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John Petersen is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of ePower Engine Systems, Inc., a Kentucky-based enterprise that has developed, built and demonstrated an engine-dominant diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain for long-haul heavy trucks that promises fuel savings of 30 to 40... More
My company:
Fefer Petersen & Co.
My blog:
ipo-law.com
  • Latest Update From Jay Bowman 86 comments
    Jul 12, 2014 4:07 PM | about stocks: AXPW

    Since many stockholders of Axion Power International (OTCQB:AXPW) are following the progress of our development work at ePower Engine Systems and it's been five weeks since I offered any detail, I thought a lightly edited version Jay Bowman's most recent shareholder update would be worthwhile.

    Sorry for the delay in sending this out, but the last thirty days have been full of ups and downs in our testing at heavier gross vehicle weights, or GVW. We started our testing to determine at what GVW and speed our system would equal the performance characteristics of a typical line haul truck. Typically a line haul truck is ordered with a drive train (engine, transmission and rear end ratios) that allow the tractor to haul a specified GVW and maintain freeway speed on a one percent grade without shifting into a lower gear. This is commonly called a truck's "gradeability" performance.

    In testing of our previous prototypes, the gradeability requirement was our most difficult challenge. Our system is equipped with a gen-set that has only the ability to maintain freeway speeds on level terrain. At higher GVW, our gradeability performance is dependent on the battery system for boost power. We spent several weeks working to collect data for the Marathon Electric engineers and Cummins engineers to obtain optimal performance from our gen-set. This time has paid off as we now have the ability for the first time to produce a steady 128 KW of gen-set power to the system with periodic runs up to 150 KW. This in its self has increased the performance of our third generation prototype compared with the two earlier versions.

    We also made an attempt to increase our gradeability performance by changing our rear end ratios to bring our electric motor's torque curve to an optimal level of 1800 rpm at 64 mph. The first attempt was not successful as we lost low end speed and hauling performance with the 3:55 ratio. We changed to a middle range ratio of 4:11 and this we have found to be a good compromise. Remember we are only running a five speed transmission. This makes the correct rear end ratio critical to the performance of the system and has a greater impact on performance than it would in a typical drive train. Our future plans to integrate an Eaton UltraShift 10 speed transmissions will help correct this and provide greater flexibility for a driver while navigating hilly terrain.

    While road testing over the last 30 days we have had several non-drivetrain truck repairs that were required to keep the truck safe and operational. These breakdowns kept us from gathering useful data on several test runs. I do believe that the truck is now in good operating condition and testing should proceed without this type of problem. We have experienced one problem due to the hotter summer time temperatures and higher GVW testing we have been doing. We have not in the past been able to operate the cabs air conditioning system in versions one and two, due to several control issues and operating our engine at a constant 1800 rpm. As temperatures approached the low 90s we started to experience relay failures in our run and cruise control systems. This is mainly due to the location of these components under the sleeper's bed in the truck's cab. We have a ventilation system for the electronics located under the bed but with the higher temperatures and lack of air conditioning these components started to fail intermittently. Not to mention Mario and Andrew not enjoying the uncomfortable conditions. With our increased knowledge of integrating older truck electronics to work with our systems electronic controls we were successful in providing an operational air conditioning system this week. Mario and Andrew are performing much better as well as the relays.

    For the last two years we did the bulk of our testing on a short local course that kept the truck close to the shop in case of breakdown to avoid high tow bills. As our data collection abilities improved, we found that the original course did not provide the optimal conditions for evaluating performance at heavier GVW. This was mainly due to the four stops that were contained in the course. In early July we mapped out a new course that eliminates the turn around points and gives us a closer approximation of freeway travel in this area.

    The new course runs south and north on interstate 75 for a distance of 40 miles in each direction. The route includes one turn around point in a remote location without traffic. The majority of the grades range from 1.5% to 1.9% with an average climb of 65.2 feet per event. To put this in to perspective, this is the typical height of a six-story building. I once asked a local, why Kentucky breeds great race horses and he told me it was the terrain," not a flat spot to be seen and this builds strong legs on a horse". In choosing this course I anticipate the same results for our system.

    Truck Ready to Run New Test Course

    (click to enlarge)

    The following graph integrates data that our GPS, ECM and BMS systems recorded on yesterday's test run over the new course. John Petersen has made a great effort to synchronize and integrate our raw data into a simple graphic overlay that includes a huge amount of information. Starting from the top and working down, the lines represent:

    • Elevation changes in the course which range from 800 to 1,000 feet;
    • The travel speed, which stays fairly steady in the 60 mph range with minor slow-downs for longer and steeper climbs;
    • Instantaneous voltage of our battery string, which fluctuates between 450-V and 650-V as the system draws power to climb and recovers power on downhill segments;
    • Instantaneous amperage of our battery string, which fluctuates between -150-A as the system draws power to climb and +100-A as the system recovers power on downhill segments; and
    • Instantaneous fuel economy, which varies significantly depending on engine load.

    (click to enlarge)

    The testing to date has been at a maximum GVW of 72,090 lbs. At the higher GVW we found our gradeability performance to be less than a typical line haul truck. All other specifications are being met by our system. We dropped our GVW to a point that we could meet normal gradeability standards and found that our current limit is a GVW of 55,000lbs. Our experienced line haul driver Charlie drove the truck on one of our test runs last week. I will summarize his feelings with the following comment from Charlie "I'm happy and the truck is happy running at 55 mph but requires additional power at higher speeds to match what I am accustomed to as far as my trucks performance". Since Charlie drove the truck I have made several programming changes that I believe will raise this missing performance to the 60 mph mark. Charlie will drive the truck next week to confirm that I am correct.

    Our new test course was chosen because it has a lot of hills in a relatively short distance, which gives us better data to fine-tune the system. The only drawback is that tougher terrain resulted in a 1-mpg decline in reported fuel economy because of all the hills. Two tenths of this decline is due to having an operational air conditioning system on the truck and the rest due to the increase in numbers of grades and percentage of climb over the previous course. We can possibly make some additional gains in gradeability through additional programming changes but these will be small in comparison to other options available to us. By raising the state of charge in our battery packs we can remove load from the gen-set by providing additional boost power from the battery packs. This would up our gradeability performance and should increase fuel mileage numbers across the board.

