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Trade stocks by day, and at night am writing a historical epic about the ancient Mayan civilization. "Maya: Spirits Of The Jaguar" is a sweeping saga set in the ancient and magical Mayan landscape where a wronged family struggles against prophecy, power, treachery and forbidden love,... More
  • Axion Power Concentrator 69: Beginning Feb. 21, 2012 212 comments
    Feb 21, 2012 1:25 AM
    During the past seven months the Axion Power Concentrators have organically grown into a vast trove of information all things Axion Power related, all things battery related, all things Energy Storage Sector related.

    Between now and 15 years from now, the global expenditure on energy in every way energy is created, delivered, conserved and used will be in the trillions of dollars.

    Derived from well over 11,000 Axion Power Concentrator comments comes to us a compendium archive created by APC commenter bangwhiz. In short here is what it is, and does:

    The Axion Power Concentrator Web Site sites.google.com/site/axionpowersharehol.../ is a complete easy-to-use online archive of all the information contained in the entire Axion Power Concentrator series from day one; including reports, articles, comments and posted links.

    It also contains a "New to Axion" section for people who are new to Axion and want a good starting point for their own due diligence. The site is updated daily as new links are posted to current comment threads. Links are posted by topic and can also be found using the "Search This Site" tab.

    The Comment Search Feature on the homepage is great for finding a comment you want to read again that would normally be lost in all the thousands of past comments. Simply search using a good key word or phrase, or any Google search term modifier, such as AND etc.

    Complimenting the Axion Power Concentrator Web Site is the Axion Power Wikispaces Web Site, "A repository of information about Axion Power International, Inc. and PbC® battery technology." APC commenter WDD has created an excellent ongoing notebook aggregation of Axion Power facts:

    http://axionpower.wikispaces.com/

    Want to ask, or have someone ask, Axion Power leadership a question during the forthcoming late March 2012 conference call? The following link led by bangwhiz is where you can write your question, maybe have it discussed and expanded upon before the conference call.

    http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/667879-bangwhiz/279411-axion-power-2011-q4-march-conference-call-questions-list?source=kizur

    ####

    This is as troll free zone. All disruptive comments will be removed.

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Comments (213)
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  • Author’s reply » Bangwhiz: Some great research! Yours was not quite the last comment in the previous Concentrator:

     

    I did some digging into federal (including military) procurements on the Federal Business Opportunities website https://www.fbo.gov that catalogs all bid and proposal opportunities. I searched new opps released the last 90 days with the term "renewable AND battery" and found some interesting hits:

     

    1. Marine Corps Systems Command has a requirement for a renewable energy system entitled Solar Portable Alternative Communications Energy Systems (SPACES). The Government may award multiple contracts for the procurement of ten (10) Solar Portable Adaptor-Generation II (SPA II). This system is planned to be used by various USMC communities in rugged and austere environments to power radios, computers, and charge multiple batteries. This contract will be a Firm Fixed Price (FFP), ID/IQ type contract for up to 5000 units over 5 years.

     

    2. Electrochemical Based Portable Power Sources. Proposals are sought that will advance the development of components and devices of electrochemical based power sources, such as, Rechargeable and Primary Batteries, and Ultracapacitor. These new, or improved, portable power sources will enhance Soldiers capabilities and survivability.

     

    3. (National Park Service) Through technological advances, various companies now produce state-of-art photovoltaic systems that are portable. The solar panels are mounted on the roof of an enclosed trailer that houses the battery bank; all switch gear, DC/AC inverter and a high efficiency backup propane generator. This application would be ideal for the Bechler Ranger Station, as the trailer would be moved out of the area during the winter months and used in different areas of the park where winters are not as severe. It is anticipated that the trailer unit will provide over 80% renewable energy for the Bechler complex."

     

    4. (http://bit.ly/zW3Myi) 1000 lead acid batteries for power back up systems for runway lighting, etc. Supporting documentation to establish that the proposed battery meets the battery life expectancy requirement as stated in FAA-E-2826 Section 4.3.22; e.g. data from life tests of SAE J240 or SAE J2185. As noted in the salient characteristics, the requirement for the battery life cycle expectancy (Years of Use) has been changed from 20 years to 10 years for this solicitation.

     

    And, yes 481086, they are looking into something like you described. Some sort of quick forward base housing units for 20 personnel that contain just about everything (water, sewage, lights, HVAC, electric, etc) needed for a firebase or other remote location. Probably hook together modules. However, what I saw in documentaries from Afganistan were tons of dirt on top of everything for incoming mortar rounds.

     

    The lead acid solicitation for FAA was amended 5 times and then ultimately cancelled. That's typical of dealing with the government at times. Zillion man hours spent on the bid down the toilet. 20 year lead acid battery life????

     

    ####

     

    Bang: FYI, when you put up some letters enclosed by a parenthesis, Seeking Alpha software "sees" that as a stock ticker. Let's try this (FYI). See?
    21 Feb 2012, 01:31 AM Reply Like
  • Let's all remember to give Mayascribe a thumbs up for all his work.
    21 Feb 2012, 01:38 AM Reply Like
  • must read: IF you wonder where AONE gets it's deals buried n here is their largest shareholder.

     

    GE's Electric Car Opportunity
    http://seekingalpha.co...
    21 Feb 2012, 05:11 AM Reply Like
  • re: Exide vs. AXPW .... there was much good info in the last concentrator...thanks JLP for confirming that Exide is using Carbon paste...It amazes me how battery companies have sold AGM which is basically junk, and now pushing C paste batteries that are way inferior compared to PbC. But, the fact that Exide is pushing this C paste & that no large battery manufacturer has embraced AXPW (yet) just keeps telling me that Axion is going to have to develop this market on it's own and prove themselves...I get flack every time that I mention this, but AXPW is going to have to build the first few large contracts, I would really like to see East Penn be their partner at first.
    I don't like the fact that GE is AONE largest shareholder, that is just bad news. Immelt is tied tight with Washington bureaucrats and has potential to get a lot of business sent their way to sell their charging stations...not good for a while. I think this needs more research on our end.
    I am very relieved to see TG begin to build out top level management, the hire of Marketing director, now a new CFO was a good find by Bang, $50m in revenues should be met either in 2012 or more likely 2013 ... pretty good hint on what AXPW mgt. sees as revenue soon & not just us guessing.
    I am just totally amazed that everyday we see more and more contracts being bid for battery storage...we got to hit one soon. We need to just get 8-10 PC's or battery installations out and see them work.
    21 Feb 2012, 05:28 AM Reply Like
  • Axion has been working to create a market for the PbC on its own since the summer of 2009 when it began testing with BMW and other automakers. Another battery manufacturer like Exide or JCI might be happy to absorb Axion on bargain terms, but the only way they'll partner with Axion on reasonable terms is if the customers demand it.

     

    Exide and JCI are doing the best they can with carbon additives and other simple changes to first and second generation lead-acid batteries. Axion is doing the best it can with the PbC. The automakers will ultimately decide whether the performance difference justifies the price difference. I don't foresee a silver bullet solution in micro-hybrids any more than I do in other market niches. So I'll be more than happy with a credible share of the heavy and medium micro-hybrid market that builds over time.
    21 Feb 2012, 06:02 AM Reply Like
  • Mr. Peterson, could you elaborate on the distinction you're employing between heavy and medium micro-hybrids? Thanks.
    21 Feb 2012, 10:15 AM Reply Like
  • My most recent article discusses the distinctions at length.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    21 Feb 2012, 10:20 AM Reply Like
  • Appreciated, thanks.
    21 Feb 2012, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • Finally got a bite at $0.39! Any takers at $0.38?
    21 Feb 2012, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • I'd tell you but then I'd have to kill you! :-))

     

    So far $0.39 is holding but the bias is for asks to slowly come down. Buy:sell so far looks like ~1:2.4 or so (9:52).

     

    But it should improve with the reduced offering prices.

