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  • Axion Power Concentrator 200: Jan. 19: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications 241 comments
    Jan 19, 2013 9:22 AM | about stocks: AXPW

    Latest News, Articles and Presentations...

    Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications -- Axion Power™ International, Inc. (OTC QB: AXPW), the developer of advanced lead­-carbon PbC® batteries and energy storage systems, announced today that it completed shipping its high-performance PbC batteries to Norfolk Southern Corp. (NS), one of North America's leading transportation providers, for use in Norfolk Southern's first all electric locomotive - the NS-999.

    Axion Power shipped the last skids that comprised this battery order to NS in late December and the batteries will be used to power the NS-999 "yard switcher" locomotive. The switcher functions in the train yard where its responsibilities include moving rail cars and assisting in disassembling and assembling various train configurations. In parallel, Axion and Norfolk Southern continue to participate in the development of an energy system for "over the road" hybrid locomotives, that will be much more powerful units that would require significantly more batteries.

    The final shipment of batteries to Norfolk Southern means that approximately $475,000 in revenue, attributable to the eventual re-commissioning of the NS-999, will be recognized in Axion's results for the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Thomas Granville , Axion Power Chairman and CEO.

    "As we move into 2013, we are excited about the further unveiling of our PbC battery in our ongoing program with NS. The PbC properties that make our battery the chemistry of choice for 'all electric' and 'hybrid electric' locomotives - long cycle life, excellent cold temperature performance, fast charge and discharge capability, high charge acceptance, self equalization of charge in large string and in single battery cells, and above all, demonstrated safe operation regardless of temperature - all of these battery property advantages play well in a variety of other markets. Our new initiatives going forward include heavy trucks, charging station applications, residential energy and buffering and storage for wind and solar," Granville said.

    PR Newswire (

    Axion Power Residential Energy Storage HUB Certified to UL, CSA Standards -- Axion receives UL certification and CSA Standards for their Residential Energy Storage HUB.

    "ePower's Series Hybrid Electric Drive - Unmatched Fuel Economy for Heavy Trucks" -- by John Petersen. Discusses the potential fuel savings for ePower's Hybrid electric drive for class 8 trucks using Axion's PbC batteries.

    "Axion Power - A Battery Manufacturer Charging Forward" -- by John Petersen. This is an excellent summation on Axion Power's history. It is a good starting point for introducing Axion Power to friends and family.

    13th European Lead Battery Conference, ELBC -- Sliderocket of John Petersen's presentation at the ELBC.

    Dr. Ender's Dickinson's Presentation on Axion's PbC -- Link to his slideshow at the 13th ELBC.

    Axion Power's 3rd Quarter Report and Press Release -- Seeking Alpha also published the transcript of the conference call here.

    RoseWater Joins Queen's University on Energy Storage Study -- Testing will determine the effects of residential energy storage systems on local power grids.

    Axion Power Weighted Moving Average Prices and Volume:

    (updated thru 01/18/2013)

    (click to enlarge)

    (click to enlarge)

    Axion Power Concentrator Comments Activity:

    (click to enlarge)
    Links to important Axion Power research and websites:

    The Axion Power Concentrator Web Sites, created by APC commentator Bangwhiz. It is a complete easy-to-use online archive of all the information contained in the entire Axion Power Concentrator series from day one, including reports, articles, comments and posted links.

    Axion Power Wikispaces Web Site, created by APC commentator WDD. It is an excellent ongoing notebook aggregation of Axion Power facts.

    Axion Power Website. The first place any prospective investor should go and thoroughly explore with all SEC filings and investor presentations as well as past and present Press Releases.

    Axion Power Intra-day Statistics. HTL tracks and charts AXPW's intra-day statistics.
    Be sure and either follow the Axion Power Host ID on Seeking Alpha or click the check-box labeled "track new comments on this article" just ahead of the comments section!
    WARNING: This is a troll free zone. We reserve the right to eliminate posts, or posters that are disruptive.


    Disclosure: I am long OTCQB:AXPW.

Back To Axion Power Host's Instablog HomePage »

Instablogs are blogs which are instantly set up and networked within the Seeking Alpha community. Instablog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors, in contrast to contributors' articles.

Comments (241)
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  • A third time champion?
    19 Jan 2013, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • Silver!


    This Two Hundredth Concentrator is one hell of a milestone and I think we all owe a big debt of gratitude to the Hosts for keeping it current, clean and relevant. They do a tremendous job moderating one of the most fascinating forums on the Internet.


    While they don't usually get much recognition for the hard work, I am very grateful.
    19 Jan 2013, 09:30 AM Reply Like
  • Yes compliments to the Axion Power Host and the original chef, Mr. Mayascribe. This is quite a community, and quite a journey, and quite a journey with a community. A very nice group to travel with indeed.
    19 Jan 2013, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • Yes! All praise to APH for the good work!


    It's not lucrative, but it requires lots of time ;-)
    19 Jan 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Bronze
    19 Jan 2013, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • Let's say I wanted to read all Concentrator comments in which "48V" was used. Is there a Search function that would allow me to do that?
    19 Jan 2013, 09:41 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund: up in the header is a link to BangWhiz's site. He has a search feature I've used several times to find obscure stuff in the concentrators.


    Use the drop-down to search just the concentrators.


    19 Jan 2013, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • Note that if you just put the term in and hit return, you just search BW's site. You have to click on the arrow and select the option to either search all the concentrators, or just the last 3 months of them.
    19 Jan 2013, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • The only way I know to do that bit of magic is to pull up the last few Concentrators one at a time and use the search function in your browser to search for "48v" and "48 volt."
    19 Jan 2013, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • It has occurred to me that I have been assuming NSC's reduction in battery count from 1,080 to 864 in re-populating the NS999 with PbCs versus original install AGMs reflected improved performance of the battery compared to conventional VRLAs. But, change in battery size might also explain or contribute to the change in battery count -- a switch to 30-HT size batteries like those used in PowerCubes.


    NS999 original equipment was the ODYSSEY Model 31-PC2150S weighing 77.8 lbs with dimensions of 13"x6.8"x9.41". This battery is presently offered on internet at prices ranging from $387.43 (+$40 shipping) to $410.17. Original MSRP was apparently $551.10.


    Group 30-HT batteries have dimensions of 13.46"x6.77"x11.95". Google search for VRLA 30-HT battery suppliers to date has only turned up the Lifeline GPL-30HT priced in the range of $410 to $462.


    Thoughts on explanation of battery count change anyone?
    Thoughts on pricing of PbC?
    19 Jan 2013, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • I suspect that it's a combination of slightly different case sizes and redesigning the racking improve air circulation and eliminate the hot spots they got with the original tray system.
    19 Jan 2013, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • Since it appears that little if any testing was done with the original batteries maybe the count was a wild assed guess?


    Subsequent exhaustive testing of the PbC would have yielded a realistic number of batteries, surely!


    I would not be surprised to find that the eventual production version of NS999 to be +- 10% of the 864 number. From my biased perspective I hope for the +.


    Re pricing, That will be down to the eventual battery manufacturer. However I hope that the electrode package per battery delivered by Axion to be above $100.00.
    19 Jan 2013, 01:20 PM Reply Like
  • The overall available shelf area is probably equivalent for the battery swap.


    Doing the math using the limiting Height of shelves:


    9.41/11.95 * 1080 = 850 batteries.
    Adjusting for the width: 850 * 6.8/6.77 = 854 batteries. hmmm. One might hypothesize that they have 14 shelves and have managed to make them all just long enough to fit one battery more/shelf.
    19 Jan 2013, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • "I would not be surprised to find that the eventual production version of NS999 to be +- 10% of the 864 number."


    Interesting thought, but in light of the extensive double redundant testing performed over the past three years I would be surprised by further change in the battery count unless NSC decides its' yard switcher locomotives need to have greater or lesser horsepower.


    On pricing of electrode bundles, $100 for enough (30 electrodes) to produce one 12V battery is in the neighborhood JP inferred from data published by Axion pre-August 2011. But, the cost likely depends on BCI Group size and may not apply to the 30HT size used in PowerCubes and (presumably) the NS999.


    Using 30HT group size as an appropriate proxy for $100 bundle pricing, weight difference between Lifeline GPL-30HT (96 lbs) and Axion's 30HT (73 lbs) suggests a C electrode bundle would replace something more 23 lbs of sponge Pb electrode in the VRLA. quotes a price of $2.29 lb for 99.9% pure lead ingot, indicates price breaks are available at 60,240,500,1000 & 2000 lbs. Applying a 20% discount for largest lot pricing gives a price ~$1.84 lb which would indicate Pb material cost reduction of ~$42 per battery. Net manufacturer cost increase for PbCs vs VRLA would be $58.


    NSC's P.O. for NS999 batteries implies a price per PbC-30HT of $463 versus $410 for lowest online price of Lifeline GPL-30HT.
    19 Jan 2013, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, EM.
    19 Jan 2013, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • Lots of truth (not new to anyone who reads JP) in the Christian Science Monitor blog post. Suggest it's a good candidate for the header and for Bangwhiz's site, and for any letter you send to your friends/relatives suggesting this or any other energy storage stock.




    "Boeing 787 battery fires underscore complexity of energy storage technology


    Boeing 787 battery fires, along with the bankruptcy of A123 systems, highlight the difficulties of making money with new energy storage technologies, Dikeman writes.


    By Neal Dikeman, Guest blogger / January 18, 2013




    Batteries are just hard. Investing in them is hard. Commercialization of batteries is hard. So why is it so difficult to make money in new battery technology?"

    19 Jan 2013, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • Great link WTB,


    It highlights a couple of things. Why Axion wants to keep its head down and mouth shut, and why they ultimately do not want to be a battery manufacturer but rather a carbon negative electrode supplier. They have the right ingredients and the right approach. Them figuring out how to make the PbC to fit in an AGM battery was essential and genius.
    19 Jan 2013, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • Wtb, I think the author has important points to make, but I found it really hard to read. The jumbled syntax and crammed together sentences full of jargon made me a bit dizzy, with my head cold.


    Needs Strunk & White or a good editor.
    19 Jan 2013, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • Wtb: Good find.


    I think, as JAK, said, it's looking like Axion's "supplier to the battery companies of the world" plan is very smart. Cuts out a couple of the more capital-intensive risks.


    Unfortunately, it looks like there's a new risk to replace it - NIH! Looks like the heavyweights will fight adoption as long as possible.


    I guess that brings the more capital-intensive risk areas back to "possible". OTOH, if automotive moves as slowly as they seem to be doing, we may not need to ramp up much - we probably have enough capacity to supply reasonable adoption rates by RRs, OTR, PC, Hub, etc.


    It's possible that cash flow from those might support slow expansion of capacity if needed, I guess. Rapid ramp requirements would be a killer.


    19 Jan 2013, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • HTL


    If BMW were to adopt the PbC do you think that the others would be far behind?


    Seems to me that if a premier auto company implemented the PbC that it would be subject to enormous scrutiny by analysts with a large number of articles, reports etc hitting the media in short order.


    If favorable our share price is on the way to the moon and the other auto manufacturers will be clamoring for Pbc batteries.


    After all everyone wants the newest, bestest, flashiest, greenist and RELIABLE technology. I know that I do, when i can afford it and of course when my wife says I can have it!!!!
    19 Jan 2013, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks WTB, I started following this industry over 20 years ago. Started out with investments in Valence and Ultralife. What's that saying about insanity?


