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  • I would prefer not to...
    15 Feb, 07:34 AM Reply Like
  • Primero!!!????

     

    Saludos-Carlos
    15 Feb, 07:38 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » (UPDATED! through 2/15/14) JP's charts!
    15 Feb, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • With its low end torque, can the ePower truck burn rubber?
    If so, we need a viral video of it. ;)

     

    "Electric Drag Semi, by ePower Systems"
    video link http://bit.ly/NP31BV
    (placeholder)
    15 Feb, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • While most of us go blowing by the headers these days, I do have a couple observations on the graphs and other matters that strike me as important.

     

    First, in the first half of February the 10-day volume has been bouncing around in a narrow band at 1.5 million shares a day. If the pattern continues; my estimate of Parsoon's remaining holdings is close to the mark; and Parsoon accounts for 15% of daily volume, they should be gone by the end of the month.

     

    Second, while the change isn't massive, my 10-day VWMA has moved up through the 20- and 50-day VWMAs and even the 50-day has turned up slightly. After several months of misery I think the trend is encouraging.

     

    Third, over the last few weeks I've received several e-mails from Axionistas who are avoiding the concentrators because the mood has become so nasty. While repeated venting on the same tired subject may be cathartic, it damages the community and can be very counter-productive if it scares new investors away from the stock. The big problem with the Brand X board is that harping by worry trolls prevents intelligent discussion. I would hate to see the same dynamic take control here.
    15 Feb, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • JP,

     

    You said, "...repeated venting on the same tired subject may be cathartic, it damages the community and can be very counter-productive if it scares new investors away..."

     

    I will not be repetitive. Previously I asked a question concerning the ePower's range on a grade, and its response in the event the batteries died during travel over a long grade. You replied in a condescending manner; others provided more thoughtful responses. At the time I was long Axion, but those comments prompted me to revisit my investment theme. After some study I decided to liquidate my Axion holdings.

     

    Axion battery technology does indeed have some nice advantages, and Axion may eventually be successful. However, the estimated risk/reward ratio does not meet my particular requirements for investment. For one thing, it appears that significant ePower sales (sales that are important to Axion's progress) are months if not years away (assuming that ePower is successful; the responses to my grading question were not reassuring).

     

    Good luck to all who continue to hold Axion; hopefully my risk/reward estimates are in error.
    15 Feb, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • I answered your question directly and I'm sorry if you didn't like my straightforward answer. On a long grade the ePower tractor does what every other truck in the world does, it shifts to a lower gear and muddles its way to the top. The issue for ePower is and always has been maintaining speed on gentle grades that other tractors take at 65 to 70 mph. That's where the battery boost matters. Unlike everybody else in the industry that tests on flat level ground, we do all our work in Northern Kentucky which is nothing but hills.

     

    I'm sorry to hear that you think ePower is months or years away from orders. My view as an officer of ePower is decidedly different from yours. Several huge fleet operators have told us what they need in terms of hauling capacity and fuel economy. We believe our current drivetrain will more than satisfy their requirements and that once the fleet operators confirm our fuel economy numbers, many will buy modest numbers of tractors for further testing. It won't take much market penetration in a 400,000 unit per year population to make ePower obscenely successful.

     

    Risk-reward evaluations are an intensely personal matter and I have no doubt that you made the right decision for your particular situation. I made a different decision.
    15 Feb, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • JP,

     

    Your reliance on the hills of Kentucky is, to someone with an engineering background, naive. You said earlier that, based on your legal background, others without that background should not challenge your legal-based statements, and I agree. However, you do not have an engineering background, and therefore I admonish you likewise with respect to challenging me with regard to engineering statements.

     

    I have helped many clients over the years anticipate and mitigate "practical" worst case concerns; i.e. operating conditions that may occur a small percent of the time. Such conditions can be and should be anticipated by thorough analysis, in conjunction with empirical validation. Rolling through Kentucky will likely not detect these small-probability events. However, should a small-probability event occur, if it has serious negative consequences (such as stalling and tying up traffic, or lurching to a quick stop and causing an accident), the event can kill the company's reputation, which may consequently bankrupt the company.

     

    I assume that you rely on ePower engineers to provide you with your technical talking points. However, I would advise an outside independent consulting review. The consultant would not have an opinion colored by concerns about keeping a job in the event of negative conclusions, as employees might. Also, if you had employed such a person, to me it seems likely that you would have previously reached into your desk and pulled out a report which contained a quantitative response to my grading questions; e.g. a table that shows how many hours a fully-loaded vehicle on a grade of X% will run on fully-charged batteries; the vehicle response when batteries become fully discharged; etc.

     

    You can have the last word; as promised I am not going to be repetitive.
    15 Feb, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • Our tractor can't run on battery power alone. It relies on the generator for its primary motive power and only uses the batteries for acceleration boost and climbing on modest grades. When you get to severe grades the tractor relies on its transmission, just like every other heavy truck.

     

    We don't believe for a minute that our series hybrid drivetrain will be a silver bullet solution for all truckers. Our primary focus is the large fleet operators who run hub and spoke systems and haul predictable loads over predictable routes on a daily basis. While engineering studies are wondrous if you're the engineer that's preparing them, we think the only opinion that matters is the fleet operator who has tested our drivetrain hauling his cargos on his routes.

     

    We're a small company and have limited options. We can either spend time and money hiring engineers to generate reports that fleet operators won't believe, or we can put our tractors in the hands of fleet operators who will tell us in very short order what our strengths and weaknesses are.

     

    If we can deliver the fuel economy we think we can deliver, we believe the operators who run hub and spoke will use our drivetrain where they can and use a conventional drivetrain where ours isn't strong enough. The nice thing about rebuilding 400,000 tractors a year is that the vast bulk of the population has mundane needs rather than extreme needs and we'll be happy with a credible market share since we don't have a silver bullet.
    15 Feb, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • JP.

     

    Sorry to go back on my word, but I must respond to the misleading boilerplate comments which you have made previously:

     

    "While engineering studies are wondrous if you're the engineer that's preparing them, we think the only opinion that matters is the fleet operator who has tested our drivetrain hauling his cargos on his routes...We're a small company and have limited options. We can either spend time and money hiring engineers to generate reports that fleet operators won't believe..."

     

    In every project I have been involved with, the analysis reports which you dismiss have not been for customers (although they can ultimately be used for such PR if favorable), they have been for the benefit of management and senior engineering staff, to help identify risks and to help ensure a reliable design. Analysis is considered an essential part of the development process, not an option. Also, such analyses cost but a small fraction of the cost of testing, so there really is no good reason not to have these independent studies done, unless one wishes to keep their head stuck well under the sand, fingers and toes crossed.

     

    This will be my last comment, cross my heart. And as mentioned earlier, I certainly could be wrong in my risk/reward assessment, and hope that things work out well for all ePower and Axion longs.
    15 Feb, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • What part of "We're a small company and have limited options" did you find incomprehensible? If we were a division of a Fortune 500 company or flush with venture capital we'd probably do it your way. Since we don't have five years and the millions of dollars it would take to do things your way, we'll muddle through as best we can and learn our lessons in the school of hard knocks instead.

     

    So far experience has shown us that the best and brightest engineers don't always know what they're talking about and the only way to show them the gaps in their thought process is to build a prototype and show them. You may not be impressed, but your opinion is inconsequential to me as long as Cummins is impressed.
    15 Feb, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • JP, sorry but you force me to once again break my commitment to comment no further. (I feel justified, in light of your arrogant and misleading replies.)

     

    You said, "If we were a division of a Fortune 500 company or flush with venture capital we'd probably do it your way. Since we don't have five years and the millions of dollars it would take to do things your way, we'll muddle through..."

     

    "Five years and millions of dollars" is laughable. Apparently you have a lot to learn about proper engineering development. For your information, many of my clients have been small startups with very limited resources. I repeat, analysis is an essential part of the development process, routine for every engineering project I have been involved with, appropriate for all size companies, and easily affordable. Indeed, it makes no economic sense to skip analysis.

     

    You said, "So far experience has shown us that the best and brightest engineers don't always know what they're talking about and the only way to show them the gaps in their thought process is to build a prototype and show them."

     

    Based on my experience, that statement comes from the Twilight Zone. I have never met an engineering team that underestimates the importance of test verification. Unlike you, however, they also do not underestimate the importance of supporting analysis. I must therefore conclude that you are simply posturing, which is unfortunate, and casts serious doubt upon your competence and credibility.

     

    You said, "...your opinion is inconsequential to me as long as Cummins is impressed."

     

    I have not worked with Cummins, but if they are typical then I can assure you that their engineering managers will want to see a good analysis, in addition to test data.
    15 Feb, 05:33 PM Reply Like
  • Newalker,

     

    "Five years and millions of dollars" is laughable.
    BMW and NSC!!!

     

    ePower--less than a year from test origination with PbC to commercial road tests.

     

    Please give it a rest Newalker.
    15 Feb, 05:48 PM Reply Like
  • jveal,

     

    It would be nice if you would read earlier comments before providing irrelevant comments. "Five years and millions of dollars" was a quote from JP's original comment as his reason why ePower has not done an analysis. That is indeed laughable, and if you wish to address that, please do so.
    15 Feb, 06:05 PM Reply Like
  • Newalker,

     

    I have read your comments and I was aware that you were quoting JP and laughing at him and calling him arrogant. If you want to continue to display your arrogance, that is fine. I will keep my word and not respond to this chain of conversation.
    15 Feb, 06:13 PM Reply Like
  • Newalker: We have enough to do here trying to invest in one company, Axion Power International, that discloses almost nada, and engages in questionable financing deals, apparently, without getting drawn into trying to tell another company representative how they should run their business.

     

    I, for one, would appreciate staying more on topic here.

     

    One could argue that whether or not ePower does things the "right way" is germane as it conceivably could affect Axion's success. However, I *think* all here realize that ePowers potential large volume orders are far out into the future and Axion will encounter much more immediate and pressing hurdles before ePower becomes a significant factor.

     

    That put's the conversation of of how JP and ePower should conduct their business well onto the back burner.

     

    So I think it benefits the folks here if once you've stated the concerns, you didn't get into the business of convincing folks.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    15 Feb, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • DNFTT jveal. Some debates are simply not worth continuing.
    15 Feb, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • jveal,

     

    Trying to squelch respectfully-stated skeptical opinions is in poor taste, in my opinion.

     

    I have never "laughed" at JP. I respect his business and legal background, and in fact based my original long position in Axion on his essays. However, in my opinion he has indeed made arrogant statements. But mainly it has been his inability to respond effectively to my technical inquiries that has shifted my investment position.

     

    I have made skeptical observations based on experience, observations that could actually help ePower, if they were to be considered. If the observations displease you, sorry about that, but the tone is surely not any worse than JP has employed many times with others. And in any event, the tone is not relevant to the substance.

     

    I continue to wish good luck to all Axion (and ePower) longs.
    15 Feb, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • "You said earlier that, based on your legal background, others without that background should not challenge your legal-based statements, and I agree. "

     

    :-) To each their own. Different strokes for different folks.
    16 Feb, 10:18 AM Reply Like
  • If you have "clients"...you should not be in AXPW...if you have clients...
    16 Feb, 09:34 PM Reply Like
  • newalker> I do respect your engineering background and what you say has some truth to it for sure. But in the end the only questions that matter are whether the tech works sufficiently well so that its benefits exceed its costs by a good margin in the eyes of the customer. Nobody expects a silver bullet.

     

    Ultimately, any engineering weakness that you fear would rear its ugly head in the form of performance issues, reliability issues, or longevity issues. Studies can be done, as you say, or some retrofits can simply be put to work on the road where any weaknesses will ultimately be visible. I think getting them on the road and crossing the river of design weakness when and if it appears is a perfectly valid approach whether it jibes with your training/opinion or not.

     

    Conversely, if there are engineering weaknesses but they never in fact manifest themselves to the truckers, then they aren't really weaknesses are they?
    16 Feb, 11:05 PM Reply Like
  • Retired Aviator,

     

    Thank you for your respectful and thoughtful comments.

     

    You said, "in the end the only questions that matter are whether the tech works sufficiently well so that its benefits exceed its costs by a good margin in the eyes of the customer. Nobody expects a silver bullet."

     

    I agree completely.

     

    You said, "Ultimately, any engineering weakness that you fear would rear its ugly head in the form of performance issues, reliability issues, or longevity issues..."

     

    Actually, with proper engineering analysis it is possible to anticipate, to a large degrees, serious issues, and to mitigate them. This is standard operating procedure for all competent engineering firms.

     

    You said, "I think getting them on the road and crossing the river of design weakness when and if it appears is a perfectly valid approach whether it jibes with your training/opinion or not."

     

    I disagree. The earlier in the development cycle potential defects are identified, the better, because it is much much less costly to correct the defects then, than to wait for them to manifest themselves in a fielded product. When problems occur at that late and very public date, company reputations can be irretrievably damaged.

     

    You said, "...if there are engineering weaknesses but they never in fact manifest themselves to the truckers, then they aren't really weaknesses are they? "

     

    Of course. But the defects/weakness that engineers attempt to identify are the ones that would result in the product not meeting its specified requirements, or that could result in a safety hazard.

     

    Thanks again; nice to have a civil discussion :)
    17 Feb, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • @newalker:

     

    I've read through your many posts... even going back to comments concerning other companies, and you seem to bring up legitimate concerns, i.e, not necessarily a troll.

     

    WRT Epower, you've made your points re: outside testing; and those following this blog have heard your points... now let it go.

     

    It appears your ego is getting in the way...
    17 Feb, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • Ocam,

     

    Thank you, but I am not the type to continually bash. I think making a skeptical point once is sufficient. So this is not an ego issue. I simply respond when questions or comments are posed, or when insults are delivered. I defend myself in the latter case; that's all.

     

    The reason I made my initial comment was because, in an earlier edition of the Concentrator, I had made some favorable observations about Axion. Since a handful of people who follow my comments may or may not be influenced by that, I posted a follow-up on my decision to shed my holding, and listed one of the major reasons. I did not list all my concerns, because I am not interested in bashing Axion. After I made the original post, if I had received a gentlemanly response, you would haven't heard again from me.

