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  • Good golly!
    26 Dec 2012, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • And sanitized for my protection, no less.


    Thanks for all of your hard work, APH.
    26 Dec 2012, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • darn 4th
    26 Dec 2012, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • I just found a very interesting website for those who are particularly interested in grid based storage. –


    What caught my interest was a story from Lux about how they were simplifying their customer landscape into two groups – companies that know what they need from a battery and companies that don't.


    They generally classify customers in telecom, commercial, and industrial segments as knowledgeable with utilities being far less knowledgeable because it's all new to them.
    26 Dec 2012, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • For those that saw the picture of the NS999 holiday can structure, I found a time lapse video on Youtube of the "canstruction" of the model. I was lookin for a new NS999 video and alas this is all I found. Not minimizing the event mind you. Nice use for a small piece of your marketing budget for sure?

    26 Dec 2012, 01:58 PM Reply Like
  • If nothing else, more employees of the company are becoming familiar with the NS 999. It has to be a good sign for NSC to be pushing the idea after the original failure and lack of recent news.
    26 Dec 2012, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • John, I’m sorry you’ve had so much crap directed at you.


    FWIW, in my observations of “human nature”, I’ve noticed what I refer to as the “small man inside” syndrome. When others become envious and/or jealous of others, they often take to criticizing them to some how elevate themselves in their own minds – really quite pathetic. Interestingly, the criticisms they level are almost always (quite uncannily) a reflection of their own shortcomings.


    My own orientation is to not keep myself in others’ “line of fire”when I’ve been on the on the receiving end in this kind of situation. I would sure hate to see you exit the APC, but I would respect your decision to do whatever you feel necessary to remove yourself from such crap. – Thanks for all your contributions. I doubt I would be hold any Axion stock today had I not had the insights you’ve generously provided.
    26 Dec 2012, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • Hopefully the events of the last couple weeks won't be repeated and the stress of the last few days will quickly fade. With so many interesting and fun things to talk about, I don't have the time or energy to dwell on past unpleasantness.
    26 Dec 2012, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • John,
    See this is why you need a 2 yr old and a 4 1/2 year old running around your house all the time. When the trolls come to visit SA, you just leave for a few days and play with your kids. Much more enjoyable. :-)
    26 Dec 2012, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • Three-quarters of my grandkids are older than that. They can indeed be very enjoyable, but the best part is leaving them with their parents and going home.
    26 Dec 2012, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • JP: The old "Get even spoil the grandkids rotten and send them home to mommy and daddy" routine? :-))


    I also like "Get even - live long enough to become a problem for your children"!


    26 Dec 2012, 04:18 PM Reply Like
  • In addition to the rude and abusive treatment trolls heap on John, their inches-long rants disrupt constructive conversation for all of us by making themselves the topic of conversation for hours on end.


    I plan to hit the "Report Abuse" link as soon as I smell a rat in the future, and I encourage others to do the same so that attempts to flood the APC's with garbage are nipped as close to the bud as possible.


    Every inch of space a troll is able to fill with irrelevant crap accomplishes his goal, which is to bury useful information about Axion and prevent potential (and current!) investors from becoming aware of it.
    26 Dec 2012, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • Just expect the Seeking Alpha Moderation Team to send you a warning. They have sent me several including one in defense of sweet little Insurance Dude. They don't seem able to recognize disruptive behavior and are liable tell you you're bad if you report this kind of abuse. It's still abuse no matter what they may think.
    26 Dec 2012, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • The warnings from SA are essentially toothless, since they care more about readership and page hits than moderating the idjits. Controversy increases page hits.


    The polite warnings that we are "misusing" the report abuse feature are easier to ignore than the trolls.
    26 Dec 2012, 04:26 PM Reply Like
  • I'm sure if you annoy the SA editors enough with unnecessary complaints they will take action. They don't like to be bothered any more than the APH does. While Grob did indeed seem to be troll ID did not to many of us.
    27 Dec 2012, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3,
    Grobertson1 (i.e. strangerthings, ie OMY) got careless with the attack in John's last article. It's one thing to try and use all the same spins from the BrandX board while claiming to be someone else. It's another thing to add the link back to your own messages on Yahoo in the hopes of getting more eyes to look at your negative spin. Ask yourself, if you were commenting on how great someone else's work was on another message board, wouldn't you have made those same comments to the writer on said board? And yet if you go to the board you will find that the Grobertson1 persona has never commented on that board about the post in question. Seems puzzling until you quickly realize that Grobertson1 is just OMY in a new persona trying to drum up business.
    I'm starting to believe that John is correct and that OMY must be doing this for money. Why else would he/she be so desperate to try and get more people to read his/her sludge on Yahoo if not that the person paying the bills may be starting to complain that no one is paying attention. Thus you make a careless move like this and expose who you are in the process. Very careless if you ask me.
    27 Dec 2012, 07:51 PM Reply Like
  • Lab, I agreed that Grob seemed like a troll and turned out to be one. My point was that ID did not seem to be a troll, and frankly seemed to have done some research into storage options that I was interested in hearing about. The fact that he self edited and left the board is not the behavior of a troll, IMO.
    28 Dec 2012, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3,
    "My point was that ID did not seem to be a troll, and frankly seemed to have done some research into storage options that I was interested in hearing about"
    Understandable that you would feel this way. And if this was three years ago I probably would be agreeing with you. But as John has said, we've seen this dog and pony act before, both here and on BrandX. The writer offers some reasonable arguments to bait you into thinking he/she is legit. I always look for the personal attacks to start. When ID started commenting on John's expertise in shells, he pretty much tipped his hand. It's been 9-10 years since Axion was formed from a shell. To still be beating that dead horse shows the true intent behind the writer (IMHO).
    28 Dec 2012, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • What none of the trolls realize is that I haven't done a shell transaction since I closed the deal with Axion and because of its peculiar history, Axion could not have gone public any other way.
    28 Dec 2012, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • One of the signs of a troll? Groberstson1 just posted the same comment on one of JP's articles and here. 15 minutes between the posts, probably an attempt to defeat SA's monitoring of such troll-like behavior.


    26 Dec 2012, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • HTL,
    Another sure sign of a troll is when they start talking about John being a shell financing expert. I don't remember which one of the two did it, but I remember reading the comment and thinking "great, now we're back to being on the Brand X board.
    26 Dec 2012, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • Are diesel-powered cars better than hybrids?


    "This brings us to the next point, which is batteries. Diesels don’t have them. Not only are they very heavy, but there are other concerns as well. First, they don’t last forever. In fact, their life span is considerably shorter than basically everything else attached to the car. That won’t do you any favors when it comes to resale value, but there are environmental concerns here, too. That’s because batteries use precious earth metals, and the entire recycling process is still terribly inefficient. This doesn’t outweigh the environmental advantage when compared to most cars that run on gasoline, but this is less true when compared to diesels. The last issue is one of social responsibility. Some of the materials in lithium-ion batteries come from conflict regions like the Democratic Republic of Congo, and even non-conflict mining of materials is often done in appalling conditions. This isn’t true of every battery, but it is something worth looking into if issues of social justice weigh heavily on your purchasing decisions."

    26 Dec 2012, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • I was wondering when somebody else was going to pick up on the Blood Metals argument.
    26 Dec 2012, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • John, A couple points in this statement you've made just a "few" times. I thought I'd post it to give you a smile! Do you often feel like you're talking out the window where you reside and then hearing echos.


    In all reality I would suggest you're also probably educating a few authors as well.
    26 Dec 2012, 04:43 PM Reply Like
  • lindelco


    What do you mean by "Diesels don't have them."?
    My Toyota truck had one and other autos that I have rented did too.


    Have I missed something while imbibing way too much over the holiday?
    27 Dec 2012, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • Plant products possibly providing replacement for Cobalt:


    Should I expect a reference to "Hopium"? ;)
    27 Dec 2012, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • >jrp3 ... Most certainly you can expect a "Hopium" reference because that is what it is. That is not to say it is a bad idea to find and implement organics into Li-on, it's just not developed enough or tested enough to be part of an investment thesis. I would love to see something like this make it into a battery in commercial use because it might go a long way toward making something more than Cobalt & slag in the recycling process for Li-on, which in my mind is a big problem, still. The less energy used to produce & retire any product is a good idea that needs investigation and "hope" it works out.
    27 Dec 2012, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • Albert, Sorry I missed your post from earlier.


    It was from the article and I was perplexed by the statement as well.


    Don't worry, It's not the alcohol. ;))
    27 Dec 2012, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, Reduce, reuse, recycle. Nobody can argue those points.


    It would be a great thing getting an extract from a plant to serve a purpose vs mining for it as long as the whole equation is studied and understood. (Want to make sure nobody thinks I'm a fan of the government farming subsidy we call corn ethanol.)
    27 Dec 2012, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... Until and organic cathode material is shown to be applicable in manufacture it is "Hopium" and not to be confused with being a solution.
    27 Dec 2012, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, Not disagreeing. More dreams melt away with the sunrise than see the light of day.
    27 Dec 2012, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting chemistry, replacing LiCoO2 with purpurin extracted from madder plants in the cathode.


    Here is the actual paper:


    They have not actually built a practical battery from it, only shown that it has the electropotential to be used as cathode material in the laboratory. Whether it can stand up to real world conditions of automotive batteries and be economically manufactured is that ten-year valley-of-death conundrum JP talks about.


    Further, I would note that the molecular weight of purpurin is nearly three times that of LiCoO2:




    So batteries made this way will be significantly heavier for a given energy rating compared to current LiCoO2 or LiFePO4 batteries.
    27 Dec 2012, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • (AXPW): For those that gauge based on the close - don't be fooled.


    After 30K went at $0.2899/$0.29 in 10K and 20K trades, two minuscule 1K trades at $0.2881 were done @ 15:58:36. This *might* be an MM setting the stage for tomorrow to try and fill a big order for a "good" customer or make covering buys by trying to "shake the tree".


    Ignoring those two, we would've had a decent volume into the close at ~$0.29.


    Just a thought to keep in mind. Today was strong to the "buy" side (looks like it ends at 1.55:1) with a VWAP of $0.2896, above 3 shorter-term averages of the 5 I track (10, 25, 50, 100, 200 day): 0.2856, $0.2849, $0.2821, $0.2924, $0.3326.


    SWAG, as usual,
    26 Dec 2012, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks HTL. Good to have you back and healthy. I was going through T/A with shared perspective withdrawal.
    26 Dec 2012, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, would it be interesting (& relatively painless) to compare VWAP over December 2012 with the like number for 2011?
    26 Dec 2012, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • D-Inv: I didn't "get religion" on trackking until Feb. of this year. So it would be painful.


    However, JP's stuff does go back that far and I believe that, in aggregate, the differences in his prices (wether closing or whatever) and my intra-day VWAP should be fractions of a cent. That might be worthwhile.


    John, if you agree, one of us can send our data to the other - just let me know. Or maybe just posting our averages here would do it? maybe daily or weekly or such? I could gen those up for my side pretty quickly.


    OTOH, I've got a bunch of miscellaneous spreadsheets for 2010-2012 laying around that I've not looked at. Chances are good that some have days LHC and a mid-point might be useful if I do have it.


    Think that would be useful? If so I'll dive in.


    26 Dec 2012, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, JP's price data would certainly be in detail enough to give us a picture of how this year-end compares with year-end 2011.


    I was thinking the comparative numbers might be good to give us a bit of insight into the price level one might expect if the pending capital raise is a repeat of early 2012's priced relative to preceding 40 day VWAP. Just the VWAP number for December 2012 could shed a lot of light in that direction.
    26 Dec 2012, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • D-Inv: JP's would be more useful, I *think* because ISTR that closing prices are what are used for such?


    26 Dec 2012, 05:29 PM Reply Like
  • The price chart at the top of the page shows the movement of my 10-, 20-, 50- and 200-day VWAP for the last 2-1/2 years. My calculations are far cruder than HTL's because I start with data download from Yahoo!, which is rounded to the nearest penny, and then calculate the "average" price for a day as the numerical average of the reported high, low and close. I'm happy to send the numbers I'm using to HTL, but suspect they wouldn't add much to what he already has.
    26 Dec 2012, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • Odd ball observation.


    Earlier, I estimated a surge in '12Q2 PbC sales of ~560 batteries over and above typical quarterly transactions.


    Today, eventhough I had read it multiple times over the past several months, it struck me that Rosewater Energy Group's Technical specification sheet for a 250kWh/500kW PowerCube lists a battery population of 560.


    May be that the coincidence of battery counts (560) is just that -- coincidence. If one does not believe in coincidence, one might surmise Axion has a PowerCube "in the wild".
    26 Dec 2012, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • D-INV: Ooh! Excellent though! But maybe that's just the demonstrator version? They had to have one for the CEDE show?


    26 Dec 2012, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • The CEDIA show was for consumers. The Residential Energy Hub uses 24 PbCs.


    The industrial Power Cube uses 560 batteries. Except for the early prototype sample connected to the Axion factory, I do not believe any have been built, so this order may be for the first one.
    26 Dec 2012, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, PowerCube not HUB. Well unless they are building a HUB for Carlos Slim. ;)
    26 Dec 2012, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • Rick and Iindelco: Ack! Yes, PC *not* HUB. Where's my "Nap for that"?!


    26 Dec 2012, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • "Where's my "Nap for that"?!"


    :-) Maybe a 2 wink "nap"?
    26 Dec 2012, 06:05 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco: Apparently, Carlos Slim lives (relatively) modestly in a Districto Federal suburb. He probably only needs a Hub
    26 Dec 2012, 10:50 PM Reply Like
  • And I suspect a small army of personal protection staff.
    27 Dec 2012, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • My interpretation of Q2 and Q3 financial reporting and CC commentary is that Axion built and provided a HUB to Rosewater Energy Group with no revenue recorded that I can see. OTOH, my estimate of 560 PbC batteries sold in Q2 is derived from reported revenue and the PbC price implied by NSC's purchase of 864 batteries for $400K.
    26 Dec 2012, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • It is highly unlikely that trolls will ever truly damage the APH threads, but for what it is worth Axionistaville is by invitation only. Nice as a back up for our discussions. I am not promoting the site.


    I haven't been commenting much recently because since my move to Marietta following my mother's passing I have been mostly reading and living in another time zone. I read all night at times, sleep late, take afternoon naps, and generally love keeping my own schedule and to hell with the real world.