    BTW, I can crow about one thing. I gave up on Valence and Ultralife when I was still in the green. Not many can say that. Not green enough to cover the now necessary mental health bills though. :(
    19 Jan 2013, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • We never forget that wife permission stuff.

    19 Jan 2013, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Albert: Based on what's going on, I'm discounting any public adoption by BMW in the near-term.


    19 Jan 2013, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • If that guy is carrying the "main battery", he must be Hercules.
    19 Jan 2013, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • Very cool avatar image, jakurtz. While plying the coasts of Prince William Sound during the Exxon Valdez oil spill, I would see purple starfish that made me think: "Shouldn't this fella be in the tropics?" Then I learned that the biggest of octupii are also cold-water critters.


    Somewhere I have a pic of myself with one of those sprawled out on my hardhat.
    19 Jan 2013, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks. I wish I could say I took it while snorkeling on one of my exotic adventures, but it comes from the wonderful pre-installed art world of Apple software (I needed a bottom-fishing pic in a pinch).
    19 Jan 2013, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • I would suggest a halibut for your bottom-feeder.
    19 Jan 2013, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • A halibut is a true bottom-feeder. Unfortunately, it would grossly misrepresent my bottom-feeding skills, really I should be a high-flying raptor that on occasion chances on snagging a tiny bait fish near the surface.
    19 Jan 2013, 05:02 PM Reply Like
  • I played this and my wife really got a kick out of it.
    20 Jan 2013, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • WTB


    Good link..."Lots of truth (not new to anyone who reads JP)..."


    This type of article does put the AXPW story and JPs ongoing assessments into perspective.
    Another piece of due diligence.


    20 Jan 2013, 12:20 PM Reply Like
  • Good, sober read. Thanks, wtb!
    19 Jan 2013, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • Very good read. That is why I continually question my battery investments.
    19 Jan 2013, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • Happy weekend! Bought my daughter, husband and 3 grand kids dinner last night at the end of a week of bad weather in Atlanta. Rain, gloom, oh the humanity! They looked shell-shocked from 2 hour commutes.


    I just read JP's excellent article about the bust of lithium ion batteries. I am amazed at JP's ability to suffer the fools that comment on his articles. JP must have a steel constitution. The trolls keep trying to compare the PbC against the attributes of other battery technologies while ignoring the attributes of the PbC.


    It is like comparing apples to oranges and saying oranges are no good because you can't bake a pie with them!
    19 Jan 2013, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • You can make a pie with oranges, but it's better if you use lemons.
    19 Jan 2013, 01:20 PM Reply Like
  • Orange pie might be good with a cinnamon crust and brandy. At least the brandy would make it pleasing regardless of the rest of the pie. Cointreau pie. mmmmmmmmmmm!
    19 Jan 2013, 06:27 PM Reply Like


    I couldn't believe it. Made quite a few lemon meringue pies in my day - just so weird but true that I never heard of or even considered making an orange one.


    Yes, I checked - there's also a grapefruit version!


    Thanks for the hints on searching - I'll try each of them
    19 Jan 2013, 01:59 PM Reply Like



    I'm a big fan of electron micrographs. Especially of those pesky sulfate crystals.
    19 Jan 2013, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Zowie.......... Boeing is going to get help from CORPORATE....



    "While Boeing has not contacted Argonne for its scientific and engineering expertise and support, an important reason U.S. Department of Energy research facilities like Argonne exist is to collaborate with American companies to resolve complex technical and scientific challenges that will usher in a new age in energy, energy efficiency and energy technologies."


    Argonne is establishing a research institute for battery technology that will house research from around the country in one place. Funded with $120 million from the Energy Department and a $35 million commitment from Gov. Pat Quinn, the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research is expected to develop lighter, cheaper batteries that store more power and charge faster for everything from smartphones to electric vehicles.
    19 Jan 2013, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • Boeing may not have ever had a chance to consider the Axion PbC when they were "designing" the 787.


    It's a shame that with the CORPORATE help using our tax dollars (who really want Li batteries to succeed in many ways), that free enterprise may not even get a chance to prevail by Boeing now evaluating the PbC which, best I can tell, is much SAFER AND CAN PROBABLY DO THE REQUIRED DUTY CYCLE; granted, I also don't know where the PbC can't meet the requirements of the 787 application (and the real question is, does anyone else better know????!!!!).


    And that fact could also be true for Boeing. Sad. A solution could be in their face and their eyes are not open. And Uncle will provide blinders.
    19 Jan 2013, 03:23 PM Reply Like
  • They should get help from someone who has already successfully worked with the chemistry and built large, robust battery packs that have lasted far longer than the Boeing units.


    "Maybe already under control, but Tesla & SpaceX are happy to help with the 787 lithium ion batteries. "

    20 Jan 2013, 10:25 AM Reply Like
  • What a scoundrel.
    20 Jan 2013, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • jrp3 - hey, any GOOD port in a storm......
    20 Jan 2013, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • That's $120,000,000 plus $35,000,000 from the Working People's collective hard-earned paychecks. BOOOOOOO!


    I'm a big fan of basic research efforts. No fan of government involvement.
    19 Jan 2013, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • Ed - well, as long as they are going to spend the money anyhow, I'm for spending a little of it to evaluate the PbC - whether Argonne does it, or the Boeing selecting entity, or if even Axion does it; maybe Axion can already tell them the answer. Has anyone asked????
    19 Jan 2013, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • All those tax dollars from Washington going to Chicago (Argonne or Boeing, take your pick) fly right over New Castle's Axion. Like right over the goose that lays the golden eggs.


    Axionist's looking up shout, take me, take me; give me look, give me a look.


    Reminds me of the story of the guy stranded on the island during a river flood, calling for God's help while refusing the help of the life-jacketed swimmers, the row boat, and helicopter; who when in heaven then asked God where He was when he called upon Him. Answer, I sent you the swimmers, boat and helicopter.


    19 Jan 2013, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • >nakedjaybird ... All this howling about aviation. Except for the DCA characteristic I've not seen anyone consider whether the PbC is even the right type of battery for the job Boeing is using battery power for. I rather doubt it is suitable. Are they likely to even consider it, I think it very unlikely.
    19 Jan 2013, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • Dr Rich
    It would be at least 3 years for FAA certification. There is no chance this is an opening for PbC.
    Possibly for something designed 5 years from now.
    OTOH PbC is not high on the list for small. (Size is a constraint in airlines) Nor is it good for weight constrained systems.
    The price difference is not material in a $100 million + aircraft.
    Safety and ease of use, may get us some design wins after FFA approval. That however will be years.
    19 Jan 2013, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • >froggey77 ... First, I am NOT a Doctor of anything. I'm a mechanical engineer (retired). I do have a brother that is Dr. Rich who holds 4 or 5 degrees in math & physics so I'm not sure if those even count. What bugs me is so many people seemingly ignoring what the Axion PbC is and what it is useful for. It's like people (corporations, Wall Street & media) really, really want one battery chemistry to be the "One & Only". An attitude that I feel just retards the adaptation of storage solutions.
    19 Jan 2013, 04:41 PM Reply Like
  • Yea just a mental quirk. I'm mildly dyslexic.
    "It's like people (corporations, Wall Street & media) really, really want one battery chemistry to be the "One & Only". An attitude that I feel just retards the adaptation of storage solutions."


    19 Jan 2013, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • drich - the howling is about Axion's PbC. You make my point about no one considering it for the Boeing fix.


    As for your next point, I have not seen a REASONABLE answer YET as to why the PbC should not be considered.


    When that happens, I will stop howling.
    19 Jan 2013, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • froggey - I thot I read somewhere that Boeing received a "special" consideration in it's FAA Certification. What that amounted to, I don't know.


    OTOH, if all interested parties, Boeing, airlines already owning the 787's, and even UNCLE, as well as the FAA (I would hope), decide to test and qualify JUST another battery system, one might push for as much "consideration" to accelerate where possible, yet judged Certified.


    Don't forget, if they can keep the 787's flying with say excess NiCd (or even AGM's??) onboard etc., during a PbC evaluation and Certification process, the planes still fly. And then the "better" battery is used when Certificated.


    I don't see the "no chance". That is not a reasoned answer (for me, anyhow).


    As for PbC size/weight considerations: the larger penalty is leaving the planes on the ground v/s emptying out the equivalent of a few seats.


    I agree it would take years for the FFA to certify the PbC; the FAA would be more successful and faster <:=)))))).


    Who knows what the military demands of the PbC's they may already be considering if not testing..........
    19 Jan 2013, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • AS for me, I'm most interested in satisfying the BIG Boeing problem in looking for an existing solution, not a solution looking for a problem (which is also good, when it's a real solution for the likes of the applications Axion is already pursuing). If Axion is not interested is any diversions such as Boeing's, fine. When they say that, we all stand down.


    PbC certification for aircraft and then it's actual use "proving" it being more safe than Li only greases the skids for replacing other Li where the PbC makes more sense while reducing safety risk (and just maybe better overall performance in many applications). And cheaper!
    19 Jan 2013, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • For a company like Axion the most critical market development decisions involve choosing your target markets carefully and only devoting money and talent to target markets that have enough scale to make a difference.


    My back of the napkin calculation says the batteries on a 787 have about 5 kWh of combined capacity. Wikipedia reports that there are


    7,425 737s
    1,458 747s
    1,050 757s
    1,040 767s
    1,066 777s


    Even if you assume a 100% market penetration for every airplane Boeing makes, they only need 60 MWh of batteries, the equivalent of:


    ➜ 120 NS 999 class switching locomotives or
    ➜ 2,400 ePower Class 8 Tractor retrofits.


    There is no sound business reason for Axion to waste its money, time and talent chasing a market that only represents $60 to $120 million of potential revenue for every battery replacement cycle. Ultimately that's the biggest problem WheelTug faces. It's a great idea for a very small customer base with a very long replacement cycle. It might be a good business, but it won't be a good business for a public company.


    I sincerely hope this is a good enough reason to stop talking aviation and the PbC. The game is not worth the candle and it's certainly not worth 5 or 6 years of testing and validation hell.
    19 Jan 2013, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • >nakedjaybird ... JP points out a very good economic reason. Let me add that the Li-Cobalt Boeing used points to a need for energy density, long duration power delivery. Axion's PbC is used for delivering power quickly and recovering quickly, not for delivering power over any great length of time.
    19 Jan 2013, 08:34 PM Reply Like
  • John - that's a valid Axion business reason as you present it and is good enough for me to cease and desist.


    Two points:


    It's also valid, if PbC stands to not benefit from Certification as a safety-related solution against all Li competitors in the many vehicle etc., applications of the transportation arena, etc..


    And, if Boeing comes begging for PbC at any price, even tho the KWH market is WAY to small, we stand firm, and tell them to go elsewhere (Assuming there is no price attractive enough. We are not ladies of the night). And we would certainly never practice Madison Avenue Marketing and what's indoctrinated at Harvard: "whatever the market will bear".


    As for WheelTug, the fat lady has not yet sung. Lessons remain to be learned in many ways in many places.
    19 Jan 2013, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • I'm sure that Axion's management would serve almost any industry for the right price, particularly if the industry made the pilgrimage to New Castle like BMW did. I can't imagine, however, that you'll see Granville standing on a corner near the Boeing plant waving at cars and promising a quick charge.
    19 Jan 2013, 09:03 PM Reply Like
  • I wouldn't encourage Tom's doing that either.
    19 Jan 2013, 10:06 PM Reply Like
  • I begin to wonder if jealousy is at play with the other battery manufacturers regarding using PbC. The margin is typically incredibly small for most manufacturers...Axion comes along with a product that will have a huge margin, compared to the manufacturer of the battery. The battery manufacturer says "It's my client, I make the battery and Axion makes all the money".


