LeSage Consulting Starts Up to Offer Services to Stakeholders in Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Clean Transportation

LeSage Consulting image - mediumJanuary 21, 2014 – Alternative fuel vehicles are playing an increasingly vital role in environmental issues, government policies, and economics. LeSage Consulting now offers services to support stakeholders in alternative fuel vehicles and clean transportation – education and public awareness, informative content, and market research services designed to assist clients in accomplishing their missions.

“Electric vehicles, hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – and natural gas, propane autogas, and advanced biofuels – are starting to see real numbers in vehicle offerings, sales figures, and infrastructure,” said consultant Jon LeSage. “Consumers, fleets, automakers, charging and fueling companies, governments, and other stakeholders, are making the necessary investments and commitment to meet what I would call the E Benchmarks – emissions, energy, economics, and efficiency.”

Stakeholders in this emerging field have been calling out for years on helping consumers better understand and make informed decisions. Education and public awareness services provided by LeSage Consulting – including online and onsite seminars, ride and drives, and educational materials – are vital for answering frequently asked questions and breaking through range anxiety and other concerns. LeSage Consulting will provide education resources to three audiences:  automakers and dealer networks informing car shoppers and customers; stakeholder alliances deploying fuels and infrastructures; and conferences and events presenting educational seminars and hands-on experience with the vehicles.

LeSage Consulting also provides informative content ideal for websites and blogs, articles and newsletters, webinar presentations, and public information campaigns. The firm’s market research services will support education, awareness, and analysis of what’s happening in this industry; these services include industry metrics, surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and analytical reports on emerging trends impacting stakeholders in the field.

Jon LeSage is known in the industry as a writer/editor covering alternative fuel vehicles for Green Auto Market, AutoblogGreen, and Automotive Digest. In addition to media, LeSage worked in market research serving clients in automotive, transportation, and consumer products. LeSage Consulting is a logical continuation of his professional experience and skillset – and his passion for clean transportation – in an engaging, insightful format.

“There’s so much to follow these days with breakthroughs in vehicle technologies, alternative fuels, and renewables, along with new ways of thinking about transportation such as carsharing and autonomous, driverless cars,” LeSage said. “Every one of the alternative fuels and vehicles has a series of challenges to break through to see real growth. LeSage Consulting works with clients to turn these challenges into opportunities that will help clean transportation move forward.”

Stakeholders served by LeSage Consulting will include:

  • OEMs, automotive suppliers, and dealerships
  • Fleet managers, fleet management companies, and transportation companies
  • Charging and fueling infrastructure providers
  • Government agencies and research centers
  • Industry associations and environmental groups
  • Marketing agencies
  • Energy companies
  • Carsharing and ridesharing providers
  • Telematics and connected car providers

More information on LeSage Consulting products and services is accessible on LeSage’s website including current and back issues of Green Auto Market; subscribers can choose the Extended Edition with industry metrics including hybrid and EV sales, alternative fuel prices, stock market performance for companies in the field, and US charging and fueling stations. In the next few months, LeSage Consulting will release the Green Vehicle Database with specifications, pricing, and incentive data on passenger and commercial vehicle offerings for the 2014 and 2015 model years. Jon LeSage can be contacted at (562) 505-6380 and jlesage@jonlesage.com.

One thought on “LeSage Consulting Starts Up to Offer Services to Stakeholders in Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Clean Transportation”

  1. Hi
    This message is for Mr. Jon Le Sage
    Hi
    I am the CEO of Zero Pollution Motors and was in Europe when the Shark Tank episode took place and I would like to clarify some of the issues you raised in your article. My comments are in green…

    Zero Pollution Motors and its compressed air car lose investor in classic tale for the auto industry
    September 7, 2015

    Things were looking good for startup automaker Zero Pollution Motors and its compressed-air powered car, AIRPod. Legendary pop music star Pat Boone and entrepreneur Ethan Tucker were able to impress investor Robert Herjavec enough on the ABC hit series “Shark Tank” to invest $5 million for a 50% share. Herjavec sweetened the deal by committing to get involved with creating an effective sales network in the U.S.

