Seeking Alpha

Axion Power Host's  Instablog

Axion Power Host
Send Message
Trying to learn stuff
Back To Axion Power Host's Instablog HomePage »

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

Comments (232)
Track new comments
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    II typically try to avoid being first, but I did want to repost a link to the Winter 2013 Edition of Batteries International Magazine that includes my regular column and a very nice 4 page focus article on Axion.

     

    http://bit.ly/1cQSwpV

     

    The cover story this month is "The New Heroes of Lead" and there's a wealth of information on the sector.
    18 Dec 2013, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    For those who are interested in such trivia, the total number of click throughs for the BI Winter 2013 edition currently stands at 156. The fascinating thing about that statistic is the implication that the number of lurkers is much larger than the number of active participants.
    19 Dec 2013, 08:52 AM Reply Like
  • raleigh731
    , contributor
    Comments (282) | Send Message
     
    Sounds like pent-up buying, possibly...waiting on a catalyst!
    19 Dec 2013, 09:08 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2511) | Send Message
     
    Jeez, 1st w/out even trying? Go MI, go MI, go MI...

     

    ...to second place. Drats. Good job, JP. Your post even had substance. 8^)
    18 Dec 2013, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • Amouna
    , contributor
    Comments (1455) | Send Message
     
    Three :)
    18 Dec 2013, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • brianfscott
    , contributor
    Comments (51) | Send Message
     
    JP; Thanks for the Batteries International post in your drop box . While mostly over my head, very encouraging nonetheless.
    18 Dec 2013, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • obieephyhm
    , contributor
    Comments (1566) | Send Message
     
    "missed it by *that* much . . ."
    18 Dec 2013, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • Articula
    , contributor
    Comments (245) | Send Message
     
    Speaking early on in the alliance
    with Axion, Audrey Zibelman, chief
    executive offi cer at Viridity, and a
    former chief operating offi cer at PJM,
    said a 1MW PowerCube, if fully
    utilized, could achieve a projected
    revenue of between $160,000 to
    $240,000 annually.

     

    Have we seen that info before?
    18 Dec 2013, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (749) | Send Message
     
    Does make you wonder why more are not doing it. Almost like buying bonds. ;)
    18 Dec 2013, 08:05 PM Reply Like
  • Al Marshall
    , contributor
    Comments (498) | Send Message
     
    Articula: Yes we have. That number looks pretty good especially when you take into account that the PowerCube can multi-task by also providing backup power for its owner when needed.

     

    I wonder if the recent PowerCube sale sheds a little more light on that number though. If, at $320k it was 500Kw for frequency regulation (per D-inv conversation with Vani Dantam) then we could assume the battery portion of the PJM referenced PowerCube could be acquired for $640k plus the power electronics. Can any of the engineers estimate that cost for us?
    18 Dec 2013, 05:58 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2555) | Send Message
     
    Has anyone that has looked at the proposed remuneration numbers for frequency regulation figured how Mrs. Zibelman calculated those numbers?
    18 Dec 2013, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    APM, I have to wonder how you can be discharging the battery to support some utility need and be assured at a high confidence level that you have back-up power for mission critical events. Now, if you want to oversize the storage battery since the lions share of the UPS is electronics etc. then it makes sense.

     

    Also, when we look at the numbers concerning income generated we need to understand the level is not assured as there will be variables that will make certain times less fruitful. Also what's a company like Viridity getting for service charges?
    18 Dec 2013, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (3926) | Send Message
     
    We have seen the Zibelman statement before, but it may have preceded PJM final rule making re-compensation rates for small FR services. At one point, TG, et al were talking about FR compensation rates of 3X base power supply rates while rule eventually adopted paid as much as 2X.
    18 Dec 2013, 11:43 PM Reply Like
  • Al Marshall
    , contributor
    Comments (498) | Send Message
     
    iindelco: My understanding from previous discussions is that most of the frequency regulation is for relatively small amounts of power. In a backup power situation one would probably use virtually all the power. I think this has been discussed on this board before and JP has also talked about generating multiple revenue streams.
    19 Dec 2013, 12:11 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    APM, Thanks. I do remember the discussions on multiple revenue streams and have read a few articles on the topic. Don't recall the discussion on the amount of energy used in frequency reg. though.
    19 Dec 2013, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Cold weather hurts electric cars’ range. New data shows exactly how much

     

    http://bit.ly/JJhPA3
    18 Dec 2013, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • RuggedDC
    , contributor
    Comments (180) | Send Message
     
    Regarding the recent $320,000 PowerCube sale --

     

    The Batteries International article states that the order was for 600 batteries, a number which I think had remained uncertain in this blog's discussions.

     

    I also found new and intriguing TG's quote in the article regarding this transaction that "We have also been working toward a strategic relationship with both the developer and the end user of this initial solar system."

     

    Finally, I now have doubts about whether this particular system involves the Caribbean. References to this order are always seeming to tie the system to a "building".
    18 Dec 2013, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • myhershey
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    maybe this end user is a mall developer or some big commercial/residential developer.
    18 Dec 2013, 09:15 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1781) | Send Message
     
    RuggedDC,
    "Finally, I now have doubts about whether this particular system involves the Caribbean. References to this order are always seeming to tie the system to a "building"

     

    I'd have to go back and reread the transcript from the last CC, but I think TG made statements to suggest that the sale was within the continental USA, or at least in North America.
    18 Dec 2013, 10:35 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (3926) | Send Message
     
    AND TG stated clearly in the last CC that the sale was 600 PbC batteries. It may be worth noting that the 300kWh solar system is somewhat larger than Axion's NewCastle PowerCube which is/was rated at 500kW/250kWh.
    18 Dec 2013, 11:48 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    The old Rosewater spec sheet on the PowerCube was 560 batteries for a 500kw/250kWh system.
    19 Dec 2013, 05:58 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    D-inv. I don't think the PowerCube at Axion's site was ever fully commissioned. They were using it for other purposes along with their trials with PJM/Viridity.
    19 Dec 2013, 09:19 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >iindelco ... I believe you're correct. As I remember Mayascribe's notes from his tour, the on-site PowerCube was not fully built-out so as to provide room for customer inspection, is being used as an application test facility, is a behind the meter resource for the manufacturing plant (peak shaving or power conditioning ... which I don't know) and a beta test site for Viridity's frequency response software.

     

    A busy place but not the commercial product per se.
    19 Dec 2013, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2791) | Send Message
     
    LabTech
    "I'd have to go back and reread the transcript from the last CC, but I think TG made statements to suggest that the sale was within the continental USA, or at least in North America. "

     

    North America is my recollection. Someone found a potential project. A sign in Las Vegas as I recall.
    However I can't find the quote.
    19 Dec 2013, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    The speculation du jour was that the batteries were for an Envision Solar project to electrify the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign.

     

    http://bit.ly/1frxDRJ
    20 Dec 2013, 07:28 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    EOD blog for Tue. 12/17 up at last for those that follow. Chart is through Wed 12/18. Entry for 12/18 sometime tomorrow.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    HardToLove
    18 Dec 2013, 09:18 PM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (816) | Send Message
     
    Interesting Crazy story on another small battery company, Envia.

     

    http://bit.ly/19f2EKl

     

    Iindelco- how could GM have signed a PO and not vetted some of the stuff in the article?

     

    Does this make other automakers more gunshy about dealing with AXPW?
    19 Dec 2013, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Mr. Holty, I thought about this a little bit and while it's pretty embarrassing I could see how it could happen. After all there is no way GM could have tracked all of this down. Sometimes risks are taken and many times they yield little or no fruit.

     

    I think this has no bearing on the Axion story but the words concerning large automotive dealing with micro cap start-ups rings true.That is why I've been saying Axion needs a tier one to take the reigns for automotive. It's how the autos are structured to manage risk.
    19 Dec 2013, 10:03 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    The biggest thing Axion has going for it compared to other micro-caps is a decade long track record with the PbC that started with a laboratory prototype and resulted in a product with extraordinary cycle-life and charge acceptance. So at this point there's little or no risk that the PbC is a flakey flash in the pan as opposed to a real technical advance.
    19 Dec 2013, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    The question is, does TG now understand that tier ones will run the show? Has he perhaps overvalued his position and hence no deal has been made?

     

    Maybe he's always understood this. I know he's an experienced negotiator, but I don't recall how much if any was in the auto biz.

     

    And of course he's looking for multiple tier 1 deals, right?

     

    Wonder whether Vani, or anyone else on the board challenges him, or whether he's surrounded (as most CEOs are) by "yes men."

     

    Hard question: is it better to swallow a less profitable deal with somebody BIG just to sell other biggies that we're long term viable?
    19 Dec 2013, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1505) | Send Message
     
    mrholty,
    I recall JP exposing some of their shenanigans. Some of the comments on JP's piece are interesting considering what has transpired.
    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    JP, you must get tired of being accused of not being able to identify sound progress in technology.
    19 Dec 2013, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    WTB, If an auto concern wants PbC they will make it happen. I would expect all parties already know directionally where they need to get to. There should be no surprises at this stage of the game.

     

    But competitive technologies are moving targets as well.
    19 Dec 2013, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    MrHolty: This fascinated me for a moment as I wondered how anybody would be able to trust after all that.

     

    "But earlier this year it won a $3 million Department of Energy grant. Along with Stanford University and UC Berkeley, it will develop a new battery with a silicon-carbon anode".

     

    HardToLove
    19 Dec 2013, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1781) | Send Message
     
    It does make you wonder if one of the reasons why GM didn't pursue the PbC more for start-stop was that they were more focused on the EV market, and beating Tesla to an economical, 200 mile/charge car, than they were on start-stop.
    19 Dec 2013, 01:45 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Someone here is following electric taxiing for commercial aircraft.

     

    Airbus signs MoU with EGTS for electric taxiing solution for A320 family; projected fuel saving up to 4% per trip

     

    http://bit.ly/19f35Ek
    19 Dec 2013, 09:30 AM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2791) | Send Message
     
    Yup. If they can pull it off it will hurt WheelTug for sure.

     

    Pulling it off is not a sure thing by far, but it certainly could be bad.
    OTOH
    Perhaps the are more open to the idea now and will sign with WheelTug as well, or Boeing will go the other way.
    Not to mention no airline has signed with them and WT has 7.
    But with out big news soon, I would say big bad news for WT.
    19 Dec 2013, 10:33 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    Speaking of Tier 1, where do we place XIDE at this moment?

     

    http://yhoo.it/1km77Nt

     

    Note the Q on the end of the symbol.

     

    Market Cap: 16.61M

     

    Did they get any mention in the Winter 2013 Edition of Batteries International Magazine?

     

    We've "spilled a lot of ink" on Tesla on this blog but XIDE ... not so much.

     

    Does AXPW stay away from them, or do they chuckle, hold their nose, and take advantage of the situation?
    19 Dec 2013, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >wtblanchard ... I still follow Exide Technologies (OTCQB:XIDEQ). To-date they have not even filed a reorganization plan in the Federal Bankruptcy Court. It might happen sometime around June. The biggest victory for Exide has been being declared Debtor in Possession so they are the captains of their own destiny ... for now. No liquidation or outside executor. However this works out the common shares outstanding should be wiped out when the filing is executed. Makes a person wonder why the exchanges allow shares to trade.

     

    Exide's biggest fight at the moment is over their recycling plants. The hearings for the one that was temporarily shutdown in Calf. started yesterday. Others are under pressure.

     

    I think Exide will be back sometime in 2015 or 2016. Until then the business will limp along with Enersys & JCI taking big chunks of market share as well as smaller companies. Can't begin to guess what Exide will look like when it comes out of bankruptcy but I'm fairly sure they will.
    19 Dec 2013, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    >DRich ... do you follow their bonds? Isn't that where the money gets made in this situations (if you know what you're doing, and you get lucky?)

     

    Wonder which will turn out to be the better investment over a 3 year period ... AXPW, or a well chosen XIDE bond!
    19 Dec 2013, 11:10 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >wtblanchard ... Bonds like this baffle me so I stay away. All those different tiers & classes hurt my head. No way to tell if or when the payout is in my favor.

