Tata Air Car Powered Entirely by Compressed Air. Blow Me Down!

Mike Stevens | Jul 9, 2008

Tata Motors, once derided as the company with a name that sounds like it ought to be spread on a Fillet-o-Fish, has been making some serious forward movement in the past year or two.

Now, hot on the heels of its recent acquisition of Land Rover and Jaguar, and news of the impending assault on the European market with the Tata Nano, the Indian company is set to release a car powered entirely by air.

But is it all hot air? Turns out it's very much a legitimate prospect. Sure, it looks bloody ordinary, but let's look beyond the styling for the moment.

The MiniCAT (Compressed Air Technology), invented by French madman and ex-F1 engineer Guy Negre and his company Motor Development International (MDI), is a lightweight fibreglass urban car built around a tubular chassis which is glued together rather than welded. More importantly than that, and as you've no doubt gathered, it's powered entirely by compressed air.

Around 6000 of these zero-emissions Air Cars are planned to blow onto Indian streets by August 2009.

tata air car minicat 03

Tata's Air Car, which MDI calls a MiniCAT, is expected to cost the equivalent of $8177 in India, and would have a range of about 300km between refuels—an event which, due to the fact you're only paying for the power needed to work the compressor, would cost around $2.

Until the market for this car is properly developed though, owners will find included a small compressor which can be connected to any regular power supply, and will refill the tank within 3-4 hours.

If all that weren't enough, the Air Car's lack of a combustion engine means that the need for regular oil changes is a thing of the past, as new oil is only needed every 50,000km. That's one very welcome extra zero on the end.

Here's some nifty bullet points for you.

  • The Air Car runs a specially developed piston engine that uses a new thermo dynamic cycle offering exceptional energy efficiency.
  • Compressed air is stored in carbon fibre tanks, at 300 bar (4,351 psi).
  • The CAT engine operates on four cycles: intake and compression, combustion, expansion, and exhaust.
  • Outside air is drawn into the compression chamber and compressed to 20 bar (290 psi). At the highest point of pressure (at ‘top dead centre’), this air reaches 400°C (centigrade), and, at that point, air from the storage tank is injected into the combustion chamber.
  • Since the injected air is much colder than the compressed air in the chamber, the injected air is heated instantaneously, causing a sudden expansion, which pushes the piston down (in an expansion stroke)
  • The air tanks fitted to the underside of the vehicle can hold 300 litres of compressed air, capable of driving the MiniCAT for up to 200km.
  • Using a household electrical source, it takes about 4 hours for the vehicle to refill its own compressed air tanks (a rapid three minute recharge is possible using an external high-pressure air pump.
  • The MiniCAT runs an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT)
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Filed under: Featured, Tata, 2012, india, News, air car, minicat, tata minicat, mini cat, tata mini cat, tata air car, tata air

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  • Cupid Stunt says,
    6 years ago
    Wooo - the french are reknowed for being a bit mad but they have come up with the goods on this one. Wonder what the performance is like. Bet it sounds like a fart in a WC
  • German Romance says,
    6 years ago
    2 likes
    When are they going to sell the Air Car here in Australia? This is just a fantastic invention, we do not need to use fossil fuels in the future to power the cars!
    • theonlyfoog says,
      6 years ago
      1 like
      no fossil fuels eh? how do you think you power the compressor? you'd be a proper greenie then, if i can't see the pollution, its not there!

      80% of australia's electricity is currently provided by burning brown coal - therefore anything like this would directly be powered by fossil fuels!
      • silly bugger says,
        6 years ago
        These guys are actually talking about having a generator with a small air motor on it, which you could then run your compressor off
      • idiotwatch says,
        6 years ago
        Instead of labelling people greenies simply for being excited about the potential for the air car (and the potential IS zero fossil fuel use in the future), it would be better to start with using a small amount of IMAGINATION to imagine solar panels on garages powering an air compressor (perhaps storing the power in a compressed air tank as power plants should be doing for excess energy), thereby wiping out the 'dirty air-car' argument. If the Howard Government had invested in a potentially hugely profitable green industry then there would already be solar/wind/hydo farms bringing our green power baseload up to around 15% with only modest investment.
        Our survival depends on green power so we should assume cleaner power generation in 20 years anyway.
        Also, are you seriously arguing that it would be cleaner to run our cars on petrol and NOT from baseload Coal power?? Consider the pollution generated just getting oil to the gas station, let alone individual car use. It's huge in comparison to the pollution caused by building air car infrastructure. Reconsider please.
        • Jay de Silva says,
          6 years ago
          The only reason we don't have clean energy in Australia is that the petroleum lobby and influence in Parliament ensures that we remain wedded to petroleum as the primary source of energy. Who do you think is agitating against wind farms, solar farms and nuclear energy? Who organises all those demonstrations? The World Oil cartels. Even LPG, which we have in abundance is far cleaner than petrol and diesel. We Australians are being led by our noses by the Oil Cartels.
    • dumb fart says,
      6 years ago
      I think that silly bugger has missed the point. It is more akin to a diesel in that it uses the expansion process caused by temperature change to move the pistons. There are some funny people around if they think that fossil fuels are not going to be the power source for refuelling unless you are in France where it is probable that the power source will be nice clean nuclear power.
    • CJ says,
      6 years ago
      No one is suggesting fossil fuels are automatically disqualified in the refuelling process, but is there a serious suggestion that two minutes of running an air compressor equates in any way to the same greenhouse emissions as someone burning an entire tank of petrol? Has it occured to any of the knockers that service stations could be fitted with solar and wind powered air compressors? Your lack of imagination is astonishing, and your desire to knock rather than embrace green technologies is perplexing. + 3 degrees C, fellas, and it's game over. We're halfway there now, and besides, have you not heard about the oil crisis heading your way?
  • sticks says,
    6 years ago
    the possible option list includes a long extension cord/hose for outback australia.

