Индийската компания Tata Motors представи пневматичния автомобил Tata AirPod, който се движи само със сгъстен въздух.
Според компанията, машината е оборудвана със 175-литров резервоар, което е достатъчно да измине 200 километра. Максимална скорост е 70 километра в час.
При това пълненето на резервоара трае само две минути и струва едно евро. Машината е напълно екологична, тъй като не изхвърля вредни вещества в атмосферата.
AIRPod, the city car powered by nothing other than compressed air, remains a concept that’s been around for five years. The company that owns it, though, is nearing production — and last Friday night on “Shark Tank,” Robert Herjavec took a bite for himself.
Herjavec, who’s as big a car guy as they come, offered Pat Boone — yes, that Pat Boone — and his partner Ethan Tucker $5 million for half of their company, Zero Pollution Motors. Boone and Tucker, though, merely own the rights to build a factory and start selling AIRPod in Hawaii, but Herjavec’s deal was contingent on them pitching AIRPod’s developer MDI SA, based out of Luxembourg, for the license to sell throughout the United States.
AIRPod, born from the vision of French inventor Guy Negre, works via tanks of cold air compressed to 300 times atmospheric pressure that’s then heated and fed into the cylinders of a piston engine. That compressed air effectively pushes the pistons which allows the car to move. There is no combustion whatsoever, and thanks to an internal filter, the air that’s emitted is cleaner than the air that goes in.
Weighing 600 lbs., AIRPod will cost just $10,000 and have a top speed of 50 mph. Its range is up to 100 miles, and with the right compressor — like a more powerful version of what gas stations use to pump tires — it can be re-filled in around 4 minutes. Even without a fancy high-powered compressor, the car will charge itself in just four hours if plugged into a standard electrical outlet.
On the episode of “Shark Tank” that aired May 1, most all the sharks saw the vision but many were discouraged by the fact Boone and Tucker only had a license to sell in Hawaii. So far, MDI retains the rights to all of France and TATA Motors, the company that owns Jaguar Land Rover, has just paid $30 million, according to Tucker, to buy the license for all of India. The shark’s concern was that if the product proves to be popular among consumers, the rest of the United States will be locked down in an instant.
And that’s why Herjavec’s deal is contingent upon the company securing the entire U.S. rights. Hawaii makes sense as a place to start; the pollution is high and the dependance on gasoline being shipped to the islands is great. And while AIRPod could be a big hit there, to get it running, Herjavec will require Boone and Tucker to move swifter than they perhaps intended. In this industry, though, if you don’t swim fast, the sharks will almost certainly catch you.