|Bracing against the wind|
Friday, June 05, 2009
Tata and France's MDI.
The cars will get 125 miles per plug-in "charge", but the charge is not a battery or a fuel cell.
It's compressed air.
Using extreme air compression, ZPM's s technology might beat battery-driven vehicles on price, performance and time to market.
Indian consumers should see the new Air-Tata this year, Euro consumers might have to wait until MDI gets approval in 2010, but U.S. consumers, due to tougher crash-testing standards, might have to wait longer.
ZPM claims their vehicle can be charged at an outlet within 7 minutes. They also have a duel-fuel version that compresses air as needed, similar to the way the Volt's serial-power drive train works.
Some experts believe that the heat-exchanger problems with compressed-air cars might prevent them from ever going mainstream. U.S. critics have claimed that ultralight cars like these cannot pass crash testing standards. Engineers also critique the efficiency of using air, as opposed to Li-Ion, as a storage medium with the resulting energy losses causing more electricity to be needed per KM.
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