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  • Axion Power Concentrator 201: Jan. 22: Axion Power PbC Batteries Continue To Demonstrate Effectiveness For Railroad Applications 275 comments
    Jan 22, 2013 9:54 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. (NYSE: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 (http://s.tt/1yi7s)

    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.

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    Axion Power Weighted Moving Average Prices and Volume:

    (updated thru 01/18/2013)

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    Axion Power Concentrator Comments Activity:

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    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!
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    WARNING: This is a troll free zone. We reserve the right to eliminate posts, or posters that are disruptive.

    Enjoy!

    Disclosure: I am long OTCQB:AXPW.

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Comments (275)
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  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Nooooooooooooo? But YES !
    22 Jan 2013, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • mds5375
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    As close as I'll ever come
    22 Jan 2013, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    Never give up mds5375. Persistence is the ultimate virtue.
    22 Jan 2013, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • mds5375
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    I remember asking somewhere around Concentrator 50 if you guys ever slept. IIRC, the answers tended toward: "Definitely! Always between 2am and 2:20am"

     

    Unfortunately, I still have to work a day job. (That is at least until AXPW hits $10!) =(:o))
    22 Jan 2013, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • Alphameister
    , contributor
    Comments (1428) | Send Message
     
    The secret is to intuit the sleeping habits of the host and sleep only when he does! ;)
    22 Jan 2013, 11:50 AM Reply Like
  • Alphameister
    , contributor
    Comments (1428) | Send Message
     
    Graciously accepting the bronze!
    22 Jan 2013, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2413) | Send Message
     
    Way OT, though I think improving economic sentiment is good for the Energy Storage Sector:

     

    Jan. 18, 2013, 6:05 a.m. EST
    What platinum’s premium over gold really means
    By Myra P. Saefong, MarketWatch

     

    http://on.mktw.net/Sw1JeL
    22 Jan 2013, 10:34 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    PSA Peugeot Citroën and Bosch developing hydraulic hybrid powertrain for passenger cars; 30% reduction in fuel consumption in NEDC, up to 45% urban; B-segment application in 2016

     

    http://bit.ly/Xwp4K5
    22 Jan 2013, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    That's a very neat technology and I'll bet dollars to donuts that it will require a good deal more than a single flooded or AGM battery to carry the hotel loads.
    22 Jan 2013, 12:43 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Generally very expensive as well. Watched a team develop hydraulic engine cooling units for a Chrysler Jeep program and the tolerances on the components are to die for. Used the excess capacity from the hydraulic steering pump. Toyota also did this for some of their vehicles and dropped it as it was too expensive. If I recall correctly it was on some Lexus models, Camry and the Avalon.

     

    We shall see. Great idea for large vehicles that stop and start a lot like garbage trucks. Not so sure for smaller vehicles.
    22 Jan 2013, 01:08 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1307) | Send Message
     
    Thats very interesting. Everything I've seen says that hydraulic hybrids are cheaper and capture more energy than competing electric hybrids (due to battery limitations)
    Still, on a small passenger car? Maybe in urban settings.
    I'd rather see it on a thirsty truck.
    22 Jan 2013, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1307) | Send Message
     
    Unspecified technical challenges have yet to be overcome before a commercial launch, Bosch's Bohr said.

     

    Peugeot plans battery-free hybrid to rival Toyota
    http://reut.rs/XwqRP5
    22 Jan 2013, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • VictorG45
    , contributor
    Comments (40) | Send Message
     
    iindelco, Any idea what the weight and pressure issues on a system like this would be ? I don't think I would like to be sitting on top of several thousand psi.

     

    Regards,
    Victor
    23 Jan 2013, 06:17 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Victor, I think given the cycling nature of this system, using the storage unit to capture and return the energy each SS cycle, should make the storage unit not so bad from a safety standpoint. Failure modes could be designed to allow for a more controlled release of the energy during unusual events. As for weight, that's an issue, you can move toward carbon fiber for the tanks which helps but you still have the mass of hydraulic motors and the fluid. I would be interested to see the duty cycle (frequency of SS events) where this makes sense in a small passenger vehicle.

     

    If you're worried about sitting on all that energy you'd probably not want to have one of these. Not that they make sense anyway.

     

    Deflating the Air Car

     

    http://bit.ly/WKcAjp
    23 Jan 2013, 06:56 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2413) | Send Message
     
    Boeing 787 Probe Widens

     

    TUE 22 JAN 13 | 11:02 AM ET

     

    Boeing has officially halted Dreamliner deliveries, reports CNBC's Phil LeBeau. Richard Aboulafia, The Teal Group Corporation vp, shares his take on the investigation of the aircraft.

     

    http://bit.ly/WGs7AS

     

    5:54.

     

    Can't even fly em home to fix em!

     

    Supposedly over charging of the battery has been ruled out.
    22 Jan 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • nakedjaybird
    , contributor
    Comments (2716) | Send Message
     
    Re. Boeing - the plot thickens:

     

    "Problems with the 787's lithium-ion battery have sparked questions about why the FAA in 2007 granted Boeing a "special condition" to allow use of the batteries on the plane, despite the fact that they are highly flammable and hard to extinguish if they catch fire."

     

    "Boeing designed a special system that was supposed to contain any such fire and vent toxic gasses outside the plane, but the two recent incidents have raised questions about whether that was a good decision.

     

    "It remains unclear what caused the batteries to fail, but when it announced plans to ground U.S.-based 787s, the FAA said both battery failures released flammable chemicals, heat damage and smoke - all of which could affect critical systems on the plane and spark a fire in the electrical compartment.

     

    "The FAA has said it will keep the 787s grounded until airlines demonstrate that the battery system is safe and complies with safety regulations."

     

    http://yhoo.it/145JwHQ
    22 Jan 2013, 09:25 PM Reply Like
  • nakedjaybird
    , contributor
    Comments (2716) | Send Message
     
    And thickens:

     

    "The batteries were chosen "after a careful review of available alternatives because they best met the performance and design objectives of the 787," Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said. "Based on everything we know at this point, we have not changed our evaluation."

     

    http://reut.rs/VpEamE
    22 Jan 2013, 10:32 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    oh the pain should they be forced to obtain: UL certification.
    23 Jan 2013, 08:13 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2127) | Send Message
     
    Edmund,
    That was very very funny.
    Thank you for that.
    23 Jan 2013, 08:33 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Looks like they actually got a development contract.

     

    JCI gets deal to produce 48-volt batteries

     

    "Alex Molinaroli, president of JCI's battery division, says an unnamed European automaker will introduce the higher voltage system as early as 2015. The vehicle to be produced will have two batteries: a conventional 12-volt lead-acid starter battery and a lithium ion battery for the high-voltage hardware.

     

    Molinaroli, speaking at the Detroit auto show last week, says his company has a development contract to produce the batteries. "It will happen, and it will happen first in Europe," he said.

     

    Such systems are pricey. Automakers will have to redesign a vehicle's alternator and starter, and such a system might cost the automaker $1,200 or so. A motorist might expect to recoup those costs in three years or so from higher fuel economy, Molinaroli said."

     

    http://bit.ly/XwtL6r
    22 Jan 2013, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (712) | Send Message
     
    So do we have any idea as to how long this dual battery system has been undergoing testing?

     

    I would expect that not only would the alternator and starter need to be redesigned. How about the vehicle itself in order to accomidate the extra battery? Then there's the changes to the on board computer, the addition of an idiot light, changes to the wiring harness, the owners manual, the technical documents for the mechanics, it goes on and on.

     

    BMW apparently has been working with Axion for what is it now, 3 years and we haven't started fleet testing?

     

    Whats wrong with this picture?
    22 Jan 2013, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13482) | Send Message
     
    I am guessing the "unnamed European automaker" is Porsche, they have offered Li batteries as options on some models...

     

    But my second guess would be BMW.
    22 Jan 2013, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Albert, I'd guess that it would be introduced on a major model update. Could also be for only a part of the platform. Like GM offeres the Malibu with a 4 banger and also with E-assist. Ultimately we don't know.

     

    Also it could be any one of the European manufacturers. I couldn't give odds on which one.
    22 Jan 2013, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1770) | Send Message
     
    "BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz also have used dual lead-acid batteries to accommodate their stop-start systems, Molinaroli said.

     

    But dual-battery electrical systems should be considered an interim technology, Molinaroli cautioned. Eventually, automakers will want to consolidate to just one battery"

     

    Hmmm...let me understand this. JCI says a dual lead-acid battery system is an interim tech because eventually automakers will want to consolidate to just one battery. But the one battery that JCI will be selling is actually a two battery system that is just in one case. I guess the fact that they have two different batteries in one case makes it one battery?
    22 Jan 2013, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2413) | Send Message
     
    Maybe these guys?

     

    48V Architecture and Energy-Storage Requirements and Solutions

     

    Josef Berger, Development Engineer for High-Voltage Batteries, Audi AG

     

    Abstract

     

    In the near future, vehicles will have a high amount of new electric technologies to improve customers driving experience and comfort. Auxiliary heaters, electric rear axles and electric turbo chargers will be integrated in the vehicles to name only a few. In combination with the aim to reduce CO2 emissions and technologies as StartStop on the move to reach this goal, future vehicles will see an ongoing increase in electrification and therefore an increasing demand of power, energy and to the 12V battery. A possible solution to fulfill the growing requirements on the power supply in vehicles is the use of a 48V power supply.

     

    The presentation will cover three topics regarding the 48V power supply focusing on the energy storage:

     

    48V Architecture:
    48V architectures in general
    12V/48V and 48V/12V topologies
    Energy-Storage Requirements:
    Li-Ion Battery
    Lead-Acid Battery
    Supercaps
    Solutions:
    The Audi approach

     

    From a page posted earlier today:
    http://bit.ly/XunFEt
    22 Jan 2013, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Here's a question that I've been nurturing a while WRT 48 volt systems or split 12V/48V systems and the PbC:

     

    We've kicked around the whole airport-test question a good bit when it comes to the PbC single-battery proposition for SS/micro hybrids, and if I have it right, we've all kind of concluded that because the PbC has some adverse self-discharge propensities, that we wouldn't want to risk it as the only battery in the car, IE the only means of starting the engine after a period of prolonged (~2-3 weeks+ ) parking... and due to this it's pretty much been settled that the best PbC SS/MicroHybrid setup is necessarily going to be the two battery solution: a 12V flooded LA along with a (likely) nominal 16V PbC which in operation will be kept at some intermediate SOC more like 14V...

     

    Okay anyway, so now we're hearing a lot more about 48V systems and 12V/48V systems, offering some obvious advantages for greater electrification and energy management/recapture, all mostly using Li-ion... though presumably PbC may have a shot at being a contender too with a theorized setup of one 12V flooded LA mated with three 16V PbCs... which should be cheaper than Li-ion, but, as some of us have despaired, will be quite a bit heavier and more voluminous than Li-ion, thereby negating our other advantages... So here's my question: Shouldn't it be possible, in the 12V/48V split system, if we're talking about using a three-PbC setup at 48V nominal, shouldn't it be possible in such a setup, given the presence of some DC/DC conversion, to dispense with the 12V flooded LA altogether? (for starting) ... I mean it would seem to me that, even if the PbCs would self discharge a bit more than conventional LA, that even after a prolonged stay in an airport parking lot in snow, that there *should* be enough energy (and voltage) left in a three-PbC bank to still start the engine. Say the PbCs all declined all the way down to 8V per battery, 1 volt per cell... you'd still have 24Volts from the pack proper and still some usable energy I would think, plenty enough to start the ICE engine and bring the whole system back up to level and online. Li-ion maybe can't do this quite as well because of cold wx limitation (though that has been debated) and so still would need the flooded LA for SLI... but PbC, just might be able to pull it off without it.. which of course would go a good way towards alleviating some of PbC's disadvantage in size and weight, and further help cost, if only that flooded LA could be eliminated..

