My Musing Space: Air cars coming to North America!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Air cars coming to North America!

As you have seen in my earlier posts, I am a big fan of the concept of compressed air propulsion. I fell in love with the little Mini C.A.T. from France, and I was trying to find out when would they be available in Canada, figuring that they would show up sometime, in Quebec at least.

Well, I was even happier when I found out that the enthusiasm for air cars is growing, that an American company also jumped on the band-wagon. Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM) will start production of several models by 2010, cars that will be using compressed air motors, built by Motor Development International (MDI), a 15-year old company based in Nice, France, and headed by inventor and Formula One race car engineer, Guy Negre. Here are some videos.

True to North American standards, their passenger car will be larger, a six seater, yet it will cost not much more than a used 2002 Mini Cooper.

Of course, I was happy to see that my earlier consternation about Tata of India was ungrounded really, that they are also committed to come out with the compressed air version of their new minis soon.

The only concern regarding these particular cars is that the engine is a bit on the noisy side. The cars, of course, can be soundproofed for the passengers but they may not be so well liked by pedestrians. Solution is on the way, though. The Australian company EngineAir is working on a rotary type air engine that is supposed to be simpler, lighter and, most of all, quieter. But, unfortunately, they are in competition with ZPM and MDI. So what are we to do? MDI does plan to hit the Australian market sometime soon, so hopefully they will arrive to an agreement with the Australian engine's inventor and producers to use it in their cars, or else the Australians will start a fierce competition for the Far East market. Whatever will happen, though, we the consumers (and Mother Nature) will benefit. :)


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