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  • AHA!


    Time to go to work
    5 Mar 2013, 06:34 AM Reply Like
  • second, with nothing to add besides that. Just getting off work.
    5 Mar 2013, 06:44 AM Reply Like
  • Yesterday there were a lot of comments about possible price discounts to ePower and I wanted to start a thread to explain why I think discounts are unlikely.


    Tom has never been willing to price products at levels that won't generate a reasonable gross margin. He's seen too many companies like A123 set prices based on "future economies" and lose money hand over fist for the pleasure. History tells us that the PbC is in a target rich environment for learning curve effects and other economies of scale, but those kinds of manufacturing cost savings are very lumpy and very unpredictable. When additional savings come, the first thing I expect Tom to do is boost his margins to a reasonable target level. Then he can worry about making a good cost-benefit relationship for customers even more attractive.


    The other problem with discounts is they never stay secret and once you offer a discount to one customer, you need to offer the same discount to other customers or risk straining the relationship.
    5 Mar 2013, 07:23 AM Reply Like
  • >JP ... I don't see any reason to discount the PbC. The expected length of the life cycle alone is a pretty hefty discount all by itself.
    5 Mar 2013, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • I agree wholeheartedly. ePower had nothing but troubles with AGM batteries not being able to cope with the charging loads and there were at least a couple slag events where the truck had to limp home on genset power alone. If the PbC gives them the performance they need for a durable and cost-effective system it's worth every penny.
    5 Mar 2013, 08:47 AM Reply Like
  • I think IIndelco also made a telling point.


    Basically if NSC didn't get a discount, Do you really think a company as small as ePower would?
    5 Mar 2013, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • The other hot topic yesterday was the level of exclusivity between Axion and ePower. Several people spent a good deal of time trying to parse the term 'consented' in the press release.


    It's important to understand that whenever press releases are written by two companies they end up like all work products from committees and include odd bits of language.


    At this point we need to assume that Axion will work exclusively with ePower on "hybrid series electric drive for Class 8 tractors," while retaining the right to work with others on ancillary products like APUs or competitive products like a parallel hybrid drive.


    We also need to assume that the exclusivity will carry some significant performance requirements. We've seen two prior examples where performance requirements were important cards for Axion. The first was Exide where their dilatory behavior gave Axion the right to extricate itself from a partnership that wasn't working. The second was NS where slower than expected progress gave Axion the right to open discussions with others in the rail sector.


    The bottom line is that exclusivity is a good thing as long as your strategic partner is performing up to expectations. You just want to be careful to include provisions for liberty to follow other paths if the relationship doesn't develop the way you hope it will.


    I like to think of Axion as a young prince in a culture that practices polygamy. ePower may be its first wife but that hasn't slowed the courtship of several other attractive maidens for the harem.
    5 Mar 2013, 07:39 AM Reply Like
  • John,
    Thanks for your viewpoint. I certainly couldn't make the jump in logic that we would sell a battery to NS for $400 but then sell it to ePower for less. Also folks should be reminded that when Exide had an "exclusive" relationship there was an exception for East Penn.


    The history of Axion has been that they value their product as a unique solution to certain charge acceptance problems. It is affordable, due to its long life and use of inexpensive chemistry.


    All this talk about "giving a deal" does not hold true with the history.
    5 Mar 2013, 07:53 AM Reply Like
  • Tom is a tremendous fan of fairness in his negotiation, but he came up as a management side national labor contract negotiator for the entire elevator industry. People in that position are acutely aware of the need to make reasonable concessions to the other side, but avoid making concessions that will make the ordinary course of business difficult or unprofitable for his side.


    Relationships between lawyers and their clients are funny things because lawyers are businessmen too and we frequently have to negotiate with clients on matters relating to fees, services to be provided and a host of other issues. So while I spent most of my time on the same side of the table with Tom, there were times when I sat on the other side. My experience is that we always got to a resolution that I could live with, but it was never close to everything I wanted. In all cases it was a very good outcome for Axion.


    If I was in my early 40s instead of my early 60s I'd be sorely tempted to take a year of sabbatical for the privilege of carrying Tom's briefcase and learning the art of negotiation from a master.
    5 Mar 2013, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • Holy Cow – what a firestorm I stirred up. Apologies!


    I keep up with the concentrators, but don’t get on that often (full time job, family, etc). So I get back on for a look this morning and see the lid came off the pot.


    First – the ePower news is nothing but great.


    That said, my comment came because I was puzzling over the exclusivity, and was looking for a good reason behind it.
    Billa said it better than I did: “I can't help thinking that Axion wants to show a significant potential revenue stream to whoever is going to provide the coming funding round and ePower agreed to go along with the 5-year plan even though they might not necessarily have been thinking in terms of a time-based commitment. A steady stream however small”. That was my point.


    Yes, ePower was going to go with Axion anyway, but the “exclusivity” news and the “Nothing else will work” news getting out to the public is important to Axion. I really do like JP’s answer that service-level (performance) agreements on the battery performance by Axion would be a really good quid pro quo and provides the best answer. It has the elegance that it cost Axion nothing, just like exclusivity had no cost to ePower.


    Still, with all the sales to date being “one-off”, I would argue that a ‘going price’ has not necessarily etched in stone – especially when I suspect cost per unit has come down over time. While I wholeheartedly agree “discount” was a very poor choice of words on my part, I would use iindelco’s words: “I find the whole thought of ePower negotiating a better deal than NS interesting. And so it shall remain as such.”


    Time to crawl back into my cave to mine more salt – at least until the stock price goes to $10-$20! :-)
    5 Mar 2013, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • I'm guilty too. Yet I appreciate like heck all the clarifying and discussion that precipitated therefrom...
    5 Mar 2013, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • And for most of the "other guys". String theory?



    High Efficiency Bidirectional Multicell Active Balancer Maximizes Capacity Recovery in Series-Connected Battery Stacks

    5 Mar 2013, 08:43 AM Reply Like
  • You gotta love a cell balancing component that only costs $1 per cell.


    I wonder if Tesla is spending $7,000 per car to actively balance it's battery packs? Probably not.
    5 Mar 2013, 08:51 AM Reply Like
  • So you don't realize that a large number of cells in the Tesla packs are connected in parallel, and that all of the cells that are connected in parallel are self balancing?
    7 Mar 2013, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • Cells connected in parallel are self-balancing in theory, but rarely in practice, particularly when the cells are built into modules and the modules are built into packs.
    7 Mar 2013, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • No not only in theory, but in reality. Parallel connected cells behave as a single cell, they share voltage and the amp hour capacity is additive. If you think Tesla, or any EV builder, has a BMS on each cell you are mistaken. Since balancing is done by voltage and since parallel cells share voltage I'm not sure what mechanism could even be used to attempt such. Parallel cell groupings are treated as a single cell. Tesla does not have 7000 individual cell balancers, I assure you. We've seen the pictures of the Tesla built RAV4EV pack, cells are directly wired to a common aluminum plate for parallel groupings, which are then wired in series.
    7 Mar 2013, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • JRP3,


    You seem to be ignoring Ohm's Law.


    While the voltage may be equivalent across parallel-connected batteries (or "cells," to get technical), the amperage in any single battery or cell will be inversely proportional to the resistance of that battery/cell. Batteries will vary in their resistance based on age and other factors, including state of charge.


    Drive a nail through a cell/battery's active mass conductors (or short circuit it by other means, such as formation of dendrites) and you dramatically lower resistance, raising current flow (amperage), overheating the individual battery/cell. This is how thermal runaway occurs.


    This is why battery management systems are needed, to detect and circumvent a fault state of imbalance in resistance and amperage that can lead to serious consequences or failure.
    7 Mar 2013, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • Packs are built with matching cell capacity and internal resistance, and they are of course all the same age. However, please explain to me how you externally balance cells that are physically connected in parallel. Please also explain if it's so necessary why no OEM's are doing it.
    8 Mar 2013, 09:38 AM Reply Like
  • "please explain to me how _you_ externally balance cells that are physically connected in parallel."


    *I* don't.


    I have no intention of trying to design or drive a vehicle where minor manufacturing defects in the batteries could lead to its spontaneous combustion while I am in it.


    The reason "no OEM's are doing it" should be obvious to anybody following a financial investment blog.
    8 Mar 2013, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • I'll explain it for you, you don't balance cells in parallel. Period. The reason no OEM's are doing it is because it's not necessary. Period. No EV has ever spontaneously combusted. Period.
    You're trying to change physics to fit your own interpretation of reality. Since you are so afraid of lithium fires I assume you will never own a cell phone, a laptop, a tablet, or ride in any vehicle that uses them. Good luck with that.
    9 Mar 2013, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • The New York Times once again disagrees with you:



    A 2004 vintage CalCars Prius+ conversion driven by Ron Grembaum spontaneously exploded in his garage the other day, killing his cat and doing $250,000 in damage to his condo.
    9 Mar 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • "You're trying to change physics to fit your own interpretation of reality."


    Ok, since you've started with the ad hominems, Freud called this "projective identification."


    Everyone else calls it "the pot calling the kettle black."


    Instead of calling me delusional, try refuting my argument from scientific principles.
    9 Mar 2013, 11:36 AM Reply Like
  • >SMaturin ... That's funny.
    9 Mar 2013, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • JP: "A 2004 vintage CalCars Prius+ conversion driven by Ron Grembaum spontaneously exploded in his garage the other day..."


    That was a hybrid, not an EV.
    9 Mar 2013, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • DRich,


    The only philosophy course I took in college was Logic 101. It has served me well in life.


    I often wish Introduction to Logic was a required course in high schools, along with algebra and grammar. If we could teach youngsters to think about how we think and argue, they might be less susceptible to the political nonsense that dominates our world.


    Unfortunately, most people will never fully achieve Piagetian "Formal Operations" of abstract thought processing in our modern educational system, and thus will never be able to step back from their own irrationality to think about the logic of how they are thinking.
    9 Mar 2013, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • Carnadie> It was a battery pack retrofit that turned a hybrid into a battery dominant PHEV. It's the same principle as the Fisker Karmas that have a nasty habit of self-immolating for no apparent reason. Pretending the existence of an engine on a chassis is a critical factor in battery pack safety is beyond laughable.


    Do you think before you write this stuff?
    9 Mar 2013, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • Carnadie


    "That was a hybrid, not an EV. "


    Jrp3's comment included the following line.
    "You're trying to change physics to fit your own interpretation of reality. Since you are so afraid of lithium fires I assume you will never own a cell phone, a laptop, a tablet, or ride in any vehicle that uses them."


    Any "vehicle that uses them"
    I think we can include hybrids with li Ion battery packs in that.


    Seriously? you considered "That was a hybrid, not an EV. "
    Was a vindication of Li Ion?
    9 Mar 2013, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • Whoa everybody. Let's take a timeout to acknowledge an axiomatic fact: That E-Vindicators get pretty daggum huffy when anyone confuses pure and pristine EVs with nasty rotten hybrids. Y'all oughta know that by now. So don't do it. Any vehicle that burns even a tablespoon of gasoline or diesel is a ghastly, disgusting, puss-oozing abomination which must be utterly cleansed from the land. Or didn't you know that. Only 100% pure battery vehicles pass the eco-religious test and woe to any cretin who doesn't care enough about goddess earth and the fate of the universe to observe the difference. Here endeth the lesson.
    9 Mar 2013, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • 48
    I stand corrected. :-)
    9 Mar 2013, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • "The cause of the fire was unknown."


