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  • A first!
    7 Dec 2012, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • Congrats! A first first.
    7 Dec 2012, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • Up to 173 followers.


    APH, how about a link to JP's ePower article! Best news this week!


    "ePower’s Series Hybrid Electric Drive – Unmatched Fuel Economy for Heavy Trucks"



    [edit: oops, I did not see it there at the top of the page at first.]
    7 Dec 2012, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » First paragraph of the header, but I will adjust the link so that it reads the full title of the article.
    7 Dec 2012, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • Thank you APC for the new concentrator!
    7 Dec 2012, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • 11:35, 155K VWAP $0.3005 goes off in four trades.


    7 Dec 2012, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • It appears that we still have some form of a "Big Ugly" raining on our parade!
    7 Dec 2012, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • RBrun: My take is that we just have a market-maker (ATDF I think since they are on both sides so frequently) playing the spread to make some money. Daily short sales are way off their highs - in fact running unsustainably low for now - and would be much higher, I think, if we had one of those, as would volume.


    7 Dec 2012, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • HTL


    I am definitely hoping you are correct although my instincts are still not completely comfortable in buying that there isn't some entity still unloading the last of their holdings into whatever strength appears. There are some pretty nice size blocks going off @ 100k, 24k, etc.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • One of the big problems of patterns like we've seen over the last couple years is that fear of the big uglies lives long after they're history. It's basically a Pavlovian thing - either that or delayed stress syndrome.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • I agree with the delayed stress syndrome!
    7 Dec 2012, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • One characteristic all Axionistas share is "battle hardened veteran" status.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • Related to the Pavlovian thing and pain, it may be transmitted to a new generation who never knew the uglies
    7 Dec 2012, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • An absolute classic Nicu.


    Five start fun link of the week awards to you.
    7 Dec 2012, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • Nicu: Appropriate and, likely, more truth than we would want to admit!


    Good link!


    7 Dec 2012, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Does anyone know anything about Artisan Vehicle Systems?
    When I linked to the YouTube video for ePower's truck I saw a video for Artisan's hybrid truck. According to their website they are selling class 6 & class 8 electric hybrid trucks as well as heavy equipment earth movers and race car systems.
    The battery pack is designed to be a quick swap so the vehicle can have continuous operation.
    The video, dated March 2011, showed a class 8 truck using a Capstone Microturbine to charge the batteries that drive the electric motor! How sweet that is!
    Artisan claims their rig reduces operating costs by 60% to 70%.
    There were no sales figures on the site that I could see.
    Capstone turbines can run on natural gas or bio-gas or just about any gas and gas is lots cheaper than diesel fuel.
    About the seems they are using in-house LifePO4 batteries.
    Would PbC batteries be better and would Artisan consider using PbC's? I wonder if Axion has already been talking to Artisan about batteries?


    disclosure: I am LONG - AXPW CPST KNDI


    mmmm...a million trucks using Capstone turbines and Axion PbC's...maybe my shares have some potential...I will hold 'em.


    7 Dec 2012, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • It appears that Artisan provides electric vehicle drivetrains where everything runs off the batteries and the engine (if any) is a range extender. ePower runs the truck off the engine and only uses the batteries for acceleration boost and hill climbing.
    7 Dec 2012, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • Fed's Advanced Vehicle Testing (AVT) program test results of used Leaf battery. Special thanks to china on the CBAK message board.


    2011 Nissan Leaf – VIN 0356
    Advanced Vehicle Testing – Beginning-of-Test Battery Testing Results

    7 Dec 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • if I read this correctly, the Leaf's battery lost 13% of both its Ah and KWh after being driven for less than 7000 miles. So I wonder if this is the "initial loss" that Leaf was trying to claim was the problem in Arizona, and which they claimed was then supposed to level off after that? Would be nice to see the data after 50,000 miles. If it still keeps going down, you can kiss good-bye the whole "secondary market" for used least for the ones used in the Leaf's.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe if they discharge it at a 1C rate the data will look better. That's what's important right? It's all based on perspective.

    7 Dec 2012, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • I guess I've never understood the secondary battery market for EV's. So the battery is in bad shape, but will still provide another stable source of energy. As some else posted, differing batteries, chemistries, volts, age, charge times etc. I just don't get it, but if I could sell the idea to get a govt. grant, I would try to make it compelling.
    7 Dec 2012, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • Metro,
    Don't forget they are also trying to convince EV buyers that their batteries will be worth something when they no longer work to power their autos.
    7 Dec 2012, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • Metro, the battery is not necessarily in "bad shape", it just holds less energy, but still has plenty of usable capacity, probably 60-70% of new. That capacity may not be enough for a vehicle at some point but certainly enough for stationary applications where energy density is less of a concern.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:33 AM Reply Like
  • Indeed. I fully expect to take the 12kWh pack out of my car someday and stick it in the basement as a 6-7kWh backup pack.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • I have to admire your Jeff Foxworthy approach. Pick that banjo for us.


    Unfortunately, the fraud is telling EV buyers who are not hillbillies that there will be a market where used batteries will have material value to a third party.
    8 Dec 2012, 11:01 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3,
    I wonder though how many owners would change out their battery with 60-70% usable capacity as it would be quite an expense. That number may hold true for high end i.e. Tesla, but potentially owners with a high net worth may trade the cars instead of investing in a new battery.


    On the other end of the spectrum, I would think that LEAF owners would have a hard time investing the money in a 8-10 year old LEAF and may be challenged to find somebody to purchase the car with a battery that only has 50 percent of its original capacity. I've always thought the used car market for the EV's is going to be interesting/challenging for the owners.
    8 Dec 2012, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • Metro,
    The point is that replacement battery cost could be offset by the residual capacity left in the battery. A HUB is what, 12kWh, and costs $40K? What do you think a 24kWh LEAF pack at 50% is going to be worth? As for Tesla, an 85kWh S at 50% is still a luxury electric vehicle with 120-150 miles of range and should still have good value.
    Certainly if battery technology does not improve and get cheaper then a replacement pack would be an expensive proposition. However if batteries continue to improve, as they have, at a rate of 5-10% a year, then in 8-10 years time a used EV could get a better than new pack at an affordable cost, with exchange of the old pack. Time will tell if this holds true.
    9 Dec 2012, 09:02 AM Reply Like
  • "Certainly if battery technology does not improve and get cheaper then a replacement pack would be an expensive proposition. However if batteries continue to improve, as they have, at a rate of 5-10% a year, then in 8-10 years time a used EV could get a better than new pack at an affordable cost, with exchange of the old pack. "


    If batteries continue to improve and get cheaper, shouldn't one expect any residual value in a previously used li-ion battery pack decline as well and at a higher rate a due to ultimate cost of hazardous waste disposable?
    9 Dec 2012, 10:14 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3,
    It's a reasonable thing to do if you own the car and can use the battery yourself. I just don't believe you are going to find someone to purchase used batteries from someone else for that purpose. Maybe you can find a secondary market on something like Craigslist, but probably only for pennies on the dollar. Someone who invests in something like an Axion Hub isn't going to want to trust it to a used battery. And one would assume they would have to alter the circuitry for different battery types if they were going to use a used battery from a different company. IMHO.
    9 Dec 2012, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • The HUB includes about $12,000 of brand-new batteries with manufacturer's warranty. The balance of the retail price is control electronics, inverters, housings and middle-man's profit on the sale. A ten year old Leaf battery with uncertain provenance and remaining utility will be worthless to anybody but a DIY type - a/k/a hobbyist - a/k/a lithium troll.


    Claiming to be an Axion stockholder does not excuse persistent irrelevance.
    9 Dec 2012, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv,
    Yes residual value would be lower, but still far from zero. A used pack would be placed in a different application than a new pack so they aren't competing for the same market. As for hazardous waste disposal, really? They will be recycled, no question. There are already at least three companies involved in the sector right now. I know some people like to pretend they don't exist, but that doesn't make it so.
    10 Dec 2012, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • Lab,
    I'd expect brand specific applications. One LEAF battery at 50% provides a 12kWh HUB type application. One 40kWh Tesla Model S battery at 50% provides a 20kWh HUB type application. No, the $40K HUB purchaser might not be interested, but someone who wants similar storage capacity for backup at a much lower price point might.
    10 Dec 2012, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • GM is already testing used Volt packs in exactly the configuration I'm discussing. That's reality. Other EV producing OEM's are doing the same. Being the resident Axion guru does not excuse persistent ignorance of what is actually happening.
    10 Dec 2012, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3,
    You wrote to me:
    "What do you think a 24kWh LEAF pack at 50% is going to be worth?"


    I don't know, but probably about the same as a 24kWh group of PbC batteries that have degraded by 50% which I think would not be worth much: especially if a business was going to test, validate, repackage and offer some type of warranty for those batteries. They would need to buy on the cheap.


    It also seems to my limited knowledge, that the degradation curve becomes much steeper after the battery has lost 50% of its energy, so would have to account for this in further applications.
    10 Dec 2012, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • I haven't seen any cycling curves much beyond 70% for lithium, mostly because they tend to go flat at that point and capacity degradation slows, the opposite of what you've seen.
    As for testing, remember the pack BMS monitors the cells constantly, so data about the health of the pack is already available. Testing need not be complicated, you plug into the pack, read the data from the BMS, pull a load from the pack to check voltage sag and double check capacity, and if it passes plug it into the control module built for the specific application. There are already around 40,000 LEAF's in the world so in 8-10 years there will be a large number of these packs that are potentially ready to do second duty for stationary storage applications. At those volumes I think any company involved in the sector would be doing manufacturer specific applications, not mixing and matching from different OEM's. Quite possibly GM, Nissan, Tesla, etc. will keep it in house, or spin off a side business.
    11 Dec 2012, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • Article on Chinese EV industry. Sounds familiar. Their incentives are not working so well either.


    Stuck in the slow lane

    7 Dec 2012, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • "Fiat has invested a large amount of money to develop electric vehicles, and will work jointly with US automaker Chrysler to produce the electric model Fiat 500 by the end of the year.


    Marchionne, however, admits that the joint venture will not be financially rewarding for both companies. "The company will lose $10,000 for every Fiat 500 produced. If we produce the vehicles on a large scale, it will prove to be disastrous."


    Nothing like throwing some ice into the cold water before you throw it on the EV enthusiasts.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • Not a very positive article. Even though there are huge state incentives to buy an EV.
    7 Dec 2012, 02:34 PM Reply Like
  • This is what struck my eye.


    "Though there are still the occasional new electric car launches, they are no longer the most awaited events by automobile, new technology enthusiasts. It is evident that high prices, limited range,
    and dearth of recharging stations have put the brakes on the growth of an industry that was supposed to champion China's high-tech dreams."


    Reliability is a problem. I would like to see where those numbers.
    10 Dec 2012, 07:18 PM Reply Like
  • The charging stations seem particularly impractical to me.


    Compared to gas pumps, which including payment are in use for about 5 minutes, electric charging stations are envisioned to be tied up for much longer -- forgive me for not knowing how long, I think it's somewhere between half an hour and an hour.


    Lineups at tellers and check-out stands are generally modeled using Poisson Distributions, as I suppose are predicted demand for gasoline pumps.


    It seems to me that whatever the range of an EV is expected to be, at any given instant the number of EV's running out of juice should match the number of ICE cars running out of gas.


