Jun 01

EXCLUSIVE: CEO of ZENN Motor Company on EEStor, EEStor Storage Units, cityZENN, and ZENNergy Drive Systems

 

ZENN Motor Company is a small Toronto based company currently building low speed lead-acid neighborhood electric vehicles. They have partnered with the secretive Texas company EEStor that supposedly has developed a breakthrough energy storage device. I had the chance for an interview with the CEO of ZENN, Ian Clifford, which follows.

What is the cityZENN?
We announced it at the end of March. We announced it in relation to the commercialization of EEstor’s energy storage technology. EEstor had made an announcement earlier in the year on their agreement with Lockheed Martin. We felt it was time then from a product development perspective to lay out our plans for a highway capable vehicle based on EEStors’ energy storage technology.

So you will use EEStors ultracaps as the sole energy source of the vehicle?
Thats correct. EEstor has these breakthrough energy and power densities, and so I think to call it an ultracapacitor is some respect is a disservice to the technology becasue it is such a breakthrough from existing ultracapacitor technologies. It is certainly a solid state energy storage device so it has the ability to store tremendous amounts of energy and power in a very compact footprint. The way that its designed allows for extremely rapid electronic charging times. If you have a charge situation where you have an EEStor device connected to another EEstor device in a charging station or even in a home, the ability to recharge in minutes as opposed to hours is entirely possible. cityZENN will have several several charging algorithms built into the car as its launched. You will be able to plug it into a regular 110 outlet and it will probably take about 4 hours to recharge or you could plug it into a 220 outlet and it will probably take about 2 hours to recharge.

The performance characteristics are such that we think that this vehicle specifically will meet the driving needs of probably 90% of people in North America, and even more people outside of North America in terms of driving habits. So we’re talking about a car with a 250 mile electric range between charges. You’ve got a highway capable vehicle so 80 mph is our target top speed with full gradability. So you’ve got a car that is absolutely usable in virtually any driving situation. Its not susceptible to cold or heat so you don’t have the technological limitation of chemical batteries. EEStors been testing to millions of cycles in their early cell prototypes so we basically have an energy storage device that is a permanent energy source that is distinct from something that has to be replaced every number of years.

So you’re saying millions of cycles as opposed to the typical 5000 cycles that is a goal for lithium-ion batteries. These devices could go millions of cycles without a decay in energy storage capability?
That’s correct. And that’s typical for capacitors. As a solid-state device they certainly will last and last and last and they’re known for that. So tha’ts one of the similarities that EEStor has definitely.

How did you form the relationship with EEStor, did they contact you, did you contact them. Most automakers are looking a lithium-ion, so how did that come about?

I founded ZENN in 2001 and we started creating a certain amount of profile for the company over 2001 and 2002. To such an extent that EEStor actually found us. I got a call from Dick Weir late in 2002 and he was at the point where he and his partner Carl Nelson were getting ready to commercialize the technology that they had developed 10 years previously. They were looking to find a industrial partner who would be entrusted in purchasing the technology right or rights to purchase their technology fro certain exclusive markets. That’s where the discussion started and we did extensive due-diligence on what they were doing back then. We were completely blown away by what we saw and what we saw the potential for their technology to be.

You felt that that was a superior route than going down the lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride route?
For a number of different reasons. We were certainly compelled by what was happening in chemical battery technology and the advances that were happening, but they were quite incremental. So no significant breakthroughs and this is going back four or five years. We’ve certainly since seen continued incremental improvements in lithium-ion technology but to date we’ve yet to see a commercialized lithium-ion solution at even 20 kwh of storage. We’re still kind of waiting for that.

There were also other significant differentiators that compelled me to the EEStor technology, and a lot of the were the barrier things. The issue of being able to recharge in the same amount of time that it takes to fill a tank of gas, that was a big consumer barrier. How could you expect mass adoption if people were going to be inconvenienced by charging an electric car. So that was a very big motivator for me.

The volume and weight of the technology. We’re looking at a technology thats 1/4 to 1/3 the size, mass, and volume of a lithium-ion technology for the same energy storage. So suddenly you have an energy storage device that can store enough energy to give a useful range of an electric vehicle without having concerns about being able to crash-test. That always is a very very significant concern.

Are there risks of an electric short with the EEStor system?
That was the other thing I was going to get to, safety. The ability of the architecture that EEStor has developed allows for basically instant discharge to ground. So they’ve got becasue it is solid state the ability to dump that energy virtually instantly. If you look at any chemical battery what do you do with that energy thats caught in a medium that cannot discharge instantly? So that was an important consideration for us, its ability to act as a huge circuit breaker on itself.

I think perhaps the biggest thing and perhaps one of the things thats overlooked the most in the debate thats going on now in the search for energy storage is raw material availability. Its not until very recently that people have started to debate the availability of lithium, the global reserves of lithium. And the implications of potentially millions and millions of electric cars using pretty massive energy storage devices onboard and what that does to the existing global reserves of lithium which are limited. And that word limited I think is an understatement.

So as we we’re looking at technologies we were very very conscious of the scalability of the technology and what we saw with EEStor that was quite profound was their utilization of the raw material barite which has massive global reserves, over 2 billion tons of reserves. Enough if you put it in the context of automobiles, enough to build 10 billion automobiles. Hopefully we’ll never get there. The other implications for EEStor was that they play in a whole bunch of different markets so we saw in their design the ability to meet global energy demand. That was a huge consideration for us.

Do you guys have any working prototype vehicles?
No. Our expectation from EEStor and that’s always been our expectation is that they will deliver a commercial product to us. They will deliver and what they’ve told us is by the end of this calendar year was delivery of an early production commercial unit. I get asked that question all the time and my answer has remained consistent in that I’m not interested in a hand-built prototype from EEStor I’m interested in a commercial grade product that we can order 1 or 2 or 10 million of and not something that they’ve hand built. Thats not relevant to us. The only thing thats relevant is a mass commercialized product. Thats ultimately where the end game is for us.

So you see them doing all of the assembly work on their end and providing you with the packs for production?
Exactly. We have a great relationship with EEStor. We’re very very close to them, our engineering teams are integrated to the extent where we are specking final production product with them. We’ve worked through all the power electronic issues. Were very very comfortable with our costing. The discussions from our perspective are highly advanced. And what we see in terms of their build out, we are certainly one of the few companies and few people who have actually been behind the doors of what they are doing and its so compelling and truly thrilling. Just in terms of the impact that it has on global energy use and foreign fuel dependency and all the other issues that are related to petroleum. I see it as really a turning point.

Looking at the GM example, they get delivery of cells and they test them in their lab. They want to see things on the cell level. Have you seen examples of the EEStor cells behaving as they say they do?
Well the original patent is all based on the lab testing that EEStor did a decade previously. So absolutely as part of our due diligence with EEStor initially all that data was shared with us. So we have a very strong level of confidence that the science works but of course like anyone else the proof is in the final product and so becasue of that we’ve structured our agreement with EEStor based on milestones. So every payment milestone that we have on our technology agreement is based on third party verified data of EEStor achieving the specific milestone as they work towards commercialization. So we’ve been cautious as well. But certainly the build out that were seeing and the level of advancement that they’ve made in the last eighteen months gives us a great level of confidence.

So even though you don’t have a cell in hand you are seeing third party data along the way showing that they are achieving the milestones?
Exactly.

When do you expect to bring the vehicle to market?
We’ve stated that if EEStor stays on schedule to deliver early commercial units to us by the end of 2008 that we will have a fully certified highway vehicle powered by EEStor at the end of 09. We did state publicly that the initial launch for that vehicle will probably most likely be Europe and Asia as distinct from North America. That has mainly to do with the time it takes to certify a vehicle in the U.S. We are not going to engineer a car from the ground up. Were going to partner with a key global OEM on the chassis of the vehicle. So this will most likely be a vehicle that is already certified to certain global standards and then we will work together to integrate what we calla ZENNergy Drive System into the vehicle that would be powered by EEStor.

So have you shown any concept of what the exterior of the car will look like yet?
We haven’t shared that yet. We are still finalizing negotiations, very close to finishing negotiations related to what Ill call the initial cityZENN vehicle. So you can expect some more information on that in the near future from us.

Can you say how many people it will seat?
Yes were anticipating that it will be a five-passenger sedan. Our exclusivity with EEStor’s technology goes up to a 3100 pound curb-weight vehicle which is basically a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord-sized vehicle and smaller. Thats our exclusivity, our non-exclusivity goes to any size passenger vehicle as well. So I would anticipate that it would be a car thats pretty close to our maximum exclusive weight and it would have operating characteristics that you would expect out of a vehicle that size at a retail price that would certainly be competitive with an ICE version. Thats been our target all along.

Is your target less than $30,000?
Yes, exactly. You’ve got to remember that the GM Volt has an electric range of about 40 miles and we would be looking at a 250 mile electric range, without a range extender.

Is the EEStor technology less expensive than lithium-ion cells?
Dramatically. I cant go into specifics on that but suffice it to say that we feel quite comfortable in offering a vehicle with the characteristics I have defined with a price point of $30,000 or less. It is orders of magnitude less expensive than lithium-ion.

Lithium ion is costing $800-$1000 per kwh now and the USABCs goal is $200 per kwh and I guess you’re talking about values less than that?
I wont comment on the $200 per kwh becasue I don’t think thats realistic for any technology to be honest with you. But for lithium-ion I can only see the price going up. Just based on raw materials cost alone. Were going to get into a situation very quickly, the global reserves are such that were going to go into a serious price squeeze going forward if we get into serious large-format lithium ion battery production.

The people at A123 have advised me that there should be enough lithium out there to build more than 2 billion cars, you seem to have a different perspective than that.
Yes, very much so. The studies that we’ve seen and the understanding that we have that to meet capacity even with small scale adoption of plug-in hybrids the lithium reserves would be severely challenged to meet that demand. The lithium reserves are about 17 to 25 million tons. Thats not a lot of raw material. The price has already gone up in the last 8 years. Barite on the other hand which is the core ingredient of what EEStor is doing is incredibly plentiful and available throughout the world. Massive reserves in North America and very easy to get to and extract. This is part of the debate that has not really been articulated yet. Right now without EEStor yet being really commercialized it hasn’t really come to the forefront of the debate.

Why do you think the big companies like GM haven’t embraced this technology?
I think they are learning about it to different degrees, and I know that different companies have taken a look at the technology at different stages. I think ultimately and you see this with lithium technology, they say show us the product. They wont make a decision until they’ve got a commercial battery. And right now there isn’t a lithium ion battery out there at the scale thats required for a commercial product yet. Its very difficult to do. Its a huge challenge.

Is you long-range hope to become a major global player in the automotive market?

We see ourselves more as an enabler. We did announce the cityZENN as a ZENN branded product that we would distribute through large distribution networks. Once again partnering with other organizations. But ultimately we believe our most significant opportunity is the ZENNergy drive and that is an integrated drive system utilizing EEStor as the energy source that we would then joint-venture with any OEM around the world an then create a “powered by ZENN” drive for vehicles that fit within our market in exclusivity. Its kind of like the “Intel inside” model. We intend ZENN and ZENNergy to be synonymous with electric drive and thats the biggest role that we can play globally. And then every OEM is not our competitor, every OEM is our partner.

Is the city ZENN then more of a demonstration so other OEMs will become interested in purchasing the ZENNergy drivetrain system?

Exactly. We don’t need to re-invent the automotive industry, I think we need to re-define it. We don’t need to become a global OEM in order to demonstrate the viability of electric. I think judging from the response we get and certainly the response that you get on your site there is a huge pent up hunger for electrification. It’s remarkable. I think every major and minor automaker around the world appreciates and understands that. I think that ultimately the consumer and technology will drive us to that inevitability which is extremely exciting.


Are you guys planning to offer conversions when you have your ZENNergy system up and running?

We have worldwide exclusive rights to EEStor technology for the conversion of any 4-wheel vehicle on the planet. So absolutely the conversion market is something that is extremely compelling to us. Our plan is to start looking at some of the largest install bases for single platform use in fleet applications. So in NY you think of yellow cabs and black limos, in London taxi cabs, US postal service, you think of very very large install bases. So leveraging our ZENNergy drive we would create kits that would be specific to certain platforms. I think that will be an incredibly exciting market.

You would then be able to offer that to any 4-wheel vehicle?

Yes, any 4-wheel vehicle. Thats our exclusivity. To me thats the access to the 750 to 900 million cars that are on the planet. If you think about it we’ve got this huge investment in raw materials in every vehicle on the road. Depending on who you ask theres something between 20 and 40,000 gallons of water going into every car thats on the road. You think if all of the raw materials, and process materials, and energy that goes into creating this chassis and really the thing that fails in an internal combustion vehicle is the internal combustion system. You take a 5 year old vehicle that has whatever mileage and you create a replacement ZENNergy drive system for that platform, you certainly have another 10 years at least on the chassis.

This all sounds very exciting, but lets face it, it all depends on EEStor actually delivering a product. What is your confidence level that you are going to have a commercial grade EEStor product by the end of 2008?

Were expecting it by the end of the year and I cant state by what date specifically. Our level of confidence is extremely high based on what we are exposed to and certainly the involvement of others in this technology. The involvement of Kleiner Perkins is significant, the involvement of Lockheed Martin is significant. So we have a very very high level of confidence. To the extent that last year we became and equity investor in EEStor as well. So we put our money where our mouth is and invested in the common stock of EEStor as well, so no only do we have a technology agreement with them we also have participation in the other markets that they are developing product for. On the other hand, its not proven until its delivered. Ultimately the proof is in the commercial product. We are obviously making plans to develop solutions based on EEStor so that continues to show our level of confidence in our path.

How many employees does EEStor have?

Thats not publicly disclosed.

Have you guys spoken with GM at all?

Yes, we have. I wont get into any details and to what level we are at, but interestingly a Volt with a ZENNergy drive is a kind of a sexy product. You never know. It would certainly be something we’d love to explore. As I said earlier were a little tiny company and it takes more and more proof of the technology to get the attention of the bigger companies. We’re working at it

So you will tell the world when you get the product this year?

Oh you will know. Theres no question about it. For one thing were a public company and these are material advances in the company and they trigger payments. We intent to let the entire world know of the developments and the final commercializations.

This entry was posted on Sunday, June 1st, 2008 at 8:40 pm and is filed under Battery, Competitors, Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 296


  1. 1
    superschupp

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:06 pm)

    Wow, I wonder if you could retrofit a volt?


  2. 2
    MarkinWI

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:06 pm)

    Nice interview Lyle. I noticed that the “5 minute” re-charge time we heard about before is gone. Is there an explanation for this? Was it a misquote? Also, do you have any reason now to be less skeptical than you were on the last post? I’m not seeing it.


  3. 3
    Arch

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:09 pm)

    Thats a good story. I am just not there yet. Big holes in the story. I am not saying that it will not happen but I have doubts. JMHO

    Take Care
    Arch


  4. 4
    kent beuchert

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:29 pm)

    Great work Lyle. I was, and still am, rather convenced that the EEStor devices are for real. I’m very happy to hear that GM has been in contact with this technology. Potentially, this would be HUGE,
    MONUMENTAL, and would sweep away all the current battery technologies instantly. I wouldn’t invest in any battery companies at this point. I think this fellow’s business plan is very sound – he realizes that the automotive industry already exists – simply changing powertrains is really not that big a deal – most modern cars are, after all, mainly electrically powered devices, whether they
    have a gasoline powerplant or not. I’m sure the commonality of parts between the Volt and a gas powered job in a very large percentage. That’s why I laugh at these rather uninformed opinions
    that claim electric cars to be so different from what’s out there now. They’re not.
    Question : I wonder if GM would consider building a 250 mile ranged
    EESTor powered Volt, but still with a range extender due to the current lack of public recharge stations? From the comments about how cheap EEStor EESUs will cost, I would think the Volt would
    still have the same pricing.


  5. 5
    Jes

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:31 pm)

    MarkinWI

    Agreed. It said 5 minutes, then mentioned recharging in the same amount of time as refueling, but then states 2 hrs on 110V and 4 hrs on 220V.

    Which is it?

    Reguardless, every concern I had with lithium ion batteries (life span, life cycle, temperture limitations, cost, supply, and size) are all addressed by EEStor.

    However, my biggest concern is the part that only had 1 paragraph: discharge. You cannot throw away CRT TVs and monitors because of their capacitors that can explode vs litium ion which I think has a bigger chance of catching fire than exploding. And we are talking 250 miles worth of charge to explode. Self discharge? Really? And where is it discharging to? The fram in the middle of a crash? How is it discharging? When is the discharge activated? Upon crash sensors? If so, what if the sensor stops working in the middle of the freeway?

    Way too many concerns with putting huge capacitors in cars with some of the drivers on the road today.


  6. 6
    Kevin R

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:32 pm)

    Sounds fantastic. Would be great to see it incorporated into the Volt.


  7. 7
    Statik

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:32 pm)

    I’ll summarize:

    Do you guys have any working prototype vehicles?
    “No”

    Have you seen examples of the EEStor cells behaving as they say they do?
    “we have a very strong level of confidence that the science works but of course like anyone else the proof is in the final product ”

    How many employees does EEStor have?
    Thats not publicly disclosed.

    Thats all you need to know. The rest is smoke.

    (I’m not saying it’s not a real technology–although there is zero disclosure, but there is alot of ‘non-developed real technology’ out there.)

    If you could go less than zero…that is the chance they put a commercially available EEstor EV on the road. Even if they had working prototypes in the garage right now, it wouldn’t have a prayer of even getting through the regulatory hurdles (which would be massive on this tech) in time.

    2009? 19 months? Production on the road?

    /I have some magic beans for you to buy


  8. 8
    Statik

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:34 pm)

    Sorry that should have read:

    If you could go less than zero…that is the chance they put a commercially available EEstor EV on the road IN 2009!

    I missed the 2009 part. It could happen some day…but that day isn’t in 2009.


  9. 9
    Eric E

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:40 pm)

    AMEN !


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    Jes

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:40 pm)

    #3 I typed incorrect. Should read 4 hrs 110V and 2 hrs 220V.

    We need an ability to edit


  11. 11
    Statik

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:45 pm)

    Nothing to do with this news:

    Barron’s says GM shares could triple…or you could go broke (‘A bet on General Motors would be risky ‘..in next 12-18 months), lol. Way to go out on a limb…and cover your butt, hehe.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/080601/generalmotors_shares.html?.v=1

    Tuesday is going to be ex-ci-ting. We get the May autosales with the goodness of the annual meeting. Most people figure GM is going to have to come clean on future SUV outlook and US market share…along with their fancy new plans for a ‘bold future’


  12. 12
    Terry

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:48 pm)

    I’m skeptical. My guess is the first production units will perform under their initial goal and they will say they are “ramping up” capacity over time.


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    JBFALASKA

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:49 pm)

    You sure can find an interesting angle toward what motivates the Volt fans.

    I’m ever more optimistic about our American future with the impending break from Middle-East turmoil oi.

    Thank you for driving the game in the right direction. Why this isn’t becoming a more ubiquitous point of conversation across the political spectrum is hard to imagine.

    USAF Retired military veteran after fighting to protect Oil lanes for more than 20 years. Sounds as though the subsidy of American soldiers and tax dollars to protect oil at no cost to the rest of the world is coming to an end.

    Thanks Lyle.


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    Alton

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:50 pm)

    This sounds great! Sounds like this could be the game changing product we’ve all been waiting for.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:52 pm)

    Nobody from Texas would ever try to deceive the American Public….errrrr, wait a sec.

    This all sounds too good to be true….and 99% of the time, when it is too good to be true, it IS to good to be true.

    I would prefer that they prove me wrong, it would be like winning the lottery for us all.


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    Jim F.

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:54 pm)

    Thanks for getting the interview, Lyle. Mr. Clifford sounds confident of EEStor storage units. If true, this will be a game changer. I noticed he hedged a little bit on the $200/Kwh, so apparently it will cost more than that. But still, it appears that the EEStor will be cheaper than lithium.

    Interesting info.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:55 pm)

    I’ve been following the EEStor story for almost two years now, and they’re always “within months” of delivering a product. So far, however, they haven’t even built a prototype, much less a product. Even Lockheed Martin, which created a big story when they announced that they are working with EEStor, admitted that they haven’t actually seen anything yet.

    I’d like to see the product work as much any anyone. If it works 1/10th as well as they claim, it would be a major breakthrough. However, so far they haven’t shown anything. Even worse, even if by some miracle the product does work, EEStor seems to have painted themselves in a corner with their exclusivity agreement with ZENN. If this were a real product, EEStor would be signing agreements with GM and Toyota, not ZENN. Even worse, ZENN is not only talking about putting them in unbuilt electric cars, but also retrofitting hundreds of millions of ICE-based cars. Dream on! Cars are amomg the most regulated and complex products built, and a simple replacement of the ICE with a battery and electric motor is a wild dream.

    Finally, if the EEStor device even worked as advertised, why would we waste them by putting them into cars? These devices hold 53KWH of power (the equivalent of 106 sticks if dynamite) and run at 3500 volts. A car would be one of the least likely places to put one, since an accident could result in a disaster. Say what you want about the slow charge of batteries, but it’s the slow charge and discharge that adds to their safety. If this product really did exist, it would only go into places there the high voltage and fast discharge would be appreciated and handled – utility load levelers (especially for wind and solar power), uninterruptable power systems, and railroad systems (which already routinely and safely run on 25,000 volts).

