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Friday, March 23, 2007

India to develop Air-Powered car

Tata Motors is at it once again: after revelling the masses with its promise of launching the Rs 1 lakh car, the company is now in the process of developing a car which runs on compressed air, making it virtually pollution free.

According to an IT news portal, the company has signed a deal with French company MDI, run by a former Formula One engineer, and has spent the past 10 years developing the engine of the car.

MDI has for many years been engaged in developing environment-friendly engines. Accordingly, the MDI Air Car can be powered by an external compressed air pump or by an internal compressor running on petrol.

MDI is said to be very happy to conclude the agreement with Tata Motors, the association with the experienced Indian industrial group would help in developing a new and cost-saving technology that meets with severe regulations for environmental protection, for the Indian market.

It is speculated that the final car should cost around Rs 3,40,900 ($7840) and would have a range of around 300 km between refueling. The cost of a refill would be an almost negligible at Rs 130 ($2.9).

It would have a top speed of around 60 km per hour using air alone, and 200 km per hour using an air and fuel combination engine.

The car though made of foam and fibreglass has survived official crash tests. The 90 cubic meters of compressed air is stored at 300 bars in fiber fuel tanks built by Airbus. The tanks are crash resistant and vent quickly and safely in the event of a collision.