The car might look like one of those vague concepts you come across in TV serials or artists impressions which would never materialize. But the one in the image below is a working prototype which can soon be seen on Indian roads if Tata can figure out the go to market intricacies and make it viable.
Called the AirPod, the car is powered by compressed air and is the result of a licensing deal signed between Tata Motors and Luxemborg’s Motor Development International, a French design firm.
Apparently, the AirPod is a one seater car which gives you a top speed between 45-70 kmph. The cars also seems to be equipped with Kinetic Energy Restoration system allowing it to recover some of the lost energy while braking which is saved in a separate battery in the car.
Since the capacity of the tank is unknown, hence its difficult to tell the mileage of the vehicle. And that is one of the biggest pain points for this car, as the air would have to be either filled at pump stations which would require a huge investments in the form of setup costs and time as well or the car has to be equipped with an air compressor which would have to run on either electricity or gasoline.
Though, on the positive side the air tank would be much safer than any other like natural gas or hydrogen tanks. And even if the car uses an onboard air compressor running on gasoline, its carbon footprint or emissions would be very low as the compressor engine would be running on a constant speed.
The concept seems to be a difficult one to materialize in India, but this one is with Tata which has to be one of the most reputed firms in India and known to deliver to its promises, only problem being that the Tata’s haven’t promised us Indians any air powered car yet. 🙁
For now the concept has been only tested in two of Tata motor vehicles and now both Tata and MDI are working on the development of the technology and technical processes which would help to industrialize a market ready product. Hence it will take at least a couple of years before we hear anything significant about the launch of the product in the Indian market.
MDI, the company behind the AirPod claims the product price to be around $10,000 which would translate to anywhere between Rs. 5-6 lakhs in India, thus making it a very viable option for the Indians who are already struggling to come to terms with the increasing prices of fuel in India. Hence if Tata is able to pull off this one, it would come as a huge relief for the Indians.
At OnlyGizmos, we are very excited that renewable energy in the form of air is being used for the first time in India to power a car which is a green initiative which would help reduce emissions and not only help curb air pollution but also save petrochemicals.