Air Car confusion

After doing a little online research last night on the Air Car so I could respond to a reader’s query I became quite confused. A week ago there was only one Air Car, the one designed by MDI Enterprises S.A. and manufactured by Tata in India. Now if you search for Air Car you’ll find The Air Car Factories S.A. at the top of your search results.

Now here is where things get interesting.

On the MDI site there is a Warning that says MDI Enterprises S.A. has officially stopped commercial relationships with Miguel Celades following serious commercial misconduct. So what you say?

As it turns out Miguel Celades is the man behind The Air Car Factories. On The Air Car Factories web site there is an Important Notice saying that The Air Car Factories S.A. does not have any relation with MDI nor with Guy Nègre, the man behind MDI.

So there has obviously been a big falling out between two of the people behind the original Air Car. While I have no real information on the cause of the split it seems that the division can only hurt the development of the Air Car.

At this time The Air Car Factories do not have a working prototype car. However, their aim is to develop a car powered by compressed air for production. In the meantime they appear to be selling electric scooters and electric bicycles.

Source: MDI, The Air Car Factories


11 Responses

  1. The air car is total crap. All of the energy to drive the engine in the air car comes from the compressed air it carries in its own air tanks and so, where do you think the energy to compress this air comes from. Yes, you guessed it, from a bloody great big thermal power plant (black or brown coal probably). So, when you add up (multiply actually) all of the efficiencies in the energy conversion chain, ie, coal to electricity, transmission of electricity to your compressor, electric motor driving your air compressor, then compressed air driving your cars air motor, it actaully turns out that the air car is a few times less efficient than the good old petrol motor. (kWhr to kWhr) Bummer eh! Basically this means that if lots of us drive air cars, pollution will greatly increase because of the massive increase in base load electrical generation to drive all of the air compressors. The easiest way to reduce pollution now, is to buy vehicle appropriate to your needs (ie, don’t buy a thirsty SUV for shopping and running the kids around, get a 4cyl hatchback) and use the bloody thing less. Simple really.

  2. I am not too keen on the MDI or similar that use piston engines, but I think dave, although your points are valid, there is still some promise in the technology potential.

    While it is true that the air needs to be compressed requiring significant energy, this pollution source is centralized to power stations. If renewable energy and such were used and other methods used to clean up existing technologies (like algae farms fueled by CO2 power stations to make bio-diesel and scrub some emissions) then this has more potential.

    I too was very skeptical (still am) however to it’s benefit, we are considering electric and hybrid vehicles which use resource hungry and expensive, not to mention toxic, batteries to store power. Compared to this, an empty tank is a significant step forward in storage.

    It would be interesting to know how electric recharging compares to air compression power consumption for the same number of kms. I suspect it could be less and “refueling” could take minutes instead of hours.

    Also, air is all around and the technology to compress it is available and easy to achieve. It does not require huge industries drilling holes in the ground to make the technology run.

    Compared to hybrids and the like, the technology is also far more affordable, less than $20K which means more people may take up such technology.

    This link shows what MDI are doing, but also a local inventor’s idea. Perhaps strating on a smaller scale in warehousing might be a good step into the technology and clean up the workplace.

    Still, people mustn’t be naive about these things. They do not run on “free air” as I saw one MDI promotion suggest, nevertheless, I think the technology does need to be explored, funded and developed further.

  3. Generally, I’m with pete on this one. Who says you have to get your power from a coal-fired powerstation? But dave does have it right on the energy conversion chain – actually he missed a ‘link’: coal to heat, heat to kinetic (mechanical), kinetic to electric and at each one energy is lost in heat – they even have cooling towers to waste it.

    What I like with compressed air is the close nexus between the ‘mechanical’ storage and the mechanical application ( less energy loss I would think). Then all we need is a mechanical energy source to complete the picture –

    Wind is currently in use but needs improvement. And I think we need to be smart in how we do it – I was investigating some time ago using a wind turbine to pump water. Sure, there were those who claimed they had the exact solution but I found that the system used a wind turbine powered generator which supplied an electric water pump – how absurd. If you’ve got a spinning shaft why not just run the pump direct.

  4. I dont have the same trouble that you do finding information about MDI on the web – just go to youtube or google and type “aircar” .

    You will see that is even advertised in google ads to try to make it easier to find amongst the falsehoods.

