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John Petersen is executive vice president and chief financial officer of ePower Engine Systems, Inc., a company that has developed, built and demonstrated an engine-dominant diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain for long-haul heavy trucks that promises fuel savings of 25 to 35 percent depending on... More
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  • August 9th Update From Jay Bowman 47 comments
    Aug 10, 2014 4:22 PM | about stocks: AXPW

    Since many stockholders of Axion Power International (NASDAQ:AXPW) are following the progress of our development work at ePower Engine Systems, I thought a modestly edited version Jay Bowman's most recent shareholder update would be worthwhile.

    "We have completed our road testing on the Peterbilt 387 sleeper truck as of last Friday. I will outline our test results below."

    Version 3 capabilities:

    • Generator power maximum 150 KW.
    • Battery power 50KW to 110 KW dependent of the state of charge of the battery pack.
    • Top Speed: 70 mph
    • Fuel economy: 8 to 11 mpg.
    • Weight capacity: Up to 73,000 pounds at 58 to 64 mph.
    • Gradeability performance, 1% grade - 62 mph @ 55,000 lb GVW on a 1% grade meets applicable standards.
    • Gradeability performance, 2% grade - 62 mph @ 55,000 lb GVW with a 5 to 8 mph speed loss. This is modestly sub-standard.
    • Gradeability performance, 3% grade - 62 mph @ 55,000 lb GVW with an 8 to 10 mph speed loss. Again, modestly sub-standard.
    • Gradeability performance, 4% grade - 62 mph @ 55,000 lb GVW with a 10 to 12 mph speed loss that meets applicable standards.

    Gradeability standards for line haul trucks generally require a tractor to maintain a constant speed on a 2% grade with a one or two gear downshift. Since we use a five speed automatic transmission that was designed for low speed vehicles and urban duty cycles, we don't have enough gearing options to maintain highway speeds on steeper grades because our transmission shifts into fifth gear at 50 mph and from there on it's a brute force battle between gravity and the drive motor. We are confident that our planned integration of a 10 speed long-haul truck transmission resolve our gradeability issues.

    Durability:

    Most of the components used in our drivetrain meet or exceed line haul truck specifications for durability. That being said, the durability of our integrated system is considered unproven. The batteries are the only truly unproven component in the system. We are currently working with Axion Power to determine a reasonable warranty period for the PbC batteries in our application.

    While our drivetrain can operate with GVWs up to 73,000 pounds at speeds of 55 mph to 58 mph, we believe the truck runs best and comes closest to standard line haul truck performance at GVWs of 55,000 pounds or less. Our primary limiting factor is gradeabilty. Our current performance profile is a good fit for companies like FedEx, UPS and many other haulers who cube out before approaching our weight limitations.

    Development Status:

    Our goal with the Sleeper truck was to meet a set of specifications for line haul sleepers that we received from a major fleet operator. I knew we would probably fall short of meeting all the requirements; but I also knew that any changes we made to the sleeper truck would carry over the day cab since the drivetrains are identical except for component placement. This is why we stopped work on the day cab until we finished tweaking the sleeper truck; I still think this was the correct approach.

    Testing is finished on the sleeper truck and our limitations have been documented. We have a drivetrain that should satisfy a very large segment of the day cab market, which includes over a million tractors that rarely exceed a laden weight of 55,000 pounds and get 6 to 7 mpg. Now we are working full time to finish the day cab. We are making good progress and with Cummins' help we now have a 2014 emission compliant engine integrated with our generator, no small accomplishment.

    Our plan is to have the day cab finished, tested and ready to show in Detroit in mid September. We have been invited to speak at The Battery Show on September 16th through 18th and will showcasing our tractor in Booth E1150 at the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo. John Petersen will be presenting our technology on the morning of September 17th during the "Business Models and Tecnologies for Transport, Commercial Vehicles, Trucks and Heavy Hybrids" session.

    After the show we will begin demonstration and marketing efforts with local freight haulers that operate in our region and can be supported from our base in Florence. I am focusing on several independent FedEx contractors as first customers.