    So the same number of EV's will be lining up for charging stations as ICE cars lining up for gas pumps, but the wait for a charging station will be 6 to 12 times as long.


    Or else 6 to 12 times as many charging stations as gas pumps would have to be installed to support replacement of the entire ICE car fleet with EV's.


    10 Dec 2012, 07:57 PM Reply Like
  • Really? I was going to buy one just for the opportunity to save huge sums of money on oil changes. What's that TSLA annual charge again? Never mind.
    10 Dec 2012, 11:47 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco --


    The more I read about EV's in this forum and elsewhere, the more of a head-slap all the subsidies to develop them seem.


    I can sympathize with the fantasy of not burning liquid fuel to drive around, but as JP has so brilliantly laid out, EV's for the foreseeable future, even if it were practical to recharge them, would merely replace petrol in the tank with bloody coal!
    11 Dec 2012, 12:16 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco,
    My Renault yearly service runs about $1,000 and if not more I am giddy. I grudgingly view it as the cost of owning a car. I'm surprised that TSLA owners are complaining about the price of service when they shell out $100,000 for a car. It doesn't sound like an unreasonable price to me. If the annual service charge is too much for them, I can't imagine what planet they have been living on regarding the price of annual car service and thinking that TSLA wasn't going to charge them much because TSLA people are just nice. It would be interesting to see the service bill for the TSLA owner in Alaska for the TSLA ranger to fly there to give his car the annual service. It is probably a drug dealer living in a trailer park like on the Alaska reality crime shows on TV - that would make an interesting episode.
    11 Dec 2012, 12:51 AM Reply Like
  • Metro
    Tesla has a new policy. (A month or so)
    Ranger visits cost $100. No mileage fee.
    Flying would mean no tools or parts on arrival. This is probably not in the plans. Newspaper reporters excepted.
    11 Dec 2012, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Billa, Certain levels of electrification are making more and more sense all the time. A balance of having the right power from the engine to cruse with the ICE running at peak performance, some electric devices to boost power on the rare occasion it's needed, control to turn off devices that rob power when it's more needed. etc. Once you start thinking about driving for extended periods with energy from the grid all bets are off. There are plenty of niche exceptions.
    11 Dec 2012, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • Metro, What do you put into your service column? Everything like oil, alignments, brakes, tires, batteries? 1,000/year service sounds kind of high if it's average over the life of the vehicle. O course miles vary and this could be a reason.
    11 Dec 2012, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco,
    Put on about 15,000 kilometers per year. It is just the normal wear and tear tires, oil, brakes, muffler, wipers etc. etc. plus things that break, i.e. door latch. If I included all my non-once a year service costs i.e. new battery mid-year, new electronic key as other broke, car would not start on a Sunday and so had to call Renault service ($180 euro to wiggle the same wire that I tried wiggling cause it had done the same thing before - guess my wiggle just wasn't good enough which was really irritating) my expenses are well over $1,000 per year. Renault service is really expensive from my point of view. Spent about half this amount servicing a Ford Focus.
    11 Dec 2012, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco --


    I hear you: "niche exceptions."


    That makes all the sense in the world to me, one more option in the mix for drivers with the money and automotive needs EV's satisfy.


    But for the millions of drivers living paycheck to paycheck with long commutes and additional motive needs, stop/start and other optimizations of the ICE are much more practical.


    That's why I'm slapping my head at subsidies being thrown at EV's when those incentives could have a much more significant impact in other areas of the evolving transpo mix.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • Yes. I favor more subsidies for transit.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • Metro, Thanks, I just got rid of a 1998 Chevy minivan. I'm guessing my average was about 100-150 USD/year over the life of the vehicle. My mileage was lower at about 12k km/year.


    Original muffler, one set of tires and one battery. No other failures. I was the exception not the rule with this vehicle. Ran great when I got rid of it but the salt used in the winter in my area is unkind. Brake lines and gas line ready to go and the muffler had just developed a leak. Twas its time.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane -


    I agree.


    In fact when I posted my post, I thought: "Why don't we just build more trains if we're talking about long commutes?"


    There are other realities, though -- and I do not claim to be an expert -- not least of which is the car-dependent geography people are living in in the present: housing tracts that don't even have sidewalks, malls on the other side of town.


    I guess EV planners think the number of miles the average person drives is within range, and the fantasy is that EV's will go further as the technology improves.


    But right now, in the present, given where people live and where they go, it seems to me that stop-start is a practical and accessible solution that belongs in the mix.


    And there is JP's point about replacing petrol in the tank with coal (that fires power plants).
    11 Dec 2012, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • Billa and D Lane, We're on the same page.


    Almost all of this EV support has been money pissed down a rat hole or more affluent peoples toy money. My opinion.
    11 Dec 2012, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • >billa_from_sf ... I like trains. If energy conservation ever catches on as an idea and not just an ideal, then cities will transform to more train friendly environs. The first step would be in the East & upper Midwest and that would be separating the right-of-ways from freight. AmTrak could be a breakeven, maybe marginally profitable, enterprise in these areas, but does it really matter. We don't build roads for profit ... yet. Then there are those people that say "government should be run like a business" while neglecting a real business. I'd hate to be a part of their business but I guess that is way they choose politics.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • I whine and complain about fuel taxes here in Switzerland, but knowing that a big chunk of those taxes go to pay for one of the best rail systems in the world blunts the pain.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco: I see it more as a payback to his "green liberal" voters and legal campaign advertising for his 2012 presidential run, paid for by tax money.


    USA politics today is a dirty and disgusting business and a fraud on the taxpayers of the country. Dems have no monopoly on the dirt, either.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • "USA politics today is a dirty and disgusting business and a fraud on the taxpayers of the country. Dems have no monopoly on the dirt, either."


    SiHB, Amen.


    Is there a difference between R's and D's anymore. Can't tell through all the filth.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • Metro - On behalf of Alaska's trailer park drug dealers we are deeply saddened and offended that in today's society you could be so cruel and insensitive as to make such an unfeeling statement lumping us together with TESLA owners. Where's the ACLU when we need them?


    Outraged in space 13
    11 Dec 2012, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco,
    $150 a year! I can't hardly change the brake pads for that.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • Metro, You have to stay away from the main shops for the easy stuff. There are lots of guys that do brakes on the side. I know of a guy that does them locally for 40 USD an axle + parts. So I get new brake pads and disks for about 120 USD and he would put them on for 40 USD. Brake pads in the US are life time warranty at the parts store so after the first time the material is free.


    The main point is to stay away from the dealer unless it's something that requires their expertise. I've done brakes a few times and anyone can do them.
    11 Dec 2012, 05:07 PM Reply Like
  • It's good advice, however, when I go the route of mechanics who are recommended to me they always screw up something, front end rattled after changing shocks, the mechanic couldn't find the right machine to check out the motor and after a couple days I just gave up, put on a wheel bearing and then had to replace it again in a few months.. Giovanni and Bruno are good for changing oil, but don't hardly trust them with that. At the dealer, they stand by their work and the car is practically new mechanically. If I just didn't have an incontinent dog, the inside would be pretty good also, I pay more, but only somewhat more in Portugal, but don't have to waste time and get frustrated with the independent mechanic.
    11 Dec 2012, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • John, I clicked on the test drive link at the ePower site you linked to. The test drive video did not give any information regarding the gross weight of the rig or the date of that test drive, do you know any details.
    Just watching the video it appears that the rig is accelerating to speed much faster than conventional shifting would allow? No audio associated with the video so hard to tell much.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • They have a YouTube channel with four videos but they're all pretty light on detail. Unfortunately I don't know enough to provide additional color.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • >Bill Burtchaell ... The ePower drivetrain will accelerate faster than conventional shifting allows. This works more like a Continuously Variable Transmission [CVT] with no stepping like with gears and a less variable engine speed which will deliver optimized Horsepower (torque) while keeping the engine within the most economical RPM range at varying vehicle speeds.


    This vehicle is motivated (at least as it appears to me) like a railroad locomotive and "shifting" is an electrical function between the generator & drive motor. The "shifting" is attained by varying the excitation of the main generator to get the right mix of voltage and current. At low speed - low voltage, high current. At high speed - high voltage, low current and everything in between.
    7 Dec 2012, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • We need to find out where ePower is going to be touring the truck in the coming weeks and send the closest Axionista out to see it with a stop watch!
    7 Dec 2012, 01:54 PM Reply Like
  • Lab Tech,
    As a former driver, I would rather see how it pulls a hill than how fast it goes from 0-60 with a gross of 80,000 lbs. One of the problems of speed with a big truck is how fast you can get into trouble and how long it takes to get out of trouble. Fast acceleration doesn't negate the physics of slowing 80,000 lbs and there is no such thing as quick responsive steering with a full load at highway speeds. This is why pro drivers are taught about space cushions, 7 second following distance and 15 second eye lead time to be able to respond to conditions on the road apprx 1/4 mile ahead of your vehicle.
    7 Dec 2012, 02:25 PM Reply Like
  • >Stilldazed ... And therein lays ePower Engines challenge. Convincing the truckers that this very different handling rig is a better drive. Fleet operators (some owner/operators) will jump at the fuel mileage ... company truckers are a different story. It is almost like dealing with farmers when it comes to change.
    7 Dec 2012, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • There's nothing that breaks inertia faster then a forty to fifty percent reduction in annual fuel cost that pretty much goes straight to the bottom line.
    7 Dec 2012, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, Comment from the Altoona works Facebook site re: an old loco. In support of your perspective. ;)


    "That old school look is sweet and I prefer operating SDd-40's over anything NS or anyone has for that matter! NO computer crap...just "stick and rudder" and seat of the pants feel!!"
    7 Dec 2012, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • Cheerleaders on the side of the road. Flash Axtionista mobs. That would be awesome! I draw the line at circling a truck at a truckstop while an APU fires. It may disturb drivers.
    7 Dec 2012, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed,
    Granted I would rather see that as well. Heck, what I would really like is for you or Tim to be able to get in the truck and drive it for 50-100 miles and give a real review of its driving abilities.
    7 Dec 2012, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech, I am available <smile>...
    7 Dec 2012, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • DRich,


    "It is almost like dealing with farmers when it comes to change."


    I couldn't let the remark about farmers pass. This is partly in fun in picking at your comment and partly serious to better inform any who may not know the realities in farming. Read it in a light hearted manner. :-)


    I grew up on a farm. In fact I drove the tractor this afternoon for my brother. I remember as a teenager seeing people go into the bank in business suits. My Dad and I would go in with our dirty work clothes on. We might even have a little hog mess on our shoes. My Dad's deposit would usually be a few thousand more dollars than the man in the business suit. I learned very quickly that successful farmers were some of the shrewdest businessmen alive. I watched many young farmers get easy government money and end up in bankruptcy. The successful farmer invents equipment and processes that do the most work for the least amount of time and money. Dad survived by buying used equipment at auction sales. When a man runs a family farm he has to be a laborer, businessman, mechanic, welder, construction worker, engineer, inventor, and dreamer. Yes, there are some hard headed men who will not change. But some of those hard heads are people who have learned from experience what works and they will not let some whipper snapper lead them in the wrong direction.


    Today's farmer is constantly changing and looking for better ways to do his work. His only other option is to lose everything he has. We used to plow the fields several times before planting. Now we do it once or twice. The tractor I drove today pulled a chisel plow with the grain drill behind it. I was breaking the land and planting in the same pass. We plant soybeans in the wheat stubble with minimum tillage. We quit using commercial fertilizer 4 years ago because it was too expensive. We now use tractor trailer loads of chicken litter. The neighbors really love the smell.


