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Compressed Air Propelled Vehicle Idea Still Around

A start-up that wants to replace dirty fossil fuel cars with small air-powered ones received $5 million in funding Friday on the ABC show Shark Tank.

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Last December, Green Car Advisor's Nick Kurczewski was able to snag a ride in MDI's AIRPod. Now, the lucky punk journalist has taken a turn behind the wheel. The short version of his review: this could be the car of the future and it feels like an amusement park ride, but it's no Millennium Falcon. Seriously.

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One of the more approachable topics discussed at the SAE World Congress this week (as opposed to, say, "CAE Simulation/Test Correlation and Optimization in Automotive Engineering." Not that there's anything wrong with that) was a talk by Philip Gott, director of automotive consulting at IHS Global Insight with the title "Is mobility as we know it sustainable?" Gott used IHS' deep resources to look at how the world will deal with the potential of 3.5 billion vehicles in 2035. If that's going to h

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A rear seat that faces backwards. Powered by compressed air. Name like the AirPOD and FlowAIR. A windshield that doubles as the door. There are a lot of hurdles that MDI's compressed air line of vehicles needs to jump before people will consider them "real" cars - or at least a solid alternative. At least one North American journalist was recently given the chance to see if riding in a prototype AirPOD is anything like a true car experience. The verdict: the vehicle is noisy, but maneuverable an

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Echoing rumors that we've been hearing all year is a news story from Kiplingers that we ran across on Yahoo Financial suggesting again that air-powered vehicles will be available in the U.S. within a few years time. Instead of larger cars, though, we could get the little three-wheeled, joystick-driven AirPod that's scheduled to hit New Zealand any time now. Zero Pollution Motors still has high hopes that it will bring cars powered by compressed air to the masses in the United States. In all actu

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One of France's most prestigious auto magazines, L'Auto Journal, has published a very skeptical and critical report about Guy Nègre's MDI compressed air car, whether we call it the AirCar or FlowAir. The article (not available online) makes quite a number of arguments against MDI and the whole idea.

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Looking like just about every other three-wheeled, joystick-controlled, compressed air-driven car we've ever seen, the AIRPod by MDI will be available to lease in New Zealand soon. MDI has an agreement with IndraNet Technologies to market them in the land of the M?ori and, according to an article in the New Zealand Herald, they could be arriving on the island before the end of the year. If true, that would be the first market where the rolling alien marshmallow would appear. The MDI website says

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