    i quite like the idea, could make it a hybrid and use the regenerative braking to pressurise the tank
    • BILL ANDERSON says,
      6 years ago
      1 like
      Just put a small air compressor on a bracket that you bolt to the tow bar and bingo, a budget Hybrid. All those folks who park their vehicles in the aussie sun whilst working during the day could use solar panels on the roof to recharge during the day. In Australia this would work very well as around 75% percent of australians only travel 30kms or less in a day. When they want to go away for the weekend use the bolt on bracket.
      • maverick says,
        3 years ago
        Bill, I have calculated that this car AT BEST requires 119kWh to travel 300km. So let's say it requires 10kWh for 30km (your view of average city travel distance per day). The largest solar panel you could use on your 'bracket' would be say 5m2 (generous assumption). This will generate 400W at peak sun - total energy of around 2.5kWh on a good day (summer, no cloud all day). The efficiency of converting this to compressed air and then to mechanical energy would be at best 35%. Thus on an optimum solar day, you would get 0.35*2.5 = 0.875kWh to the wheels. That would propel the car a total of 2.6km. Remember, this is on the ideal day. For most of the year, you'd barely get out of your driveway.
  • Carl says,
    6 years ago
    I saw this on YouTube, the French inventor claimed he was working on a hybrid model that with a small petrol engine to recharge the air tanks the car could do 4,500Ks on one tank of petrol!!!
  • Dr.Varun Ranade says,
    6 years ago
    I suppose I am not Euphoric and reading same as many other read.

    If this is reality then we are entering into a new age and this is the end of OIL-Age ...

    The zero pollution is the rearkable issue.

    Hats off to the Inventor
  • 280ZX says,
    6 years ago
    If only this car was as attractive as a fillet o' fish haaaaaaa.... Sounds good though ...
  • wade says,
    6 years ago
    Hi All,
    I am interesting this air car, but why there is no any offical news about this car? If this car have many advantaage to our earth, why every country do not to speed up to production this car? Why oil or gas prise is rising high?
    • greg says,
      6 years ago
      who controls this planet ? big oil maybe
    • xang says,
      6 years ago
      1 like
      I do agree with this comment.
    • Frank says,
      6 years ago
      Hi Wade, because Ford Geelong is has just introduced their new 'invention' of powering a car by air - for which they probably require some billions in government/taxpayers grants to develop. Mind you - it will save some 5 or 10 jobs in Geelong. so - money well spent I guess
    • Jay de Silva says,
      6 years ago
      1 like
      Because the World's Oil cartels are doing everything possible to sabotage it, including buying up TATA motor's chief engineer, infiltraing into the engineering department and so forth. Just as they have been sabotaging and buying up patents for new developments in solar enegy and electricity stotage systems.
  • Sidram says,
    6 years ago
    It is really superb?
    new revolution in world!!!!!!
  • sheetal says,
    6 years ago
    Air car
  • aroun says,
    6 years ago
    Awessome invenition the engineer who designed this. I am feeling very proud to see that this project is developed by TATA motors...... Mr. Ratan TATA again proved his greatness......
  • woodart says,
    6 years ago
    time to stop burning coal.
  • PigsFly says,
    6 years ago
    There is nothing on the TATA website that confirms this story or give it any credit or truth. It would be good to see a speculative side to this story, rather than just announce it as if it were true. The MDI website and this one are the only sites to deliver such ground breaking developments in the motoring world. So if it were true, one would have to question the limited reporting on the story. Maybe not every motoring site lives in a world so full of unsubstantiated hot air??
  • Conquistador says,
    6 years ago
    Air powered engines are nothing new.

