Using compressed air to power cars is something people have experimented with since at least 1840. The Airpod is a new entry into the alternative car market. It’s small and futuristic looking like many other models, but with one key difference: it runs on air. The mid-sized model fits three passengers, although one must face backward like he’s being punished for something, and is streamlined almost to the point of becoming a sphere. Its tank can hold 175 liters of air, which a driver gets either at a specialized fueling station or by activating an onboard electric motor to suck it in. Its makers say that filling er’ up will cost a paltry €1, and that a full tank of air can last for roughly 125 miles.
Would need its own lane or communities devoid of trucks and SUVs, but a lovely idea. Possibly some stability issues — think of the Reliant Robin — especially solo. And the third world, probably the first big market, is pocked with potholes. In mass production under automated, just-in-time manufacturing, the price would drop by half or more. Exciting — if not exactly a thrilling driving experience. But the future has to be more utilitarian, doesn’t it.