Pressure and the Compressed Air-Powered Car

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure and the Compressed Air-Powered Car

While hybrid and fully electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to become the mainstream propulsion options for car buyers in the not to distant future, other mobility options are still being pursued. One of the more intriguing ones is compressed air. Like an EV, a compressed air car produces zero emissions. One of the more promising efforts was shown in 2015 in Shark Tank Season 6, Episode 26. In this episode, Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM) (a U.S. licensee for Luxembourg-based MDI) showed the AIRPOD 2.0 Compressed Air-Powered Car. With a price slightly over $10,000, the AIRPOD could achieve speeds of about 80 km/h (about 50 mph) and had a range of around 130 km (81 miles) using two 125-liter tanks storing compressed air at 3,594 psi (248 bar). The compressed air powered a reversible, 2-cylinder compressed air engine with an active chamber and variable valve timing.

Image shows a see-through mock-up of a car seat with the AIRPOD 2.0 compressed air tanks underneath.
The AIRPOD 2.0 compressed air is stored in two tanks located under the seat.
Source: AirPod-2.0-Presentation-20161031-3.pdf (

The maximum pressure available from existing gas station air compressors is around 150 psi so a compressed air-power vehicle, similar to an EV, would require extensive infrastructure changes.

Image shows a small, blue two-seater car. The door is in the middle and lifted to reveal the interior of the cab.
The two seat AIRPOD 2.0 is 83.83 inches long and 59.05 inches wide with a height of 66.92 inches and a 58.66-inch wheelbase.
Source: AirPod-2.0-Presentation-20161031-3.pdf (

Are we there yet? Apparently not. ZPM planned on producing the AIRPOD 2.0 for sale in the United States by mid-2019. It turns out that did not occur. This and all other compressed air-power vehicles efforts are currently in the stealth mode.

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