    This is the first time we've had a truck that was capable of doing the work fleet operators require. I am excited about this as are Andrew and Mario. We have confirmed this with Charlie our test driver, he agrees that the type of applications I mentioned above, our truck will be a good alternative. He was impressed with the programming changes that we made over the last two weeks on his latest test run. While our tractor can't satisfy the needs of the entire trucking industry, we have a truck that can operate conventionally in a segment of that market while offering comparable performance with better fuel economy, lower emissions and a more enjoyable driver experience. We also have clear paths forward to system enhancements that will lead to heavier hauling capacities as we mature.

    Our US patent was issued on July 22, 2014 granting patent protection for the United States, Patent number (US 8,783,396 B2). Due to the issuance time period the United States Patent office granted an additional 553 days of Patent protection. We also have been granted Patent protection in Mexico under Titulo De Patente No. 316373. Our European, Canadian, China and Hong Kong patent applications are still under review.

    We are working our way through an engineering application review at Cummins to evaluate the potential advantages of their permanent magnet generator in our application. We have collected and sent drive cycle data for them to review from several trips. Our use of their 2017 EPA compliant engine seems to have generated interest and their support has been steady and available to us. On Friday they asked us to send a complete picture package of their engine and emission system install as well as full truck view pictures for upcoming meetings associated with the engineering review.

    Disclosure: The author is long AXPW.

    Stocks: AXPW
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Comments (47)
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  • dastar
    , contributor
    Comments (274) | Send Message
     
    Interesting read. Thanks again to you and Bowman for sharing.
    10 Aug 2014, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • topcat1906
    , contributor
    Comments (77) | Send Message
     
    This is great news. Thanks for the update!
    10 Aug 2014, 05:33 PM Reply Like
  • dance621
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    Comments (205) | Send Message
     
    Thanks JP. Important news. And good timing for AXPW
    10 Aug 2014, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • alsobirdman
    , contributor
    Comments (433) | Send Message
     
    Things should get interesting after the show in Detroit. I looked at the speaker list at the battery show and I assume the "mystery guest" speaker from Axion will be the new CEO. Wouldn't make sense to send anyone else. I anticipate a LOT of interest in ePower at the show. Based on my visit to company headquarters last week I don't know how anyone can not want this in their trucks.
    10 Aug 2014, 09:30 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Since this is a technical presentation on the battery rather than an investor presentation on the business I'm expecting them to send one of the top technical hands.
    11 Aug 2014, 06:11 AM Reply Like
  • alsobirdman
    , contributor
    Comments (433) | Send Message
     
    ah, yes. That would make more sense.
    11 Aug 2014, 09:32 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
    , contributor
    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    This should be a very impressive presentation if it is about the performance of the PbC battery strings that have been put through their paces in ePower trucks.

     

    ePower's usage of a PbC battery string is perhaps the most demanding that one could imagine. In general terms I'd list the demands as:

     

    - A very long and reliable cycle life for an unpredictable combination of HRPSOC cycles mixed with numerous relatively deep discharge cycles, all in combination with a wide range of load demands.
    - Maximized energy capacity to deal with long up hills.
    - An exceptionally high charge acceptance rate at all SOCs.
    - A reliable and responsive minimum power output even at the lowest SOC.
    - A rugged module construct capable of dealing with a nearly constant high levels of thumping and vibration.
    - A superior and equally rugged BMS
    - The ability to operation over a wide range of ambient temperatures

     

    Can you correct any of the above that I have misstated and add any that I have missed; and are there any specified metrics for these performance demands that you can share? (Perhaps you already have already done this and can just give me a link.)

     

    The on-the-road data collected by ePower is great and provides exactly what is needed for a convincing technical presentation. I hope that you will be able to share with us the PowerPoint file for the presentation at this conference.
    11 Aug 2014, 11:19 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I was tickled when the opportunity arose to slip Axion into the presentation panel at the Battery Show because I'll feel better if I focus on the tractor and somebody from Axion handles the battery issues.

