Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Getting closer to a compressed air car... Tata isn't the only company working on it, so is Toyota

The TATA Mini CAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis, a body of fiberglass that is glued not welded and powered by compressed air. A Microprocessor is used to control all electrical functions of the car. One tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, turn signals and every other electrical device on the car. Which are not many.
The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.
There are no keys, just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket. According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees per 100 KM, that's about a tenth the cost of a car running on gas. It's mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car, a factor which makes it a perfect choice for city motorists. The car has a top speed of 105 KM per hour or 60 mph and would have a range of around 300 km or 185 miles between refuels. Refilling the car will take place at adapted gas stations with special air compressors. A fill up will only take two to three minutes and costs approximately 100 rupees and the car will be ready to go another 300 kilometers.
This car can also be filled at home with it's on board compressor. It will take 3-4 hours to refill the tank, but it can be done while you sleep.

Because there is no combustion engine, changing the 1 liter of vegetable oil is only necessary every 50,000 KM or 30,000 miles. Due to its simplicity, there is very little maintenance to be done on this car.

Toyota's air powered car Kurin

Derived from the Japanese word for air (ku) and wheel (rin), the Ku:Rin project came into being in December 2006 in the Dream Car Workshop of Toyota Industries Corporation. A team of 40 members designed and built the first car to run on the air inflated by a compressor that had a pencil shaped rocket. The eco-friendly tricycle became the fastest car driven by a compressed air-engine in the world in 2009 and the company even intended to get it entered into the Guinness World Record for this achievement. Though looks like a steam punk vehicle, the Ku:Rin uses air to propel itself thus outputs zero carbon emission. Running only on air compressor, the vehicle has a speed of 80.3 MPH (129.2km/h) and is fueled by on-board compressed air tank and generates electricity by expanding the compressed air using a reversed AC compressor.
info on the Toyota from

Thanks Mike!

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