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  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >All ... decided to be first this time but I think it's a silly thing to do
    16 Feb 2013, 10:27 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    DRich, Me Two.
    16 Feb 2013, 10:34 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >iindelco ... Too cute. I'm hoping this thread can be Tesla free until the Earning(?) Report.

     

    I'd prefer to read about ePower Engine Systems releasing a PR piece but I'm thinking that will be like watching their countdown clock to an anticipated coming event. It stands as a row of zeros with 42 days (the ultimate answer to meaning in the universe) to go. A fitting tribute to my own enthusiasm level.
    16 Feb 2013, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • Renzo
    , contributor
    Comments (352) | Send Message
     
    It wasn't meant to be, DR.
    http://bit.ly/XOtYGw
    16 Feb 2013, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    ePower designed their control electronics for flooded and AGM batteries, which had a nasty habit of melting under regenerative braking loads. The PbC is performing well and the platform is stable, but they have to modify the control electronics to take full advantage of the PbC's strengths and accommodate its unusual voltage curve. While it would be wonderful to have a fairy godmother design, build and test new circuitry, ePower and Axion have to rely engineers to do the work. That can't happen in the twinkling of an eye.
    16 Feb 2013, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >JP ... I'm am aware of some of the potential modifications that ePower will have to make just to get the system to play with a PbC. I'm sure I'm under estimating the work involved with it when I consider that it was only last August (after how many years?) that Norfolk Southern declared they had finally finished their BMS to their satisfaction. It must be even more difficult than I imagined. It wouldn't surprise me to find that ePower, once functional, has years of improvement discovery ahead.
    16 Feb 2013, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2297) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    engineer fairies really do exist:

     

    http://bit.ly/XOFTEe
    16 Feb 2013, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2432) | Send Message
     
    JP: do you have information on how much "change control" can be done remotely?

     

    Related ... wondering how much update control will be given to the "end user" customer, how much to (specially trained/selected?) mechanics, how much will require ePower personnel to either visit, or have the truck come to them.

     

    Planning change control is something many think about way too late in the "excitement" of the "real business." It can be an expensive mistake to fix.
    16 Feb 2013, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Sometimes it's better to go with a development platform that offers more flexibility and then transition to lower cost salable product after many of the parameters have been developed. Usually good for saving time but the cost can also be prohibitive...or maybe not.

     

    Anyway, These guys are taking the tinkerers route and it's their plan not ours. It'll never come soon enough for either party but at least they are busy!

     

    At least they don't also have to deal with corporate politics like at the big boys.
    16 Feb 2013, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    WTB> Currently there are only two trucks. One is still with the user and the other is with ePower getting modified for the PbC. When the first one is performing the way ePower wants it to perform, they'll deliver it to the user and bring the second one back for a retrofit. When both existing trucks are on the road and working properly, they'll start expanding the test fleet.

     

    It's my understanding that the changes they're making right now are hardware rather than software, but change control is a much smaller issue in a planned ramp of 12 trucks, 50 trucks, 400 trucks than it would be with short-term plans for thousands.
    16 Feb 2013, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    WTB, Right now I'm worried about Job #1 control and thus far I don't seem to have any input on how changes are implemented! I'd love to be worried about how I'm going to update a couple hundred units in the field if the customer wants a 0.xy mile/gallon improvement under A,B & C conditions.

     

    Sometimes I feel like I'm driving around in a parking lot looking for a place to park and get a few amps or some wireless potential difference from afar.
    16 Feb 2013, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (860) | Send Message
     
    Am I right to assume that initially the trucks performed as expected?
    That the one with the user is in service. That only the charge performance of the AGM (or lack of) was the issue.

     

    I assume that otherwise the testing would be over and they would have moved on to a new concept. Micro turbines or something instead. That the truck still with the user would be parked.
    16 Feb 2013, 12:44 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    ePower told me that the user was delighted with the fuel economy of the trucks which averaged 10 mpg with 80,000 GVW, but tired of the frequent battery failures using flooded and then AGM batteries. The user also noted that the tractor was "a bit of a dog when it came to accelerating from 35 to 60 mph and climbing long grades."

     

    ePower's main reason for selecting the PbC was to eliminate the battery failures and improve regenerative braking. While they have the tractor in the shop, they're also tweaking the engine to improve acceleration and hill climbing, changing transmission shift points and, of course, working on their control electronics to draw more power from the batteries when they need it.

     

    ePower is the first to acknowledge that the easy fix would be to upgrade from a four cylinder to a six cylinder engine. Instead they want to push the limits of the envelope first to get the best possible performance with the lowest possible fuel consumption, and then take the easier steps of using bigger components and using more fuel. Their basic premise is that the first step must be defining the limits of the technically possible while leaving operation optimization for later.
    16 Feb 2013, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    John, What you're saying here really doesn't surprise me that much. The fact that ePower had to work through technical integration challenges on the systems is a given. But having lived with motors and motor controllers/hardware in an industrial setting for many years I've seen how far the industry has advance. What exists for applications today for the price is like a miracle compared to 30-40 years ago in the areas of electromechanical devices and electronics.

     

    As we know the real challenge is in the battery area. And alas that's what ePower found in their experimentation. And while we've seen advancements in this area it's nothing like in the other areas. But hey, we all know this directionally because we share articles and thoughts about it in this forum all the time.

     

    How much more more frustrating it will be in a couple years if Axion proves to be a good solution in the areas where we feel it's most applicable. Just knowing how many added hoops everyone involved had to go through because, like in industry, we seem to have too many players that like striking out swinging for the fences when they know there are solid singles at hand. I know you have to swing hard at times as well but it needs to be part of a balanced strategy. But who the hell wants to do that, you'll never get famous!
    16 Feb 2013, 03:23 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2740) | Send Message
     
    JP, thanks for the update on ePower.

     

    2-3 weeks ago you wrote that their CTO planned to increase the DOD over the next 2 weeks. What ever happened with that?

     

    Any way to reasonably estimate when an ePower PR will happen? E.g., 2 months when the 1st truck is 'done' and they ask for the 2nd truck? Or are we looking at 4-6 months? Can anyone even say, with any useful level of certainty? In light of how long this is taking, I hope TG is not waiting just for this to happen to do the financing.
    16 Feb 2013, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    I've been asked to avoid detailed discussions until they finish their work because it's not at all uncommon to resolve one issue and give birth to another. It's one thing to talk about the reality that integrating three different systems takes time, and another to say too much. I don't expect the process to drag on for several more weeks, but there's no way to tell until ePower says "finished."
    16 Feb 2013, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17896) | Send Message
     
    John: with the news being, so far, that they are increasing the DOD usage, I think that really tells the tale of what results they've seen. Combined with your earlier report of the equipment and batteries playing nicely together, I have very little doubt about the outcome.

     

    I just hope it's timely enough to have a positive effect on the capital raise. It would be nice if TG had that in his arsenal when the time comes.

     

    HardToLove
    16 Feb 2013, 04:48 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (860) | Send Message
     
    Happy Days if this all gets wrapped up soon and they have time for entry of "Number 3" into a big truck show. (The "Dale" truck, off to the races. ;-) )
    16 Feb 2013, 06:06 PM Reply Like
  • billa_from_sf
    , contributor
    Comments (370) | Send Message
     
    HT:

     

    It doesn't seem realistic to me to pin our hopes about the capital raise on a timely ePower PR.

     

    As I understand it, ePower is working their way through the integration tasks that JP outlined above. Maybe things will go smoothly. Maybe questions will arise.

     

    The ultimate success of their product will have a bigger impact on our success as investors in Axion, IMO, than a PR on a less-than-bombproof design hurried out the door.

     

    Besides, a deep-pocketed investor who understands the story isn't going to be impressed or not impressed with how soon ePower gets their act together. This quarter or next is granular enough I would imagine.
    16 Feb 2013, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • D. McHattie
    , contributor
    Comments (1844) | Send Message
     
    Small ball, iind. Ichiro Suzuki.

     

    D
    17 Feb 2013, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Don't recall this interview on the Ultrabattery/ALABC concept vehicle being posted.

     

    Lead-Carbon Enhanced Ultra-Battery Design from ALABC - Battery Show 2012

     

    http://bit.ly/VXcTfc;Battery-Show-2012
    16 Feb 2013, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (353) | Send Message
     
    Hadn't seen that before, but I think I had read the results on paper about that Honda.

     

    They said they took out the NiMH battery from a mild hybrid civic and replaced it with 14 ultrabatteries, which supposedly have experienced no degradation and similar performance to the original battery pack after 70k miles (in Phoenix, no less).

     

    Perhaps Axion's batteries can do the same thing, but I would have to defer to Ed Buiel for his opinion whether Axion's would perform better or worse in that application.

     

    Either way, I would say that this ultrabattery experiment has widened our possibilities, even if only in my imagination.

     

    Thanks for the link!
    16 Feb 2013, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17896) | Send Message
     
    Iindelco: I hadn't seen it either.

     

    I wonder what trick they have up their sleeve to make it attractive to full hybrids.

     

    Time will tell I guess.

     

    HardToLove
    16 Feb 2013, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • billa_from_sf
    , contributor
    Comments (370) | Send Message
     
    I'm thinking IP, people.

     

    Are these guys going to rip off Axion's design?
    16 Feb 2013, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2248) | Send Message
     
    I recently visited my brother who lives a couple hundred miles from me. I had encouraged him to buy Axion quite sometime ago while the DOE award was being decided with the comment that "he wouldn't lose a penny." He looked at the opportunities Axion had in front of it including BMW, Norfolk Southern, the DOE award and bought roughly $10,000 worth of Axion stock. Over time the stock descended in price and his losses mounted. I had raised his concerns with my comments about potentially an even lower PPS with the next capital raise. I had also pointed out that the final battery order had been delivered to Norfolk Southern in late December and that they would probably be installed within two months of delivery.