    I am not worried about Axion. It will survive and eventually prosper and me with them. In the mean time G0 REDSKINS- BEAT DALLAS!
    26 Dec 2012, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • This is not directly on topic but I wanted to post it because it is an unfortunate example of why automotive takes so long to validate designs before they roll them out on a large scale. This was exacerbated IMO by their failure to report in a timely manner to the appropriate federal agency but it's still a good example of why companies need to be very cautious. Especially with such complex systems like automotive apps.


    Toyota Settles Acceleration Claims for Over $1 Billion

    26 Dec 2012, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • "Toyota Settles Acceleration Claims for Over $1 Billion"


    Some of the things I have read about those "sudden acceleration" cases suggest rather strongly that Toyota vehicles were not the cause of the problem. I suspect I will always attribute that $1.1 billion settlement to State and federal regulators seeking to bolster Government Motors sales and freeloaders looking for a hand out from a deep pocket.
    26 Dec 2012, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • So Toyota settles the floor mat issue for US $1B+ with a fix that could not possibly be more than a few months old.


    Yet BMW is the better part of 3 years into evaluating the PbC solution to its stop/start program.


    I must say that I am very confused.


    My investment club friends and I with some major personal ups and downs are still in for the long haul. All the Axionistas are somewhat disappointed by the failure of UL to certify the "CUBE" by early December but when you rely on third parties you hope but never know for certain.


    All of us had expected NS to be greedy in taking up the PbC technology but that too has not come to fruition as soon as we had hoped.


    There is no reason to set artificial deadlines on these and other clients for Axion. We are certain that this technology is the answer to a large number of requirements for these and many other manufacturers and must await their blessing.


    But it is F______ frustrating! Arughhhhh!!!!!!!!!
    27 Dec 2012, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • Well said Albert. 8-)
    27 Dec 2012, 11:16 AM Reply Like
  • Albert, NSC is the most frustrating for me. Knowing about the government grant that they got has helped some. I would surely delay for some time to have the government kick in a big chunk of the development cost. Not to mention it reduces the personal risk for the players in NSC who already had their pride bruised.


    I don't know if I'd directly compare the timing associated with fixing a gas pedal issue on millions of vehicles that are already in the field with validating a new SS system which includes a new form of storage battery. Much different system requirements under far different circumstances IMO. My point in this post was to show how painful missing something really is. And this money is on top of the lost sales as they got crucified by the press and got handed the largest government fine ever. for late reporting.


    Frustration. Yeah, I think we can all share that. Sometimes I think Axion can't catch a break on the timing side. But I don't really feel this way on automotive. I know the march in automotive and it's a long long one. I must admit I was a little surprised when TG expressed some frustration with automotive timing. I'd bet BMW shared some level of how long the testing would take and with Vani Dantam in house he should know the routine. Like waiting for a bloom in the Sahara desert. 8o{)
    27 Dec 2012, 11:35 AM Reply Like
  • Hi everyone:
    In my opinion and given the current market conditions (fiscal cliff), think it is a stupidity to release a PR about NSC, ePower, APU, Residential HUB, UL certicication for HUB, BMW, etc.
    Once the government solve your problem, it's time for a PR, now wait is better.
    That is my opinion.
    Have a good night-Carlos.


    Nota: I just gave two Reports Abuse to Mr: Bla, Bla, Bla.
    26 Dec 2012, 07:46 PM Reply Like
  • I was thinking the same thing, Carlos.


    The signal of really good news would probably be swallowed up by the noise of the fiscal kerfuffle and hardly noticed. And scared investors/traders would be on the sidelines in no mood to buy.


    Better to wait until the news cycle is a little quieter.
    26 Dec 2012, 10:08 PM Reply Like
  • 12/26/2012: EOD stuff partially copied from my instablog (up tomorrow A.M.)
    # Trds: 35, MinTrSz: 300, MaxTrSz: 74500, Vol 291990, AvTrSz: 8343
    Min. Pr: 0.2875, Max Pr: 0.2939, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.2896
    # Buys, Shares: 20 177450, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.2900
    # Sells, Shares: 15 114540, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.2890
    # Unkn, Shares: 0 0, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.0000
    Buy:Sell 1.55:1 (60.8% “buys”), DlyShts 106190 (36.37%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 92.71%


    Pretty good day overall. We had some volume come back in, which wasn't bad for the interstitial between Christmas and New Year's holidays when we often see lower general market volumes. Also, the daily short sales continues to rebound into the normal ranges, although Friday's extremely low volume must be kept in mind when thinking of any “trend” in this metric. Regardless, in a PM earlier I suggested we might see higher today because of something I saw – two “last minute” trades that I interpreted as possible manipulation. Today's short sales continuing to rise may support that scenario, but it's far from a certainty.


    Anyway, on a percentage basis it's above the recent medium “spike” of the 7th of 33.68% and above the 4 averages of 16.26%, 16.37%, 16.45% and 21.24% for the 10, 25, 50 and 100-day SMAs. No long-term significance should be read into this, but it does suggest a short-term change in market-maker actions, possibly as response to customer activity or just market-makers playing their usual games. I'll be watching to see if it tries to move towards or past my recently-added descending trend line as a better indication of some longer-term change.


    On the traditional TA front, we saw a “flat” high ($0.294 vs. today's $0.2939) which remains above my long-term descending (former now) resistance. It also stayed above my-long-term descending (now former, hopefully) resistance and the 50-day SMA, now at $0.2889 (yesterday was $0.2834) and the 50-day SMA should continue to weaken, barring any price “spike” for another week or so. But I will not be surprised to see a “spike”, figuring the “coiled spring” scenario may now be in play, as touched on below.


    We also had a higher low ($0.2775 vs. today's $0.2875) which stayed above my short-term rising support which had led me to suspect a rising channel might be beginning. AFAICT it is right at $0.28 after what I believe will be it's final adjustment to touch yesterday's low. It now makes a solid 3 – 5 touches (depending on precision desired), plus its origin, without being broken and the low has begun the first day of trying to move further above that trend line.


    A few of the oscillators I normally follow have weakened a bit while a few others continue to strengthen. Keep in mind that some of these (partly) work off closing price, which I suspect was manipulated today. As an example, today shows “down” on both the candlestick and volume bars even though our VWAP from my experimental stuff was up today, as well as over the last nine days ($0.2895, $0.2840, $0.2854, $0.2813, $0.2807, $0.2803, $0.2783, $0.2882, and $0.2896). If what I believe were the real last trades, 10K and 20K at $0.2899 and $0.29 respectively, were the cutoff we would have green on both the candlestick and volume bar. It may not matter if my experimental stuff, discussed later, is correct. Anyway, two 1K trades, in the last minute-and-a-half and at the same second at $0.2881, affected the charts and readings.


    I note, with some interest I'll admit, that this appears to be exactly atop my long-term descending (now former?) resistance. What's the odds of that being a “coinky-dink”? Of course traditional TA says this is now support since we've closed two consecutive days at or above it, allowing for teeny pixels and some imprecision in my “drawing” that line. So maybe it's not that odd.


    Anyway, those oscillators weakening include RSI at 52.12, but still above a neutral reading, the Williams %R barely changed at ~-61.14 from the prior ~-57.05, accumulation/distribution and ADX (steady at 13 with DI- also steady at 17 with the DI+ weakening slightly to 21 from 22 but still positive).


    The “standard” 20-period Bollinger band still suggests a little room to move towards its middle (~$0.2921) with the upper limit ($0.3165) beginning to flatten from a compressing progression and the lower limit weakening very slightly as it ceases its “compressive” behavior. My 13-period experimental settings are exhibiting the same behavior and the price lows are trying to pull further above the lower limit too.


    It looks like the MACD may shortly go positive, continuing a long-term improvement which DRich noted in a comment today.


    On my experimental stuff, note that the average trade size would be influenced by the 74.5K trade seen at 10:22. Removing it would have us at 6,397 average trade size, still near recent averages and about mid-point of what I believe to be “retail” in nature. Just want to bring that up since the trade was 25.5% of the day's volume.


    10-day average buy percentage is back above the rising trend I recently added and is approaching the longer-term averages just below 50%.


    My experimental inflection point calculations continue to strengthen, exhibiting behavior similar to that which preceded and accompanied noticeable short-term price appreciation in the past.


    “Dly Sht % of 'sells'” stuff omitted here.


    MHO, experimental, still (always learning) and aggressive,
    26 Dec 2012, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • >H.T.Love ... I am beginning to wonder how long this churn can continue. There is no way this is profitable trading so this has to be in my mind the MMs building a position for a client at a higher strike without drawing the purchaser out or revealing the extent of intended holding. Using multiple accounts to not run afoul of SEC holding requirement by not holding a position directly.


    Subject, as always, to being wrong but this looks like a similar acquisition tactic my friend in the real estate business practices for large developers. The imagination runs wild looking at relatively steady volume and no movement in price but hope this might be the case for the emergence of a long term shop.
    27 Dec 2012, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • DRich: I wouldn't be surprised - not because of any particular knowledge or thoughts I have, but just because nothing surprises me in "the markets" as I continue to learn.


    A note on today's action: I.D. posted in my insta he was exiting this A.M. Based on his posted initial acquisition, ~99K, a statement that he had another ~76K to go, IIRC, and then seeing a series of trades around 10:34, IIRC, the following day, it's reasonable to assume he got somewhere around that quantity.


    Now, looking at the volumes and trading actions up to about a minute before his additional post this A.M., saying he got out with a little pocket change, and my take before knowing that was it looked like a lot of trades for one or more sell "market orders" went off, it looks like he did exit and that would account for today's price weakness. Subsequent to that time, price has *slowly* started to recover and buy:sell made a *dramatic* improvement from around 1:13.xx to the current 1:3.49.


    My *estimated* quantity that I.D. dumped is around 80% of today's volume so far. The price pressure, naturally, caused others to pause before deciding to move.


    Given this, I think we are still in the same boat as a few days past and today will be an aberration.


    Lots of ignorance, trust in what was posted, SWAGs, etc,
    27 Dec 2012, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • CORRETION; Based on a review of comments, that 80% figure near the bottom of my comment should be closer to 32%. I.D. posted the prior night that he had sold ~125K and I forgot about that.


    27 Dec 2012, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, I'll bite my tongue.
    27 Dec 2012, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • He-he: No corrections to my "corretion". Please don't feel restrained. One of the few things I've *always* felt I can contribute was laughter.


    I'm comfy with being the brunt of it.


    27 Dec 2012, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, I was mostly referring to your bringing up I.D. making a point about selling his/her shares. I watched the OMY interest do this twice on brand x. Not much comment on why the purchase was made but plenty of time spent on the stump talking about why the sale was made. IMO the buy was fake and it was just a ploy to draw attention as to why YOU should sell.


    BTW, What happened between the buy and sell points. NOTHING. Again, I think it's BS. But hey, Like OMY says, "It's just my opinion."
    27 Dec 2012, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: Point taken.


    27 Dec 2012, 04:38 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... Using the "said personage" metric, if my fingers don't cramp from scrolling past it, then it can't be much of an opinion. Be they real or imagined, anyone that buys a "peanuts" sized block of stock and then decides it might be a good idea to do DD and/or understand what the product is, I'm fine with them being gone. I don't think it did/does anyone any good ... starting with the "peanuts" buyer.


    A "Bull-in-the-China shop" approach to joining a group just leaves me cold.
    27 Dec 2012, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • Don't get sucked into OMY's black hole. Just ignore then delete all messages from the troll, as you would for any troll.


    I'd guess there's an easy and inexpensive way for someone to provide solid evidence of their trading. They could just PM a trusted and non-active Axionista beforehand with a unique size and price, then place their order and let it get hit. For example, place a buy order for 34,638 shares at .2864. Several of us have Level II and we all have access to Time and Sales, so we'll probably be able to verify the order's placement AND completion. And the trusted Axionista could verify the person's order size and price afterwards. This method would work especially well if the poster is similar to the most recent troll ("ID")--boasts about how little pennies per share matter and posts about his/her trades.


    I'm not saying anyone would be willing to do this, but if they come in with guns blazing, this reality check could determine if they're firing blanks.


    Oh, and until then, I just bought 1,500,000 shares, lol.
    27 Dec 2012, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • I generally don't share my buys or sells as I feel it really is of little value to the assessment of the value of the stock. I will on occasion share an after the fact transaction for humor based on the camaraderie we share here (like my tiny buy near the low this last push down).


    I did share my holdings with the group assessment because I do feel there was more good than bad that would come from it as a member of the group. I also shared Maya's concerns about how the information was to be shared and think the risk still existed but it was at least minimized. I think Jon did a great job in pulling it together.


    All in all for those that wish to share their moves after the fact it's harmless unless you have got a position so large you'd stand out. Millions and millions of shares. And I can also respect how Mercy left when she sold because her reasons for leaving were sincere and instructive to the group.


    But DRich also has a point. Being naive and claiming to buy, jumping around to draw attention, and then saying "I'm selling" is just zero value unless you're thinking you can prey on some innocent that might get concerned.


    As John has indicated there are many reasons for selling. If someone here decides to exit for some reason and feels they would like to share why because it has nothing to do with the stock or it does and they want to out of respect I think that's a great thing. We are a group with many different needs and interests. The one thing we definitely share in common is the wish for everyone to do well by sharing our findings and perspective on the asset and the sector. That's why this concentrator is such a great thing.
    27 Dec 2012, 05:36 PM Reply Like
  • I'll chime in because I have a weird combination of too much work to do, illness making it difficult to do anything, and insomnia due to family I'm visiting foisting an artillery of medication on me that has my body floating sideways doing a jitterbug when I should be sleeping here at midnight local time (sleeping also being a sideways thing, but without the levitation or jitterbug parts).


    The random responses here may be indicative of my current state.


    Among Axionistas, most of the shareholders aren't budging, period. Most of the larger shareholders are really not budging and wouldn't have accumulated their large holding in the stock unless they planned on getting out at a much higher price.


