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The "Airpod" car: $10,000 and runs on compressed air


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The AirPod car is absolutely fascinating to me for several reasons.

First, is that it runs on compressed air. Second is price, Third is range. Fourth is re-charge time.

Lastly, is that unlike other light-weight personal vehicles this one is enclosed and can be used in the rain and without a helmet.

Investability? I'm just waiting for it.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/air-powered-car-gets-5-million-shark-tank-deal-2015-05-12

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Rich,

I think since they are having to negotiate for US rights that this is the French idea and Luxembourg company that makes the engines, MDI, has been trying to get them into production for the last decade. Thanks for the update. The MDI website is confusing but I'll get though it in the next few. It's here: http://www.mdi.lu/english/2014%20aircity-eng.php

 

TaTa motors of India bas been trying to produce a prototype and it's been uphill all the way. Read this from 2012: http://autoweek.com/article/green-cars/make-way-air-powered-cars-maybe

 

Looks like it's not vaporware! It's going to be a gas. I didn't realize that you could really do anything with a bunch of hot air.

 

Bada boom.

 

I hope they do get it into production. I'd be interested. But I hope it is more like 125 miles per charge MDI is talking.

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Mark,

No one has ever talked free energy. Clean energy, not free. It cost the same to build a clean energy plant today. And it costs to deliver it by electric lines on a grid, micro grid, and to buy the hardware. So the big difference after initial build costs is clean energy fuel costs are zero. Coal plants, and natural gas plants will not only always have to buy fuel, but have to buy it at ever increasing and unstable prices.

 

Seriously I do want to see exactly how this engine works.

 

I think that by now, like it or not, everyone knows that solar, wind, hydro, and now geothermal are now, or soon going to be, the same or cheaper than fossil fueled energy production. Scientists are going to try to tap the heat down around our active volcanos to make steam to turn generators. Scientists are just getting DOE grants announced 15 May in this article:

 

5 Western States Get DOE Geothermal Research Grants

 

Excerpt:

 

"The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded grants to scientists in five western states to do research in geothermal methods that can develop the region’s huge potential. It has been estimated that geothermal in this region could potentially generate enough electricity to power about 100 million homes.

 

Two million dollars was awarded to the research scientists for the first phase of a two-phase project. The second phase is another round of funding, but this time the amount is much larger: $29 million.

 

This might sound like a lot of money to give to some individual researchers, but is to build something called the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy. This concept is actually a lab that would be a place for conducting research in order to develop enhanced geothermal systems, in other words, the kind of geothermal that is needed to access deep stores of very hot water. Energy.gov says of FORGE:

 

FORGE’s mission is to enable cutting-edge research and drilling and technology testing, as well as to allow scientists to identify a replicable, commercial pathway to EGS. In addition to the site itself, the FORGE effort will include a robust instrumentation, data collection, and data dissemination component to capture and share data and activities occurring at FORGE in real-time. The innovative research, coupled with an equally-innovative collaboration and management platform, is truly a first of its-kind endeavor.

Geothermal doesn’t get nearly as much press or attention from the public as other forms of energy. It even gets less than solar, wind power, and energy storage. At the same time, it is a reliable, clean source of renewable energy, and will most likely help us transition from fossil fuels to energy that is better for us and the planet. Geothermal activity is mostly underground and enhanced geothermal systems are for tapping deep resources. The technology is not visible like solar panels and wind turbines, but geothermal is still important."

 

The whole article with pictures and links is here: http://cleantechnica.com/2015/05/15/5-western-states-get-doe-geothermal-research-grants/

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The technology of an compressed air car is simple. The new work in is the high pressure tanks that are shaped into the lower chassis and is not just a round tank.

 

Compressed air is another kind of a battery. You take one kind of energy and create the compressed air. The compressed air is used to create mechanical energy. It has an advantage in that the transfer of a "fueling station" can be faster than say an electric charge into a electrical battery. But as you said TATA has been working on this for a long time so it must not be as easily successful as it seems.

