Monday, July 28, 2008

Air Cars aka CAT (Compressed Air Technology)

Compressed air cars! Of course, the air is not the fuel, but an energy storage, like a battery. Compressed air can be made from electricity when charging at home or a station or using by using gasoline to charge on board as you drive. The current technology goes 93 miles using their compressed air tanks, the gasoline version goes 848 miles on an 8gallon tank which is 106mpg! The technology is still being developed so these numbers are subject to change and are expected to improve!

For city driving, this technology makes sense. There is also a small truck version, I'd love to see these being used to haul compost to gardens or fresh fruits and veggies to local farmers markets, distributors and restaurants!

MDI from France is the inventor of this technology and their idea for distribution is to license the technology around the world so the cars are produced locally. Tata Motors, the largest car manufacturer in India recently licensed the technology for all of India for $30 million! I'm not sure how the US distribution will shape up but they are looking for investors. A web search brings up ZPI advertising the air car in the USA and is advertising an optimistic date of shipment around 2010!

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