    Doing due diligence after the fact does happen with some hoity toity investors. I used to correspond with a pompous hedge fund guy who one day told me he had invested in a company I was 98% sure was a fraud. I said nothing because, well, the guy was pompous. Amusing to correspond with, but there are limitations to how much effort a person should make to challenge someone who is pompous and not going to listen anyway. Well, about a week and a half later, the hedge fund dude writes me that he just had talked to management at the company I suspected of being a fraud, and he didn't like what he heard from management, so he was selling. (I was amused - in part because there was only one executive at the company, so referring to "management" suggested the CEO/CFO/COO/Comptroller et al was schizophrenic - but became less amused when I reviewed the hedge fund guy's record of posts and noted that he announced that he bought the company to his investors, readers, etc., but never announced that he sold. Eventually I commented on this, and Mr. Pompous Hedge Fund Man and I soon parted our conversation forever more. Tears were shed.)


    All I want to do tomorrow with my new found riches recently deposit in my Roth IRA is make a wacked out market order buy of AXPW when the ask is about 10 cents above the current price... that's all I want for the new year... LOL (er... new found riches = my meager earnings from publishing articles on SA... don't expect many mountains moved by my purchase... it is a penny a click for articles on Seeking Alpha folks)


    For those looking for some extra coin to buy more AXPW, I would recommend my recent article on the TRQ. It is absurdly stagnant on absurdly positive news.


    Regarding trolls and non-trolls and people inadvertently sucked into being associated with trolls...
    - do we remember when billa_from_sf was accused of being a troll?
    - can you get in the wayback machine and remember metroneanderthal being accused of being a troll?
    - point is... sometimes we're wrong...
    - yet, those who some have been wrong about have stuck around for the most part until we realized our own errors (or so we think)


    Separately... its not just about trolls or not trolls. This is a community of 40,000 comments and growing. This isn't an article, this is a conversation about an investment. If someone is believed to be polluting the conversation, it seems fair to ask them to either stop polluting or depart.


    And thus ends my rambling insomniacking polute-a-thon...


    All the best to all, and your families and friends, in the new year,
    27 Dec 2012, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • When someone makes a point, the onus is on them to support it. Applies to someone here claiming they own x amount of AXPW. Show me the money, or else I'm generally not believing. I think it is a very good approach to be skeptical about anonymous, unsupported posts on an internet blog. Simple as that.


    I've found that an excellent way for an investor to approach decision making is to imagine they have to take the matter in question to an Investment Committee. Say, 6-10 professionally trained, experienced investment professionals.
    Investor: "Gentlemen, an anonymous poster on an internet blog just said that he purchased 150,000 shares of AXPW. Do you believe him?"
    IC: "What evidence do you have? Trade confirmations? Verified acct stmts? Audited financials?"
    Investor: "None."
    IC: "Then no, we don't believe him, and if you do, you're fired."


    I think the Investment Committee approach is some of the best advice an individual investor will ever read. I'm very proud of that. Distilled knowledge from a long investment career. Helps put almost everything into perspective.
    27 Dec 2012, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • Jon,


    Thank you for mentioning that I was accused, ever so briefly, of POSSIBLY being a troll. I certainly remembered it in the context of the latest troll event, but I didn't want to bring it up.


    In my case I think that JP might have been so surprised by the rank ignorance of my question, innocently asked, that he, on the basis of years of fighting with determined and devious trolls, figured the chances were pretty good I was a troll.


    But look at the difference.


    I humbly admitted my ignorance and sincerely asked for JP's help.


    ID, by contrast went on a self-righteous rampage about someone impugning his supposedly sparkling good name. He started big-mouthing about personally talking to a big-shot at Exide. He started throwing around unrealistic numbers. Bottom line, his posts were arrogant and hard to take at face value.


    And groberts was a virulent psycho of some sort.


    I felt that ID and groberts were working together, but ultimately I don't think any of that matters. What matters IMO is weeding guys like this out quickly and efficiently. I don't think I would have been weeded out because of the way I responded to JP's accusation. I think the response to being accused of trollism provides a lot of useful information.


    27 Dec 2012, 10:25 PM Reply Like
  • "Regarding trolls and non-trolls and people inadvertently sucked into being associated with trolls...
    - do we remember when billa_from_sf was accused of being a troll?
    - can you get in the wayback machine and remember metroneanderthal being accused of being a troll?"


    Seems I recall a few such speculations regarding my own participation here.
    28 Dec 2012, 12:32 AM Reply Like
  • We all get a bit trollish from time to time. It's a good way to help avoid irrational exuberance in the face of real and substantial challenges. Heck, we even have the legendary Axionista Damp Rag to reward reality trolls.


    There are times when I wonder if the Axionistas as a group aren't too hard on the company, but given a choice between investing with curmudgeons or investing with fanboys, curmudgeons are safer.


    I think in the end that's the one thing the trolls don't understand. We've already looked at more warts than they can imagine and put them into a rational context of risk and reward.
    28 Dec 2012, 12:46 AM Reply Like
  • I can't stand not replying to Mr. Investor. For your information, I posted an exact number of shares I would be selling(106,237) on HT Loves blog the night before I sold them. I also posted that I would be selling them at the open. I also posted when the trade was complete. There is your reality check. Truth hurts tool.
    28 Dec 2012, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • Heck, I even remembering noting (not reporting) JP "self-trolling" about the Volt fires a while back.... (perhaps self-trolling isn't a word)


    In other news, SA told me that two posts of moreofthesame were deleted. The system works. :)
    28 Dec 2012, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • ID


    I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. However, your decision to buy in (purportedly significant amount) and then sell within a week or so, reeks of either stupidity (for buying in the first place with no conviction of your investment) or a bruise to your ego (anyone stupid enough to sell out because they were criticized on a blog board will continue to make stupid buy/sell decisions). In hind sight, I think JP was absolutely correct in his assessment about you. Go play with something else, eh?
    28 Dec 2012, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • " and remember metroneanderthal being accused of being a troll"


    I can't imagine how anyone could confuse a neanderthal and a troll. Trolls are hairy, run around in primitive clothing and are ugly.
    28 Dec 2012, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • ... And they certainly have no fashion sense. Seriously, when was the last time anybody saw a troll wearing a festive seasonal boa?
    28 Dec 2012, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • Shrek should've done that. Would've been a big hit.


    28 Dec 2012, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • "And thus ends my rambling insomniacking polute-a-thon.."


    During end of year teacher evaluations by students, I think a student wrote something like that about my classroom lectures.
    28 Dec 2012, 06:06 PM Reply Like
  • Metro, If you can get an audience he/she might just advance what you are trying to achieve. Or maybe not? I'd listen for sure. When it comes to requested feedback the ears should always lead the mouth.


    I've found some of the things that touched me the most where I least expected them.


    If not, You might get one last instant to give he/she a boost in the right direction. Opportunity knocks.
    29 Dec 2012, 12:11 AM Reply Like
  • Since I'm visiting the APH I found it humorous that somebody would show up and after 38,000 or so comments claim they were going to do a proper due diligence effort all of us had failed to accomplish in all these APH's, organized conference call questions, FOIA finds, etc., etc. etc.


    Of course a noob to the APH's won't have our collective memory of all that has gone before, but you would think they would have the brains to recognize we aren't just cheerleaders singing the company song. All of us have vented about this, that or the other from time to time.


    An investment in Axion is not for widows or orphans, although I broke that rule with my mother's funds in spades. I consider getting her out whole after she was $7500 in the hole my best trade ever, although I had to buy a barrel for her at the 2011 lows and pray I was right. Fortunately it worked out fine.


    In terms of someone not Rosewater, JP, etc who has said the battery works I believe BMW met that requirement in Istanbul years ago. As for NS, I believe that the prototype process is full of possible issues that would delay the battery installation and not mean a thing in terms of a lack of interest on NS's part. I think using the batteries is the easy part, it is the rest of the system design issues that scare the piss out of me.


    I have a professional background in systems design, development and prototype fabrication and I remember a $2M design and fabrication job we did driven by some major system component specs demanded by the customer. When it was completed the customer said "Is that what it is?" Then we started the whole design process over for millions more but without any component demands from the customer and that it worked, met the performance specs and could be maintained.


    I can't imagine given the quality of individuals who frequent the APH threads that anyone that comes in here green and asks a question will not be helped as much as possible to form an informed, unbaised opinion. Axion is risky and we all know that - hence the intense constant DD by all of us.


    I can't imagine we will turn into a sewer like Brand X. My two cents. Given the NDA's gaining information about what is behind the curtain at Axion is difficult. Whenever there is an information vacuum it is easy to conjure up a hatchet piece or a bunch of fluff. I could write either given my sales background in a New York Minute.


    Getting real information is what this APH is about. Anyone who thinks they can out DD us is daydreaming or smoking some really good stuff.
    26 Dec 2012, 08:30 PM Reply Like
  • BW,


    Great post. Glad to see you back in form.


    Agreed; the DD here is top shelf. Great company but broken stock is how I read it now. Things will eventually right themselves; hopefully in 2013.


    Maybe the next piece of NS news will be the first of many major break-throughs.
    27 Dec 2012, 04:00 AM Reply Like
  • BangWhiz: Beautiful post.


    27 Dec 2012, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz


    Well stated, very well stated!
    29 Dec 2012, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • "As for NS, I believe that the prototype process is full of possible issues that would delay the battery installation and not mean a thing in terms of a lack of interest on NS's part. I think using the batteries is the easy part, ...."


    Perhaps I am naive, but I suspect the NS999 did no move forward in 2012 for two reasons -- 1) approval of the federal grant for BEL development took three months or so longer than anticipated and 2) a sharp curtailment of coal shipping on NSC routes appreciably reduced revenue below levels expected at the time the NSC's capital budget was approved and prompted some capital investment adjustments.


    The company's 2012 Sustainability Report signals deliberate intent to move forward with its BEL program and it is reasonable to expect NSC will adopt a capital budget for 2013 consistent with its most recent Sustainability Report.
    26 Dec 2012, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • Good insight and perfectly plausible D-Inv
    26 Dec 2012, 10:02 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv, I just wanted to add a reminder of what TG said during the Q3 conf call on 11/15/2012, "Norfolk Southern has other subcontractors that may not be in perfect alignment with what their original schedules would have been." My take on what that means, given TG's awareness of NS' sensitivity to comments made by Axion, is that one or more of the other subs is behind schedule. Anybody's guess as to who that is and why. Perhaps one place to look--start--ponder (or speculate or googletificate) given the emphasis by NS on the BMS in the recent Sustainability Report, is "TVM Control Systems"?
    27 Dec 2012, 01:44 AM Reply Like
  • Since Penn State is technically a subcontractor on the project and we know their schedule was thrown off waiting for the DOT grant, that seems to be the most plausible explanation. The other major change involved replacing the battery tray system NS used originally with a rack system that allowed better air circulation to prevent hot spots in the batteries. While I'd expect that kind of fabrication work to be relatively quick and easy, experience suggests that nothing is ever quick or easy for NS.


    It all reminds me of the story of the traveling salesman who stopped along a country road to watch a farmer feeding his pigs in an apple orchard.


    The farmer would grab a pig, lift it up and then hold it steady so that the pig could eat an apple directly off the tree. Then he'd put the first pig down, grab another pig and repeat the process.


    After watching the show for about ten minutes the salesman asked the farmer "Why don't you just shake the tree and let the apples fall to the ground so the pigs can feed themselves? It would save a lot of time."


    The farmer thought for a minute and then replied "What's time to a pig?"
    27 Dec 2012, 02:00 AM Reply Like
  • Which takes us back to the real question, "What's time to a locomotive?"
    27 Dec 2012, 03:16 AM Reply Like
  • Axionista's?

    28 Dec 2012, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • The numbers look about right.
    28 Dec 2012, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • LOL Was that the NS999 pulling us along?
    28 Dec 2012, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • Hi iindelco:


    The train departed?
    28 Dec 2012, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • Hello Carlos. I put my ear to the track and I can hear the vibration increasing not decreasing. The excitement is building in the crowd.


    Alas, The crowd would be bigger but there are a bunch of Axionista's out in the parking area watching for BMW's and class 8 trucks as well.


    Lots to look forward to. Order your UPS because you're not going to want to miss it! :)
    28 Dec 2012, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... Could Exide (XIDE) is shedding some more of its short interest today? I certainly hope so. The battery sub-sector has had a good month, but it is to be expected this time of year. Still with the worst of the ignored popping 10% on the end of year makes me wonder if the sector will catch a bid in 2013.
    28 Dec 2012, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • About 10 days ago I put up a series of graphs on seven different companies in the sector that are looking intriguing as all getout.


    Most have wallowed for quite a while and look to be turning a corner. If this is the beginning of a sector change, 2013 could be a lot of fun.



    In all cases, the trends are firming or at least holding stable.
    28 Dec 2012, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, I think that given the number of years XIDE has been restructuring and given the growth that the sector is going through it's wise for the shorts to get out of the way. Perhaps it's a good time to be a little early instead of a little late on the play.


    The season brings it's own gyrations which are short term in nature.
    28 Dec 2012, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • >JP & iindelco ... I think that by Mid-March we should have a multi-year going forward answer to whether storage growth has started.
    28 Dec 2012, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, one other stimulus would be a good cold month in a couple primary markets served by players concentrated in the after market like XIDE. Since last winter was more mild the can was kicked down the road for many that were close to needing a new battery.


    Hey, I might even have to replace the one in my sons 2003 vehicle that's original equipment (purchased late 2003). I know I should do it preemptively but you have to have some little things in life to watch. Since it's my first experience with a high end AGM battery in the passenger compartment I'm watching how it plays out. Non doubt in my mind keeping the battery out of the extreme temperature associated with the engine compartment is a good thing.


    I thought S2 2012 would have been the beginning of the curve up for Axion. The NS delay surprised me for reasons we've already discussed heavily. So the spring gets compressed a little bit more. Just like Exide.
    28 Dec 2012, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • From your mouth to the ears of the gods.
    28 Dec 2012, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... "A curve up for Axion" ... now that would be something to behold. I continue to hold it but I've come to the conclusion that it has no ability to move with what normally would be considered a catalyst news event. Pops are not out of the question nor are moves to new price plateaus. This is not unusual with a broken stock.