    If that dynamic is at play, Axion can wait it out...maybe that will work, maybe it won't (they know where they are with different cusytomers and potential customers), or develop a better split of the margin.
    20 Jan 2013, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • The plan was always to give manufacturers an opportunity to increase their margins by selling a premium product to their customers. If the whole increment goes to Axion there isn't much incentive for other manufacturers.
    20 Jan 2013, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • 1/18/2013: EOD stuff partially copied from instablog, up already.
    # Trds: 48, MinTrSz: 500, MaxTrSz: 35000, Vol 278075, AvTrSz: 5793
    Min. Pr: 0.3500, Max Pr: 0.3600, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.3530
    # Buys, Shares: 23 94965, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.3568
    # Sells, Shares: 25 183110, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.3511
    # Unkn, Shares: 0 0, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.0000
    Buy:Sell 1:1.93 (34.2% “buys”), DlyShts 20530 (7.38%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 11.21%


    Little remarkable in today's stuff. With the falling volume and narrow price spread, we might do another short-term consolidation. We've had continued rising, albeit barely, lows with reducing highs, continuing a possible banner formation. AFAICT, my new short-term rising support is still in play, but price is right on it. The high did peek above the rising trading channel resistance. Of course, we have a long weekend in play, so I don't think we can place much emphasis on this Friday behavior.


    Regardless, oscillators I watch continue mixed, with only the RSI (still “overbought”) and accumulation/distribution showing “strength”. Momentum is still positive (1.07) but weakening. The others are also moving towards neutral.


    On my experimental stuff, it's pretty much as we could expect. Average trade size in the middle of what I think is retail, daily shorts starting the now-expected move higher, albeit slowly, volume a bit below averages, buy:sell vacillating in a pattern of “return to normalcy”, and the experimental inflection point calculations are suggesting coming price weakness. As with above, a long weekend in play suggests we might not want to think too hard about this stuff.


    Details of “Dly Sht % of 'sells'” and inflection points omitted here.


    19 Jan 2013, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • I've been hanging around here too long ...


    Feeling lazy this A.M I was watching the IFC channel (Always on, slightly off - a great slogan) and "Idiocracy" came on. Hadn't seen it for a while.


    Anyway, got a chuckle when my ears perked up when Fredo (Freedo? Frito?), the dumb lawyer for "Not Sure", when asked why they stopped there, replied that he had to go buy a battery.


    They say sci-fi often predicts the future ...


    This flick has a lot of disturbing potential truths in it.


    19 Jan 2013, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting conversation from the solar guys regarding "The Hub". Shows how obscure Axion is. JMO


    I found this comment of interest. If true I'm thinking we don't have much of a clue what the heck is going on here. Rather disturbing to me, again if true.


    "I spoke to the Rosewater guy the other day. This product is designed more to condition all power coming into house and provide short term backup. It's more about quality of power. They hope to have a system more geared toward backup/storage later this spring. "

    19 Jan 2013, 04:54 PM Reply Like
  • >iidelco ... Another commenter stated he'd been following the PbC for 10 years. Obviously not too closely because he didn't really understand any difference between the Ultrabattery & the PbC or performance characteristics different from other chemistry. Still his statement that he needed more 3rd party verification of performance rings true to marketing & sales. The sad thing is that both Lead-Carbon super-capacitance batteries will seemingly only be verified by adoption into marketable products and there doesn't seem to be any hurry there.


    Both batteries toil in obscurity. Maybe 2013 will finally be the year a differentiation from AGM LA will show itself in public.
    19 Jan 2013, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco---sounds about right to me. It's not intended primarily as a huge storage device. Pending demand, maybe in addition to up to three in parallel, they will also offer a version with > 24 batteries in one unit?


    Anyway, some of the posts were wildly inaccurate. Thank goodness Rosewater is marketing the HUB to the wealthy thru their installer connections, and not directly to a bunch of kooks.
    19 Jan 2013, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, ii. Good find. The comment you quoted suggests to me that Rosewater is pretty narrowly focused on the market that want to target with the HUB. I also suspect that the Rosewater response is tacit acknowledgement of lower than expected interest in the product.


    Can anyone point to a single product sale initiated by Rosewater?
    19 Jan 2013, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting comment from Rosewater. However, most of the rest of the commentary was by the blind leading the blind.
    19 Jan 2013, 05:39 PM Reply Like
  • I thought it was up to the system designers and installers (in terms of top end homes electronics) to choose and sell the hub - not Rosewater. Rosewater is not a direct sales outfit if I understand correctly - but they will obviously provide sales and technical support to their indirect sales channel.
    19 Jan 2013, 05:43 PM Reply Like
  • " I also suspect that the Rosewater response is tacit acknowledgement of lower than expected interest in the product."


    D-Inv. How did you leap to that conclusion?
    19 Jan 2013, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • I wouldn't attempt to draw any conclusions from a commenter on a solar panel blog summarizing what he believes the HUB to be. Rosewater and Joe P. knows the type of customer and needs the HUB is intended to be used for. A guy looking to power his home with it or just a few batteries and a few solar panels is not it.
    19 Jan 2013, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • BW, I have understood that Rosewater does both direct sales and sales through distributors. AND, Picirilli (sp?) had claimed intent of personal supervision over the first 20 or installs.
    19 Jan 2013, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv, They would have to at this point. They don't have full coverage based on current relationships. So areas outside of current relationships would have to be handled internally in some fashion.
    19 Jan 2013, 06:34 PM Reply Like
  • How is it a leap to surmise lower than expected interest in a product that has no apparent sales? For a product that supposedly had customers lined up and waiting for UL cert with shipments expected in 2012 we are surely observing 'gangbusters' marketing success! (sarc)


    Publicly available information indicates one and only one HUB has been produced (by Axion) and supplied (to Rosewater Energy Group). OTOH, there is no evidence I am aware of that any Axion revenue (for any product) to date can be attributed to Rosewater initiatives despite marketing agreements in force with that group for more than two years. They did interface to some extent with ePower prior to that firm's PbC purchase in '12Q4, but did so on referral of ePower to them by JP.


    And while on the topic of revenue and marketing effort I might note that Vani Dantam has been on board very nearly a full year. If APU were shipped in December as intimated in the November CC, revenue associated with those shipments can be attributed to his efforts.
    19 Jan 2013, 06:37 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, Yes. This one commenter didn't really understand the difference between PB with C and PbC. I fear I've seen this in many articles where the two are used interchangeably.


    My one frustration would be if there was in fact some oral comments to the one poster about an impending product launch coming in the Spring that we are unaware of.
    19 Jan 2013, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. I, Need to check but I believe they can be tied together. So I would expect they can add additional battery only panels for more storage. But i this is true why available in the Spring? Anyway, I'm guessin' which is not good. Need to review the documents again.
    19 Jan 2013, 06:48 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv, No sales yet which surprises me. Thought we would have gotten one or more in short order with the UL announcement.
    19 Jan 2013, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • D-Inv: "supervision over the first 20 or installs"


    IIRC, "first few installs"?


    19 Jan 2013, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • Aren't sales reported quarterly? In 10-Q's?
    19 Jan 2013, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • billa, revenues are reported quarterly with probable discussion of notable sales not subject to NDAs. For Axion's stage of commercialization, I fully expect PR releases on sales of new, high profile products. Management has made a point of publicizing the HUB and PowerCube products AND marketing efforts with Rosewater.
    The project calls for the incorporation of Axion Power's PbC batteries, and technology know how, into a product package that offers distortion-free secure home power; an ability to store energy from renewable sources and from the electric grid; an ability to sell energy back to the electric grid; an opportunity to protect some, or all, of the residential circuitry and to prioritize these circuits. The companies, which are also working together to market PowerCubes™ for other applications, will preview the new array of products for the residential market at the CEDIA EXPO in Indianapolis during the first week of September.


    I consider PR announcement of residential HUB or PowerCube sales a very reasonable expectation.
    19 Jan 2013, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • Billa, Yes and that's the correct time to give updates normally. But when you need to raise capital in the next few months it's time to use the BOTOX and put your best face forward. A couple initial sales on your first consumer product is nice make-up.
    19 Jan 2013, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • I think Rosewater will have enough trouble staying off the rocks themselves, let alone providing enough auxiliary revenue to Axion, to be material to the bottom line. I do hope I'm wrong but the ultra high end audio/video UPS market still seems like a niche opportunity.


    Regretfully, I think the NS and BMW drums are the only sounds that will be heard by Mr. Market and those will be the things that show up in the pps, absent that we will linger below 50 cents.
    20 Jan 2013, 04:33 AM Reply Like
  • Any reason why Axion is not selling directly to the solar backup market? The high cycle life, lack of sulfation, and ability to remain at partial charge makes the PbC well suited for daily storage and night time output that a solar system requires, and the low energy density is not an issue. The HUB seems like a very narrow specialized product with low volume potential. Just sell the batteries to anyone who want's them already! A123 lost a lot of sales by refusing to sell to the millions of RC and EV hobbyists who wanted their product.
    20 Jan 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • It takes a very large marketing, distribution and customer service organization to sell products to retail buyers. When you factor in the sophistication of the control systems required to take optimal advantage of the PbC, pursuing non-OEM markets simply don't make sense at this time.
    20 Jan 2013, 10:59 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv,
    "I consider PR announcement of residential HUB or PowerCube sales a very reasonable expectation."


    I don't exactly agree. The residential HUB is just that, a "residential" sale. Axion/Rosewater could maybe post that they've sold one or a certain number periodically, but it's not like they can give the name and the address of the buyer's house they sold one to. The type of people who would be buying one of these for their house would be just the type to not want everyone to know that they have a lot of expensive systems in their house that they would need a HUB for. IMHO
    20 Jan 2013, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • Where do you see in my remark ANY suggestion of expectation HUB buyers would be identified? Why would anyone expect such information when such disclosure by buyer names by sellers of consumer products very atypical?


    Homebuilders routinely disclose numbers of homes sold without enumerating buyer names. Auto companies routinely disclose numbers of vehicles sold by month without naming buyers.
    20 Jan 2013, 11:24 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv,
    My point is that selling a residential HUB is not like selling a Power Cube to the Navy yard. Axion/Rosewater can't stand up and say, "look, so and so bought one" like so many of the demonstration sales you see for other companies. I agree that it is reasonable to have monthly or quarterly sales numbers of HUBs, but we aren't even at the end of the first month after the HUB received UL approval, so my point was that you seemed to be waiting for PR for individual sales, instead of waiting for some kind of grouped numbers.
    21 Jan 2013, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • Even without numbers, I would be happy enough "just" to read an announcement of who we're outsourcing the manufacturing to. We know they've planned for this eventuality; now we need a reason that it needs to happen now (demand) and the successful execution of the plan.


    I understand this is not "simple," but it is once again a reflection on the management doing what they're paid for, and what they said/implied they would do in a timely manner, i.e., keep their promises.
    22 Jan 2013, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • We've never had problems with management not keeping their promises. The real issue has been unreasonably optimistic shareholder expectations about what constitutes "timely." I'm as guilty as the next guy because I regularly underestimate how long something "should" take. From management's perspective there is no "should" and the only thing that matters is finishing what you set out to do.
    22 Jan 2013, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • The average talking head doesn't understand terms like SOC, charge acceptance, and cycle life. They hear voltage drop and miss the fact that the battery will recharge (in a properly designed application) long before it falls below any critical voltage level.