    Rotary engines run brilliantly on air.
  • Harry Potter says,
    6 years ago
    I'd be interested to see the overall energy balance equations - i.e. how much energy does it take to compress the air to 300bar and how much energy does it take to propel the vehicle for 300km. It would surprise me to see that we have here the long sought after perpetual motion machine, and why wasn't this story released on April 1st where it belongs?
    • Som says,
      6 years ago
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      http://howtosaveanearth.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/air-cars-very-exciting-stuff/
      -The air car needs about 21 KWhr to travel 200 km.
      -Dr Arnoux said the air engine technology could also be used to power homes.


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Air Cars! Very exciting stuff?!
      I read about these briefly about six months ago, but the topic has come up again in some of the environmental press and I have had a chance to look properly into the concept of air powered cars. I have to say, from what I have read, I am excited! There are questions about the hype of it all, but even only half of it turns out to be true, these things will be a lethal weapon in the fight against peak oil, and in a smaller part, climate change. My findings;
      MELBOURNE is set to be the manufacturing home base for a car that operates with zero emissions and can run solely on compressed air. Guy Negre, who used to design engines for Formula One team Renault, has spent the past 15 years developing the air engine and says the first manufacturing plant will be established in Melbourne with cars expected to go on sale next year. Compressed air, not petrol, pushes the engine’s pistons, which can then take the vehicle up to 110 kilometres an hour. Running on compressed air alone, the car can travel 150 kilometres, but when the air is heated externally and incorporated with a fuel source, such as ethanol or diesel, it is possible to travel from Perth to Brisbane without refuelling. Dr Arnoux said the car would be economically and environmentally friendly. He said the first small car would retail for less than $8000 and running costs would be 80% lower than current comparable vehicles. IT MDI-Energy aims to reduce car emissions in Australia over the next 10 years by 20%. The company says that more than 7000 new jobs will be created over the next five years. The car can be refuelled by plugging it into the compressed air supply that is found at most service stations. Dr Arnoux said the air engine technology could also be used to power homes.
      Sounds good doesn’t it! $8000 is super, super cheap for a car, and for a while anyway, you would be able to essentially steal free fuel in the form of petrol station refilling. 110km/h and a range of 150km on air alone between refills really is more than enough for most people. I know that if those amost too good to be true claims deliver, I will be seriously considering one…
      So you have heard the hype, now how do they really stack up? The Oil Drum have posted a very, very comprehenisve overview of everything to do with this idea, which is very well worth the read for anyone who cares about the future. Here are the very interesting calculations they got;
      If I remember my high school physics and chemistry right, the energy E required to compress air at 25C is,E = 110,000 x ln (P1/P2) /m3/mol
      There are about 45mol air in 1m3, so,E = 110,000 x ln (P1/P2) /m3
      This howstuffworks article tells us that an air car tank might have 300lt at 4,561psi, which is 29,999,087.707 - call it 30,000 kPa.
      Atmospheric pressure is 101.3kPa.
      300lt at 30,000kPa will be 90,000lt at atmospheric pressure, or 90m3.
      And so we get,E = 110,000 x ln (30,000 / 101.3) x 90= 110,000 x 5.69 x 90= 56,331,000J
      which is 15.6kWhr
      However, a company which supplies air compressors tells us that “Most systems typically waste 25 to 50 percent of the energy required to generate compressed air that actually provides useful work.“
      Let’s be optimistic and assume that with lots of air cars zooming around, service stations will buy the most efficient (expensive) compressors. So we get just a 25% loss.
      This brings us to 20.9kWhr.Let’s round it up to 21kWhr to refill the tank.
      Again, this isn’t the air car referred to in the article, but it gives us an idea of the order of magnitude.
      21kWhr to travel 200km.
      A regular small city car gets about 10km/lt. Petrol costs about $1.30/lt, and causes 2.32kg CO2e/lt. So to go 200km in a regular car would cost $26 and cause 46.4kg CO2e in emissions.
      Electricity from coal cost $0.1355/kWh and 1.21kg CO2e/kWh, so the 200km journey would cost $2.85 and cause 34.9kg CO2e in emissions.
      Electricity from wind costs $0.19/kWh and causes 0.04kg CO2e/kWh. So the 200km journey would cost $3.99 and cause 0.84kg CO2e in emissions.
      The average Australian car is driven 15,000km annually. That’d be 75 refills, or 1,575kWh energy in all. That’s not bad when the average household uses 6,000kWhr annually.
      Presumably service stations could do things better than we could at home, since they can buy the big heavy and efficient equipment; if service stations supply so much compressed air, they’ll start charging more for it, more than the power costs. Still, it seems that running it on compressed air will be significantly cheaper in money terms.However, if the air is compressed by electricity got from coal, the greenhouse gas emissions will be comparable to simply burning petrol in the car.Again, not perfect calculations, but the best we can do with the data we’ve got, and they give us an order of magnitude idea of the numbers involved.
      Very, very interesting indeed. If this proves to be true, we are in for some very exciting times in the world of sustainability and energy generation.
      • Ricki says,
        6 years ago
        Great response. I have to say that once again it gets around to us having to replace all our coal fired power stations with renewable energy ones. Even if this car works, it would not be a great thing for climate change. But any improvment will help!
    • BILL ANDERSON says,
      6 years ago
      The air car is half the weight of a conventional car. An ordinary car loses 75% of it's potential energy during transmission to the wheels. Compressed air by comparison loses about 20-30% as it is a more direct mode of transmision. These qualities allow for a 6 fold increase in power or a 6 fold decrease in energy consumption.
  • The Insider says,
    6 years ago
    Yes, messes with the head, but it's ridgy-didge. Been reported on by BBC, Newsweek, and in a host of technical publications including VACC's monthly technical publication to the automotive industry, 'Tech Talk', which provided a schematic analysis of the operation (and ingenuity) of Guy Negre's compressed-air engine.

