Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever felt so good to the point where you thought that the world was your court and you ruled every game? That’s pretty much what a start up company by the name Zero Pollution Motors had going for them.
They had invented a compressed-air powered car called the AIRPOD, and then apple had to name their wireless pieces of musical earrings Airpods too. Anyhow, let’s clear the confusion, the Airpod car costs $10,000 and is pretty sweet where as the Airpods from apple are $149 or so and perform the same things your earphones can do but without wires, so yeah, if that helps let’s get on to the juicy part about this article.
Pat Boone, a legendary pop music star along with his entrepreneurial friend Ethan Tucker were able to strike gold with their investor friend Robert Herjavec to the point where ABC’s hit series “Shark Tank” had them on and an investment of $5million or a 50% share deal was struck.
To add a couple of cherries and make this deal diabetic (so to speak) the deal involved creating an effective sales network in the United States. Zero pollution motors needed the money to set up an assembly plant in Hawaiiin order to produce the city car that was capable of traveling up to 50 mph with an 80-mile range. An approximate time of 4 minutes to fill up the air tank is all it takes for this car to drive as the cleanest car on the U.S. roads.
But, what could go wrong with this start up that was achieving so much in so little time? A Lot! Well, the story took an abrupt turn when the company posted the following on their Facebook page:
“Robert (Herjavec) backed out of the deal made last year after waiting 9 months. Now we are free to have other investors! Are you in?”
The episode was aired in May 2015 and it seemed to be originally filmed somewhere in the late 2014 or perhaps the early 2015. This is somewhat a classic tale of what tends to happen in advanced vehicle technologies, especially by start up companies that are trying to make it as an automobile manufacturer. The harsh reality is that investors back off if they become concerned about the happenings internally with the management and that doesn’t end too well. Once that’s done, the confidence is lost, and the financials is another horror story better not spoken of. This is the reality and it is definitely an incredibly capital intensive business to make it in and the requirement of skilled and experienced personnel is a must.
A risk that wasn’t worth risking:
The company was heading onto an untapped segment that was to compete with other alternative technologies in order to take out big sharks in the Oil segment and create another source of travel, well that sounds like a perfect startup plan but doesn’t materialize too well.
There is speculation that compressed-air cars are getting plenty of interest in global markets and that the Airpod idea wasn’t completely bad. In fact, Motor Development International (MDI) along with their founder, Guy Negre have been behind the AIRpod from its origination and that MDI has been working with Tata Motors to build the car through Zero Pollution Motors in Hawaii and then ship some of the Airpods back to India.
The Airpod was designed in order to make urban mobility easier and safer. These days consumers that are concerned about overdeveloped cities and air pollution seems to be of hindrance, these vehicles are essential. One of the vital facts that cannot be ignored is that technology inspires enthusiasm and plenty of interest. People have the money and require new and upgraded technology in order to be in touch with the latest development and people are truly fascinated by development even if it comes at a price.
The odds are stacked against the round and futuristic AIRPOD bringing it to roads and compressed air-powered vehicles as passenger vehicles. The technology is pretty intriguing where the tanks with compressed air are heated and the air is sent into cylinders of a piston engine. The fueling will be fast and economical but, the main intent is to cut the emissions and it is assured that the emissions might be clean and eco-friendly. The AIRPOD may drop down to costing to only $3700 to build before it sells for $10,000/-.
With all that’s said and done, I truly hope to see the Airpod live in action (not for the sake of tree hugging eco-maniacs) just to see new technology and innovation in action. It’s sad to imagine the condition of various automobile startups who had to throw in the towel but I hope that AIRPOD returns with something solid.