    In summary, farmers have the most diversified skill set of any profession I know. The phrase, "Jack of all trades," truly fits.
    7 Dec 2012, 10:56 PM Reply Like
  • Well said Jveal.


    Things have in fact changed immeasurably but the "Jack of all trades" and hard work ingredients remain the same. Running any business well requires many strong skill sets.
    7 Dec 2012, 11:23 PM Reply Like
  • >jveal ... I have to admit it has been over 2 weeks since the last time I was out pulling some harrows around. I'm not saying farmers can't or don't change but I'd invite you down to the "Hickory Hut" bar-b-que for either breakfast or lunch to sit around with the local farmers here in Lancaster. You might find the discussion interesting. There are a couple of "progressive", younger farmers but even as change might happen (particularly if recommended by the county agent) it doesn't come quickly or without hours of complaint, deconstructing and deep skepticism that much older methods weren't better. Same arguments & attitudes I grew up around. For instance, back in my youth during the 1960's "No Till" was considered new & radical (a Dust Bowl improvement). Today, it is used by the majority of farmers but is still discussed with suspicion & not universally adopted for all crops. Even the stuff they all use now, like GPS soil analysis for mineral/fertilizer application & pest control is met with lament.


    Gives me that homey feeling even as I don't abide with any of it. I love change based on sound reasoning, but I'm the "city slicker", Liberal Hippie Communist down at the diner.
    7 Dec 2012, 11:30 PM Reply Like
  • "There's nothing that breaks inertia faster then a forty to fifty percent reduction in annual fuel cost that pretty much goes straight to the bottom line."


    No kidding. I think Tim E said the competition is fierce, which tells me you better buy an ePower conversion, too, or Joe's gonna be eating your lunch, dating your wife and feeding your dog. 8^] Can't wait for some on-the-ball fleet operators to jump all over these things.


    I wonder what the biggest constraints will be? In some other capital-intensive industries, one of the biggest is credit availability, i.e., if you can get a loan for it, you're gonna buy it. Tim E. said he doesn't think credit availability will be a problem, as the lender will have the truck as collateral. But initially, the lender will have to believe a converted truck is worthwhile collateral at whatever loan-to-value percentage is used. If the ePower system works well, there's gonna be some good biz in lending, too.
    8 Dec 2012, 01:33 AM Reply Like
  • DR,
    A driver that doesn't have to shift, pump fuel as often or sleep in an idling truck? No more having to remember to turn off the Jakes when getting off the highway or turn them on to go down a hill. No more guessing which gear to be in depending on your weight so you can save your brakes and drum seals on a downgrade? What's not to love? Most drivers get paid by the mile, less time fueling is more time driving. There will always be the diehards (they will still have to have an APU to meet the new laws) that drive a stick shift diesel engine for as long as available (they want the control). But the autoshift transmissions have been out long enough that the majority of drivers will have no problem with the change over. Oh yeah, this is the right innovation at the right time and believe it or not, many drivers are techies. If this proves out on the road they will sell like hot cakes at a Waffle House when the word gets out. Gives a whole new meaning to a high tech truck.
    8 Dec 2012, 05:16 AM Reply Like
  • Lab Tech,
    I would have to ride with Tim as I can no longer drive a "Class A" vehicle. I would love the chance to ride and write the experience. I sorely miss the road. It is a good but tough life with lots of fine people and a few idiots. These days I only manage for the folks on the road, dispatch and help them stay DOT legal.
    8 Dec 2012, 05:36 AM Reply Like
  • "These days I only manage for the folks on the road, dispatch and help them stay DOT legal."


    I am certain they appreciate someone in management who has actually sat in the seat and cares - rare these days. That would be a fun trip, lets not give up on the idea that it may someday take place...
    8 Dec 2012, 08:35 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks Tim.
    8 Dec 2012, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • Cause of wind farm fire still under investigation

    7 Dec 2012, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • Run ePower run.


    First Phase of LNG Trucking Corridor Complete

    7 Dec 2012, 03:10 PM Reply Like
  • We've only just started to explore ePower's competitive landscape.


    You hear a lot about NG and trucks, so would like to see a comparo of ePower's conversion and a NG one: cost and benefit, and coverage/applicability (I'd guess that diesel is still way more available than NG). Maybe the choice is a no-brainer one in favor of ePower, if they get anywhere near the mpg improvements they seek, I don't know.


    One decision biggie, I would think, is that NG prices fluctuate a lot more then diesel prices, historically. Harder to plan for that, for one. And if most of your competition is still using diesel, having your fuel cost be a steady 50% of their cost, say, makes planning relatively easy.


    Wouldn't it be great to have ePower's solution be talked about like we hear about the NG solution? Right up there in the discussion? How cool and profitable would THAT be?
    7 Dec 2012, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • What about a NG epower truck?
    7 Dec 2012, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. I.
    Maybe one day we'll have both. One would assume that if they can run the motor for the generator off diesel, then they could switch out the diesel generator for a NG generator. There are many possible options for this idea if it works as well as ePower is promising.
    7 Dec 2012, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • I think there is room for all of the above. Even if NG is a solution it's still restricted to certain routes unless you go flex-fuel. Is NG with a generator/motor the way to go? Perhaps but with the lower fuel price the payback would most likely get extended out. A guess.


    If ePower is robust and their numbers are real they should have a big enough audience to make them and Axion happy.


    Need to understand this sector better for sure.
    7 Dec 2012, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • The problem with an NG ePower truck is truckers would have two alternatives to adjust too and pay extra for upfront.


    But I hope that is the future.
    7 Dec 2012, 05:34 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan: perfectly rational. All that's needed is a slightly larger engine to compensate for the lower NG energy content so the same HP would be available for the generator.


    There is the downside of reduced range, unless the LNG or CNG tanks can hold enough additional fuel to compensate for the lower energy density. That might be offset by not needing the after-treatment (commonly a urea process) for exhaust to meet upcoming EPA standards. I understand those systems are several grand.


    Also, as of now, the corridor of fueling locations is very small so either routes that have them must be run or other arrangements to stop at terminals on either end to fuel up must be made.


    7 Dec 2012, 06:06 PM Reply Like
  • "Need to understand this sector better for sure."


    A speculation.


    A priori, one might suspect Tim's observation about re-build/refurbish cycles could be important and OEM five year warranty periods on drive trains is probably correlated strongly with re-build/refurbish need. Metro observed earlier that transition rate from ePower's 5 year and under tractor group to 6-11 year age group averaged ~169,000 year. And a comparable number transitions into the 12& over group.


    Thinking crudely, those transition numbers might be taken as prime targets for conversion to ePower drive trains. Transition population total would amount to 338K trucks. Absent an established track record of durability, one might expect slow initial conversion rate. Assuming first year conversions amount to %5 of 1% of 338K trucks, a total of 169 trucks would be converted -- not much different from the 200 trucks for which financing is reportedly arranged. Working with the 200 VC backed number in the first year, ePower conversions might average 16 - 17 per month by April.
    7 Dec 2012, 06:29 PM Reply Like
  • I would hope ePower, at this early time in their life, only does one big thing at a time. For now, stick to addressing their intended 1.010 million primary mkt w/ the truck they know, except with our much improved batteries. Then, like their "Addressable Market Size" slide and other slide mention, eventually hit the OEM and the < 6 yr and >11 yr mkts. Then maybe an NG PbC truck. Then the rest of the alphabet. 8^}


    Not sure how many of the 6 - 11 yr retrofitted trucks will be repeat biz, if a >= 5 yr life holds up for the major stuff. Then the truck will be in the "maybe later" > 11 yrs old segment. Perhaps the 2nd time around costs will be lower enough, as some of the conversion items can be reused, efficiencies learned, and maybe the PbC batteries will have dropped in price enough.
    7 Dec 2012, 08:57 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. Investor,


    My first read of your post made me think you were saying a second set of batteries would be needed for a second overhaul of a retrofit. I'm not sure that is what you were saying. If the truck comes back in for a rebuild after five years with the conversion, the PbC batteries will be one of the conversion parts that could be reused. In testing, Axion has yet to find the limit of the battery's life. In fact, batteries may be taken from a scrapped truck to put in another conversion truck.
    7 Dec 2012, 10:12 PM Reply Like
  • jveal, I think JP posted recently that ePower wants the PbCs to last at least 2 years and Axion is telling them they'll last (at least?) 5. If they last longer than 5yrs in this application, I'd think that would help lower TCO, and if not, maybe we get a bit of a replacement cycle going.


    But the really big deal is getting the conversion sales in the first place. The rest is refinement.
    8 Dec 2012, 01:10 AM Reply Like
  • It's also worthwhile to remember that the PbC has a far longer life than AGM but is not immortal. It starts to slowly degrade after five years in a simulated stop-start duty cycle but will probably degrade faster in a heavier hybrid truck duty cycle. If Axion's telling ePower they can expect five years, I wouldn't assume that they're understating expectations by a wide margin.
    8 Dec 2012, 01:41 AM Reply Like
  • A couple of comments on the NG ideas.
    A couple of years ago I ran into a paper by the trucking industry on the potential of CNG and LNG.
    CNG was considered too low power for the mountains, but would work between them and a good fuel for local fleets.
    Westport and others are working on bigger NG engines.


    (Might be a good fit with ePower's set up.)


    LNG Would work in the mountains and else where but presently distribution is a hurdle.
    Also over a few days the fuel warms and is slowly venting to reduce pressure. (Emissions problems) Those trucks waiting for the port of LA to open would have been a problem. The trucks would have lost fuel just parked. Probably their whole tank full. Then what? Fill a truck to sit parked again? Wait for the port to open; then afterwards tow each one to a pump to fill it?


    Advantages but problems too.
    9 Dec 2012, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • Ok... this was fun to watch. The bid/ask was .2983 X. 3049 forever, it seemed. I guess nobody was there for the MM to BUY *from* (lack of sellers). They (the MMs) gave it the college try: They let the bid sit there forever. I, myself dangled buy orders around the bid.... NADA! Zilch!


    Now the Bid is back above .30... still nothing.


    Folks, the Big Uglies are either gone, or in hiding.
    7 Dec 2012, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • OR, I think they are gone. This trading looks "normal" to me compared to when the "Big Uglies" were crowding the pay window.
    7 Dec 2012, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • This is an interesting article on fleet trucking for anyone like me that knows little about the industry. It's interesting because you can see the efforts going into saving 0.5 or 1 % of the fuel required. Puts into perspective the importance of the ePower claims.


    Drivetrains: Spec'd for fuel economy

    7 Dec 2012, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • "Drivetrains: Spec'd for fuel economy"


    One possible issue that crossed the mind is ability of truck repair shops to efficiently deal with Deere genset diesels as opposed to the larger diesels they are accustomed to working on. And; I suspect competitive reactions from OEM and aftermarket players in truck transmissions.
    7 Dec 2012, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • Good point, D-inv. How many giant rice bowls in the transmission/engine overhaul world will ePower be breaking if this catches on?
    7 Dec 2012, 10:13 PM Reply Like
  • >D-inv ... I wouldn't worry about service to the engine. This is basically a tractor motor and any good diesel mechanic is quite capable. As to transmissions ... well, there isn't any. Getting the generator repaired, beyond the little things like a blown bearing, will require a tow to an electric shop. Nothing I've seen described so far about the mechanical system is beyond normal shop capabilities. The electronic is probably an ePower warranty issue.
    7 Dec 2012, 10:15 PM Reply Like
  • >DR " As to transmissions ... well, there isn't any" is the same point I made in different words. Truck transmission OEMs and repair shops could see substantial diminution in business volume within a few years and those groups will resist displacement.