     

    But I am disappointed in your closing comment: "...now let it go." I wonder why you should try to squelch honest and respectful debate? A few folks on this blog seem comfortable with skeptical views and seem interested in exploring pros and cons. This to me is the strength of SA. After all, if someone doesn't want to hear what another person has to say, it's easy enough to scroll on past.
    17 Feb, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • @newalker: I guess you completely missed my point. Good luck in your future endeavors.
    17 Feb, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • Newalker
    Just wondering what you think would be done in the next week or so before the truck is delivered?
    Or did you have a different idea in mind?
    17 Feb, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • froggey,

     

    Thank you for the interesting question.

     

    If I were to parachute into the situation, I would first review all of the relevant analysis data (although based on earlier comments it appears that there would be little to review, which would be a major concern). I would interview the design engineers, and would also host a design review, inviting outside independent experts to review the design, particularly with regard to risk issues, to be sure that the design is reasonably fail-safe; e.g. no abrupt deceleration or inadequate speeds on specified max grades at low battery. I would also be very interested in compliance issues; e.g. UL, NTSB, etc. to be absolutely sure there were no hidden liability bombs waiting to explode. Would not be good to have the feds impound the truck because it does not meet compliance specs.

     

    It may be that some of this has been done, but I have not seen it discussed. These steps would not be too costly or time consuming, but would add a substantial layer of assurance that the initial release of the truck would not result in an embarrassing misfire.
    17 Feb, 03:14 PM Reply Like
  • newalker> Basically we agree on almost everything. I'm just more amenable to less internal testing and more end user "testing". Yes, it's possible that that internal testing could result in fixing issues that will damage ePower's reputation if they rear their heads in the hands of user.

     

    As one who is about to invest in ePower's offering, my money is with my mouth though and I do prefer their approach in this case of getting to market ASAP. I've got a very good feeling about their tech that there's not a major Achilles heel.

     

    One problem with extended internal testing is the cost of time and of money. In the meantime a much better funded competitor might get ideas and emerge. In a total cost/benefit analysis I'm not so sure the engineer's perspective is the correct one if there is such a thing. Reputation can be damaged but the damage can also be repaired -- just look at the automakers over the decades, or the banks.
    17 Feb, 10:05 PM Reply Like
  • Something that's maybe getting lost here is that ePower deserves a world of credit. Look what they've achieved already. They don't strike me as a bunch of yokels in a garage just wrenching things together between tobacco chews and see what works. I'm quite sure they've got some top flight talent and engineers already in house. JB I'm sure not the least. Their vector drive alone should give us a clue. Here was a solution that seemingly evaded a lot of other, bigger, players. But little ePower had the vision, grit, imagination, and capability to identify and re-purpose existing controller technology and fashion it into a game-changing enabler. Now, they may have thrown out a couple of books along the way, but they didn't throw out *all* the books, and clearly not the important ones. The proof is in the pudding. And it's on the road now. Which says a lot.
    17 Feb, 11:40 PM Reply Like
  • It's critical to remember that ePower is a long way from the release of a commercial product. We have built our first Gen3 prototype and are working on the second. We plan to build eight more with our own money and hope to build a few hundred more over the next couple years to collect enough hard end-user data and feedback to support the release of a commercial product in kit form. We expect breakdowns and so will our testing partners. That's the biggest reason that I don't even want to discuss potential issues in the rockies and other places that are a thousand miles outside our economic customer service radius.

     

    Today we're learning to crawl, so it's far too early to talk about running the Pikes Peak Marathon.

     

    http://bit.ly/1m4YiaN
    18 Feb, 07:15 AM Reply Like
  • newalker, le me just quote N. Taleb to give a slightly different perspective of the situation: "it's better to do things that you cannot explain than to explain things that you cannot do"!
    18 Feb, 07:39 AM Reply Like
  • >It's critical to remember that ePower is a long way from the release of a commercial product.<

     

    @JP, that is refreshing to hear and I think it was newalker's main point to begin with. Until now, you have given the impression that ePower sales would be ramping as soon as this year and anyone who doubted that did not know what they were talking about.
    18 Feb, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • I fully expect ePower's sales to ramp quickly as fleet owners decide the only way they can get enough data to make rational business decisions is to buy modest numbers of prototypes and test for themselves.

     

    One of our testing partners operates a fleet of 13,000 tractors and does 4,000 rebuilds per year. A two week test may show them that using our drivetrain could quadruple their profitability on appropriate routes, but it won't tell them which of their routes will work best with our drivetrain. Their choice will be to wait for a few years while we collect data or buy a few tractors to conduct their own testing.

     

    The Eaton hybrid sold 6,000 units in the first three years of production. The buyers were all fleets that wanted to find out whether this new-fangled hybrid would work in their business and if so where would it work best.

     

    In a universe of 400,000 rebuilds a year I expect ePower to have more demand than it can say grace over. At this point in time the only thing that matters is a credible ramp rate and when your starting number is 2, that's a fairly attainable goal.
    18 Feb, 08:57 AM Reply Like
  • New EPA rules for trucks coming. http://seekingalpha.co...
    18 Feb, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • Just that fleet operator you mentioned, if half there routs are saving them money with ePower, that is 2000 rebuilds a year, with 112,000 PbC's or, at $80 profit per battery, almost $9M income for Axion, or to put it another way, in the black.
    19 Feb, 11:50 AM Reply Like
  • A single customer for hundreds or even thousands of retrofits to me could be alarming given ePower's model of selling the parts and actually training the customer to perform the retrofit labor. The problem is, then what does the customer need ePower for? Why not just buy the parts separately from Cummins, Marathon, etc and cut out ePower? Seems plausible to me that ePower might either have to get by on slim margins as middlemen do or give up some large customers and be left with mostly small customers whose economics do not justify the effort of bidding out all the parts.

     

    Perhaps I am wrong and there are enough proprietary parts -- tricky engine mounts, PbC boxes, wiring harnesses, etc -- that are simply unavailable outside of ePower. That would be good to know.
    19 Feb, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • RA, They have patents on the system. Also, if in fact Axion PbC is required to run the system at a favorable price point, they have signed an agreement with Axion on the one critical component that customers can't get anywhere else.
    19 Feb, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • The major building blocks of ePower's system are off-the-shelf components, but the control electronics that make everything work as an integrated system are highly proprietary and took years to develop. Moreover, ePower has already been granted its first patent on the series hybrid drivetrain and international patent applications are a lot like dominos. Once the first issues the rest typically fall into place in relatively short order.
    19 Feb, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • iinde> Surely the 30HT PbC will be available for individual purchase to replace failing batteries and if a fleet owner can buy 1 then why not 56?

     

    Secondly, do patents protect IP from another entity's using the technology for itself or just from using it for commercial purposes? I don't know the answer.

     

    It may not be beneficial to pursue an infringement as how much would be the damages if the infringer never made a dime selling the product?
    19 Feb, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • APGI strikes me as a bigger threat to ePower's market. The co. already has production in the hands of commercial fleet operators, repeat orders, and recently announced availability of lease financing for their kits without pledging the tractor as collateral.
    19 Feb, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • RA, Patents work across the entire spectrum of users. Of course you have to weigh the cost of litigation against any benefits before pursuing such action as you suggest.

     

    Your point concerning buying the correct size PbC at a future location if available could become an issue at some point. Sure isn't a concern now.
    19 Feb, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • You have to keep your wits about you as you read information in the blogosphere. The interface of "facts" and interests is treacherous waters.
    I have been reading this concentrator for quite some time. All parties, including it's spiritual leader, have yielded to the temptation to be pretty snarky at times.
    This issue reminds me of the old saw about the farm animals talking about breakfast; the cow and the chicken were interested, but the pig was committed. JP is careful to disclose that he's a major shareholder and former director, and now a senior officer in a company that is staking it's future on the survival of AXPW so he's much closer to committed than interested. There's a tendency to squash those criticisms don't meet his standard of factual support. You have to take the information and opinions and weigh them against the level of interest. I did so, and I'm still invested at about 2% of my net worth, because I find that the information seems credible. That doesn't change the fact that he can be pretty harsh at times.
    I think the fact that we get that much "insider insight" is the fact that he's no longer a director at AXPW and ePower hasn't put the clamps on the information flow.
    There are other reasons for a more civil discourse, but the nature of these internet forums is that there's little censorship, and people will vent. I'd prefer to spend my time reading stuff that improves my insight into the company, it's prospects and the time-frame of return on investment. Still, no-one held a gun to my head when I laid my money down. I've spent a lot of time weeding through the chaff to develop my investment portfolio and this forum has a lot more wheat in it than most blogs.
    15 Feb, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • I'm the first to admit that I occasionally get a bit snarky, but it's almost always limited to situations where commenters exaggerate the bad or blame individuals for events they cannot control. I've frequently said that if I'd known how difficult the process was going to be, I probably would have taken a different path in 2003. I don't know what I would have done if I'd known how badly the big investors were going to behave after the 2009 offering. I'll guarantee there are times when management feels the same way. I know they're as frustrated as we are with the careful plodding pace of customers who are making multi-million dollar buying decisions. Welcome to the battery industry.

     

    I've been an Axion observer for over a decade and I haven't seen a single tactical or technical error in the underlying business. I've been an Axion customer for about six months and know how good the battery is. While many watched part of the new ePower video a few days ago, I suspect that most bailed after a couple minutes because nobody commented on the freeway off-ramp scene at the 7 minute mark where the regeneration charge peaked at 796 Volts and 236 Amps.

     

    We're all frustrated that Axion's potential customers are moving more slowly than we want them to and more slowly than management expected. I can't speak for the rest of you, but I've never had any skill at predicting when somebody else will be willing to write a check. The only thing I know for sure is that persistence and perseverance are cardinal virtues. Until I see facts that change my original investment thesis, the thesis remains intact.
    15 Feb, 11:48 AM Reply Like
  • I had missed the mention of the new video, John, but I just watched and it's very interesting. I don't pretend to understand the significance of the 796 volts, but the fact that the batteries were pretty much at full charge after a 2-hour trip speaks volumes, IMO.

     

    On the on-ramp scene where the tractor slows without using breaks, my first thought is that this setup should also save fleets money in brake overhauls, which I am sure is costly on big trucks.

     

    Also noticed the auto tranny right off since there was no gear changing going on. The cab seemed to be very quiet which I would also consider a plus if I was a driver.

     

    Very cool stuff. For many reasons I hope you sell a million of them.
    15 Feb, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • "The only thing I know for sure is that persistence and perseverance are the cardinal virtues." - Here I fully agree with you. This year we will have - "somebody else will be willing to write a check".
    15 Feb, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • I, too, watched the video but didn't comment because I've made and/or designed technical presentation films/videos in the past and written scripts for (and produced) the voice-over. most of my comments related to technical aspect of the videography and the screaming need for a professional video editor and voice-over production values.

     

    when you mentioned that you're already looking for a more professional videographer, I just left it alone. On a strictly personal note, and having been one of those who had been ready to financial work with ePower, I was extremely interested in the video and grateful that you shared it with us.
    15 Feb, 01:20 PM Reply Like
  • Oh, I also thought that I'd like to take a ride in one, myself!!!
    15 Feb, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • Ack! Just realized I used breaks instead of brakes. Incorrect usage of words drives me nuts.
    15 Feb, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • A 796 volt charge current works out to about 14.2 volts on a per battery basis, which isn't all that high. The 256 amps, on the other hand, is about 5 times the one our discharge rate and would be enough to melt the terminals off many AGM batteries.
    15 Feb, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • JP,

     

    I have been traveling the last month or so, very busy on projects. I can't find the link for the video and I would appreciate if you can spare me some time and post it again here. Thanks
    15 Feb, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • Barood: Ask and ye shall reecive!

     

    http://bit.ly/MIEuNC

     

    HardToLove
    15 Feb, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks HTL :)
    15 Feb, 07:16 PM Reply Like
  • 256 amps? Or 236 amps. 236 is what I thought I remembered seeing.
    15 Feb, 08:34 PM Reply Like
  • Good catch, it was a mere 236 Amps instead of the 256 Amps that I originally recalled. On the other hand, plus or minus 10% on a 5C charge acceptance rate doesn't matter al that much.
    15 Feb, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • Was there a load or even an empty trailer?
    15 Feb, 11:34 PM Reply Like
  • We need to wait for the DATA. What John shares is encouraging but the data that can be tied back to some level of how certain machines are certified is very important. For good reason.
    15 Feb, 11:58 PM Reply Like
  • Absorbing 796V x 236A = ~188KW or ~250 Hp of stopping power... which means well over 4Hp per battery, instantaneous.

     

    I betcha that metric right there is why serial-hybrid drive would never really work right with any other battery..

     

    John, anything further on my previous question about the overquick voltage rise time that we see at the beginning of the drive? I'm still trying to sort that out. Unless that generator has a huge short-term boost power delivery capability, it's still hard to square. 10 seconds even say at 180 KW would still be only 0.50 KWh.

     

    Now if the capacitance of a single battery is 13,000 F, then a single 56-series string would still have about 232 Farads total. (note that a number of capacitors connected in series reduces the total capacitance of the whole series by the same number factor)

     

    Yet, given that still hefty capacitance (and completely ignoring any charging of the electrochemical half of the battery), over the delta V rise of 503V to 641V the increase in stored energy *should* be: 1/2 x 232 x (641^2 - 503^2). Which is 18,313,152 Joules. Which is equivalent to 5087 Watt-hours or roughly 5KWh. And that is *ten times* the energy the generator could put out in ten seconds.

     

    So something looks off. By a factor of ten. And so I now wonder if the 13,000 Farad number that we got from the foia'd application with GM (and IIRC the only place we've seen it) might not have been a typo... could it in reality be only 1,300 Farads? That would be somewhat less impressive than 13,000 F but would certainly square up this particular discrepancy...

     

    Anyway, it's a lingering curiosity. And I hope some folks here will check my math. And if any genuine EE's could weigh in that would be fabulous...