    I've reverted back to what I thought 2 years ago would be the events/conditions necessary to move the stock.
    28 Dec 2012, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • John, If you're referring to the weather pattern that just went across the US my back is killing me. ;))


    DRich, Patterns repeat themselves until they don't. We know the big uglies are pretty much gone. We know that for years now news didn't push the stock at all because the uglies sold irrespective of the news. Let's see what happens when we have a couple events go off that start to support "The proof is in the pudding". I don't know if "We're working with this or that entity" is going to be the stimuli to change course any more. This would change with a strategic partner that sees what we think we see. Opportune time for them to make a move though.


    PS, I'm leaning toward a smaller player as the biggies don't want to undercut their market. They'd love for marginal AGM to be the solution for a long time. Cha Ching. IMO.
    28 Dec 2012, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • Drich -


    "I've reverted back to what I thought 2 years ago would be the events/conditions necessary to move the stock."


    Not sure that I have seen you put these thoughts forward.
    28 Dec 2012, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • >Stefan Moroney ... OK, maybe I ought to list my events/conditions because, even as I know I've put them out there, it may not have been in this string of Concentrators.


    1) First and foremost, I'm looking for Customer No. 1
    That company that has moved on from testing & demonstrations to be willing to say the damn thing (technical jargon for a battery) works by announcing a "design win" & issuing a supply contract.


    2) Financial viability out further than year at a time.
    This might be done with group of "long-term" market recognized investors, "strategic" or not, like I thought the 2009 placement had done. Some demonstrations or tolling contracts that produce a covering revenue stream. Something to get the "Going Concern" out of the 10-K.


    3) A "strategic" partner alliance involved with the supply chain.
    BMW has come close for Axion by helping with quality manufacturing improvement but as an end user it doesn't quite qualify to me. By this I mean a relationship along the lines of what ZBB has/had with Eaton providing expertise & physical plant assistance and the look of Fortune 500 type sponsorship with the ability to feed into multiple end user products.


    4) An alliance within a sector/industry/region with an established battery manufacturing company.
    This would be proof to me of anticipated growth is not far off & be vindication of the business model which I'm very curious to see work.
    28 Dec 2012, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • Very good list
    28 Dec 2012, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • >LT ... Axion is so very close on many of my listed goals but I'm afraid the market is too focused on "navel gazing" while wanting "something for nothing" money to be tossed its way. Storage may not be back in favor until either our sainted "job creators" decide to do their job or the present Wall Street welfare system fails and they are force to make money the old fashion way by promoting economic activity out here where the population resides.
    28 Dec 2012, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • Excellent. Thanks, DRich. I basically agree on all fronts. Unfortunately, there are too many charlatans in the energy storage industry for it to be otherwise.


    I thought that Customer Nbr 1 had arrived with the NS contract, but for whatever reason, we are still waiting. And, I am still waiting on my foia request to the FRA on the NS/Penn State grant application.
    28 Dec 2012, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • >Stefan Moroney ... You might know I like trains. I've been wondering how long the USA will drag its feet to improve the freight lines and not adopt energy saving technology & higher speed service. I understand it is going to be expensive. Freight will always be slower because of bulk, but it ought to be efficient. I don't believe upgrading it should all be shouldered completely by the private sector.


    I also am concerned that the USA is so wedded to the money pit that is the airline industry as our only long distance option. They have their place but are not very energy efficient, require huge subsides, have never been profitable and are limited in how many people they can ferry to where people want to go. I think passenger rail, high speed in particular, is the future and the United States seems totally unwilling to do it. We will look like the horse-&-buggy economy in the not too distant future. Look what China has been up to. AmTrak it ain't.



    28 Dec 2012, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • I'm going to vehemently disagree with you on this DRich.
    Full Disclosure before going on. I worked for 2 major airlines in a variety of financial roles for 10 years and was on a board of a air-rail organization and have supported some rail ideas in the US.


    First Paragraph:
    Your statement about the freight lines not adopting energy saving technology seems insane to me. Hell, that is why NS is here. The Private sector is doing something. Yeah, they are not electrifying the lines but for the most part that is a waste. In places where they would consider doing so, they don't because its considered a material improvement in their land and greatly increases their taxes as their property is worth more.
    In fact I prefer that in our system we move freight via rail and passengers via auto and air. The european system of using heavy equipment to move light assets along a fixed path (rail) while non-time critical (freight) primarily moves via truck seems silly.


    Second Paragraph:
    I've looked at the subsidy arguement on airlines and most of them false/misleading/etc. They remind me of the tax credits in the oil industry that are available to other industrires. On whatever basis you choose; passengers flown, miles flown, etc the subsidy vs passenger rail in the US is skewed toward rail.
    Regarding fuel efficiency - I believe US majors operate at something like 50 passenger miles/gallon which is only slightly worse than cars when you account for passenger loads in vehicles. Airlines have made huge improvements here via fuel savings, fuller planes via revenue mgmt which increase efficiency. Airlines will never match the fuel effiency of a train but its not supposed to. Per my urban studies program; cars are the most efficient for trips between 1-50 miles, trains from 50-300 (maybe 500 miles) and air for more than that.
    The rail lobby needs to figure out their message and badly. They have a scattered approach which is dumb. I think we probably both agree that long distance rail in the US which eat up most of Amtraks subsidies should be gone. If Amtrak and rail proponents in the US really want to show its value they need to let Amtrak die and then replace it with a private partnership to show that mid-distance rail between large population centers can cover its cost of operation + capital. I think they could do that in the NE corridor. This would provide support for things such as the Midwest Rail Initiative and the Texas Triangle. However, doing that will be hard for Amtrak as in its current state its a jobs program. Amtrak is like the airlines before deregulation with a bloated cost structure both in jobs/salaries/ and benefits. As a consumer you should be happy that airlines historically have not made money. If you look at the ROIC you will see that for their basic 0 or negative returns the suppliers and vendors of the airlines have had very healthy ROICs so they have had an incentive to keep the game going. Add in the large tax and fee rate paid by airlines and government is happy too. Lastly, I know of one major ailine mgmt team who would love to turn over their regional flying to rail allowing them to focus on long-haul traffic as that is where they make their money. Their goal for regional flying is to try and minimize losses for their medium 750 Mile + flights. It would reduce their capital commitments in Aircraft, capital at airports, free up airspace, etc. Unfortunately rail is unwilling to cut the cord from the Senators who want a train in Nebraska daily, as a jobs program and show that mid-range rail has a purpose and place.


    What is the point of the new 1400 mile line that China just opened? Its too long vs airplanes for a business traveller even accounting for security and delays.
    28 Dec 2012, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • Expand/create rail service whereby you can drive your car on a med/long haul train (like a ferry) and I bet that could be a very popular service for certain corridors...
    28 Dec 2012, 05:21 PM Reply Like
  • A friend just left on Amtrack with his car and his daughter for a family vacation ... I think they arrived in DC today.


    I noticed this high speed rail map the other day. Too bad, Rick Scott turned down the money for Florida.

    28 Dec 2012, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • Why China has new train from Guangzhou to Beijing?


    1) Much cheaper than flying
    2) Much more capacity than flying. Expected to have departures every 5 minutes at peak times (c. 1000 passengers per train)
    3) Many passenger are not doing full route. Full route takes 10 hours, planned to drop to 8 hours over next few years.
    4) It takes traffic away from congested freight line, allows more freight trains, reduce truck congestion. Freight line is at 100% capacity.
    5) There are still 183 trains per day on the old, slow tracks ( 23 hour travel time
    6) Domestic industry - not importing planes from Boeing or Airbus. (Some technology may have come from Japan, but all train production is in China.)
    28 Dec 2012, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • >Stefan Moroney ... I'm glad to hear that. My mother used this Amtrak train quite often. It is a service that was never wildly popular in part because of the size and weight of American cars. It was only offered on a few roads like the Pennsy, NY Central, Rutland, CNW, Southern & Southern Pacific. Sadly, the Santa Fe didn't which would have made it transcontinental.
    28 Dec 2012, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • Pollution: now cars set to be cleaner than rail
    (Feb 2004)


    < 'Both cars and trucks are getting cleaner and the railway hasn't made very much progress at all over the same period,' said Malcolm Fergusson, senior fellow at the Institute of European Environmental Policy in London.
    'There's no doubt road is catching up in terms of emissions and by some standards it could even have over taken it. Over the next decade it's very possible to argue road will be as good, possibly better.' >


    2-3 years ago i was reading a pollution comparison of a proposed railroad in Sweden. (mostly nuke and hydro) I don't remember the details, but the distance was long enough that most people flew.
    The conclusion was that over 1 mil people yearly would have to take the train; and most of them would have to otherwise been fliers. If most of them were drivers the train would never break even pollution wise.
    28 Dec 2012, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • >mrholty ... The rail industry has been constant in their pursuit of finding technology for 80 years. I didn't say the rails weren't adopting efficient technology just that they have been dragging their feet, slow in putting in place, improvements they have had ready for 20 years. What has been implemented has been impressive but minimalist to not cause wholesale change. It is a capital intensive industry trying to compete with the heavily subsidized trucking & air industries so survival depended on slow walking improvements to squeeze every ounce of margin out of existing equipment & right-of-way. It is a downside legacy problem from a century before when they were heavily subsidized & abused their monopoly position.


    The proponents of Amtrak over the last 60 years are the only reason that the USA might stand a chance to rebuild passenger rail system by saving several corridors. Private industry isn't interested. Letting Amtrak die to me is not an option. Amtrak has problems but its biggest has been neglect & favored industries that don't want the competition. To date, the failure of Amtrak is by design. I could go on but won't.
    28 Dec 2012, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • >Rick Krementz ... Excellent list. Thanks.
    28 Dec 2012, 07:04 PM Reply Like
  • Stephan,
    Please forgive Mr. Scot. He is addicted to his politics and can't sort fact, future, or present common sense out of any of it.


    I hate to be political but this guy does not govern. He simply soundbites.
    28 Dec 2012, 11:12 PM Reply Like
  • For those following my Battery saga... (my apologies to those who couldn't care less)... the mechanic surprised me today. He is replacing the battery (and re-registering the new one) and respecting the 100% warranty... nothing out of my pocket.


    I guess it is tacit acknowledgement that there truly *is* a design problem.
    26 Dec 2012, 10:55 PM Reply Like
  • Thassa good news O.R. Both for you and, maybe, (APXW) down the road.


    27 Dec 2012, 08:44 AM Reply Like
  • OR, Yipee on both counts. You got some R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Well, Just a little bit.
    27 Dec 2012, 09:48 AM Reply Like


    27 Dec 2012, 04:48 AM Reply Like
  • The bill is roughly equivalent to the fuel tax they'd collect on a Prius or Focus class HEV, so it's certainly a fair number. It is good, however, to see that EV owners won't be getting a free ride forever.


    The big question is at $100 per EV per year how long will it take to recover the overhead costs of the legislature while they were changing the law?
    27 Dec 2012, 06:16 AM Reply Like
  • ".... how long will it take to recover the overhead costs of the legislature while they were changing the law?"


    John, This is the Axion board not the WM board. ;)
    27 Dec 2012, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • Some questions are just too fun to leave unasked.
    27 Dec 2012, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • Sorry, Let me put this comment here, at times I miss the place.


    Good Morning:


    This is my opinion: The automakers currently seems to be working on three things:


    1-. Develop good "Emissions Control Systems" (For example Micro-Hybrids ) in order to meet governmental requirements.
    2-. Develop systems (For example: Micro-Hybrids) and improve designs to save fuel.
    3-. Innovate as does for example ePower.


    In all three cases "THE BATTERY" is the starting point to meet requirements, innovate and save fuel. The battery will not be more a black box, ugly and sulfated and will be so important as same engine.


    I express again, AGM Batteries to transportation will apply very well in:


    -.Electric Bicycle, motorcycles and ATVs, only Stop-Start without hotel loads.
    -.And Micro-Hybrids with PbC Tech: Lead Acid 3.0


    I finished (Very tired)-Carlos
    27 Dec 2012, 06:58 AM Reply Like
  • Good Morning to all Axionistas.
    The sun is out shining nicely here in southern Florida.
    The alligators are in abundance but I see the trolls have moved on.


    It is wonderful to be back in a world of reality. I suspect a couple more weeks should bring us news of the PbCs work in the class 8 truck. This test should prove that the PbC doesn't deteriorate as an AGM did. The test info should go a long way toward helping an auto manufacturer make up his mind about which technology to use. It should be able to garner many actual fleet miles in a hurry.


    First I am hoping that the E-Power system works and really saves on gas mileage. That should prompt E-Power systems sales.
    Second . I am hoping the battery information is available to other OEMs to help them make up their mind about the PbC.
    27 Dec 2012, 07:52 AM Reply Like
  • Why not invest in EXIDE:


    -.One because EXIDE lost in 2009 to do a partnership: serious, honest and productive witn AXION POWER PbC Tech.
    -. EXIDE has three consecutive quarters in lost.
    -. EXIDE has a high level of debt: Total Debt/Equity (mrq): 291.21
    -. I'm afraid that JCI or East Penn into a JV with AXION POWER before EXIDE can do. In this case the price will go to down, looking at bankruptcy.
    -. Finally I feel safer investing in AXION POWER.


    Have a good day-Carlos
    27 Dec 2012, 08:03 AM Reply Like
  • Carlos,
    What you say is true, but Exide has a lot of potential. Their AGM capacity is building and the market is growing. They have cut cost and are prepared for an increase in sales. I think a possible world recession, is more likely to hurt them than the inability to sell the PbC.
    27 Dec 2012, 08:06 AM Reply Like
  • Hi Futurist:


    I agree: Exide has a lot of potential but profits are the ones in charge.


    But in my opinion is misdirected and misguided, first want to sell a product without satisfying customer needs.


    Have a nice day I wish you a happy 2013-Carlos


    27 Dec 2012, 08:23 AM Reply Like
  • Mr. Carlos says:


    Lost money and much more debt means bankruptcy!!!!
    27 Dec 2012, 08:28 AM Reply Like
  • Hi Carlos & Futurist,


    I have traded in and out of XIDE for several years since it seemed to be a company that had regular business cycles. I have a "chunky" position in XIDE currently. A chunky position is bigger than I would like but can still fit into my portfolio. I am thinking the stock price will rise with the tide of AGM battery sales. If they(XIDE) don't make an agreement with Axion while they are on the crest of the wave, they may never have another opportunity as (in my mind) manufacturers will be lining up to incorporate pbc into their lineup. We all hate waiting but, like JP says, there should be many winners in this race.