     

    HardToLove
    21 Feb 2012, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • No need to kill me, you can just sell me some shares!

     

    Sheesh, talk about a twitchy trigger finger!
    22 Feb 2012, 08:38 AM Reply Like
  • A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE), has introduced the Military 6T Battery.
    The 6T is a robust battery system engineered specifically to meet the demanding requirements of military vehicle applications.
    A123's new solution is designed as a direct replacement for 6T lead acid batteries currently deployed in military vehicles, delivering a longer-lasting, lighter-weight system for engine start and enabling longer-duration silent watch functionality. A123 will showcase its Military 6T Battery and its other government and military solutions in booth #911 during the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Winter Symposium, February 22-24, 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
    The 6T-12 and 6T-24 versions of A123's advanced lithium iron phosphate military battery solution are available now, and pricing is available upon request.
    News Provided by Acquire Media Corporation
    21 Feb 2012, 10:36 AM Reply Like
  • I'll bet the A123 6T battery comes with a nice premium price too.
    21 Feb 2012, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • It's almost enough to make a fellow go hmmm.

     

    For years I've been hearing that lithium-ion batteries have four times the specific energy of lead acid. If that's the case, why is the A123 battery half the weight instead of one-quarter the weight?

     

    My favorite quote came from a Green Car Congress article – "There is no doubt that we are not going to be the cost parity of lead-acid, but we are at least three times the life and only 3-4 times the cost, and costs come down." http://bit.ly/z8PF3f

     

    Three times the life of military spec AGM and only 3-4 times the cost - hmmm. I've just e-mailed a contact at Enersys to see if I can find out what they charge for a competing AGM product.
    21 Feb 2012, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • John, that's quite interesting. If a battery last 3 times as long yet costs 3 times as much, are you really better off with it? We all know the nightmare that lithium can be with the fires, weather instabilities, maintenance costs and lack of recycling.
    Doesn't sound like a deal to me.
    21 Feb 2012, 11:17 AM Reply Like
  • Reduced maintenance, not changing out batteries as often and reduced "conditioning" charging, ... might still make it attractive *if* the safety issues are not bad.

     

    Lighter weight always a plus.

     

    HardToLove
    21 Feb 2012, 11:31 AM Reply Like
  • As I said, it's enough to make a fellow go hmmm.

     

    I'm really hoping I can get a price quote on the competing product from Enersys so that I can estimate the cost of A123's battery.
    21 Feb 2012, 11:40 AM Reply Like
  • I don't think the military is terribly concerned with a 44 pound weight difference in a Hummer.
    21 Feb 2012, 11:40 AM Reply Like
  • LoL! Yeah, I guess not. But in some of the lighter vehicles (do we have any of those even left)?

     

    HardToLove
    21 Feb 2012, 11:44 AM Reply Like
  • The weight difference would be crucial for man-portable equipment. There the lighter technology will almost inevitably win. Otherwise, its a math exercise. The various lifting limits for aircraft (including large helicopters) would get involved, and of course every additional kilo will add a certain amount of fuel consumption and operational cost.

     

    In the end the equation will be not dissimilar from that of trying to make a case for buying an EV.
    21 Feb 2012, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • What the military is really concerned about outside of cost is reliability, safety, and range of environmental conditions (especially temperature). Things that PbC excels at.
    21 Feb 2012, 02:23 PM Reply Like
  • Yeah, I'd disagree on the weight issue too. The military is hugely concerned with its fuel consumption as it has to maintain supply lines hundreds of miles long to keep operations running. In fact, the military will frequently pay a premium for lower weight as lower logistical costs are more significant than higher component costs.

     

    Just like commercial automakers, every pound shed allows either fuel savings or increased capabilities -- you can add quite a bit of electronics to a Hummer in 44 lbs!

     

    Of course that assumes "all else remaining equal." For the metal exercise, we're assuming 3x life at 3x cost with a weight savings. By itself that's a no-brainer for the military, but all the other details will matter one way or the other.
    22 Feb 2012, 08:47 AM Reply Like
  • And with the new composite armor, that might also be 44 lbs more armor in a critical place.

     

    I hadn't thought of that.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Feb 2012, 09:13 AM Reply Like
  • Presumably the military will still have its containerized generators (designed to be airlifted to remote locations) and general use generators of all sizes. I could easily see a properly sized 'Cube fill a function for quick setup of more structured facilities where airlift capability can handle larger loads (mobile hospitals, regimental compounds, air bases, etc). Hospitals relying on generators have a notorious vulnerability to power interruption (and in a situation where it can threaten lives). I would think that a backup would be logical...
    22 Feb 2012, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • Looking at stockcharts.com, .42 seems to be a resistance/support level. At least according to Ichimoku clouds and .42 is 50 day MA. Be nice to move above that.
    21 Feb 2012, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • At 10:54:51, after 50 trades, buy:sell is ~1:2.12 on volume of 206,345 with an average trade size of ~4,127.

     

    Interestingly, still seeing some 100 share trades that seem to be market-makers trying to get some more action going. Seems it's not really needed now, although it was earlier, for sure.

     

    HardToLove
    21 Feb 2012, 11:36 AM Reply Like
  • It's possible this has been posted before, but I couldn't find it on Bangwhiz's site or searching the APC's there, so:

     

    "Electrochemical Energy Storage for Green Grid"

     

    http://bit.ly/rT4uFO

     

    (sec. 6 on Lead-Carbon batteries, and 6.2.2 on Axion's PbC)
    21 Feb 2012, 11:58 AM Reply Like
  • I've seen the article before and have a copy in my research archive, but it's a good even handed discussion from a very unbiased source.
    21 Feb 2012, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • Wasn't posted before. It is on the APC web site now. Good find.
    21 Feb 2012, 10:22 PM Reply Like
  • Here is the Army's interest at the small end of the battery and power scale:
    ADVANCED SOLDIER PORTABLE POWER TECHNOLOGIES

     

    Description: The US Army is interested in receiving white papers followed by proposals for basic and applied research, development, and demonstration of lightweight, robust, cost effective power sources, portable power generation and associated components, charger technologies, power management for use in various portable applications, but not limited to, ranging from less than one watt to five hundred watts. The specific technologies of interest to the Army include but are not limited to the following topics:

     

    Topic A: Electrochemical Based Portable Power Sources. Proposals are sought that will advance the development of components and devices of electrochemical based power sources, such as, Rechargeable and Primary Batteries, and Ultracapacitor. These new, or improved, portable power sources will enhance Soldier’s capabilities and survivability.

     

    Topic B: Fuel Based Portable Power Sources. The areas of interest under this topic will center in advancing the component and device development in fuel based technologies, such as, fuel cells, internal and external combustion engines and thermoelectric generators. Advancements in these areas will provide Soldier with new capabilities and lessen his logistics burden. Technology demonstrators will be required.

     

    Topic C: Power and Energy Systems including Alternative Energy Power Sources and Power Management. The areas of interest under this topic center on advancement and development of Hybrid Power Systems, Renewable Energy Sources, Battery Chargers and Smart Power Management and Distribution that will maximize Soldier capabilities and safety.

     

    Large government contractors and equipment suppliers have proposal and white paper mills that can churn out this kind of stuff like hotdog factories. They also have plenty of money for booths at military oriented trade shows. Smaller companies have a harder time doing this because the labor and direct expenses can really run up. A small company has to choose very carefully where it aims to compete with a rifle versus the grapeshot fired by the big companies.
    21 Feb 2012, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • I love the PbC, but I'd never suggest that my nephew the Ranger should be lugging a PbC powered device around a battlefield.
    21 Feb 2012, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • JP> If your nephew is an US Army Ranger you should be very proud of him. I've been to a couple of Ranger barracks recently. They are the best of the best the Army has.
    21 Feb 2012, 03:18 PM Reply Like
  • I am, but I also don't want him lugging a PbC around the battlefield.
    21 Feb 2012, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • I still go back to my ALTI investment days anytime I hear about a Li-ion battery company saying they are going to make anything for the millitary. ALTI showed over and over that normal Li-ion batteries couldn't handle the heat and cold that the Army wanted them to be used in, only Li-Ti was temperature stable enough for that. Be interested to see how well A123's battery really does hold up in the middle of the desert. Luckily the Army isn't stupid enough to field test anything in a combat situation.
    21 Feb 2012, 09:52 PM Reply Like
  • At least not initial field tests -- I've heard some horror stories...
    22 Feb 2012, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • Nice find, Lafferty.

