Any of my long time readers will remember that one of my first posts was about an Air powered car in India.
At the time it really wasn’t much to get excited about especially for speed crazed American drivers. The vehicle only had a top speed of 68 miles per hour and a range of just 125 miles.
Also, it was only available in India, but it looks like a compressed air hybrid might be heading to the United States in late 2009 or 2010.
And this new compressed air car comes with far more impressive credentials.
Top speed – 96 mpg
MPG – 106
Range – 800 miles +
Half the CO2 emissions of a Toyota Prius
I’ll admit that since that post a year ago I’ve ignored compressed air cars but Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM) has rekindled my interest.
One major advantage that a compressed air car has over an electric car is the refueling time. Current and upcoming electric cars require several hours to get recharged, which is fine if you’re just running errands around town or taking short trip, but it’s entirely impractical if you’ve got a road trip planned.
However, a compressed air tank can be refilled in about 3 minutes at a refueling station, but you can also take it home and plug it in and the onboard compressor will refill the tanks in about 4 hours (about $2 of electricity). It’s like getting the best of both worlds.
Another reason to like the ZPM Air Car is that it’s reasonably priced. Right now ZPM is expecting their 6-seater to cost less than $18,000. Contrast that to the $100k Tesla Roadster or even the $23k Toyota Prius and you can see why this compressed air thing just might work.
So why do we have to wait until at least late 2009 (probably 2010 – all the cool stuff is coming out in 2010) to see this vehicle hit the streets?
It still has to pass U.S. safety tests, and that takes time. So I certainly hope this thing makes it to the mass market in 2010, but I also wouldn’t be shocked if this thing got delayed… it seems to be happening a lot with all of alternative fuel vehicles.
Here’s a cool story from CNN about these air powered cars.