HANCEVILLE — For Zero RPM president Lance Self, the formal announcement for his new tech company ended up a lot bigger than expected — much like the company itself in recent months.
What started as a cool idea a few years ago —finding a way to power a car without activating the engine — snowballed into a full-fledged, statewide industry announcement Wednesday at Wallace State. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley was even in town to provide the keynote, with the project on the verge of mass production.
“I just thought we’d be doing a small event for the media, and it just got bigger and bigger from there,” Self said, standing outside the Burrow Center, where the announcement took place. “This is just so great, because everyone involved has put in so much time and hard work.”
Self’s company has created the IMS 100 idle mitigation system, which can power a vehicle and the air-conditioning for several hours via high-capacity batteries.
His initial target market is law enforcement , with hopes to cut down on gas and carbon emissions while idling, but he sees potential at every level of the automotive industry.
The initial production run is expected to create 54 new jobs, and the company has reached a manufacturing agreement with Bremen-based Hired-Hand technologies.
The first phase of testing is nearly complete, with the Cullman Police, Alabama State Troopers, Hoover Police and Florida State Patrol all providing test vehicles in the field.
“An average police car sits idle 4-6 hours per day, having to power a laptop, radar gun and whatever other technology is there,” Self said. “If you turn the engine off, the battery would go dead in just a few minutes. This allows the officer to experience that car as if it were running. Our name actually came out of some field tests, because they didn’t realize the car was running, but it was at 0 RPMs.”