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MDI AirCar MiniCat
MDI MiniCat compressed air-powered car is said to go 125-170 miles on 25kWh of electric power and at freeway speeds.

Air Car America

Exclusive audio interview with ZEV CAT president, Jean-Pierre Maeder

By Bill Moore

Is it really possible to run a four passenger car or a minivan or a pickup on nothing but compressed air?

You bet! MDI Air Car in France has done it, but getting the idea off the drawing board and into the showroom is another matter, as its developers and investors have discovered over the last half decade since the car was officially unveiled.

But it appears that the "times they are converging" as battery development continues its slow pace of progress and fuel cells remain a distant dream. Maybe the way to power the "electric" cars of today isn't chemically, but mechanically with air compressed to 4,500 psi.

That's what Swiss-born engineer and San Francisco Bay-area entrepreneur Jean-Pierre Maeder is counting on as he races to line-up the necessary investment capital to begin manufacturing the MDI Air Car in Northern California. [ZEV CAT web site]

In this 48 minute-long interview, he talks about his plans and the amazing Air Car, which he's driven on MDI's development grounds in the south of France. Here's a car, he says, that can go at freeway speeds for 125-170 miles on its charge of compressed air, held in three under-the-floorboard tanks for less than $3 a charge.

To listen to the three-part interview click the Play Audio links at the top right. You will need the RealPlayer plug-in available for free from Real.Com.

Times Article Viewed: 12019
Published: 02-Aug-2003

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