TATA's New Nano Car- "Tata Airpod"
In the coming days, TATA Motors is going to launched a new car , that runs on compressed air-"TATA Airpod". This car is being developed in association with Luxembourg-based Motor Development International (MDI).
The two companies reportedly aim to put a version of MDI's AirPod on sale in Hawaii before the end of 2015, through franchisee Zero Pollution Motors.
The AirPod is a very small vehicle, although it will reportedly seat three adults and one child. Top speed is estimated at just under 50 mph, the report says, and its on board tanks will hold enough compressed air for 124 miles of range.
Refilling the tanks will require special compressed-air stations--creating an infrastructure issue that proponents of battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell cars will be quite familiar with by now. MDI previously licensed its compressed-air technology to Swiss company Catecar, which eventually gave up and attempted to develop an electric car instead.
Compressed air isn't really dense enough to provide much energy storage, making it difficult to adapt for use in even a very small, very light-weight car. Battery-electric cars have also become far more common over the past few years. Whereas five years ago both technologies were still relatively untested, electric cars have since proven themselves in billions of miles of everyday use. Carmakers have slowly built up support and require infrastructure for battery-electrics, yet they still only represent a very small percentage of the cars on U.S. roads.
Will it be worthwhile to attempt the same thing with compressed air?