     

    Which would be better, Axion common or Exide current issue bonds? That is a tough problem to ponder. Three years out, I'm hoping it is Axion but on a corporate performance basis, at the moment, it would be Exide. Exide still has a comfortable & sustainable cashflow from sales of product. Can anyone tell me if or when Axion will develop cashflow ... sustainable or not?
    19 Dec 2013, 11:27 AM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1781) | Send Message
     
    WTB,
    You also have to remember that Exide's BK and reorganization only covers its North American branch. Its European branches are still running normally, as if nothing has changed with the company. But DRich is right, until they come out of BK, I don't think Axion should go anywhere near them, even if I do want them to be making PbC batteries on the AGM lines we were promised in the DOE grant.
    As for the stock market, I've never understood why the stocks of companies in BK are allowed to keep trading. I watched A123 being bought and sold for 6 months after it filed for BK and for months still after the sale and SEC filing saying the current shareholders were going to get nothing. You still had people posting that someone else was going to step in, and buy out the company, and that the shareholders were going to get something. There were days when the stock went from $0.03 to $0.10 and then back down with millions of shares being bought and sold. Somebody was making money on fools who kept believing that someone knew something that they didn't know, and so it was worth it to invest at that low of a price and see what happened. It was all just a big game of musical chairs where you had to hope you weren't the one holding the stock when the music stopped.
    19 Dec 2013, 01:41 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    LabTech, I think one reason they allow the shares to keep trading is because the shorts have to get shares at some price to cover their short position. If you stop trading you can't cover. So the shares still have some value and the market a function to match up the two parties.
    19 Dec 2013, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1781) | Send Message
     
    IINDelco,
    Yes, probably true. But then again, I don't believe that shorting a stock should be allowed either, but that's another argument for a different time.
    19 Dec 2013, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • froggey77
    , contributor
    Comments (2791) | Send Message
     
    I looked into AONE.
    The company stock was ended when all the books were done.
    They had one employee who was the CEO he was also a CPA who closed the books. Then the stock was ended. If he had needed more time it would have been extended.

     

    GM continued trading for 6 months or more IIRC. (Bouncing from 3-6 cents or so.)

     

    BTW my local independent mechanic has switched from the brand he use to sell, (generic) to Exide as of a week or so ago.
    No I didn't get into it with him.
    I had a dieing battery 2.5 years old. Unfortunately it was the alternator malfunctioning and overcharging the battery.
    19 Dec 2013, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Froggey, I'm trying to figure out how an alternator has a failure mode that overcharges a battery?
    19 Dec 2013, 11:23 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >iindelco ... Ah shucks. That is not too hard. Most alternators I've had over the past 20 years have the regulator built in and I've had them fail open & doesn't cut-out. Bye-bye battery. It does take some time and if you're paying attention it can be caught
    19 Dec 2013, 11:58 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13440) | Send Message
     
    Alternator problems are one of the more difficult problems to diagnose (other than the most obvious and common faults). For years folks were replacing expensive and hard to access sensors because the diagnostics were indicating failures which were not present, while missing the true culprit (a dying alternator). Some owners were charged for repeated replacement of perfectly fine sensors by mechanics incapable of disobeying the diagnostic code gods who were "never wrong".
    20 Dec 2013, 07:47 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    DRich, I was wondering if the diode bridge was in the alternator and what the implications of a failure would be as I typed it. In Rochester NY I rarely mechanically wear out my cars and thus have not had this happen. Due to lower drive miles and salt in the winter my vehicles have generally rotted out first. An ugly ending.
    20 Dec 2013, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13440) | Send Message
     
    Diodes were indeed implicated in the troubles on some Fords. As they failed (slowly) the false readings about failing sensors occurred.
    20 Dec 2013, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (816) | Send Message
     
    How could AXPW take advantage of them. They are not liquidating and selling plants. Even if they were AXPW has not enough cash or really a need to buy a factory.
    19 Dec 2013, 10:43 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    I didn't mean buy plants, I meant take advantage in a negotiation.

     

    Assuming of course that GM, etc. still considers XIDEQ a tier 1 supplier!
    19 Dec 2013, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    The auto industry will be as supportive as they can be of Exides reorganization. They will wish for Exide to emerge as a stronger player.
    19 Dec 2013, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    I know there has been talk of LNG & CNG being used for transportation fuel both here and in the media at large. I don't believe it will happen in any large measure beyond the fixed routes uses of today (buses, delivery and some taxi) because I think other uses will out bid it. If the rest of the world does finds shale gas like the United States has then there will be a surplus available for more mainstream transportation. Here is a link to what I think to be the likely use of a surplus of NatGas in the future. Conversion to liquid diesel & propane.

     

    http://bit.ly/1cdVKVK
    19 Dec 2013, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    Ah, Fischer-Tropsch ... how much money has been lost on that? Could it rival the battery biz in that respect?

     

    from 2006:

     

    SYNM) and Rentech (http://bit.ly/10UdZcd) are two smaller companies playing in the coal-to-liquid sector, but we don’t believe their management teams stack up to the quality and depth of experience found at Sasol. Their stock prices have taken a beating in the past year, but either company’s stock could explode upwards on any significant news, technological advancements or new contracts"

     

    ======================...

     

    Has somebody finally figured it out, or is this just one more shearing of investors?
    19 Dec 2013, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >wtblanchard ... While the natural resource exists in relative abundance it makes no sense. Turning coal into liquid is a last resort in any economic scenario. It does make more economic sense to do than trying to do LNG or H2 for something like general transportation because of lower capital & handling costs unless your just hell bent on building a completely new infrastructure system. Storing a cryogenic fluid or cracking a gas into low energy density materials that are hard to store and nearly impossible to transport economically for transport applications makes turning NatGas into ambient temperature liquid nearly sensible.
    19 Dec 2013, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (3926) | Send Message
     
    GTL appears a bit different than CTL.

     

    Shell has the largest G-T-L plant in the world. http://bit.ly/1cemHbW

     

    <
    The gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant, a joint development by Qatar Petroleum and Shell, provides nearly 8% of Shell’s production worldwide — making it the company’s key projects. It has a capacity of 260,000 barrels of GTL products and natural gas liquids per day.

     

    The plant produces cleaner-burning diesel and aviation fuel, oils for advanced lubricants, naphtha used to make plastics and paraffin for detergents. It makes enough diesel to fill over 160,000 cars a day and enough synthetic oil each year to make lubricants for more than 225 million cars. The products reach customers in every major energy market through Shell’s global retail network.
    <

     

    Shell recently concluded a two year evaluation of proposed GTL plants in Louisiana and/or Texas and decided not to proceed with GTL in the US. Velocys appears to target smaller scale projects. The Velocys technology may (or may not) prove viable for exploitation of 'orphan' or "islanded" methane reserves.
    19 Dec 2013, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13440) | Send Message
     
    Here, here, DR. Here, here.
    19 Dec 2013, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (3926) | Send Message
     
    Velocys PLC trades on the London exchange.
    19 Dec 2013, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    An area where Axion excels. Out of necessity of course.

     

    The question remains, Will they ever be rewarded for it?

     

    GS Yuasa Says Suppliers Must Be More Active

     

    http://bit.ly/1cCVTx2
    19 Dec 2013, 12:24 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1781) | Send Message
     
    IINDelco,

     

    Yoda, "difficult to see. Always in motion is the future." "Need we to find someone else to blame so our battery company into darkness and bankruptcy over this we go not."

     

    "Neither GS Yuasa nor Boeing have identified the cause of the problems. The US National Transportation Safety Board is likely to compile a final report on the issue by around next autumn, Yoda said. Future aircraft use of the batteries, he said, would depend heavily on Airbus, which in February opted for nickel-cadmium batteries in its A350 passenger jet over lithium-ion batteries."
    19 Dec 2013, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    LabTech, lol. Very good.

     

    I bet they are all feeling the force!
    19 Dec 2013, 02:08 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (749) | Send Message
     
    Where the money goes so there is little remaining for others.
    http://aol.it/1jmpIec
    19 Dec 2013, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2511) | Send Message
     
    As we near the 10 cent low again, I wonder if we're seeing the YE tax selling that some thought we'd see, or if it's just the usual PIPEr selling when there's no news?
    19 Dec 2013, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13440) | Send Message
     
    Both. PIPErs preparing for the penalty phase?
    19 Dec 2013, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Mr. I, It's in hand if they want it.

     

    http://bit.ly/1ceqy90

     

    Some thought TG took this s%$t deal because he had something close at hand that would make it stink less. I fear this was not the case.
    19 Dec 2013, 02:24 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >iindelco ... Bouncy, Bouncy
    19 Dec 2013, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • Amouna
    , contributor
    Comments (1455) | Send Message
     
    iindelco,

     

    I am afraid the guy really blew it, and didn't grasp the full extent of the deal he was getting us into! And thinking he awarded himself a bonus!!!!!

     

    argghhhhhhhh that makes me go nuts! The pipers are definitely giving him a run for the money...
    19 Dec 2013, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    DRich, I think someone pulled his blue die springs and slipped in some red ones. ;-D

     

    http://bit.ly/1erkBXX
    19 Dec 2013, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2511) | Send Message
     
    There's a question I've been wanting to ask about the Control Accts but it didn't matter enough to me until now: why, as of Sept 30, had only $500k of that money been released? I would have thought that 3 x $500 = $1.5mil instead. Sure hope they don't have to tap into cash for a 25% penalty to the PIPErs, but if they have a lot more than $1 mil of unrestricted cash (which is all they had as of 9/30) that would help a lot.

     

    From the 9/30/13 10-Q:

     

    "The $6,000,000 balance of the gross proceeds from the sale of Senior Notes was deposited into a series of control accounts in the Company’s name. Withdrawals from the control accounts are permitted (i) in connection with certain conversions of the Senior Notes or (ii) otherwise, as follows: $500,000 on each 30 day anniversary of the closing date (May 8, 2013) commencing on the 60th day after the closing date until there are no more funds in the control accounts. The Senior Notes and Senior Warrants and the Subordinated Notes and Subordinated Warrants described below were issued in transactions exempt from registration under Section 4(2) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. As of September 30, 2013, we have received one $500,000 funds release and an additional $75,000 due to accelerated note conversions by two investors."
    19 Dec 2013, 03:22 PM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (816) | Send Message
     
    Mr. The first payment as I read it was 60 days after the first payment meaning 60 days after May 8 which means July 8, Aug 8 and SEp 8. Which gets you to the 3 payments.

     

    I've had the same question. Originally I thought they took the first slug on May 8 so I was expecting 5 $500k amounts.
    19 Dec 2013, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1781) | Send Message
     
    Mr. I,
    I guess I was hoping that, since they did the financing before they were supposed to be out of money, and after bragging about how much money they were saving between Chuck's cost-cutting measures and the lowering of workers cost with the new, automated carbon sheeting system, they weren't taking the money out as fast as they could be cause they didn't need to.
    19 Dec 2013, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4596) | Send Message
     
    Labtech, they have had no sales to speak of, therefore no production ramp to scale the savings . Therefore there really isn't much savings.
    19 Dec 2013, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    LT: That's inane. Removing labor costs (8 or 10 bodies?) when there is no production is certainly a cost reduction, unless you're the U.S. Government, in which case the svaings comes from adding staff when you make nothing.

     

    HardToLove
    19 Dec 2013, 08:48 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (2511) | Send Message
     
    mr h, but as of 9/30 they had only rec'd 1 $500k release. Why not the 2 more by then?

     

    LabTech, I can't imagine they would say no to a release. Unrestricted cash = good, useful cash, especially for a company w/ very limited resources.

     

    Perhaps I'm missing something.
    19 Dec 2013, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (4596) | Send Message
     
    10 bodies at even $40,000 each is only $400,000 / year....a far cry from the $10 M in burn rate. How many employees have been laid off? I seen some R&D guys go, but who else? We now have a new board member too.

     

    Until sales & production ramp, then savings are mute. 20% savings of zero sales = zero

     

    Oh, and don't forget even if they did save $400,000, they just paid it out in bonuses
    19 Dec 2013, 09:07 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    LT: Well, I guess it's not inane - let's go ahead and burn another $400K since it's inconsequential. Did you include accruals? I'm sure we could bump it another 30% or so and it still won't matter.

     

    HardToLove
    19 Dec 2013, 09:24 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    And yet HTL, Having those bodies when there was no production is just as inane.
    19 Dec 2013, 11:26 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    Iindelco: Batteries for BMW, NSC, the Naval installation, ePower and others were made by someone, and it wasn't the BOD or CEO.

     

    Anyway, regardless what excess there was, or may continue to be, removing cost if there is any revenue helps and if there is no revenue helps more, whether it be a dollar or a dime in relative scale.

     

    If more could be done without some kind of big risk it should be and we can carp and criticize that the more should be done (e.g. bonuses, but then by his own reasoning that doesn't matter because it's inconsequential relative to the burn rate).

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    20 Dec 2013, 06:49 AM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (979) | Send Message
     
    Anyone know how to do a rain dance?
    19 Dec 2013, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (871) | Send Message
     
    Looks like the PIPErs are crushing us down to .10 level. Frankly, I don't see how we will survive January PIPE issue without falling below 0.10. If that happens, PIPErs are going to demand the cash payment plus 25% bonus. If those significant sales don't show up quickly, this could be a liquidity crisis in the making.
    19 Dec 2013, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • anthlj
    , contributor
    Comments (230) | Send Message
     
    Relax. TG has a master plan. I refer of course not to the one in which he stockpiles cash prior to retirement, but the other one, you know, where he orchestrates returns to shareholders.
    19 Dec 2013, 02:52 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    Why Treasury Is Investigating SolarCity and Solar Third-Party Funds

     

    What is the fair market value of rooftop solar?