    Axion will be sending an engineer to work with us on this a week from Monday, we have already discussed our options and have a plan in place to test before and during his visit. From past testing we know this increase load capabilities and performance. Cummins is also involved and have stepped up their efforts to work together. We will be undergoing an application engineering review by a team of their engineers to ensure they are a good fit for our application. This is part of the ongoing process to approve us for use of Cummins products in our system. We will begin this engineering review within the next two weeks. I look forward to their involvement.

    Next week we will make an 800 mile round trip to test our system under typical line haul conditions. We will drive the truck with a loaded trailer (55,000 GVW) to Grand Rapids Mi, where will be meeting with a senior engineer from Cummins. We have been talking over the last few days and he wants to talk about the data that he has received from us this week. He has some ideas that he feels could boost our fuel economy. I will also be very interested to see our mpg rates on level terrain, we see glimpses of this in our area and they appear to be in the 10 to 11 mpg range. We should have some documented results after the trip to Michigan. I will let everyone know how the trip went on Thursday when we return. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

    Thanks

    Jay

    Disclosure: The author is long AXPW.

    Stocks: AXPW
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Comments (86)
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  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2103) | Send Message
     
    Bravo, Jay, Mario, Andrew and John!

     

    This must be a very exciting and rewarding time for your team, despite the heat and the gremlins. Thanks for keeping us informed!
    12 Jul, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Jay, Mario and Andrew deserve all the credit because they do the work that makes the data while I can only make the data understandable.
    12 Jul, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (731) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the update.
    12 Jul, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • jveal
    , contributor
    Comments (652) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the update John. Jay predicts 10 to 11 mpg on the 800 mile trip (on level terrain)!

     

    I am surprised by the number of constant challenges and changes that ePower is still working on to make everything work together. Many more improvements seem to be on the way, including a 10 speed transmission.
    12 Jul, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I don't know that Jay is predicting 10 to 11 mpg on the trip, but we're certainly hoping for a number in that range.

     

    It's important to remember that we don't have anywhere near the aerodynamics of the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck that got 10.7 mpg on a run between Fort Worth and Denton.

     

    http://1.usa.gov/1mLWAf4

     

    If you compare the SuperTruck picture with ours, the gap between our tractor and the trailer is several feet while theirs is measured in inches and we have about 3 feet of under trailer air-space with a flat tail while theirs has ground effects darings to within a few inches of the pavement and a boat tail faring on the back. Those aerodynamics make a massive difference at 60 to 65 mph.

     

    All things being equal, we'll be delighted to come in within 10% to 20% of the SuperTruck's performance.

     

    I found the cycling graph amazing because each spike represents a discharge event followed by a charge event and I count over 30 spikes on a 72 mile course. The only accurate descriptor for that duty cycle is "brutal."
    12 Jul, 05:20 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2103) | Send Message
     
    Yup! Spikier than the EEG of an epileptic troll having a conniption fit!
    12 Jul, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17253) | Send Message
     
    John: Good article, good news.

     

    Regarding "By raising the state of charge in our battery packs we can remove load from the gen-set by providing additional boost power from the battery packs. This would up our gradeability performance and should increase fuel mileage numbers across the board."

     

    This caused me to wonder if there's any risk that heat problems might crop up as we know the internal resistance rises beyond a certain state of charge. IOW, I wondered if there's enough "cushion" before the wall is hit that says you don't want to go beyond this point because you'll sacrifice longevity or add thermal issues or ...?

     

    I know they've probably considered that already, but I never feel too stupid asking the obvious question. :-))

     

    Thanks,
    HardToLove
    12 Jul, 06:25 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The BMS monitor several operating parameters, including temperature. So far, he has not been an issue.
    12 Jul, 06:31 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4421) | Send Message
     
    >JP ... I'm glad to see ePower is working the batteries harder. I think y'all have just started down this road and I don't expect it to be smooth. We got the chance to read that Norfolk had targeted a 10 degC rise with an upper (unacceptable) limit of 20 degC. Does that 20 degC represent a thermal runaway threshold?

     

    What exactly this means in cycling & performance is something I've been curious about. How much load from the genset can be put off on the battery bank. I guess if I ever get some sort of answer it will come from ePower. Take it slow approaching that wall but keep pushing that envelope.
    12 Jul, 07:19 PM Reply Like
  • User 393748
    , contributor
    Comments (216) | Send Message
     
    Many thanks to yourself, Jay, and the rest of the team for taking the time to write-up and provide these continued progress reports.

     

    What are the shareable details regarding the truck that Charlie is used to driving? Just for comparison purposes, is it a 475 hp Cat with an 18 speed (fairly common), or an ISX 600 Cummins (600 hp w/ 1,850 or 2,000 ft-lbs torque), or a vehicle equipped with Mercedes engine, which do not seem to be that good at speeds over 30 mph, or, perhaps one of the recent Paccar offerings? I am trying to get a baseline for Charlie's comparison.

     

    It is very helpful to have an experienced driver providing test drive results. In this case, if you have good drivers on your test team, which it sounds like you do, then it is basically having someone on the "inside" in terms of assessing a vehicle's performance and drivability.

     

    I take the news of Cummins' ongoing interest and involvement as great news; great for ePower, and great for
    Axion, as well.
    12 Jul, 07:16 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Jay has been sending regular reports to his investors for the last couple years. All I'm doing is sharing the non-confidential parts with a wider audience of interested parties.

     

    Jay's not positive but he thinks Charlie's tractor is a 550 hp Kenworth with an Eaton 10 speed and an over-under splitter.

     

    I'm thrilled with the level of engagement and support we're getting from Cummins. It suggests that our ongoing efforts to become an authorized OEM are proceeding apace.
    12 Jul, 07:25 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2483) | Send Message
     
    John - Thanks for the sharing the write-up. No doubt, ePower continues to surmount many hurdles.