     

    As soon as I get to his home I began discussing my thoughts on how to deal with the uncertainty of the upcoming capital raise. Within a few minutes he informed me that after a discussion with his financial adviser he had sold his Axion for a $7,000 loss. The discussion ended entirely a few minutes later when he said, "I don't want to talk about Axion anymore" in a tone that clearly ended any further discussion about Axion - period,

     

    In my own case I had $3200 in Axion but I am stuck living on Social Security plus some savings for emergencies. I had considered a strategy of selling most of my stock and leaving about 1/4 of my holdings so that if Axion eventually rose to $2 a share I could recover all of my losses. The alternate strategy was to sell it all for about $1250 after commissions which I elected to do. In my circumstances $1250 is a decent chunk of change, but half of that wasn't worth much to me.

     

    Converting all my current position into dry powder and sitting on the sidelines would then allow me to rebuy more shares at a lower pps with the same dollars if the capital raise reduced the PPS, or jump back in later for a few less shares at say ,40 cents if a run appeared to be underway. I must say I like where I sit now - safely out of harms way with little loss of opportunity for a $20 total brokerage fee.

     

    Even if the price fell to .20 cents I would not rebuy on blind faith alone. I would need to see either an attractive rising PPS and a good looking stock chart, or the release of positive good news. I am also not going to risk the potential of another capital raise after this one without significant ongoing sales. I cannot imagine what the next capital raise price might be if Axion does not have significant ongoing PbC sales by then.

     

    Then I had to discuss Axion with a daughter that had bought $1600 worth of Axion in the .60's. She's losing about half of her investment at the moment but she's in good shape to either ride it out, sell and sit on the sidelines like me until the capital raise dust settles, or sell it all like my brother and forget about it. I encouraged her to use my sideline strategy but agreed that in her circumstances it didn't make much difference what she did, she's in good shape financially and whatever she did would be ok. I also pointed out my belief that NS's test would probably be positive and beneficial to the stock price when the results became known.

     

    So why am I sharing this info with fellow Axionistas? I am doing so for anyone mulling their Axion holdings in the face of a lack of any significant new Axion sales announcements coupled with the upcoming capital raise issue. It would be easy to write a "feel good" comment about Axion or a hatchet piece. There is simply little real news being revealed from behind the curtain so you could easily write anything you wanted to based on the available information.

     

    I've second guessed my decision a million times since selling and deciding to sit on the sidelines for the moment. I have been completely unable to reverse my decision. However, I sure wish I had kept my enthusiasm to myself and not talked my relatives into buying. That I'll just have to live with, but it is a very uncomfortable memory whenever it comes to mind. If and when I decide to get back in I'll let you know.

     

    In the meantime I will keep up the custom APC search engine, follow the APC's, closely watch the the PPS and any Axion announcements. Good luck to Axion and all of the APC members. Many of you have been my closest friends during a tough period of my life.
    16 Feb 2013, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17896) | Send Message
     
    BW: Sorry to hear about the regrets part. That's tough to bear.

     

    I hope you'll continue to participate here as well - your background has contributed much to my education in areas that I have no experience at all.

     

    And I've used your site, which I'm glad you'll maintain, a lot to find stuff that I remembered part of but couldn't otherwise find easily.

     

    In case you can't visit much, be well my friend!

     

    HardToLove
    16 Feb 2013, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Bang, As always best of luck. Brighter days ahead.

     

    Make sure you don't make a stranger of yourself!
    16 Feb 2013, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2248) | Send Message
     
    Not really going away Indelco, but I will be a lot quieter. Actually I really don't consider myself truly out of the stock. It's not the 2K loss I'm thinking of - really doesn't bother me. 1500 of the loss was prior trading profits made during QE2. I lost a couple K playing poker at first but I eventually got it all back plus. I just want to see a clear direction established in the pps versus today's uncertainty and more evidence of both current PbC sales and future PbC sales growth.
    16 Feb 2013, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2248) | Send Message
     
    HTL> I will be reading all your TA analysis every day. Very helpful and much appreciated.
    16 Feb 2013, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • Ranma
    , contributor
    Comments (1804) | Send Message
     
    I know I can sit down at any table in a casino and make money. I hope I can say the same about the markets one day!
    16 Feb 2013, 08:08 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2248) | Send Message
     
    Don't get me going about "Black Friday" or Eric Holder Ranma! The closest decent poker casino to Marietta, GA is in Tampa - miles from here versus a mouse click.
    16 Feb 2013, 11:03 PM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (1028) | Send Message
     
    bangwhiz, your experience is exactly why I never ever give investment advice or recommendations to friends or family.
    19 Feb 2013, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (2779) | Send Message
     
    Bang, you (like Maya) got out at one of the last decent exit spots. Sometimes its fun to see the wisdom in these old posts.
    16 Sep, 05:58 PM Reply Like
  • WayneinOregon
    , contributor
    Comments (993) | Send Message
     
    Hi Bangwhiz, sorry to hear about all the consternation AXPW has caused you over time. I guess it's generally about the risk/reward ratio we perceive at any given time. My own take is that any drop in price that might ensue from a capital raise would most likely be offset by some good news in the coming year. And any price drop (which may not necessarily happen) would not be nearly as big as what happened last year.

     

    Personally, I think one good piece of news coming this year could very well be a dawning realization there will be no more capital raises necessitating issuing more shares. Of course, I could be wrong. But I think there's a limited downside at this time, and lots of upside. As much as we talk about on this board, I get a sense there's a lot more going on behind the scenes, and the next good news could very well be something we've barely touched on on this board.

     

    Anyway, all the best to you. You've been a gentleman with some of your musings, and I've appreciated your thoughts. -- Best Regards.
    16 Feb 2013, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2248) | Send Message
     
    "WayneO> "Personally, I think one good piece of news coming this year could very well be a dawning realization there will be no more capital raises necessitating issuing more shares."

     

    There will have to be more capital raises if for nothing else the expansion of production assets. One PbC carbon electrode line is not enough capacity. Auto stop start is never going to happen on any significant scale without more capacity - perhaps as much as $50M in previous estimates. However, skinning that cat could be done a variety of ways - but future capital raises are a certainty IMHO. That's not bad if it is to expand production capacity. If it is to keep the lights on - well....
    16 Feb 2013, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1509) | Send Message
     
    Best wishes, Bang.
    Total agreement on your advice for the family situation. I had my brother in Capstone (turbines on full power right now, btw) with all my talk, but when I found out he had bought some I let him know that I did not think that was a good idea. In fact, I immediately sold out of CPST and told him so. I have lost a lot (relatively speaking) of my own money on individual stock plays and the sense of responsibility I felt as soon as he bought in raised the risk far beyond the reward.
    I put my money where my mouth is, but I tell anyone who's listening that they have to find their own ideas and their own stocks.
    16 Feb 2013, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2248) | Send Message
     
    Edmund> Yep, I was over the top on Axion to family members. Never again. I'd love to commit more resources to the market but with the government essentially so disfunctional at the moment I can't consider it.
    16 Feb 2013, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2127) | Send Message
     
    Bang,
    I think your comments are very timely. Most of us Axionistas are proud of our knowledge and believe we know more than the market, at least about Axion. Your comments let us all take pause and think about the reality of Axion stock and our effect on other peoples actions.
    Thanks for the reminder that my decisions are my decisions. But my recommendations might fall on the ears of folks who don't truly understand the product or the risks.
    16 Feb 2013, 07:59 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Bang, thanks for all you have done and stay in touch
    16 Feb 2013, 09:01 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2432) | Send Message
     
    EnerG2 sends the world a Valentine

     

    EnerG2 Announces Manufacturing Milestones

     

    Energy storage manufacturer celebrates one-year anniversary of commercial-scale production of nano-engineered carbon material at state-of-the-art Oregon facility.

     

    Seattle, Washington (PRWEB) February 14, 2013

     

    http://bit.ly/Zjbot0

     

    "A year after coming online, the Albany facility remains the only manufacturing plant in the world dedicated to the commercial-scale production of engineered carbon material. These materials are destined for use in high-performance energy storage applications.

     

    “We’re getting exciting traction in a variety of applications and industries,” says Rick Luebbe, EnerG2’s CEO, “and we’re delivering 21st century manufacturing products that will ultimately transform the way energy is used around the world.”

     

    ...

     

    Established working relationships and partnerships with over 100 significant companies across the globe focused on energy storage application development. This is a more-than 60 percent increase over the past year

     

    ...

     

    In addition to backing from federal and state governmental agencies, EnerG2 has received support from: OVP Venture Partners, WRF Capital, the Sustainability Investment Fund, Yaletown Venture Partners, and Firelake Capital Management."
    16 Feb 2013, 10:43 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2432) | Send Message
     
    http://bit.ly/WAMjp2

     

    "The methods we have deployed to control of these steps have made available to our customers the key to many electrochemical storage systems: fine control over the pore size, pore distribution and pore volumes of the carbon in the matrix. EnerG2’s process technology allows for wide ranging pore distributions – from 90%+ microporous carbons to less than 5% microporous carbon. This pore distribution is established in EnerG2’s sol-gel polymer and can be rapidly tailored to the requirements of a given application"
    16 Feb 2013, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Porosity is one important technical attribute, but it's twin sister is permeability and without both you don't have a useful material.

     

    Think styrofoam! It's porous as all get out but there's no way to get the pores to communicate.

     

    Activated carbon from coconut husks has the same capillary structures as the original plant material and very high permeability. One of the toughest nuts to crack in the sheeting process was learning how to bind the particles together without plugging the pores and capillaries.
    17 Feb 2013, 06:18 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    "Activated carbon from coconut husks has the same capillary structures as the original plant material and very high permeability. One of the toughest nuts to crack in the sheeting process was learning how to bind the particles together without plugging the pores and capillaries."