     

    If the main field of competition is really mostly SS and light microhybrids then as we've discussed PbC has a great functionality advantage over conventional AGM and great cost advantage over Li-ion there... but if the field truly shifts toward 48V and heavier hybridization/ electrification, involving more potential fuel savings and thus allowing greater up-front costs, then I think we're seeing that Li-ion is going to be the main competitor (understatement)... maybe even to the point of completely shutting us out.. but maybe, just maybe, the potential for the ability to eliminate the requirement for the adjunct flooded LA could be our saving grace in that space...

     

    Thoughts?
    22 Jan 2013, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9799) | Send Message
     
    48: Interesting theory. Although in talking/listening with/to TG during three different visits to New Castle, I've never heard him talk about anything but a two battery option for stop/start.

     

    What I'd like to know is if just one 16V (or one 12V) PbC will do, rather than three. If this is true, than spatial and cost considerations dramatically change. I haven't heard, or at least do not recall TG talking about a three PbCs plus one LA battery approach.
    22 Jan 2013, 05:55 PM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2260) | Send Message
     
    48, a few clarifications...

     

    If there is a need for a 48 volt PbC to fit in a HT30 size case, there is no significant challenge AFAIK. Instead of six cells (for 12 volt) or eight (for 16v), just make the cells smaller and put 24 in the case. Standard 6-cell plastic cases are very cheap as they are made in the millions. A 24 cell case would need new plastic injection tooling, and low volume (at this time) would make the unit price higher.

     

    However, if the total energy required exceeds the capacity of a HT30 case, multiple batteries can be ganged in series, as you wrote.

     

    However, regardless of the nominal voltage, the PbC self-discharges and eventually may not have enough energy to start the car, independent of voltage. Theoretically, one could dynamically "rewire" the batteries or possibly use a power converter, but either approach would likely be expensive and inefficient.

     

    I suspect the ultimate goal of the 48 volt movement is to have the starter also 48 volts. The heaviest wiring in a car is to the starter. Then 12 volts is just the backward-compatible power source for toys and "old-style" accessories.
    22 Jan 2013, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I suspect that the "tunability" of the PbC would also be found to impact its' rate of self-discharge.
    22 Jan 2013, 06:12 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Gents, thanks...

     

    Rick, one thing that jumps out at me instantly is if the move is indeed made to a 48V starter (or perhaps more likely 48V starter/boost/traction motor?) then that pretty much throws the 12V FLA out the window too? Or would they keep it around as you say for the legacy device needs? Or could they again, involve a dc/dc voltage converter for the legacy stepdown?
    22 Jan 2013, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (2678) | Send Message
     
    For them to be ready in two years would imply that the relationship with BMW (if it exists at all) has been going on simultaneously with the Axion/BMW relationship for the past few years.

     

    Will AXPW also be ready in 2015? Maybe JCI's president has loose lips compared to the Axion team. Interesting but might also be confirmation that there will be many flavors and victors in the new micro hybrid world.
    22 Jan 2013, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    The other thing you need to remember is that conventional lead-acid batteries are the size they are because of cold cranking amps requirements.

     

    In a 12v-48v system you high CCA for the 12v system but nowhere near as much for the 48v system. If you think in terms of a Group 24 starter battery mated to four 12v PbC's in a motorcycle or lawn tractor battery form factor, you can see that 12v-48v is just not a big deal.
    22 Jan 2013, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    John, right of course, but then as you get closer-to/ deeper-in full hybrid territory you'd want to size the 48V pack in order to 1) be able to crank out some serious amps (thus watts) in order to provide meaningful torque/traction boost and 2) be big enough to accept a heavy DCA load from full-on regenerative braking, correct?
    22 Jan 2013, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9799) | Send Message
     
    I'm still a little confused. I'm not sure why the PbC needs to be a 48V battery to begin with. Isn't the idea of how the PbC outperforms lithium by 2 to 4 times the rate of charge acceptance and discharge rate, is what gives the PbC an edge over lithium batteries? Besides safety? Besides disposal and recycling costs? Adding further that light duty cycles of 100,000 (plus) gives the PbC even more advantages in duty lifespan, at 12V or 16V.

     

    Isn't this what the Instanbul findings with BMW, and the Axion Power PbC White Paper were all about?

     

    If the auto industry is switching to lithium at 48V, plus a LAB for cranking, and yet it seems its no big deal to transform a PbC to 48V by reconfiguring individual cell size, then how does this affect the weight of a single battery, as Rick and JP wrote? Most certainly, turning a 12V PbC into a 48V battery would not result in four times the size and weight, or a 16V 30HT into 48V would therefore not be three times the size and weight (adding that a cranking battery would be needed just as with the present JCI solution).

     

    Through some 42,000 comments and a bazillion articles I've read since the inception of the APCs, I have learned a lot. But this latest round of curiosity has me puzzled.

     

    To clarify, why does it seem that multiplying the voltage of a PbC three or four times result in three or four times more size and weight? And then ergo, the PbC would cost three or four times as much?

     

    My still nascent thinking is that this is NOT the case.

     

    Thank you Rick and JP, for clarifying this to not be true (?). And thank you 48 for continuing this conversation.
    22 Jan 2013, 08:53 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    It all depends on the market you want to target.

     

    I'm really frustrated by battery manufacturers who deliberately blur the lines between vehicle classes.

     

    The whole idea behind a micro-hybrid is that it doesn't even try to deliver electric boost to the wheels and its capacity for regenerative braking is limited to opportunistic charging. A typical micro-hybrid uses a 1 kW starter generator although the LC Super Hybrid goes all the way up to a 2 kW liquid cooled starter generator.

     

    Mild-hybrids like the Honda Insight and Buick LaCrosse use a motor generator in the 8 to 16 hp range to add acceleration boost and serious brake energy regeneration.

     

    Full hybrids are in the 60 to 90 hp class.

     

    When JCI starts pounding the table about their 12v-48v system with heavy regenerative braking they're well into the mild hybrid class, which is not where the bulk of the demand will be.
    22 Jan 2013, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4541) | Send Message
     
    >JP ... You gotta sell what ya got. Whether it fits the need ... well, it will get the job done and it IS what JCI's got. Pound the table often enough and the public can be convinced to buy more than they need or what doesn't actually work well. It's the need that has to be filled and that need is to sell what they got. Baaaaaaaaa!
    22 Jan 2013, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    JP, you packed a lot of clarity-bringing into that short post.
    And this phrase seems to me to be by far the most pregnant:

     

    "....which is not where the bulk of the demand will be."

     

    Is it possible though that this *could* prove to be a very moving target? (Apropos to Maya's curiosity/confusion)

     

    Could we even be seeing that in progress right now?
    22 Jan 2013, 09:44 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1906) | Send Message
     
    I think Maya's confusion is coming from the post that said we have to string 3 16V PbC's together to get a 48V PbC, which is not the case.

     

    Where I am coming from and maybe Maya as well, is that this dual battery 12V and 48V system should be right up the PbC's alley, just minus the energy boost going to the wheels.

     

    Of course, JCI's system uses Li-ion because A. They don't have the PbC and B. this particular system is mild-hybrid not micro-hybrid.

     

    Bottom line: With its high DCA and cycle-life the PbC should be able to compete in a system like this, but just without as much "boost/energy" going to the wheels. Is that correct?
    22 Jan 2013, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Sorry jak if I added confusion. The wealth of abstracts from the AABC conference link seemed to indicate that there may be something to the 48V movement now... And right, no need to string three full size PbCs together unless they needed/wanted that much energy and power... IE 1.5 KWh... to handle mild hybrid loads...

     

    my overarching concern, if you can call it that, is this: could the OEM's perhaps be looking to bypass simple SS and microhybrids and go right to mild-hybrid en masse? In other words shift the whole production curve up and to the right in the heavier hybrid direction (where lithium is more competitive) and thus more or less skip the simple SS regime? Is that possible does anyone think?
    22 Jan 2013, 10:16 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Perhaps a better way to express it came to me...

     

    --The cheap incumbent battery (AGM) is not good enough for SS/Microhybrid...
    --SS/Microhybrid is not worth the expensive battery (li-ion) that *is* good enough...

     

    --WE WANT the OEMs to discover and go with the PbC, a battery that IS good enough, and cheap enough, for SS/MH.

     

    But WHAT IF they, instead, decide (because they're in love with Li-ion) to up the game (IE to mild hybrid) to where it IS worth it gas savings wise to go with lithium... is that any kind of real danger?
    22 Jan 2013, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (2115) | Send Message
     
    Hi 86,
    JMO, I think this is a different solution to the battery question for a particular application. I think SS continues to be developed and deployed as a simple and cost effective form of efficiency. Also, as an OEM I would be watching the Boeing problem very closely as public perception of Li-on may receive a serious black eye.
    22 Jan 2013, 10:30 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    sd, agreed on both counts...
    22 Jan 2013, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4541) | Send Message
     
    >481086 ... I don't think the OEMs can get to the fleet mileage numbers by skipping the simple SS regime in the lower end where unit numbers are highest & hybridization is minimal. Margin compression or price increases might be made acceptable but that would seem an act of desperation.
    22 Jan 2013, 10:51 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Good point D. I just see a lot of players on both sides going into various contortions (of denial, and reaching) now that the ugly truth is starting to sink in that enhanced flooded, and even carbon enhanced AGMs, just aren't going to cut it...

     

    classic response: change the game...repaint the lines / shift the goalposts / rewrite the rules
    22 Jan 2013, 11:10 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4541) | Send Message
     
    >481086 ... You gotta sell what you got. Nothin' works like the classical approach when you don't have what you need.
    22 Jan 2013, 11:22 PM Reply Like
  • festein
    , contributor
    Comments (78) | Send Message
     
    The objective with 48V is to reduce "I sqaured R" losses - by keeping the same kWh battery capacity, but increasing the voltage by a factor of 4, the current being delivered/accepted reduces by a factor of 4. Given that I^2R losses involve squaring the current, if you reduce the current by a factor of 4, you reduce the losses by a factor of 16. This is why people are saying that with micro hybrids, if you move from 12V to 48V, with no other changes, you will double the fuel savings achieved.

     

    Re Li-ion - "power" cells (as distinct from energy cells) can accept pulse charges at 30C - they have huge charge acceptance. They are, however, expensive - $20 for each (say) 3.5V, 4.5 Ah pouch. From an OEM perspective, however, they are low risk (maybe not so low risk after the 787, but this is how they view things) - so a combined SLI/Li-ion while more expensive than they like, is all at scale (re manufacturing) and all low risk. Hence why this combination is being discussed more and more.

     

    Not sure about OEM's going to single storage as suggested by JCI - start stop in motion will require a back up storage system for saftey reasons - but it does explain JCI's interest in A123 - they have the best low temperature performance of any Li-ion I've seen, and has a compelling shot at meeting EU OEM requirements for CCA performance and so would enable a sinle Li-ion battery. It would be more expensive, however, than a SLI/Li-ion combo.
    22 Jan 2013, 11:28 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9799) | Send Message
     
    jarkutz: Regenerative boosting was never part of my druthers. Afterall, PbC stop/start technology has nothing to do with powering a non-EV hybrid up and down the road. It's all about when the ICE engine is at rest, including "sailing time," offering to the end user, the buyer of any car that deploys this technology, a significant fuel savings, a ROI of both buying into and using this new technology.

     

    What I'm trying to figure is why is it necessary to go to a 48V battery configuration to begin with. When the Instanbul conference and Axion's White Paper state, profess, conclude, that the PbC is capable to make stop/start vehicles using Axion 12V, or maybe 16V technology, as is, which should work just fine.

     

    Beginning to remind me of how GM rubbed Packard right out of existence.
    23 Jan 2013, 01:42 AM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    festein, your comments always highly valued, as is the case here. But from the above:

     

    "Given that I^2R losses involve squaring the current, if you reduce the current by a factor of 4, you reduce the losses by a factor of 16. This is why people are saying that with micro hybrids, if you move from 12V to 48V, with no other changes, you will double the fuel savings achieved."

     

    I don't think I see as strong a relationship between the ohmic losses you rightly point out, and the impact on potential fuel savings. Will reducing ohmic losses by lowering currents really have that big an effect on fuel? Is that really the main reason for going to a higher voltage system or is it rather the savings in the amount of copper weight, bulk, and cost that also results from lowering required currents?

