Advantages & Disadvantages of the MDI Air Car

Tata Motor's MDI Air Car North American Debut

Written by Green Chip Stocks
Posted November 5, 2008 at 5:08PM

The United States debut of the Zero-Pollution MDI Air Car, licensed by Tata Motors in India is still pending. Recently, however, it seems as though a 2010 unveiling seems to be the most realistic projection.

The time extension may have raised a few eyebrows due to the original proclamation of a 2008 release, yet something has to be said for the expectations that lie behind their meticulous effort.

Still, one has to inquire beyond the buzz of this elusive Air Car.

According to, the advantages of Tata Motors' engineering masterpiece include possibilities that may be worth the wait. Beginning with the basics, its compressed air engine eliminates the need for a transmission, and in comparison to other vehicles, only calls for a flow control.

The chemistry, size, and design determine the depletion of the battery's charge, but nonetheless provide for a very low self-discharge rate.

The energy exchange of the Air Car's functioning air turbine technology is relatively easy to achieve with low tech materials, and produces zero pollutant emissions from the Air Car itself.

Economically speaking, MDI has rooted the inclusive cost of the Air Car in the cost of overall production. The lack of a cooling system, a fuel tank, spark plugs, and silencers reduce the overall cost of vehicle production by around 20%.

When mass produced, the initial cost of production is significantly lower than battery electric vehicles, supported by the Air Car's identity as a long storage device. In comparison, electrically-operated vehicles have a limited number of uses, which ultimately brings along the expectation of a limited lifetime.

And here's the best news yet: compressed air is not subject to fuel tax.

Even though engineers as MDI have worked to solve many of the problems that are associated with high pressure storage and handling, there are lingering issues revolving mainly around thermodynamics.

Simply speaking, the overall efficiency of the Air Car is roughly one third of an equivalent electric car. These issues stem from compressing air, extended refill times, and the limited range that depends on existing tank technology.

One has to regard these advantages and disadvantages with a bit of perspective on hand. Matters of concern are inevitable with innovative technology, and usually will not be resolved until the possibility of extended use has been made available.

Until then, our only option is to wait. 

Until next time,