     

    Herman K. Trabish
    December 19, 2013

     

    http://bit.ly/1gJ6L3n

     

    Smoke? Fire? I still don't know, and I guess neither does Barrons.

     

    Would you rather be a economics doctoral candidate, a business person dealing with the IRS, or a lawyer for these folks?

     

    EDIT: See also (Forbes): http://onforb.es/JI8U11
    19 Dec 2013, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    On December 6th Bloomberg quoted Pete Rive of Solar City as saying their commercial storage unit uses about 1/8 of the battery power in a big Tesla pack and the storage system would cost about $15,000 without financing.

     

    http://bloom.bg/1ceYe6r

     

    If you do the math $15,000 for a 10 kWh system comes in at about $1,500 per kWh.

     

    And I thought Tesla was buying cells for about $250 per kWh.
    19 Dec 2013, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Now the Rosewater unit had perhaps better THD but think about the stats on what they were trying to sell w/ Axion inside.
    19 Dec 2013, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    Embedded near the end of the Forbes article:

     

    The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act

     

    A bill to level the playing field by giving investors in renewable energy projects access to a decades-old corporate structure with a tax advantage now available only to investors in fossil fuel-based energy projects

     

    U.S. Senator Chris Coons

     

    http://1.usa.gov/TErkB7

     

    5 other Senate Co-sponsors, 5 in the House.

     

    No idea what actual chance it has ... maybe depends on what happens to Solar City ...

     

    Also not sure where Storage might play in that proposed bill
    19 Dec 2013, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2388) | Send Message
     
    "The legislation, which is just over 600 words long" ...

     

    Wow! Who thought that was possible these days.
    19 Dec 2013, 10:00 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13440) | Send Message
     
    Good catch, WTB. And as for 600 word legislation...

     

    There are MANY other politicians standing ready to add their "input", rest assured.
    20 Dec 2013, 07:54 AM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (871) | Send Message
     
    1/8 of the power, or 1/8 of the storage?
    20 Dec 2013, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • rgholbrook
    , contributor
    Comments (117) | Send Message
     
    After the bell and OT: Are the now 1,202 comments on his "Putting Tesla Motor's Gargantuan Battery Supply Problem Into Perspective" a record for Mr. Petersen?
    19 Dec 2013, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • Occam's_Razor
    , contributor
    Comments (1136) | Send Message
     
    So tomorrow is Friday and next week is a Holiday week. Although I no longer believe anything TG says with respect to sales, I'm inclined to believe the projections coming from Norfolk Southern from their sustainability report, i.e., that they'd have something before the end of the year.

     

    So..... do we get some type of announcement before the end of the year? This is what has me perplexed. Axion can't seem to win for losing right now. They *should* have *something* from Norfolk Southern by Dec. 31, but nothing *seems* to be happening.

     

    I used to worry about posting anything negative about AXPW, I now believe it doesn't matter anymore, since investors (like me) are either holding onto their shares come Hell or High Water, or they have already left (quietly or with noise).... where are you Jonhny Rambo?

     

    I would like to personally Thank Mr. Granville (just in case he's reading this). He has taught me a great deal about CEO's and Nanocaps in a relatively short period of time. I now know what I will do in the future when I hear "300% YoY", and "Spring in their/his steps"... and "I will have SIGNIFICANT sales to announce before the next CC!"

     

    But my personal favorite: is choosing to Bonus oneself (and his immediate staff) with Cash (derived from a devastating Pipe deal).... instead of tying (the Bonus) to Stock and thus having (at least) some type of accountability for his/their performance. Mr Granville chose to NOT Bonus in Stock Options for a reason... now we all know why.

     

    So I wish Tom and Vani a very Merry Christmas, and please spend that Bonus check on something special... for old times sake!
    19 Dec 2013, 05:36 PM Reply Like
  • raleigh731
    , contributor
    Comments (282) | Send Message
     
    I'm thinking it would be better if we didn't get news about NSC before Christmas, or before the end of the year for that matter. It's kind of like the politico's always announce something bad (like lying about keeping your doctor) late on a Friday afternoon or evening. Less coverage because people are doing other things by then and not paying attention. Maybe the same situation here. News gets lost in the hustle and bustle and any impact is severely muted, I think I'd just a soon wait til after the New Year.
    19 Dec 2013, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • Alphameister
    , contributor
    Comments (1431) | Send Message
     
    If Mr. Granville had any character, he would schedule the receipt of his absurdly awarded bonus within the same imaginary time warp on which his stellarly negotiated sales occur. It is outrageous that this con-man can reward himself with a cash bonus out of a pathetic financing that slashed the price of AXPW by more than half.
    19 Dec 2013, 10:38 PM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (871) | Send Message
     
    NSC and the NS999 are dead as far as I am concerned. Even if the NS999 starts rolling in the next week, that does nothing for Axion sales. It will be a year of testing before they even decide whether to build another one, and when they do decide, it will be another year before it is far enough along to buy batteries for it.

     

    BMW is also dead to me. Even TG says that is not on the near-term horizon and since you have to multiply his time scale by a factor of 10, it is not even worth considering for 2014.

     

    That leaves powercube sales and ePower for 2014. I do expect they might sell up to $3M worth of powercubes this year, hopefully sooner than later.

     

    I am not expecting much out of ePower in 2014, though. Even if the 10 new tractors get built, it will be months of trials and testing before any customer decides to order and I expect the orders will come in one or two at a time until there are years of reliability data that buyers can base their buying decisions on. So, maybe a few dozen more ePower tractors in 2014 at best, amounts to half a million dollars in sales.

     

    So, the gross margins from powercubes and ePower in 2014 should be just about enough to cover executive bonuses for the year.
    20 Dec 2013, 09:15 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    I disagree with your assessment of ePower, but your understanding of their business and potential customers is obviously far better than mine.
    20 Dec 2013, 09:46 AM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (871) | Send Message
     
    JP. I will be happy to be proven wrong. Based on what you have said, it sounds like 10 tractors on the road by spring. So, allow several months from there for users to confirm fuel savings. A few more months to make a purchasing decsion. Then I assume any initial purchase will be small to allow confirmation of reliability. Which of those assumptions do you take exception to? Do you propose widespread adoption will occur in 2014 absent reliability data?
    20 Dec 2013, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    Reliability is an important thing to prove, but any time a system is merely an integration of components that have individually proven their reliability over the course of several decades, the only "proof" required is that your integration didn't introduce an unforeseen failure mode. As long as you're targeting "innovators" instead of the broader market, your target customers will usually assume risks the broader market wouldn't assume.

     

    We're going to give operators a couple weeks to prove our fuel economy claims by hauling freight in their own operations. At that point, they'll have to lease a truck from us if they want a longer test period. Most of the fleets we're targeting wouldn't bother testing a single truck because the test wouldn't provide enough data to justify a business decisions for a 1,000 unit fleet. If they want to do real durability and fuel economy testing they'll either have to spring for their own fleets of test tractor or wait until somebody with a spine generates the proof they require.

     

    No battle plan survives the first shot and we don't think ours will be an exception to the rule. But the fleet operators we're talking to know that they'll have to splash out some cash if we prove the fuel economy.
    20 Dec 2013, 11:55 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (3926) | Send Message
     
    JP, ePower has a potential weak spot in its business plan. It needs a reliable supply of appropriately sized diesel engines and to secure same has hitched its star to expectation/hope for acceptance as a Cummins engine distributor/wholesale buyer. Consequently ePower is just a dependent on Tier I level corporate decision making as Axion and Axion is quite likely no further along today in emerging from the valley of death than it was when TG disclosed PbC sales to a truck OEM in Nov. '12 cc.
    20 Dec 2013, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    D-Inv: Doesn't the $ flow direction make a difference? ePower is *buying* product from Cummins and Axion, whereas Axion is selling.

     

    If Cummins balks, or plays harmful games, there are alternatives, albeit maybe not as desirable.

     

    Anyway, money flow direction changes the dynamics of the relationship as well.

     

    I don't foresee any issues wiith ePower being dependent on Cummins - more worry should exist about their dependency on Axion.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    20 Dec 2013, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (3926) | Send Message
     
    "If Cummins balks, or plays harmful games, there are alternatives, albeit maybe not as desirable."

     

    Yes, there are alternatives to Cummins. But pursuit of such alternatives will take time, likely as much time as it has taken for ePower to progress from the John Deere 4 cylinder engine to the Cummins six which is still not complete.
    20 Dec 2013, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    The truck will be on the road by Monday with a complete EPA certified 2014 compliant on-road Cummins six cylinder engine. Your suggestion that the project is somehow lacking shows a profound disregard for the facts and the detailed information I've shared over the last few months. I don't understand why you think lying about a customer is appropriate, but I wish you would stop.
    20 Dec 2013, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (3926) | Send Message
     
    Accusing me of "lying about a customer" is way out of line and has been reported as abusive.
    20 Dec 2013, 08:14 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (3926) | Send Message
     
    HTL > "Anyway, money flow direction changes the dynamics of the relationship as well.

     

    I don't foresee any issues wiith ePower being dependent on Cummins - more worry should exist about their dependency on Axion."

     

    Further to my earlier response, money flow direction strikes me as irrelevant to timing issues which my remark addressed. ePower's transition from R&D to commercialization is dependent on supply of power train parts at prices conducive to freight operator cost recovery within an acceptable time frame. Cost of diesel engines is part of that equation just as is cost of PbC batteries, electric power generator, transmission, etc. Cost of Cummins diesel engines rests on decision by Cummins just as BMW use of PbC batteries in one or models of its' vehicles rests on decision by BMW and purchase of more PbCs by NSC rests on decision by NSC.

     

    ePower is as dependent on pricing and supply decisions by its prospective Tier I component suppliers as Axion is dependent on PbC purchase decisions by its' prospective Tier I customers. Until a sales agreement with Cummins is inked ePower has an undefined supply risk just as Axion has undefined market risks with prospective customers until sales agreements are inked.

     

    Cummins likely appears to ePower as the ideal supplier of diesel engines for its hybrid tractor. Cummins OTOH produces some/many larger diesel engines now used in truck tractors of all classes/sizes. Sales of relatively small diesel engines to ePower poses some risk of depressing sales of larger engines sizes, a risk Cummins management will certainly consider and evaluate before deciding pricing and engine quantities it will make available to ePower. (One might do well to keep in mind that Cummins has yet to sell a diesel engine directly to ePower; Petersen has indicated ePower is using salvaged Cummins engines to date.) ePower certainly has multiple alternatives to Cummins diesel engines if Cummins chooses maintenance of its large engine markets over production increased production of its' ~260hp (+/-) models, exercise of any of those alternatives will take time. Axion PbC sales to ePower will move little to no faster than ePower builds hybrid tractors.
    20 Dec 2013, 10:04 PM Reply Like
  • Occam's_Razor
    , contributor
    Comments (1136) | Send Message
     
    By the way... still long AXPW and not selling a single share. Again, not because of my belief in Vani or TG, but rather that the PP&E and Patents gotta be worth something and I do NOT believe BK is even a possibility. I do, however, believe we are at a LOW point in the AXPW saga and the tough trade (Buying) would be the proper one. I just can't do it right now... and it's not for a lack of dry power.

     

    I'm sure this exact emotion is shared by many right now. Rest assured, those at Cantor Fitzgerald (and other MMs) are very aware of these swings in sentiment, and will react accordingly.
    19 Dec 2013, 05:43 PM Reply Like
  • isthisonebetter
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
     
    OR>

     

    I agree with you re: bankruptcy. I also think that buying is the "proper" trade but being underwater 50% can cloud my judgement at times. Yes, I know that is a pittance compared to many on this board. I wouldn't be a buyer because of TG & co. But rather because the technology is a substantial advance beyond what was previously available commercially. I, however, am not buying more for at least a month and it is for lack of dry powder. I am expecting something unexpected out of the NSC corner in the next fiscal quarter. Call me naive, but I am only 23 after all.
    19 Dec 2013, 06:39 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (2350) | Send Message
     
    I'm still long too but wonder if maybe the only way the word about this stock gets out is if we do it ourselves since nothing seems to move the needle.

     

    Note: KNDI stockholders, similar to Axionistas in that their own group does tons of DD on SA, has been making videos that seem to get more informative each time. Maybe Axion or an Axionista on these boards will be handy with a camera and microphone.

     

    http://bit.ly/190QIZX
    19 Dec 2013, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Some US govmint prognostication. I guess they didn't go to any of POTUS's speeches on the topic.

