In the era of high concerns about pollution, some individuals came up with the idea of developing cars that cause zero pollution. Zero Pollution Motors was a US licensee of MDI. This Luxembourg-based company developed Air Cars, which Ethan Tucker featured in episode 626 of the Shark Tank show.
The proprietors wanted funding amounting to $5 million to help them build and market the Air Cars that lead to zero pollution under the brand Zero Pollution Motors. Their license featured them as car dealers and manufacturers. Also, they had a plan to set up micro-factories across the United States for making the aircars and selling them in the local market.
With the $5 million funding, they were willing to offer 50% of the company’s equity. The cash will enable them to set up their first factory in Hawaii. According to them, the cost of producing one Air Car would range between $3700 and $5100. The cars would cost $10,000 each. So, it sounded like a profitable and worthwhile idea.
But how was Zero Pollution Motors before Shark Tank, and what happened after appearing on the show? Keep reading to learn more.
Zero Pollution Motors Overview in Shark Tank
|Company Name||Zero Pollution Motors (Air Car)|
|Episode||Season 6 Episode 26|
|Product Offering||Eco-Friendly Cars Powered By Compressed-Air|
|Founder||Pat Boone And Ethan Tucker|
|Required Investment||$5,000,000 For 50% equity in Zero Pollution Motors|
|Closing Deal||$5,000,000 For 50% equity in Zero Pollution Motors|
|Current Business Status||Out of Business|
What is Zero Pollution Motors?
As the name suggests, Zero Pollution Motors is a company seeking to develop and manufacture cars with zero pollution. Dubbed AirPods, these cars use compressed air to operate. They do not require fossil fuels, making them eco-friendly. The company’s license allows it to manufacture and sell these air cars in the United States.
The Air Cars are available in three categories AirPod Baby, AirPod Standard, and AirPod Cargo. The variety difference was in the number of seats and cargo storage it contained. These cars would operate in the city and urban environment where noise and air pollution are a great disaster.
To easily serve the US market, the company sort to establish various micro-factories for manufacturing and selling air cars in different American regions.
Who were the founder/s of Zero Pollution Motors?
Zero Pollution Motors was an innovation by Ethan Tucker and Pat Boone. The company started in the 2000s. The two founders had a career in the entertainment industry but claimed to have offered two decades of experience in the motor industry. Ethan was an actor, playwright, and producer, while Pat was a musician.
The development of AirPods popped into Ethan’s mind while writing a movie about Nikola Tesla, one of the leading technological innovators. Pat and Ethan had worked together in the entertainment industry before joining the business arena. They joined their hands to establish what they called the first air car manufacturer in the United States.
Zero Pollution Motors before Shark Tank
As business and entertainment career personalities, Pat and Ethan developed a great concern for environmental pollution. The noise and fossil fuel pollution could not offer the desired peace of mind. This aspect inspired them to find a suitable solution that would serve the purpose of the densely populated American cities by offering a clean and pollution-free environment.
Essentially, reducing pollution from fossil fuels was one of their big concerns. The Zero Pollution Motors idea was an inspiration from Tesla. While in Vermont, Ethan had to develop a movie about Tesla which enhanced his desire for green technology.
Ethan joined hands with Pat to set up their first manufacturing factory in Hawaii. They got the rights to make the AirPods before appearing in Shark Tank. But despite getting the license in 2010, investors delayed funding their project. This aspect hurt their goal of launching the first green cars. However, they stated that the issues are now over.
The Zero Pollution Motors Shark Tank Pitch
The Shark Tank pitch for the Zero Pollution Motor proprietors was amazing. When they appeared on the podium, Robert recognized them. They presented their idea before a bench of five shark investors, namely Robert, Mark, Kevin, Daymond, and Lori.
Ethan and Pat feature their idea and the design of the AirPods. They explain how the car works, its functionalities, and why it is a better choice than the battery-powered ones. Also, they share their dream of setting up a factory in Hawaii, the relationship with MDI, and how they will customize each car for each region to meet the users’ purposes.
