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Page added on June 29, 2007

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New: Cheap car that runs on compressed air

By the end of next year, the first car that runs on compressed air will be sold in Belgium. The engine is based on a French design.


It sounds like an invention from professor Gobelijn, but it is real: a car that doesn’t run on gasoline or diesel, but on … air. The engine of the car is an invention from the French engineer Guy Negre, who worked in the Formula1 racing industry. Negre has been working on his invention, the MDI, since 1991.

The pressurized air in the tank of an MDI is under the pressure of 300 bar, about one and a half time as much as a airtank used for scuba diving. That air pressure drives the pistons of the engine. The basis principle is similar to the combustion engine, except that no CO2 and other gasses are emitted, except regular air.


Negre offers interested parties a licence to produce the car in other countries. The Indian company Tata already did so. Tata will bring the car on the market for 1835 euro (2400 dollars).


“Of course, an engine that runs on air is fantastic, but that is not the only revolutionary aspect of the MDI,” says Jan Peetermans. Peetermans has acquired a licence for Belgium, and intends to bring the cars on the market in the course of next year. ‘The entire production concept is based on the aviation industry. We don’t work with metal, but with polyester and aluminium. The car meets all safety requirements.’


The production of the MDI is in the country where it is being sold. Peetermans wants to build at least one, and possibly two factories to produce sufficient Air Cars for Belgium. Each year, we hope to make up to 7500 vehicles. ‘By producing locally, we safe a lot on transportation costs. We also save on import feess, that can run up significantly.’


Peetermans wants to give a large part the price advantages to his customers . The cheapest model we will sell in Belgium will be less that 4000 euro (5300 US dollar). And that is for a real car.

Original text in Dutch (Flemish):


Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium)



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