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  • And on an important news day!
    22 Mar 2013, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • Hello!
    22 Mar 2013, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • Closest I've ever been.
    22 Mar 2013, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • """There's not much in the way of bubbly optimism, but there's a ton of steely-eyed determination."""


    I believe my bubbly optimism increased a smidgen this morning! --- And my steely-eyed determination remains firmly intact.
    22 Mar 2013, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • Talking about "Strategic Partners", our formerly good grant partner EXIDE has news. Miracles never cease. They seem to have found one.



    I guess it is too early to give up on Axion scoring one.
    22 Mar 2013, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting stare-down in progress---about 135k shares at about 27 cents and who knows how many, really, at about >= 28 1/2 cents, with no movement for a long time.
    22 Mar 2013, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • MrI: A result of uncertainty? Buy:Sell 2.46:1 and VWAP $0.2791, close to yesterday's $0.2819.


    If there's any serious sellers, maybe they're thinking "Hm, I think I can get a little more if I'm patient". And the bottom-feeding buyers are likely thinking "The report wasn't all that surprising - those sellers will panic and give us our typical late-day weakness and I'll scarf some really cheap shares".


    22 Mar 2013, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • Sounds about right to me, but I guessed the same thing about the two sides all the way until we got hit with selling recently.
    22 Mar 2013, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • Got my monthly 5k at .2849.


    Would have liked to pull a "Mr. I" but couldn't trust myself to get the timing right at the closing bell.


    22 Mar 2013, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • DM---nice.


    There hasn't been a chance to pull a me the last few days, as the spread was compressed and the ask sizeable. Today is shaping up as a chance, though, but we'll see. Not much mention on this blog but from me, but, if you think the new deal will be priced taking into acct recent closing prices, and you're long, why wouldn't you want to spend a measly $10 to help the math, at least a little, in your favor? One of the primary preferences of the longs should be to see the smallest number of shares O/S as possible, all other things being equal. I would have thought there would be graffiti all over the place.
    22 Mar 2013, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • I added 2,500 @ $.285 a bit earlier. Now, I'm wondering why the price screens I am looking at show current bid price of $.28 when I have a bid in for 10K@$.283
    22 Mar 2013, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • I tried to pitch in the last few days, but also saw the same.


    The real reason is that the OCD in me wants round number blocks.
    22 Mar 2013, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • D-Inv: I suggest an immediate call to your broker - OTC trading desks sometimes don't get it right.


    22 Mar 2013, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, HT.
    22 Mar 2013, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Inv,
    "I was disappointed that BMW is not done with their testing."


    I was too. I thought we were on the money when we saw the shipment of batteries from Europe back to Axion and assumed it was the PbCs being tested for BMW. Looks like it was either flooded batteries or it was one set up PbCs but that the tests are not completed.
    It does bring up the question, in my mind, as to whether BMW would require new testing of PbCs using the automated carbon sheeting system to prove that they work the same as the ones that were done by hand in the past?
    I was also disappointed that there was no indication of Hub sales yet.
    On the encouraging side, it was interesting to see that now they have discussions going forward not only with ePower for the series hybrid, and with other heavy trucking OEMs on the anti-idling system, but also they are working on a two battery start-stop system for heavy trucks.
    22 Mar 2013, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • LabT---I know some have mentioned here that battery testing does not end with a return of the batteries that were tested, but with forensic analysis of those batteries. Perhaps that is ongoing, or that only some of the batteries have been returned. Maybe we'll find out more Monday, at least about the overview, which is what we're really after anyway---how much longer before BMW makes their fleet test decision?


    The silver lining in the lack of HUB sales is that the story's not over yet, and I didn't expect it to be big $ numbers, anyway. I always thought every bit helps, though.


    The way the anit-idling to s/s mention is worded, I can't tell if it's additive or substitutive. Someone commented that s/s is prob a better fit for the PbC anyway, which sounds right, but there was also mention awhile back about APU batteries going bad quickly. So I'm hoping Axion can get both mkts. What I'd really like to know is timeframes, though. We all have learned that lesson many times over. Are we talking contract win in 2 months, 6, 12, 2 years or more? The latter's not going to help the stk for awhile, and IMO, the stk needs all the help it can get as soon as it can get it. I'd trade some of the huge upside for less new shares issued, all day long.
    22 Mar 2013, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • Labtech: BMW testing as of EOQ4, right? Maybe they have finished but not yet done anything TG can report on, with NDAs and all. That end of third-party verification likely wouldn't be "materially significant", so we can't assume it must be disclosed by rule.


    Just thinking,
    22 Mar 2013, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • HTL,
    Good point. I'll have to go back and re-read it. I suppose it may be true that as of EOQ4 the testing wasn't done, but that it is finished now. Need to see when the shipment was dated for the return of batteries to Axion.
    22 Mar 2013, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • HTL,
    That was my thinking as well, that the testing results had not been updated since EOQ4.
    22 Mar 2013, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • They did sprinkle in some 2013 updates in other areas, but yeah, the BMW NDA may be in the way of a comment on testing completion. Hopefully we'll hear some additional detail Monday.
    22 Mar 2013, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • "It does bring up the question, in my mind, as to whether BMW would require new testing of PbCs using the automated carbon sheeting system to prove that they work the same as the ones that were done by hand in the past?"


    LabTech, The answer is yes. However with a qualifier. The level of testing required would be determined by Axion, BMW and any other contributors based on risk analysis. The testing could be anything from measurement of the sintered carbon sheet only to full blown functional and life testing of the batteries.


    One thought I had that makes sense to me is that BMW might have set as a precondition to fleet testing in their launch timing with Axion batteries is that they come off a full "production intent" assembly process. This coupled up with parallel testing would seem to me to be a viable plan at this stage of the game.


    Just some thoughts on what makes sense to me as a possible step in managing risk going into a very expensive phase of a vehicle development program.


    This would also provide huge motivation for Axion to build inventory and would also explain the need for some of it.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:19 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Inv,
    I just finished re-reading the 10-K and yes, they did sprinkle a lot of 2013 updates in the 10-K. I think I'm back to my original opinion. If the batteries were PbCs, that were shipped back to Axion earlier this year, and they were part of the ones being tested by BMW's third party, then it seems that this was not the end of the 3rd party testing and it continues. IMHO
    22 Mar 2013, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • iidelco, what about the need, or lack of need, for involvement of a manufacturing partner? Maybe has been covered before, but for BMW's purposes, is an Axion in-house-manufactured PbC equivalent in their eyes (for all intents and purposes) to a PbC manufactured at scale by a bigger battery maker using Axion electrodes? One would think they'd be nearly identical and equivalent, but then the devil is always in the details, and if the approach is really belt, suspenders, and staple gun then it's hard to imagine it being an easy sign-off. IOW, If they wanted (or insist) to go with a bigboy-made PbC variant for any real production, how much testing/validation would that variant require? Minimal, or the whole gauntlet again? I guess I'm guessing somewhere in the middle. Again, apologies if this is already-trodden ground, but it still sticks to my ribs as a question--- to what degree would any auto OEM be willing to really go forward with the in-house PbC?
    22 Mar 2013, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • I think the automated sheeting process may have been the last hurdle for a prospective manufacturing partner. Think back to the release and focus on the last two sentences of the first paragraph.


    "Rather, an automated production system was the long established goal and this second generation continuous-roll carbon sheeting production line, when coupled with Axion's robotic negative electrode production line, completely automates the manufacturing process. It becomes scalable, with the capability of being replicated at the Company's New Castle facility or at any other facility throughout the world."


    If the OEMs are happy with the electrode manufacturing process and you can build a cookie cutter electrode plant somewhere else, the revalidation should be minimal.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:54 PM Reply Like
  • iinde---I was hoping you'd say parallel testing. Would be bad news if the clock had to be completely reset.


    Regarding how that affects the inventory build---could you elaborate on your thinking there? Sorry, I didn't follow.
    22 Mar 2013, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • LabT---Hey, so you doubted me? :^), You're gonna force me further into the perfectionist's black hole, lol.


    Maybe the 3rd party testing is really close to completion, or the NDAs prevent an update in the 10-K. Hope TG reveals some status on Mon.


    My guess is both strategic and financial investors care a lot about the s/s biz status. I remember TG saying it was key to getting the 12/2009 private placement guys in the door. There's a ton of potential in the other customer lines, but I still believe that much of the investment money in AXPW feels that s/s is our moonshot.
    22 Mar 2013, 06:10 PM Reply Like
  • 48, You're right, The devil is in the details.


    Without knowing I would suspect this is pretty low risk but there are bound to be differences in product, process flows, process steps. levels of automation etc. So you have to look at the documentation on the Axion process, the documentation on the new site(s) processes and determine a plan to verify that the new process does not negatively impact the final product.


    If a company like BMW insisted on parts from a partner at a certain step in their program for some reason it would have to happen if they really feel it's justified. Certainly even from afar where we're at this is most probably far less critical than automating the sheeting process.


    The best partner would be a world class battery manufacturer that already supplies automotive and has a relationship with the end user. However in the end it's all what the product launch teams come up with for risks and what the executive committee will tolerate at the end user. Heck, If they were starting out with a low volume program and Axion had capacity to support it, even if it was higher cost, they might just certify Axion and pay a higher price until it is phased over to the new source. How it turns out is really dependent on what the experts put together to minimize the risk, how it's sold and what the end user feels they can tolerate based on the ramifications/odds of failure.


    BTW, It also depends on where the application will launch from. The Japanese typically launch in their own market and then the US because it's less risky. Yes it's also where most of their expertise is but it's also because Japan is more supportive of industry and less litigious when their are failures vs the US.


    So a little flavor for some of the activities that steer the decision making process and thus the required actions for a hoped for, by us, automotive program.
    22 Mar 2013, 07:06 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks much iindelco (who says there's no i in team?) ;)
    22 Mar 2013, 07:18 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. I, What I was attempting to communicate on the inventory build is that it might have been done to make sure they were ready for the next phase of BMW's program. Could be that BMW said "No more batteries will be accepted as we move forward in the program unless they come off a process that can support the Cost, Quality and Supply we need as a company for our applications.". This would have been a known deliverable some time ago. So perhaps Axion built more product than they can actually use for BMW to advance the process. This product might be perfectly fine for other applications that they have or intend to get. But for BMW not only do you have to prove the product is acceptable but also that you can support C.Q.S. at certain program phases.


    So maybe some of the PbC inventory is good but developmental meaning they were tweaking the process. And the balance of the inventory is a statistically significant run that says "We nailed it BMW.". And BMW said "There's a big ole' red hash mark through that deliverable.". And TG ran to the printing press and yelled "We got it and this is part of what it means.".
    22 Mar 2013, 07:24 PM Reply Like
  • John, There's little doubt in my mind that having the sheeting process automated and capable makes Axion significantly more marketable. After all, from a process standpoint, it's the heart and sole of the technology. Reduces the risk of the potential partner quite a bit when you have your manufacturing process nailed down and can move on to the cost improvement phase vs "Can this be done in meaningful numbers at a cost I can sell?"
    22 Mar 2013, 07:31 PM Reply Like
  • ii, would it be reasonable for BMW to require the fleet testing batteries be made with electrodes produced by the fully automated electrode line (even if Axion as made the finished PbC)? And is it possible that BMW would want there German supplier to supply some as well or prepare to supply PbCs for the first production cars (Axion inside)?
    22 Mar 2013, 07:47 PM Reply Like
  • iinde---thanks for both posts.