    I’m really hoping for the best, but my current thought is ZAP and EEStor is another ZAP Motors – promise everything, deliver nothing, and make it up in the stock sales.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:56 pm)

    Kent, you make a good point. An earlier posting mentioned Bob Lutz challenged ALL the other technologies if batteries could move a car 300 miles on one charge. I’d also have to agree with Jes. The ability to fully discharge all at once requires safety issues. There is another car company out there with a mix of ultracapacitors working with batteries. In that case the ultras only work when pushing the KWH load on fast starts or hard pushes. Probably a mix of battery storage and ultras will result. Nonetheless, all of this is better than oil addiction. Today, the NY Times said one hurricane this summer and $6.00 a gallon gas is here.

    I’m fortunate, I’ve started telecommuting 2 of 5 days a week and joined a van pool for on of the remaining days. Anything to cut down on foreign oil at ridiculous prices to Americans.


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    Raphael

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (9:59 pm)

    Anatoly Moskalev wrote on January 20th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    About EEStore supercapacitor hype :

    1. The company made claims about dielectric powder parameters – that is it. Claims themselves are likely correct. So they have powder with:

    Eps = 18500, Eth = 3 * 10 ^ 6 V / sm, Density = ~ 6 g / sm^3 ( Eth – practical electric field intensity threshold )

    For 12 um thickness of dielectric we get Uth = ~3500 V – top practical voltage. From a capacitor formula you could get

    C = ~0.2 F / kg resulting to energy density ~1.15 MJ / kg = ~320 Wh / kg

    For comparison Tesla Motors battery pack has 5 2 kWh / 450 kg = ~110 Wh / kg

    Capacitors formulas from school text books appears well known so after powder parameters verified EEStore CHEMISTS feel safe to make bold claims.

    —-

    2. But good physicist like me knows very well that capacitors physics under extreme conditions is not textbook straightforward. The dielectric constant involved will stay at indicated value until approximately 30000 V / sm electric field strength. This value is pretty high so measurements unlikely exceed this so they give high Eps value OK.

    But to get claimed energy density you need approximately 100 times higher field strength. Getting such field strenght is extremely unlikely in the Eps measurements. But the reality is that exactly in this field strenght region electrical induction gets saturation because it reaches the interatomic field strength. This is well know effect to physicysts but not very widely known phenomenon to general public. Resulted effect on the energy could be described as if dielectric constant gets reduced in the formula. My estimations demonstrates that actual energy density would be 25 – 50 times less than a claim.

    Resulted EEStore capacitor would approximately match currently available ultracapacitors by energy density per unit of mass making ~5 times better energy density per unit of volume. As such it would be marginal improvement over existing ultracapacitors technology. It surely would be a order of magnitude improvement for ceramic capacitors so it would have some use. But it would be nothing as bold as EEStore claims.

    In 1 – 2 years from now we will see what would be the outcome of EEStore activity. Judgement day for EEStore would come when somebody would build a capacitor and try to store expected energy into it. It would be discovered that above
    ~100 V voltage would grow with charge much faster than expected and finally instead of ~15 kWh it would be ~0.3 kWh at the highest possible voltage. But powder alone would match all the promises. Who knows – they might even think it is a big discovery of new phenomenon. So they would explain the failure by claiming they run into truly unpredictable effect unknown to science. Irony is that 1947 year physics knows it and today it is forgotten.


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    JBFALASKA

     

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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:03 pm)

    swimdad, I’m thinking the combination of batteries with ultras is the eventual path. I’m probably way off, but this is a new topic and has been entertained peripherally throughout. My guess is smaller ultras will be charged rapidly and discharged rapidly, perhaps to get those 40 miles in. Then the much slower, less efficient battery technology storage systems can plow along the rest of the way. Frankly, if in combination the car gets 250 miles, that would prove exciting. I still like the ICE concept with ultras or batteries too.

    We’re on our way America to a world free of sending $400 billion dollars annually of money overseas for oil. What a great future if only half of all this comes true.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:03 pm)

    Lyle,

    I wonder if you might have any contacts with lithium suppliers or anybody else that might be knowledgeable about lithium reserves that could be interviewed.

    I have seen articles that state we won’t have enough, and I have seen others claiming there is much more out there that currently isn’t being utilized.

    It would be nice to get some educated input on what the reality is.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:05 pm)

    Guess what!? I have an energy storage technology that provides a mechanism for instantaneous dissipation of 100% of the energy stored!!!!!
    It’s call gasoline and the mechanism is called an explosion.

    As far as recharge time, I think what he is talking about is that you are going to be limited by the capabilities of the delivery device. At 110V you just cannot provide enough amps to recharge faster than 4 hours, as 220 2 hours. At that rate if you were willing to ho0k up 5000 volts to your car you could recharge it in 5 minutes. 🙂

    As much as I want to believe them, I am extremely skeptical.
    Nathan


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:08 pm)

    To more clear on my point. I’d come home in the evening needing a charge. Whoops, I forgot bread, but need that charge. In a few minutes I have enough juice in the ultras to go to the store and back easily. Replug and charge up the ultras (in a few minutes) while the Li-ION battery charges across a few hours.

    Sounds like a mixed technology winner.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:11 pm)

    Lithium is ridiculously abundant. it is the lightest metal, and widely distributed, the only task is finding most concentrated deposits.

    Here some real info.

    Kings Valley, Nevada

    The Company currently controls over 80,000 acres within the region of the
    McDermitt Caldera through approximately 3800 Federal Lode mining claims.
    The lithium resources are contained within a portion of these claims and
    were defined by Chevron Resources in the early 1980’s during an extensive
    drilling and metallurgical evaluation program focused on delineating the
    lithium potential of the area concurrent with its ongoing uranium
    exploration program. 173 holes that were a combination of auger,
    conventional rotary and large diameter metallurgical diamond core holes
    were drilled. The lithium averages a grade of 0.279% Li over an average
    thickness of 40 meters. Using the data from this program and a cut off
    grade of 3.0 meters over 0.1% Li, a resource of 8 billion pounds of lithium
    metal or 42 billion pounds of lithium carbonate were estimated at the time.
    This is a historical resource figure calculated by Chevron Resources. A
    qualified person has not done sufficient work to classify the historical
    estimate as current mineral resources, the issuer is not treating the
    historical estimate as current mineral resources and the historical
    estimate should not be relied upon. The resource is not considered NI
    43-101 compliant. Chevron conducted extensive metallurgical tests as part
    of a scoping study and succeeded in achieving recoveries that averaged 85%.
    Lithium carbonate is currently priced at approximately $2.00 per pound.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:13 pm)

    #15 swimdad623

    I totally agree with the location for practiacl purposes. I was thinking the same thing while reading the interviiew.

    #16 JBFALASKA
    Yeah, I have seen ultracapacitors in busses (a few years back) to elieviate where on brakes and give added propulsion on acceleration, but I’s still worry about those as well. It never really took off.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:14 pm)

    I’m thinking a dryer plug in the garage for the car with the option to plug in at 110V for that “anywhere, anytime” plug-in refresh.

    GM will deliver the right hit, or as the earlier posting said, go bankrupt over the last great development attempt at a breakthrough with this car.

    Hope they make it and many others too. This is more important than even GM at this point.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:14 pm)

    Now, why don’t we get several PhDs, that deal with real physics on daily basis comment on EESTOR’s difficulties with fundamental physics constraints?

    (those who’ll point to 2006 BASF patent, please note that even BASF did not claim construct of such capacitor is possible, only that the powder had such properties.)


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:15 pm)

    #1, and #3, you should read the interview again. Here is the point specific to your questions:
    “The way that its designed allows for extremely rapid electronic charging times. If you have a charge situation where you have an EEStor device connected to another EEstor device in a charging station or even in a home, the ability to recharge in minutes as opposed to hours is entirely possible.”

    As has already been discussed, 5 minute charging seems impossible on 110 or 220, but a specialized charging station might do it. Imagine a capacitor station (at home or at the “gas” station) that charged over time, but charged an attached car within minutes.

    Sounds exciting hopefully there is some truth to all of it. The lack of disclosure isn’t reassuring. If I wanted vague promises of future tech on the cheap I’d just buy into the Volt 😉

    Poor GM… are they wasting scarce billions on a vehicle that will be obsolete before it even hits market? Could any automaker pop in the Zenn powertrain into an existing car and have a superior product for less money?


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:17 pm)

    #18 JBFALASKA

    I agree that a combination of ultracaps and batteries would work better than batteries alone. It’s almost certain that GM is putting some sort of capacitor into the power controller on the Volt. The system needs something to handle the surges in charging and discharging that batteries don’t like to handle.

    However, even today’s best ultracaps are not in the same category as a Li-ion battery. Capacitors have fantastic power characteristics (for quick acceleration and regenerative braking), but they only have a fourth or fifth of the energy capacity as the battery. Using ultracaps, the Volt would only go 10 miles or so without the ICE kicking in, and that wouldn’t meet the goal of driving 40 miles without using gasoline.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:24 pm)

    GXT
    I read that. It is not clear and makes no sense as stated. Way too many inferences to be made and ambiguity to this interview.

    I still stand pat by my #3 post.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:26 pm)

    add the prefixes to this so it doesn’t get taken off the website.
    AFS Trinity built a mixed ultra and Li-Ion car.

    metaefficient.com/cars/hybrid-uses-ultracapacitors-gets-150mpg.html


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:29 pm)

    In the prior post, it appears the car uses regenerative braking to flush the ultras full of juice. I thought the batteries did this by an osmotic process to the ultras. Looks like the beginning of something big though.

    The car again is a Saturn Vue by GM converted to hybrid.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:32 pm)

    GXT, good observation. That actually makes sense, utilize the recahrge to another ultra at home and when you come home, the charge is taken near instantly.

    Good points by all. Lord, does make you wonder if GM’s electric approach will be obsolete almost upon launch of the vehicle. $20K lithium batteries to date is pretty tough math in this industry.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:35 pm)

    Between the complete design revamp, and now possibly the entire electrical approach in question, I’m not sure NOV 2010 will be what all of us here expected.

    Still rooting for the General.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:36 pm)

    All energy to ground, in an isolated (tires) car? Yikes!


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:43 pm)

    It is possible to construct a serial hybrid with ultracaps from maxwell for under 25k. a serial hybrid with current tech li-ion batts can also be done under 25k. amateur level of course, not counting own labour/time.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:43 pm)

    If EEstor is going to be what they are claiming now, they’ll be the new Henry Ford, change the entire industry!


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:46 pm)

    I’m not sure what to believe from these guys.

    First, they talk about a 250 mile AER. For the Volt, we know it is designed to go 40 miles on 8 kWh of energy. A 250 mile AER for the Volt would equate to 50 kWh.

    Now comes the statement “You will be able to plug it into a regular 110 outlet and it will probably take about 4 hours to recharge or you could plug it into a 220 outlet and it will probably take about 2 hours to recharge.”

    So assuming a 30 amp service for 110 volts, the energy input would be (110) (30) (4) = 13.2 kWh. So maybe I’m missing something on the amp limit (for 50 kWh we would need 120 amps) or maybe the Zenn can go 160 miles on 8 kWh of electricity (50 Wh per mile versus 200 Wh per mile for the Volt).

    Anyway, I will take the same stance as many others – I’ll believe it when I see it.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (10:47 pm)

    I’m sorry, but I cannot believe for one second that any competent CEO would REFUSE delivery of a hand built prototype from a critical vendor of a new product technology. I wholeheartedly agree that a hand built prototype is NOT a guarentee that a high volume, low cost product can be developed based on the hand built configuration, but the corollary to that rule is – if they can’t even produce a hand built prototype, then they certainly can’t deliver a high volume, low cost product. A prudent CEO would ask for the hand built prototype in parallel to any development of a high volume, low cost product.

    I too have been hearing EEStor promise prototypes of the capacitor and / or vehicle for years, so I just won’t believe their promises until they deliver. At this point, I ignore their press releases. I used to work for Lockheed Martin, so it is not unthinkable to me that they may have been duped. Rafael suggests a likely scenario, that investors are being sold on a material parameter, without understanding what other physical limitations there may be in constructing a product.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (11:01 pm)

    Please read Dr. Moskalev’s comments on EEStor tech here.

    Very well thought out, and many issues pointed out.

    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog2/?p=46


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (11:07 pm)

    swimdad hit the nail on the head, #15:

    “If this were a real product, EEStor would be signing agreements with GM and Toyota, not ZENN.”

    So EEStor developed this technology over a decade ago, and none of the big OEMs have picked it up yet? And they sold it to ZENN?

    To me, that is absolute proof that EEStor’s technology is complete BS. I smell another ZAP.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (11:10 pm)

    As far as safety, don’t forget the car you drive today has a 10-30 gallon tank of GAS strapped to to the bottom of the car. Anytime you have energy stored on the vehicle there is a danger. We’ve just come to accept it being there.

    The 2009 date is for a vehicle outside the U.S, because of the safety requirements, or lack there of in other countries.

    Regardless, it is very intriguing technology. I hope it works out.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (11:13 pm)

    Eestor = always over the horizon, just around the corner. It has all the hallmarks of a fraud.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (11:31 pm)

    1st thanks Lyle for a great interview! You seemed to ask all the right questions!

    Like many others, I’m still a skeptic of EEStor as well. It sounds way too good to be true… a 3,100 curb weight 5 passenger EV with a range of 250 miles that could with the right setup be quick charged in 5 minutes, being sold for under $30k, and they could be on the road (though it sounds like not in North America at 1st) in Europe/Asia by the end of 2009! On top of that the energy storage system could out last not just 1 but 2 or more vehicles! As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Would love to be proven wrong. I remember being told 20 or 30 years ago that we’d have nuclear fusion by now, and now it’s still 20 or 30 years away at least.

    It also seems strange that a small company like ZENN has the exclusive up to such a high curb weight, as well as a complete exclusive on all conversions. Maybe ZENN was the only one willing to invest in EEStor when EEStor really needed the money and so didn’t have much choice?

    Re to swimdad623 regarding conversions of ICE’s to EV’s… conversions are not really all that difficult. Lots of do it your selfer types have already done conversions world wide. It’s easier to convert a manual transmission however. You do rip out a lot more junk than you put back in. After watching the “Who killed the EV?” movie early last year I did lots of research and had considered doing one myself. GM’s Chevy S-10 (with manual transmission) is a prime candidate as you can pick up high milage ones (or ones with a blown engine) at a reasonable price, and you can put a fair amount of batteries under the bed (a lot of the ones I see the bed has also been converted to pivot up like a dump truck so you also have easy access for maint). Check out http://www.evalbum.com/ for more. There is also one company out there that sells conversions of brand new ICE vehicles (sorry, can’t recall the name right now).

    With all the announcements of production mass produced EV’s, the Volt included, that I can sit it out and wait for one in the not so distant future, instead of starting another project that could take 6-12 months 🙂


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (11:34 pm)

    I would also be interested in hearing some good information from a knowledgeable source regarding worldwide lithium reserves.


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    Jun 1st, 2008 (11:50 pm)

    #1 and others. The “five minute recharge” claim is still there: have a charging station that has a similar capacitor charged up before you pull up and you can transfer it over in “a few minutes.” Of course that station would then take 2 hours to have that capacitor ready for the next car with a 220 line, but a higher power line could charge it faster if they had them.

    I’m skeptical as well. If this product does come to pass as advertised then much of what I’ve invested in battery plays become big losses … and I’ll be thrilled to lose it.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:00 am)

    a thought on 5 minute charging:

    assume you are charging 50kWh in 5 minutes, and a 95% charging efficiency (pretty generous, it may be lower)

    50kWh / 0.0833hrs * 0.05 = 30 kW

    so 30kW of heat will have to be dissipated during the charging process. not entirely impossible of course, but that is a heck of a lot of heat in a small volume.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:08 am)

    I see a man seeking attention and credibility and since GM Volt seems to become a reference in EV, it is only good press for him to talk about his projects here, but he doesn’t do much to back up what he is saying.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:11 am)

    Regarding lithium supplies: EVWorld summarized the controversy from the two camps of “peak lithium” vs “lithium in abundance” here: http://www.evworld.com/article.cfm?storyid=1457

    <<…a transition to electric propulsion will most likely take place gradually during the next 20 years or so.

    Within this time frame, lithium reserves are likely to augment not only because some new (untapped) fields (e.g. Salar of Uyuni, Bolivia) will be put into production, but also due to high lithium prices resulting from an ever-increasing demand for the metal. …
    … concerns about unavailability of lithium for the transition to electric propulsion at this point seem a little odd.”

    So yes current supplies would have a hard time providing for the complete electrification of the transportation grid, but the demand will ramp up slowly enough to develop new sources. Lithium is also recoverable from used batteries and will very likely be recycled as EVs eventually go out of service. And a point of information to any who are interested, SQM is the world’s major supplier of lithium. – http://caps.fool.com/Ticker/SQM.aspx – and they are not at all worried: http://www.glgroup.com/News/There-is-and-will-be-no-lithium-supply-crisis-for-battery-makers-so-long-as-Chiles-SQM-is-in-business-15641.html

    <>


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:32 am)

    I just found this off of Newsweek.com. I thought it was interesting and it echoes what I’ve been saying since I learned about the awesomeness that is the Volt.

    “Nissan unveiled a $115 million new plant outside Tokyo designed to build lithium-ion fuel cells to power a new generation of battery cars.”

    You see GM. I told you get off your collective asses and produce the car before someone else does. I’ve never bought a GM before, I wanted to real bad. I wanted a Volt, but it looks like someone else is gonna beat you to the punch, yet again. So sad…


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (1:03 am)

    Ian Clifford is wrong when he says lithium will run out.
    http://lithiumabundance.blogspot.com/
    Lithium is so cheap there is only one source in the USA at present.
    Also lithium batteries are recyclable.

    Raphael
    I agree with you, there is a huge difference between a power in a beaker on a bench and a working capacitor. Still at a low enough price point with the same power density as a li battery it would be a huge advance, given the millions of recycles available. I assume they can avoid the discharge problem of capacitors. Think leaving your cabin light on all day!

    BillR I agree with you as well. For the range talked about we are looking at a Tesla type battery, which, with a specialised 240 v 70amp charger takes about 4 hours to charge.
    So if we have 240V * 70amp = 16.8kW/hour.
    56 kW battery / 16.8kWh = ~3.4 hours

    Finally, an instant discharge of 56KWh = fried bodies and dental record checking. Think lightning strike! A couple of those and bye bye certification.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (1:06 am)

    Darn moderation, still can fix my typo. haha.
    Ian Clifford is wrong when he says lithium will run out.
    look up lithiumabundance DOT blogspot DOTcom/
    Lithium is so cheap there is only one source in the USA at present.
    Also lithium batteries are recyclable.

    Raphael
    I agree with you, there is a huge difference between a powder in a beaker on a bench (viewed by Lockeed Martin) and a working capacitor. Still at a low enough price point with the same power density as a li battery it would be a huge advance, given the millions of recycles available. I assume they can avoid the discharge problem of capacitors. Think leaving your cabin light on all day!

    BillR I agree with you as well. For the range talked about we are looking at a Tesla type battery, which, with a specialised 240 v 70amp charger takes about 4 hours to charge.
    So if we have 240V * 70amp = 16.8kW/hour.
    56 kW battery / 16.8kWh = ~3.4 hours

    Finally, an instant discharge of 56KWh = fried bodies and dental record checking. Think lightning strike! A couple of those and bye bye certification.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (1:37 am)

    “…architecture that EEStor has developed allows for basically instant discharge to ground.” Quick – somebody call Reno911, there’s been an accident.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:21 am)

    Post number 17 has the right answer although it is difficult to read the stilted English. Russian scientists are not known for literary skill. The basic issue is that EESTOR claims to be able to store an amount of energy in their in their capacitors that is more than sufficient to ionize the molecules in the dielectric. A battery stores its energy as ionized molecules. To get more energy density you need more ions per unit volume or per unit mass. Lithium has low mass, thus good battery. The volume issue relates to reducing unnecessary structures in relation to the amount of ions. But EESTOR claims to be able to store dramatically more energy but without ions. It won’t happen because when you try to store that much energy in a molecule by means of electrostatic stress, it will ionize. That is what post 17 was saying when they said that the field in the capacitor would have to be the same magnitude as intramolecular electrical fields. When you do that, you rip the molecule apart into ions. You simply will not be able to keep them from ionizing. Thus your capacitor will suffer a massive “punch through” and smoke and hot liquid metal will be the result.

    Short answer, lithium batteries are real for well understood reasons of known physics and chemistry. That is why they have prototypes and why you can buy an a123 powered tool at your local Lowes store. Capacitors will not achieve the densities of energy storage available from ionized media because their dielectrics would destructively ionize in the process. Most likely GM’s consultants have said as much to them or you wouldn’t see GM


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:25 am)

    Statik #5 Jason C #13 J.M.H. # 37

    My sentiments exactly. Folks I really smell a rat here.