     

    Hill climbing is never easy for heavy trucks and everybody relies on transmission gearing for the long uphill grinds. Where we really need the battery boost is for acceleration and short climbs on modest grades that other trucks can blast up at 60 mph without missing a beat.

     

    Beyond that fine distinction I think the rest of your assessments are spot on. I've been in the tractor several times and I'm invariably amazed by the frequency and magnitude of current changes for even modest grade changes like highway overpasses. The common wisdom is that hybrid drive is pretty useless in long-haul trucking because they don't stop very often. Our numbers provide a fairly conclusive body of proof that terrain changes provide more opportunity than you can say grace over.

     

    While I like to think I'm a fair hand with the English language, I feel terribly inadequate when it comes to describing the ePower tractor because I don't think I can do it justice.

     

    Until early last year the only thing I knew about the PbC was what I learned as an Axion director and picked up from Axion's public disclosures. When I climbed into the cab of the ePower tractor and watched the PbC do its thing, it was an like a new dimension was opened to me. It's an experience you don't want to miss.

     

    We've done a fair job of characterizing the demands that we can put on the tractor with a single unit operating close to home. The in-depth characterization work will require a fleet of 10 to 50 tractors on the road hauling freight. Our plan is to get that demonstration on the road with Cincinnati based haulers who work hub and spoke routes within an economic customer support radius of a few hundred miles. As our first customers discover the inevitable problems and we bulk up problematic systems to avoid the most common failure modes, we'll undoubtedly expand our radius. Mercifully, about 80% of the US population lives within 500 miles of Cincinnati.
    11 Aug 2014, 12:16 PM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
    , contributor
    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    The information contained in technical presentations like this one automatically becomes public domain since every 'interested party' (i.e. competitor) in the audience is making a video recording of it on their iphone. Given that reality can you share with us the PowerPoint file?

     

    PS- I've always failed to understand how any company can make a technical presentation to an audience full savvy competitors and then refuse to provide that same information to their shareholders. (not speaking of ePower or even Axion for that matter - just an observation)
    11 Aug 2014, 12:31 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » As soon as I have an ePower slide deck I can share I will do so. Hopefully Axion will do the same.
    11 Aug 2014, 12:50 PM Reply Like
  • JamesBBecker
    , contributor
    Comments (484) | Send Message
     
    Bob:: As John has described the architecture of the ePower system, I wouldn't think that low state of charge operation (of the PbC) would come into play.

     

    The DC bus of the motor controller is directly connected to the PbC string. When the PbC string falls to a low state of charge, its voltage falls to a relatively low level. At that point, the motor controller can't pull any power from the PbC.

     

    In other words, on a long hill, the generator will provide all the power it can to the DC bus through the front end of the motor controller. The rest of the power will be supplied by the PbC string. As the hill continues, the SOC and output voltage of the PbC falls, along with the DC bus voltage. The lower DC voltage then drives the output motor less strongly.

     

    As this process continues, at some point the DC voltage reaches a low enough value that the generator can hold it at that value by itself, without any contribution from PbC. At that point, the PbC string is no longer supplying power. The SOC where that happens probably depends on the grade and how the transmission shifts - which is complicated.
    11 Aug 2014, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » That was a good catch and clarification James. Many thanks for catching a point I missed.
    11 Aug 2014, 01:10 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    I wanna second that. Stellar comment JBB. When I read Mr. Averill's excellent list, that was the one point which I did question-- For as the PbC string gets drawn down to a lower and lower SOC, IWSTM that it has to get somewhat harder and harder to further draw meaningful power out of it--as voltage falls, output current would have to rise, which draws even more charge out of the battery etc etc... So drawing down too low (might) get problematic as far as extracting further usable power/energy goes. But within a reasonable SOC band though, it sounds like the PbC is truly rockin' the house...
    11 Aug 2014, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
    , contributor
    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    481086,

     

    "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;"

     

    This is the PbC battery pack voltage range that John said in the last update that they work within.

     

    Does anyone have a link to an Axion published graph of V vs. SOC?

