Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tata's air car ..

More details on Tata's Air Car.

Tata Motors to introduce Air Car - Is it the next big thing?

Tata Motors is taking giant strides and making history for itself. First the 
Landrover-Jaguar deal, then the world's cheapest car and now it is also set 
to introduce the car that runs on air, compressed air.

With spiralling fuel prices it is about time we heard some breakthrough!

India's largest automaker Tata Motors is set to start producing the world's 
first commercial air-powered vehicle.

The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre for 
Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air, as opposed to the gas-and-oxygen 
explosions of internal-combustion models, to push its engine's pistons. Some 
6000 zero-emissions Air Cars are scheduled to hit Indian streets by August 

The Air Car, called the MiniCAT could cost around Rs. 3,50,000 ($ 8177) in 
India and would have a range of around 300 km between refuels.

The cost of a refill would be about Rs. 85 ($ 2).

The MiniCAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that 
is glued not welded and a body of fiberglass powered by compressed air. 
Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car, so one tiny radio 
transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators etc.

There are no keys - just an access card which can be read by the car from 
your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees per 
100Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that 
of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a 
factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where the 80% of motorists 
drive at less than 60Km. The car has a top speed of 105 kmph. Refilling the 
car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to 
administer compressed air.

In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 100 rupees, the car 
will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometers.

As a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can be 
connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank in 3-4 hours. Due 
to the absence of combustion and, consequently, of residues, changing the 
oil (1 litre of vegetable oil) is necessary only every 50,000Km).

The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 
0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air 
conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

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