    Understand that GM has working protos and will need the effort of thousands of staff to make the Volt a reality by 2010. This company doesn’t even have a biscuit and Ian says this vehicle will be ready by late 2009? This is a company that has been in trouble from the beginning, and since they’re probably facing extinction, why not try for Venture Cap. by aligning themselves with Texas based vaporware? Ian also alludes to Lockheed Martin’s agreement for validity which is based on ……nothing whatsoever in terms of product or testing. If he had any first hand knowledge or proof he wouldn’t even need to mention L-M.

    Do I have a unique nose(I have a very poor sense of smell 😉 ) or does anyone else smell the BIG, BIG fraud?


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:29 am)

    Sorry, I punched the wrong key and ended post 48 too soon.

    Anyway GM would not be risking development of the Volt and a whole fleet of other electric vehicles without involving EESTOR in the process if they felt there was any chance of EESTORs ideas being valid. They could easily buy EESTOR and ZENN outright to get the rights to the tech or just to protect themselves from someone else getting the rights.

    So, as much as I would also like to believe in the wonderful fantasy, it simply does not make sense from known laws of chemistry and physics.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:50 am)

    I remember when a breakthrough in “cold fusion” was announced. The experiment could never be duplicated, and the research was discredited. So, I’ll believe it when I see it. Zenn is probably the only financial backer that EEStor could get.

    If it proves to be correct, ZENN has the rights to it, a real gold mine. But that’s a pretty big IF.

    I’ll just sit back and wait for delivery of my ultracap-powered riding lawn mower. EEStor says it should arrive any day now. LOL


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:53 am)

    Well, I can say that it would be nice not to have to rely on lithium. Most of the world’s supply comes from Australia and Chile, but there’s significant quantities coming from China, as well:
    http://www.green-energy-news.com/arch/nrgs2008/20080024.html
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2004_Jan_22/ai_112444124

    I see one of the biggest hurdles for EEStor is that the history of using ceramics in large quantities in automotive applications isn’t that good.
    I think this quote from wikipedia covers the sentiment well:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceramic#Other_applications_of_ceramics

    “In the early 1980s, Toyota researched production of an adiabatic ceramic engine which can run at a temperature of over 6000 °F (3300 °C). Ceramic engines do not require a cooling system and hence allow a major weight reduction and therefore greater fuel efficiency. Fuel efficiency of the engine is also higher at high temperature, as shown by Carnot’s theorem. In a conventional metallic engine, much of the energy released from the fuel must be dissipated as waste heat in order to prevent a meltdown of the metallic parts. Despite all of these desirable properties, such engines are not in production because the manufacturing of ceramic parts in the requisite precision and durability is difficult. Imperfection in the ceramic leads to cracks, which can lead to potentially dangerous equipment failure. Such engines are possible in laboratory settings, but mass-production is unfeasible with current technology.”


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (6:04 am)

    #51 Randal and #17 Raphael
    Thank You both. This may be why EESTOR hasn’t gone public with their capacitor – they would have to answer to people like you. As I understand it (in my feeble brain) you can’t put 10 gallons of water in a 5 gallon hat.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (6:14 am)

    It’s either going to be the world’s greatest invention or the world’s greatest fraud. The CEO is not interested in having a hand built prototype for initial testing of all of the electrical systems? Not interested?! I don’t even work there and I’m very very interested. I would pay good money for an AAA sized hand licked (yes, as in made using someone’s tongue) test cell. My God man! Quit yanking our chains. Give us a hand built cell made of spit and bailing wire. Anything! Thankfully your hype machine is not stopping real product development. It’s just kind of creepy at this point. Zap, using water to extent car mileage, free energy… Yeah, that same kind of feeling. You’re going to have to produce a miracle to ever gain back peoples trust. If you produce what you have said then we will all bow in thanks. The world will be completely changed as though we experienced first contact.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (6:24 am)

    Just to state the obvious, the effect of the EEStor story is to inhibit investment in Lithium Ion Battery production facilities, because if the EEStor story is true, the battery will be obsolete. And also note that the myth about a lithium shortage was included in the interview.

    So the question we have to ask ourselves is who would want to inhibit the development of American owned lithium battery technology? Folks with a lot of fossil fuel to sell? Nah 😉


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (6:40 am)

    It’s funny how people say this will be a game changer or that it will be a winner in the marketplace. Folks, if this product does that they claim it will immediately make obsolete all forms of currently known energy systems. From lithium-ion, to fossil fuels. It will be possible to have electric powered passenger aircraft, electric battle tanks, high capacity electrical storage making solar and wind viable, etc. In short, it will change everyone’s life in the most dramatic way. More so than the invention of the atomic bomb, nuclear energy, steam engine, airplane, etc. It will change all geopolitics and have people staring into the sky with deer-in-the-headlights expressions painted across their faces.

    My prediction is that EEstor will not produce this product. The hype machine will build this up so much that every engineer, government official, CEO, tree hugger, etc. will know EEstor. They will claim some final problem found in the scaling but will have a new product that will fulfill some small niche market like an electrical capacitor used in TVs or something we here have no interest in whatsoever. They will then be able to sell their new product without ever having to spend a dime on advertising. They would not even have to have a one-page website made. Pure marketing genius!

    Ok, I give. EEstor, you got us. Funny. Now let’s get back to work on real products that will help us find a substitute for dwindling oil reserves. Why have I come to this conclusion? It just does not make any sense to remain secretive anymore. It does not make any sense that they do not have a working prototype cell after having the purified material for so long. It does not make any sense not to be working with big companies to get them geared up for the day their product is ready. As we know from the Volt, things take time. Especially medical products and road worthy vehicles. Nothing EEstor is doing makes any sense so I have to cry foul.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:01 am)

    Woo Hoo !

    So EESTOR / ZENN will have my FluxCapacitor powered car ready in 2009. This will give me ample time to extend my garage !

    I want to park this baby right next to my COLD FUSION powered Ferrari. I’ll park my Special Edition Aptera (that folds up into a George Jetson briefcase) on the other side.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:10 am)

    Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. That is all EEStor has done so far.
    Now they have ZENN do the talking for them.

    EEStor can do all of these things but without a lick of proof.
    Kent is a big fan of EEStor. I understand the desire for them to be right and I hope that some day Kent can tell us all, “I told you so. I told you so”. I just think that day is a long way off, if ever.

    Personally, I’m with Texas. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if EEStor was a complete fraud. But for all of us, I sincerely hope not.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:14 am)

    I really hope that EESTOR’s technology works out. This would be a game changer.

    However, I don’t think ZENN has the right approach. It’s naive to think that the masses will buy pure BEVs with no electric charging station infrastructure. An infrastructure of electric charging stations will take 10-20 years to roll out, and that starts only after a significant number of people own fast charging cars. So ZENN is designing a 2009 product for 2024 market. For this reason, not many people will buy it, and the charging station infrastructure won’t materialize.

    What we need is a car that allows the TRANSITION to a fast charging infrastructure. In other words, we need a car that can:
    1) slow charge at home
    2) fast charge at future electric filling stations
    3) fill up with gas or E85 at existing filling stations

    In other words, we need something like the Volt with the addition of a fast charging port. EESTOR’s technology could enable this. Such a car will allow people to use whatever filling station is available. If something like this was available now, at a reasonable price, a significant number of people would buy it. This will form a critical mass, which will motivate filling station owners to add fast charging ports.

    Ian Clifford talks about barriers to adoption, but the real barrier is the missing infrastructure. The only way to solve this chicken-and-egg problem is with a car that fast charges and runs on gas.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:23 am)

    I wonder if that “instant discharge to ground” would look something like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVF3iC_voyU


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:23 am)

    Well, when EEStor goes public, lookout. But so far, they have not sought financing from the general public in the form of stock offerings as far as I know. It’s a little different than the other pump and dump schemes we’ve seen. Still, an awful lot of hype for no public demonstrations. Steron (or Orbo) anyone?


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:31 am)

    I find the debate between the optimists like Kent and the pessimists like Statik to be quite amusing. I find myself falling into the “guardedly optimistic” camp and offer this thought to those comparing EEstor with ZAP: To my knowledge, ZAP’s hype is all self-generated. EEstor gets the benefit of the doubt by virtue of having third parties that are buying into its technology. ZENN has seen their proprietary data and is structuring payments based on milestones.

    One other thought: IF EEstor delivers what it says it will, ZENN’s “powered by ZENN” busiess model is brilliant.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:32 am)

    The CEO of Zenn said they’ve approached GM with this technology, and it looks like GM did not jump on it. I’m sure GM would have embraced this technology if it’s as great as described from this article. Just this fact makes me very suspicious. I do think they have something going because major companies have invested in them, but I believe it will be a lot longer for prime time on this product otherwise GM would have been greatly interested in their product. We will find out out at the end of this year!


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:39 am)

    “How many employees does EEStor have?
    Thats not publicly disclosed.”

    1. Go to EEStor’s physical address.
    2. Count cars in the parking lot.
    3. Multiply by 1.

    That will give a ball park estimate.


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    omegaman66

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:40 am)

    Texas said it right “It’s either going to be the world’s greatest invention or the world’s greatest fraud.”

    I have been following the EEStore story for a few years now. I can’t wait for the product to be shown for the first time. This year. Woohoo!!!! That is good news.

    As for as all the skeptics out there voicing vapor ware comments. I hear ya and my fears are that it will be all hype. Fingers and toes crossed that it will come to market soon.

    The charge time posted in this article is nothing new. People criticizing the charge times of the device are acting like something has changed. NOTHING HAS CHANGED. THIS IS NOT A RETRACTION. The EEStore device has the ABILITY to be recharge in minutes. How many of you have more than 220v at your house? How were you planning to recharge in minutes!!! As stated in the article which is consistent with all previous releases the ability is there, the infrastructure is not. A swimming pull has the ability to be filled in a matter of seconds…. but you still can’t do it quickly with your garden hose.

    Finally and article that answers most of the questions!!! I have been complaining about this and finally an article here that does more than just give you a hint and leave you wanting much much more.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:43 am)

    #69 Joe,
    GM has talked with EESTOR directly, but as Ian Clifford says in the interview, GM won’t bite until they see something close to a commercially viable product.

    As for the Volt, Bob Lutz had been pushing EVs for a while, but it was tha announcement of the Tesla Roadster that got GM execs to pay attention to him.


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    Schmeltz

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:44 am)

    I would like to hear Frank Weber’s take on the EEStor ultracaps. Check it out GM, if it’s a dead end, so be it. At least then we know.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:50 am)

    #71 omegaman66 says,
    “How many of you have more than 220v at your house? How were you planning to recharge in minutes!!! ”

    Fast charging ports would also use EESTOR devices. In other words, you accumulate the energy over time and then transfer that energy quickly from one storage device to another. This is probably how fast charging filling stations would work as well.


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    OzoneLevel

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:50 am)

    Any reputable company with a potentially world changing product would be out promoting and demonstrating it at all possible opportunities. The secretive nature of EESTOR’s claims and it’s unwillingness to disclose any kind of progress data/prototype leads to the conclusion that what they offer is too good to be true. Note that ZENN CEO happened to mention that ZENN is a public company. Can anyone say pump and dump?


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:57 am)

    Lyle — Wonderful interview. Thank you.

    Comment: Mr ZENN said “the ability to recharge in minutes as opposed to hours is entirely possible.” — Yes, and the ability of lightning to strike me as I typed this sentence was entirely possible, but it was not likely, and in fact it did not happen. That is, Mr ZENN said a lot of things that are true in some sense or other, but as you all have pointed out, there’s no product underneath the statements, yet.


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    Tom

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:57 am)

    A PRODUCTION AND RELIABILTY ASSESSMENT PLAN
    Plans of going into high volume production without proto and pilot production stages are naïve, and inexorably headed for disaster. Engineers can never foresee all of the potential production glitches. Murray Gell-Mann once characterized a fundamental law of nature (The Totalitarian Principle) as “anything that is not forbidden is compulsory.” The most efficient development strategy is to put as many man-hours into the early stages as possible, rather than waiting to solve small, unforeseen, problems that become horrendous once you’re in high volume production.

    GM, a company with a great deal of production experience, is concerned about being able to compress four years of Volt battery testing into two years. EESTOR apparently believes it can compress it into weeks.

    Among the many challenges EESTOR faces are:
    Can brittle ceramic materials (barium titanate) survive the mechanical and thermal stresses that can induce microfractures and failure?
    Can these materials operate under automotive environment -40 to 125C conditions?
    Can something that works in the lab be transferred directly to a high volume production environment to produce defect free (>1 ppm) product?
    These are issues that can only be resolved by extensive environment (shock, temp cycling, vibration/transmissability) testing and long term reliability testing of thousands of units.

    To leave this testing to the customer is irresponsible. People left stranded in the middle of a dessert or in the middle of traffic is not a
    good reliability assessment plan.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:04 am)

    #66 mmcc

    Nope, more like this for instant discharge.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V3OZMW_45M&NR=1


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:05 am)

    I agree with you “Texas.” This technology is either a lie, or the end of an era in mankind’s history. Seriously, if it were true (and every day I’m more skeptical, not less) it would be the re-discovery of fire.

    Today in the US Senate, debate on a bill to cap and trade carbon credits is going to begin. The number one obstacle to passage of that bill, is the cost to retrofit coal fired power plants to capture and store carbon dioxide, or decommission them in favor of wind, solar, natural gas, anything that does not produce carbon dioxide, or at least not as much.

    An EEStore device at the bottom of every single wind turbine in existance today, might make coal fired power plants obsolete. I’m not going to do the math, but with the thousands of turbines under construction as we drink our coffee today, the ability to stockpile energy in a cheap storage device would radically alter everything except the space-time continuum. If you thought 4 dollar a gallon gasoline was disruptive, think of what would happen when it’s 4 cents a gallon, and a ton of coal is free.

    Every spy agency on the planet has probably already dismissed it as a hoax. I wish it were true, I hope I’m wrong, but the skeptics stand a better chance of being right.

    Meanwhile, I’m ready to buy a Flextreme when GM says “we’re taking deposits.”


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:11 am)

    If EEStor is a public company, what is their ticker symbol?


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:18 am)

    #76 RB,
    Don’t discount the idea of fast charging. There are engineering issues, but not insurmountable. If EESTOR’s technology is commercially viable, then odds are fast charging will become viable.

    Specifically, the Volt has 8KWh of usable capacity. If the Volt’s storage device was fast charge capable, you could charge it in 5 minutes with a 2000 volt, 50 amp connection. Such a connection would require many special design features for safety, but I don’t believe these are insurmountable.

    As a comparison, if you told somebody 100 years ago that we would be pumping millions of gallons of high octane gasoline, they would surely think this was unsafe. But with proper engineering, safety is not a big concern today.

    The bigger question is whether people will ever really want it. If E-REVs go mainstream, then we’ll be using 1/4 of the oil we use today. Oil imports will vanish. As biofuels will ramp up, oil consumption will diminish even further, and this is all without significantly changing the current infrastructure.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:21 am)

    Dave exactly. Nothing has changed. It was posted earlier that EEStore was somehow backing off of the earlier predictions of quick charge capability. But that is not the case. A quick charge capable device still charges more slowly at 110 and 220 which is what every one has.

    I don’t see the lack of a quick charge (currently can easily be changed) at gas station to be a big hurdle. How often do you drive for longer than three hours straight anyway. I do it maybe once a year on vacation but other than that I don’t. I think I can live with that if it is going to allow me to never buy gasoline again for my car.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:24 am)

    I agree with other posters, that Zenn’s impact (intended or not) to the marketplace was to prevent investment / development of other energy storage techs like safe lithium ion chemistries, etc.

    There are political forces out there, that desire a collapse of our economy, so you needn’t look for individuals or companies motivated by greed. I believe a more likely suspect is the socialist movement, hoping to weaken / reduce the more wealthy capitalist segment of society, while assigning blame to the capitalists themselves. Socialists especially hate that individuals can drive their own cars to do things or to meet people without the consent of their family, neighbors and / or government. They claim their motivation is environmental, but it is actually socialist – denying individual liberties that threaten their power structure. Automobiles give people the real power of assembly, and socialists absolutely can’t stand that.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:26 am)

    FYI this magical device that EEStore claims they will be producing in commercial quantities by the end of 2008 isn’t something that only they are working on. MIT among others also working on similar devices. So it isn’t like EEStore is working on something so radically far fetched that it belongs in the relm of dragons and magic swords. Just incase some reader weren’t aware.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:28 am)

    #82 omegaman66 says:
    “How often do you drive for longer than three hours straight anyway. I do it maybe once a year on vacation but other than that I don’t. I think I can live with that if it is going to allow me to never buy gasoline again for my car.”

    I’m not sure what you are saying. Are you saying:
    a) You won’t go on vacation
    b) You’ll rent a car for vacation
    c) You’ll own 2 cars, 1 for longer drives
    d) something else I haven’t thought of?


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:32 am)

    EESTOR will not come out any product.

    BASF has a similar patent, in fact, with a higher power density, around 5.5kW/liter.

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/7023687.html

    BASF is a major player. If they could bring this to production, obviously they would, what do you think stopped them?

    As for Lithium peak. It is not possible. Lithium _CANNOT_ peak as it is not a consumable, as it is in case with oil/gas, it is only an energy carrier. It can be EASILY recycled, and is today, in industrial quantities. And in fact, it’s not even particularly toxic, unlike cadmium or lead.

    It is a widespread metal, it’s EVERYWHERE, just in low concentrations. However, there is a plenty of more-less concentrated deposits of lithium carbonate that can be economically recovered if needed.

    Just Western Uranium Corporation has reserves of 25 billion pounds.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:33 am)

    Dave G, #65 says, “It’s naive to think that the masses will buy pure BEVs with no electric charging station infrastructure.”

    I thought the same thing you did. I have previously stated I would not buy a BEV. However if one came along that was highway drivable and got 250 MPC, then I would buy it. I wouldn’t care if it took 6-8 hours to charge in the garage. I would only have to charge it three times a week and I’m okay with that. I can take my wife’s ICE car for longer trips.
    I wonder how many people would do the same thing? I do still believe that a BEV doesn’t stand a strong chance of being the only car in the family though. Of course, there are always exceptions.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:39 am)

    The end of 2008 is just months away , In less then six months the world will change forever or eestor & zenn will look like the biggest clowns ever. I hope the best but I fear the worse .


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:57 am)

    I would buy a 250 mile range BEV. I think on a trip, you could take a pit stop and have a long meal while you fill up. In an hour, you probably get another 100-150 miles, if recharging is available.

    I wonder if the really fast recharge is in a hypothetical charge station with a pre-charged EESTOR capacitor. He said something like that.

    Sounds like the current, or the voltage would be really high….

    Sure hope this is real…..but it has the feel of some other scams I have heard of. I wonder what the hidden pitfall is?

    Cant figure out how to produce the theoretical nanowires?


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:58 am)

    As an engineer for many years, I’ve worked on far too many projects that have ended up in the trash can. So I finally got wise and started asking a lot more marketing questions. You can have the best technology in the world, but if nobody wants it, it ends up in the trash.

    From a marketing perspective, a pure BEV is a tough sell. Most people are still worried about getting stuck. There are exceptions, but if you apply the classic 80/20 rule, with today’s public perceptions, pure BEVs are DOA.

    What I like most about the Volt is the job they did in marketing and high level requirements. 40MPC hits the market perfectly at 80%. Classic 80/20 marketing. Offering people the choice of electric, gas or E85 is brilliant. People love choices. The range is great. The price is reasonable (hopefully). It looks good. What’s not to like?

    Let’s hope GM’s engineers can execute as well as the marketing guys did.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:59 am)

    Sure , don’t give us a proto type. Just start mass producing them. Statik #7, Swimdad623 #17 and Jason M. Hendler # 39 are all correct. Sounds like a pump and dump to me. We cannot tell you how many employees. Give me a break. I’d be willing to bet a large amount of money they will not produce any product by the end of the year. Only another press release with an excuse as to why they are delayed. I’m a skeptic. Only believe it when I see it. Be it Volt , Tesla, Zenn. The next 2 years should be interesting. One can only hope.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (9:05 am)

    By the way, I also think Tesla’s marketing was brilliant. If you can afford $100K for a car, you can afford another car for longer trips. Also, classic startup marketing is to start with high end, low volume products and then work your way down to higher volumes as you grow. Even though their transmission isn’t working yet, they’re still sold out for over a year. So great marketing can even make up for some engineering deficiencies in the short term.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (9:13 am)

    Giant red flags here. They havent even seen a working cell? “I don’t care about something hand built”. I wouldnt give them a dime until I saw a working cell.


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    Dr. Science

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (9:15 am)

    Watch what they do, not what they say.
    So show us an example of the EEstor technology in action, even if it’s a scale model on a bench powering a light bulb.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (9:16 am)

    Dave G. wrote
    a) You won’t go on vacation
    b) You’ll rent a car for vacation
    c) You’ll own 2 cars, 1 for longer drives
    d) something else I haven’t thought of?

    The probability of having both my wifes car and mine replace with eestore ultracap cars as soon as they come out isn’t likely to happen because of the cost involved in buying two new cars AND the probable lack of availability due to limited production. So using the other ICE car for vacation is the most likely choice.

