Car Powered Using Compressed Air

Posted on February 24, 2008  Comments (14)

car powered using compressed air

Jules Verne predicted cars would run on air. The Air Car (link broken, so it was removed) is making that a reality. The car is powered by compressed air which certainly seems like an interesting idea. Air car ready for production (link broken, so it was removed, sigh, when will site stop failing the web so badly?):

Refueling is simple and will only take a few minutes. That is, if you live nearby a gas station with custom air compressor units. The cost of a fill up is approximately $2.00. If a driver doesn’t have access to a compressor station, they will be able to plug into the electrical grid and use the car’s built-in compressor to refill the tank in about 4 hours.

The car is said to have a driving range of 125 miles so by my calculation it would cost about 1.6 cents per mile. A car that gets 31 mpg would use 4 gallons to go 124 miles. At $3 a gallon for gas, the cost is $12 for fuel or about 9.7 cents per mile. I didn’t notice anything about maintenance costs. I don’t see any reason why the Air Car would cost more to maintain than a normal car.

The air car was named one of Time magazine’s best inventions of the 2007.

Five-seat concept car runs on air

An engineer has promised that within a year he will start selling a car that runs on compressed air, producing no emissions at all in town. The OneCAT will be a five-seater with a fibre-glass body, weighing just 350kg and could cost just over £2,500.

Tata is the only big firm he’ll license to sell the car – and they are limited to India. For the rest of the world he hopes to persuade hundreds of investors to set up their own factories, making the car from 80% locally-sourced materials.

“Imagine we will be able to save all those components traveling the world and all those transporters.” He wants each local factory to sell its own cars to cut out the middle man and he aims for 1% of global sales – about 680,000 per year. Terry Spall from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers says: “I really hope he succeeds. It is a really brave experiment in producing a sustainable car.”

Related: The History of Compressed Air VehiclesCar Elevator (for parking)Electric AutomobilesVW Phaeton manufacturing plant

14 Responses to “Car Powered Using Compressed Air”

  1. Tamsin
    February 26th, 2008 @ 8:21 pm

    This seems too good to be true. I hope it is true as if indeed it is, there is so much that will be nipped in the bud in terms of green house emissions. I, for one, do not drive, but if the ‘air car’ made an appearance, I’d be one of the first to buy it!

    The model looks ok, but there would obviously need to be a range of models if some people are to be convinced to switch to air.

    I really hope the air car becomes a reality. That would be AMAZING.

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Compressed Air Powered Car Webcast
    August 13th, 2008 @ 8:18 am

    Webcasts with more details on the compressed air car, and the engineering involved.

  3. Anonymous
    August 19th, 2008 @ 7:59 am

    As a consumer, there is still doubts and all of those in terms of new technologies as people as still not used to it. I think that the development of all of this new line of cars is still not finished, a few more years maybe and a few more before people are gonna be ready to adapt to them. This are my concerns with the new technology with cars.
    1. cost
    2. scarcity of resources – mechanics, parts, source of power-not as available as gas on gasoline stations
    3. maintenance/repair

  4. Anonymous
    December 10th, 2008 @ 3:40 am

    first a hybrid car, then a hydrogen powered car, and also there’s a water powered car… having a compressed air powered car makes us open our minds to the endless possibilities of having cars powered by different sources.

  5. taufik
    May 18th, 2009 @ 5:41 am

    Hope that this project can go without any big challenge and begin to start their mass production, so the price will be more cheap than now. And because of that, we can make world better without air pollution and gasoline. Go….greennn

  6. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog Car Powered Using | Portable Greenhouse
    June 1st, 2009 @ 7:21 am

    […] Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog Car Powered Using Posted by root 9 minutes ago ( The car is powered by compressed air which certainly seems like an interesting idea much that will be nipped in the bud in terms of green house emissions the model looks ok but there would obviously need to be a range of obviously by the comment author th Discuss  |  Bury |  News | Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog Car Powered Using […]

  7. oto
    June 26th, 2009 @ 11:40 am

    Can’t believe it, a car running with air. Great idea, the world needs more of these solutions.

  8. Eric
    August 4th, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

    I have seen a report on this “CatOne” car on the History channel and I think this is way ahead of its time. What will really interest the USA is the hybrid version because the gas station industry/infrastructure is already well established and this industry will not be threatened to extinction.

    The current hybrid vehicles have taken hold of the mass market over the hydrogen and cng, ng, and etc… Industry changes through transistions, not through totally new ways. Why? Too many jobs, old investments and mindset of the pubic can not be disturbed too much.

    I want to buy one of these Cat car. How? I live in Southern California. PLease let me know how too.

  9. Salvia
    October 14th, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

    Now this is a good invention. Unfortunately big car companies won’t let this kind of technology. I saw a bicycle run by air, and I was amazed, now I see this car, I learn something new everyday. The best of this car is a big and round 0 emission, great job! That’s what I call thinking out of the fuel tank.

  10. Anonymous
    October 20th, 2009 @ 11:10 pm

    Wow, this is amazing! I give kudos to the inventors!!! Not to be discouraging but this is a world of greed. Even though we have the technology that would help the world become environmentally stable right in our face, we “choose” not to accept it. By “we” I mean the Major Corporations out there that support the burning of fossil fuels.

    Good Job!!!

  11. Paul
    February 14th, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

    I’m a huge fan of the power source, but they could have at least made an effort with the design of the car!

  12. Anonymous
    May 27th, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    This was a great idea but unfortunately we haven’t seen anything as of yet. We can only hope that developers have been working towards and creating new means of making this idea possible.

    I do like the idea of only filling up for $2.00 and how you can even do it at home as well with its internal air compressor. That’s an awesome idea.

    As electric and hybrid cars become more popular and environmental standards are increasing. This would be a great option for people who do not want to rely on fossil fuels anymore.

  13. Clive
    June 21st, 2010 @ 10:47 am

    Dear All

    The Air car is possible. In 1994 I was awarded letters patent for a reciprocating air piston that will make the car possible.

    One issue that all others have ignored- those who sell gas will not give air for free and will not allow air sales to undercut their sales of gas.

    Further, to produce compressed air from gas, coal or oil produced electricity removes the emissions from the car but pours the smoke intop thwe atmosphere at the power station.

    If we are depending on sunlight and wind, the technology is still so expensive, most of us will die waiting.

    Lastly, oil companies make profits from the sale of oil. If other resources are found, the oil producers will have no profits to invest in drilling for oil, the cost of production will go up and so will the cost of the air.

    Therefore, those who pan to sell air cars must have their own source of air.


  14. Car Powered by Compressed Air » Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog
    May 12th, 2015 @ 9:03 pm

    […] wrote about cars powered by compressed air back in 2008. Turning such innovative prototypes into products of sustainable businesses is quite […]

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