Now, a mobike that is powered by compressed air

WASHINGTON: A motorcycle that is powered by compressed air has been developed by researchers at the National Central University in Taiwan.

Yu-Ta Shen and Yean-Ren Hwang, the researchers behind this discovery, say that such motorcycles may prove very helpful in fighting air pollution.

They have revealed that the current prototype can hold a little more than two and a half gallons of compressed air, which would carry the bike and driver about three-quarters of a mile.

Hwang said that the tank size will be increased three to four times in the future, and the maximum pressure that it can hold will be increased so that the motorcycle could go almost 20 miles without a refill, “which would be adequate for usage in the city. We would need an air compressor to refuel, most likely at a fuelling station.”

A research article published in the journal Applied Energy suggests that researchers elsewhere are also working on vehicles that would run on compressed air rather than gasoline or diesel fuel.

“We have a vehicle that will address that market, but it’s not a motorcycle,” Discovery News quoted Shiva Vencat, Executive Vice President of MDI, Inc. in Newport, N.Y., and CEO of Zero Pollution Motors, as saying.

Though he said that he could not release any more information, he did reveal that it would be a small vehicle.

He said that they Zero Pollution Motors is also planning to bring a six-seater air-powered car to the U.S. market after competing in the Automotive X Prize race in September 2009.

The car will run on compressed air only when travelling under 35 miles per hour.

Vencat expects that fueling stations will arise as the car gains popularity.

“The good thing is you could put a compressed air station on campuses, in malls,” he said. “You don’t have the security situation that you do with gasoline.”

ZPM plans to start a plant to manufacture the cars by late 2010.

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