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. ...
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 [about 155 miles - THC]), 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 [that's about $2! - THC], the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometres [155 miles].
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...
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 [that's about $10,800 - THC].
That's it. That's the answer. For about $11,000 I'll get a car or very light pickup that can take me 150 miles, give or take, at, by my calculations, 1/10th of what it costs in gas to drive my pickup around. That would save me about $2,600 a year in gas alone. And that's before any big imporvements to air compressors which would be sure to come with the kind of demand a national fleet of compressed air cars would bring. Add a bunch of clean electricity from new nuclear plants, and voila!
If you read the rest of the article, you'll see this is serious. The patents are in place, and the Indian manufacturer is one of the biggest vehicle manufacturers in the world (although I've never heard of them). This is not pie in the sky. This is coming.
I wonder what these babies sound like? And all that -15 degree exhaust? Good-bye global warming!