    But of course it had to be the batteries, which, by the way, were NOT lithium:


    "In the conversion, the existing batteries were replaced with a 6.1-kilowatt-hour nickel-metal-hydride pack, as well as a charger, control electronics and a plug."


    Oh those pesky facts getting in the way of your vision of reality. Interesting how you jumped on that article and saw lithium fires where there were none.
    10 Mar 2013, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • You sound like the guy who jumped off the Empire State Building and said "so far so good" as he passed the 50th floor. The lithium-ion battery disasters are coming. You can count on it.
    10 Mar 2013, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • What ad hominems? You are making a claim that goes against the physics of electricity. Anyone working with batteries on even a basic level knows that when you hook + to + and - to - capacity is shared and additive while voltage remains the same. To flow current a voltage differential must be present, if the two cells are not balanced when connected the voltage differential will cause current to flow for a short period until the voltage is the same. This takes no outside influence or balancing mechanism. The batteries in my car count on that principal since they are essentially a number of layers connected internally in parallel to produce the required capacity, 100ah's in my case.
    Since this is such a basic property of batteries and I don't think you're a dullard I came to the conclusion that there must be some willful delusion going on so you could convince yourself that Tesla must be using 7000+ balancers on every single cell, even though there is no way to "balance" cells in parallel beyond simply connecting them together.
    10 Mar 2013, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • The Karma fires have well known causes, for those who care to investigate even a little bit. It was traced to a 12V fan circuit and had nothing to do with the lithium pack. I realize that simple fact is uncomfortable for those who insist that every EV is a rolling time bomb waiting to burst into flames from the lithium pack, even though it's never, ever, happened.
    10 Mar 2013, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • Hybrids are not EV's. They may be fine vehicles, but they are twice as complicated, and they have an explosive flammable liquid sloshing around int a sheet metal tank to add to any potential mayhem. Also, when they use NiMH cells they can't really be used as an indictment of lithium chemistry.
    10 Mar 2013, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • The wasteful EV charade will be over the minute the first battery pack goes off under somebody's child safety seat and turns a trip to the market into a baby barbecue.


    Boeing was supremely confident until they weren't.


    It's only a matter of time.
    10 Mar 2013, 10:27 AM Reply Like
  • Not to mention a large combustion chamber at several hundred degrees within a foot of the battery whose biggest enemy is heat, trying to argue hybrids don't have particular risks not shared with EV's is ridiculous.
    10 Mar 2013, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • Your dreams of lithium fueled child death are unlikely to come true, much as you obviously hope otherwise since you constantly repeat that scenario.
    10 Mar 2013, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • My nightmares are very well founded based on the history of lithium-ion batteries.


    A corporate lawyer's primary job is assessing business risk and doing everything in his power to mitigate or eliminate those risks. Optimistic cheerleading may be fun, but it's not part of the lawyer's DNA.


    I can assure you that the lawyers for every automaker in the world are pounding the table over the same issues.
    10 Mar 2013, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • Yet ICE vehicles self immolate on a shockingly frequent basis and take hundreds of civilians including infants with them each year. For example in between 1980 and 2002 the annual average number of vehicle fires in the US was 421,100, there were 656 civilian deaths on average each year and 2,833 injuries. Admittedly there was a downward trend, in the final year reported there were only 329,500 ICe vehicles which caught on fire resulting in a reassuringly low 565 deaths and only 1,825 injuries.


    The idea that EV's have even marginally close to the same fatal fire risk as ICE vehicles is sheer lunacy. ICE vehicles are actually so flammable and deadly that I suspect had EV's been the winning technology back in the early days of cars and it was ICE vehicles that were trying to break into the market today then no safety or regulatory bodies would allow them to be produced.

    10 Mar 2013, 04:43 PM Reply Like
  • Definitely the battery in question was NiMH.
    It says so both in the article and the web site for the company listed.



    Are the batteries safe?


    We are using NiMH (Nickel metal-hydride) batteries which have a long track-record of safety.
    10 Mar 2013, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • Small NiMH batteries have a very long track record of safety. I'm not sure you can say that about big ones.
    10 Mar 2013, 07:56 PM Reply Like
  • JP I have no idea.
    10 Mar 2013, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • Because I once mentioned ZOLT (Zoltek) which I consider a promising company with huge potential (like ZBB and also AXPW) an investor group is now offering to acquire all shares and their letter to the ceo says it all:
    "...However, this lack of shareholder value creation rests squarely in the underperformance of the business, and is not due to misinformed analysts or short-sellers, as the Company would have the investment community believe...."
    ..might be interesting to see what the 25% short interest is going to do...
    5 Mar 2013, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • Perhaps the biggest take-away from yesterday's news is that Axion's sales force is on the verge of expanding no cost to Axion! There's no better marketing force than word-of-mouth, and, as JP has suggested, every truck stop in the country (at least the relatively flat parts of the country) will be turning into a truck show featuring Axion's PbC. And most of these entrepreneurs won't need a board of directors approval or a guaranteed second source before putting to work a technology capable of dramatically improving their bottom line.
    5 Mar 2013, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • Axion's board has always focused on cherry picking markets where the PbC has a clear competitive advantage and a solid value proposition. While there's still a lot of proving to do and there will undoubtedly be cases where the ePower solution isn't stout enough for the terrain, the OTR trucking market looks like a tremendous opportunity because the buying decision will be:


    • Spending $50,000 to $60,000 on a five year rebuild that won't change your fuel use or economics, or
    • Spending $70,000 on a five year rebuild that will pare your fuel costs by 35% to 50%.


    The rebuild has to be done in either case if you want the tractor to continue working for another five years. That means the payback calculations will be based on the spread between a conventional rebuild and an ePower rebuild. As long as the ePower tractor performs as advertised, I think the decision will be a no-brainer for most operators.
    5 Mar 2013, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • I like the idea of every truckstop becoming a truck show.


    I wish the ePower rebuild kits included a stencil for a madatory bright orange 'ePower' and 'Axion Inside' painted on the side of the cab.


    5 Mar 2013, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Same argument was heard about Rosewater singing our praises but this time it seems to ring true.
    5 Mar 2013, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • Hi JP, reading this ePower issue and the "lack of interest " of NS and Exide and playing the unpleasant side of devil´s lawyer my questions could be;


    1. Why Exide being a big part of the battery business and having preferential access into a technological breakthrough in preferential terms, were suddenly with no interest in the matter.


    2. Same question with NS, here I accept that concept of fuel economy in the most efficient land transport system available (400 MPG per MT), makes difficult any type of alternative technology, perhaps using the concept moving cargo in terminals.


    Actually 18 wheels trucks are the only other alternative (and perhaps the most viable) still waiting a test, we are lagging results in cars, locomotives, grids, etc.


    I handle a truck fleet during 12 years and I think this is one of the most viable possibilities for the AXPW batts.


    Idle engine use
    Dangerous zones (refineries, chemicals)
    Stop/ start in city transit with 20 MT behind you, instant torque of electric motors is great in heavy traffic.
    Fuel reduction (most important variable cost) even using LNG
    this are definitive advantages while volume and weight of the batts are not so important (as in cars, motorcycles )....why this was not decided before is my question.


    Axion has yet to start to deliver results (traduced in sales and share value), I have been with the stock and infinite articles, comments and opinions for 4 years...and still complain just saying it.


    6 Mar 2013, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • I think you're starting with a couple of flawed premises.


    Exide had preferential access in 2009 that put them into a great position to (a) cooperate with Axion and retain a long term partner, or (b) try to force Axion into failure mode where it would be the only rational bidder because of its preferential technology rights. It chose the second alternative and failed when Axion closed its 2009 financing. That choice terminated Exide's preferential technology rights and they've been a non-issue since 2010.


    NS started testing the PbC in late 2009, hired Axion to build a BMS in 2010, performed two years of double redundant testing and took delivery of its first major battery order in December of last year. After their first failure they sure weren't willing to risk a second one and they spent a huge amount of money on the testing effort. To the best of my knowledge the batteries are being installed in the NS 999 and we're awaiting further news.


    Axion's most visible activity in trucking is ePower. I believe there's also an ongoing testing program to use the PbC in APUs for anti-idling applications, but the partner there is one of the big boys and the work is shrouded in NDAs.


    The unfortunate reality of the markets Axion is focused on is the players are extremely cautious and spend far more time on testing and validation than anybody would have thought possible. While we'd all love to see news of a design win, people don't continue testing programs that cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars per year on technologies that aren't working. If Axion had a string of failed testing programs I'd be concerned. A string of ongoing testing program with some of the biggest potential customers on the planet is nothing but great news.
    6 Mar 2013, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • Thank you as usual for your long comment, just a bit more.... how are things going with the cube for grids?, any military application?, they are quicker to decide and having something working fine in Iraq could speed up things in the civil fields.


    7 Mar 2013, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • I don't have any more knowledge about cube sales than anybody else. It strikes me as a tough market to penetrate because everybody and his brother is out flogging a system and the potential buyers are frequently confused about what they need.
    7 Mar 2013, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • John, it is interesting that a larger percentage of the "grid connected" storage systems are touting their interconnecting hardware and software, while claiming they are "battery agnostic". There seems to be an increasing awareness that there is no perfect energy storage battery for stationary use. A year or two ago, anyone talking about energy storage systems always touted "lithium ion" as their battery in residence. You sure don't see that as much these days for grid storage systems. A favorable trend for the PbC, IMO.
    7 Mar 2013, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • Here is a PR on the ZBB web-based application. Not that I know anything about anything, but it seems the ability to play with the sizing of systems from your own computer is a major step forward for marketing systems.

    5 Mar 2013, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • Hope everyone is well. Great news about the ePower partnership.
    It's been a while since I've been on here, so pardon my question: can anyone point me to the APC with the most recent update of the NS switcher project?


    5 Mar 2013, 09:39 AM Reply Like
  • Axion shipped the batteries in late December and WTB's source has reported that the NS 999 is inside the shop where the retrofit is presumably proceeding apace. So for now the only news is that the paint's still drying, but we're hoping they've brought in a set of heat lamps to accelerate the process.
    5 Mar 2013, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • Amy positive news from BMW stating that they are considering fleet testing of the PbC will send the stock north of 50 cents...
    5 Mar 2013, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • Some kind of news out of PJM or Viridity would be great too. Last thing we heard was here:

    5 Mar 2013, 10:01 AM Reply Like
  • 30% savings and for 5 years. Boy if only we could get that kind of savings without buying a new rig. And if we could still find our fuel anywhere. Boy dat's some savings. Down right exciting!


    Shell Investing $300M To Fuel LNG-Powered Trucks


    "Burns says Shell will entice truck fleets to buy LNG-powered trucks and to pump their LNG by selling long-term contracts that guarantee the price they pay for the natural gas derived fuel will be at least 30% cheaper than diesel (on an energy-equivalent basis) for the lifetime of their trucks. “They can lock in their fuel savings for however long they keep that truck,” which is often as long as five years."

    5 Mar 2013, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... Except for the problem of where you're going to put those huge & heavy LNG tanks, the ePower Engine Systems [ePES] system would still work like a charm. They might even consider adding the use of a NG engine to their patent and buy a Westport engine to tinker with.


