Borne on the wind

 

Editors of Eco Forum, the newsletter of the South Dakota Resources Coalition, seem thrilled about the prospect of a compressed-air car coming to America. Indian carmaker Tata bought the rights to manufacture it from a company called Zero Pollution Motors. The technology seems almost too good to be true: The stripped-down six-seater averages 106 miles to the gallon and isn’t picky about fuel, running on gasoline, diesel or vegetable oil, while its tank of compressed air can be refilled by plugging into a wall socket. Downsides are its top speed, which is only 35 miles per hour, and a cost estimated at $18,000. Production is slated for 2011 in America, although Tata, developer of the much-hyped, super-cheap Nano car, says it won’t be setting up plants, just selling rights to the technology.

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