     

    Cutting to the bottom line of your article where the PbC is concerned: "the leadcarbon hybrid devices can be a promising storage technology for intro-hour applications."

     

    What are intro-hour applications?
    21 Feb 2012, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • One of the more common metrics for energy storage systems is discharge duration where the classifications are broken down into seconds, minutes and hours. The seconds class usually applies to systems that will dump their entire energy load in under 15 minutes. The principal technologies are flywheels, supercapacitors and some types of lithium-ion. The minutes class generally applies to systems that take 15 minutes to an hour or two. The PbC falls squarely in that group. The hours class generally applies to systems that take 3 hours or more to discharge and includes technologies like molten salt, flow batteries and pumped hydro.
    21 Feb 2012, 01:13 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Honduras is about to begin spinning the wind mill blades of the largest wind farm built yet-to-date in all of Central America; 102MW.

     

    http://bit.ly/Atphq7
    21 Feb 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Well, you better damn-well sell them some PCs while you're down there. They'll need them in the night when the off-shore winds subside.

     

    HardToLove
    21 Feb 2012, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I am more concerned about how long these things will last. 1998 Hurricane Mitch, with its 180 MPH sustained winds, would have uprooted and dropped these wind turbines back down on Guatemalan soil.
    21 Feb 2012, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • This question is probably best directed to JP, but others may be able to respond as well...

     

    I recall that when Axion bought the New Castle plant, it came with the in-place licenses/permits to produce up to a specific number of batteries per year. Who sets the cap? EPA? State of Pennsylvania? How painful is it to get that allowance increased?

     

    As others have noted, although Plan A is to sell carbon electrodes to other manufacturers for incorporation in their own batteries, Axion may have to force the issue through Plan B--ramped up assembly of PbC batteries on its own line(s). IF the big boys don't want us as a supplier, let's see how they like Axion as a competitor.

     

    Just pondering on a slow day.
    21 Feb 2012, 12:54 PM Reply Like
  • WDD: IIRC, 3K batteries per day is permitted.

     

    Someone else will know the answer to the other questions.

     

    HardToLove
    21 Feb 2012, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • The New Castle plant has a permitted capacity of 3,000 batteries per day. The permit is issued by the State of Pennsylvania and the plant is subject to regulation by the EPA. I believe an expansion of the plant would require a State level permitting process rather than a Federal process.

     

    The current equipment in the New Castle plant includes two flooded lines and one AGM line. While I've never been clear about the daily production capacity of each line, my working assumption is that each line can produce about 1,000 batteries a day. I would not expect any significant regulatory issues if Axion decided that it wanted to replace one or both of the flooded lines with AGM lines. While an expansion of the plant beyond its current 3,000 unit per day permit would no doubt involve some regulatory hoops, they'd be nowhere near as daunting as permitting the construction of a new battery plant.

     

    Working with a 250 day year, I've estimated the revenue capacity of the flooded lines at $12.5 million each and the revenue capacity of the AGM line at $62.5 million if all output is PbC. Sacrificing $25 million in flooded revenue to pick up a potential $125 million in PbC revenue may someday prove to be a wise decision. For now, I'll be more than happy if they can get the AGM line running at capacity producing PbC batteries.
    21 Feb 2012, 01:28 PM Reply Like
  • Just to throw this out...I think it will be a while before we max out here, and I would think they might build overseas next...cheaper shipping to auto mfg. JPL can answer the increasing capacity here.
    21 Feb 2012, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Electrode assembly fabrication capacity is a different animal from battery manufacturing capacity. As far as I know there are no major environmental issues with the electrode fab because it doesn't use substantial amounts of lead or other toxic substances. I know the short-term goal is to expand the electrode fabrication facility to a point where it can make electrode assemblies for a million PbC batteries per year in New Castle. Once an electrode plant with that capacity is built and operational, duplicating the installation in Europe or Asia in response to demand should not pose any great challenges.
    21 Feb 2012, 01:38 PM Reply Like
  • I know we have discussed BMW's (or NS's) certification of both the PbC battery itself *and the production line*, but I don't recall a discussion on how production line certification might work should Axion only manufacture electrode assemblies, while letting Exide or others manufacture the battery.

     

    Would this be more challenging or less given existing lead acid certifications by major producers?
    21 Feb 2012, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • I don't know where the concept of "certification" originated but it's my understanding that every manufacturer has its own protocols and procedures for approving a supplier's products and manufacturing systems. While I suppose it's possible that an end user or automaker might confer some sort of formal "certification" on a supplier, I can't imagine that another end user or automaker would care. They would most likely accept the work of a predecessor to speed their testing, investigation and approval process, but beyond industry standard ISO certifications I believe the additional work is customer specific.

     

    All things considered I have to believe it would be easier for Axion to get approved as a supplier of electrode assemblies than it would be to get approved as a supplier of complete batteries because the quality control, supply chain and customer service requirements are so very different. When you move away from automotive into an end-user environment like railroads, being a supplier of complete batteries gets easier.
    21 Feb 2012, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • John, I think it originated from IIndelco posting on the other side of the fence. Obviously the guy has some experience in the automotive industry. From what I understood, he was talking about certification as part of the PPAP: http://bit.ly/xHdK8Q
    21 Feb 2012, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • i really don't think certification is an issue anymore...AXPW got their ISO certification last year and just did not do a formal release...TG answered that in a CC. The electrode assemblies come off the same line so that is not an issue either.

     

    Indelco knew that auto's were a different animal...but JLP answered that well above.
    21 Feb 2012, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • Sorry for the confusion. I was referring partially the PPAP, but mostly to the informal "certification" (bad choice of word on my part) for approving a supplier's products and manufacturing systems. I was driving at the issue that after testing of the product (many samples), they would still want to be sure that the suppliers production line would continue to provide the same quality.

     

    To date, the samples under test have all been made by Axion. However, if Axion elects to only make the electrodes while the battery is made elsewhere, BMW might be more skeptical.
    21 Feb 2012, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » mds: We've heard TG say BMW is fast tracking the PbC. We also know that BMW has returned some tested batteries via the port of Chester PA, to New Castle.

     

    My best guess is that if BMW moves forward with Axion, they will be using New Castle made PbCs.
    21 Feb 2012, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • Maya,
    The only fly in that analysis is the shipping cost. If the cars will be built in Europe then the batteries will be cheaper if built nearer the plant. If the batteries are for the American built BMWs then build them here.

     

    It could be that a small run of 100,000 or so batteries might not matter so much. But savings on a large order will be absolutely necessary, IMHO
    21 Feb 2012, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Axion is a rapidly maturing small manufacturing company, but I have to believe that an automaker would insist that Axion partner with one or more first tier battery manufacturers for substantial supply contracts.

     

    Making 20 to 50 thousand batteries per quarter is light-years away from making hundreds of thousands or millions of batteries per quarter with consistent quality, on-time delivery and reliable customer service.

     

    While I suppose anything is possible, I believe an auto industry adoption will require some kind of partnering arrangements.
    21 Feb 2012, 05:17 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Futurist and JP: I guess I should have better described "moving forward with Axion." I don't think this year we'll see that kind of scale up because of what I heard Bob Avrill say in the July 28 shareholders meeting.

