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Volvo Air Motion Concept

The Volvo Air Motion Concept car is powered by air

This is a car from Volvo that is powered by air. Yes, as crazy at it looks and sounds, it’s true, but unfortunately it’s only a concept at this stage.

A scale model of the car is on display in the Design Challenge Competition at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The four-seater car weighs less than 1,000 lbs thanks to having no internal combustion engine and a body made from ultra-light carbon fibre. Having compressed air motors means that the concept has thousands of fewer components than a traditional car.

It sounds crazy so far, but it gets even more far-fetched when you hear that the idea is to use Air Replenishment Sites to compress the air needed for the centrally-mounted air tank. Powered by air turbines floating 1,000 ft in the air, they harness the power of the wind and convert it to electricity to provide the compression. And no, it’s not April 1st just in case you’re checking your calendar.

The Volvo Air Motion has been developed at the Volvo Monitoring and Concept Center (VMCC) that opened in 1986 in California.

The theme of this year’s Design Challenge is to address society’s shift toward minimising consumption of the earth’s resources. The objective is to envision an efficient, lightweight, four passenger vehicle (not to exceed 1,000 lbs.), that is both comfortable and safe, while delivering satisfactory driving performance without sacrificing the styling consumers demand.