    Last night I saw Mr. Buffett say that he was investing in LNG locomotives. This along with SHELL pushing for LNG trucks, who knows, it might stand a chance but I doubt it. All those problems found earlier are still there. On-board & filling station cryo equipment, reduced range, and safety. It has been tried and it failed. NG (and LNG in particular) have got a tough row to hoe to become transport fuel even if it is cheap (or at least inexpensive fuel). My opinion, best use is for something else.
    5 Mar 2013, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • I may have asked this question before, but does it matter if an ePower rig runs on diesel or natural gas?
    5 Mar 2013, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: If they're successful, that's pot4entially some more market for ePower. Lower energy density on NG in the same size engine reduces power. So a natural step is a "boost" from on-board batteries and electric motor. ePowers setup might be generalized to manage the batteries and dispatch power as needed, both increasing available power and reducing fuel consumption. Fuel consumption gains would be smaller since the engine would operate in a wider RPM range, but the boost, as needed, and managing battery charging to occur only when excess power was available might pay off.


    I do suspect that not all routes and applications would be suitable, but some noticeable percentage would be. For customers that wanted "the whole enchilada", the NG-fueled IC could be managed like the Deer currently is: steady-state RPM. The additional size that should be found in the NG IC engines should be easily capable.


    Since the engine wouldn't have to be replaced, conversion costs should be cheaper. I don't know how much re-engineering or tinkering would be needed, but I would think something could be developed in a couple years or so. Unfortunately, the IC engine re-build cost remains essentially unchanged, so not as much financial gains. But longer time to rebuild might still result in an attractive benefit to the customer.


    5 Mar 2013, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • >Stefan Moroney ... Why would the generator care what fuel spins it?
    5 Mar 2013, 10:25 AM Reply Like
  • DRich - I didn't think it did matter.
    5 Mar 2013, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks guys, Just trying to emphasize what ePower is sitting on if it proves out. 30+ % is a huge number. I read an article, can't find it right now, that showed the operating cost of a rig being about 30% fuel costs vs some years ago at around 10%.


    What happens to Joe's trucking co. if he's running old tech. trucks if things slow down and iin's trucking company has a fleet of ePower converted trucks? Another point for the adoption stimulus discussion!
    5 Mar 2013, 10:49 AM Reply Like
  • DRich


    I know that for transit buses, LNG has lost out to CNG. CNG is definitely happening in that market.
    5 Mar 2013, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan, I think it may matter in that hybrids compete with natural gas for market share. Both have upfront extra costs and both add bulk to the truck, and complications--so firms choose one or the other.


    But ePower's solution is for retrofits and is unusually cost-effective so it may be a game-changer.
    Still, if a firm is saving with CNG they will have less motivation to hybridize with PbC.
    5 Mar 2013, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • I'm wondering how long we get into the proof of concept cycle before some OEM jumps on this. It is true that if they do it would take a little longer to get it to market because they would want to optimize it further than ePower can given their tools and the fact that they are retrofitting available chassis.


    I guess in the end if it makes so much sense as a retrofit it probably makes sense to integrate it into new vehicles. But how long do they wait or do they find ways around ePower's patents?


    For the future I guess.
    5 Mar 2013, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • It would seem that the two could be cumulative except for the bulk of the CNG tanks and the batteries. You might be getting to the point that the rig would have have to be completely redesigned and thus many years away.
    5 Mar 2013, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: Might be just about as lucrative to sell flyers to ePower and carry ePower products as part of their line-up? They could provide some funding to provide differentiation in the operating characteristics of each brand/model, etc.


    5 Mar 2013, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • From a quick look at the financial statements of a couple of long-haul trucking companies, that 30% seemed right to me. Also, I remember a 7% operating margin. Therefore, a 35% fuel savings would more than double profit margins. This is such a large effect that the adopters of this is similarly effective technology will drive the non-adopters out of business - and relatively quickly.


    This press release may prove to be very important. While it's still not proven, if I were the CEO of a major long-haul trucking company and didn't have something in the works that was going to reduce fuel costs 35% I'd be extremely worried and would institute a crash program to figure this out and start implementing ASAP. To put it another way, in five years, any company not getting 7mpg from their trucks won't be in business.


    As has been pointed out many times, the trucking industry and the auto manufacturing industry are totally different in their dynamics. So, while I have posted several times about my very low expectations for BMW and other auto OEMs, I feel completely different about trucking operators.


    The enormous cost savings for a hybrid truck as described by ePower/Axion, and the relatively low incremental capital investment, combined with the fact that trucking is such a fragmented industry with low margins represents almost a 'perfect storm' opportunity for dramatic growth.


    I think I can practically guarantee that ePower won't produce 50 kits in 2014. If their product works and they can't ramp up that fast then I would expect they'll license their patents (if they are robust). The industry just can't wait till the second half of the decade.
    5 Mar 2013, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, Good thoughts.
    5 Mar 2013, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • >D Lane ... CNG has much less infrastructure attached to it than LNG. Might get less miles per fill-up but is mechanically simple. The real test for this NG hoopla to be a transportation fuel will hit the wall when the LNG export terminals are ready to ship it at world prices and Futures markets can add it into portfolios. At that time we will become part of that world market and we pay that price. CNG will have and advantage here also because it can be grabbed out of the pipeline before it hits world supply. I have to wonder what the price spread will be and will NatGas make sense for transport use at $10-$15.
    5 Mar 2013, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • I think the cost to liquify and ship natural gas is roughly $3-4 per thousand cubic feet (I've also read $5) so in theory with current global pricing our US price won't go much if anything over $10.


    Google search turned up this explanation:
    5 Mar 2013, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • AP,
    I have to say that your analysis is spot on with mine. This will happen fast because its impossible to compete paying 1/3rd more for fuel.


    Automobiles are being driven by regulations. Trucks will be driven by profits. Axion will be driven because no other battery can do the job for the price, as safe, and is recyclable.
    The battery is proving itself. This is what we were waiting for.
    All the talk before has been hope. All the talk now will be "The battery is doing the job no other battery can do".
    5 Mar 2013, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • indelco et al - one of the major indirect elements of product cost today is TRANSPORTATION COST. So, I can imagine that some major manufacturing and redistribution corporations which "own" their own fleets could become major players in retrofitting large scale. Getting their attention is beyond me but would be a major focal point of ePower and Axion, I would think.


    If Boone Pickens really wants to convert OTH fleets, one would think he'd get in touch with ePower, immediately, and then fund the development of the right sized nat gas burner, even tho the nat gas demand will be lower than for the non-ePower converts.


    That would make a hat trick wouldn't it?
    6 Mar 2013, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • NJB, The cost of logistics is far higher than it has been for some time and fuel prices/regulations are surely pointing higher. One of the things I like about the ePower solution, in making it's segment of transport more efficient, is that it comes closer to putting the little guy on an even footing with the large transport firms. You aren't sitting there wondering if you will get payback in x years by shelling out an additional large sum of capital up front. One of the hard decisions with solutions like hybrids, LNG, CNG etc. You have a defined solution that compliments a natural next step in rig ownership that has a short enough time frame that you can see where the market has a higher probability of going.


    In a way I'm hoping these guys can scale this on their own without some larger concern soaking them up.
    6 Mar 2013, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • I think "buying pressure" is about to bust out again. ATDF/CDEL have been jostling on the bid after ATDF dropped ask to $0.345, as is typical of them in a seller's market. :-/


    CDEL bid $0.344x5K (that one's phoney size based on prior action), ATDF bids $0.3421x10K.


    Ask is ATDF 13K $0.345 w/7K likely hidden at $0.3499.


    5 Mar 2013, 10:27 AM Reply Like
  • >H.T.Love ... Here at mid-day, it seems AXPW has lost its luster.
    5 Mar 2013, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Yep. The same old players started doing the same old things and I muttered "Oh crap".


    We held for a while above and right at the $0.342x area of the old rising channel support for a while, but once it broke below that again, with the usual suspects, it was game over for now.


    After yesterday's 8%+, there's a chance that the wily investor decided to wait until the pop passed and then enter, but I don't know how much chance there is of that.


    EDIT: Corrected typo from $0.352x->$0.342x.
    5 Mar 2013, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • Drawing on a recent piece in the Toronto Globe and Mail - "Buffett’s current policy is to buy great companies at reasonable prices. Once he invests in a great company, he says he wouldn't care whether the markets were to close for the next three years. He buys and holds as if he were the owner; he never buys and sells as a trader.


    AXPW - not a great company, yet - reasonable price, you bet.


    One to buy and hold as if he were the owner
    5 Mar 2013, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • I've been assuming an ePower tractor would totally take care of any anti-idling requirements, resulting in even more savings. Could that be as much as another $2K?
    5 Mar 2013, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • How much renewable energy can the grid handle?
    New models need to emerge to manage the distributed power. Audrey Zibelman, CEO of Viridity Energy, a startup focused on the intersection of smart customer power management and smart grid integration, said that the spread of distributed energy resources calls for new market mechanisms for managing them. As she put it, distribution utilities are going to have to start to do with their individual customers’ distributed resources what big regional grid operators like PJM, CAISO and ERCOT do for system-wide generation and demand management resources today.


    That’s because “only the distribution utility can provide the level of visibility” into what’s going on on their distribution wires, she said -- it’s just too complex and small-scale a problem for the big grid operators to tackle. At the same time, it requires technology that’s much cheaper than the dedicated, high-speed IT and communications that link massive power plants and grid operations centers. . . .


    If the grid can’t be made flexible, new technologies won’t make it into the picture. Despite the complexity, it’s imperative that the industry come to common solutions for these problems -- because without them, utilities will be forced to hold off on the distributed energy revolution. That’s because all of these technological, regulatory and business-case solutions to the distributed energy challenge will have to abide by one golden rule: reliability. Keeping the lights on is a utility’s core responsibility, and any innovations that threaten that reliability metric simply won’t be allowed onto the grid, Azar said.


    At the same time, utilities have to change their mindset on these challenges, said David Mohler, chief technology officer for giant U.S. utility Duke Energy. “We have to stop asking what could go wrong with this, and start asking what’s possible,” he said.
    5 Mar 2013, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • A little look into the cerebellum.


    Revving Up Small and Medium-Sized Businesses


    "Russell Knudsen has been crunching some new numbers. Knudsen is the cofounder and director of corporate finance for ePower Engine Systems......."


    "ePower's leadership knew there was significant interest in its technology but had set rather modest growth targets for the first five years. The EAS program led Knudsen to realize that was a mistake."

    5 Mar 2013, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • ePower's original Nebraska plans didn't exactly go according to plan and I don't whether Mr. Knudsen is still involved. So I wouldn't place too much reliance on the article.
    5 Mar 2013, 01:52 PM Reply Like
  • Imagine where we would be now if they would have used the PbC back at the beginning ...
    5 Mar 2013, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • >greentongue ... I don't know when it happened that ePower came to Axion & the PbC, but it is likely they (like most of the world) had never heard on them. That is until fairly recently. It does seem like they quickly knew what they were looking at once they did. I believe Mr. Petersen can be thanked for that. I still don't know how that hookup took place but I'm glad it did.
    5 Mar 2013, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • IIRC, I made the initial introduction between Axion and ePower in the summer of 2010. There were a couple meetings at the time but nothing came of them. Last summer it became clear that it was time to get the two companies together for a second round of discussions.


    When I first made the introduction it was too early for both companies. Axion was working on its manufacturing issues and babysitting early relationships with BMW and NS while ePower was thinking they could get away with flooded lead-acid and very resistant to paying a premium price. The early meetings set the stage for the future when Axion accurately predicted most of the battery problems that ePower ultimately encountered.