     

    I hope I am wrong, but my thinking is that the next round of batteries BMW will be ordering will be made in New Castle, but maybe only a few hundred to a few thousands. Shipping costs in the "last phases of testing" or "initial introduction" I would think would be irrelevant.

     

    More toward the point of Axion partnering with a major, I've also heard several times TG state that was a primary goal for Axion: To ship cathodes anywhere in the world to other battery manufacturers, including the aforementioned China.
    21 Feb 2012, 05:59 PM Reply Like
  • BMW sold 1.6 Million total vehicles last year ( http://bit.ly/xDNQ1r) . The flagship 7 series (large sedan) sold 68,000 units.
    I suspect that the first order will be more on the line of less than 100,000 units. So, your predixction will probably be correct.
    21 Feb 2012, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • Can the Maxwell example be informative here?

     

    From a JLP piece: In October of 2012 it was announced that Maxwell provide deliveries of BOOSTCAP® ultracapacitors to Continental AG (CTTAY.PK) for use in a new stop-start idle elimination system for diesel passenger cars made by PSA Peugeot-Citroen (PEUGY.PK). According to Continental, Peugeot-Citroen plans to sell about a million cars equipped with this technology over the next three years (est. total value of $50M).

     

    Was this deal preceded by smaller orders? If not, it suggests that when auto eventually moves, it takes long strides.
    21 Feb 2012, 07:19 PM Reply Like
  • John,
    This brings up a question that's been in the back of my mind. We've often discussed that Axion wouldn't want to build too much of a PbC battery inventory without orders in hand because LA batteries start to degrade after 6 months if they aren't kept up to charge. But we've never talked about the ability of Axion to be stockpiling PbC electrodes. Do you have any idea what the stability of the carbon electrode is? Just wondering if Axion can't be running as many of these off the Gen2 line a day as possible, so when they do have orders, they can be putting them in batteries at the full rate of the AGM line?
    21 Feb 2012, 10:01 PM Reply Like
  • LabT, IIRC past discussion has suggested a Gen2A line capacity of enough to produce something in excess of requirements for 300 batteries per day. At 300 batteries per day and used only in AGM, electrode assemble capacity substantially exceeds monthly AGM assembly permit cap of 1,000. It appears Axion production of assembled batteries can only use about 10% of daily Gen2A electrode capacity.

     

    Stock piling assembled PbC electrodes would, however, enable supply of the product in volume to other battery manufacturers while a new electrode assembly line is in development.
    21 Feb 2012, 10:36 PM Reply Like
  • Correction:

     

    sorry, that's October 2010 for the Maxwell Continental AG deal, not 2012
    21 Feb 2012, 10:50 PM Reply Like
  • IIRC sometime recently it was speculated or stated that the electrode line was producing more electrodes then currently needed and they were being stockpiled. I hope I remember that correctly cause it stood out to me. 8-)

     

    P.S. 300 batteries a day worth of electrodes would be 3 shifts per day and they only run dayshift as far as I know and per TG dayshift is producing enough electrodes per day to make PbC's in the low 100's.
    21 Feb 2012, 11:05 PM Reply Like
  • KentG > "... stated that the electrode line was producing more electrodes then currently needed and they were being stockpiled. "

     

    Our memories correspond on the stockpiling and the one shift output figures.
    21 Feb 2012, 11:21 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » D-inv: I believe there is a significant misconception going on (you are correct). The Gen 2 robotic line does not build out complete batteries.
    22 Feb 2012, 01:13 AM Reply Like
  • Stockpiling batteries is a problem because they're filled with acid and sealed as the last step in the manufacturing process. Stockpiling electrode assemblies would probably be easier because you don't have to worry about the acid environment. I don't know whether the electrode binders or adhesives degrade with long-term exposure to atmosphere.
    22 Feb 2012, 01:32 AM Reply Like
  • D-Inv,

     

    You can go back and check my production analysis report(http://bit.ly/wxHDuI), but I am pretty sure that each of the three production lines is permitted for 1000 batteries per day. (3000 per day total). Not the 1,000 per month figure you are citing.

     

    The plan is for Axion to fill the leased negative electrode production space with Gen 2-A lines and be able to produce approximately 1,000,000 PbCs per year in the battery plant. This will maximize the space usage before having to rely on outside battery manufacturers.

     

    To put all of this in perspective:
    Today, using one shift, Axion can produce enough negative electrodes to build 25,000 PbC batteries per year. The battery plants one AGM line could build 25,000 PbC batteries in one month. Hope that helps.
    22 Feb 2012, 06:44 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist > "... I am pretty sure that each of the three production lines is permitted for 1000 batteries per day. (3000 per day total)."

     

    :-) Thanks for the catch on scaling factors.
    22 Feb 2012, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • The New Castle plant is permitted for 3,000 batteries per day. The 1,000 batteries per line per day is an assumption that may be flawed.

     

    In any event it would be a good question for the conference call.
    22 Feb 2012, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • NSC was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan. Price target is lowered to $77 from $87. My Tin Foil Hat suspects JPM prop desk now going long on NSC.
    21 Feb 2012, 12:58 PM Reply Like
  • Mercy, ISTR that there are concerns on all the RRs that are heavy coal carriers. ISTR that coal shipments are down.

     

    HardToLove
    21 Feb 2012, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • Very true, HTL. The offset, however, was to include increased oil shipments by rail while the Keystone football remains in the air. During last 12 months petroleum product shipments on rail rose 29% year over year: http://bit.ly/A30lQ4
    21 Feb 2012, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Coal shipments are indirectly influenced by natural gas pricing. Cheap NG (such as has been the case this season) means that utilities which have both types of power production shift to gas more often. When NG goes up, the shift goes the other direction. I doubt this accounts for the whole trend, but I would expect it to have an impact.
    21 Feb 2012, 01:34 PM Reply Like
  • meh. i am buying nsc today.
    21 Feb 2012, 02:18 PM Reply Like
  • Tragicslip -- just be aware of the rumored NSC shorting being advocated by latest TA (double top, long term support break below "neckline" etc: http://bit.ly/zKLYQr

     

    During the recent small market meltdown, the sell-off was fast and furious.
    21 Feb 2012, 02:39 PM Reply Like
  • Somebody mentioned on CNBC this morning that a lot of Fracing Equipment and Sand gets moved by rail. Caught it in passing, so I'm not sure they were talking about newly built equipment being sent to its assigned location, or existing rigs being moved to new locations.

     

    But here again, low Nat Gas prices means there will be less rigs in for example the Marcellus where one might guess that NSC might service significantly.

     

    Of course a lot of Rigs are being sent to drill for Oil or Nat gas Liquids. Pretty sure I read the "new" finds in Ohio are more "Oilly" and certainly NSC has coverage there.

     

    But still, hard to imagine that these carloads come anywhere near the long trains of coal-cars that have been reduced.

     

    Note that the mild winter is one reason coal shipments have been reduced. Insert your Global Warning Bets/Rants/Raves here for next year.

     

    Note this was one "talking head's" view without a teleprompter ... so who knows how much to believe it.
    21 Feb 2012, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • >Mercy Jimenez ... Keystone is BNSF/CN territory (some UP & KCS).
    21 Feb 2012, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, DRich.
    21 Feb 2012, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • traded out of nsc today for a nice profit. here's hoping the stock cannot break above support.
    24 Feb 2012, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • Nice trade tragicslip in near $68 and out near $70! I'll bet you helped squeeze out the shorties.
    24 Feb 2012, 03:01 PM Reply Like
  • WT,

     

    There are a whole lot fewer rigs in the Marcellus now, than there were a year ago. And you're right, the Utica Shale, out in Ohio is not only oily, but largely oil.
    25 Feb 2012, 03:00 AM Reply Like
  • Anyone follow or have thoughts on FCEL?
    21 Feb 2012, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • Well, at least the big seller(s) didn't keep walking the stock down today. Maybe if they're mostly placement flippers, 15% is their min flip gain.
    21 Feb 2012, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • I think it's equally likely (and unlikely!) that those were mo-mo flippers for losses last week ... got blindsided (hey it's all about the chart ... don't need no stinkin fundamental research) by the financing, maybe hoped for a strong rebound, and when they didn't get it just blew it out and moved on to the next "hot" stock.
    21 Feb 2012, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • Green is good.
    21 Feb 2012, 04:58 PM Reply Like
  • Yep. Below 40 cents it seems likely that any flippers would stop flipping, if they're not done already.

