Indian car maker Tata, which has been famous in the past for developing the cheapest car on the Earth, is all set to present its customers with a consumer friendly air powered car. Tata is the midst of developing a concept car called the Airpod which will run on ‘air’ as a fuel.
The Airpod will be powered by compressed air. This idea of a car powered by compressed air has been in the development stage for several years now but has proved to be commercially unviable to build. The car is extremely light in weight and is built with the help of a technology licensed from Luxembourg’s MDI, a company that is famous for producing zero pollution engines since the 90s.
The Airpod is most likely to be a one seated car that will be able to run at between 45 and 70 kilometers per hour. The car’s engine is powered by a tank of compressed air, which can either be taken in while driving with the help of an electric engine or pumped in through a charging station. The car also has the ability to recapture some of the energy during braking. The concept is still under development but once complete, it has the ability to offer more environment and pocket friendly recharging option without waiting for something like lithium air battery by IBM.
MDI has been working rigorously on the technology for some time now. In early 2007, the company signed a licensing agreement with Tata and in 2011, a concept car was launched for the same. The engine was successful tested in two Tata cars in May this year. The successful testing gave MDI and Tata a green flag to proceed to the next stage. The next step involves finding out a way to develop a product that can be launched in the market.
In 2013, Tata Motors has successfully tests two cars with AirPod technology. It has the capability of driving at speeds between 45-70kmph. The air used to power the engine can either be pumped in via a charging station, or taken in while driving with the help of an electric motor. It sounds like a good idea but don’t expect to see it on the roads anytime soon as development is expected to be made “over the coming years”.
A brand new Tata Airpod is expect to hit the market in the future at $10,000 and it’ll cost $1 to fill the tank.