Air-Powered Car Coming to U.S. in 2009 to 2010
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 05:35:45 +0000
Subject: [energyresources] Air-Powered Car Coming to U.S. in 2009 to 2010Published on: February 22, 2008 (in Popular Mechanics)
The Air Car caused a huge stir when we reported last year that Tata
Motors would begin producing it in India. Now the little gas-free
ride that could is headed Stateside in a big-time way.
Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM) confirmed to PopularMechanics. com on
Thursday that it expects to produce the world's first air-powered car
for the United States by late 2009 or early 2010. As the U.S.
licensee for Luxembourg-based MDI, which developed the Air Car as a
compression- based alternative to the internal combustion engine, ZPM
has attained rights to build the first of several modular plants,
which are likely to begin manufacturing in the Northeast and grow for
regional production around the country, at a clip of up to 10,000 Air
Cars per year.
And while ZPM is also licensed to build MDI's two-seater OneCAT
economy model (the one headed for India) and three-seat MiniCAT (like
a SmartForTwo without the gas), the New Paltz, N.Y., startup is
aiming bigger: Company officials want to make the first air-powered
car to hit U.S. roads a $17,800, 75-hp equivalent, six-seat modified
version of MDI's CityCAT (pictured above) that, thanks to an even
more radical engine, is said to travel as far as 1000 miles at up to
96 mph with each tiny fill-up.
We'll believe that when we drive it, but MDI's new dual-energy engine—
currently being installed in models at MDI facilities overseas—is
still pretty damn cool in concept. After using compressed air fed
from the same Airbus-built tanks in earlier models to run its
pistons, the next-gen Air Car has a supplemental energy source to
kick in north of 35 mph, ZPM says. A custom heating chamber heats the
air in a process officials refused to elaborate upon, though they
insisted it would increase volume and thus the car's range and speed.
"I want to stress that these are estimates, and that we'll know soon
more precisely from our engineers," ZPM spokesman Kevin Haydon told
PM, "but a vehicle with one tank of air and, say, 8 gal. of either
conventional petrol, ethanol or biofuel could hit between 800 and
Those figures would make the Air Car, along with Aptera's Typ-1 and
Tesla's Roadster, a favorite among early entrants for the Automotive
X Prize, for which MDI and ZPM have already signed up. But with the
family-size, four-door CityCAT undergoing standard safety tests in
Europe, then side-impact tests once it arrives in the States, could
it be the first 100-mpg, nonelectric car you can actually buy?
http://www.popularm echanics. com:80/automotiv e/new_cars/ 4251491.html?