Compressed Air Car Coming to Market – Truth! & Fiction!

Compressed Air Car Coming to Market – Truth! & Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
A zero-emission compressed air car that gets 185 miles per tank is about to hit the market.
The Truth:
It’s true that a compressed air car has been in development for years, but there’s no timetable for its release.
Tata Motors, the Indian automaker that has been developing the technology since 2007, told that its “Air Car” was still in the project phase and that there was no timeframe for its launch.
Mechanical engineer Guy Negre created the concept for the Air Car in 1991 for Motor Development International (MDI). In 2007, Tata Motors, India’s largest automaker, licensed the compressed air engine technology and set out to mass-produce it, the technology publication Gizmag reports.

The world got its first glimpse of the Air Car in 2008. Popular Mechanics reported that Tata Motors and MDI had partnered to develop the first car that fueled by compressed air. The photos that accompany the eRumor were included in that Popular Mechanics report.

“Of course, the Air Car will likely never hit American shores, especially considering its all-glue construction,” Popular Mechanics reported. “But that doesn’t mean the major automakers can write it off as a bizarre Indian experiment — MDI has signed deals to bring its design to 12 more countries, including Germany, Israel and South Africa.”

Tata Motors said one version of the Air Car, “the MiniCat,” would retail for about $8,177. The MiniCat’s fuel range was expected to be about 186 miles, and a refill was expected to cost about $2.

Speculation ramped up that mass production of the Air Car would begin in 2012, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Tata Motors and MDI said in a joint statement in 2012 that the companies had been working on the compressed air technology for five years and had recently moved on to the second phase of development. The second phase, which was to develop the technology and processes to “industrialize a market-ready project,” was expected to take a number of years.

Posted  10/23/14