    Hang in there DRich (although I know you will), NS will ultimately crow about the PbC after a reasonable test of the PbC and all this misery will be forgotten.
    19 Jan 2013, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • From the LA Times: Dreamliner woes put spotlight on lithium ion battery risks



    "Because lithium ion batteries can store more energy, and discharge it more quickly, than other batteries, lithium ion cells can get much hotter than other technologies in the event of an overcharge or the external application of a heat source. Larger applications, such as the 63-pound batteries on the 787, incorporate multiple cells and the heat can spread rapidly from cell to cell, a chain reaction called "thermal runaway."


    And while other types of batteries use a water-based electrolyte in each cell, lithium ion relies on a highly flammable solvent. When heated up, that solvent tends to vaporize, spraying the burnable gas into the surrounding air. As a result, lithium ion battery fires burn extremely hot, as high as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.


    Those conditions were blamed for an explosion at a General Motors battery testing lab last April that caused $5 million in damage and sent one person to the hospital. GM said flammable gas had vented from an experimental lithium ion battery that heated up during extreme testing."
    19 Jan 2013, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • A little OT, but it IS Saturday night. How do you suppose it ended up in Iowa?


    "The US Department of Energy is giving $120m (£75m) to set up a new research centre charged with developing new methods of rare earth production."
    19 Jan 2013, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • God, the feds love to blow money! "Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand. And when we ask them how much do we give, they only say more, more, more!" It's disgusting!
    19 Jan 2013, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • But it will be really gratifying when the PbC proves its merit after the DOE effectively said "Meh." The stone that the government rejected may well become a cornerstone.
    19 Jan 2013, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • I believe the DOE is setting up the Rare Earth Metals lab at the land grant University in AMES, IOWA,
    Iowa State University.
    This ag college has one of the nations first nuclear physics labs and other interesting research center.


    But beyond all of that the Ex Govenor of Iowa, Ton Vilsack, is the current Secretary of Agriculture. That's how it happens.
    19 Jan 2013, 08:23 PM Reply Like
  • Bang,
    I happen to think the the REM issues of the future will be a very crucial element in future survival of different countries economies, in the future.
    This basic learning center is what I think Government should be doing when looking at our future. At least it isn't burying our head in the sand.


    Not trying to be political here. I really don't think that many believe basic research is not a good thing for our government to fund. But I could be wrong. Have been before.
    19 Jan 2013, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • Ames, Iowa has some of the best REE research minds in the world. It was probably the best location the DOE could have chosen because that's where the talent is.
    19 Jan 2013, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • I should have looked into this more before posting. DOE already has a materials lab there.
    19 Jan 2013, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • I considered the strategic interests of REM to the US and I suppose that warrants the investment. I just wonder how much of the 120M will go to infrastructure and applied and basic research versus reports to sit on government book shelves to collect dust for centuries.


    Maybe the US could ask the Chinese how to do successful central planning? Our version reminds me of a wheel of fortune in a casino. They could put it on TV like the lottery. "And today's winning number is Solyndra! The Pick Two winners are A123 and Ener1."
    19 Jan 2013, 09:08 PM Reply Like
  • Hi BW,
    Don't worry, the reports will sit on hard drives for about 8 years (if not deleted earlier) or until the computers are decommissioned.
    19 Jan 2013, 09:12 PM Reply Like
  • As to whether the "best minds" are there: I seriously doubt it. Why would they be? Right now industry is responding to free market forces by ramping up ex-China rare earth production. Big money is about to be made by whomever can come up with the appropriate processing and separation techniques for the mineralogy they are tasked with. The best minds go with the best money (they're not stupid).
    As to whether government should be involved: I seriously doubt that they will accomplish anything of any value in this field. They will be spending most of their time and our money on their cronies and on their re-election campaigns. Nobody can spend money like government. IMO, it's another 120 million dollars WASTED.
    20 Jan 2013, 03:20 AM Reply Like
  • It's not so often I am notified that "I already liked that comment". Just had one of those times. Irksome.


    Well said, bangwhiz, well said indeed.
    20 Jan 2013, 06:42 PM Reply Like
  • Couldn't agree more. Government doesn't do anything well if cost-effectiveness is considered.
    20 Jan 2013, 06:47 PM Reply Like
  • Alpha,
    Have to absolutely disagree. I'm not saying government is ultra efficient. In fact since there is no profit motive attached I would think it is designed not to be efficient. In fact many government programs are not designed to be efficient but rather to solve a problem that can't be approached economically.


    But I point to medicare. It provides 25% of all medical services to the country. Its less expensive administratively than any private heath insurer. I don't know what your definition of doing something well is, but my 90 year old Mom has no complaints about her health services.
    20 Jan 2013, 09:24 PM Reply Like
  • Unfortunately, I don't think you and I will be in the same position when we're 90, or for that matter 75. The government programs worked well for our parents when we boomers were contributors, but the future doesn't look very bright because there are so darned many of us. I've personally abandoned any hope of a comfortable retirement that I can't pay for with my own resources.
    21 Jan 2013, 08:10 AM Reply Like
  • You mean it's a Ponzi scheme with a twist called a printing press? If we could just get our resources to support huge population growth forever it would all work out.


    I shudder thinking about how this is going to end. You can't keep spending tomorrows wealth with too little to show for it and expect positive outcomes forever. Somewhere in the world the trigger is already cocked.
    21 Jan 2013, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • Whenever I start reviewing for teaching economic development, I am always reminded how lucky we are compared to the bottom billion for whom the round went off before it was even in the chamber. About 22 percent of the world living on less than $1.25 per day and some 2.5 billion living with income below $2 per day. Incredible.


    This is my post to contend for the JS Damp Rag Award. And not a post that has much to do with Axion - maybe that disqualifies me for the JSDRA.
    21 Jan 2013, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks, metro!
    21 Jan 2013, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • I've seen enough of the world to understand how incredibly blessed I am to have been born where I was and when I was. I don't like the conclusion, but I believe life will be much tougher for my grandkids because our last industrial revolution gave the world's poor cell phones and they're no longer ignorant. Instead they're working hard to earn a bigger piece of an economic pie that will have a hard time growing as fast as the global population.
    21 Jan 2013, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • Metro, you can have the damp raggie for shear effort.


    You can put it in Hans Rosling's washing machine for perspective


    More from him
    21 Jan 2013, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • JP: Totally agree. The only hope I see is cheap fusion energy, and I don't mean Solar Power :-(
    21 Jan 2013, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • Metro... I found some more vids by Hans and now published a blog with all of them so you can find them whenever the damp rag needs a wash
    21 Jan 2013, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • SHB: there's other options: thorium and various other liquid salts reactors that are both cheap and safe if one can dislodge the vested interests in the current "razor blade" model of nuclear generation.


    21 Jan 2013, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • I did some rough math to compare my dad's income vs. mine, based upon the price of my childhood home. The difference is stark. My dad paid 3.5x his income. I'm a bit younger than when he bought the house, so assuming a salary 25% higher than mine, the house is now 5x my generation's income (we are in the same profession). That means my father, a few years older than I am now, was earning 50% more than my projected income by house value, and nearly double what I am making now. In addition to salary, he got to enjoy some of the greatest stock market years, whereas I entered the workforce in this whackjob market (I finished an MS degree in 2008).


    Besides trying to find income in a side business, I also feel the need to save and invest all my savings, which after many missteps finally led me to Axion. It's been a frustrating and fruitless time, but hoping one day I can say the education was worth it.
    21 Jan 2013, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, we are going to learn in several ways that the 50 million aborted babes in the US of A could be contributing in many ways.
    21 Jan 2013, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • Starting early and avoiding the big mistakes are the two best things you can do for your financial future. The million dollar losses can be fun to brag about in the past tense, but they're no fun to live through.
    21 Jan 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Ranma: IIRC, from what I've read average income levels in terms of real purchasing power are now pre-1990 levels.


    It's one of those things implied when they talk about businesses getting more "efficient" - it's not all automation.


    Part of the cause also resides in almost historical levels of income disparity - more and more % of the gains go to the top x%, less to middle class. Again, IIRC, sometime in the last century CEOs earned about 40x ... average(?) salary in the firm and now it's 400x or so.


    Numbers might be off, but the general trend is correct.


    There's been a lot of good stuff written about this and Google is your friend since I know my links are buried in a morass of poorly organized bookmarks.


    Like John mentioned, I also feel fortunate to have been where and when I was.


    21 Jan 2013, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • NJB: Yep. Driving the cost of labor even lower. See my comment replying to Ranma above.


    21 Jan 2013, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • Obama's this! For the other side of the story.





    21 Jan 2013, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • Thank you both for the advice, though right now it does not feel like it. One thing I feel fortunate about is that at least I was aware enough to try something, and be in the position to try. I lost years of savings but have no debt. I have technical skills that can start low investment ventures. I still draw a good salary compared to some of my peers. I hope one day to join the class that captures most of the value, through investment and business, but wonder what will happen to those who cannot. Perhaps it will be like Asian countries, where labor is cheap, people are ultra-competitive, and mortgages generational.
    21 Jan 2013, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • HTL - re. exec pay, I'm for 20x the lowest paid guy on the payroll. Plus no perks nor bonus etc. The exec is only a level or two above where all the other employees remain on salary curves and at most, the top execs are just simple managers with no super exceptional talent and therefore should be only a few 20% jumps above the fixed salary curve folks. In many cases (except for super entrepreneurial sorts such as Jobs, Gates, Ford, Westinghouse, etc., and many in the private sector, which are not just mere mortal mangers that eventually got promoted and passed over their equals that went elsewhere) the folks on the salary curves are quite capable of running the whole show, as mere managers, and would do it for <60% more.


    We have forgotten that for those underlings on each salary curve, they are already being paid for the job they are to be doing. Same for the top. If they do their job, they get paid. If they don't do their job, they get fired. And their job includes both financial and non-financial objectives. No bonus. You are paid to do your job, period. It is a myth that you have to pay the execs exhorbitantly to get the best talent. That is plain BS. Unfortunately, too many have bot into the lie. And those in power have the power with the blessing of the crony directors to write their own checks. Sad.


    Oh, and if you didn't catch the hint, all country club memberships, marketing jaunts, stadium seats, yachts, etc., etc., come out of the executive's pay, if he wishes to spend his money that way, not out of the companies operating expenses and/or cost of goods sold, which drive the price of products higher, which just takes more money out of the pockets of the consumer.


    Don't get me started.......


    Well, and as for energy "allocation", the near term solution to the future is ENERGY CONSERVATION, including the PbC applications, and of course, WheelTug. Those practical and technological innovations at our fingertips.


    We will never see fusion (unless it's cold fusion); hot fusion will continue to be available on the sun, for those that want it And we should want..


    Of course, for those using the sun's fusion, solar PV and wind in remote locations will provide plenty of disadvantaged folks not hooked up to power transmission lines, etc., to charge those cell phones given to the poor, cook in their microwaves, store food in their fridge, store some energy in their PbC's in order to read those wash-machine books, and also pump some water for their washing machine and dishwasher and toilet, and water their crops which we show them how to grow after we dig them the wells and separate from the cesspools; all dependent, of course, upon whether or not they really want to work for their existence or be another Obama's Aunty.
    21 Jan 2013, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • JP, every 30-something person I know definitely feels likewise.
    21 Jan 2013, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, average income/average real income data need to be read with caution. Not saying the trend you've pointed to is incorrect/not there, but the income numbers are incomplete. For example, generally neither employee benefits nor increased publicly funded services ( ;-) some do have positive value while others don't) are factored in. Employer contributions to employee medical insurance, 401(k), etc. plans are cases in point.
    21 Jan 2013, 03:22 PM Reply Like
  • "We live in a failed system. Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That's the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system." MLK


    21 Jan 2013, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • D-Inv: Since I come from a "defined benefits" era and had almost 100% of health care costs covered by the company, I suspect that factoring in the things you mention would be unlikely to change the results.