    Although tiny $ amts by BMW's standards, $1.3 mil in finished goods is huge for Axion with their very limited resources. If that's PbCs, that's 3k or so (as apm pointed out, too). If it's carbon electrodes (at some pt., anyway, that will be Axion's finished goods), it's a lot more than that. Anyway, the net is that Axion would have to be thinking that this huge expenditure was worth it. Of course, hopefully those items would soon be sold to someone else, so they're not wasted. If they were, they would have been written off already. Just that the huge cash outlay comes at a bad time. So color me skeptical.


    Hopefully there is already a strategic deal agreed to, perhaps for some time, subject to some items like automating the sheeting process, providing audited full year 2012 financials, and a fleet test decision by at least one large OEM.
    22 Mar 2013, 08:00 PM Reply Like
  • Kent, It is most probable to me that when BMW initiated this partnership with Axion that they set milestones in their program timing to require Axion to have certain levels of the product and process locked down at defined times. It is also possible that there is a milestone on when they have to lock down where the final battery production will be sourced for different markets (phased in). These are living time lines adjustable within tolerable party risk.


    I do not think BMW could intervene and have Axion build batteries with a BMW recommended source without partnerships in place. It doesn't solve anything without the source being nailed down and it makes Axion's process of negotiating agreements far more complex to negotiate.
    22 Mar 2013, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • ii I guess I am not making myself clear on some comments today (not just to you ii). I was trying to ask if you thought BMW might require their own AGM battery supplier to produce the PbCs they would want to use if the launch was in Germany (and never use Axion made PbCs in any production models, just Axion electrodes sold to Banner say as an example)?


    I'll stop now, thanks in advance.


    edit (couldn't stop) That way they never have to qualify Axion as a battery supplier?
    22 Mar 2013, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • One of the French automakers gave a presentation in Istanbul where they described their product and vendor qualification process.


    The first six months of testing was all about the batteries. Once the initial battery testing was done, the focus shifted to a dual prong approach where further battery testing and manufacturer qualification ran on parallel tracks.


    I've always believed that Axion's decision to use an outside engineering firm for the Second Generation electrode line was the first outcome of BMW following a similar protocol. Now that we're almost four years into the relationship I'm highly confident that BMW has already done its homework and is comfortable with Axion's ability to produce modest volumes of batteries with suitable quality.
    22 Mar 2013, 08:37 PM Reply Like
  • Kent, I'm not sure how that would work out for Axion or BMW.


    I think the terms of any agreement to service BMW would best be met by an acceptable battery supplier negotiating a deal with Axion to service BMW's initial and ultimate needs whenever they start. Could BMW share their needs and certain information with prospective battery suppliers? Sure it's a necessity. But it doesn't make sense to me for them to get in the middle of this activity. That makes this a BMW responsibility and really it needs to ultimately be a tier one battery supplier managed contract. BMW is best served by telling the market their needs and letting the suppliers figure out if it makes sense for them to partner and support the contract. BMW might try to steer their preferred supplier(s) to take a look but IMO not much more than that.
    22 Mar 2013, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • IINDelco,
    "BTW, It also depends on where the application will launch from. The Japanese typically launch in their own market and then the US because it's less risky. Yes it's also where most of their expertise is but it's also because Japan is more supportive of industry and less litigious when their are failures vs the US"


    This is something I've been wondering about for awhile. For a company like Toyota, it wouldn't be as difficult for them to adopt the PbC for various models in the US, assuming the PbC batteries would be coming from the New Castle plant, because most of their US inventory is made here in the US. So then the question becomes, does BMW have US plants, and for which models, which led me to the following from Wikipedia:


    The BMW US Manufacturing Company in Greer, South Carolina is BMW's only US production facility. It was built to serve the demand of BMW automobiles directly in the US. Due to the structure of BMW's production plan, however, the Spartanburg plant does not actually assemble all BMW vehicles sold in the US market; instead, the plant serves as the only X3 and X6 production site in the world. Hence, all models of these vehicles exported worldwide originate from BMW Spartanburg.


    BMW US Manufacturing Company, LLC Type Production Facility
    Industry Automotive
    Founded 1994
    Founder(s) BMW AG (Munich, Germany)
    Headquarters Greer, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States
    Area served Worldwide
    Key people Josef Kerscher (President)
    Products BMW X3, BMW X4, BMW X5, BMW X6
    Owner(s) BMW AG
    22 Mar 2013, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • Labtech, Most full line world suppliers of autos tend to build vehicles in or close to their major markets. Some of the regulations make it favorable to do so but there are also social and economic reasons to do this as well.


    I know it's been stressed that early product would come from the Axion carbon electrode plant but I don't see this as much a must. It's favorable for some time but not once the process is stable. This, of coarse, depends on technical staff support. I think the electrode plant wants to be in or very near to the battery plant.
    22 Mar 2013, 10:17 PM Reply Like
  • Regarding Axion inventories, I notice the substantial increase in inventory of finished goods in 2012 (as others have noted) plus a substantial decrease in inventory of work in process.


    ISTM, those inventory movements could be explained by two factors bearing on the contract manufacturing agreement and have little to nothing to do with PbC inventories. Those two factors are day of the week the calendar year ended on and imminent expiration of the battery manufacturing contract at end 2011 versus prior confirmation in 2012 of contract continuation well into 2013. December 31 fell on Saturday in 2011. In 2012, OTOH, year-end fell on Monday.
    22 Mar 2013, 10:22 PM Reply Like
  • D-Inv,
    I have read the comments about the finished inventories.
    First- I remind everyone that carbon sheeting is not yet proven to be storable. So let us not imagine a roomfull of carbon sheets just to prove our mew production process.


    Second: I have my doubts that lead acid flooded batteries are needed in such bulk that we have to store them. The contract seems to be a "give me what you can make now" kind of contract.


    Third: If I assume a few trucks or an OTR locomotive or a BMW fleet test or a PowerCube, these numbers seem quite relevant.


    I don't have to imagine a new undiscovered source. Just a continuation of the growth that is happening.
    22 Mar 2013, 10:37 PM Reply Like
  • Apart from your (valid ISTM) points Futurist, wouldn't "finished" goods by definition exclude carbon sheeting? Maybe there are specific rules which govern the definition, but at first blush I would tend to think it would have to mean completed batteries...
    22 Mar 2013, 11:17 PM Reply Like
  • Fut ... As 48' notes, carbon sheets are an intermediate input product, not a finished good. As to storing lead acid batteries, it would not be necessary to "store" lead acid batteries to see a temporary increase to finished product on hand at the end of the first day of a work week on contract with a full book of business for several months hence relative to finished product on hand on the last day of the work week in a calendar year in which a manufacturing contract was nearing expiration. (IIRC, the initial manufacturing contract ended ~mid-January 2012 and was not renewed until late February or March. )


    Whether one is talking about OTR locomotives, ePower trucks, BMW fleet tests or PowerCube sales, I don't see Axion assembling completed PbC batteries prior to receipt of signed contracts. Work with BMW and NSC has been ongoing for more than 3 years with progress toward substantial sales realized at a much slower pace than anticipated/hoped, quarter after quarter after quarter. Why would Axion assume things have changed and they can now reliably predict timing of purchase orders. PowerCube sales have developed similarly (nada to date as far as we know). Sales to ePower for their hybrid trucks only amount to 56 batteries per truck. We know that ePower had equipped only one truck with PbC batteries through January 2013.


    Assuming $463 per PbC battery, a $1.8 million inventory of finished product would consist of ~3,800 batteries, or somewhere near 2X estimated PbC sales for the year. I don't see Axion building PbC battery inventories in advance of signed purchase agreements, particularly in light of their experience with NSC's delay until end-2012 in asking for delivery of batteries ordered in April 2012.
    23 Mar 2013, 12:45 AM Reply Like
  • So just to recap, we don't think the 1.6 million of finished goods was/is PbCs because they wouldn't be made just to sit waiting to be sold.. and if they were indeed sold, that would imply an order or contract or something of which we should have become aware... so our logical conclusion is that if not PbC, and not carbon sheeting, and not electrodes, then the 1.6M finished goods could only have been flooded LA from the ongoing contract, yes?
    23 Mar 2013, 12:55 AM Reply Like
  • The total cost of goods sold was $3,039,558 in Q4. The average cost of goods sold was $1,699,826 per quarter in 2011 and $2,261,110 per quarter in 2012. I have no idea why Axion would need $1.7 million of finished goods on hand at December 31st, but it's a huge number compared to historic norms in the $300,000 range.
    23 Mar 2013, 05:27 AM Reply Like
  • maybe that's the 300% growth he mentioned, just coming a year late.
    23 Mar 2013, 06:13 AM Reply Like
  • I'd love to believe that a 500% increase in finished goods inventories presages a sustained 500% YoY revenue growth, but that strikes me as an unlikely scenario given the dearth of news to date. Under the circumstances I think it's more reasonable to assume that one or more significant sales were in the works at year end and we'll learn more when the time is right.
    23 Mar 2013, 06:31 AM Reply Like
  • i didn't mean yoy, but I did mean a sale. Maybe a nice one or two.
    23 Mar 2013, 07:07 AM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: I can't help but think of the hypocrisy when they push AGM out the door for s?s (typo left in place intentionally) knowing how the customers and dealers will be affected and then have this long, rigorous process in place for the suppliers.


    The Germans get high marks for engineering, certainly. Apparently not so high in other areas.


    23 Mar 2013, 08:19 AM Reply Like
  • 48: "... would have to mean completed batteries"


    Or electrodes ready to ship to ... ? Not likely unless some business processes are *much* further along than we have imagined to-date.


    I just don't want to get so focused that we exclude the "improbable".


    23 Mar 2013, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • HTL, It's also obvious they are trying to take advantage of the failure mode because they force you to go to the dealership to go through a long winded reset routine in the computer when you put a new battery in (Obviously they could have made this task easy for the consumer but then it would be free). I can understand why you need to do a reset but to sell a piece of %$#@, force you to come back to the dealership to pay their premium battery price for a replacement piece of %$#@ and then charge you for resetting the BMS to optimize the piece of %$#@. I mean, if the car starts who's going to do that?


    BTW, I blame this more on the European regulators. Just dumb to reward someone for such behavior.


    Then you have to love Exide for their "Out the door" warranty". Sorry, it's out the door. BTW, Have to check and see if the other majors are migrating in this direction.


    Yes, I'll take that one because it's got Stop?Start. I like suspense!


    PS I'm far more impressed with Japanese engineering than I am with German engineering as a whole.
    23 Mar 2013, 09:00 AM Reply Like
  • Pretty much, 48'. There is one other consideration that might have been in play. The manufacturing contractee supplies the raw materials for the batteries produced under contract. If the contractee's tax year ends on 12/31, that firm could have decided to simply defer receipt of the finished goods long enough to keep them off of inhouse inventory for tax purposes.


    Some part of the finished goods inventory might have been PbCs, but if so, someone at Axion made a judgment call as to whether they should stockpile 12v or 16v in very strong anticipation of an order that has not materialized (to our knowledge).
    23 Mar 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks D. As in all...clarity to come in time. ;)
    23 Mar 2013, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • ii,
    One consumer advantage to a "tail light warranty" is that the dealership would have to make sure your lights were working when you left. ;-)
    23 Mar 2013, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed, Yep! That's why they are upgrading to LED's for lamps. To make sure you don't stop.