     

    I would assume that the electronics also sets a max power or amps drawn from the battery pack and when it hits that limit they have to gear down and thus slow down if the grade continues.
    11 Aug 2014, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (973) | Send Message
     
    I would assume that since the battery had a voltage as low as the generator, the generator would be supplying all the power and the battery would in effect be bypassed. The battery could not draw down below the bus voltage.
    11 Aug 2014, 07:10 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Bob> Please bear in mind that I'm not a whiz on electrical systems (yet) and the following is my layman's understanding of how the control systems work.

     

    Our drivetrain is largely self-regulating and it lets the drive motor call the tune. We're feeding up to 150 kW from a 480-volt AC generator into an AC vector drive that converts the current to ~640-VDC at the DC bus bar. We tie in the batteries at the DC bus bar and the vector drive can draw on the combined power from the generator and the batteries to satisfy the AC power demands of a variable speed drive motor that's set to maintain a constant 1800 RPM cruising speed.

     

    As long as the drive motor doesn't demand more than 150 kW, the generator voltage exceeds the battery voltage so the generator does all the work. When the drive motor pulls more than 150 kW, the voltage at the DC bus bar drops and the amperage increases. That drop in voltage gives the batteries room to jump in and keep the DC bus bar voltage stable. When the batteries discharge to about 450 volts, the drive motor speed slows to a point where the transmission downshifts into a lower gear.

     

    As soon as the drive motor demands less than 150 kW, any excess generator power is sent directly to the batteries from the DC bus bar until their optimal SOC is restored.

     

    In peak power and regen situations we frequently see instantaneous amperage readings in the ±150 to ±200 range. On our test route over very challenging terrain we cycle the batteries up and down from ±640 volts to ±450 every couple minutes. When you consider the simplicity of our control system, it's a marvel that we haven't had any battery problems with the PbC. We just let the batteries and the generator do what they want to do naturally instead of trying to force them to do something unnatural.

     

    FWIW I have never seen an an Axion published graph of Voltage vs. SOC. Given the very brief duration of our charge and discharge events, however, I suspect that we're working the hell out of the capacitive carbon and putting minimal stress on the lead-acid electrochemistry.
    11 Aug 2014, 07:46 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    An Axion published graph of Voltage vs SOC?

     

    Now that is high comedy sir... ;)

     

    Being serious, I don't think there has been one... we've had some rough verbal descriptions of the relationship, and if IIRC, it has been called linear on occasion, but to my knowledge nothing really quantitative or definitive has ever escaped NewCastle' walls...
    11 Aug 2014, 08:01 PM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
    , contributor
    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    Is there no place/location within the SA structure where articles (files) that contain published information pertinent to the PbC battery/technology are/can-be stored/filed for future reference by the group?

     

    I know that you are something of a pack-rat and probably have hundreds of such documents stored on your computer but those are not accessible/searchable to/by the group.

     

    Is it possible to set-up some kind of SA-Axion Reference Library?
    11 Aug 2014, 10:07 PM Reply Like
  • Bob Averill
    , contributor
    Comments (590) | Send Message
     
    481086,

     

    Yes the V vs. SOC relationship for the PbC battery has been made public by Axion at least twice, but not in recent years.

     

    If you want recent information on this, you can go to Jun Gou's PhD Dissertation (2012) where you will find that relationship and much more.

     

    Axion has not been quite as closed mouth about how this battery works as some appear to believe.
    11 Aug 2014, 10:26 PM Reply Like
  • WDD
    , contributor
    Comments (60) | Send Message
     
    Gou, J. (2012). Modeling and analysis of lead-acid batteries with hybrid lead and carbon negative electrodes (Doctoral dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University).

     

    I scanned the abstract and the Conclusions (chapter 5)--don't have time for the whole study until this weekend. Available as a (free) PDF download via Google Scholar. Nothing here to warrant a new discussion thread, but maybe it will provide some nourishment to the sizable population of engineers in this rag-tag band.
    13 Aug 2014, 12:01 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I've uploaded a copy of the Jun Gou dissertation to my Dropbox for those who would rather avoid a Google search.