    Some good material used to be available at EconIntersect - might still be there.


    As an after-thought, the average government employee salary used to be well below the private sector and it was said it was made up for by benefits. Now it's touted to be well above *average* private sector. My assumption (risky?) is that they compared apples only when doing those studies.


    Relevance? I don't know. I'm thinking that if private sector averages were not dropping severely the above couldn't be true.


    One last: I specifically said "average income levels in terms of real purchasing power". I went googling and found "A stark and startling example of this trend is the fact that, adjusted for inflation, "average hourly earnings" in this country have not increased in 50 years" here.



    There's a lot of stuff out there about it,


    21 Jan 2013, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • Free market capitalism (the only system powered by freedom of choice) has nothing to do with the problem you describe. I'd rather be poor in a society where I could become rich than live in a society that guaranteed only the ruling class would. We must limit the governments' ruling class cronyism supported by their self-indulgent unlimited power to tax and spend and borrow or print the people's money. Only then will we take the limits off the people taking care of their business and their neighbors. EM


    21 Jan 2013, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • btw, I am rather poor. I choose to bust my butt 16+ hours a day in an attempt to become rather richer, not so someone can come along and change the system.
    21 Jan 2013, 05:54 PM Reply Like
  • Actually, I think I agree with you, Edmund.


    I think MLK is blaming capitalism for something that is not its fault.


    I believe the failings of the current system are the result of large monied interests influencing policy to give themselves advantages (that they believe they deserve).


    Which advantages have become a feature of the current system but are by no means a fundamental unavoidable characteristic of capitalism.




    My apologies for getting political but I enjoy talking about this stuff and I hope I've been respectful.


    21 Jan 2013, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for the reference, HTL. Interesting read, but somewhat tangential since changes in wage share of GDP depends on employment/unemployment rates as well as wage rates.

  partially addresses the point I was trying to make in stating,
    High rates of growth of average hourly earnings (AHE) (wage inflation) would lead to higher inflation if the wage growth is above productivity growth. A related measure of wage cost growth closely watched by the Fed is the Employment Cost Index (ECI). Compared to the ECI that is published only quarterly, the strenght of the average hourly earnings measure it that is published monthly and is an early indicator of wage growth in the previous month. However, compared to the ECI, AHE has several weaknesses. First, the ECI is abroader measure of labor costs as it includes wages and salaries as well as benefits costs (fringe benefits such as medical benefits). Second, the ECI corrects for the composition of the labor force: average hourly earnings may increase bacause more workers are employed in better skills jobs that pay higher high hourly wages rather than beacuse the same jobs pay higher hourly wage. The first effect due to a change in the distribution of labor across different jobs is not inflationary; however, kit leads to an increase in the AHE but not of the ECI. Third, unlike the ECI, AHE increase also due to transitory increases in wage costs that are not causes of permanent higher wage costs; for example, increased use of transitory overtime that is usually paid with higher hourly wages leads to an increase in AHE but not of the ECI.


    For me, the bottom line takeaway on "average hourly wage" is that the statistic is at best an imperfect, partial indicator of economic well being of the labor force.
    21 Jan 2013, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • Actually, everyone needs a good and working conscience. Since that is not going to happen, someone has to rein in the abusers. Now, we all know the abusers will not rein in the abusers - so who's left??? The foxes are in the "fox" house and the real productive chicken's are elsewhere.


    For sure, when the HOST (private sector) dies, the PARASITES (public sector) vanish automatically (assuming we don't somehow continue to create debt to keep the parasites alive); or on the other hand, hopefully, before that death of the productive, some light shines in the right places and clearly exposes the roaches which then head for where they belong.


    Meanwhile, protect thyself. Be wiser than the sleuth.
    21 Jan 2013, 07:29 PM Reply Like
  • Youse guys need to get off the "average" wage and start using the "lowest" wage on the payroll. That will either solve the lower end problem or the upper end problem.


    Goodness, the average only increases as the top increases, while the bottom remains stagnant or having no effect on the bottom......


    Remember, on the average, we are all dead. Sometimes, averages are not the best representative of reality. Accountants, CPA's and those they work for, when they want numbers to lie, etc. ie., make good use of such, when it fits their bias.
    21 Jan 2013, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • >D. McHattie, indeed you have been respectful
    22 Jan 2013, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • A general observation by Inside EVs


    "Unlike previous years, electric vehicles were clearly not the focus of the 2013 NAIAS show in Detroit this week.
    The main story of the 2013 NAIAS was of course, the new 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray. While somewhere, way (way, way) down the list was the debut of the new 2013 Nissan LEAF; which if we are being honest, to the casual car aficionado looks and feels pretty much the same as the 2012 model.
    However, to those of us closely following cars with plugs, what was important about the new LEAF wasn’t really the car, it was the price.
    Now starting at $28,800 for the entry level S model ($6,400 cheaper than the 2012 SV), this new price point gives pure electric vehicles a second crack at the market after a fairly dismal 2012."


    Nissan seems to be trying the kitchen sink approach to drum up business that uses batteries.


    Nissan’s Smryna Battery Assembly Plant Plans



    <By now, most of us know the talking points about US LEAF production from a couple years ago. Nissan’s Smyrna assembly plant can assemble up to 150,000 LEAFs in one year, and their nearby battery plant can produce 200,000 LEAF-sized packs in the same time.


    We also know that Nissan has way too much capacity online now as they only sold 10,000 LEAFs last year in the US. Even a $6,400 price drop isn’t going to come anywhere near close enough to bridge that gap.
    And although the assembly facility can produce other vehicles to pick up the slack, Nissan’s massive $1.7 billion dollar battery plant can’t exactly start building Nissan Rogues and Infiniti Q50s to offset lower than expected demand lithium battery demand.
    What to do? Build batteries and related components for other hybrids and EVs.


    " Andy Palmer, Nissan’s executive VP put it best in Detroit on Monday to Bloomberg news, “It’s a damned expensive plant, so we want to use it as much as possible. You’ll start to see front-wheel drive hybridized vehicles coming in the next one to two years.” A Pathfinder and Altima hybrid are apparently in the works, and Smyrna will outfit those models."


    More interestingly however, is that Smyrna will be producing parts and batteries for Nissan’s upcoming electric van, the e-NV200, which will be put into production in Barcelona, Spain later this spring.
    Additionally, Mr. Palmer confirmed US-based production of the Infiniti LE for the first time, by adding that batteries will also be build for that project at the Tennessee plant. It is worth noting, that at the debut of the plant, a good bulk of the plant was off limits/”no access” to the media, which could mean the ramp up to production of Nissan’s 2nd generation of lithium packs are already underway.>
    20 Jan 2013, 03:16 AM Reply Like
  • A top 12 list.


    ACEEE Announces 2013 “Greenest” Autos


    The 2013 list is out and there’s been some significant changes.


    Yesterday, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its 15th annual environmental ratings for automobiles and conventional vehicles we’re nearly driven off the “Greenest” list by hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric automobiles.
    At the top of the ACEEE’s chart is the Toyota Prius c with a “Green” score of 58. The Honda Fit EV placed second and the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid landed in fourth. The entire Prius line placed in eleventh or above.


    The Scion iQ and Smart ForTwo are the only conventional (gas or diesel fueled without electric assistance) vehicles to place in the top twelve. Even the eight-time champion, the Honda Civic Natural Gas, dropped out of the top twelve for 2013.


    So, electrified vehicles are king, according to the ACEEE’s ranking system, which we’ll describe in detail below. This complex ranking system means that some vehicles, including the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt, didn’t make the top twelve list for reasons not directly related to the vehicle.


    Here’s how the ACEEE explains its complicated ranking process:


    “Vehicles are analyzed on the basis of a Green Score, a singular measure that incorporates unhealthy tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and emissions of gases that contribute to climate change. This year, a number of updates were made to the methodology to more accurately estimate vehicles’ environmental impacts. These include updates to emissions from the vehicle manufacturing process; changes to gasoline, diesel, and natural gas upstream emissions; and updates to the forecasted mix of fuels used to generate the electricity used to power electric cars.”


    The rest is a table so you'll have to go look.
    Interestingly while there are EVs and PHEVs neither the Leaf nor the Volt made the list.
    As mentioned neither did the Honda Civic cng.
    20 Jan 2013, 03:28 AM Reply Like
  • As a Ford guy, I'm glad to see a couple of their vehicles made the list. I have personally driven the Fusion Hybrid - very nice ride - how nice? Well, I knew I was going fast on a trip from Yosemite to San Francisco (very few people on the road) as I often drive 85-90 mph on my Interstate commute (and I'm not alone), but then I hit a "whoopedy-do" in the road and "Holy Crap - Did I just catch air?!?!" - I looked down at the guage and I was doing 115 and slowing down! Like I said, smooth ride, super-stable. Big fan of their new grill, too.
    20 Jan 2013, 09:48 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund M---wow, that brings back old memories. For one summer long ago I was commuting between SF and the Yosemite area, as I was working as a financial consultant on PG&E's Helms pumped hydro project at Lake Wishon/Courtright. Back then the rental cars' speedos only went to 85mph, so we'd see how far we could get them to bounce the other way. CHP donated the $ they would have spent on radar guns to some cause, so they had to tail you a long time to legally give you a ticket. With the road all but desserted, it was no problemo avoiding that. Never got air, though, thank goodness!
    20 Jan 2013, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • I recall passing just such an installation towards the end and on a climb - don't recall any signs, but from the road I had multiple views of a hydro project.


    My story was from the stretch between the groves of lemons and almonds and wind mills outside SF and the foothills of the Sierra? range (flat other than the afore-mentioned "whoopedy doo").
    20 Jan 2013, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Once the NS999 has rolled out and proven itself a winner, would Axion be able to supply all the batteries that the railroad market might want without a partner?
    20 Jan 2013, 03:47 AM Reply Like
  • With more electrode lines but no other plant upgrades Axion could probably make PbC batteries for a couple hundred locomotives a year. If you assume a 24,000 unit fleet and a 12 year rebuild cycle, Axion's capacity would probably be adequate to support a 10% market penetration in the retrofit market. After that, either a partner or a new battery plant would be needed. On balance I think the limiting factor will probably be the railroad industry's ability to do locomotive retrofits.
    20 Jan 2013, 05:44 AM Reply Like
  • Push back time at BA.


    At Boeing, pushback on 787 grounding [The Seattle Times]


    "Gordon Bethune, the former Boeing executive who left to run Continental Airlines -- and who in that position bought the grounded Dreamliners now owned by United -- is emphatic that the government overreached.


    He criticized the decision to ground the plane, which was made by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and FAA chief Michael Huerta.


    "Neither of those two guys know the front end from the back of an airplane," Bethune said.


    "They jumped the gun, but that's the product of a cover-your-ass administration," he fumed. "It's heavy-handed, draconian and way, way beyond what needs to be done to protect the public."