    The deal that Mr. Herjavec agreed on the show was to put USD 5 million in Zero Pollution Motors to build the first assembly plant in Hawaii. However he said loud and clear that he was ready to put the USD 5 million for 50 % of the company if he gets an option for the whole of the US market. We could not sign-off on this condition as we do not hold the rights for the whole of the US but only for one plant. We tried to arrange a meeting because MDI who holds the technology and the 50 plus patents on this vehicle for him to Robert to meet with Guy but Robert was not available for over 6 months and when we finally got him an offer from MDI for the whole of the US which is turned down with no explanation.

    Zero Pollution Motors needed the $5 million to set up an assembly plant in Hawaii to produce the city car capable of traveling up to 50 mph with an 80 mile range. They said it takes four minutes to fill up the air tank, and would only cost car buyers $10,000 for driving the cleanest car on U.S. roads.
    That story has changed. On Friday, the company posted this on its 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?”
    That episode of “Shark Tank” first aired in May 2015 and then was repeated on Friday evening. It seemed to be originally filmed in late 2014 or early 2015.

    It is still running in various parts of the world. I keep getting inquiries to buy the vehicles.

    So far, there haven’t been any media comments from Herjavec or the automaker beyond the Facebook posting.
    This is a classic tale of what tends to happen in advanced vehicle technologies, especially by startup companies trying to make it as a vehicle manufacturer. Investors do pull away if they become concerned about what’s happening internally with management; they can also lose confidence visiting the production facility and looking at the financials. It’s an incredibly capital intensive business to make it in, and skilled, experienced personnel is a must.
    Here are a few of my thoughts on what stands out with the Zero Pollution Motors experience:
    • The potential of the car, and the presentation made on “Shark Tank,” were enough to impress Herjavec, who’s made some very sizable investments in new technologies. Herjavec has a lot of interest in cars; two years ago, he led Connected Car Expo’s FASTPITCH competition right before the start of the LA Auto Show. The fact that he walked away indicates there are some serious internal issues for the company and its owners to deal with.

    Robert was not available for over 6 months and when we finally got him an offer from MDI for the whole of the US, he turned it down with no explanation.
    There were no issues per se. The deal was…he wanted an option for the whole of the US. When MDI made the proposal I believe he found it to high for his taste.

    • The company is making what I consider to be a big mistake: competing with other alternative technologies to take out Big Oil. Ethan Tucker made comments about compressed-air car AIRPod being superior to electric vehicles on “Shark Tank,” such as not needing the expensive lithium ion battery. The company’s Facebook page makes statements about the need to find freedom from fossil fuel addiction, the power of Big Oil, and the threat of environmental devastation. The real issue is that the company wants to brag that it has the best-of-the-best in alternative technologies.

    Although I agree that we should keep a low profile and not say in front of 8 million viewers that we will take on two of the most powerful industries in the world…the oil and the car industry… However we are the best-of the-best in alternative technology and I ll tell you why…

    1) Compared to Electric, it takes us the same amount of time to fill the car as a gasoline car at the compressed air station and not 20 minutes at a supercharger supplied by Tesla to charge 50 % capacity.
    2) Compressed air stations are at best half to a third of the $ 150 000 to $ 175 000 that a Tesla station costs. A compressed air station costs $ 50,000.
    3) Compressed stations can be easily installed everywhere even where there are no electricity from the grid with solar panels and wind turbines as it does not need as much power to produce compressed air.
    4) Hydrogen stations are also very expensive.
    5) The compressed air engine is a motor compressor so when it’s plugged into a 240 V outlet at home (same as a washing machine) it takes 4 to 6 hours to fill the tank.

    • That’s been debated for years, with the latest hotspot coming from the electric vehicle vs. hydrogen fuel cell vehicle debate. The real challenge is getting consumers and fleets to overcome their concerns about owning a new technology, so that they will make that investment and spread the good word to their peers.

