I am not sure if you still remember that Tata was once working on cars that would run on compressed air. For those who did not know, the Indian auto giant had partnered with Motor Development International (MDI) - a French firm - to work on this project about 7 years ago. The company's silence on the project led us to believe that the project had been shelved. However, a latest report published in Business Standard claims that Tata's compressed air-powered car is in final stage of production, and might launch in the second half of 2015.
Though the car running on compressed air is not a new idea, it was always considered futile because it involved several issues, including low engine temperatures. Despite that, Tata Motors has been developing engines that will run on compressed air and throw out air from exhaust pipes.
"This is a long-term project and a tricky and challenging one. But these are areas we need to invest in to make sure that we can innovate and manufacture disruptive products in the future," said Timothy Leverton, President and Head, Advanced and Product Engineering, Tata Motors.
The agreement between the two companies has already covered two phases of activity; first, enclosing technology transfer and the proof of technical concept. Second involves completing the development of compressed air engine into specific vehicle and stationary applications.
The report further says that the debut of the air car aka Airpod is most likely to take place in the second half of 2015 through Zero Pollution Motors - a US franchisee. Its estimated time of arrival in India, however, is still unknown.
Just so you know, the air car will come equipped with a joystick instead of a steering wheel, and will be able to accommodate three adults and a baby. The car's tank can be filled at any compressed air station. The car will offer a range of 200 Kms and probably a top-speed of 80Km/h.
(Source: Business Standard)