    According to Jon Sopel, BBC Europe correspondent, who drove one of the early prototypes in 2002, "An earlier version of the car that we drove was noisy and slow, and a tiny bit cumbersome. What the company is aiming at is the urban motorist: delivery vehicles, taxi drivers, and people who just use their car to nip out to the shops."

    So Harry, maybe that Anglia of yours could do with a bit more 'air-power'... (put it 'over the pit' at the Gryffindor House workshops).

    The Insider
  • The Tata Nano Thread - Page 8 - Team-BHP says,
    6 years ago
    [...] more news on the compressed air car CAT 2009 Tata Air Car MiniCAT "The Air Car, called the MiniCAT could cost around Rs. 3,50,000 ($ 8177) in India and would [...]
  • Mani Ramani says,
    6 years ago
    Sir,
    Still I am at large to know about the "combustion" process.
    Ramani
  • Ray Spakowski says,
    6 years ago
    7-20-08
    Mankind's been working on the internal combustion engine for about 150 years. Auto technology has come a long way since the '08 Model T Ford. Electric-driven vehicles
    might be just a "good battery" away. This stuff takes time. Thus, if the "Air Car" even comes close to what's been reported, it could be that giant leap this planet needs to curb its emissions and oil-consumption dilemmas. If the electrical source providing air into the car's tanks is either solar, wind or water-driven, one couldn't ask for a better environment situation.
    Also, having a huge auto-producer like Tata Motors involved, lends a great deal of credibility to this endeavor. I'm hoping--like most of the world--that the "Air Car" is . . . for real.
    Ray, Normal, IL USA
  • beantparmar says,
    6 years ago
    This car will be great. It will force the Arabs to get back to the camel back, drink its milk and eat dates. For that I will ride a car not only with glue but even without glue. Thanks all
  • Greg Perejuan says,
    6 years ago
    1 like
    I own and fly an indian built plane here in West Australia
    and have found the workmanship and quality far better and
    cheaper than any similar....More Bang For Buck!!!
    I have no hesitation in buying INDIAN MADE and I am
    confident Mini CAT Air car will turn the oil companys
    on there head.............NOW how the hell can I get one
    in Perth West Australia.... ASAP...Im getting older
    • Lisa McIntosh says,
      6 years ago
      Greg,
      When you find out where we in Australia (Sydeny) can purchase one now, lwt me know.

      Thanks
      Lisa
  • Juan Carlos Muro says,
    6 years ago
    That's amazing car.... but what about of the OIL? OIL now is the economic world base, so if oil is replaced may this world become danger and more extreme poor people born. OIL age is finish but just think in the consequences. What is the real price????? Hope don't born the third world war against Arab countries.
  • Charlie says,
    6 years ago
    Here's what Tata Motors said in a CNN article recently:

    ""The project is under progress. We do not yet have any timeframe for launch," said Debasis Ray, the head of corporate communications for Tata Motors."

    The history of MDI and the air car is a series of grand promises, many claims, and lots of projections to bring in additional investors. So far it has been more of an investment pyramid scheme that a serious industrial design effort.

    REF: quote is from near the bottom of http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/08/08/air.car/
  • Charlie says,
    6 years ago
    Engineair Pty Ltd, based in Melbourne, Australia is a company that is also working on air powered vehicles.

    http://www.engineair.com.au/company.htm

    The founder, Angelo Di Pietro has developed a rotary air engine, and has produced several prototype burden carriers for use in a wholesale market.