    Just like with the AGM battery! :o))
    23 Mar 2013, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • JP,


    When would this seemingly significant sale be considered material? When it is placed (or when it is delivered)? Should we expect a PR soon or maybe a mention of it on the call Monday?


    Also is there a scenario where you see this as being flooded batteries - thus no new disclosure is needed since that contract is known? Someone postulated that it must be flooded because of the timing of the flooded contracts and/or fiscal year end issues.
    23 Mar 2013, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • Bazooooka: Something we've not touched upon is the possibility of "significant saleS".


    The inventory level *might* be an aggregate of several "irons in the fire" demand. Certainly several have been "heating" long enough that they are now hot enough to put the brand on the cattle.


    I'm thinking the most likely are the Asian auto, BMW fleet testing, NSC OTR loco, ... APU testing? Think ePower might have had such good results that one of their customers wants to test multiple trucks?


    I particularly like thinking of it this way because unless all those folks are doing "synchronized water ballet" their actions will not be coordinated and we'll see a "stream" of normal business activities develop over time, making us less dependent on a single customer during any given period and/or economic event.


    23 Mar 2013, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • Bazoooka
    Axion didn't count the NSC batteries until out the door in Dec-Jan?. Despite getting the paperwork in April.
    23 Mar 2013, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • The NSC sale would have been a December event that was booked as a sale when the batteries were shipped.
    23 Mar 2013, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • If multiple OEMs are starting to place order(s), albeit small individualy, that would indeed be best case. I can't allow myself to get that optimistic yet. However that would really be proof of the bull case for Axion.
    23 Mar 2013, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • I sometimes look at it from this vantage point. NSC, BMW and various other OEM's have spent a significant amount of money on Axion ( I think John has reminded us of this once or twice). We tend to think of ourselves and Axion's employees as the only stake holders in the company but in fact we have customers that have a lot of chips on the table in this game. Think of what we know to be some of the advantages of the technology we talk about all the time. Is BMW just funnin' it? Is E-Power going to be happy paying X.Y times more USD for alternate storage systems and Z USD to develop yet another solution? Does NSC want to move to their back-up plan at this stage of the game? Does Rosewater want to start at ground zero again for their first offering? How about top 5 Asian auto company whomever or GM if they still have interest?


    Heck, Is there anyone here that thinks Axion doesn't have something compelling based on huge companies that are taking trips to PA to support this piss ant? No this is not the Holy Grail in energy storage but it fills some pretty big holes at a competitive cost. And it's already over half tooled and we have proof that the balance can now be scaled to tool the other half.


    Axion isn't going anywhere so the only thing we should be speculating about is who, how much and when? The thing is basically commercialized at this point and it's proven. All the apps are not proven because there is protocol and they are tied into much bigger things but after what Axion, NSC, BMW, Penn State et al have put this hybrid thing through have no doubt the battery is proven. And the price of PbC? I can't speak for the other concerns but I can assure you the autos have let TG know directionally where price needs to end up and they know what Axion's scaled cost structure will be better than Axion does.


    Axion's not going anywhere. Some of us might leave depending on personal goals but we're all going to be able to take a look back and see how this turns out. And it's not going to be dust.
    23 Mar 2013, 05:04 PM Reply Like
  • Although we just learned of their existence the finished goods are almost 3 months old by now so hopefully we would be seeing a pr about them soon - since we all agree Axion wouldn't just build them for stockpile reasons.


    The 3 months old part, and no PR as of yet, makes me wonder if maybe it could be LAB batteries from our known contract =(.


    I'm suspect someone here can shoot that idea down though.
    23 Mar 2013, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: An excellent and, I believe, accurate summation.


    That says, in a nutshell that the valley of death has been crossed and we now should start to see "momentum" which will carry us "up slope".


    Our job, as always and unfortunately, is to be patient. :-((


    23 Mar 2013, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • Zoooks: That's one of my thoughts about the finished goods, is that some percentage of the finished goods could have been, say 3/4s of a truckload of LABs fabricated by the end of 2012. The rest were finished and then shipped in 2013 to East Penn.


    I hope I'm wrong.
    23 Mar 2013, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • JP,


    Was the NS announced in December because of accounting regulations or would those regulations not have kicked in until shipment?


    Also do you suspect something similar happening here with the finished goods (i.e. we'll know about the order customer well before shipment/revenues) or do you think this time we won't know until later (or ever if OEM secrecy is in play).


    Finally can you lay out a scenario where the goods may actually be flooded batteries. But even then I wonder why we wouldn't get a PR since it would seem to be a large increase in the traditional monthly pace. I ask for this last part because I like to keep myself tempered with all things Axion nowadays.
    23 Mar 2013, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • 20 cents felt like near "dust" but if that proves to be the all-time low then it's all wind at are back from here =)
    23 Mar 2013, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • With the thin margins on the LA batteries, that would be one large pile of batteries would it not? or would the cost of the furnished materials be included in the finished costs?
    23 Mar 2013, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • Wonderfully clear thinking there iindelco... I particularly value your (paraphrased) formulation that "the battery is proven, but the apps are not yet proven", which is consonant with my own thinking: How with the PbC being such a new and different animal with respect to its unique performance characteristics (both strengths and weaknesses) that the most suited and profitable applications not only needed to be found, in many senses they needed to be *grown* to take full advantage of what the PbC brings. That *growing* has sure taken a while... but as you well state, the PbC fills some pretty big holes out there, and while the need for something like the PbC has been around a long time, cash-paying PbC-ready "drop-in" applications weren't just sitting around all ready and waiting... So it's been a process to grow the two together. We do seem to be getting a lot nearer to the end of that process now though...
    23 Mar 2013, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • Tim: Since East Penn pays upfront(?) for the materials, I'm still unclear as to whether the materials go on the books when they arrive to Axion, or stay off the books all together while the batteries are built.


    I agree though, if the LAB materials do not go on the books, then we absolutely positively have something going on that could be exciting.
    23 Mar 2013, 05:53 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, Believe me. There are times here when I feel like the loudest buzzard looking to kill anything. "Frankenstein? Yeah, fire em' up so we can kill em'. And hang the dinner bell!" 8-{)
    48, Right on. In addition some of the applications we are working on are tied to very complex organizations and products. There has been discussion on this here in the past. So while we'd like to think that we are taking a contiguous path of steps from beginning to end in the customers testing and integration process this is just not the case. We might be in the Altoona yard sitting at priority G and we keep getting trumped by A and D priorities or those darn budgets. And at BMW. Well you have lab sharing where you have to block out time. Also you're perhaps going on a vehicle with 50 other new systems and you're the well groomed tail following the big dog systems. But you all have the same completion date because you all have to take the same steps near the end as a system cuz' your tied at the err hip. Ugh, Sigh!
    23 Mar 2013, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • I don't think the $1.7 million in finished goods is related to the flooded contract because there are only $581,503 in accounts payable and the A/P would be much higher if the batteries were related to the flooded contract. The way that deal works is the buyer sells inventory to Axion resulting in an account payable to the seller. When Axion builds the batteries and the buyer pays for them, Axion promptly pays the account payable. Since finished goods and A/P are way out of balance, the only possible conclusion is that it's mostly Axion proprietary inventory.


    I can't imagine that the batteries are still sitting on the warehouse floor in New Castle unless they were built in duff for a big order that hasn't arrived yet – or at least hasn't been announced yet. Something like the OTR locomotive would probably account for a big chunk of it and we've seen that NS is fond of hurry up and wait.


    That leaves the most likely candidate as a series of smaller orders that are not disclosure items individually but a big number in the aggregate.


    Frankly this is one of those questions where my imagination can run away with me on the possibilities. I just hope Tom adds some clarity on Monday.
    23 Mar 2013, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • Maya
    I'm pretty sure it never get's on our books as an expense. $0 in $0 out.
    Axion provides a service of putting them together
    23 Mar 2013, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • 48: What you posit fits in with an old saw that the new product defines the need. E.g. we didn't all need desktop PC's until they became available. Other examples abound.


    Takes time to grow a brand-new market. The PcB may be defining a brand-new (sub-)market that didn't exist before because the combinations of product capacities, scalability, cost ... didn't previously exist.


    23 Mar 2013, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • John: "Tom adds some clarity on Monday".


    Is he known for that? ;-))


    23 Mar 2013, 07:09 PM Reply Like
  • If somebody asks him a direct question he generally doesn't zig and zag any more than he has to under applicable NDAs. Unfortunately, we all know that I won't ask.
    23 Mar 2013, 07:21 PM Reply Like
  • 48,
    Completed batteries would include the carbon inside. But the carbon inside is soaked and sealed. I'm simply saying we probably do not have a huge quantity of carbon sheets lying around unused.
    23 Mar 2013, 07:50 PM Reply Like
  • Fut, Totally concur. Though I would hope some means of (sealed, or controlled humidity?) storage could be possible as it might aid in overall flexibility and tolerance of asynchronicity of the complete fabrication process...
    23 Mar 2013, 09:20 PM Reply Like
  • IINDelco,
    I totally agree. I think, in the long run, BMW would want the electrodes being made in a plant in Europe that was either near or directly in whatever major battery production plant they were getting the final PbC battery from. My point was more of a, if they were going to rely on the New Castle plant in the short term, it would be easier to ship them to their US auto plant for integration than putting them on a slow ship to Europe and worrying about all the shipping issues that brings up.
    23 Mar 2013, 09:41 PM Reply Like
  • Hi Lab Tech:


    ...I think, in the long run, BMW would want the electrodes being made in a plant in Europe that was either near or directly in whatever major battery production plant they were getting the final PbC battery from.


    I agree and for me is obvious. After so many years of work and much money invested, the minimum they would like is to produce their batteries in Germany with PbC electrodes from USA and assembled (Electrodes) in Germany.


    Good Night-Carlos
    23 Mar 2013, 09:49 PM Reply Like
  • "I don't think the $1.7 million in finished goods is related to the flooded contract because there are only $581,503 in accounts payable and the A/P would be much higher if the batteries were related to the flooded contract...That leaves the most likely candidate as a series of smaller orders that are not disclosure items individually but a big number in the aggregate."


    So John,
    Here's a question to ponder. If we assume $1.7 million in inventory would be about 3800 PbC batteries, then how many MWs would that equal? Just wondering because I'm still trying to figure out why TG put a very specific line in the 10-K saying that they had been asked to submit proposals on PowerCubes from 50kW up to 4 MW. I know I'm just dreaming, but I wonder how many PbC batteries it would take to get to 4 MW?
    23 Mar 2013, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • Dr. B. said 100 Amps discharge comfortably from a PbC... so at 12V, call it 1KW per battery? So 4MW? Gee, comes to....roughly 4000 batteries.. ;)


    Fixed it. (thanks LabTech)
    23 Mar 2013, 10:08 PM Reply Like
  • 48,
    I think you meant 4MW not 4GW. ;-)


    But yes, that's what my math came out to as well.
    23 Mar 2013, 10:17 PM Reply Like
  • The Rosewater spec sheet on the PowerCube says the 30HT is a 70 Ah battery with a 1C rating of 500 Wh. So if I was trying to estimate the total capacity I'd probably use ~2MW.


