Posted by: shoji | April 17, 2008

Air Car – First Air-Powered Car – Zero Emissions – Behind the Tech – Popular Mechanics

Sometime last year, I heard about engineers designing/building compressed-air-powered cars. The YouTube clip showed a proof-of-concept vehicle similar to the SmartCar (i.e., closer to a golf cart than a ‘merican car).

Apparently, an Indian company is moving forward with the idea and is scheduled to offer a vehicle in the August 2008. It’s small, but certainly larger and more polished than a golf cart.

One cause for concern: it’s all-glue construction. If you’ve ever ridden in a Mumbai cab, you’d probably think all-glue isn’t the best choice.

(via commenter on Gizmodo)

Air Car – First Air-Powered Car – Zero Emissions – Behind the Tech – Popular Mechanics
India’s largest automaker is set to start producing the world’s first commercial air-powered vehicle. The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre for Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air, as opposed to the gas-and-oxygen explosions of internal-combustion models, to push its engine’s pistons. Some 6000 zero-emissions Air Cars are scheduled to hit Indian streets in August of 2008.

Barring any last-minute design changes on the way to production, the Air Car should be surprisingly practical. The $12,700 CityCAT, one of a handful of planned Air Car models, can hit 68 mph and has a range of 125 miles. It will take only a few minutes for the CityCAT to refuel at gas stations equipped with custom air compressor units; MDI says it should cost around $2 to fill the car’s carbon-fiber tanks with 340 liters of air at 4350 psi. Drivers also will be able to plug into the electrical grid and use the car’s built-in compressor to refill the tanks in about 4 hours.

Of course, the Air Car will likely never hit American shores, especially considering its all-glue construction. But that doesn’t mean the major automakers can write it off as a bizarre Indian experiment — MDI has signed deals to bring its design to 12 more countries, including Germany, Israel and South Africa.



  1. The concept of compressed air powered automobiles is a great idea but until the Germans, Japanese, Swedes or even Americans start making one I may consider it. Made in India….Not bloody likely.

  2. could i buy one from india and have it shipped to the US?

  3. americans need one of our own.

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