     

    And I think, based on reviewing this document once again yesterday, that East Penn and Sandia don't understand much about carbon, how it works or how to process it. Or maybe Sandia does but it is proprietary to some other entity and it didn't come out during this study?

     

    Carbon-Enhanced VRLA Batteries

     

    http://1.usa.gov/T3ldSo
    17 Feb 2013, 07:54 AM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (353) | Send Message
     
    While we are on this topic, I have always wondered about the differences between Axion's carbon electrode and the carbon electrode of the Ultrabattery.

     

    On the surface, I would assume they are similar, but are the differences in battery performance a function of the differences in electrode performance, or a function of the differing physical layout of the battery itself?

     

    I wonder how safe Axion's manufacturing process can be if East Penn and Furukawa have the ability to produce carbon electrodes at scale already. There is probably limited info available about either manufacturing process, but it still makes me wonder...
    17 Feb 2013, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    That's always been a $64 question, and it seems that recently all the competition is developing carbon products hoping to find a "second best tech" to displace PbC without partnering with AXPW.

     

    This is also the foundation of many followers dissatisfaction of mgt. inability to land a contract or design win. If AXPW mgt. is ok, then why / what is it about PbC that makes it so difficult to implement? and take so long ?
    We know it works, has long lifespan, and all the other strengths & weaknesses, but there has to be one missing link that we don't know about - why it is so difficult to implement & why not a single major has come aboard and endorsed it?
    Time is also the biggest enemy when it comes to IT protection too, time is of the essence for AXPW, IMO. For IT protection, capital raises, to get ahead of others in the auto implementations, etc.

     

    For now, all we have that is known mkts on the verge of sales is NSC & ePower.
    17 Feb 2013, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    The Ultrabattery creates an inherent conflict between the lead half and the carbon half of each negative electrode and that conflict limits its performance. The simple explanation is that lead releases and accepts charge easier than carbon and if you have both materials present on the negative electrode, the lead half is the first to discharge and the first to recharge while the carbon does nothing.

     

    In late November I wrote an Instablog on an Ultrabattery modeling project at the University of Sheffield that compared the UB with three different devices – an AGM battery, an AGM battery with a 300 Farad supercapacitor and and AGM battery with a 2,400 Farad supercapacitor like the Continental Maxwell system. The UB performed better than the AGM and the AGM with a small supercapacitor, and not as well as the AGM with a large supercapacitor.

     

    As near as I've been able to tell, the manufacturing process for the UB carbon electrodes starts with a lead-grid and "dips" it in a carbon goop that coats the surface like a chocolate covered strawberry. It works for the UB but it will never perform like the PbC.
    17 Feb 2013, 09:06 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >Milhouse ... Wonder no more. The good Dr. Ed Buiel explains the Ultrabattery in pretty basic terms here.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    It doesn't work as well as I once thought.
    17 Feb 2013, 09:06 AM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (353) | Send Message
     
    OK, so the short answer is that both the physical layout and the carbon electrode itself limits the viability of the ultrabattery. If they are doing a "hot dip" or something similar to apply their carbon, then we have nothing to worry about. I don't know the specifics of the method Axion uses (and I probably shouldn't), but it seems like it would be superior to that crude method.

     

    This answers my question. No one is able to produce a carbon electrode similar to Axion's, and our production method is indeed safe. Even if East Penn were to produce a battery with the same internal layout, the limitations of their carbon process would not give it the same performance IMO.

     

    Thanks to all for helping clear up a question which has been nagging me.
    17 Feb 2013, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17896) | Send Message
     
    Milhouse: recall that East Penn's/CSIRO is not a pure carbon negative electrode, but a hybrid that has both lead and carbon in that electrode.

     

    I don't think they've cracked the code at all. The carbon portion of their electrode may also have completely different performance, and lifetime effects based on what we've seen.

     

    I've not seen anything yet suggesting that they have the ability to do what Axion has done.

     

    MHO and in some ignorance of course,
    HardToLove
    17 Feb 2013, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Millhouse> the PbC electrode assembly is a five layer lamination with a copper current collector core, two conductive corrosion barriers and two sintered carbon sheets. We knew what the design had to be from the very beginning, but it took years of effort to develop and refine all the components so that they worked together as an integrated system.

     

    Once we had the component and system details worked out, it took several more years to develop production equipment to make the components and fabricate the electrode assemblies. Since nobody had ever made similar components, there were no off-the-shelf manufacturing technologies that could be repurposed.

     

    The last time I was in New Castle, the research team was making electrode sheets in a glorified french bakery that mixed a carbon dough and then used beefed up pizza dough rollers to make the sheeting – a process that required each batch of dough to make about 40 passes through the rollers to get the required consistency and electrode integrity.

     

    Everything that was done by hand in 2007 is now done on automated equipment designed by Axion for the specific purpose of making PbC electrodes. Somebody with enough time and money could undoubtedly duplicate the process, but it won't be cheap or easy.
    17 Feb 2013, 09:48 AM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (353) | Send Message
     
    That makes sense, I know it has been neither cheap nor easy for Axion or its shareholders.

     

    Concern alleviated.
    17 Feb 2013, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    I've never seen an indication that East Penn has imported coconut based activated carbon based on my import searches.

     

    Also based on my readings of some of the work East Penn MFG has done with Sandi I'd guess that they don't have near the understanding that Axion / Dr. Buiel / Enders Dickinson / Kirk Tierney and others on the team I'm not acquainted with has concerning carbons and their impact. This includes the manufacturing process for Axions sintered sheet material. This is the gem.

     

    -

     

    John, One question I wanted to ask yourself and Dr. Buiel is about the handling characteristics of the sintered sheet. Is it really fragile or does it have huge storage needs? Basically I'm interested in how robust it is as a stand alone component prior to subsequent processing? I hope you can share this as it's important for me to understand but I also understand if you can't.

     

    Just trying to figure out possible opportunities for what the process flow diagram might look like. In the industry the semi humorous phrase we would use for something requiring almost zero consideration between process steps is "Handle it like coal.".
    17 Feb 2013, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    In 2007 the finished sheeting was a lot like the cardboard backing on a note pad. The sheeting had considerable flex but would crack if you bent it too far. While the carbon starts out in micron sized particles like a black flour, when the sheet is fully processed you can slide your fingers over the surface with no sloughing. I don't know whether the sheeting gets more fragile as it cures or if there are any special storage requirements, but my sense is that the care and handling requirements for the carbon electrode assemblies are comparable to the care and handling requirements for pasted lead grids.
    17 Feb 2013, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Thanks John, That helps quite a bit.
    17 Feb 2013, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    They're old observations that may not have much in common with current realities, but they're also the best I can do and better than nothing.
    17 Feb 2013, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    John, Yep. But anytime you gather more information than what you had in an area of interest it's advantageous.

     

    I'm sure Dr. Buiel could add more but if I recall correctly he departed before the single pass sheeting process as well. Although the final sheet characteristics are pretty much the same anyway.

     

    But there are always some info. sharing restrictions as there should be.
    17 Feb 2013, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    That's one of the nice things about being a lawyer. I can provide a general description of what I've seen without disclosing anything about the nuts and bolts science and engineering that was always above my pay grade.
    17 Feb 2013, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    John, Based on your positions you carry restrictions on other pieces of the puzzle so you're well aware of confidentiality.

     

    You contribute your piece, take your agreed to reward and then play Sargent Shultz. Too many unfortunately forget this rule and give up the personal character that I think is the biggest prize.
    17 Feb 2013, 01:42 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    It's important to remember that I write for investors but my target market is companies in the storage sector and related industries who need a lawyer with my skill set. That agenda imposes a variety of critical restrictions. I have to stay as accurate as possible and while I can get away with fair criticism, cheap shots would cost me dearly. I'm truly grateful that some very knowledgeable readers actively participate in my comment streams even when they don't agree with me. Guys like Don Harmon and MRTTF who both work in the lithium-ion space are priceless, as are many Axionistas who add a depth of knowledge and experience that I'd never be able to muster on my own.
    17 Feb 2013, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Understood. I was referring to your primary occupation which places the aforementioned restrictions.

     

    Also, yesterday, I mentioned the more technically knowledgeable people in the battery business that post on your TSLA articles. These people along with some others make it worth digging through the muck referred to as the comment section. Have to pass many undefended posts in the ground to find them at times though. Some quick scanning for gems often makes it worth having to wipe away a little green hog wash.
    17 Feb 2013, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    There are some very bright guys out there and I'm thrilled to have them around to catch me when I step over the lines.
    17 Feb 2013, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • pascquale
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    John,
    You stated:
    "The simple explanation is that lead releases and accepts charge easier than carbon and if you have both materials present on the negative electrode, the lead half is the first to discharge and the first to recharge while the carbon does nothing."

     

    My understanding was that the lead releases quicker but takes longer to charge (lower DCA). I went back to EBuiel's explanation:
    "although you can charge the carbon, you have to pretty much discharge the lead part of the negative down to nothing in order to get the energy you put in the carbon out."
    which supports the lead discharging quicker but I did not gather from the rest of his post (which I don't fully understand) that the lead charges quicker too.

     

    It would surprise me if the lead actually charges faster in the Ultrabattery, is your statement correct?
    17 Feb 2013, 03:09 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    "There are some very bright guys out there..."

     

    There sure are and this group has more than it's share. I'm thrilled when you guys take the time to share thought and info. on an area of mutual interest.