 

Geothermal is not new either. Iceland has been doing it for years. The issue is the "hot water" needed to push turbines is not as plentiful near the surface in other parts of the world meaning drilling and pumping costs add to the equation. But the concept is good until some quack decides that the drilling of deep crust water is causing earthquakes or some other BS earth problem.

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Apparently, this car will be going into production in Hawaii this year:

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1096772_tata-airpod-compressed-air-car-to-launch-in-hawaii-this-year-report

 

I watched the Shark Tank episode on YouTube where the MDI franchisee got $5-million - but it was based upon the Shark's right to negotiate for the continental US rights.

 

About sharks - if there's any REAL potential for the AirPod car then you can bet that the world's financial sharks will be all over this thing. Which will make it more difficult to see any rapid deployment of it.

 

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The Telsa promoters won't be very happy if this one actually works and turns out to be more than the stream of promises they push! :P

 

We also watched that episode of Shark Tank with fascination. Those guys seemed to fell that the idea has some significant investment future. Wonder why Telsa has not been there? For me, I'll not be basing my future on either of these companies as an investment since unlike the Sharks, I don't have a few million, or even a few hundred thousand dollars that I could stand to loose.

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The two problems with compressed air power are efficiency, losses in compressing the air and in turning the compressed air into motive power and storage density, as higher pressures are more dangerous to deal with particularly in an automotive environment with all the possible damage scenarios.

 

If an efficient and safe method can be found then it will be a great option but as batteries keep improving I don't see it as a long term winner.

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I would be a buyer even though I know that first year production is the worst.

My motor scooter (Honda Reflex 250) cost about $3.00 to fill with premium gas and gets 60+ mpg.

I love it, but I don't like the required helmet, parking in the rain or parking in the blazing sun.

Tesla isn't a comparable option.

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Rich,

I had a Honda Helix called Felix. Here's a pic!

P8030023_zpsc6c26a29.jpg

 

I used to restore Hot VWs and Porsches. If you are ever in the Shreveport LA area give me a shout I'll PM my contact info just in case. I have a feeling we'll have a lot to talk about. I've got pics of lots of my cars and motorcycles/scooters too.

 

Kirk, perhaps Elon Musk didn't go on Shark Tank, because he was already a billionaire, and was busy being the shark. After he sold PayPal, he funded Tesla, and Space X, and later Solar City. Only Tesla and Solar City are public, he still owns SpaceX privately. What a comment! Lol!

 

He engineered the Rocket engines for SpaceX. You can substitute promoting with the word sharing.

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BTW I have been a scooter fan since my first 125cc Sears Allstate I bought back in 1975 used with the three speed twist grip shifter. It only did 40 mph but for going to and from work through the few city streets to the firing ranges on Lackland AFB back in 75-80 it was great. But I will have to go through my hard copy pics to see if I have any pics of it. They were Vespas. I was stationed at LAFB 75-78 nthat time and went from the Allstate to a Kawasaki triple threat 500 2 stroke which was the fastest bike made when it originally came out, but handled like a brick, then I got a 75 Norton 850 Commando and soon after another for my wife. They were 25 serial numbers apart and one was set up as a roadster and the other as an INterstate model with the big tanlk and full dress. I also had a Honda Elite 105 in Germany that I used and my kids did too once they had licenses too, because I had two Honda Goldwing's and then bought a new 1996 Harley Electra Glide classic which I brought back to the US with us for our retirement tour of a year at LAFB running the 100 acres of ranges and Superintendent of the program for the basics, OTS, Base, SP and the Security Police Academy. I sold the Harley when we went full time on retirement from the AF at 45. It bought both my used 1 ton Diesel truck and my HitchHiker fiver. I later got a Honda Elite 150 while in California for our last year on the road that was almost, but not quite an interstate ride. It rode in the LR of our second rig the Damon Challenger that was a lemon from hell. Felix the Helix was highway capable but still not "cruisable" at 75 mph. I sold it and decided to lay off two wheelers as I had about 20-30 of them from age 15 in Connecticut.

