Frickin’ Sweet Air Car

Found this online when I was bored on shift so I thought I’d send it along. With any luck, it will be a big hit. Sadly, that’s unlikely. Oh well.

On the 20th September a car with an air-compressed engine, invented by the Frenchman Guy Nègre, will be presented in London. The presentation will take place at 10 am in the Millennium Hotel (17 Sloane Street, Knightsbridge, London SW1). The aim of the event is to present MDI´s technology to the public before its imminent arrival on the market and to offer to businessmen and institutions the chance to take part in establishing the factories in the UK.

One of the many challenges of today’s society is maintaining our lifestyle with minimal repercussions to the environment. This is why Guy Nègre has invented a “zero pollution” car which involves no combustion.

The MDI car can reach a speed of 68 mph and has a road coverage of roughly 124 miles -some 8 hours of travel- which is more than double the road coverage of an electric car. When recharging the tank, the car needs to be connected to the mains (220V) for 3 to 4 hours or attached to an air pump in a petrol station for only 2 minutes.

Economy and the ecological benefits are the main advantages for the client since the car´s maintenance cost is 10 times less than that of a petrol-run car, costing 1 pound for the car to travel for up to 8 hours or to cover 124 miles in an Urban area.

How does it work?

90m3 of compressed air is stored in fibre tanks. The expansion of this air pushes the pistons and creates movement. The atmospheric temperature is used to re-heat the engine and increase the road coverage. The air conditioning system makes use of the expelled cold air. Due to the absence of combustion and the fact there is no pollution, the oil change is only necessary every 31.000 miles.

At the moment, four models have been made: a car, a taxi (5 passengers), a Pick-Up truck and a van. The final selling price will be approximately 5.500 pounds.

The Company

“Moteur Development International” (MDI) is a company founded in Luxembourg, based in the south of France and with its Commercial Office in Barcelona. MDI has researched and developed the Air Car over 10 years and the technology is protected by more than 30 International patents.

MDI´s expansion has just begun and they have already signed 50 factories in Europe, America and Asia. The company is offering 20 licences in the UK as exclusive manufacturing areas for cars as well as offering other licences in the nautical and public transport sectors.

The Factory

It is predicted that the factory will produce 3.000 cars each year, with 70 staff working only one 8-hour shift a day. If there were 3 shifts some 9.000 cars could be produced a year.

MDI is undertaking a long-term franchise business. The graphs show an important profit margin, which will be increased by the subsequent exclusive spare-parts market.

You can find more information on the Web page: or telephone +34 93 362 37 00 (English) (Spanish) (Portuguese)

21 thoughts on “Frickin’ Sweet Air Car

  1. I love the concept.  I just wish they would start making low and non-polluting cars that at least looked good.  I’m still a sucker for style sometimes.  🙁

  2. The one problem I can see with such a design is that a high-pressure air tank is a potential bomb. The greatest engineering task would to make the vehicle safe during collisions. I once saw the remains of a car that had a scuba tank explode in the trunk… a bundle of dynamite couldn’t have done a better job.

  3. So it doesn’t explode same way like ordinary tanks causing immediate release of all


    Lots of variation in forces from one car accident to another.  At the very least I can imagine a flash-frozen passenger as an entire tank discharges through its crushed fibre frame all at once.  LOL

  4. Yay a car that runs on clean air thats all well and good apart from the fact that the air has to be compressed. calling this type of technology “clean” is misleading since the the process of compressing the air by any means will still produce waste products the same as any internal combustion engine.

  5. iisaw:
    The one problem I can see with such a design is that a high-pressure air tank is a potential bomb.

    quite unlike petrol.

    i’m still trying to get my head around this one. it sounds too good to be true. but if this concept does turn into a reality i’ll get a driver’s license just for this car.

  6. My skepticism is fairly high on this…as another poster said, it seems too good to be true.

    The specs of the car are more than enough to get me to and from work, despite my somewhat lengthy 40 mile drive, with room left for errands—and all for 3 minutes with a gas-station air compressor—and all for significantly less than my current vehicle cost.

    I guess I’d have to see it written up in a technical journal as opposed to a corporate website…otherwise I have to throw it in with as a company that might be real, offering real products, or may just be an elaborate hoax.

  7. I’ve not looked at the links yet, but I share your skepticism. Cars that run on compressed air aren’t new—several prototypes have been built by various people in the past—but the problem has always been in the efficiency of the process. It works, but the distances you can travel on a tank of air are too short to be practical or the tank required to get performances similar to gasoline engines would be so huge as to be impractical.