     

    Study: Cars to Get 37.2 MPG by 2040

     

    "Don't expect plug-in cars and hybrids to take over, either. EIA expects conventional gasoline engines — not hybrids, flex-fuel (E85) engines, diesels or plug-ins — to account for 78 percent of the new cars sold in 2040, which is down just slightly from 2012's 82 percent. But those won't be the engines of today. EIA projects 42 percent of those 2040 sellers to have so-called "micro hybridization" attributes like regenerative brakes or idle stop-start systems. Of the 22 percent of 2040 sellers that aren't conventional gasoline (micro-hybridized or otherwise), 11 percent will be flex-fuel cars, 5 percent will be full hybrids (up from 3 percent in 2012) and 4 percent will be diesels (up from 2 percent). EVs and plug-in hybrids will account for the remaining 2 percent (up from nearly zero percent in 2012)."

     

    http://bit.ly/19g7iaZ
    19 Dec 2013, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    FINRA does it again: missing ~350K of our trades, so any hope of me getting caught up on my EOD stuff before the weekend is shot to heck.

     

    HardToLove
    19 Dec 2013, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    Yesterday's numbers are also wrong.
    19 Dec 2013, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    John: AFAICT, that was a cancelled trade? The 35K missing volume one yesterday, 12/17? My memory is shot ATM, so maybe that wasn't it.

     

    Other recent discrepancies include AH trades which are not supposed to appear on that "tape".

     

    We have 1K today that will not appear when they get it fixed., 5,400 12/17, 10K 12/6.

     

    If you've spotted something I overlooked, please inform so I can be alert for whatever condition caused it.

     

    HardToLove
    EDIT: Checked my blog and that 35K was 12/17 if that's the one you reference. Everything else checks out.
    EDIT # 2: I see it now! 12/18 s/b 1,863,209 and they show only 1,244,932. I'll e-mail them. Side-effect of me being overworked I guess.
    19 Dec 2013, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    John: Updated data from FINRA - looks good except for 59 shares on 12/19 - I'm not gong to sweat that, could be a correction as that's an unusually small transaction.

     

    http://bit.ly/1fsMf3g
    http://bit.ly/1fsMf3i

     

    The difference in url is the X after the date and it's marked as "Updated" on the FINRA site.

     

    HardToLove
    20 Dec 2013, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    Wednesday 12/18 EOD comments finally up.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    HardToLove
    19 Dec 2013, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • WayneinOregon
    , contributor
    Comments (843) | Send Message
     
    Note: This post started out as a reply to RA from APC 289 (http://bit.ly/1dU22XP) –- Since it mushroomed into a litany of thoughts I’ve had over the past months, and only partly addresses RA’s points, I thought I’d post it for everybody on the current APC. — Wow, I just read OC’s post (thank you!), which made me think this is a good time for me to speak out as well.
    .........................

     

    Hey RA, I appreciate your well thought out reply. As is usually the case from reading your posts, I agree with most of what you write, and end up being encouraged by your positive descriptions of Axion’s prospects despite it’s current difficulties.

     

    Like you, I don’t believe the current valuation of <$25M makes sense at all, and agree with both yours and JP’s assessment that the market is currently hugely disconnected from business performance. Which is the reason I believed for a long time that being able to buy in under .30 felt like a gift. But I think a gap has opened up between business performance and executive performance.

     

    I believe JP has written a number of times that at this stage of the game for Axion (and other companies), it’s no longer about the product; it’s virtually all about management’s ability to execute. Which leads me to believe a big reason for the current nonsensical valuation is because of lack of faith (and trust) in current management, despite it’s prior successes in R&D and manufacturing.

     

    I appreciate you mentioning your extensive financial background, which given your informative posts does not surprise me. I don’t have any such background, which is probably why I often find myself questioning every single premise for my buying into the Axion story (and persuading my wife to as well). That we share so many similar beliefs about Axion’s potential makes me believe that perhaps I’m not as careless and gullible as I sometimes feel.

     

    A big part of my feeling foolish at times is for believing so full heartedly in CEO TG. I really liked his reputation for being extremely judicious with managing costs, preserving precious cash resources, and his low-key, methodical style of getting things done. You seemed to infer he should get some padding because of the current negative market sentiment on battery manufacturing. For the better part of the past three years, I feel I, and most Axionistas, have given him a lot of padding, perhaps more than he deserved. But everything changed for me this past spring.

     

    I still can’t comprehend how in April, a time when TG had to know he would be doing the PIPE deal, how he could justify giving himself and other top management bonuses when they never even came close to meeting the metrics they set out for themselves. Whether my own conclusions are reasonable or not, this decision told me two things:

     

    1) When it comes to deciding what to do with scarce resources, TG and top management are going to look out for #1 first (themselves); Axion and shareholders are somewhere after that. 2) That he doesn’t really believe in the company and its prospects; at least not nearly as much as I would like to see. If he did, he would have never even considered draining Axion’s coffers for bonuses at such a critical time. I think he could have used this time to send a very powerful and positive message by in a minor way, renegotiating top management salaries to be less cash, and more deferred compensation, tied to company and pps performance.

     

    I’ve now pretty much let go of his doing the PIPE deal, coming to believe he ended up doing what he felt he had to do. — But he didn’t have to TAKE those bonuses; and he doesn’t have to keep them; and he doesn’t have to accept future ones either. This lack of taking responsibility for rewarding himself for essentially not meeting his own metrics sent a really terrible message and continues to be very troublesome for me. Like everybody on the APC, I believe wholeheartedly in the PbC, and Axion’s ability to manufacture it. But sadly, I no longer trust its CEO.

     

    The way I see it, TG gave away half the value of the company for a measly net of barely $8M of working capital. And then he promptly dished out $100K in bonuses, essentially patting himself on the back for negotiating a lousy deal. I just don’t know how this could be viewed in any way, shape or form as being beneficial to Axion and its shareholders, especially at such a vulnerable time. Is this supposed to engender confidence in his leadership and decision making?

     

    I think a case could be made that Axion is even more vulnerable now than when the PIPE deal was done. I believe it’s possible some very complex financial situations could arise near-term, including a sub-.10 pps scenario, something TG should have squarely addressed at the last cc. This could require any number of critical decisions on how to allocate scarce capital resources. I think a reasonable question is that if push comes to shove for these scarce resources, will TG do the right thing for Axion and its shareholders? Or not? I wish I didn’t believe he’ll first and foremost be looking out for #1.

     

    This has been weighing on my mind for a number of months now, but have not said much, believing significant sales would be arriving soon, and my ongoing concerns would become hardly more than moot points. But these sales have not materialized, and there’s no guarantee they will before some difficult financial decisions may need to be made at Axion.

     

    At this time, I vacillate between thinking what I’ve laid out are legitimate concerns, or whether I’m making mountains out of mole hills. — I would absolutely love to be dissuaded from some of my notions and conclusions. To clarify, this is a tacit encouragement to elicit honest and frank assessments of my concerns. Give it your best shot!
    .........................

     

    To finish up on perhaps a more upbeat note (I’m not ALL doom and gloom); I believe there’s less than a 5% chance things will deteriorate significantly from here. I continue to believe Axion shareholders who have bought in the past at higher prices, and especially those who are able to buy in now at these lower prices will do very well.

     

    My own expectations (reasonable and conservative in my mind) include the following: — In the next 1-2 years, there’s a 90% chance the pps will rebound to at least the .30's range; – an 80% chance it will reach the .60's (approx. my own cost basis); – a 70% chance it will reach 1.00; – a 50% chance it will reach 1.25-1.50; – and a 20% chance it will reach 2.00 or more. My estimated corresponding market valuations for those pps numbers would range roughly between $75M-$500M. — I also continue to believe this stock has the potential to uncoil at any time on some very positive developments, and the above time frames could collapse within a matter of days or weeks.
    19 Dec 2013, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (871) | Send Message
     
    WiO. It is the Board that votes whether to give bonuses, no? I blame them. I guess it doesn't help that the Board is stacked with TG's cronies.
    20 Dec 2013, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • Occam's_Razor
    , contributor
    Comments (1136) | Send Message
     
    nogoodslacker: Boards are always "stacked" and always will be... Axion is no exception.
    20 Dec 2013, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1468) | Send Message
     
    WiO,

     

    I believe that most managements are lousy with finance. Even CFOs tend to be focused more on accounting, which has little real shareholder value, than shrewd dealmaking and investing of spare cash which have tremendous value. It's an unfortunate part of buying public companies' stocks.

     

    Second, in my experience most are also lousy communicators in that they fail the Buffett test miserably. Buffett, in one of his many 180 degree out of convention views, has simply and wisely said that as CEO he tries to tell his shareholders exactly what he would want to be told. So simple. Candor. Offering information not asked for. Sure, Axion has lots of NDAs, but other companies I follow do not, and their managements dodge questions and obfuscate with vague answers all the time. Or just say nothing about the elephant in the room, cough, cough, PIPE deal slaughtering the stock price. To me, inexcusable.

     

    Third, when someone rises to top management, I think it tends to really swell their ego. They may actually think they have shareholders interests at heart but they also hate to admit their own failures, even to themselves. So they avoid talking about them or even thinking about them. I think TG has failed to discuss the PIPE deal because he too is disgusted with how it turned out and doesn't want to face to himself that he should have done better. The other thing about the ego factor is that they compare themselves with the other schmucks at the country club. "If so and so got such and such compensation for running a $100 million company, then I should get at least that much with my $20 million company because I'm 5 times better than he is." So I think it's ego, and it's the BOD not wanting to ruffle management's feathers, not really a "I'm gonna fleece my shareholders with my bonuses" mentality. But I agree with you and personally I wouldn't award myself a bonus even if my back was to the wall and I absolutely had to sell nearly half of the $100 million company for $8 million net to new investors. It's a repugnant disconnect to live high when your shareholders have gotten killed. Stock option awards with strike prices that reflect your early shareholders becoming whole again make much more sense as management bonuses in hard times.

     

    I differ with you in that I think TG is probably honest and doing what he thinks is right by shareholders, subject to my above thoughts on corporate managements in general. I invest and trade for a living. If I had to limit myself to stocks with managements I felt genuinely good about, that would be impossible. I don't feel good about but a few.

     

    The bright side is that right now all the negatives of management are factored into the market cap. With great capital raises and great marketing that would have generated healthy PbC sales already in the bag you could figure the stock would now be more like $1+ a share or something.

     

    I think in time the PbC's virtues probably triumph over any management missteps. This battery is going to sell itself to whole industries once people figure out what it can do for them, and once their peers generate buzz about their great experiences with it.

     

    The thing I learned when I wrote my book is that it's well understood in the book industry that buzz is everything for sales. People talking about it, recommending it. Friends telling friends. My book barely sells on Amazon now despite my calls having been spot on because of utter lack of buzz. I don't market. I don't do lectures or get interviewed or write columns. Meanwhile the "dollar collapse" books full of specious arguments and failed predictions sell well and garner rave reviews to this day because a certain crowd wants to lap that stuff up. Eventually, though, they'll have to reckon with reality turning out quite unlike their gurus predicted and so the tide must turn.

     

    The tide must turn with the PbC as well because it will save people like truckers a ton of money. Eventually I believe it will be foolish to even drive a big rig with a conventional, overpowered diesel engine when a half size diesel/series hybrid gives you all the power on far more efficient fuel consumption. We already know it works and how powerful the savings incentive is. Even the Class 8 OEMs will have to reckon with downsizing engines and series hybrid some day. The savings are just too compelling. Everybody on this concentrator I think understands how compelling, yet most are giving the stock market way too much credit and think that 10 cents must make sense because there it is -- the reality in your face if you will. But it's not reality. It's just an offer to buy or sell. Take the offer or don't, your choice.

     

    Ameritrade tells me I just took it - another 13k shares today.
    20 Dec 2013, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    The funny part is Axion's board is not stacked and never has been.

     

    Wainwright represented several big investors in a 2006 placement and got his position because the investors insisted.

     

    Kishinevsky was legal counsel for the original Russian inventors.

     

    Schmidt has been a client of mine for over 20 years and I championed his appointment because Howard is one of the most highly regarded carbon nanotech experts on the planet.

     

    That's 3 of 5 who didn't know Granville from Adam before circumstances brought the all together.

     

    I don't generally volunteer deep history unless I'm asked, but the idea that the board is stacked with Tom's cronies is ridiculous.
    20 Dec 2013, 04:09 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1468) | Send Message
     
    JP,

     

    My BOD reference was generalized, not to Axion specifically as I know nothing about Axion's board. My belief generally though still applies, which is that board members don't want to ruffle the Chairman or CEO's feathers, or anybody else for that matter. Charlie Munger has said as much in interviews, which I think I linked to in the past.

     

    Compensation Committees also, like most people, really ask the question "What do other companies of this type and size do for compensation?" But bonuses should be for performance, not stamped by cookie cutter. They tend not to be for real performance. Maybe some lame metrics factor in a little bit.

