Following on from Barry’s post mentioning particular Cool Cars you’d like to see on fleet, I’d like to introduce what could potentially be the future of practically zero emission transport, although I’ll leave it up to you to judge whether or not it’s a “Cool Car”.

With such a high focus lately on low carbon emissions it was only a matter of time before air powered cars became a reality. And that reality is far closer thanks to Guy Negre, a French auto engineer who has developed a car powered by fresh air, with a fraction of the carbon emissions to that of a standard engine. He claims the car can reach speeds of 30mph-plus, travel for 65 miles on a one-minute recharge and best of all will only set you back just over £3000.

With Electric cars now on the rise, Negre has promoted the AirPod claiming “Compared to electric cars, air-powered cars cost a fraction of the price to buy, they don’t need expensive batteries to be replaced every five years or so and crucially they take only a fraction of the time to recharge.”

The plan is to have the air powered cars ranging from three-wheeled buggies to four-wheeled, five-door family saloons. This is then expected to increase to eventually include Vans, buses, taxis and boats. There is a potential agreement that could see air cars on sale in the UK within three years.

Ultimately it’s a City Car but for those of you looking for slightly further ventures there is a hybrid, battery-assisted version which is claimed can reach 100mph and travel 900 miles on one gallon of petrol.

Would you like to see air-powered vehicles available for rental within major city centres in the future? Would you be persuaded to rent based on the practically non-existent carbon emissions, the small compact size or the virtually free running costs? Let us know what you think.

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8 Responses to “The AirPod – an air powered car.”

  1. Charlie Says:

    The AirPod sounds really nifty, but MDI has been promising almost every year since 2000 that their air car will go on sale “next year”.

    Back in 2000 is was a full sized van that they claimed could get 200km range. Never went into production.

    Then it was a smaller version in 2004, that was supposed to go on sale in 2005. Never happened.

    The the MiniCat was supposed to be in productin in 2008. Guess what? Never went into production.

    So far the only public test of performance had their car running out of air after only 7.22km back in 2003. Now it appears that the current generation of AirPod can go 20 to 30 km (at an unspecified speed, but probably very slow).

    So far MDI has never delivered any vehicles. They might some day, but so far they have been very consistent in making wild claims of great performance, and then failing to deliver.

  2. Greg Norman - Avis UK Says:

    Hi Charlie,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I agree that when it comes to the future of air powered cars there always seems to be more speculation than revelation.

    However, the below comment, taken from thefuture.net claims that production may well be starting sooner rather than later.

    “Licences for 57 plants (with a staff of 60 people each) have been sold worldwide. Production will start in the first trimester of 2010, says Guy Nègre. Gradually, first one a day, then one an hour, until reaching cruising speed of 3 an hour.

    It is been confirmed that deliveries will start in first Trimester of 2010 by Guy Nègre in an interview (in French) with Nice-Matin: January or February, March at the latest to take a little margin. The first mother moulds have arrived and will be used from November on.”

    Again, there are still many who will doubt these claims but we can just keep our fingers crossed this time.

    Greg

  3. Dave Bakinas Says:

    Hi,

    This sounds like a great invention. However will this run in a carbon rich environment?

    My worry is that global warming will play a major part in its introduction into the mainstream and to sustain itself as a major form of transport in the future.

    If it runs on fresh air why does it need to be recharged? can it not just suck in the air from its surroundings?

    PS you are not the golfer Greg Norman are you?

    Regards,
    Dave

  4. Vicki Wilson - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your comment. I am afraid Greg is out of the office at the moment and I do not know much about the AirPod to be honest. But those are both very good questions.

    I will have a look into this for you and see if I can find out the answers.

    Vicki

    P.S. Our Greg Norman is not the famous golfer.

  5. Greg Norman - Avis UK Says:

    Hi Dave,

    The Airpod would run on compressed air which is stored in the vehicle with high levels of psi. Therefore it would take an additional air compressor to take air from its surroundings and would therefore be completely unpracticle. The environment itself would have no effect whatsoever on the running of the vehicle as it is powered internally.

    Hopefully this is of some help. More information can be found at the official Airpod website if needs be.

    As Vicki mentioned, unfortunately I am not the famous Golfer.

    Greg

  6. Charlie Says:

    In comment #2, Greg Norman quotes another source as saying “Production will start in the first trimester of 2010, says Guy Nègre……
    It is been confirmed that deliveries will start in first Trimester of 2010 by Guy Nègre in an interview (in French) with Nice-Matin: January or February, March at the latest to take a little margin.”

    As I have come to expect with MDI, none of the above happened. Production is now scheduled for late 2010/early 2011.

    KLM has 2 prototype airpods they have been testing (and using a promotion gimmicks as to how eco-sensitive they are). In a recent Dutch television interview, they said that the range of the AirPods is “about 15 kilometers”.

    This is about double of the previous operating range tests by MDI, which was about 7.22km back around 2003.

  7. Vicki Wilson - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Charlie,

    Thanks for the update. If you find out anything else please let us know.

    Vicki

  8. j Says:

    THE WORLD NEEDS THE CAR TODAY NOT TOMORROW
    I STILL CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY IT IS NOT FOR SALE ON THE FORECOURT IN THE UK – WHAT IS HAPPENING?!!!

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