    On genset engine maintenance, my thought was repair shop skill sets might be like those found in the auto repair field with much greater expertise in particular brands (Cat, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, etc.) and models than in others. That potential narrow focus may not apply, but the thought crossed my mind. It is also possible that ePower truck operators may find it quite easy to locate and use John Deere dealerships for repair work.
    8 Dec 2012, 12:39 AM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... There is still more efficiency to be squeezed out of this hybrid by doing away with the differentials and going to geared tandem wheels sets, but that is not a retrofit situation. I hope they thought of that for a patent (I haven't looked to see if this already taken). I was not aware that the drivetrain itself ate 20% of output power. There is a lot of wasted energy in conventional rigs. ePower, horsepower-wise, is not far from having an all terrain runner. Fifty more H.P. to the generator and 54+ PbC's might just get them there. More testing required.


    If ePower Engines is as good as advertised, should we start a pool about how long they stay independent and who buys them out?
    7 Dec 2012, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, Since ePower is using off the shelf proven tech. you can bet companies like Daimler have had engineers run the numbers. This would not be a difficult exercise for them.


    I could see ePower offering variants of the platform to accommodate variations in routes if it takes off.
    7 Dec 2012, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • " ePower, horsepower-wise, is not far from having an all terrain runner. "


    Have you formed an opinion about deceleration capabilities DR?
    8 Dec 2012, 08:47 PM Reply Like
  • >D-inv ... I think if it has enough power to go up, it probably has enough resistance & brake to get the job done. I would think in the flats it might slow a little quicker than standard gearing & brake. On the downside I don't know. Unfortunately, I'd really want to be in the seat to form a solid opinion. This truck will operate in a very different way and give the driver a much different feel. I'd want that feel for the machine first & I'm no trucker.
    8 Dec 2012, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, DR. Am I correct in thinking "enough resistance" refers to frictionless braking and that such braking will consume electric power?
    9 Dec 2012, 11:47 PM Reply Like
  • Like all hybrids, ePower's truck is set up for regenerative braking, so braking is a net power benefit rather than a net power consumption.
    10 Dec 2012, 12:42 AM Reply Like
  • I'm assuming this is the same Blackrock that has been selling its Axion stake recently:



    Blackrock just acquired a 4.99% stake in Tesla, that's something like $180 million.
    7 Dec 2012, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • Nobody has any idea what Blackrock has or has not done with its Axion shares since its last Schedule 13 filing in the spring.


    in light of the fact that Blackrock manages an $89 billion portfolio, I wouldn't read too much into any decision they make.
    7 Dec 2012, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • Just for grins I went to Teslas website last night and noticed that the Blackrock filing was a SC 13G/A, which means it was an amendment of an earlier SC 13G filing –


    The original SC 13G filing from Blackrock is on the fourth page of filings.


    In the original filing Blackrock had 5,897,207 shares.


    In the new filing Blackrock had 5,679,716 shares.


    So it looks like Blackrock is selling Tesla, not buying.
    8 Dec 2012, 12:30 AM Reply Like
  • Was looking at John Deere engines. Could not find where they have a "highway engine", but rather "off road diesels". If the engine is not directly drive the drive train, wondering if the engine does not have to meet the EPA highway standards that seem to be in a different category than the off road tier 3 standards - although I read they are similar.
    7 Dec 2012, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • metro, They will have to meet the standards. Should not be as hard if you're running the engine in a steady state fashion tuned to the sweet spot.
    7 Dec 2012, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • In the last concentrator, Rupers quoted from the patent app, naming a 4045T manufactured by John Deere.


    That appears to be a 4 cylinder engine. I don't know if it is EPA approved or not.
    7 Dec 2012, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • Getting approval won't be that difficult, Deere used to make engines for GM as far back as 1980's, they are seasoned pro's and have great engineers who can get the job done.
    7 Dec 2012, 05:07 PM Reply Like
  • It appears compliant with EPA. Deere markets it as a genset component for both stationary and mobile applications. Genset product brochure available at
    7 Dec 2012, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • Remember that ePower has already been testing for some time with AGM batteries. They are looking for longer battery life with PbC. So they probably have much of the development and certification process behind them. From a timing standpoint it's usually better to be an enhancement. (Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know about the NS999.).
    7 Dec 2012, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • As of June 2012, this article indicates that lack of EPA certification kept the Parker series hybrid refuse truck from using a 4 cylinder engine.
    Smaller engines? Not yet. The RunWise and package delivery hydraulic hybrid vehicles now available have the same engines as the corresponding conventional vehicles. “That’s mostly tied to EPA certifications,” Terblanche says. “If we had a four-cylinder, EPA-certified engine, we could certainly use it.”
    7 Dec 2012, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • "As of June 2012, this article indicates that lack of EPA certification kept the Parker series hybrid refuse truck from using a 4 cylinder engine."


    Perhaps for some reason the Deere engine doesn't work for them. At any rate, the Deere product brochure claims EPA cert.
    7 Dec 2012, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • Caught a couple minutes of Fox Business network earlier today that highlighted the booming business of a firm named Generex (IIRC) which reportedly is the U.S. market leader in back-up power generators (maybe just for residences). Sounded favorable to me for strong HUB opportunity as well.


    Monday brings 10th day of December, marking passage of roughly 1/3 of the month. I'm thinking the softening share price over the past few days just might be reflecting absence of any UL certification news. "Early" December is rapidly coming to a close.
    7 Dec 2012, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • Next week could be 2-for-1 for announcements--HUB and ePower PRs. Glad they didn't announce today, a Friday, if they just now have something ready and legal discretion to wait until early next week.


    At least we've had JP providing some info on ePower developments, even if it's not as well-seen as a PR. I'd think a good PR would help them a lot in kicking off their 3-week 'promo' tour. Then issue another one afterwards, when they get some orders or whatever. They are on the fast track, at least compared to our other prospective customers, so stay visible. Heck, they appear to be ready for at least some sales now, assuming the testing is going well. Nothing like sales to create more sales.


    Ditto for the HUB.


    On the other hand, we have a lot of folks here that are used to delays, so actual delays in the HUB and ePower (and maybe other potentially near-term stuff like APU and PC) PRs would be mitigated somewhat, I'd think. Some aren't expecting UL cert. for months. Gives some room for a positive surprise at least.
    7 Dec 2012, 09:10 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv,
    The company's name is Generac. You'll see a display for them at the front of any HomeDepot you go into. I've considered getting one of their natural gas units for our house, for power outages due to hurricanes or ice storms, that take down lots of power lines in our area. Just hasn't been a pressing need yet, so I keep putting it off.
    7 Dec 2012, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • "The company's name is Generac."


    Thanks, LabT.
    7 Dec 2012, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech,


    During the NJ "Hurricane" Sandy blackout, three out of three NatGas Generac generators on my parents' road failed. I heard 19 failed in the township, and no backup parts or service were available during the balance of the blackout. Most (all?) were installed within two years, after hurricane Irene took out the power for eight days. I do not know any more details. Make sure you research well.
    8 Dec 2012, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • >Lab Tech & Rick Krementz ... And I would add to RK's comment, understand, know and do the maintenance. The biggest reason I know why home owner gensets have failed when pressed into service.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • I have a gas powered 8Kw Generac in Bermuda.


    The secret is to drain the fuel after use rather than to just leave the fuel to get stale between uses. Similarly the battery is to be recharged regularly.


    Sounds and is quite straightforward but frankly I rarely do it! Result? A call to the service Tech and a $55 bill.
    8 Dec 2012, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • Albert, the NJ situation did not involve gasoline. All were natural gas machines. My understanding is that they started, but failed (self-destructed) after some hours with a melted or destroyed component. Ar least one neighbor reported requiring a 100% replacement - I think the oil pump failed, and the whole engine was destroyed. A whole lot more than $55.


    I do not have any personal experience with Generac - never heard of them until my parents had neighbors wanting to move in because of Generac failures.
    9 Dec 2012, 06:43 AM Reply Like
  • Rick and what do your parents use?
    9 Dec 2012, 08:38 PM Reply Like
  • We have had several Kohler Lister diesel generators. Excellent machines. I do not know if they are still in production. We also use several Hondas for temporary/portable operation. Well integrated and very good.


    Note, there are some cheap generators boasting "Honda powered". Emphasis on "cheap". Not recommended.


    I am presently looking for a reliable dual fuel diesel / natural gas generator. I have not found it yet.
    10 Dec 2012, 06:21 AM Reply Like
  • Rick and DRich,
    Thanks for the feedback. As I've said, it's not a pressing need so I haven't looked into it that much, but I would agree that usually these things fail because people don't bother to do the maintenance on them once they are installed. I would want a unit that I could trigger on my own periodically, to make sure the system will work when I need it.
    10 Dec 2012, 11:21 AM Reply Like
  • Rick
    I like the dual fuel Idea. (I might go for propane myself.)
    In the case of a wide area blackout, NG pipelines are powered by batteries which have a 3 day operation to them. After 3 days NG will stop. A week to 10 days would make me happier.
    10 Dec 2012, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • Batteries? They should be powered by Capstone microturbines burning NG! Thousands of hours before there is any problem :-)
    10 Dec 2012, 11:10 PM Reply Like
  • The military has had multifuel generators for decades. The last time I ran one (1972) it came setup for gasoline, but could also burn diesel, ethanol, avgas, propane or NG. We also had them in the warehouse configured for diesel out of the box.


    A friend of mine has a home deep in the mountains with 2 500 gallon propane tanks and a generator configured for propane (works great, he is at the end of a very long and fragile power line which is frequently disrupted by storm and ice, I have been there when the generator cranks up because an ice storm messed up the lines). His unit is multifuel capable, but requires some work to make the change (it can run NG instead of propane with minor tweaks, though its unlikely the local NG monopoly will ever run pipelines up his 2 mile driveway, or even up the mountain roads nearby. Most of his neighbors have diesel backups, or small gasoline units (these are the vacation homes, not permanent addresses).
    11 Dec 2012, 06:53 AM Reply Like
  • Lab,


    " I would want a unit that I could trigger on my own periodically, to make sure the system will work when I need it. "


    Many of them self start every two weeks. Still doesn't seem to stop them from failing, but that's the idea.
    11 Dec 2012, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • Does anyone know of a blog forum for ZBB?
    7 Dec 2012, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan started one a while back.
    7 Dec 2012, 10:05 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks!
    7 Dec 2012, 10:50 PM Reply Like
  • Pretty good read for those interested


    Energy Storage Journal


    Business & market strategies for energy
    storage & smart grid technologies



    Home site for the The International PV Equipment Association IPVEA

    7 Dec 2012, 11:08 PM Reply Like


    – 218 clicks on the ePower presentation from 19 countries.
    – 236 clicks on Axion's ELBC presentation from 20 countries.
    – 687 clicks on my ELBC presentation, but only 260 watch throughs.
    8 Dec 2012, 12:39 AM Reply Like
  • It appears you have a geographically well dispersed readership, JP. Congrats.
    8 Dec 2012, 12:42 AM Reply Like
  • And one of those ePower page views on AltEnergy came from Honduras ;-)


    That article was such a fine pleasure to digest.
    8 Dec 2012, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • Did you have any luck finding a virgin for the upcoming sacrifice?
    8 Dec 2012, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • They are already queued up. My palm is getting greased left and right. It's a hell of a responsibility to have been awarded this 5125 year long decision in waiting.
    8 Dec 2012, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • That palm greasing is always a problem when dealing with virgins, you know?
    9 Dec 2012, 01:52 AM Reply Like
  • Hi everyone:


    Let me ask a question:


    Which market has more potential: Hybrid electric truck (Class 8) or APU idle truck market.


