Air Car may fly in India, but will idea float in North America?

I've got a story at Technology Review (www.technologyreview.com) that looks at a French-designed compressed-air car and a deal with India's Tata Motors that could see commercial production beginning this year in France and India. Personally, I think the concept is quite neat -- particularly when you envision every home having a portable compressed-air station that both fills your urban car and captures heat for your hot water tank. Let's face it, not all of us need highway-speed cars or the range required to drive back and forth from Boston to New York. Most of our driving is local and at speeds under 60 kilometres an hour (assuming we obey speed limits). Motor Development International, based in Nice, France, has a well-engineered Air Car design that could work in such urban settings, particularly in developing countries such as India. In North America it's a tougher sell, though at least one company has signed up to manufacture and distribute the Air Car in the United States. There are many skeptics out there who question the efficiency, speed claims and range claims of MDI's Air Car, but it's an interesting project nonetheless and I hope MDI makes some meaningful inroads.


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