Remember an older article about a small company, called MDI, who had a plan in building a car that runs totally on air? Now they did it. OneCAT is a five-seat car, with a fiberglass body, weighting about 350kg and costing about… 4800$! And that’s cheaper than any car (maybe except the recent car from Tata, but that’s on gasoline).
The car will be propelled by the compressed air tanks built into the chassis. The best part is that the air tanks can be filled with air in just three minutes, making that more quicker than any battery can ever charge. It you want, you may plug it into a mains outlet for 4 hours, its batteries will charge, and give you on-board on-the-fly pressure. Probably the system is built to charge the tanks, charge the batteries, and act like an electric-compressed air car. Plus to that, there’s a second engine, burning any type of liquid fuel, that would sustain the pressure in the air tanks for long journeys. That’s the most green idea I’ve ever heard since the beginning of time. The only competitor will be the electric car, but there will still be a time until the batteries from it will charge and last that long.
The estimated consumption is of about 120MPG on highway traffic. The producer says that in town, at low speeds, it will be more than that. Guy Negre, the car’s inventor, says “The first buyers will be the people who care about the environment”. He’s right.
Some people worried about the car’s security in case of an impact. Mr. Negre said that in case the air tanks break, they won’t shatter, but generate a big “bang”, and the danger is more probably to the ears than to the rest of the body. Anyway, they can be made more secure at crashes.
For the moment, Tata Motors from India is the only authorized car maker to produce this prototype, and the market will only be an Indian one temporarily. For the rest of the world, MDI will sell the production rights to any producer who will demonstrate it can make the car from 80% local gathered materials, that means that OneCAT will not have the environmental impact Toyota Prius had, and its making would not pollute the entire planet through the carriage of its parts to the final factory.