    LABs are traditionally rated for capacity at C/20, a 20 hour discharge period, so rating a PbC at 1C a punishes total energy capacity. On the other hand, it never overstates capacity which is important.
    24 Mar 2013, 07:01 AM Reply Like
  • John,
    Thanks for the correction. I know it is ridiculous to suggest that all that inventory is about to go to one large PowerCube sale that we've heard nothing about, but still, it's fun to dream. :-)
    24 Mar 2013, 07:30 AM Reply Like
  • As I said earlier, the $1.7 million is a big enough number to set my mind racing because it's pretty clear that at least $1.2 million is not flooded batteries. My favorite speculation is that there's an OTR build in that number and NS is just taking their time finalizing the order, but there's really no way to know until Axion says something. My favorite markets, in descending order of priority are:




    The reasons are pretty simple. Rail and trucking are low hanging fruit because you're dealing with end users and the economics are very clear. Automotive is a huge market but automakers are legendary when it comes grinding suppliers on price because their customers are so very price sensitive. Stationary has a ton of potential, but the customers are still years away from understanding their needs and their cost-benefit equations.


    I'm a naturally lazy sort and given the choice between being the go-to solution for a market and being a me-too solution, I want to focus on applications where my competitive advantage is strongest.
    24 Mar 2013, 07:47 AM Reply Like
  • John, I'd not been thinking as much about the possibility of there being an OTR locomotive in the immediate future because the NS999 is still not out and about. It seemed a little aggressive to be expecting a company to order a second unit at twice the size before they put the first mile on the first test bed.


    That being said, Then I thought about some of the past efforts and the possible considerations for the second order. There was a point in the past where I thought NSC might in fact launch the OTR unit before to NS999. The reason for this consideration was that because of the delays due to the initial failure of the NS999 with Odyssey LAB's, I thought they might want to put the OTR first to support their efforts with the Leader program with storage in the Crescent Corridor. This seemed a possibility because of impending government regs and the efforts NSC would need to get behind them to implement their plans.


    Well the NS999 still ended up first but there is the possibility that they will order the parts for the OTR locomotive in parallel with NS999 efforts due to scheduling needs. Couple this with all the testing they have done in the lab to test the PBC battery and the possibility becomes more real in my mind. Especially due to the testing point. And the press releases did state they are parallel programs so.......
    24 Mar 2013, 09:58 AM Reply Like
  • I just keep thinking about Tom's statements that the yard slug and the OTR unit were on parallel tracks. The fact that he's emphasized the parallel several times strikes me as important.


    The funny thing about the NS battery program is that one or two units will probably be dismissed as greenwash because their locomotive fleet is so huge.


    To impress the regulators that they're serious about battery power, I believe NS will need to build a "statistically valid sample" of yard and OTR units and test them throughout its system. With a fleet that includes 3,763 multi-purpose locomotives, 122 auxiliary locomotives and 110 switchers (Page K-9; I think "statistically valid" could be a much bigger number than most of us want to dream about.
    24 Mar 2013, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • :-) It will be interesting to learn what the finished inventories consisted of. When I look at the inventory data presented in the 10K, I see a slight difference between 2011 and 2012 in total inventories, $2.717m v. $2.839m. Much larger differences are apparent in "raw materials", work in progress", and "finished goods."


    Variation in accounts receivable is also pronounced -- $771.4K in 2012 versus $309.4K in 2011. I think it reasonable to assume $500k of the 2012 receivables reflects shipment of the NS999 P.O. at the very end of 2012. Applying the NS999 assumption suggests toll contract receivables at end 2012 were ~ $50k less than in 2011. If the amount billed to DOE on the $150K grant was not received before year end, toll contract receivables were likely ~$125K less at end-2012 then end-2011.


    "Finished goods" inventories were up $1.3M while "raw materials" and "work in process" were both down about $0.6M giving a net inventory increase of ~$0.12M.


    Somewhere in those "finished goods" inventories, though, one should find a net increase in C electrodes.
    24 Mar 2013, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • We're on the same page I think. Having all this testing done reduces my fear that you have to get a great feel for the performance of number one before you start number two. And then you remember the parallel comment and the gears start to mesh.
    24 Mar 2013, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • D-Inv> Until Axion actually starts selling electrode assemblies to another battery manufacturer that wants to make PbCs in its factory, they won't be classified as finished goods. They'll be work in process. For the foreseeable future, carbon sheets and even complete electrode assemblies are no different from cases and other components that Axion hasn't made into batteries yet.
    24 Mar 2013, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • Labtech, Agreed. Batteries are generally manufactured in the market they are to support as a rule of thumb. Costs too much to be shipping stuff from all over. May not seem that way when we see things like Chinese LAB's in the after market but as I indicated before the prices in the after market yield far more margin than OEM automotive.
    24 Mar 2013, 11:30 AM Reply Like
  • I would like to know the form factor (as in HT30?) of the finished goods <smile>...
    24 Mar 2013, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • Tim, wouldn't we all.


    All I have is the information on the applications they will be supporting. (Alarm clock sounds, information becomes invalid) inverted<smile>
    24 Mar 2013, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • JP: "I just keep thinking about Tom's statements that the yard slug and the OTR unit were on parallel tracks."


    I hope so. Otherwise, there will be a lot of derailments....


    24 Mar 2013, 03:22 PM Reply Like
  • "I hope so. Otherwise, there will be a lot of derailments..."


    Good one Rick! always thinking...
    24 Mar 2013, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • 10K, page 17 -- last paragraph on page


    "In May of 2012, we we awarded a $150,000 Phase I grant from the U.S. Department of Energy .... In December of 2012, Axion invoiced and received payment for $74,878 from this grant."
    24 Mar 2013, 07:02 PM Reply Like
  • While it was discussed in the last APC the finished goods inventory of $1,677,605 certainly deserves a conference call question.
    22 Mar 2013, 02:13 PM Reply Like
  • I think we've seen some on this future world stuff but it appears there are some data points here. A couple things we as Axionista's can appreciate. Good DCA is important and development takes a long long time.


    At first I thought the article was about Axion because of the header! ;))


    Unexpectedly Amazing Carbon-Based Energy Form

    22 Mar 2013, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: "Unexpectedly Amazing Carbon-Based Energy Form"


    Heh! I was expecting a picture of youngsters. My memory suggests they fulfilled the description's implications. :-))


    22 Mar 2013, 02:34 PM Reply Like
  • Good one HTL! In any parents eyes. ;)
    22 Mar 2013, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • If you were rating the 10k on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being we're delighted and excited, what rating would you give ?


    I was disappointed in the BMW news, as I had hoped that was done and dusted, however I just wanted to get any useful feedback available, as I may be overconcerned on this one issue.


    22 Mar 2013, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • 5
    22 Mar 2013, 05:17 PM Reply Like
  • Will be forgotten in a heartbeat if a significant strategic partnership is announced before 3/31!


    The lesson of the timing may be the one to file away for future reference.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • of the things I have looked for "ahead" of sales / orders or fleet testing, was this adding to production capacity....


    To me this is one step forward and may very well precede some good news. The inventory number now and the new Gen-II process and carbon sheeting could all add up to something very long overdue for us.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:54 PM Reply Like
  • If the finished goods inventory of $1.7 million were all PbCs, or after subtracting the "usual" inventory of $0.3M = $1.4M were all PbCs, how many batteries would that be? Does it give any insight to the buyer (assuming it is mostly a single buyer)?


    I like the idea that it may help indicate the new 'aligned' investor.
    22 Mar 2013, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • About 3,000 at Norfolk Southern prices. That's more than twice what would be needed in the OTR train and much more than BMW would need for fleet testing.
    22 Mar 2013, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • My biggest disappointment recently has been the lack of announcements about PC projects. Axion said they expected some of those by now. So the inventory build might be for that, too.
    22 Mar 2013, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • I did find it interesting/hopeful that they included text suggesting they have been asked to provide proposals for PowerCubes up to 4 MW. Seems like a number that they didn't just pull out of the air.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:33 PM Reply Like
  • Me, too, if you're referring to the 11/15/2012 earning release PR. Also that the PC projects are substantial from a geographic and financial standpoint, IIRC.


    I understand that things can and almost always do take longer than expected. Just hope those projects bare fruit sooner rather than later.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:52 PM Reply Like
  • JR; +6.


    22 Mar 2013, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • JR,
    I'm going to give it an 8. I think we know you don't announce financing in last year's annual report, so no marks off there. I just like all of the momentum, of course, I am one of those, 'half the glass is totally full' types.
    22 Mar 2013, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • something is up...


    ZBB up 4 cents today (>10%), 1.491 million shares traded
    22 Mar 2013, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • And I thought of swapping some AXPW for even more ZBB in the morning.... will wait for Monday... ZBB looks very promising in many respects.
    22 Mar 2013, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • Questions:


    1. This new "technology committee" and "licensing" I don't recall so much attention being given to that before ?


    2. Isn't this report for the end of 2012? as in Dec.30? If so anything that developed lately would be excluded.?


    3. I agree with JP, the financing is a done deal, maybe a few final figures to fill in is all. Releasing this report "early" is a bit standard. We expected it to be released today. Maybe before the mkt. open is significant, maybe not. I don't read much into that.
    4. $1.7 million inventory is interesting....I can't imagine there is not a place for it.


    He did reference "in alignment with our goals" more. net positive to me.
    22 Mar 2013, 04:07 PM Reply Like
  • ZBB..last trade .395 Interesting, on volume of >1.6 M
    22 Mar 2013, 04:18 PM Reply Like
  • LT, if Axion were to get the kind of financing ZBB secured, I think we would likely see some pretty similar price action as ZBB today. -- I've been surprised this past week ZBB hadn't done better after their strategic financing was announced.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • You can put me in the skeptic camp when it comes to ZBB's latest financing because those kinds of deals tend to turn a company into its own big ugly. The intermediary is not an investor. It wants to buy stock in 200,000 share blocks and flip them out into the market as quickly as possible for a trading profit. With cash coming in at the rate of ~$70,000 for each trigger pull, it would take a trigger pull every couple days to cover ZBB's quarterly nut. Over time that kind of sustained selling pressure can have a bad impact on the price.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:25 PM Reply Like
  • So John, their deal has no resale restrictions or delays built in? If that's the case, then in effect, ZBB is really just going to be selling shares to the market at large, correct?
    22 Mar 2013, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • That's the way this kind of "equity line" deal works. The company sells shares to the intermediary and the intermediary shovels them out into the market. It's a decent way to keep enough cash coming in to cover day to day expenses, but it really doesn't enable much more than a holding pattern because the amount of cash that comes in at any particular point in time isn't enough to do something important.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:58 PM Reply Like
  • It still appears to be much better than Axions financings... not to say that Axion can't break the tradition.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:58 PM Reply Like
  • I guess I need to read it again, but ZBB couldn't wait for a decent price to build and then put a big block to them when/if it wanted? (thereby making *the intermediary* then have to the quercus trickle for an extended period if they wanted to get their money back out?)
    22 Mar 2013, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • I don't read the contracts that way.
    22 Mar 2013, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • I think the ZBB arrrangement makes great sense if you are confident you have a stream of positive news likely to push the stock higher. Axion would seem to be an ideal candidate for such financing if our expectations are anywhere close to reality.


    Question: I would think there must be some re-sale restrictions in the ZBB financing arrangement to prevent an "intermediary" financing from being a simple way to evade SEC registration requirements.
    23 Mar 2013, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • Key word stream?


    Both ZBB and AXPW have had various pieces of seemingly really good news that either sent the stock down or did nothing.