     

    16 Feb, 02:39 AM Reply Like
  • I know this is peripheral to the topic, but you may get much better video quality from a phone these days. Here, for example, what I have filmed with my iPhone 5s, reduced quality from full HD 1080p to 720p for Youtube, and edited with the free software that comes with every Mac
    http://bit.ly/1f35F1T
    16 Feb, 05:45 AM Reply Like
  • 48, I had the same question about the capacitance a few weeks ago. 13k F seems huge (i.e. too good to be true) anyway you look at it ;)

     

    Maybe 13k F for each 2V cell?
    16 Feb, 05:51 AM Reply Like
  • Greentongue> That particular test was run at 38,800 pounds with our short trailer.

     

    481068 and Nicu> The 13,000F reference is on page 6 of the joint Axion-GM grant application.

     

    http://bit.ly/1fAOoNb

     

    This is the only place I've ever seen a specific number that quantifies the capacitance of the PbC. Since capacitance calculations are a mystery to me, I can't do more than point it out.
    16 Feb, 06:31 AM Reply Like
  • So the video should be a good example of the Day Cab in action as well? Does the reduced number of batteries in it have a huge impact or does the reduced load compensate?
    Or, is it all speculation at this point?

     

    What does the time line for the Day Cab look like now? That thing should be a "firecracker" for sales once it is on line and generating hard data.

     

    How does the assembly difficulty compare between the Day Cab and the Sleeper once you get to kit form?
    16 Feb, 08:46 AM Reply Like
  • A GCWR of 38,000 is still on the light side and our sweet spot target is 65,000 pounds, which is heavy enough for about 75% of long-haul loads.

     

    We're using exactly the same drivetrain in the day cab that we're using in the sleeper. We originally thought we might reduce the system voltage and cut the battery power in half, but ultimately decided we'd be better off using the same configuration. Getting everything on the day cab will require a big shoehorn, but we think we have it licked.

     

    The important thing to remember about the drivetrain is that it shouldn't behave differently in the day cab because our focus is on a gross laden weight for the tractor, trailer and cargo. The day cab will haul a couple thousand pounds more cargo because the tractor is lighter, but the performance at a given gross combined weight rating, or GCWR, should be the same regardless of the tractor form.
    16 Feb, 09:16 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks John, for the renewed link (my original had gone somewhere down the great harddrive vortex memory hole) and it will be good to review the the thing again in its entirety.

     

    To Nicu's point it does seem though, from the wording, like the 13,000 F number is meant to apply for the whole battery, not just each individual cell. Now in the document, they're talking about a ten minute discharge (at 50A was it?) while maintaining above 12V. So that's 600secs x 50A x 12V = 360,000J = 0.10 KWh.

     

    Now at say a voltage delta of 14V down to 12V, at 13,000F, that would be: 1/2 x 13,000 x (196-144) = 338,000 Joules which is right there. So that seems to support the 13,000 F value they're claiming. Curiouser and curiouser.

     

    Anyway, as far as you know, on the actual truck, has roughly that same ten seconds and accompanying voltage delta been observed on all morning starts like that?

     

    If so, it's kind of a head-scratcher. I mean, here you have this pretty massive battery bank, ~28KWh worth, and it's just hard to see how it could be charged that quickly to give such a large rise in voltage like that unless very little of that energy capacity is contained in that lower voltage range...

     

    That must be the answer. At some point in the discharge curve there must be a very steep break. From 796V down to 641V must be where the lion's share of the energy is stored. With a lot less to be recoverable at ~641V and below. If ~640V is the steady state pack operating voltage, It would be very interesting to see what happens at it discharges down from there in a small hill climb. Better yet a steep small hill climb where presumably the generator would be well overmatched by the torque demand. Does it draw down to the 503V region anywhere near as quickly? I know it's asking a whole lot, but it would be very cool if any follow-on videos could somehow show a split-screen of the data output as any hills and descents are negotiated...

     

    Regardless, it sure looks like the concept is working, and working well, and what a beautiful thing... ;)
    16 Feb, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • 481086> I checked with Jay and he confirmed the numbers, but I think what we're seeing is the interplay between ambient temperature charging current and internal resistance that increases as the SOC increases. Remember our 120 kW charging current is leaving the generator at 250 Amps and the temperature was below freezing. Since the PbC is a battery-supercapacitor hybrid, rather than a pure supercapacitor, it's charge acceptance rates do have limits. They're just high limits compared to other batteries in freezing temperatures.
    16 Feb, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • Remember also that the round trip efficiency of caps is not ultra-great. I would imagine the batteries are not going to stay frigid very long.

     

    http://bit.ly/1ivrfgT
    16 Feb, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • I'm thinking the answer to 48's thoughts lies in the fact that faridic operations happen much more quickly than the chemical ones? All/most of the short-term voltage/SOC changes happen in the capacitor? It gets a higher voltage very quickly and the battery part only slowly draws of charge from it?

     

    'Course, this is the same thought process I had when I thought the of the reason for self-balancing and don't know if that was correct or not.

     

    Regardless, I'm feeling sure that the differences in the rate of charge acceptance between the capacitor part and the battery part allows observation of lots of quizzical phenomena.

     

    HardToLove
    16 Feb, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks much John. That will take time for me to try to digest, but it seems a satisfying answer. Clearly, the 10 second "charge" is only part of the story. The energy flows and temperature gains over the ensuing minutes probably tell a lot more of it. The system behavior is obviously richly complex, and fascinating, and my feeble attempts to understand some of the interplay is a bit like walking blind with a stick. I bet a full data-run correlated with continuous inclinometer, altimeter, thermometers, and speedometer series would show the full picture of what was truly going on. What pioneering work though, and inspiring. I know you've said that there has been a lot of technical engagement and coordination by Axion with ePower and I bet much of the valuable information gain is a two-way street. Axion must itself be also learning a lot about how the battery acts and performs in such a complex and demanding (nay punishing) real-world application such as your trucks. This is key road being cut for the first time through rough country. And along with NSC's data has got to be building one heck of a foundational knowledge base for all the applications to come...
    16 Feb, 12:32 PM Reply Like
  • Great link iinde. Perhaps this is why a battery-capacitor hybrid has so much potential. For the whole device, we've been told the round trip efficiencies are much higher than 50%. And I gotta think ePower is seeing more than that too. Certainly bears additional thought and investigation...
    16 Feb, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • 48, Well how efficient the PbC battery is depends on the rate of charging and discharging I'm sure. Irrespective of that when you have energy that is not needed during given times or being wasted like during braking and you can time shift/harvest it to peak shave that's a good thing. How good depends on the cost to do so and how good your drive cycle analysis is for the markets you wish to serve. Oh, and the robust engineering as per the back and forth debate we saw here in the form.
    16 Feb, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • I just wanted to note, that on the bottom of the very first page of the Axion-GM grant application, Valeo is mentioned as a supporting participant. Hmmm.....
    16 Feb, 01:59 PM Reply Like
  • Good catch 48
    16 Feb, 02:54 PM Reply Like
  • Here is the gentleman from GM that signed the letter demonstrating GM's willingness to participate in the grant application.

     

    http://bit.ly/1j1YqGN

     

    He apparently retired last September.
    16 Feb, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • @alsobirdman: <<<<On the on-ramp scene where the tractor slows without using breaks, my first thought is that this setup should also save fleets money in brake overhauls, which I am sure is costly on big trucks.>>>>...

     

    One of the things I noticed when driving my... um... wife's Leaf.... was that if I put it in "ECO" mode... it created more drag when I would take my foot off the pedal.... that "drag" was the electrons flowing back into the battery.

     

    With time, I was able to (pretty much unconsciously) allow this "regenerative drag" to slow the vehicle about 70% to 90% when I was preparing to stop (or turn at an intersection).

     

    Thus, over time, I began to notice how little I was using the brakes, and how effectively I was returning kinetic energy back into the battery.

     

    If E-power is able to capitalize on this phenominon... I have no doubt this will save brakes ware, while at the same time effectively redeploy electrons.

     

    I'm excited to see the results at Epower over the next few months.
    16 Feb, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • Our tractor does the same thing. When you turn off the cruise control or take your foot off the throttle, the drive motor goes into regenerative braking mode. Since brake maintenance is big deal in the trucking industry, we think reduced maintenance will be an attractive feature, but it will still pale in comparison to fuel savings.
    16 Feb, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • The concentrator folks were able to get their hands on a later Axion grant application:

     

    http://bit.ly/1b2oRbU

     

    Page 28 of the document discusses a potential partnership between "one of Axion's partner" automotive OEMS and/or a hybrid systems supplier (such as Valeo or Bosch) for Phase II and potentially Phase III.

     

    Unfortunately, the copy of the Phase II grant application had this information redacted and since the Phase II grant was not awarded, there will not be a Phase III grant application.
    16 Feb, 03:58 PM Reply Like
  • For all, I highly recommend re-reading this joint Axion-GM grant application of a couple of years ago that John re-linked. This time around I found a few (in no particular order) things that to me seemed to stand out:

     

    1) It's very well written (IMHO) and shows a degree of polish and lack of typos and errors that would suggest to me that it may have been written utilizing GM's own corporate resources and talent vice than just by Axion alone.

     

    2) It's kind of striking how close a relationship there seems to be suggested between GM and Axion---how many times the names are mentioned together in the same breath...and how there is a lot of joint work proposed here in what seems to be a very fleshed out roadmap going forward. IE this very much looks like GM's roadmap and not just Axion's...

     

    3) The proposal calls for three phases, and given the completed milestone of the continuous roll sheeting process, it sure seems likely that where they are now is squarely in phase III...

     

    4) I seem to recall it being said, by TG and then echoed, that regardless of whether or not this particular grant funding was awarded (and we know now that it was not) that in any case the joint project outlined therein was going to continue forward. Again, based on the detail and objectives of the plans as laid out, it sure does look like that would be the case... we may have all been under a desiccating GM news blackout for a while now, even continuing to this day, but that doesn't mean that very significant work couldn't still be going on by them with respect to GM's eventual adoption of the PbC, especially all the vehicle integration work that would occur under their roof.

     

    5) The level of excision and redaction in this document is nothing like what we saw in the other foia'd application, the phase II one that we had to wait so long for. I can imagine that GM might have been pretty pissed that this one got out with so much detail preserved and vowed to not have a repeat of same. Clearly on the second one, a lot more effort looks like it was made to quell disclosures of detail.

     

    Anyway, just my impressions. Given all the events of the last two years, it adds a lot of useful context to our evolving picture. Just hard to read this, all the work they were going to do together, and then imagine that somebody just said oh well, "never mind". No, deep cover notwithstanding, I bet this is all still in play...
    16 Feb, 08:11 PM Reply Like
  • 48,

     

    Thank you for bringing these points to our attention. It is certainly interesting to entertain the idea that Axion and GM are still working together closely. I hope it's true, that would bode quite well for us.
    16 Feb, 08:36 PM Reply Like
  • I didn't/don't want to read to much into it, but it just seems to suggest to me a reach and level of maturity to the Axion-GM relationship that we might have under-noticed before... others may derive a much different impression. Additionally it occurs to me that it just might be that Axion's apparent standing with Cummins could be related.
    16 Feb, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • My Saturn Vue Green line Mild-Hi-Bred had the front brakes done Seven years after I bought it. I find I have much more control cornering . E-power will save on Fuel, brakes and accidents.
    17 Feb, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks HTL, I also missed the earlier link. The truck has an entirely different sound with e-power. The start up is looks like an aircraft start up.

     

    I, personally, will be buying a ford hybrid for my next car.

     

    LM
    17 Feb, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • JP

     

    The breaking capability of the electric drive motors will be a very big deal here in the west where we have long down hill grades of 4 to 8 miles with up to 5% grades.

     

    LM
    17 Feb, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • The mountains of the American west are probably not going to be an ideal operating environment for our drivetrain. We're using an underpowered engine to maximize fuel economy and relying on a battery pack for acceleration boost and modest hill climbing.

     

    While the batteries do a fine job with a couple hundred feet of elevation change we're not carrying anywhere near enough energy for a couple thousand feet of elevation change. That's why our marketing efforts are focused on hub and spoke type fleets that haul predictable cargos over predictable routes.
    17 Feb, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • John,
    Out of curiosity, do you know if Jay has the brake lights on the truck set up to come on when the truck is slowing down due to regenerative braking? There was some question in the past as to whether or not there was an increase in HEVs and EVs being rear-ended because the drivers following them didn't know they were slowing down, because they hadn't applied their foot to the break, but had just let the regenerative braking slow their car down. Tesla's website says that their break lights do come on when the car is using regenerative breaking, but I have no proof of that.
    17 Feb, 03:39 PM Reply Like
  • The brake lights only come on during periods of mechanical braking.
    17 Feb, 06:11 PM Reply Like
  • 48, maybe the higher voltage after 10 seconds just reflects the voltage drop across the batteries as the amps are getting pushed in, rather than the state of charge. to get the true state of charge you would have to read the voltage while the generator is not pushing current into it.
    17 Feb, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • I'm sure this explanation of LAB charging cycles comes into play and the other half of the battery will charge pretty quickly as it functions as a cap. The interactions between the electrochemical and electrostatic halves is what would be very interesting to understand.

     

    http://bit.ly/1cSAlwZ
    17 Feb, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • I was curious about the Mountains one time and did a little math on it, and got a different result that John stated. But then I double-checked and darn if he isn't right.

     

    For the slow news day:

     

    Battery String = 20KWH = 72 Million Joules = 72 Million NM

     

    70,000 lbs = 312,000 Newtons

     

    So at 100% Eff, batteries can lift the whole load 72 Mil/.31Mil

     

    = 240 Meters straight up. Assuming the battery-drive sys is 85% eff - that means the batteries are dead at 650 feet of altitude gain (assuming the engine provides the power for the "level" portion of the load).

     

    Up hill on I-70 from Denver is probably 3000 ft of altitude gain (to the first downhill part). It would be a frustrating drive for the poor guy in his ePower truck.
    17 Feb, 07:53 PM Reply Like
  • I doubt that the PbC battery bank is anywhere near being 85% efficient with the rate of charge and discharge you're looking at. Plus you can't use all the storage in the battery.

     

    That being said, with the system allowing the ICE to run in its sweet spot, capturing energy from the generator when it's not required and recouping energy during deceleration can make for one good efficiency improvement for the right drive cycles and rolling topography. Also things like traffic conditions and varying wind speed and direction can add to the benefits the ePower system can deliver. Mountains and long flat roads, not so good.