     

    For instance, say we're transferring a kilowatt of (DC) power at 12V: 1000Watts divided by 12V = 83.3 amps..

     

    For ~80 amps you'd want to have say, #4 wire at about 0.25 milliohms per foot of resistance..

     

    http://bit.ly/Wf1B3J

     

    and let's say we in a car we have a twelve foot run from source to load, so 12 x 0.25 = 3 milliohms

     

    at 3 mOhm the I2R losses would be:

     

    83.3^2 x 0.003 = about 21 Watts... So in trying to transfer 1kW we'd only get ~980 Watts transferred

     

    Now, at 48 Volts our amps would be 1000 / 48 = 20.83 amps and our losses would be 20.8^2 x 0.003 ohms = 1.3 Watts losses, which yes is 1/16 of 21 but is it really going to make that big a difference? And that's calculated for using the same heavy gauge wire... if we instead go with #12 wire at 1.6 milliohms per foot then the losses would be:

     

    20.8^2 x 12 x 0.0016 = 8.3 watts or just under half that for 12V and #4 wire...

     

    I realize I've likely oversimplified or otherwise might have gooned the math, but it does seem to me that at least equal to the savings of ohmic losses is the savings on the total amount of wire weight, bulk, and cost itself...
    23 Jan 2013, 02:33 AM Reply Like
  • festein
    , contributor
    Comments (78) | Send Message
     
    Actually, I've never done the calculation before - I have asked others where the additional fuel saving comes from, and I get the" I squared R" answer.

     

    The savings, however, appear to be real; have a look at this http://bit.ly/TOUvjS

     

    "Recovering energy during braking or deceleration with 48V is twice as efficient than with 12V, he says. “If you can save 5%-10% with 48V, you could save only 2.5% to 5% with 12V. And with 12V, boosting would be zero.”

     

    Thanks for providing the calculation. This gives me something new to look at.
    23 Jan 2013, 03:13 AM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Thanks in turn for the link. I meant my post to be more as exploration, and less as argument, but that might not have come across...
    23 Jan 2013, 03:26 AM Reply Like
  • Keyboard
    , contributor
    Comments (67) | Send Message
     
    Could be good news.

     

    Not to speak for JP, but when describing the micro-hybrid spectrum as light, medium and heavy he has always identified the heavy end as an especially sweet spot for the PbC.

     

    A broadening of auto industry interest from minimally effective systems toward the heavy micro-hybrid and light mild-hybrid is what you might have prayed for earlier. Now that there are rumblings that it might happen, should we not be seeing a little more joy in your downcast eyes? It also means more battery sales per vehicle. Chin up, 48.
    23 Jan 2013, 05:32 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    The regenerative braking potential of a car is wholly dependent on the size of its generator.

     

    Light, medium and heavy micro-hybrids scavenge excess engine energy during deceleration with up to a 2 kW starter generator.

     

    They are different animals than mild hybrids that actively recover braking energy with an 8 to 16 kW motor generator.

     

    In a micro hybrid all you need is a better battery and a starter generator that's optimized to scavenge excess engine power.

     

    As soon as you transition from a micro-hybrid to a mild hybrid you need systems that take energy from the battery, put it into a motor generator that delivers boost to the wheels during acceleration and uses power from the wheels for regenerative braking.

     

    Both solutions have advantages and disadvantages, but mild hybrids will never be cheap because they include significant electrical and mechanical upgrades where micro-hybrids don't mess with the mechanical systems.
    23 Jan 2013, 05:57 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2260) | Send Message
     
    Maya, if the 48 v system becomes popular it will be used for hotel loads, such as a/c, electric power steering, active suspension, and electric heating (seats, windows).
    23 Jan 2013, 07:58 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1906) | Send Message
     
    JP, What do you think of JCI's claim that the system will only cost customers $1200-$1400? That seems cheap for all the mechanical upgrades that are needed, I would think just the 48v battery would cost about that.

     

    48, No worries. I am easily confused, plain and simple.
    23 Jan 2013, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    I'm not entirely clear on whether JCI is talking about complete system costs or just the battery. Even if they're talking complete system costs, the price strikes me as high.

     

    If you figure a CAFE compliant 2016 MY passenger car will get 37.8 mpg, it will use about 330 gallons of fuel per year. So a 20% savings works out to 66 gallons a year. At $4 a gallon, the annual savings is $264 and the cost limit for the magic 3-year payback consumers expect is $792.

     

    The mechanical costs of micro hybrids are effectively a wash because they either continue with the same starter and alternator combination or replace the two devices with a slightly larger starter generator. That means the incremental cost of a micro-hybrid system is basically the cost of a better battery and more sophisticated control electronics.
    23 Jan 2013, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • Keyboard
    , contributor
    Comments (67) | Send Message
     
    My above comment is out of context there -- it got shifted to a later spot (while in the comment approval queue).

     

    Context was intended as a calming response to 48's "overarching concern" about OEMs bypassing "simple SS and microhybrids"...."right to mild-hybrid en masse? “.
    23 Jan 2013, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    I don't see that as a likely outcome because the payback period simply isn't there.
    23 Jan 2013, 04:07 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    KB, no sweat. I know what you meant. Concern was probably not the right word, I was just trying to kick it around a bit to see if our guesses and what we think we know are still valid or not and to what extent...and thanks to all for the feedback and discussion.
    23 Jan 2013, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I have become convinced that the move to higher voltage is going to happen, but continue to study in an attempt to foresee the future.
    There's definitely a limit beyond which higher voltage is more of a problem than a solution however, due to arcing and safety concerns at least. But it isn't 12V.
    12V hand-held power tools are gone, in favor of 18V temporarily, with the upward trend continuing and with noticeable improvement. But nobody is selling 96V (yet).
    The motivation is apparently a matter of physics and electrical engineering, but at this point in my DD I cannot clarify any better. I WOULD WELCOME THE EDUCATION.

     

    As far as I understand batteries, the chemistry of battery cells is independent of the voltage they are put together to generate. The advantages we are all familiar with respect to the PbC will hold true regardless of how many are put in series to create whatever voltage is desired. In fact, the King in a String property only serves to make it a better cell from which to create higher voltage from a larger battery of cells.
    If everything moves up in voltage, as well it may, the challenge for AXPW would be one of manufacturing - leaving many other advantages intact.
    23 Jan 2013, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Well, there's no SS on an EV, but then we know how they sell, without even arguing what they're worth. What will continue to sell are a whole lot of cars and trucks that can only benefit by having SS. Properly done, there is NO downside to SS.
    23 Jan 2013, 09:44 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Dang it, there goes my investment in copper. But wait, what adjustments would need to be made to the motors (permanent magnet type, let's say)?
    23 Jan 2013, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2768) | Send Message
     
    48
    One other thing:
    Cars are getting more electronic and loss of steering or brakes as the cable no longer exists would be a problem if the battery dies catastrophically. (Meaning all at once.) Having a second battery that, in an emergency, would let you get to the side of the road, may be considered a necessary safety feature.
    Even if it is two PbCs ;-)
    23 Jan 2013, 10:04 PM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2260) | Send Message
     
    Many standards bodies have decreed that DC up to 50 volts is safe for consumers. AC switches are easy to make at "high" voltages like 120 or 240, as there is no electricity flowing 60 times a second. A DC switch at 120 volts is more likely to arc.

     

    The high voltage batteries used in EVs are very protected from consumers - no end user connections or adjustments are (legally) possible.
    23 Jan 2013, 10:51 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    froggey, def concur with that. fly-by-wire for essential controls is always going to require some redundancy...just not sure how they'll achieve that, mechanically is what I'd prefer... I can manage in the emergency without *power* steering and *power* brakes, but I still need them to have some basic fallback functionality to get to the side of the road safely...
    23 Jan 2013, 11:33 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1350) | Send Message
     
    Also, IIRC the pedulum for line loss efficiency swings to the favor of DC around 60 volts...
    24 Jan 2013, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Rick, You're right about switching DC. Very hard on the contacts and I've seen numerous recalls over the years when automakers just don't get the switching right even at 12VDC. Such as this recent recall by Toyota.

     

    Toyota Recalls 7.5 Million Cars For Door Fires

     

    http://aol.it/WpgiOz

     

    I'll also add, once again, that handling the transients when you're switching DC is a problem and obviously goes up considerably at 48VDC. Not as much a problem years ago but with all the modern electronics in a vehicle, installed and plugged in, it becomes a nightmare.
    24 Jan 2013, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    more legs... less and less clothes on the emperor...

     

    http://bit.ly/VohQKc

     

    but then this:

     

    "Obama issued a $465 million loan guarantee to Tesla Motors. The lithium ion battery in a Tesla reportedly burst into flames last year after not being recharged for a long period of time."

     

    Wha? Burst into flames? Did we hear about that? I may be having another not-yet-senior moment, but IIRC it was only that the car in question bricked itself... I guess we'll find out soon enough if there's a retraction/correction, which there should be. It's one thing for a car to brick and die, too bad so sad, enjoy your new paperweight....but it's quite another for it to spontaneously decide to become its own spectacular funeral pyre... I mean, that's just spiteful.
    22 Jan 2013, 02:24 PM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2260) | Send Message
     
    I found the following links that may (sorta) indirectly support a "Tesla ... burst into flames" story.. Not exactly authoritative, though.

     

    http://bit.ly/WdNYSc
    http://bit.ly/WTD0xM
    http://bit.ly/WdNYSg
    http://bit.ly/WTD0O0

     

    It will be interesting if there really was a spontaneous Tesla fire.
    22 Jan 2013, 02:53 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1770) | Send Message
     
    Rick,
    Seems unlikely that the fire at the battery testing facility was an actually battery fire, since the article states that the sprinkler system put the fire out...instead of causing the whole building to burst into flames from the battery reacting with water!
    22 Jan 2013, 04:58 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13482) | Send Message
     
    Many laymen (such as those writing these articles) confuse "fire suppression systems" with "sprinkler systems"...
    23 Jan 2013, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    Fire suppression systems are remarkably ineffective at stopping a lithium-ion battery fire. One of my informal contacts is with a Canadian who's involved with a failure analysis testing lab that wants to be able to create a failure event and then analyze partially destroyed cells before they become cremains.

     

    So far the only way they've found to stop the process once it starts involves dumping several hundred pounds of sand on the cells to act as a heat sink while eliminating air and moisture.
    23 Jan 2013, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2260) | Send Message
     
    JP, I read your comment and did not believe you. So, a little research found this http://bit.ly/V7bi0J

     

    "FAA Test Principal Finding:
    Lithium batteries may represent the ultimate hazardous material,
    especially when shipped in bulk as cargo, with the potential to breach all defenses should they catch fire."

     

    I, naively, assumed Halon kills all fires. Yet:

     

    “Note: Never discharge Halon 1211 on class D (burning metal) fires.”
    -AC 20-42C"

     

    "Current extinguishing agents will not stop the lithium reaction. though the subsequent fires should be extinguished with
    current Halon 1301 concentrations."

     

    So, you are absolutely right. Lithium battery fires are really, really hard to put out. Li actually reacts with Halon (and water). I'm surprised this has not gotten more attention in the auto sector.
    23 Jan 2013, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    The problem with factoids like that one is they come from people who have communicated "off-the-record" and would cut me off at the knees if I ever disclosed their identities or affiliations. That means I can talk in general terms in a friendly forum like this one but could get strung up by the thumbs if I made that kind of statement in a main pages article and didn't provide a credible source. Woodward and Bernstein could get away with the deep throat approach. I can't.
    23 Jan 2013, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (987) | Send Message
     
    As I understand it, not all lithium batteries are so risky. The lithium polymer and Lithium Cobalt chemistries seem to be the most dangerous, so I was surprised to learn that BA chose that for the Dreamliner. LiFePO4 seems to be the most stable. I have not heard of an instance of any spontaneous fires with that chemistry.
    23 Jan 2013, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2260) | Send Message
     
    NGS, I think there are two different issues.