     

    The momentum crowd has had almost 3 weeks to get out, so maybe they're about done, too? A lot of trading at the end of last week and again this morning, then things quieted down a lot. But I haven't done the run-up volume analysis to guess how many shares they had to sell to get out, and therefore how many shares they might have left. A rather orderly exit, IMO, and a lot of blocks, which implies professionals at work, too, I'd think/guess/speculate/... lol.
    21 Feb 2012, 05:10 PM Reply Like
  • To make finding a recent comment a little easier on the APC website archive you can now limit comment search results to only the last three months. Select that choice from the drop down search box using the small down arrow from the "search this site" tab and change it to "APC Comments Past 3 Mo."

     

    The "APC Comments" tab searches ALL past comments. The default "Search this site" tab only searches the website content.
    21 Feb 2012, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • Some DOE docs. I don't believe they've been posted (apologies if they have and I missed them or forgot).

     

    1. "Energy Storage Activities in the United States Electricity Grid" by the Electricity Advisory Committee (which advises the DOE), dated 5/1/11.
    http://1.usa.gov/wBC0nS

     

    2. "Energy Storage Program Planning Document," DOE, dated 2/11. http://1.usa.gov/xe8eji

     

    Note that the DOE has funded two East Penn grid projects, the one in Lyons Station, PA, but also a project with Public Service NM (PNM) in Albuquerque. (This is the project they refer to as a PbC project in doc. 2.)

     

    Some further info on the NM project:
    http://bit.ly/xgeIty
    and
    http://bit.ly/xYwoCR

     

    It's interesting and promising to see that the DOE's bias against lead-acid is not complete; but, then again, it is frustrating that Axion has not been able to able advantage of that fact.
    The DOE consistently refers as well to the development of carbon-lead-acid technology in the projected 'Energy Program Storage Milestones' in doc. 2 (pp. 6/3-7/4). And note how well they rate lead-acid as against other options on p. 10/7 (see also esp. pp. 23/20-24/21.)
    So maybe there is more hope in regard to the DOE with grid projects than with auto (I do hope Axion hasn't simply given up on them). Although, it also seems that Axion would have to work to overcome the DOE's tendency to equate advanced lead-acid with East Penn. Then again, the PowerCube has only recently become ready for prime-time.
    Input and fraternal correction always welcome.
    21 Feb 2012, 07:48 PM Reply Like
  • Speaking of DOE, has anybody done a FOI request yet for Xide's 2012 update on the progress of their DOE grant? The update was due this month. Just wondering how far along that 1.5 million AGM battery upgrade at their plant was coming along and if Axion was still named a strategic supplier?
    21 Feb 2012, 10:14 PM Reply Like
  • Lafferty> Re: "Although, it also seems that Axion would have to work to overcome the DOE's tendency to equate advanced lead-acid with East Penn."

     

    Below is the budget for this project. Note DOE is footing the whole tab. Somebody besides DOE tossed up $3,807,502 towards the cost of this project. Axion can't fund demo projects like this,

     

    This project also started Jan 1. 2010. Axion didn't even get the Gen2 production line until March or so of 2011. I don't know if I would go so far as to state DOE equates advanced lead-acid as East Penn. It was also a stimulus program when the issue was to create jobs as fast as possible.

     

    BUDGET
    Total Project Value
    $6,113,433
    DOE/Non-DOE Share
    $2,305,931/$3,807,502
    21 Feb 2012, 10:58 PM Reply Like
  • meant "DOE is NOT footing the whole tab" for this project.
    21 Feb 2012, 11:38 PM Reply Like
  • I have - and much more - am awaiting documents any day now! Will advise on and circulate anything relevant.
    22 Feb 2012, 01:06 AM Reply Like
  • Excellent, are you the one who got the GM/Axion grant info from the FOI act? Good job Brishwain. 8-)
    22 Feb 2012, 01:13 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks brishwain.
    22 Feb 2012, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • thanks for your sleuthing.
    22 Feb 2012, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • Can someone tell me in a simple way what the difference in East Penn's lead carbon "Ultrabattery" vs. PbC?
    21 Feb 2012, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • I believe JP has made the distinction several times. Perhaps this is a good time to use the Bangwhiz search engine. If the articles can be found they could be added to the wiki.

     

    If I am correct the ultrabattery does not use carbon alone as the negative side of the battery. It is some lead/carbon combination. It does not last as long in its cycle life as the PbC.
    East Penn has exclusive rights to this product and is doing a decent job in getting it a demonstration project.
    Smart guys at East Penn. Playing the field and getting set to make either product if the product is accepted.
    21 Feb 2012, 09:19 PM Reply Like
  • Very simply, The Ultrabattery's negative electrode is half lead and half carbon, still suffers from sulfation and probably infringes on Axion patents. 8-)
    21 Feb 2012, 09:36 PM Reply Like
  • Roger on using the search engine. I was curious and searched all the comments with the term "Ultrabattery." Pulled up an extensive discussion on that topic with comments by Kirk T and others that really answers the original question asked. I did it because I wanted to test the comment search feature. Worked extremely well because the key word was so specific.

     

    To my chagrin I also found that one of the links posted above had been posted before, but I missed it when I scanned about a thousand links for the initial topic grid.
    21 Feb 2012, 11:08 PM Reply Like
  • The simplest way to explain the difference between an Ultrabattery and the PbC is with a drawing, which Exide graciously provided on page 13 of a recent presentation – http://bit.ly/A66IBp

     

    On the right hand side of the page there are three electrode pair drawings. The upper left is conventional lead-acid. The upper right is PbC and the bottom center is the Ultrabattery.

     

    There are significant differences in the approach Axion and CSIRO have taken in building their negative electrodes. The PbC uses a five layer laminated electrode assembly that uses no lead on the negative side. The Ultrabattery uses two half sized conventional lead electrodes and basically coats the surface one half with carbon.

     

    It's my understanding that splitting the negative electrode into two halves changes the charge - discharge dynamic because the lead half responds more quickly than the carbon half, but a detailed technical discussion is out of my depth. I will note, however, that in its recent report on micro-hybrid batteries Lux noted that there were "Concerns over the performance of the negative electrode" without adding much in the way of color.

     

    As KentG noted, there are also questions about whether the Ultrabattery infringes Axion's patents.
    22 Feb 2012, 04:23 AM Reply Like
  • "In some baby-talk versions of reality, you can have government or innovation, but not both. In the real world, innovation is necessarily disruptive of the status quo, and if government is not actively for change, it's usually mobilized against it. Mancur Olson, the late economist, wrote of how political systems become congealed' over time with interest groups bent on protecting the status quo. Such states are more and more hostile to innovation. America, in case you haven't noticed, is one of the world's oldest continuous political systems. Maybe that explains why a government that once facilitated the building of railroads now can't get out of its own way to help private business solve the spectrum crisis that the government itself keeps shrieking about."

     

    Headline somewhat OT, but interesting observation of government/private dynamic.

     

    How Phil Falcone Was LightSnared
    http://on.wsj.com/yrwioe
    21 Feb 2012, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • Magounsq,
    Interesting link.
    Maybe off topic but still extremely interesting. If I remember right the Railroad tycoons who used taxpayer money were lampooned in the press in their day, along with the politicians that supported them.

     

    I'm not sure anything has changed except the size,scope and complexity of society and government.
    22 Feb 2012, 06:59 AM Reply Like
  • (AXPW): 2/21/2012 EOD stuff I've been tracking.