     

    Maybe we'll all even make a few baubles along the way. Although, since PbC's not lithium based, maybe it's just not worthy! lol
    17 Feb 2013, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Lead has all manner of DCA problems whether it's in an AGM battery or an Ultrabattery. I can't get into the chemistry as deeply as Ed, but carbon on the negative has little or no electrochemical impact if there's lead available. It appears that the biggest benefit of carbon additives is slowing crystal formation. Beyond that it's not much.
    17 Feb 2013, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Enzo Ferrarri has made money selling toys to the privileged, but nowhere near as much as Ford made selling basic black to the masses.
    17 Feb 2013, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (733) | Send Message
     
    I'm not smart enough to know the science but the Axion patents must be quite specific in what they are doing. Otherwise the black hats will have lots of leeway. We trust that Axion's management has done all that possibly can be done to safeguard the IP. After all good management of the IP and its responsible commercialisation will make us all rich in due course.
    17 Feb 2013, 09:12 PM Reply Like
  • billa_from_sf
    , contributor
    Comments (370) | Send Message
     
    Speaking of IP, the idea occurred to me recently that perhaps the startling level of pathological bashing on the Brand Y Axion board might be instigated by a battery company in the "carbon additive" space that would love to rip off Axion's IP instead of partnering with us.

     

    The easiest way to get our IP would be to drive our stock into the dirt, which would ultimately starve us of money to stay in the game.

     

    At least, these guys have to know that PbC does what they are trying to do and their dabblings are limited by electrochemistry. So where is the partnership? Not for lack of trying on our side, one can assume. Kill us and steal our IP must look rather inviting on paper.
    17 Feb 2013, 10:17 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (860) | Send Message
     
    There is no reason not to work all angles at the same time.

     

    I suspect that Axion will hold tight to what they have, for as long as they can. If it was me, I'd bury it before I'd cave if I knew there were intentional attacks. (There does seem to be some paid attacks.)
    18 Feb 2013, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Fuel Cells by 2015 in Hyundai
    http://bloom.bg/12x3FIL
    17 Feb 2013, 07:03 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    LT, Lot's of auto companies have them on the road in testing. And Plug Power has been supplying them for areas like the material handling industry. But alas it''s primarily a government funds addicted industry.

     

    They just did another capital raise. A last dying breath?

     

    http://yhoo.it/WPREux;range=my;compare=;ind...
    17 Feb 2013, 07:46 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Indelco, I am under the impression that fleet testing usually precurs a design win for production.
    The fact that they have fleet testing in progress now & plans for a 2015 roll out just concurs with the dates 2015-1016 will be big years for new tech in production models for the public.
    Capital raise? IMO the capital is there, Buffett, Gates & funds might come on board to make it happen.
    It appears to me that now we are less than 24 months away from major shifts into many new techs...such as JCI and their 2 battery system just announced, this fuel cell tech, nat gas in certain apps, and improved li-on too.
    IMO, there is no winner take all. There will be many mkts. and I wonder where AXPW fits in ?
    We can see by ePower that the batteries work, but it also exposes the fact that u have mentioned before that with PbC you have to redesign the entire system for it to work. More than just a BMS software reprogramming.
    I expect this is the main delay of fleet testing in auto on a bigger scale already.
    Makes me wonder if AXPW may not have to go back to the drawing board using their knowledge of many years of testing and develop maybe 2 or more new system configurations (sorta like JCI has done) and prepare to have a working combo system.
    JCI having their new combo system already working in the BMW is a major concern of mine until we get a production partner and OEM order.
    17 Feb 2013, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13508) | Send Message
     
    Honda has been leasing fuel cell cars in Cali for years. They have also set up a small number of hydrogen fueling stations to service them. Last I heard Honda was admitting that each car cost about $400k to build, though their leases have no hope of recouping that money before the cars wear out (doubtless the government subsidies help with the overhead, though).
    17 Feb 2013, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    I spent some time on the phone a few months ago with the CEO of Plug Power. While he's a big fan of fuel cells for forklifts in massive distribution centers, he doesn't see any near term potential for HFCs in the consumer markets.
    17 Feb 2013, 09:08 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    LT, I did a post recently to explain that there are different reasons for fleet testing and in the case of Fuel cells I place them in the longer term development arena. This means that scalable/economical technology that is built into the business plan might indicate a time frame for launch in the window you suggest. In the case of fuel cells I put them more in the hopefully someday type fleet testing.

     

    Yes there are vehicles on the road and in fact you can buy fuel cells. The problem is that they are still too expense due to the fact they have not been optimized for manufacturing and as I understand it the catalysts are still too expensive. Probably many other reasons as well like infrastructure but it's not something that I follow that closely. Just wanted to point out that fleet testing doesn't always indicate a design win and there are numerous reasons for doing it. The devil is in the details and we don't have those.

     

    The reason I'd place a higher probability of fleet testing meaning a design win for Axion is because of the general timing I see for electrification in the industry that could use such a storage unit, that testing BMW and other have done and the lack of economically competitive options to name some of the biggest reasons. This, in my mind, only increases the odds of a path to a win. It's not assured.
    17 Feb 2013, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • dlmca
    , contributor
    Comments (356) | Send Message
     
    Anyone have a reasoned date when we next have a conference call with TG and team?

     

    Have we planned questions to ask and who should ask them?

     

    The next conference call is very important in my mind. We need TG and management to set out their broad vision for the future so they can be held to account.
    17 Feb 2013, 08:14 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    This year's SEC filing deadline for the 10-K is Monday April 1st. Given Axion's history of filing reports a day or two before the deadline, I won't look for an earnings release before the last week of March.
    17 Feb 2013, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • WayneinOregon
    , contributor
    Comments (993) | Send Message
     
    I wouldn't mind hearing a "call out" at the next CC to some of their patient long-term shareholders who've stuck with them through some difficult times. -- It's always nice to feel appreciated.
    17 Feb 2013, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • WayneinOregon
    , contributor
    Comments (993) | Send Message
     
    Hmm, I think "shout-out" would have been a more suitable word than "call out". "Long-suffering" shareholders might also have been appropriate. -- But just to be clear, I'm not complaining here, and continue to firmly believe we will all be handsomely rewarded.
    17 Feb 2013, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    China's Dongfeng Motors is reportedly bidding $350 million for an 85% stake in Fisker Motors.

     

    http://bit.ly/Z8aAmS

     

    Since private investors dumped almost a billion dollars into Fisker, they can't be thrilled about being cut back to 15%.
    17 Feb 2013, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2740) | Send Message
     
    I'd love for a company to bid $350mil for 85% of Axion.
    17 Feb 2013, 11:47 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    That would leave the other 15% with an imputed market cap of $62 million and I wouldn't like that one tiny bit.
    18 Feb 2013, 05:50 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2740) | Send Message
     
    Existing shares. I'll take an 11 bagger any day.
    18 Feb 2013, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    The Dongfeng bid is money that will go into Fisker and give the investors an 85% post-investment stake. None of the money will go to the investors who put up the first billion, so the imputed remaining value of their investment will be about $60 million for a 94% haircut.

     

    I'm sure it would be far more palatable to legacy investors if Dongfeng was doing a tender offer for up to 85% of the company at a $350 million valuation, but then Dongfeng would need to come up with another big whack of cash to finance future operations.
    18 Feb 2013, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    ?

     

    Geely leads Fisker bidding

     

    http://bit.ly/XkopfN

     

    Don't want to jump on a dead horse

     

    A123 Battery Production May Not Resume Until Fisker Is Safely In Chinese Hands

     

    http://bit.ly/15pI3xw
    18 Feb 2013, 11:29 AM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1777) | Send Message
     
    John,
    So I'll be novice investor for the day and ask the obvious questions. If Dongfeng is offering $350M for an 85% stake in the company, and they aren't purchasing that from the current stock holders, how does that happen outside of BK court? Don't the current stockholders have to agree to any such deal or is this going to be another situation like A123 was going to be, where the current stockholders are told to either agree to the deal and get something, or wait for the company to go BK and get nothing?
    18 Feb 2013, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Fisker is not in Bankruptcy and as long as the deal is within the limitations of Fisker's articles of incorporation the board can sell new shares on behalf of the company whenever they want as long as the consideration received is "fair."

     

    Stockholder consent is only required if the board wants to issue more shares than the corporation is legally authorized to issue.

     

    To use Axion as an example, the company needs to raise money. If it gets a series of term sheets that value the stock at 50% of market, the board will be within its rights to accept the terms without any stockholder approvals.

     

    That being said, Axion's articles of incorporation only authorize 200 million shares and there are about 125 million shares currently outstanding or reserved for issuance. That means the maximum number of shares the board could issue without stockholder approval is 75 million.
    18 Feb 2013, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • dlmca
    , contributor
    Comments (356) | Send Message
     
    Thanks John

     

    Lots of time to be ready

     

    Hopefully they will give us much to smile and feel good about before late March
    17 Feb 2013, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Following the 5-5-5 program. Well it's better than building facilities to build dreams for project Tantalus. ;)

     

    ARPA-E RANGE: $20M for robust transformational energy storage systems for EVs; 3x the range at 1/3 the cost

     

    http://bit.ly/12yyKf8
    17 Feb 2013, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    The ARPA-E team for the RANGE project must have access to extraordinary hallucinogens.
    17 Feb 2013, 03:08 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17896) | Send Message
     
    Well, this will surely be successful - the have a catchy acronym after all.

     

    But I think they should have shown a little ambition - with $100M of OPM they could quadruple the range, cut the cost by 3/4 and certainly take less than 5 years to do it, despite history.

     

    They must be getting conservative after some of the other recent fiascos using OPM.

     

    I guess it's a concession to "smaller government" or less intervention into the (ersatz) capitalist system we have.