    One of the excusesexplanations the Big Three like to use for not putting more alternative fuel cars on the road is that no one will buy a car that doesn’t get at least 300 miles to a fill up of fuel (whatever that fuel happens to be). There’s probably some truth to that as fully electric vehicles have never been all that popular when they were offered mainly because you were lucky to get half that distance and it took 8 hours to recharge the vehicle.

    That said, technology marches along at a sprint and I suppose it may be possible to come up with technology to improve the efficiency of a number of alternative fuels. This’d be great if it’s true, but I’ll wait to see what the early adopters have to say before I jump on that ship.

  8. One of the excusesexplanations the Big Three like to use for not putting more alternative fuel cars on the road is that no one will buy a car that doesn’t get at least 300 miles to a fill up of fuel (whatever that fuel happens to be).

    In that case, they must not have spoken to the Japanese, and Ford must not be among the big three anymore.

    Because during my holidays in New Zealand I drove a Suzuki Cultus and a Ford [Whatever, a compact as well] and none of them got more than 200 miles on a full tank.

    As for the exploding tanks – mmmh, maybe a designated rupture point point upwards?

  9. Skepticism aside, the inevitable Hubbert Peak will force the eventual adoption of alternatives that are not economically competitive today or do not meet current customer expectations.

  10. Stirling engines are old news.  It sounds like its an complex stirling engine connected to a series of large batteris to supply the heat that power the car.  It takes four hours to recharge though so it would be worthless for long distances. I bet it lacks in acceleration, horsepower and torque.

  11. It isn’t a Stirling engine.  If you have ever used an air-powered wrench or sander it seems to be a really big one of those.

    The Amish use compressed-air powered saws in their furniture factories – for some reason that is OK with their religion but electricity is not.  tongue wink It works great, and is far cooler than electric-powered motors.

  12. The Amish use compressed-air powered saws in their furniture factories – for some reason that is OK with their religion but electricity is not.

    And how do they compress the air? Horse-power???

  13. Thanks for that link, Elwed!  I just love this –

    Despite all the added conveniences that (diesel generators,) compressed air and batteries have bought, the Amish life is still one of deep-rooted simplicity. Their homes still lack TV’s and electric lights, they still travel by horse drawn buggies, and on wash day, their clothes are still hung on a clothes lines to dry just as they’ve always been. In the end, the core values are still firmly in place.

    Yeah, that’s a lot simpler than just hooking up to the power grid!  LOL  They’re an odd bunch.

    Anyway, compressed air does have some advantages for powering tools.  Air-powered motors are self-cooling, for one.  I presume the same would be true of the much large one in an air-powered car.

  14. Yeah, that’s a lot simpler than just hooking up to the power grid!

    Indeed. Hey, we are not using YOUR electricity, we are making our own! And its not really evil electricity anway, because we use it to drive compressors only.

    Sheesh, they are as sensible as most other religions taboos. Why couldn’t they simply have a law against eating penguins instead? That would be much simpler to follow.

  15. In all fairness, the use of generators was precipitated by government regulations. I’m not all that familiar with the Amish, but I would interpret this regulation as a lethal threat to their way of life and religious beliefs. So what if they bent the rules a bit and are being smart about it?

    I don’t have it in me to bash a sect that’s by all appearances pacifistic and doesn’t bother anybody.

  16. I have been following the progress of this sensational invention for years and will be quite elated when MDI finally introduces it product to market.  I noticed that this car doesn’t have a way to heat itself in cool tempetures without using fossil fuels.  I have a solution to this problem and would like to contact MDI or even Guy Negre, but I haven’t been able to locate a proper e-mail address forn either to leave a comment.  I would appreciate any assistance or a productive suggestion o.f how to make this possible.  Guy, if you are out there…..This isnt a joke, I have your heating problems solved.  Honest, I won’t waste your time.  Sincerely, Gee

  17. Well, I can’t give you a point of contact unfortunately, but I will give you this, you have a point; the technology is solid. I did quite a bit of research into the matter and this really is an incredible machine. The wonderful thing is that its incredibly fuel efficient. Something on the order of 75% of fuel converted into work as opposed to a gasoline-powered vehicle of comparable size where only 8% of the energy from combustion is used to actually move the vehicle. I for one, still want one.

  18. MDI’s air-powered vehicle was highlighted in a TV-show segment that is currently available on youtube.  The host takes the vehicle for a ride and seems happy with the performance although I don’t think he mentioned the range of the vehicle.

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