Tata Motors' air-powered car "around the corner"

Putting all speculation to rest Tata Motors has confirmed to a leading French financial daily that its air-powered car is just around the corner and has said that it is indeed collaborating to develop an air-powered car with a Nice, France based company Motor Development International (MDI).

The air car designed by Guy Negre, an aeronautics engineer who also founded MDI, claims to achieve speeds of more than 60 miles per hour and is expected to go into commercial production early this summer. MDI says using compressed air will result in zero tailpipe emissions, but will not provide enough speed to appeal to consumers, particularly in North America.

air-powered carDetractors of the air car say compressed air also does not provide much energy and power which is a downer.

According to reports the first compressed air technology car or CAT car to be produced would be called the OneCAT, a basic car for urban and rural driving specifically designed to be driven in congested cities and priced in the $5,100 to $7,800 (Rs2.4 lakh to Rs3.12 lakh) range.

The car would be able to run a distance of around 300km between refueling. It would have a top speed of around 60kmh if it uses air alone and 200kmh using an air and fuel combination engine.

MDI says that a full charge of air, including the electricity used to compress it, would cost less than $3 or Rs120. In the dual-mode version, with assistance from fuel, it can achieve speeds of 100 miles per hour, and it would be able to cover 900 miles on less than a gallon of fuel (although the faster one goes, the shorter the range).