    His products are real, although limited in performance, and in my opinion his company is much more forthcoming and accurate about actual performance and potential future performance.
  • 110 MPG Mustang - Page 4 - FordMuscle.com For says,
    6 years ago
    [...] profitable then why isn't this technology being pressed into high gear in the good old greedy USA? 2009 Tata Air Car MiniCAT The Europeans seem to have gotten the contracts first and from what I'm reading the technology is [...]
  • Pravin B. Dhayfule says,
    6 years ago
    I am not able to understand whether its true or hoax.
    None of the News Channels nor TATA have disclosed this news similar to Tata Nano.

    On the contrary I came across a hoax news on a site
    http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/forums/viewthread/7437/

    I have dropped a mail to tata confirming this news.

    If this news is really true, at least my dream of owning an eco-friendly car will come true smile
  • Kirti solanki says,
    6 years ago
    i am interested in seeing the the tank in which the air will be compressed.
    i had made a machine working on the same principal and air compression only problem was lack of finance and buying the tank.
    can anyone please provide me the link or the concerned person to be contacted for the tank.
    • ac says,
      6 years ago
      The tank seem to be huge - please see the specification on http://zeropollutionmotors.us/?page_id=43. At the very bottom there is:

      Fuel Characteristics:

      Compressed Air: 3200 ft3 @ 4500 psi
      Charger: On board 5.5 kwh 110/220 v compressor generating 812 ft3 /hr.

      Please calculate the volume of 3200 ft3 = 3200 * 0.3m^3 = 3200 x 0.027 = 86.4 m3. Can you imagine 2 m wide tank 2 m high and 21.6 m long?
      Ether I am wrong with my calculations or the specification is wrong by the order of 100 - or the whole air car is a hoax.

      In other publications it is said the air tank is 300 l. Even forgetting what I tried to prove above I can't imagine the tank compressed to 300 bar. Will any authority allow it?

      In spite of that I hope I am wrong and the air car is viable.
    • says,
      4 years ago
      Kirt
      Have just read your post about the tank for this 'Air' car. This does seem to be a stumbling block for the development of such a car due to the range it would give. I have found a way around this using a new tank technology.
      If you are still around contact me on rdellow@gmail.com so we can possibly discuss.

      regards
      Robbie Dellow
  • Kirti solanki says,
    6 years ago
    it was in 2000
  • Max says,
    6 years ago
    With all this nice goodies going around with air cars and hybrids etc no one ever try to build a infinite power source,meaning you just switch it on,working on its own not using any fuels etc.That will make the Arabs very cross.I mean if you look at it this way,the biggiest disasters comes from nature.Storms,earth quakes,vulcanos etc.The centre of this earth is an infinite source of energy.Why not trying to tap into that.Many years ago the american tried to catch bolt of lightning in the Navada desert.Storms,tornados etc.All is natural,nature alway try to equalize from a high atmospheric pressure to a low resulting into massive winds,storms etc.Look at it this way,it is a natural phenomena and if some one can come up with a solution like to create a positive force and a negative force making the + flow to the - and use that energy to generate the + and - forces and thus making use of the extra energy to generate whate ever you want.

    Think about that and we will all become greenies.
  • Daniel says,
    6 years ago
    I want one now!
  • whencanigetoneinoz says,
    6 years ago
    Really when you think about it, every car on the road should run off air (just think how much the performance and variety of styles would increase with the funding of large car manufacturers behind future r&d) and at the same time we should make plans to have coal mining/consumption/exporting reduced to almost zero as soon as reasonably possible (and without resorting to nuclear). Some may think this is an "extreme" position or that our economy could not handle such a structural adjustment but those who think this way are ignorant of the facts (I have a degree in economics with a major in policy analysis which does not make me an expert, but it does allow me to see the difference between economic facts & economic propaganda) following this path earlier than other nations would be very advantageous in terms of local jobs and export markets. If it weren't for the fact that the fossil fuel industry spends millions to lobby governments all around the world, we would have been taking these measures a decade ago. The only way to counter their influence is to spread the word & demand these changes, so please do this and help prevent this technology from being bought out & shelved by big oil.
  • r.s. reynolds says,
    6 years ago
    reply to whencanigetoneinoz:

    agree to what you say. There is no need to spread the word. Word is already out and no amount of surpressing by any agency, facility, government, or private or independent body, Oil Barons, or super powers will prevent the AIR Car to come in sooner or later. IT IS THE CAR OF THE FUTURE. Technology has come a long way from the steam engine, internal combustion engine and the electric engine. If the super rich want to cap in on the AIR ENGINE, now is the time, or let the masses take over and have a people's car, boat, motor bike or any equipment that needs circular motion.
  • MH says,
    6 years ago
    Good idea coming up with a compressed air motor but a light weight car wouldn't be too good here in Queensland Australia. We have frequent gale force winds here that blow cars across roads already, so we'd have them blowing right off roads and bridges.
  • MH says,
    6 years ago
    I think there's a bit more thinking that needs to go into these. 200k's driving then 4 hours to refuel is not practical. Imagine all the abandoned cars we'd see along the Bruce Hwy.
    • Charlie says,
      6 years ago
      MH -- it takes 4 hours using the onboard engine as a compressor (with the alternator working as an electric motor to drive the engine). If you have a bank of tanks already filled, you could refill much more quickly, much as dive shops do with scuba tanks. MDI claims a 3 minute refill time.

      Of course, if you do refill that quickly, the air in the tank will be very very hot (which is why the fill rate on scuba tanks is deliberately slowed down)

      Just like CNG cars, I would expect that a fast fill to full pressure settle down to about 75% of full pressure after cooling back off.

      IF these cars could achieve the claimed range of 200km, then they would meet the needs of many commuters and urban dweller. Unfortunately, the real range of the vehicles has never been independently shown, other than a test from early 2000 where the MDI car ran out of air after 7.22km. But even back then, MDI was claiming that the production cars due out in 2002 would have 200km range.

      In my opinion, the history of inflated, never realized claims makes me very sceptical that MDI will ever deliver a car with the claimed performance.
  • kinjal india says,
    6 years ago
    this is the fantastic technology,i am also the engineer.
  • Charlie says,
    6 years ago
    Yes, this is "fantastic" technology, but in the sense that so far it has been a fantasy.

    The only road test results MDI has ever published of their prototypes showed it running out of air after only 7.22km.
    http://tinyurl.com/mditestresults

    They have announced "production in 12-24 months" almost every year since 2000. They have never gone into production, and nobody seems to know what happened to the past plans. http://tinyurl.com/mdi2004
    http://tinyurl.com/zeropollutionmotors1
    http://tinyurl.com/zeropollutionmotors2

    The road test results where the car ran out of air after only 7.22km is in my opinion a very important document, and it is unfortunate that MDI took it off their website and didn't replace it with any new info.

    The main technical obstacle to compressed air vehicles is the low energy storage density of air. In other words, it take a large, heavy tank of air to store the same energy as one can easily store in a battery.

    The last info I have seen directly from Tata was a statement by the head of their passenger car division saying that the MDI technology was not ready for production in the near future.
  • p manickam says,
    6 years ago
    1.sir i am in india-salem i want to buy this car when it's coming to indian market?
    2.howmuch rupees of this car on the road?
  • nodar tushishvili says,
    6 years ago
    If you now how can I buy an air car please write me on my Email: NodarTushishvili@gmail.com
  • N&G Group says,
    6 years ago
    We would like buy air cars for teast reasons (market researchs).
    Please,If it is posible ,If anyone knows the contact
    persons-salers,or oficia ldistributor of MDI,Tata-Air CAr, send to us
    account or write as how can we reach the goal. Our Email:
    nodartushishvili@gmail.com
    georgeaskurava@ymail.com
  • alex says,
    6 years ago
    1 like
    Innovative idea, but you WOULD STILL NEED FOSSIL FUELS. The thing would be crappy for hauling, and the car would go how fast? Not fast enough for highway travel i could imagine. Basically: not the pefect solution we've all been wating for (not that there ever was one).
    • Andy says,
      6 years ago
      Haway Alex, have a read of the article/comments/links.

      a) Fossil fuels - not necessarily
      b) Plenty of people just want to get a-b, no need to haul - I suspect mini, fiat 500, beetle, scooters, smart etc would suggest theres a scaleable market here
      c) 70mph
  • Arran Dengate says,
    6 years ago
    In the main text, you said the miniCAT would have a range of about 300km between refuels. But in the bullet points below, you said it would have a range of up to 200km.
  • ben simons says,
    5 years ago
    why do all electric/air cars always look like disability vehicles
  • Jean says,
    5 years ago
    In reply to Ben, cars are practical /functional means of transport.
    We need cheap, safe, transport that doesn't pollute the planet
    Cars are not fashion accessories they are machines, all of them are ugly but some are necessary, until we find better options ( eg wings !!) - just like a washing machine the car is there to do a job. You would complain bitterly if a "washing machine that was deemed to look fantastic" but failed to properly clean your clothes
    Looks ain't everything !
  • Charlie says,
    5 years ago
    We are approaching the August 2009 point where the article says Tata will have 6,000 air powered cars on the road.

