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India’s biggest car maker (Tata) is expecting to introduce a new car powered by compressed air — an idea that’s been pondering over the years by car manufacturers but proved difficult to build on commercial basis. But now it has had a major break through.
Built on technology licensed which has been acquired by a German company Luxemburg MDI, the one seated AirPod is a light car that can run at between 45 and 70 kilometers an hour (28 to 43 miles per hour). Instead of running on gas or electricity, the engine is however powered by a tank of compressed air that can either be pumped in through a charging station or taken in while driving with the help of an electric engine.
Like current hybrid vehicles, the car can also store some energy during braking. The concept still requires further probe. However could offer cheaper and more environmentally friendly recharging without waiting for something like lithium air battery.
While MDI is the process of working on the technology for years, it signed a licensing agreement with Tata in early 2007, and a concept car was unveiled later in 2011.
In May, the engine concept was successfully tested in two Tata cars, allowing Tata and MDI to proceed to the next phase: finding out how to actually create a product that could be used on commercial base. We’ve heard nothing more so far about the new idea, but it’s likely to be developed “over the coming years.”