    If the price is low and I can buy one for my wife and convert my truck to eestore ultracaps then I will have to look at alternatives. Either renting or charging half way to the destination. I don’t think it would be too much trouble to find ONE restraunt that will let me charge while we eat. I would simply call around before we left, they get my business while charging or I go elsewhere. Spend a couple of hours there would be inconvinent but bearable if I can eat or combine eating with some other activity while we wait.

    Or I stop over at GulfShores which is roughly half way between my most frequent vacation destination and charge there. My boss owns a place there that I could charge.

    Pulling a range extender could easily be done as I have a trailer that isn’t being used. Might not charge as fast as it is depleted but it would probably add enough range to drive far enough before the car has to stop. If not then I stop at the 350 mile mark and eat while the generator recharges the car.

    I fully expect businesses to offer recharging free or via a pay to charge by the time both of our vehicles are running off of electricity.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (9:25 am)

    I really don’t think there would be much market resistance to a BEV that can get 250 miles per charge.

    Let me clarify. People will resist but it isn’t like you will be able to go out and buy any model of car and truck in 2009 with eestore under the hood. Overtime as the people most resistant see their friends saving hundreds of dollars a month on gas and the range not being a problem they will convert over and they will convert over before the capacity to supply everyone with one of these exist. So market saturation will not occur for a long time.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (9:47 am)

    #95 omegaman66,
    Saving hundreds of dollars a month is compelling, but you can do that with an E-REV. If EESOR works well and can provide 250MPC in a pure BEV, then I would guess EESTOR would yield around 80MPC on an E-REV. What is the advantage of a BEV-250 over an E-REV-80? If they both cost the about same, which do you think most people would buy?


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (9:58 am)

    I think there is zero reistance on a 250 mile charge. I mean 250 miles? Thats alot. The average person would go farther than that in a day maybe once or twice a year.

    And who are these people buying 30K+ new electric cars that don’t have a second car as well?

    I’d put the people who disqualify themselves because of the range at under 5 percent…however, I’d put a 30K price tag as disqualifying 85 percent of all buyers….95 percent at 45K. That is the bigger hurdle to mass acceptance, imo.

    The biggest question is will the reduction of costs for electric vehicle as they are mass produced be offset by the rising cost of Lithium? I think that the available Lithium has been understated…but it still could still turn out to be the ‘new oil’ if EV really takes off.

    Wait EEStor will solve all our problems…I forgot, how naive of me.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (10:02 am)

    Dave G, #96, says, “What is the advantage of a BEV-250 over an E-REV-80? If they both cost the about same, which do you think most people would buy?”

    Jumping in on your conversation with omegaman66, I would like to answer that. I would buy the BEV but only because we have an ICE car that my wife drives. I would not own a BEV as my only vehicle. But a BEV with 250 MPC sounds really enticing to me. I wouldn’t have any range anxiety with that, and I drive 101 miles per day.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (10:12 am)

    Back in the 70s when some of us were building hybrid electric cars stories like this were few and far between. Now we have super caps and a shortage of Li. I wonder what will be next? LOL

    Take Care


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (10:12 am)

    #81 Dave G said to me “Don’t discount the idea of fast charging. There are engineering issues, but not insurmountable. If EESTOR’s technology is commercially viable, then odds are fast charging will become viable.”

    Dave — I don’t discount the idea. In fact I’m impressed with it and hope it translates into industrial-grade products. BUT, I work in a research lab. We have ideas that I’m convinced are possible that we have not been able to build or otherwise demonstrate. So when I hear about how great things are going to be (real soon now), I’m interested, open to the possibility, hopeful, but cautious.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (10:19 am)

    Great interview, Lyle. That would be quite a power source if it really works the way it is talked up. I hope GM is watching very closely and keeping in very close contact with Zenn Motor.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (10:28 am)

    Dave G
    “Saving hundreds of dollars a month is compelling, but you can do that with an E-REV. If EESOR works well and can provide 250MPC in a pure BEV, then I would guess EESTOR would yield around 80MPC on an E-REV. What is the advantage of a BEV-250 over an E-REV-80? If they both cost the about same, which do you think most people would buy?”

    Don’t get me wrong I am drooling over an e-flex powered truck and either the E-rev 40 or BEV250 will do me just fine. The reason I see the “REPORTED” BEV250 as superior to the E-rev 40 for me (not everyone) is that the cost will not be the same. the BEV will be less expensive and and more dependable because there will be no ICE engine.

    A range extender can be added to the BEV to give it more than 250 miles if needed and there will certainly be a market for a REV that will never be sidelined by recharging. I and most people don’t fit that category. Initially maybe 40% of the population will think that they do but over the years that 40% will shrink as more and more people realize that they don’t NEED a driving range of infinity like is offered by the Volt.

    Sure I WANT the infinity range of the Volt but I don’t NEED it, at least not above the 150 mile mark. Obviously the cutoff mark is going to be different for different people.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (10:33 am)

    I can’t wait till the time people by cars without batteries or ultracaps because they got one for their sixtenth birthday. Batteries or Ultracaps will be offered as accessories. Just like when buying computers 10 years ago they always were priced with a monitor. Now-a-days it is common place to see ads for computers with monitors sold seperately because… heck everyone already has a monitor.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (10:37 am)

    So Zenn has the exclusive worldwide rights to their technology? That’s much less impressive when you look at what rights EEStor actually owns themselves. They have filed for protection for 3 different patent families:
    #1 – 1 US pending application, with rights to file elsewhere in the world, but has prior art concerns
    #2 – 1 pending European application, no rights to file elsewhere
    #3 – 1 granted US patent, 2 pending US applications, 1 pending Canadian application, with rights to file elsewhere

    Their total ‘rights’ to date include 1 patent in the US. No rights _at all_ in Asia, limited rights anywhere else. They need to get funding ASAP to extend their 2 patents to other countries, especially Japan.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (10:37 am)

    I’d easily biy a pure BET!

    If I had $104K, I’d buy the Tesla. I’m just waiting for the New Mexico plant to start rolling out some of their mid-sized, more affordable cars.

    Saying there is no market for pure BETs is quite a ridicoulous statement.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (10:43 am)

    98 Rashiid Amul….
    I’d buy the E-REV. As I said to a few GM people at VoltNation, AAA & other towing services have become so ubiquitous today, we seldom think about it. But REDUNDANCY is a major advantage of the Volt (or even ordinary hybrids). I LOATHE the times I’ve been stranded in a conventional car on the dangerous narrow strip left of the fast lane on a freeway …..or even just pulled off to the side on the still-dangerous shoulder of an ordinary road! It can still happen in a BEV if your battery fully discharges (lost, late-at-night, storm, whatever). And it’s too commonplace in a conventional car (think of all the police videos we see of officers or others struck or killed when stopped).

    But an E-REV has TWO propulsion systems. If the ICE/Gen fails,the battery should have enough reserve even at 35% SOC to at least get you to the next service station or a safe place to stop. Likewise, even if the battery is fully discharged, the ICE can get you safely off the road if not all the way home. To me, probably because of my NASA background, I hate the needless exposure to danger, waiting for an hour or more for help & paying towing charges —so the Volt’s full redundancy is PRICELESS!


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:18 am)

    Nasaman, #104. I understand what you are saying. But it has only happened to me once that the ICE failed and I had to be towed. Actually it was the transmission. However, I have had a flat tire many times. Redundancy clearly has it merits, but don’t you think a BEV (as long as people keep it charged) with a 250 MPC is less likely to have a problem than an ICE vehicle?

    While I don’t think it needs the redundancy, when I brake down on a deserted road on a dark stormy night, you will be the first to come to my mind, and I will kick myself for not being redundant.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:23 am)

    I don’t think I got this part across in any of my posts prior.

    But this guy, Clifford, the ZEO of Zenn is not the huckster/bad guy in all of this..he is actually the one who has been dumped.

    Awhile back EEStor got in touch with him and then convinced him in May of 07 to give them 2.5 million dollars in exchange for exclusivity on ‘automotive applications’ and 3.8% of the company. (They can also dump in/buy another 5 million if they like).

    Clifford now has a vested interest..and has such has to defend his decision and/or must continue to believe he has made the right choice.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:26 am)

    This stuff sounds great, but GM nees to just keep doing what it’s doing and not be distracted. Hopefully, they will get the Volt to the market in substantial quantity before it’s too late. If these other
    gee-whiz technologies pan out, so much the better. They can be embraced in the future.

    I mean, Zenn? I’m underwhelmed.

    Man, the comments are coming like a tidal wave. Can anyone say blog-fatigue? Someone at GM must be able to see the “pent-up demand” this represents. Great work Lyle, in developing this communications opportunity.

    BTW, where did the spell-checker go? I’m thinking of switching to a blog name. “Captain Typo” comes to mind.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:30 am)

    #104 Nasa

    I’m not sure propulsion redunancy is a ‘major advantage’ or a reason to choose one car over the other.

    I mean, for 99.999% of us we have been getting along with just one type of onboard engine.

    I think if you are in some kind of ‘mad-max’ kind of scenario, where the world is at war or you are 100 miles from humanity and all forms of government and social infrastucre is gone, and you face starvation or gang death in the wilderness…you might fear having to pull over to the side of the road.

    I’m ok with the fact I have to open my cell phone and wait 10 minutes for someone to come and fetch me if my car breaks down.

    It’s a ‘bonus’ I’ll grant you. But not knowing the inner workings/schematics of the production Volt, it may very well be the Volt is immobilized/immonilizes itself if either of the components go into failure, as a failsafe or to protect itself from unforeseen complications of the dual setup. You might find the Volt is actually twice as likely to be a $45,000 paperweight at the side of the road.

    I don’t know really…just saying. In my mind everytime something gets more complicated…it breaks down more.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:31 am)

    #107 Noel

    “Man, the comments are coming like a tidal wave. Can anyone say blog-fatigue”

    Just wait until tomorrow!
    (=


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:33 am)

    105 Rashiid Amul….
    I agree that a BEV should be less likely than an ICE-only car to break down —largely because its parts count is SO MUCH less and because properly-designed electric motors & control electronics are not credible failures.

    And I should have mentioned that, as I said to GM people in NYC, they should consider having a tire company design tires that are both run-flat AND low rolling resistance (stiffer sidewalls, higher-pressure) so flat tires become non-credible failures as well.

    Bye, bye AAA! 😉


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:42 am)

    I agree with Statik. Clifford has been “clipped”.

    Lyle, could you please start a new thread ?

    Potential Topics Of Interest…..

    1. Just where is that Continental plant that is going to assemble the T Packs ? (Northern Indiana ?) Continental recently acquired Siemens VDO in Elkhart.

    2. At this point, is GM willing to share any further info (block diagrams) of what all the T Pack will do ?


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:43 am)

    108 Statik….
    The whole reason I spent time with the Volt Chief Engineer (& other GM guys) in NYC was to try & persuade them to conduct FMEAs & worst-case analyses on the Volt to be sure that failure of the ICE/Gen would not cause battery failure (and vice versa). Also, remember the parts count in EITHER SIDE of an E-REV (ICE/GEN or Battery/Electrical) is much lower than in a conventional car, so it’s a good head start!


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:45 am)

    #106 Statik:
    Your suspicions of EEStor scamming Zenn (so to speak) could be right, but one has to wonder the legitamacy of EEStor when Lockheed has also gotten financially involved with them as well. That fact alone raised quite a few eyebrows when that occurred, underscoring that EEstor just really may be onto something. Neither the Lockheed association or the Zenn association with EEStor have proven the ultra-caps claims to be true, but it is building a bigger and better case IMO. One of these fine days, EEStor will finally have to “put-up or shut-up”, as they say.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:55 am)

    #112 Nasaman

    Your right of course. It may very well be a non-issue. I guess it comes down to how (…and how long) they test the product before it hits the market.

    Building in systems/redunancies to ensure independant function would be great…I wonder if it is in ‘the plan’ however, they have alot to get done…in very little time.

    Side note: I’m perfectly ok with my Volt needing a tow in case of failure of either system. I just chalk that up to the implied risk of owning a vehicle…stuff is going to go wrong. If anything I would assume a fresh 2011 Volt is going to have more than it’s share of problems.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:00 pm)

    Great interview Lyle. At least we can hope. Have you thought about arranging an interview with Prof Cui about the progress he has been making with silicon nano wires used in LI batteries? This research would seem to hold great promise also. I, and I’m sure everyone else, would like to know how his research is coming along and how much closer silicon nanowires are to being used in LI car batteries.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:01 pm)

    #104 nasaman

    The Volt will give you some redundancy in the sense that you have an ICE to recharge the battery, but you could still run out of charge in the battery and then run out of gas… the Volt doesn’t seem that much different than the current ICE only vehicles to me, especially when it comes to the classic problem of “running out of gas.”

    Besides that, there is no guarantee that a Volt will be more reliable than a regular ICE vehicle when it comes to breakdowns — who knows what new ailments might afflict the Volt. Personally, I’ve run out of gas once in my life and it was 20+ years ago when I was in high school and too poor to buy gas — basically, I ran out of gas due to my own poor planning. Since then, I’ve only been incovenienced a few times by flat tires and, ironically, dead batteries.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:10 pm)

    #113 Schmeltz

    To me Lockheed’s involvement (whatever it may be…seems kinda fuzzy) does not validate EEStor’s legitimacy. Lockheed is in the business of unproven technology.

    Whether it be MCC (Mars Climate Orbiter–I’m sure Nasaman could tell you more about that) failure…or the scads of failed airplanes (think L-1011 that pushed Lockheed out of commercial aviation for good in the 70s), or it’s mulitple failures in the late 90s on anti-missile/”star wars” tests (THAAD-they actually had a deal where they got paid for failures…at least 5 in a row).

    The company slogan is “Mission Success” which is kind of ironic. It is ‘out there’ on the edges of science vs. reality. More often than not, it gets paid/pays to ‘try’ and not always to ‘succeed’

    Nasaman? Any thoughts? I put it in the same pot with Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, etc.

    /wait how did I get way over here on this topic again? stupid internet


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:17 pm)

    114 Statik, 115 MD Dave….
    Statik, I’m NOT “OK with waiting for a tow” if it can be easily avoided for most failures! And Dave, when you say, “you could still run out of charge in the battery and then run out of gas”, that’s classified as two independent failures at NASA —failures of this type are considered “non-credible” and in practice are extremely rare.

    Hey guys, the whole point is that GM is starting with a clean sheet of paper & an elegant (simple) design that readily lends itself to full-up redundancy as we define it at NASA. So, as I said to GM, why not analyze & test the Volt mules & protoypes to maximize the Volt’s operational reliabiliy so GM’s marketing can truthfully advertize that, by design, “it’s the world’s most reliable car”?!?


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:25 pm)

    #116 Statik:
    Good points about Lockheed. I agree that the “if Lockheed believes it, it’s gotta be true” assessment hasn’t always bore fruit, but it does make me scratch my head on this one. You would think someone at Lockheed (and Zenn) had to have been privvied to something convincing from EEstor, and more than a pretty picture and dazzling explanation, to make these 2 companies get into bed with EEStor. I remain hopeful, but not convinced.

    I would think there is someone at GM who would have a good indication if EEStor is legitamate or not. I mentioned Frank Weber before, but there are probably a number of qualified scientists with enough understanding of these matters that they could sit down with EEStor and determine if their claims have even a chance of being met. I would strongly urge GM to investigate before they dismiss this.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:39 pm)

    I guess we will just have to wait and see if the claims are true or false. I do not know myself. I just like the Volt concept. And I can not wait for it to be available. But this topic has really heated up the post output. Good going Lyle and all of you who have made comments.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:41 pm)

    nasaman, I don’t know if I would classify running out of gas and battery charge as separate random “mechanical” failures that you can apply a statistical probability to; instead the problem is human nature. I think the mentality that causes people to run out of gas — be it negligence, procrastination or cluelessness as to how much fuel is in the tank — will persist with the Volt. People will see the battery charge and gas as a combined measure of how far they can go before recharging/refueling and run that down to zero for the same reasons people run out of gas now.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:44 pm)

    Returning to the topic, I’ve avoided commenting on EEstor because I’ve been watching work at the Georgia Tech Research Institute of a very similar nature —employing nanotechnology to maximize the capacitance & voltage breakdown of barium titanate. When I last checked, that work had resulted in improving the energy density by less than a factor of 4 — which I believe represents the current state-of-the-art for ultra capacitors.

    By contrast, EEstor’s patent says they can increase the energy density of barium titanate capacitors by 1,000:1! The problem with this is that the dielectric strength of barium titanate in its purest form is at best a few hundred volts (say 350V) —not 3,500V as they claim— so the resulting capacitance is reduced by the square of the ratio…..

    Therefore the capacitance is 350V/3500V^2 = (1/10)^2 = 1/100th of that claimed by EEstor, so their 52kWh claim becomes only 0.52kWh!


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:46 pm)

    Don’t wory too much about Lockheed. I have perfect confidence that they can take a flyer with EEStor and find a way to write it off against some cost reimbursable contract or another. If it works great. If it doesn’t the DOD, and ultimately we, will pick up the tab. If the contract is “black” enough, we never even need to know about it.

    #109 Statik:

    Oh yeah, tomorrow’s the big tap dancing recital, huh?


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (12:47 pm)

    PS: I have a call into the lead investigator on the work at Ga Tech mentioned in post 121 to see where their research stands & I’ll report it here if/when they respond. For a short description of that work, go to….

    http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/newsrelease/barium-titanate.htm


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (1:03 pm)

    The cityZENN has held my attention since I first learned about it some months ago.

    Their delivery promise is late 2009, so we’ll know whether EEStor and ZENN are for real or not 6 months to a year before the Volt.

    If ZENN and EEStor do deliver, then ZENN might well be the next Google.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    Smoke Haiku

    Eeestor, Cold Fusion
    Hydrogen Infrastructure
    Gotta Bridge For Ya

    zzzzvoltzzzzzvoltzzzz


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (1:24 pm)

    nasaman:

    I’m with you on the benefits of redundancy. However, there’s plenty of decisions that have yet to be made that can completely eliminate the benefits of the redundancy.
    Couple of cases from my experience:

    I used to drive a ’72 Ford F250 pickup with dual tanks. I ran out of gas once because the switch for the gauge was separate from the switch for the fuel flow (this was so you could check the levels independently). However, I had the switch set the wrong way and ran out without realizing I was running out of gas. To make matters worse, those were in the carbeurator days and I couldn’t re-prime the carb without some help, so I was stuck even though I still had gas!

    More recently, I was out installing something inside the Honda Hybrid and was listening to the radio. I had the door open and to keep the $#!@$# bell from boinging I left the key in the ON position. After maybe a half an hour, the 12V battery died. The traction battery was FULL. This car doesn’t even have a regular alternator, it uses the IMA motor/traction battery high voltage system to generate the 12V for the regular stuff. Also, it has 2 starters, the 12V one and it can use the IMA motor to start the gas engine, which it does when starting the engine after being stopped at a light or something. Anyway, it was impossible to start the car (no power for the 12V starter), I had to hook it up to the battery charger. A normal car would have lasted much longer running just the radio, even with the key set to ON, but I’d forgotten that additionally the steering, oil pump, A/C, etc. are electric in this car, not just the fuel pump. In any case, I was completely shocked that it didn’t just run charge out of the traction battery which is what it does when the engine stops while driving (I already knew the programming wouldn’t let the IMA motor start the engine). I’ve sat for longer than that parked in a parking lot with my foot on the brake and the engine off while key is on after driving. Only THEN it uses the traction battery.

    Anyway, GM’s spending some time on the \Volt, so I don’t expect anything as messsed up as above. Besides the Ford (which died every weekend for a variety of new and unexpected reasons 🙂 the only other faults that have roadsided me are transmission failures (3 times) and a blown head gasket. So I’m really looking forward to the transmissionless electric drivetrain! 🙂


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (1:29 pm)

    OK, OK…I guess I can share this now.

    I’ve been told that Lockheed is using EEStor’s FluxCapacitor out at AREA 51. Their “Reverse Engineered Roswell Saucer Project” is turning some pretty hot laps around the test track.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (1:36 pm)

    Wow, if this is true, who needs the volt. I can just modify my current car. I am a little cynical though, I have been following this story for years and nothing so far. I will believe it when I see it. In the mean time, patiently waiting here for my electric car, hopefully I won’t be dead by then.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (1:40 pm)

    There are a few things that don’t really make sense to me:

    An energy storage device that can discharge all its energy instantly sort of sounds like a bomb.

    I don’t see how such world-changing technology (if real) could sit idle and undemonstrated for ten years. Would be like if I invented the hover-car (like on Back To The Future) in 1998. I didn’t bother to mention it to anyone, but in 2010 I will be mass-producing them.

    Hope this is all real, but it still sounds too good to be true.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (1:42 pm)

    Exp_EngTech #125.

    I KNEW Area 51 was hiding something secretive. When I was there,
    I just couldn’t get into the correct rooms. I was wearing a suit of invisibility but that only makes me invisible. I couldn’t pass through walls with it. But I sure did scare the heck out of the soldiers that were guarding the place. That was really funny. They acted like the place was haunted. 🙂


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (2:08 pm)

    Boy, what a bunch of cynics. Me too.