    Have a nice week end-Carlos
    8 Dec 2012, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • Carlos, In my opinion the path via the APU would have less push back than the motive application. That being said, Axion is in a motive application now and if it plays out well we could well see some growth in sales perhaps Q2 2013. Maybe even a unit or two in Q1. That would be speed of light quick vs main stream automotive.


    PS Main stream automotive is getting ripe as well and if it's going to penetrate we should see a high probability of an alignment with someone in 2013.
    8 Dec 2012, 11:16 AM Reply Like
  • My curiosity is "if/when" the PbC is accepted as being better than the AGM in regards to the APU market and the PbC is established as the OEM battery of choice and is utilized in factory production how fast would sales ramp up? They have already been investigating the PbC and have been provided a wealth of research knowledge by NS and BMW so I have to believe that a decision to switch from AGM to PbC could be a near term decision. If this happens and the PbC is put into the OEM manufacturing process of the APU's in early 2013 my calculations utilizing JP and Tim E's comments along with my own research I am in the belief that sales could ramp pretty fast just for new OEM orders, then add in the retrofit of existing AGM systems and the numbers could be impressive!
    8 Dec 2012, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • Carlos, the APU application appears to require much less overcoming of inertia. ePower is still unproven and a real novelty, albeit one with huge potential if the PR numbers are accurate.
    8 Dec 2012, 11:43 AM Reply Like
  • ePower is still unproven and a real novelty, albeit one with huge potential if the PR numbers are accurate.


    Its even got great potential if the PR numbers are 50% incorrect. Still gas mileage above the Governments goal and still a very nice payback plus less CO2 emissions
    8 Dec 2012, 11:56 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane: What surprised me was the hydrogen generation and injection into the fuel mix detailed in the patent apps. If they are really doing that the MPG claims become much more believable.


    It makes a "use every last bit of energy" scenario by taking power not needed for batteries and drive ATM to (I guess) do hydrolysis. If they didn't do something like that all the excess energy would be wasted. Doing something like that, even considering losses in the process, some substantial portion of the energy is recovered and used in the application.


    8 Dec 2012, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco: Down here in Copan, nearing 12/21/12, I see a coming quasi-cosmic, calendar flip parallel that Axion is aligning itself toward a harmonic conjunction, with explosive, world changing the benign.
    8 Dec 2012, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • Maya, I saw your note and was going to ask you to put in a good word for us with the Gods in an effort to see a continuation of our presence in current form into the New Year. Well our assumed New Year anyway.Would be a real shame for us not to see the complete transition starting with explosive to just old common place.


    Enjoy your party and the many friends you have coming your way.


    I'll make sure we Rochestarian's don't change the weather patterns and steal any of your sunshine. Hey, ya gotta be in the top ten for something.

    8 Dec 2012, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, I did not wade into the patent app and this hydrogen injection is news to me!
    Thanks for the feedback and I'd be curious to hear more about how it might work and what it might add to costs.
    8 Dec 2012, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane: No idea on the costs. I didn't try to scan for any technical details. My guess would be that water is the feedstock, due to cost. I assume some small on-board storage capacity under pressure would be used. When mixed in the fuel less diesel is needed to combine with the oxygen available, which should reduce emissions and add water as an additional exhaust.


    Since the RPM range is limited, the management of temperature and mixtures should be tighter, reducing emissions even further.


    As to the hydrogen production itself, I presume that several products already available (maybe, e.g., for fork lifts?) would be adapted to the task.


    In all honesty, I'm thinking this is an outlier for the early applications as the well-defined routes, and therefor energy use profile, should result in configurations that don't have a lot of excess energy available to make hydrogen. ICE and BSS sizes should be just adequate, with only a small reserve capacity.


    OTR units destined to travel more diverse terrain and needing greater reserve capacity would seem to be a better target for this application of hydrogen. There might also be more opportunity for regen when the batteries don't need it and the juice isn't needed for motive power.


    All MHO and in ignorance, of course,
    8 Dec 2012, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco: If you or anyone, any Axionista, wants to track not only my doings down here in Copan, but also Tim Enright's, or another Quick Chatter Axion share owner, doublegun's doings, I invite you and all toward my 12/21/12 Ending Of The World Fiesta Instablog. It's playful:



    I'm not sure how much writing of this event I will be doing, but I will be doing some writing, already have, at the bottom of the approaching 200 comment thread.


    In my Mayan novel, "prayer runners," and "prayer makers/writers," and "prayer deliverers," are actual jobs that people held.


    Last night, I did a little rum-infused prayer, and it was answered within about three minutes, as a shooting star dashed right between Venus and the constellation Pleiades, heading right for the North Star as it burned out. I'm still dumbfounded. But that's the way it works down here. Serendipity and happenstances are the norm in this "vortexy" place. It's all good, but it still weird's me out.


    Today, I bought a few solid silver and jade or turquoise bracelets that I'm darn near certain that the cost of silver alone, weight-wise, was worth almost as much as the bracelets cost. I don't get it.


    Hey! It's third world economics.
    9 Dec 2012, 02:17 AM Reply Like
  • Maya, I was thinking the same thing. Who 'woudda' thought that the Mayan civilization knew of the the Axion prophecy!
    9 Dec 2012, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Maya, It will be good to follow along with a little of the groups activities.


    Concerning your jewelry purchase. I've seen some people in Mexico get some really great deals and I've also seen some get scammed out of big money. You have to know what you are doing for sure. Especially if you start getting into gold and precious stones which is the area where the people I am referring to got burned.
    9 Dec 2012, 03:29 PM Reply Like
  • Maya
    About your jewelery I don't know, but I can say there is silver and there is Silver.
    My father bought some jade from a catalog once 30 or so years ago. (about 10 Necklaces worth.) One of those impulse buys. I don't know what he paid but he thought it was cheap. Anyway many years later I was at a gem show for dealers with a friend. To my (untrained) eye, my fathers jade was far better than what was available there.
    9 Dec 2012, 09:12 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77: It's not really jade, it's jadeite.


    All I know is that the bracelets were pretty cheap, and just darned pretty. I've yet to get up to the "real" jewelry shop here in Copan, where I know the stuff is the real thing.
    10 Dec 2012, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • That is a rather interesting question, Carlos! 1st thought is they could both be huge. There are many more APU candidate diesel trucks & buses than class 8 truck tractors. But, I expect successful penetration of the class 8 tractor market will be followed quickly by hybrid introductions in markets for smaller trucks.
    8 Dec 2012, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • Lead Acid AGM Tech. is about to receive three hard blows:


    1-. When ePower run the first truck with PbC Tech.
    2-. When NS run the first swith loco with PbC Tech.
    3-. When is runing the first truck with APU-PbC tech.


    They are just my opinions-
    8 Dec 2012, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • Carlos: excellent thoughts too! They might be the "straw that breaks the camel's back" and makes BMW, or others, get off the dime and make the move that seems *must* be coming.


    8 Dec 2012, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • Tend to agree, Carlos. As I mentioned in an earlier APC, I expect auto OEMs are likely to look much harder at using PbC in S/S if heavy duty trucks are successfully using them day in and day out to reduce fuel consumption and/or for APU energy. A Ford official, for example, was quoted earlier this year as citing lack of operating history on PbCs as a reason that company was not considering them.
    8 Dec 2012, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • My understanding is that with economies of scale, the cost of a PbC battery could come down from its current ~$400/battery to as low as ~$100/battery. If so, it seems the ramifications would be huge, as it seems the current "fixation" on AGM over PbC has everything to do with price, and NOTHING to do with performance. -- I've also wondered whether a more mainstream AGM battery manufacturer would be better able to achieve these kinds of cost reductions than Axion. Thoughts anybody? -- Thanks.
    8 Dec 2012, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • With lead going for $1 a pound and carbon selling for $10 to $20, it would be hard to fill the bill of materials for $100 unless you're working with a fairly small battery. By the time you factor in labor, overhead and a healthy profit margin, thinking about a cost target of $200 to $250 is probably more sensible.


    While Axion might be able to drive its cost down into the same range as AGM, it would be a crying shame to make a product that's orders of magnitude better and then compete with an inferior product based solely on price.
    8 Dec 2012, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • While C may be 10x the price of Pb by weight, C has about 1/10th the density. So Pb is similar to C in $/volume. In the batteries we saw at the plant, the volume of C was 3-5x greater than Pb


    Pb = 11.3
    Activated Carbon = 0.5 to 2 in various web references (I do not have Axion specific data)


    Definitely opportunities exist in reducing cost. Axion's production carbon line made a few electrodes per minute; some Pb electrodes are made at rates dozens per second.
    9 Dec 2012, 07:07 AM Reply Like
  • The opportunities for cost reduction are massive, particularly if Axion can find a way to protect the current collector from corrosion without needing the grafoil sheets in the current design. On the other hand I'm enough of a price hawk to believe that cost savings should increase profitability first.
    9 Dec 2012, 07:12 AM Reply Like
  • Does anyone see a way (or think there's utility) to attempting a pre-emptive strike with Consumers Reports related to the use of AGM batteries in existing or new model start-stop systems?


    Pros and Cons to the effort?




    Is it better to let Start-Stop be rolled out and fail than to tell folks up front it's going to fail (assuming it's an option they might be told to avoid for some period of time)?


    Do we leave it to BMW (and Toyota?) and their advertising when they finally follow through?


    Is there anything like Consumers Reports in Europe or Asia?
    8 Dec 2012, 03:06 PM Reply Like
  • I think outfits like Consumer Reports review new products and don't typically follow up long enough to notice the degradation. The only way I know to highlight the problem is for guys like me to write about it often enough that either the regulators take note or somebody in the mainstream media adopts the issue as a cause célèbre.
    8 Dec 2012, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • Consumer Reports mag surveys their readers for feedback on their new cars after time has elapsed.
    I'm sure they will be interested in the performance of stop-start systems over time. They spend a lot of time and money recommending new and used cars. Would be worth sending them a note to try to raise the awareness of their automotive people.
    8 Dec 2012, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • The Consumer Reports survey that is sent out to all subscribers lists specific components that have need repair in the last 12 months. I have not been a subscriber for a few years, but I think it asks about vehicles that are 8 or 10 years old. Hopefully they are including batteries now for hybrids and electrics. If so, that would apply to start/stop.
    8 Dec 2012, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • William, I like the idea -- a lot. Consumers Reports is unlikely to consider the issue unless they are aware of the likelihood of battery (and start/stop performance) degradation over time. JP made an excellent point that should be considered in any approach to CR. It occurs that CR should be able to get data on European experience and use it to help formulate evaluation protocols and follow up surveys.