     

    1 ) Is the specific Li chemistry likely to catch fire or explode? Some Li chemistries are more dangerous than others. My understanding is that all the commercial, rechargeable Li chemistries can ignite and have higher fire risk than NiCd, Pb, PbC, NiMH, etc.

     

    2) Once a Li battery catches fire, how hard is it to extinguish? My limited understanding is that all the Li battery chemistries are very, very difficult to extinguish. All the sources I found (not exhaustive) basically said one has to let the Li finish burning, then put out the residual fire with Halon or other agents.

     

    The visual image of several 20 ton dump trucks burying a burning Tesla in sand is amusing. "Monumental"
    23 Jan 2013, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    With 85 kWh of energy in a Model S battery I suspect you'd simply be pouring sand on slag if there was a catastrophic battery failure.
    23 Jan 2013, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    The visual I see is the glass that encapsulates used nuclear fuel. A mountain of Yucka.
    23 Jan 2013, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (987) | Send Message
     
    I am certainly no expert, but my understanding is that LiFePO4 chemistry does not have this fire risk. I have seen several videos of A123 pouch cells being shot, punctured, shorted, soaked, stomped on, etc. and they never burst into flames. Here is a good one where a guy shoots a hole in one and it still puts out voltage. Then he shorts it out with a metal pipe. It makes a little smoke but never ignites. Then he chops another one with an axe, but no smoke. Thermal runaway is just not an issue with this chemistry.
    http://bit.ly/Wnu0Se

     

    Conversely, there are lots of videos on youtube of Li Polymer batteries going up in flames after over or undercharging, or just spontaneously for no reason at all.
    23 Jan 2013, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    A battery pack from A123 did $5 million of damage when it blew up in a GM battery testing laboratory that was built to withstand catastrophic battery failures. I'm still waiting on the reports of the investigations we were promised in April of last year.

     

    http://bit.ly/Q8ycGf

     

    Gee whiz videos on YouTube are interesting but prove nothing.
    23 Jan 2013, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    nogoodslacker, Here is a page from Battery University that shows some of the different cathode materials and what their advantages are. Also compares energy density of LAB's through some of the lithium ion chemistries.

     

    Lithium iron phosphate is more of a power battery and lithium cobalt is more of an energy battery. Pick one per unit space because there are trade offs and you can't have both.

     

    http://bit.ly/Wur4nM
    23 Jan 2013, 05:54 PM Reply Like
  • BugEYE
    , contributor
    Comments (194) | Send Message
     
    NGS,
    While I was educated LiFePO4 to be the safest li-ion chemistry available, the BYD E6 taxi burning to ashes in China did equip iron phosphate cells ( http://bit.ly/GWUFfr ) . Though the company claimed the fire was caught by "electric arcs caused by the short-circuiting of high voltage lines of the high voltage distribution box ignited combustible material in the vehicle including the interior materials and part of the power batteries."
    "They also noted that the battery pack did not explode, and 75% of the single cell batteries did not catch on fire, and no flaws in the safety design of the vehicle were identified."

     

    It seems, 25% cells did catch on fire.
    23 Jan 2013, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    JP, well said as usual, "pouring sand on slag", that phrase evoked a chuckle and a priceless (not being their insurance agent, of course) image of what I'll coin "Teslag" . Then again, I spend a lot of time investigating vertically integrated junior mining prospect(or)s.
    23 Jan 2013, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    some of the articles that have been swirling around over the 787 have noted that Li-ion batteries actually LIBERATE OXYGEN in their combustion process, and that's one of the things that really makes them a bear (IE ultra high temps and all but impossible to put out). Joy. I've got about a dozen of the things (RC Li-Po) kept in a fire safe in the next room. Have had em for a couple of years. I sure hope they don't up and decide to go liberating any oxygen on their own...
    23 Jan 2013, 11:39 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    I think the only chemistry that liberates oxygen is lithium cobalt oxide like they used in the Dreamliner. The others are, to the best of my knowledge, a good deal safer. Unfortunately I've never been able to quantify how much safer "a good deal" really is.
    24 Jan 2013, 05:47 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7870) | Send Message
     
    When talking about the difficulty of putting out lithium fires you need to remember how much actual metallic lithium exists in a lithium ion battery.
    Worth noting that the Boeing fires with one of the more flammable LiCo chemistries stayed fairly well contained. Where was the runaway unstoppable lithium fire we keep hearing so much about? Why is it that deeper investigation into the few EV fires which have occurred never turn out to be a runaway pack fire?
    24 Jan 2013, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1770) | Send Message
     
    JRP3,
    I don't know how comforted I would be on a 787 flight to find out that the Li-ion batteries over charged and only caught on fire enough to start melting the casing they were in and release toxic smoke instead of going into a full runaway lithium fire.
    24 Jan 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2127) | Send Message
     
    JRP3,
    Your "all lithium" viewpoint seems to keep you from accepting the fact that danger does lurk around the corner for lithium batteries. When a lithium recycle plant burns, when a damaged lithium auto pack explodes at the National Safety Lab, when 16 Fiskar's burn up, danger is lurking. I think that often the term "thermal runaway" which means one lithium battery can ignite the one next to it often gets confused with a "runaway fire". The second meaning is that a fire becomes uncontrollable. It will be important in the future to distinguish the terms. But I do feel that sometime soon we will see thermal runaway in an auto EV pack turn into a runaway fire. So far society has been lucky.
    Here is a quote distinguishing the differences between lithium chemistry for anyone interested

     

    "A lithium-ion battery has a lithium-based cathode and carbon/graphite anode in a lithium-based solvent acting as the electrolyte. As the battery charges and discharges, lithium ions — atoms with a positive charge — rather than electrons move back and forth between the anode and cathode. The name, in this case, comes from the process and not the material used in the anode or cathode. The lithium-ion batteries in laptops have a cathode made from a lithium-cobalt oxide, and it is this material that causes the thermal overrun in rare cases. Lithium-iron batteries, on the other hand, get their name from the material and not the process, using a lithium iron phosphate for the cathode. These batteries are also sometimes referred to by the lithium iron phosphate molecular formula: LiFePO4. A lithium-iron battery offers less performance than the lithium-cobalt type, especially when both are new; however, the lithium-iron battery is more chemically stable and less sensitive to temperature extremes"
    From the July, 2011 issue of Sport Rider
    By Andrew Trevitt
    24 Jan 2013, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • Deamiter
    , contributor
    Comments (160) | Send Message
     
    The Lithium ion "thermal runaway" isn't so much the potential to set off other batteries (although that is often a concern) but a self-sustaining reaction in which heat produced by the reaction sustains further reactions within the battery (causing higher temperatures).

     

    Burning metals burn at thousands of degrees -- the sparklers often handed out at fireworks shows burn at up to 3000 degrees! The class D (burning metal) fire extinguishers don't make a great heat sink, but they contain a chemical that melts at these extremely high temperatures and forms a crust over the burning metal that stops the reaction by limiting access to oxygen.

     

    Even long after the fire is "out" if you break this crust and the temperature is still high enough, the reaction can restart as long as there is unconsumed metal.

     

    Because the LiFePo4 is more stable, it takes a higher temperature to start the runaway thermal reaction. In my understanding, the LiPo batteries try to be more stable with their polymer matrix, but amazing demonstrations aside, they're just as capable of runaway reaction as the rest. If the safety circuitry that disables the battery when it's shorted or heated is damaged, they can still reach an unsafe temperature and start an uncontrolled thermal reaction.

     

    As always the details are critical. There's a range of lithium polymer batteries with different safety features and packaging, so it'd be a mistake to paint them all as "safer" without looking closely at the application.
    24 Jan 2013, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7870) | Send Message
     
    Don't confuse LiFePO4 with LiPo, completely different animals. LiPo is usually a very high C rate cell, up to 90C, that can also explode. LiFePO4 is a moderate to high C rate cell, up to around 40C, which is not prone to explosion.
    The LiCoO2 cells used by Boeing can be problematic because they contain their own O2.
    25 Jan 2013, 09:05 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7870) | Send Message
     
    Futurist,
    " When a lithium recycle plant burns, when a damaged lithium auto pack explodes at the National Safety Lab, when 16 Fiskar's burn up, danger is lurking."

     

    Of course danger is lurking, just as it lurks in every ICE vehicle, 150,000+ of them which burn every year. 12V SLI batteries start fires as well. However your examples prove my point. Two were unusual test scenarios, and the other, the 16 Fiskers, were not related to the lithium traction battery. There were other ICE vehicles in the same lot, not near the Fiskers, which also burned. No one is talking about them for some reason.
    You can't claim an EV pack is dangerous in use or in an accident when no OEM EV pack has caused a fire or exploded in normal use or in an accident.
    25 Jan 2013, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    You keep leaving out that pesky word "YET."

     

    Nobody has statistically valid information on how EV batteries will perform over time. Pretending otherwise is dishonest and offensive.
    25 Jan 2013, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7870) | Send Message
     
    Stop with the fake moral outrage, I can't help it if you are offended by the facts. I'm not pretending anything, I'm taking existing, real world data, and using that to counter made up FUD. The number of lithium ion battery powered vehicles on the road is past the point where you can pretend huge problems are lurking waiting to spring on an unsuspecting public. In the real world, where most of us live, EV's and hybrids using lithium are proving to be as safe or safer than ICE vehicles.
    26 Jan 2013, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    That is simply not true. We do not have a statistically valid fleet of electric vehicles and the vehicle fleet we do have has not been on the road for a statistically valid period of time.

     

    You're pushing safety hopium instead of analyzing facts.
    26 Jan 2013, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2413) | Send Message
     
    So what numbers do you want to see?

     

    Does anyone keep (or even estimate) the kind of statistics we would need to settle this argument sometime in the future?

     

    Presume you would need number of miles driven per chemistry?

     

    Sorry, got excited when I saw the word statistically :-)

     

    Always reminds me of
    http://bit.ly/WZFigb
    26 Jan 2013, 10:56 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    I believe it will take at least five years of experience and preferably ten years with a significant fleet (over 100,000 vehicles) before we can even begin to reach well reasoned conclusions about life-cycle safety and performance. Engineers can do wonderful things with computer models and test racks but people are far more clever at abusing equipment than computers will ever be.

     

    Most of today's gee whiz batteries that are promising useful lives of 10 years or more haven't existed for 10 years and there is no way to model the impact of time with computers.

     

    The results to date are mixed. The reported Volt and Fisker fires are not encouraging. The rapid degradation of Leaf batteries in hot climates is also worrisome. The average daily usage of the Tesla Roadster fleet is under 15 miles and there is nothing beyond anecdotes to indicate what performance might be for a daily commuter vehicle.

     

    Pretending that a couple years of experience with toys for the peculiar provides an adequate basis for safety and durability conclusions is absurd in the extreme.
    26 Jan 2013, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7870) | Send Message
     
    "I believe it will take at least five years of experience and preferably ten years with a significant fleet (over 100,000 vehicles) before we can even begin to reach well reasoned conclusions about life-cycle safety and performance."

     

    With about 25,000 Volt sales world wide, 40,000 LEAF sales world wide, and all the other EV's and hybrids using lithium we may already be near or at your 100,000 mark. Yes it's obviously a newer fleet of vehicles with limited mileage over all but the spontaneous fire and explosions, even after crashes, simply are not happening. The oldest vehicles, 4 year old Tesla Roadsters, some with 40,000+ miles on them, are not catching fire or exploding, and are showing the expected minimal pack capacity loss.
    Nissan does seem to have a problem with capacity in extreme heat climates such as AZ, but that's still less than 1% of their fleet, and has nothing to do with pack safety.
    27 Jan 2013, 10:21 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    The only thing anybody can honestly say is "so far so good - kinda." Until the lab rats have driven a fleet of toys for at least half of their expected useful life anything more is cheerleading on a forum that by and large couldn't care less.
    27 Jan 2013, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • battman
    , contributor
    Comments (373) | Send Message
     
    JRP3, you are forgetting the one crash that I am aware of in China where 3 people died.