    ZBB has come closer to a "stream" ... more promotional management. But also a management that has more consistently bought stock (not to say they were huge buys, just pretty consistently bought.)


    AXPW had sellers happy to see the good news as a big increase in volume to help them unload. Not so much now.


    ZBB does have some fairly big holders ... don't know if the management trusts them or not. Maybe they feel like they don't have much of a choice and they rolled the dice. USA economy keeps chugging along in spite of the many "headwinds" the shorts (or those left behind wanting to get back in) may spin.


    We remember those companies that bet big ... and won. History is littered with those that bet big and lost ... we just don't remember them as easily.
    23 Mar 2013, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • The banter about good news perversely creating bottom-fishing opportunities is fun, but if we don't believe that AXPW is depressed and undervalued, and that a stream of good news will eventually drive the stock much higher, what are we all doing here?
    23 Mar 2013, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • The most interesting component of the ZBB deal is that the principal from Aspire Capital that organized the deal is an adjunct comparative law professor at IIT where ZBB has a large demonstration that went online last summer. My hope and this is only conjecture is that Aspire decided to invest in ZBB b/c of the IIT connection rather than a straight financial investor connection that wants to pound stock back into the market.
    23 Mar 2013, 11:04 PM Reply Like
  • OT, but cool. (got hit with the popup ad on the linked graphene story, but...they got me.) VW wasn't the first to the hybrid party, but this looks like a real potential winner. I think the pure EV vendors are going to find out more and more that hybrids are going to be ever-faster moving targets...

    22 Mar 2013, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • 48,
    I'm waiting for the diesel/hybrid concept SUV that VW rolled out last year at the auto show. If it can get close to the hybrid Jetta numbers, and still sit 6 or 7, I believe it's going to be a real winner in the US market.
    22 Mar 2013, 09:56 PM Reply Like
  • Labtech, on the same site, they show a Toureg hybrid, but it only gets like 24mpg highway, though that's for a fairly robust 3.0L supercharged six cylinder which can also tow up to 7700lbs... Not sure if the diesel/hybrid you're speaking of is a Toureg or not... I didn't think they seated six, but could be wrong..
    22 Mar 2013, 11:19 PM Reply Like
  • 48,
    It's not the Toureg. Everyone I've talked to thinks the model was a bust. No, the one I'm talking about is something that they are supposed to be building on the Golf platform, but it is supposed to have three rows of seating. Basically, something to compete with a Toyota Highlander or the Mazda5.
    23 Mar 2013, 10:01 PM Reply Like
  • Going forward, perhaps the R&D aspect of the corporate cash burn rate "could" be far less than before, with the completion of the automated carbon sheeting process; which did not come as a blindside surprise to me, given back in the day I was harping about where and how carbon sheeting was a super secret bat cave? Wishing I would have jumped up and down a little more on my curiosity soap box, back then.


    A question for you battery nerds:


    I'm a little confused, and pardon me for my admitted lack of knowledge of the makings of the PbC, but are the electrode and the carbon sheeting two separate components? Or, is the carbon sheeting "wrapped" or extruded around the electrode? I have always regarded these as two separate components, as memory serves me that Rick Kravitz was holding the carbon sheeting, blackening his fingers, while we and other investors were watching the tawny-colored electrodes being fabricated on the robotic line.




    I'm elated about the carbon sheeting news, and now maybe understand a little better why, to my knowledge, none of the "dozens of proposals" have come to fruition, because maybe the PbC was not nearly as cost competitive as it "soon would be."


    With this...what I would like to know is if Axion sold those ~ $450 batteries to Norfolk, as this would be the "projected price" with automated carbon sheeting, or will the new price for a PbC be substantially lower because of vastly decreased labor costs.
    22 Mar 2013, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • ISTM, if the rest of the world is making AGMs at around the $150 price point, and as JP has surmised, the materials are a wash (less lead offset by some pricier carbon, etc) Then the large cost delta heretofore had to be from either much more labor inputs, or much more energy inputs, no? (although it occurs to me that low-yields for consistent finished product could also have contributed) Anyway, this continuous roll process sure sounds like a *major* step-change down WRT the labor inputs. Could be more of a game changer, to more parties, than we yet realize...
    22 Mar 2013, 04:55 PM Reply Like
  • 48: That's what I am hoping...that the labor input, which really wasn't before discussed to detail here in the APCs, has been dramatically dropped, and hence the inventory build up (now for sale, folks!) will represent new and much lower pricing points, and that some of those old proposals, including the possible delays with BMW, and other OEMs, PowerCubes and what not, will either be coming very soon, or will be revisited, all because quite possibly Axion wasn't able to sell the PbC as cheaply six months ago as it can now.


    In other words, maybe Axion wasn't driving hard to get signatures on contracts and generating POs, because Axion knew very soon that the price of the PbC will/would be dropping dramatically.


    Funny how I call you "48," when my next line of thinking may have me jumping up and down on my curiosity soap box about if Axion is doing research on a 48v PbC ;-)
    22 Mar 2013, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • The electrode assembly is a five layer lamination.


    The current collector core is made of copper and has a lead lug attached to the top edge. Each flat side of the current collector is glued to a sheet of grafoil, an acid resistant but electrically conductive corrosion barrier that protects the current collector. As the final step, sintered carbon sheets are glued to the two exposed surfaces of the grafoil sheets.


    If you think in terms of a sandwich, the carbon sheets are bread, the grafoil sheets are lettuce and the current collector is roast beef. The automated electrode line builds the electrode assembly sandwiches, glues everything together and then seals the edges to protect the current collector.


    Making the carbon sheeting is an entirely different manufacturing process that starts with an ultra-fine carbon powder and a binder material. It processes those raw materials into thick paste that gets rolled into a rigid sheet that's about the thickness of the cardboard back on a notebook.


    The carbon "bread slices" are an input component for the electrode fabrication line, as are the sheets of current collector and grafoil.


    Axion sold the batteries to NS in Q4. My back of the napkin calculations show flooded sales of $2.57 million, PbC sales of 0.52 million and a gross margin for the quarter of $49,650, or 2% of sales. Since the average gross margin for the last three quarters was closer to 10%, the numbers hint at a small loss on the NS order because the batteries were built with the old manufacturing process.


    While the battery buyer in me wants the PbC to be as cheap as possible, the battery manufacturer in me wants to keep the bulk of the first round of cost savings to boost my gross margin from 2% to about 30%. Once I'm earning a decent profit we can talk about shaving the price a bit.
    22 Mar 2013, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • Copy all John, but I gotta admit, the battery SELLER in me wants to have as price-competitive a product as possible to present to customers, albeit *with* a healthful margin...


    And my greatest love in the world right now is battery sales. ;)
    22 Mar 2013, 05:50 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, JP. So in thinking big, TG's mission, to eventually build out electrode lines and send electrodes all over the world, now uses two automated processes to make electrodes. For some time, that's been bugging me. Thanks for the clarification.




    Two nights ago, I used your...did you take a short bus to school? line on a pal, who I was debating with his notion that Louisville was going down in the first elimination game. He took a while to process that one!
    22 Mar 2013, 05:34 PM Reply Like
  • The most intriguing part of this week's carbon sheeting release was the last two sentences of the first paragraph.


    "Rather, an automated production system was the long established goal and this second generation continuous-roll carbon sheeting production line, when coupled with Axion's robotic negative electrode production line, completely automates the manufacturing process. It becomes scalable, with the capability of being replicated at the Company's New Castle facility or at any other facility throughout the world."


    I was particularly impressed with the last clause of the second sentence:


    "... or at any other facility throughout the world."
    22 Mar 2013, 06:00 PM Reply Like


    This kinda dovetails on the mpg increase question...tends to support both sides I'd say... also, noteworthy to see the application potential beginning to penetrate the popular consciousness...
    22 Mar 2013, 06:35 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks 86, another link with a little more info...

    22 Mar 2013, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • I have a question:


    In the event that the relationship AXION & BMW, not continuous: AXION was obligated to report the news in the 10-K?


    22 Mar 2013, 09:01 PM Reply Like
  • Carlos, I'm not sure this would be the case. Surely the Exide/Axion agreement was very important but there was no formal closure when the parties separated. It just slowly faded away. Unless I missed something.
    22 Mar 2013, 09:11 PM Reply Like
  • Although I am sitting on the sidelines I think the fully automated production is a game changer.
    22 Mar 2013, 09:04 PM Reply Like
  • IMO you're correct Bang. Taking a tedious, costly process with questionable quality control that is the heart of your product and automating it with a process that is verified to control the required cost/quality to scale is a very important achievement.


    You could see this in TG's delivery of the announcement.
    22 Mar 2013, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • In deed, Bang. I believe the fully automated production line and associated reduction in production costs will increase probabilities of Vani Dantam closing sales agreements.
    22 Mar 2013, 10:33 PM Reply Like
  • Bang, I agree... my greatest fear has been that the PbC could not be mass produced. That was great news for me. My second fear was financing and we shall see shortly on that...
    22 Mar 2013, 10:50 PM Reply Like
  • Tim:
    And it should quiet the discomfort with Vani that has been exhibited (in the past, mostly). When a guy doesn't have a product to sell ...


    23 Mar 2013, 08:37 AM Reply Like
  • It's an immense challenge when a company has to invent and perfect a new battery technology, and then invent and perfect the new equipment required to make products based on the technology.


    But that's also the foundation of Axion's IP fortress because making a knock-off product will require an interloper to go through the entire process from the ground up with both the battery and the manufacturing technology.


    Every other battery innovation we read about is basically a different coating that gets put on the same foils and assembled in the same manufacturing plants as current batteries.


    PbC electrode assemblies, in comparison, are highly sophisticated products in their own right and nobody on the planet has followed a similar development or commercialization path. They may be plug-and-play from the perspective of final battery assembly, but everything that precedes the electrode stacking machine is Axion proprietary.


    It makes me feel warm and fuzzy just knowing the patent count is 13 and climbing (up from 10 last year).
    23 Mar 2013, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • John, No more blow molded milk bottles ehh! That was a good story to share. A great life lesson.


    Applies here for contrast.
    23 Mar 2013, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • That would have been a great patent if it had been enforceable. I could have grown up a man of idle leisure instead of having to work for a living.
    23 Mar 2013, 10:22 AM Reply Like
  • John, No kiddin'. You could have brushed off Paris Hilton for being totally void of anything of real value. Yep, Monetarily as well! Jeez. ;))
    23 Mar 2013, 11:41 AM Reply Like
  • I agree also, of all the news so far including the 10-K this is very big, might be more important than the initial NS order last year although that was important for skeptics on the technology.


    It is an extremely tough call right now if you are looking to buy more. On the one hand you have a going concern expiring in about a month, on the other hand you have pretty significant reason to believe orders are about to be coming through considering the $1.7M in finished goods at year end and a fully mechanized production line able to be replicated anywhere in the world.
    23 Mar 2013, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • With the conference call starting at 11 am on Monday, the first couple hours of trading should be fascinating.

    23 Mar 2013, 12:04 PM Reply Like
  • Again, about the going concern expiring next month. It's just hard to imagine TG really cutting it that close...not without some really compelling reason. I mean why? Why let it get to 5 seconds to midnight? That can't be what's really going on. I mean it could be, but just seems unlikely. I can only conclude that having the fallback option of going back to last year's gang all but removes any doomsday possibility and thus enables him to pursue a strategic deal with a bit more FOA and without having so much of a gun to his head. That or else he's a real adrenaline junkie.