    Good fortunes to all!


    27 Dec 2012, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • FWIW Exide just had a classic golden cross where the 10-day VWMA moved up through the 20-, 50- and 200-day VWMAs, the 20-day moved up through the 50- and 200-day VWMAs and the 50-day is also turning up and within a couple cents of the 200-day.


    I have all kinds of reasons to dislike Exide's behavior, but I have to love its stock chart and the current price that's almost 75% down from the 24 month high.
    27 Dec 2012, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • I wish I knew more about Exide's European operations. Capacity and utilization flooded vs AGM. Might give better clues as to when their never ending restructuring efforts will bear fruit. Europe is going to go through a large capacity rationalization over the next few years and I suspect this will cause the component suppliers to do the same. Also need to understand OE vs aftermarket penetration as well to time this. Alas I don't follow them that closely.
    27 Dec 2012, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • Hi Mr. John:


    You have all reasons to love it, too and I have all reasons to hate it. The important thing is that we have all reasons to love AXION POWER PbC Tech.


    Have a nice day-Carlos
    27 Dec 2012, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • IIndelco,
    I haven't looked at the financials closely in the pas 6 month but, I remember that an AGM plant was built in Italy a couple years ago. Their European base looked good for the shift to PbCs back in 2009 when the Axion arrangement was made.
    Remember, back then Europe was to begin the S/S movement before the US. Now Europe has moved forward but has not accepted the PbC as its S/S savior, yet.
    27 Dec 2012, 07:36 PM Reply Like
  • You guys have probably seen this before, but slide 22/23 have a couple graphs comparing UB to AGM ...

    27 Dec 2012, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • The graph on page 22 may be misleading - as the same graph in the following Sandia presentation



    page 17 graph shows different C Rates for the UB and Li-on. Page 23 of Stefan's graph also show the different C rates, but not for li-on.
    27 Dec 2012, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting database on companies that are bidding on the CT micogrid pilot program.


    Dynapower and ZBB are listed. Also interesting, Siemens offers financing for a microgrid projects.

    27 Dec 2012, 11:23 AM Reply Like
  • Viridity is in there too. Might lead to an AXPW PC sale down the road since Viridity has experience with it.


    27 Dec 2012, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • Dynapower (inverters) from nearby Vermont ...


    Dynapower Company is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of power conversion equipment. All Dynapower products are designed and manufactured in a 150,000 square foot vertically integrated facility in South Burlington, VT. Dynapower manufactures complete power systems, including high power rectifiers and bi-directional inverters, for use in industrial, military and research applications. Dynapower’s products serve a variety of industries including smart grid energy storage, metal finishing, water treatment, electrochemical, military and mining.


    Most recent (but small) "win"


    On the other hand, who knows what will come of this (before the BIG one):


    Didn't see Princeton Power ... though they could be working through someone else, e.g., Viridity.


    It's an impressive list of competitors ... some with very deep pockets.


    Wish I had a better feel for whether Viridity is really in our corner. All we know for sure is that a year ago we were listed as (one of the very few) partners, and now we aren't and they seemed (probably wisely) interested in collaborating with the more generic "storage vendors."


    Is Vani stretched too thin with autos and trucks to have an impact here? Do we need another "investment" in a "Vani parnter" for that market ... before the potential right now sales slip away?
    27 Dec 2012, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • Curious where ZBB's patent focus will play into this equation. The Smart Microgrid System sounds a lot like the EnerSystem's patented DC bus ...


    IIRC, MDB Capital states that there are not very many patents in this field and that ZBB has 20 patent applications pending.


    Not sure how patent protection will really play out in power conversion products ... I would rather be in Axion's position of no one knowing how to produce the product and patent protection.
    27 Dec 2012, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • Decided to do a Google search of
    "Smart Microgrid System"


    The phrase "Smart Microgrid" revealed a patent:


    (and I didn't know Google had a patent interface)



    The co-inventors





    show some links to Boeing.


    Will deep pockets decides who "wins?" (besides the lawyers)
    27 Dec 2012, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting WT, but it appears the "Smart Microgrid" is only a patent application at this point. It was filed on 10/4/10, but there is no issue date as of yet (or maybe it is b/c there is a "publication date" of 4/4/12) The ZBB "Method and apparatus for controlling a hybrid power system" patent was filed on 1/16/09 and issued 8/30/11. My rudimentary understanding is that this may be a foundational patent upon which other patents will based.



    On their last CC, ZBB said that they had filed 5 utility patent applications between August and November of this year. However, to date, I have not been able to find them. I wonder if they listed under some other name to obfuscate the path for would be followers?


    PS - "A published patent refers to the publication of a patent application, which is be reviewed by the Patent Authority (USPTO, EPO, JPTO, etc.). Once the merits of the application are acknowledged by the Examiner, process which takes from about to 2 to 4 years, the patent is granted (issued). The difference is that a patent application does not protect the inventor from any potential infraction to his/her inventive matter, and the inventor is allowed to start civil actions against the infractor, only once the patent is granted."
    27 Dec 2012, 07:52 PM Reply Like
  • Patent applications are confidential for 18 months from the original priority date. Once that period passes, the applications are published and made available to the public. We just went through the drill for an application Rachel and her partner filed where they had to wait 18 months to make sure that nobody else had beaten them to the patent office.
    27 Dec 2012, 11:34 PM Reply Like
  • A win for the lithium guys. I like lithium for E-bikes.


    Philippines to launch 100,000 eco-friendly 'e-trikes'

    27 Dec 2012, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • I love e-bikes and since I've logged many thousands of miles on a conventional bicycle over the last couple decades I know that the last thing you want on a bicycle is more weight than you absolutely need. They're a natural market for the size and weight advantages of lithium, but well over 90% still use lead-acid because of that cost thing.
    27 Dec 2012, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Yeah, It would be great to see a breakdown of the sales and battery type by country. Obviously China, being the lions share of sales, is heavily Pb Chemistry.


    If the government there was really interested in pushing the market for lithium ion they could give the industry a big push with a battery upgrade subsidy. But they seem to be more interested in larger format motive solutions. My opinion is that their real intent is to bolster their export market potential.
    27 Dec 2012, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • Active Power (ACPW) reverse split just effected ... after being subject to (de/down)listing in a process that started late 2011




    Active Power moves listing to Nasdaq Capital
    Austin Business Journal by Christopher Calnan, Staff Writer
    Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 10:50am CDT



    this move apparently bought them an extra 6 months.



    Is CPST headed on this road?

    27 Dec 2012, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • Wtb: "Is CPST headed on this road?"


    hard to say. They faced this same situation a couple years back and successfully came back above $1 by the time all the dust settled.


    This time is different in the following manners:
    - HFT MMs apparently gone since bid/ask volumes have not reflected them this time like it did last time (had see 100s of K on both sides trading for 1/100th penny increment and high volume) - not this time - just the 1/100th penny remains;
    - Shorts were increasing before, this time they are exiting in droves for an extended period (see below)
    - Used to get lots of PR - this time "All Quiet on the Western Front".


    Institutional holders, such as Gilder Gagnon and Howe, were often simultaneously long and short and actively playing both sides to profit - now they are not as long and appear to be exiting their short positions. Some have theorized that price is being held low until the "heavy hitters" can cover their shorts successfully. Since (CPST) has had constantly improving metrics, except the one that matters - profit, the theory is that those improving metrics will finally show up in profit and this is driving the reduction in shorts and that's driving the MM to hold price down so those favored customers can exit profitably.


    Here's a snippet from the short history I keep. Pardon the alignment - SA doesn't offer any help at all here.


    Settle Dte Short Int. % Chg. AvgDlyVol Day2Cvr
    12/14/2012 39,158,828 (2.55) 948,078 41.30
    11/30/2012 40,182,897 0.35 1,340,461 29.98
    11/15/2012 40,043,960 (5.06) 2,242,339 17.86
    10/31/2012 42,179,389 (0.87) 1,034,236 40.78
    10/15/2012 42,551,393 (3.34) 1,822,871 23.34
    09/28/2012 44,020,242 (3.53) 1,563,159 28.16
    09/14/2012 45,630,302 (2.49) 1,640,366 27.82
    08/31/2012 46,794,243 (4.70) 1,462,841 31.99
    08/15/2012 49,102,654 (3.43) 1,834,762 26.76
    07/31/2009 50,848,402 2.47 1,883,946 26.99
    07/13/2012 49,623,374 (2.48) 2,641,381 18.79
    06/29/2012 50,883,583 (2.95) 2,973,674 17.11
    06/15/2012 52,431,170 2.45 2,696,442 19.44
    05/31/2012 51,178,099 4.43 2,448,239 20.90
    05/15/2012 49,006,599 8.16 2,750,847 17.82
    04/30/2012 45,308,847 0.27 5,094,358 8.89


    You can see the short positions steadily dropping. With all the time it takes to get to the actual threat of de-listing, there seems to be plenty of time for the *big* shorts to exit and normal trading to resume with better and better Q reports to follow. One recent order alone, spread over two years will add ~30 units (IIRC) per quarter to shipments. Assuming other normal order flows continue, this will be enough to push margins positive I think. That will push price above $1 again.


    27 Dec 2012, 01:02 PM Reply Like
  • Johnson Controls Sees Higher Profit


    "Revenues from the Power Solutions segment is expected to increase 10% to 12%, attributable to higher battery volumes across all regions and channels, higher production in China, and increasing market demand for AGM batteries, which are used in Start-Stop vehicles. Segment margins will be around 14.6% to 14.8% due to an improved product mix and continued operational improvements.


    Johnson Controls plans capital expenditures of $1.4 billion in 2013, 80% of which will be allocated toward growth and margin expansion opportunities. The increased capital expenditures will be mainly focused on raising manufacturing capacity for AGM batteries, expansion in the emerging markets and launch of new Automotive Experience businesses throughout the year."


    "Management believes that earnings were favorably impacted by improved profitability in Building Efficiency, Power Solutions and North America Automotive Experience businesses. However, these were mostly offset by weak performance in automotive and buildings markets in Europe."

    27 Dec 2012, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • Well, I don't know if it was JCI, but someone made higher profits on me earlier today. Went to drive my car to the grocery store this morning and the battery was dead. Got a new FLA (yes, I asked if it was FLA or AGM) from AutoZone and $120 + tax later and I'm back on the road. As John would say, no one cares about the battery until it doesn't work.
    27 Dec 2012, 11:08 PM Reply Like
  • Here's the original source from Zacks ...



    including links to Zacks stock summaries instead of Yahoo ones
    28 Dec 2012, 11:50 AM Reply Like
  • It appears that all battery manufacturers were hurt by last years mild winter (warm temps). Replacement battery inventories were high into this winter. If the present winter proves harsh, Exide, JCI and the like will see increased orders as retailers replace inventory. Just the fact that AGM battery manufacturers benefit from cold/harsh winters suggests a weakness of the traditional lead/acid battery.
    27 Dec 2012, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • gezeke, Agreed that the mild winter last year was an issue for manufacturers and I saw Exide indicate that this was the case. The fact is that this would kick the can down the road so if we have harsh winter conditions in the US it could be extra good.


    Don't know how the current market is for AGM in the aftermarket because uptake is relatively new. Well more so in N.A. than Europe. I'd suspect that it will be a few more years before the AGM aftermarket matures.


    Flooded SLI batteries in my lifetime have improved significantly. Not unusual to get 7 years in a climate like the N.E. US. Not as sure about the very warm climate like Texas or Nevada as examples. I'd guess considerably less. So we had a good summer in some states for battery sales.
    27 Dec 2012, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • My mother took her Olds to the local GM dealer to get her oil changed and tires rotated. For free they offered to do a complete check to tell her if something needed to be fixed.


    We got 20" snow last Wed/Thursday so in she goes yesterday and the pitch was:
    "Hey, your battery is ok, but its pretty low. With the snow and cold winter we think you should change you battery. In fact we are having a sale on them right now."


    Yep, she bought a battery. Her old battery was 2 years old and she puts about 8k miles on it a year. I'd guess the battery was fine. She told me while she waited the 1 hour three other people came in and they all had battery issues as well and all got new batteries even though that wasn't why they were there. Might take a small trading position on Exide as my chart reading skills look like John's.
    27 Dec 2012, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • mrholty: I couldn't agree more... this battery thing is real.
    27 Dec 2012, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • Mrholty, I visit my mom enough to allow me to take care of her vehicle for her. I will not let her take it into shops because they will misguide her into changing things she doesn't need. Her 2004 Olds, which has has 15k miles on it, still has the original battery. I will change it this spring.


    About 12 years ago I looked her car over and told her everything was OK and she took it in for safety inspection. They told her it needed brakes and changed them. I was visiting a couple weeks later and I went into the shop and had a talk with them about how I looked the car over and it didn't need brakes. Then I had a little talk with them about how a few months earlier they were fined for this activity. Needless to say I exited with her money in my pocket.
    27 Dec 2012, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • Mrholty, BTW a 2 yo battery should still be under warranty.
    27 Dec 2012, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • Except if it's an Exide battery ;-)
    27 Dec 2012, 04:26 PM Reply Like
  • Yep Maya, Things are changing.


    Good ole Exide is raving about their battery improvements while removing the warranty! Yes sir, dats some great improvements. Perhaps that is why the local Pep Boys I was complaining about was installing Bosch batteries for the couple I saw sold.
    27 Dec 2012, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • IIndelco-


    How did you find out the shop was fined? I'll try that route.


    My mother can recognize most shysters and would tell a normal service station to pound sand. All 95 lbs of her. But she has a blind spot for the dealer. Her belief is that a dealer would not risk their reputation of selling cars for little old items like brakes and batteries. She won't change her mind, and while she is proud of me - she doesn't want to bother me with stuff I don't understand like cars. In our parents eyes I guess we are always 7 years old.


    Occam- Her car doesn't even have S/S. Normal traditional setup where we replaced the original battery a few years ago which was fine.
    27 Dec 2012, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • >mrholty ... One way, of several I'm sure, is to call or go on-line to the local Chamber of Commerce and/or the Better Business Bureau. They both track complaints and violations but the Chamber may be harder to get info from.
    27 Dec 2012, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • Mr.Holty, Sorry as I should have gone deeper. It was part of a chain of shops. There were enough complains evidently that they did a sting operation and the chain got caught multiple times doing unnecessary work.


