The prototype air car developed by French company MDI is almost ready for serial production, which will begin in France and should be under way in eight plants planned for Spain by 2005.
At a conference last November, Guy Negre, the engineer that conceived this zero-pollution car, explained that the first models will be produced at the pilot plant in France in 2004 and that identical plants will be opened in the countries that have signed production agreements by 2005. MDI reported 33 fully-paid reservations and more than 300 interested buyers worldwide.
Since the air car was presented in Spain in 2001, the technology and the concept have improved considerably. The engine is now driven only by compressed air obtained from cylinders installed in the vehicle. Improvements made to the 25 horsepower engine mean that the car will run for up to 200 km. It will also travel at 110 km per hour on motorways and recharge will take only take three to four minutes at service stations that supply compressed air. Negotiations are under way to ensure that existing service stations will provide this service.
The range has also grown. The five-seater CityCat has been complemented by the smaller MiniCat, which has three front seats, a central steering wheel and large boot. Modular buses are also planned to allow zero-pollution public transport.
MDI has already awarded licenses to set up production plants in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Netherlands, Australia, South Africa and Mexico, among other countries.
FURTHER INFORMATION : Spanish and UK Representative Miguel Celades
Travessera de Gr‡cia, 15, 08023 Barcelona
Tel: 0034 93 362 37 00
WEB SITE : http://www.theaircar.com EMAIL: [email protected]