Tata air-power car looks like robot ladybird, may save world
By Luke Westaway on 16 August 2012, 6:24pm
Indian car maker Tata has constructed a prototype air-powered car, that as well as looking like a massive robot ladybird might just be the next big thing in clean energy.
The company, which built the 'world's cheapest car' and then covered it in gems and also makes terrifying war vehicles completed testing on two vehicles that are powered by compressed air back in May. A joint-venture with MDI, the prototype-stage 'AirPod' cars apparently cost just €1 per 200km, or £0.00631899077 per mile.
Despite looking like the worm car from the Busy World of Richard Scarry, the experimental automobiles are no slouch in the speed department, clocking a speed in the vicinity of 70km/h. I wouldn't attempt a speedy corner in one if I were you, though.
The cars seat three people, which is rather impressive for its small size, but won't win you any style points if you try cruising around town in it. Unfortunately, despite being surrounded by the substance that powers its motors, you'll still need to pull into an air-pumping station to fill it up.
Compressed-air power is still relatively unproven, and not without disadvantages (thanks Wikipedia). For example the compressed air must be completely dehydrated, and the energy conversion involved can be an inefficient process.