     

    HardTioLove
    EDIT: What am I thinking - they just mandate everyone has to buy the current lemon crop. Sheesh! What's government power for if you can't flaunt it once in a while.
    17 Feb 2013, 03:10 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    HTL, Lemon Aid?
    17 Feb 2013, 03:25 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Most politically inspired programs are configured to survive the next election before blowing up. That was what made Ener1 and A123 such embarrassments. They didn't follow the script.
    17 Feb 2013, 04:16 PM Reply Like
  • D. McHattie
    , contributor
    Comments (1844) | Send Message
     
    Seems like ARPA-E is chasing rainbows a little bit. Maybe even chasing double rainbows.

     

    http://bit.ly/VpnsFo

     

    "Oh my god! Triple the performance and 1/3rd the cost, all the way! What does it mean??!"

     

    D
    17 Feb 2013, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • Renzo
    , contributor
    Comments (352) | Send Message
     
    Love that clip.
    17 Feb 2013, 09:29 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1777) | Send Message
     
    IINDelco,
    I note that this program is only for $20 million, instead of for the billions that were spent in the past. I guess the DOE is going back to funding basic research instead of funding new battery plants.
    17 Feb 2013, 10:17 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    LabTech, Sure seems that way. And I noted a few portions are geared toward developing safer electrochemical energy storage. Much like the money being steered toward development of lithium ion in the EU, It's recognized that it needs to be more robust on the safety side.
    18 Feb 2013, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Something to refract on. ;)

     

    http://bit.ly/WRTtHg
    18 Feb 2013, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Lemon indeed.

     

    Electric Lemon Aid

     

    http://bit.ly/WKZOm8
    19 Feb 2013, 07:23 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8017) | Send Message
     
    Lemon? The car functioned properly, the driver did not. Are the thousands of ICE's that run out of gas every day lemons?
    19 Feb 2013, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2769) | Send Message
     
    Jrp3
    For an ICE to lose 2/3 of it's fuel over night. I'd call it a lemon.
    19 Feb 2013, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8017) | Send Message
     
    What would you call an ICE that never had enough fuel put in it's tank to complete a trip, even though fuel was available, and free?
    Not to mention the car did not lose 2/3 of it's fuel over night, it went much further than indicated range and it probably would have made it if he had simply started driving and not wasted energy sitting still and preheating while not plugged in.
    Ultimately it's irrelevant, the stock bounced back from any possible effects of the NYT piece, and all the people that keep completing the same trip successfully only reinforce the weakness of that article.
    If you want to keep obsessing about the details of it feel free but as I've been told no one here wants to see it.
    20 Feb 2013, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    The people who keep completing the trip are doing so with markedly different weather conditions. All they're doing is demonstrating that fair weather range is better than foul weather range as they poke along at recommended speeds that are 5 to 10 mph slower than the flow of traffic. You know things are tough when school buses start passing Teslas on demonstration tours.

     

    Type A personalities that appreciate 0 to 60 in four seconds don't often drive distances at Q-Tip speeds. I sense a disconnect.
    20 Feb 2013, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8017) | Send Message
     
    The only disconnect is not understanding how the people who actually own these cars and use them on a daily basis seem to love them. You can keep telling them how poorly the car performs and doesn't work but they know the reality.
    The subsquent drives that have been taking were only under slightly higher temperatures in some cases and actually worse overall weather, with wind and snow, which would reduce range even further, yet they all made it, including those who like Mr. Broder left the car unplugged over night.
    22 Feb 2013, 08:03 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    "What would you call an ICE that never had enough fuel put in it's tank to complete a trip, even though fuel was available, and free?"

     

    A 351 Windsor.

     

    20 degrees below zero, felt too cold to hand pump gasoline from the underground tank to the car at 7:30 in the morning on 44 mile round trip to high school, and decided to risk it. Dad paid the gas, so it was free for me. Ran out of gas 5 miles from home on the return.
    22 Feb 2013, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    The value of a lesson increases in proportion to how early it's learned...no wonder metro so smart
    22 Feb 2013, 01:24 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Must be they have enough system redundancy?

     

    Boeing May Offer Interim 787 Fix This Week, Seattle Times Says

     

    The plan calls for a titanium or steel box to be put around the battery cells, and high-pressure tubes to be installed to vent gases outside the aircraft in case of a fire, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

     

    http://bloom.bg/Y00wLW
    17 Feb 2013, 03:37 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    They don't need to start the APU in flight, but I'm not sure about the second battery in the instrument section.
    17 Feb 2013, 04:18 PM Reply Like
  • bangwhiz
    , contributor
    Comments (2248) | Send Message
     
    First time a plane has been built with a built in barbeque pit.
    17 Feb 2013, 06:04 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1777) | Send Message
     
    Great, just what the people flying the plane want to hear! We're not going to fix the cause of the fire, or change the battery chemistry so that they won't catch on fire, we're just going to make the casing stronger and put in better vents so that, when the battery does catch on fire, it won't be so easy for the fire to spread. Yeah, that's a great solution!
    17 Feb 2013, 10:24 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8017) | Send Message
     
    I just don't get this, there are safer more durable chemistries available with the same energy density, lower internal heating, and higher C rate capacity, LiFePO4 for example, but instead of swapping out the old cells for those, they use the same cells in a better vault. Even the batteries that did not overheat were being replaced at a rather high rate, obviously this design was not up to the task from the beginning.
    18 Feb 2013, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    JRP, there was an article where someone leaked that Boeing bought Japanese batteries as a political move becasue it insured Japan's order of Boeing planes.
    It was never tested or the best tech searched.

     

    Just simply an under the table deal...I expect now Boeing is bound to them for a while.
    18 Feb 2013, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    JRP3, I suspect that the longer term solution will be a battery redesign. This "half baked" interim fix will be to get the existing planes back in the air. The validation cycle for the new chemistry, no matter what it is, will not be palatable for many obvious reasons.
    18 Feb 2013, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Boeing to propose short-term fix for Dreamliner batteries

     

    "In an attempt to get their 787 Dreamliner aircraft back in the air, Boeing Co. will propose a short-term fix for the battery problems that forced regulators to ground the company's most modern airplane.

     

    The Seattle Times reported that fix would give Boeing (NYSE: BAC) time to work on a comprehensive redesign of the lithium-ion battery system. The redesign could take nine months or more to put in place, the Times said."

     

    http://bit.ly/12CS7nf
    18 Feb 2013, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • shaggydude4hire
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    I was talking to my friend who is an application engineer with Freightliner, and he mentioned that they sell hybrid trucks with Eaton Li-Ion batteries. Supposedly they don't sell too many, however, due to the cost of the hybrids. (They actually are seeing a growth in CNG powered vehicles). I'm wondering if it's been flushed out if this Epower project is successful, it would translate into sales to a big company like Freightliner. The economics of having a shorter payoff period would sell itself over the Eaton batteries. Here's a link to the company's hybrid diesel trucks:
    http://bit.ly/YrCBoz?

     

    Thanks,
    Marc
    17 Feb 2013, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    It's hard to say. ePower is planning to sell retrofit kits directly to end users whose primary concern is reducing their fuel costs. Negotiating a deal with an OEM will be tougher because OEMs invariably spend years testing a system before they put their name on it.

     

    The little guys say "Testing hell! Sell me a couple and I'll put them to work and find out for myself."

     

    The big guys do the same kind of things BMW and NS have spent years doing.

     

    Both paths ultimately lead to the same outcome, but the OEMs take longer to get the show on the road.
    17 Feb 2013, 09:17 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2740) | Send Message
     
    Hi Marc, if your friend has or has heard any general insights into the APU battery mkt, would love to hear those. Taking into acct disclosure sensitivities and limitations, of course.
    18 Feb 2013, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (733) | Send Message
     
    I wonder what the US government thinks of its investment in green technology over the last 2 decades?

     

    How has it performed?

     

    Has the US taxpayer benefitted from the investment?

     

    Who owns the companies that were the beneficiaries of the US governments largess?

     

    How much more taxpayer money is going to be pissed away?
    17 Feb 2013, 11:22 PM Reply Like
  • Bylo-
    , contributor
    Comments (414) | Send Message
     
    Albert, IMHO my answers to your questions are...

     

    1. The government never looks back. Only forward to its next re-election.

     

    2. They don't care. See 1 above.

     

    3. No.

     

    4. Depends. If they somehow make a lot of money, then the big banks own them. If they lose their ass, then we own them.

     

    5. All of it.
    18 Feb 2013, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (733) | Send Message
     
    Bylo

     

    Thanks for the feedback.

     

    I must agree with you on all counts.

     

    Sad situation, very sad.
    18 Feb 2013, 09:37 PM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (799) | Send Message
     
    Good Morning!!

     

    BMW Recalls 570,000 Cars.
    http://bit.ly/XjVwR1

     

    ...The cable connectors and a fuse box terminal in the cars can degrade over time, and that can break the electrical connection between the trunk-mounted battery and the fuse box at the front. If that happens, the cars could lose electrical power, causing the engines to stall unexpectedly, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in documents posted on its Web site Saturday.

     

    Have a nice day President.-Carlos
    18 Feb 2013, 07:18 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Carlos. I saw that blowing up in the headlines as it is being announced in numerous markets. I thought it was old as we've seen this before. Maybe it's expanding to other models?

     

    Anyway, The cost of putting that AGM battery in the trunk to protect it from the engine heat just went up a wee bit. I sure wish Axion would publish their specs so we could see the recommended operating range on the PbC. Rosewater has on their HUB -20 deg. C to 40 deg. C as the operational range with -40 to 50 as a storage temp. range.
    18 Feb 2013, 10:44 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2648) | Send Message
     
    Marchment Hill Consulting - Australia Energy Report from December.

     

    http://tinyurl.com/a6w...