     

    With respect to the Charlie baseline comparison, what is his typical cruising speed with a 55,000 lb GVW in his tractor?
    13 Jul, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Most truckers like to stay in the 62 mph range for insurance reasons, although some fleets allow drivers to run at 68 mph.

     

    We don't yet have all the speed we'd prefer, at least in hilly terrain, but we have a clear idea of the next steps and they're simple enough that we can start selling this generation to establish reliability and then do modest retrofits when the enhanced systems are fully developed.
    13 Jul, 11:22 AM Reply Like
  • User 393748
    , contributor
    Comments (216) | Send Message
     
    The SuperTruck would appear to present some practical problems for everday use:

     

    1) there is not much room to get chains on the rear wheels for winter driving, plus if a chain breaks or comes off, it will do expensive damage to the skirting over the rear wheels;
    (Everything on heavy duty equipment is mucho dinaro.)

     

    2) the space between the back of the truck and the front of the trailer does not appear to allow for making an easy right or left turn in many intersections.

     

    3) the space between the back of the truck and the front of the trailer appears to not allow for the jacknifing that can needed in order to dock a trailer in a standard layout freight yard with tight maneuvering and parking spaces. Sometimes, a 90% jacknife can be necessary in order to park and dock a trailer. From the pictures of it, the SuperTruck appears to only allow for a 65% (give or take) jacknife before the driver risks causing damage to both the truck and to the trailer.

     

    4) fleet maintenance crews will be having the trailer wind deflector skirts getting in the way when doing their maintenance work.

     

    5) the low ground clearance of skirting under the trailer would seem to present a problem in getting in and out of any freight yards or customer locations that have a noticable drop-off at the entrance way. The same goes for some roads that also have a drop-off at their interesection. If that skirting gets damaged once or twice over the course of a year, then the company would most likely have it repaired or replaced. But if it gets damaged three or more times per year, then they would most likely have it taken off for good. Also, if it gets damaged and becomes a work place hazard for people or property in the freight yard, or it becomes a traffic hazard to others on the road or the cause of a traffic violation ticket for an unsecured portion of a vehicle, then it would have to be removed at a cost at the soonest opportunity.

     

    Doing a google or a yahoo on "semi-trailer underside wind deflector" returns multiple stories of companies removing them within a short amount of time after they are put on. One of the problems reported is that cars hit them. In winter, they can pack up with slush or mud, causing overweight tickets. Some companies find that they add too much weight to the vehicle and cost them more in fuel than any saving that they may provide because the added weight reduces the amount of paid cargo that they can carry.

     

    So, the SuperTruck may get good mileage on the highway, but the real question that any prospective purchaser will be asking is: good mileage for the highway, yes, but how realistic is it for everday use and all season use?

     

    If the practical usage issues surrounding the SuperTruck amount to more trouble than they are worth, then in its current form, it will be a tough sell.
    12 Jul, 08:56 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » We're all about getting the biggest bang for the buck, rather than the biggest possible bang. It's my understanding that the SuperTruck will carry a $250,000 price tag when it finally hits the new truck market. We're targeting a premium of $50,000 to $60,000 over the cost of a conventional major overhaul. If we reach our goal of saving a long haul trucker 6,000 to 7,000 gallons of fuel per year, the economics will say it all.
    12 Jul, 09:07 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1341) | Send Message
     
    Airmar makes wind sensor that will report true wind conditions while in motion (actually it is a complete weather station). It was developed in the marine industry and would be very helpful when putting numbers together.

     

    The biggest factor aside from grade for fuel economy is wind and on flat level ground wind is the biggest factor. First, areodynamics is not a factor below 50 mph but if you have a 10 mph head wind the resistance is as if you are going 60 mph. Likewise at higher speeds. The Airmar will calulate this for you.

     

    Trucks are designed to deal with headwinds and perfom best when the wind is hitting them directly in front (12 oclock). The profile is only 102" wide by 13.5' tall with an areodynamic front end to move the air to the box shape. What happens when the wind is at your 10 oclock? tthe width is measured in feet and would guess it would be much wider than it is tall. The Airmar calulates the speed of the truck in the direction that it is moving and provides a true wind direction if you want to attempt to calculate drag.

     

    Wind can suck up profits faster than anything (I had an Airmar and it was very helpful for my decisions on how much throttle to provide to maximize my mpg). If you want to know what is really happening then you will want an Airmar. They will work with you to get the unit at a reasonable price and they should interface nicely with your existing sensors...
    13 Jul, 10:27 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Many thanks for the heads up Tim. I'll pass your message on to Jay.
    13 Jul, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » P.S. If you find yourself in Cincinnati and want to take a test drive just let me know.
    13 Jul, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • Al Marshall
    , contributor
    Comments (495) | Send Message
     
    Tim: Nice to see you posting. I know this might be a tough question but can you roughly guess what kind of gas mileage a conventional truck would get on this course under the weight and speed conditions John described?

     

    Going further, what gas mileage would a conventional truck get at 62 or 68mph at 80,000lbs over this course?

     

    Thank you!
    13 Jul, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1341) | Send Message
     
    I would love to take the ePower class out for a test drive, thanks for the offer! I have a contact there (albeit an old one). A link to get you started...

     

    http://bit.ly/1tEB0Qj
    13 Jul, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1341) | Send Message
     
    Al: Thanks and it is a very tough question and can only really be answered using ideal conditions which are smooth pavement, flat level ground, moderate dry conditions without wind.

     

    My numbers were as follows with a 2012 Freightliner Cascadia w/extended (double) cab and a step deck trailer. Loaded to 80k was 7.6 mpg, Empty was 10.2 and bobtail we got 13.7. (ideal conditions)

     

    A step deck trailer means a variable shaped object on the deck so wind resistance could vary depending on the load.

     

    The standard formula for calculating the cost of adding speed is .1 mpg per mph or 1 mpg for every 10 mph over the speed of 50 mph.