    Dealerships can be just as bad. Especially the ones that are not doing so well and GM has a few of those (not all by any stretch of the imagination). You probably don't have a leg to stand on as they said WEAK battery. Well they are pretty much weaker the day after they are made.


    My biggest concern is that most batteries have a warranty in that time frame (2 years). If so, even if your mothers battery was "weak" they should have respected the path to a less costly replacement. Maybe I'm being silly in thinking all people would treat others this way. Or maybe she didn't have a warranty and they did the right thing. 2 years is just very short for the life of an SLI battery with that usage level.


    Yeah, I'm still 6 or 7 myself.
    27 Dec 2012, 05:59 PM Reply Like
  • IINDelco,
    Not necessarily, if my experience from today is any indication. As they were reading down the list of batteries that I could put in my car today I noticed that the less the battery cost the less time it was under warranty. I bought the better battery, but I did note that the next one down the list had a two year shorter warranty for a difference of $15. And there were still more choices below that, so I'm guessing some are only warranted for a year.
    27 Dec 2012, 11:15 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks LabTech.


    Yeah it depends on the brand and quality battery. Also things are changing as Maya suggests.
    27 Dec 2012, 11:37 PM Reply Like
  • Sometimes it depends on the warranty.
    In the past they would put a longer warranty on a battery for more money up front.
    Same battery different warranty.
    28 Dec 2012, 12:52 AM Reply Like
  • JP wrote the following last week: "The recent actions of Exide and JCI evidence a dawning realization that the micro-hybrid revolution will require more robust and more costly energy storage systems than automakers are used to buying."


    I've wondered if this dynamic could change this coming year in which a "dawning realization" becomes a "jarring realization". It seems the potential is there, but it may just be wishful thinking on my part.
    27 Dec 2012, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • OT - Kickalicious (way cool)

    27 Dec 2012, 05:07 PM Reply Like
  • Excellent vid Wayne. Just goes to show how different people are good at different things. You ought to see how fast I can make 12 beers disappear!
    28 Dec 2012, 11:10 AM Reply Like
  • It seems Nissan has caved in on the battery degradation problems.
    ( To present mostly heat related.)


    Breaking: Nissan Now Offically Warranties Battery Capacity To Stay Above 70%



    It has been no secret that Nissan LEAF batteries in the more hotter climates of the United States (think Phoenix, Arizona) have been wilting (for lack of a better term) under the pressures of operating in extreme heat.
    Several months ago Nissan took in several LEAFs that had lost several “bars” of range, and formed a task force promising to resolve this issue.
    Now the results are in.
    This morning, Andy Palmer, executive vice president at Nissan, through an intermediary at, broke the news that Nissan would now be warranty all LEAFs to hold a charge of at least 9 (out of 12) bars of battery capacity for 5 years or 60,000 miles.
    9 bars is roughly equal to 70% of original pack capacity.


    According to Mr. Palmer:
    “Today, we are announcing that we are enhancing the warranty coverage of the battery system that powers the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle. With this action, Nissan becomes the first and only manufacturer in the automotive industry to provide limited warranty coverage for battery capacity loss for electric vehicles.


    Under an expanded New Electric Vehicle Limited Warranty, Nissan will protect against capacity loss in LEAF batteries that fall below nine bars, of the available 12 bars displayed on the vehicle’s battery capacity gauge, for the first five years or 60,000 miles in the United States, whichever comes first. For LEAF vehicles whose batteries have fallen below nine bars during this period, Nissan will repair or replace the battery under warranty with a new or remanufactured battery to restore capacity at or above a minimum of nine bars.
    A vehicle whose battery has nine remaining bars indicated on the gauge is retaining approximately 70 percent of its original battery capacity. This new limited warranty coverage remains subject to the other terms, conditions and exclusions of the Nissan New Electric Vehicle Limited Warranty, which otherwise remain unchanged.”
    The new warranty will apply to all 2011, 2012 and 2013 models, and goes into effect in the spring of 2013. Why the spring? Nissan says it needs the time to formally notify each existing customer (as is necessary by regulation in some areas/countries), and to “insure that every dealer is prepared to welcome and assist a customer when they arrive at the dealership.”


    Mr. Palmer also stresses that for most owners, they will never need to utilize this warranty.


    “Our actions today are intended to put customer minds at ease regarding the topic of battery capacity loss. Even though it is expected the great majority of owners will never have to use this enhanced warranty, we want each Nissan LEAF owner to have the security that should capacity loss exceed this defined threshold, Nissan will cover the repair or replacement of their battery under warranty.”


    To read all of Andy Palmer’s statement (and to view a short Q&A about the warranty program) we encourage you to check out this thread at
    27 Dec 2012, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • I'm just curious ,if anybody knows, but what would the range be for a Leaf battery at 70%?
    27 Dec 2012, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • Looks like they removed it from their website, but I think highway range (65mph) on flat ground with a/c was about 70 miles. So, 70% is 49 miles. Slower, you go farther.


    The formerly advertised claim of 100 miles was removed by the regulators as misleading.
    27 Dec 2012, 07:57 PM Reply Like
  • Rick,
    It sounds like removing the claims was a good idea.


    I liked your rebuttal arguments as to some of the non-academic claims being made on other articles. I find it interesting that others attack the math of certain statements. How does one argue math without a math answer? I simply find the discussions interesting, although unconvincing.
    27 Dec 2012, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • I found this range estimator at the Nissan USA site that forecasts approximate driving range based on sets of stated variables. Don't know if this is exactly what you're looking for.

    27 Dec 2012, 08:43 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist, thank you for the compliment. Whenever somebody believes 0 = 1, they can have all sorts of creative solutions (hallucinations).
    28 Dec 2012, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    Something else to consider. Li Ion batteries should not be fully charged nor discharged on a regular basis. 80% is the normal maximum charge (Both Tesla and Leaf recommend 80%.) and about 20% should be about the bottom. Both cars can go beyond this, but as a general rule, this is what the companies recommend.
    From 73 mi. you have 43.8 if you care about saving the battery. Nissan expects degradation to be quicker at first and slower later.
    say 10% the first year. 36.5 with 30% loss 21.9 or 51.1 in range mode. Many people on the mynissanleaf forum have increased their depth of charge as their range decreased. (Speeding the process.)
    Basically it's a short distance car unless you have access and time for recharging.
    The 2013 model is expected to go a bit farther but with the same percentage limitations.


    It's been suggested on the forum that there will be a prorated cost if you abuse your battery with over charging taking the charge too low etc. Details are not yet out. It's supposed to start in March 2013 IIRC. but details such as prices may not be available until afterwards.


    The heat problems are expected to continue to be a problem in the 2013 models.
    27 Dec 2012, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • Some local "on the ground" realizations about the wonders of wind.


    This just in:
    JOHNSON VT. — The board of directors of the state’s second largest utility wants a moratorium on renewable power supply
    mandates. Vermont Electric Cooperative’s board voted eight to one Thursday with one abstention in support of a resolution calling
    for a two-year moratorium that reflects the opposition and concern about wind energy projects as well as the overall need to
    study impacts of other higher-cost renewable sources.
    The board discussed concerns about impacts on costs and reliability from intermittent power sources like wind and
    higher-priced solar energy. The board addressed grid instability and human health impacts “as Vermont moves to adopt higher levels of renewable resources.” The VEC board also recommended that a statewide panel be formed, representing
    all stakeholders including utility customers, to be involved in developing a renewable energy transition plan. The board directors also discussed
    the concern about whether the electricity grid could accommodate renewable
    projects in excess of 20 percent of power supply needs in Vermont.


    Some background & personal observations:
    VT. has an ambitious plan to have 20% renewable power generation by 2017. We have 2 huge wind projects in the Northeast Kingdom online and they've been incredibly divisive to communities. Rabid alt-energy types are saying we MUST have wind to reduce fossil fuel consumption and save the planet; versus neighbors complaining of ruined ridge-lines, bird & bat mortality, health effects, higher power cost, etc.
    Personally, I love the wind generator on my boat, but HATE looking out my kitchen at 16 HUGE towers (112 Meter Rotor Dia., 84M Hub Height, complete with FAA approved strobes) where once was
    pristine mountain view. The big joke in Craftsbury is the things are almost never spinning. Our views are destroyed, & our rates have gone up, what a deal ....
    Project website:


    The governor & ultra-liberal legislature wants to streamline the permitting process, (they are the same ones who "mandated"
    the 20% by 2017). There was a defeated bill last session to put a moratorium on new projects for 3 years to actually see the results of the current projects. "The planet can't wait that long" was the response .....
    Perhaps economic reality will help us this session .....


    I'm not completely anti-wind, but it's hard to get excited when my power bill has gone up 20%, and almost every time I look, the windmills aren't spinning.


    I see no reason to rush to build more without a cost/benefit based on the existing installations. I suspect ulterior motives when projects get "rushed".... Maybe I'm just old fashioned..... (or paranoid)


    Interestingly, our power generation mix is 73% Nuclear,
    and 19% Hydro (Quebec), so not sure how much fossil fuels we're displacing with this plan.
    In next-door NH. they are running into massive resistance for building a high voltage DC power line to bring hydro-quebec power to Boston, Conn., NYC. Much of it is in existing rights-of-way.


    "May you live in Interesting Times ...."
    28 Dec 2012, 01:35 AM Reply Like
  • You know there is a problem when someone says: "The planet can't wait that long". It's an emotional belief that no amount of data or supported arguments can quickly change.
    If investment in standby supply is not made, once 20% of electricity is generated by wind, I wonder which 20% of business and residential users will be willing to do without.
    28 Dec 2012, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • CO3: Try and find out where the rabid "windmill power" elected advocates are getting their campaign money from. GE, for example, is big into wind power.
    28 Dec 2012, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • Another Pike position on energy storage?

    28 Dec 2012, 01:50 AM Reply Like
  • Pike is still flogging the declining battery cost myth and until they get real about what can reasonably be expected in battery technology they can't possibly get the landscape right.
    28 Dec 2012, 02:12 AM Reply Like
  • Completely OT -


    As its the end of the year I am reviewing my other investments.


    To have an investment in AXPW one probably agrees with John's belief that Moore's Law will not happen in this area as the physical costs of battery is 70% of the total cost. Moore's law relates to ability to increase IP such CPUs.


    One of my other investments has been based on the belief that SSD (flash memory) will not overtake HDD (hard disk drive). The market thesis until recently was that HDD would have no pricing as SSD would follow Moore's law and eventually become as cheap as HDD. Additionally, the markets were assuming that as more people switch to mobile devices (tablets, phones) and laptops that run off the cloud there will be less demand for storage. I believe that to be false as its just shifting where the info is stored. Over the past several years HDD storage costs have decreased on a unit basis by 40% but storage demand is up by 50% so the market has been growing. If HDD can keep a 10x cost advantage over SSD I can think of HDD like a PbC battery and SSD like a NiMH or LiOn battery. Good for some uses and custom projects but the lions share will stay in HDD.


    We have such a diverse group of people on here and when looking at the rest of my portfolio it surprised me that my thesis is similar to the battery story in that Mr. Market is buying the hype that may never come.
    28 Dec 2012, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • I don't want to argue about your investment thesis on SSD vs HDD but I will share my experience with the devices.


    A couple years ago I bought a MacBook Air with a 128 GB SSD and it was the most blazingly fast boot and load I've ever seen. For me it was love at first use and as soon as a 500 GB SSD was available for my workstation I was in the store writing a pretty hefty check to buy one. I'm a nutcase when it comes to hardware, but I'll never buy another computer without SSD.


    The coolest solution I've seen so far is Apple's new fusion drive which pairs 128 GB of SSD with 1 or 3 TB of HDD.
    28 Dec 2012, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • John-


    Thanks for the comment. I do appreciate it. You comment about the MacBook Air is actually what had me thinking about this. You've often cited the fact that hybrid market is about 3% of the worldwide (?) market and Mac's are a premium product with about 5% of share.


    Currently SSD are about 10x more expensive than HDD and on the storage materials side both are following Moore's law. The problem with the thesis is 10 years ago SSD were 250x and as recently as 2 years ago were 20x. The problem is that the non-storage part of the costs are coming down faster on the SSD, narrowing any gap from that HDD is able to maintain.


    My investment isn't directly in the HDD but in HTCH, the supplier of the suspension assemblies for HDD. They are one of 3 suppliers. As I've watched the storage market moving to the cloud I see nothing that says that the cloud is switching to SDD. Once that happens I'm done with the thesis but I'm willing to hear others views.
    28 Dec 2012, 04:22 PM Reply Like
  • Good point mrholty!


    I'm an inveterate early adopter and when it comes to my computer hardware I'm as far out in a different space as the Tesla fanboys.


    I suppose the difference is I know most would think my choices extravagant and while I can justify (rationalize) almost anything when it comes to business equipment, my choices are only right for me and the rest of the world doesn't care about having enough processing power to animate The Hobbit.
    28 Dec 2012, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • Hi everyone:


    10 money-making investment ideas for 2013



    I like this point:


    9. Technology plugs in:


    Technology stocks came under pressure late in 2012, but the sector’s oversized exposure to non-U.S. markets could work in its favor next year, according to Merrill analysts. Tech companies also tend to have strong cash flow, little debt and some pay dividends.


    “Improved visibility on the domestic policy front coupled with signs that Europe is beginning to heal could have very positive implications for capital spending and global growth,” a Merrill research report recently concluded.


    S&P Capital IQ sees improved demand for semiconductor equipment, considered one of technology’s most cyclical areas. Turner, the strategist at Turner Investments, is bullish on Qualcomm Inc. /quotes/zigman/77257/q... QCOM -0.13% based on its dominant share of the tablet computing market.


    Turner also favors Apple now that the shares have been beaten down some. “The risk- reward is quite compelling,” Turner says. “Where else are you going to find 25% growth rates for 10 times earnings?”


    This is my opinion:


    No doubt: 2013 will be the year for AXION POWER PbC Tech. and what is better is be mounted on the train before it leaves the station.