     

    I'm really looking forward to seeing some of the initial numbers coming off the sleeper cab unit.

     

    Come on mother nature give us a break.
    17 Feb, 08:29 PM Reply Like
  • Page 7 of 27

     

    http://bit.ly/1fAOoNb

     

    Pegs the round trip efficiency during high-rate partial state of charge cycling at 84%...
    17 Feb, 08:45 PM Reply Like
  • thanks iinde, but the link seems not to be working....
    17 Feb, 08:46 PM Reply Like
  • JB, it should be kept in mind that the battery is not having to lift the truck all on its own. It is merely helping the engine to do it faster. Even in the absence of any battery at all the engine can get the truck to the top, albeit more slowly. So the real question is one of rate first, and then one of total energy at that rate. IE, can the battery supply enough energy at a high enough rate, *for long enough duration* to assist the engine sufficiently enough to enable the truck to ascend the 3000ft grade at a satisfactory speed?
    17 Feb, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • To look at it another way, let's take your reasonable estimate 20KWh of useful energy to be gotten out of the battery. So at a gentle 1C extraction rate that would be 20KW of boost...*for an hour*. Now, 20KW divided by 746 Watts per Hp equals about 27Hp, which I think to most people here gives a better feel for what we're talking about. But again, that's 27 Hp of boost *for an hour* at a very gentle 1C discharge. Now granted, that ain't much boost if you're going to climbing a long steep grade for a full hour. Just as John has said. But realistically how often is that going to happen? I mean, a full hour, even at a paltry 30mph is still 30 miles of horizontal distance covered.. and at a steep grade of 5% up that would be a full 1.5 miles of altitude gain, call it 8000ft. Again, not what this tractor is designed for. But suppose we're talking smaller hills. And healthier discharge rates. Say 5C. So now that's 5x27Hp = 135Hp of boost, but only for 12 minutes. Now that sounds a lot better. 12 minutes is at least several miles forward. And the truck can probably climb a pretty sizeable hill in that time/distance. Or even shorter term, say high intensity discharges of 10C... 270Hp of boost for up to six minutes. Seems to me that performance would be adequate to quite a lot of terrain. But of course not everywhere. But then that's John's point. The truck will be plenty adequate for a huge part of the US, just not the Rockies or Sierras...
    17 Feb, 09:35 PM Reply Like
  • "Page 7 of 27

     

    http://bit.ly/1fAOoNb"

     

    Very interesting table 11 on that page, 48~.

     

    One of the lines reads,

     

    "Self Discharge rate (Wh/24hrs) < 50 " with check marks for both AGM and PbC batteries.
    17 Feb, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • ngs, That's a worthy line of thought.. but it still leaves questions... what happens after the ten seconds? Are we then in a steady-state charging mode? For how long? Then the ten seconds doesn't really have any meaning as a *charging* time, rather it's just a voltage rise time. Also, it should be asked, if the pack operating voltage at the end of the run is a full ~640V...then how does it get down to 503V the next(?) morning? Is that our airport-test failing self-discharge rate rearing its head and coming into play? Lots of questions, but I suspect the phenomenon is more related to what John is saying about resistance and cold wx effects... In any case for me it bears more thinking...
    17 Feb, 09:54 PM Reply Like
  • "if the pack operating voltage at the end of the run is a full ~640V...then how does it get down to 503V the next(?) morning?"

     

    Perhaps the tractor sat for longer than over night? May have sat unused for a day or two with snow falling.
    17 Feb, 10:02 PM Reply Like
  • This might not be as big an issue as we think. ALL trucks take mountains slowly.

     

    Maybe a struggling ePower truck if not too heavily loaded could pick up the pace a bit on mountains by every few hundred feet of elevation pulling over to the shoulder and stopping to recharge the batteries for a few minutes.
    17 Feb, 10:12 PM Reply Like
  • I saw that, but there's always going to be more to the story, as perhaps the truck itself has some vampire loads...

     

    On the fourth slide of this deck there is a much better copy of the table--

     

    http://1.usa.gov/1f7tOoe

     

    edit: you know what, I think posted links are largely not working here ... just tried my own link and nada.

     

    do a bing search on "merit08_chu" and hit the first link for "nanophosphate technology for HEV applications" and that is the powerpoint that I tried to link to...
    17 Feb, 10:28 PM Reply Like
  • "The brake lights only come on during periods of mechanical braking."

     

    Well you might want to mention it to Jay if the regenerative braking can reduce the speed of the truck to any significant degree. As far as I can tell, the NHTSA doesn't have specific rules governing this in any vehicles with regenerative breaking, yet, but an internet search shows that it has been discussed in Europe, and many EVs currently on the road do light up the rear break lights when the regenerative breaking system is activated.
    17 Feb, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • Grammar cop here! Let's stop breaking the brake lights.
    17 Feb, 11:05 PM Reply Like
  • Your explanation made me curious. Just how much power does it take to go up a 6% grade at 30 mph with 70,000 lbs?

     

    According to Michellin, rolling resistance is about .008 - which works out to about 30KW or 40 HP. Assume wind resistance is negligible at that speed.

     

    But at a 6% grade, the entire 70,000 lbs is being lifted at a rate of about 2.64 ft/s. That works out to 250KW or 333 HP. Yikes.

     

    The entire electric drive is only good for 150KW, per John, so now the tractor is capable of 16 mph. That's almost not acceptable no matter the battery capability.

     

    Is does speak to the tremendous potential of ePower though. Going up and down hills, even small ones is a much bigger deal than rolling resistance, which is where the hybrid drive brings home the results.
    17 Feb, 11:06 PM Reply Like
  • I have a 43' motorhome and when I apply the exhaust brake the brake lights are activated. I imagine that the exhaust brake and the regenerative brake system have very similar results regarding slowing the vehicle down.
    17 Feb, 11:19 PM Reply Like
  • JBB, no arguments... but still a few things to bear in mind:

     

    1) 70,000lbs is on the upper end of typical loads.

     

    2) 6% is hella steep.

     

    3) 150KW is I believe the continuous output value, ie the generator can output a lot more for shorter periods...

     

    4) The battery should be able to provide about 150Hp of boost on top of that for a good ten minutes...

     

    5) the limfac would therefore be the motor, but it's a beast with a generous overrating IIRC...
    17 Feb, 11:23 PM Reply Like
  • ePower is not building a mountain goat guys.

     

    If you want a truck that will haul freight up Wolf Creek Pass we are never going to be your answer. If you want to haul freight from Cincinnati to the 80% of the US population that lives within 500 miles of Cincinnati, we might have something to talk about.

     

    It may be an entertaining thought exercise to focus on the extreme demands that our drivetrain can't satisfy, but the heart and soul of our target market has mundane rather than extreme requirements and your journeys into imagination merely denigrate our value proposition.
    18 Feb, 07:31 AM Reply Like
  • It makes me wonder how many batteries would be needed to haul freight up Wolf Creek Pass.
    Imagine a PowerCube on wheels that can be plugged in for the climb and unhooked on the other side. A booster pack in effect stationed on either side of the mountain with fast disconnect couplers.
    18 Feb, 07:57 AM Reply Like
  • You're basically asking whether batteries will ever be a cost-effective fuel tank replacement. The answer is No. They're great efficiency devices and terrible fuel tank substitution devices.
    18 Feb, 08:44 AM Reply Like
  • JP Understood
    18 Feb, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • JP What is considered a modest hill, i.e., distance and grade?
    18 Feb, 09:04 AM Reply Like
  • We're working with 1% to 3% grades and typical elevation changes of a few hundred feet, which describes the vast majority of US roads. There are extreme exceptions, but if you have extreme needs we're not going to be your best choice.
    18 Feb, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • User462699,

     

    You "brake" me up! ;-)
    18 Feb, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • Sheesh, LabTech, give us a "brake".
    18 Feb, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • Hush! Next we'll be "brake" dancing ... with high-energy DCA music!

     

    HardToLove
    18 Feb, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks for the link, 48~. (Your link worked for me.) Table is certainly more readable, but doesn't address PbC.

     

    I found the self discharge rate of < 50 Wh/day for PbC and LAB-AGM interesting in context of all the past discussions about "airport test." It was the first quantitative measure I had seen on PbC self discharge.
    18 Feb, 11:07 AM Reply Like
  • This is like the Microsoft business model, go after the low hanging fruit. If you want the high hanging fruit look somewhere else, business wise, makes a lot of sense. It won't bring interest from the nerd engineer/scientist society, why care.
    18 Feb, 09:17 PM Reply Like
  • RA
    On the turnpike going from Ohio to PA there is a field.
    In the field there are lots of trucks stopped.
    Ohio allows triple trailers and PA does not. (Doubles max)
    Running the flat lands and leaving a load for a mountain goat to hump over the Rockies or Alleghenies is not a show stopper.
    Also plenty of routs North and South. This would be true at the coasts as well as the middle of the country.
    Remember they are testing in Kentucky, not exactly flat.
    18 Feb, 09:51 PM Reply Like
  • Thank You JP
    20 Feb, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • Ba humbug. More snow on the way. I'll take rain in Paris over this. :-I

     

    Oh well, on to the meat and potatoes. In the attached you'll notice and recognize 1 of the 3 pictures on the first page.

     

    The illusive multi-wheeled snipe is covered on PDF page number 48. I have not scanned the document for any additional information that might be of interest to Axionista's.

     

    Best Practices and Strategies for Improving Rail Energy Efficiency.
    Final Report January 2014

     

    Spoiler alert: There just might be mention of a company of interest.

     

    http://1.usa.gov/1b6THDr
    15 Feb, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • Had a sunny afternoon and went to the track ;)

     

    I had almost forgot what a beast my little dragonfly is!
    16 Feb, 03:05 PM Reply Like
  • Something tells me that your dragonfly on a track is a lot more fun than a Tesla would be in Paris traffic ;-)
    16 Feb, 03:10 PM Reply Like
  • A lot! But then it is at most once a week, while a the daily drive could bring a smile twice a day.

     

    Job for the next year or two: add an electric motor to bump power 50+% and torque probably even more :D
    16 Feb, 03:41 PM Reply Like
  • The only times I ever smiled at Paris traffic were when I was riding the Metro and thinking about the parking lot overhead.
    16 Feb, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • Paragraph 2.3.7 might be of some interest.
    17 Feb, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • Ba humbug. More snow on the way. I'll take rain in Paris over this. :-I

     

    Oh well, on to the meat and potatoes. In the attached you'll notice and recognize 1 of the 3 pictures on the first page.

     

    The illusive multi wheeled snipe is covered on PDF page number 48. I have not scanned the document for any additional information that might be of interest to Axionista's.

     

    Best Practices and Strategies for Improving Rail Energy Efficiency.
    Final Report January 2014

     

    Spoiler alert: There just might be mention of a company of interest.

     

    http://1.usa.gov/1b6THDr
    15 Feb, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • Nice find ii! It cites to JP's NS 999 article too ...

     

    "Currently, NS and Axion are partnering to develop battery power for a larger and twice as powerful electric, long-haul locomotive."

     

    Interesting placement of the NS 999 on the cover as well.
    15 Feb, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • "NS has about 10 Genset locomotives in operation, as well as the NS999 battery-powered locomotive that is still in the experimental test and evaluation phase, as discussed above."
    15 Feb, 12:41 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan, Yes I saw the ref. to Johns article in the bibliography after I posted.

     

    BTW, I got an error that the article wouldn't post so I made on change and got it to post only to recognize later the first attempt posted. Not having much luck w/ this new SA software.

     

    Concerning your genset post. I suspect this ratio is perhaps being impacted by the slow battery powering efforts. I think that is what DRich has been pointing out.
    15 Feb, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • "In cooperation with FRA, NS has conducted R&D on a battery-powered locomotive. A yard switcher has been evaluated and plans have been made to build a road unit to store and reuse
    braking energy once the battery technology is ready."
    15 Feb, 12:46 PM Reply Like
  • Readiness is a validation process that that is qualified in a lab. The test cycle for the road unit will be different than the test cycle for the yard slug.

     

    And don't forget that our picking winners friends in the government have them testing Corvus lithium ion as well. I theorize that this variable has not helped the rate to implement any.

     

    BTW, no offense to John, but I was hoping their perspective came totally from other source material. We already have John's source material. This is not to say that John's material was their only source.
    15 Feb, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • Going back to the citation to John's article in the 2014 Best Practices and Strategies for Improving Rail Energy Efficiency published by USDOT, FRD and ORD.

     

    I think that is pretty impressive and there is an argument to be made that if it wasn't correct in most of its analysis (except for timelines), NS would not have allowed the citation.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    BTW - FRA is part of the group that puts on the ASME conference.
    16 Feb, 01:48 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan, what do u make of the wording in ur quote?

     

    "has been evaluated"

     

    "once the battery technology is ready"
    16 Feb, 06:39 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. I - I wish I could offer an answer that was based on something other than pure conjecture.

     

    I think the "has been evaluated" needs to be read in conjunction with NS's increasing in number public statements supporting Axion and the NS 999 "initiative." At the same time, there has to be something other than "racking" that is holding up the process ...

     

    I would have liked to have seen some type of additional statement such as "has been evaluated and plans are underway to implement the switcher at test sites across our network."

     

    As to the second quote, "once the battery technology is ready" ... no clue. My understanding is that Axion can tweak the PbC power and energy ratio of the battery.

