Powered by Air – The Future or a Neat Gadget?

Electricity, hydrogen, LPG, LNG, CNG, ethanol, biodiesel – they have all been suggested as possible replacements for oil-based petrol and diesel fuels.

But what about air?

That’s right. A Luxembourg-based company called MDI (Motor Development International) has developed an air-powered engine it says could revolutionise transport. Is it right, or will the MDI AIRPod just end up as another intriguing alternative fuel experiement that came to nothing?

I don’t know. But this review of the MDI AIRPod by US website Edmunds.com seems very impressive to me.

Clearly an air-powered engine will have zero direct emissions and the infrastructure required to provide compressed air should not be as challenging as that required to provide hydrogen or high-voltage battery charging.

A small fleet of AIRPods are due to go on trial at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport this year, to be used by Air France and KLM as passenger and cargo shuttles. Further trials are under negotiation and the AIRPod is due to be on sale in France by the end of this year – at just over  €8,000.

Watch this space.

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