    Today it looks like ePower has come to the conclusion that the PbC is the only battery that can stand up to their load profile and Axion's matured to a point where it has the manpower resources to devote to another important project. While the timing wasn't right a couple years ago it does seem to be right now; and that's a good thing.
    5 Mar 2013, 02:26 PM Reply Like
  • People come and people go. When they leave a little part of them stays behind. Let's hope the current managers remain aggressive. I think the technology and the business plan, from what little I can see of it, will support more aggressive.
    5 Mar 2013, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • Good reading, and further validation that ePower is the right kind of partner. Thanks.
    5 Mar 2013, 02:37 PM Reply Like
  • HTL,
    Any idea what kind of shareholder would sell over 200,000 shares at a price less than yesterday? If you own this stock there is no way, that a new market this size being proven viable, can lower the value of the stock.


    I hope that soon I can pity every seller of this stock at $.33
    5 Mar 2013, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • If you're convinced a big share offering is coming soon, you might sell when there's demand to meet your supply.


    If you had grown tired of being patient and were already planning to exit, but are one of those folks that like to at least break even, again the demand from the news might be just the opportunity.
    5 Mar 2013, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist: I think Wtb has likely covered most. And we mustn't forget there's various types of traders than might dabble as well. I don't have a feel for the number, but recall that way back Mercy Jimenez advised us that a self-professed momo trader had AXPW on the radar and he communicated frequently with others like him.


    If they had say, accumulated some around the $0.29/$0.30 area, typical "rules-based" traders would've started taking some off yesterday and completed today maybe?


    I've about reached the conclusion (that I *think* others before me suggested?) that ATDF and maybe TEJS are predominately inhabited by traders. That might account for why we see them (especially ATDF) so frequently struggling to be first on both sides of the market. Lots of folks make a living scraping fractional gains.


    Of course, I don't know, but this seems reasonable too, given the same old behavior by the same old actors on the same old stage.


    They were so predictable that when I decided to buy at $0.30, I didn't generally put in an order until I saw my price on the ask - I knew if my bid hung out one of the folks would jump ahead of me.


    Since the spread was generally a fractional penny back then I didn't sweat buying at the ask, since it was my target anyway.


    Then we have to factor in market-makers. Yesterday's short percentage and quantity was up a bit so they could have reason to push down a bit today to cover any shares they didn't get covered yesterday. There's always some folks that will let go on weakness, so the MM wins a lot that way.


    MHO, in ignorance as always,
    5 Mar 2013, 04:50 PM Reply Like
  • Short answer: a very short-sighted shareholder! ("stupid" was the first word that came to mind, but I'm feeling generous after yesterday)
    5 Mar 2013, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • There is another answer, and one that does not feature a numb between the ears investor...


    For instance, we could speculate about a very smart investor, who will be included in the next round of funding, and who knows that the averaging period for that round is active, and who anticipates getting in for something between $.25 and $.28 per share. I suspect he just sold shares at a profit, and at the same time generated dry powder for his next investment in Axion, while simultaneously helping to lower his ultimate entry price.
    5 Mar 2013, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • I thank all who responded to my question. I get all 0f your answers. I am suspicious of traders that try to make living off of a thinly traded stock, but I did like Jimeniz and trusted her.


    I get that some will bail upon breakeven, but it makes no sense to a long term investor like me.


    I get it all. Just seems weird to me that one would invest in a start up company for the short term. All I know is that since 2009 Axion can now produce on a commercial basis, PbCs that accept charge willingly, and don't quit after a few months.
    Why would a shareholder quit after a few months.
    Hey, I get that tradsers exist. I've done it thousands of times. But not on a micro-cap.
    5 Mar 2013, 05:26 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist...this is a traders dream stock, it has some volume & liquidity and you can follow this APC and almost tell when to buy (or bottom fish) and then just sell on any news or gains as HTL's super job of TA tells you.
    Big Investors are/were frustrated at years & years of these promises and no real deliveries yet. So they just want out. Traders love something that moves like this....
    Say you didn't have a position, bought it at .30 and could sell at at .35.
    On 100,000 shares....that's $5000, not bad for pocket change. It's us long term holders who have suffered.
    5 Mar 2013, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • >LT ... There are easier (with less risk) stocks to trade and make more money faster. Illiquid stocks can too easily be a trap short or long term. Shorting this stock would be a clinically positive demonstration of insanity with the one exception of backing out, hopefully drive it down going into an offering.
    5 Mar 2013, 06:31 PM Reply Like
  • LT> There's lots of talk about short-term traders in the stock but there's nothing about Axion's business, its trading history or for that matter my writing that appeals in the slightest to guys who are trying to turn 10% gains as quickly as they can. The only people who could buy in the face of the last three years of stock chart are long-term investors who understand what they're buying and are willing to suffer through the pain of watching the paint dry.
    5 Mar 2013, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • I agree with JP and DRich. Trying to trade in and out of this stock is nuts. If you know it as well as I think I do then you are aware that the two past cap raises (.57 and .35) have crushed the pre-cap raise price and the timing is impossible to predict. The ePower PR piece didn't change anything in terms of future PbC sales IMHO in 2013. JP estimated ePower sales in 2013 at 10-12 and that's where it was before the PR release. ePower's need for the PbC was also known so what else could they buy?


    It's good that the PR attracted some new stockholders. Now to see how well they can tolerate watching paint dry. The big event I am waiting for is for 999 to roll out of the shop and go to work.
    5 Mar 2013, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • I don't necessarily think the big boyz fool with it...but we know the MM's do ..we also knew Spec. Sits was in & out.


    Not to mention the flippers of new issues that TB mentioned and ...


    There are people trading this stock, and probably more than admits it.
    5 Mar 2013, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • If you are referring to Axionistas with trading blocks that might be the case. I think I figured out I could make a little money on a 3 cent swing. It is also a concern that Axionista trading blocks (if there are that many) could blunt a run up. However, if you are holding this stock until $5 or $10 or bust then it doesn't matter. Those hands have far more patience than I do.
    5 Mar 2013, 09:17 PM Reply Like
  • New Battery Facility Does Not Represent the Storage Breakthrough We Need


    "What this post and every other news article and blog about this facility fail to mention is just how long the 36 MW of power can be generated.


    The answer is ... wait for it ... 15 minutes. After that the lights go out. All for the low low price of $44 million."

    5 Mar 2013, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: I have a difficult time imagining any type of storage having more capacity than needed to just let stand-by or spinning reserves pick up the slack ... for now. No telling what might be 10-20 years from now, but the economics and other problems with what we have now suggests, to me, that anyone looking for large-capacity solutions that last for very long will have to have patience that lasts much longer.


    As to the $44MM, at least we don't have to worry about bankruptcy on taxpayer money do we?


    5 Mar 2013, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, I can't disagree with you. I'm more of an advocate of conservation because I think it's easier and more of a sure thing. But I also think we can be smarter about leveling (time shifting) loads. Like the ice storage units for cooling. Many ways to do this via education and simple technology like delay start timers as an example.


    Heck, maybe we use grow lights at night to extend the growing season for high value crops? No not the Washington state and Colorado state crops! I guess based on their actions I should also include DC.
    5 Mar 2013, 05:29 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... and TN, KY, VT, TX, AL, MS
    5 Mar 2013, 05:36 PM Reply Like
  • yo braughs, don't forget cali..
    5 Mar 2013, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • >481086 ... I think when a crop is the largest dollar agricultural commodity in a state and sole economic industry in 10% of counties, it probably doesn't need to be grown under lights. Come to think about it TN probably would not qualify either.
    5 Mar 2013, 05:50 PM Reply Like
  • DRich, I thought states like KY was for genetically modified low THC hemp for high strength fibers for areas like automotive seats?
    5 Mar 2013, 06:00 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco ... KY might do that too. KS, NB & OK still have problems with those bar-ditch weeds.
    5 Mar 2013, 06:05 PM Reply Like
  • IINDelco,


    "Heck, maybe we use grow lights at night to extend the growing season for high value crops? No not the Washington state and Colorado state crops! I guess based on their actions I should also include DC"


    Actually, this doesn't work very well. Most plants need dormant periods. They don't need to "sleep" the same we do, but I know that trees actually undergo some respiration at night where they stop making oxygen and actually take some of it back in. Also, many flowering plants are synchronized to open their flowers in the morning to correspond with the activities of pollinators. So if they opened their flowers at the wrong time, it might cause a decrease in crop production instead of an increase.
    5 Mar 2013, 10:32 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks LabTech, I was aware of that but I didn't know the optimum rest time required and thought that there might be some advantage to perhaps expedite the maturation phase with an added percentage of the right light spectrum.


    That brings up another thought. What do they do in areas like Alaska where they have extended daylight and night hours? Hmmmm. Anyway, For another board!
    5 Mar 2013, 10:54 PM Reply Like
  • I could give a small lecture on how important nighttime is for trees and plants.


    Maya shamans, healers, would (and still do) venture out at night, especially during a full moon to collect roots, leaves, even bark, as the medicinal qualities during full moon nights are enhanced.


    I've always loved the big, thick double front doors, specifically in gorgeous Antigua, Guatemala, as well as throughout the Latin world. Some of these doors are 300 - 400 plus years old, and are still in near perfect condition.


    The trick was to cut the trees down during a new moon night (or no moon), because the liquids inside the tree, usually mahogany, but cedar and oak, too, would be drawn down into the roots, making for wood that was not only easier to hew, but also held far less warping characteristics.


    The spiny palm tree is ladened with nasty thorns, from stump to fronds. The ancient Maya would lean a ladder against the tree, climb up, with hand using a war axe, hack off the top of the tree, and then chop a "bowl" into the wood. After a day or so, fluids would fill in. Another climb up was merely to have a human spit into the fluids, and two or three days later of fermentation under the tropical sun, gallons of an extremely intoxicating beverage would be gained.


    How anyone ever thought of that is beyond amazing.


    Then there's the "longhorn" flower. I forget the exact species, peach colored, about a foot long. If you put one in your room at night, you sleep "better." I tried it, and it works. However, if you put a bunch of them in your room at night, supposedly, you'll endur/enjoy a psychedelic night of dreams.


    Yams were used to confound the female cycle, for birth control. The manvine was the ancient Maya viagra plant. The milky colored juice of the milkweed plant was used for glaucoma. Bark from another kind of tree was used to induce labor. Soaps were made from plants. The wire weed plant was cut during the dry season and fabricated into fantastically sturdy's endless.


    And whaddaya know? We all now are hoping for the success of coconut husk fibers, known as coir, to create a brighter future for us Axionistas.
    5 Mar 2013, 11:58 PM Reply Like
  • Bosch offers more details on the light-duty hydraulic-hybrid drive developed with PSA

    5 Mar 2013, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • Since the hydraulic hybrid doesn't have a big battery for hotel loads it could be a perfect companion for a PbC-based electrical system.
    5 Mar 2013, 05:38 PM Reply Like
  • John, But the airport test. So you still need a two battery system? Now you've got me thinking about how they handle it. Doesn't really solve much on the electrical needs side.
    5 Mar 2013, 06:04 PM Reply Like
  • Airport test is concerned with the starter battery. A hydraulic accumulator mechanically tied to the drivetrain could presumably perform that function even with a dead battery.
    5 Mar 2013, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • John, I'm sure you could do it with hydraulics but I'm not sure that would be the configuration to optimize for.relative to driving the wheels as well. And somehow you'd have to make sure you had enough reserve compression in the N to do the start cycle. A coasting stop into your parking space might not work as an example. Or you'd always hold reserve pressure?


    Anyway, more interesting to me concerning this topic. Could a PbC battery be configured with a high enough energy content to pass the airport test? Optimizing the positive lead side for higher energy storage. I remember Kirk talking about having a range but don't know if the capacitive nature of the device would still internally shunt the energy off too quickly. Obviously there would be some advantage to a PbC battery only option on this type of vehicle. Less mass and volume. I'm assuming less need for highest DCA capability to charge the battery given no electrical dynamic braking.


