Theaircar too good to be true?


#1

Has anyone any first hand knowledge of the Air Car? From what I understand the engine runs on compressed air; no fuel, therefore no emissions from the car. The concept sounds perfect. Does it actually work? In theory? In practice? www.theaircar.com is their website.


#2

Sounds like total bunk to me; as usual.
Allegedly an earth shaking idea and they go on the net looking for investors to buy into it.

I have a real concern about this hokum, even if it by some chance it would work.

Who in their right mind would ride around in a dinkymobile like this while sitting atop a plastic/carbon fiber air tank that is (allegedly) holding 300 BARS OF PRESSURE!
(That’s in excess of 4200 PSI, and exactly what compressor is going to be used to attain this 300 Bars.)

300 Bars of pressure in a plastic tank, rammed from behind while sitting at the light, and the mother of all compressed air explosions would occur I assume.


#3

LOL, all this nonsense tempts me to come up with my own scam. It least I could make it sound credible. Unbelievable!


#4

Yes, the thought of an exploding ‘gas’ tank is worrysome, but no more than my current vehicle.

I am interested in whether or not the technology is actually practical. Will this work? Does it work? Anyone seen the car first hand?


#5

There were experiments but the car has extremely short range. There used to be taxi cabs in Thailand that had a big key on the back to wind a big spring. I think it was used to propel the car but there were wind up starters too; mostly on lawnmowers. A golf cart will go 14 miles on the lawn with a full charge. They go farther with more air in the tires. There is enough room for two golf bags! Some cars don’t have that.


#6

There are legitimate regenerative braking systems that use compressed air tanks. The idea is that a big truck that makes very frequent stops (i.e., trash pickups) have a system to charge the tank when the brakes are applied, then the compressed air energy is then use to help it get moving again. Obviously this is only cost effective in specific applications.


#7

Year of conception; 1994. How long does it take to produce a prototype.

One of several comments are:
MDI has been accused of multi-level marketing, in that the company is interested in selling turnkey factories. They have been promoting these factories since at least 2001, but apparently none have yet been built. In 2001, a Swedish journalist investigated a company promoting the car in Sweden, but he came to the conclusion that it was a scam. He met many people who were ready to sell him shares in a manufacturing company, but none had actually driven the car.

How about the “contact your politicians” gambit and promote the green factor to steer money their way.

How about if you don’t have a workable model after 14 years then obviously it’s a hoax and going nowhere.


#8

Sure, it will work as advertised.

However they don’t include two things. They don’t say you would need a huge air tank to travel more than say a mile and the pollution will not come from the car, but it will come from whatever kind of power is used to compress the air to begin with.

In short, it is worthless as it was back in the 50’s when I first saw it.


#9

Great no emissions. However what do you think it takes to compress the air and fill in th vehicle? It takes electricity which generally has emissions involved.

Should be interesting.


#10

Yes, they work and are in use in high density cities in Asia. The trouble is the limited range and that the compression is so high that makes them dangerous to refill.


#11

Sounds like a lot of hot air to me.

Seriously, while compressed air could move a vehicle for a very short way, it would only be practical as an assist for very specific applications. But I’ve heard the “air powered car” rumor for as long as I can remember.


#12

So much for being a rumor- http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4217016.html


#13

I remember watching something on the science channel awhile back that used compressed air for warehouse buggies/go carts. But I didn’t think they were gonna bring a car out this fast.


#14

HAHAHAHAHA!! Did you read this article? Please do some research on India’s national efforts towards traffic safety.

A glued-together car? What does this thing weigh? 500 lbs? I’m looking at it, and doubt it would even come close to meeting the safety requirements for any car of any western nation. You could possibly get it listed as a go-kart, but a streetable car? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!


#15

Well, laugh now but this is the trend THERE. Consider that the car is a taxi in one of the most populous areas on the planet. How fast do you think that car will be going? Do you really think they need to be all that robust? Their application differs greatly from yours I suspect. They will not be taking that car out on the expressway doing 80mph and have to worry about a full sized SEQUOIA, NAVIGATOR, HUMMER, TITAN or ARMADA pasting them.

When you get older and have experienced more change, you may understand that technologies improve over time. People used to laugh about plastic in/on cars but now it is ubiquitous. There are many examples of technology that evolved from a humorous, low quality process into a commonplace, high quality process accepted by the public.

If you’re young enough to be laughing about glue and plastic in cars, then I predict you’ll live long enough to be driving one at some point in your life.


#16

Consider the source of that article - Popular Mechanics. They have had a penchant for articles over the years promoting futuristic ideas.

They have this alleged picture of the vehicle already and MDI only signed an agreement with Tata in 2/07.
You mean R and D works that fast and the vehicle is a done deal already?

I think when the smoke clears… :slight_smile:


#17

Guys, it’s pretty easy to figure this out for yourself. Pick a practical tank volume and pressure and calculate how much energy is contained in that much compressed air. That will give you a pretty good idea of the performance/range of the vehicle. Of course the actual performance/range will be less because the air motor will not be 100% efficient.

Regardless of performance, you have to remember that a compressed air tank is just a storage device (like a battery) and that the actually energy (and emissions) used to run the vehicle will be generated else-wear. This is no more a “zero emissions vehicle” than an electric or fuel cell car, you are just moving the emissions around.


#18

It seems like emissions may be easier to control in a central facility than on thousands of cars on the road.


#19

Yes that’s the theory, but that only works if we establish appropriate emissions standards for stationary power generation (currently about 50% coal in the U.S.). In addition, there are significant loses at every step in the generation and transmission processes. In practice, we are talking about burning coal or gas in the oldest, dirtiest, least efficient power plants to make electricity (those are the plants used for peak load) at about 35% efficiency, then transmitting that energy to a another facility (with transmission losses) to create one of these “clean” fuels so someone can drive their “zero emissions” vehicle and feel good about themselves. It only makes sense to look at the entire process.


#20

It’s easier to control and easier to mess up too.