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John Petersen  

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  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    I don't have a precise number, but we are a couple thousand pounds heavier.
    May 26, 2015. 11:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    I don't agree with your assessment. All things being equal, we would PREFER a flatter voltage curve. Without regard to equality we MUST HAVE extraordinarily fast charge acceptance.

    Discharge voltage is a wish list item. Dynamic charge acceptance is mission critical.

    We may be able to find a battery with the requisite charge acceptance, but the victory will be pretty pyrrhic if the solution is so costly that it screws up the economics.

    Every storage decision involves a careful balancing of cost, performance and durability that's never as simple on the inside as it appears on the outside.
    May 24, 2015. 05:59 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    All things being equal, a flat voltage profile would be better for us than a sloping profile, so we're going to focus first on high power battery options.
    May 24, 2015. 10:47 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    Unfortunately I don't get deeply embroiled in the nitty gritty technical details and implementation. I'm a lawyer and accountant. My job is to manage the business and understand the technology well enough to explain it to investors. The hard work is done by Jay Bowman with a ton of help from our component suppliers including, Cummins, Marathon Electric, Unico, Eaton and Axion. I would never presume to tell the technical team how they should be doing their jobs.
    May 21, 2015. 09:43 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    A couple comments up Bazoooka said "it looks like you wasted more than a decade on a PbC mousetrap that didn't snap (properly perform its intended function) in the real world. My response praised the PbCs performance in our testing. Those graphs are far from "normal." In fact there are only a handful of batteries in the world that can stand up to that kind of hard rapid cycling. The PbC does some amazing things, but I can't for the life of me explain why it's taken the market so long to get the message.
    May 21, 2015. 09:32 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    Overly technical commentary from readers who have not studied our drivetrain and do not understand our target market is unwelcome. There are small segments of the market that we won't be able to serve in the foreseeable future. Our tractor is not a mountain goat and that's unlikely to change. We are perfectly happy concentrating on the 60% to 80% of fleet tractors that serve regularly scheduled hub-to-hub routes with GVWs that won't unduly strain our system's capacity. We understand and accept our limitations. So do our potential customers.
    May 21, 2015. 10:03 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    Your concerns would be quite valid if all tractor-trailer combinations were the maximum weight and all routes traversed difficult terrain. The reality is that all tractor-trailer combinations are not created equal and most loads fill the trailer, or "cube out" long before they hit the statutory weight limit, or "weigh out."

    The components we're using in the tractor are designed to operate at their rated capacities for years. While diesel engines have useful lives in the 10,000 hour range, generators and drive motors have useful lives of 20,000 hours or more while the control electronics have useful lives of 40,000 hours or more. The big enemy for all the electrical machines is heat and there's little in the world with better air-circulation than a Class 8 tractor rolling down the highway.

    We are not trying to be all things to all potential customers. Our goal is to provide a useful and cost effective alternative for the 80% to 90% of the Class 8 fleet that doesn't have extreme requirements. We're more than happy to focus on the greatest good for the greatest number of truckers, and leave the extreme performance customers to others.
    May 20, 2015. 04:48 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    My phraseology was poor. The point is that ePower's application relies primarily on the extremely rapid "capacitor-like" response of the PbC as opposed to the deeper and slower "battery-like" response of the PbC.
    May 20, 2015. 12:25 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    NiMH is a great and extremely durable power battery. That's the reason Toyota chose it for the Prius and the reason that they've had very few battery problems over the last 17 years. The problem is that NiMH batteries are expensive – twice as expensive as the PbC.

    ePower's application is all about power rather than energy. Cat says it takes 200 hp to haul an 80,000 pound GCVW at 60 mph on level ground. That works out to roughly 2.5 kWh per mile. The real pain comes when you add grade changes to the equation. At 2.655 million foot pounds per kWh, it takes 2.5 kWh to lift an 80,000 GCVW 82 feet. So if your mile of road has a modest 1.5% upgrade, the total horsepower requirement at the wheels is 400, or roughly 5 kWh per mile.

    When it comes to long hard climbs, all heavy trucks rely on their transmissions to make the grade.

    The real challenge for us has been finding the power for modest grades that can double the total horsepower requirements for several miles, which coincidentally works out to several minutes. Our genset handles the 2.5 kWh per mile baseline with no problems. We only use the batteries when we're accelerating or climbing modest grades.

    The PbC has a huge price advantage over NiMH. So all things being equal the PbC is our preferred option. Ultimately the decision will hinge on the question of whether we can find ways to do the necessary work without over-working the batteries. That's the challenge we're working our way through with Axion. It's also the reason we have to test alternatives because potential ePower investors are very sensitive to our current reliance on a sole source supplier that seems to have some pretty profound problems finding its niche in life.

    As a former Axion director I really want the PbC to succeed. As a current director and officer of ePower I have to make the best decision for our current and future investors. We have a drivetrain that does some amazing things. Now it's boiled down to a horserace between competing battery technologies and the winner will be the one that does the best work at the best price.
    May 20, 2015. 11:42 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    I'm less optimistic about the lithium alternative than the NiMH, but we need to be thorough.
    May 20, 2015. 07:30 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    In 2012 Axion and GM jointly filed a DOE grant application for a program to test the PbC in micro- and mild-hybrids. The 13,000 Farad reference is in the first paragraph on page 6 of this document.

    http://bit.ly/1fAOoNb

    The requested grant was not awarded, but I think both companies are too careful to throw out nonsense numbers to the DOE.

    At last September's Battery Show, Axion presented the PbC and showed the voltage profile for our system on a strenuous test course. An Instablog with a graphic depiction of the test is here:

    http://seekingalpha.co...

    The reality is that ePower's tractor rarely uses the "chemical" elements of the PbC and it seems to spend most of its time working the "capacitive" elements. The testing has not been flawless, but there's no question that the PbC has monster capacitance and we managed to overload it with 74,000 pounds of tractor, trailer and cargo.
    May 20, 2015. 07:27 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    The biggest heartbreak in all of this is the fact that the PbC does snap in the real world. It's a great battery. We had some issued on our first FedEx run but they weren't terribly surprising when you consider that we used a two year old battery pack with a 33% larger drive motor and 10 tons of additional cargo. Those are both huge leaps and heaven only knows whether our prior two years of testing with a system that wasn't fully optimized might have damaged the batteries. I'm certainly not ready to throw in the towel and neither is Jay
    May 20, 2015. 07:06 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    One alternative is an advanced NiMH and the second combines LiFePO4 cells with a supercapicitor buffer. Our biggest challenge is regenerative braking events where amperage frequently peaks in the 200+ range at 700 to 900 volts.
    May 19, 2015. 09:12 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    There was a parenthetical reference to 13,000 Farads of capacitance in a DOE grant application Axion filed a few years back, but it's the only time I've seen a hard number.
    May 19, 2015. 09:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial [View instapost]
    It's too early to reach any conclusions about the PbC's suitability for ePower's application. We ran an important third-party test and we encountered some heat issues. We're working with Axion to identify the causes and find solutions. That's what happens in development projects.

    ePower is a privately-held company, which means it does not have a market capitalization and is unlikely to have one for at least a couple years.

    I started as ePower's legal counsel, but accepted a job as its CFO and Executive Vice President in October 2013. While IR and fundraising are not typical work for legal counsel, they're a big part of the CFO job description.
    May 19, 2015. 11:45 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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