    All this assuming the stored hydraulic energy will not be used to start the vehicle. But that does resolve the issue so there is opportunity there for a one battery option.


    BTW, If the car doesn't start after the number of tries available in the accumulator does the service guy show up with a manual jumper hydraulic pump? Or a hand crank? :)
    5 Mar 2013, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • ii,
    I think the point that John makes, and Axionistas often overlook, is the need for the high acceptance of the PbC for the charge and the great discharge of the PbC. Often we talk of other battery types and forget that they can't do the same thing.


    This is what is great about the ePower test drive. The battery works. No one else does for the same money.
    5 Mar 2013, 07:35 PM Reply Like
  • The CH53E helicopter uses a pressurized N2 hydraulic accumulator to start the APU which in turn brings up a main hydraulic pump to start the main engines. But If the crew blows the APU start, there is indeed a hand pump to recharge the accumulator up to pressure for a second try. Takes a while though I believe.
    6 Mar 2013, 12:57 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks 48. I was wondering if someone would do something like that. Seems odd but it's only because it's different.
    6 Mar 2013, 08:19 AM Reply Like
  • On a large helo, and especially the 53, hydraulics are life--multiple redundant systems etc.. I think they could have gone with battery start for the APU, but as we know that has /$/safety... and since a very robust hydraulic system was already onboard, I guess that was the call. Being able to use muscle power as a backup was probably an attractive factor too. Shutdown your aircraft at a remote site and then get stuck because of a weak battery? That would be bad. Doubleplus ungood even. Battery start is somewhat problematic in any case for turbine engines---they need to spin up to a pretty high rpm before introducing fuel or else you risk a damaging hotstart, and a weak battery very much increases that risk. That's why for years the majority of jet engines were started with compressed air from external ground carts. Smaller helos (ie Huey) nevertheless tend to use batteries, and in those cases the battery is definitely a key component... and why pilots are often loathe to shutdown.
    6 Mar 2013, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist, I understand. Just trying to think outside the box on this different app.


    I am advocate of any tech. that might displace AGM for PSOC applications. I think they are a very poor solution for SS and you may recall I've been very vocal about my feelings that the consumer is being ripped off. I think it might even be a negative for society based on how it's being implemented.
    5 Mar 2013, 08:20 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco: Hear ya, mate. Before you came on board, I was calling for a class action lawsuit to happen someday; wrote about it right after the shareholders conference in the Notes And More, last July.


    And remember, I own some JCI.


    It is no wonder that Exide revamped their warranty policy.
    5 Mar 2013, 09:10 PM Reply Like
  • Maya, We agree here for sure. I actually think this might be one of the things that is stopping or delaying the US from adding this as an efficiency improvement in their drive cycle testing. I do think that's a shame though as some automotive concerns are doing it correctly. Expensive but at least they are offering something for a price that works. Unlike the Ford or BMW type systems using AGM which are crap.
    5 Mar 2013, 09:29 PM Reply Like
  • This is a first responder video.
    It's for non tech types.
    They are teaching first responders how to deal with EVs in general and the Model-S specifically.
    What to look for when you get there. What you want to avoid with the jaws of life etc.
    They do partially dismantle one.
    37 min.
    5 Mar 2013, 10:27 PM Reply Like
  • You forgot the link Froggey77.
    5 Mar 2013, 10:45 PM Reply Like
  • Oops. Thanks John

    5 Mar 2013, 10:58 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Froggey. GM did the same thing for the Volt. In addition they advised checking the ratings on the models that emergency crews had for their "Jaws of life". The Volt is heavy in the use of high strength steel and some of the older models don't have enough shear strength to cut through certain sections like the a,b and c pillars supporting the roof.
    BTW, You can now buy a Tesla for a song..............of your choice. Not the affordable we were thinking of.

    5 Mar 2013, 11:30 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting that the heavy metal guitars, which were entirely silent to that point, started screaming when the car started being cut apart.
    6 Mar 2013, 12:02 AM Reply Like
  • Is this like porn for Tesla haters? ;)
    7 Mar 2013, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Way too much foreplay. :-)
    7 Mar 2013, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • Looks like Rosewater Energy will be at CEDIA 2013 in Denver CO.

    5 Mar 2013, 11:46 PM Reply Like
  • ii - not surprising, the real question is will they have a publicly announced sale/installation by then?
    5 Mar 2013, 11:49 PM Reply Like
  • It is a little surprising that Rosewater hasn't made any sales to date. I guess other technology sells better or maybe they just limp along with no sales ... I wonder.
    5 Mar 2013, 11:52 PM Reply Like
  • Guys, I'm quite surprised and a little disappointed we have not seen a sale yet. I wish we had information concerning why but alas that's probably not going to happen.
    5 Mar 2013, 11:55 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco: Two words: competition and cost. It's why Mario told me Rosewater is examining other battery chemistries.


    Same goes for the mystery of why only one MiniCube sale has occurred.


    Or, that Axion has done zero with Viridity Energy since the PowerCube unveiling, nearing a year and a half ago. I fear the promise of the PbC with grid applications has been put on the back burner, because the Cube is not cost competitive. I am hoping it's because FERC regs have yet to be determined.


    I simply can't wait until the next cc, to hear why grid-type sales have been dryer than the Patagonia Desert.
    6 Mar 2013, 12:22 AM Reply Like
  • Maybe any first sales are going into new construction? To be kind of a showcase I'm thinking. Recall they definitely wanted to be very high touch for the first few implementations... I wouldn't think it too strange for them to keep quiet until totally finished... near perfection is what that high-end market is all about, and I would think that RW intends their first unveil to be of a flawless install...
    6 Mar 2013, 01:04 AM Reply Like
  • 48: Hoping my next confab with Mario reveals just that. For the record, I did not ask Mario if any Hub sales have occurred, as prudence told me that's really none of my business.


    BTW, I read elsewhere you wrote that the PbC is our "provenance." What a great word! Reminds me of the compelling movie titled "The Deep."
    6 Mar 2013, 01:29 AM Reply Like
  • Ah yes, the of my favorites...and in that movie there sure were... abundant things to appreciate.


    IIRC I saw it in the theatre, back to back double feature with Rocky...
    6 Mar 2013, 01:38 AM Reply Like
  • FWIW. Most of the Deep was filmed in Bermuda.
    6 Mar 2013, 06:31 AM Reply Like
  • Maya, Well any good sales plan requires multiple offerings to close a deal. Different customers have varying needs.


    My fear is more along the lines of not proven and backed by a large company. It can be harder to convince someone to try something new from a start-up unless the technology is down right compelling. I don't know if the average consumer would consider the Rosewater offering as one that stands in it's own class. Also, It's not targeted in a class where price matters as much as perceived bling (lithium ion).


    On the grid sales side. Thought there might be some opportunity behind the meter but in front? The utilities make turtles look like "Speedy Gonzales". Andale! Andale! Arriba! Arriba!
    6 Mar 2013, 08:17 AM Reply Like
  • Wick Moorman CEO NSC to present tomorrow March 6th for anyone interested. Maybe he'll wear a green coat and black slacks? Wouldn't it be nice if the guy threw us a bone! :)


    Norfolk Southern CEO Wick Moorman to address J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation & Defense Conference

    6 Mar 2013, 12:00 AM Reply Like
  • Audio (40 minutes)


    if that doesn't work, try this:


    just starting to listen ...
    6 Mar 2013, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • No bone. No breaking news to my slightly distracted ear. A few questions last 5 minutes ... Cresent Corridor, Oil Trains ...


    Summary of the biz: okay, not great. Tied, as all rails, to US economy for which he sees slow steady growth.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • I heard thirty minutes of cost cutting in every way they can think of. He did not mention fuel cost, but he didn't have to. He did say that capital expenditures are being hurt by inflation. Locomotives cost twice what the did just 8 years ago. There is one billion dollars a year spent on loco's, facilities, expansion, ect. Another billion goes to maintaining the rails.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • >Futurist ... And to think that a battery switcher is ~1/4 the cost of a genset (including charger) and an OTR battery pack might cost 1/2 a loco. Makes you wonder if the progress made so far is fast tracking or meh.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist: Inflation?! Why our beloved Fed tells us there is none to speak of. In fact, he's still focused on fighting deflation ... for those that *really* matter.


    Out here in the real world I think we can all agree he's defeated deflation pretty handily, even succeeding in exporting our "lack of noticable inflation" - yeah, right - to the rest of the world.


    6 Mar 2013, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • DR,
    Yes, the Axion RR program seems right up their wheelhouse. Spend less on CapX. Spend less on fuel. Keep spending on that wonderfully flat corridor that is making you all the money. OTR hybrid locos will like that terrain. I can see why they wouldn't hype it yet. Still unproven on the track.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • HTL,
    Love your point. But to be fair he was quoting numbers over the last 8 years. Those included some pretty high inflation years.


    Today's hidden inflation is through the weakness of the dollar, although I see that improving with are lessened energy dependence status.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist: Yep, but it's sort of "glass half full" concession since the purchasing power of the USD has declined about 97% since institution of the Fed during the Christmas-holiday near-empty congressional session back in 1913. The trend is, unfortunately, long and well-established with little chance for change in sight ... especially now.


    6 Mar 2013, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for the feedback guys. Nice to know that they are looking at ways to curb the price increases we all know are occurring ( Correct HTL).


    Inflation, Screw up and write off your mistakes while patting yourself and your ilk on the back. Raises for everyone (well us anyway).
    6 Mar 2013, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • By Sarah Turner
    SYDNEY (MarketWatch) -- BNSF Railway Co. plans later this year to test the use of natural gas to power its trains instead of diesel fuel, The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday. BNSF is a unit of legendary investor's Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B +0.70% . Such a move could lower fuel costs and help improve air pollution standards, according to the report.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:47 AM Reply Like
  • I have wondered why railroads hadn't begun testing NG before now. I don't think I have seen much from NS about testing NG in their sustainability reports either.


    Drich and Railroad guys, do you have ideas why rail has not pursued NG until now? (I am sure it has been spoken about a lot but my ADD probably prevented me from reading through the discussion thoroughly.)
    6 Mar 2013, 08:36 AM Reply Like
  • Jakurtz, The port of Long Beach CA did a demonstration trial.


    Demonstration of a
    Liquid Natural Gas
    Fueled Switcher
    Locomotive at Pacific
    Harbor Line, Inc.



    Here are some varying efforts. NS 999 included



    6 Mar 2013, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • >jakurtz ... The Burlington Northern, back in 1987, outfitted 2 SD40's for a NG experiment. It failed.



    It was tried in 1961. It failed


    It was tried in 1947. It failed


    All the attempts have failed for differing and yet very similar reasons. There is a picture of one of the biggest in the link above. Warren Buffett's own railroad tried again in 2005 and wasn't impressed.


    "Some members of the regulatory, engine supply, and fuel supply communities believe the railroads have an opportunity to use natural gas as a locomotive fuel to help meet emissions and performance goals. Except for some potential niche applications, the Railroads disagree.


    "... cost effectiveness is central to any analysis and must consider the infrastructure and interoperability costs of any shift in technology


    There is no NOx benefit from using this natural gas-fueled locomotive, and all other criteria pollutant emissions are higher—including particulates, which are four to five times greater. "



    NG for rail transport (and I believe trucking will have the same experience) suffers like the EV does now. It is just not ready for prime time and the economic benefit of low fuel cost (an inaccurate perception) will disappear with the opening of the first LNG export terminals.


