An Air Car?

No, I'm not referring to the Jetsons. By way of Phronesisaical comes this story about an air-powered car:

BBC News is reporting that a French company has developed a pollution-free car which runs on compressed air. India's Tata Motors has the car under production and it may be on sale in Europe and India by the end of the year.

The air car, also known as the Mini-CAT or City Cat, can be refueled in minutes from an air compressor at specially equipped gas stations and can go 200 km on a 1.5 euro fill-up -- roughly 125 miles for $3. The top speed will be almost 70 mph and the cost of the vehicle as low as $7000.

The car features a fibreglass body and a revolutionary electrical system and is completely computer-controlled. It is powered by the expansion of compressed air, using no combustion at all, and the exhaust is entirely clean and cool enough for use in the internal air conditioning system.

Tata Motors is known for its interest in innovation and has been selling compressed gas buses since 2000. It is currently working on producing the world's cheapest car, which will be almost 100% plastic and will sell in India for about $2500.

Two points. First, they have to change the company name from "Tata" to just about anything else. Stupid people will have a field day with the name. Second, it's still not as cool as this car, although bunny ears would help...

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This is why (please don't tell any conservatives I said this) I want to see $5 gas. It'll get people thinking.

A car is to transportation as a drill-bit is to a hole. In the US we're absolutely transfixed by the drill-bit, er, car; when what we ought to be thinking about is transportation.

And long-term, making transportation less necessary. Long-term we have to reverse suburban sprawl.