     

    Something to read while we watch the paint dry and begin to peel.
    18 Feb 2013, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • Renzo
    , contributor
    Comments (352) | Send Message
     
    A kind of interesting treatise on the applications of watching paint dry.
    http://bit.ly/W643Xn
    18 Feb 2013, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Thanks Renzo. If were going to sit around watching it we might just as well understand what we're keeping an eye on.
    18 Feb 2013, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1777) | Send Message
     
    German car plans would breach EU carbon goal

     

    http://reut.rs/XnR3yB
    18 Feb 2013, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2769) | Send Message
     
    A Compressed air possibility.

     

    Compressed air works almost identically to a typical full hybrid system--just with air replacing the job of batteries.

     

    Citroen C3 Hybrid Air Concept: 2013 Geneva Motor Show

     

    http://bit.ly/VBComt

     

    Peugeot, Citroen Research Compressed Air Energy Storage For Hybrids

     

    http://bit.ly/WIp3ps
    18 Feb 2013, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8017) | Send Message
     
    Seems to be some inaccuracies in the article. Looking at all the storage space taken up by the tanks the energy density is lower than batteries, not higher. Also I wonder about the efficiency of compressing and decompressing air as compared to regenerative braking into lithium batteries, not sure about NiMH. It may be lower cost and more durable, though current hybrid batteries seem to last the life of the vehicle.
    19 Feb 2013, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2171) | Send Message
     
    Compressed air can make sense for braking energy recovery if the energy is used within the next few minutes. That's because the air is heated as it is compressed and that heat represents a significant portion of the energy stored (recovered).

     

    If the air cools off, that energy is lost. Good for a few minutes, not worth so much for a lunch break or refueling stop.
    19 Feb 2013, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2769) | Send Message
     
    The Attack of the Leapers
    Bunnies Taking Toll on Cars at Denver Airport

     

    http://ti.me/XZ727k

     

    It seems automotive electrical wiring is tasty.
    18 Feb 2013, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (353) | Send Message
     
    "The furry creatures are wreaking havoc on cars parked at Denver International Airport by eating spark plug cables and other wiring.

     

    Mechanics say coating the wires with fox or coyote urine can rob the rabbits of their appetite."

     

    People have been telling me for years that my relentless application of coyote urine to my spark plug wires was an indication of a psychological problem. Who's crazy now???
    18 Feb 2013, 05:56 PM Reply Like
  • Renzo
    , contributor
    Comments (352) | Send Message
     
    Okay, we're posting stories about putting coyote urine on spark plug wires. We need some news very badly.

     

    It does put a new spin on the term "airport test" though.
    18 Feb 2013, 06:23 PM Reply Like
  • Renzo
    , contributor
    Comments (352) | Send Message
     
    I'll bet if you mix the urine with paint and watch it dry, it might last through a rain storm.
    18 Feb 2013, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    The questions became for me: Where do you buy coyote pee? Who collects it? Is it better if collected mid-stream rather than if collected from the floor?
    http://bit.ly/YwytDE

     

    Am I the last to realize that coyote and bear urine is commercially valuable? Sounds peeposterous
    19 Feb 2013, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13508) | Send Message
     
    This story about rabbits eating car electronics is just a smoke screen... The reality is that the lithium ion battery makers are bidding up coyote pee since their discovery that it makes a great additive to lower operating temperatures at 30,000 feet.

     

    Boeing is staging a supporting bit of camouflage by bidding up bear squeeze, which was tested but found to attract male grizzlies that were just tall enough to rip the bottoms out off Screamliners.

     

    Shhhhh. Don't tell anyone. Whoever corners the wee market (which is a very large urine exchange, of course) will make a killing.
    19 Feb 2013, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Hey TB. I'll toast to that. Cheers!

     

    http://bit.ly/153c45a
    19 Feb 2013, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2297) | Send Message
     
    Beware of urine laundering by the Chinese.

     

    Get your lasers ready:

     

    http://ars.to/153dxII
    19 Feb 2013, 10:21 AM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (353) | Send Message
     
    TB,
    Unfortunately, the easy money has already been made in the pee market.
    Those of us in the know realize that the 700% gains that have been made over the last 18 months are unsustainable.

     

    Do yourselves a favor, and stay away.

     

    You do NOT want to be around when the pee bubble bursts.
    19 Feb 2013, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1777) | Send Message
     
    Metro,
    Go to your local garden shop. They sell it in spray bottles. You spray it around your garden to keep rabbits and other animals away so they don't eat your vegetables. The only problem is that it washes off every time it rains. It works better if you just put up a fence, but some people don't want a fence around their garden, so they use this stuff. Also, they will spray it on ornamental flowers to keep squirrels and deer from eating the bulbs.
    19 Feb 2013, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    Lab Tech,
    Thanks for the info. I don't garden much, and the deer aren't much of an issue here in Dubai. Oh the things you learn on the concentrator.
    19 Feb 2013, 03:09 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    It might work for camels too Metro. After all, they're kinda shaped like big lumpy deer with foul dispositions.
    19 Feb 2013, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2171) | Send Message
     
    Good one, Millhouse! "pee bubble", indeed!
    19 Feb 2013, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2769) | Send Message
     
    Congratulations to APH

     

    Number 30 on the Top Instabloggers list

     

    215 followers
    18 Feb 2013, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    APH's Instablog content may be a little on the boring side but the comment streams are fascinating.
    18 Feb 2013, 07:36 PM Reply Like
  • D. McHattie
    , contributor
    Comments (1844) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, thotdoc has the makings of another postdoctoral thesis with these comment streams.. 'Chapter 7, The Intersection of Tedium and Delerium: Coyote Urine'.

     

    D
    18 Feb 2013, 09:45 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13508) | Send Message
     
    "Tedium and Delerium"...

     

    2 newly discovered rare earth elements widely used in the manufacture of permanent magnuts.
    18 Feb 2013, 10:23 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2740) | Send Message
     
    My favorite was the Great Limerick Jam of 2012.

     

    Next up: Haiku Face-Off of 2013.
    18 Feb 2013, 10:55 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    tpb ... way to go!
    18 Feb 2013, 11:18 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    words all at ready
    yea, I challenge thee to duel
    six pace each, then spew...
    18 Feb 2013, 11:24 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17896) | Send Message
     
    TB: LoL! Started my day right! "magNUTS"!

     

    HardToLove
    19 Feb 2013, 07:16 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2127) | Send Message
     
    Mine too.
    19 Feb 2013, 08:07 AM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2297) | Send Message
     
    A challenge issued,
    Watching paint dry, pondering
    Electric car woes.
    19 Feb 2013, 08:56 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    Milhouse's old car
    Spouse won't ride in it, wonder why?
    L'eau de Coyoté.
    19 Feb 2013, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2297) | Send Message
     
    Elon was shocked by
    All The News That's Print To Fit.
    Twittering tantrum!
    19 Feb 2013, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • thotdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (1696) | Send Message
     
    could be...
    19 Feb 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2740) | Send Message
     
    Uz guys r awesome!

     

    Ultrabattery
    Carbon over a lead stump
    Ultraquackery
    19 Feb 2013, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • Renzo
    , contributor
    Comments (352) | Send Message
     
    Parked at DIA
    The bunnies ate the damned wires
    Oh, urine trouble
    19 Feb 2013, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    Twittering tantrum!
    What will JPR3 respond?
    Must defende la dame.
    19 Feb 2013, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    LeBeau’s Tesla tour
    Drivers turn their heads to gawk
    What did I just pass?

     

    http://bit.ly/131ZnsF
    19 Feb 2013, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • Milhouse
    , contributor
    Comments (353) | Send Message
     
    Cancun vacation
    I must protect my wiring
    Mommy, this plane smells
    19 Feb 2013, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    Oh no, not another tour! Will each news outlet take one?
    19 Feb 2013, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Now that the weather's improved and spring is on the way I'm sure Tesla will be running 24/7 new tours to prove how the Model S performs when it isn't cold enough to hurt battery range. It won't prove much else, but theatre never does.

     

    Just goes to show, "there's one born every minute."
    19 Feb 2013, 04:50 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1777) | Send Message
     
    John,
    All the new tours are interesting, but none of them are doing an overnight stay somewhere where the car isn't plugged in all night. So none of them are going to deal with my main issue with the NYT article, which was battery power loss while the car is sitting in the cold.
    I liked the reaction from the commentators who were less than enthusiastic about the idea that you have to sit somewhere for 60-90 minutes to fully recharge the battery using one of the superchargers. That's just not the mindset for most drivers who have to drive long distances. There will be a market for the Model S, but there will have to be a breakthrough in battery technology, to allow faster charging without damaging the battery, before it will acceptable to most mainstream drivers (not counting the cost difference issue).
    19 Feb 2013, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    I'm intrigued by reports that the wait for a new Model S is down to 30 days unless you want red. I can't for the life of me imagine how that's possible, but maybe we'll find out tomorrow.
    19 Feb 2013, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    This red one is available. Not sure what model it is though!

     

    http://bit.ly/YEIwFw

     

    Edit: Now that's range anxiety.
    19 Feb 2013, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    thatsa roadster not an S, eh?
    19 Feb 2013, 06:02 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Thought it might be.
    19 Feb 2013, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • billa_from_sf
    , contributor
    Comments (370) | Send Message
     
    The thing about these charging stations that bothers me is: suppose in a fantasy future there are millions of EVs on the road, as many as there are ICE cars on the road today.

     

    You are on a road trip and pull into a charging station to charge up. All the charging cables are hooked up to other cars, each of which takes half an hour or more to charge completely, and you have to wait your turn to get hooked up to one.

     

    Maybe there are other drivers waiting to get hooked up ahead of you, each of whom will tie up a cable for a half hour or more until his or her car is fully charged.

     

    In today's world, if you drive into a gas station, the gas-up process takes about 5 minutes, so if all the pumps are being used when you pull in, the longest you will have to wait is five minutes.