     

    Rolling hills was a losing game. The best you can do is let the truck run (no brakes) down the hill which we all do if it is possible. This allows the stored energy to be transferred with the least loss as possible.

     

    Speed limits and 4 wheelers get in our way sometimes. The next best thing would be to use the regenerative brakes with the cruise control so the truck was held at the speed limit and the power generated was stored for the next hill.

     

    Bottom line is that i could easily lose 1 mpg in a rolling hill situation (perhaps more)... In my opinion, this course is very well suited for the ePower configuration.
    13 Jul, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • obieephyhm
    , contributor
    Comments (1558) | Send Message
     
    Thank you for slaking my thirst for ePower progress news.
    13 Jul, 01:12 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    Any thoughts towards running the +4 PbC test? 60 is a nice round number. It would raise the relative amt of work done by the batteries, I would guess.
    13 Jul, 03:17 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » At this point we think a generator upgrade and a better transmission make more sense than trying to squeeze even more performance from the batteries. Hell, they're already doing way more than any rational man would expect.

     

    Just for grins, grab your imaginary bottle of white-out and eliminate everything in the graph that isn't PbC. Then take a hard look at the duty cycle Axion's PbC can handle without breaking a sweat. Last time I checked 650 volts at 150 amps is 97.5 kW, which ain't shabby for a 19 kWh battery string.

     

    If you really want to get ambitious compare our 72 minutes of PbC cycling with one of the 12-hour frequency regulation graphs from Ecoult.

     

    http://bit.ly/1oUlYk3
    13 Jul, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • Al Marshall
    , contributor
    Comments (495) | Send Message
     
    A request for some of the engineers here. I looked at the Ecoult graph John linked and am unable to understand. It is a 3MW ultrabattery installation. At one point it says the batteries are cycled over a range of 10-15% while the 12 hour table shows a smaller range with individual "events" of what appears to be 1-2%.

     

    It would seem to me that a PbC equivalent of this system could be much smaller and do the same work. Is there enough information here between what JP has provided about ePower's experience, the $250k per megawatt annual revenue estimate Axion provided early this year, and the information in the Ecoult material to estimate just how much smaller a PbC equivalent could be?

     

    Intuitively, to my non-technical mind, if the PbC can handle dozens of 10% swings in an hour while the UltraBattery is doing 1-2% swings then a 600KW PbC installation could do the work this 3MW UltraBattery systems does. So, if the PbC is priced at $750 per KwH (I know I just switched from apples to oranges) is the ultrabattery priced in the $150 range necessary to be competitive? Isn't $150 less than what AGM is currently priced?
    14 Jul, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2483) | Send Message
     
    Al,

     

    I seem to recall at the annual meeting that VD stated that a PbC installation for frequency regulation could be half the size of a lithium ion installation and do the same work.

     

    Do you remember something along those lines being said?
    14 Jul, 03:00 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (17253) | Send Message
     
    Al: I'm not skilled in these items, but I do recall several discussions pointing out that because of the "sweet spot" having a range of 20% - 80% that a much smaller capacity PbC installation would do the same amount of work as could be extracted from traditional VRLA and AGM stuff, as well as Lithium chemistry, without the risk of shortening lifetime..

     

    I think JP had something on that somewhere too.

     

    HardToLove
    14 Jul, 03:15 PM Reply Like
  • Al Marshall
    , contributor
    Comments (495) | Send Message
     
    Stefan: Yes, I heard the same thing.

     

    HTL, I'm not sure its the large "sweet spot" that is the reason although that did get me thinking about something. The early discussion about start-stop was that the event would represent 1-2% of battery capacity (that seemed to be the way it was tested) which at 100,000 cycles represents 1,000 or 2000 full discharge equivalents. I found that disappointing because this require a relatively large PbC battery which of course is more expensive.

     

    The ePower duty cycle is much more what I'd hoped we would be able to see with auto start-stop. If the automotive start-stop events represent 5% of capacity then you might be able to use a 30H size PbC (regular sized car battery?) which could conceivably be priced to automotive in the $250 range which might get some attention.

     

    This is one of the key questions that I hope to be able to learn more about at the next annual meeting. It seems to me that unless ePower is beating the &**( out of the PbC that Axion has achieved (or at least confirmed through testing) dramatic improvements in service life in partial state-of-charge operations.

     

    In summary, proving a capability to handle larger "events" is basically the equivalent of reducing cost.

     

    One last technical question about this JP quote: "Last time I checked 650 volts at 150 amps is 97.5 kW, which ain't shabby for a 19 kWh battery string." Is this a 5 C rate?
    14 Jul, 05:52 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    Since it has gone unanswered.....

     

    To begin to determine the answer, you must first accept Peukert's Law.

     

    http://bit.ly/1oIUg6U

     

    The C-rate is the rate that would theoretically drain a battery's "rated capacity" in one hour. Axion has not published a "rated capacity" for any PbC device, nor any capacity rating of any sort, whether power or energy. Lots of techies have a problem with this and it is one of this investment's risk factors, which is significantly ameliorated by the fact that it has no real competitors; it is the first supercabattery AFAICT. It is easier to compare to a lead-acid battery which it look so much like, but it is more appropriate to compare it to a supercapacitor which it acts so much like. Except noone has made a comparable supercapacitor, so we're SOL on that point.

     

    The "rated capacity" of a battery is determined by the total energy that can be withdrawn if the discharge is spread over a specific time - apparently the "rated capacity" for lead-acid batteries is determined using a 20-hour discharge current. The "rated capacity" would be somewhat higher if they drew it down slower and lower if they drew it down faster. Cynics might say they only use the slow rate to get a higher capacity but, as long as they all do the same, and the number is not unrealistic, who cares?

     

    The "capacity rating" of a battery (and hence the C-rate) is measured in or calculated from ampere-hours, not kilowatt-hours (see second issue below). But ignoring that for a second, the kwh capacity John cites is 19 kwh and the drain rate is 97.5 kW. Since 97.5/19 = 5, one could say that's a 5C rate. Unfortunately, most people would then think this means that a 97.5 kW drawdown could be maintained for 1/5th of an hour (12 minutes).