     

    Just show me a compensation committee anywhere that has said that a struggling company, trimmed employee wages or benefits, and hurting shareholder base is grounds for pay cuts for management so they too share the pain. Good luck with that. Usually it's bonuses.
    20 Dec 2013, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    Every executive employment agreement I've ever written provides for a salary and guarantees a minimum annual bonus. Anytime bonuses are less than 20% of annual comp, the cause is typically a minimum bonus provision.

     

    Stockholdes love to whine about executive compensation but the reality is most executives I know took a significant pay cut when they took the job. Besides, counting the money in somebody else's pocket has never increased my profit.

     

    The bonuses everybody is so incensed over will account for ~1% of Axion's 2013 loss. Whenever somebody assures me that "it's the principal not the money" I know for sure that its the money and the real principle at stake is "I can'f find anything else to bitch about."

     

    I had an ex-wife who held grudges and resentments for years and couldn't help but bring up ancient history whenever she got out of sorts. I was really glad when that shrew was no longer relevant in my daily life.
    20 Dec 2013, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • RuggedDC
    , contributor
    Comments (180) | Send Message
     
    The very concept of an executive 'guaranteed annual minimum bonus' is patently offensive. 'You didn't get fired, so here's an extra pot of money you may or may not deserve'.

     

    I've been a worker and no one ever paid me bonuses for simply having a year go by without me being fired.
    21 Dec 2013, 12:30 AM Reply Like
  • Valleywood
    , contributor
    Comments (660) | Send Message
     
    RA, I believe JP's remark was directed not at you but at NGS who made the direct charge. Yet another in a long line of charges and assertions baseless in fact or truth. He likes that because it's fun for him.

     

    I find your questions/remarks however reasonable. I disagree with them in part, but find them reasonable, especially inasmuch as you have been burned.

     

    If you are anything like me, when I make a wrong or poorly timed investment decision I will cast my net far and wide looking for a reason to make a villain of somebody in management. The truth is usually that I screwed up. I have purchased several small companies who couldn't make the swim across the channel, but TTBOMK, it was never because they were untrustworthy. It's simply the nature of the beast. High risk, by definition usually means high probability of failure.

     

    From my very first purchase in Axion I knew it was high risk and went on record here (some time back) that if Axion was a no-brainer I couldn't afford to buy it. Clearly I bought too early and at this point, being early is the same outcome as being wrong..... should I sell.

     

    But I'm not selling. Two reasons. First is NS verification of the technology and the second is my trust in TG. I've met him and found his answers to all questions, some of them hardballs, perfectly acceptable. I didn't like a few of his answers and told him so in private, but in no case did I doubt his character. Doubt and question is an American tradition. It is a stockholder's honored tradition to complain and I yield to no man in defending that right. It's the American Way. I also am aware that I sometimes become irrational and subjective in my own grousing when I have lost money due to my own suspect judgement.

     

    Meanwhile, Growl On, Baby ! I gotcher back !
    21 Dec 2013, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • WayneinOregon
    , contributor
    Comments (843) | Send Message
     
    Thanks RA for your great post; definitely one of my all time favorite here on the APC, and comes at a most fortuitous time for me. I'm going to print it out for my wife to read, who only needs an Axion update every few weeks or months. I sometimes envy how little she watches or cares how the Axion story plays out, always seemingly confident things will work out just fine. She's just seems to have and carry this assurance of an eventual happy ending, bless her heart! --- Thanks again.
    21 Dec 2013, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • Valleywood
    , contributor
    Comments (660) | Send Message
     
    Rugged, I haven't reviewed employee bonuses in over ten years. I can however assure you that ten to fifteen years ago roughly 38% of all fortune 500 companies gave bonuses to employees when financial objectives were met. And the requirement for eligibility was that employees had to still be employees on 31 December of the bonus year.

     

    You've simply worked for the wrong outfits.
    21 Dec 2013, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    WiO: "At this time, I vacillate between thinking what I’ve laid out are legitimate concerns, or whether I’m making mountains out of mole hills".

     

    Whether you are right or wrong, the thoughts and concerns are certainly valid considerations.

     

    I've had similar thoughts cross my mind and I'm sure ithers, even some that haven't expressed them maybe, have had such questions too.

     

    Nothing wrong with getting them out there.

     

    "next 1-2 years, there’s a 90% chance the pps will rebound to at least the .30's range"

     

    It shouldn't take that long for that range. If it does take that long that means more (several) capital raises because of lack of business development in a reasonable time-frame. They've declared themselves a commercial enterprise nowm so they've got to "git 'er done" and prove it.

     

    Even allowing of ~200MM shares outstanding, future warrant exercise, etc., I believe 1-2 years is too long to make $0.,30.

     

    Awaiting proof is why I have dry powder that is actually working elsewhere for now.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    19 Dec 2013, 09:23 PM Reply Like
  • RyanfBell
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    Do we have enough numbers and big enough voice to make something happen ourselves.

     

    Any ideas on a PR stunt , YouTube viral video. How about we buy a tesla roadster or a shell of one and run it over with a hybrid train from Norfolk.

     

    I love all the ideas and conversation here but it's time for a flash mob axionistas style.

     

    Power to the 99%
    20 Dec 2013, 12:44 AM Reply Like
  • Freya
    , contributor
    Comments (2265) | Send Message
     
    It is a "finished" product now and while there "may be" impovements over time what you have is what you get.

     

    How many years does it take to test drive a train or car?

     

    You can make noise by pumping up the shares but without accompanying positive news, you will have used up your "powder" and the stock will go back to previous or lower levels.

     

    Right now, your best bet is to sit and wait.
    20 Dec 2013, 02:43 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    The question is not how long it takes to test drive a car or train. The question is how long it takes to design a car or train that's been fully optimized for a totally new and different battery technology, get your supply chain assured for a new generation of products and move from design concept to product launch. Axion's potential customers are spending hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars per year doing their work. Until their work is done a would be battery supplier might as well be pushing a rope.

     

    Currently a small group of PIPE investors are pushing the price down to ensure their priority at the pay window. As long as they have shares they're willing to sell cheap the price will wallow in its current range. When the PIPE investors rub out of stock or change their behavior, the sell side pressure will disappear and the game will change in an instant because the investors who've been buying over the last six months are very unlikely to flip for pennies, nickels and dimes.

     

    Absent very bad news the price isn't likely to erode any further because it's already bumping around at the historic lows. Sitting on the sidelines is a great strategy if your appetite runs to $1,000 transactions and you follow the action closely enought to act instantly. If your appetite runs to more than chump change, waiting is a very bad strategy.
    20 Dec 2013, 08:36 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    FINRA muffed it again - so no daily short sales included. Since this is one of the factors I look at, my assessement that down will continue to be the trend near-term has a bit more uncertainty (as if we needed more). Here's part of what will appear when FINRA gets the data corrected.

     

    Thanks to JP too who caught the fact that FINRA data was missing some on 12/18 too.

     

    12/19/2013: EOD stuff partially copied from what will be in the blog.
    # Trds: 97, MinTrSz: 49, MaxTrSz: 78200, Vol: 1042420, AvTrSz: 10747
    Min. Pr: 0.1010, Max Pr: 0.1099, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.1039
    # Buys, Shares: 16 177544, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.1043
    # Sells, Shares: 78 844925, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.1038
    # Unkn, Shares: 3 19951, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.1032
    Buy:Sell 1:4.76 (17.0% "buys"), DlyShts 0 (00.00%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 0.00%

     

    The average of the lowest 20 VWAPs times 85% today is $0.0961 vs. $0.0966, $0.0970, $0.0974, $0.0978, $0.0981, $0.0984, $0.0988, $0.0990 and $0.0994 on prior days. 85% of today's VWAP is $0.0883 vs. $0.0921, $0.0940, $0.0943, $0.0957, $0.0952, $0.0968, $0.0982, $0.0978 and $0.0970 on prior days. These are potential prices for the next tranche of shares to the PIPErs.

     

    Today's high is misleading. Total shares traded above $0.106 were only 600 in one trade.

     

    Today's VWAP, trade volume, and daily short sales moved -4.10%, -44.05% and UNKNOWN respectively. The 600 share trade mentioned above at greater than $0.106 was too small to affect our VWAP.

     

    Our low and high moved -3.81% and -5.09% respectively. Without the 600 share trade above $0.106 I mentioned above the high would've down -8.46%. Our spread was 8.81%, 4.95% without that 600 share trade.

     

    Today's VWAP, trade volume, and daily short sales moved -4.10%, -44.05% and UNKNOWN respectively. The 600 share trade mentioned above at greater than $0.106 was too small to affect our VWAP.

     

    Our low and high moved -3.81% and -5.09% respectively. Without the 600 share trade above $0.106 I mentioned above the high would've down -8.46%. Our spread was 8.81%, 4.95% without that 600 share trade.

     

    ARCA appeared today sometime at 09:42 today. The stepped out from 10:33 – 11:00 and 10:59 – 12:05. Otherwise they were present all day AFAICT. On first appearance they immediately took best offer down from $0.1085 to $0.106. As with yesterday ...

     

    Here's a trading breakdown by arbitrary time-frames.
    09:31-10:58: 104720 shrs, 05.62% of vol, VWAP $0.1104, 003.6% buys
    11:02-11:41: 103600 shrs, 05.56% of vol, VWAP $0.1114, 014.5% buys
    11:49-11:55: 522141 shrs, 28.02% of vol, VWAP $0.1099, 011.1% buys
    12:02-12:29: 427871 shrs, 22.96% of vol, VWAP $0.1090, 071.8% buys
    12:35-12:49: 096600 shrs, 05.18% of vol, VWAP $0.1071, 010.4% buys
    12:50-13:25: 355542 shrs, 19.08% of vol, VWAP $0.1056, 014.1% buys
    13:45-14:15: 110500 shrs, 05.93% of vol, VWAP $0.1053, 049.3% buys
    14:17-15:54: 142235 shrs, 07.63% of vol, VWAP $0.1064, 080.0% buys

     

    Here's a breakdown by arbitrary price range.
    $0.1050-$0.1056: 425541 shrs, 22.84% of vol, VWAP $0.1053, 012.3% buys
    $0.1060-$0.1070: 319336 shrs, 17.14% of vol, VWAP $0.1068, 051.9% buys
    $0.1080-$0.1083: 115771 shrs, 06.21% of vol, VWAP $0.1081, 072.8% buys
    $0.1090-$0.1103: 893661 shrs, 47.96% of vol, VWAP $0.1099, 032.6% buys
    $0.1110-$0.1112: 090100 shrs, 04.84% of vol, VWAP $0.1110, 000.0% buys
    $0.1138-$0.1158: 018800 shrs, 01.01% of vol, VWAP $0.1141, 100.0% buys

     

    HardToLove
    20 Dec 2013, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (749) | Send Message
     
    I heartily thank JP and ePower for the glimmer of hope that grows brighter. With all the doom and gloom, it is good to see a sparkle, even in the distance.
    While that light at the end of the tunnel may be a train, the tunnel is surprisingly long.
    20 Dec 2013, 08:52 AM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (871) | Send Message
     
    I wouldn't count on ePower for more than about $500k in PbC sales in 2014. It might ramp from there, but fleet operators are going to want reliability data before widespread adoption. It can take 3 or 4 years to confirm the payback from fuel savings will not be offset by reliability issues.
    20 Dec 2013, 09:33 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >greentongue ... I believe it is Exxon that is running an advertisement on the TV that says that the human eye can see the light from a single candle at 10 miles. I keep wondering just how dark it really needs to be for that to happen. It makes me think of Axion every time I see it.
    20 Dec 2013, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    I will be disappointed if ePower only builds 25 tractors next year. While your low ball estimate of completed units is possible, the critical metric will be order backlog and visible sales ramp. We don't harbor any illusions about what it will take to establish our drivetrain as a mainstream product that's trying to earn a substantial share of the 400,000 unit per year rebuild market, we think we have a very solid shot at the trucking equivalent of Tesla buyers, the 1.5% of every market that just have to own the latest and greatest. Since we expect to have irrefutable proof that our system is the most fuel efficient drivetrain on the market within a couple months, we think the 6,000 unit per year innovators market is more than ripe.
    20 Dec 2013, 09:54 AM Reply Like
  • geopark
    , contributor
    Comments (256) | Send Message
     
    >nogood . . My optimistic self thinks that adoption will happen fairly quickly if reliability and the fuel savings data as currently 'stated' are confirmed by fleet operators.

     

    "3 or 4 years (for) widespread adoption" sounds reasonable but I would expect significant (>$500K in PbC sales) adoption within 6-12 months post fleet operator confirmation. The caveat of course is fleet operator confirmation of fuel savings/reliability.
    20 Dec 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • jveal
    , contributor
    Comments (673) | Send Message
     
    NGS,

     

    I am disappointed that we have not had a confirmed breakthrough on sales yet. So I can understand your negative attitude.

