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This tiny little pod car runs on air!

By Ben on Thu Aug 23 2012
This tiny little pod car runs on air
Car  |  Concept


India's Tata Motors is working on a revolutionary new concept car, Airpod concept car. It's small and futuristic looking like many other models, but unlike those vehicles, this one runs on compressed air. It's a tiny little three-seater designed for urban driving. The small size also helps the power generated from the engine better propel the car. It holds about 175 liters of air that will take you about 125 miles; Tata reports top speeds of around 50 mph.
Writing in The Atlantic Cities, John Metcalfe explains how the Airpod works:
"Sadly, these vehicles do not function by farting out a loud stream of gas that propels them forth. They instead are built with pneumatic motors that use pressurized air to drive pistons. In the case of Tata, a company that's developing a line of "nano" cars (including this bulletproof dwarf tank), the engines come from Luxembourg firm MDI, which has been tooling around with air automation for more than two decades.
Tata bought the rights to sell MDI's creations in India five years ago, but the project's proven difficult to get popping. But in May, the motor giant announced that it had completed the "first phase" of the Airpod, successfully testing out the engines in two vehicles. The Airpod team presumably is now in Phase 2, polishing up on the hardware in advance of a commercial launch.
So what does this auto of the future look like? Following the smartcar trend, it resembles something that stumbled out of Pixar's Cars. The mid-sized model fits three passengers, although one must face backward like he's being punished for something, and is streamlined almost to the point of becoming a sphere. Its tank can hold 175 liters of air, which a driver gets either at a specialized fueling station or by activating an onboard electric motor to suck it in. Its makers say that filling er' up will cost a paltry €1, and that a full tank of air can last for roughly 125 miles. "

Via dvice, theatlanticcities