     

    http://bit.ly/VGejXR
    27 Jan 2013, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7870) | Send Message
     
    No I'm not forgetting it at all:

     

    "Chinese probe clears electric battery in deadly accident.

     

    "In the accident, the power batteries of such vehicle did not explode, 72 single-cell batteries (accounting for 75 percent of all the 96 power batteries) did not catch on fire," BYD said in a statement.

     

    The designs of the battery system in relation to the installation layout on the vehicle, the insulation protection and the high voltage system are reasonable," the company added. "No flaws in the safety design of the vehicle were revealed."

     

    BYD also said the other 25 percent of the single-cell batteries were burnt by the fire, but the battery plate remained in place and there was no crack on it."
    http://bit.ly/VrGkpz

     

    It helps to follow a story to it's conclusion. This is actually further evidence how safe a battery really is, even in a horrendous crash that caused a fire. No battery explosion.
    28 Jan 2013, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7870) | Send Message
     
    Also, regarding the Boeing incident:

     

    "Dreamliner: Boeing 787 aircraft battery 'not faulty'"

     

    http://bbc.in/VKJ2Tx
    28 Jan 2013, 09:30 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    From the BYD car fire article:

     

    "BYD said the battery compartment was "seriously deformed" and the power battery pack and high-voltage switchbox were "seriously compressed." BYD said the accident produced an electric arc that ignited the combustible material, including part of the power batteries."

     

    Claiming the batteries are safe when it's clear that the system failed is truly absurd. This forum is populated by people who can and do follow links and read for themselves. Please quit spewing nonsense. Nobody here is interested in your religion.
    28 Jan 2013, 09:41 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1906) | Send Message
     
    JRP3, Everyone is done with this. Two massively expensive planes had li-ion batteries go up in flames, or smolder, or burn, or smoke or whatever, and the FAA grounded that entire fleet. You can keep dancing around excuses why the batteries were not faulty...nobody cares. Facts are facts, the batteries were involved and were the main antagonist to the issues that caused the grounding. End of story, now please move on and drop it. Personally, I would like to see APH begin deleting your posts at least on this subject.
    28 Jan 2013, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • EBuiel
    , contributor
    Comments (76) | Send Message
     
    Thermal runaway is still a big issue for LFP. Fisker http://nyti.ms/S4W6Ps vehicle fires are occurring and they use LFP batteries:

     

    http://nyti.ms/S4W6Ps

     

    GM was testing A123 batteries when their battery lab burned down. Fire started in the A123 battery.

     

    http://aol.it/WpL7FR

     

    Putting Fe in a battery intentionally is very scary to anyone that has worked on lithium ion battery safety.
    29 Jan 2013, 04:59 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7870) | Send Message
     
    The Fisker recall had nothing to do with thermal runaway, so why mention it?
    The GM test lab explosion still has an unknown cause. Presumably venting gasses ignited and exploded, who knows under what conditions or what the makeup was of the experimental battery.
    The fact remains that for all the concern about thermal runaway in EV packs it has never happened.

     

    Jakurtz, I'll stop posting about it as soon as others stop pretending it's a more significant issue than it is. You don't get to indulge in only one side of an argument. When the investigators of the Boeing incident say the battery is not at fault that is relevant to the discussion. If someone uses an Axion battery and the external systems cause a fire would you blame the PbC?
    29 Jan 2013, 08:52 AM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2275) | Send Message
     
    JRP3 you persist in presenting misinformation and it is getting quite tiresome.

     

    The article referenced by Dr Buiel clearly states:

     

    "The problem, as identified by the start-up automaker, was traced to improperly positioned hose clamps that might leak coolant onto the lithium-ion-battery unit.

     

    “If coolant enters the battery compartment an electrical short could possibly occur, causing a thermal event within the battery, including a possible fire in the worse case,” the company told the safety agency in December."

     

    Please explain how "thermal event within the battery" has "nothing to do with thermal runaway."

     

    The Fiskar recall very clearly was because of the risk of coolant leak causing thermal runaway in the battery.
    29 Jan 2013, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • billa_from_sf
    , contributor
    Comments (370) | Send Message
     
    If a battery is dangerously fussy about ambient temperature or dangerously fussy about how rapidly or how long charge is applied to it, and a device external to it fails causing a fire, this demonstrates that the dangerously fussy battery requires that dangerously complex system parameters be satisfied to keep its inherently unstable properties from causing damage.
    29 Jan 2013, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    Despite worrisome press reports and snarkey Axionista comments, it is fair to say that lithium-ion cells are extremely safe if you keep them on a shelf and don't expose them to high heat, open flame, conductive liquids or electricity.
    29 Jan 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1906) | Send Message
     
    Yes, if the battery demanded a complicated thermal management and charging system that Boeing and its suppliers couldn't get right on a $160 million dollar plane that carries 300 human beings 30,000 feet above the earth, I would blame the battery as well as its accompaniment.

     

    Jrp, The other side of the story is the one WE are telling. 100% of us have heard of its never-ending story of amazing feats: to power cars without the use of natural resources of any kind, to be recyclable, to be safe, to be made from mythical materials that don't deplete the earth, and to be overall gods gift to the energy world...we really do not need to hear anymore about it.

     

    The side of the story that is finally coming out in mainstream media that has not been told before is that maybe it has some issues that engineers don't have complete control or knowledge of.

     

    That's the change in the mainstream perception of the product and that is what we are talking about. Your contrived argument about how wonderful the battery is and how nothing that happens in connection with it is its fault, merely the fault of the stupid engineers and scientists that work for Boeing, and at the GM plant, and at fiskar (tesla and the immortals who work there remain perfect, of course), is the story that has been told for years. So, I don't understand what quest you are on to enlighten us with your 4000 pro-Li-ion comments.
    29 Jan 2013, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • billa_from_sf
    , contributor
    Comments (370) | Send Message
     
    "If someone uses an Axion battery and the external systems cause a fire would you blame the PbC?"

     

    Has this happened?

     

    No.

     

    It is a hypothetical situation invented to create the false impression that a battery chemistry that is inherently flammable is equally as safe as a battery chemistry that is not inherently flammable.

     

    Arguing on the basis of a hypothetical in hopes that it gives the appearance of supporting a false equivalency is a manipulative rhetorical tactic.
    29 Jan 2013, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (7870) | Send Message
     
    "Arguing on the basis of a hypothetical in hopes that it gives the appearance of supporting a false equivalency is a manipulative rhetorical tactic."

     

    You mean like constantly talking about EV batteries and thermal runaway when it's never, ever happened? I agree.

     

    SM,
    An external short that causes a battery to fail is an external event. Any battery that is shorted across the terminals can cause a fire, including a lead acid battery. In the Fisker case no change was made to the cells, the fix was to the cooling system to prevent leaks.

     

    Jakurtz,
    The story that is coming out is that Boeing had a poor design, one of many it seems in the Dreamliner. What's interesting is the way some of you have jumped on this one, isolated incident, as a condemnation of EV's and lithium technology, probably because you have no other real incidents to point to, and simply shows your bias. This is not the first time something went wrong on a plane, nor will it be the last unfortunately. We make things, they fail, and we improve them. It has always been this way and it will always be so, humans are imperfect creatures.
    I've very interested in the reality of lithium battery behavior because I have a vested interest in it, I drive around with a pack of them. You can be quite sure I have no intention of trusting my life to an illusion of safety. If there is a real issue with EV battery packs I want to know about it. I have yet to find anything that suggests I'm more at risk than those who drive ICE's.
    30 Jan 2013, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (807) | Send Message
     
    Random nano investor here. Looking forward to the day the rest of the work realized what a PcB is.
    22 Jan 2013, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (807) | Send Message
     
    ePower may be waiting until they have passed the failure time of the previous AGM battery test. Actual time in use speaks volumes to doubters.
    22 Jan 2013, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Greentongue, Welcome.

     

    I was thinking the same thing about waiting until they achieved better results with PbC vs AGM. You can't crow about not doing a belly flopper on the second dive while you're still spinning in flight heading toward the water.
    22 Jan 2013, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1510) | Send Message
     
    View one: Something went wrong and they are not happy with the results.

     

    View two: ePower is trying to optimize use of the PbC given it's KIAS and has much higher DCA than their previous battery.

     

    I really like teaming with ePower - if it happens - because it pits together two similar size startup companies that are striving for profits and both would be reliant on the other making for strong cooperation. Some of our other customers have the size and profits that they have the luxury of being able to do years of testing and validation. However, we still need more customers to be successful.

     

    Optimistically yours,

     

    Metroneanderthal
    23 Jan 2013, 03:02 AM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    There's always a third... perhaps something went wrong (again) with something not really related to the batteries.

     

    Or, just taking the time required, a bit more than thought, to do it all right...

     

    serenely,
    23 Jan 2013, 03:10 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    4) They're spending money changing their name from ePower to iPower... realizing Apple will then pay them off for the name... and then they can go back to being ePower with a bag of cash in hand.
    23 Jan 2013, 03:49 AM Reply Like
  • Rick Krementz
    , contributor
    Comments (2260) | Send Message
     
    Jon, actually ePower is a really stupid name to choose. Google gives millions of hits, and there is a British truck manufacturer with that name.
    23 Jan 2013, 08:07 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    Rick,

     

    iStand
    iCorrected

     

    iTooWouldLikeBetter

     

    eSizzle
    23 Jan 2013, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    Naming a new company or product is one of the most frustrating experiences known to man. You find something you like and then learn somewhere down the road that you can't get trademark or other protection. That leaves you in a quandary where you start out with an e3 Supercell and end up with a PbC. Really good names are very hard to find and even harder to protect.
    23 Jan 2013, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2413) | Send Message
     
    Hey, they don't have time to pay for their web site being up (which took maybe 5 minutes to fix?), or I guess to use Google. This whole internet thing can be so time consuming ...

     

    But as far as names go, remember all the jokes about iPad when it first came out?

     

    If they're really successful, they'll move up the Google Rankings quickly because lots of folks will be writing about them.

     

    Or be able to pay a creative firm to find them a new name, though even with the big bucks you still might get this: http://bit.ly/10J5zVC

     

    Or get acquired and the name will go away. Perhaps they'll save their $$ for the M&A lawyers!
    23 Jan 2013, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    The website has been back up since Monday so I think it's probably time to give that dead horse a break. While it may have been a critical issue for Axion investors who were looking for something to worry about, it just wasn't that important to ePower which was focused on getting their truck on the road. I talked to Andy the other day and he's a happy camper. We'll get more detail when they're ready to talk and not a moment sooner.
    23 Jan 2013, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    " I talked to Andy the other day and he's a happy camper."

     

    Music to the ears. But then we expected that based on the application and PbC performance.

     

    Thanks for the tid bit sharing from your conversation and again for setting up the initial contact. Here's to hoping the app. delivers even half of the efficiency gain mentioned. Would be a real winner and the "Big Boys" are not calling the shots. An important point.
    23 Jan 2013, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    The business dynamic for ePower is completely different from what we're used to with OEMs.

     

    Truck operators think there's nothing in the world more important than cutting their fuel costs and boosting their profits. While an OEM might spend years studying a solution before putting its name and reputation on the line, a fleet operator is far more likely to say "I understand that this is a risk and I don't care. I have a fleet of a hundred and fifty trucks on the road today and I own a tow truck in case something goes wrong. I can afford to buy a couple of conversions and find out for myself."

     

    It's a very close parallel to what I used to see in the oil industry. The big operators would spend years on engineering before moving the first piece of equipment. The small operators were far more likely to say "we've done enough studying the geology, let's drill this sucker and see what we get."
    23 Jan 2013, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4102) | Send Message
     
    "The small operators were far more likely to say "we've done enough studying the geology, let's drill this sucker and see what we get." "

     

    Fracking in the Barnett Shale and ....
    23 Jan 2013, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Just think about this from a timing standpoint if ePower were successful with about 100-200 units in the field after about 1-2 years. Could you imagine the implications to the "Big Boys" for a part of their market (Maybe 10-20%). How long do you think it would take for someone to say, "Why are we only putting these things in old rigs?".
    23 Jan 2013, 02:15 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1350) | Send Message
     
    "Why are we only putting these things in old rigs?"