    Come on GM. Time’s a wastin’.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (2:24 pm)

    One thing is for sure, ZENN is consistent in their interview

    http://media.cleantech.com/2644/zenn-gearing-up-for-eestor-powered-car


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (2:28 pm)

    Folks, just a little bit on redundancy, it is the idea of not having a single component preclude a mission critical task. This involves active systems, rather than static system. The Volt has one drive motor with two sources of supply energy, so it has more redundancy that a non-hybrid, but the same level of redundancy as say a Prius.

    To have “fully redundant” drive system, one would need two drive systems, one for the rear wheels, one for the front.

    I think the question asked in post 61 is a good one. 😉


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (2:32 pm)

    A123 was not taken seriously until selling product in large quantities for power tools.

    Surely, EEStor can sell to some large corporation with less requirements than automotive…if a viable product exists.

    Is EEStor selling anything except media interviews and press releases for 10 years? They must have a great sales team…imagine what they could do for a company with available product.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (2:46 pm)

    Spell check is your friend.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (2:57 pm)

    Why can’t EEStor display something to the public? They could easily set up a black box with three AC cables coming out of it and run a motor on a dyno. Just get some third party to watch and tell us how long it lasts and how fast it goes, then divide by the volume and mass of the black box to determine the energy density and power density. We never even have to see what is inside the box.

    Just give us SOMETHING. If you can’t, then either it’s all a big lie, or it “works on paper” but not in the real world for reasons brought up by others here.


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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:15 pm)

    #139 Brian M:
    “Just give us SOMETHING. If you can’t, then either it’s all a big lie, or it “works on paper” but not in the real world for reasons brought up by others here.”

    AMEN brother.


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:15 pm)

    We sure do find ways to cover every side of an issue. Is there no issue we can fully agree on? GM is committed to the Volt and their future is dependent on its success. I think we can all agree on that, right?


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:27 pm)

    I have tried to submit a comment 4 times that went into moderation. I did not use any bad words except c. r. o. c. k.


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:34 pm)

    I give up trying to submit a comment after 6 awaiting moderations. I can not figure it out. I did not say anything I haven’t seen in other comments.. Must be a combination of words thing. I dunno……..


  145. 145
    N Riley

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:34 pm)

    Test:

    bill of goods


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:35 pm)

    Test:

    crock


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:35 pm)

    Test:

    crock
    “bill of goods”


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    Shawn Marshall

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:36 pm)

    Why would EEstor give anybody exclusive world wide rights (for vehicles with 4 wheels) to the most significant technological development of the last century or so? Please, a little realistic skepticism seems in order.
    What about 2 wheel and 3 wheel vehicles?


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    Other than simple English words and the word (crock) and the phrase (“bill of goods”) was all I typed and it went into moderation.


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:38 pm)

    Sorry, people for using these posting as a test bed trying to determine what caused my comments to go into moderation. I think we all have been wondering. I am no closer now to the answer than any of the rest of you.


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    mrjerry

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:50 pm)

    Ok, lets get somehting straight right now – how safe does this sound

    http://www.rexresearch.com/weir/weir.htm

    Dick Weirs (CEO) EEstor
    Weir says the voltage will be stepped down with a bi-directional converter, and the whole system will be secured in a grounded metal box. It won’t have a problem getting an Underwriters Laboratories safety certification, he adds. “If you drive a stake through it, we have ways of fusing this thing where all the energy is sitting there but it won’t arc … It will be the safest battery the world has ever seen.”


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    akojim

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (3:57 pm)

    It is just a “feeling”, but EEstor’s ultracaps remind me of Veg-O-Matic and Ian Clifford’s interview comments remind me of one of those guys who used to hawk Veg-O-Matic. Maybe it’s me, but I have this feeling….


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    akojim

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (4:02 pm)

    N. Riley – it isn’t the text in your posts that lands you in moderation, it is your name – they are confusing you with Bill O’ Reilly.


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    nasaman

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (4:06 pm)

    142 REFER TO MY POSTS 125 & 127 BEFORE READING THIS:
    Those 2 posts were hung up for moderation; since then I’ve talked in some detail with a lead investigator on a research program using BaTiO3 in nanoparticle form VERY similar to the work EEstor claims to be doing —in fact, published just a month after EEstor published its first major claims last year. He said they had been overwhelmed with questions from the press & others about EEstor as a result. I promised not to disclose any opinions or facts revealed to me from our conversation this afternoon. So the following comments are simply MY OWN conclusions based on my own study of the EEstor patent(s) as a physicist and the contemporary work by extremely-competent researchers at this major university…..

    1) As many here have expressed, it would be GREAT if if it were true!

    2) It defies fundamental physical principals for BOTH the dielectric breakdown to reach 3,500 volts AND the permittivity to remain high

    3) The EEstor claim that their BaTiO3 “pore spacing” is reduced or eliminated at low temperatures (~150 C) is not credible

    4) Since the energy density (E) of any capacitor is….

    E = 1/2 (CV)^2, where C = Farads & V = Volts, a reduction in break-down voltage from 3500V to 350V (much more likely) results in a reduction in E of 100:1, which is credible, but rebutts EEstor’s claims

    5) BaTiO3 nanocomposites produced by virtually ANY means are extremely brittle, therefore subject to catastrophic failures due to microcracking; hence the enormous number of plates (substrates) required for capacitors as large as even 1 kWh would be highly prone to shorts (all sections are in parallel, so 1 short kills them all)

    6) MY OPINION ONLY: There’s NO con like that when the promoters, scientists or not, are themselves conned —cold fusion is perhaps the most notorious example that comes to mind

    Therefore, we can dismiss EEstor and ZENN’s claims out of hand! 🙁


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    N Riley

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (4:09 pm)

    Hey, I like Bill O’Reilly. But I can see your point.


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    Len

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (4:39 pm)

    The Volt shouldn’t need any ultracaps. The A123 batteries have a lower internal resistance than other lithium ion batteries and can charge and discharge at amazing rates, maybe not quite up there with EEStor, but pretty amazing for a battery. Electric model airplane fliers have been tearing apart the DeWalt packs since they came out and now the Black and Decker. The batteries have been sorely abused and I don’t know of anyone using them that are not impressed. There is a section on batteries at http://www.ezonemag.com under discussion.


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    Statik

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (4:42 pm)

    #127 Nasaman

    I’m going through your link now, but I have to confess I find myself having to refresh alot of basic principles to comprehend it all.

    Your technical understanding on this subject off the top of your head is truely impressive. I try to keep abreast of alot of new advancements…but my subcripstion to Acientific America isn’t covering this one, lol.


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    Statik

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (4:47 pm)

    GAH!

    “…but my subscription to Scientific American isn’t covering this one, lol”

    I just can’t let the bad spelling go…curse the disappearance of the spell check.

    Lyle gives…and Lyle takes away.
    You are a cruel master Lyle, cruel!


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    noel park

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (5:22 pm)

    #149 akojim:

    Makes me think of Lucy Ricardo and “Veta-Vita-Vegamin”, hahaha. All the same difference.

    #141 N Riley:

    Put me down as agreeing with that.

    As to “moderation”, I don’t think it’s any specific word you typed. You’re just in the system now boy! Be careful what you say on the phone and in your e-mails. Those super computers over at the NSA can tell troublemakers when they see them. Don’t take it personally though. All of us will be there soon enough.


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    Neil

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (6:00 pm)

    I’m going to go off into wild speculation land just short of conspiracy world. If this works, they (EESTOR) might actually be encouraging doubt as to the workings of this device. I say that because my (amateur) look at their patents didn’t reveal anything very new or interesting. Perhaps there isn’t anything very new about it and it’s just how it’s put together that gets it over the hurdles so often pointed out. Their patents may not give them much protection (particularly in China) and they won’t have long to make money once they come to market. Sometimes knowing something can be done is half the battle.

    Release car in Europe or Japan with a major OEM? Sounds like Renault/Nissan to me. This thing would fit in rather nicely with their plans.

    pump and dump? They aren’t even a publicly traded company. So unless ZENN is in on it (very unlikely) … not possible short of an IPO.


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    NZDavid

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (6:30 pm)

    Nasaman
    If Georgia Tech Research Institute replies to your request about power densities, ask them what the discharge rate is as well.
    Afterall, there is a reason companies are only using ultra caps for short term storage!

    Statik.
    I await your update on the AGM with baited breath.


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (6:48 pm)

    Raphael # 86

    BASF is a major player. If they could bring this to production, obviously they would, what do you think stopped them?

    *** *** ****

    Raphael, good point, I’ve wondered the same about Maxwell. What would stop them from pursuing this same technology? After all they’ve got quite a bit more experience with super caps than does Eestor.

    Folks, this entire promotion by Eestor reminds me so much of a stock promotion scheme some years back by a company promoting a snap in 35mm digital cartridge for 35mm SLRs. There was never any independent testing except when they created their own fictitious company to evaluate their product. The similarities between the two as to behavior are staggering.

    For 2010-? it’s Li-ion, pure and simple. I’d love to be proven wrong, but I seriously doubt that will happen.


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    Jeff M

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:06 pm)

    If 5 (or even 10) minute quick charge was possible, even a BEV-120 would be great! It could also solve the problem of going too far w/out recharging and running out of juice on the side of the road. Some tow trucks and road side assistance services can offer a partial quick charge so you can make it to the next quick charge station.

    Yes, redundancy can be good… and is requirement when the thing you are supporting can’t be brought back to the shop once it’s been deployed (space shuttle, etc). However redundancy always has a cost, it rarely comes for free. Not only the upfront cost (in this case for an onboard generator set, aka range extender), but maint, emissions testing fees (nothing to test with a non-hybrid BEV), stale fuel, but it adds more moving parts, so more points of failure, which even if it is independent and allows the vehicle to continue to operate on battery power alone, could still increase repair costs. Look how many shuttle missions have been scrubbed on the launch pad because a redudant system failed even though the primary systems were fine.


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:11 pm)

    Nell #158

    “pump and dump? They aren’t even a publicly traded company. So unless ZENN is in on it (very unlikely) … not possible short of an IPO.

    **** **** *****

    Oh how much you have to learn! They can CERTAINLY accept investment as a privately held company, and in fact it’s easier to pull off fraud when the SEC has no jurisdiction. And….I’ll let you in on a little secret…..pssstt…..It’s been done many MANY times!

    I’ve said this before on this site, but it doesn’t surprise me at all that these two-Eestor and Zenn- are bedfellows. Zenn is a beleaguered company that can’t even sell it’s product in the homeland. That same product isn’t even capable of highway speeds, so it’s essentially a retirement community vehicle. Eestor makes fantastical claims and can’t demonstrate a product, and has been turned down by the world’s largest automaker, who certainly has “fog-free” goggles. Both want publicity for essentially the same reason.
    No need to spell this out!


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    mien green

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:17 pm)

    # 39 @ Jason M Hendler

    Given that the ZENN CEO expects EEStor commercial product by the end of this year and his high confidence level, maybe he’s already seen a handbuilt prototype cap demonstrated, albeit at lab bench scale. Hence his interest in only production scaled product. Would also explain Lockheed’s buy-in.

    Something to consider…

    #110 @ noel park

    Perhaps “blog aka thread fatigue” may be defined as the point where posters stop reading all of the previous replies before contributing their own comments.


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    mmcc

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:52 pm)

    #78 NZDave

    Yeah, I like yours better. LMAO


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    nasaman

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:53 pm)

    SEE POSTS 125, 127 & 152 (ALL DELAYED FOR MODERATION)

    FOR A TECHNICAL ANALYSIS/CONCLUSION REGARDING EESTOR


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    Neil

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (7:56 pm)

    Griz: I am under the impression that “Pump and Dump” is by definition a small cap stock swindle (usually penny mining stocks with exaggerated claims, often seeded, followed by a quick sale) If there isn’t any “stock” then it’s another form of fraud (perhaps I’m just splitting hairs but each type of fraud has it’s own name). If I read the press releases correctly then the money being paid for portions of the company is going into research and development and building the facilities. (although I don’t know how much the principles of EESTOR are being paid)

    If this doesn’t work out then my read is that this will be well intentioned failure. (We’ll see if anyone gets rich)


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    o.jeff

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:11 pm)

    Problems with Cobasys batteries….

    “Production of the 2008 hybrid Saturn Vue sport-utility vehicle, Saturn Aura sedan and Chevrolet Malibu car is behind schedule because Detroit-based GM is replacing about 9,000 nickel-metal-hydride battery packs in all Vue and Aura gasoline- electric models built last year, spokesman Tom Wilkinson said today. Fluid within the batteries was leaking, he said.”


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    Arch

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:37 pm)

    #113 Nasaman

    I do not think the tires will be a problem. In 1974 when we were building our hybrid I contacted Firestone about building a tire for us. They said no problem and had them to us within a month. The same thing happened in the late 70s and early 80s when Briggs & Stratton built their hybrid the samething happened. Firestone had them to us within a month. They were very stiff sidewalls. We ruined
    one tire. One day when we got everything hooked up one of my students decided to take it for a spin during lunch. He spun the wheel inside the tire and messed up the seal. We had been pushing the car around for months. Nobody had ever put air in them. Good
    thing Firestone sent us 5 of them. These sidewall did not deflect at all with about 2500 pounds of weight on them.

    Take Care
    Arch


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (8:58 pm)

    “Pump and dump” probably probably by default associated with small caps is endemic of the larger problem, and the topic at hand. That being the Steve Miller Band problem. “Ah ooohhh Ghhaaah….Go on take the money and run!”

    When money develops legs and “runs” you can split hairs all you like about “stock”, the SEC or whatever. When you invested your heart out and all you’ve got to show is material “snake oil” what difference does it make?


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    Neil

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (9:26 pm)

    As someone who used to do work for the security department of a bank chasing fraudsters and money launderers, I just like to keep my fraud tactics strait (there’s zillions of them). Sorry about splitting hairs, but you wouldn’t call a Ferrari a Lamborghini just because it’s a fast Italian sports car.


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    Grizzly

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (9:53 pm)

    Neil #169

    Maybe, but if both companies swindled your money what difference would the brand or method make?


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    jbfalaska

     

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    Jun 2nd, 2008 (11:13 pm)

    Does seem strange EESTOR would license “world-wide distribution” to a car company called Zenn. If this was a sure bet, why? Still, the idea of ultras or some equivalent science as coequivalent enablers to get the automotive industry into long-range electric transportation would prove the greatest advent since the car replaced the horse and buggy.

    Go GM. Chevy Volt – American-made, American-FUELED. Leave the Oil Barons and Sheikdoms behind America.


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    omegaman66

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (12:15 am)

    171 jbfalaska
    ” If this was a sure bet, why?”

    Maybe because Zenn came up with the money. Maybe the financing was an enabler that GM, toyota etc wouldn’t put up.

    I don’t know if this product will ever see the light of day I hope so.

    Maybe EEStores thoughts run something like this: “1.we need money to move forward… thank you Zenn.
    2. This will revolutionize the world… cars, trucks, planes, replacement for generators at home, cell phones, flashlights, ups, commercial ups for plants to allow more controlled shutdowns during blackouts, military apps, energy storage for even distribution of wind and solar energy, conversion of existing vehicles.
    3. Demand will not be met for a long time because production will not meet the totally overwelming demand when everyone wants this
    4. As more and more eestore plants are built which will take time then by then Zenn will have evolved into a big company like GM that might not make cars at all but instead just supplies the drive trains to GM, toyota etc.
    5. GM, toyota etc will be able to build their own drive train systems for autos bigger than the contract with Zenn encompasses.

    This would make EEStore the largest most powerful company on earth or very close to it. They would be the NEW big bad oil company but would have a monopoly.

    ********************************************************
    I am not predicting the above just answering a question of why Zenn.


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    Alex

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (2:22 am)

    Not that it has a whole lot to add to the conversation … but I find it immensely interesting that the chief technical skill Ian brings to the table is being a former protege of Ansel Adams.

    Basically, in my mind we have a former photographer that made a deal with some guys from Texas. His depth perception regarding production difficulties probably is a bit off, wouldn’t you guess?


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    Vinayababu

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (6:31 am)

    The stories of these two companies are difficult to assimilate and too good to be true.In all probability both of them could just be offering baits for the Angel investors if not for IPO as mentioned here.
    The claim of the 5 minute charging of a 16kwh buttery is also equally astonishing. How can the components of these batteries with stand such heavy current and intense heat generated.


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    NZDavid

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (6:47 am)

    Vinayababu
    They never claimed to recharge a 16kWh battery in 5 minutes. They claim to recharge a capacitor, which we estimate, of about 50 kWh in that time. The bus bar and cabling etc. would have to be pretty robust to handle the heat load, but the capacitor would handle it OK.

    The real problem is building the capacitor in the first place. IMHO.


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    Darius

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (6:56 am)

    Eco #79

    The impact of wind turbines on overall power system stability is overestimated and reserve and regulation cost is minimum. Unfortunately I have only print edition article “Estimated Impacts on Wind Power Systems” (Modern Power Systems) Practically the impact varies between 0,1 ¢ to 0,4 ¢ per kWh up to 20 % of wind power in total power mix. I don’t think wind and solar power with supercaps will bring new era. I agree on power systems optimization and regulation might be cheaper.


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    Franklin

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (7:46 am)

    Call it pump and dump or whatever. There IS stock involved. ZENN is on the TSX in Ontario: http://www.tsx.com symbol znn. The stock regularly doubles, then sinks back, timed with media announcements, interviews, and stories, almost always through Tyler Hamilton (Toronto Star, Clean Break blog) about the magical purity of EEStor powders, etc.

    Typically, the stock move up just before, and then shoots up just after one of these media communications, indicating perhaps that somebody knows a report (and subsequent stock interest) in immanent, and then the price slowly drifts lower. When it gets to roughly the half way mark, Presto! another announcement, another “purity of powders” benchmark.

    What I find interesting in all the comments here and in the other forums where hopeful, EV-interested people hang out and the discussion turns to EEStor, is that all too frequently, human nature overwhelms reason.

    Think about it: physicists and electro-chemical engineers (not just Russians, but also people with Maxwell and others – google “capacitorman” – are telling you that the best evidence is that the EEStor people (who don’t come from backgrounds in this area of science) have made an easily identified, FUNDAMENTAL error in their calculations – that they appear to have been unaware of an observed limitation that renders the textbook formula inaccurate for their proposed setup. Nothing secret, not some possible difference in approach that EEStor has taken but that these physicists and engineers don’t know about. Just a plain, old, out-in-the-open, greenhorn ERROR.

    But human nature’s Wishful Thinking Gland excretes the nonsense hormone, and the comments in response are, “well, even, so, I’ve just got my fingers and toes crossed that this EEStor thingy’s Magic Dust really and truly works, anyway!”

    Reminds me of the OJ jury being led into magical thinking: DNA evidence is totally conclusive proof, yeah, that’s OJ’s skin cells under Nicole and Ron’s fingernails, but, uh,

    “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” DNA proof be damned.

    Is EEStor a swindle? The ZNN stock has doubled and receded at least 5 times, all based on news releases for an idea that does not even have a working prototype. When it all falls apart – well, whoops! We ran into some strange new physical properties. And then retirement in Switzerland or the Cayman islands for all those on the inside.


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    Raymond

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (8:00 am)

    Yep, after some (overnight) reflection on the subject, sounds like someone is trying to boost their stock market value so they can spend a nice summer at the beach…

    Show me a power pack, have an independant party do some tests. Then, dependong on the results, I may wish to invest a few dollars in your project. The rest is just bla-bla…

    Has anyone thought to have Bob Lutz give us his impresssion? Apparently they have been in contact with him no?

    But… Human nature being what it is, I’m crossing my fingers and toes hoping that at least 90% of what they claim is true…


  182. 182
    johng

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (9:23 am)

    The comment that Clifford made: “The ability of the architecture that EEStor has developed allows for basically instant discharge to ground. So they’ve got becasue it is solid state the ability to dump that energy virtually instantly”

    That speaks volumes of his knowledge of physics. Does he think “ground” means the thing he walks on? Is he aware, as other posters have said, that “instant discharging of 100 sticks of dynamite” will not be a subtle event?

    The BT gets it high K from an assymetry of the charges in its structure. When one puts it in a high field, guess what? The charges move, and the K drops dramatically. If he thinks there is a way to keep those charges in place, then he is mistaken. Course, maybe that same magic keeps the “instant discharge” from happening.

    As Franklin points out, there is a story behing the story, somewhere. I would guess that the EEStor people made the dielectric in the patent, (actually someone elses dielectric) and saw the High K, and made the innocent and common mistake of guessing E=0.5 CV^2.

    And, while I am here, again people are comparing this to Georgia Techs work, and MIT. They are totally unrelated. GT’s work is on loading epoxy with BT powder, they get a K of about 50, and a practical working voltage of about 50. MIT’s work in on nano-tube carbon formats that allow very high surface areas for 4 volt capacitors…they cant go higher unless you series them, and then you drop capacitance.


  183. 183
    Eric in KC

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (10:13 am)

    I was a little concerned by the limited supply of Lithium this guy was talking about…

    I think we all should listen to awesome Nirvana song “Lithium.”


  184. 184
    Eric in KC

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (10:14 am)

    I was a little concerned about what this guy said about the limited supply of lithium.

    We should all listen to the awesome Nirvana song “Lithium.”