     

    http://bit.ly/1vGSoVn

     

    Frankly a lot of the science is out of my depth but it does have an open circuit voltage vs state of charge graph for the PbC on Page 34 (page 53 of the PDF) and a ton of additional information on the PbC. FWIW it appears that references to the PbC are not generic and focus on our PbC®
    13 Aug 2014, 06:59 AM Reply Like
  • nakedjaybird
    , contributor
    Comments (2851) | Send Message
     
    Thanks much John - lots of good info. Certainly points to the significance of design characteristics, application requirements, and operating conditions therein - the performance variability and success being not only application specific but very much SYSTEM DEPENDENT.
    13 Aug 2014, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • nakedjaybird
    , contributor
    Comments (2851) | Send Message
     
    ps - v/s buying a PbA or a bunch of LiIon cells off the shelf to play around with to provide some energy for a while, and then recharge or throw away, depending......
    13 Aug 2014, 02:31 PM Reply Like
  • dastar
    , contributor
    Comments (274) | Send Message
     
    Is the 10 speed Eaton transmission going to be installed on one or both of the current trucks (day and sleeper cab) or is that going to be installed on one of the future rebuilds?
    10 Aug 2014, 09:47 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The Eaton transmission communicates using automotive protocols while our AC vector drive communicates using industrial protocols. Once they get started on the process, we think it will take about six months for the engineers at Eaton and Unico to work out an interface so that both systems are getting the signals they need for a successful integration. Since the form factor for the Eaton and Allison transmissions is within a half inch, we plan to build with the Allison until the integration is completed and then offer the Eaton as an upgrade for customers who want it.
    11 Aug 2014, 06:16 AM Reply Like
  • dastar
    , contributor
    Comments (274) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the reply. I know it is quite a ways off, but I look forward to seeing what sort of performance and MPG ePower will obtain from the Cummins engine with the rare earth magnet generator paired with the 10 speed transmission and if the performance/fuel savings of the pairing justifies the increased cost of those 2 upgrades.
    11 Aug 2014, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • Fritz1969
    , contributor
    Comments (42) | Send Message
     
    John, is there intension from ePower to make the same road testing with a conventional truck with purpose to compare the fuel economies under same conditions? By the way, I wish ePower great success; you are also working for us – Axion shareholders ;-)
    11 Aug 2014, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » We think any data we generate will be suspect because we generated it, and we have a product we want to sell.

     

    Since nobody is going to make a buying decision based on our data, we would rather have freight haulers tell us how their results with our drivetrain are different from their results with a conventional drivetrain.

     

    Initially we want to focus on hub and spoke haulers who run the same route with comparable cargos day in and day out. I perfect example is the FedEx contractor who bids on a Point A to Point B route and then runs it every day. If a hauler in that class averaged 6.x mpg with a conventional tractor and averages 9.x mpg with our tractor, the hard data will be close to unassailable.

     

    If we can do the same thing with ten different haulers who run comparable but different routes, the hard data will quickly become compelling and bullet proof.
    11 Aug 2014, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (973) | Send Message
     
    In theory "compelling and bullet proof" will sell itself.
    11 Aug 2014, 01:55 PM Reply Like
  • danpm4life
    , contributor
    Comments (94) | Send Message
     
    JP, I thought this Navistar info could be useful for ePower, given both Navistar & ePower programs target the used truck market. It gives a general idea of an “industry leading warranty” for this market. While the Navistar’s warranty only covers their MaxxForce® brand engines, the Cummins ISX15 engine is used in their ProStar® truck model, which was named the 2014 heavy duty commercial truck of the year by the ATD.