    Except for some very small niche applications, like yard switching in urban areas, it makes no economic or environmental sense. I could go on for pages and bore y'all to death so I'll stop here.
    6 Mar 2013, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • Perfect Drich, thank you.
    6 Mar 2013, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • >jakurtz ... NS999 is a much, much cheaper solution for its intended purpose in almost every aspect and ones it is not ... I can't think of.
    6 Mar 2013, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • DRich, thanks for pointing out again that you think the NS999 with PbC (and the OTR) is by far the cheapest solution. That is a huge value-added for the readers here. Please don't hesitate to repeat it again, and to add some numbers so folks can more fully see the cost/benefit.


    What is still puzzling to me is how slowly NS still seems to be with it. Yes, 1) it makes sense that after the failure last time they are doubly cautious now, 2) they admit to, "ploughing new ground here", and 3) they are not known for being especially quick to respond, but, still, if they can indeed save a huge amount of money vs their alternative solutions, what's taking them so long?


    Seems like an engineering, rather than a science, project. IOW, the solution is knowable. Which in turn means where there's a will there's a way, and things like more money, better people, more upper-mgmt emphasis, etc., can usually help speed things along.


    Relying on a little more government money and possibly, a patent pending to become a patent active is weak, to me, so I hope that NS is not doing that. Maybe the project simply needs a stronger sponsor.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • Mr I ... I too have been somewhat puzzled by the pace of NSC development of the electric yardswitcher and OTR locomotives, but less so recently for two reasons. First, award of patent on the OTR provided clarity on IP issues and while perhaps a weak argument it does provide firmer foundation. Second, work on the crescent line and intermodal freight yards has a) absorbed a lot of capital and b) was targeted to reduce future capital and operational costs across multiple fronts -- labor, fuel, locomotives. If electric locomotives are planned for use on the Crescent Corridor and in intermodal freight yards,there is not a lot to be gained from completing their development well in advance of having the Corridor infrastructure in place and existing equipment has remaining service life.
    6 Mar 2013, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • D-Inv: Excellent thoughts. Especially so since cash management is important, especially in times of declining revenues and rising expense. In these situations time of expenditures to more closely match expenditures, as closely as possible, with start of accruing benefits seems a prudent move.


    I assume that NSC didn't get dumber as they got bigger ... well any more than is normal as bureaucratic layers are necessarily added.


    6 Mar 2013, 07:23 PM Reply Like
  • Excellent analysis, D.


    Your insight wipes away the mystery surrounding the maddeningly delayed roll-out of NS 999:


    Waiting for infrastructure with which to integrate, waiting for still-serviceable equipment to exhaust its lifespan.


    For all we know, NSC is eyeballing Q1 2014 and feel like they have all the time in the world to get this done.


    The takeaway for me is this is going to to get done.


    As is BMW. As are all the other initiatives Axion has simmering. I like those charts that jump up $6 at the open. If AXPW does that 10 or 12 months from now, I will not be complaining about how long it took.
    6 Mar 2013, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv, hard to tell what NS' planned CapX was for the failed generation of electric locos or for the current generation under development with the PbC. Also hard to tell what categories may have canabalized others.


    Here is their total CapX budget, locos CapX budget and locos/total percentage for the last five years:


    2009: $1.412bil; $79mil; 5.6%. "Hybrid [loco] initiatives include the construction of a six-axle locomotive with lead acid power plants to be used for pusher service in Pennsylvania". The NS999 was rolled out in 9/2009 and soon encountered problems with the lead-acid batteries.
    2010: $1.442bil; $81mil (includes minimal $ for freight cars); 5.6%. NS recruits Axion in 6/2010 to help it with its electric loco efforts.
    2011: $1.743bil; $212mil; 12.2%.
    2012: $2.242bil; $242mil; 10.8%.
    2013: $2.008bil; $239mil; 11.9%.


    While NS' planned total CapX rose significantly in 2011 and 2012, their planned loco CapX became a much bigger share of the bigger pie. So they have demonstrated that other projects don't necessarily reduce the loco spend.


    They also have a ton of of non-CC track and non-intermodal yards. I gotta think there's been plenty enough room for electric switchers and OTRs there.
    7 Mar 2013, 03:50 AM Reply Like
  • Addendum:


    I also find it interesting that despite a 10% decrease in the total CapX budget for 2013, the loco portion is only decreasing 1%.


    Once again, we are not given the fine detail in the budget, but two of the three categories decreasing the most for 2013 are Facilities and Terminals (which includes intermodal and Cresent Corridor, among others), (37%), and Infrastructure (which also includes CC, among others), also (37%).


    Lastly, a couple timing issues---NS typically back-end loads their CapX (an outsized portion is spent in the 4th qtr). Hopefully pure coincidence, but the NS999 batteries were delivered then. Also, last go-round, NS said in late 2009 that they hoped to deliver the OTR a year after the NS999. Once again, might not have any connection to what they do this time. Or it might. You'all think about it then make your choice. ;^)
    7 Mar 2013, 04:12 AM Reply Like
  • Why would ePower even be interested in presenting at the big upcoming truck show? If the most you can possibly make is 50 trucks and you already have those orders waiting, why would you risk getting 5,000 orders that you couldn't fill?
    Once they get the installation down to a deliverable package with fool resistant instructions then, a huge ramp up in orders would make sense.
    There is also the concern of painting a bulls-eye on your company for the big boys. Being tied up in court battles (or the hospital) while they work to create an alternate solution to your product could end the dream.
    6 Mar 2013, 08:15 AM Reply Like
  • Greentongue, I think the thought is that any excess demand provides pricing power.


    And you can never have enough pricing power.


    Also, orders in hand will be helpful, if not necessary, when ePower goes to investors to finance the expansion in production capacity.


    6 Mar 2013, 09:19 AM Reply Like
  • Not everyone prices according to Madison Ave principles.
    Some just want to create change for a reasonable profit.
    6 Mar 2013, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • >nakedjaybird ... And what country would you have to live in to find such benevolent business people? Here in the USA the model is price your product to what the market will bear but be lower than your competition. I read somewhere that the purpose of a corporation was to maximize profit.
    6 Mar 2013, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • There are some US businesses run by people with a conscience and not greedy; believe it or not: and sometimes, it's the lowest cost/highest quality/best performing competitor.


    PS: and the model you mention is the Madison Ave model and what's taught at Harvard and used by the drug companies eg., "consider your alternative: death!!, etc.; however, some people and businesses do not subscribe to the worldview and culture of that ilk.
    7 Mar 2013, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • Stanford scientists calculate the carbon footprint of grid-scale battery technologies

    6 Mar 2013, 08:57 AM Reply Like
  • The abstract for the article is here –


    The most fascinating sentence in the abstract is "We find that annual material resource production places tight limits on Li-ion, VRB and PHS development and loose limits on NaS and CAES."
    6 Mar 2013, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • This ESOI metric is crucial.
    6 Mar 2013, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • "The most effective way a storage technology can become less energy-intensive over time is to increase its cycle life," Benson said. "Most battery research today focuses on improving the storage or power capacity. These qualities are very important for electric vehicles and portable electronics, but not for storing energy on the grid. Based on our ESOI calculations, grid-scale battery research should focus on extending cycle life by a factor of 3 to 10."


    They gave lead acid an ESOI based on a cycle life of just 700 cycles.


    Lithium got an ESOI of 10 based on a life of 6,000 cycles.


    I wonder how the PbC would rate with a 2,000(?) cycle life at 100% discharge.


    6 Mar 2013, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • Taking the lead-acid cycle life from 700 to 2500 does wonders for the ESOI. I got a copy of the paper from a friend and found that it was way too dense and furry for me to write about. If one of the engineering types wants to help me better understand the findings, I'd be grateful.
    6 Mar 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • Pztrick44: And we have a winner: ""The most effective way a storage technology can become less energy-intensive over time is to increase its cycle life," Benson said. "Most battery research today focuses on improving the storage or power capacity. These qualities are very important for electric vehicles and portable electronics, but not for storing energy on the grid. Based on our ESOI calculations, grid-scale battery research should focus on extending cycle life by a factor of 3 to 10".


    PbC has already met that goal, if we assume a reasonable DOD <100%(?), since the conventional LAs included in the study had a figure of "... achieving a mere 700 cycles". I forget the PbC 100% figure so far - was it 2.5k? Still climbing?


    6 Mar 2013, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • John,
    I'm impressed with CAES (compressed air). I also noticed that geo-thermal wasn't measured. Any idea of the cost per kwh for the differing technologies?
    6 Mar 2013, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • Ding, ding, ding!
    6 Mar 2013, 03:12 PM Reply Like
  • CAES is one of those technologies that's wonderful in theory and darned near impossible in practice because it requires almost perfect structural geological integrity to keep the storage cavern air-tight. There are exactly two operating CAES plants in the world.


    Pumped hydro is wonderful, but it requires big changes in topography, a/k/a mountains, and gets a lot of blowback from environmentalists.


    Geothermal is classified as a generating technology rather than a storage technology. I personally think it's far more sensible to figure out how to extract energy from a molten ball of metal 5 miles straight down than a ball of gas 93 million miles distant, but the former requires drilling holes in Gaia and that always meets resistance. It's also a real technical challenge.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:04 PM Reply Like
  • I supose when one trys to "build" a large underground airtight storage room the cost of energy storage goes skyhigh. The same story. Hard to find a cheap enough container to store the energy in and still be profitable.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • 03/05/2013: EOD stuff partially copied from instablog (up sometime later).
    # Trds: 53, MinTrSz: 100, MaxTrSz: 19000, Vol 225324, AvTrSz: 4251
    Min. Pr: 0.3300, Max Pr: 0.3500, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.3388
    # Buys, Shares: 19 61211, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.3393
    # Sells, Shares: 34 164113, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.3385
    # Unkn, Shares: 0 0, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.0000
    Buy:Sell 1:2.68 (27.2% “buys”), DlyShts 30291 (13.44%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 18.46%


    The day started decent, suggesting that we might have some strength as the price opened above the rising support line from the channel started in November (from yesterday, “ AFAICT it's at ~$0.3420”) and looked like it would hold well. Around 10:00 ATDF and CDEL did a little jostling at the bid side and I had hopes that buying pressure might be appearing. But they never took the bid higher than $0.3421 and by 12:12 it was back to $0.34. Further, from 11:27 onward, almost everything was “sell”.


    Through 12:29 we traded ~119.2K shares, 52.9% of day's volume, at a VWAP of $0.3437 with 8 trades, ~63.8K shares, at or near the support line level (trades went at $0.3420-$0.3421). But when price went to $0.3400 at 12:29, after watching the “Usual Suspects” appear on the scene, acting in the “Usual Suspicious Manner”, I knew the game was over for today. From there onward we traded ~106.1K, 47.1% of day's volume, at a VWAP of $0.3332. In furtherance of domestic harmony, I sold one of my wife's recently acquired small trading blocks bought at $0.30 for just over 10% gain, expenses included, during this period.


    Maybe we shouldn't expect different behavior when we had an 8%+ pop yesterday. There must be some rules-based traders and some low-risk-tolerance folks that should take the opportunity to get some profit locked in. And I see TB offered another possibility, involving the potential future financiers of the next funding round, that might be part of the reason price has difficulty going anywhere recently.


    Regardless, as I mentioned recently, resistance could appear at $0.35-$0.37 and we saw $0.35 hit followed by movement lower. We still closed almost absolutely flat with Monday, down only 5/100ths of a cent – not a shabby outcome at all, considering everything. So we really can't view this as a “sell off”.