     

    Maybe they are still tweaking and testing the ratio of power to energy within the battery that will best suit the OTR application?
    16 Feb, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • I'll also offer up the thought that we are often thinking of the battery as a 12VDC or 16VDC self contained unit in various form factors because it's what Axion manufactures as a unit. A "battery" like in the NS 999 and OTR units just like in the ePower tractor is a different animal. So in my mind when they say "once the batter is ready" IMO they are talking about an application level battery that is fully packaged and tested to some level. It's a far different animal w/ many more engineering considerations than the individual Axion units.
    16 Feb, 07:39 PM Reply Like
  • fwiw iinde, I think you're probably spot on. In reading that exhaustive patent, clearly there is a lot more to the "battery" than just the batteries. All the logic and schema for shuttling and managing the power/energy transfers, and the mechanics and switchology to do that, along with all the various configurations contemplated, together all that is a pretty big piece, and intimate to "the battery".
    16 Feb, 08:23 PM Reply Like
  • The FRA's FOIA response re-Norfolk Southern electric locomotive grants mentioned racking and thermal control issues needing attention. It also mentioned that battery charging amperage was limited to 200 amps by an electrical component providing two 100 amp 'gates' (my word, not proper engineering terminology). Could they be looking at higher amp systems to capture more braking energy?
    16 Feb, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv, I could only speculate about what areas they are looking to improve or feel they can't live with. Awhile back I posted a grant received by a company to develop more efficient switching technology which is one of the areas you are touching on. Anyway, they are still challenged in some areas or they have resolved their challenges and now they are doing all the necessary testing to validate their system or sub systems.

     

    Other than what they have shared all we can do is wait. I have grown more confident that the embarrassment of the initial NS 999 failure has them puckered up like a set of lemon soaked lips. Quiet as church mice.

     

    Oh, And since the OTR engine is different than the road slug there will be other challenges as the designs will differ. Perhaps not as challenging as a whole because they have cut their teeth on the road slug.

     

    Or, heaven forbid, Corvus ends up being a higher cost but better solution. Or one of two.

     

    In the end the sign posts are far far further apart than I could have ever imagined. The quick roll out of the Texas hybrid with Corvus batteries makes it even more painful to watch the progress we are seeing at NSC.
    16 Feb, 09:47 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe we could have them call E-Power, we've all seen the video of the truck handling 236 Amps. I would hope NS could figure out how to make it work if E-Power already did.
    18 Feb, 12:51 PM Reply Like
  • Seems like an interesting article from the 2012 ASME Rail Conference:

     

    Moving Away From Diesel and Towards All-Electric Locomotives in North America: Planning and Logistics of Ultra-Capacitor/Battery Technology

     

    http://bit.ly/1b6ZRmW

     

    This is where the ASME NS 999 update will eventually be published.
    15 Feb, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • I'm going to apologize in advance for this link because some may find The Onion's parody of sexual conduct in the Olympic Village offensive.

     

    http://bit.ly/1mjouBS

     

    I'll probably regret the decision once my sides stop aching.
    15 Feb, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • John, Phew! For a second there I thought it was going to politically incorrect as hell. But then I saw the inclusion of the gay play which made it OK. Had it not been for their inclusion Putin and I would have been wholly offended. lol

     

    PS: 51 billion USD well spent.
    15 Feb, 02:01 PM Reply Like
  • LFMAO, you forgot to add the usual NSFW. Too many coworkers looking over my shoulder to see what I was laughing about!
    18 Feb, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • 02/11/2014: EOD stuff partially copied from blog (up now).
    # Trds: 170, MinTrSz: 5, MaxTrSz: 85000, Vol: 1805486, AvTrSz: 10621
    Min. Pr: 0.1021, Max Pr: 0.1185, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.1101
    # Buys, Shares: 68 437264, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.1086
    # Sells, Shares: 100 1322722, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.1105
    # Unkn, Shares: 2 45500, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.1142
    Buy:Sell 1:3.02 (24.22% "buys"), DlyShts 452259 (25.05%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 34.19%

     

    FINRA rules don't allow “out of channel” trades to be shown as the lowest (or highest?) trade of the normal trading session - specifically in this case a $0.1021 “average” price trade of 67.5K at 13:38:42. Therefore, all reporting services you might normally use would show the day's low as $0.1022 if they didn't round to the nearest penny. Power ETrade Pro daily charts don't round and does show $0.1022 as the low. The ADVFN historical screen also maintains the fractional pennies and shows $0.1022. http://bit.ly/1caHsUK ...

     

    The average of the lowest 20 VWAPs times 80% today is $0.0779 vs. $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0780 and $0.0783 on prior days. 80% of today's VWAP is $0.0881 vs. $0.0902, $0.0922, $0.0899, $0.0930, $0.0873, $0.0830, $0.0797, $0.0757 and $0.0731 on prior days. These are potential prices for the next tranche of shares to the PIPErs.

     

    Today's low, high, VWAP, trade volume, and daily short sales moved -0.39%, -1.25%, -2.35%, 126.17% and 191.04% respectively. Price spread today was 16.06% vs. 17.07%, 9.90%, 10.60%, 10.71%, 16.86%, 18.88%, 22.83%, 8.69% and 10.25% on prior days.

     

    33 of 170 trades, 19.41%, were of size 15K or greater, constituting 51.09% of day's volume, or 922.5K shares at a VWAP of $0.1106 (above the day's $0.1101 ...

     

    Continuing thoughts on the change from selling into strength to signs of weakness, we again see an $0.1101 VWAP down from yesterday's $0.1128, which was down from $0.1153, and a continued drop in the buy percentage, 24.2% vs. yesterday's 26.6% and the prior 36.8%. When combined with today's strong rise in volume, a sign of the strength of the move, a lower low and lower high today, I think the assessment of weakening is confirmed.

     

    On the traditional TA front, yesterday I said the action seemed to confirm a reversal as we had lower volume, lower low and lower high in spite of having a green volume bar and candlestick because of the close being higher than yesterday's. I mentioned the distinct possibility of a rounding top forming.

     

    Today confirms a rounding pattern, likely the start of a strong move lower as we went from up on weak volume to down on strong volume.

     

    Today is the fifth day of trading in which my longer-term descending support (formerly resistance) seems to be providing support. We closed below it for the first time since getting above it. I think this is the proverbial “coiled spring” developing here. The possibility of a substantial drop looks ever more likely.

     

    Three days back I said I expect a little volatility over the next few days with generally increasing spreads and the development of a downward bias in price. So far it's playing out just that way.

     

    Full stochastic, RSI, ADX and related, accumulation and distribution and MFI all continue weakening. MFI has begun weakening. Williams %R and momentum are still just “ticks” up and down so far, with today being down ticks – no trend yet although the ticks up have lower amplitude while the down ticks have increasing amplitude. They are about to become a down trend IMO.

     

    The MACD continues falling along with it's histogram.

     

    The daily short percentage ...

     

    An interesting set of ARCA "coinkydinks" were spotted ...

     

    More statistics, thoughts and A TFH-supporting ARCA behavior in the blog here.
    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    HardToLove
    15 Feb, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • JP, regarding Kia and your last line in your excellent post repasted below, should we assume the new Kia system is similar to the LC Super Hybrid system?

     

    And I ask, how can these systems (Kia and LC) if they are using carbon additives not fail within a year if they are doing start/stop and regenerative braking as well as powering electric superchargers. Wouldn't Axion work better in this type of environment?

     

    >>
    John Petersen's excellent post below from previous concentrator:

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    "Using the Lux classification system, the LC SuperHybrid would be a heavy micro-hybrid. It uses an electric supercharger and a 2 kW starter-generator, but doesn't use its electric machines to turn the drive wheels. All they do is optimize the engine's ability to turn the drive wheels.

     

    I discussed the LC SuperHybrid project with Alan Cooper of the ALABC on the floor of Geneva-12 and he was miffed that Axion had decided against participating in the project. The big problem with that project was that the battery isn't a focal point. It's all about the 2 kW starter-generator and the electric supercharger. They're so busy hawking the electric machines that they give the batteries little or no credit.

     

    The 100,000 mile claims you're remembering relate to the Honda mild-hybrid retrofits using the Ultrabattery. Those cars use a 15-20 hp electric machine to provide direct mechanical boost to the drivetrain. The Ultrabattery apparently performs well in that duty cycle, but that doesn't mean it can perform well in a micro-hybrid duty cycle. If the Ultrabattery could perform well in micro-hybrid duty cycle, it would have been the battery of choice for the LC SuperHybrid.

     

    The micro-hybrid segment is growing every bit as quickly as Lux said it would and I remain convinced that Axion has the only cost-effective battery for that market. But its going to take time for the automakers to bite the bullet and figure out that carbon additives aren't going to get them where they need to be. For now they're trying to get by with the low-cost alternative.

     

    Micro-hybrids are a completely different world because their demands on the battery are so immense.

     

    In the car you're driving today the battery needs to deliver 600 amp-seconds of power for each cold start, or about 1,200 amp-seconds per day.

     

    In a micro-hybrid, the battery needs to deliver 600 amp-seconds for each cold start PLUS 300 amp-seconds for each warm start PLUS 3,000 amp-seconds for each engine off interval.

     

    Over a 16 mile commute the battery in a micro-hybrid has to do over NINETY TIMES the work. The carbon additive guys are pounding the table saying "We're 100% better than AGM," which is true. Fortunately for us the industry needs 9,000% better, which isn't going to happen with fairy dust.

     

    I don't think Kia is using an Ultrabattery for their upcoming demo, although I wouldn't be surprised to see them use an AGM with carbon additives."
    15 Feb, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • John, I'm also surprised by your comments concerning the possibility that Hyundai/Kia could be utilizing AGM w/ carbon additives for this application. Given the activities that they have the batteries supporting, especially a creep mode, I can't see how the batteries could ever recover in time after some limited aging to support many driving routines that would be quite common in city and suburban driving.
    15 Feb, 07:07 PM Reply Like
  • I'm not willing to assume anything about the Kia system until they say more. This article talks about an electric supercharger like the LC SuperHybrid, but it also talks about the powertrain being able to "drive a car in electric-only mode at low speeds and while cruising."

     

    http://bit.ly/1f62xkd

     

    AFAIK, the only cars with electric-only launch are full hybrids like the Prius so I'm more than a little confused at this point. One thing is certain though, we'll know more in about three weeks.
    15 Feb, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks John.

     

    BTW, I would not be surprised one bit if Kia cloaks certain details of their system including the batteries. Hopefully they will share that level of detail but I will not be surprised if I hear the jingle.

     

    No way, no way, we're advantaged by NDA.

     

    The hated Axionista phrase.
    15 Feb, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • Folks, one has to remember that the purpose of many of these demonstrator models is to serve as visual viagra for lonely engineers and greenpeace supporters.

     

    They do not have to win the hearts of soccer moms, suburban commuters, or truckers slogging it through the snowstorm, they only have to make it through the PR show.

     

    If the vibratory device is only to be used on stage, does it really matter what battery was put into it?
    15 Feb, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • Yeah it sure does sound like it would be taxing on any battery. Too bad you can just train over there and get the 411. Hopefully, reports will be less ambiguous after it is unveiled.

     

    http://bit.ly/1doFiSe

     

    ""The hybrid system consists of a 48V lead carbon battery connected to a small electric motor, increasing the engine’s power output. The battery also supplies energy to an electric super-charger, which increases torque and power at low engine speeds. Under the right conditions, the hybrid powertrain can drive a car in electric-only mode at low speeds and while cruising, while the battery is recharged under deceleration. And when the car is stationary, the technology also acts as a zero-emissions stop-start system, performing this function with almost no noise or vibration as it is a belt-starting system. The technology also enables Kia engineers to reduce the size – and weight – of its vehicles’ existing 12V batter.""
    15 Feb, 07:44 PM Reply Like
  • >iindelco & other incredulous Axionistas ... Answer this question for me in relation to Kia's concept car under discussion; What is the best available battery technology?

     

    I know the Axion PbC isn't an answer to this question. The only thing I can deduce is that Kia is committed to the systems displayed in this concept car and will make a reasonable effort to bring them to market. What battery will work best may not be the one that makes it into production but I know it will be their selection of best available technology and my money would be on carbon additive AGM at least for the initial model run ... if in fact that happens.
    15 Feb, 07:55 PM Reply Like
  • When Audi highlighted their dual fuel (gasoline and CNG) system at Geneva 2012, they put the full prototype on display. The new NSX hybrid, in comparison could only be viewed from a respectful distance, presumably to avoid the inevitable clean-up costs if drooling fools like me got too close.
    15 Feb, 07:57 PM Reply Like
  • John, IIRC you owned an NSX once. So you can't possibly act like I would as a virgin.
    -

     

    DRich, My thoughts are just that the PB (w/ C)J additives is just so lacking, and the storage system is so integral to the primary drive system functions, there is no way I can think of that they would get away with it even for marginally acceptable periods of time. I think are the gap between what the storage system can support for fairly common needs and what PB+J can deliver are just a no go.

     

    Now maybe they are also adding ultracapacitors in the storage system as well? Then I have to wonder.
    15 Feb, 08:38 PM Reply Like
  • Low speeds could mean really low...ie creeping...or less than 10 or even 5 mph... cruising could mean something like the "sailing" that is sometimes talked about, but in this case with a small bit of electric boost involved to extend its envelope. I could see both those characteristics in the mix without having to have quite the magnitude of motor/battery involved of the full hybrids we're used to. Who knows what this drivetrain is going to look like, but rationalizing 48V and lead-acid, er carbon, means either four motorcycle-battery sized units ganged together into a relatively compact package (which simply won't have squat for charge acceptance, unless they're *really* special) or the use of full-size batteries which might. And if the engineers have bitten that particular bullet (bulk and weight), well....
    15 Feb, 11:14 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin,

     

    After reading your post I'm a tad bit concerned. We were discussing various levels of electrified vehicles.

     

    Suddenly you are introducing discussions of "vibratory device", the batteries installed, and where they might be used for display. "On stage". Really ???? Quite frankly I think vibratory devices should be a private matter and shocked . . . . SHOCKED that you would introduce this element to the board.

     

    Psychiatrist or not, please keep on topic. :>)
    16 Feb, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • "Who knows what this drivetrain is going to look like, but rationalizing 48V and lead-acid, er carbon, means either four motorcycle-battery sized units ganged together into a relatively compact package (which simply won't have squat for charge acceptance, unless they're *really* special) or the use of full-size batteries which might. "

     

    Or, three 16V batteries with less weight and space than a four battery 48V system.
    16 Feb, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • Three 16Vs vs four 12Vs is an improvement sure, but still certainly bigger than a breadbox. And over a hundred pounds. I'm just saying if Hyundai engineers have managed to reconcile themselves to *that* reality--heroically adapted and overcome, as it were, then it sure would *seem* to open the door to PbC. Which could nicely do the work. At reasonable cost and definite scalability. And that is a pretty pleasant dream to indulge in...

