AirPod is Tata Motors’ air-powered vehicle

The AirPod is a compressed-air powered car engineered by Luxembourg-based Motor Development International (MDI), and the Indian automotive company Tata Motors. The three-wheeled vehicle uses pneumatic motors that work on pressurized air to drive the pistons. The car, which doesn’t have a steering wheel, is controlled by a type of joystick.

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Th idea of a vehicle running on compressed-air is not as revolutionary as it seems. Old trams, common in the early 20th century, were already using a similar technology. But what Guy Nègre, creator of MDI, wanted to develop was a compact car with an attractive price and zero pollution to circulate in urban centers.

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By mixing an old technology with a futuristic design, the AirPod has capacity for three people, driver included, weighs 200 kg and has a fuel tank with a capacity of 175 liters of air. According to MDI, the car has an autonomy of 128 km, is capable of reaching up to 80 km/h and can be fueled in minutes at the cost of only one Euro.

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The company has also developed a different model which increases the autonomy of the vehicle to 800 km with the addition of gasoline, which would be used in heating the air in the compression chamber. In this model, specifically, gases such as nitrogen oxide and CO2 are emitted into the atmosphere, but in very low quantities.

The structure of the AirPod is light, small and compact, but the back seat is actually facing backwards. Another setback is the car’s stability, especially in roads that aren’t so flat.

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Currently, the technology has also been purchased by the American group Zero Pollution Motors, which seeks to introduce the vehicle in the American market, which is very receptive to clean energy vehicles. Prototypes are being tested by KLM and AirFrance to be used as zero emission vehicles at the airports of Amsterdam and Paris.

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Via: 2050 Magazine

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