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    Vinayababu

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (11:22 am)

    #176 NZ David
    OK that is right, they have only Capacitor , but I was referring to some other claims mentioned in these posts regarding quick charging of Li-ion batteries. Sorry for the misrepresentation


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    omegaman66

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (12:30 pm)

    #180 Franklin
    “But human nature’s Wishful Thinking Gland excretes the nonsense hormone, and the comments in response are, “well, even, so, I’ve just got my fingers and toes crossed that this EEStor thingy’s Magic Dust really and truly works, anyway!”

    So I take it you hope the EEStore claims are all false!!! Virtually everyone here has expressed doubts.


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    johng

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (12:48 pm)

    Great post, Franklin


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    noel park

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    #165 nien green:

    Moi??? It’s a big temptation, but I try my best to fight it off.

    By the time I check this out, at 8 AM PDT, it’s usually all been said anyway, so I just sort of respond to the other comments.

    Blog on guys!


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    Franklin

     

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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (1:36 pm)

    Omegaman66,

    Actually, there are plenty of skeptics on this thread. And I don’t “hope” or “not hope” – which in this case would actually mean “trust” or “not trust” – anything based on press releases.

    To further explicate my original point:

    “I’ll believe it when I see it” is an inadequate response to scientists telling you in pretty understandable terms that E=0.5 CV^2 can’t happen under EEStor’s voltage assumptions.

    If EEStor issued a press release revealing that the sun revolves around the earth, you wouldn’t “hope” anything, and you wouldn’t skeptically say “I’ll believe it when I see it.” You would say, “No, you are in error, what you are claiming is simply incorrect.”

    Unless, of course, as I was trying to point out in relation to EEStor, your “hope” for the sun to revolve around the earth (cheap EV disconnected the rational part of your brain.

    But I am sorry that I personally offended you, since it was indeed your comment that I was lampooning:

    #71: “As for as all the skeptics out there voicing vapor ware comments. I hear ya and my fears are that it will be all hype. Fingers and toes crossed that it will come to market soon.”


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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (3:22 pm)

    Franklin: If you had never seen a bird fly then the laws of physics might persuade you that heavier than air flight is impossible. Maybe they found something. In the mean time I’ll just wait (no money invested) and rely on the incremental improvements of the lithium battery to get us out of our current mess. People without hope tend to slit their wrists.


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    Jun 3rd, 2008 (4:55 pm)

    […] EXCLUSIVE: CEO of ZENN Motor Company on EEStor, EEStor Storage …Youve got to remember that the GM Volt has an electric range of about 40 miles and we would be looking at a 250 mile electric range, without a range extender. Is the EEStor technology less expensive than lithium-ion cells? … […]


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    Jun 4th, 2008 (2:18 am)

    there is no free lunch here.


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    Jun 4th, 2008 (10:19 am)

    Whichever technology comes to the fore, we will need lots more electricty to power these beasts. One potential technology stands out in this regard. I can’t promise you that it will work. That it will be successful. But I can promise you that it isn’t fraud. Focus fusion is a novel method of producing electricty by nuclear fusion that could well get us out of this energy mess. And its timeline isn’t decades only perhaps 5 years. Focusfusion.org


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    Jun 4th, 2008 (10:20 am)

    Whichever technology comes to the fore, we will need lots more electricty to power these beasts. One potential technology stands out in this regard. I can’t promise you that it will work. That it will be successful. But I can promise you that it isn’t fraud. Focus fusion is a novel method of producing electricty by nuclear fusion that could well get us out of this energy mess. And its timeline isn’t decades, only perhaps 5 years. Focusfusion.org


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    Jun 4th, 2008 (1:51 pm)

    I would really love to believe this, but I just can’t. Let’s assume for a minute that eestor has found some ingenious way to bend the laws of physics as we know them and can actually do what they say.

    The first thing any new technology does is build a proof of concept. That proof of concept would then be used by Zenn to start designing any systems that interface with the power source. Zenn has stated that no proof of concept has been recieved or even seen.

    The only reason any new technology company would not have a proof of concept is if the technology doesn’t work to the publicized specifications and they’re buying time to burn more money.

    As for Lockhead’s involvement, they don’t neccesarily want a method of storing energy that is 10 times smaller and lightweight as current batteries. Their interest could be purely for use as a conventional supercapcitor that is highly scalable and some what more efficent than current supercapcitors, which the physics tells us is possible.

    The sad realization is that everything looks like eestor knows their product can’t meet the huge promises they’ve made and now they’re just delaying facing the music for as long as possible. I really hope I’m wrong, but that is highly unlikely.


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    Jun 4th, 2008 (7:32 pm)

    […] secretive Texas company EEStor that supposedly has developed a breakthrough energy storage device. Ihttp://gm-volt.com/2008/06/01/exclusive-ceo-of-zenn-motor-company-on-eestor-eestor-storage-units-cit…Scooter sales zoom as drivers look for cheaper ways to get around Everett HeraldLYNNWOOD — When […]


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (4:18 am)

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    Jun 5th, 2008 (12:30 pm)

    I have followed this, and read all the patents. In my opinion, there are two reasons why this product is impossible, and four reasons why its impractical.

    The first, stated above, is that BT is not a linear dielectric, so E does NOT equal CV^2. The second is that they totally ignore the mixture rules. When one mixes BT with plastic, as in one of the EEStor patents, or glass, as in another, the K drops to below 100, not the 20,000 they claim. The work at GTech is of the former, they mix the BT with epoxy, their K is 50, four time higher then the same system that DuPont and 3M make.

    Its impractical because there is no way the dielectric can take the high field they need; they require over one million square inches of 13 micron dielectric without a single defect, (paper is about 75 microns; one cannot fire that system using nickel electrodes; the cost of the materials is way more then they claim; and they cannot possibly re-invent every process step, (there are 30) needed to make an MLC. The list goes on…

    They claim in the interview, that in case of a problem, they can almost instantly discharge that energy to ground. That’s called an explosion.

    Why spend two years making pure BT when they can buy it…would you build a sawmill so you can make 2×4’s so you can build a house? Of course not, but they could have bought pure BT way back. They seem to be intentionally delaying the building of a dielectric and then a prototype.

    At best, they still don’t know if their system will work. They likely have never built a capacitor before, and now they are going to beat all 12 MLC manufacturers at their game.

    Crazy, absolutely crazy.


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (1:00 pm)

    Well perhaps we won’t have to wait until the end of the year to be more certain about all this. In the above referenced interview Ian states that the next milestone to be announced any time now is third party verification of permittivity and power density at the specs required by Zenn for their vehicle. I am not a physicist but I would understand that to mean verification of what others more knowledgeable than me have so far deemed impossible, ie high permittivity at high voltage. Have a listen – am I correct?


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (5:24 pm)

    #199 Marcus – EEStor has delayed before, I seriously doubt they’ll declare failure and shut down this year (unless their funding runs out). That said, I don’t think EEStor is a pump-and-dump in the “retire on a beach somewhere” sense. They haven’t raised that much money and what little they did raise was invested in equipment and salaries. Scammers would have raised much more money in much less time and stuffed it in Swiss bank accounts instead of spending it on R&D. IMHO these guys are true believers.

    Here’s my theory. We all know water freezes at 32F, right? But you can easily supercool a bottle of Dasani drinking water to 10F or below and it will remain liquid. In the lab they can go much colder. I think EEStor’s founders observed something analogous to supercooling years ago in the lab: the ability of miniscule particles of ultra-pure BT to resist dielectric breakdown at higher-than-expected voltage. They extrapolated this lab-scale result to full scale and rushed off to file a rather ridiculous patent. Ever since then they have tried, and failed, to build a working prototype. They managed to convince themselves, and their investors, that this failure was caused by insufficient BT purity. As such they’ve focused their efforts on making ultra-pure powders.

    It’s easy to fool yourself with stuff like this, especially when you work in isolation. Of course by now they probably wonder if something other than powder impurity is at work. But it’s really hard to give up the dream, so they soldier on.

    It’s just a theory, but it explains why they’re so secretive (they think they really have something) and why they’ve never shown anyone a working prototype (they don’t have one). It also explains the exclusive deal with pseudo-company Zenn and the pseudo-deal with real company Lockheed (can’t get a real deal with a real company unless you have a prototype). It also explains the lack of follow-on funding from Kleiner Perkins. A couple years ago I was skeptical but hopeful about EEStor. As time went by and it became clear they’ve never shown anyone a working device, I came to accept that they’re probably just delusional.


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (6:17 pm)

    “They haven’t raised that much money and what little they did raise was invested in equipment and salaries. Scammers would have raised much more money in much less time and stuffed it in Swiss bank accounts instead of spending it on R&D. IMHO these guys are true believers.”

    Dog,

    It’s the ZENN stock. When I first heard the EEStor hype in early 2006, (and prior to when the people who actually know something weighed (in), I wondered if I could buy stock (see, I’m a hopeful fool, too). As you note, however, EEStor, isn’t traded. But after I tracked down where most of the EEStor insider-ish, anonymous “sources” info was coming from – Tyler Hamiliton’s Clean Break blog – I learned that ZENN (originally named “Feel Good Cars”) was about to go on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), and that ZENN had first dibs on EEStor technology.

    It all looks like arms length, but look closer: as long as you had reliable media contacts to put out more “purity of powder benchmark achieved” and “ZENN is revving up for EEStor” stories for you in a TSX-timely fashion, you could play a $3-$5 stock just like you could a $100 stock. And pocket millions.

    Is that what is happening? I have no idea. But go to tsx.com, look at the 3-year graph for ZNN. Line up all those fast upward spikes (followed by slow sell-offs) with the clean tech investor media communications about ZENN and EEStor. Anyone with the foreknowledge to ride those waves using a third party would be very rich by now, and probably never be caught (unlike the “take the R&D money and run” scenario).


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    Jun 5th, 2008 (7:39 pm)

    Well here’s the thing though. There is pretty reliable evidence that these guys have built a production plant. Several people have reported this including Lockheed and Martin. The only way this makes sense is either they are for real and have a prototype or they are complete scammers. One or the other. Ian says they apparently have enough money for what they need to do. This means there is absolutely no obligation for them to go around showing their stuff off to people. Others would try and copy and they would be inundated with publicity slowing them down. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the patents that they have so far are deliberately leaving out the crucial information – and thus leading everyone to think its all BS. Well it might still be BS but its a hell of a scam if it is one. Is there a precedent for a fake company to have a whole production facility built? How are they supposed to make all their money through this? Insider trading? That’s pretty easy to trace I think.


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (12:20 am)

    Franklin – the EEStor guys were plugging away at this many years before doing the Zenn deal. There’s no evidence EEStor principals are violating securities laws to scalp a couple million off Zenn’s stock. Someone may be pumping and dumping it, but not EEStor. There is so much interest in their technology that if they really wanted to risk jail time they could make a lot more money with a lot less effort using the direct approach. No need to work indirectly through a pseudo-company like ZENN.

    Marcus – There is no evidence they have a working prototype and quite a bit of evidence they do not. So why build a “production plant”?

    1. To show progress to customers and investors
    2. To save time by skipping the slow prototype stage
    3. They believe only a production cleanroom can deliver the required purity
    4. They’re developing production line and prototype in parallel

    Hard to say what they’re thinking. One thing that’s easy to say is if they had working prototypes of such a revolutionary device there would be no reason whatsoever to talk to a flaky outfit like Zenn. They already had the best-connected VCs in the country as investors. Simply show Kleiner-Perkins a legit demo and almost overnight they’d have more top-shelf strategic partners, customers and development funding than they could ever imagine. Heck, KP would have bought Chrysler for them. They’d never let them mess around with a non-player like Zenn.


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (7:51 am)

    Often I have wondered when someone shows an official id, like “FBI” how they know its real, I wouldn’t know what one is supposed to look like.

    Similarly, how would the average person know what a “production line” for making BT powders look like? The one I know is a 100 x 100 ft building, almost 4 stories high, with a big central silo-like reaction chamber. That makes sufficient powder to build about 10 of the EEStor systems per day.


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (10:51 am)

    Good points. Well I just hope the next 3rd party verification milestone is made public soon. If it doesn’t say anything significant then I’ll give up on them. But if I am interpreting Ian in that interview correctly it should indeed say something important.


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (11:46 am)

    Even so though, its still hard for me to believe they’ve built a production plant without a working prototype. You would have to be nuts.


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (12:50 pm)

    To be fair, I think all that was said was someone witnessed a “scalable process”. That’s a long way from a “production plant”.

    Did I miss something? (won’t be the first time)


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (1:00 pm)

    Ok, you have a point. We’ll just have to wait and see.


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (2:55 pm)

    Yeah this feels like a ‘wait’ more than a ‘see’… I finally worked my way through this whole story and looked at a few older stories elsewhere about ZENN and EEStor…

    I’m no genius by any means but a battery (oops sorry) a ‘power-source’ that is made of ceramics & glass causes some concerns for my simple brain …. LOOK OUT for that pothole!!!

    Maybe that’s a silly (and negative) way of thinking….I hope that EEStor can produce something viable and soon!

    Maybe, we could have a pure EVhybrid with EEstor providing the backup, range-extension charging the main ‘batteries’


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    Jun 6th, 2008 (11:51 pm)

    Actually johng, here are some of Ian’s words:

    “To be very clear, this is not a lab that they are building. It is a full, state of the art production facility that is nearing completion, and we remain very pleased with their progress.”


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    Jun 7th, 2008 (7:40 am)

    Thanks, Marcus, I did miss that.

    But the mystery deepens, where would they get the approximately $100 million that would require? No matter what, they still need a very large place to make that much material….as mentioned earlier, each unit requires a million square inches of 13 micron dielectric, which has to be cast and handled in a super clean room….it boggles.


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    Jun 7th, 2008 (7:46 am)

    And then, if someone were building a capability that large, (to make only a couple units a day would make a larger capacity then now exists in the US), it could not be kept quiet….any of the dozen equipment suppliers needed would be buzzing, and we have heard nothing. No deliveries have been pushed out, nothing.

    Maybe its being done abroad.


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    Jun 7th, 2008 (11:41 am)

    I did read a cryptic post on some blog a month or two ago (I’ll see if I can find it) by someone claiming to be working for or as a supplier. The post basically said something along the lines that they are definitely ramping up their operation.


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    Jun 7th, 2008 (10:00 pm)

    I personally don’t think that Eestor is ‘scamming’ or ‘fake’. The reason they’ve kept mysterious, the reason that they don’t even have a website or contact information, the reason that the company seems to be an ‘underground’ operation is because it *doesn’t* want to be noticed by any of the big oil companies.

    They don’t want to be in the cross hairs of Exxon, Shell, Chevron, etc. They want to keep everything under wraps so that affordable, rapid charging, long-range electric cars have a chance at becoming a reality.

    It is all about self-protection. They *have* to keep out of the public as much as possible, they *have* to remain mysterious and hard to find if they want to push for electric cars. Eestor knows that the *moment* that they put out contact information, or begin to trade on the stock market, Big Oil companies will be all over it. They have to remain secret to give electric cars a chance to evolve to the point where it can replace oil/gas as a means of fuel.


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    Jun 7th, 2008 (10:34 pm)

    Mark #214

    Makes no sense whatsoever. To trade on the stock market they’ve got to be a publicly traded company, which they’re not. They’re private and funded by VC group(s). Why doesn’t A123 or CPI or Enerdel make the same claim for secrecy? Answer: They’ve all got proven products that live up to the claims. I’m afraid that big oil paranoid excuse is just a little too far fetched.


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    Jun 10th, 2008 (9:07 pm)

    EEStor developed the technology 10 years ago but ZENN does not have a prototype yet? Oooookay.


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    Jun 20th, 2008 (6:12 pm)

    the oil cartel excuse is valid, as long as there is a certain level of doubt then the tech is invalid as far as the cartels are concerned. it is a very smart move on eestor’s part. of course they have a proto-type. all the eestor investor’s have seen it, that is why they have given the money. believe me, these investors are not stupid. No one would hand over millions to eestor based on the flawed patent. Eestor produced a very nice proto-type that convinced KP, LM, and Zenn as well as others. there is no doubt that eestor tech will be out ASAP. they want a Fully built, full comercial production in process BEFORE they ever give the general public any validity to the viability of their claims. this is VERY smart by Eestor. in a nutshell, Eestor’s secrecy and confusion is exactly what they should be doing until they start SHIPPING retail product to Zenn.


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    Jun 21st, 2008 (12:15 pm)

    Noone has specifically said, first person, they have seen a prototype. The one person from Lockheed-Martin said he did NOT see a prototype, reread the interview.

    Venture capitalists invest in the person and the dream, If there were a prototype they could have gotten money from a bank, or any one of the dozen ceramic manufacturers whose product they would replace.

    Most experts have said it is an impossible quest. I believe them more than the hearsay. To claim a dielectric that violates the laws of physics is a pipe dream.


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    Jun 21st, 2008 (1:13 pm)

    Ok, eestor’s patent is flawed. everyone already knows and acknowledges this. to think that these top level investor’s and LM would give millions to a company based solely on patent info that is guaranteed to Bomb is not reality. there is no dream there. it is guaranteed to lose their money. But, because these respected, winner investor’s have chosen to proceed after meetings with eestor shows that eestor is definately on to something not included in their flawed patent. all this negative press is soley based on people thinking the whole technology is derived from the patent info. and because eestor and their partners are refusing to give the correct info. so because of this, we cannot conclude anything based on the patent info. But, Only on the people involved and the depth of their interest. so, I guarantee that all these top level investor’s have seen something demonstrated that has pulled them in. be this a proto-type or a change in the tech not included in the patent info. This is reality. it is basic common sense. The silence and non-disclosure of the real deal is neccessary because of the impact this tech is going to have on the entire industry. this tech, as it is released and evolves over time, will reshape the energy world as we know it. my message is simple, do not ever think anything is impossible. High density energy storage is not only possible, it is Here, Now. not only with eestor’s tech, but literally hundreds of scientists worldwide are developing other similar technologys. wether it be eestor or some other company, this technology is reality and we will see it soon.


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    Jun 21st, 2008 (3:30 pm)

    @Mike,
    So your theory is that they’ve developed some kind of earth-shattering game-changing technology, and so therefore they’re NOT going to patent it? That would be the dumbest business move ever in the history of business. If they don’t protect their technology by obtaining a patent in every country, their product will simply be reverse-engineered by every interested company on the planet, and they won’t be able to do anything about it.

    The way American patent laws work, EEStor would have to file a patent within 1 year of the first demonstration or offer for sale to anyone. 18 months after filing, it gets published automatically (before granting). If they fail to file the patent in time, the patent will be invalid, and again, no protection.


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    Jun 21st, 2008 (3:59 pm)

    well, they can change up to 10% in their current patent and still be protected. Also, they can file a new patent if their tech changes more than 10% and still be protected under patent pending. My biggest point is that there is no way eestor is getting the funding they have gotten without some kind of guarantee to investors. also, given the investor’s involved, I can guarantee you they would NOT be on board unless eestor showed some compelling technology. But, it is all speculation at this point. there is no way to tell for certain wether they have it or not. the ONLY thing we can go on is the people involved. and believe you me, the people involved in eestor are heavy weights to say the least. if these guys were medi ocur small timers I wouldnt blink an eye, but the fact is, eestor has drawn some huge companies which tells me they have something big. Only time will tell for sure. but I must go with the investors on this one. because these people are not stupid, you can rest assured that they did their homework well before handing over the multi-millions they have already. that is why they are in the position they are in. eestor has also built a 100 million dollar facility in cedar park to manufacture their tech. so we are taking investment funds exceeding $100M. there is absolutely no way this is false technology.


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    Jun 21st, 2008 (4:12 pm)

    @Mike,
    I’m not sure where you’re getting this 10%, but it’s not from US law. If someone manufactures a product that is even 1% outside the boundary of their patents, they would have a hard time proving infringement, unless they can show equivalency under the Doctrine of Equivalents. This is not usually very easy to prove, and would be risky to depend on that..

    EEstor can file for a continuation (i.e. new patent based on old patent) if they develop the technology further. However, again, if they’ve demonstrated the new, improved technology to ANYONE, the 1-year clock begins ticking again. Failure to file in time means either a failed patent application, or an invalid patent in court.


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    Jun 21st, 2008 (4:17 pm)

    But everyone has their opinion and they do vary. eestor has had this patent for 10 years and just recently has drawn the attention of several hard line investors. including the US military contractor LM. you must read between the lines on this. they have been developing this for 10 years. and all of the sudden Wham!! instant money. why not 10 years ago? looks like a huge development to me. did they finally solve the problem? LM, Zenn, and perkins all seen to think so. they are the people in negociations, touring the facility and researching their probability for success. we as by standers have nothing to go on but a patent and who is involved. to me, it sure weighs heavy in favor of eestor.


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    Jun 21st, 2008 (4:36 pm)

    ok I am not a Patent Law expert by no means. I had read somewhere years ago that someone could change a invention by 10% and get a new patent for their similar invention. if this was true, it seems to reason that one could upgrade their patent to that degree and still be protected. but regardless of the patent law debate, I just do not see heavy weight investors blowing 100+ million dollars on a tech they know will not work. this is not reality. so however you want to slice it, this debate will go on until the product lives or dies.


