Since many stockholders of Axion Power International (NASDAQ:AXPW) are following the progress of our development work at ePower Engine Systems and it's been a couple weeks since I offered any news, I thought a brief update might be interesting.
Last week ePower bought a used 50-foot dual-axle box-trailer for fuel economy testing because our single-axle box-trailer can't handle heavier loads. As we move into detailed fuel economy testing we'll simply load concrete barrier blocks into the trailer until we reach our desired weight.
This short video shows some of our baseline in town acceleration testing with a gross combined weight of 40,854 pounds for the tractor, the trailer and a 3,014-pound concrete barrier block. I think zero to 45 mph times of 18 to 23 seconds for a 41,000 pound truck are pretty respectable.
Yesterday we took the sleeper cab up to Cummins-Bridgeport, the Cummins distributor in Columbus, Ohio, for testing on their chassis dynamometer. Their technicians spent about six hours working to coordinate communication between the engine and the generator and got our system adjusted to a point where we're consistently producing 150 to 160 hp at the rear wheels. That useful horsepower figure is 40 to 50 hp more than we were getting from the John Deere four banger, but it's still 20 to 30 hp below our target of 180 hp which should be enough to haul 80,000 pounds at highway speed over flat and level ground.
While yesterday's dynamometer testing was focused on coordinating the interplay between the engine and the generator, Jay did ask the technicians to increase the dynamometer resistance to simulate a hill climb. When the dynamometer load was increased and the batteries went to work, our available rear-wheel horsepower climbed to an observed peak of 260 hp.
The video isn't exactly scintillating, but it does offer a quick insight into our ongoing work.
Next week we hope to visit Cummins headquarters in Columbus, Indiana to see if they can't help us find the last 30 hp.
Disclosure: I am long AXPW.