A car powered by compressed air and a supplemental fuel source will be available in the US as early as 2010, Popular Mechanics reports. Manufacturer Zero Pollution Motors wants to introduce a $17,800 six-seater, which the company estimates will get 800 to 1,000 miles out of a tank of air and 8 gallons of either conventional gas, ethanol or another kind of biofuel.
The alternative fuel source would provide extra kick when the car goes faster than 35 mph, much like a gas/electric hybrid. ZPM also plans to make an economy model similar to India’s Tata and a three-seater, both of which will be powered entirely by compressed air. The firm is scheduled to build several plants and plans to eventually produce 10,000 “Air Cars” a year. (Read more cars stories.)