    So far, I haven't heard any word from Tata other than "the MDI technology is nascent", that it needs a lot of additional work, and that no cars will be forthcoming in the near future.

    Has anybody heard anything different? Has anybody heard Tata say when (or IF) they intend to sell an air powered car?
  • Saleem says,
    5 years ago
    Dear Sir/Madam
    We need for uae Airport SHUTTLE BUS which are using to shift passangers from airline to immagration CIF dubai price.
    Thanks
  • Charlie says,
    5 years ago
    August 2009 has come and gone.

    No sign of Tata's air powered car.

    No car.

    No announcement of a future release.

    No word on any development.

    Is it just hot air?
  • Craig says,
    5 years ago
    Good idea, they only need it to run for about 60km a charge at 50kmh and it will be idea as a city communter, surely thats obtainable soon. Plug in each day when you get home so charged in the morning. But I think electrics got my puff n go at the moment. For all the "its only changing the emissions from one area to another" bloggers, here in NZ we have 75% of out power from hydro electric generation-less than 20% from coal. So over here electric and air power is the way to go.
    But im more interested in the fact we can stop paying the Saudis and other Oil rich nations money for holding us to ransom. Bye Bye oil, bring on the electric and air.
  • angelo says,
    5 years ago
    Cosa aspettate a metterla sul mercato?
    Per andare al lavoro uso un'auto a metano che ha già 19 anni la vostra auto ad aria é giusto il mezzo che necessito.Mi costa meno dei mezzi pubblici.
    Ricordatevi di munirla di riscaldamento abitacolo.
  • Travis says,
    5 years ago
    I truly believe in this concept, albeit very young in age to accomplish the lofty goals of it's touters. From an engineering concept, it is very sound. Use a direct-wind driven air compressor to store compressed air at your residence over time at little cost (very inexpensive to build and maintain), store the compressed air in the earth to maintain temperature during charge and discharge cycles, fill your air-car at will, use a bio fuel such as veggie oil or ethanol, even wood pulp, to maintain the temperature of the outlet of the air tank at optimum temps during discharge and whala, you have your full biofriendly cycle minus the energy used to produce the materials to make all this possible.
  • Charlie says,
    5 years ago
    The latest word from Tata's VP of Engineering Systems is that "Any vehicle using only compressed air to run would face problems of range." and that "excessively low engine temperature is another problem"

    He declined to confirm whether or not Tata has abandoned the project.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report_tamo-s-ambitious-air-car-faces-starting-trouble_1316093
  • Jean says,
    5 years ago
    II know the standards of the "French Single Vehicule Approval" and "European Vehicule Type approval"

    - This AirPod can’t obtain approval with its technical characteristics.

    - The sole purpose of MDI is to sell manufacturing licenses.
  • Dany says,
    5 years ago
    Travis : "I truly believe in this concept"

    You should learn the basic principles of thermodynamics.
  • PeterG says,
    4 years ago
    My father always said that if the government could work out a way to tax the air we breathe they would.This invention could be the start.
  • says,
    4 years ago
    This great economical, green science and research could only happen outside the USA! Any great discovery along these lines used to be bought by the current auto industry--and promptly buried! Heaven forbid better products when we have our own to support!

    Now that our government has taken over the auto industry--an interesting thing has developed. We find the government leaders in the recent past decrying carbon pollutions and greenhouse warming--GO GREEN. But now the government OWNS a major carbon footprint industry themselves. Will they buy into the sensible, economic green experiment, or dowse it with fuel as a competitive threat? We will see if they start talking out BOTH sides of their mouth!

    As for me, I LOVE ALTERNATIVES!!!
  • says,
    4 years ago
    YES! and to add...

    I would love to see this engine developed to power our homes, or pump water--alternative living systems.
  • says,
    4 years ago
    Some would say that the vehicles dont look great. Yes of course they are not good looking because they are not designed by specialised car body designers, but by engineers who have developed a wonder car engine. The looks will come once they get proper investments.

    In India current petrol cost is Rs. 62.50 (02/02/2011)
    If I drive a car say Maruti Alto K10 it will give me a good mileage of 16kmpl. So its 16km for Rs.62.50
    This is approximately Rs. 3.9 a kilometer.

    Air cars claim to give range from 300 km per full tank, but I assume 250 practically. Filling the tank costs Rs. 60 of electricity. So the cost per kilometer is Rs. 0.24

    If I am driving 2000 kms a month on the petrol car it would cost me Rs 7800 ($180)
    and If I am driving 2000kms a month on an air car it would cost me Rs. 480 ($11)
    Whats your preference?

    Also, when the petrol and diesel car drivers dont care about pollution why are they coming up to challenge air cars? Even if it is NOT a 0 pollution vehicle it is at least an extremely cost effective one.

