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Tata Motors is ready to introduce Air Car – Will it be the next big thing? Tata Motors is taking giant strides and making history for itself. First the Land Rover/Jaguar deal, then the world’s cheapest car, and now it is also set to introduce the car that runs on compressed air.

It should be test marketed in Washington D.C. where there is an abundance of hot 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 N?gre 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 2011.

The  Air Car, called the “MiniCAT” could cost around Rs. 3,475,225  ($8,177.00) in India and would have a range of around 300 km  between refuels.

The cost of a refill  would be about Rs. 85 ($2.00)

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 100 Km (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 80% of motorists drive at less  than 60 Km.  The car has a top speed of 105  Kmph.  100.0 KMPH = 62.137 MPH

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. 300 km = 186.411 mi.

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 50,000  Km).
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.