POSTED BY VAKKOMSEN
Air Powered Car
Tata Motors is ready to introduce Air Car - Will it be the next
big thing?Tata Motors is taking giant strides and making history for
itself. First the Land Rover/Jaguar deal, then the world's cheapest car, and
now it is also set to introduce the car that runs on compressed air.
With spiraling fuel prices it is about time we heard some breakthrough!
India's largest automaker, Tata Motors, is set to start
producing the world's first commercial air-powered vehicle.
The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy N'gre
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 by August 2011.
The Air Car, called the "MiniCAT" could cost around Rs.. 3,47,523/- ($8,177.00) in India and would
have a range of around 300 km between refuels.
The cost of a refillwould be about Rs. 85($2..00)
The MiniCAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued,
not welded, and a body of fiberglass powered by compressed
air. 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. According
to the designers, it costs less than 50
rupees per 100 Km (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 80% of motorists drive at
less than 60 Km. The car has a top
speed of 105 Kmph.
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 100 rupees, the car will be ready to go another
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 ofpower.