     

    Oh right, and then I woke up. ;)
    16 Feb, 12:47 PM Reply Like
  • On the other hand:

     

    Is it possible Axion has developed a 48 Volt battery?

     

    If they have, is it then possible to transfer this production as "plug and play" to the other battery manufacturers, or has that suddenly become an obstacle?
    16 Feb, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • Regardless if it's contained in one physical battery, or spanned across three, or four separate ones, 48 Volts of PbC is only going to deliver a certain amount of Kilowatts, and Kilowatt-hours, for a given total volume and total weight. The designers have to decide how much power and energy they need (both absorbing and delivering) and then decide if they can live with the mass and volume of LA, or PbC, that those values would dictate. That is why Li-ion is so damned attractive to them because the mass/volume hit is so much easier to swallow. In hybrids though, power, vice energy, is the dominant concern. And since the PbC is a better power battery, and much better balanced, than its LA cousins, if the designers/engineers have decided/found a way they can live with the mass/volume hit, then it could be off to the races...
    16 Feb, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • VW,

     

    Are you implying that you do not get vicarious titillation from big engine oscillations?

     

    By the way, do you know how to titillate an ocelot?
    16 Feb, 08:30 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin,

     

    An ocelot? Carefully. Very carefully. That's how.

     

    I am just about at the stage that the only option I have for my own is some sales. Repetitive sales. Big numbers.
    17 Feb, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • OT Possible investment idea from someone better than me.

     

    David Einhorn Wants The Name Of The Anonymous Seeking Alpha Blogger Who Revealed One Of His Investments
    http://read.bi/1j09UdY
    The user, according to Greenlight's court petition, goes by "Valuable Insights" on Seeking Alpha.

     

    "Greenlight says that it began to amass a stake in Micron Technology on July 2, 2013, which was during the third quarter of 2013.

     

    Forty-five days after the end of each quarter, hedge funds of a certain size are required to disclose their equity long holdings with the SEC in a form known as a 13-F.

     

    Greenlight did not disclose its Micron stake in the third-quarter 13-F. Instead, Greenlight requested confidentiality treatment via a "Confidentiality Letter" request filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission on November 14, 2013, court documents show. Greenlight said in the court petition the reason was that it wanted to continue to build its position. "

     

    I don't know anything about Micron myself.
    15 Feb, 09:11 PM Reply Like
  • In the never ending Fisker demise.
    Richard Li, the Hong Kong telecoms tycoon, (who loaned Fisker money to get through bankruptcy) lost Fisker in 19 rounds of bidding in an auction this week in New York; to Lu Guanqiu head of Wanxiang. (He previously bought A123 who made the batteries for Fisker.)

     

    Chinese auto parts group to take over Fisker

     

    http://on.ft.com/1cbfXdH

     

    Previously:
    Richard Li, the Hong Kong telecoms tycoon, said he had no plans to bring back Fisker. (Why he wanted it at all was a bit of a question.)

     

    Now with Wanxiang owing it who knows?
    15 Feb, 10:17 PM Reply Like
  • Here is hoping that this will be AXPW someday:

     

    9 penny stocks that didn't stay that way

     

    Ultralow-priced stocks have a reputation for being very risky. But they can also produce huge gains, as Pier 1, Monster Beverage, True Religion and others show.

     

    http://on-msn.com/1jHPokV
    15 Feb, 10:19 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting battery discussion: http://bit.ly/1dVwwqr
    16 Feb, 01:26 AM Reply Like
  • I don't know, the guy seems a bit out there when talking about the storage capacity of 12V batteries.... at one point he says you can get a 12V battery of 400 Amp-hours capacity--almost 5KWh per battery. Which seems kind of fantastic, because at 50Kg it would mean the battery had a specific energy density of 100 Wh/Kg, which far exceeds what wikipedia says LA is capable of (42 Wh/Kg) As we think we know, the PbC is roughly 50 Amp-hours, so whatever he's talking about must be large format batteries, ie not the typical automotive size we're used to thinking of. Either that or they're not LA batteries...
    16 Feb, 03:21 AM Reply Like
  • Looks like in the zeal to sell ST-5s, they hand wave the details on those battery things.
    "With the tremendous advancements in battery technology, it is now possible to get batteries capable of holding charges of over 600 amp hours."
    16 Feb, 08:53 AM Reply Like
  • Wed., 2/12, stuff. Getting there, yep, yep.

     

    02/12/2014: EOD stuff partially copied from blog (up now).
    # Trds: 46, MinTrSz: 100, MaxTrSz: 25000, Vol: 252101, AvTrSz: 5480
    Min. Pr: 0.1031, Max Pr: 0.1067, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.1046
    # Buys, Shares: 20 117506, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.1053
    # Sells, Shares: 26 134595, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.1039
    # Unkn, Shares: 0 0, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.0000
    Buy:Sell 1:1.15 (46.61% "buys"), DlyShts 82000 (32.53%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 60.92%

     

    Dollar volume traded today was $26,359.98.

     

    The average of the lowest 20 VWAPs times 80% today is $0.0779 vs. $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779 and $0.0780 on prior days. 80% of today's VWAP is $0.0836 vs. $0.0881, $0.0902, $0.0922, $0.0899, $0.0930, $0.0873, $0.0830, $0.0797 and $0.0757 on prior days. These are potential prices for the next tranche of shares to the PIPErs.

     

    Today's low, high, VWAP, trade volume, and daily short sales moved 0.98%, -9.96%, -5.05%, -86.04% and -81.87% respectively. Price spread today was 3.49% vs. 16.06%, 17.07%, 9.90%, 10.60%, 10.71%, 16.86%, 18.88%, 22.83% and 8.69% on prior days.

     

    Only two “larger” trades today: 15K shares @ $0.1031 and 25K shares @ $0.1067.

     

    Discussing the weakening yesterday, I mentioned the three consecutive reductions in buy percentage and VWAP and noted that when combined with the day's strong rise in volume, a sign of the strength of the move, a lower low and lower high, I felt the weakening was confirmed. Today adds to my bearish view as VWAP continues to decline. Here's VWAP 1/28 forward (recall ARCA first came on the bid 1/30, saving our bacon when it looked like we might go sub-$0.09 shortly): $0.0908, $0.0914, $0.0946, $0.0997, $0.1038, $0.1092, $0.1163, $0.1124, $0.1153, $0.1128, $0.1101 and $0.1046. If you visualize this you can see the rounding top I noted some days back. The $0.1092 was ARCA's second time on the bid with the $0.106 bid on 2/4, soaking up a bunch of shares (couple hundred K?), apparently, at that price.

     

    I'd try to take solace in the buy percentage today, the highest since 1/31's 53.9% and 2/3's 55.6%, if it wasn't for the abysmal volume and higher buy percentage, which is common on lower prices. Those two days had the benefit of ~2.6MM and ~2.99MM shares traded on the upswing in VWAP, courtesy of the ARCA “intervention” on 1/30 and later 2/4. Here's the VWAPs for just 1/30 – 2/4: $0.0946, $0.0997, $0.1038 and $0.1092. BTW, 2/4 had ~2.17MM shares volume with 40.5% buys.

     

    The buy percentage was likely just the normal effects of falling price enticing some buyers and the MMs shorting into that demand on a low-volume, low-risk day. Daily short percentage moved up over these last three days from ~19.5% to ~32.5% - normal cyclic behavior – nothing to see here, move along.

     

    Anybody else smell this rat now that VWAPs made the move I described above? On what catalyst? The new board member? Ha! If so, the effect was certainly ephemeral.

     

    On the traditional TA front, ... traded completely below my longer-term descending resistance after five consecutive days ... providing support ... narrow spread ... weak volume ... weakening MACD with a histogram barely above zero and rapidly falling and the signal about to go below the average ... [oscillators I watch] in weakening trend ...

     

    Although it's very short-term, we have in place an inverted cup and may go on to form a bearish (inverted) cup and handle. These are normally longer-term patterns but I've found that very short-term ones also seem to work fairly well at predicting a near-term (weak?) move down.

     

    All the usual and more thoughts are in the blog here.
    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    Unusually non-bullish is my mood today - down looking likely.
    HardToLove
    16 Feb, 12:03 PM Reply Like
  • HDT Announces 2014 Top 20 Products

     

    February 2014, TruckingInfo.com - Feature

     

    http://bit.ly/1kHVlPf

     

    Interesting, varied list. Maxwell makes the cut ...

     

    HDT = Heavy Duty Trucking

     

    no idea what their reputation/weight is in the industry.
    16 Feb, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • What a great list. And what a kick if next year's featured the revolutionary Cummins-ePower-Marathon drivetrain... ;)
    16 Feb, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • Hobbs & Towne presentation:

     

    http://bit.ly/1g9RTaj

     

    Appears they found both Vani and the new CFO.
    16 Feb, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • I work with an order of Catholic nuns in Saigon, Vietnam. I requested the nun I work with pray for the success of Axion. Her response is below:

     

    May God bless you and walk with you always. I do remember to pray with our Lord for your work at Axion Power. Trust in God !

     

    In Christ’s Love,

     

    Sr. Marie Alphose Mai Thi Phuong, FMSR
    16 Feb, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • alpha5one,

     

    Please tell, where in Vietnam? Truly interested.

     

    I worked with french nuns in 1968 trying to keep the orphanage open in Duc Pho near the coast in I Corps if that means anything to you.
    17 Feb, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • I work with the Daughters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. They work in Saigon, and many villages in the countryside of south Vietnam. For example, in the village of Duc Thang, they help the Choro mountain tribal people. At the conclusion of the conflict in 1975, the Choro were forced out of the mountains and into villages. Like the American Indian, they lost their way of life and went into abject poverty. The only people who help them are the Daughters. They educate their children, provide a milk program for the children, and a vocational program of tailoring and sewing that has been quite successful in the getting the Choro jobs in Saigon. The Choro then send the money back to Duc Thang. In Saigon, the Daughters help the street children, provide schools for the children of people who are working in Saigon illegally, have a home for elderly women, a free medical clinic, help widows and their children, have an orphanage, etc. My father helped an order of Catholic nuns when he was stationed in Saigon during the war. I believe it is the same order of nuns I am helping now. I was a volunteer at Boat People SOS and one of the people there asked me to help the Daughters. It occurred to me later that it probably is the same order of nuns. I served in the U.S. Army after the conflict with Vietnam vets who made the military their career. Probably a wise choice.
    17 Feb, 09:48 PM Reply Like
  • alpha5,

     

    Thanks for that. I'll chew on this for awhile.

     

    VW
    18 Feb, 08:29 AM Reply Like
  • This is Thu., 2/13 EOD post, one more to be caught up!

     

    02/13/2014: EOD stuff partially copied to the concentrator.
    # Trds: 163, MinTrSz: 100, MaxTrSz: 108000, Vol: 1880123, AvTrSz: 11534
    Min. Pr: 0.1040, Max Pr: 0.1139, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.1057
    # Buys, Shares: 67 847151, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.1065
    # Sells, Shares: 95 1023972, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.1051
    # Unkn, Shares: 1 9000, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.1070
    Buy:Sell 1:1.21 (45.06% "buys"), DlyShts 513540 (27.31%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 50.15%

     

    The average of the lowest 20 VWAPs times 80% today is $0.0779 vs. $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779 and $0.0779 on prior days. 80% of today's VWAP is $0.0846 vs. $0.0836 $0.0881, $0.0902, $0.0922, $0.0899, $0.0930, $0.0873, $0.0830 and $0.0797 on prior days. These are potential prices for the next tranche of shares to the PIPErs.

     

    Today's low, high, VWAP, trade volume, and daily short sales moved 0.87%, 6.75%, 1.12%, 645.78% and 526.27% respectively. Price spread today was 9.52% vs. 3.49%, 16.06%, 17.07%, 9.90%, 10.60%, 10.71%, 16.86%, 18.88% and 22.83% on prior days.

     

    Larger trades (>= 15K) occurred on 31 of the day's 163 trades, 19.02%. These totaled 1,054,500 shares, 56.09% of days volume, traded at a VWAP ...

     

    Discussing the weakening yesterday, I said it adds to my bearish view as VWAP continues to decline, and other things I mentioned. At last I can say something positive, even if it's only minor and temporary. Today higher low, high and VWAP on rising volume!

     

    Enough of that – we closed lower and in traditional TA a lower close on higher volume is not good news! And that leads me into the traditional TA ...

     

    We closed below our open of $0.1045 and the prior close of $0.1045. Again today we closed below my descending longer-term resistance and our low, at $0.1040, was barely off the 50-day SMA of $0.1039. We still have a weakening MACD with a histogram barely above zero and rapidly falling with the signal about to go below the average. Essentially, the oscillators I watch are like yesterday, trending down, but a bit worse, with little flip here and there: full stochastic (worse – now into oversold); RSI weakens more; ADX and related have a little flip up; accumulation and distribution weakened more; MFI a flip up; Williams %R and momentum now descending.

     

    Yesterday I said I expect full stochastic and Williams %R will enter oversold in a couple of days if things don't change. Stochastic did it today.

     

    I mentioned yesterday the potential for an inverted cup and handle formation. It looks like a handle is forming. If we close below ~$0.1001 and confirm, we should see some price deterioration. I would not be surprised by a low $0.09xx or even a high $0.08xx if ARCA or some other white knight doesn't jump in as was done on 1/30 and 2/4.

     

    I had mentioned recently that best chance for support seems to be my medium-term former descending resistance. It's currently at ~$0.0927 AFAICT, but it is descending so when we test ti will be important if we do start down. It looks like it drops ~$0.003/week.

     

    Moving to less traditional considerations ...

     

    Today's buy percentage was pretty good again and on higher volume. I'd noted ...

     

    The buy percentage was again likely just the normal effects of falling price enticing some buyers and the MMs shorting (a lower, but still relatively decent, 27.31%) into that demand ...