Ethan states that the car will need a 4-hours charge to cover 100 miles. The two proprietors told the bench that they needed $5 million to enable them to kick start the project. Also, they said that each AirPod would sell at $10,000. However, they only pitched using images and did not have a prototype.
Each of the investors had views on the idea. Daymond called the AirPod a wheel lunchbox. He says it’s too early to invest in such an idea and decline it. Mark is a wait-and-see guy and is not ready to invest in this idea. Kevin calls it a defective business concept. Lori has interests, but she desires to have a domestic deal. She, too, is unwilling to invest in AirPods.
As usual, Robert has an exceptional interest in this idea. He even expresses his desire to do a test drive of the AirPods. He is ready to come on board, but the investor requires rights for the whole US market. Ethan and Pat agree on this aspect. As such, Robert offers the duo a deal of $5 million in exchange for a 50% stake. They accept the offer and exit Shark Tank with a deal.
Zero Pollution Motors after Shark Tank
Zero Pollution Motors started taking pre-orders after securing a deal in the Shark Tank pitch. Interested people could order their preferred model from the three options. Also, one can order a 3-4 passenger AirPod or opt for a passenger-cargo arrangement. All ordering happens on the Zero Pollution Motors website.
The proprietor noted that celebrities and corporations are sponsoring them. Rocky Carroll of Chicago Hope fame was one of the notable figures mentioned. Also, USPS and NYC Taxi Services were among the companies seeking eco-friendly cars that expressed interest in these cars.
Also, the AirPods could be a good idea for companies seeking fast deliveries, such as mail and pizza delivery ventures. The idea would resolve the congestion issues witnessed in many American cities. After Shark Tank, Zero Pollution Motors was targeting these niches as their initial markets.
Despite securing a deal with Robert, it did not go through as expected. The AirPod proprietors could not obtain the design rights for the entire US market, which was one of the conditions in the contract. Robert drops his offer after nine months.
For this reason, Zero Pollution Motors went on to look for new investors. It planned to launch the first AirPods in Nice, France, and MDI would be the manufacturer. Later, they would go for an IPO to raise the capital for starting a manufacturing firm in the United States. These sentiments were on their Facebook page in September 2018.
Updates: Zero Pollution Motors status in 2022
As noted, the deal with Robert did not go through due to some legal elements. First, the proprietors did not own AirPod. They were only distributors, which limited their expansion possibilities. Hence, it was impossible to acquire the rights to sell in American markets.
Since Robert fell out of the deal, Zero Pollution Motors is yet to manufacture the first AirPod. This is the case despite promising to release one in France in the first quarter of 2019. The idea has not come to the surface for 20 years since its conception. On their website, they are still open to orders. People can join the waitlist.
A check on their Facebook page shows that it was last updated in 2018 when they promised to deliver the first batch of the pre-ordered AirPods in the first quarter of 2019. This did not happen. In March 2022, the company is still receiving pre-orders on its website.
In essence, the report shows that Zero Pollution Motors is out of business. The production did not happen. However, their website allows people seeking to be on the waitlist and get information on the AirPod updates to join.
In a word, Zero Pollution Motors was one of the debut-making pitches in the Shark Tank show. Its proprietors, Ethan and Pat, expressed exceptional interest and passion in resolving the environmental pollution disaster. If manufactured, the AirPods could have been a game-changer.
Their pitching approach convinced Robert, who was willing to offer the requested funding of $5 million. This amount was the highest offer ever in Shark Tank. Despite this offer, things did not go as planned, and Robert was out in 9 months. This act seems like it crippled the Zero Pollution Motors plans.
Since 2018, the company has not updated its social media pages and websites on the production progress. All it has is the information of delivering the first batch of pre-ordered AirPods by March 2019, which did not happen.
Currently, Zero Pollution Motors is out of business. But it is still receiving pre-orders. No one can tell when the world will enjoy the first experience boarding an AirPod.