    ISTR somebody mentioned “reversion to the mean”? That certainly is the case here: from the high of $0.38 1/11 to the low of $0.288 2/22, we derive a “mean” of $0.334. How spooky – we closed at $0.3345!


    We have a “shooting star” candle configuration, which suggests a reversal 59% of the time – a tad bit better than random. The candlestick comes in two varieties – a single candle, just high-lighted, and a two-candle variety. Unfortunately, the two-candle version, which results in a bullish continuation bullish 61% of the time, requires a gap, which we don't have.


    All is normal and behaving as expected – always a good thing IMO. When we combine the fact that volume was reduced (an important consideration IMO), compared to the stronger volume on the rise seen Monday, we shouldn't expect too much near-term downward pressure. I think a key is whether we stall here for an extended period or quickly start a move up or down.


    The oscillators I watch were mostly little-affected. Most went to just a flat-line status – as we might expect with reducing volume when price doesn't make much of a move. This is the second day of pushing my experimental 13-period upper Bollinger, $0.3336. I'm unsure how to asses this since we are outside our rising trading channel, begun mid-November, ATM. Prior to that we had times price quickly retreated from the upper Bollinger and times it pushed on it 6-7 days or longer (notably during the formation of our failed cup and handle period that ended 5/2/12 – we have sort of a “mini-me” version that may be forming right now).


    The 50-day SMA is $0.3189 and rising more strongly each day for 12 more days, IF there's no strong price pull-back. If there's momo traders watching, which we don't know of course, there's a possibility we could see some volume and price increase start to appear, but I'm not looking for it ATM. The 200-day SMA is $0.3118 and will continue to drop.


    Regardless, with us being still in the window of when news might have an effect, I wouldn't lay a lot of weight on all this TA stuff yet.


    On my experimental charts stuff, we still have below-normal average trade sizes (although it is slowly improving), buy:sell continues a choppy trend towards normal. Although we may focus a lot on the failure to “launch”, we should keep in mind what's really going on. I posted the intra-day VWAP trends several days in a row now, so here's today's, shortened a little: $0.3003, $0.2973, $0.2967, $0.2932, $0.2973, $0.2992, $0.3015, $0.3059, $0.3062, $0.3238 and $0.3388.


    Maybe things are not so dire, huh?


    My original inflection point calculations are starting to lose some of the upward trend, as are the newer versions. Neither version has yet made a pattern strong enough to suggest coming action.


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


    6 Mar 2013, 09:22 AM Reply Like
  • >greentongue ... In one word ... Backlog.


    With that one word expansion is visible (possibly faster, but that depends on quality management) to all and such things as best term financing, price breaks on components, higher margins, IPO, etc.
    6 Mar 2013, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • The neat thing about using off-the-shelf components is that you have the ability to multiply your business quickly. The limiting factor is not the size of your organization, which with kits is composed of low-skillset workers and common sense management and thus can be augmented quickly, cheaply and in line with demand... No, the limiting factor becomes the manufacturing capacity of your suppliers.


    Even though Axion is still very small, it can make a LOT of batteries with its existing footprint.


    We can only hope to have the problem of Axion representing the supply limit for ePower sales!
    6 Mar 2013, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • Triple,
    ePower does not have the facility or trained personnel to install multiple (or even one) hybrid unit per day. I have to believe that getting off the shelf parts, at this stage, is the easiest and least expensive thing to do. At some point ePower will be training others how to install their kits. Unfortunately this can't be done until they have practical world experience in installing the product themselves.
    As much as I hate going slow I sure see why it has to be.
    6 Mar 2013, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • Note I was talking about selling kits, after a working model has been developed, and mentioned training. Ramping up those activities under these circumstances leverages your knowledge base rather than requiring a large capital buildout.


    Obviously, more testing and experimentation is needed.


    How MUCH further testing and development is unknown, but I would think at least another year (during which time they would indeed probably do something on the order of the low level initial test unit distribution which has been discussed).


    But ramping up once a proven model is in hand can be done relatively quickly, without huge capital investment and long delays.


    If they contemplate taking this platform to the next level, ie building new models with their drivetrain, they will be looking at the same problem Axion has with relevant scale. Presumably an OEM would enter the mix at that point.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • Yep,
    I think we agree on all levels.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Sorry if I step in with something which may have already been discussed (I'm a forgetful reader), or seem OT: I am under the understanding that Johnson Controls may be interested in bidding for Valence Technology, after the A123 debacle.
    This may be read as a further attempt by JCI to strengthen its patent portfolio outside of its core competences/skills.
    Axion related, the fact that IP is "on fashion" again in the industry could hopefully mean that financing from "sources that are in alignment with our business objectives" may be less difficult than a few months ago...
    A bit of a stretch and wishful thinking, I know... :-)
    6 Mar 2013, 10:44 AM Reply Like
  • I'm not sure how serious JCI was about expanding its technology base when it bid for A123. The entire chronology has a distinct aroma of pre-election political theatre and JCI is having a hard enough time bringing it's existing lithium-ion plant up to something resembling capacity. I don't see why they'd want to double their misery by signing up for a second underutilized plant with a different technology.


    While most Axionistas seem to assume that the next round of financing will come from purely financial investors, I still think there's a good chance management may be able to corral a more strategic group this time around.
    6 Mar 2013, 11:10 AM Reply Like
  • >JP ... That, too, might be enough to get this thing moving in a different direction. Hate to say it, but we can only hope.
    6 Mar 2013, 11:15 AM Reply Like
  • Re: Financing/Partners:


    "East Penn plans multimillion-dollar manufacturing plant
    If the proposed manufacturing facility is approved, the battery maker expects to create more than 300 jobs when it reaches capacity sometime in 2015 or later."



    I've offered this link a couple times since it appeared. Timing so interesting to me. Keep wondering what effect it might have on us ... pro or con (if our toll contract is with them, could this new capacity be a problem?)


    Automotive partner?
    ePower related partner just when things really ramp up?
    Locomotive partner?


    Just because we CAN build whole batteries to a certain capacity, doesn't mean it's the best in the long run (assuming we can get to the point of seeing the "long run" as a given) to "max out" our ability to do so.


    Hopefully EP addition much more of an opportunity than a problem.
    6 Mar 2013, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • thanks for your comment - I may be completely off, but it looks like Valence believes there might be some investors crazy enough to put additional money there:
    Attached hereto are amended Exhibits “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D” to the motion
    dated February 8, 2013, of Valence Technology, Inc. (the “Debtor”), the debtor and
    debtor-in-possession in the above captioned Chapter 11 case, for an order authorizing the
    Debtor to employ and retain KPMG Corporate Finance, LLC (“KPMGCF”) and Roth
    Capital Partners, LLC (“Roth”) as investment bankers to the Debtor (the “Motion”)
    [Docket No. 291].
    may be the NOLs are the main value there... :-)
    6 Mar 2013, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • It is my guess that the fact that we don't have an announced deal yet is because the company is still working on their preferred choice---a strategic deal.


    Best I can tell, s/s is the only application where Axion would need help meeting demand. So I peg it as the most likely stimulant for a strategic investor to step in.


    With what we think is a return of the 3rd party-tested PbC batteries recently, a BMW test fleet decision likely draws very near. Should BMW say yes, I'm hoping that would be a sufficient indicator of significant end-user demand to draw in a strategic investor. If not, then the Asian OEM also saying yes might be enough.


    I believe that Axion has enough cash to wait for several more months, if needed.
    6 Mar 2013, 11:45 AM Reply Like
  • Agree 100% with you Mr. Investor. What will be even more interesting will be if March 31st comes and we get our Q4 results and there is a going concern statement in there. Unlike many who will take that as a negative I will be even happier as TG & team are aware of their cash balance and either has to be near strategic partners or immediate news that will increase the shareprice where the language will not be damaging.


    Long AXPW, short TSLA since their financials have been delayed.
    6 Mar 2013, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • Paolo Gorgo, Could also be a necessary step to set a value on the company before Berg takes it private. Need to test the waters to see if their is interest or they will end up in court given Berg's large holdings.


    What do they have for assets? Their operation in China? I'm not sure how their litigation with Ontario Hydro played out so can't help in assigning much value to their patent holdings.


    Some of their vanadium research?
    6 Mar 2013, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco:


    definitely a step needed to avoid further problems (although the 363 bk sale process is public), but the terms and names involved are interesting:



    Valence Technology Settles Patent Dispute With Hydro-Quebec


    AUSTIN, Texas, June 13, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Valence Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:VLNC), a leading U.S. based global manufacturer of advanced energy storage solutions settled its patent dispute with Hydro-Quebec, entering into a settlement agreement that resolves existing litigation with no monetary payment made by either side, and each party bearing its own costs and attorneys fees.


    Under the terms of the settlement, all claims in the litigation have been dismissed and Valence Technology is free to sell its proprietary lithium magnesium metal phosphate products, without liability to The University of Texas, Hydro-Quebec, or any of their related entities. In addition, Valence Technology's customers and suppliers are also removed from any liability related to the lawsuit.


    assets: NOLs and IP, mainly (I'm starting my diligence on Valence, so I could be missing the elephant in the room...)
    6 Mar 2013, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Mr. I. --- Reflects my thoughts well without having to write them out. If we can draw in a strategic investor, resulting in not having a new stock issuance, any thoughts on what immediate impact this might have on the stock price? --- Given the widespread dread about the need for a capital raise, I can't help but think it could be substantial.
    6 Mar 2013, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • Wayne, it may not be exciting, but I believe the answer is, "it depends." Lots of permutations. For example, in your scenario, in which the strategic investor does not get stock, then the question becomes, "in exchange for what?"


    Perhaps you instead meant to write that there is no sale of stock to financial investors?


    I'm with mgmt in preferring a strategic deal. SInce I think that the stk mkt believes, net, that we'll get financial investors, I think the stk's reaction would be positive. I will especially enjoy the chasing that those that got out perform to get back in. But to be fair, some of them (such as the 2/3/2012 investors) at times have had superior information, though, so given that I think a lot of them have sold in preparation to getting back in, maybe the odds favor a financial deal.
    6 Mar 2013, 02:51 PM Reply Like
  • "Wishing, and hoping, and hoping and wishing..."
    6 Mar 2013, 03:19 PM Reply Like
  • Wayne, putting on my Capt. Obvious hat, I would say that such a development (provided the terms and details were advantageous and not odious) would change the entire dynamic and landscape...
    6 Mar 2013, 03:22 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Paolo Gorgo, I thought they had resolve the Hydro-Quebec litigation but I didn't recall if there were multiple layers. I really don't follow Valence in great detail anymore. I used to invest in them many years ago but after they built the plant in Ireland without a process I was pretty much done with them. Think that was a couple decades ago and I sold just North of 10 USD before their last hype spike.


    I am pretty sorry they could never get their act together. The world of batteries might be a little different had they done so. Good basic research, for the time, but poor manufacturing capabilities.


