The ever-so-anticipated moment when more and more people are looking into buying low, or even zero emission vehicles has finally come. It does not come as a surprise that the giants in the automotive industry are racing to design the cleanest, the most efficient, or the best value for money model of a vehicle, ideally fully electric, which could lure people into choosing their model over the many others that are now increasingly available.
Unfortunately, as wonderful as the idea of having an EV can be, the cost of purchasing one is still quite high for the average customer. What is more, despite the technological advances and increasing number of charging stations, the time and money that have to be put into charging an EV battery, remain the tipping factor that makes many people still opt for a convenient diesel engine.
However, an invention by Guy Negre, developed by Zero Pollution Motors, a licensee for MDI in the US, might have just found the solution to all of the above problems. The AIRPod, a small zero-emission vehicle, which runs on compressed air. Yes, there have been other prototypes of such cars that run on compressed air, even one by Honda, and yes, the first time we told you about MDI’s AIRPod was quite some time ago. But it seems they are now finally ready to go, as they just managed to secure $5million investment.
Nothing has changed for the past five years. The price of one AIRPod is still estimated at $10,000, and from then on the money you have to put into it to keep it going is minimal. Its range is still around 80 miles, and it can still be “re-fueled” at any gas station, using the air compressor, for no longer than 5 minutes at a price of less than $2 (or 50 euro cents across Europe). OK, it is not a super fast car as it can only go to about 50 mph, but I don’t think a city car should go any faster (the top speed has also not changed since the first time we heard about it).
What is new, however, is that Zero Pollution Motors are now looking into having their first US-based factory in Hawaii, and they promise to have the first AIRPod vehicles ready for purchase later on this year. The developers also hope to transform the entire way of car manufacturing and selling. They want to create, as they call it, “turnkey micro production factories”, where the vehicles will be built and sold, reducing the assembly costs.
Image (c) MDI