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
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
Who would have thought that a concept as simple as compressed air could be a viable automotive technology? Sure, we all fill our tires with the stuff, but some automakers - MDI, for one - are considering compressed air as an energy carrier, like a battery. Whether a vehicle is engineered to run solely on air power or if the energy is stored as part of a hybrid system, the very air we breathe could provide propulsion for our vehicles.
The Automotive X Prize announcer used it. We've been using if forever. And, until recently, MDI and Zero Pollution Motors were still calling their vehicles the Air Car. Now, though, to avoid confusion as much as possible, the preferred term is "Compressed Air Vehicle" (don't look now, but the ZPM website still says Air Car). At the New York Auto Show this week, we finally had a chance to sit down with Guy Negre, the creator of the CAV, and his partner Shiva Vencat (Vencat also provided translati
Our colleagues at AutoblogGreen happened upon the MDI Air Car uncovered in the lobby of the Jacob Javits Center just now, and were surprised at what they saw. Powered by compressed air stored under pressure in carbon fiber tanks, the Air Car on the floor in New York looks absolutely nothing like prototypes and sketches we've seen in the past. This previous rendering promised a fully-enclosed, Yaris-like cocoon, and even the original prototype at least had a solid roof over your head. Not this on
While wandering around near the Automotive X-Prize booth, look what we stumbled onto: MDI's air car. The green plastic-y version that had just been uncovered - I think for a video team's camera - bears only slight resemblance to the rendering that appeared on the X-Prize screen. It looks even less like the previous version of the Air Car that we've seen before. We'll be sitting down with the people behind the Air Car later today to figure out just what it is we're looking at here.
Sister site AutoblogGreen recently had a sitdown with Miguel Celades, the sales manager for Moteur Developpement International (MDI). In case those names aren't immediately recognizable, MDI is the Luxembourg-based company that is developing the Air Car in Southern France. The Air Car, as its name implies, is a car that is powered by compressed air. It was developed by Guy Nègre, a former Formula 1 engineer and designer of the "W" engine configuration made popular at Volkswagen. It was wh
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