    "Obviously, (Boeing's leaders) are disappointed in this overreaction," Bethune said. "But it doesn't help them to bitch, so they will never say anything publicly that could be disparaging to the government."


    "Don't think they are making light of this," Bethune added. "I'm sure they are chagrined as hell. But they are going to fix it.""

    20 Jan 2013, 08:31 AM Reply Like
  • I'd say with all the problems the 787 is having it's not an overreaction at all.
    20 Jan 2013, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • Jrp3
    This is about the first fire.
    <But the electrical system's complexity has been a particular stumbling block for the plane model in the past. And with the whole plane being essentially a flying network (the plane's avionics are wired together with a derivative of 100 megabit Ethernet to reduce the amount of wiring and corresponding weight) and the controls entirely dependent on electrical power, any problem with electrical systems can become a disaster.
    Where there's smoke
    Six hours into a test flight in November of 2010, in the skies over Texas just after 2:30 in the afternoon Central Time, the pilot of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner Number 2 declared an emergency. There was smoke in the cabin, and the airplane's "glass cockpit"—its computerized displays and controls—had partially failed, its primary flight displays and automatic throttle controls gone.
    As he touched down at Laredo International Airport and brought the plane to a halt, the crew and passengers—Boeing company execs and technicians monitoring flight data—evacuated the plane, jumping down the emergency slides. The cause of the emergency was an electrical fire that took out the aircraft's primary and auxiliary power units. The Dreamliner would have become a nightmare without the emergency power source—a Ram Air Turbine, which dropped down from the fuselage to convert airflow past the plane into power for essential controls. The incident led to further delays for the Dreamliner, as Boeing went back to redesign the entire electrical distribution system of the aircraft. But the redesign didn't eliminate the hazard of the batteries themselves.>


    Despite a redesign problems and it could be very bad.
    Just a question is a Ram Air Turbine on regular jets just in case and would there still be one on the Dreamliner?
    20 Jan 2013, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • I have not been able to access the ePower website for the past 1-2 weeks. Maybe I keep "missing them", but it's always the same redirect to:
    "OOPS This site is currently unavailable.If you are the owner of this site, please contact us at 1-480-505-8855 at your earliest convenience."



    Anyone having the same trouble?
    20 Jan 2013, 09:12 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund, Yep.


    JP has notified the CEO of ePower.
    20 Jan 2013, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • Here is the NSC patent 8342103 issued 1/1/13 which shows some of the OTR configurations NSC is considering. Diagrams for the configurations are to the far right in the drawing area.

    20 Jan 2013, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks, ii.


    I wonder why they specify the battery chemistry at all. It seems unnecessary and self-limiting. I mean, given that railroads are used to pulling around tankers, why not include flow batteries based on vanadium chemistry? Or why not add "or other suitable battery chemistries"? I'm more used to pharmaceutics where everyone claims the world.


    So I'm thankful they reserved the 9.44" battery height specification for an exemplary embodiment.
    20 Jan 2013, 11:43 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund, You'll note they state lead acid as an example but then state other chemistries can be used.
    20 Jan 2013, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • I did find something like that in the description of the Figures if not in the claims and, not being a patent attorney, decided I'd let my post hang out there.
    20 Jan 2013, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • That's a good link (it always helps me to have illustrations:)


    I noticed that this patent covers batteries connected either in parallel or in series. I would assume that for a locomotive, they would want to connect in series to take advantage of higher voltages. Is this correct?


    Also, will the PbC battery strings self-equalize in either configuration?


    20 Jan 2013, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • Milhouse, I would expect to see both strings in series for higher voltages as well as parallel sets of strings for higher current draw. My guess is that if the buss is stiff enough (large enough) the voltage drop string to string would be minimal and thus the strings would be forced to balance.


    Edit: During initial integration you probably want to have the batteries and the strings at a certain equal charge tolerance or ugly things might happen.
    20 Jan 2013, 01:43 PM Reply Like
  • The self equalization starts at the cell level and works its way up through batteries and strings of batteries. So the series or parallel nature of battery to battery connections shouldn't have an impact.
    20 Jan 2013, 01:50 PM Reply Like
  • I'm of the opinion that this is why the solar industry has been going with the large 2 VDC single cell battery packs for their installations. This allows them the ability to equalize the individual cells since they do not self equalize like the PbC battery. Costs more but I bet it helps the life. Wish I could find some documentation on how much it helps in the case of LABs to do this.


    Interesting they are still going this way with the Ultrabattery. So perhaps they don't self equalize like the PbC. Or some of the solar guys have a "Old habits die hard" mentality?
    20 Jan 2013, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • King on a string, baby. King on a string.


    20 Jan 2013, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting phenomenon...or just my perception.


    Appears to be more constructive comments from formerly disruptive/emotional commenters. Despite the lack of news and significant pps moves, more seem to be aware of the AXPW line up of possible events, the stronger validity of the AXPW story and the credibility of JPs arguments and logic for AXPW.


    But, still a healthy cautious stream of thought since no market movement announcements yet.


    Just an observation.
    20 Jan 2013, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • mag, I perceive that we've had an increase of posts the last few weeks that have provided a good opportunity to address new concerns and objections while also re-addressing old ones. For retail audiences especially, it really, really helps to hit all those again and again.


    For example:


    Underlying concern: disappointingly slow commercial adoption of the PbC.


    General manifestation of that emotion: "Axion should be doing more, faster."


    Specific manifestation: "Jump all over Boeing's need for a better 787 battery."


    Concern address: Axion has limited resources, which means they have had to focus on a less than infinite number of business development opportunities, etc.


    JP and others have done a great job addressing the concerns. Given the almost overwhelming amount of reading material that has now been produced, though, perhaps we could put together a "Concern/Address" white paper, that would make it even easier for both new and existing investors to understand the issues.
    20 Jan 2013, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • I spent a bit of time over on looking at the used Leafs


    They have 248 used Leafs pulling out the 2012s and a few 2011s that have under 100 mi on them. There are about 200 left. (The 2011s deliveries started in Nov 2010.)
    Of the 200 under 50 have at least 10,000 mi on them. 9 of those have 20,000 mi or more, on them. None has 30,000 miles.
    6-7,000 mi average?
    Using 33.3 mpg 3 gal to 100 mi. 30 for a 1000 mi 300 for 10,000 mi.
    Over150 of 200 people 3/4 drove under 10,000 mi in about 2 years.
    $4 a gal x 300 = $1,200 saved. Miscellaneous not sure they would have gotten an oil change in 10,000 mi, Air filter? etc. say $1,500.
    These people payed $10,000 $15,000 extra up front and lost a ton on these cars.


    It cost Consumers Reports $19,500 for 20 months depreciation. On a $35,998 Leaf this BTW is what Wards projected for nearly 5 years.


    From Consumers Reports.
    <So our 20-month-old Leaf has lost almost 60 percent of what we paid for it, which no amount of savings on fuel and maintenance can make up for.>


    I've found depreciation opinions at 60 to 80% in 5 years for the Leaf but the Consumers report experience clearly demonstrates it may well be greater.
    20 Jan 2013, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • Froggey, The maintenance was low and they didn't have to stop at the gas station. Even ignoring the fact that they saved the planet it was well worth it. With the reduction on the 2013 model it's a slam dunk! ;-))
    20 Jan 2013, 07:51 PM Reply Like
  • Random review
    53,172 total Plug in cars sold in 2012 VS 17,821 in 2011.
    Auto makers predicted 100,000
    Volt and Leaf were both at 50% of predictions.


    Gartner ( the largest technology market research firm) predicted 40 - 60,000.
    Good guess IMO


    Poll Finds 35% of Europeans Willing to Spend More for Eco-Friendly Auto Despite Recession
    The poll was don by ford but didn't ask how much more the would spend. (It also says they will think about fuel economy in their next car purchase)


    Some not US sales numbers.
    " In 2012, France accounted for 35 percent of electric vehicles sales (passenger vehicle segment) in Europe. That percentage puts France above Norway (15 percent) and Germany (13 percent)."


    "..plug-in vehicle registrations totaled 22,108 units across all of Western Europe through the first 11 months of 2012. That’s 0.2 percent of the roughly 10.8 million automobiles sold in that region in that same 11-month timeframe."


    Hybridcars puts the US at 0.37% for the year.


    France specific numbers
    As of June 5,446 total vehicles sold


    5,663 units in the passenger vehicles
    3,651 units for light-commercial vehicles.
    Those year-end results represent an increase of 115 percent and 117 percent, respectively, compared to the posted figures for 2011.


    9,314 at EOY (5,663 + 3,651 = 9,314)
    5,446 total sales as of the end of June.
    3,868 in the last 6 months of the year
    A shallow pond getting filled in in France?
    20 Jan 2013, 08:48 PM Reply Like
  • It is important to remember that the driving forces of EV and Hybrid cars were as follows:
    1) Balance of trade payments for foreign oil
    2) Wars in the middle east
    3) Price of oil dictated by middle east
    4) Rising gas prices to $4+


    All of these factors are diminishing due to
    1) low natural gas prices making oil cheaper
    2) news that US will be an oil exporter in less than 10 years
    3) better mpg on ICE vehicles


    Basically cheaper gasoline means the public will spend less on an automobile to save gas. This does not bode well for expensive gas saving solutions.


    To quote a well known phrase:
    "The green in my wallet is what is most important." Actually that is a bad paraphrase of JP's comments but the quote marks look great.
    20 Jan 2013, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • Future:


    Government mileage mandates incentivize manufacturers to implement various levels of hybridization, however.
    20 Jan 2013, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • Sorry that got Jumbled
    France specific numbers
    As of June 5,446 total EVs sold


    Here should be inserted
    "As of the EOY 2012"
    5,663 units in the passenger vehicles
    3,651 units for light-commercial vehicles.


    One other thought Better Place has ousted another CEO. Number 4 in 4 months.
    20 Jan 2013, 11:27 PM Reply Like
  • Better Place is alive, but not well
    So why even bother with electric cars? One reason is that electric motors are dramatically more efficient than internal combustion engines, with fewer moving parts, and that fuel costs are much lower, depending on the price of gasoline and electricity. In Israel and Denmark, where Better Place is also rolling out its infrastructure, the per-mile operating cost is as much as 80% less than the per-mile cost of an equivalent internal-combustion car. Electric cars also have lower emissions than gasoline-powered cars, and the emissions are much lower if some or all of the electricity comes from low-carbon nuclear, wind or solar power.


    The paradox is that electric cars are perfectly suited for short trips–charge your car at home overnight or at the office during the day and you’ll drive worry free. But the economics make sense only if the car is driven a lot.
    21 Jan 2013, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • Article from 2009 about French government spending and mandates regarding EV's. Awful expensive per car.
    21 Jan 2013, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • discusses an CBO study estimating cost of U.S. electric vehicle manufacture/purchase subsidies as $7.5 billion with negligible (if any) benefit.
    21 Jan 2013, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • The power stored in the chemistry of the batteries of an electric car is put there by processes which are no more efficient and no less polluting than a well-tuned internal combustion engine. To then multiply that by the further inefficiency of converting chemical energy to electric power is counter-productive, even if you could store it in 100% recyclable PbC batteries.