     

    Peukert's Law tells you it would be dead long before that.

     

    The second issue: Batteries and supercabatteries further complicate the use of C-rates by discharging in different ways. The former with a steady voltage, the latter not so much. So kw and kwh, both being dependent on voltage, are complicated.

     

    The rating game with supercapacitors is based on farads and joules.

     

    Supercabatteries are so new that no convention exists as to how they should be rated or compared.
    16 Jul, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » When Rosewater was developing marketing materials for the PowerCube they published a specifications sheet for the Group 30HT PbC that claimed ratings of 70 Ah and 500 Wh for a 1-hour discharge profile.

     

    http://bit.ly/1qg6XwQ
    16 Jul, 03:40 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    I have no distrust of Rosewater, so I continue to use their numbers when I need to, but they aren't Axion's. Axion's might be better; in one of their patents, they talk about having 77 Ah from 6 cells.
    16 Jul, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • vrlca
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    John Petersen
    Thank you for update and the data contained in the graphic.
    My interest is for the most part in the performance of the PbC battery string and I have spent quite some time analyzing the Voltage and Amperage graphs, and the amperage data shows that the batteries are spending far more time being charged than discharged and that the total ampere-minutes of charge is conservatively two to three times greater than the ampere-minutes of discharge. I was expecting to see some efficiency losses but not enough toexplain this data.

     

    Can Jay Bowman explain this high ratio of ampere-minutes of charge vs discharge?
    13 Jul, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » You're interpreting the graph wrong. The battery string amperage falls below the zero line as the batteries discharge and climbs above the zero line as the batteries recharge.

     

    My Excel workbook with the hard data underlying the graph shows 661 of 1900 intervals when the amperage declined from the prior measurement and 656 of 1900 intervals when the amperage increased from the prior measurement. In other words, the time spent charging and discharging balanced perfectly.

     

    We started the trip with 617 volts and (15) amps on the battery string and ended the trip with 637 volts and 6.5 amps on the battery string. In other words the electricity out and electricity in balanced perfectly.
    13 Jul, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    vrlca,
    Exactly which trace did you "analyze"? Please describe your method in detail. I have spent quite some time examining the same data and would like to understand how you are developing your conclusion of unexplained efficiency losses.
    13 Jul, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • vrlca
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    Mr Petersen,

     

    Could it be that the zero line on your graph has been somehow misplaced or shifted up relative to the amperage data?

     

    I can see no other obvious explanation because on the graph that you published the area between the zero line and the amperage line ( = ampere-minutes) is certainly greater on the negative side than it is on the positive side. One thing for certain is that the PbC battery does not 'create' energy and so (as the graph presently stands) the negative amperage side would have to be the charge side in that case.

     

    The Voltage data during this time period indicates that the battery string has not on average lost charge so that is not the answer .
    13 Jul, 04:37 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The raw data feed is in ~3 second intervals while the graph uses 30-second moving averages to smooth spikiness and present a clearer picture of how our system components respond to changing road conditions, which is our principal concern at ePower.

     

    Your analytical process is flawed because you're focusing on the area above the line vs the area below the line. To calculate an amp second balance you need to look at the amount of time the line spends descending vs the amount of time the line spends ascending.

     

    Just for grins I ran totals of the positive and negative amperage changes for all 1,900 intervals in my spreadsheet and they came in at 21,150 vs (21,170). The discrepancy you think you see in the graph does not exist in the raw data.
    13 Jul, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • KillaCycle
    , contributor
    Comments (523) | Send Message
     
    vrlca,

     

    I fully understand your point. The amps data must have some sort of offset. If you take the data as presented, it shows a serious net discharge during the run. However, the voltage curve does not seem to agree with that. Something isn't quite right in the presented data. Very likely an offset in the amps reading, but who knows.

     

    To get net charge, (amp-hrs in or out) you integrate the amps curve with respect to time, giving amp-hrs. ("Integrate" means to incrementally sum.) Should integrate (sum) to near zero for the charge to balance. Obviously a very negative value instead.

     

    The "descending versus ascending" explanation makes no sense.
    13 Jul, 07:50 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I love the way you can ignore my clear statement that I calculated the amperage changes for all 1,900 intervals and came to a perfect balance on the integration. Any time an instantaneous amperage reading decreases from one interval to the next the battery is being discharged. The converse is also true.

     

    I find your deliberate misinterpretation of internally consistent and surprisingly accurate instantaneous string voltage and amperage data appalling.

     

    I thought about deleting your comment, which is my prerogative on an Instablog, and decided it was better to preserve this latest inanity for posterity.

     

    I don't generally appreciate comments from stalkers, but when they prove their bad faith so transparently, it's fun to simply let them twist in the wind.

     

    Don't bother trying to pick a fight in this comment section because I'll simply delete your nonsense.
    13 Jul, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • PbC Believer
    , contributor
    Comments (258) | Send Message
     
    KillaCyle,

     

    I have remained silent for as long as possible. Both you and vrlca are correct in how you interpret this graph and both of you are being treated badly for speaking the plain truth and I am amazed at how many of vrlca's comments have been deleted with no apparent reason. Either this graph is wrong or the laws of physics are being contradicted.

     

    To just drop the subject because JP and/or ePower may be embarrassed by the facts in this matter is just plain WRONG!

     

    My bet is that Axion was never consulted prior to the publication of this data because their engineers would likely have seen the problem with this graphic and corrected it.

     

    We are all human and there is no shame in making a mistake but there is in not admitting to it. The engineers from Axion and ePower should be speaking up here and now - "Is there an error in this graph or not and if not then why not?" Let's take the high road on this and hear directly from the engineering experts on this project.

     

    Ed Buiel would be all over this one if he were still around.

     

    I can't help but wonder if this comment will also be erased by - who would that be?
    15 Jul, 10:10 PM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (693) | Send Message
     
    Believer,
    If I were in your shoes I would be writing to EB end Axion to complain.

