On Monday, January 23rd, members of the Bellevue City Council heard a presentation from Shiva Vencat, Chief Executive Officer of Zero Pollution Motors which informed them that Bellevue could possibly be the home of a new automobile manufacturing plant. The vehicles are unique in the fact they use compressed air for power. The City Council was informed by Mr. Vencat that city-owned land near Highway 34, south of Offutt AFB and in the city’s LB 840 area, is ideally situated to build a 50,000-square foot facility that would build these vehicles that would sell for less than $10,000 once assembled.
Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders reached out to inquire about the company after watching an episode of ABC’s television program "Shark Tank" which featured this unique technology. In an article that ran last week, the Bellevue Leader described these proposed cars as, “small two-seaters, not unlike Smart Cars. They are considered urban vehicles, primarily to be used locally, with speeds not exceeding 30 miles per hour and with a range per charge of about 150 miles”. The Bellevue Leader also reported that, this compressed air technology, invented by Guy Negre of Motor Development International (MDI) of Luxemburg, was a finalist for a $1 million prize awarded by the United Nations to companies making breakthroughs in the field of sustainable energy.
After initial interest was determined, Bellevue’s Assistant City Administrator Larry Burks has worked diligently to inform Mr. Vencat about all Bellevue has to offer and welcomed him to town last week. During this visit, Mr. Vencat told the Council that the company is, “ready to build” but in need of investors that would be willing to invest $5 million that is needed to build a facility to produce these vehicles. Mr. Vencat and Mr. Burks are not expecting the City of Bellevue to provide this funding but are hoping that the presentation would help spread the word and possibly attract interest from potential investors.
The City of Bellevue is pursuing this and other opportunities to help develop its LB 840 development area south of Offutt AFB, between Harlan Lewis Road and the Kennedy Freeway. For further information regarding this project or the LB 840 program, please contact Assistant City Administrator, Larry Burks at 402-682-6632 or email to Larry.Burks@Bellevue.net.
Cover Photo by: Vincent Lignier