Air Car invented in 1979 by American Terry Miller

Air Car

In 1979, American Terry Millar showed that it was possible for a car to run on compressed air alone. After developing his Air Card One (Air Car), which he built for $1,500, Miller patented his method in 1983.

Instead of burning fuel to drive pistons with hot expanding gas, air cars used the expansion of compressed air to drive the pistons. Initially energy is involved in compressing the air, and this is usually done with electricity, but it is still a more environmentally friendly process than that of gasoline cars. Many companies are developing air cars, though they are yet to be released for the public, this is likely to happen in the very near future.

There are a few drawbacks that the air car must overcome before it hits the market big time. When air expands before its compressed state, the engine is cooled and this can encourage icing. Also, in the event of an accident, the compressed air tanks are liable to explode. However, the air certainly has advantages over gasoline-powered cars and other designs for the future not least of which that is cots 20 percent less than a current car. Without a combustion engine, the wear and tear on internal parts is minimal and, with zero harmful emissions, the air car is an attractive design for the next step in car manufacturing.

Even with its low maintenance costs, the air car is arguably still the underdog in the race for the next generation of cars. Fuel cell and hydrogen-based models, as well as various hybrid designs, are ahead in the running, but as none of these have hit the commercial market yet, the top design for the future of the car is still to be decided.

2007, Tata Motors introduced the MDI CityCat developed by Guy Nègre as the first commercial air car. As of 2009, two more models of MDI air cars have been showcased.


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