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    Jun 21st, 2008 (6:03 pm)

    All I can say is that I certainly hope they have filed more patents than those that are currently published. Zenn’s claim to a ‘world-wide exclusive license’ for everything with 4 wheels isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, if it isn’t backed up by actual patents. So far, they only have 1 US patent, and a handful of applications elsewhere. No protection at all in Asia, including India, China, or Japan. Not much of a world-wide license.


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    Jun 22nd, 2008 (10:44 am)

    Abattoir; good comments. As I understand it, one must also provide “best mode” so that any person “of ordinary skill in the art” can duplicate it. I know of such people, and they could not duplicate the results of either the US patent or the published world patent application.

    Mike: This is interesting; it appears that my comment that it would take $100 million has been interpreted by you as assurance that they have the funding. Given the press they had about a couple million grant, dont you suppose a lot more real headlines would be written. I dont believe the “production facility” for the reason it would have made such a big splash, both in the financial community and in the industry.

    Gosh, Zenn would have gone to $100!


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    Jun 24th, 2008 (10:56 am)

    In a news story this morning:

    “The remarks caught McCain flat-footed on a day when he focused on
    energy issues — first in a speech, then at a town-hall meeting and
    then during a news conference as he stood beside two $100,000 electric
    cars. McCain offered $300 million to anyone who develops a
    revolutionary automobile battery, and he predicted such incentives
    would lower alternative energy costs.”

    There is an additional incentive. Someone tell EEStor!


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    Jun 25th, 2008 (1:00 pm)

    EEstor has garnered a few million in support – nowhere near enough to build a full-scale production facility.

    The Lockheed guy was quoted as saying LM hadn’t seen a prototype.

    Meanwhile – the rapid advances in lithium battery anode/cathode nanotech are possibly going to yield a real, actual, un-magical electric storage capacity close to what EEstor has claimed, and fairly quickly.

    It’s an exciting time for EV tech, and as such a ripe moment to throw a stock* scheme or two into the mix.

    *Please don’t reply to this post with “EEstor ain’t on no stock exchange!” Zenn (ZNN, Toronto Stock Exchange) is the EEstor stock proxy, and its ups and downs have potentially made scads of money for those with the right timing instincts…or knowledge.


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    Don Smith

     

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    Jun 25th, 2008 (2:43 pm)

    If someone developed a huge, breakthrough technology, why would they look to licence it to a small Canadian company?


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    Gregory

     

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    Jun 26th, 2008 (12:21 am)

    I think a “cityZENN” styled like a ’92 – ’94 Geo Metro would be great! And a retrofit kit to put a ZENNergy drive in a ’92 – ’94 Geo Metro would be even better (for me).


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    Duane Hamblin

     

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    Jun 26th, 2008 (2:55 am)

    I may be your #1 fan. I have been watching Ultra Capacitors for some time and expecting there would be some big break throughs. I have also watched other energy storage systems such as Hydrogen. One big advantage I see over Hydrogen is that the distribution system already exists – the power grig!-. It is my belief that Ultra Capacitors will become the primary system for powering vehicles. DEH


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    Jun 30th, 2008 (9:29 am)

    Finally it is becoming clearer why EESTOR chose ZENN. It is also clear why they did not want to get into bed with any major car manufacturer, it would eliminate the others..
    Zenn has the potential and lack of baggage to grow into an INTEL. Seen this way GM is simply one of many potential end users.
    Bob Bangkok


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    Mike

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (10:30 am)

    Lockheed’s involvement does not mean there’s a successful product coming. However to me it does validate that Eestor is doing SOMETHING impressive at their facility. Lockheed might be taking a gamble, but I’m sure they would not allow themselves to be associated with a straight-up fraud.

    As for Zenn and putting these caps in EVs, as others have mentioned there are safety hurdles to cross even if the caps work. I’m thinking Eestor may even know that this would be a major challenge. But Eestor can be a game-changer even if these caps are not suitable for EVs – for all the uses others here have spelled out. They can collect Zenn’s capital investment and even deliver a product to Zenn that will never get regulatory approval for a EV.


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    johng

     

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    Jun 30th, 2008 (2:37 pm)

    I do not believe there is intentional fraud here. I think someone made a credible case on paper that IF they could make the dielectric this thin, and protect it from voltage breakdown, it could be a viable energy storage device.

    Same mistake is made dozens of times over by people not familiar with the devilish details.

    BT does not behave linearly. When you add materials to make it more dense, and lower firing, you lose K, etc etc.

    They have not made a prototype yet of the ceramic-glass version, yet, and they have a couple surprises coming. They should have hooked up with a knowledgable ceramic capacitor engineer in the first place.

    My opinion only, but I’ve been in the business a long time, and seen it happen before.


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    ApplewoodCourt

     

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    Jul 2nd, 2008 (4:38 pm)

    johng – Zenn’s stock is up over 100% since the beginning of April 08. Today Zenn’s stock closed up $1.03 per share at 6.50 and traded 10x the average daily volume – nearly 800,000 shares. Someone knows something – Eestor or someone at Zenn has likely floated or leaked some positive news about independent confirmation of results – which were rumored to be released in the next few weeks.

    Interesting things can be done with ferroelectric materials. I wouldn’t discount Eestor’s potential in this area. I work with a group of scientists who work with ferroelectric materials – we probably have more Ph.D.s than the state university just up the road! Likely the key is that BT exists in 5 phases and all phases exhibit the ferro-electric effect except for one – perhaps the answer lies there.


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    johng

     

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    Jul 2nd, 2008 (5:31 pm)

    ApplewoodCourt;

    Good post!

    For the fifth phase, I think there are other losses, but if not, it sure would help everything.

    I have some shares, they have gained nicely…sell, hold or short?

    I had some conversations on the topic with an NC prof…he thought there was a possibility for voltage stability if the dielectric thickness were in the angstrom region, and the field was less than 2MV/m.

    We live in interesting times.


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    ApplewoodCourt

     

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    Jul 3rd, 2008 (10:39 am)

    I am a “hold”-er. The stock is down today – but after yesterday’s run-up , I think it is to be expected.

    Very interesting times indeed.

    Today the stock has rallied from its earlier lows – and is still above the previous all time high of 5.95 – I listen to some of the technical traders and higher highs and higher lows is a good sign.


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    ObjectiveViewer

     

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    Jul 4th, 2008 (2:17 pm)

    The VC firm and Lockheed are both reputable. Trading of the stock has very high volume in the past week, with upward movement, inidicating there is a lot of money going into it. Looking for a positive announcement very shortly confirming the tests. Some analysts have the price of the stock to be around $20 (currently at $6) when this news comes.


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    RichardM

     

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    Jul 4th, 2008 (3:37 pm)

    Grizzly 164

    “Zenn is a beleaguered company that can’t even sell it’s product in the homeland.”

    I don’t know about beleaguered. The fact that Zenn can’t sell its product in Canada is due more to the myopia shown by federal and provincial Canadian governments more than anything else, excepting Quebec which has just started the process of approving sales of the current Zenn model (maximum speed 40 kmh/25mph). Zenn is currently being sold successfully in 45 of the American states who don’t have a problem with vehicles with the aforementioned top speed travelling on their city streets.

    I’m not a techie so can’t comment on the practicability of EEStor. Interesting discussion – what there is of it I can understand. Seems to me that Lockheed Martin might go for a gamble, but it would be one based on at least some evidence to show that EEStor weren’t blowing smoke.

    I don’t own shares in Zenn… yet.


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    Jul 4th, 2008 (3:51 pm)

    In my last post, I meant to mention as well that it makes sense for the EEStor/Zenn partnership to become the “Intel Inside” of EVs worldwide. Why would EEStor tie itself down to one major manufacturer, especially one as currently vulnerable as GM?


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    Don Smith

     

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    Jul 4th, 2008 (4:11 pm)

    Zenn has all EEStor distribution rights for mid-size and down car usage… So ask yourself, does it make any sense that a world-beater supercapicator technology–worth trillions, if viable– would assign or sell (for a pittance) these tremendous rights to a small, obscure, out-of-country, golf-cart-type car maker?

    Zenn is trading on the spin from the purposefully mysterious, untraded EEStor. I wonder. Do the boys in EEstor hold a lot of old (cheap) Zenn stock? I really don’t know.

    It may be legal, but watch out.

    I think a low speed, electric city car is in our future and Zenn is a starter item. All the same, there are many large company electric cars coming down the pike, including the GM Volt.


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    Abattoir

     

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    Jul 4th, 2008 (5:22 pm)

    EEStor has no almost no rights to give, so it makes sense that a smaller company like Zenn would gamble on them developing the technology and obtaining first-mover advantage. The larger companies will likely just wait until the product comes on the market, and copy it.


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    Don Smith

     

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    Jul 4th, 2008 (6:21 pm)

    “EEStor has almost no rights to give…”

    You’re right about that, EEStor having given the greater part of the licencing pie to wee Zenn.

    Really, if I thought I had the solution to the number two problem in the world, I’d not give the licencing rights for its major application to a tiny Canadian entity. I mean it is possible. It’s just a bit unlikely, as far as I’m concerned.


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    Abattoir

     

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    Jul 4th, 2008 (6:26 pm)

    You misunderstood me, Don. Zenn’s licence is worth practically nothing, even if the technology solves the problem perfectly and becomes a trillion-dollar industry. Zenn may get first dibs on all the parts coming out of Zenn’s factory, but every other company gets to just tear apart EEStor’s ultracaps and reproduce them. That’s why no-one else was willing to license the technology first – there’s nothing to license!


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    RichardM

     

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    Jul 4th, 2008 (7:03 pm)

    241.

    Don Smith

    You may well be right about EEStor but to describe the vehicle that Zenn is currently making and selling in 45 American states as a “golf cart” leads me to question your ability to remain objective. Or, perhaps you just haven’t bothered to find out exactly what it looks like and how it performs. Feel free to check the website, then, by all means, be as critical as you want. Zenn cars has a future with or without EEStor:

    http://www.zenncars.com/


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    Don Smith

     

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    Jul 5th, 2008 (3:25 pm)

    Hi Abattoir: I don’t understand your last comment at all. Zenn has acquired “in perpetuity the worldwide exclusive rights to use EEStor’s EESU” for major vehicular applications. And surely the EEStor capacitor and processes are/or will be patented, so any third party attempt to reproduce it without licence would be patent infringement. So how could Zenn’s exclusive license to use a patented, trillion-dollar technology be without value?

    Hello Richard: I did not refer to the Zenn as a “golf cart”. I used the term “golf-cart-type” car. I did so because it has the major similarities to golf cart cars, the important one being its limited speed which prevents its use on highways with other types of non-golf-cart-type cars. It would be great for use in the city, however. As for the rest of your comment, I’ve been following the Zenn story with interest and I’m all for it, though I do stop somewhat short of being a commited cheerleader.

    I think we are on the same side, even if I do lack objectivity in finding the right term to properly classify a Zenn-type vehicle. I mean, it’s obvious that the day of the internal combustion engine is passing and it will be replaced by that magnificant, highly efficient, near-perfect machine–the electric motor. And what’s most needed to bring this about is not the mechanization of an electrically-powered vehicle, but, rather, the appearance, of a much improved (i.e. lightweight, high-capacity, low-cost) energy storage device. If EEStor manages to come up with it, I’ll be at the front of the line to congratulate them. If…


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    Abattoir

     

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    Jul 5th, 2008 (3:47 pm)

    Hi Don,
    To clarify, EEStor currently has only 1 granted patent, and it is in the US. This is the limit of the current rights EEStor has to license – 1 patent, in 1 country.

    As far as patent applications, EEstor currently has 2 patents pending in the US, 1 in Europe, and 1 in Canada. They also have a couple of applications filed with WIPO that might someday turn into patent applications somewhere.

    First, that’s an awfully light patent portfolio, especially in high-tech. Even 3 patents in the US (all of which revolve around a single idea, BTW) is nothing. Their competitors are just going to find ways to ‘invent around’ their patents if necessary.

    Second, to say they have acquired a ‘worldwide’ license is disingenuous to say the least. Their ‘world’ currently includes the US, Canada, and Europe, and that’s only if the patents are actually granted in Canada and Europe.


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    Mike

     

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    Jul 5th, 2008 (6:20 pm)

    Huge strides are being made in barium titanate as a dielectric. Scientists at GIT are making similar claims as Eestor. it seems it is not the BT persay as much as the process of refining and method of dispersal of BT particles in high density throughout the polymer matrix. Using tailored organic phosphonic acid ligands, researches were able to provide a robust coating for the particles, thus creating a High BT density throughout the matrix. there is BT research going on everywhere using different methods and chemicals to give Barium Titanate High Dielectric properties for ceramic based UC’s.

    furthermore, Eestor’s tech is not your classic UC. it uses parts of UC and battery technologies in combination to preduce a High Energy Density EESU.

    Still, we do not know if Eestor actually has the “GUN” or not. My point is that eestor’s claims are not as far fetched as sceptics would like us to believe. as a matter of fact, other scientists and researchers in this area are making breakthroughs constantly.

    Impossibility is not part of my vocabulary. Nothing is impossible!! there is always a way around a roadblock. or another road to gain access to a certain goal. the only people who fail are the people who give up.


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    Don Smith

     

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    Jul 5th, 2008 (6:37 pm)

    Hi Abattoir:

    Well I won’t argue with you, but at the very end you say:

    “Second, to say they have acquired a ‘worldwide’ license is disingenuous to say the least. ”

    Well I’m inclined to agree with you. However, the comment you refer to wasn’t actually mine. It’s a direct quote from the Zenn website.


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    Duane Hamblin

     

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    Jul 5th, 2008 (7:28 pm)

    Just remember, for big companies like GM, patents by small entities mean nothing. They just use it and say sue me! after decades, when it no longer matters they will probably lose. Well known case in point, the Intermitant wiper. The inventer got just about enough to pay the Lawers!


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    johng

     

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    Jul 5th, 2008 (9:59 pm)

    Mike @ 248

    Wait a minute, Mike. The scientists at Georgia Tech have claimed a nano-sized BT in an epoxy matrix with a permittivity of 50, and a working voltage of 100 at about 25 microns. That is a very long way from EEStors claim of a permittivity of 20,000 and a working voltage of 300 volts per micron!

    It was a breakthrough, but not world-shaking. The previous state of the art for that system was about 35, by DuPont and 3M.


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    Mike

     

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    Jul 5th, 2008 (10:42 pm)

    regardless of various claims, the work towards purified high density BT as a dielectric is never ending. if the skeptics claims of bologna were true, there would not be ongoing research in this area. the truth is, we do not know all there is to know about this field. Many researchers still believe we can achieve what eestor claims. using different elements and methods of process. to just lay down and say “no way” because a few scientists could not make it happen is irresponsible. It will happen regardless of what anyone tries to make us believe. reality is reality. there is no changing that.

    I am an optimist, in case you havent noticed from my posts. I believe in science. I also believe that No one is an expert in this field. it is New science. No one can say it can’t happen with a straight face. because everything has not even came close to be tried.

    I believe eestor has discovered some new process or element in their long research in this field. it is the Only thing about this that makes any sense. there is not enough money involved to be a scam. there are too many briliant people involved to be a mistake.

    You must ignore the skeptics, they do not know, read between the lines, it is so obvious what is going on.


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    Abattoir

     

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    Jul 6th, 2008 (4:01 pm)

    Don,
    I didn’t mean to imply the quote was yours. I was aware that the quote was directly from Zenn. I believe they are just being disingenuous and talking up their stock, as the only other option is that they are ignorant of the situation entirely. There’s too much money involved for that, I hope.

    Duane,
    I have to say that I disagree with you there. I work in the industry, and there is a LOT of money being thrown around with respect to patents these days. For example, EEstor’s patents could be acquired by a so-called ‘troll’ with the resources to sue. As a counter-example to your intermittent wiper, look at the recent NTP-RIM case. It was settled out of court for $612.5 million.


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    RichardM

     

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    Jul 7th, 2008 (12:04 pm)

    Don Smith

    Hello Richard: I did not refer to the Zenn as a “golf cart”. I used the term “golf-cart-type” car. I did so because it has the major similarities to golf cart cars, the important one being its limited speed which prevents its use on highways with other types of non-golf-cart-type cars. It would be great for use in the city, however. As for the rest of your comment, I’ve been following the Zenn story with interest and I’m all for it, though I do stop somewhat short of being a commited cheerleader.

    OK, so you describe Zenn as a “golf-cart-type car maker” but you’re not likening its one and only product to a golf cart. Have it your way. I don’t think there was anything I wrote to suggest that the car was suited for anything other than city driving, which is still a fair-sized step up from cruising around a golf course at jogging speed.

    I’d only be a committed cheerleader if I owned stock. I still don’t. I just like to see a little less creativity and a little more accuracy when it comes to providing descriptions.

    Over and out.


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    Don Smith

     

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    Jul 7th, 2008 (12:59 pm)

    Hi Richard:

    Okay, I concede the point. I was very naughty to carelessly use that awful phrase, “golf-cart-type car”, in my rhetoric. Thanks for the showing me the error of my ways. I repent and I apologize. The Zenn should not be described as a “Golf-cart-type car”, nor should its manufacturer be referred to as a “Golf-cart-type car maker”, notwithstanding the fact that the U.S Government’s Department of Transportation refers to
    such vehicles as “golf cars” and places them in the same class as the golf cart.(http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/rulings/lsv/lsv.html.).
    Henceforth, if I’m obliged to characterize the Zenn again, I’ll simply refer to it as a “low-speed city car that uses lead acid batteries “.


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    Wayne

     

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    Jul 7th, 2008 (10:04 pm)

    Google AFS Trinity they are using ulta caps with lithiumn ion batteries to produce not quite so high in the sky results as ZENN but better than staus quo


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    Jul 9th, 2008 (7:52 am)

    Mike @ 252

    ” Many researchers still believe we can achieve what eestor claims. using different elements and methods of process”

    We read between 30 and 50 articles on work going on in BT dielectrics every week, from all over the world. I have yet to find any (external) reputable source that claims this technology is likely, or even possible.

    If you have specific knowledge of even one, I would love to hear of it, and so would most people reading this, I think

    Being an “optimist” does not mean ignoring the work of others, or insulting their opinions.


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    Jul 9th, 2008 (1:13 pm)

    Johng

    Again you make my point. 30 to 50 different researchers per week still reporting research on BT. this is a large amout of work still going into BT research. this proves that there is still alot to learn about Barium Titanate. if you think me saying you do not know it all about BT is insulting your opinion then anyone who is still optimistic about this area of research is also insulting your opinion.

    Being an optimist on BT as a dielectric is only following the endless experts who are also optimistic. if this research was so cut and dried as you say, why the massive work being done by experts in the field? seems to me this mineral would have been dropped years ago as a viable element for energy storage.

    fact is, there are many who see promise in BT. different mixes with different elements will yield better and better results as we go along.

    maybe one day we will finally know everything about BT, but this is not that day. so the jury is still way out on this.

    the argument that eestor is perpetrating some kind of hoax or fraud is Not reality. there is no evidence of this at all. if that insults your opinion I appologize, but there is not enough evidence to support your skepticism.

    Logic dictates that we must wait and see ALL the evidence before we can conclude anything. basic common sense seems to lean toward eestor and their tech being at least partially viable.

    main stream science is making steady progress on BT. maybe not as good as eestor claims but steady all the same. who is to say that eestor hasent found some element no one has thought of to wrap BT in to get their claimed figures? trying to second guess what is going on behind closed doors is not easy.

    GIT, MIT private labs etc.. list goes on and on. they are deffinately NOT at a dead end on BT.


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    Jul 9th, 2008 (3:27 pm)

    Mike;

    I am definitely not saying that the work on BT is complete; I and hundreds of others would be out of work!

    But please understand, that while I know that incremental improvements are being made all the time, the claim of EEStor to have increased the permittivity by a factor of 400 and the voltage withstanding by about 100, with NO independent verification is simply too far out there. Georgia Tech rightfully claimed an improvement when their K went from 30 to 50. Thats not in the same region 20,000. The work at MIT is on carbon nanotubes which will allow very high capacitance on double-layer capacitors, the kind that Maxwell makes, but they are very limited in voltage. It would take a moving van size assembly to get the energy required. The people at NC state have discovered a theoretical high K for BT for voltage less than a volt, but it has not been made, the layers are below what can be handlled today. (atomic level kind) Penn State has done some work in higher K materials, but they are lead containing, and cant take the high voltages. Sandia labs has a nice contract for the “Car of the Future” but they are limited to again a lead based dielectric, and a 600 volt rating.

    So, since I do believe that their claims violate the laws of physics, as we understand them, I would love to find someone who can show where we are wrong. That kind of level is worth a couple hundred million dollars to any capacitor company.

    Again, do you know of a specific “expert” (that is, one who knows the BT dielectric ceramic physics) who has said that this is even remotely possible? I’ll buy you dinner for two at the restaurant of your choice! Give me a name!


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    Mike

     

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    Jul 9th, 2008 (4:29 pm)

    Ok, As a realist i must concede that Dick Wier and Carl Nelson are the only so called “experts” who are claiming these values. and that all other “experts” in this field claim a very small percentage of this. But that percentage keeps going up.

    Why couldnt eestor’s tech be leaps and bounds above the rest? is this really not possible? what if they discovered a new way of looking at it? a new process or mineral that makes it possible? could this be the reason for the secrecy? it certainly is not a stock scam or hoax. there is no motivation.

