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Old 05-10-2010, 09:45 AM   #1
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Tata Motors to introduce Air Car - Is it the next big thing?

Got this on the email. Could not find anything about it on snopes.com

Tata Motors to introduce Air Car - Is it the next big thing?

Tata Motors is taking giant strides and making history for itself. First the Landrover-Jaguar deal, then theworld's cheapest carand now it is also set to introduce the car that runs on air, compressed 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 Nègre 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 August2010.

The Air Car, called the MiniCAT could cost around Rs. 3,50,000 ($ 8177) in India and would have a range of around 300 km between refuels.
The cost of a refill would be about Rs. 85 ($ 2).

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 100Km (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 the 80% of motorists drive at less than 60Km.

The car has a top speed of 105 kmph. 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.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:11 AM   #2
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Exciting!
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:46 PM   #3
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I was just thinking.......

Would it be a be that dificult to include (or develop a stand alone) air compressor so all you had to do was plug it into an electric outlet to regcharge the air tank?

I wonder what the enery trade off would be.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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Ought to be possible to put a few extra air cylinders in it to extend range, as well?

Wonder how many PSI the system uses...
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:55 PM   #5
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This has been looked at by other manufacturers including BMW, and everyone involved has found the same thing - that it takes much more energy to compress the air than you ever get back from it. It's the same reason that hydrogen doesn't currently work, either. Both ideas represent a negative energy return.

Out of all of the alternative transportation fuels ideas that have come up thus far only 2 have made good sense: battery electrics (70% efficiency) and ethanol from easy growing, sustainable, non-food sources such as switchgrass (around 18% efficiency).
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:40 PM   #6
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I saw a TV show about this recently. It runs off a 3000 psi tank (basically a SCUBA tank). I am not sure what size tank(s) it is using, but I would think it would be more than 90 cubic feet (which is what a standard SCUBA tank is). I typically pay between $5 and $10 to get a 90cf tank filled, so I suspect that the margin on the 10x cost savings over gas, would quickly reduce here in the US.
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:58 PM   #7
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ah yes...but for us mechanics out there that have free shop air....possibilities are endless ......mwa hahahaha.


any way, 8 miles to work, 8 home...so i think i'd be in the 100km range.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BailOut View Post
This has been looked at by other manufacturers including BMW, and everyone involved has found the same thing - that it takes much more energy to compress the air than you ever get back from it. It's the same reason that hydrogen doesn't currently work, either. Both ideas represent a negative energy return.

Out of all of the alternative transportation fuels ideas that have come up thus far only 2 have made good sense: battery electrics (70% efficiency) and ethanol from easy growing, sustainable, non-food sources such as switchgrass (around 18% efficiency).
thats what i was thinking.


unless we create the steam sphere from Steamboy...then that would be awesome!
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:10 PM   #9
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easy, hook the exhaust pipe back up to the reservoir, and voila, perpetual motion

of course I'm kidding, but don't naysay anything in its infancy.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:41 AM   #10
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None of these green vehicles are zero emissions... they only move the emissions somewhere else, so from that perspective it's BS. The only advantage that I see is that you get better efficiencies on larger scales. For example, one thousand gasoline burning cars may be more polluting than one power plant producing electricity to charge the equivalent one thousand electric cars. (Note: I'm not a proponent of electric cars, just giving an example of how you could better control and regulate pollution in one place rather than one thousand.)

The typical internal combustion engine is still one of the least efficient ways to produce mechanical work in the world today. If I'm not mistaking, the best Diesel engines don't even come close to 50% efficiency and gasoline engines are worse than Diesel engines. Good electric motors on the other hand come close to 90%.

I'm still hoping that someone will discover anti-gravity or teleportation and then we'll solve the transportation problem at least

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Old 05-11-2010, 09:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmicle View Post
None of these green vehicles are zero emissions... they only move the emissions somewhere else, so from that perspective it's BS. The only advantage that I see is that you get better efficiencies on larger scales. For example, one thousand gasoline burning cars may be more polluting than one power plant producing electricity to charge the equivalent one thousand electric cars. (Note: I'm not a proponent of electric cars, just giving an example of how you could better control and regulate pollution in one place rather than one thousand.)

The typical internal combustion engine is still one of the least efficient ways to produce mechanical work in the world today. If I'm not mistaking, the best Diesel engines don't even come close to 50% efficiency and gasoline engines are worse than Diesel engines. Good electric motors on the other hand come close to 90%.

I'm still hoping that someone will discover anti-gravity or teleportation and then we'll solve the transportation problem at least

Beam me up Scotty!
incorrect

your Yaris is about 70% efficient or more on the highway at peak torque, about 20% in town

diesels yeah, are lucky to get 40-50, but they are most efficient around idle, which is why diesels power electric generators that drive electric motors on locomotives. that is the most efficient way to use a diesel (as a generator)

steam engines like I build are 5-10% . major heat loss for the power I get
but when the power comes on, it is huge


air cars have a big market as city cars/delivery vans in
alpine ski towns like Zermatt. zero pollution, can compete with electric.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:22 AM   #12
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air cars have a big market as city cars/delivery vans in
alpine ski towns like Zermatt. zero pollution, can compete with electric.
Again, I don't buy the zero pollution BS, energy must be spent to compress that air and that energy has to be produced somehow. Switzerland most likely buys electricity from Italy and France, so yeah, pollution doesn't take place in Switzerland...
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:15 AM   #13
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Wow its really awesome to know.I liked it.Nice innovation you have shared.I'm very excited for this new launch.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:51 PM   #14
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even if it doesn't do anything, it is nice to see someone trying something different. too many people just shoot everything down, and never try anything new.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:02 PM   #15
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Interesting, but it looks it'll have to take a backseat to hydrogen power for now. We're still trying to work-out a way to make that feasible to begin with.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:03 PM   #16
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It's interesting as to how old this technology is. As early as 1875 compressed air motors were used in locomotives for mining and tunnel construction.

Here's a mining one that was in service from 1928 to 1961:


Here's an interesting article on a modern super efficient compressed air motor:
http://pesn.com/2006/05/11/9500269_E...sed-Air_Motor/

And, here's an article from 1932:

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Old 09-28-2010, 11:27 AM   #17
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Again, I don't buy the zero pollution BS, energy must be spent to compress that air and that energy has to be produced somehow. Switzerland most likely buys electricity from Italy and France, so yeah, pollution doesn't take place in Switzerland...
Hydroelectric, wind, solar are zero pollution with no carbon footprint. France produces 80% of it electricity with nuclear power plants. That leaves no carbon footprint. There are energy alternatives.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:59 PM   #18
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Didn't the last Tata car blow up right after someone bought it from a dealership...??
There was an article on it...

LOL...wonder what will become of this car :P
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