    Letters from CR subscribers asking for reviews of S/S effectiveness and battery longevity would not hurt anything and might help. I'll try to get one off before the end of the year.
    8 Dec 2012, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • So far, the consumer attitude in Europe seems to be "Meh, the system isn't working right but its not worth the trouble of a service call." I'm sure that will change in time, but people are funny.
    9 Dec 2012, 01:56 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks JP. I’m happy to hear $200-$250 is a more realistic price, being concerned that trying to get it to $100 or so could crimp profit potential. But that’s still a huge reduction, making the cost of an ePower retrofit ~$7-10K less, no chump change. – I’m thinking it's the new AGM facilities being built that would likely lead to these kinds of cost reductions.
    8 Dec 2012, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • The biggest part of the cost is fabricating the PbC electrode assemblies. Axion's process works and provides reliable quality, but it's very much a first generation commercial process. Every manufacturing process has room for improvement. Early stage technologies have greater learning curve impact than later stage technologies. It's going to take time, but Axion's manufacturing processes will improve. Unfortunately the timing and value of learning curve gains are impossible to predict. So you start with the least cost sensitive markets and move down the food chain as your process improves.
    8 Dec 2012, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • Wayne, One other point to add to John's. While the negative electrode is the principle cost difference driver between AGM and PbC there are also some other considerations at the moment. Axion's battery plant is not automated to a level to be competitive in the industry. This will go away once they partner so they will get an immediate improvement when that happens. Some of this will be offset with higher capital depreciation but not fully.


    Oh, one last point. They currently have no buying power so their material costs are higher than they should be in all components. This also will be rectified with higher volumes and a partner.
    8 Dec 2012, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • Let's get at least one repeat customer before we tear into manufacturing costs and projecting savings.
    8 Dec 2012, 06:30 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, It's all part of the assessment process when investing. If I thought Axion had to remain at their current cost structure I'd not be near as excited. I'm impressed with the technology not only because of it's performance characteristics but because I know how much opportunity they have in front of them to deliver the same or better performance at less cost. They have opportunities for significant process improvements, economies of scale in buying power and some design changes in the negative electrodes. Most of this is a given so there is no pie in the sky risk at all. I'm sure Axion and some of their potential customers have a significant level of understanding in all three areas. I know BMW does.


    This is what I spent a significant amount of time doing professionally. Spent years and years dissecting products and processes. It's how I look at everything. Sorry, It's ingrained!


    Much of this opportunity will be quickly afforded to Axion because of their decision early on to piggy back the platform architecture of the AGM battery. It's not an insignificant decision to have done that and I laud the team for going in that direction. Very important point and that's why John has stressed it.
    8 Dec 2012, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... OK, I can understand the ingrained point of view. I have a few myself. It is a good exercise to make one's self aware of possibilities. It's just there are so many pieces to put together to come to any viable analysis of future production costs and margins at this stage of the game. The reality is that right now the entire company production consists of one operational (optimized is still in question) pilot line, but we all daydream along our own lines of interest.
    8 Dec 2012, 07:30 PM Reply Like
  • DR,
    To be more accurate Axion has one operational AGM line but a couple of Negative carbon electrode lines. But having seen both I'm hoping that soon we can talk about how many Gen 3 lines we have making carbon electrodes.
    But I'm confident that the current line can produce negative electrodes necessary for 150 PbCs per day. That's 3 trucks, one locomotive every 6 days, 150 BMWs each day, several Hubs per day, or about 35 semi truck no idling units per day.
    Just give us an order. We are ready to produce.
    8 Dec 2012, 08:12 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... Totally agree that production capacity is fine for the business on the immediate horizon. I discount all but the Gen3 electrode lines ... still enough. I'm good with going with pay-as-you-go for anticipated expansion as needed. Presently, generation of orders is the ticket. By my definition (which I'm sure most here don't share), the activity is just proof-of-concept testing. I'm antsy for Customer No. 1. Looks like trucking will beat my rails to market and that is great.
    8 Dec 2012, 08:28 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, I suspect this is addressed to Futurist?


    I think Rosewater will be the first production product to make it out the door. I expect they have at least one in the bag after they get their UL certification. I also thought it would be rail but agree with your impression at this time that they will be behind very limited trucking.
    8 Dec 2012, 08:43 PM Reply Like
  • Apologies to Futurist for skimming right over that.
    8 Dec 2012, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • DR,
    No apology necessary. But I am going to say that I think that approximately 35 Hubs will be ordered upon UL certification. This is my gut feeling from my conversations at the Annual meeting. I expect further orders during the year but I think there are at least 35 homes under construction that will need the system in 2013.


    I can't imagine more than a couple trucks being on the road for the next three months. I would want to see at least that actual data match the NS testing data before I spent $70,000. But I can see a lot of trucks ordered after that gestation period.
    Then think of when a OEM might decide to use this hybrid system. One year of actual results? 6 months of actual results. Will they wait for 6 months of NS999 testing before using the PBC in a new truck? Can an OEM really wait that long and not get jumped by the competition? Fascinating stuff.


    Then there is the rail. How many test units in one year? Of all the applications to me this one is the slowest.Each order is large so except for the test slug and OTR unit I don't see much else for awhile.
    Which leaves us the PowerCube. A product that many businesses can use and that helps pay for itself. How the orders have yet to flow in is still beyond me. The regs are written. The Viridity program works. I expected a little action on these by now.
    9 Dec 2012, 08:51 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist -


    "The regs are written."


    That is not exactly accurate. PJM has a set of regs written, but they continue to change and the other RTO/ISOs are in the process of presenting their versions of regs to FERC for approval and they will also likely undergo a process of revision.
    9 Dec 2012, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • Stephan,
    I thought the Ferc regs had already been adopted. I am shocked that I misunderstood. But in hindsight it is often that I misunderstand.
    9 Dec 2012, 10:05 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist -


    FERC Order 755 is the directive that mandates pay for performance for frequency regulation. The Order was the mandate that went into effect in October of 2011. As a result, each RTO/ISO is required to set up regs which implement a clearing system that does not discriminate in payment between assets, but rewards fast responding assets.


    PJM was in the process of implementing a frequency regulation program before FERC Order 755, so they are much further along in the process.


    Just to show you how much things have changed with PJM's implementation over the last two years, the link below shows that this manual is on its 52 revision as of last week.

    9 Dec 2012, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • The last news:


    China’s Wanxiang Wins Bidding for Battery Maker A123, WSJ Says

    8 Dec 2012, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • The first $75 million of the $250 to $260 million auction price will be used to repay the money Wanxiang advanced to A123 as debtor in possession financing. By the time the net auction proceeds of $175 to $185 million are used to pay bankruptcy costs and creditor claims, there won't be a penny left for stockholders. The outcome was both predictable and predicted.



    The other fascinating news Friday is that Altair Nanotechnologies will immediately implement a 1 for 6 reverse split sequel to the 1 for 4 reverse split they implemented in October 2011. The net effect on folks who stuck with ALTI through thick and thin is a 1 for 24 reverse.
    9 Dec 2012, 06:59 AM Reply Like
  • "The other fascinating news Friday is that Altair Nanotechnologies will immediately implement a 1 for 6 reverse split sequel to the 1 for 4 reverse split they implemented in October 2011. The net effect on folks who stuck with ALTI through thick and thin is a 1 for 24 reverse"


    Which is why I sold the stock after the 4:1 reverse split and the announcement of the controlling shares sale to the Chinese at a $1 discount to the 4:1 price. The stock has never recovered from there.
    10 Dec 2012, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • I am wondering what NS will think about ePower beating them to the punch in regards to putting a hybrid truck on the road? Can we find a way to connect the two major transportation industries into a competitive race for the "green"??


    NS has been attempting to go green for many a year and out of nowhere comes an unknown in the trucking industry utilizing rail technology and PbC batteries and claiming to increase fuel mileage by about 100%!


    I am thinking that NS was once leading the charge but now they have fallen back into second position! Maybe they will feel some added motivation to get their battery projects out moving on the rails before ePower takes all the Press!


    Just thinking!
    8 Dec 2012, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • >RBun357 ... I doubt NS cares at all.
    8 Dec 2012, 09:21 PM Reply Like
  • I agree, I was just sitting here watching a boring TV show and dreaming up some crazy ideas!
    8 Dec 2012, 09:40 PM Reply Like
  • Wayne, JP, DR, iind, Fut, RB, et al -- all interesting lines of thought. My thinking tracks with one or more of you guys in most instances.


    I'm with DR on seriously wanting to see some repeat sales before thinking Axion has moved beyond speculative R&D mode. The ePower sale is clearly a one-off trial at this point in time, a sale for testing purposes.


    We have reason to believe one or more APU systems will be delivered before year end, but have no concrete information on whether the systems to be delivered are test units or the first of many ongoing commercial sales.


    iind, seems to me, has a solid foundation in expecting the to establish itself as the first commercial product (with repeat sales), but that might be due to ignorance of pending PowerCube purchases.


    Repeat sales for truck APUs or motive power could beat NSC, but NSC could surprise with an order for OTR locomotive batteries, and we don't have information on where the unidentified 2nd RR locomotive OEM stands in its' assessment of PbCs. My own frustration level with NSC (and Axion to some measure) is quite high due to their extended delay in taking delivery of the NS999 battery pack they ordered in April. TG, though, may not have been aware of NSC's continued linkage of their electric locomotive development efforts with government grant funding. (To me, Axion's PR announcing the sale and an expected time line of 90 - 120 days to a completed locomotive in the field suggests lack of awareness of grant linkage.) The grant was awarded at end-September and NS 999 battery delivery could be history, or held in suspended animation until "fiscal cliff" and debt ceiling issues are decided.


    iind's thoughts on production economy potentials and partnering with high volume battery OEMs prompted a thought bearing on time line of any potential partnership. A high volume battery company that has invested in high volume AGM production facilities just may not be very interested in producing small volumes of PbCs unless any switch between AGM and PbC output is seamless and largely without costs. Might Axion need to establish market demand for more than 1K PbC batteries per day before one of the "big boys" is interested in playing with Axion?
    8 Dec 2012, 10:17 PM Reply Like
  • While I'm not certain about ePower's plans beyond the one truck that's already been switched to PbC and the second that they plan to switch early next year, it's my understanding that they want to get a meaningful number of hybrid tractors in the hands of several freight carriers who will test them under different conditions. The test fleet probably won't be measured in the thousands, but a couple hundred units seems like a reasonable target. The revenue from building a couple hundred commercial prototypes will carry ePower through to the point where the data generated by the test fleet is sufficient to justify a commercial buying decision.


    In the case of NS, one entity planned to start with two units and then progress to a statistically relevant prototype test. In the case of ePower, they've already built the two units (three if you include their Gen1 truck from 2009) and now they want to ramp to a statistically valid prototype test with a group of freight haulers who will share the risk.


    The most telling fact in my recent conversation with Andy Claypole was that they're not sending the first truck to the customer until January. For the rest of December they're going to be using it for a dog and pony show with potential participants in the next stage of testing. These guys want to write orders, not sit on their hands while a single customer drives two units around for a year or two.