     

    ePower is a totally different situation than NSC or BMW. ePower is run by people who are able to make quick decisions and changes based on what they see every day. They have potential customers that are ready to take a risk to be the first to take advantage of a new technology to save fuel. They don't have to wait years before everything is tested to death. I would not be surprised if it ramps twice as fast as JP is telling us. The other huge benefit with ePower is that they are able to be open with regular reports of the progress. Considering that Cummins has now joined the effort makes it even more remarkable that they are able to report openly about the progress. The constant drip of positive news (assuming the news continues positive) could have a dramatic impact once the PIPE is satisfied.

     

    If we can believe NSC's own reports, they are now or very soon will be testing the electric yard slug. It is very likely they will do this out of sight for several months. When it is made public they could surprise all of us with a much larger order than expected. They already have years of testing under their belts. If a 3 to 6 month rail test confirms all of their previous data, they could move swiftly to purchase batteries for 10 to 25 locomotives. Remember Vani's early slip of releasing these kinds of numbers. He most likely reported numbers NSC shared with Axion but did not intend to become public.

     

    I agree that BMW will be a long time in coming simply because of the logistics of creating the supply chain once a deal is negotiated. However, when the announcement is made that Axion has struck a deal and its batteries will make it into BMWs in the next 18 months, it will have a strong positive impact on Axion's share price as well as its ability to raise operating capital.

     

    The PowerCube is a surprise bag to me. We know experiments are being done all over the world with practically every battery chemistry. It could be a huge market or it could fail or be delayed for years as the technology and economics are worked out.

     

    I realize that all of these things could end up being delayed. But how many nano cap companies have the potential to strike bargains with a first tier car company, a major railroad, the trucking industry, and a new market with grid storage within a two year window? (and possibly sooner)

     

    A solid win in even one of these areas makes for a very successful company. And now we get to buy it at bargain prices. When I get more dry powder, I will be investing more.
    20 Dec 2013, 10:12 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >JP ... My back of the envelope thinking is that it would take ePower building 10 trucks or kits a week to get Axion to nearly cashflow positive. Mr. Market would pay attention to that because of the Cummings linkage. I can't imagine that being out of the realm of the possible in fairly short order. Even a backlog that came close to looking like it was headed in that direction would do a little battery company a lot of good.
    20 Dec 2013, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Bosch getting lots of air time with their SS/gliding tech. Note how they are trying to tie it in with the airplane for effect. And the plane has winglets!

     

    Only posted for the Daimler data point which is new to me.

     

    "Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler is trying to gain some points with the emissions gods (actually the US Environmental Protection Agency) by claiming that the benefits its stop-start technology has on its fleetwide fuel economy is being underestimated. Daimler is shooting for an additional MPG worth of credit, saying its cars are idle about 24 percent of the time, not the 14 percent estimated by the EPA. Math is fascinating."

     

    http://aol.it/192nk5F
    20 Dec 2013, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • tonys23
    , contributor
    Comments (94) | Send Message
     
    Some say the innovator segment of a market can be as high as 3% .... What would 6000 conversions bring to Axion's table?
    20 Dec 2013, 08:02 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    Axion gets about $20,000 for each set of ePower battery boxes, so a thousand trucks a year would generate about $20 million in Axion revenue. Bigger numbers are a bit too ambitious for me to speculate on at this point.
    20 Dec 2013, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3331) | Send Message
     
    6000 a year? 500 a month... times ~50 batteries per conversion... times ~$300 per battery... equals... $7.5 million in revenue per month?

     

    I'm thinking that would at least keep the lights on.
    20 Dec 2013, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (2350) | Send Message
     
    I'd take 600 or even 60 conversions. Anything in the 3 digit range would be a success for 2014 - imo.
    21 Dec 2013, 04:09 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    I don't see any way for ePower to finish a hundred conversions in 2014, although we do hope to build a three-digit backlog next year. We're currently considering the idea of taking a page from the Elon Musk playbook and starting a reservation list that's backed up by refundable cash deposits. The simple truth is we need as much order visibility as possible for use in our negotiations with suppliers and financiers. If that visibility helps Axion so much the better.
    21 Dec 2013, 06:40 AM Reply Like
  • Nathan Kemalyan MD
    , contributor
    Comments (493) | Send Message
     
    seems to me that ePower is in a highly risky position; they appear to be totally dependent on the survival of Axion Power, unless of course, they have another PbC or equivalent battery prospect in their back pocket.
    Axion grasped at what turns out to be a draconian financing solution to get the 9-some-odd million dollars they need to run another year or so. We're 6 months into that year and I've heard about sales for 1 locomotive, 10 trucks and one Power cube. What I haven't heard from anyone who participates in all the speculation is "where is a less hostile form of capital?" for the next round? Will the company survive another 100% dilution and a $0.05 stock price? At some point, someone with a lot of money needs to believe that this company can get to scale on production of batteries and invest the 50 million (or whatever number it turns out to be) to create a viable enterprise. If capital were no issue, Axion could build and install these cubes anywhere and everywhere that storage and freqency regulation is of value, in partnership with the generators and users of power. But, they don't have a Mr. Musk at the helm, so they have to survive on their salesmanship. I'm waiting to see salesmanship demonstrated with something more than nondisclosure agreements.
    I'm holding on to my shares too. After all, selling them won't recoup much of my investment anyway. However, I'm lining up with those sceptics who believe that the current management may have been just right for developing the technology, but don't appear to be similarly masterly in turning technology into sales. I'm checking in less frequently and spending more of my neurons on the 97% of my portfolio invested in companies that make products that people use every day.
    I'll be interested to hear ePower's back-up plan if AXPW never ends up manufacturing those batteries in quantity...
    21 Dec 2013, 10:58 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Nathan, Simply perfect.
    21 Dec 2013, 11:44 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator
    , contributor
    Comments (1468) | Send Message
     
    Nathan brings up some good questions with the implication being that the lack of known answers looms dire. Here's my retort, ever the optimist :-)

     

    (ePower totally dependent on Axion surviving)
    ---No, ePower depends on the +PbC+ surviving. This is such a good battery though that no matter what happens to Axion, the IP will surely get bought by somebody who will manufacture it. The battery is too good to mothball, especially since Axion had the foresight to make it conform almost perfectly to existing battery production lines everywhere. Very little cost/transition time to start making PbCs by a new owner.

     

    "where is a less hostile form of capital?"
    --- Nobody here has the answer and that's why we're not discussing any specifics. It would be a waste of time to make wild guesses as to who. Running out of money in 2014 is obviously weighing on the stock and been brought up over and over again here. I personally am assuming: (a) the last financing left such a bad taste in TG's mouth that management is making extra effort to find 'less hostile' partners, and (b) any prospects would want TG to keep his mouth shut about a pending deal, a wish he would certainly respect. Similar to last time, I expect no announcement about financing particulars in 2014 (hopefully 2015 with luck) until a contract is signed. So no news is not bad news.

     

    "Will the company survive another 100% dilution and a $0.05 stock price?"

     

    Your imbedded assumptions I do not share: if the share price rises before financing, equity could easily be issued to new financiers at higher prices than today's market, perhaps much higher. In that case, buying today would put you in a position preferable to the new 'hostile' well heeled financiers as they have to chip in more cash to the kitty for a share than you paid. Also, "100% dilution" does not exist. What you meant I think was 50% dilution. If you own 100% and somebody takes half, then you've been diluted by 50% to 50%. Actually this latest round will probably end up closer to 40% dilution so 50% for next time I think is too high since it is unprecedented. On your "$.05 stock price". It could certainly happen but it's pure conjecture intended I think to scare. You cannot just cut the current price in half on the idea that the market is static and then your 50% dilution kicks in in late 2014. If there's anything we all know for sure it's that the market does not have to be static, even with no news. Let me throw out a few scary stock prices too: $.06 ... $.01 ... $.0005 ... $.072 ... $.008 ... $.033 ... $0. Any of them could happen but they don't mean a thing. Here are some more scary ones: $.19 ... $.33 ... $.49 ... $2.22 ... $17.18 ... $.92 These are potential future stock prices too. They are scary because you end up kicking yourself for the rest of your life for deeply researching a technology, discovering that it has incredible potential, but then allowing fear to paralyze you into inaction, or perhaps worse, selling near the bottom.

     

    "someone with a lot of money needs to believe that this company can get to scale on production of batteries and invest"

     

    Axion does not make beanie babies. The world is one gargantuan user of energy. Waster of energy, I should say. People and governments are clamoring to save energy, save money, and reduce carbon emissions like never before. I remember the 1970's when the "green" people were viewed by the mainstream as a slim minority of tree hugging freaks. Now, every politician and corporation seems to be dying for ways to at least say that they are green. Produce a nice slick commercial. I cannot imagine a bigger topic of our day in the economic and technological realms. Clean energy/climate change dwarfs a hot topic like Obamacare many times over. In short, if these batteries work as we have been led to believe that they do, money will beat a path to the PbC's door. It's a matter of when. Unless PbC claims are very inflated (I am satisfied this is not the case), money is really a temporary problem.

     

    "salesmanship"

     

    The very least of my worries. I can't wait for enough PbCs to be in hands of users generating data and savings. Then those users all will become our best salespeople with word of mouth.

     

    "invested in companies that make products that people use every day"

     

    I am too. But I'm also placing a big bet on a company with a product that nobody uses but that I believe millions will.
    22 Dec 2013, 02:46 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    ePower is dependent on Axion surviving, or more accurately on the PbC surviving. The PbC is a better battery than I expected it to be and it offers an unbeatable price-performance profile for ePower's application. While it's unclear whether we could find an alternative that *could* do the work, it's crystal clear that we couldn't find an alternative that can do the work at an acceptable price. I agree with RA. Even if Axion fails, the technology will not die because it's too important to die.

     

    Small companies fail every day, but the ones that are destined to fail typically do so within a couple years. By the time a company has been around for a decade without changing its focus or going off on some tangent, you know you have a survivor. I've been involved with Axion from day one and have lived through the life threatening challenges, the bloody battles and the times when weaker warriors would have thrown in the towel. Since the team didn't give up when times were really bad, I have no reason to believe they'll give up now.

     

    At the end of the day small companies are like babies in sub-saharan Africa. They rarely die of starvation but they invariably face a life threatening risk of fiscal dysentery. I've watched a lot of companies fail over the years, but every one of them failed because it lacked Axion's corporate discipline and determination.
    22 Dec 2013, 07:40 AM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (979) | Send Message
     
    I will be the ceaseless optimist here:
    NSC project is "on track".
    Any breakthrough with BMW is a big positive surprise.
    There are other auto manufacturers in talks with Axion.
    PowerCube and Miscellaneous (telecom, etc) sales almost certainly growing in 2014.
    ePower is a loyal partner and will attempt to tap a huge market.

     

    If all these stars cross in the next six months, we're golden.
    20 Dec 2013, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (979) | Send Message
     
    Let me translate that into pessimist-speak:
    NSC will never actually buy a fleet of battery-powered trains.
    BMW may as well be Santa Claus.
    Santa's Elves.
    What's a PowerCube? I thought we were making trains.
    A toy-truck company.

     

    What future??
    20 Dec 2013, 10:03 AM Reply Like
  • raleigh731
    , contributor
    Comments (282) | Send Message
     
    Patrick,

     

    This reminds me, when I am thinking of AXPW, I think of E-power, NSC, and PowerCubes. I forget about the other Car mfg. If E-power ramps up to 25 trucks next year, that alone is a huge improvement.If we get a few Powercubes, THAT is a huge improvement. I posted earlier in this concentrator that I am more than willing to wait til after the new year for news of the 999 moving, because I want the most visibility for that event, not a before end of year event that gets lost in the shuffle. as you stated, any ONE of these events creates much desired positive impact that will be reflected in PPS once the PIPErs are gone. actually, it may impact the share price even if they are still here, and they will benefit by selling their shares into a hot market. Once they are out, the demand will still be there, but the sellers won't be! The law of supply and demand takes over and the PPS goes up more! Still holding, still buying...
    20 Dec 2013, 10:33 AM Reply Like
  • Occam's_Razor
    , contributor
    Comments (1136) | Send Message
     
    @Raleigh731: I like your point about not getting an "announcement" from NSC until next month (or sometime next year). The event *could* be obfuscated among all the tax related selling in the remaining few trading days of this year.

     

    Also: Axion has had some nice P.P.S spikes in January as people reallocate their chips (bets) for the new year.

     

    I, personally, will go on record again and say that we are seeing the lows in P.P.S right now in AXPW, accompanying the "Low" in sentiment. I think January will be an UP month on *any* news out of NS, et al.
    20 Dec 2013, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (749) | Send Message
     
    An "Axion Inside" train circling a Xmas tree would be right for the season.
    20 Dec 2013, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Maybe it's 2929?