 

Here is the Elite. We took this pic on my FIL's property where he rents three trailers, and we had our winter quarters set up. They built their house and solar system with an attached beauty shop one the adjacent 6 acres that he also bought after that 8. Our RV awning tie down can be seen in it:

IMGP0003Small_zpsb7583775.jpg

 

And a full pic of Felix:

P8030018_zps95b01894.jpg

 

You can see a dedicated Propane tank and the Generac beige 15kw backup generator in the background behind Felix. We have Village Natural gas and all utilities but NG has less BTUs and the tank insures a two week energy reserve so I liked the idea of not depending on any utilities in a temporary power outage that have lasted up to a 5 day period her in years past. That trailer and our new house both have gas stoves furnaces and water heaters that use the Village Natural Gas, as it is fine for cooking and water heating as well as the house, and cheaper than propane too.The new house is a manufactured home on concrete and will get the new 25kw liquid cooled Generac running on Propane as well. It will do until Solar City expands to Louisiana, and the Tesla backup batteries are up to speed and scaled in price.Folks just don't realize they are great going through puddles because of the floor. And with the taller windshield they kept me dry as long as I was going 35 mph or more in rain. Scoots are a blast.

 

My next vehicle is going to be the Elio if they ever get into production here in the Shreveport plant. A Caddo Commissioner ( Shreveport is in Caddo Parish, down here they call Counties parishes because it was originally French Catholic here and still is from Alec on south) is under investigation for possible conflict of interest charges for his relationship with Elio. Here is the local news story. I hope they get past this without affecting Elio's chances to go into production

http://www.walb.com/story/29130919/caddo-commissioner-requests-ethics-opinion-on-conflict-of-interest-concerns-related-to-elio .

 

I know it might never be built, but I hope that my hundred dollars helped make it happen. Yes I can afford to spend $100.00 on a dream and have nothing more than the T-Shirt. But I would much rather wear it in my Elio!

 

All we can do is wait. If my Elio doesn't happen and this air car does I'll get one instead of the Elio. I need at least an 100 mile range though. That looks under discussion. We can get T-shirts That say Air Heads, and proud of it. Like gear heads and diesel heads! :D

 

Safe travels!

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Could be but his fundraising apart form that and the touring is having an impact. They have gotten legislators in every state they visited to change their laws so three wheeled, enclosed autocycles will not require helmets worn inside them.

 

They also have gotten several anti direct to buyer factory car sales states to exempt them (and Tesla) because neither have any dealers that would be hurt by direct to factory sales.

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Yeah so I've heard. Well I can't be right about every new tech or product pick. But I also buy tickets for charity to raffles of new homes for St Jude's Children's hospital here, and another for House for hope, and this year added a Denver charity for inner city schools raffling off a Tesla. All limit their tickets to 5000. If I never win I feel very good about supporting them. I look at investing small amounts in new tech as part of keeping the faith.

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I'd be happy with an Airpod, and an Elio, and a Tesla Model 3 for long distance with supercharger turned on. And of course, until Tesla and/or others do a 1/2, 3/4, and 1 ton EV Truck, I'll stick with my Ram Diesel 2500. It would cost less in insurance and fuel and taxes to own those four instead of our current three. Today we have a 2009 HHR, a 2012 Kia Rio 5Door hatch, and a 2006 low mileage Ram 2500 5.9 Cummins getting 20 mpg. I gave no problem selling ours after buying each replacement cash. We only buy liability, uninsured motorist, and non collision comprehensive so unless the accident is our fault, our cars and trucks are covered too for very little. I had to buy beaters in my teens cash because I could not afford new cars and the required full coverage insurance, and it became a very lucrative habit. And yes, all our Porsches, BMWs, Mercedes, and all our custom vehicles in the past, and our current vehicles were purchased cash, and have only liability on them. Oh we've had a few misses where others almost hit us, but then, that's covered. My non collision comprehensive covered anew fiver when our HH was totaled by an RV repair shop. If I can't afford to replace them, I certainly can't afford to drive them. But at this point, 47 years driving, I think I'm ahead by several hundred thousand dollars.

 

So with that new stable of four vehicles my fuel costs and insurance costs both drop. But the fun factor skyrockets!

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