     

    Dont forget about the glider kit stepping stone that will let a 3rd party put ePower in a new Chassis...

     

    http://bit.ly/Wx1Yod
    24 Jan 2013, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2127) | Send Message
     
    And the fact that an OEM could make them as soon as the testing is done.
    ( Sorry for bringing up the t word).

     

    Tim, I would think that E-Power would be making arrangements right away with a glider company specialist.

     

    Knowing what you do about class 8 trucks, what fuel mileage statistics would excite you when E-Power reports? Remember, this is on non mountainous terrain.
    24 Jan 2013, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Tim. Always better to hear from a source that knows the industry.

     

    Part of the dream but this thing would scale quickly if the numbers (efficiency durability) play out.
    24 Jan 2013, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4102) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for that reminder, Tim. I was trying to recall a few days back just what those units were called. Glider Kits! I was not even close to remembering.
    24 Jan 2013, 09:44 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1350) | Send Message
     
    There are so many indirect costs in trucking it is sometimes hard to see your profit margins (why so many get in and fail). However, it is very clear to see profits related to a reduction in fuel usage. We get excited over tenths of a MPG gains.

     

    The difference between 5.0 and 5.1 mpg on 120k miles means an annual savings of 470 gallons or $1880 pure profit. Imagine the savings on a full MPG increase (add a zero). We get excited about small numbers.

     

    Modern OTR trucks will go a million miles without a major rebuild if properly cared for. Before I would put my capital at risk, I would need to see durability numbers. We have come along way and I wouldn't expect ePower to go a million miles but I would expect half that much without a major rebuild...
    25 Jan 2013, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17749) | Send Message
     
    Tim: With the engine running mostly "steady state" in a narrow rpm range, I would be surprised if it didn't make 1MM miles, assuming that range is in the lower end of its design limitations (i.e. could go 2300 rpm but runs majority of the time at 1800 or some such).

     

    With the battery "boosting", should see lower "shocks" transmitted trough the drive train to the engine as well.

     

    Make any sense?

     

    HardToLove
    25 Jan 2013, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1350) | Send Message
     
    HTL: Of course. I believe all the components used by ePower have paid their dues in the industry they were developed in and have built their name on longevity. Bringing it all together will be the challenge and those pesky little problems can keep the wheels from turning as well as the big ones. I suspect they are a fair piece down this road...
    25 Jan 2013, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    BMW offering to put some "Junk in the trunk". I guess having a motorcycle division offers some opportunities.

     

    BMW i3 Repurposes Motorcycle Engine To Extend Range

     

    http://bit.ly/VosBvO
    22 Jan 2013, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Yepper. How much ya wanna bet that one of the next options offered will be a cheaper version, range extender standard, with a *lot* less battery? ;)
    22 Jan 2013, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    The guy who lead the GM EV-1 effort went on to make electric vehicles including the t-zero or something like that. His company also invented a "gen set" trailer which was a towable battery charger called the Long Ranger. I thought it was a cool idea, but I have long ago learned the hard way the PbC Rule: Profit Beats Cool. All due credit to whoever coined that.

     

    They are done making cars but some of his work (maybe the motors - I forget) is still found in many EVs including the Tesla.
    22 Jan 2013, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Larry Burns.

     

    Here's his TED talk from 2005.

     

    http://bit.ly/We4SAr
    22 Jan 2013, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    That guy is impossible to listen to. I got less than two minutes in and had to "Shut 'er down, Clancy, he's pumpin' mud."
    22 Jan 2013, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Edmund, Dats GM.
    22 Jan 2013, 06:25 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    I kind of followed EVs early on, before Liberals really started shoving them down our throats, getting in our face and defacing my buddy's Hummer (which has like 12K miles on it in about as many years).

     

    I remembered the gen-set trailer, probably because it was a Kawasaki (like my bike - bulletproof) and the clever name - I would have sold these things, to be honest. But then I still think the "Paint Stick" is a great invention.

     

    Back to the trailer: LOL - I just found an article with it featured as part of a Toyota and some good pics!
    http://bit.ly/11PFm88

     

    Quick edit: It needed some chrome!
    22 Jan 2013, 06:38 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Could be 48. I happen to like the idea of offering different size battery packs. One thing I think TSLA got right. I would say though that it would be good if you could start out smaller and have "slots" where you could add in additional power units as your needs change or as the initial units deteriorate. I do realize the complexity of this though.
    22 Jan 2013, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    I'll admit I was expecting Chevy to do this too by now with the Volt... less battery, less EV-only range... yet less $$ to purchase and maybe more sales.... but then also, because of the Volt's quasi-hybrid setup, less acceleration, less torque, less mpg, shorter battery life... so I certainly don't know, but interesting to watch it all play out nonetheless... I still think it's all eventually likely to converge to some kind of series heavy hybrid as the most optimal/efficient setup, with some kind of compact hyper-efficient exotic-cycle ICE in there to convert (sip) energy-dense liquid fuel into onboard electricity as needed...
    22 Jan 2013, 04:36 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Like upgrading your memory or your "long drive" - pretty cool thinking. I only need an EV for trips to the store, maybe three miles RT. But can I get one for one-quarter the price if I can make do with just one-quarter the range?
    22 Jan 2013, 06:18 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Way, way OT, but fascinating...and well done...and I believe written and put together by a nineteen year old...

     

    http://bit.ly/Vowz7W
    22 Jan 2013, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    That piece was written by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's daughter Sophie. – http://bit.ly/VYqPnt
    22 Jan 2013, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    Very smart young woman and very hip. Great wit. Enjoyed the story.
    23 Jan 2013, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2413) | Send Message
     
    NSC Quarterly viewgraphs (and PR) now available:
    http://bit.ly/Ax7ISd
    22 Jan 2013, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2413) | Send Message
     
    No obvious references to us. As expected, "tons" of questions from many different Wall Street firms about coal. Not great. Switching to Nat Gas by utilities is very real, and they have no idea how long nat gas prices will stay "low enough" to be a serious problem for them.

     

    They are reducing capex this year from 2.2B to 2.0B, but they did note that much of their intermodal builds costs are now done.
    22 Jan 2013, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Thanks WTB. Good thing Loco's don't run on NG. Well for this investment anyway.
    22 Jan 2013, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    wtb---per the one pie chart, their 2013 loco capx is only declining slightly from 2012. Several mentions of continued emphasis on efficiencies and lower fuel costs. Looks like we're ok.
    22 Jan 2013, 06:43 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4102) | Send Message
     
    My current SWAG re-NSC electric locomotives is there will be two in 2013, a yard switcher and an OTR. With recent issue of a patent on OTR electric locomotives (reported by iind), the wait on POs for a build may not be a long one.
    22 Jan 2013, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    I believe the rail business will be larger than most expect sooner than most expect for one simple reason, a company the size of NS can't learn anything that's truly relevant from a couple units.

     

    If you think about the NS network, it encompasses over 20,000 route miles of track, 30 major rail yards, 50 intermodal yard and seven major locomotive shops. Its locomotive fleet includes some 4,000 units.

     

    http://bit.ly/YnjvUO

     

    The only think NS can learn from a couple of prototypes is whether the systems perform to design specifications. Making a reasonable corporate decision about whether the switchers or OTR locomotives are a sound operating decision will require a "statistically valid sample" that's spread throughout the system and operated long enough to give top management and the board enough hard data to make a well-reasoned implementation decision.

     

    It's been a long time since I've dabbled in the nitty gritty of statistics, but my sense is that they'll need to put at least 100 units on the tracks if they want the battery powered locomotive initiative to avoid being dismissed as green-wash. A handful of units just can't do the job.
    23 Jan 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    JP, thanks for the reminder overview.

     

    JP and DRich, one thing that would really, really help investors is more detail about how NS (and the industry at large) may move from A to B, where A is their current locomotive fleet and B is, say, the fleet at the end of 2015.

     

    For example, the three most important drivers of the change are:
    1) Improved bottom line thru fuel cost savings. This is arguably an internal driver, which allows NS to take as long as they desire.
    2) Much stricter EPA emissions requirements that take effect sometime in 2015 (beginning of the year?). This is an external driver largely if not entirely outside of NS' control. I do not know what the consequences of failure are and if they are large enough for NS to consider non-compliance a non-starter.
    3) Corporate image enhancement and the benefits that provides.

     

    A reading of their 2012 Sustainability Report from late last year reveals that they are trying to meet all three goals through a variety of means, including, among other items:
    1) Acquiring 90 new AC locos in 2011 and a planned 60 in 2012. No mention of 2013 planned number, if any. These are some huge $ amts. By the end of 2011, NS had 485 line-haul and 11 switcher locos in the fleet that are Tier 2 o3 compliant.
    2) By the end of 2011, 66% of the loco fleet had some form of anti-idle tech. Their plan is to install s/s systems on the entire fleet by YE 2014, "far ahead of any regulatory mandate."
    3) Over the next 10 years, produce an average of 24 SD60E rebuilds per year.
    4) 40 SD40E yard and local service helper locos in service by YE 2011.
    5) Using the PbC in yard switcher and OTR locos. My discussion here arises from the lack of detail from NS as to the $ they plan to spend on these locos and more exactly when.

     

    NS' Capx budget is $239 million for 2013, only a slight decrease from $242 million in 2012.

     

    Perhaps trying to get more useful info is practically impossible, but then again, maybe fleshing out some of the puzzle pieces would be helpful to investors. Thanks.
    23 Jan 2013, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (712) | Send Message
     
    Don't lose sight of the fact that the new EPA standards apply to all railroads and that they all would like t save $$$.
    23 Jan 2013, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • 6216411
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    It seems to me there are still major decisions to be made prior to rolling out a statistically valid test group. Assuming Axion crunched their numbers correctly and their operating projections are spot on, what might cause NS to hesitate before biting the bullet on a 100+ NS 999 order? Does the price of coal fit in the picture?
    23 Jan 2013, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    Coal is an important revenue stream for NS, but coal revenues have nothing to do with NS meeting their EPA requirements on burning diesel fuel in older locomotives or their economics of using battery power to recover energy that would otherwise be wasted. I'd expect them to spend some time making sure the prototypes behave the way they're supposed to and the PbC batteries perform the way they're supposed to, but given the regulatory deadline they're facing in 2015 I don't think the single prototype tests will be a multi-year process.
    23 Jan 2013, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    To clarify, the Capx budget numbers in my 2nd-to-last paragraph refer to NS' locomotive budget only.

     

    And Albert, the applicability to other RRs is why I wrote "and the industry at large" early in my piece. 2015 is not far away at all, especially for companies that generally move very slowly. No way they're all going to dump huge orders on Axion at the last minute. I'm just trying to get a more detailed picture of the gap they need/intend to fill with PbC locos between now and then.
    23 Jan 2013, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    John, Is there a good document(s) that explain the EPA requirements coming in 2015 in layman's terms? I'm interested in understanding points like fleet phase in and grandfathering as examples. When you consider the expense and timing 2015 is basically tomorrow to the railroads based on their historic reaction time.
    23 Jan 2013, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    iinde---I was beginning to wonder if I was surrounded by tumbleweeds and crickets. 8^] The fact that orders are not yet flowing in, and might not until later this year after NS' slug and OTR testing, suggests that either 1) the RRs' needs will largely be met elsewhere for now, or 2) they will go unmet for now and therefore 2015 is not a hard-enough cap.

     

    Are companies' EPA filings subject to Freedom of Info Act requests?
    23 Jan 2013, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (9799) | Send Message
     
    Mr I: Another potential factor that might be slowing NSC's going more quickly with the PbC is that oil storage is increasing at a near "glut-ish" rate.

     

    Here's my take (that I wrote about in QuickChat today), including a pretty good linked article, that this glut may be closer than the MSM is talking about:

     

    One of the reasons why I bailed on oil stocks and moved toward oil-nat gas infrastructure equities is that with the vast increase in oil (and nat gas) being brought out of the ground in North America would result in a glut.