    Still, tend to believe he would have resolved this two months ago (the easy but less desirable way) if he didn't have some decent expectation that securing something much better was pretty near on the horizon...
    23 Mar 2013, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • >481086 ... The answer to what happens between now & the end of next month is really the only things that matters. Yet I don't expect any kind of definitive answer come Monday, but Axion has been here before and done OK. So rattle them bones, blow on them for luck and hope lady luck is sitting on your shoulder. Can't do business if you're not in business ... banks may be the only exception I know of and I think Axion is a better bet than ... say ... a Cypriot bank.
    23 Mar 2013, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • Doped up on hopium ... hoping for/expecting the best "strategic" outcome.


    But (don tin foil covered devil's advocate hat) as I recall, even last year's offering was not quite "fully subscribed."


    Can't recall whether it was last minute withdrawal (always dangerous :-) or something else.


    Anyway, while we all assume that there's no problem "going back to the well" as the fall-back plan, maybe it's not quite as simple as we like to believe ...
    23 Mar 2013, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • How long would info need to be public for a deal to be made above board?


    The carbon roll process has been public for three business days. The 10 K has been public for one business day.


    Monday will add a weekend to both times. Next Friday will make it four days beyond the CC, a week beyond the 10 K, and 9 days beyond the carbon process announcement.


    I like to hope for Monday, but in print next Friday looks like the most likely deal day, if there is one.
    23 Mar 2013, 02:09 PM Reply Like
  • 481086> Nothing expires next month, but unless Axion closes a financing before the end of April management will have to make some hard adjustments.


    If you want to see what "cutting it close" really looks like I'd suggest that you review the Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2009, a couple months before the big raise.



    Cash was under $800,000 and net working capital was $283,000.


    $2 million in cash and $4.8 million in working capital is a walk in the park in comparison.
    23 Mar 2013, 02:43 PM Reply Like
  • I don't suppose it matters related to the potential financing, but note that the (stock) market is closed this coming (Good) Friday the 29th:

    23 Mar 2013, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • Right John-- I was just using Jakurtz's phrasing, but should have put quotes around it.. And thankful of course that Axion's not on anywhere near as thin a lifeline at present as was the case in Fall 2009. I mean 30 April *sounds* scary, but like you point out, a little deeper look at things reveals a lot more cushion. That's what I meant by TG not cutting it close...not taking us anywhere near an actual edge--He just wouldn't let it get that far if he could help it, not without darn good reasons...


    In any case, I realize we're all just spelunking in the dark right now...and as DR says, the only answer that matters will come by the end of next month...
    23 Mar 2013, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • "$2 million in cash and $4.8 million in working capital is a walk in the park in comparison. "


    Not to mention $771k in accounts receivable with $~500k of those receivables almost certainly due from NSC for shipment of the NS999+ batteries at month end. And, if the bulk of that $1.7M finished goods inventory is FLAB as I suspect, much of that inventory became accounts receivable shortly after first of the year.
    23 Mar 2013, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • Something I hadn't noticed before. The APC series is number one for Instablog comments Seeking Alpha wide. What I did not know is that now every Instablog created on Seeking Alpha, when one scrolls to the bottom of the insta page, any Insta page, there is the APC, ranked #1.


    That'sa beautiful thing...on what is regarded by Barons as the number one social investing website on the planet.
    22 Mar 2013, 09:53 PM Reply Like
  • It's an old piece that probably deserves an update but this article-advertisement is the biggest reason I try publishing on other sites from time to time but devote my real effort and attention to SA.

    22 Mar 2013, 10:09 PM Reply Like
  • Maya: Are you sure it's comments? The reason I ask is I suspect it might be views because a couple weeks back I was # 78 (which surprised the crap outta me) and now I'm # 70. I *know* my stuff doesn't have enough comments to put me very far up, so I suspect it's something else.


    Is it more likely it's views? Or something else?


    23 Mar 2013, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • I suspect the metric is page views on the Instablog over the last 90 days because that's the metric they use for Contributors.
    23 Mar 2013, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • JP & HTL: You both are probably correct; besides, even though Instablogs are not monetized via advertising, they still generate revenues through page views, the number of views "in toto" I would love to see.
    23 Mar 2013, 04:00 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks John. If that's the case, it makes me feel my efforts are worth something. Not fishing here - folks have been kind enough in the past to reassure me when I had doubts.


    23 Mar 2013, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • HTL: You efforts are always appreciated by this Axionista.
    23 Mar 2013, 04:15 PM Reply Like
  • Maya: Doggone it, I wasn't fishing! But thanks.


    23 Mar 2013, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • Hey guys,
    At the top left of the page of instablog rankings it says.


    Top Instablogs
    Ranked by daily logged-in readers

    23 Mar 2013, 04:52 PM Reply Like
  • Froggey: Nothing like the obvious to make us look foolish, huh? :-))


    23 Mar 2013, 04:56 PM Reply Like
  • HTL
    Oh I just leave you to you're own devices to do that. :)


    I stepped in it pretty good myself just recently.
    I put expenses on the balance sheet in an argument
    23 Mar 2013, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • But your friends let it slide because they figured rabid EVangelicals wouldn't know the difference.
    23 Mar 2013, 07:04 PM Reply Like
  • because solar power.
    23 Mar 2013, 09:23 PM Reply Like
  • JP
    and stepped in to help as well.
    23 Mar 2013, 09:32 PM Reply Like
  • >Froggey I know the feeling. People say the world is not kind but I don't know how many times I have said something dumb and the whole world was kind enough to ignore me. :-)
    24 Mar 2013, 08:37 AM Reply Like
  • New Battery Made By Israel-Based Energy Startup Phinergy Can Power A Car For 1,000 Miles Further Than Typical Electric Cars

    22 Mar 2013, 11:06 PM Reply Like
  • Big difference from tripling the range of a Tesla class EV to tripling the range of a souped of golf cart. Call me skeptical there is such a huge improvement!
    23 Mar 2013, 03:01 AM Reply Like
  • "Our systems are mechanically reloaded, avoiding long charging time."
    makes me wonder whether their system is actually aluminum fuel cell.
    23 Mar 2013, 04:26 AM Reply Like
  • Aluminum air is technically a battery rather than a fuel cell, but it's a single discharge battery that has to be removed and recycled as opposed to being recharged.
    23 Mar 2013, 05:32 AM Reply Like
  • Almost done with that soda yet? We're running a can low to get to our destination!


    Hey, Was that a Tesla on the side of the road? Cool, I heard years ago that guy Jay Leno who used to be on NBC had one. Ba da dum.
    23 Mar 2013, 08:06 AM Reply Like
  • Morning Everyone!!


    BMW-M6: With PbC the next year?



    ...The powertrain for the new M6 (F12/F13) is quite a bit more civilized and fuel-efficient, as well as vastly more responsive and flexible. It even has a stop-start system and light-hybrid regenerative braking.


    Each day closer-Carlos
    23 Mar 2013, 07:49 AM Reply Like
  • Since I've already promised to buy the first production car with a PbC the new BMW M6 would be a good choice ;-)
    23 Mar 2013, 07:58 AM Reply Like
  • Carlos; Based on the time-lines discussed, is it *possible* for a PbC to be in that model? ISTM (it seems to me) that that parallel design and testing would have to be going on: one design assumes no PbC and another assumes PbC.


    Then if full automation of PbC manufacture comes, take option two - if not take option one.


    From all we've discussed, ISTM option 1 is most likely.


    23 Mar 2013, 08:44 AM Reply Like
  • Continuation of the recent theme.


    Battery cars may have their day in the sun, but right now they're not very 'green'

    23 Mar 2013, 08:08 AM Reply Like
  • I got a kick from the discussion of Peugeot's ultra-tiny EV concept called the BB1. Another classic in the making from the company that brought us the 2CV which is affectionately known in France as the deux chevaux, or two horses.

    23 Mar 2013, 08:23 AM Reply Like
  • Based on the smile, I'm guessing this vehicle represents the first time he spent time as a passenger in the back seat and HP wasn't a concern. Some of the cars we adore personally have nothing to do with being the best. Timing is everything.

    23 Mar 2013, 09:24 AM Reply Like
  • Perfect quote to end that article:


    "The electric car might be great in a couple of decades but as a way to tackle global warming now it does virtually nothing. The real challenge is to get green energy that is cheaper than fossil fuels. That requires heavy investment in green research and development. Spending instead on subsidizing electric cars is putting the cart before the horse, and an inconvenient and expensive cart at that."


    'Maybe in a couple decades' is about right.


    23 Mar 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • Mrs. BMW:


    Now You have two M6 sold to next year: One for John Petersen and the other one for Carlos. Please We need PbC battery, do not forget: PbC BATTERY


    23 Mar 2013, 08:11 AM Reply Like
  • (laughing)
    Thanks Carlos! Delightful.
    23 Mar 2013, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • Carlos: Count me in as another possible purchaser of a BMW M6. I've always liked the Euro model better than what comes to the USA.


    What great fun it would be to travel to Germany, buy one (with a stronger dollar), then drive it all the way to London, where I'll have it converted to an "Unlimited Edition Mi6." James Bond would be jealous, especially when I steal his girl, drive to a port, park it on board the QEII, and come back to the states with not one, but two lovelies!


    "The new Unlimited Edition Mi6, equipped to blow trucks off the highway."
    23 Mar 2013, 01:24 PM Reply Like
  • I was away from my computer until 7:00 PM yesterday. It took a while to catch up on all the posts.


    The two most exciting things to me are the finished goods inventory and the early reporting hinting at a financial partner on the near horizon.


    The financing would hopefully remove the main thing that has kept the pps down in the dumps.


    Regarding the large inventory of finished goods I have some thoughts:


    What we know a little about:
    If there were no significant delays, I believe that BMW was on schedule to need several hundred batteries for fleet testing. BMW also has a top 5 Asian partner that was going to accept BMW's initial testing and could also be in fleet testing. NSC plans to purchase batteries for an OTR locomotive. They also may have purchased extra batteries for OTR specific testing. A small amount of inventory could have been prepared for ePower. Since NSC has allowed Axion to announce purchase orders and deliveries of batteries, I think that BMW fleet testing is the most likely.


    What we don't know much about:
    Several PowerCube proposals have been requested, but as Sgt. Shultz would say, "I know nothing!" We know some progress has been made on the APU and S/S truck front. But we know very few details. Another OEM or two has been added, but are they truck or auto?


    Initially the report sounded disappointing, but with the early report hinting at financing almost secured and the high inventory of finished goods, I am sensing a more steady, calm excitement.
    23 Mar 2013, 09:07 AM Reply Like
  • I think we need an Axionistas' theme song. Seems quite appropriate in many respects.


    My proposal


    Lyrics available on the same page.


    23 Mar 2013, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • H.T.L: LOVE IT! Good choice... I'll be playin' it on Monday during the conference call!
    23 Mar 2013, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • (XIDE): For those following it ...
    March 22, 2013 "Exide Announces Strategic Partnership With Comab to Produce and Service Industrial Batteries for Brazil"



    23 Mar 2013, 10:33 AM Reply Like
  • Going with the flow ...


    Martin LaMonica March 22, 2013


    Startup EnerVault Rethinks Flow Battery Chemistry


    EnerVault later this year will test its first grid-scale flow battery that uses low-cost materials and proprietary pumping system.



