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The Air Car - zero pollution and very low running costs

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March 18, 2007

The Air Car - zero pollution and very low running costs

The Air Car - zero pollution and very low running costs

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March 19, 2007 Many respected engineers have been trying for years to bring a compressed air car to market, believing strongly that compressed air can power a viable "zero pollution" car. Now the first commercial compressed air car is on the verge of production and beginning to attract a lot of attention, and with a recently signed partnership with Tata, India’s largest automotive manufacturer, the prospects of very cost-effective mass production are now a distinct possibility. The MiniC.A.T is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued not welded and a body of fibreglass. The heart of the electronic and communication system on the car is a computer offering an array of information reports that extends well beyond the speed of the vehicle, and is built to integrate with external systems and almost anything you could dream of, starting with voice recognition, internet connectivity, GSM telephone connectivity, a GPS guidance system, fleet management systems, emergency systems, and of course every form of digital entertainment. The engine is fascinating, as is and the revolutionary electrical system that uses just one cable and so is the vehicle’s wireless control system. Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car, so one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators etc

There are no keys – just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket.

Most importantly, it is incredibly cost-efficient to run – according to the designers, it costs less than one Euro per 100Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where the 80% of motorists drive at less than 60Km. The car has a top speed of 68 mph.

Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 1.5 Euros, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometres.

As a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can be connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank in 3-4 hours.

Due to the absence of combustion and, consequently, of residues, changing the oil (1 litre of vegetable oil) is necessary only every 50,000 Km.

The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0 - 15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

How does it work?

90m3 of compressed air is stored in fibre tanks. The expansion of this air pushes the pistons and creates movement. The atmospheric temperature is used to re-heat the engine and increase the road coverage. The air conditioning system makes use of the expelled cold air. Due to the absence of combustion and the fact there is no pollution, the oil change is only necessary every 31.000 miles.

At the moment, four models have been made: a car, a taxi (5 passengers), a Pick-Up truck and a van. The final selling price will be approximately 5.500 pounds.

The Company

"Moteur Development International" (MDI) is a company founded in Luxembourg, based in the south of France and with its Commercial Office in Barcelona. MDI has researched and developed the Air Car over 10 years and the technology is protected by more than 30 International patents and MDI is actively seeking licensees, with according to the company, 50 factories in Europe, America and Asia signed already.

The Factory

It is predicted that the factory will produce 3.000 cars each year, with 70 staff working only one 8-hour shift a day. If there were 3 shifts some 9.000 cars could be produced a year.

The Tata Agreement

Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of US$ 5.5 billion in 2005-06. With over 4 million Tata vehicles on Indian roads, it is the leader in commercial vehicles and the second largest in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fifth largest medium and heavy truck manufacturer and the second largest heavy bus manufacturer.

Tata has signed an agreement with MDI for application in India of MDI’s engine technology, and believes the engine is viable – it’s press statement described it as “efficient, cost-effective, scalable, and capable of other applications such as power generation”.

The agreement between Tata Motors and MDI envisages Tata’s supporting further development and refinement of the technology, and its application and licensing for India.

MDI is a small, family-controlled company located at Carros, near Nice (Southern France) where Guy and Cyril Negre and their technical team have developed the engine technology and the technologically advanced car it powers.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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17 Comments

Hi I invested in m.d.i back in 2003,but never get newsletters or info on my investment,my investment is substantial,do you have any contact info as I do not seem to get through to them,thanks Barry

Barry Maddox
27th January, 2010 @ 03:02 pm PST

What ever happened to this car?

Hayden Lee
28th January, 2010 @ 09:09 pm PST

Still going as far as I can tell, unless they've disappeared in the last six weeks. A working model was featured on UK's TV show The Gadget Show, including a visit to the factory, in the summer. Website seems active, last updated mid December.

Chris Hogan
29th January, 2010 @ 03:54 am PST

MDI presents a great challenge. But it is a long running project. I have heared about them more thant 10 years ago. And each year the project slightly changes.

Hence, I saw no MDI car ready for public roads.

This project is probably one of the less returnable I have ever met. Although I must say I would be tooo happy just to drive one Air Car.

Ariel Dahan
29th January, 2010 @ 04:20 am PST

I have a suspicion that maybe this car runs on Hot air. I have also been following the progress(not) of this vehicle. Nothing much seems to be happening, month after month. I have just noticed the article is nearly 3 years old! I feel sorry for Barry, and hope he eventually gets a return on his investment.

windykites1
29th January, 2010 @ 03:06 pm PST

It is based on very poor principles and will never see the light of day!

I have been writing about the reasons why for years now, ever since it was first touted. Won't happen! :)

Ernest John Langmaid
11th May, 2010 @ 09:07 pm PDT

This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.

justin

Facebook User
24th June, 2010 @ 05:22 pm PDT

This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need tobe sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with everyone.The above thought is smart and doesn't require any further addition.It's perfect thought from my side. A very smart and diplomatic answer. It's really appreciable and general.

=====================

Smart Car Care

Facebook User
30th June, 2010 @ 09:38 pm PDT

I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with everyone.The initiative taken for the concern is very serious and need an attention of every one. This is the concern which exists in the society and needs to be eliminated from the society as soon as possible.

Facebook User
30th June, 2010 @ 10:59 pm PDT

The people are loosing their moral while becoming modern. The society needs to be attentive that moral value.

Auto Part Index

Facebook User
17th August, 2010 @ 01:59 pm PDT

Nice Share, Great Article, very usefull Post for us...thank you for sharing..:)

Facebook User
20th September, 2010 @ 03:44 am PDT

hello... I was thinking about your car... and I dont know if you thought about this.... see I have heard about solar power cells... and wind power generators.... what if.... you hooked up 2 Nichle hydryde batteries... like you would find on a gass powered hybrid... and put wind scoops... with little wind power generators inside... with the top covered in solar cells... with a possible protective cover... so you could at a click of a button... cover them incase of bad weather.... the idea would be to have an electric air pump running off the two batteries.. with a possible generation of power from the genorators with the wind scoops also cooling the batteries as you could possibly tunnel the air passed and throught the battery compartments.. with the solar cells.. helping extra on sunny days... and the air pump pushing air in as the compressed air pushed the air generized motor.. yep it would make the car weigh about 300-400 more.. but maybe you could go further.. or even stop every 1 or 2 hours and have it pump up and ready to go again and as you go 50-60 mph the wind power recharge the batteries.. just two difrent possible ways this system could work... or maybe your working on it... :D

Allen Froehlich
20th January, 2012 @ 05:52 pm PST

I hope for the best:)

What i do know is there in NO reason we should still be using gas

i wish the scientists would stand up to the oil companies for the rest of us.

We are actually having a discussion about this.....

http://www.mforums.org/showthread.php?tid=101

Bella Rossi
27th January, 2012 @ 11:24 am PST

Great news and I firmly believe that Tata's 'NANO' would be ideal car to use such technology. My good wishes for the project.

spsingh
8th May, 2012 @ 03:34 am PDT

It's a toy? Why is it so small?

Nier Wong
17th March, 2013 @ 11:43 pm PDT

Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 1.5 Euros, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometres.The things need to be sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with everyone.

hlw
1st April, 2013 @ 06:28 pm PDT

Very amazing and very enviormental.

Dadi
7th May, 2013 @ 02:05 am PDT
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