     

    The usual trading breakdowns, more thoughts, ... in the blog here.
    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    HardToLove
    17 Feb, 08:04 AM Reply Like
  • nice video, lovely prayer, interesting engineering discussion and speculation about partners. I just wonder; if all these big OEMs are really so deeply involved with AXPW and have some inkling that this battery technology is going to rise to the top, why can't their financial guys find some way to invest with some sort of private placement, enough to keep the company sound and out of the hands of the loan sharks? $10 million is chump change for Cummins, GM, BMW or a railroad. They don't have to acquire the company. They don't have to publicly disclose the nature of their business relationships. I can't believe that there isn't a discrete way to support the further development of a technology they think has real promise. On the other hand, perhaps they figure that it doesn't matter how or whether the company survives or not; if it fails, they swoop in and buy the technology at a discount and set up shop internally. I can imagine a GM doing something like that.
    It's funny how one little video can make me feel better about doubling down...
    gotta watch those emotions.
    17 Feb, 09:45 AM Reply Like
  • >Nathan — "I can't believe that there isn't a discrete way to support the further development of a technology they think has real promise..."

     

    Bingo! That's what weighs more on my mind than anything else. With TG implying for so long how so many things are going so well, why can’t he find a suitable strategic investor??? And if he hasn’t been able to find one as of yet, what does that say for the probability of it happening in the very near future? It seems like this would be a TOP priority of his, but yet he doesn’t talk about it on CCs without necessarily being prompted to do so.

     

    This continues to bewilder and concern me, which is why I think it's time for the board to carefully review whether they think TG is the man to be in charge as we rapidly approach the likely need for new financing. Results so far don’t indicate to me he has the necessary skill set to effectively communicate with potential strategic partners, or go eyeball to eyeball with other less benign financing entities/vultures.

     

    BTW Nathan, you mentioned you felt better after watching a video. I’m not sure which one you were referring to. Could anybody post a link; I could definitely use a little more optimism.
    17 Feb, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • Just how independent is the Axion BOD nowadays? I am doubtful.
    17 Feb, 03:03 PM Reply Like
  • TB, JP has made a strong case for their independence. I tend to believe that, which is why I would like to see them review whether TG is the best man to take the lead on the all important financing issues. I don't think the company has the resilience to withstand any more major mis-steps or missed opportunities.
    17 Feb, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • "I can't believe that there isn't a discrete way to support the further development of a technology they think has real promise. On the other hand, perhaps they figure that it doesn't matter how or whether the company survives or not;"

     

    One might argue NSC did exactly as you hypothecate, Nathan, in co-presenting with Axion at the September 2013 ASME conference in Altoona, PA. The presentation was an update on progress toward battery electric locomotives and function/role of PbC in that effort. There is reason to believe the technology will survive with or without Axion. Without Axion the question of who controls the IP arises. Since Axion's IP is oriented toward "drop in replacement of negative electrode" virtually any established LAB manufacturer is positioned to turn out PbCs with rather minimal investment on access to the IP or on availability of "C" electrode supply.

     

    ISTM, conventional wisdom argues everyone loves a winner. If more PowerCube sales materialize within the next few weeks, TG could well be viewed as "golden" and have much less difficulty if securing additional financing. If NSC purchases enough additional PbCs for a OTR, he will likely be viewed as golden and financing become easier. Emergence of a solid ePower-Cummins business relationship supporting volume production of ePower truck conversion kits and a multiple customer order backlog would similarly brighten future financing prospects for Axion and TG's continuance as CEO.

     

    Absent positive sales developments, though, I simply do not see how shareholder can expect investors to step forward with a third round of financing in as many years with TG remaining in the CEO position. TG hired Vani Dantam for business development and marketing more than two years ago, declared the company's product(s) fully "commercial" a year ago, unveiled a PIPE financing in May 2013 (after assuring shareholders a sequel to prior year financing was in place if a strategic investor was not found), and sales (that would have materially limited dilution under the PIPE) have not materialized to date.

     

    Me thinks TG has 45 - 60 days for "significant" sales to surface.
    17 Feb, 06:03 PM Reply Like
  • >D-Inv --- "(after assuring shareholders a sequel to prior year financing was in place if a strategic investor was not found)"

     

    Thanks for mentioning this; that's the way I remember it as well. It was why my optimism continued, and why we continued to load up on shares during this time, essentially because we believed him.

     

    It seemed the downside of newly issued shares should have been in the mid- to upper .20s if TG's assurances had been accurate. A good number of his "forward looking statements" ended up costing shareholders who believed him (a lot).
    17 Feb, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • Is this article claiming that the Kia Optima will be produced with the new 48 volt system in the second half of this year or is it a stand alone improvement that will be added later?

     

    http://bit.ly/1ch6MIB

     

    The article uses the term production ready in places but does not place this term with the new 48 volt system. I thought it would be good to get more eyes and minds to look at the article.

     

    Last line of article:
    The upgraded Optima Hybrid is scheduled to start production in Korea during April 2014 and will go on sale later in the year.
    17 Feb, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • After looking again this line seems to present it as a new technology that is not included in the Optima for later this year.

     

    As well as showing new production-ready low emissions vehicles at Geneva, Kia will display a standalone exhibit of a new hybrid technology, developed by the brand’s European R&D centre for use in future Kia models
    17 Feb, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • For me calling it a "special technology exhibit" clearly distinguishes the 48 VDC system as a possibly "for the future" subsystem. I also, in following the tier 1's and their public discussions on electrification, think the timing is early for 48 VDC to be rolling out in 2014 .
    17 Feb, 10:45 AM Reply Like
  • ii - what do you think about the phrase -

     

    "new production-ready low emissions vehicles"
    17 Feb, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan, the whole phrase. Meaning, 'Along with or in addition to". So it's for the future.

     

    "As well as showing new production-ready low emissions vehicles at Geneva, Kia will display a standalone exhibit of a new hybrid technology, developed by the brand’s European R&D centre for use in future Kia models.

     

    The hybrid system consists of a 48V lead carbon battery connected to a small electric motor, increasing the engine’s power output..."
    17 Feb, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • "The hybrid system consists of a 48V lead carbon battery connected to a small electric motor, increasing the engine’s power output..."
    That sure sounds like the tag line for the Ultabattery.
    17 Feb, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • Good interview Magna CEO. Electrification, on demand, efficiency, efficiency and more efficiency. Going to require a far better electrical system. What are the solutions? I think there are a lot of OEM's and tier 1 suppliers fretting over the storage guys not coming to the party quick enough. I think they are shifting in their chairs a lot They are spending a ton of money shifting component sets to work well on the vehicle micro grid. They need the storage guys to deliver badly. Who's going to deliver? Is lithium going to make the big leap in cost, quality, performance, energy density and safety?

     

    j-a: What are some of the other areas Magna Powertrain is working on?

     

    "Our focus is very heavily with electrification of auxiliaries away from mechanical areas as we see a lot of fuel saving potential. On-demand systems and electrification of auxiliaries are the main drivers for electrification as the industry prepares itself for full EVs."

     

    http://bit.ly/1dDdM3w
    17 Feb, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • Iindelco: "... as the industry prepares itself for full EVs".

     

    With what we think we understand, is this going to end up as one big cluster you-know-what?

     

    I don't see the resource restraints JP has highlighted over time going away, not the economics of cycling an expensive battery only partially once or twice a day getting any better. I understand from John's articles that to make any economic sense at all we need to cycle batteries heavily multiple times daily, regardless of cost really.

     

    Throw in the multiple micro/mild hybrid aggregate fuel savings vs. the savings from one full-on EV and I don't see a good economic outcome for the auto industry if they do indeed pursue this path.

     

    Of course, if we really are becoming socialist in behavior, it matters not as the government will have unlimited subsidies available to "force" the industry onto the desired path ... until the last capitalist to leave turns off the lights.

     

    What's your, and others', thinking on this?

     

    HardToLove
    17 Feb, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • HTL, The correct answer to your question regarding this turning into a cluster &^% is it depends. Some aspects of the vehicles function make sense to electrify irrespective of the design of the central power unit. Thinks like braking, steering, the AC compressor. So if you go to a higher order SS system, or one with launch assist, or a hybrid or EV/PHEV these all will benefit from some of the higher energy users being pulled electrified and in all cases being smart. So if the designers are being smart some of these changes can be designed to support higher order function ICE vehicles, hybrids or plug in electrics.

     

    Think about your Vette for a second. What if you're cool again, you're still cool in my book, and you want all you're comfort things along with the occasional romp on the pedal. But the government is saying no more fun w/ unlimited gas use. Well you can make some of your power take off devices electric and pull them off the main drive. So when you slam the pedal to the metal the AC compressor turns off and you use your phase change material for a short periodcool to , you're alternator clutch removes electrical generation, your power steering and brakes are electric. Now instead of 400 HP you get the same fun for maybe 370 HP. And then there are other things you can do as well. And many of these functions had to be electrified for EV platforms anyway.

     

    I just saw an article on Denso's new HVAC system and work they had done on the air exchanger and HVAC motor. I will not go detail but in it they indicated that it was designed with future customer needs in mind and the primary functional system will support ICE, hybrid and electric vehicle platforms for their customers. Not drop in units for all but designed with the latitude for easy adaptation for all based on customer input.

     

    So some suppliers will get burned because some components have to be technology specific. But some will be very bright and get it right where opportunities allow. Denso being a good example in the case mentioned.
    17 Feb, 12:38 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Iindelco. I don't have any issues with anything other than "EV platforms" - assuming they're talking about the nemesis of what I think John has laid out as common sense now.

     

    What's the mantra about replacing one cheap gas tank with one very expensive one (battery).

     

    HardToLove
    17 Feb, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • I agree with that HTL, But at least some of the efforts will not go to waste because they move all the various platform efforts to improve efficiency forward. And who knows. Maybe we will lasso a meteor going by in a decade or so and it will be loaded with HIeStorium? But for now it's rhubarb and pomegranates.

     

    'Pomegranate' may power your next smartphone's battery

     

    http://bit.ly/1nHg4zI

     

    I guess nature has all kinds of things to offer. Heck, they may even find better energy storage materials in coconuts.
    17 Feb, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • The improvements coming through on the traditional ICE look as though they will continue to push back the economic introduction of mainstream EV (PHEV). The NAS report (2012?) even went as far to predict the long term threat to hybridization, as the efficiency improvements coming through reducing the benefits of hybridization.

     

    My own take is that there is so much tech development going on, it's tough to predict anything other than automakers will want to meet their regulatory requirements at minimum cost, and that there are lots of people motivated to have their technology adopted, not just battery makers.

     

    Predicting wide scale EV adoption at this stage is just pure speculation, no matter who says it.
    17 Feb, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • Festein, You're absolutely right. It's amazing what some of the new stimuli have done to change the auto biz. Especially in the US where big and more power were always in the top two for consumer appreciation. Efficiency has really come on strong but not entirely without giving up the other two.

     

    You can't drag a fish out of water and say you'll be OK. Adaptation is always required. Not only for the consumer but for industry as well. When I worked for ITT we used to say it stood for It Takes Time. Maybe the Americans have figured out they can't have all the energy they want for cheap anymore! But too many still want to drive. EVERYWHERE. So adaptation is a commin'.
    17 Feb, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • Festein
    EVs are also closing off the 'economic introduction of mainstream EV (PHEV).'

     

    2014 started with a coast to coast trip with Tesla, 2014 will finish with supercharger coverage basically blanketing USA for road trips. I don't know how much a PHEV type motor would cost for a Tesla S/X class vehicle, (perhaps a 2 litre http://bit.ly/1cSISQF) but by the time it gets to retail, its much more than $2,000 SC option. and it compromises the vehicles scope (space, acceleration, vibration, etc) free fuel

     

    PHEV may be industry consensus to get to the future,
    but if either Nissan make the 150mile EPA LEAF
    or Tesla makes the $35,000 200mile Gen III
    then the gap for PHEVs become that much more difficult.
    17 Feb, 08:26 PM Reply Like
  • I'm equally certain that there are those who are absolutely committed to having wide scale adoption of EV/PHEV - and that they are making progress towards that future. And I wish them well with their efforts.

     

    What eventuates, however, will be a function of what the bulk of consumers will actually buy (without any form of incentive - economic and non-economic alike), what regulators will prescribe (when accounting for whole of life emissions, including embedded manufacturing emissions) and what technologies emerge over the next two decades that alter the performance/cost trajectory that is visible to engineers today. (Never mind where climate change science and politics end up.)

     

    When factoring all this together, the path forward for wide scale EV and PHEV adoption in the next 20 years looks tough - but you never know.
    17 Feb, 11:32 PM Reply Like
  • festein, some of the best clear-eyed commentary I've seen on the question. Eventually, real reality (truth) will always overtake whatever political reality might be holding the field that day. EVs and PHEVs eventually, will, or will not, succeed and dominate on the merits. And until something very different comes along, for me the real reality is still that batteries make lousy gas tanks.
    17 Feb, 11:50 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for that - and i agree; the EV/PHEV packages on offer today and for the foreseeable future just don't have the feel of being a mainstream solution.
    18 Feb, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • Does anyone remember the scene in The Great Escape where the nazi is examining one forged documents of the escapees at the railway station. He looks at them and then as he is walking away the nazi says in english "Good luck" and the escapee says "Thanks" and the game is up!

     

    Maybe we try the same with TG at next CC. At the end of th CC casually say to him "Congratulations on Hyundai". "Thanks"
    17 Feb, 10:17 AM Reply Like
  • Clever. Unfortunately, he might also respond: "Congratulations??"
    17 Feb, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • What if someone says, "Congratulations on meeting your sales targets", and he responds, "Thank You"? :-O

     

    The Great Escape-Good Luck & Thankyou

     

    http://bit.ly/1oHtv5Z
    17 Feb, 10:34 AM Reply Like
  • Sales targets? Now I'm just plain confused.
    17 Feb, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • DRich, Probably got Vani to sign an NDA?
    17 Feb, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • That would be a snarky response to a snarky comment b/c to date sales targets have not been met.
    17 Feb, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • OT More information on the renewable projects in the British Virgin Islands. Of note is the fact that they've named several of the companies involved in the initiative. Seems JCI is a major player, though they don't describe exactly what type of battery or system they are providing.

     

    http://bit.ly/1gNorIU
    17 Feb, 12:23 PM Reply Like
  • OT, OOPS. I sense a higher level of friction over MU.