     

    http://bit.ly/18Dzow2
    20 Dec 2013, 03:31 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    The color scheme is right, which strikes me as very curious.
    20 Dec 2013, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    I thought it odd as well. Last time the number 2929 was used, as far as I can tell, it was a Conrail unit which has been rebuilt and is in service in the NS fleet as IIAC NS 6761.
    20 Dec 2013, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • WayneinOregon
    , contributor
    Comments (843) | Send Message
     
    OR --- "I, personally, will go on record again and say that we are seeing the lows in P.P.S right now in AXPW, accompanying the "Low" in sentiment. I think January will be an UP month on *any* news out of NS, et al."

     

    I agree, especially if there's just about any kind of "somewhat significant" positive development. This dearth of good news can't last forever. --- BTW, my reference earlier to thanking "OC" for his post; it was actually a typo; I meant "OR". Very much appreciated your speaking out the way you did.
    21 Dec 2013, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • Occam's_Razor
    , contributor
    Comments (1136) | Send Message
     
    Thanks WayneIO: If figured the OC meant OR. ;-)
    22 Dec 2013, 03:17 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Chinese Design A Train That Never Stops [VIDEO]

     

    http://bit.ly/1bVbjiy
    20 Dec 2013, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • D. McHattie
    , contributor
    Comments (1825) | Send Message
     
    Seems like they're going through a lot of effort that could be avoided if you could just capture the energy lost in deceleration and reuse that energy in acceleration.

     

    If only there were a relatively inexpensive and long-lived battery to absorb energy from the brakes and power an electric motor as the train regains speed.

     

    D
    20 Dec 2013, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    D. McHattie, I find it an interesting concept.

     

    It would be interesting to see the calculations for energy recuperation with the storage on the train vs at the stop points. There has to be a train frequency where placing it at a fixed point makes more sense. Sure wish we could see the PA data for their trial.
    20 Dec 2013, 12:34 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >D.McHattie ... If only. I have heard such a thing being tested on the SEPTA system as a stationary system and it seems to work.
    20 Dec 2013, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • D. McHattie
    , contributor
    Comments (1825) | Send Message
     
    My girlfriend's modern, lofted, expensive apartment here in Toronto overlooks the commuter rail.

     

    I hear the train cars banging into each other just as the brakes are applied. I stare at them sometimes at night, can't quite make out the faces of the passengers through the windows that seem to glow in the darkness.

     

    And I feel, deep in the core of my being, the energy that a bank of PbC could capture that is currently just heating up a bunch of brake pads.

     

    D
    20 Dec 2013, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • raleigh731
    , contributor
    Comments (282) | Send Message
     
    Those first two paragraphs sound like the beginning of a novel. Maybe a murder mystery...go one.....
    20 Dec 2013, 06:42 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    ZBB Energy Announces Changes to Board of Directors

     

    http://bit.ly/1l1t5md
    20 Dec 2013, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    DOE to issue FY14 Vehicle Technologies program-wide funding opportunity announcement

     

    http://bit.ly/192zKuj
    20 Dec 2013, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • WayneinOregon
    , contributor
    Comments (843) | Send Message
     
    JP mentioning potential demand from ePower got me thinking about current PbC manufacturing capacity. Optimistically speaking, we could bump up against it sooner than we might expect. Anybody have a ballpark estimate? -- Thanks.
    20 Dec 2013, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • nogoodslacker
    , contributor
    Comments (871) | Send Message
     
    WiO. 2017 would be my guess.
    20 Dec 2013, 02:22 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Wayne IO, It will be after the next capital raise unless something big and wonderful happens. If nothing reasonably good happens before the next capital raise I will not be worrying about it too much. As such it's not a concern of mine in the time frame when this thing either gives a sign it will make it to it's destination or that it will sink. Right now we're taking on water.
    20 Dec 2013, 02:27 PM Reply Like
  • Nathan Kemalyan MD
    , contributor
    Comments (493) | Send Message
     
    next capital raise...after the last one, that should give us all heartburn.
    21 Dec 2013, 11:24 PM Reply Like
  • Masi
    , contributor
    Comments (422) | Send Message
     
    I wrote to Axion in the suggestion area. I suggested that they give our battery a name that peaks the interest and sticks in the mind.

     

    I wrote something along these lines: AXION MAXIMUS The new super capacitor nano carbon plate battery that recharges in seconds. "Fill in the rest"

     

    I hope they don't think me arrogant. But I figured I'd give it a shot
    20 Dec 2013, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • Patrick Young
    , contributor
    Comments (979) | Send Message
     
    CarbumCell

     

    Plumbonizer

     

    SuperCell

     

    Gaia

     

    Olympus

     

    Zeus
    20 Dec 2013, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • brianfscott
    , contributor
    Comments (51) | Send Message
     
    Green Bio-Carbon

     

    Lithium Free Bio Carbon

     

    (PbC: three consonants in need of a vowel; and the Pb part is especially icky)
    22 Dec 2013, 11:56 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    Just crossed $40K: $40161.92.

     

    HardToLove
    20 Dec 2013, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    These safer batteries could lead to cheaper EVs that go 240 miles per charge

     

    "The US Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-e) agency is shooting for some sort of electric-vehicle battery nirvana with a plan/wish/dream to develop safer, cheaper batteries that not only offer a longer single-charge range but that can also double as crumple zones. What's next, peace in the Middle East?"

     

    http://aol.it/193dY9Q
    20 Dec 2013, 06:18 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Norway's $134,000 tax savings for Tesla Model S are out of this world

     

    " With such hefty incentives, Tesla made a big splash as soon as it started selling its cars in a Norway a few months back. In fact, Agence France-Presse said that the Model S was Norway's best-selling car (not the best-selling green car, the best-selling car) in September, the same month Tesla began deploying its Supercharger network there. Norwegians bought 616 Model S sedans that month, accounting for about five percent of all cars sold in the country. Now we know why."

     

    http://aol.it/1dXVaIY
    20 Dec 2013, 06:24 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    I met one of the Norwegian Tesla buyers last summer and he couldn't wait to get the car because he figured it would cost him half as much as a top end BMW or Mercedes. Once he explained the basket of goodies he was getting from the government, I had to agree that the Tesla was the only rational choice if he was willing to accept the technology risks.
    20 Dec 2013, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Yeah, That's a hard package to swallow. Your redistribution of scarce resources to the wealthy!
    -
    A Ahem moment.

     

    Quest Continues for High Power, Lots of Energy Storage, in Single Package

     

    "That means you need a battery and a capacitor together to get the best of both worlds."

     

    "...Some day, there will be a mass-market device that delivers both high power and long runtime in the same package. Right now, such a solution does not exist.

     

    So when you read that there is such a device, ask the questions that can reveal the real situation. Can it be done affordably? Does it really work as described? How did this device solve this highly complex problem, which has been around since the dawn of energy storage? Does the solution even seem reasonable? If the answer to all of these questions is "yes," then we have arrived. Until that time, look for energy from batteries and power from capacitors, and when an application demands both, use both."

     

    http://bit.ly/1fMWeRI
    20 Dec 2013, 07:32 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Some economics for you to beat John.

     

    Orlando's new hybrid garbage trucks quieter, will use half the fuel

     

    "That should translate to big fuel savings. Miami, which began using hybrid trucks four years ago, has seen fuel consumption drop by more than 50 percent. Orlando expects to see similar results, saving about $35,000 a year per truck."

     

    "The hybrids cost more up front: $394,000 each, compared with $239,000 for the old model. But with the savings in fuel and maintenance, the new trucks are expected to pay for themselves in about five years."

     

    http://bit.ly/1ciVODU
    20 Dec 2013, 09:01 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    The fuel savings seem high for a garbage truck. The most common numbers I've seen have an average truck logging 25,000 miles a year at an average of 3 mpg, which works out to 8,600 gallons of fuel each year. A 50% savings on fuel cost would be more like $17,000, which makes it tough to justify the $150,000 up-charge.

     

    http://bit.ly/JRf0gb
    20 Dec 2013, 09:36 PM Reply Like
  • tripleblack
    , contributor
    Comments (13440) | Send Message
     
    Much of the savings I have read about in other accounts (this is an ongoing story which has been in various reports for several years) was the "...and maintenance..." part. As an old mechanic I have my real doubts about that. True, oil changes will save a nice chunk of change, but new (and to a large extent, still not really proven) equipment would be more prone to maintenance headaches than the old but reliable systems being displaced.

     

    But this is the norm for attempts to establish something new to replace something tried and true. Promises are made, estimates are based on the promises (plus some short term test programs), and the plunge to make it pay begins.

     

    I find the math troubling as well, and in fact it appears to be comparing the operating costs of a near worn-out truck to the new version (rather than a brand new conventional rig). This would also be "normal", if deceptive. I wonder what companies like Cummins think of their estimates...

     

    We will see if, after the 5 years have elapsed, a true accounting meets the estimates.
    21 Dec 2013, 07:51 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    Keeping comparisons fair is always a challenge. My favorite is to start with a used chassis and compare the costs of an ePower rebuild with the cost of a conventional rebuild because that strikes me as a very apples to apples issue. I'm already getting questions about what it would cost to build a "new" ePower tractor vs the cost of buying a new conventional tractor, but I really don't have enough hard data to make those estimates yet. It will all come with time and experience, but for now it's another one of those questions that just can't be reliably answered. Like you, I don't see potential maintenance savings as a big issue and I do worry that increased system complexity will move the needle up rather than down. The one thing that is certain is we'll know a lot more in a few yard than we do today.
    21 Dec 2013, 08:45 AM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Your opportunity to capture new ePower vs new something that has been industrialized by a major company will be very difficult to impossible if you're talking from the ground up. If it's based on buying a trailer w/o things like the engine and trans. then that's different. And quite frankly, while I can understand why someone might ask, it really isn't applicable to the decision making process since it's not in your business plan at this time. Or is it?

     

    I'm in agreement on maintenance with you guys. That heavy layer of complexity is not going to reduce it at all. It will shift where your money and efforts go but to say they will drop is just plain silly.
    21 Dec 2013, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    Since investor's minds frequently focus on squeaky-clean and new instead of time worn and ready for a major rebuild, we've spent some time considering the possibility of buying new gliders from an outfit like Fitzgerald and outfitting them with our drivetrain. We'd still be $50,000 to $60,000 more expensive than a new tractor with a conventional drivetrain, but the fuel economy advantages would probably cover the spread in relatively short order. We're at a stage where the unknowns outnumber the knowns by a very wide margin and we'll ultimately have to respond to the market.
    21 Dec 2013, 11:40 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    Iindelco: "trailer"?

     

    You meant "glider" (kit)?

     

    HardToLove
    21 Dec 2013, 12:26 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    HTL. Yes, Thanks. I couldn't remember the term "glider" and a quick search, which was all the time I wanted to spend on it, didn't bring me back from dim awareness.
    21 Dec 2013, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • Treehill
    , contributor
    Comments (103) | Send Message
     
    Seems to me that the real question shouldn't be whether or not it makes sense for e-Power to be buying new trucks and retrofitting them, but what additional cost would a truck manufacturer incur if it wanted to incorporate the e-Power system into their new trucks. I think that once e-Power demonstrates its hybrid system then there is a good chance that one or more of the big truck companies will be looking to buy e-Power out.
    21 Dec 2013, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    While anything is possible, I tend to believe a potential suitor will want to see proof of long-term reliability first. The OEMs that are working with Axion are infuriatingly obsessive about finishing testing and validation before putting their brand on anything. I have to believe trucking OEMs would feel the same way about series hybrid drivetrains. From my perspective a first tier buyout offer would be a great problem to have.
    21 Dec 2013, 03:50 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    Treehill. correct because imparting the technology into a clean sheet platform would yield yet more performance improvement and a far more efficient integration process. That coupled up with much improved purchasing power for input material. However, at a cost of more time to manage the engineering required and the mitigation of risk that comes with broader more heavily scaled roll out.

     

    BTW, The same risks of takeover could be said of Axion if in fact it's a necessary technology enabler for ePower's platform which we've heard it is.

     

    I look forward to the initial performance and cost numbers to further cement our excitement as interested parties. Interested parties for numerous reasons.
    21 Dec 2013, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    Treehill: I would think a supplier relationship would be a good choice too. Contracted delivery of kits, as customers order them, that would be integrated into the assembly lines' processes.

     

    The OEM gets the majority of the benefits, at an incremental cost, without the headaches *if* ePower/Axion are seen to be reliable suppliers.

     

    Of course, a buyout would give the OEM exclusivity for sure while just a business relationship might not unless it was negotiated and seen as advantageous to both (all three?) parties.

     

    HardToLove
    21 Dec 2013, 04:49 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    John, I believe Cummins helping out is a two way street when it comes to information exchange. Their contact base is broad so you can bet the industry knows what ePower is up to along with their awareness of BMW/NSC testing.

