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MDI AirPod at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show

The AIRPod is an alternative fuel vehicle in development by Motor Development International that is powered by compressed air.[1] The AIRPod has being planned to be produced in three different configurations that will vary the number of seats and amount of cargo storage while keeping the same basic chassis.[2] It is designed as an zero-emission urban vehicle. Prototypes have been tested by KLM/AirFrance for use as emission-free vehicles in airports.

MDI has been promising production of the AirPod since 2000 but as of March 2015 none have gone on sale.

In September 2013 it was announced that the car would be manufactured in Sardinia, Italy, for sale in summer 2014. As of 2015 no car has yet been manufactured.

Technical Characteristics (Range, mileage and speed are claimed by MDI with no independent verification)[edit]

Technical Characteristics AIRPod AIRPod Cargo
Type Urban carrier without driving licence
Number of Seats 3-4 1
Length (m) 2.07
Width (m) 1.60
Height (m)
Turning radius (m)
Weight when empty (kg)
Useful cargo (kg)
Cargo (m³)
44P06 à chambre active
Total cylinder volume (cm³)
180 (active chamber + expansion chamber)
Maximum power (kW)
4 kW (5.45 cv) with 18 bars
Maximum torque (Nm)
Chassis / Body
Composite sandwich (glass fiber / polyurethane foam)
Front wheels
2 wheel "Diabolo"
Train arrière
Bras tirés
Front : 10×4.00-5 Rear :  100/90-16
Rear discs
Differential adjustment of read wheel speed
Energy Recovery
Electronically controlled alternators during breaking
Carbon fiber on thermoplastic
Tank Volume (litres) '
Tank pressure (bar)
Stability control
Gyroscopic assisted system with control of trajectory
Rear view
LCD screen
Active Security
External airbag
Steering control
Onboard Calculator for steering and motor management
Maximum Speed (km/h)
45 km/h without license – 70 km/h with license
Range in urban cycle (km)
Refuel time (minute)
Cost per 100 km (€)

Production model[edit]

In September 2013 it was claimed that the vehicle will be on sale from summer 2014 with a base model with 100 km range starting at 7000 Euros, and one with an improved engine, that uses some fuel in addition to the compressed air, giving 250 km range for 8000 Euros. The vehicles will be manufactured in Bolotana, Sardinia, Italy.[3] In August 2014 MDI posted photos of a partially completed demonstration assembly line in their Carros R&D facility, and illustrations and descriptions of the proposed finished assembly line. [4]


  1. ^ Meet the AIRPod, CNN 10 December 2010
  2. ^ AIRPod. Motor Development International
  3. ^
  4. ^ MDI News page (French) press release dated 2014-08-07, with attached PDF (visited 2014-08-14)

External links[edit]