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ZPM launches crowd-sourced funding campaign to build compressed-air cars in US

Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM), the US licensee for Luxembourg-based MDI, the developer of the AirPod compressed-air car (earlier post, earlier post), has launched an indiegogo campaign to crowd-source $300,000 to fund US-based production of the AirPod.

ZPM has attained rights to build the first of several modular plants in the United States; Hawaii is the anticipated location of the first production plant.

ZPM intends to follow the MDI “Dealer – Manufacturer – Partner” concept by creating turnkey micro-production factories to manufacture their vehicles locally in regions throughout the United States. These plants are intended to sell 80% of the vehicles in the same geographic location they are produced. In the MDI production concept, the suppliers are chosen in a way to reduce costs, logistics and freight. All the purchases are managed at the MDI central purchasing unit, to benefit from the advantages of bulk buying.

The campaign runs until 22 March, and so far has raised $349 from 11 funders.

Pod 1.jpg
AirPod. Click to enlarge.

The AirPod is one of several derivative vehicles designed by MDI based on its Compressed Air Engine (CAE) invented by Guy Negre, CEO and founder of MDI. In 2007, MDI signed an agreement with Tata Motors for the application of CAE technology in India.

The MDI Engines consist of an active chamber and are made up of modules of two opposing cylinders. A proprietary connection rod allows the retention of the piston at top dead center during 70° of crankshaft rotation—providing enough time to establish the required pressure in the cylinder. These modules can be coupled to make groups of 4 or 6 cylinders for a range of uses from 4 to 75 hp.

The AirPod, equipped with a 4.5 kW/15 N·m motor, stores compressed air at 350 bar in a 175 liter tank. Range is 220 km (137 miles) on the EEC urban cycle, with a maximum speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). The energy requirement of the MDI AirPod on the EEC urban cycle is 0.56 kWh.



Ugh, will this thing not die?


There is a guy in Italy that designed a rotary air motor than powers a small flat bed delivery cart made for warehouses and produce storage facilities where no pollution is allowed.

It was a great design and actually had an application.


Here is the design, they have gone beyond the warehouse cart and have a small car as well now.


MDI is not dead yet because TATA bought into the idea years ago.


Why "compressed" air when liquid air gives you greater range?


Never mind my question, I just remembered reading something about the MDI idea: It was suppose to include some kind of in-car regeneration (brake regen or plug-in) and of course an onboard device wouldn't be able to liquify air, only compress it.

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