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John Petersen
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John Petersen is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of ePower Engine Systems, Inc., a Kentucky-based enterprise that has developed, built and demonstrated an engine-dominant diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain for long-haul heavy trucks that promises fuel savings of 25 to 35... More
My company:
Fefer Petersen & Co.
My blog:
ipo-law.com
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  • EPower Successfully Completes Third-Party Demonstration Trial

    Since many regular readers of my blog are interested in the progress of our ongoing development work at ePower Engine Systems, I thought a brief update on the successful completion of our first third-party demonstration trial with FedEx Ground might be worthwhile.

    My employer, ePower Engine Systems, is developing modular hybrid conversion kits for heavy duty "Class 8 trucks" with gross vehicle weights of 33,000 to 80,000 pounds. In the summer of 2014, we conducted road tests of our third generation drivetrain and demonstrated 9-mpg fuel efficiency in challenging terrain at a gross vehicle weight of 55,000 pounds. Since then, our work has focused on increasing the hauling capacity and improving the high-speed performance of our drivetrain to better serve the needs of our target market; Class 8 tractors that have been in service for several years and require a major overhaul.

    In late-April, we launched field trials for our fourth generation drivetrain with a select group of independent contractors who haul freight for FedEx Ground and service 30 FedEx facilities in a multi-state region. The four primary modules in our fourth generation drivetrain are:

    • A drop-in genset module that pairs a Cummins 6.7-liter diesel engine with a 150 kW generator from Marathon Electric;
    • A bolt-on battery module with 56 PbC batteries from Axion Power International (OTCQB:AXPW) that provides 150 kW of on-demand power for acceleration and climbing;
    • A drop-in drive module that pairs a 200 hp inverter duty drive motor from Marathon Electric with a 10-speed Eaton UltraShift transmission; and
    • A bolt-on electronics module that houses a Unico AC Vector Drive and ePower's propriety power control systems and software.

    Our first trial on April 29th was a 463-mile road test consisting of three legs with two 28-foot box trailers at increasing gross vehicle weights. The first leg from Florence, Kentucky to Indianapolis, Indiana was run with a 66,000 pound GVW. A second leg from Indianapolis to Remington, Indiana was run with a 69,000 pound GVW. The third leg from Remington, Indiana to Florence, Kentucky was run with a 74,000 pound GVW.

    Our 7.75-mpg fuel efficiency for the trial was 38% higher than the contractor's 5.5-mpg average on the same route. We did, however, experience unusually high battery temperatures on the final leg that hurt overall performance. In light of our recent drive motor upgrade, the increased aerodynamic drag from hauling twin trailers and the 66,000 to 74,000 pound GVWs, the elevated temperatures were not surprising. We are working with Axion to pinpoint the causes and find ways to mitigate the known heat issues. We also plan to test two alternative battery pack options before we proceed to the next stage of completing a 10-unit demonstrator fleet.

    On balance, we're quite pleased with the results of our maiden trial. The driver and contractor were very impressed with our tractor's on-road performance and fuel efficiency. They were even more impressed with our tractor's ability to adapt to load and system challenges and deliver the cargo to its destination on time. All parties remain fully committed to the ongoing field trial program and are eagerly anticipating the next trip.

    ePower has recently launched a $600,000 stock offering that's limited to "accredited investors" who satisfy the stringent requirements of SEC Regulation D. Summary information on ePower, its technology, its business model and its stock offering are publicly available on Fundable.com - https://www.fundable.com/epower-engine-systems-inc.

    Tags: AXPW
    May 15 12:50 PM | Link | 77 Comments
  • Jay Bowman's December 5th Update

    Since many stockholders of Axion Power International (OTCQB:AXPW) are following the progress of our development work at ePower Engine Systems, I thought a modestly edited version Jay Bowman's most recent shareholder update would be worthwhile.

    Things are picking up steam at ePower since completing work on the day cab. We have shown the truck at the Ohio Clean Air Coalition in Columbus Ohio and the Clean Cities Coalition in Indianapolis Indiana. Shannon Anderson and I were invited to speak at both events as well as an invitation to return to Indianapolis in mid January. Following our presentation in Indianapolis the Mayor made an announcement that the city of Indianapolis will be converting their city fleet to an all-electric fleet. We were approached with the opportunity to convert two city-owned class 8A day cabs to our system under an EPA clean diesel grant the city has received. Shannon and I are working with the Clean Cities Coalition and the EPA on the funding of this project. The state has the money but we need to qualify our system with the EPA to receive the grant. We also met with people from a large Freightliner dealership in the mid-west; they drove the truck and were very impressed with its performance. I have had several follow up conversations with them and have supplied additional information they have requested. As a result of this event we also have visitors from Amerigas coming into our facility next Wednesday for a follow up meeting.