     

    Looks like primarily retail-driven trading today. Recalling that Mercy had posted about some momentum traders looking for a $0.39 entry, I was expecting to see a volume bump. But it didn't appear. Maybe they're holding off to see how low it can go or waiting for a turn (more likely I think) to catch a ride on a wave up.

     

    Buy, sell and unknown ended at 101,180, 178,285, and 6,400 respectively, giving total volume for the day of 285,865. Buy:sell at EOD was 1:1.76 and buy:(sell+unknown) ended at 1:1.83. Trades totaled only 82, giving an average trade size of 3,486. This is pretty much back in the average range seen lately. The largest trade of the day was 20K @ $0.39 early in the day, 09:40, and a 15K @ $0.40 at 09:36:57. 8 trades in the low-10K size range at prices from $0.3902 to $0.42.

     

    There were a total of 63.4K shares traded in the $0.39x range, about 22.2% of the day's total volume. 27.9K went around $0.42x, around 10% of the day's volume. The balance traded in the $0.40x-$0.41x range. The price trend was predominately flat, with the early trading staying mostly in the $0.39x-$0.4x range, except for a few trades at $0.415-$0.42 range between 09:49 through 10:39 (about 52K, ~18,2% of the day's volume - note that these trades overlap the $0.42 percentage above).

     

    There were some quantity of 100 share trades, suggesting the market-makers were trying to drum up business, but not a lot. 16 throughout the day.

     

    I saw no suggestion of larger sellers being in the market today, either from price or volume trends.

     

    The daily short sales is pretty much in the "normal" range today and the buy:sell improved a bit over yesterday's ratio. It's much to early to try and guess as to trend going forward, but, as I thought, we didn't spend a lot of time in the $0.39 range. With daily short sales looking more normal and the buy:sell showing some improvement, I'm hopeful that we'll see that level only one or to more days before the sellers willing at that level will be gone.

     

    But that's a hope, not an assessment of anything seen on the charts yet. With volume down 41% and short sales up ~59% though, we can expect *some* possible downward pressure as the shares backing the short sales flow into the market-maker portfolios.

     

    Looking at the "buys" of ~100K and the short sales of 91.3K, I'm thinking the market-makers took advantage of the prices of $0.41 or greater and was (will be) covering in the price range lower than that. As the shares backing sell orders dribble in the market-maker should be able to release them into the market, if they are not being netted by the DTCC, easily at or around $0.40 without losing any money. So I'm not looking for a lot of pressure on the price.

     

    But as the saying goes, "What do I know"? Not near as much as I need to, I can tell you that.

     

    0201 Vol 2476749, Sht 0948628 38.30% LHC 0.3800 0.5500 0.4700 b:s 1:1.20
    0202 Vol 0584698, Sht 0181905 31.11% LHC 0.4200 0.4800 0.4397 b:s 1.39:1
    0203 Vol 1019813, Sht 0235609 23.10% LHC 0.4301 0.4690 0.4600 b:s 1.34:1
    0206 Vol 0392838, Sht 0202806 51.63% LHC 0.4300 0.4650 0.4650 b:s 1.04:1
    0207 Vol 0413428, Sht 0094842 22.94% LHC 0.4300 0.4650 0.4500 b:s 1.32:1
    0208 Vol 0570071, Sht 0115522 20.26% LHC 0.4200 0.4600 0.4500 b:s 1:1.06
    0209 Vol 0335713, Sht 0094570 28.17% LHC 0.4251 0.4600 0.4300 b:s 1:4.76
    0210 Vol 0220029, Sht 0088190 40.08% LHC 0.4220 0.4500 0.4400 b:s 4.01:1
    0213 Vol 0239000, Sht 0105800 44.27% LHC 0.4201 0.4550 0.4392 b:s 1.89:1
    0214 Vol 0102654, Sht 0056004 54.56% LHC 0.4350 0.4400 0.4400 b:s UNKNOW
    0215 Vol 0350513, Sht 0035300 10.07% LHC 0.4200 0.4399 0.4240 b:s 1:3.64
    0216 Vol 0132100, Sht 0006097 04.62% LHC 0.4100 0.4249 0.4200 b:s 15.7:1
    0217 Vol 0486232, Sht 0057485 11.82% LHC 0.4000 0.4250 0.4000 b:s 1:3.94
    0221 Vol 0285865, Sht 0091330 31.95% LHC 0.3900 0.4200 0.4050 b:s 1:1.76

     

    HardToLove
    22 Feb 2012, 09:29 AM Reply Like
  • If you are like me and don't have access to Level II data, I found this site which offers the service for free. I tried hotstocked.com, but the service was frequently not working. This seems more reliable. Don't know if it is complete Level II data, and it is 15 minutes delayed.

     

    http://bit.ly/yywyUZ
    22 Feb 2012, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • OT – Turning a Tesla into a brick:

     

    http://bit.ly/wQXpRb

     

    Apparently if you leave a Roadster unplugged and the battery discharges completely, the only option is a $40,000 battery replacement that's not covered by warranty.

     

    Hat tip to dy2dx over on the Brand X board.
    22 Feb 2012, 10:31 AM Reply Like
  • Amazing. I borrowed that link JP and posted it over on my Mustang site...

     

    The ICE guys will get a kick out of that.
    22 Feb 2012, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • Un-fricking-believable!
    22 Feb 2012, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • John...this is so blatant as to be appear unbelievable...any other sources...anecdotes?
    This has all the makings of being the death knell for Tesla...and Fisker...if the same issue exists there and not fixed.

     

    But then again, I think of myself as a logical common sense thinker, reader and listener...apparently "uncommon" in certain instances.
    22 Feb 2012, 04:14 PM Reply Like
  • The funny(?) thing is that the Fast Money crowd today was talking about how Tesla would be a buy at around $30, but at current levels.

     

    I guess they don't have any real knowledge about the company, such as JP's take on it.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Feb 2012, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • Tesla has apparently admitted the problem and blamed the stupid owners – http://jalo.ps/xzrBwJ

     

    The numbers are pretty bad. The average Roadster has been in the hands of an owner for about 410 days. One in 440 owners has turned his car into a brick because he didn't read the owners manual cover to cover and didn't follow instructions to the letter.

     

    I wonder what additional "abuse tolerance" issues will be discovered as the fleet ages.
    23 Feb 2012, 12:24 AM Reply Like
  • >JP ... Maybe now you can write an article and not have to read the praises of Tesla from the likes of ... well, you know who. It might make the comments section a lot more enjoyable.
    23 Feb 2012, 12:53 AM Reply Like
  • Tesla's response was classic:

     

    "All automobiles require some level of owner care. For example, combustion vehicles require regular oil changes or the engine will be destroyed. Electric vehicles should be plugged in and charging when not in use for maximum performance. All batteries are subject to damage if the charge is kept at zero for long periods of time. However, Tesla avoids this problem in virtually all instances with numerous counter-measures. Tesla batteries can remain unplugged for weeks (even months), without reaching zero state of charge. Owners of Roadster 2.0 and all subsequent Tesla products can request that their vehicle alert Tesla if SOC falls to a low level. All Tesla vehicles emit various visual and audible warnings if the battery pack falls below 5 percent SOC. Tesla provides extensive maintenance recommendations as part of the customer experience."

     

    In other words – we can't be held responsible for stupid owners who don't read the owners manual cover to cover and follow instructions to the letter.