    "has developed a new electrolyte pumping system to improve the efficiency of the charge and discharge cycle. It’s also using an iron chromium chemistry, materials that are one sixth the cost of the vanadium used in some flow batteries.




    It’s too early to project the actual cost and reliability of EnerVault’s battery but Adams says using low-cost electrolyte material and a low-pressure flow system is one way to compete with other technologies. “We started with readily available commodities—iron and chrome. Even if we were massively successful, we’d be using a very small potential piece of that supply,” he says"
    23 Mar 2013, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • The economics of multi-hour discharge are tough because you only get to cycle them once or twice a day. That makes the storage premium awfully high for anybody who has a choice.
    23 Mar 2013, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • Someone's always coming ...


    Ionova Technologies Announces Breakthrough In Ultracapacitor Value Proposition


    Zinc-Ion ZIP-Cap™ Leverages Existing Battery Facilities To Produce Power Storage With A Dramatic Improvement In Cost and Energy



    "ZIP-Cap™ is based on Ionova's unique metal/ion pseudo-capacitor™ architecture and 3-D Nanofilm™ technology developed under research programs with the U.S. Department of Energy, NASA and the Naval Research Lab. ZIP-Cap™ has demonstrated 50,000 charge cycles with a coulombic efficiency above 98% and without degradation of capacitance or resistance. ZIP-Cap™ is expected to provide 1 million charge cycles and withstand temperatures to –50°C. Ionova is actively pursuing opportunities for the ZIP-Cap™ and will present at the upcoming National Innovation Summit"


    Doesn't say much, and they're, as usual I suppose, out to cover all the major "opportunities" ... one pithy line at a time.
    23 Mar 2013, 12:57 PM Reply Like
  • Competition includes (not even talking about MXWL)


    Trio of ultracapacitor modules deliver high power and energy density benefits


    March 20, 2013



    "Ioxus has unveiled three new ultracapacitor modules that all claim to deliver higher power and energy densities than competitive products"


    Our Products Overview


    "Ioxus Inc., the only fully integrated ultracapacitor design and manufacturing facility in North America, brings the highest standards and most flexible problem-solving methods to power delivery solutions. Ioxus ultracapacitors use proprietary electrode designs to deliver the highest power density available. We are also one of the few companies in the world that offer a lithium-ion hybrid ultracapacitor that stores more than twice the energy of a standard ultracapacitor."
    23 Mar 2013, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • Yeah, "5 times energy density", compared to what?
    23 Mar 2013, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • Another trip to the electrical energy storage holy wall. The thousandth coming.

    23 Mar 2013, 01:33 PM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: interesting that the supplicants are "masked", eh?


    23 Mar 2013, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • "At December 31, 2012 the Company’s working capital was $4.8 million." ...... "Our business may not be able to continue as a going concern and we will need to raise additional capital to continue operations beyond April 30, 2013."


    This has been a little confusing for me. My understanding was Axion was going through about $2M per quarter. If there was $4.8 at the end of the year, wouldn't it mean they have a little more leaway than the end of April, perhaps the end of Q2, an additional two months or so? -- Thanks.
    23 Mar 2013, 01:07 PM Reply Like
  • I've been following this story as a pure amateur in energy technology. My expertise is in a business where the transactions are very personal and visceral (literally). My experience in healthcare has led me to be very interested in what motivates people and institutions. Lets look at the AXPW story from a human perspective;
    The company employs about 80 people (small business, to be sure).
    It's market value is about 30 million dollars at today's stock price.
    It has permission to issue another roughly 27 million dollars worth of shares. Based on it's cash and equivalents at the end of 2011 and 2012, if it had another year of production and costs exactly like 2012, it would need an additional 2-4 million dollars to run it's business in 2013. I'm sure the company anticipates capital costs to ramp up production scale when that big announcement occurs. perhaps that would require 10 million dollars, even if they plan to simply make electrodes and let a big battery maker do all the battery production.
    The CEO has been willing to be very silent on prospects for finding that next several million dollars; obviously looking for and courting strategic investors/partners.
    However, he has 113 million shares worth of owners already. If I can believe the speculations I read here, the "big investors" have all left the building. What remains are the stalwart individuals who believe in the story, not just traders looking for a quick turn-around profit.
    Why hasn't AXPW asked it's owners if they'd be willing to purchase more stock at todays prices? Would you be willing to add 10-20% to your position? We've been purchasing shares from one another over the last year, not from the company. How about issuing warrants to existing shareholders, that can't be excercised for 5 years, but assures us of a significant return on investment when converted into company stock? This technology will have either made the mainstream by then, or will be in the dustbin of history.
    Perhaps the company CEO has failed to acknowledge a large pool of potential capital in silent partners with whom he already has a significant relationship, and many of these partners are "true believers", willing to invest for the long haul. An additional 20 million shares to those who already own the stock would yield another 5 million or so, and perhaps if we were the individuals doing the "diluting", we wouldn't feel so threatened by the possibility of a big investor getting a sweet deal on discounted shares...
    In my business, relationships and trust are paramount. You must practice honest, full disclosure, before you deliver a work product inside someone's belly. Elsewhere in the world of business, there's a lot of secrecy and reading between the lines.
    I have a significant stake in this company's success. I'm sure the company executives haven't the faintest idea that I exist. However, I'm a steadier partner than those funds that sold out, relentlessly driving down the share price. Why doesn't Mr Granville ask me if I'm willing to pony up more, not just trading bets with others in the market over it's prospects, but voting with my pocketbook on an offer from the company itself?
    What motivates this company to approach the brink of insolvency with hardly a word to it's owners. It must be that they don't see existing stockholders as "stakeholders" in the future of the enterprise. Instead, they'd prefer to search the financial world for "strategic partners/investors, and pay them to participate, by offering a discounted stake in the company. What am I, chopped liver?
    23 Mar 2013, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • """ ... they don't see existing stockholders as "stakeholders" in the future of the enterprise."""


    Hi Nathan, thanks much for your thoughts. I've had some similar ones, especially as to whether we're regarded as stakeholders. As to Axion executives reaching out to us, which I think is a good idea, I'm not sure exactly how they would do that. Any ideas on that front? --- I would like to think prospects for finding an ideal strategic investor look so good at this time that it would make this all a moot point.


    """ ... if it had another year of production and costs exactly like 2012, it would need an additional 2-4 million dollars to run it's business in 2013."""


    I found your financial analysis to be especially helpful. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to indicate Axion may have a bit more flexibility meeting their financing needs than we may have thought, making it a possibility they may issue fewer shares than we had anticipated.
    23 Mar 2013, 02:47 PM Reply Like
  • Nathan,


    I think you have raised some excellent points. Why don't you take the lead and ask them directly to TG on Monday during the CC?


    23 Mar 2013, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • Offerings to current stockholders can be difficult and costly. Moreover, they usually don't work well because the percentage of existing holders who have ready cash and are willing to increase their investment is frequently small. I've had a couple clients try to follow that path over the years and they always gave up because of cost and logistical complexity.
    23 Mar 2013, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • John "offerings to current stockholders", does that include Rights issues? I see them from time to time and get allocated the Right and can then trade them or lapse them or exercise them, although maybe never by US-based companies (UK, AUS, CAD only perhaps). I'm not sure why there is talk of warrants here, is that a Rights issue in all but name? If not, is it not available in the US or is covered by your "difficult and costly" description?
    24 Mar 2013, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • Rights offerings can be conducted under US law, but they're complex and time consuming. They work best when the bulk of a company's stock is in the hands of a small number of strong players who are ready, willing and able to write new checks.


    If you look at Axion as an example, it has a ~$30 million market cap and needs to raise another $10 million. In an ideal rights offering, each stockholder would write a new check for 1/4 of his cumulative investment to keep his percentage ownership level. They'd also be able to close in 30 to 45 days.


    If a company has great control over its stockholder base and knows that 80% of them are ready, willing and able to write big checks on short notice, a rights offering can work. But even then you need to have somebody standing by in the wings to clean up the slop and make sure the company that needs $10 million doesn't end up with $3 or $4 million. Lining up a standby purchaser who is willing to buy any or all shares if the existing stockholders don't want them is also difficult and costly.


    I've had lots of discussions of rights offerings over the years, but I've never had a client take the risk once they understood how the system works.
    24 Mar 2013, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • thanks John, nevertheless (costs and complexity accepted) it would be nice if they could raise initially from a rights offer and the rest in a normal offering, but can't imagine that the company will see it as a worthwhile conciliatory gesture to us the long-suffering. Anyway, I'll email and see what they say.
    25 Mar 2013, 10:01 AM Reply Like
  • The problem with conciliatory gestures is that unsuccessful or marginally successful gestures are seen as a tremendous sign of market weakness. The standby group always beats you about the head and shoulders with "why should we pay up when your existing stockholders won't."
    25 Mar 2013, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • "why should we pay up..." but they would probably be offered it even cheaper, and there are more non-AXPW shareholders than there are shareholders to pitch it to. Not to mention that diversification requirements could prevent some from enlarging their positions, so not just a simple "no".


    Assuming that the whole PbC concept, as delivered by AXPW, is that much further along than at the last offering then it should be easy to get new shareholders involved - a strategic investment even.


    I'll see what the company say, not that they've ever replied to any of my questions or comments in the past.
    25 Mar 2013, 12:36 PM Reply Like
  • John, Noticed a few of your contacts were presenting. This would be an interesting paper for sure.


    Statistical Validation of a DCA Test
    Author: Eckhard Karden, Ford Forschungszentrum


    Batterietagung 2013

    23 Mar 2013, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • Nathan: I've wished for a long time that they would offer restricted warrants to existing shareholders for a while now. There must be a downside that folks like us aren't aware of that makes the other options more attractive.


    One that might come into play if they did offer warrants is that many of us might feel already "overweight" and/or be bereft of dry powder. If that is the case, the warrants might be a much less certain way of getting what's needed. There's also the question of "how much"? If the new amount needed just to keep the doors open or is there a big ramp near certain that requires a much larger amount?


    For me, I just will trust that TG & Co. are taking the best available path for now.


    P.S. Chopped liver makes a fine pate! ;-))
    23 Mar 2013, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • I believe the accreditation issues and rules about marketing to retail are in play here but I see no reason why an accredited investor can't approach Axion and then ask for 300k-1m shares or more. A few dozen of the well healed Axionistas here can own most of the next offering if we are to believe the positions that some of us already own can be duplicated.
    23 Mar 2013, 03:04 PM Reply Like
  • Bazooooka: If that were to occur, TG might get uncomfortable. Recall JP has touched on the issues learned in the past about having too few and too large stakeholders in the company. As a group, the Axionistas might become one of those "too large" that TG s/b wary about now.


    Today might seem like it wasn't a big risk, but what happens down the road if difficult choices must be made that, in aggregate, the group finds distasteful.


    Of course, that would be the same risk, I guess, if a warrant path to existing holders was possible and taken.


    Just thinking out load here,
    23 Mar 2013, 03:53 PM Reply Like
  • Warrants are the worst of all worlds for a public company HTL. They don't generate any cash, they give the holder a free ride of future stock appreciation and they make new investors scream "look at all that cheap stock overhang that's bound to come back and bite me if I pay up." The most impressive thing TG has done over the last four years is avoid issuing any more warrants.
    23 Mar 2013, 05:03 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks John. I was thinking only in the near-term how I as a current investor might view the benefits I receive from holding warrants.