     

    There is probably a Poisson distribution that graphs out wait times at a charging station of the future, but it seems intuitive to me that if each user charging a car ties up his cable for a half an hour, you are going to wait for 15 minutes before you get hooked up if all the cables are in use when you pull into the station.

     

    That is on top of the half hour or whatever it takes to charge your own battery.
    19 Feb 2013, 08:12 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2769) | Send Message
     
    JP
    I assume that was The Street article. Anton Wahlman.
    I read a comment that a new reservation was promised 2 months delivery. I don't know where he was from.
    Anton lives near the plant. If the other guy probably has a couple weeks delivery (East Coast) It would not be terribly out of line.

     

    I saw an interview some months ago.
    Musk said the "Sweet Spot" was about 3 months between reservation and delivery.

     

    Something's up.
    19 Feb 2013, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Terribly curious.
    19 Feb 2013, 08:30 PM Reply Like
  • Carnardie
    , contributor
    Comments (259) | Send Message
     
    That blogger is simply wrong. Walk into any Tesla store and ask them yourselves. The wait is at least 3-6 months, depending on what options you configure.

     

    The only explanation for the 30 day wait is that the author got confused with how long you have to finalize once your reservation spot comes up.

     

    Kind of like confusing a full Standard charge with a full Range charge. But, nobody did that, right?
    20 Feb 2013, 02:20 AM Reply Like
  • Carnardie
    , contributor
    Comments (259) | Send Message
     
    billa: "...suppose in a fantasy future there are millions of EVs on the road, as many as there are ICE cars on the road today."

     

    What you're missing is that EVs mostly charge at home or at work. SuperChargers are essentially only for road trips. So, count up all the ICE gasoline fill-ups you do a year and then count how many of those were on a road trip. See how small a percentage road trip fill-ups is?

     

    Also, your intuition on charge wait times is wrong. If you were right, then the wait for a gas pump would be 2.5 minutes instead of zero most of the time. And, as those of us old enough to remember gas rationing remember, the longest wait could be quite a lot longer than 5 minutes. Somehow, I don't see electric rationing in our future, unless Enron is coming back.
    20 Feb 2013, 02:28 AM Reply Like
  • billa_from_sf
    , contributor
    Comments (370) | Send Message
     
    Carnardie:

     

    What you don't understand is the difference between average wait and longest wait.

     

    If every car takes 5 minutes to gas up and all the pumps are in use when you drive up, your longest wait will be 5 minutes and your average wait will be 2.5 minutes.

     

    All the gas pumps are in use infrequently.

     

    Electric chargers, since they take at least 30 minutes to do what they do, would all be in use frequently if there were as many EV's as there are ICE cars.

     

    All the gas pumps are in use infrequently because the length of time each pump is in use is short.

     

    It's a question of bandwidth versus load.

     

    On a road trip the load is the same for gas pumps and electric chargers if there are as many EVs as ICE cars, but the gas pumps' bandwidth is 6 times that of the electric chargers.

     

    People do not carry their homes with them on road trips.
    20 Feb 2013, 02:58 AM Reply Like
  • Nicu Mihalache
    , contributor
    Comments (1081) | Send Message
     
    John, it is probably from order to delivery, where order means online configuration completed and papers signed. From reservation, there is also a waiting period until you are invited to configure. Effective production of a car is 7-10 days and delivery about 2 weeks. Add a few days for miscellaneous things and you get the 30 days minimum from a confirmed order.

     

    And it's not only the red that is not in production yet: you have to add 40kWh battery and standard suspension (only air suspension in production until March or so) to that. Of course, there will also be some cancellations, but including those and excluding the 5000 or so delivered cars (as of today, not end of Q4), there are 15k-16k reservations in the queue (worldwide, deliveries now only in the US and Canada).

     

    A sample of the forum concerning orders and production rates indicates they should be at about 400-500 cars / week production level.
    20 Feb 2013, 04:42 AM Reply Like
  • Nicu Mihalache
    , contributor
    Comments (1081) | Send Message
     
    billa, the advantage of electric chargers vs. gas is that it can be progressively be installed on every parking spot. So actually it gets easier to fill-up when you take a break, no need to first go into a queue, then find a parking place.

     

    Tesla's superchargers are not so expensive (relatively speaking) even today, when they do not have scale. And unlike batteries, those components got so much cheaper during the last decade and there is room for improvement. A 90kWh supercharger consists of 9x10kWh chargers that are found in the car. One of them costs $1500 (installed). It should not cost Tesla more than $1000 to make it even today. Therefore, including cables and the box, they should have their supercharger for $10k. Now, you won't need more than one supercharger in average for every 100-200 cars on the road, as most of the charging takes place at home and there are relatively few long trips / year for the average owner.

     

    The solar stuff, is half for advertising, half for actually producing electricity. The initial investment is probably supported by Solar City via a loan (their modus operandi).
    20 Feb 2013, 04:54 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Carnardie, Given your perspective on the use patterns of the EV including charging I'm guessing you will not be kicking funds into the Better Place business model any time soon.
    20 Feb 2013, 05:41 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    "Tesla's superchargers are not so expensive (relatively speaking) even today, when they do not have scale."

     

    Nicu, I'd challenge you to also include what's in front of the meter when you think about the true cost of charge points and their distribution. Also imagine flow patterns of vehicles during unusual events like fairs or concerts etc. It becomes interesting when the vehicles don't carry as much storage during these one off events.

     

    PS What happens when people go to these charge points and use them as parking spaces for their convenience and now you have vehicles positionally clogging up the charge points? For example, Joe six pack goes to a football game and does not want to run out of charge when he gets out of the game and he doesn't want to take the risk of being anything other than first in line to charge up. So he parks to charge at arrival and figures he'll come out and be fully charged. Now what's the capacity of that charge point? People will be people in the land of me!
    20 Feb 2013, 05:55 AM Reply Like
  • Nicu Mihalache
    , contributor
    Comments (1081) | Send Message
     
    I was obviously talking about highway rest stops. In the city, there are already many slower charging points (at malls, for example), which are made available exactly for that: leave your car parked there for several hours. Their density will grow more or less in step with EV numbers.

     

    Mentality / habits have to change (a very slow process indeed) and EV owners will have many small or big inconveniences for years. That's why EVs will be the exception rather than the rule at least until 2020. But you have to start somewhere.

     

    Hopefully in 10-20 years, battery / super-capacitor composition / fabrication will evolve enough not to strain the materials / manufacture supply chain, charging infrastructure will be developed, electricity production will be much less carbon intensive and the price of an EV will be comparable with a "normal" car. Just in time for a new generation, with new mentality (I would not bet most people will change theirs, just that they will inevitably make room for a new generation) to take over.
    20 Feb 2013, 07:45 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    "new generation".....I think that is the key to all the clean energy tech being developed. A long time ago, I posted where GM did a college survey, and 75-80% of the students were environment conscious and said they would buy some form of electric / or fuel economy car.
    It is not us that this will effect, because we won't change. Change is the most hated thing to most humans.
    20 Feb 2013, 08:10 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8017) | Send Message
     
    Lab,
    The Tesla owners drive did indeed stop over night and some of the cars did not plug in, to exactly replicate the NYTimes piece. Not one of them ended up Brodering the trip.
    As for stopping on a long trip, on the rare occasions I take one I'm more than happy to stop for a while, especially to have lunch. Unfortunately when I do so in my ICE it's not being refilled, for free.
    20 Feb 2013, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8017) | Send Message
     
    I don't think the 30 day wait is at all accurate. Others are still reporting much longer.
    20 Feb 2013, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    I just love this concept of "free" recharges. Kind of reminds me of that argument that EVs conserve the nations oil and curb oil demand. Pure fantasy. Some one, somewhere is subsidizing your "free" and I would guess that through the tax laws it is everyone.
    20 Feb 2013, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1351) | Send Message
     
    Not free in the larger context, but free all the same to the early adoptors who are taking advantage of free charging. I believe free charging is available here and there, including in my city. It is provided by the city owned utility as an investment in growing their market.
    20 Feb 2013, 10:02 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4136) | Send Message
     
    "I believe free charging is available here and there, including in my city. It is provided by the city owned utility as an investment in growing their market. "

     

    Sounds to me like more income transfer from rate payers to well heeled buyers of electric vehicles.
    20 Feb 2013, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2769) | Send Message
     
    Bloomberg has weighed in on the wait.
    they called Tesla stores around the country and came up with an average of 4-6 weeks wait.
    My guess: California 4 weeks with delivery to NY 6 weeks.
    Bloomberg estimates a backlog of 2,400
    I doubt that includes Anton's list of three unavailable items yet.
    40kWh version
    Red colored
    Non air suspension.
    "How big is the electric market really?"
    http://bloom.bg/134P2w9
    20 Feb 2013, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Maybe there were lots of people who thought the bragging rights from buying a car for $80,000 didn't compare favorably with the bragging rights from writing a $5,000 reservation check?

     

    So how deep is that puddle?
    20 Feb 2013, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • Carnardie
    , contributor
    Comments (259) | Send Message
     
    billa: "If every car takes 5 minutes to gas up and all the pumps are in use when you drive up, your longest wait will be 5 minutes and your average wait will be 2.5 minutes."

     

    That's assuming you're not in a line, waiting behind someone who's waiting behind someone who's waiting for the pump.

     

    "On a road trip the load is the same for gas pumps and electric chargers..."

     

    No, it's not, because the EVs all started the day with a full battery, whereas most of the gas cars did not.
    20 Feb 2013, 04:38 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2769) | Send Message
     
    Carnardie
    Nearly every ICE gets gas before starting on a road trip.
    It's cheaper than at dedicated road stations
    It's generally more familiar
    Its smarter than getting started rather than just getting on the road and having to stop for no other reason.