    This truck is the commercial prototype. Their next step is putting a modest fleet of prototypes on the road.
    9 Dec 2012, 02:26 AM Reply Like
  • errr, "iind, seems to me, has a solid foundation in expecting the to establish itself as the first commercial product (with repeat sales)"
    would have read much better with the HUB specified explicitly. Intended it to read,


    iind, seems to me, has a solid foundation in expecting the HUB to establish itself as the first commercial product (with repeat sales).
    9 Dec 2012, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • "The revenue from building a couple hundred commercial prototypes will carry ePower through to the point where the data generated by the test fleet is sufficient to justify a commercial buying decision"


    I suspect that the revenue from 200 prototypes ( $20,000 x 200)
    would be enough to help carry Axion to an all time high in stock price,also.
    9 Dec 2012, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • "they're not sending the first truck to the customer until January. For the rest of December they're going to be using it for a dog and pony show with potential participants in the next stage of testing. "


    That reads as though the planned "demonstration" tour is highly focused. I wonder if the demonstration includes "loaning" the revised hybrid to some of the potential future buyers for a few days (or ePower drivers delivering cargoes with client company driver co-pilots) with provisions made for comparing fuel costs of the hybrid run with typical fuel costs incurred on similar deliveries over the same routes.
    9 Dec 2012, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • An earlier presentation identified a several freight haulers who had expressed firm interest in buying from 2 to 20 trucks for testing purposes after the Mid-America truck show last year. I have no idea how many sales calls they'll be making but I'd bet that loaners or long trips are not in the cards.
    9 Dec 2012, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • Firm interest in buying trucks last year (2011) but no trucks sold yet? Is that because ePower Engines discovered FLABs per their patent could not sustain the mpg claims or found the FLABs needed replacement too often?
    9 Dec 2012, 01:50 PM Reply Like
  • At the time of the Mid-America Truck Show, ePower was building two second generation prototypes for sale to a firm in Iowa. It was not ready to take additional orders from other firms. Now that the second generation prototypes have been in the hands of the customer for a while and ePower has identified and resolved certain performance issues, they're apparently ready to move on to the next step. While I'm sure the flooded batteries in the first generation prototype and the AGM batteries in the second generation prototype were among the performance issues, I'd be surprised to learn they were the only issues. That's why development programs proceed one step at a time. It helps avoid the big mistake.
    9 Dec 2012, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • John,
    Any idea on how fast ePower will be able to ramp up their prduction in order to provide 100 trucks? Would you believe this is a year process or less? Have you heard any projections of how many retrofits per year they would like to grow into?
    9 Dec 2012, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • Youre asking for more detail than I have access to. Given a choice ePower would rather sell retrofit kits than do all the work in-house. How long it wil take to turn that plan into a commercial reality is anybody's guess.
    9 Dec 2012, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • "...flooded batteries in the first generation prototype and the AGM batteries in the second generation prototype..."


    So, we know the PbCs are replacing AGMs rather than FLABs.


    If the lack of further ePower sales reflects unwillingness to take more orders in 2012, ISTM early 2013 ePower (and Axion) sales volumes stand appear to stand a fair chance of exceeding expectations of most of us pundits. 5 - 10 trucks with 260 - 520 PbCs might not be outlandishly high.
    9 Dec 2012, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • Until ePower or Axion talk about numbers I'd be reluctant to guess about what 2013 might hold in store.
    9 Dec 2012, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • Given there is no knowing what NS is planning to do, if it looks like ePower will write orders for a couple of hundred prototypes early 2013, do you think it will increase the amount of funding AXPW was planning to seek in the first quarter?
    9 Dec 2012, 09:42 PM Reply Like
  • A company like Axion can always go out and raise more expansion capital if demand ramps faster than expected. It's a good problem to have. Building capacity that sits idle is not a good problem to have.


    Since there are no Kevin Costner's on Axion's board, I think they'll respond to demand rather than anticipate it.
    10 Dec 2012, 12:51 AM Reply Like
  • I'd be hesitant to guess that EPower will go straight to a "couple" hundred prototypes by early 2013. I'd think most here would be happy with 100-200+ PbC battery sales for the first few months. Even 5-10 truck prototypes before Spring 2013 would delight many and help Axion's revenues immensely. Heck, anything beyond a bakers dozen would be quite a surprise so early in the trucking game.
    10 Dec 2012, 01:28 AM Reply Like
  • John, in saying "modest fleet" are you talking single digits or dozens? I'd hope for the latter but I'd think E-Power isn't the type that'd write that big of check so easily. I'm thinking like 5+ but I'd be delighted to hear that I'm too conservative on this one.
    10 Dec 2012, 01:39 AM Reply Like
  • If you think about it from ePower's perspective, they're basically a start up that's generated a couple hundred thousand dollars in revenue from the sale of two trucks. That means their insiders and investors will have to cover ongoing losses for a while longer.


    Like Axion, the process of working out the bugs has taken longer than they thought it would, and the time they spent working out the bugs has made them more confident in the outcome. Selling ten trucks in 2013 would represent about $700,000 in revenue, a respectable but somewhat disappointing figure. My sense is that ePower will want to finish 2013 with at least a couple dozen trucks on the road so that their investors will believe that reasonable progress is being made.


    I'd be surprised at triple digit truck sales, but with an all-out marketing push over the next month solid double digit sales strikes me as a reasonable goal.
    10 Dec 2012, 01:56 AM Reply Like
  • Question for those familiar with regulatory timelines and enforcement approaches regarding diesel engine emissions. Apart from anti-idling measures for diesel engines in general, do the regulators limit phase in of emission limits to new engines or do they tighten across the board through periodic emission inspection measures as well? That is, do already announced diesel emission regulations create added incentives beyond fuel cost savings for operators of sizable truck fleets to opt for tractor conversions versus buying far more costly new OEM tractors?
    9 Dec 2012, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • “”I suspect that the revenue from 200 prototypes ( $20,000 x 200)
    would be enough to help carry Axion to an all time high in stock price also.”“


    >Futurist - Which brings me to something I’ve been pondering about this morning. Could we possibly be approaching a new inflection point regarding strategic partners? That is, instead of Axion offering sweeteners to potential partners, might potential partners start offering sweeteners to get to the front of the line?


    As the good news continues to percolate, I can’t help but think it reduces the possibility of share dilution in Q1, which should in itself make the stock price appreciate considerably. If revenue from 200 prototypes occurs relatively soon, and share dilution is taken off the table.... What a nice combo that would be!
    9 Dec 2012, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • Wayne,
    I suspect that little can be accomplished in testing prior to Axion needing its annual cash fix.
    Wish it were otherwise.
    I'm not certain that the partnership sweetner kinda financing that most Axion shareholders envision will really come to play. I suspect one more round of pure financing. To me a strategic partner would be a godsend if they only charged first dibs as there penance fee.
    9 Dec 2012, 10:12 PM Reply Like
  • For anyone interested.


    CEC Finalizes Report on SLAB Exports

    9 Dec 2012, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for the info, iind. I appreciate desirability of not exporting pollution, but do not see prohibition of SLAB exports as necessary or desirable in pursuit of that objective.
    9 Dec 2012, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv, We're on the same page.
    9 Dec 2012, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • Eco-Composites


    "Owens Corning, the producer of glass fibre reinforcements for composites, has developed a new nonwoven veil which will increase the cycle lifetime of traditional flooded lead-acid batteries.
    Working with several battery makers and a global leader in lead-acid battery chemistry, the company developed the veil with corrosion-resistant Advantex E-CR glass technology. Applied directly to the face of the positive electrode during production, and improves the battery’s ability to support the increased requirements of stop-start engine systems. It requires no capital investment by battery manufacturers and eliminates a component by replacing sacrificial pasting paper used only as a process carrier during the electrode pasting process. Other benefits include reduced acid stratification and the ability to operate in higher-temperature environments."



    Isn't this the failure mode in the PbC battery?
    9 Dec 2012, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • "


    Isn't this the failure mode in the PbC battery?"


    We are thinking similarly. If the new Owens-Corning material extends life of FLABs, shouldn't it also extend service life of other batteries with Pb positive electrodes?
    9 Dec 2012, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv, That's my thought. Of coarse, it's my understanding the electrolyte in the PbC is a little more diluted so maybe not as much.


    Anyway, I have no way to assess this but I'm sure Enders can. Let's hope he's in the loop. Or, since John is in contact on occasion, we can request he forward it during one of his meetings just to make sure.
    9 Dec 2012, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • I ran into Enders at the ELBC 13 in Paris and several Axion hands at ELBC 12 in Istanbul. Beyond those encounters I haven't "met" with anybody from Axion for several years and I do my best to avoid direct communication of any kind. Something's just aren't worth the risk.


    If you want confirmation of a detail, somebody like Mayascribe who actually attends stockholder meetings and the like will probably be more helpful.
    9 Dec 2012, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • OK, Thanks John. I remember you sharing these points in the past.
    9 Dec 2012, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • "Applied directly to the face of the positive electrode"......but since it is the negative electrode that fails first, what would be the point, unless it somehow reduces sulfization on the negative electrode? Although highly unlikely, could Owens-Corning have made a mistake in the press release where they might have meant negative electrode? It seems I have failed in a fundamental grasp of some basic point here.
    10 Dec 2012, 03:02 AM Reply Like
  • Flooded batteries have significant problems with negative electrode sulfation, but they also have positive electrode problems related to mass shedding and acid stratification because the plates are stacked loosely in the cells so that the electrolyte can circulate.


    AGM batteries maintain compression across the electrodes in each cell and use the separators as an "electrolyte sponge." As a result, they don't typically suffer from mass shedding and stratification. Since the PbC is an AGM variant, I'm not sure how useful the new Corning product might be.


    Early on KT said that the easiest way to conceptualize the difference between flooded and AGM batteries was to remember the difference between a bath tub and a sponge bath. Flooded cells are filled with electrolyte from bottom to top. The only wet spots in an AGM cell are the separators.
    10 Dec 2012, 03:48 AM Reply Like
  • John,
    Thanks for your reply. Good to know it will potentially not help AGM batteries as much as I always have that lurking "just good enough" doubt lurking in the back of my mind, although as D-inv and iindelco point out, this technology may help the PbC.




    What I like about ePower is their use of the tried and true off-the-shelf components from known industry manufacturers i.e. John Deere, Marathon. I think with this approach, the potential for reliability and warranty issues will be much lessened, although there will probably be some bugs to work out. I would like to hitch a ride on our baby.




    Would be nice to get some news this week that would even put our thoughts of ePower on the back burner for a few days, i.e. HUB, APU, PC, 999.
    10 Dec 2012, 04:21 AM Reply Like
  • I can understand caution and worry when stockholders of an R&D company see a 50/50 chance that a deal between their baby and a pharmaceutical big boy will happen.


    When you get to a company like Axion that has a series of major opportunities lined up, at some point the odds get overwhelmingly good that at least one of them will play out favorably.


    Odds on independent events are cumulative. If you foresee a 50% chance of a single $100 business opportunity, the risk weighted value is $50. If you foresee five different opportunities and each of them has a 50% chance of being a $100 opportunity, the combined risk weighted value is $250.
    10 Dec 2012, 05:33 AM Reply Like
  • I once was at an Indian casino that took the zeros out of play to encourage roulette. Figuring I had a 50/50 chance I started with the $5 minimum on red and I kept playing that color until I was down $80 bucks. After losing 5 in a row I tried to bet the $160 on the 6th spin; problem was they capped bets at $100 so I just walked away and let it go. The wheel then went on to hit black 5 more times and then they shut it down and had the wheel inspected for possible malfunction.