     

    Let us know how that works for you.
    15 Jul, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • PbC Believer
    , contributor
    Comments (258) | Send Message
     
    Albert - I think that vrlca mentioned in one of his deleted comments that he was doing that very thing and John wished him luck in getting a reply. I too am watching - very closely - because as I see it Axion has their reputation at stake here and due to no fault of their own.
    15 Jul, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2103) | Send Message
     
    BRRROORZRZZHIINNGG!

     

    THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!

     

    Arisen from the dead, the gremlin with lightsaber lops off their heads in one swell foop!
    15 Jul, 10:52 PM Reply Like
  • PbC Believer
    , contributor
    Comments (258) | Send Message
     
    SM - Have you studied the graph that we are talking about - there seems to be something very wrong that only the involved engineers can properly explain.

     

    Why are we not hearing from those who are the experts? JP is not an engineer and has never professed to be one.

     

    This is important and has to be resolved professionally and not glossed over with 'high falutin' rhetoric!
    15 Jul, 11:11 PM Reply Like
  • PbC Believer
    , contributor
    Comments (258) | Send Message
     
    And so, if all of these last 5 comments are mysteriously erased by morning, who in this group will voice an objection to that all too common practice?
    15 Jul, 11:24 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2103) | Send Message
     
    Methinks, Little Green Being, too seriously thyself dost take.

     

    I have examined the graph closely and determined in my professional opinion that it is a classic EEG specimen of a grand mal conniption in a troll.

     

    You'll get my bill via PM, if you desire a more detailed analysis.
    15 Jul, 11:33 PM Reply Like
  • JamesBBecker
    , contributor
    Comments (172) | Send Message
     
    PbC Believer :: I have only done a cursory look at the graphs produced by Killa. Assuming that what he is saying is true - that a diesel engine running at full power (at 1500 RPM for example) has the same efficiency as a much larger diesel engine running at the same power and speed, then that leaves a question.

     

    How come ePower is getting ~10mpg after losing power to electricity conversion on a flat grade (where the batteries don't do much) while normal truckers only get 6-7mpg?

     

    If that result is true, and ePower is getting that result, it is not necessary for engineers in this forum to figure out why and explain it to Killa. The result is the result, maybe getting an explanation would be fun and interesting, but no-one owes Killa an explanation of why it works.
    15 Jul, 11:35 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The graph accurately shows how our engine and battery string respond to changing terrain, which is the only thing we're concerned with at ePower.

     

    We are developing an engine dominant series hybrid drivetrain. The generator does the bulk of the work and the batteries provide extra power for climbing. When the hard work is done, the batteries recover their charge opportunistically.

     

    The graph clearly shows that as the tractor starts up a hill the drive motor pulls heavily from the battery string which causes amperage, voltage and instantaneous fuel economy to drop as the batteries are depleted. It then shows that when the drive motor load is reduced, the amperage, voltage and instantaneous fuel economy climb as the batteries are recharged.

     

    The only problem with this graph is readers who want more battery specific information than the graph provides.

     

    It is not my place to provide easy answers for all the mysteries of the universe or try and satisfy obsessed engineers who have more questions than I have any business answering.
    16 Jul, 07:37 AM Reply Like
  • vrlca
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    Mr. Becker,

     

    To my knowledge "Killa" has produced no graphs as you say. The single graphic that is in question here was produced and published by ePower and presumably it would have been reviewed and approved for publication by their chief engineer or some other person with the technical credentials necessary to make that judgment.

     

    As I view this matter, useful data has now been made un-interpretable and misleading by the decision to plot the 30 second trailing averages in place of the true values. It seems as simple as that. The real data would have provided an excellent opportunity for those with the interest, like myself, to see how this string of PbC batteries is actually performing but the trailing average plot eliminates that possibility and it is not possible to "unscramble this omelet".

     

    I am certain that it was not anyone's intention to make this graphic more or less useless and or misleading - but that seems to have been the end result.

     

    Perhaps the Axion or ePower engineers will comment, and then again perhaps they will not, but to guard their valued credibility I believe that they should do so.
    16 Jul, 08:11 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Jay Bowman's update was prepared for ePower investors who need to understand how the engine dominant series hybrid drivetrain they're paying to develop responds to changing terrain. I reprinted the update as a courtesy to Axionistas who are interested in keeping track of ePower.

     

    The fact that you want more data and different data on battery performance than the graph provides is not my problem. If you want more detail on battery specifics, that detail should come from Axion. From the perspective of an ePower investor there is nothing improper or misleading with the data smoothing or the presentation.
    16 Jul, 08:19 AM Reply Like
  • JamesBBecker
    , contributor
    Comments (172) | Send Message
     
    John and vrlca :: I think the topic I was addressing was completely different than the one you are discussing. I must have jumped into the wrong thread at the wrong time with the wrong context. Sorry. I'll try to read more thoroughly next time.

     

    I don't have much of an opinion on the ePower graph. The current graph does look a little screwy, but its probably an innocent mistake somewhere - not worth fighting about on the whole.
    16 Jul, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » It's only screwy if you're trying to extract more information than the graph contains.

     

    The PbC has a voltage curve that declines steadily as the battery is discharged and inclines steadily as the battery is recharged. That fact makes instantaneous string voltage a good proxy for instantaneous state of charge.

     

    We put the tractor on a hill and three things happen – the engine goes to maximum fuel burn, the voltage starts to fall as power is drawn from the batteries and amperage draw increases because of the strain on the drive motor. When the strain of the climb abates, fuel burn rates improve, battery string voltage increases and amperage draw abates; at least until the next climbing interval when the cycle starts anew.

