One of the investors on Shark Tank (ABC) said “YES” Friday night to investing in a new car that runs on compressed air. Pat Boone (yes, that Pat Boone!) joined a Vermont fella to make the pitch and walked away with a juicy $5 million commitment.
Robert Herjavec is the guy who sits all the way to the right on the panel of Shark investors. He pledged the funds to buy 50% of Zero Pollution Motors… assuming ZPM gets the rights to make the car in all 50 states. They have the rights in Hawaii.
The AIRPod vehicle was developed by French inventor and environmentalist Guy Negre. The vehicle design is owned by MDI Sa based in Luxembourg. Way back in 2007 Popular Mechanics proclaimed “World’s First Air-Powered Car: Zero Emissions by Next Summer”. It was going to be made in India; and from the same inventor and designer.
This apparently proved optimistic. But now maybe 8 years later… starting in Hawaii this summer. With this cash infusion of $5 million.
Here’s how the engine does its work: cold air compressed in tanks to 300 times atmospheric pressure is heated and fed into the cylinders of a piston engine. Since there is no combustion, there is no air pollution. You get refilled at compressed air stations at gas stations (like those used to inflate tires).
The AIRpod hits 50 mph with a range of 80 miles. It seems to be a small Smart Fortwo.
Click on pix below to see an interview with the inventor…