Tata Motors confirms air-car project | autos | Hindustan Times
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Tata Motors confirms air-car project

Tata Motors Ltd confirms that it has signed an agreement with French inventors to develop an air-powered car which would be run by compressed air tanks.

autos Updated: Feb 19, 2008 00:48 IST

Tata Motors Ltd has confirmed that it is collaborating to develop an air-powered car with French inventors, a newspaper reported.

Tata Motors Managing Director Ravi Kant told a daily that his group last year signed an agreement with MDI, a private French company developing cars driven by compressed air.

"It's a very exciting concept, this way of running a car. We hope something will come out of it," Kant said.

He confirmed Tata Motors had the technology rights for India and was "studying whether it can be used".

Tata was looking at applying the technology for both mobile and stationary uses, he said in an interview published on Sunday.

Reports last week said Tata was looking at the feasibility of applying the technology to power generation. According to MDI, which is based near Nice, compressed air technology can be applied to emergency generators.

Guy Negre, the French engineer who is working on the invention, was quoted saying last week his five-seater OneCat, with zero emissions in cities, will be marketed within a year.

"The first buyers [of the air car will be people who care about the environment," Negre said, adding: "It also has to be economical."

However, Kant said the group had "not yet announced when we will have a car".

A representative of the French company said Tata had bought rights to its engine, but not its car concept.

The paper said the car would be run by compressed air tanks at speeds below 50 km per hour, and by petrol, diesel or another fuel at high speeds.