    That said there is a lot of total garbage on the internet – BUT – you will find the correct information at the website:

    All other information may be out of date or non-genuine. I would suggest disregarding information found elsewhere.

    MDI is based in Luxemburg and operating in France and the enormous Tata are just one of many (40+) MDI licensees. Tata will make product in India for the Indian domestic market only.

    The spanish company had only a website but are not allowed to use the word MDI anymore.

    ITMDI-Energy Ltd will make MDI product in Australia for the Australian domestic market expected to commence in 2008. ITMDI-Energy Ltd is 20% owned by MDI and 80% owned by Indranet Technologies Ltd (NZ).

    The MDI technology heats air outside the engine to expand it then the air enters the engine and is used twice, firstly by pushing a piston and then by expanding on top of a second piston. Its very simple stuff – no need to go looking for complications that arent there. Watch the CNN and CBS and Ch9(Aus) TV news clips and videos of the engines running on testbenchs.

    If you still cant understand the MDI technology ask a friend who understands basic physics to explain it to you.

    If you still cant understand after looking at
    why not contact your local MDI licencee – after all they are all around the world.


  5. Got it Right!…… good to see your comments MrT, you are correct it is hard to find good information about MDI Air Car. We have a fan website following both MDI and IndraNet

  6. Businesses have had a chance (major car manufacturers) to develop a clean car for decades, why has this not happened? It is the comfort in large profits and a trait found in the human species called ‘GREED’. The internal combustion engine has not really changed since ‘FORD’ mass produced it in the 1930’s. It is very inefficient as it looses a hell of allot of energy through heat loss. The electric car will always be expensive due to the elements to produce the batteries etc. They are not called RARE EARTHS for nothing.
    Peak oil is another issue as well as climate change that will have a huge impact on these engines. Good to see somebody in the world trying to do something.

    It is much much EASIER to sit here and knock inventors than for people to get off their AR$es and either support or help.

    Where would we be without the wonderful inventors, MAD or otherwise.

    Keep it up MDI!!! It may only be part of the solution, there will be no SILVER BULLET to save this planet from the copius and pugnant carbon pumped into the asmosphere everyday.

    Private business have had 10 years to try and curb this toxic processes but ‘NO’. A big stick is needed for those CO2 producers and a great carrot is required for those who are trying to invent a cure or at least help deminish the problem.

    PS. for climate change sceptics, there is also another consequence of CO2 emissions which could be far worse than an increase in temperature. OCEAN ACIDIFICATION, directly caused by the ocean (carbon sink) trying to absorb the huge quantity of carbon dioxide in the asmosphere. When limstone meets acid, it melts. Most corals are made from limestone and a little creature called PLANKTON also has a limestone component. If we loose plankton the food chain collapses. Ever consider this and it has nothing to do with temperature!!!

  7. mmm….foodchain collapse – the news just gets better! I see free thought and real information sharing going on – watch out!

    While we have our brains turned on here’s a thought on food chains – I know its “radical” but how about we grow our food in our backyards??? – or let someone else do it for you – sharing local land has been done across some parts of Europe and Asia etc for centuries and removes a large part of the cost of food and disentangles food costs from energy costs + creates healthy local jobs, better utilizes land, reduces damaging large scale agriculture and its water hungry, soil destroying footprint on nature can be minimised rather than continuing to chew through forests to grow “green washed” centralised profit tools like Soy. Anything that reduces the unfair demands on truck drivers and eliminates excess freighting over centralised systems has to be good. Would be great to see a global food co-op created to spread this type of very simple principle rapidly across the world. Might upset the “food chain” though – being that its now a highly competitive profit driven commercial logistics chain far removed from nature. Its a “brave new” corporate food chain where sadly we are of course the ones being “farmed”.

    Has anyone seen the latest data on diminishing availability of hydrocarbons per capita?

    080808 – has anyone seen the olympics through the airborne bits of Australia etc?

    Really – its got to be time for all countries to take some responsibility for exports like oil, gas, coal and uranium OR start sending them a better more sustainable solution than what currently equates to burning mountains of dirt.

    “Blessed are those who bring peace for they are the Sons Of God”
    (There’s a riddle)

  8. The rotary air engine looks fantastic … & developed in Australia … seems far more efficient than the piston engine ….. why haven’t we heard more about this … ???

  9. MDI air car is a scam !

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