Tata Motors, a India-based car manufacturer, has signed a licence agreement with Motor Development International (MDI), a French design firm, in 2007 to build a car that could run on compressed air. Now Tata says it has tested two cars with the engines and the next step is setting up the manufacturing plants to actually build them.
The working theory of compressed air car engine is similar to the internal combustion engine. Conventionally the combusted gasoline forces pistons to turn a crankshaft and run the car. In compressed air car the pistons are moved by air instead of gasoline. According to Tata/MDI, the car could reach the speed of 80km/h with traveling range between 150km and 200km.
The another good thing about this car is that it only costs about Euro$7,500, besides being zero-emission.
Before this car can be on the Malaysia road, the safety of the high-pressure compressed air has to be addressed. The car needs more than 4,000 psi of compressed air to run. This pressure will make the car like a moving bomb. Any rupture in the storage tank will be devastating.