     

    A couple of comments/questions; 1) Navistar’s OnCommand™ monitoring seems interesting & could be useful for ePower pilot test trucks & beyond. Can ePower’s real time monitoring during pilot testing be turned into a value added paid for service? For example, TASER’s (NASDAQ:TASR) AXON camera automatically uploads police videos to EVIDENCE.COM, a cloud-based storage & management system for which a customer pays. Info on Navistar’s OnCommand™ system can be found here - http://bit.ly/1nRyixL

     

    2) ePower has focused on the Cummins engine for the pilot, & the company is an excellent business partner. Is exclusivity part of that arrangement? If not, a Navistar subsidiary sells & services Cummins engines as well as their own, & another affiliate offers financing services. Is it bad form, or is it possible to work with more than one engine manufacturer to further the ePower product, & the PbC™ as well, on more than one platform?

     

    “Navistar's Diamond Renewed Program Offers Best Used Truck Value In The Industry”

     

    http://yhoo.it/1nRykWs

     

    “LISLE, Ill., July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Navistar, Inc. today announced the launch of its Diamond Renewed™ program, which puts International® used trucks through the industry's most comprehensive inspection and mechanical reconditioning process. Vehicles also come standard with the industry's leading warranty, up to two years, 200,000 miles, and Navistar's OnCommand™ Connection uptime monitoring system. …”

     

    “…Model year 2010 or newer International® ProStar®, TranStar® and LoneStar® models powered by MaxxForce® EGR engines under 400,000 miles and up to 450 horsepower are eligible for the Diamond Renewed program. The company's System1 Confidence™ warranty provides OEM factory-backed warranty coverage for up to two years, 200,000 miles. Coverage includes EGR components.”

     

    “…Navistar International Corporation (NYSE:NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, and IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses. An affiliate also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. The International®ProStar® with Cummins ISX15 and International® TerraStar® 4x4 were named 2014 heavy-duty and medium-duty commercial truck of the year, respectively, by the American Truck Dealers (ATD) association. Additional information is available at http://www.Navistar.com.”
    14 Aug 2014, 03:16 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Our current monitoring systems aren't even close to being a product, much less a value added product, and we're still cobbling together data from three separate systems to get the analytical data we need. The systems will mature over time and may well become a product in the future, but they're nothing to write home about today.

     

    At this point we don't have a formal OEM relationship with Cummins, but we're working our way through the process which is basically a modern analog to a squire's quest for knighthood in the middle ages. We chose Cummins as our preferred engine partner because their share of the heavy truck engine market went from ~13% in 2007 to ~42% in 2012, a period when Navistar's share fell from 67% to 17%. More importantly, Jay has been lusting after the Cummins rare earth permanent magnet generator for as long as I've known him.

     

    As our drivetrain technology matures I wouldn't be surprised if we had to build customized versions for each of the principal diesel engine manufacturers, but for now focusing on getting the drivetrain right in cooperation with a single partner is the most sensible path.
    14 Aug 2014, 05:05 AM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (1135) | Send Message
     
    Nice booth size.. Bigger than enersys a123. Even East Penn
    10 Aug 2014, 11:46 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » It takes a lot of space when you want to showcase a 25' Class 8A tractor. While I would have preferred something front and center, I think our proximity to the lunch area is almost as good.
    11 Aug 2014, 06:34 AM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (1135) | Send Message
     
    I figured the size of the cab took up the reason. Looked at some pics from the show last year. I think just that alone will get you noticed.

     

    I was trying to figure out how I could make the show and conference last night but my own corporate budget will dictate where I will be.
    11 Aug 2014, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » It's my understanding that the Expo is a freebie but there are charges for the presentation sessions. If you're interested in attending, please let me know because they gave me a discount code for colleagues and friends.
    11 Aug 2014, 12:18 PM Reply Like
  • mrholty
    , contributor
    Comments (1135) | Send Message
     
    Thanks John.
    11 Aug 2014, 12:37 PM Reply Like
  • nakedjaybird
    , contributor
    Comments (2851) | Send Message
     
    Go for it John - here's some competition or future potential changes ePower can make:

     

    http://bit.ly/1oXROxs

     

    PS - maybe you can get Axion and Cummins and ePowerengine execs together for a similar type video to promote all three products, and of course include several of the demonstrator truck guys and their experiences, with some detailed facts on performance. The whole enchalda.
    11 Aug 2014, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • NanooGeek
    , contributor
    Comments (227) | Send Message
     
    Not exactly on topic, but I wonder what battery the BMW i8 is using, to achieve a 1 hr charge: http://bit.ly/1sNPrwO
    12 Aug 2014, 12:33 PM Reply Like
  • JamesBBecker
    , contributor
    Comments (484) | Send Message
     
    Nanoo :: Charging a lithium ion cell in one hour isn't that big of a deal. Though the cell will last for more cycles if you charge it slower.