     

    This is an ePower graph that depicts the response of an engine, a generator, a battery pack and a drive motor to changing terrain. Nothing more and nothing less. The only way to satisfy those who want more detail would be to publish the raw data, and that's a step I won't take.
    16 Jul, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • JamesBBecker
    , contributor
    Comments (172) | Send Message
     
    John :: all of the graphs other than the current graph make perfect sense. The current graph makes quite a bit of sense, but doesn't make perfect sense because it isn't centered around zero. I don't know why that is, it may be a mistake in the data, or it may be I don't understand something. Either way, I jumped into this when I didn't mean to.
    16 Jul, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » For the amperage graph to be centered around zero the voltage graph would need to be centered around 672, the nominal voltage for a string of 56 12-volt batteries. Neither stays at the hypothetical optimal level because every time the battery string recovers another rise in the road takes the state of charge back down. This entire graph is driven by elevation changes and shows how changing elevation impacts key system components. Trying to extract more data than the graph presents is an exercise in futility.
    16 Jul, 09:56 AM Reply Like
  • JamesBBecker
    , contributor
    Comments (172) | Send Message
     
    The following statement is not correct: "For the amperage graph to be centered around zero the voltage graph would need to be centered around 672"

     

    I can explain why in pretty simple terms if you want me to. But I really don't think it matters in the scheme of things.
    16 Jul, 12:39 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I'm really tired of this discussion. If you don't like the amperage line please ignore it. I don't need the kind of sniping that this article has drawn and if you'd rather have an information vacuum that can be arranged.
    16 Jul, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    That is exactly what I was afraid of. I am not alone in very much appreciating the information and would hate to see a few bozos (anybody actually remember Bozo?) ruin it for everyone with their endless fault-finding and entitled demanding.

     

    John, May I suggest? Present the data with a caveat, for example: An offset may have been applied to certain sets of data to obscure proprietary information. No further information will be provided.
    16 Jul, 02:10 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2103) | Send Message
     
    Bozo came on right after Captain Kangaroo. You had to watch Bozo in order to avoid watching Romper Room.

     

    http://bit.ly/1qfY5az
    16 Jul, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • metroneanderthal
    , contributor
    Comments (1499) | Send Message
     
    Smaturin,
    Only got to see Bozo when we went to Denver once a year as we only had one television channel; and as luck would have it Bozo was on a different channel. Was always jealous of the kids who got to see Bozo - it seemed so suave, sophisticated and big city. SMaturin, you must have had a truly magical childhood - watching Bozo, a country child could only dream.
    16 Jul, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • Edmund Metcalfe
    , contributor
    Comments (1462) | Send Message
     
    My Mom turned the TV off after Captain Kangaroo and shooed us out. The few times she was elsewhere, we learned why. Thanks, MOM!
    16 Jul, 04:08 PM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2103) | Send Message
     
    Deprived of Bozo as children.

     

    Explains so much!
    16 Jul, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • AlbertinBermuda
    , contributor
    Comments (693) | Send Message
     
    JP,

     

    We all owe you a HUGE debt of gratitude for your efforts to present to us laymen the results of the recent ePower test. Its sad that there are some who demand more data than is currently available from you/ePower/AXION. I know that they are data deprived but from my vantage point what has been presented clearly shows that the system works and works well.

     

    Yes I am certain that improvements will be required/desired but it appears to me that the current platform leads us to the conclusion that ePower is onto a good thing. And not just a good thing but without any competition!

     

    16 Jul, 04:53 PM Reply Like
  • iindelco
    , contributor
    Comments (8764) | Send Message
     
    The fact is nobody here knows where the instrumentation is in the system and the measurement response times. And the system is dynamic not passive. We don't know all the interactions going on in the system. Hell, there could be all kinds of data that was masked when the data points were massaged for what ePower wanted to look for or John thought was useful in his sharing. If ePower is getting what they want from the data all is well and fine. They will not have the time nor the inclination to spend on disgruntled idiots TROLLING for something to chew on.

     

    Take the data for what it's worth, ask questions as you see fit but then it should be understand that the provider of the information is doing the group a service but doesn't HAVE to follow up and clarify EVERYTHING that your heart desires. Talk about immature BS.
    17 Jul, 10:53 AM Reply Like
  • ARGE
    , contributor
    Comments (717) | Send Message
     
    Actually, don't remember Bozo after Cap, but I do remember the Today Show before and even being upset when Barbara Walters was replaced with Jane Pauley. Funny how I could care less about who replaces her on The View (unlike Google)
    17 Jul, 07:49 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The debate over visual inspection of the graph is OVER.

     

    vrlca and Killacycle have suggested that things don't look right to them and I've explained that the numbers all foot, cross foot and tie to offer an accurate representation of the instantaneous state of charge on the battery string throughout the trip.

     

    I'm sorry that I can't share the underlying spreadsheets, but I'll not be badgered by commenters who don't want to understand what they're seeing and go out of their way to argue absurdity.

     

    This is a troll free zone.
    14 Jul, 08:21 AM Reply Like
  • JohnM121
    , contributor
    Comments (357) | Send Message
     
    Many of us, including me, hear the term Amps and think of water pipe model. Negative is the flow 1 way and positive is the other. So a rate change from -10 to -5 still has the current flowing in the same direction. The graph is showing something different. I don't think there was malicious intent.
    14 Jul, 10:28 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » An engineer who was primarily interested in presenting power flows through the batteries might have manipulated the raw data set and plotted changes in voltage (∆-V) and changes in amperage (∆-A).

     

    I considered that possibility and concluded the presentation format I used was more informative for readers who want to understand how the components in ePower's drivetrain work together.

     

    I'm more than happy to accept the proposition that my accountant's mind presents data in a different manner than an engineer's mind would. I am not at all happy when commenters who know better twist interpretations to reach conclusions the data doesn't support.

     

    The debate has run its course and I see no benefit in continuing a debate over presentation triviality.
    14 Jul, 11:14 AM Reply Like
  • JamesBBecker
    , contributor
    Comments (172) | Send Message
     
    Hi John :: All an interesting discussion even if you find it frustrating.

     

    Moving on....

     

    Background: It seems that your drive motor increases output power as RPM increases. Until it reaches 1800 RPM when output power is at its maximum. Above 1800 RPM, output power is flat or falls slightly.

