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Zero Pollution Motors Bringing the Air Car to the US – But How Does It Work?

Posted in Commuter Cars, Fuel, Gas Prices, Hybrid Technologies, Plug-In Vehicles, Tata by Vito Rispo | September 4th, 2008 | 4 Responses |

ZPM Air Car

Compressed air engines aren’t new, they’ve been around since the 1920s, but they’re just now getting the mainstream notice that will allow them to flourish.

Back in Feburary, Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM) announced that they’d be offering their compressed-air engine Air Car in the United States starting in 2010. They’ve been pushing back the date for when they’d start accepting orders for the car, and it’s finally settled at “Mid-2009″.

All this talk about the Air Car, but how the hell does it work?

The air car is actually surprisingly simple. Instead of mini explosions forcing the pistons up and down like in a traditional internal combustion engine, the Air Car just uses the compressed air in it’s tank to power the pistons. That’s it, mostly. Compressed air only powers the engine up to 35 miles per hour. Anything over that, and the car burns a small amount of fuel to heat the incoming air which expands the volume of the air and so, increases the power.

According to ZPM, 1 tank of air + 8 gallons of gas = 848 mile range. Pretty impressive.

Of course power is reduced compared to an internal combustion engine, that’s why the car needs to be much lighter than most of the cars on the road now. The engine and almost the entire car is built from aluminum or other lightweight materials. ZPM’s Air Car weighs only 1874 pounds.

The carbon fiber tank in the air car can hold roughly 3200 cubic feet of compressed at 4500 psi. Carbon fiber is used because, while it’s extremely strong, it’s more likely to split apart instead of explode if punctured.

The beauty is that the infrastructure for air cars is easy to set up, unlike hydrogen or natural gas. Gas stations would just need to install an air compressor or two and the appropriate nozzle to fill it. The ZPM Air Car also has an on-board compressor that can be plugged in to your home outlet and refill the air tank in about 4 hours.

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4 Responses

  1. timothy zickafoos says:

    what happened to ZPM zero pollution motors and the air car???? we were all excited to buy and invest…then puff… nothing by end 2009, and now…thier website is turned off.

    Can you tell me what’s up?

  2. GANESH KARADE says:

    This is the nice concept , When this tecnic launch in INDIA ,

  3. Timothy David Zickafoos says:

    Air Car:
    From a specialty services multi-sourcing view for government vehicles able to survive and operate under E-nutron loss or non-compustable situations of emergency (a.k. reference the blackout of electrical controls), the air car design offers a ‘special use’ option for critical environments where a vehicle can operate under any harsh radioactive, electro-nutral or hazardous petro-chemical environments. This is assumed due to the very nature of mechanical controls to operate the air-propusion and control systems as options.

    I would, therefore, agree with any parties of interest, that application for grant development funds is both available by USA, and Germany as to developing special uses vehicles for said environments, and as emergency evac vehicles for VIPO transporting.

    WHile Tata has ‘shelved’ the project under pressures fiscally and ‘industry wide’ while promoting thier cheap India cars; others who have approached the French licensees have so far turned back from agreements and therefore all entities are now officially ‘debunked’.

    There is a specialty consumer market for this technology, given a better converting mechism, as well as the before mentioned special uses/services veh’s for government or military or petro-chemical industrial uses.

    Please contact me if you’d like to launch into the grant process, for a tangible pilot program with timeframes of 3 years for field testing, and likely finishing with special profitable orders by departments thereafter.

    The air concept is doable, viable. As when all else stops in the worst environments or situations, air-propolsion offers the mobility stability without danger to occupants for prolonged distances and time.

    Mr. Zickafoos

  4. Roberto says:

    where can i purchase one of these vehicles in the united states now (march/2011). do you have specific info, price, range on vehicle, cost, can you send any/or all info that you have on these vehicles available in United States.
    thank you