    People do not just want this technology, We NEED this technology or a similar technology to survive in a ever changing, very irresponsibly controlled energy market.

    This tech combined with NanoSolar Tech will put control of energy in the hands of the consumer. this is mandatory.

    at the very least, this hype will put into the public minds of what is possible and a direction to strive for.

    If eestor is not the answer, maybe the next big discovery will be.


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    Franklin

     

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    Jul 10th, 2008 (11:07 am)

    From 257 Johng:

    “We read between 30 and 50 articles on work going on in BT dielectrics every week, from all over the world. I have yet to find any (external) reputable source that claims this technology is likely, or even possible.”

    260 Mike replying:

    “Why couldnt eestor’s tech be leaps and bounds above the rest? is this really not possible? what if they discovered a new way of looking at it? a new process or mineral that makes it possible? could this be the reason for the secrecy? it certainly is not a stock scam or hoax. there is no motivation.”

    From my original post back at 180:

    Think about it: physicists and electro-chemical engineers (not just Russians, but also people with Maxwell and others – google ‘capacitorman’ – are telling you that the best evidence is that the EEStor people (who don’t come from backgrounds in this area of science) have made an easily identified, FUNDAMENTAL error in their calculations – that they appear to have been unaware of an observed limitation that renders the textbook formula inaccurate for their proposed setup. Nothing secret, not some possible difference in approach that EEStor has taken but that these physicists and engineers don’t know about. Just a plain, old, out-in-the-open, greenhorn ERROR.”

    And at 201:

    “It’s the ZENN stock. When I first heard the EEStor hype in early 2006, (and prior to when the people who actually know something weighed (in), I wondered if I could buy stock (see, I’m a hopeful fool, too). As you note, however, EEStor, isn’t traded. But after I tracked down where most of the EEStor insider-ish, anonymous “sources” info was coming from – Tyler Hamiliton’s Clean Break blog – I learned that ZENN (originally named “Feel Good Cars”) was about to go on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), and that ZENN had first dibs on EEStor technology.

    It all looks like arms length, but look closer: as long as you had reliable media contacts to put out more “purity of powder benchmark achieved” and “ZENN is revving up for EEStor” stories for you in a TSX-timely fashion, you could play a $3-$5 stock just like you could a $100 stock. And pocket millions.”

    Now I know what my forehead is for: for smiting with my palm while sighing, “Oh what’s the use?”


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    Mike

     

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    Jul 10th, 2008 (11:48 am)

    I am sorry but I am not buying it. there is no way they have overlooked this little mistake. it is too simple. when you look at the history behind the patent, then realize that there are 17 other patents pending. and Kliner Perkins helping eestor with their other patents. and I know Kliner Perkins did not overlook anything. I can pretty much guarantee these guys consulted top physicists before putting their money in.

    you see the main patent lay dormant for 10 years, this is because of the error, it simply doesnt work. then all the sudden here comes KPCB and 17 more patents are filed, Zenn comes in, LM comes in.

    we do not even know the content of eestor’s other patents.

    Looks to me like they discovered something different than what is layed out in the Old patent. plus, Richard Weir has never said the tech was based soley on their Old patent, this is just what the media has interpreted. Wier has only said that they have the “Big Gun” and it works.

    I am sure they are all sitting in their lab laughing at all the mis-conception and conjecture going on over their secrecy.

    I believe the Old patent has been used to throw everyone off. this is the kind of invention that cannot be displayed through the patent office. Patents cannot protect them, the only protection is secrecy.

    so there is absolutely nothing to go on that we can make any kind of rational conclusion as to the viability of eestor’s claims.


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    OntarioInvestor

     

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    Jul 11th, 2008 (3:10 am)

    As far as i am concerned, EEstor wouldn’t build a huge production facility without knowing the technology works. They currently have 12 patents pending. You don’t apply for something that doesnt’ work. Lockheed Martin toured their facility and decided they wanted to be on board. LM is a very serious company that must see something they like. As well, if you look at the history of the VC firm behind EEStor (Kleiner), they have a very strong history of investing in new developing technologies. Zenn has also confirmed that they work closely with the engineers of EEStor, and everything looks good. I consider the secrecy around EEStor to be healthy. They want to be sure to have all the patents in place, and have it air tight. The writing is on the wall. There will continue to be skeptics, but that is natural for a concept that is so novel. I can remember when everyone about 10 years ago thought that RIM was such an overvalued company, meanwhile 10 years later you would have made around 1000% on your investment. I am currently well up on my investment in Zenn but think this stock is going to go very strong once this news is confirmed.


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    Jul 11th, 2008 (6:44 am)

    As far as I can see, Eestor has 1 patent granted, and 5 patents pending; all of these are in only 3 separate patent families. Let’s not overstate their intellectual property holdings – they aren’t much to speak of.


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    Jul 11th, 2008 (12:00 pm)

    OntarioInvestor @ 263

    What makes you think EEStor has a “huge production facility”? That would cost a lot more then the couple million they have gotten so far, a hundred times more. And that “huge facility” would have been independenly verifiable, which it isnt.

    Remember, the one guy from LM did not see a prototype even, he saw a “scalable process” whatever that means to someone not familiar with it. And I dont think LM provided any up front money.


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    Jul 11th, 2008 (12:44 pm)

    Actually, as reported by Reuters on Jan 9th, at that time, eestor had 1 patent issued and 17 patents in process

    http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS169754+09-Jan-2008+PRN20080109

    they may have 5 patents issued by now, I do not know. but these guys are on to something here. I also read somewhere that Kliner Perkins has been helping eestor with their patent applications. so it looks like Kliner Perkins is neck deep in Eestor’s tech. this says a lot about Richard Wier’s credibility.

    I bet somewhere buried within All those patents, Wier has the answer to the problem with the original patent.


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    Jul 11th, 2008 (1:02 pm)

    Also, eestor has built a new production facility in Cedar Park for the construction of it’s new EESU. this has been commented on all over the net. and LM confirmed that they have been to the new facility and it is nearing completion. so this is fact.

    as far as cost and size of the facility, this has not been stated, but it has to be huge because it includes the purification line as well as assembly.


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    Jul 12th, 2008 (1:38 am)

    Mike,

    I fear you have crossed the line from optimism to fantasy; just how big is a “purification line”? Does that mean they make impure stuff and have to clean it up?


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    Jul 12th, 2008 (2:43 am)

    johng

    from the content of your last comment, it seems you are at a loss for words, but needed to say something anyway. way to say absolutely nothing.

    at any rate, It is not my fantasy. you must ask the people who have been there and seen it. I am just delivering the facts so people on this blog can weigh this thing correctly.

    In a January interview, Richard Weir stated “We have built a state-of-the-art facility and have exceptional personnel onboard”

    in a interview here on gm-volt.com, Lionel Liebman, manager of Program Development – Applied Research at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, stated they had toured the facility and were very impressed at what they saw.

    these are heavy hitters involved in eestor. I think they know what they are doing, what questions to ask, and if what eestor has showed them is realistic or not. everyone on board says they have it and it works. the only people who say this is not possible are people who are not on the inside.

    but it is all speculation at this point, we must go on the only facts we can dig up. from what I see, the pros heavily outweigh the cons


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    Jul 12th, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    okay, Mike, you win

    I’ve been in the BT business for 30 years, but you know the “facts” and I don’t.

    No more comments from me.


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    Jul 12th, 2008 (1:54 pm)

    johng

    I appologize, my intention was Not to belittle you in any way. I respect your expertise in Barium Titanate research and agree with you that they cannot achieve this on BT alone as stated in their patent.

    my whole point is that I feel they have found a way around the limitations of BT. it is very possible I could be wrong and this whole thing could be a Scam/Hoax.

    I know you are hopeful as I am that eestor is for real. this would be a huge benefit for all of mankind on earth. this is what we all want.


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    Jul 19th, 2008 (12:13 am)

    Anyone interested in EEstor should read this latest research report by Mr. Blogger posted earlier today July 18th 2008.

    http://bariumtitanate.blogspot.com/2008/07/eestor-beyond-permittivity.html

    Blogger has done some very good work digging into the EEstor mystery and has some real good insight on what is going on with Richard Weir and the investors.


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    Marcus

     

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    Jul 19th, 2008 (1:13 am)

    LOL “Mr Blogger”! Actually I think he calls himself “B”. Not that “B” is much better…


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    Jul 19th, 2008 (1:50 am)

    Yes, Mr. Blogger. a very smart guy


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    110 v plug and 220 plug

     

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    Jul 23rd, 2008 (6:13 am)

    […] […]


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    Jul 25th, 2008 (10:49 pm)

    After following a few other blogs about EEstor and seeing some new info I never seen before, I have come to the conclusion that EEstor is definately for real. The main argument for skeptics has been that pure Barium Titanate could not be used to get the numbers Wier claims. but in fact, after different EEstor patents have been surfacing, it looks like Wier has “altered” the BT to get a different dielectic compound. A lot of his work on the BT references other patents. so it looks like we are all right on this one. the skeptics are right that BT cannot be used, and Wier is right because he has discovered how to make his own dielectric “Based” on pure Barium Titanate. Brace yourselves, there will be a EESU on the market within 6 months. My Hat is off to Wier and company, a true American innovator.


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    CARROL E. GWIN SR.

     

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    Jul 30th, 2008 (3:40 pm)

    I STILL WOULD LIKE TO GET A DEMO AND TRY SELLING IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA. I CAN GET A PLACE FOR SERVICE. I KNOW PEOPLE NOW WANTING TO BUY MOTORCYCLE’S. CAN THEY BUY ONE OF THESE AS CHEAP? CAN YOU SEND ME INFO. AND PRICE LIST. HOW MUCH FOR A DEMO? I AM NOT A DEALER OF ANY KIND THIS WOULD BE MY ONLY PRODUCT. I LIVE IN THE SECOND FASTEST GROWING COUNTY IN ALABAMA. I LIVE IN THE CORNER OF THE LARGEST COUNTY IN THE STATE. I LIVE IN THE CORNER OF THE FASTEST GROWING COUNTY. I AM LOCATED IN THE CENTER OF THE STATE AND WOULD LIKE TO TRY THESE VERY MUCH.THANKS FOR ANY INFO. C.E. GWIN SR.


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    BSDetector

     

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    Jul 30th, 2008 (4:08 pm)

    No one here has seen independent testing of anything, no one here has seen anything – except for rumor and speculation about a company that does not even have a website. Additionally, most people who know anything about feroelectrics, physics and chemistry will tell you that these claims are simply false.

    People want to believe – Weir and company haven’t shown verifiable proof of ANYTHING – except that a lab has certified their equipment. Jesus Christ, Allah and Buddha! This last bit of info was nothing more than a lab doing “independent testing” at McDonald’s – “yes these fry machines are capable of frying at 300+ degrees, yes, the employees are capable of operating the fry machine” – then spinning this “independent test result” as some kind of press release.


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    BSDetector

     

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    Jul 30th, 2008 (4:21 pm)

    Where is the speculative run up in the price of Zenn Stock? Especially given the press release last night – if “people in the know” actually believed any of these claims by Eestor and Zenn, then one should expect that *someone* might be interested in purchasing the stock of a company whose stock price should go parabolic. But, this was not the case … the stock traded on heavy volume, with a small drop in the price. “people in the know” – think that this is pure BS.

    Additionally, pull up Google Street View – take a look around the Eestor office area – it is wedged into the office park with the Community Bible Study, Yoga and Pilates Wellness Center and a car insurance company – this is not the HQ of a company that is about to change the world.


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    Jul 30th, 2008 (5:08 pm)

    it is safe to sit on the sidelines without any shred of proof in either direction and say it is impossible because “so and so” BT expert says so. fact is, no expert on BT that I have heard of has tackled the Modified BT that Wier has created. and Wier will be the first one to tell everyone that Pure unmodified BT will not work. All the skeptics have tried to compare Wier’s work against standard Barium Titanate UC’s which is completely off base on this. Wier’s EESU is Not anything like a standard UC. this is a NEW invention. it cannot be created in a UC lab, this invention takes a whole new approach and complete New production facility using “never before used” new type equipment. in fact, the whole production facility built to make these EESU’s had to be invented also. there are at least 21 different patents, most of which we have never seen, required for the full production of this unique invention.

    as far as trying to use Zenn stock to predict the reality of EEStor, this is not even possible with all the skeptisizm surrounding the validity of EEStor’s invention, and with Wier’s secrecy.

    But, I do not see any validity in the idea that this is some kind of stock scam. there is not enough money involved. and Wier and company are simply NOT scammers.

    Plus the fact that several high hitting, respected investors are on board with EEstor and all say they have toured EEstor’s production facility, been debriefed by EEstor on the feesability of the invention and are all satisfied that Wier is definately on to something here. they have all signed non-disclosure agreements.

    So with the stock scam issue out of the equasion, and Wier obviously satisfying investor’s that he has breached the limitaions of BT with his modified version of BT, I Must conclude that EEStor is for real.


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    X-Files

     

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    Jul 30th, 2008 (5:37 pm)

    This sounds like cold fusion. Believers believe and skeptics say “no – and this is why”. Still, no one has demonstrated energy from cold fusion.

    Mike, you don’t know anything either – show us one shred of “evidence” that there is something – anything. You have chosen to believe Mr. Weir … based on what? I have chosen to believe the Easter Bunny. Where is this production facility? Show me a picture. Show me something of substance. Show me an investor who says “I have given capital to Eestor”.


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    Abattoir

     

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    Jul 30th, 2008 (6:03 pm)

    @Mike,
    They don’t have 21 different patents. Even if they had 21 patents, most would be equivalents filed in other countries. That doesn’t equal 21 ‘different’ patents. At best, they have a half dozen.

    Don’t forget patents are published 18 months after filing, so any ‘secret’ patents can’t have been around very long.


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    Jul 30th, 2008 (6:04 pm)

    All I can tell you is that you must do the research and decide for yourself weather it is likely or not. the only reason I am blogging on this subject is because I got tired of reading how Wier is a scammer, Hoax, stupid etc…

    after I followed the info trail, I discovered that none of these comments are true. in fact, It looks more like it is real than false. Wier is briliant and very unlikely to be a scammer for the low amounts of money he would get, plus the reputation would kill him.

    so, I believe Richard Wier, ian Clifford, KPCB, LM, amongst others. these are not back street computer hackers looking for the next big take. these are respected individuals with Good reputations who sincerely want to change the world. this being anything but real or a Honest mistake (unlikely), would damage all these guys and companys beyond repair.


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    Jul 30th, 2008 (6:16 pm)

    I have the sneaking suspicion that “Mike” is also “Steve” on the Bariumtitanate.blogspot.com


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    Jul 30th, 2008 (6:28 pm)

    Hey BSDetector – I hear what you’re saying.. but don’t judge a company by its office.. have you SEEN the pitiful little garage in the bay area that Google started in?? yes, they rented a garage at someones house..


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    Jul 30th, 2008 (9:46 pm)

    Mike:

    “no expert on BT that I have heard of has tackled the Modified BT that Wier has created”

    I beg to differ, I tried the formulations in the two patents and they did not work as advertised. The Philips patent, I think ‘049 results in a Y5V characteristic, and so says in the patent. This means the permittivity will drop 85% at 85C, and the maximum voltage you can put on it is less than 50 v/micron. EEStor needs 300, so, where in this do you see “proof”

    Weir and company may be fine gentlemen, good scientists in thier own right, the last two applications were real chemistry. But, I do not believe he has really created a break-through dielectric, at least from what has been published so far.

    Again, a K of 20,000 is NOT NEW. We sell millions of capacitors every day with it. But we would never, ever, put that kind of voltage stress on it, the capacitance would dissappear.

    Noone can change the physics that cause a charged particle to shift…its crazy!


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    Jul 31st, 2008 (12:53 am)

    I do not think you have done what Wier has done with BT. Also, Wier’s invention is not a UC, it is Based on UC tech but far from your typical UC. Also, Wier doesnt actually tell us exactly what the Modified BT consists of. there was a blogger that thought they atlered the BT with zirconium but that is speculation. plus, even if you did know the exact composition of the MBT, you do not have the facility and equipment needed to put it all together. this is all new technology, the production facility and line alone is something no one has done yet.

    We are leaning now that there has been a prototype all along. this is what has brought in and convinced all the big investers.

    There is no way to convince skeptics that EEStor is for real, there is no need for that. but i can tell you this, EEStor has the Gun, it is Huge, it is earth shattering. it is very hard to build, UC manufacturers can not do it with their current equipment and understanding. Wier has spent at least 10 years in research and developement finding a way around the limitations of BT. he has found it, it is not a scam.


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    Aug 18th, 2008 (10:59 am)

    And there is no way to convince the “blind faith” people that there may be a “chink in the armor”

    So I guess we have a draw


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    Aug 19th, 2008 (6:27 pm)

    I admire your gentlemanly responses, John. If I was a materials scientist/engineer trying to re-explain 20 times that something is what it is and does what it does, I’d be tearing out what little hair I have, or maybe just ignoring those impervious to rational argument.


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    Sep 14th, 2008 (8:01 am)

    re: 5min recharge, if you read the information carefully you will see that the 5 min charge can be done from one eestor device to another eestor device.


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    Sep 29th, 2008 (2:28 am)

    I do not understand the science at all but I though I was very excited about this idea when it was first announced I am just finding it too hard to rectify the story regarding the progress so far with the ramifications. If this really is possible then shouldn’t what we be looking at is every major car manufacturer on earth scratching and clawing over each other to buy into the development? Even if a car a manufacturer could not get any kind of exclusive deal it still would seem that it would be worth hundreds of millions to any of them just to get the technology to market. So why is Zenn the only one talking about it? I just don’t get it.


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    Mark

     

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    Oct 27th, 2008 (6:50 pm)

    Lol. This article is a joke right? Super Super capacitors? Sure. There isn’t a single device in the world using this technology, but soon we will all be zipping around with these under our hoods.


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    awareWI

     

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    Nov 13th, 2008 (3:17 am)

    This new nano-engineered Ultracaps is a developing technology.
    We didn’t get our 150Hrs stand-by Li-Ion battery time on our cell phones the day Li-Ion batteries were invented, it took some time (decades) to get to nowdays energy density.
    The very same thing applies for capacitors. Different components give different specs. The former Ultracaps were using different insulators, which were not allowing for high voltages and caps were only growing in capacitence. Now nano-built tubes on surfaces would allow for great capacity and barium titanate would allow for very high voltages (7,000 volts and more) 3,500V limit is for our safety only. All there’s left is get them off the conveyor with acceptably low deffects. You don’t want an internal short to discharge an enire completly charged pack in an instant, that would rise the ambient teperature of your car with some 5000 degrees 🙂


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    Dec 5th, 2008 (8:00 am)

    “They will deliver and what they’ve told us is by the end of this calendar year was delivery of an early production commercial unit”

    Now that the end of the calendar year is quickly approaching, any news from the EEStor guys? Have they delivered? Have they delayed? Have they disappeared?

    I think it’s time for another article about this one…


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    Dec 7th, 2008 (1:27 pm)

    GM is certainly on the right track with regard to the proven reliabilities of the Lithium battery system, and other systems that in reality, allows for us to plan our finances for the Volt, as of this writing of December 7, 2008.
    I have seriously-critical objections to any casual idea that a very high energy/power concentration stored, can ever be made safely viable as a retrofit to “anything with four wheels”.
    I teach auto diagnostics to techs in-shop, and, I currently support 91 shops. Whenever a very-seriously-compromised advanced engine processing system stops their diagnostic process, my supported shops call me in. Recently, an epidemic (16 cases in 2 weeks) of blown processors, actuators, software programs (although the hardware was still OK in one) at very high cost to the owners and shops had occurred in Austin Texas, (and elsewhere I am sure). These were all traceable to the misapplication of chassis grease, spark plug boot dielectric grease, and heat conducting grease between the battery post contact surface and the internal electrical contact surface of the terminal which contacts the battery post. Greases oozed out from all these surfaces and prevented the starter-motor-retraction voltage surge from being absorbed by the batteries in all these cases. (It turned out that a parts store chain had “upsold” those 99 cent packets of trailer-connector grease when selling 12 volt batteries, stating that “corrosion could be prevented”).
    The point here is that you can not have anything but a complete factory design of any power-related system without fiscal or safety disasters, and that any casual suggestion that ultracaps “can” provide any practical benefit to retrofitting “anything with 4 wheels” is 100 percent wrong. Marketing departments must be very careful what they do and do not promote. Marketing personnel whom do not closely refer to active technicians in their respective fields (for advice), cause for themselves, their companies, and the consumer, grave risk of damages, or at the very least, a delay or impasse to advancements in their respective fields and companies.
    GM wiring standards have relentlessly proven to me down through the last 37 years of working “hands-on” with them, that GM is the best when it comes to safety, PERIOD. If GM does the electrical designing, I am comfortable with it, which is why I am on the Volt waiting list, (and am in preparation of my finances 20 months in advance to afford the Volt or Volt SUV preferably).
    Dan Petit Austin TX


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    Jan 15th, 2009 (12:32 pm)

    […] actually meets the stated delivery date on this one, but if they do… world watch out! The cityZENN with an EEStor energy storage device on board may not be the prettiest kid on the block… but […]