The air car

Posted by jerry on March 22nd, 2006 — Posted in Journal, Technology, Travel

One of the more interesting items on this evening’s Beyond Tomorrow TV program was the air car – two versions: one made in France, the other in Australia.

In Nice in France the air car is about to enter production – capable of up to 110kph, and runs for two hours on AU$2.50 worth of compressed air. So it’s completely non-polluting (at least no more polluting than the electricity grid), exhausting only air back into the atmosphere. You can fill the tanks in about 20 minutes, or four hours using the onboard compressor by plugging it into your domestic power supply.

French air car
The Australian air car uses a specially designed rotary engine, rather than the conventional piston engine of the French one, and was designed by Italian-born Australian Angelo DiPietro – a former Mercedes rotary engine designer. His engine is designed for use in buggies, forklifts, and even scooters!

I wonder if by using a variable valve cutoff this could be converted to steam – that way the engine could use the expansive properties of steam to get even more power for the size 🙂



Comment by John Angliss

Congratulations, Jerry. You may have just invented the steam engine.

Posted on March 22, 2006 at 10:31 pm

Comment by Jennifer

I just read this interesting little article. Jeepers…with all the politicians here in the States blowing so much wind up our skirts we could really cut down on the use of fossil fuel!
A jackass powered vehicle!

Posted on June 30, 2007 at 10:22 am

Comment by jerry

Hehehe That’s the same the world over 🙂 It looks like these cars are actually going into production in India to be made by Tata Motor Company – one of the world’s largest car makers

Posted on July 1, 2007 at 10:49 am

Comment by Mike Dettbarn

If people actually cared about global warming every car company would just develop more of these. They all copy each others ideas anyways.

Posted on January 17, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Comment by dev

when this thing come in india

Posted on January 23, 2008 at 6:25 am

Comment by jerry

According to Autobloggreen quoting a Mumbai Mirror newspaper article, Tata is claiming it will take two years to bring to market – I think this is optimistic. Tooling up takes time, and there will need to be a number of certification procedures before it can be released to the public. It usually takes about five years to bring a new car to market once a manufacturer is serious about producing it.

Posted on January 23, 2008 at 6:41 am

Comment by Mike

No mention of export to the USA where the cold exhaust could cool vehicle occupants in the hot Southwest. The need for air conditioning nearly half the year precludes use of electric vehicles in Phoenix, whose limited range would be further reduced if powering air conditioning. Some of us would like to give oil the heave-ho, but don’t have useable options.

Posted on March 28, 2008 at 3:59 am

Comment by simone

thats a start for the air compressed cars…i think they are launching in august this year in india…and once they are a sucess they gonna be every where…i cant wait for them to come to the US…
the only think i dont like is that there models are sooo like cartoon cars…they are cute but i like the cars with the rims and sun roof and moon roof and a hot exterior body…lol

hopefully by then they will have better looking air cars…

Posted on July 22, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Comment by Barb

Well it is 2009 now. The Tata Motors has a $2000.00 car in India now but it is not the Air Car. I want one of these. Do they have a plant in the states yet? What an idea. You could run anything with it.

Posted on March 26, 2009 at 8:13 pm



Are you an engineer. These engines are expanding compressed air, why do you want steam.

The energy they use is stored in the compression process and extracted when expanded through the motor.

Plus when its expanded, the cooling effect could be use to run airconditioning in summer by mixing with the ambient air.

I think the Di pietro http://www.engineair is brilliant and really overlooked. I design machines for a living and I am impressed by it.

Imagine retorfittings all those old SUV’s with a super compact rotary air motor and in the process saving tens of billions in imported (oil) energy.

You can make compresewd air using energy from thermal solar or even using VerticaL axis windmills which can run the compressors directly with no need for electricity to be made.

I hope the people in austrlia are looking at this commerical aspect too of retrofits, not just in new cars.

The torque from these air motors from australia is very high ( far better than from petrol engines). Infact you wont need a gearbox unless the vehicle is large.

Posted on April 27, 2009 at 9:45 pm

Comment by jerry

Hi Thomas – thanks for your comment. I’m sure that all aspects of its commercial application are being explored.

I suspect that most compressed air will be from electricity produced in power stations, which would still render them cheap to run and with economies of scale would likely be less polluting than individual vehicles.

The benefits of external combustion engines is their greatly reduced emissions due to more complete combustion, and a small steam generator means a smaller pressure vessel to rupture in the event of an accident.

Posted on April 27, 2009 at 10:14 pm

Comment by Marin

I was impressed when i saw the video and when i did some research, however i have my doubts about this becoming a real life application and replacing a conventional engine simply because the oil companies and countries that make money of oil will never allow such a thing. imagine if you woke up tomorrow and you no longer needed 10$ but 1$ to run your car!!! the economy would fall apart, the so called financial crysis that we are witnessing would be nothing compared to what would happen if this scenario came true!!

Posted on June 1, 2009 at 6:15 am

Comment by Pic

when U plan to sell air car in Thailand? Most Thai people wait for.


Posted on September 12, 2009 at 3:47 pm

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