     

    Just like when TG talks about the various "partners" in the auto biz that are interested and doing some level of testing on the PbC. Some are not really coming in with a huge commitment but they cannot afford to be blindsided.

     

    For the trucking concerns all that ePower is doing will be very interesting but you can bet they have a feel for the durability of everything in the ePower unit except for how it all holds up as a package with the PbC string. When you look at Axion's level of testing along with BMW and NSC you have to feel pretty confident they are not filing your efforts in the EEstore folder.

     

    Here, you can play this when they fire up the rig on Monday.

     

    http://bit.ly/1fvZNLs
    21 Dec 2013, 05:36 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    Indelco: One of my fav's

     

    NSA anybody? Or maybe it's Google.

     

    HardToLove
    21 Dec 2013, 05:51 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3331) | Send Message
     
    IMHO, I just can't help but think, that if the concept truly proves out, IE you really do end up in hand with an 80,000Lb GVW truck that delivers ~9mpg over real world routes, and does it consistently and reliably... and cleanly... and *all as a rebuild*, I can't imagine that somebody somewhere, is not going to want to produce said trucks from new. I mean, if the thing is really actually successful--- if it's no kidding actually out there making its drivers real money, and making it quick, it's going to attract attention. A lot of attention. It's literally going to be an industry-changing phenomenon. Those don't come around too often. And I just hafta think that somebody bigger than all of us, ePower, and Axion combined is going to want in on that action. In a big way.
    21 Dec 2013, 06:07 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    48: Add in this thought.

     

    With more and more OTR stuff going intermodal, primarily RRs, a greater percentage of heavy truck driving will be shorter hops with a higher percentage of stop-and-go driving, meaning even worse fuel economy.

     

    This sort of driving might be an even higher percentage improvement than what's currently envisioned as the hybrid can take advantage of a lot more occurrences regenerative braking and and accelerations from stop.

     

    If the acceleration from stop is where the majority of fuel consumption occurs, on a percentage of miles vs. fuel consumed basis, we could see some astounding numbers out of this subset of trucks.

     

    We'll need to sets of numbers when projecting mpg gains - one set for OTR and one set for something closer to the day-cab driving profile.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    21 Dec 2013, 06:25 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8841) | Send Message
     
    HTL, I'd been assigned at times to some of the watching teams years ago. It was before the net as we know it today. Detailed engineering reports with pictures from car shows around the world. Competitive cars purchased and torn completely down. Hundreds annually. Teams assigned to take components/systems apart and get detailed information on the cost of each discreet component, manufacturing cost including investment and labor. Then discrete technology teams to investigate anything new such as materials/system function/processes. And I'm sure it went far deeper than my involvement including the illegal stuff.

     

    Some of the best fun I had was going through competitors plants when after M&A activity I got to see the enemy when they became we! All this with knowledge about what we came up with for their technology and cost structure when we were competitors. It's a real smile generator moment for engineers.
    -
    48, If ePower gets 9+ vs 6 MPG and round 2 or less years payback with adequate reliability/durability things are going to happen for/to them they can't even envision.
    21 Dec 2013, 06:43 PM Reply Like
  • Treehill
    , contributor
    Comments (103) | Send Message
     
    We’ve seen with Axion the length of time the big companies can take before they are willing to embrace something new. But I wonder if the consequences of inaction would be the same for the truck manufacturers than what we’ve seen with the other markets Axion has been dealing with.

     

    Lets say Mack Truck was to buy e-Power and thus was able to put out a new truck that was 20% more efficient than their competition. Assume that e-Power’s intellectual property was such that the other truck manufacturers couldn’t easily put out a rival system. Also (someone will no doubt correct me on this if I’m wrong), I vaguely recall something about e-Power having an exclusive agreement with Axion in regard to our batteries for that application. It seems to me, in such a scenario, the other truck companies could find themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage. So the fear of being at such a competitive disadvantage may drive a truck manufacturer to ignore their natural inclination towards prudence and embrace e-Power at a speed which we Axionistas are not used to.
    21 Dec 2013, 06:49 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    HTL> We've decided that ePower is not going to do a lot of fuel economy testing because any data we generate will be suspect.

     

    Our current plan is to do a couple series of heavy tests to provide a baseline minimum to talk about. The real data gathering will occur when we put he demonstrators in the hands of truckers and start collecting several hundred miles of data per day on routes, weight, speed and fuel consumption.

     

    The idea is that two weeks of driving data from XYZ Carriers will be bullet-proof from the industry's perspective and probably be enough to support a five to six page Experience Report that can be shared with others.

     

    A single Experience Report will be interesting. As the demonstration phase goes from one Experience Report per week (two trucks out for two week testing intervals) to five reports per week (ten trucks out for two week testing intervals) the sheer weight of the independent data from different operators under different route, load and speed conditions should quickly become incontrovertible.
    21 Dec 2013, 07:01 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    John,
    I should have been more clear. I wasn't thinking of developing them in internal testing or anything. I was thinking that as data was brought in from the fleet tests of various types the ... "marketing literature(?)" would describe two broad categories for "thumping our chest" purposes.

     

    That's the bait on the end of the hook so to speak. Then the reams of data could be used by an individual customer, with proper redacting of sensitive information of course, by the potential customer to "see for himself".

     

    'Pologies for not being clear about what I was thinking. Regardless, the way word-of-mouth spreads in the trucking industry "chest thumping" would probably be superfluous.

     

    HardToLove
    21 Dec 2013, 08:30 PM Reply Like
  • raleigh731
    , contributor
    Comments (282) | Send Message
     
    HTL, In the scenario that you describe, would incororating start/stop into the e-power drive train be feasable, also? everything I've seen on start stop indicates 10% fuel savings. SO, if e-power delivers 35% savings as it is currently configured, would that add an additional 3.5% in fuel savings and, if so, is it a savings that would recoup the additional cost of the start stop system?
    22 Dec 2013, 08:05 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    Using a stop-start system in ePower's hybrid drivetrain would not necessarily improve performance or efficiency because stop-and go driving puts a lot of strain on the batteries and when the truck doesn't generator power to turn the wheels any excess is routed to the batteries to keep them at an optimal state of charge. Stop-start makes a world of sense when the engine power isn't being used for productive work. It's far less useful when the power is always being used for something beneficial.
    22 Dec 2013, 08:11 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    Raleigh: John stated much more eloquently than I could what I think the answer is.

     

    My initial thought would be the gains would be very minimal because there would be lots of cases where the battery wasn't fully charged to the desired SOC just by regenerative braking. The engine would be charging the batteries in those cases.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Dec 2013, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2555) | Send Message
     
    John, how far out do you expect it will be before ePower will be able to publish its first Experience Report?
    22 Dec 2013, 03:13 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4426) | Send Message
     
    >Stefan Moroney ... If you've been following what John has been saying (and I know you have), I think he's given us enough information to provide us with a timeframe. I think it would near impossible and imprudent of him to give an exact date or a very narrow window. He might feel differently.

     

    From everything I've read we might expect some sort of Experience Report to be generated by ePower sometime in February. At least that would be my guess and I don't know if it would be held proprietary or not, though I'd be inclined to holding it close until a good dataset was in hand.

     

    I do appreciate his willingness to share the information he already has. It has been fascinating to read the progress with so much detail. A rare experience and one I've been passing along to my very skeptical trucking acquaintances down at the Bar-B-Q diner. I know there is interest and that is why I'd think ePower would want to be dead certain of results.
    22 Dec 2013, 03:39 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    The timing on our first Experience Report is hard to estimate since we don't know how long it will take to get our electronics adjusted to a point where the tractor runs as well as it can, or at least as well as we can make it run. We're also not sure how long the demonstration periods should be. Our current thinking is a couple weeks should be adequate but we'll be listening very carefully to what fleet owners tell us they need. Absent problems we'd like to put the first tractor in the hands of a fleet owner sometime in January so our crew can turn its attention to the day cab. That would give us a completed road test sometime in early to mid February. I wish my crystal ball was a little clearer, but these things seem to proceed at their own pace and I don't want to create any timing expectations we can't satisfy.
    22 Dec 2013, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2555) | Send Message
     
    Sometime in February was what I was thinking and seems reasonable based on Drich's thinking too. Hope it's something that you will be able to share in short order.
    22 Dec 2013, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    I don't disagree with your assessment of long-term issues ePower will have to face and overcome in developing a closer relationship with Cummins and its other component suppliers. Mercifully, those issues are not likely to become critical until we reach a size and volume of sales that would make Axion and its stockholders ecstatic. The Cummins 6.7L is one of their most popular engines and it's readily available in the salvage markets, which is where we plan to do most of our procurement over the next year while we work our way through building a direct OEM relationship with Cummins. While it would be nice to be in a position where we could buy directly with full ECM programming that matches our requirements exactly, the allure of a 50% to 70% discount on very slightly used is hard to resist, particularly in a small company that's trying to accomplish a lot with very limited resources. We'll need an OEM relationship when we get to thousands of units per year, but that's simply not an issue at this point.

     

    ePower's transition from the John Deer four to the Cummins six was a relatively simple matter because the engine is the dumbest component in our system. All the engine has to do is run at 1,800 RPM and give us the power we need out of the generator. The real magic happens in the downstream electronics. Making a smart engine like the Cummins 6.7L dumber has been a challenge, but our primary limitations have been a small staff and a tightly controlled budget. Now that we've completed the process replicating the steps will be a piece of cake.

     

    The transition from the John Deere engine to the Cummins engine is complete. The only thing that kept the tractor in the shop on Friday was the need for a longer fuel line. Next week the real work starts in earnest as we adjust our downstream control electronics and programming to cope with a generator that puts out 128 kw instead of 93 kw. We're a long way from done on the tractor, but the engine is a non-issue and I found your attempt to make it an issue both misleading and offensive.

     

    I can make representations about ePower and its challenges because I'm an executive officer and know the company well. You can't, because you know nothing about what we're doing and you don't grasp the relative importance of the various tasks on our checklists. You were wrong when you claimed that our transition from the Deere to the Cummins was incomplete. You made a clear statement that had no basis in fact. I corrected you. If you don't want me calling BS when you speak untruths about my company, ask questions instead of making assumptions.
    21 Dec 2013, 06:24 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29552) | Send Message
     
    One of our friends received a heavily redacted copy of Axion's Phase II SBIR Grant Application in response to an FOIA request. While ePower was the only third-party name that survived the redaction process, there is a good deal of useful information in the application.

     

    http://bit.ly/1gNf9Ps

     

    My inquiring mind would love to have access to more detail, but I know more after reading the application than I did before and that's progress in and of itself.
    21 Dec 2013, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17297) | Send Message
     
    I hope the gov realizes what was really meant by page 20's "... rerofit approach that ePower has developed ... that significantly decreases heavy-duty truck fuel economy".

     

    I'm sure they meant "decreases ... fuel consumption" or "increases fuel economy".

     

    Good read for me.

     

    Thanks John.

     

    HardToLove
    21 Dec 2013, 12:01 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3331) | Send Message
     
    I saw that too HTL, as well as the couple of typos that talked about "carbon monoxide" vs carbon dioxide. I don't want to be overly critical, and of course there was so much missing from the document that we can't know, but I mean, geez, I sure wish the thing would have had a good smooth proofread from a truly fresh set of eyes before going out the door...

     

    Some other thoughts:

     

    It's hard to know or guess about the level of knowledge of the intended audience of this document. How versed are they in the relevant concepts? How current are they with all the issues, all the ongoing efforts and progress happening in the field of vehicle hybridization? I don't know if we know. If we can know. As it is, it sure seems like this writeup assumes a lot of background knowledge. I want to believe it must be folks somewhat close to the problem who were involved in the review and award process, But I daresay it might be pretty tough sledding for someone uninitiated, to read this thing, and really come away with a clear sense of what it is they're actually doing and how it all fits in.

     

    For any future submissions, I just think the thing needs a very good, very comprehensive executive summary, one accessible to the full range of readers, combined with a lot more hand-holding and walking the average reader through all the steps and data and graphs. To me, it just seems like it would be harder to get a win if you can't communicate the main ideas clearly enough, and with enough punch, to a broad audience, such that they can clearly see the import and significance. As it is, I think perhaps here the forest was lost for the trees...
    21 Dec 2013, 06:30 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2555) | Send Message
     
    Pg 43 refers to a chart wherein the price of pbc batteries are compared to other solutions for s/s applications and Pbc is described as the most economical.

     

    More information mgt could use to blow the company horn, but of course the chart is redacted.
    22 Dec 2013, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2555) | Send Message
     
    Pg 18. Single lead acid configuration saves only 2-4% and a lead acid/Pbc configuration saves 10-15% and allows for implementation of additional savings measures
    22 Dec 2013, 05:08 PM