    • Agree that the most challenging aspect of our proposal is customer acceptance and we have a plan to make that easier. We plan to offer the vehicle as a short-term rental so people can get used to it without any substantial investments. In some cases, people will probably rent instead of purchasing. We plan to service these vehicles with mobile filling station that is easier and cheaper to deploy until we convince existing gas stations to add to their income by selling compressed air.

    • Compressed-air cars are getting a lot of interest in global markets. Luxembourg-based Motor Development International (MDI), and its founder Guy Negre, have been behind AIRPod from its origination. MDI has been working with Tata Motors to build the car through Zero Pollution Motors in Hawaii, and then ship some of them back for sale in India.

    Tata bought the exclusive rights to use the technology in India and MDI is now adapting the Nano with a compressed air engine there will be soon Tata’s Nano roaming Indian cities running on compressed air and Tata will introduce a new fuel…compressed air

    There are no relations between Zero Pollution Motors and Tata Motors except that we have the rights to build the first plant in the US and Tata has the rights for the whole of India.

    We had planned to build the plant in Hawaii and sell the vehicles in Hawaii and not export them because it is an island and it was easier to monitor during the trial period of launching this new technology but we are now revising our plans and might build the first factory in New York. The MDI concept is to build, sell and service locally.

    • If you view the image in this article and on the website and Facebook page, you’ll see another significant development in transportation: supporting urban mobility. It’s a small, lightweight car with limited size and range. It’s targeted at consumers concerned about overdeveloped cities and air pollution. There’s hope that young consumers (Millennials) will embrace mobility options as they put off owning a car and move into cities.

    We already have a number of cities ready to sign up once we are in production.

    • Advanced vehicle technologies inspire a lot of enthusiasm and interest out there, which is well represented by celebrity investor Pat Boone. He thinks it’s an answer for crowded cities with air pollution. One of the big challenges that I’ve noticed is getting them to stay interested and committed to supporting the technology. I’ve had many conversations with people fascinated with the potential, thinking about getting involved with the business or buying one of the cars. Most of them become interested in something else and forget about clean vehicles.

    I agree with you and our difficulty to raise the funding has been a problem because people loose interest after a while. The only way to get back their interest is by actually putting some cars on the road.

    • What about the infrastructure? Compressors will need to be available at fueling stations. That will take a lot of investment and partnerships with fuel station owners.

    It is true but this has been the case for any new technology for the mobility. However, compressed air stations are going to be cheaper than electric and/or hydrogen stations and less regulatory issues.

    • One of the big stumbling blocks for the company is getting through the NHTSA and EPA testing procedures. It’s been accepted in Europe but still has to clear with the federal agencies, which is not easy to do.

    We fall under the same category as the GEM… http://www.polaris.com/en-us/gem-electric-car. These cars has been approved by NHTSA and EPA since it is zero pollution.

    • Caterpillar and equipment rental companies like United Rentals have been using compressed air systems for years.

    Compressed air equipment is currently being used in various applications.

    This is a different type of compressor that compress the air to 4500 PSI.

    The odds are stacked against the round and futuristic AIRPod making it to roads, and compressed air-powered vehicles as a passenger vehicle. It’s a fascinating technology where the tanks with compressed air are heated and the air is sent into cylinders of a piston engine.

    Yes but this is the next generation. The Airpod is run only on compressed air without any heating mechanism. However we do have a dual energy version which will be introduced at a later date.

    The fueling will be fast and cheap, and the emissions might be as clean as the water coming out of fuel cell cars. The AIRPod may drop down to costing only $3,700 to build before it sells for $10,000. I hope AIRPod makes it, but it’s been sad to watch several companies with admirable technologies having to close their shutters.

    I agree but don’t put a tombstone before we are dead… a little bit of faith goes a long way…

    I am available if you have any questions.

    Contact me at shiva.vencat@gmail.com

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