MDI AirPod, the Car that Runs on Compressed Air


Several companies are dashing in on creating the environment-friendly car of the future.  We already have heard of cars that run on solar power, recycled cooking oil among others, but MDI is taking things in a completely different location. 

The company has recently unveiled AirPod, an oddly-shaped automobile (more like the base of a vacuum cleaner) that runs on a miniscule, compressed-air-powered engine on each of the rear wheels, both of which get instructed by the car’s joystick.  The eco-friendly car, which is said to be released in France and New Zealand on Spring 2009, will reportedly reach a top speed of 70kph (or 44mph)-which is slow by American standards but pretty fast if you drive it on Europe-and can travel 100 kilometers (62 miles) on just US$2.  Not only does AirPod can make you save a lot of money on fuel, but reloading the engine with hot air only takes less than two minutes.  That is, if you happen to have an aircar fueling station nearby.  Charging AirPod in a more "traditional" way, using an inexpensive home air compressor, can take a few hours.

AirPod’s unique engine works by using electricity to compress huge amounts of air in small tanks.  Then, the air is slowly released from the tanks, driving the pistons that move the car.  This eco-friendly car can seat up to three people, with one facing backwards, and is ideal for leisurely city driving.

It is touted that AirPod is cleaner than electric vehicles.  First reason is because of AirPod’s tiny, city-specific design that is expected to be more efficient.  Also, the cars do not require complicated and metal-filled batteries, which lower the environmental impact of construction.

AirPod will hopefully be available in the United States by 2010, which is was licensed by Tata Motors for use in India and Europe.

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