    In mid November we completed our Application Engineering Review with Cummins and were approved to purchase Cummins components for our conversions. This has been over a year and half long process and strong third party validation that our system works as advertised.

    The end of November we took our trucks to the Florence Kentucky FedEx hub to seek approval for our trucks to haul freight for FedEx. We met with their corporate safety people, corporate head of mechanics, the local terminal manager and around a dozen FedEx private haul contractors. We are now approved for our trucks to haul FedEx freight from the Florence KY terminal. I received a call the following day from the FedEx Director of Sustainability and the terminal manager; they will be keeping a close eye on our progress and mentioned the possibility of some joint promotions in the future. We also have lined up 6 different contractors to begin testing our trucks on their routes after the Christmas crunch in over. I have been busy getting the proper operating authority, tax accounts, insurance and apportioned certificates in place to meet their requirements. I should have this completed next week.

    (click to enlarge)

    Yesterday, Shannon received a preliminary ruling from the region 5 office of the EPA that our system can be sold under the Cummins engines EPA certification of conformity without further certification or verification. They are now checking to see if our system will be exempt from further EPA certification or verification requirements for EPA grant funding opportunities.

    In October our Board of Directors voted to terminate our "friends and family offering" after raising $1.2 million and begin working on a $5 million "A Round" for venture capital and institutional investors. We feel a larger offering at a higher price is justified because if the substantial strides we've made over the last twelve months, including.

    1. A working Class 8A day cab
    2. Mexican and United State Patent grants.
    3. Approval to haul FedEx freight
    4. The Cummins diesel satisfying EPA on road emissions requirements.
    5. Confirmation through testing of a 20% to 30% reduction in fuel usage at weight.
    6. Confirmation through testing of an additional 10% to 25% reduction in fuel usage in new drivers when compared to veteran drivers.
    7. Kit conversion design completed for fleet mechanics ease of installation.
    8. Additional intellectual property developed and in progress.
    9. The interest we have generated in worldwide licensing opportunities moving forward.
    10. A clear path forward to the class 8B (80,000lb load) tractor.

    John Petersen and I have met with and our board of directors participated in several face-to-face meetings and or conference calls with interested parties. John and I believe we have generated a sincere interest in what we are doing. To this point we are not receiving push back on the valuation or use of funds we have proposed. I will send an update out before the end of the year to let everyone know how the fund raising is progressing.

    Thanks again for your support and confidence you have shown throughout this project, I know we would all like to see things move faster but I do feel we have a solid base now to move forward. Happy holidays to all and wishes for a prosperous and profitable New Year.

    Dec 08 9:53 AM | Link | 51 Comments
  • A Couple Graphs From Axion Power's Presentation At The Battery Show

    Last week I got my copy of the and presentations from The Battery Show in Novi, Michigan. Since the participants paid several hundred dollars a day to attend it would be improper for me to publish complete presentations without permission. I can, however, share a couple of graphics from Axion Power International's (OTCQB:AXPW) presentation that impressed me and may be interesting to readers.

    This first graph is Axion's presentation of the battery performance data collected by ePower Engine Systems that I smoothed to 20-second intervals for my July 12, 2014 Instablog titled Latest Update From Jay Bowman.

    The second graph is an updated version of the long string behavior analysis that we first saw in late 2012 which compares the stability of a 24-battery AGM string with a 24-battery PbC string. While the 2012 slide presented 120 days of data for both battery strings, the new slide presents 120 days of data for the AGM string and about 670 days of data for the PbC.

    (click to enlarge)

    The things I find extraordinary in this graph are:

    • The right hand axis, which presents the standard deviation of module voltages, is scaled more tightly on the PbC graph than it is on the AGM graph;
    • While the AGM string had eight battery replacements in 120 days, the PbC only had three battery replacements in about 670 days;
    • Sticking a brand new battery into a 24-module string of old batteries would typically cause a variety of problems, but the new PbC's seem to integrate smoothly; and
    • The graph suggests that the test protocol contemplated a two-shift duty cycle.

    Since ePower hasn't had the opportunity to test the PbC for almost three years, we find the long term string performance data very comforting and believe the ability to do single battery replacements instead of replacing a full battery pack will be very appealing to our customers.

    Tags: AXPW
    Oct 04 3:53 PM | Link | 20 Comments
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