    23 Mar 2013, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • JP,


    I agree; I dislike stocks where I have to start talking about fully diluted because the market cap changes by 50% if certain price levels are achieved. That just smells like selling pressure from afar and keep most away in the near term too.
    23 Mar 2013, 05:21 PM Reply Like
  • And the bulk of the ones that are out there now expire this June... though I'd love to see the price be high enough for them to be exercised...
    23 Mar 2013, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • I'd like to see the price high enough for Quercus to exercise the warrants and recover its prior losses.
    23 Mar 2013, 06:23 PM Reply Like
  • HTL: "Just thinking out load here,"


    Got an ear wax problem?
    23 Mar 2013, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • "Got an ear wax problem?"


    Nah! It's more an inverse expansion of the universe problem. Unlike the universe, which by constant expansion (apparently through the mechanism of "dark energy") has ever-increasing distances betwenn objects, my cranial cavity also has ever-increasing distance between objects (brain cells) through attrition.


    The echo when thinking there has become disruptive, and so ...


    EDIT: P.S. No wise cracks about sound not traveling in vacuums - I'm not that far gone yet! :-))
    23 Mar 2013, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • Good one HTL -- LOL :-))
    23 Mar 2013, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, I just figured it was a syntax or synapse error.


    Nah, Darn keyboard. Yeah that's it.


    With me I can't help it. It's in my blood. Type O. ;))
    23 Mar 2013, 06:43 PM Reply Like
  • "Type O. ;)) " LoL! Me too!


    23 Mar 2013, 07:26 PM Reply Like
  • I don't think this report on the Idaho National Lab conversion of the Honda HEV to the Ultrabattery was ever posted. I don't remember reviewing it.


    Just in case you're not preoccupied for a few hours during the balance of this weekend.


    Development and
    Testing of an
    Honda Civic Hybrid

    23 Mar 2013, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • ii,
    you could have highlighted the good parts for me. I'm kinda busy most of the time. But thanks for the easy read. I will put down my novel and read this instead. :-)
    23 Mar 2013, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • I'm waiting for the Readers Digest version.
    23 Mar 2013, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • Note the comments about the Ultrabattery in the HEV prototype testing concerning charge acceptance later in life. Also in the testing they had one fail but I didn't see any follow -up as they replaced it. The ALABC and Exide batteries with carbon additives were not even in the game.




    "In summary, the data suggest that the EPUB packs are at least a match for the FUB packs in both capacity and HEV performance. Also, the life-cycle data under-simulated HEV conditions suggest that the EPUB packs are capable of lasting the design life of modern HEVs. However, the fuel consumption of an UltraBattery-powered HEV may be higher than an equivalent NiMH vehicle at low temperatures and toward the end of vehicle life as a result of a reduction in charge acceptance of the UltraBattery. (Note that at present, the extent of any increase in fuel consumption is not known.) Finally, the high-carbon, lead-acid ALABC battery from the C3 Project requires further development before it is suitable for duty
    in vehicles such as the Honda Civic HEV. The converted 2010 MY Honda Civic HEV has been demonstrating highly satisfactory performance during its fleet test in Phoenix and Flagstaff, Arizona. All modules have been remaining healthy. Essentially, no battery pack capacity drop was observed after approximately 50,000 miles of driving. A comparable fuel economy was obtained by the retrofitted vehicle in comparison to the original 2006 MY Civic when driving under similar conditions."
    23 Mar 2013, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • ii,
    In all honesty this looks like a great vindication of carbon based negative electrodes vs. advanced lead acid. The ultrabattery held up well. I would love to see head to head with the PbC. But this tells me that GM is on the right track testing the PbC in its e-assist type vehicles.
    23 Mar 2013, 08:42 PM Reply Like
  • pansies.
    23 Mar 2013, 09:26 PM Reply Like
  • Low temperature performance appears to be a key performance parameter....intuitively, I would think this bodes well for PbC as the performance of the electrostatic portion, the carbon electrode half, would (I think) not be a strong function of temperature, certainly not to the extent galvanic reactions are...
    23 Mar 2013, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • Ed said that any lead battery can dish out the power well but only the PbC is fast to recharge over a large number of cycles, so I assume something about the testing was relatively easy on the UB.
    23 Mar 2013, 10:38 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist, I'd have to agree with your thoughts on the UB vs advanced LABs with carbon additives in the NAM. Then I start to thinking about what the heck was Exide doing when they handled the Axion relationship in the manner that they did. Talk about throwing away advantage in a product that has a possibility of broadening your product offerings nicely. And for what?


    GM becomes more of a possibility for me when I see their e-assist not gaining large acceptance in their lower end product offerings. GM seems to be avoiding SS with AGM in the US market but they have to be prepared to respond if there is a level of acceptance. (Back to my sales people want a full range of offerings thoughts.)
    24 Mar 2013, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • You guys need to forget about all the other "unimportant" things in your lives and dig in deep. Don't give me that "need sleep" excuse!
    24 Mar 2013, 10:11 AM Reply Like
  • ii,
    Please remember that Exide simply got greedy. The Exide mansion that sits on a little private island in the sound nearby, always gets my
    attention when I go fishing. I say to myself, "There is a monument to stupidity. They could have owned the PbC partnership, but instead they tried to steal it. Here they have a house ,by themselves on a tiny island. They could have been part of a community.
    24 Mar 2013, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • Just took a quick look at the 10K, and I don't recall seeing anything mentioned here yet about this sentence;


    "Since the end of 2012, two additional OEM’s have moved into programs with us."


    Certainly seems interesting to me that they mention an additional two OEM's that are interested since the end of 2012. I hope I can make the call on Monday to see if anything is mentioned.
    23 Mar 2013, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • Alsobirdman - it's mentioned back in the prior concentrator ... several times.


    Here, you snooze you lose! ;-))


    EDIT: I believe Wtb first brought it out and then several dissected it seven ways to Sunday.
    23 Mar 2013, 08:28 PM Reply Like
  • 03/22/2013: EOD stuff partially copied from instablog (up already).
    # Trds: 49, MinTrSz: 300, MaxTrSz: 20000, Vol 197489, AvTrSz: 4030
    Min. Pr: 0.2700, Max Pr: 0.2895, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.2813
    # Buys, Shares: 36 146459, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.2842
    # Sells, Shares: 12 41030, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.2711
    # Unkn, Shares: 1 10000, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.2800
    Buy:Sell 3.57:1 (74.2% “buys”), DlyShts 3700 (01.87%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 9.02%


    On the traditional TA front let us first put the obvious unwarranted bullish “dragonfly doji” candlestick to rest. Bulkowski notes it is followed by a bullish reversal 50% of the time. This means we must look to other factors to estimate “what's next”. That's not easy in the first place with this stock and is made more difficult with an unexpected earlier release of the quarterly results possibly affecting short-term behavior and a conference call on the agenda for Monday. The “prognostication” seems to be only available in the MACD and my experimental stuff ATM, both discussed below.


    We had lower high and low, again pushing the low through that descending, at 0.88%/day, line I'd been watching. On a positive note, our low did not continue to push my experimental 13-period lower Bollinger, $0.2684 and rising now. Recall that my memory says we tend to push it for six days, generally. An early break from that behavior may be a positive indicator. If we make a simple move to the mid-point of the Bollingers we would see ~$0.298 with today's readings. But the upper band is dropping fast now, so we should expect a lower mid-point even just a day out if we use the Bollinger bands to estimate a move.


    Most of the oscillators continued their recent behavior, not really doing much of note except for stochastic and momentum. These two reversed to strengthen a bit with both just below neutral at ~47 and ~96 respectively.


    $0.27 has proven to be relatively steady support thus far. Without help from the oscillators, we'll have to look elsewhere to take a stab at if it will continue to hold. One promising thing is the volume. Since the last bump up against, and rejection by, the rising support (now resistance) of the old former rising trading channel begun in November, the volume has declined, has risen as we first hit $0.27 and then begun to fall again. This is typical of nearing the end of churn, or consolidation. We've had a narrowing price spread only three days and it has not been substantial yet. Without the price spread narrowing substantially, I conclude that a move out of this range is more likely than not, near-term.


    Haven't looked at the MACD for a while – it's signal and average are trending down but the histogram is showing improvement. Last time I touched on this I noted that the low of that period hadn't gone below the prior low of the histogram and so the long-term uptrend DRich had noticed was likely still in play. Well, we've got that same situation again – since the histogram low in February the two subsequent lows have been consecutively slightly higher. So I would think that is still suggesting the long-term improvement is underway. It'll take some time for the signal line to cross it's average, but it's looking promising ATM.


    In the near-term, this supports what I'm seeing on one part of my experimental charts – I snuck (old school – now I guess it's “sneaked”) a peak. Anyway, first the parts that aren't supported by the MACD behavior ...


    The average trade size today is at what I think is the low end of “retail”. Daily short sales fell back into the range of absurdly low. The VWAP price continues to haltingly ratchet downwards, albeit it looks like it may have bottomed: $0.3161, $0.3062, $0.2945, $0.2913, $0.2907, $0.2833, $0.2780, $0.2835, $0.2819 and $0.2813.


    On the positive side ...


    The buy percentage, which I previously mentioned had been improving, moved into the absurdly high range. Although good, until we have some typical range long enough to move the averages back into normal areas, I'm somewhat suspicious this might just be a combination of the quarterly results release combined with folks seeing little further downside risk at these low price levels. Like me, they may be thinking it's unlikely to hit $0.2018 again and that $0.25 defines the downside risk. With appropriate stops, a reasonable quarterly report and a conference call coming, a gamble on really decent upside potential against a minimal downside potential might be just the ticket for many folks.


    This makes me leery that we might have seen some traders, rather than investors, entering the fray. Of course, investors want good prices too, so there's no way to know.


    The sellers started the day off typically, including the usual suspects plus ARCA, lowering the ask price consistently, AFAICT from my “snapshots”, to fight to be at the front of the sell line. This lasted into the lunch hour. This lead to a VWAP of $0.2775 and a buy:sell of 1.73:1 (63.4%) through 12:24. This is notable for the fact that buy:sell was positive – the sellers were NOT willy-nilly hitting the bids. Instead they were tussling with each other get to the front of the sell line because they could (apparently) see that the buyers would pony up a wee bit. After 12:24 the sellers changed their behavior and started frequently letting the asks rise and remain “elevated”. The results of this had no negative effect on the buyers, as seen in the ending buy:sell and VWAP combination – reasonably improved.


    That's a big change from some of the recent behavior where we typically see late-day weakness. Instead we got late-day strength, as far as ask-prices go and sellers not hitting the bid. The buyers also exhibited changed behavior - “bottom-feeding” was out of vogue today as buyers “stepped up” nicely.


    My original experimental inflection point calculations continue ... No! They have stopped exhibiting declining rate of weakening and switched to showing increasing strength in the bullish sentiment. Five of the six periods are in agreement, visually, and are supported by the numbers I look at for five-day changes and average change over five-days. Another day or two and we should have a signal confirmed if things don't deteriorate in the market.


    On the newer version, we are in the same situation – instead of reducing weakness, we are beginning to show increasing bullish sentiment.


    If I wasn't trying to be so conservative with these two experimental tools I would be calling an early signal now. This would definitely be a risky time to do so though.


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


    23 Mar 2013, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Sunday morning edition right this way... APC #221.

    24 Mar 2013, 08:44 AM Reply Like
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