    Have a good day-Carlos.
    28 Dec 2012, 08:04 AM Reply Like
  • More than 700 Energy Storage Projects are Announced or Operating around the World

    28 Dec 2012, 08:24 AM Reply Like
  • 12/27/2012: EOD stuff partially copied instablog (up later).
    # Trds: 45, MinTrSz: 100, MaxTrSz: 32000, Vol 273202, AvTrSz: 6071
    Min. Pr: 0.2781, Max Pr: 0.2938, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.2831
    # Buys, Shares: 16 88887, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.2863
    # Sells, Shares: 29 184315, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.2816
    # Unkn, Shares: 0 0, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.0000
    Buy:Sell 1:2.07 (32.5% “buys”), DlyShts 58940 (21.57%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 31.98%


    ATM looking like we might be entering “medium-term consolidation” but it's early yet. The price is staying above the former falling resistance, which would become support, and may ride it down or just goes sideways to depart from it – too soon to guess which. Price is also staying at or above my short-term descending former resistance and may ride it or depart above. As before, too soon to guess yet. Also staying mostly at and above the falling 50-day SMA, $0.2823. Volume steady and daily short sales near normal. Oscillators again mixed with some improving, some flat and some mixed.


    With the holiday right around the corner I don't feel any suggestion of movement can be drawn from all this right now. Continued sideways wouldn't surprise me.


    “Dly Sht % of 'sells'” stuff omitted from the concentrator.


    28 Dec 2012, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • An interesting opinion piece on venture cap firms and "green" companies.

    28 Dec 2012, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • Someone had asked recently if OTC stuff could be shorted. While looking for something else, I read a FAQ:


    "Is short selling allowed for OTC securities?
    Yes – short selling is allowed for OTC securities. You may find the short interest (amount of shares sold short) for specific OTC securities by selecting the “Short Sale” tab within the Quote page or by going to the OTC Short Sales page".



    That doesn't mean it *will* be shorted though, as John has pointed out several times.


    P.S. what I sought is not available.
    28 Dec 2012, 07:03 PM Reply Like
  • OT
    This is a general article which has a list of potential fraud warnings and how often they appear in fraudulent cos. for DD.
    It also has a list of warnings for potential governance issues.


    Eyes Wide Shut: Behind the Masks of Accounting Fraud
    By James A. Kaplan and Lev Janashvili



    Their web site has other free reports that might be of interest.
    I've no idea how good they are, as yet but the price is right.
    28 Dec 2012, 07:43 PM Reply Like
  • There is no doubt in my mind that the biggest drag on the economy is the US Congress. With a five day losing streak for the market as the cliff looms, what else could you blame? It is like the previous debt ceiling crisis debacle, only this time it is the fiscal cliff. Next it will be the debt ceiling.


    How can we get our fiscal house in order when some politicians would love to create a disaster that they can attempt to blame on someone else? Something is going to have to change the way Washington doesn't do its job. Perhaps its time for a "vote them all out of office" political campaign.


    Could it effect AXPW's capital raise? You betcha. Nobody knows what tax rates will be, how the economy will be effected, and who is going to possibly take big hits. Lot's of folks are going to be hanging on to cash with a death grip.


    None of which will be as a result of the actual economy at work - but rather our political system not being up to the job of managing the federal budget. A pox on all their houses!


    Maybe the best way to make money in the market today is to short any stock that will most likely be heavily effected by Washington's inability to do it's job!
    28 Dec 2012, 10:20 PM Reply Like
  • Look into "GOOOH" if interested in the idea of voting them all out of office...
    29 Dec 2012, 07:34 AM Reply Like
  • "Lots of folks are going to be hanging on to cash with a death grip"


    My running thought on this is that the best thing to do with your cash to be sure Uncle Sam can't get it is to bury it in investments that you don't plan on touching for half a decade at minimum. I think it could potentially make the market more investable rather than tradable as it has been in the recent past. I think this is what happened during Clinton's second term but I know there are people around here who know a lot more about it than I do.
    29 Dec 2012, 08:52 AM Reply Like
  • Yes. Unfortunately their "death grip" seems to be in bonds, which will eventually punish them severely. This might only apply to wealthier individuals? Or maybe also little folks that have been advised by their financial advisor to "hide" for now?


    "Ordinary folks losing faith in stocks"



    29 Dec 2012, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • Apple files new wind turbine patent: May eliminate batteries.
    29 Dec 2012, 05:57 AM Reply Like


    The wind is used to store heat, then the heat is used for the electricity generation.


    There are multiple technologies to generate electricity from heat. A start-up called Power Verde is working on a low heat organic Rankine generator, for example.


    Throw in a small methane heater and a prolonged windless period could easily be used to keep the power flowing.
    29 Dec 2012, 08:44 AM Reply Like
  • Neat. Here is a link to an article about it.

    29 Dec 2012, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting idea. It remains to be seen what the costs and efficiencies are. Just as JP has said there will be many winners in the battery industry, there will be many alternatives in grid storage and smoothing. Each will have its advantages and disadvantages. I believe the PbC battery solution will have the rapid response advantage for all technologies. It will also have the longevity and cost advantage over most battery competitors.
    29 Dec 2012, 09:26 AM Reply Like
  • Nothing new here.IMO. Maybe some technology in one of the steps is novel but the ideas are not.
    29 Dec 2012, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco: As you say. Also, unless the "low heat capacity" fluid can be kept at a high temperature (>100C) the efficiency of the heat-to-electricity conversion will be low. Possibly 10% or so. It is easy enough to calculate the theoretical Carnot efficiency, but that doesn't really matter when the temp difference is less than 100C.
    Then, the need for larger machines to extract the same power becomes a problem of capital cost.


    My point; unless something really clever is involved that isn't visible in the basic concept, I don't see the idea as being very useful. Unless we run out of natural gas or want to "prove something" and hang the expense.
    29 Dec 2012, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • Without any supporting data, I am highly skeptical. Even using high heat (over 1000 deg, using coal) conversion of heat to electricity is only about 30-40% efficient. Lower temperatures are less efficient, and require substantially more capital equipment per kw. There would also be losses converting rotational energy to heat, pumping the heat transfer liquids, etc.


    Storing heat for later conversion to electricity has been tried many times with thermal solar plants. The capital expense, cooling needs, and maintenance have been uneconomic/ Even with substantial subsidies many plants have shut down before the end of their projected lives. Useful thermal storage has been a huge challenge.


    Current generators convert rotational energy to electricity at over 90%. (Note: The Betz limit of 59% refers to converting wind into rotational energy, and applies to both conventional turbines and Apple's patent. I am discussing the efficiency from rotating shaft onwards.)


    There must be something I am missing.
    29 Dec 2012, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • It would have some added stability, but the cost and complexity strikes me as too high a price to pay.
    29 Dec 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like


    Stretching Trucks’ Mileage
    The tail alone can improve fuel economy by up to 6.6 percent at 65 m.p.h., Mr. Smith said. That number agrees with the upper end of the range of theoretical results projected in the national laboratory’s report.


    “There’s no doubt that they work,” said Steve Phillips, senior vice president for operations at Werner Enterprises, a transportation and shipping company based in Omaha. Mr. Phillips said his company was still in the testing stage, however, with about 134 of the company’s 23,000 trailers outfitted with TrailerTails. He estimated that the tails, which cost about $2,200 each, would pay for themselves in fuel savings within a year.
    29 Dec 2012, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • Having some trouble with that link, but found this March 2011 article on the subject:

    29 Dec 2012, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • Catching up on some paperwork, I found this curious "reminder" from PECO (Philly Electric Company).


    "PECO moves to one generation rate for customers not shopping with a competitive supplier."


    So what the heck does this mean? More...


    "As you are probably aware, as part of the Pennsylvania Electric Choice, several changes occurred recently that impacted your electric bill. All utilities are moving to single prices for the electricity used by customers."


    Single prices soon to be offered? How does this affect the PowerCube, and Rosewater, with in front of the meter future return on investments based on intraday pricing spikes? Are the utilities uniting to basically shut down the very entities and ideas that FERC is promoting?


    More... "As part of this process, in January, PECO will complete the phase out of the generation discount on its residential heating (RH) rate, the rate used for the use of electric heat during the winter months.


    "PECO's off-peak (OP) rate, the similar discount for the electricity used by certain appliances -- typically a water heater -- during specific times of the day, will be discontinued.


    "Beginning in January, PECO also is eliminating the higher rate charged to customers for increased usage during the summer months. The result of these changes is that all PECO residential customers, who are not shopping with a competitive supplier, will pay a SINGLE FLAT RATE." (<---- caps are my emphasis)


    Most certainly, PECO is suffering a hit from other competitive suppliers. I average about three phone calls a day to my home land line from such suppliers vying for my account. But, there could be more to this, as PECO, and "all utilities," are going toward a flat rate service, which looks like to me they are preempting home owners, especially high end homeowners, or condo tower associations, who use electricity for heating and air conditioning, from buying something like a PowerCube for not only back up power, but also eliminating any return on investment because of the coming new flat rate pricing.


    Would love to hear Joe Pic's and Mario Battero's spin on this development, as well as TG's.


    Surely others of you will have more impact and understanding of this development than I, but it sure does seem like the behind the curtain reason why PECO is switching to a flat rate is NOT solely because of competitive alternatives, but rather to thwart homeowners from using renewable concepts with the idea that they could sell power back into the grid when pricing spikes occur.
    29 Dec 2012, 11:36 AM Reply Like
  • I'll bet you a nickel they're not doing that with commercial customers.
    29 Dec 2012, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • This all seems counter productive to smart grid concepts which are looking to educate and offer incentives to power users for efficiency measures and time shifting/reducing electric use during peak periods.


    And I wouldn't take John's nickle bet. I'll keep my nickle, Thank You very much.
    29 Dec 2012, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • In my state of Illinois, many cities, including my home city of Aurora ( 4th largest in the state) have negotiated rates with "alternative suppliers" that last for several years. It was on the ballot, and then you had to opt out not to get the reduced rate. I believe it was just on the ballot in Chicago, but I don't think the provider has yet been selected.


    3rd largest city of Naperville (right next door to Aurora) has had their own power department for many years. I believe they "resold" ComED power, but at their negotiated rate. They're also recently made a strong push to mandate smart meters which has turned into a bit of a political firestorm.


    Chicago Voters Approve Bulk Power-Buying Plan
    November 7, 2012 4:01 PM



    Many suburban residents power tripping
    Lower electric bills are the norm across the region, as community-wide "electric aggregation" rates kick in across the suburbs
    September 20, 2012|By Andy Grimm and Ashley Rueff, Chicago Tribune reporters



    I have a friend who "in the biz" of signing individuals up for these types of services, and he was not happy when the cities got involved!


    I think Illinois was among the leaders on this, but it seems to be sweeping the nation.


    Can't wait to see the stories on the Chicago negotiations :-)
    29 Dec 2012, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • Wtb: excellent articles. Makes me wonder how that affects the storage market demand. I suspect no simple answer because a potentially lower demand effect in a lower-rate area might be offset by a storage need in the local grid or even the at generation source. Is it likely that FERC's pay for performance incentive for regulatory services could reduce demand for such as the PowerCube?


    Don't know, just trying to envision various long-term outcomes from a spread of such reduced costs, through various means.


    One thing seems certain though - regardless of lower pricing the capital upgrade deferrals and grid stability issues will still be here for the grid operators so we should still see a substantial market in that venue. That might still leave a good ROI on behind the meter PCs for larger installations if the grid operator(s) are smart about it.


    29 Dec 2012, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • "Most certainly, PECO is suffering a hit from other competitive suppliers. I average about three phone calls a day to my home land line from such suppliers vying for my account. But, there could be more to this, as PECO, and "all utilities," are going toward a flat rate service, which looks like to me they are preempting home owners, especially high end homeowners, or condo tower associations, who use electricity for heating and air conditioning, from buying something like a PowerCube for not only back up power, but also eliminating any return on investment because of the coming new flat rate pricing."


    PECO has apparently used a vastly different tariff system than anything I have experienced personally and is apparently moving to still another tariff system I have not experienced. I have always been billed on either a flat rate set for a season or billed on a tiered pricing system with higher rates charged for that portion of power supplied above the next lower tier threshold.


    I would take PECO's claim that all electric companies are moving to single prices for electricity supplied to consumers. That may be the case for electric companies in Pa but it is not true in MD. Billing rules are set by State regulators and utility responses to FERC regulations may not be the same across State lines. Currently, BGE (which is my power distribution company) offers power to residential users at one "Standard Offer Service" rate ($0.08964/kWh) that applies from Oct. 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013. June 1, 2013 the "Standard Offer Rate" rises to $0.10474/kWh and will remain at that level through September 30. We pay an alternative supplier a lower price per kWh because 1) it is lower that SoS price and 2) we pay a charge per kWh for the opportunity to use an alternative supplier whether we do or not.


    BUT, the effective rate we pay per kWh is not fixed at any time of year because of monthly variability in one or more of three other "charges" or "fees" assessed monthly. One of those fees is a "distribution charge" per kWh which is a likely candidate to reflect variation in FR costs. With no change in billing rates for power supplied, our effective cost per kWh in December was $0.0016/kWh higher than it was in November.
    29 Dec 2012, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • Here's a company that claims that their product runs at the Betz limit. When they were still "WindTamer" they claimed they were above the Betz limit. All of the locally installed 4.5 level systems that were installed when they were making the super efficiency claim disappeared shortly after installation for some reason. As did their CEO/inventor.


    Could be they are close to that a wind tunnel.


    Now they install energy storage systems that incorporate wind and solar. They seem to have some contacts in the government. Probably carry over relationships as a large faction of their management came from Ultralife (ULBI). They also partnered with GE for using the Durathon battery. I was amazed when that was announced. Perhaps another sign of the tie in with the government.

    29 Dec 2012, 11:50 AM Reply Like
  • Ahh, yes, the Arista megaphones....


    The tried to cheat on their specifications by only measuring the blades, not the funnel diameter. To take an extreme, if you have a 20 meter diameter funnel concentrating the wind onto a 1 meter turbine, you will get more power than a free standing 1 meter turbine. However, the Betz calculation is supposed to include the shrouding (duh).


    However, even with their "miscalculation" I remember reading that they still failed miserably, and never got close to producing what they claimed. Also, I read of multiple failures (shroud falling off or disintegrating, pole falls, burnt out generators, etc.). They had one goofy video back then with a shrouded turbine mounted on a pickup truck and driving it around to "prove" some piece of nonsense about their output.


