With gas hitting record prices all over the world any wacko idea is welcome, but a car running on air? Yes and despite what you may think, the folks at MDI aren’t full of hot air. Developed by ex-F1 engineer, Guy Nègre for MDI a small, family-controlled company located at Carros, near Nice (Southern France), the Air Car uses compressed air to push its engine’s pistons emitting… 0 to sub-zero Celsius (30 F and under) air!
All it takes is €1.5 -$2.0 and around 2 to 3 minutes at a gas station to fill the car’s carbon-fibre tanks with 90 cubic meters of air compressed to 300 bars. Alternatively, you can plug the car into an electrical grid and use the built-in compressor to refill the tanks which takes approximately 4 hours. Of course, electricity=emissions, but hey, no one’s perfect. According to MDI, the Air Car can go up to 110km/h – 68 mph and has a range of 200-300km or 125-190 miles. MDI has developed four versions of the Air Car: Family, Van, Taxi & Pick-Up.
While there are no plans to import the Air Car to the US, India’s largest automaker, Tata Motors, signed an agreement with MDI in February to build the Air Car. Tata expects some 6.000 units to hit Indian streets in August of 2008. Apart from India, MDI has also signed deals to bring the Air Car to a dozen or so countries, including Germany, Israel and South Africa. We’re not endorsing the Air Car as a true alternative to petrol cars –who knows how many faults it may have, but in our opinion, the only viable way to drastically improve consumption and emissions, will be an array of solutions: diesels, hybrids (petrol/electric & diesel/electric), bio-fuels, air cars etc. All together, they may very well do the trick until some wacko scientist finds a way to power our vehicles with a super clean and efficient energy that’ll last for ever and ever. Sweet dreams… -Click “Read More…” below for a high-res image gallery and a Video
Via: Le blog auto , Source: MDI