TATA Mini Cat, India's air car, on the streets in August

Discussion in 'Cars, Bikes 'n AFVs' started by maccabonga, May 8, 2012.

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  1. This looks Hi tech, would like to see more info. Anything that can be driven by steam can be driven by compressed air. To propel any distance, it would need compressed air at 3000 psi for suitable volume storage reduced to a working pressure 120-150 psi.

    What is this? Will it be the next big thing? Tata Motors of India thinks so. What will the oil companies do to stop it?

    It is a car engine that runs on air. That's right; air not gas or diesel or electric but just the air around us.

    Tata Motors of India has scheduled the Air Car to hit Indian streets by August 2012

    The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy N. For Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air to push its engine's pistons and make the car go.

    The Air Car, called the "Mini CAT" could cost around 365,757 rupees in India or $8,177 US.

    The Mini CAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis, a body of fiberglass that is glued not welded and powered by compressed air.

    A Microprocessor is used to control all electrical functions of the car.

    One tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators and every other electrical device on the car.

    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.

    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 70 miles, that's about a tenth the cost of a car running on petrol or diesel.

    The car has a top speed of 60 mph and would has a range of around 185 miles between refuels.

    Refilling the car will take place at adapted fuel stations with special air compressors.

    A fill up will only take two to three minutes and costs approximately 100 rupees

    This car can also be filled at home with it's on board compressor.

    It will take 3-4 hours to refill the tank, but it can be done while you sleep.

    Because there is no combustion engine, changing the 1 liter of vegetable oil is only necessary every 30,000 miles.

    Due to its simplicity, there is very little maintenance to be done on this car.

    This Air Car almost sounds too good to be true.

    We'll see in August. 2012
    • Like Like x 1
  2. If they can cut the top speed to 20 and make it spongy on the outside never mind the oil companies trying to stop it, what about all the Pikeys losing their dodgem car business?

    I think its great though, never mind the styling, i'd buy the missus one, the cost will offset my M3.
    • Like Like x 3
  3. why be concerned on the looks when it potentially saves city commuters thousands of pounds each year? Also if its uber green then people will by it regardless.

    well done that man for thinking outside the box!
  4. You got to hand it to TATA, they are quite innovative. With oil prices only going up they may just be on to something with this. They just need to make it look a tad better...and not like a rickshaw.
  5. I am struggling to see how this will be cheaper or more effective than a car with a traditional engine. Consider this:

    Compressed air is being used as stored energy.
    To store that energy, the air has to be compressed.
    To compress that air, an air compressor has to be run.
    To run that compressor, it has to be driven by an engine or an electric motor.
    If it is driven by an electric motor, that electricity has to be produced by some means, the most cost-effective way of which uses fossil fuels.
    There are losses associated with every step on the way, and at some point, fuel has to be burnt, or a more expensive way of generating electricity has to be used. How, therefore, can this possibly represent a saving of 90% in fuel costs?
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Well, I would imagine there is a hell of a lot more energy used to extract oil and then to refine it. Then to get the fuel to the petrol stations and to pump it into the car.
  7. Either way, you will have losses, regardless of whether it is losses in the electrical distribution, or the energy needed to get the fuel to the point of use. Even if your generator is electrically driven, then the cheapest way of generating that electricity is using fossil fuel, and the energy used to extract refine and transport said fuel pretty much cancels out the energy used to extract refine and transport the fuel used in a traditional car.

  8. Don't forget they bought Land Rover...who managed to increae fuel consumption in the Defender by putting in a newer engine! Genius :)
  9. I am guessing that the 10% fuel required is to compress the air. :)
  10. Of course there will always be losses. Unfortunately you can't get something for nothing (unless someone can come up with a fuel less motor). However, in regards to the fuel for this air car and a standard car, the cost of compressing air is so much cheaper then extracting and refining oil and getting the fuel to the pumps and then pumping it into the car.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. So true, but that freelander came in after the yanks bought it....and we all know their attitude to fuel.
  12. You miss the point.

    What is the difference between using a diesel engine in my car, and using a diesel-driven air compressor to charge air bottles which then power my car?
  13. The engine in a car will use a hell of a lot more fuel?
  14. OK, it might not catch-on, but why not fit the Noddy Car with one of these, and pay some Untouchable to fill your tank while you get some zeds;