     

    The only real issue is how many cells you have in a car. If you have 6000, like Tesla, then you have to have a really big electric pipe to charge them in an hour. BMW's car only has enough cells to propel a 3000 lb car for 22 miles. That isn't that many cells, so the power cord can charge them all in an hour without being the equivalent of a cross-country power line.
    12 Aug 2014, 12:52 PM Reply Like
  • NanooGeek
    , contributor
    Comments (227) | Send Message
     
    More interesting, from battery standpoint, 05May : http://bit.ly/1sNW6qW
    12 Aug 2014, 12:59 PM Reply Like
  • NanooGeek
    , contributor
    Comments (227) | Send Message
     
    A different entrant in the battery race, LG Chem hopes to have something suitable for electric cars by 2017: http://on.wsj.com/1mD6Sfn
    12 Aug 2014, 01:01 PM Reply Like
  • NanooGeek
    , contributor
    Comments (227) | Send Message
     
    One wonders if it is a different branch of LG Chem than the one reported to have wasted uS taxpayer funds over a year ago: http://onforb.es/1r7bVw9
    12 Aug 2014, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » With due respect, discussions of lithium-ion battery powered toys for the 1% have no place in the comments to this particular Instablog.

     

    For the price of a Tesla or BMW i8 that will save 600 gallons of fuel per year, an ePower drivetrain will save 6,000 gallons of fuel per year.

     

    ePower has evaluated several lithium-ion chemistries and concluded that they can't do the work and would seriously impair the economics.

     

    Let's try and keep the comments on target instead of running off on tangents.
    12 Aug 2014, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    "ePower has evaluated several lithium-ion chemistries and concluded that they can't do the work and would seriously impair the economics."

     

    John, roger and concur on shunning useless tangents, but still, if there's anything further you can share about ePower's negative experiences in testing those chemistries, it would be very interesting--- particularly from the standpoint of highlighting the areas where Li-ion was found not able to do the work while PbC has (been found able)...
    12 Aug 2014, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30629) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The evaluation never got to testing because the all in cost quotes for cells, packs, battery management systems, power control systems and temperature management systems were obscene.

     

    It's important to remember that ePower needs a 600-volt, 25 kWh, 150 kW (charge and discharge) system that can cycle 20 or 30 times an hour, depending on terrain, and do it reliably for 8 to 10 hours at a stretch 250 days a year. There's still a risk that the PbC will fail sooner than we want it to, but so far we haven't seen any red flags.
    12 Aug 2014, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • 481086
    , contributor
    Comments (3431) | Send Message
     
    Thanks John... somewhere in there I made the improper tacit mental leap from "evaluated" to "testing", and it's good (as is your wont) that you highlighted the distinction and squashed my faulty notion...

     

    But boy howdy, when you list the required KPPs like that for the kind of battery ePower needs, it sure sounds like a tall order. And none of us should fail to note this: The fact that the PbC is meeting those very needs and (thus far) holding up well in the face of such arduous duty is truly both impressive and amazing. Clearly, Axion's road to success is still long, but If the PbC is really that tough and robust, it's hard to see how Axion doesn't eventually get there...
    12 Aug 2014, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • greentongue
    , contributor
    Comments (973) | Send Message
     
    "If the PbC is really that tough and robust, it's hard to see how Axion doesn't eventually get there..."
    Reminds me of the old Timex commercial, "Takes a lick'n and keeps on tick'n",
    14 Aug 2014, 08:21 AM Reply Like
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