    The idea is to capture and conserve energy, lessening the need for the burning of non-carbon-neutral fuel. Not In My Back Seat is just as counter-productive as many NIMBY protestations.
    21 Jan 2013, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • Daytime solar charging, night time wind charging, nuclear power charging, geothermal charging. There are ways right now that allow EV's to travel with little to no emissions, far better than any ICE or hybrid, if we choose to pursue them. Electric drive is inevitable at this point, we just need to push for cleaner power sources. The dirty age of fossil fuels will end, sooner better than later.
    22 Jan 2013, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • JRP, yes and we need not only clean sources, but NEW clean sources to power them, in order to lower carbon emissions.
    22 Jan 2013, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • May be it is time to skip all these and go right to commercialize the micro nuclear reactor as used on the deep-space launch vehicles. Technology is readily available only thing left is for somebody to finance the development work of replacing Uranium with Thorium. This will expedite the termination of fossil fuels in all ICE vehicles. Scaling up will allow localize energy generation of all major developments and military bases allowing them to dislodge from local grid, easier disposal of radioactive waste, et, etc.... This will definitely provide a clean environment for generations and generations.


    DOE should put the 120 million dollars to better use here than their dream of 5, 5,5s. jmho.
    22 Jan 2013, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • Ishikawa: Discussing "mini" reactors and burning Thorium in the same paragraph isn't science, just wishful thinking.


    Uranium can not be "replaced" with Thorium. Thorium isn't a fissile material! To "burn" only thorium requires a rather large, complex and expensive reactor with high neutron efficiency that will convert Th-232 into U-233 by neutron absorption followed by a decay step. U-233 is a hellish gamma emitter and will be consumed on site if possible.


    There are many folks working on blending Thorium with U235 to convert some of the Th232 to U233 right in the fuel rods. Done right, it allows longer fuel rod life OR higher power for the same refueling cycle time. But it isn't a very efficient way to breed Thorium into a fissile fuel.


    This is a complex subject and will never be more then brushed against in an off topic note in the APC.
    23 Jan 2013, 12:57 AM Reply Like
  • MANY thanks SiHiBi.... The boundless endless promise of thorium seems fast becoming the newest white-knight unicorn-riding savior of many an ardent envirothusiast's wishes... and who knows, maybe perhaps someday it will all come true... but in the meanwhile, I like to apply the classic Alex P. Keaton assessment, which applies so well to so much:


    "Hey, if it was so easy, everybody'd be doing it!"
    23 Jan 2013, 01:46 AM Reply Like
  • Siliconhillbilly, thanks for the instruct. I know that it is a wishful thinking because the technology has been around for many years but no body has tried to apply it to commercial use, afaik.
    23 Jan 2013, 01:52 AM Reply Like
  • Ishikawa, humble apologies for the snark... it was not directed personally to you, a person of abundant goodwill. It's just that a lot of the same kind of folks who've been wailing for years over "who killed the electric car?" now seem to be seizing on thorium as the new cool "big answer", which of course everybody knows *had* to have been killed long ago in its crib by the eevil team of big oil and USG. ;)
    23 Jan 2013, 02:50 AM Reply Like
  • Liquid fluoride thorium reactors seems to be a suitable solution.


    Click on the diagram just above the "related" links after the initial text. ~16 minutes.



    23 Jan 2013, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • Well there was a working LFTR for years so it's hard to say it's not possible.
    23 Jan 2013, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • Latest Dreamliner news:


    "Although company officials said they expected to find a solution quickly, federal regulators on Sunday ruled out one simple explanation — that the battery was overcharged."

    20 Jan 2013, 10:53 PM Reply Like
  • From the same article:


    "Cessna was forced to replace lithium-ion batteries on its CJ4 business jet with nickel-cadmium after a battery fire on the plane in 2011."
    20 Jan 2013, 11:00 PM Reply Like
  • Don't think it likely the BA lawyers will be for them sharing with Argonne (the government!) all the details it would take to understand and solve the problem. Either from a legal standpoint, or from recent bad publicity of DOE "leaks" of proprietary information.
    21 Jan 2013, 08:30 AM Reply Like


    OT, but noise being made about emissions and gas flaring in all the new US oil fields... perhaps the increased attention could eventually lead indirectly to more interest in the Powercube...
    21 Jan 2013, 01:32 AM Reply Like
  • or maybe the first PC for that application. Not to burst the bubble, but there has been nothing more than hot air with this application.
    21 Jan 2013, 02:24 AM Reply Like
  • The flaring problem arises from the quirky nature of oil and gas law and an inadequate gas pipeline system.


    In most states you can "shut in" a gas well if there isn't a readily available pipeline connection. You can't "shut in" a well that's capable of producing oil because the landowner is entitled to receive his production royalties and you can always truck oil. When an operator drills a well that can produce both oil and gas, he has to produce the oil even if that means he has to flare the gas. The legal penalties for not producing a well that's capable of producing oil can include loss of the underlying lease to the landowner.
    21 Jan 2013, 08:20 AM Reply Like
  • More likely the interest will be towards micro-turbine generators to burn the waste gas.


    The power they generate could even be used to drive suction blowers to scavenge the leakage from joins and seals, if the regulators get really picky.
    21 Jan 2013, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • These mandates for mileage numbers seem like the car companies are just trying to find the cheapest loop holes to bring them down enough do they can still sell the real money makers.


    I work for Chrysler making the lx, lc platforms, 300, charger, challenger. Everything that we have done to those models which are the bread and butter of the company is introduce a system that shuts of four cylinders in the v8 until power is needed, a 8speed auto and now a 3.0 L diesel. The v6 8speed will get better then 30 plus mpg real world numbers, which is very respectable for a 4000 plus lbs car.


    What we need is research that says idling for more then 3 min causes lung cancer, I know the drive thru coffee and McDonalds would be other a Big Mac , Pbc combo to go with those fries. The anti idling laws are just as big of a joke in North America as are those mandates. They will never be enforced enough to make a difference to us in the car industry on this side of the pond. Should'nt say never, just add ten years to the date which was set out by the government.


    Here's counting on NS, rosewater and epower to light it up for all of us. GO AXION GO,
    21 Jan 2013, 02:42 AM Reply Like
  • Looking to crowd fund a 3 wheel EV kit.


    Crowdfunding push for EZ-EV open source electric kit car

    21 Jan 2013, 11:04 AM Reply Like
  • ePower's website is back up. Yet again, the world did not end. ;^)
    21 Jan 2013, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • It is going to collapse because of the sheer numbers of Axionistas racing to see any changes.
    21 Jan 2013, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • I'd rather see the tractor on the road
    21 Jan 2013, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • I'd rather see results announced ... along with reports of riot police called to quell the disturbance as fleet owners struggled to get to the front of the line.


    21 Jan 2013, 12:25 PM Reply Like
  • Dynapower in the news:


    Chicago, Illinois – December 31, 2012


    Pfingsten Partners, L.L.C. (“Pfingsten”) announces the acquisition of Dynapower Company LLC (“Dynapower” or the “Company”), a Burlington, VT-based designer and manufacturer of custom, high
    power AC and DC power supplies, energy management systems and power transformers for the mining, metal finishing, electrochemical, military and energy management end markets.



    Dynapower Commissions Over 50 Megawatts of Energy Storage Inverters in December 2012


    by CHISA on JANUARY 21, 2013



    "South Burlington, VT, USA (January 21, 2013) – Dynapower Company LLC, a Vermont based leading supplier of power conversion systems, commissioned over 50 megawatts (MW) of grid tied bi-directional energy storage inverters in December 2012. The inverters are the lynchpin of energy storage systems that connect to the electric grid via a variety of storage mediums, including lithium ion and lead acid batteries.




    To further demonstrate the capabilities of energy storage systems Dynapower has installed a 1.8 MW PowerSkid™ system at its facility. The system will be comprised of four different storage technologies used to integrate an onsite 100 kW wind turbine, 101 kW roof‐mounted solar array and more than 2 MW-­‐hours of energy storage. The system is expected to come online March 2013 and will be the first of its kind combining a variety of battery technologies into a common system."
    21 Jan 2013, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • It looks like our friend Metro may be trying to procreate:

    21 Jan 2013, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • I think some things are better off just left alone.
    21 Jan 2013, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • Metro: Don't tell me you prefer the old-fashioned method! =>8-O


    How gauche!




    21 Jan 2013, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • Our portfolio companies illustrate our commitment to value creation through operational improvement.


    To date, Pfingsten has acquired 89 companies through four investment funds. We are actively seeking add-on acquisitions for select Fund III platforms and both platform and add-on investments for our $525 million Fund IV.


    "We are currently seeking add-on acquisitions for Dynapower."
    21 Jan 2013, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • Pike Research busy again:


    Military Microgrids


    Stationary Base, Forward Operating Base, and Mobile Smart Grid Networks for Renewables Integration, Demand Response, and Mission-Critical Security



    Military Microgrid Capacity Will Increase 50 Percent by 2018
    January 21, 2013

    21 Jan 2013, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, I don't know anything about technical analysis, but I did find last week's price action encouraging. Only off 6/10 of a penny after rising about 20% the previous week. Any thoughts? -- Thanks.
    21 Jan 2013, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • I share your assessment, Wayne! AXPW's reluctance to revert to the mean after such a big move seems quite bulllish. I also am resisting the temptation to be disappointed any day that Axion fails to provide instant gratification through a blockbuster news release. ;)
    21 Jan 2013, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • Wayne: All I can offer is this line from my EOD comments. "We've had continued rising, albeit barely, lows with reducing highs, continuing a possible banner formation".


    This is most commonly a continuation pattern, suggesting that the move from this formation is more likely upwards. It's not guaranteed though.


    It's entirely possible to exit the apex of this and go down or, IMO more likely in this case if we don't go up, go sideways.


    Here's the fly in the ointment: we've tried to break above the rising trading channel resistance and haven't been able to accomplish that yet. If it can't do that there's a good chance it makes a leg down towards the rising support, currently ~$0.30 and rising ~$0.01/week.


    With mixed oscillators that I mentioned before, there could be a "reversion to the mean" tendency, which for the most recent leg would also suggest around $0.30.


    Looking at my experimental stuff, a weakening of the upward momentum is suggested, but not yet an indication of "we're going down". But some of that could be because of the extraordinary action seen this last week, so for myself I defer judgement of their meanings for now.


    As to what it did Friday, typical short-term consolidation behavior - narrowing price range, reducing volume, ... So I don't read much bearish or bullish into it.


    I'll feel more strongly about "what's next" when behavior departs from the consolidation behavior and starts showing volume combined with price movement. This is what led me to suspect and. maybe foolishly suggest aloud, a rising trading channel back around the last week in November. Thank goodness (for my ego's sake :-)) it's played out that way so far.


    If we break above of this $0.37 range I'm certain we catch $0.39 before "pausing", possibly, again and more likely "overshoot" to $0.40-$0.42. That range is just some lows/highs from a cup and handle cup bottom and handle formation though, so it really represents "churn", not a true potential "resistance". But from those levels we did enter our long down trend, so I think the range will come into play, just as this $0.37 (just the lows from that C & H bottom churn) came into play.


    21 Jan 2013, 06:05 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe a gateway to the Indian market place?


    Editor-in-chief of site, Ms. Sneha Shah, on Seeking Alpha:
    21 Jan 2013, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • Me too. Tis not by chance.


    SK Continental E-motion launches automotive Li-ion battery business; 48V mild hybrid program

    21 Jan 2013, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • SK Continental is at least describing the application properly as a mild hybrid instead of trying to pass it off as a micro-hybrid like JCI.
    21 Jan 2013, 06:23 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for pointing that out. I missed it but it is a very good point. Can't imagine it will be too long before a number of other players raise their hands as well.
    21 Jan 2013, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • IIRC a battery system for mild hybrids was the reason for the joint application Axion and GM filed with the DOE in early 2011. I specifically remember statements in the application that Axion and GM had retrofitted a LaCrosse and were putting it through its paces on the test track.