     

    Few start a trip without filling up first.
    20 Feb 2013, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    When Consumer Reports did their road trip they followed Tesla's advice to not use the range charging mode because it accelerates deterioration of the battery. So every road trip will involve a choice; do I damage my $40,000 battery to get a few more miles range or do I accept the range limitation and make appropriate downward adjustments for weather conditions?
    20 Feb 2013, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8017) | Send Message
     
    "Few start a trip without filling up first."

     

    Except of course Mr. Broder.
    22 Feb 2013, 08:05 AM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8017) | Send Message
     
    Range charge does not damage the battery with occasional use, which is what it's intended for. At this point you should know enough about basic lithium chemistry to understand why. The accelerated degradation comes from holding the voltage at a higher level for extended periods, which accelerates the electrolyte breakdown. A full Range charge just before taking a long trip means the voltage will be elevated for only a short period of time, having little impact on the overall life of the pack. Owners know this so it's not an issue.
    22 Feb 2013, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • KentG
    , contributor
    Comments (368) | Send Message
     
    JRP3 blah blah blah
    22 Feb 2013, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1351) | Send Message
     
    Lightning Hybrids featured in an article on cleantech start-ups trying to make it. It is a competitor of sorts--its in energy storage (hydraulic). Whats most interesting is the focus on how to survive as a start-up:

     

    Clean-tech firms and investors revamping focus
    http://bit.ly/Vs0g9L
    Investors are putting up less money, and companies are trying to make those dollars go further by contracting for parts rather than building factories and by selling into the market as quickly as possible.

     

    "We keep costs down by buying from our industrial ecosystem," Reeser said. "We buy as much as we can off the shelf."

     

    "The goal is to sell to early adopters," said Peter Novak, CEO of Boulder-based Sundolier, a company with a system that channels sunlight into buildings. "It really helps reduce the cash burn."

     

    "The auto industry looks at our technology and says they'd like to test it for three to five years," Lightning's Reeser said. "As a small company, we can't wait that long."
    18 Feb 2013, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >D Lane ... A company with a very sensible attitude.
    18 Feb 2013, 08:32 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1351) | Send Message
     
    I agree.

     

    Not a publicly traded company but the pressures are similar to what Axion faces. And buying off the shelf components reminds me of ePower.
    18 Feb 2013, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • siliconhillbilly
    , contributor
    Comments (2171) | Send Message
     
    A quick techy observation: Hydraulic systems can move power around. They can't actually store energy. Hydraulic accumulators, which store the energy, use a hefty solid or compressed gas spring as the storage mechanism. Gas spring designs have the same thermal storage limits as compressed air storage.

     

    The heavy machine industry has a LOT of experience with hydraulics.
    19 Feb 2013, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • D Lane
    , contributor
    Comments (1351) | Send Message
     
    Thanks hillbilly. Yup Lightning Hybrids is using accumulators.
    20 Feb 2013, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • Johhny rambo
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    http://bit.ly/WSZNyh

     

    Short, but sweet, and hopefully something positive for Axion
    18 Feb 2013, 09:59 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >Johhny rambo ... Much as I'm all for passenger rail, a quick look at the short history of Amtrack will show there is a lot of resistance to it. It will be expensive to implement (and more so every year that passes) and it will, as a system, never make a profit. Unprofitability is why it was abandoned by the private sector and I have no problem at all be a national, subsidized asset much like the roads & airlines are if not outright operated. It would be an economic asset that would promote growth.
    18 Feb 2013, 10:19 PM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (1025) | Send Message
     
    DRich-

     

    While I agree with you on a future growth of passenger rail in limited circumstances where it makes sense, will you please stop comparing the subsidy of rail to the subsidy of passenger air. Rail can't cover their operating costs let alone capital. Show me one article where it breaks down the subsidy and we can discuss.
    18 Feb 2013, 11:54 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4611) | Send Message
     
    >mrholty ... I most likely will not quit making the comparison. The link below is incomplete because it doesn't cover subsidies all the way down to the city government and is not granular. It does give an overview.admittedly from a railroad interested group.

     

    http://bit.ly/ZoPWCQ
    19 Feb 2013, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (1025) | Send Message
     
    What a crappy article. Regarding air subsidies. Most of the complaints were from pro 1990s and most from the 70s or before.

     

    You also fail to differentiate which part of the air system is subsidized. Its not commerical aviation and instead is the private users of the system. If you want to argue about that subsidy that is fine but your broad sweeping brush on commercial aviation is a disservice.

     

    The post 9/11 bailout was not $15B as a direct gift. $5B was allocated and the other $10B was in loan guarantees. I don't believe much of the loan guarantees were ever used. For example America West received $300M and gave up IIRC 16M shares of the company. The loan was paid back plus interest and goverment I believe made an extra $100M or so on its shares.

     

    The line:
    Railroad passengers paid for airport construction through special tax!
    Between 1942 and 1962 a 10% rail ticket tax was levied on railroads as a war measure to discourage unnecessary travel. This tax generated revenues of over $5 Billion, which went into the general revenue fund and ironically, was used in some
    cases to build more airports and highways. In today's dollars, that probably would amount to about $100 billion and one wonders what would have happened if that money had been invested in rail service after the war. By the time, the tax was lifted, the passenger train was already on the ropes. -Source: report by USDOT Secretary William Coleman, 1977

     

    Rail can selectively choose a program 50+ years old but ignores the hundreds of Million of dollars annually that are paid for by airlines and spent on capital projects such as rail, schools, etc. Each year in the NY area alone over $100M is diverted from airport fees to give to the PATH for commuters even though its against the law that airport fees are to be spent on airport grounds. I won't even go in to the fees the airline pays to allow the airports (EWR and JFK) to connect to regional rail such as AMTRAK for customers. The entire cost is covered by the airlines.

     

    There is no discussion of the hidden subsidy of Amtrak not covering any insurance as its either covered by freight or the general government.

     

    **********************...
    A decent analysis would compare apples to apples. Compare long distance passenger rail (AMTRAK) to airlines on Passenger per mile basis. Even including the subsidy for the private flyer its an order of magnitude different.

     

    Local rail just like your local roads are subsidized not only by the gas tax but also property taxes which logically make sense.

     

    Airlines have made attempts to privatize the FAA like Canada has done, its all covered by user fees. The resulting outcome is while fees spiked initially it has stabilized and actually decreased on per user/aircraft basis. Instead the US refuses to do so as much of the FAA like the FRA is a jobs program.

     

    Those fees for airport expansion are paid for by bonding with payments coming from user taxes, passenger taxes etc. Amtrak is a direct annual subsidy to cover operating costs, contribute nothing to their employee pensions.

     

    I like rail and support ideas such as the midwest rail initiative but arguments like this don't help rail as its not intellectually honest.
    Commerical airlines cover their operating costs, they fund pension/retirements/they pay for capital (airplanes, equipment) and infrastructure @ airports (via user fees).

     

    Do they cover all their security costs? No they don't. Neither does rail and they don't even require rail to scan bags, etc. Put the same security regulations there and see what happens.
    19 Feb 2013, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (1025) | Send Message
     
    Heres are better argument that if we are going to do passenger rail. Do it like the brits. Infrastrucuture maintained by gov't like roads, with operating entities bid out like airlines, bus companies. etc.

     

    http://bit.ly/WLXsn7
    19 Feb 2013, 11:28 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    Was on two trains in the UK last year. The first lost power for about 45 minutes, the second from York to Liverpool limped and clattered along at practically a crawl.

     

    However, it was an interesting study in economic and social class structure - there were some rough looking characters hanging with their women. It seemed a good place to end up with a Glasgow smile - have an acquaintance who got one of those when he interrupted some blokes breaking into his car.
    19 Feb 2013, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Glad to hear he was safe because they don't allow guns.
    19 Feb 2013, 12:54 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3
    , contributor
    Comments (8017) | Send Message
     
    He's not dead...
    20 Feb 2013, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1511) | Send Message
     
    It has made me think about ever interrupting anyone breaking into my car - just yell from afar.

     

    Potentially the easiest solution for not worrying about your car being stolen would be to spray bear urine on the interior. That would leave a Musky smell inside the new Tesla - ha, ha, ha. Sorry.

     

    Guess if my responses have fallen to this level I should go see the ski slope at Emirates Mall.
    20 Feb 2013, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2769) | Send Message
     
    Jrp3
    If he had one, he might have been safe.
    20 Feb 2013, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Like I've told my sons many times. If you drive a standard every day car you don't stand out. Drive something nice and shiny and you need security.

     

    Don't stand out where you're not supposed to. Works in the jungle and in the city.

     

    It's a lesson in even odds. Then you build on it from there. I hope they don't choose bear urine after shave!
    20 Feb 2013, 02:55 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    That kind of after shave choice might save you from being called gramps or some other disgusting term of endearment a while longer, and that's never a bad thing.
    20 Feb 2013, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Even a dark cloud has a silver lining?

     

    On Topic, As someone else mentioned, it's just too darn quiet. With bolts turning at NS on the 999 and at ePower plus the capital raise near it's odd to be hearing cricket leg vibrations. Especially when you just know that things are happening. Either something is up or they have TG tied up and gagged in the carbon milling room. JMO
    20 Feb 2013, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3447) | Send Message
     
    So it's not just me... whew.
    20 Feb 2013, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (9484) | Send Message
     
    Ahhh, So it was you 48. All I know is that when during the hours when the birds are usually chirping away but nothing is happening, something large and out of the ordinary is brewing. Good or bad.

     

    Oh, lookey, the tide has gone out 400 yards more than I've ever seen before. Why the heck are all the indigenous people to this area running inland and not watching it with us?!?
    20 Feb 2013, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30190) | Send Message
     
    Let's go collect some sea shells.
    20 Feb 2013, 04:33 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor