December 2, 2004 French engineers have designed a low consumption and low pollution engine for urban motoring that runs on compressed air technology. The CATS (Compressed Air Technology System) "air car" from Motor Development International is a significant step for zero-emission transport, delivering a compressed air-driven vehicle that is safe, quiet, has a top speed of 110 km/h and a range of 200 km. Costing next to nothing to run, the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) range - which includes a pick-up truck and van - is set for release in early 2005.
Cars that run on compressed air sound like a fantastic idea on paper, but bringing this technology to the masses has proven, well, a difficult road to travel. There's some positive news on the air-car front though - auto giant Tata Motors, which holds the license to develop Motor Development International's (MDI) air engine technology in India, has announced that it has completed the proof of the technical concept and demonstration phase of its air-car program and is now moving toward a market ready product.