    A fundamental challenge with a shroud is that there is no way to reduce its windage in storms.
    29 Dec 2012, 01:20 PM Reply Like
  • 12/28/2012: EOD stuff partially copied from my instablog (in an hour or so).
    # Trds: 73, MinTrSz: 100, MaxTrSz: 32600, Vol 348380, AvTrSz: 4772
    Min. Pr: 0.2800, Max Pr: 0.2937, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.2870
    # Buys, Shares: 45 186100, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.2906
    # Sells, Shares: 28 162280, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.2829
    # Unkn, Shares: 0 0, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.0000
    Buy:Sell 1.15:1 (53.4% “buys”), DlyShts 2500 (00.72%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 1.54%


    On the traditional TA front, not much has changed. Volume hangs in at my 25-day average, ~342.7K; price range compression continues; the $0.271 low of 12/14 seems secure since lows have been trending higher (most apparent on my instablog charts); we have four consecutive days of closes above the former descending long-term resistance, suggesting we have indeed had a “break out” of the falling trading channel, likely into a (now developing?) medium-term consolidation; most oscillators I follow are maintaining, predominately, a neutral attitude with a couple showing a slight positive bias and a a couple showing a slight negative bias.


    It looks like DRich's notice of the long-term improvement in MACD is about to make a “bullish call”, as the histogram has now improved to almost exactly neutral and a cross of the signal line above it's average appears imminent. As with any indicator at such a stance, adverse moves with good volume could reverse that near-term though. But I've not seen anything that suggests that's likely in my stuff – in fact, just the opposite. I think the worst is that we may have, indeed, entered a medium-term consolidation and the MACD cross would be delayed and the histogram would remain predominately neutral for a while.


    On my experimental stuff, notable today is the, again, very low percentage of short sales. ATM I'm thinking that the frequency with which we see the same market-maker(s) “jumping to the top” (ATDF being the most common, but not the only one) on both sides of the trade is the near-term cause of this. This seems supported by the fact that three of the top four most active on OTC Market's most active list are our “nemeses”.



    Since this is a daily listing, it might be interesting if we tracked them daily.


    FYI, here's the daily short sales volumes seen beginning with 11/26, in thousands.


    173.70 119.27 88.37 18.50 19.35 30.73 14.46 20.77 39.62 115.00 3.71 33.00
    13.40 8.34 26.73 194.20 45.50 79.93 15.40 17.20 31.00 106.19 58.94 2.50


    John sent me a note regarding his long-term tracking of short sales statistics and noted we've had an almost two-sigma deviation from past behavior. That prompted me to look at my stuff and notice that the long-term linear trend line has transitioned from a slight positive bias to a slight negative bias. Even when I tested it with log, power and exponential calculations it's apparent that no upward bias exists any longer. This fits with my statement long ago that the volatility was leaving that metric. I expect this will continue at least until we see volumes surge with strong price moves. My belief for the long-term is that we'll see that metric mimic other stocks I follow, but not until “the dust settles”.


    Regardless of all that, if my interpretation of the meaning of “Dly Sht % of 'sells'” stuff is correct, we continue to see John's suggestion that the “big uglies” (sellers) are no longer present apparently confirmed. For a more extensive view of this, see my instablog. Here I just show August onward, when I thought these data began supporting John's thoughts that they might be getting exhausted.


    Aug Avg: 113.91%, min: 0.00%, max: 899.39%
    Sep Avg: 56.67%, min: 3.01%, max: 252.39%
    Oct Avg: 85.05%, min: 11.45%, max: 565.73%
    Nov Avg: 51.96%, min: 3.53%, max: 259.67%
    Dec Avg: 40.00%, min: 1.54%, max: 258.33%


    Today's volume is right at the 25, 50 and 100-day averages level, which is surprising since I thought volume might be low during this EOY holiday period. If we presume that many potential retail investors are not heavily trading during this period it raises the question of who causes the volume? Maybe there's a clue in the average trade size, which is again at the lower end of what I believe is retail size? Maybe our list of most active market-makers above is a clue? Unfortunately any guess would be just that.


    Price continues to hold up well near-term: $0.2852, $0.2838, $0.2892, $0.2804, $0.2915 and $0.3316 showing for the 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 200-day averages respectively. As time passes I gain more confidence that the $0.27-$0.28 range seems to have put in the bottom of the re-trace at the $0.271 low of 12/14 because our lows have been trending higher as well. This is easy to see on my instablog charts.


    Last, my buy:sell experimental inflection point calculations continue to show improvement. I'll have some short-term numbers for them after Monday's trading, which BTW will be an abbreviated trading day - maybe not the best time to take a snapshot of those numbers.


    A longer discussion of these is omitted here, along with the full listing of the “Dly Sht % of 'sells'”.


    29 Dec 2012, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • CORRECTION: I forgot to say click on the sort by share volume on this link.



    29 Dec 2012, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • As we sit here in the midst of a news blackout from Axion it is a time that will try all stockholder's patience. Some are hoping a "White Knight" strategic investor will come to the rescue. Others are hoping a sales announcement will be made by Axion that will lift the PPS before the coming capital raise.


    TG raised expectations with the regrettable "300% YOY sales Increase" remark that did not come to pass. Then hopes were raised again by the search for a strategic investor. That was followed by an expected announcement from a trucking customer before year-end which hasn't materialized either.


    Vani raised APC hopes at the Hub introduction show by stating he expected sales announcements before year end. Perhaps Epower qualifies for that statement, but it has had no significant impact on the price.


    Contrary to many on the APC I have not been particularly upset about the NS delays. I presume the 999 will eventually be completed and perform well, but presumably not in time to lift the PPS before the capital raise.


    So what can we look forward to happening? Beats the hell out of me. Somebody please bake me a huge hopium cake and deliver it as soon as possible. Come the middle of February, if a capital raise hasn't already resulted an further PPS erosion before I act, I am going to have to make a huge fish or cut bait decision. I am not as concerned about my losses now as I am keeping what's left on the table from going in the trash heap. It will be a daily decision process for me from now until the end of Q1 2013.l
    29 Dec 2012, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • >bangwhiz ... Frustration abounds. All announcements & news that see the light of day seem to cast a shadow and turn into a Groundhog Day event.
    29 Dec 2012, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • Bang,
    It is frustrating as we have held stock for a long time. So I went ahead and had the cake sent to Ga in time for New Years..
    29 Dec 2012, 08:33 PM Reply Like
  • Alas, bang, you and I find ourselves in the same boat. My patience is growing thin as well and it looks like that light at the end of the tunnel just may be an on coming train!
    29 Dec 2012, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • I overlooked the "Fasten your seat belts" comment. I am certain we are free to move about the cabin at the moment but I better keep a paper bag handy for any sudden downdrafts.


    TG is developing a huge credibility gap with me after 12 months of raised expectations with utterly no follow-through. Axion's being "chastised" by its most important active customer (NS) for putting words in their mouth was a stupid mistake that is inexcusable to me also. Nothing like fumbling the ball in your own end-zone.


    I sure would like someone to contradict my impressions with facts.
    29 Dec 2012, 11:54 PM Reply Like
  • Perhaps in my frustration (although my lack of credibility remark stands) I have overlooked the impact of the holidays on anything uncompleted before they started. Nothing gums up decisions and announcements more than Christmas and New Years. Throw the cliff mess on top of it and nothing is going to happen except Santa and booze sales.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:22 AM Reply Like
  • Hi Bangwhiz, interesting post. In it you seem to list a lot of reasons to hang tight. Perhaps that's just the part I want to see however, as that's my own orientation. I remain optimistic. Lots of coals in the fire with high probability of one to several of them delivering this coming year.
    30 Dec 2012, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • As a General Statement about the Economy.


    Sometimes I feel that I read to much or overthink things to much. My Daughter is a manager at a Barnes and Noble Boookstore. She tells me that X-mas sales were not that great. Sales reports seem to indicate she is right. Not a growth Christmas for the holidays.


    All Americans will be subject to a tax hike, payroll tax increase, and less government spending on Jan. 1st, due to no deal on the fiscal cliff.


    Now those items tend to get me to believe that ,as a rule, Americans are more careful in their spending( frugal) and that they will continue to be more careful.


    But I witnessed something today which calls that into question. I stopped by the local car dealer today that was having a promotion. The parking lot was packed. The manager showed me the sales board. 50 cars sold today. 20 sold each of the last four Saturdays.


    Promotions do draw customers ,he said. "But when the public holds back nothing gets them to buy cars."


    Just saying, don't get caught up in the hype of doomsday. People are still spending money. The economy will keep growing.


    Axion is still sitting in the cat bird seat for efficiently priced energy storage and saving its customers money.
    29 Dec 2012, 08:45 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist> There is a popular perception among car buyers that the last days of December are the most advantageous time to buy a car. One of my daughters bought a Ford Flex a couple of days before Xmas.


    Another daughter who is a manager at the Limited in a major DC area mall didn't jump up and down about her Xmas sales either.


    I don't know what it is going to take but we've got to find a choke collar that works on the congress to end this federal budget farce. I wish we had a "no confidence" voting mechanism like the British, although I don't know exactly how it works. I just wish we could pull the trigger now and not have to suffer two more years of this BS.
    29 Dec 2012, 11:35 PM Reply Like
  • Bang, For new car buyers the best time can be to watch inventories of the car you want and buy the type of car you're looking for as a "new year old model". Not always so great if you're the type that needs a new one every 3 or 4 years though as it comes off the back end as well. Or for a used car wait until the New Year and it's a year older but not functionally. I have always waited until the EOY and watched the manufacturer rebate sites and monitored the trade groups "days of inventory" monthly figures.


    BTW, I saw a few years back that there are people that specialize in car buying you can hire. I would guarantee that this would be the way to go for many people.


    A few years ago I was fortunate that my mothers washing machine failed just before Christmas (made it easy). Took her to Sears and I smiled when the salesman said "We have the year old models over here at a deep discount".


    Can't imagine what the neighbors would have thought if they saw the year old model. There it is again <snark>.
    30 Dec 2012, 09:17 AM Reply Like
  • As a contrasting point, family members report sales of very high end gemstone jewelry and caviar are both way, way up this December.
    30 Dec 2012, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • Nothing warms the cockles of my heart like a good deal that beats everyone else's good deal - even though I've put 10,000 kilometers on my car searching for that good deal.


    I habitually buy car tires from a guy named Guido who sells much cheaper than the other tire places - and there are no bullet holes in them. Something about his name is enticing as well.


    Not sure if the cheapskatedness applies to everyone on this board, but maybe this is reflective of our mentality as investors also.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • Metro (LOL). Although I have adjusted my search area with the cost of gas.


    In the US the best way to buy tires that I've found in many cases is on line via services like Tire Rack. Dropped at your front door and you go get them mounted. I think they also have agreements with some shops where they drop them at the shop so it's invisible to you. I've seen about 30% savings with free delivery and no screwing around. Take them to the local place nearby and they mount and balance them for 17.50 USD each.


    Sorry Guido. (Can he trace my IP address?)


    As for using this method on the investment side. Who knows. We may end up paying for that Pavlovian induced habit with Axion as John has suggested.
    30 Dec 2012, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: I used Tire Rack for my sporty-car tires and saved quite a bit. Also did the same (Shock Warehouse or something like that) to get Koni's when the OE stuff wore out.


    30 Dec 2012, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • They must be about to reach an "inflection" point.
    30 Dec 2012, 12:24 AM Reply Like
  • Interesting patent lawsuit judgment against Marvel Technology ... wonder if this is the future of energy storage/power control electronics.

    30 Dec 2012, 01:20 AM Reply Like
  • You missed an L on Marvell...


    I was thinking there was a law suit involving superhero capabilities...
    30 Dec 2012, 02:00 AM Reply Like
  • Fisker's insurance company has apparently rejected their claim for the 338 Karma sedans destroyed by Sandy. That kind of a hit could be very bad news.

    30 Dec 2012, 01:38 AM Reply Like
  • Good thing the court system and lawyers will get this cleaned up quick. Or maybe cash flow is not a problem. What's the word? <Snark>
    Yes, from the "urban dictionary".
    Combination of "snide" and "remark". Sarcastic comment(s).
    30 Dec 2012, 08:56 AM Reply Like
  • Sounds like a case my firm would take. Assuming the cars were actually covered, I imagine Fisker will prevail. However, any hit in the short term could be damaging ...


    PS - Not surprisingly, two local defense firms and at least one local plaintiffs' firm are opening new offices in New Jersey.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:46 AM Reply Like
  • Since Fisker apparently owned the cars on both sides of the pond I suspect the issue will boil down to contract specifics and whether storage after arrival at the destination is covered by the transit policy. It could be sticky, but I don't know enough about typical insurance term for international shipments to have a view one way or the other.
    30 Dec 2012, 01:51 AM Reply Like
  • JP, I believe a lot will depend on whether or not the cars had passed customs yet. Its been a long time since I was involved in international trade, but back then once a shipment passed customs the international transit phase was done.
    30 Dec 2012, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • "I suspect the issue will boil down to contract specifics and whether storage after arrival at the destination is covered by the transit policy."


    Sounds like a case where the meaning of every word in the policy will be heavily construed. Fortunately, smarter people than me deal with those sorts of issues.
    30 Dec 2012, 02:04 AM Reply Like
  • China’s BYD Looking to Build Electric-Bus Plant in U.S.


    They may want to change the the platform designation (name) before they bring it to the US. Six hours to charge off a standard electrical outlet?? These Chinese are good. Maybe because 220VAC is considered a standard in China.


    " Called the K9 in China, the BYD e-bus is an all-electric vehicle powered by a proprietary iron-phosphate battery and boasts in-wheel electric motors. The bus has a single-charge drive range of up to 155 miles (249 km) on urban streets and close to 190 miles (306 km) under optimal highway conditions. Top speed is about 27 mph (43 km/h).


    The bus measures about 39 ft. (12 m) in length, provides standard seating for 31 passengers including the driver and has an expected price tag of between $550,000 and $600,000. It takes six hours to be fully charged using a standard electrical outlet or three hours with a fast-charging unit."

    30 Dec 2012, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • Hi ii,
    I wonder about the life of the battery.
    30 Dec 2012, 10:03 AM Reply Like