air is better

And I don't mean Steve's newest baby.

I'm referring to Guy Nègre's Air Powered Car that apparently just signed a deal with Tata Industries (yes, they of Tata Nano fame) to "explore further development and refinement of the technology, and its application and licensing for India."

Not sure of the corporate-speak but I hope this leads to a production line.

I've covered this before but the specs bear repeating:

"The principle that makes this car work is very simple. Instead of using gas to create an explosion and make the pistons move, the vehicle’s engine is powered via three compressed air tanks located under its chassis. Environmentally speaking, this means all that goes out the exhaust pipe is cold, pure air, which can even be used as an air-conditioning source on a hot summer day.

As far as performance goes, the vehicle is pretty amazing. With a top speed of 110 kilometers per hour, it has autonomy of around 300 kilometers. All that is needed to fill it up is a compressed air station, and in case of emergency, an electrical source can be used to power the built-in air compressor, which can fill in the air reserve in about three hours. The core of the technology is controlled wirelessly via computer and the car’s electrical system is composed of a single wire."

(via groovygreen and geeksaresexy)
Compressed air beats 50 mpg anyday.


koikaze said...

What a stunning idea! Ain't never heard of that one. Still ...

Does anyone know the cost of a cylinder of compressed air.

What happens to performance as the pressure differential lowers? A fresh tank is one thing, a partially depleted tank another (isn't it?).

Would rupturing a tank have a rocket-like effect?

Ooooo, I hope they can pull this one off.


Urbano dela Cruz said...


I think the estimate (for a full tank of compressed air in India) is $3.

Not sure about what happens when the pressure eases -but I'm sure they considered that in the engineering.

and the storage tanks are made of carbon composite -precisely to prevent catastrophic explosions.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed, too.


koikaze said...


In my usual retarded ... well, slow ... way, a neat idea occurred to me. I'm sure the engineers involved in this project are 'way ahead of me, but ...

Enormous amounts of energy are dissipated by braking automobiles. There have been numerous attempts to capture this lost energy, but (as far as I know) nothing practical.

It might be practical in an air-driven machine, though. I'd think an arrangement of small pumps at the wheels, compressing air and sending it to a spare cylinder via a one-way valve might be doable.

Uhhhh. Was that a dream or a nightmare?


Urbano dela Cruz said...


I think the current crop of Hybrid engines (like Toyota's Prius) do capture the kinetic energy from braking -and use it to charge the batteries.

One of the Aircar models also features a hybrid drive, using braking power to charge a battery that in turn powers an on board compressor that pumps air back into the storage tanks.


Quick Links

Notable posts on the metro