     

    Einhorn Lawsuit Against Website Raises Big Questions

     

    http://bit.ly/1nHeI86
    17 Feb, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • This is Friday's EOD post YIPPEE!

     

    02/14/2014: EOD stuff partially copied from blog (up now).
    # Trds: 101, MinTrSz: 5, MaxTrSz: 180000, Vol: 2006349, AvTrSz: 19865
    Min. Pr: 0.1000, Max Pr: 0.1064, VW Avg. Tr. Pr: 0.1020
    # Buys, Shares: 26 355830, VW Avg Buy Pr: 0.1025
    # Sells, Shares: 71 1573319, VW Avg Sell Pr: 0.1018
    # Unkn, Shares: 4 77200, VW Avg Unk. Pr: 0.1028
    Buy:Sell 1:4.42 (17.74% "buys"), DlyShts 429269 (21.40%), Dly Sht % of 'sells' 27.28%

     

    The average of the lowest 20 VWAPs times 80% today is $0.0779 vs. $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779, $0.0779 and $0.0779 on prior days. 80% of today's VWAP is $0.0816 vs. $0.0846, $0.0836 $0.0881, $0.0902, $0.0922, $0.0899, $0.0930, $0.0873 and $0.0830 on prior days. These are potential prices for the next tranche of shares to the PIPErs.

     

    Today's low, high, VWAP, trade volume, and daily short sales moved -3.85%, -6.58%, -3.55%, 6.71% and -16.41% respectively. Price spread today was 6.40% vs. 9.52%, 3.49%, 16.06%, 17.07%, 9.90%, 10.60%, 10.71%, 16.86% and 18.88% on prior days.

     

    Larger trades (>= 15K) occurred on 32 of the day's 101 trades, 31.68%. These totaled ~1.495.4MM shares, 74.53% of days volume, traded at a VWAP ... There were quite a few larger trades that were notable for being greater than 50K ...

     

    Yesterday discussing the weakening I had been noting ... Now with another down day on large volume, it's not looking good at all... I mentioned the potential for an inverted cup and handle formation, said it looked like a handle was forming, and said if we close below ~$0.1001 and confirm, we should see some price deterioration. We closed below that price and now await confirmation. I suspect we'll get confirmation without the appearance of the ARCA “white knight” I mentioned that had “saved us” on 1/30 and 2/4...

     

    In contrast to yesterday's buy percentage, which was pretty good again at 45.1% on higher volume, today's was abysmal at 17.7% on even higher volume. I had mentioned the buy percentage was likely just the normal effects of falling price enticing some buyers and the MMs shorting (yesterday a lower, but still relatively decent, 27.31%) into that demand. Today seems to confirm that assessment.

     

    Regarding the short percentage ... Recent readings, oldest to latest: 19.47%, 25.05%, 32.53%, 27.31% and 21.40%. When one looks at the trade volumes and shorts over the last few days I think we can expect lower percentages and prices over the next few days.

     

    The usual breakdown, more thoughts are in the blog here.
    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    HardToLove
    17 Feb, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • Regarding the KIA news on revealing its next gen hybrid powertrain at its European debut at the 84th Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva on 4 March 2014 ...

     

    Weren't there prior articles about KIA working with Controlled Power Technologies (CPT)(electric supercharger which CPT sold to Valeo), AVL Shrick (powertrain development and systems integrator), Provector (battery mgt system), and the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC)? And I thought, at that time, CPT was using carbon enhanced valve regulated lead acid batteries produced by Exide. The VW Passat project that ALABC was touting I think was the new "micro mild" demonstrator of that system.

     

    If so, what are Axion Power's chances of getting a slice of this? Too late?
    17 Feb, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • Valeo could very well be the supplier for the Kia system. The original LC SuperHybrid had a 12-volt electrical system and used Exide's orbital batteries with carbon augmented pastes because Axion passed on the project even though the PbC was their first choice. While I'd love to see Kia choose the PbC, my bet is they'll try to cheap out with carbon augmented pastes. Winston Churchill once observed that Americans will always do the right thing, but only after they have tried everything else. The same is true for automakers.
    17 Feb, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • I think Axion Power will get their slice once these are on the market and the competitors are looking to beat the existing product.

     

    Once Lead-Carbon is an excepted competitor to Li-ion in the public's mind, Axion is where that upgrade path leads.
    17 Feb, 01:44 PM Reply Like
  • My opinion differs w/ regard to how Hyundai/Kia might approach the selection of an energy storage system for this application. I think they will start with the knowledge base they already have in energy storage systems and lean more toward taking a shot gun approach with a spectrum of storage systems from long shot to we now this will work. First and foremost they need to respect program timing if they are serious about the program. Everything must come together on time for job 1. So I could see them selecting everything from AGM, AGM w/ carbon from more than one supplier, ultrabattery, PbC, NiMh and Lithium ion. They will start out in a lab with pure technical analysis at extremes like how it will be used worst case in worst case environmental situations. Weed out the weak and move on to abuse testing in the lab. Then they will take the remaining few and go from there.

     

    Again, from my perspective, this energy storage system is now central to the ability of the primary drive function to do its job. They are not going to play the AMG and enhanced flooded "ship em crap" game like they did with low level SS. It's gotta work in all the markets they intend to sell in or they will not go into series production.
    17 Feb, 02:04 PM Reply Like
  • "Winston Churchill once observed that Americans will always do the right thing, but only after they have tried everything else. The same is true for automakers."

     

    Not only automakers, but it seems to be a trend for all of Axion's [potential] clients: NS, ePower, maybe even BMW. They need to see melted or dead batteries to change they mind and open just a bit wider their purse!
    17 Feb, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • Interesting article on laser and rail gun by Navy. Good potential for PbC batteries.

     

    http://yhoo.it/1bff1a2;_ylt=AwrBJR6BVQJTTXYA...

     

    "Engineers are also working on a battery system to store enough energy to allow a rail gun to be operated on warships currently in the fleet."
    17 Feb, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • Odd sort of article. Nuclear powered ships can generate enormous amounts of power. Very large vessels (carriers, battleships and large cruisers) have been testing this technology for a long time. What I see discussed here are new, non-nuclear power options geared for smaller, cheaper ships.

     

    The Air Force lasers designed to operate from aircraft in flight are very interesting as well.

     

    The underlying (actually quite giddy) confidence in the idea that batteries that haven't been invented yet will store enormous power at little cost is a common theme throughout this and many other sectors. I suspect they are drunk on hopium.
    17 Feb, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • tripleback -- I see the article very differently. They're one of the few customers that might find value in huge banks of premium priced batteries. Their current choices are between a hundred MW or so turbine generator with cheap projectiles or low-power interceptor missiles that cost $1,000,000 per shot.

     

    While a large bank of batteries will be both expensive and heavy, it's not hard for me to believe that it may be well worth the cost of a large bank of batteries to allow a much smaller generator while enabling the lower-cost projectiles.

     

    As always the details are critical to cost/benefit analyses, but smoothing out the ridiculous peak power consumption of the rail gun on a mobile gun platform seems a good place to consider energy storage, especially since the rail gun is only rarely fired so an oversized generator would be largely unused.
    17 Feb, 06:21 PM Reply Like
  • Did someone say "significant sales"?
    17 Feb, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • Supercapacitors would seem to be the obvious solution for generating a massive, short burst of power. I wonder what good the chemical energy storage portion of the PbC would do in such an application.
    17 Feb, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • They really did not indicate the power needed to power an array of railguns, though they did mention that the Zumwalt (new destroyer just being built) could supply 78mw, or "...more than enough to power a railgun".

     

    Assuming they might want more than one railgun, we are obviously talking about a large amount of power storage. With the bulk of the ship's primary functions pulling from the common power supply, however, it could be awkward. Would they have to temporarily shunt power from the engines to the weapons (very Star Trekkish terminology is creeping in here, LOL)? Not a good tradeoff in a combat situation, I should think.

     

    How many PbC's would be needed to supply 78MW of storage? Would they fit on a destroyer?
    18 Feb, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • 78 MW of battery *power* capability would imply, at 1KW per PbC battery (at call it a 2C discharge rate) 78,000 individual PbCs... which at 40Kg per would be like 3,500 tons in batteries alone. An aircraft carrier or a large amphib could certainly accomodate that, but I think for a destroyer or even a cruiser it would mean a *major* tradeoff. Basically not realistic. But note, 78MW is a *huge* amount of power--enough for the all the ship's systems--main propulsion, steering gear, hydraulics, HVAC, refrigeration, radars, sensors, seawater pumps, freshwater system pumps, fire protection systems, lighting, comms, all mechanical systems etc etc.... and I can't imagine how either a laser or rail gun could need anything even close to that...
    18 Feb, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • Back in 2009, Popular Mechanics wrote an article suggesting that a 64 MJ railgun would require 6 million amps, or 16 MW if fired at a rate of 6 shots per minute.

     

    http://bit.ly/1fdFeFe

     

    Absolutely, they'll need a massive capacitor bank (presumably holding around 64 MJ of energy) but recharging it in 10 seconds is what requires 16MW and it's the fast recharging that could be enabled by a battery bank.

     

    Especially when they're envisioning the replacement of Tomahawk missiles (per the PM article) a relatively short barrage of firing at a higher rate would be incredibly valuable. The ability to fire quickly without reducing power to the engine would just add to the tactical value of the specific platform. While a ship can "just" slow down when it has to fire, I imagine it's less than ideal to cut speed and manuverability at the precise moment that you're trying to use your railguns to intercept incoming missiles (in the above link, not mentioned in the Popular Mechanics article which focused on an artillery role).
    18 Feb, 10:24 AM Reply Like
  • "I can't imagine how either a laser or rail gun could need anything even close to that... "

     

    :-) A Klingon invisibility cloak?
    18 Feb, 11:26 AM Reply Like
  • Maybe the NS 999 program is delayed because it needs review from the TSA and they are all hard at work on other matters?

     

    Sorry, can't make this up and I wanted to share my gag reflex. Try not to when you open it up.

     

    http://bit.ly/1bfsfU0
    17 Feb, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • Apologies if this has been posted before. It's seems kind of a roundabout way to ask TSA for an up-close and personal search.
    http://bit.ly/1bfF80m
    17 Feb, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • Oh that is brilliant!
    18 Feb, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • A different view of the Altoona shop/yard from Nov. of last year w/ the NS 999 going through a self healing ritual in the foreground. A better view of nothing happening vs the last picture from the same time frame.

     

    http://on.fb.me/1bfRGop
    17 Feb, 07:52 PM Reply Like
  • For those newbies, all this car talk is to really to get to the question we all really want to know: Is John P's next car going to be a BMW or a Kia.

     

    My prediction is that he's going to take an epower truck with the Kia on the trailer (to keep the miles off this collector's edition) and drive it the last mile to the shareholders meeting.
    17 Feb, 10:54 PM Reply Like
  • Actually I sort of imagined JP in a classic e-type jag with union jack flag paintwork. Is there an Austin Powers waiting to burst out? Give us some ePower mojo JP.
    18 Feb, 07:57 AM Reply Like
  • Dance; as much as I loved the E type back in the sixties for its sweet lines, the Lucas electrics were a nightmare.

     

    HardToLove
    18 Feb, 08:51 AM Reply Like
  • I was just reading the transcript of ZBB's conference call. The CEO stated; "With regard to our sales pipeline we continue to experience weakness in our domestic storage business due to the reduction in DOE spending related to green or clean energy installations and the DoD sequestration, in combination with the slow emergence of what we call the real grid storage market. In addition, ZBB products do not serve some of the segments well like the frequency regulation markets or the California self-generation market."

     

    Just maybe this statement; "DOE spending related to green or clean energy installations and the DoD sequestration" is the same issue that TG touched on in his last CC.

     

    I liked the sounds of this statement; "In addition, ZBB products do not serve some of the segments well like the frequency regulation".

     

    I heard a rumor that Axions PowerCube is pretty good at frequency regulation!

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    17 Feb, 11:48 PM Reply Like
  • SEC filing for effect (effectiveness order). What all that about?
    18 Feb, 06:31 AM Reply Like
  • Section 8 of Securities Act provides that a registration statement will be "effective" on the 20th day after filing, or such earlier date as the Commission may determine. Since SEC review times are generally longer than 20 days, most registration statements contain language that delays the effective date until the SEC review is complete. At that time the issuer requests an order of effectiveness.
    18 Feb, 07:46 AM Reply Like
  • Yahoo now has AXPW as having 196.58M shares outstanding. Noticed the increase when I saw the market cap increase by 2M over the weekend. Any chance yahoo is accurate at reporting shares outstanding?
    18 Feb, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • The number ties back to Axion's registration statement so it's almost certainly correct. The outstanding share reflected as of November 7th was what got me working on the PIPE financing workbook I discussed in the first of two recent articles. The prospectus disclosure confirmed my thinking that stock issuances under the PIPE were larger than many understood and the remaining balance was smaller than many understood. As of January 28th, about 83 million shares had been issued to pay down a $9 million debt. A day or two later another 8 million shares were issued for the March pre-installment. Since the conversion price didn't fall below $0.10 until early December, the outstanding share numbers prove that the PIPE debt is within a few hundred thousand dollars of being fully paid.
    18 Feb, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • Green Car Congress excerpts on 48v systems
    http://bit.ly/1fvmfCC

     

    My two cents worth:
    Since Kia uses a small lithium battery presently with their Optima Hybrid I suspect they will (Like JCI) ultimately use a lithium 48v battery.

     

    But I hope the European Lead Acid Consortium has turned Kia Europe on to the PbC.
    18 Feb, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist, thanks for the link. It will take a while to read all the articles. It does appear the 48 volt system is on the way. Just looking at the headlines and skimming a little, the earliest production date I noticed was in 2016. If Axion has not already been working on a 48 volt battery, this should give them time to jump in and provide an entry for the race.
    18 Feb, 08:42 AM Reply Like
  • jveal,

     

    I was thinking that the Axion white paper actually suggested a two battery system a couple years ago. For some reason I was thinking they were ahead of the curve on this one, not waiting to work on it. Been awhile, so I could be mistaken.
    18 Feb, 08:54 AM Reply Like