     

    I thought about writing an article on the topic, and decided there wasn't enough meat to make it worthwhile.
    23 Feb 2012, 01:04 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » I never have once thought of a car as a pet.
    23 Feb 2012, 01:22 AM Reply Like
  • I wonder if the brick owners are beginning to feel like lab rats yet?
    23 Feb 2012, 01:48 AM Reply Like
  • Have to admit it would be hard to write that article without sarcasm or gloating after the stuff you catch from the Lithium battery crowd.
    23 Feb 2012, 02:00 AM Reply Like
  • Well, they sold pet rocks in the late 60's, new techno update. ;-)
    23 Feb 2012, 02:02 AM Reply Like
  • The most fervent EV supporters would never do something that might put their batteries at risk because they truly love and pamper their babies. What they don't understand is most adults don't develop quirky emotional attachments to inanimate objects and we tend to abuse possessions rather than pamper them. I'm the first to admit that I've never read an owners manual cover to cover. To add insult to injury, I sometimes ignore the cautionary warnings believing that "just this once" won't hurt.

     

    A former Ford engineer who worked on their EcoStar program in the late 90s told me that their biggest single headache was users who forgot to plug the vehicles in at night. Since the EcoStar used NaS batteries, those oversights frequently lead to a couple days of charging to bring the batteries back up to operating temperature. There was no permanent damage once the batteries were re-heated, but it was a recurring problem that some clever lawyer will suggest was reasonably foreseeable.
    23 Feb 2012, 02:16 AM Reply Like
  • "Pet Bricks". I guess it would solve the problem with disposal of un-recyclable battery packs.

     

    Hmmmm, maybe I could sell a piece of glass and some rubber feet to turn the pet bricks into coffee tables...
    23 Feb 2012, 07:38 AM Reply Like
  • $ 40,000 for the battery pack? Weren't the EV fans saying you could buy them for like $ 12,000 or something? Interesting how the true numbers see the light of day.
    23 Feb 2012, 08:35 AM Reply Like
  • I'll start the Tesla Kennel business. My AD: On your next vacation don't fret and worry about your 70k Tesla turning into a brick (pictures of a neighbors dog tugging on the cord). We'll baby sit the plug (picture of your neighbor "borrowing" the cord for his electric lawn mower), and give the battery a nice soft warming blanket all for the low-low cost of 5k. Tesla Kennel...don't leave it to chance, enjoy your vacation.
    23 Feb 2012, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • You gonna offer a Ferris Bueller special?
    23 Feb 2012, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • Exactly. Accept the range of the Tesla is going to limit my fun, and unfortunately, the battery does not charge when you put them in reverse.
    23 Feb 2012, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • Simple fix ... make it clear: have a separate sheet in the sales contract that you have to sign indicating you understand the constraint(s). Be proactive now (finally) about any other such constraints, and put it in the "Don't screw this up" signature page.

     

    Have dealers call all current owners and tell them and attempt to get signed releases. I would expect no less in customer service from a dealer that sold me a $100K car.

     

    Likewise a "privacy release" to let your car "talk" to them, and possibly different "privacy levels" and a requirement to pick one.

     

    Require designation of an "emergency contact," or waiver of such.

     

    Meanwhile, the stock is fairly close to a 52 week high.

     

    Presume those MoMo TA chart watchers have been busy.

     

    If JnJ can survive Tylenol, they can survive this, notwithstanding becoming a Biz School staple of how not to treat your customers.

     

    If they get out of denial, they could actually generate some good will among their customers that don't currently own bricks.
    23 Feb 2012, 11:24 AM Reply Like
  • But JnJ didn't DO ANYTHING WRONG!!

     

    Tesla knows of the problem and effectively didn't tell the buyers/owners just how bad the problem was. Now that's just wrong.
    23 Feb 2012, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • WT,
    Actually, I would expect that Tesla's market cap will take a much bigger hit from this than JnJ's will from the Tylenol mess. JnJ went through all of that what 2 years ago I think and finally got it put to bed last year. It really didn't seem to affect their SP much, IMO. JnJ has such an enormous store of assets that they can withstand a whole lot of beating and show little affect. Tesla on the other hand... If this turns into a problem for a significant percentage of owners, they may have a significant issue to deal with. JMO
    23 Feb 2012, 01:27 PM Reply Like
  • Totally Agreed.

     

    Just saying they can fix this ... turn those lemons (but not the bricks:-) ) into lemonade.

     

    Hopefully (for them) they won't see it as an admission of guilt in the previous cases to fix it now and going forward.

     

    Pretty much always, the best policy is to come clean as soon as possible and get it behind you.

     

    If they don't address it, I (not being a lawyer) would think they would be facing much worse damages in future cases given the new publicity and "public discussion."
    23 Feb 2012, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • LOL, I wrote something similar under my EV thread on the Mustang site! I call the new profession "EVsitters".
    23 Feb 2012, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • I've done a little diggin on this. It would appear that the cars made after #500 have a system set up to monitor their movements (the GPS spyware someone mentioned earlier). However, the fact that this was put in place WITHOUT notifying the 500 potential brick owners looks like a class action lawsuit waiting to happen imo.

     

    Hey, I just had a thought, when these backup LI powersystems are sold to commercial customers, how do they avoid turning the batterypacks into bricks? I assume they must advise the customer that they will need constant monitoring and recharging cycles to avoid their system going inert... NOT the best selling point, imo.
    23 Feb 2012, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » And now we have Fisker Automotive dung plunging, too.

     

    No wonder they named it "Karma." Funded by over a half billion tax dollars from rich to poor, this baby had bad karma from the get go.

     

    The gov'ment has halted their loan and all of a sudden we're seeing this Finnish company lay off a few dozen Delaware workers (which was estimated by Fisker to someday be employing 20,000 in the First State).

     

    Yep...bad karma indeed.

     

    http://yhoo.it/yPBm0J
    23 Feb 2012, 04:13 PM Reply Like
  • "Hmmmm, maybe I could sell a piece of glass and some rubber feet to turn the pet bricks into coffee tables..."

     

    Are you positive the pet brick would NOT catch on fire?
    23 Feb 2012, 07:32 PM Reply Like
  • Fire risk in a fully bricked pack should be very low.
    24 Feb 2012, 12:23 AM Reply Like
  • Maya: Did you read the Fisker article comments? They weren't just negative, they were nasty!

     

    If the DOE doesn't rapidly back away from this fiasco, the Obama admin is even more brain fogged than I thought. Calling the money already lost a "loan" is a bad joke. It was a gift from Obama and congressional pols to try and gather some "green cred". Didn't work.
    24 Feb 2012, 01:32 AM Reply Like
  • I bet you didn't write the word "accept" in place of "except" though. That is acceptionally mine.
    24 Feb 2012, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • ...and the internal email gets "leaked"..."admitted problem" via blaming owners and finger pointing/accusing owner/whistle blower of what?...for TESLA to stand by their product!

     

    What is the lesser of the two evils...(1)...own up to it (no pun intended)...address the issue head on...reimburse owners...stand behind your product...or (2)...no economically rationalized fix, so stick their head in the sand?

     

    methinks this story is far from over...
    24 Feb 2012, 11:34 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » SHB: I took special delight in reading those comments. Soon, we'll be tallying multi-billions of stupid, uninformed DOE approved "job creating investments."
    24 Feb 2012, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • just thinking acronyms...BRIC...
    PIIGS...
    BRICK...in "good" company
    24 Feb 2012, 12:20 PM Reply Like
  • Or...

     

    (3) Claim you are "too green to fail" and get the taxpayers to fix it for you.
    24 Feb 2012, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • Isn't that the "Solyndra Syndrome"?
    24 Feb 2012, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • I am surprised we have not seen more on Ener1's boondoggle. They were guaranteed $130M in matching funds. They were able to blow only $35M of it I think -- they couldn't come up with more funds to match what the DOE was so happy to give.
    24 Feb 2012, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • >jakurtz ... There is a good reason you won't hear much about ENER. It was the Chairman of the House committee, a Republican, that put that earmark on the list. It's OK if your a Republican.
    24 Feb 2012, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • Now that the GuvUSmint has peed on the electric fence for itself, witness the subtle pivot by the administration to talking up natgas cars.

