Driving on Compressed Air


India’s largest automaker, Tata, has begun producing the world’s first commercial, air-powered car. Compressed air powers the Air Car, which will produce no emissions, reach speeds over 65 miles per hour, and have a range of 125 miles. Drivers will be able to fill up their air tanks in a few minutes at a gas station or plug the car into their home electrical system for a 4-hour recharge. Popular Mechanics reports that it will cost about $2 to fill the car’s carbon-fiber tanks with 340 liters of pressurized air.

Guy Negre, an ex-Formula One engineer, designed the high performance Compressed Air Technology for Motor Development International, who plans to introduce an air car into the US market in partnership with Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM). The first American Air Car models are slated to roll out of the ZPM factory in 2010; they will cost $18,000, have a top speed of 90 miles per hour, and achieve the equivalent of 106 MPG. Driving this car will not be completely pollution-free, as the recharging requires some fuel source, fossil or otherwise, but the efficient process will result in less total pollutants out of the tailpipe and into the atmosphere.

 

Photos courtesy of Zero Pollution Motors

Story suggested by CC Treadway