the speed 100 km/h. The price for such a car is estimating to be 17800 USD.

It sounds too good to be true? We hope that not.

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» posted by: veera / Jun 02, 2011 07:39 PM
under realized pressure air its different and useful
» posted by: Paul Ashcroft / Feb 19, 2009 11:36 PM
Let's look at some numbers. 1,000 km at 100 km/hr. Assume something as aerodynamic as a Prius the air drag would be about 8kW or about 10 hp. (A lot better than some articles which had it travelling at 96 mph). So the total drag is about twice that, with tires and all, or 16kW. Now the energy comes from compressed air 340l, (I assume that's after compressing it) lets give them 300 atmospheres in which case the energy is about 16 kWh, so they will be able to travel for about an hour so for the other 9 hours they better be going down a very steep hill. Nope, not going happen. Let's look at the cost - assuming a perfect compressor the 16kWh at about 10 cents each is $1.6 there's the same amount of energy in about 0.4 gallons of gas so at $1.86/gallon that's about $0.83. All this assume perfect conversion which is far far from the truth but lets say that gas converts into engine power at only half the efficiency of compressed air the two costs are about on par. Of course most of the energy to generate US electricity comes from coal which is much dirtier than gas. Sorry there's no free lunch. Compressed air is just a way of carrying energy so you have to pay for it at the value of the energy. Mind you compressing 340 litres of air into a perfectly insulated container would leave it at 81,000 C (any know substance would vapourize) - hey maybe if we compress it enough and invent a magic substance we could create fusion energy - it's about as likely as a compressed air car.
» posted by: shraavan / Aug 04, 2008 03:53 PM
cool
» posted by: Buggsz Koller / Jul 25, 2008 03:56 AM
Had a 1990's "Model" compressed air Driven model car! Can't remember brand name,"Manufacturer" Name...but ran on Compressed air ONLY! Cheers to TATA motors! I am interested in the USA...and would be a Dealer in a "Heart Beat"!

Thank you, Buggsz Koller, Norfolk,Va, USA 23509 434-774-4543.
» posted by: yogesh gupta / Jul 18, 2008 09:09 AM
i'm a student of mechanical engg. final year and i'm working on AIRCAR PROJECT....so pls let me know more about this ny sending me related sites and info...
email: yogesh.gupta88@yahoo.com
» posted by: GodOffal / May 23, 2008 05:11 PM
Couple things i forgot to mention, Most of these technologies, Like the Compressed air car, and the hydrogen car have been around for over a decade.

The only thing u need to make hydrogen is water and electricity.

and to HermanT theres no coal plant in the car Heres how they work

At Lower Speeds: Since the Compressed Air Vehicle is running exclusively on compressed air, it emits only air - zero pollution. The air expelled from the tail pipe is actually cleaner than the air used to fill the tank. This is because before compression, the air is run through carbon filters to eliminate dirt, dust, humidity, and other urban air impurities that could hamper the engines performance.

At Higher Speeds: At speeds over 35mph the Compressed Air Vehicle uses small amounts of fueleither gasoline, propane, ethanol or bio fuelsto heat air inside a heating chamber as it enters the engine. This process produces emissions of only 0.141lbs of CO2 per mile. That is up to 4 times less than the average vehicle and more than two times less than the cleanest vehicle available today. (Toyota Prius 07 Emissions: 0.34 lbs of CO2 per mile.)

» posted by: GodOffal / May 23, 2008 02:53 PM
FYI these cars have already been in production in India. Yes they are a reality, but sadly they wont be available in the US for a couple of years. There are lots of other vehicles that are environment friendly. Like the Hydrogen fueled car in Norway, and the water fueled car that was created in the US. Sadly lobbyist keep the clean cars out of reach for most people in the US. For instance, Bush announced that he would donate several million dollars to Hydrogen fuel research, but added a stipulation that says you have to use coal to get the Hydrogen. All of these technologies are out there but its not profitable to the fossil fuel company s like standard oil, so the lobbyist keep them out of our reach. We really need to wake up as a society and push for change, not only for our future but the future of the very planet we live in.
» posted by: Ellie / May 23, 2008 06:33 AM
They'll just start charging more for air, that's all.
» posted by: Dave / May 22, 2008 02:29 PM
If the cars do what they claim then they run on air not coal. MDI isnt to blame because theres a dirty grid. if they really are this efficient then even on a coal plant they will be far cleaner than gas. I just wonder if what they claim is true. They've been saying they'll produce these for years. I doubt they'll be out soon.
» posted by: Paul / May 19, 2008 05:11 PM
Interesting article. I have read much about this vehicle over the years and have found this website that has lots of interesting information ... This site seems to just following a couple of new technologies including the MDI aircar. I found most of the comments on this site rather pointless and pathetic but I suppose non educated people are allowed opinions also!!!
» posted by: Name? / May 19, 2008 05:11 PM
Im sorry, the idea sucks, its not efficient, tanks are heavy, compressors are very inefficient, air pressure gets wastes even in multi stage turbines, which run at a constant speed to maximise efficiently, none of which this car has.

Electricity is the only way, investment in battery tech and both renewable and nuclear power.
» posted by: HermanT / May 19, 2008 03:59 PM
The car is NOT powered by air. It is powered by coal burned in the electric plant that feeds the air compressors that fill the air tanks.
» posted by: Bolly / May 19, 2008 03:05 PM
"Is it me or does that make absolutely no sense at all?" - there's a whiff of babelfish about this whole article. If pressed, I would guess the source language was french.
» posted by: endgame / May 19, 2008 01:55 PM
Where are the cars? I've been reading the hype for 3-4 years. Is there one on the road? Please?
» posted by: Mat / May 19, 2008 11:40 AM
"After that apocalyptic scenarios related to the global warming began to interest scientists, the authorities and not in the last place producers of polluting technologies, already begin to appear results of exploration in the field of energy economy and some other ecological technologies."

Is it me or does that make absolutely no sense at all?
» posted by: Chris / May 17, 2008 05:11 PM
ZPM hope that soon the production of AirCars will be more than 10000 units annually. Models that will be launched will be OneCat, with two seats (as was produced in India) and MiniCat, with three seats. The company is also intending to launch a model called CityCat with six seats.

production of AirCars will be more than 10000 units annually.
Stated production per factory is 7,500 units per year.

Models that will be launched will be OneCat, with two seats (as was produced in India)
No air cars has only 2 seats
No air cars have yet been produced in India

..intending to launch a model called CityCat with six seats
Most configurations of CityCat seem to be five seats


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