     

    I had thought there would be an oil glut maybe five years from now. According to the below article, the glut is already beginning to make itself evident:

     

    -- The US production increases is throwing the global supply models a major curve ball.

     

    -- This has thrown the whole supply chain on its back, Cushing [a storage facility in Oklahoma] is just a reflection of this fact. there is more oil than the world needs right now, and the world definitely didn't need an increase in US production.

     

    http://bit.ly/UTY1ud

     

    USA and Canada are producing so much oil that the refineries simply can't refine it fast enough, and, as the above article shows, now we're seeing a major build up in storage. New refineries, if built at all, are still three or four years out.

     

    Nothing is for sure, but with demand down, and more efficient vehicles being produced, it appears an oil glut is soon approaching, much faster than I ever anticipated.
    23 Jan 2013, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4541) | Send Message
     
    >Mr Investor ... I'm running behind on other areas of life, but I can sum up compliance for the 2015-2017 will be done mostly with genset locomotives. Orders for this, the urban yard particulates & noise, started flowing in 2008 and seem to have peaked in 2011-2012. The majors, with their own shops, are a little behind but I see the genset as the solution. Axion should do well because it is so small as to not be able to feed the industry need. If NSC was going to be in the curl of this EPA wave, the original NS999 would have had to be a success to catch the order flow.
    23 Jan 2013, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17749) | Send Message
     
    MrI: I suspect many intend to meet the EPA reqs. with gensets.

     

    HardToLove
    EDIT: I see DRich nailed it already. Oh well ...
    23 Jan 2013, 05:36 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Mr I, I hear ya. I've looked at other RR's and there are other activities going on with each choosing various paths. This makes sense because they have some different needs. Plus there are significant public funds going into many of these activities and you would expect the government to use the shot gun approach initially in the hopes of hitting something (for a change).

     

    Not sure what to even ask for when it comes to RR submissions concerning where they are relative to compliance now and in the future. I'm sure it exists I'm just not an expert on finding it.
    23 Jan 2013, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    Iindelco, the EPA page on locomotive emissions is here:

     

    http://1.usa.gov/WgC8H6
    23 Jan 2013, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

     

    DRich, so are you saying that the relaunch of the NS999 is so late as to be on the back side of the wave, so a lot less orders than it would have had? Then how many orders might Axion reasonably get now? (not sure I understand your comment about doing well because...)

     

    How about OTRs? Vani remarked last May: 50-75 over 5 years, for what that's worth.
    23 Jan 2013, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Thanks John, Tons to digest. The devil is always in the details.
    23 Jan 2013, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4541) | Send Message
     
    >Mr Ivestor ... You understood me correctly. NSC & Axion are on the backside of the curve by (and I'm just guessing here) about 2 years. How many orders can Axion get ... I don't have a clue but it wouldn't take the entire rail industry beating a path to the loading dock to make Axion a very profitable, cashflow positive company while eating up a large percentage of possible & available capacity which I figure is 600-800 locomotives per year (about 1/3 of all complete yearly rebuilds). This will take time to maximize and the whole ramp will be profitable.

     

    Beyond that (or more customers) a foundry agreement needs to be in place. I see no evidence there is anything stirring on that front and it won't happen the week or month after one is found.
    23 Jan 2013, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4869) | Send Message
     
    Don't forget that Vani was chastised over that statement of how many.
    IMO, how many - how fast is very uncertain. We havn't even seen the 999 work yet.
    23 Jan 2013, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    When a user goes through three years of double redundant battery testing based on information generated in connection with an earlier unsuccessful prototype the risk of a second failure is minimal. The original NS 999 taught them what the batteries needed to do. The last three years have proven that the PbC can do the work. Now it's just a matter of ensuring the entire system functions as an integrated whole.
    23 Jan 2013, 07:33 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4869) | Send Message
     
    The last three years have proven that the PbC can do the work.

     

    It's not proven until it is on the rail working day in & day out.
    23 Jan 2013, 07:37 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4541) | Send Message
     
    >JP ... I think NSC just got ahead of themselves with the original NS999. Might have figured it was such a simple idea it just had to be easy & might have gotten assurance from the battery vendor. Ad to that they were probably intimidated by BNSF 1205 under development at the same time. At the time Axion was definitely not ready to be in the competition, a real shame, but were ready to go after the failure. Thanks to BMW and probably some credit to East Penn
    23 Jan 2013, 07:47 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    DRich---thanks again.

     

    By capacity, you mean Axion's, correct? 3k PbCs/day * 250 weekdays / 1000 PbCs per loco on average, say, = possible&available 750 loco rebuilds per year with PbCs eventually? Therefore, 600-800 * 3 = 1800-2400 per year for the whole US RR industry? (PbC and non-PbC combines). That jives with what little I know about the total US fleet size and rebuild cycle rates.

     

    Not sure what is meant by foundry agreement. Certainly, 600-800 rebuilds is a ton of activity, so NS' and the other rebuild yards would eventually need to gear up or at least shift gears for that to be able to happen.

     

    OT: I have read a little of the EPA materials and if I read them correctly so far, the various Tier emission standards, e.g., Tier 4 starting 1/1/2015, apply only to new loco engines and ones when they are remanufactured. I always assumed there was some kind of overall maximum emissions standard or even a retroactive maximum that might drive the RRs at least partially to battery drive (zero point source emissions) as a solution option, but other than a brief reference to credits in a footnote (if it applies to NS, say, then they get credits for NS999 and PbC OTR rebuilds that would allow them to buy/rebuild cheaper locos that will still have non-battery drives), I don't see that. And perhaps local emission maximums are often more important, anyway.

     

    Anyway, maybe the cost of meeting the Tier 4 standard beginning 1/1/2015 is so high with non-battery locos that battery locos will win a nice chunk of the ongoing rebuilds, when taking their big fuel savings into acct. (and other factors such as terrain, etc, for OTRs anyway).

     

    Summing up, is the real driver here that the tighter emission standards mean that, when a rebuild has to happen anyway, the RR will soon now consider PbC? (instead of the standards forcing rebuilds). And the neat part would be, like for the PowerCube, as long as there is Capx being spent, we can hit'em with our ongoing cost savings trump card?
    23 Jan 2013, 07:50 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    With due respect LT a user can learn a lot more about a battery in the lab than it can ever learn on the rails. The only thing the new NS 999 has yet to prove is that the integrated systems function according to their design parameters. The battery is absolutely proven at this point.
    23 Jan 2013, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4541) | Send Message
     
    >Mr Investor ... Yes, that is Axion's capacity. The numbers for rebuild is what the industry does today. No reason for that to change. But remember, I'm only talking N.America and there is a whole world of railroads out there.

     

    The standards will drive how locomotives are rebuilt going forward. Saving fuel is, always has been, job one. The great reach for more horsepower in the 1960s to 1980s was to reduce units to drag freight and save fuel. The beauty of the battery solution, if it works this time, is that it will be saving fuel using cheaper units to build, rebuild & maintain.

     

    Next, passenger rail ... if my kids are so lucky.
    23 Jan 2013, 08:12 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    DRich---

     

    "The beauty of the battery solution, if it works this time, is that it will be saving fuel using cheaper units to build, rebuild & maintain."

     

    "I'm only talking N.America and there is a whole world of railroads out there."

     

    Powerful stuff.
    24 Jan 2013, 12:05 AM Reply Like
  • Deamiter
    , contributor
    Comments (160) | Send Message
     
    Respectfully, John, one very important thing that's difficult to learn in the lab is precisely what environment the batteries and system will need to endure. It's true you can learn much more in a lab, but you can only learn those things you look for and carefully measure.

     

    The batteries are proven to pass the (probably representative) lab tests, but as well as proving system integration that you mentioned, they'll also be looking for that odd combination of temperature, vibration and phase of the moon (or price of AXPW?) that nobody expected to matter.

     

    I know this isn't news to you, I'm just a hair more conservative about assuming that the batteries are proven for the application before they've been installed and the unknown unknowns (what a beautiful concept) have come out.
    24 Jan 2013, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    In general I don't disagree with you but the risks of the unknown unknowns are far more remote when the lab testing protocol is based on a prior failure of the same system using another battery technology. We like to think that the original NS 999 was a crushing failure, but the reality is that it provided a wealth of hard operating data that NS then used to refine their testing protocols for the second go round. After three years of double redundant testing at NS, Axion and Penn State I have to believe that substantially all of today's unknown unknowns are system level issues rather than battery issues.
    24 Jan 2013, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1770) | Send Message
     
    "With due respect LT a user can learn a lot more about a battery in the lab than it can ever learn on the rails. The only thing the new NS 999 has yet to prove is that the integrated systems function according to their design parameters. The battery is absolutely proven at this point."

     

    John,
    All very true, but to be fair, it's those integrated systems that are causing Boeing all their problems right now with overcharging their Li-ion batteries. Granted nothing like that is going to happen with the PbC, but there's still the possibility that the NS999 may fail for reasons that have nothing to do with the batteries.
    Obviously, we all hope not.
    24 Jan 2013, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    I agree that there are any number of system issues that could arise. Mercifully those kinds of issues are likely to manifest themselves sooner rather than later and the initial prototype runs of the NS 999 and the OTR unit are not likely to be anywhere near as time consuming or exhaustive as the battery testing was.
    24 Jan 2013, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2275) | Send Message
     
    Here is how I want my Tesla powered:

     

    http://bit.ly/XwTyvu

     

    Out of a vending machine.
    22 Jan 2013, 06:22 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17749) | Send Message
     
    1/22/2013: EOD stuff partially copied from instablog (up in the A.M.).
    # Trds: 39, MinTrSz: 100, MaxTrSz: 57350, Vol 257760, AvTrSz: 6609
    Min. Pr: 0.3456, Max Pr: 0.3579, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.3490
    # Buys, Shares: 19 131160, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.3499
    # Sells, Shares: 20 126600, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.3481
    # Unkn, Shares: 0 0, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.0000
    Buy:Sell 1.04:1 (50.9% “buys”), DlyShts (0.26%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 0.52%

     

    Daily short sales behavior is definitely changing. My thinking is that with so many MMs being associated with brokers now and and those(?) same MMs being so often on both sides of the trades, they are not selling shares not in their control as much, but selling right out of the brokerage. Compared to when the “big uglies” were hammering the price, the extreme low short volumes and percentages are generally more frequent and the extremely higher short sales volumes and percentages are lower and less frequent. I think this means, in its effect, its as if market makers are generally more often long than in the past. I expect this will be unlikely to change until we see more (“real”?) MMs more frequently involved in making this market.

     

    On the traditional TA front, signs of weakening continue to grow. It appears that we will exit the potential banner to the down side as we've had today's low and close below the rising support. We do have a “southern doji” candlestick that is supposed to be a bullish reversal. Bulkowski notes that it acts that way only 52% of the time – nearly random.

     

    Trading range is back under the resistance of the rising trading channel – I expect a leg down to support unless it breaks above again on strong volume tomorrow or the next day. All the oscillators I follow are now in agreement – developing weakness.

     

    In contrast to that potential doom & gloom, we do need to keep in mind that we are at a demonstrated price support level - $0.35. Our recent penetrations of that have been shallow, but today is the largest in the last 5 trading days and is combined with falling highs. Nothing in the volume suggests an end to this weakening yet, other than the falling volume itself – but it's not low enough to make me feel semi-confident that we might have bottomed. Our shorter-term averages are on the rise, and in the correct order though, with the 10-day SMA above the 200-day and the 20-day about to push above the 200-day.

     

    The best I'm hoping for short-term ATM is a sideways trading, but I'm not expecting it.

     

    On my experimental stuff, the 10-day average buy:sell percentage is moving lower towards the longer-term averages again and trade size is about what I judge to be mid-retail.

     

    My original experimental inflection point calculations say we are headed lower now and my two newer versions seem to be in agreement. They are early in the formation of the pattern, but I've begun to gain some confidence in them. We'll see.