    When last we heard, TG said Axion's work with the un-named US OEM was continuing apace without DOE support.
    21 Jan 2013, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • AABC conference Feb 4-8 in Pasadena, CA. Couple sessions on 48V architecture (one from Audi, one from JCI).



    Maybe somebody will happen to come across the presentation materials to see what's going on :)?
    21 Jan 2013, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • Even just reading the abstracts for all the sub-topics is pretty interesting and seems to offer clues as to where industry is or wants to be headed.. looks to me like a lot of backing off of BEV and a lot more development focus in the micro hybrid to HEV space.. All very li-ion focused though...
    21 Jan 2013, 09:19 PM Reply Like
  • Looks like an echo chamber.


    Lithium ion is already the presumptive successor to NiMH, according to the AABC..


    This is exactly why you need free and fair competition so that the most effective solution succeeds, rather than the favourite of blinded, entrenched interests.


    Sorry for getting a little political again but I think most Axionistas can agree with the statement.


    21 Jan 2013, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • I'd be interested in that first session on 48V architecture.


    Anyone have a permanent magnet motor stock idea?
    21 Jan 2013, 10:51 PM Reply Like
  • EM
    I UQM has been talked about here as a good prospect. I haven't checked it out.
    22 Jan 2013, 12:20 AM Reply Like
  • Edmund: very speculative UQM. Have very small positions, just to track.



    22 Jan 2013, 09:09 AM Reply Like


    2013 Mid-America Trucking Show, March 21 - 23
    21 Jan 2013, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • >D-inv ... It could be where ePower Engine Systems decides to demonstrate their powertrain with PbC. It was where they did their initial demonstration back in 2011. Fingers crossed.
    21 Jan 2013, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • A re-intro there could be big. IIRC, Tim Enright said that show is one of the biggies. Freightliner's there, too, of course. I don't know if we're a long way from PbC in their APUs, if at all, but I wonder if some whispered conversations/questions about better batteries occur nonetheless.


    In the meantime, looking forward to bwernecke's comments from his proposed visit with ePower.


    200 and five Followers now. Nice to see the steady climb.
    21 Jan 2013, 10:55 PM Reply Like
  • We are thinking similarly, DR. ePES could have as much as three months operating history to support their sales pitch and, if they proceeded with converting a second truck in early January, it could be more.
    21 Jan 2013, 11:34 PM Reply Like
  • >D-inv ... It also speaks to me that we, the Axion community, will not hear much of anything about trucking until the end of March. Not much to support share price appreciation unless someone hired a good PR firm for the launch. Ah, another Quarter to go by with not much to hang our hat on. Such is life, but things are looking to get better ... I'm going back to watch the webcam feed of the glacier melt or is it advance ... kinda' hard to tell

    21 Jan 2013, 11:51 PM Reply Like
  • I would be very surprised if Axion and ePower remained quiet about how the PbC is performing until the end of March. It's one thing to be thorough and another to be dilatory.
    22 Jan 2013, 11:56 AM Reply Like
  • >JP ... Now with the knowledge that ePower is not going to the truck show, I'll just be quiet and go back to glacier watching.
    22 Jan 2013, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • I owned BPAX when Libigel Phase 3 results release was imminent.


    BPAX was expected to announce the results virtually simultaneously with a routine presentation at a medical conference.


    When they canceled their presentation at the open, I immediately dumped my position. Thirty minutes later they announced that Phase 3 had failed, and pps lost 80% of its value.


    That was the biggest stock market bullet I have ever dodged.
    22 Jan 2013, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • billa be nimble, billa be quick, billa dances near the Candlestick...


    and didn't get burned. ;)
    22 Jan 2013, 05:19 PM Reply Like
  • billa: I owned BPAX for a while, too. Somehow I too, tapped danced my way around the plunge.


    Suggestion: Great friend, FocalPoint Analytics, runs a Concentrator about all things biotech. It's an excellent research/investment tool for this market segment. Heck, I even copied his word "Concentrator" for this blog. Surely, he will welcome your contributions. Several wonderful comments on his blog today, and during the past week.


    Here's the link:



    And by the way, longest time ago, I posted several non-energy storage plays in one of JP's orginal pieces, including Arena Pharmaceuticals, only because I knew of no where else to exchange a wide range of investing ideas with others here on Seeking Alpha.


    All that changed when HardToLove, FocalPoint Analytics, myself and a few others merged into a friendship investing group we endearingly call the Renegades, and from that we went on to create a bunch of sector-themed Instablogs. Later, Jon Springer and tripleblack joined in, and they went on to create even more.


    Hoping this helps!
    22 Jan 2013, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting history. I will check it out. Thanks.
    22 Jan 2013, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • NaatBatt had their Annual Meeting and Symposium recently



    And posted a number of the presentations. I was hoping ZBB would be one, but there isn't one for ZBB posted yet.

    21 Jan 2013, 10:23 PM Reply Like
  • Presentation on hybrid/battery maritime applications:

    21 Jan 2013, 10:54 PM Reply Like
  • The hybridization of Marine seems to mirror that of the Class 8 trucks.
    1) First build an energy efficient design to travel the routes needed. No more one size fits all.
    2) use a generator fueled by LNG to run at a constant fuel efficient speed and power a battery which assists when needed.


    All this makes sense. 20% fuel savings equals 2-3 year payback.


    Wow, with the safety concerns of Lithium the PbC might be given a chance. Weight is obviously important.
    22 Jan 2013, 07:26 AM Reply Like
  • They ought to start at the end of the chain with the best electrical drive motor (ChorusMotors ) first, as that certainly impacts everything else upstream, be it the capacity of the power electronics or the requirements of the stored energy.
    22 Jan 2013, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • Let me just note that just one LPG + Li-ion fire mishap x murphy = Neo Maxima BLEVE "kaboom"
    22 Jan 2013, 12:17 PM Reply Like
  • This is pretty cool


    Protocol for uniformly measuring and expressing the performance of energy storage systems



    Ed Buiel and Vani Dantam are both listed as working group participants.
    21 Jan 2013, 11:49 PM Reply Like
  • This is a fascinating working group on developing the protocol on measuring energy systems. I han't really thought about the fact that there is no standard of measuring these systems.
    I find it interesting that the "life of an energy system" is not included in the protocol because there was no way to agree on how to measure it or the complexity of measuring it.


    It just shows you how difficult it is to express to customers an exact benefit analysis of an Energy Storage system.


    Thanks for the link.
    22 Jan 2013, 07:44 AM Reply Like
  • I'm delighted to see that uniform standards are being developed that will make it easier for the engineers to compare one system against another. It looks to be far too complex to blog about intelligently, but anything that levels the playing field and helps position the alternatives on the field is a very good thing.
    22 Jan 2013, 07:44 AM Reply Like
  • I skimmed and, as usual, became a little confused.


    I saw cycle life mentioned but didn't quite find what I was looking for.


    I would expect that the testing criteria described in the uniform standards are intended to be gathered at various intervals in cycle life, not just a 1-shot deal, right?


    That's probably the way it works but I just didn't find it and my eyes eventually glazed over.


    If anyone can confirm my expectations that would be much appreciated.


    22 Jan 2013, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • Perhaps the hour played a role in my perceptions but, while participants in the overall exercise, I saw neither Dantam nor PJM listed as participants in a working group. And, I was a bit surprised to not find ZBB represented at all.


    PJM contributed data on frequency regulation experience which could have included info on PowerCube performance. I was a bit surprised to see a FR "stability" standard defined in terms of 24hr performance. Concern/dismay with the 24hr standard was relieved a bit on reading the standard would be assessed in context of FR signals every 4 seconds (or minutes. Don't remember which).
    22 Jan 2013, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • It is an interesting paper which will take a much more technical guy than me to figure out. Would appreciate any comment on the substance of this paper by anyone who undrstands the technicals.
    22 Jan 2013, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • EPower has decided not to participate in this year's truck show. They do not feel it is the best use of resources.
    22 Jan 2013, 08:19 AM Reply Like
  • Do we know what epower has determined that their best use of resources is?


    I would love to know what they're up to but we hear so little.


    22 Jan 2013, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • Maybe paying their website hosting bill would help...
    22 Jan 2013, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • This strikes me as disappointing, but perhaps they just aren't ready to make a powerful case for their new system by March of this year and don't want to steal the thunder from a much more powerful presentation that should be possible later this year and at next year's truck show.
    22 Jan 2013, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • Events like the Mid-America Trucking Show are expensive to attend and once you do a pre-launch appearance you really can't go back without lots of data. Since most of the data that ePower has is based on the less than stellar performance of AGM batteries, it makes a lot of sense to take a bit more time and do the next step right. The same is true for ePower's work with the PbC. While many avid sports fans would love to listen to a play by play analysis, the only thing that truly matters is the final score.
    22 Jan 2013, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • JP's latest article:


    Eight Breakout Stocks In Energy Storage

    22 Jan 2013, 08:56 AM Reply Like
  • No mention of TSLA? Is this a first?
    22 Jan 2013, 09:40 AM Reply Like
  • Not mentioning TSLA is a first only if you were (or are) TSLA obsessed and ignored 3/4 (or more) of JP's other work for the past 5 years.
    22 Jan 2013, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » APC #201

    22 Jan 2013, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • Progress on NSC's Cresent Corridor intermodal efforts (this time in PA):



    Includes a shout-out to our "favorite" Congress-Critter Bill Shuster.


    "... a public-private partnership involving $52 million in NS funds and supported by a $45 million investment by Pennsylvania, is part of railroad’s Crescent Corridor series of projects, a 2,500-mile network of rail and terminals that helps moderate truck traffic on congested roadways and reduce carbon emissions.




    The railroad is incorporating low-emission cranes and hostler tractors as well as the latest gate and terminal automation in order to maintain air quality and support truck drivers.




    The Franklin County Regional Intermodal Facility is the third Crescent Corridor intermodal terminal NS has opened since mid-2012, with facilities in Birmingham, Ala., and Memphis, Tenn., having started operations within the past six months. Construction of a fourth Crescent Corridor-related intermodal terminal, located in Charlotte, N.C. is underway."


    See also:
    22 Jan 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • NSC Earnings tonight:
    22 Jan 2013, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • I see a lot of claims and references, here, on Axion's web site and elsewhere, to "long cycle life". But have been unable to track down any reliable numbers. How long is long? 10% more cycles than conventional Pb acid? Twice as many? 5 times as many?


    Seems to me that's a very important metric to have when evaluating the prospects of this company.


    I did find a list on a forum that put it at 1600 cycles, though it didn't have a number for the remaining capacity after those 1600 cycles, so it's hard to know what to make of it. I see estimates for conventional Pb-acid ranging from widely from 200 to 1000, and claims that Firefly (bankrupt) got 2000 with theirs.


    I realize that there are many factors that have a huge effect on cycle life (temperature, depth of discharge, rate of charge/discharge, overcharge, etc.), but there must be some standard test parameters to help make comparisons.
    11 Mar 2013, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • The last number we heard from management was 2,500 cycles at 100% DOD, but the more critical metrics are 100,000 micro hybrid duty cycles and a 5-year life in heavy cycling operations like rail and heavy truck APUs.
    11 Mar 2013, 02:05 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks. That's good to know.
    12 Mar 2013, 12:35 PM Reply Like
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