The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

What's Up with Compressed Air-Powered Vehicles? Get the Info Here - VIDEO ENHANCED

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
MDI's Mini FlowAir compressed air-powered car

Recently, we were asked "What companies make Air Powered Cars?" Given all the noise that surfaced about 10 months ago concerning the state of this amazing technology we thought an update was needed.

There are at least three companies working on producing compressed air-powered vehicles. The most well-known is MDI, based in France. MDI is headed up by Guy Negre ( It is MDI's company that has, or had, an agreement with Tata Motors (India) to bring an air car to market. MDI (with an American affiliate) exhibited a working prototype of the car at last Spring's NY Auto Show, where it won an award for innovation. When Guy Negre originally made his deal with Tata Motors it was said that the vehicle would be ready for distribution in some global markets by 4th quarter of this year (2008). So far there's no sign of it, and the status of his relationship with Tata is unknown.

Click PLAY to watch a MDI promo video

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Air Car Factories design 1
For several years, Guy Negre had an associate in Spain, Miguel Celades Rex, but a business dispute ended their relationship. Miquel now runs Air Car Factories in Barcelona (
PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Air Car Factories design 2
At the beginning of 2008 Air Car Factories also announced that they would have a compressed air vehicle ready for the public at the end of the year. We had planned to visit the company two months ago, in September, to test drive the vehicle, but we were informed that the vehicle was still just in design and that there were no working test cars.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Angelo Di Pietro
Angelo Di Pietro in Melbourne, Australia ( has developed an air-powered rotary engine that he has put to work on small utility vehicles.
PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Di Pietro's vehicles
Di Pietro had been a Wankel rotary engine mechanic in Stuttgart, prior to emigrating to Australia in 1971; hence his familiarity with rotary engines.

Click PLAY to watch a video about Angelo's engine and vehicles

While none of these innovators are really ready for prime-time, the concept and the technology appears to be more than just vapor-ware. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to bringing a new engine to market than just proving it works, you also have to have a manufacturing and distribution relationship with carmakers that are really interested in making it happen, and who aren’t concerned that the new technology will make your other technology too obsolete or irrelevant.