     

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

     

    HardToLove
    22 Jan 2013, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2768) | Send Message
     
    This claims EV range can be cut in half by the extreme cold.
    http://bit.ly/SyqMOl
    A Volt driver says he is filling up twice as often and at 2 degrees (This morning) when he started in the morning the electric didn't work at all.
    He didn't say if it never turned on at all or not.
    The Volt has a TMS (thermal management system) I'm surprised it didn't work at the start.

     

    It also says hybrids lose 5-6 mpg. I would like some detail on that statement.
    22 Jan 2013, 08:17 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1770) | Send Message
     
    Froggey77,
    I know I've read similar claims in the past regarding hybrids losing 5-6 mpg in cold weather. Basically, if the battery is cold, then you can't get as much power out of it, and so the engine switches over to ICE more often. I don't have a specific reference for you, but they are out there.
    23 Jan 2013, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2768) | Send Message
     
    LT
    I talked to a friend with a Prius V today. He said on short drives in the cold the engine started immediately and only shut down after warming. On short trips not at all. "The cold is just killing my gas mileage."
    The Volt driver in the video said he was getting buying gas every 2-3 weeks instead of every 4-6 weeks. This has apparently been going on for a while, not just the extreme cold of the last week or so.

     

    Of course cold kills ICE millage as well, It's the limited range that it is such a problem. The Leaf with 73 mi would be 37. I have one way trips longer than that weekly. This is seriously not the kind of weather to get stranded in.
    24 Jan 2013, 01:06 AM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    http://bit.ly/10re2bn linked from the main SA page... but notable in that it specifically draws the nexus:

     

    "The ongoing investigation of faulty lithium-ion power packs on the new 787 Dreamliner could have implications far beyond the aerospace industry, with some observers worrying that Boeing's battery problems could short-circuit the nascent market for plug-ins, hybrids and other electrified automobiles."
    22 Jan 2013, 08:24 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2768) | Send Message
     
    Opinion on the state of the EV 'Revolution' in the UK

     

    Electric Dreams turn into a nightmare
    Sales of electric vehicles are failing to take off as showroom reality trumps marketing hype
    by Hilton Holloway 8 January 2013

     

    http://bit.ly/10rm1oI

     

    <The Guardian website has just published the figures for the numbers of new cars registered under the Government’s ‘Plug-in’ Car Grant scheme. The scheme gives buyers 25 percent off (up to a maximum of £5000) the price of a rechargeable electric vehicle such as a Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius plug-in or Renault Fluence.
    The scheme is now two years old. According to the Department for Transport figures, 1419 cars were registered under the scheme in the first nine months of the 2012 up from 786 in 2011. So it looks like the whole of 2012 will see around 1900 rechargeable cars bought, out of the two million news cars that left UK showrooms. Interestingly, only a tiny number of vans were registered under the scheme in 2012.

     

    As you might expect, the Guardian has an upbeat quote from Norman Baker, Lib Dem under-secretary of state for Transport. ‘I know electric vehicles have a bright future in this country’ he says, citing new models due this year, including the relatively inexpensive Renault Zoe and the Sunderland-built Nissan Leaf.

     

    I don’t know about you, but I can smell burning. The whole electric car edifice may be on the verge of the going up in smoke. The huge hype that drove car makers into spending hundreds of millions into developing electric cars looks like it has led to a developmental dead end.>
    22 Jan 2013, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2768) | Send Message
     
    It will be nice to get some data on Batteries. To bad they are not collecting reliability data too.

     

    I don't have time to think about it at the moment but there are better people here to look at it any way.
    The first is considered a work in progress.
    It has been and will be updated.
    http://bit.ly/V5Pbrp
    Plug In America’s LEAF Battery Survey

     

    They announced a new survey 4 days ago.

     

    Plug In America Research Launches Second Landmark Battery Performance Survey: Tesla Roadster

     

    http://bit.ly/VZ05mP

     

    If you wish to read them, there are survey forms on the second link.
    The author is on the Tesla motor club forum. He collected some data there but few answered his request. So the data there could be skewed. Hopefully he will get more responses this time.
    22 Jan 2013, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • WayneinOregon
    , contributor
    Comments (934) | Send Message
     
    Re: the Dreamliner: 1) Does anybody have an educated guess on how long Boeing tested those batteries before making a decision to go forward with them? 2) Would anybody have an educated guess as to whether the battery manufacturer will be held liable for some of Boeing's large financial losses? -- Thanks.
    23 Jan 2013, 12:22 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Wayne, This article touches on the liability aspect of your question.

     

    GS Yuasa Searched After Boeing 787s Are Grounded

     

    http://bloom.bg/WKeEI7
    23 Jan 2013, 07:04 AM Reply Like
  • Jon Springer
    , contributor
    Comments (4160) | Send Message
     
    12 Cognitive Biases That Endanger Investors
    by Todd Harrison, Minyanville
    http://bit.ly/10R5ro0
    23 Jan 2013, 04:43 AM Reply Like
  • RyanfBell
    , contributor
    Comments (68) | Send Message
     
    I'm not so sure you'd have to worry to much about the dual battery being to much of a issue as Chrysler already puts it in the trunk along side the spare.

     

    Seems to be a fair amount of room all ready to use up back there.
    23 Jan 2013, 06:22 AM Reply Like
  • dlmca
    , contributor
    Comments (341) | Send Message
     
    Recent price action in AXPW can be seen as positive and somewhat encouraging- but

     

    • For now any up ticks are likely to be news driven
    • The company still has to deal with the financing issue

     

    What seems clear is AXPW has a growing profile of watchers

     

    For me this is a long term investment and I expect ups and downs

     

    Without a positive news event - we are likely to see some pull back from here until that financing is resolved

     

    Others may wish to take a chance and sell and buy back in at a lower price

     

    More positive news catalysts are almost sure to follow in 2013 - but what and when remains unknown

     

    The story has not changed. While I would be surprised by any downside below $0.30 at this stage - the downside could go to $0.20. Mr. Market does what Mr. Market wants to do. In the long run however it will value a stock based on its underlying value and economic performance

     

    Personally I am focused on the companies operating prospects and not what the market might choose to do

     

    With patience I fully expect an upside many times the downside risk.

     

    We watch and wait
    23 Jan 2013, 07:32 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2617) | Send Message
     
    ZBB seems to be starting to get a little bit more exposure in reports and conferences lately:

     

    http://bit.ly/VZZMYO
    23 Jan 2013, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1307) | Send Message
     
    ZBB has doubled since bottoming out around November 20, 2012.
    23 Jan 2013, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30014) | Send Message
     
    It's important to remember that ZBB's working capital position is not as good as Axion's and its annual losses are about 50% higher. They are making progress but they're far from risk free.
    23 Jan 2013, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2617) | Send Message
     
    Agreed. Unless ZBB moves significant backlog in the next six months, I believe they will likely have to raise capital again before the end of the summer.

     

    They are currently sitting at about the last raise level of .38.
    23 Jan 2013, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17749) | Send Message
     
    ATDF started the day off with an ask of ~56.6K @ $0.35. Then ~81.5K, then ~84.1K. The 10K of it moved to $0.3499,masking the $0.35, which I presume still sits there at ~74K.

     

    Looks like it might be a tough day.

     

    HardToLove
    Correction: the 10K looks like it was new, leaving around 84K potentially hidden but still there.
    23 Jan 2013, 09:57 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2139) | Send Message
     
    For those interested in what might be possible, using modern materials and methods to build an MS (liquid fluoride salt) Reactor:

     

    http://1.usa.gov/TmCNrM

     

    I reviewed this paper carefully and found it to be technically solid. To the limit of my understanding, naturally ;-)
    23 Jan 2013, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Me too me too.

     

    Now that thay have changed their alignment from BMW to GM.

     

    PSA Peugeot Citroën developing 48V mild hybrid solution for 2017

     

    "The system combines a 10 kW electric motor with a 48V Li-ion battery. The electric motor can drive the vehicle alone at speeds of less than 20 km/h (12 mph)—for example, when parking or leaving a car park—and supply additional power under acceleration."

     

    http://bit.ly/VWJmiZ
    23 Jan 2013, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9285) | Send Message
     
    Penn State, where their heart really is. The IH syndrome.

     

    High-performance micro-sized Si-C composite for Li-ion anodes offers high tap density for high volumetric capacity

     

    "A team at Penn State University has synthesized a micro-sized silicon-carbon (Si-C) composite consisting of interconnected Si and carbon nanoscale building blocks as anode materials for Li-ion batteries (LIBs)."

     

    http://bit.ly/WLSV2r
    23 Jan 2013, 01:20 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    HR 325 just passed, so yet another macro factor broke Axion's way for this fund-raising quarter.
    23 Jan 2013, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    So no debt ceiling fight to complicate things even further during the period when Axion must raise money.
    23 Jan 2013, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1307) | Send Message
     
    3 cheers!
    23 Jan 2013, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2610) | Send Message
     
    Yes. Trying to raise $ when the overall stk mkt is tanking sucks. And until now, that was a real possibility, as was the fiscal cliff problem a few eeks ago. Glad those things are off the table.
    23 Jan 2013, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • Deamiter
    , contributor
    Comments (160) | Send Message
     
    I don't know -- I haven't heard much reporting on what happens in 3 months when the debt ceiling is back on. While they may be able to do some creative accounting that isn't explicitly prohibited (i.e. paying back the IOUs that were paid into pension funds a couple rounds back) if the debt ceiling is suspended for 3 or 6 months, the debt is going to blow way past the ceiling when it's suddenly back on leaving zero room for accounting tricks.

     

    I guess it'll be a more credible threat that Boehner will be able to destroy the economy on a specific date if he doesn't get what he wants, but I don't see a sudden economic crisis 3 months from now as particularly less worrisome than a stuttering economic crisis in a few weeks, especially when the economic collapse is CAUSED by politicians who are explicitly negotiating over whether or not they'll crash the stock markets if they don't get their way.
    24 Jan 2013, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4541) | Send Message
     
    >Deamiter ... WARNING!! Political Statement to Follow

     

    Having quickly read through it, the most likely thing that will happen is the cable news go into "Pie Fight" mode, people will get all worked up (to Wall Streets' advantage) & life goes on. There are a couple of "weasel" words in there that basically say if nothing happens or both Houses can't agree to a budget the limit will increase as required until ... whenever. The rest (and I'm sure the noise generated) is just theater for the masses that aren't paying attention and need something to fight about.

     

    Life goes on for those that really matter.
    24 Jan 2013, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • growsmart
    , contributor
    Comments (164) | Send Message
     
    There are other places for this. Please!
    24 Jan 2013, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • growsmart
    , contributor
    Comments (164) | Send Message
     
    There are other places for this. Please use them.
    24 Jan 2013, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4541) | Send Message
     
    >growsmart ... Really? At least 2 of the prospects that Axion has in this years outlook depend on this type of political development. Next item of interest comes in about 5 weeks (?) and will be even more important. Sorry if it offends .... nah, not really.
    24 Jan 2013, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2240) | Send Message
     
    I think the Dreamliner issues pretty much tells the tale for any significant use of lithium ion batteries in rail. Let's face it - they aren't safe enough period. One disaster in a major population center would wipe out years of fuel savings in a heart beat. I can't imagine the liability issues facing Boeing at this point. The lawyers must be rubbing their hands with glee.

     

    Holding Axion stock is Chinese water torture in the extreme. The likelihood of another down-round capital raise is very high unless TG can pull a rabbit out of the hat in terms of a PR event that raises the price dramatically, or a strategic partner who lets him keep his teeth. Whenever I raised outside capital the terms were pretty clear - take it or leave it. The "Golden Rule" as JP puts it.

     

    I've been reflecting the last few days on how difficult it is to sell a prospect on using the PbC. Yes, the battery has merit. At the same time using it requires a whole new system design and prototype development effort like that undertaken by NS, That's a damn lot of money. You have to have an awfully good reason to take on the effort (like the air quality issues facing rail) or else you aren't going to do it. Wonder how much BMW or GM has spent noodling it?

     

    It's a damn tough sale and I never truly appreciated how tough until now. Very large upfront system design and development expenses. If you are doing OK with what you have now, why would you open up a design and development expense black hole?