    Nothing is pollution free, In fact we fail to realise humans are also pollutants since we take in oxygen and release carbondioxide. So quit yapping and get working to correct the mistakes.

    petroleum has crippled every human being and have made us a slave of it. Every technology we have has been there for over hundreds of years and there is nothing new, just just a new version of the same.

    Some say nuclear power is clean. I dont think they have seen the effects of radiation on humans and animals. The choices in the future should be hydro, wind and solar power as sources. We dont know when mother nature wants to get rid of its pests, that is "we the people of the world".
  • PeterG says,
    4 years ago
    Of course there are better ways than fossil fuels.
    But how many will invest in them
    That is the key
    Funny not many have got off the ground
    The oil companies have very deep pockets
  • Earthwizz says,
    4 years ago
    The 'business as usual' oil and steel interests are doing what they can to get between us and the lightweight, silent, super efficient, brilliantly performing vehicles of our future, but they won't keep up. I hope Tata aren't part of that because I love Guy Negre's bodies. Lucky it's happening in Melbourne too and I think Angelo's motor is much quieter.
    This change is a response to environmental awareness and, if you think it's slow, you should have seen the growth of environmental awareness 30yrs ago; snails would have won. We are way past that.
  • maverick says,
    3 years ago
    This has to be tested with some proper engineering:

    Being a very lightweight vehicle, energy requirement is very low. Energy requirement for speciality microcars (with very low payload) can be as low as 0.2MJ/km. Current lightweight cars with two passengers require around 1MJ/km (equiv to 3L/100km petrol consumption).

    Assume practical energy requirement for this car is 0.5MJ/km
    Thus energy required for 300km is 150MJ

    Assume efficiency of converting air pressure energy to mechanical energy is 70% (Conversion efficiency is non-linear, high when pressure is high, poor when pressure drops. Also, not all pressure can be converted - the storage cannot be reduced to atmospheric pressure. This is a generous assumption.)
    Thus air energy required for 300km is 150MJ/0.7 = 214MJ

    Assume efficiency of compressing air (electrical energy to air energy) is 50% (compression causes the air to heat which is wasted energy; 50% is a generous assumption.) Thus electrical energy required is 214/0.5 = 429MJ or 119 kWh. Cost at 20c/kWh is $23.81.
    Equivalent petrol requirement for 300km at 1.5L/100km is 4.5L. Cost at $1.40/L is $6.30.

    Obviously the air car is much more expensive to run.

    Another problem: maximum practical isothermal compressed air storage capability is 100kJ/m3. Thus volume required to store the compressed air required for 300km is 214,000/100 = 2140m3. This is equivalent to a cube with side dimension of 12.9m.

    Conclusion: this TATA thing is a fraud.
    • kelthek says,
      3 years ago
      Maverick, any chance to minimize pollution in the cities of the world would be welcome.

      I saw a special on the development of Compressed air motor in a large food market in Australia to stop the engine fumes in close proximity to people. The benefits are there!

      Is there a perpetual engine? No! What if a combination solution was possible. I think by combining solar, Ionized liquid batteries, high charge generation and the compressed air would add up to a virtual perpetual system. Include Syngas(Link energy) into the mix and you may get the clean energy hybrid system of all time.

      Very interesting concept or pipe dream?

      Regards.

      ps. Congratulations TATA on a low cost vehicle that will make a difference!





  • David White says,
    3 years ago
    You down there have the same goofy ideas as our greenies... The guy who said photo voltaics on the roof got it half right. Air cars don't have the range that Aussies or Americans need. Hybrids are more realistic, and when plugged in can help with load balancing. We need to de-centralize generation so we don't have a terrorist target, or melt down like Japan if there is a disaster. distributed solar generation with hybrid cars is the best near term solution until there is some magic bullet of teechnology.
  • walter obermayr says,
    3 years ago
    it is time we can this car buy here in australia.
    • Taxi man UK says,
      2 years ago
      1 like
      I want one as soon as they are available please
  • Tom says,
    2 years ago
    1 like
    Well it's been 4 years now. Did The sreets of Bombay end up filled with these things? No? Must have been the big oil conspiracy
  • Ranakedar says,
    2 years ago
    1 like
    With all this nice goodies going around with air cars, no one ever try to build a infinite power source, mean domestic energy, middle class people in the world begging for to sort it out domestic power crises, this is my humble request to the scientist of whole world please don’t waste your energy on new car just concentrate on domestic energy, if you guys successfully sorted out domestic energy problem, no nation in the world is not going to face any crisis!!
  • Judy says,
    1 year ago
    When will the MiniCAT Air Car be on sale in the US?
  • John warthan says,
    1 year ago
    when will it come to the United States we need it great idea number one out of anything
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