    I wish you well on your hunt!
    6 Mar 2013, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • March 04, 2013
    Distributed Generation Microgrids to Produce $13B in Annual Revenue by 2018



    "Annual revenues from microgrids will reach $12.7 billion by 2018—and distributed generation from them will add 3,978 megawatts (MW) of new generation capacity to the energy mix, according to a report just released by Boulder, Colorado-based Pike Research




    This report also profiles several companies that have not appeared in previous Pike Research microgrid reports: Arista Power, Younicos, Sustainable Power Systems, Pulse Energy, and Better Place."


    you can play follow the links to a couple of the Pike "teasers" ...
    6 Mar 2013, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • >Paolo Gorgo ... As good as most any other reason to remain bullish. Sales would break this log jamb but here I am not hopeful in any meaningful way.
    6 Mar 2013, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • Digging on Younicos (new to me)


    "Presently, we are working with three particularly reliable, durable, safe and commercially viable battery technologies which we also combine in hybrid batteries."



    although the reference to a 2005 evaluation isn't very impressive ...
    6 Mar 2013, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • >wtblanchard ... Well, it makes me feel sane(r) for thinking that storage solutions might be a mix of technologies. My personal favorite is combining the PbC with a ZBB but many or possible. Strange thing to me is that all demonstration projects so far are purely one type or another even the project that test multiple & different chemistry seem to do it in isolation.
    6 Mar 2013, 11:29 AM Reply Like
  • >As after thought ... the best reason I have ever justified to myself for why mix & match of batteries to application is that the utilities are not comfortable with any particular storage component. Until they are they will not start investigating how best to use them.
    6 Mar 2013, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • Johnson Controls stock just shot up 5% on about 2M shares in ten minutes (avg. 10day volume is 4.6M). Anyone have news? I can't find anything yet.
    6 Mar 2013, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • JAK: (JCI) Exploring sales of auto intriors group? But I thought this was known? Anyway, DJ pushed it out a few minutes ago.


    PR Newswire reports it was named one of world's most ethical companies. I'm chuckling.


    6 Mar 2013, 01:15 PM Reply Like
  • EXCLUSIVE-Johnson Controls explores auto unit sale-sources


    Published: Wednesday, 6 Mar 2013 | 12:56 AM ET

    6 Mar 2013, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • Jakurtz,


    The two articles I found:


    It goes ex-dividend today


    And it was named one of most ethical companies for 7th year

    6 Mar 2013, 01:11 PM Reply Like
  • Probably relief they lost A123 plus reinterated buy recommendation by analyst and reg dividend of 18 cents declared. Bet it was end of a123 bid.
    6 Mar 2013, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • We thank you America and DOE for new battery plant! Wen Jiabao,
    6 Mar 2013, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Bang,
    Although I understand the sentiment , it is not a bad idea to remind ourselves that Americans will be employed in that plant. Just like the Chinese citizens that will be working in the free factory their government built for ZBB.
    6 Mar 2013, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • If they are I'll send them a thank you note.
    6 Mar 2013, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • LOL
    6 Mar 2013, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • My deceased mother's birthday is today, and my eldest sister is in from Columbus, Ohio. Nice to see JCI rise and provide an ex-dividend on this day of remembrance.


    But this news generated a conversation, in that I hold concern for JCI's future in regards to their battery technology, as JP pointed out a while back, the most profitable division of JCI.


    Oddly ironic that iindelco and I, just yesterday, were beefing about how AGM batteries are a rip off, "a scam," as iindeclo put it. It's why the notion props up for an EPA led, or a Ralph Nadar-type led class action lawsuit, if AGM batteries are continued to be used with stop/start applications.


    That JCI's stop/start solution seems to be drifting toward a two battery design, including a LA cranking battery and a lithium battery for hotel loads, which I believe costs around $1200, including all the ancillary equipment, while Axion's PbC plus a cranking battery "appears" to cost less than half, is why I cautioned my sister about owning JCI a few years out.


    I believe the brass at JCI know this, and that's why they are investing millions in their 5-5-5 better battery development plan. They know they are in trouble.




    For new folks to this blog, JCI approached Axion several years ago, requesting TG to test their AGM battery against the PbC, in an attempt to learn why their AGM did not perform as well as the PbC. TG told them why, and still JCI paid Axion to do the test. As TG predicted, JCI's battery failed in the stop/start simulation.
    6 Mar 2013, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • Maya, I've always been a little vocal about what I think of automotive. It was just recently someone on TMF wrote a piece on why JCI should be broken up. The main thing is they need to get the performing assets further away from automotive and getting rid of interiors is a good move. Plus as they stated in the article there really were no synergies between the businesses worth keeping JCI together anyway.


    As for batteries, they have some time. If they can't get the cost structure right on lithium ion for certain levels of SS they will look for other solutions. Note their presentation on automotive electrification. Two years ago they had shown a hole in their offerings and we talked about it. Last year they proposed a solution to plug the hole as you mentioned. We'll see if the industry can get the value chain right here. If not "They'll be back". I think they still gotta hole!
    6 Mar 2013, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • Drawing on some of my posts the last several months...


    AXPW management are not looking after the best interests of their shareholders if they do not fully explore strategic partnerships to take AXPW technology to broad markets - as the tech is proven - and the potential market value is confirmed


    Note - explore - tech is proven - potential market defined.


    So far we appear to have one market application of substance defined and confirmed - EPower. This suggests confirmation of the potential of other applications. Add a little more on the proven side in customers AXPW are working with and we Axionistas should be very happy campers
    6 Mar 2013, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • "So far we appear to have one market application of substance defined and confirmed - EPower."


    Just to remind everyone that the $400,000 single order from NS is equivalent to 45 of ePowers trucks. Not quite sure I dont put NS in the proven camp and strategic partner camp. However, I will admit we don't have a 5 year exclusive contract with them.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:38 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist, I must have missed something. Can you show me the math behind the 45 ePower trucks = 1 NS999.


    Thanks much! :)
    6 Mar 2013, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist: Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was $475K, no?


    Add some more trucks! :-))


    I know, picky, picky, picky!


    6 Mar 2013, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • Oops,
    Bad math. I can not tell you how I multiplied 45 x 56 and came up with about 1,000. Can't even blame that one on alcohol.


    I was thinking that an OTR loco would equal about 1080 batteries.
    So one loco equals 18 (60 battery) trucks. Thanks for the catch.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • IIRC the NS 999 will use ~900 PbC batteries while each ePower truck will use 56. So I think the relationship is 1:16 instead of 1:45.
    6 Mar 2013, 04:58 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Futurist, I'm not sure they are the same size batteries either. I think the NS999 are HT case size and the truck batteries are Group 31.


    I thought maybe there was an announcement giving some data we could chew on. Don't know how I would have missed it but hey, @#it happens!
    6 Mar 2013, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • I believe the NS 999 and ePower are both using Group 30HT batteries.


    Group 30HT dimensions are 13.5" x 6.75" x 10.75"


    Group 31 dimensions are 12.93" x 6.75" x 8.74"
    6 Mar 2013, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: 30HT case, IIRC. Is it safe to assume these cost a bit more than what the truck is using?


    Heh, I'm not sure it matters much - it's still a decent number.


    6 Mar 2013, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • ii,
    I haven't figured out how to generally equate battery case size and battery cost yet. So far I figure a battery is a battery until we know something different. My understanding is that the case size could be irrelevant to the cost of that inside the case. But, originally we were all using 1080 "regular" batteries for the OTR. Changing size to accommodate the space should still equal the same $ value of batteries, I think.
    Assuming we all use correct math.
    6 Mar 2013, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • John, I recalled that NSC had posted the number.


    "***Presently undergoing modifications to operate with 864 lead-carbon batteries from Axion Power International (battery management by TVM Control Systems) ***"



    Futurist, I think your number is the old AGM number of batteries.


    "The energy storage system is powered
    exclusively by 1,080 ODYSSEY model 31-PC2150S rechargeable, lead-acid,12-volt batteries configured in a 648-volt, 20-string system, and is capable of three eight-hour switch yard
    duty cycles. "

    6 Mar 2013, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • iide---thanks for bringing up the sizes. Funny, in the over a year that I have frequented this blog, I have yet to see (that I remember), in one post, an estimated price for 1) the NS batteries, and 2) the ePower and s/s batteries (if indeed those latter two are the same).


    Anyone want to take a crack at it?
    6 Mar 2013, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • I knew the number was more than 850 and less than 900, but I was too lazy to go look it up. That makes the ratio 1 to 15.4285714.
    6 Mar 2013, 05:20 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist, If it's important we might be able to do an equation like AGM 31/ AGM HT = x/ PBC HT. That's about as much data as we have. Might get us somewhat close to eventual energy and cost approximations.
    6 Mar 2013, 05:21 PM Reply Like
  • John, I was lazy as well but since I knew right where it was I could post it and remain lazy! LOL


    BTW, It's not very often you can claim laziness!
    6 Mar 2013, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks HT.....L! ;)


    At this phase of development I'm not sure we can assume any costs on a unitized basis. Prototypes are just that.
    6 Mar 2013, 05:46 PM Reply Like
  • ISTM we have several items of news/info that we should be able to look forward to in the next couple of months:


    1) 999 getting done
    2) confirmation of BMW/Axion third party test results (if not fleet testing announcement)
    3) Data from the first ePower truck once the owner has it back and uses it for a while
    4) more details on the ePower-Axion arrangement
    5) the financing deal
    6 Mar 2013, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • 48, If that's a chronological sequence I like it! Getting sick of bleeding back on the share price every time we get a bone. :(
    6 Mar 2013, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • There of course could be other surprises, and that would be mondo cool... but it's hard to imagine we won't hear at least something on each of these items by May...but yeah, if we could get 'em in that sequence it would be good.. ;)
    6 Mar 2013, 06:31 PM Reply Like
  • Subliminal foreplay as to what's next? Axion's investor webpage has a cool looking stop/start button:

    6 Mar 2013, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • "Yes!" to the stop/start button. I love it.
    6 Mar 2013, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • It's not new though is it? I'm not sure but seems like it's been there a while... I always go back from time to time to check the investor presentation... in the past, new pages have shown up in it without other notice. It's cool though---but seems like it would belong more to a heavy-hybrid or even PHEV than a simple stop-start vehicle...
    6 Mar 2013, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • I'd prefer a press release, but it's entirely possible that Axion could sell a mess of PbC batteries for a fleet testing program and not be able to issue a press release because of NDA restrictions.


    Releases and a Form 8-K filing are mandatory when a contract represents more than 10% of TTM sales. Even a big fleet test wouldn't use that many batteries. Once a company can't tell its customer "SEC regulations require us to disclose this contract," public disclosure becomes a negotiation. Before Maxwell got its design win it talked about testing with an undisclosed OEM. We may see the same kind of thing with Axion where they can discuss the fact that somebody's doing fleet testing but can't say who. I think the game is silly because anybody who's paid any attention will be able to connect the dots, but sometimes the markets have to draw dotted lines where product developers can't.


    My favorite example of this phenomenon is Active Power which sells flywheels to all the data center big boys but has never named a customer because the customers want to keep their activities and the locations of their facilities out of the public eye.
    6 Mar 2013, 07:21 PM Reply Like
  • >481086 ... It is a stock graphic, but from illumination, font & mount surroundings it most closely resembles a Hyundia.
    6 Mar 2013, 07:23 PM Reply Like
  • John: That'd be okay with me, if TG is allowed to say a fleet testing program has commenced.


    For a few bucks, it should be a cinch to track down the export bill of lading. I'd chip in a hundred clams to learn which OEM it is. If it's BMW, most likely the PbCs would be shipped out of Chester, PA.


    But there's another thought: If a top five OEM commences fleet testing, I think it would behoove the automaker to make this public news, so as to help position Axion to raise capital to expand production of both the carbon sheeting and electrode production, as well as attract a strategic partner.


    I realize that there's also a solid chance that the automaker would not want this to become public, because if/when the PbCs work, then that automaker obtains an advantage or head start of having a stop/start system that works.


    Could generate a serious mudslinging advertising campaign, as I think 48 has already intimated.
    6 Mar 2013, 10:04 PM Reply Like