     

    Overall efficiency would be closer to flat up until 1800 RPM, and then fall off after that.

     

    That would agree with your need for a more capable transmission. The engine could be kept at closer to the 1800 RPM power/efficiency sweet spot during a greater part of the drive cycle. Overall - a fun problem to work on. I'm jealous of the guys involved.

     

    If your current transmission is roughly the same price as the 10 Spd transmission your are thinking of using, it would definitely be a good idea to make the switch.

     

    However, if the 10 Spd is considerably more expensive than the current 5 Spd, you might consider a different approach.

     

    Change the gear ratios in the 5 speed so that they are further apart, and then have the output motor rev to higher speed before shifting. But have the differential changed such that the motor is running at 1800 RPM at the desired Speed - 65 mph.

     

    That would save the money on the new transmission, increase the efficiency at the final drive speed, but lose efficiency during the acceleration shifting process. Since the truck wouldn't transfer through the gears very often, the loss in efficiency wouldn't be as extensive.

     

    This is probably completely impractical for a bunch of reasons, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
    15 Jul, 01:03 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The five speed is a remanufactured Allison transmission that's widely available while the ten speed is a new model from Eaton. The cost differential at the per component level is significant but it won't make a major difference in the price of the drivetrain. Ultimately we want to sell the drivetrain in kit form and the more we vary from off-the-shelf standard the more difficult that process will be.
    15 Jul, 06:32 AM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1341) | Send Message
     
    Curious, is that Allison an automatic w/torque converter?
    16 Jul, 02:06 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » As far as I know, yes.
    16 Jul, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1341) | Send Message
     
    Yes, not something we would use in the trucking industry and the trend was heading towards direct drive as the final gear instead of overdrive in the manual transmissions.

     

    The Eaton Fuller you speak of is a manual transmission with auto-shifting functionality and comes with direct drive in the final gear (i suspect).

     

    In my opinion, chances are you will see improvements in MPG by just getting the Allison out of there. I know they have made great strides but there's nothing like direct drive for fuel economy(or so they say).
    16 Jul, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » We expect better efficiency with the Eaton UltraShift and we'll also benefit from the additional gears since we hit a 1:1 ratio at about 50 with our current configuration.
    16 Jul, 05:41 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2382) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the update.

     

    1. Since there are a number of day/week references, and just to be clear, your "light editing" and publication were almost immediately after the original letter was written, right? Perhaps original written on Friday the 11th and publicized here on Saturday the 12th?

     

    2. Re: "Cummins is also involved and have stepped up their efforts to work together. We will be undergoing an application engineering review by a team of their engineers to ensure they are a good fit for our application. This is part of the ongoing process to approve us for use of Cummins products in our system. We will begin this engineering review within the next two weeks. I look forward to their involvement.":

     

    Can you add any color (including how long this review might take once it starts) to this and how it might affect turnover to your first friendly customer? Are there "universal" tweaks (such as might come out of the Cummins review) already scheduled for truck #2 and thus not implemented till the 1st prototype is out the door and generating data?
    16 Jul, 10:05 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » We are currently courting Cummins and they're being suitably circumspect and chaste in their behavior. We have a number of items on our wish list ranging from fine tuning our current system to taking things up a notch. While I could add color on our wish list, I'm not comfortable speaking for Cummins or predicting what their actions will be.
    16 Jul, 10:19 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2382) | Send Message
     
    Thanks, and understood, but by main question is whether this review will put on hold the turnover to the first friendly tester of truck #1.

     

    And while that's the "big/important picture/question," could you also answer Q1 (which I presume is a yes, but just wanted to make sure)
    16 Jul, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Our plans keep changing because of decisions made by others. Our friendly neighborhood trucker, for example, has decided to sell his tractor and quit hauling freight for a living. He will be working for us as a test driver, but the "friendly" cycle that precedes the first turnover to a fleet operator will be different from the one we initially planned. It's just another proof that no battle plan survives first contract with the enemy.
    16 Jul, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • SMaturin
    , contributor
    Comments (2103) | Send Message
     
    And that surviving battle plan is why we are thankful for generals at ePower who are fleet on their feet with a well-controlled bounce in their step!
    16 Jul, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2382) | Send Message
     
    Is the Charlie referred to in the letter then this "FNT friendly neighborhood trucker?"

     

    Couldn't tell whether your "will be working" is a future tense of someone new "coming on board" or a "just started and will continue to ..."
    16 Jul, 11:02 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » We're a small company that couldn't possibly keep a test driver busy full time. Charlie has just transitioned from semi-retired to retired. He will be driving for us when our needs and his desire to work mesh.
    16 Jul, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • Stefan Moroney
    , contributor
    Comments (2483) | Send Message
     
    So to clarify, when do you currently contemplate having the first rig in an independent fleet's hands for testing?
    16 Jul, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I've predicted a date several times and been wrong several times. When it happens you'll be the first to know. Until then I'm getting out of the forward looking statements business.
    16 Jul, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • RBrun357
    , contributor
    Comments (781) | Send Message
     
    JP,

     

    Is the road trip planned for tomorrow still a go?

     

    TIA
    16 Jul, 04:21 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » We had an unexpected opportunity to spend a few days with Axion's team, so we decided to delay the Cummins trip.
    16 Jul, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • RBrun357
    , contributor
    Comments (781) | Send Message
     
    Thanks JP,

     

    I hope the meet will be extremely fruitful.
    16 Jul, 09:32 PM Reply Like
  • aselhaoui
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    I am Long AXPW and what can i expect in terms of shares price/time from here please?
    19 Jul, 05:05 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (29445) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » have no idea what the market will do on a go forward basis.

     

    I believe Axion is extremely undervalued at the current price and the company should be trading at a multiple of its current market capitalization. That being said the market is scared right now because of a number of factors that really aren't in management's control. It's probably best to look at Axion as a binary trade that will either wallow in the current range for a couple more years or provide a stellar return for the patient. Since I've never been good at predicting when something will change, I'll resist the temptation to do so now.
    19 Jul, 06:17 AM Reply Like
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