    I sure hope Axion's land's a winner soon; as I know many of us have averaged down with a Martingale strategy; or maybe those that are just now entering AXPW at 30 cents will be like the guys who bet black and never lost in 10 spins =)
    10 Dec 2012, 05:48 AM Reply Like
  • I think it's critically important to remember the dates when vague ideas that the PbC might be useful made the transition to specific identifiable opportunities.


    June 2010 – NS hired Axion to build a BMS
    September 2010 – BMW jointly presented with Axion at the ELBC
    November 2011 – Axion commissioned the PowerCube
    April 2012 – NS completed its testing and ordered batteries
    August 2012 – BMW finished its work and launched confirmation tests
    August 2012 – An Asian OEM skipped the preliminaries
    September 2012 – Axion launched the HUB
    November 2012 – We heard about APU testing this year
    November 2012 – We heard about hybrid trucks this year


    In a normal market, every one of those events would have pushed the price up. An unbroken string of nine consecutive positive events is unprecedented. Because of ridiculous selling pressure that had nothing to do with business fundamentals, the price drifted steadily down.


    The only potential negative on the horizon is a modest capital raise during a time of market weakness. It's a real risk, but one that can't hold a candle to the opportunities. Somewhere along the line I think stockholders have lost their sense of proportionality.
    10 Dec 2012, 06:27 AM Reply Like
  • I dipped my toes in in late 2010 based on the excitement of the BMW news and then nibbled bigger in 2011. It appears that was the last time the stock moved on News (oct-march) and before that it was the Exide news in 2009. Since then many of these other events haven't registered on the pps because of the exodus of the big players. I'd assume they are all absent now but I fear that 28M shares from last February has made tracking our inflection near impossible.
    10 Dec 2012, 07:05 AM Reply Like
  • Those 28 million shares cost the holders $.35 a share. Based on the selling agent's performance in 2009, we have every reason to believe that the shares were widely distributed to 30 or 40 accounts instead of being concentrated in a few large accounts.


    There was some flipping when investors could take a quick 20% gain and move on to something else. By late May, that opportunity for a quick and profitable flip was gone.


    With ten months of investment risk under their belts, the holders' current choice is to sell for a loss or hold for the upside.


    Inflection points arise when holders of massive positions run out of stock to sell. In a market the size of Axion's, holders of less than a million shares are little more than background noise.
    10 Dec 2012, 07:22 AM Reply Like
  • John, I'm not so sure that the placement participants are immune to group think. I'd bet more than a few are thinking maybe they could/should exit now and then buy back in after the next raise (or participate in the next raise if Axion has to go back to the same pond). I can imagine that our Axionista shares also move in correlated ways (i.e. most here wont pay up but will buy if it falls 10-20% below where it's currently settled). Postings here give evidence to those who write that they will fill their bellies on dips into the mid .20s but I can't recall anyone saying they are waiting for a price run up to give them confirmation to pull the buy trigger.


    I hope that I'm wrong though and that we see a Million shares come through and takes us toward 40 cents in the next 8 hours. =)
    10 Dec 2012, 07:37 AM Reply Like
  • Put yourself in the February investors' position for a minute and assume that your goal was a 20% up and out.


    You missed your opportunity in March and April. Since then there has been nothing but good news.


    Are you going to pull the trigger today because of group think or wait until you get a reasonable return on your investment?
    10 Dec 2012, 07:44 AM Reply Like
  • It all hinges on how one handicaps the next capital raise.


    I'd think many of the remaining February investors were hoping for much larger than a 20% pop but might now be thinking "damn I should got out in the .40s". And there has to be a certain percentage of them who are also thinking "I can still cut my losses here around 10% and get in another placement instead of waiting on this turtle".


    Sure not all are thinking that way but I feel there must be a large number that are (and don't share our Axionista 9 inning game/ home-run mentality); otherwise 30 cents wouldn't be such a magnet range - imho.
    10 Dec 2012, 08:00 AM Reply Like
  • If you have 5 independent events with 50% odds and any of them will allow you to survive, then you have 31 / 32 or about 97% chances of survival. (thus the chances of failure are multiplicative, (50%)^5)


    In the real world, one has to decrease this slightly because there are some fairly improbable instances (financial crisis, problems with the product itself etc.) when the events are not independent.
    10 Dec 2012, 08:27 AM Reply Like
  • "I can't recall anyone saying they are waiting for a price run up to give them confirmation to pull the buy trigger".


    Several on this board have stated such. Also, some awaiting orders. If they are representative of the "silent majority" we could see some substantial upside pressure develop.


    10 Dec 2012, 09:08 AM Reply Like
  • >H.T.Love ... Count me as one that can't be recalled. I'm full up to my portfolio limit for speculation under my Rules. Price confirmation and/or orders change my spec category slightly & I'll buy more.
    10 Dec 2012, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • I agree. I think many of us are in this situation, overbought and holding for confirmation of an upward trend, OR a price low enough to rate "attractive", or at least make new additions appreciably lower average share cost.


    My opinion of my fellow investors in Axion that post on this board is that few of them are new to the investing game. Just as DR mentions above, the huge majority of us have long standing investment rules which have withstood the test of time.


    Oddly enough, I just completed a thorough update of all the news, charting, and macro sector movements which impinge upon Axion, and I would not be surprised at all to see the inflection point we have been waiting for arrive soon... Perhaps even tomorrow, which for some reason I cannot fathom appears to be a point in time which many of my studies indicate may be important.
    10 Dec 2012, 09:41 AM Reply Like
  • DRich: I'm in the same boat. I really have no choice now but to await some profit on my small designated trading blocks.


    10 Dec 2012, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • I'm just kind of sitting on the fence myself.
    10 Dec 2012, 11:29 AM Reply Like
  • >H.T.Love & metroneanderthal ... In my way of thinking, I'd like Axion management to go get 16 months of operating capital ... like yesterday. If the anxiety showing in the trade activity & shareprice is about "dilution" from lack of cash, let's just get it done and over with. A strategic or financial investor has some merit to argue but the determination there is time horizon and market vision and there is little to no control over that, thus, I'm not going to fret about price. The higher the better but finished-and-done is best.


    2013 should be a much better year. Maybe even one where real business starts to be conducted.
    10 Dec 2012, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • With anticipated tax law changes, some folks (including the last placement folks) may wait till the first trading day in January to do tax loss trading.


    Theory: take gains this year, take losses next year when cap gains rates may be higher. Some claim this is part of Apple's problem's lately.


    Could be an interesting "battle" between [no good deed goes unpunished] good pub in mid to late December and this tax dynamic.


    Anyone remember exactly how TG phrased the expected UL cert date?
    10 Dec 2012, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • >wtblanchard ... IIRC it was nonspecific but in December. The experience with UL from where I park my rear end presently is that they seldom move at anywhere near the speed you'd think they should. I've seen them overshoot their own estimates for approving simple modifications to existing approved product by several months. I'd never hold my breath with those folks.
    10 Dec 2012, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • WT> The exact extract said:


    "We presented at the CDS (ph) show and after the CDS show we began a process of qualifying our residential energy storage hub to compliant standards under UL 1741. We engaged a test facility and expect to be certified in early December of this year."

    10 Dec 2012, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • JP has already quoted HUB related comments from TG's overview presentation for Q3 and outlook. Your Qs and his As put further meat on the UL bone. From SA's transcript of the CC,
    "William Blanchard


    And my last question has to do with the residential hub, I've heard the mentions of offshoring and are we now thinking that they might be first installed offshore and the reason I ask is, with relationship they ramp up, I understand that reservoirs is planned as to be very careful about the first few units, be really focused on customer acceptance and happiness if you will. Do we think that this plan may actually start offshore instead of long shore?


    Tom Granville - CEO


    I think it will be both. We certainly were cognizant and have the opportunity offshore when those orders will come in and when shipments will be made as supposed to just having orders come in, one can’t ever completely tell about. It’s so, now that we have a firm UL 1741 certification date, it’s going to be a lot easier to market that product, lot easier for Rosewater to market that product in North America. Having that hanging out there, when is it going to be ready, makes it very difficult to market a product without having a firm mandate and we had end dates that were all over the pet place, believe, it was went to literally quarters and quarters out, but now we've arrived at a better test facility that can get us there more quickly and we’re very appreciative of that.


    William Blanchard


    Okay, I am certainly appreciative of it as well. I am also really a shareholder and that was just a disaster for them for how long they took to get that certification for their inverters and so I am really concerned and I guess I am a really dubious when I heard you used the word firm end date on this but I take it you are really convinced they are going to come through for you.


    Tom Granville - CEO


    Well they’ve stuck their neck out there, that's for sure."
    10 Dec 2012, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • But what about the end of the Mayan calendar? Or is there a reasonable explanation for this prophecied "end of time event"? :)

    10 Dec 2012, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • Good to hear. Where is your "price confirmation" range? I ask in the hopes that there are others like you who can get this thing going and buy more on the way UP. Us bottom feeders likely didn't help things with all our .25 cent bids.
    10 Dec 2012, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • HT,


    I sure hope so. And I will grant you that there are some technically inclined (like you) who might buy some breakouts as averages adjust and are crossed. Most here I fear don't play the game in that way though.
    10 Dec 2012, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • trip---Some investors consider Tues. morning to be the ideal time for a company to announce good news. Hmmm...funtech (fundamental meets technical)?
    10 Dec 2012, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • I understand that with five 50/50 events that each have a $100 success value you still have a 1/32 chance of failure, but if memory serves you also have:


    A 1/32 chance of $500
    A 5/32 chance of $400
    A 10/32 chance of $300
    A 10/32 chance of $200
    A 5/32 chance of $100


    By the time you apply more realistic probabilities to the opportunities Axion is pursuing in several different billion dollar niche markets, a relentless focus on the 1/32 probability of a goose egg seems overdone.
    11 Dec 2012, 12:23 AM Reply Like
  • Of course I was underlining the 1 / 32 as minuscule and ridiculous to fret about and keep the stock at incredibly low levels. In fact, I just wanted to stress the 97% which looks much better IMO than the average payoff of $250, because below 30c, Axion is left for dead.


    And yes, you have incredible memory, your numbers are exact.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:05 AM Reply Like
  • It all goes back to a phenomenon that DRich refers to as a solid company with a broken stock.


    The selling pressure since early 2010 has had a catastrophic "voting machine" impact on market perception. At the same time ongoing testing, validation and implementation activities by first tier players has had a very positive "weighing machine" impact on intrinsic enterprise value.


    It is very rare for the stock market to get things this wrong for this long, but the day is rapidly approaching when some catalyst will grab the market's attention and force a violent correction to bring the market price into line with business reality.


    I've read that the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent, but I see pressure for a correction building at a rapid pace and can't do anything but wait patiently for day that the rest of the market sees what only a handful perceive today.
    11 Dec 2012, 04:22 AM Reply Like
  • From the Corning site.


    About Advantex® glass - A boron-free E & E-CR glass reinforcement

    9 Dec 2012, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • "Both designs have a big cost advantage. ”Nickel-metal hydride, ­depending on the application, is as much as $800 to $1200 per kilowatt-hour,” Granville says. ”Axion’s battery costs $200 per kilowatt-hour.”"


    Old, but Interesting quote from TG on price ....

    9 Dec 2012, 05:19 PM Reply Like