Tata Motors and ex-Formula One engineer Guy N. from a Luxembourg MDI have come up with a car that runs on air. Dubbed the Tata Mini CAT, or Air Car, the environmentally-friendly car uses no petrol, requires little maintenance and has a range of around 300km between re-fueling (or re-gassing). The Tata Motors Mini CAT Air Car is scheduled for an unveiling in 2012 followed by a launch sometime later the same year.
The MiniCAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued, not welded, and a body of fiberglass powered by compressed air. Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car, so one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators, etc.
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 (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where 80% of motorists drive at less than 60 km. The Tata Motors Mini CAT Air Car has a top speed of 105 km/h.
The vehicle itself is a six-seat mini van using two 340-litre carbon fibre gas tanks which are filled with air to 4350psi. The Air Car is expected to be priced around Rs. 3.5 – 4 lakh when it hits the Indian marker sometime in August, 2011.
Stay tuned for more updates.