This Company is Reinventing the Wheel and Ditching the Rubber Tire
Global Air Cylinder Wheels (GACW), an Arizona-based startup, literally reinvented the wheel. They developed a new type of bicycle that made environmentally harmful rubber tires superfluous.
Many companies have tried to develop new tire solutions such as: B. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), who may switch to airless tires on their Model 3, but none have been successful so far.
The so-called Air Suspension Wheel (ASW) is the idea of series inventor and structural dynamics engineer Dr. Zoltan Kemeny. The patented ASW is a mechanical wheel made mostly of steel with pneumatic suspension in the wheel through cylinders. It's both environmentally friendly and cost effective. The ASW is designed in such a way that it has the same service life as the vehicle on which it is mounted. After that, unlike rubber tires, it can be reprocessed or completely recycled.
GACW is currently focused on the OTR mining market with $ 30 billion per year. OTR rubber tires for mining are expensive: for example, a typical 13,000 pound tire can cost as much as $ 75,000 with just 6 to 9 months of use. "That's a lot of work for a product that doesn't last," says the company. On the other hand, the ASW lasts as long as the vehicle itself and thus saves up to 60% in costs.
Another essential feature of the ASW is the greatly reduced rolling resistance. This makes internal combustion engines more efficient and reduces emissions. For electric cars like Tesla, this would mean that the range can be extended by up to 30% with the same battery, which is significant.
Rubber OTR tires also pose a major safety hazard as explosions are common. But with the ASW, overheated tires and explosions are a thing of the past.
Last but not least: OTR rubber tires are extremely harmful to the environment. Most rubber tires are not recycled in the mining industry. At the end of their natural lifespan, OTR rubber tires are typically burned or buried in the ground as recycling is complicated, dangerous and expensive. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health estimates that tires account for up to 10% of all microplastic waste in the world's oceans. A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature increased that number to 28%.
ASWs, on the other hand, are 100% recyclable.
Start things up
While GACW is initially targeting the OTR sector, which includes mining, the global tire market is much larger and the company plans to get into that too. The initial focus on mining, however, could generate sales in excess of $ 20 million per mine location given the significant number of vehicles involved in each mining project.
And while the company has competitors in the midsize market, it has no competitors in the global OTR sector.
In addition to this market, ASW technology can be applied to all vehicles currently using traditional rubber tires, an estimated $ 322 billion in 2022.
To date, the company has raised $ 3 million and has 4 patents with 13 pending. It is currently testing its ASW products with mining partners with an evaluation period of between 6 and 12 months. Production of the ASW product is expected to ramp up from 2022 and full commercialization is expected in 2023.
"At this point our plan is to expand our distribution network and really take the tire industry by storm," said the company.
As governments around the world put increasing pressure on tire manufacturers to dispose of them, GACW said it was time to adopt its products from the industry. Companies like Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Hitachi (TYO: 6501) or Volvo (STO: VOLV-B), Komatsu (TYO: 6301) could end up as partners or customers in the future of GACW.
"Our air suspension wheels are an effective and practicable alternative to rubber tires," it says. "They are up to 60% cheaper, safer and more environmentally friendly than rubber tires."
The company's crowdfunding campaign on Start Engine offers the opportunity to invest from $ 248.50 at a price of $ 1.75 per share.
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