     

    http://bit.ly/xK2qFQ

     

    Lucky us how they always see two moves ahead...
    24 Feb 2012, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • The thing that amazes me is that we haven't heard more screaming about how the government grants will effectively end up as personal property of a Russian oligarch who controlled Ener1 from day one and will end up as its sole stockholder when Ener1 emerges from bankruptcy.
    24 Feb 2012, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • >JP ... It's OK if your a Republican.
    24 Feb 2012, 02:19 PM Reply Like
  • Hey Drich,
    The grant was done through the DOE. What member of congress was responsible for it? I believe a republican from Indiana had something to do with a grant for Ener1 to build its facilities in Indiana. And Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is leading an investigation into all three bankruptcy's of Beacon, Solyndra and Ener1.
    24 Feb 2012, 02:30 PM Reply Like
  • DRich > "... ... It's OK if your a Republican. "

     

    This Republican doesn't think so.
    24 Feb 2012, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • After 14 years in Switzerland I can honestly disavow even a passing interest in the quirks and foibles of any U.S. political party. From 5,000 miles distance I can clearly see that there isn't a dimes worth of difference beyond the names of the cronies.
    24 Feb 2012, 02:33 PM Reply Like
  • >D-inv ... You must be one of those "socialist" type Repub ... like Rick Perry or just not realize you're not really a Repub.

     

    >JP .. I've been back in the U.S. for 15 years now and I couldn't agree more.
    24 Feb 2012, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • +1 JP, the only difference between the two parties is agreed on by those parties in advance of an election. from a policy standpoint the difference equates to a quantum fluctuation. this is why the "change" campaign resonated with voters. of course, political speak amounts to a fetid wind; political action aims only high enough to maintain stasis.
    24 Feb 2012, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • "quantum fluctuation"

     

    Yep. You can measure either the "spin" or the location, but not both at once.

     

    Further, from recent experiments using photons, it appears that they can be in multiple places at once.

     

    Hard to nail down the difference between them.

     

    HardToLove
    24 Feb 2012, 03:06 PM Reply Like
  • We LIbertarians call them Demicans and Republicrats. Interchangeable partners in crime.
    24 Feb 2012, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • > DRich ... Like Perry I'm from Texas, grew up in a Democrat household, and realized in my youth that Democrats railing about "fat cats" speak with forked tongue and are far more interested in advancing their own power and economic interests than creation of a level playing field. I register as Republican because one must declare a party to vote in Maryland primary elections and the other non-Democrat parties have a snow ball's chance in hell of electing anyone to public office in the State (dominated by Democrat hypocrites). Been trying to vote with my feet for well over a decade but spouse of 48 years resists.
    24 Feb 2012, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • >D-inv ... If it would help, I'd try to round up some of our Repub hypocrites here in Texas and ship them out just to make you feel more comfortable.
    24 Feb 2012, 03:59 PM Reply Like
  • what the...?
    Hello...anyone home in Washington?
    CMI...CLME...FSYS...WMB
    WPRT... (NATGAS) et al has been in play for a couple of years now!
    Private industry already on it...with no pre 2012 government endorsement!
    Who does POTUS listen to???
    24 Feb 2012, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • May be that they are looking to benefit from the workings of private industry. Latch on to something that is and has a great chance of working that has been doing it through free enterprise, grab credit from industry and show how little they had to invest in it working. They have a lousy track record for maximum loses so far, they need a winner for a trophy to capture the eco crowd for the election.
    24 Feb 2012, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • Let's see, Voldemort listens to a jazz trio from the east side of Chicago...

     

    William, Saul and Karl...

     

    (Last names Ayers, Alinski, and Marx).
    24 Feb 2012, 05:39 PM Reply Like
  • Not to mention multiple recent claims of new, lower temperature gas-to-liquids processes with substantially lower capital requirements that hold potential for production of liquid fuels for which transportation and distribution infrastructure already exists in many, many areas.
    24 Feb 2012, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • That's the solution, that on an intuitive level, sounds best to me too... though I know it's never so simple...
    24 Feb 2012, 09:23 PM Reply Like
  • Someday this will be a business school case study questioning how should have Tesla handled this situation.

     

    "Until there’s a fundamental change in Tesla’s technology, it would seem the only other option for Tesla is to help its customers insure against this problem." I wonder how eager insurance companies are to begin insuring EV batteries. I would think there are quite a few unknowns and risks. I guess just have to pay the right premium.
    22 Feb 2012, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • No wonder senior technical employees have recently jumped ship!

     

    I am trying to imagine what would have happened to my career if I designed and implemented a company destroying feature like the Tesla "auto destruct" battery.
    $40k evaporates because someone borrows the extension cord without telling you! If only the trunk held a robot that came out and plugged in the car when the charge ran low :-)

     

    I can't believe Tesla will go unscathed from this blunder.
    23 Feb 2012, 01:34 AM Reply Like
  • See, what they need to have is this little engine and generator that pops up out of panel and automatically fires up to charge the battery back to like 20% or so. Could probably fit the whole thing in the trunk, along with say a 5 gal jerrycan of gasoline and some dryer hose for the exhaust...
    23 Feb 2012, 01:45 AM Reply Like
  • That was you in the Volvo with the wood stove!!!
    23 Feb 2012, 02:06 AM Reply Like
  • Frankly, this surreal design flaw reminds me of some of the really quirky offerings from the old days of the Soviet Union. I remember visiting East Germany back when, and discovering that most of their cars had 2 stroke engines that belched clouds of noxious blue smoke even when brand new (in fact, the engines in some were designed to "wear in" crude castings, so you had to do oil changes every few hundred miles when they were new or the filters would clog up from the large chips of scrap metal that collected...

     

    LOL, and then there was the line (it had a name with no vowels, so don't ask me which one) which touted its floorboard portholes designed for driving the car out on frozen ponds and doing a bit of ice fishing...
    23 Feb 2012, 07:44 AM Reply Like
  • $40K for a battery pack! That really is inconceivable to me. The entire car I drive cost less than $40K.

     

    To start with all autos of the daily driver variety are a terrible investment. If you're so filthy rich (or just not very smart) that losing say 20-30% on an $80K transportation tool doesn't bother you, that's one thing. I can't even imagine how anyone could possibly rationalize buying a vehicle that had a consumable maintenance part that cost fully half of the vehicles original price; let alone that the vehicle lost 15% when it came off of the floor and is now only worth $68K, making your battery pack worth 58% of the vehicle. Takes all kinds I guess.
    23 Feb 2012, 01:36 PM Reply Like
  • (AXPW): Early action, my best guess, is just market-makers releasing some shares that backed prior short sales. The sizes, prices, frequency (to avoid collapsing the price) seem about right through 10:32.

     

    Seems supported by buy, sell of 4.1K and 37.5K respectively, yielding a ratio of ~1:9.15. Only 5 of the 13 trades thus far were classified as "buys".

     

    Average trade size 3,200.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Feb 2012, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • Looks like we need a new metric:
    "Average non-100 share trade size"

     

    For that matter, counting the 100 share "buys" as buys seems a bit debatable, though I get they don't significantly affect the ratio as it's based on the total number of shares.

     

    Maybe they need their own category ... number of 100 share trades at the offer ...
    22 Feb 2012, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • LoL! Yeah, if I could mechanically scrape this data, rather than manually tracking it, there's a lot we could do.

     

    But my time is fairly well consumed by what I do already.

     

    Today we've got 7 of them, the most recent 4 @ $0.3999 "buys" (, 12:12:42 -, and 12:39:53 - 2).

     

    It's looking like the market maker doesn't want to sell below $0.40 ATM.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Feb 2012, 12:42 PM Reply Like
  • Mentioned Gasfrac a few times ... they're coming to Europe with LPG (instead of water) based Fracturing. Take that Ruskies!

     

    http://prn.to/wIkLgG
    22 Feb 2012, 01:51 PM Reply Like
  • Well, well, well ...

     

    I normally don't post PMs, but this one deserved an exception.

     

    From TonyMontana9, who has one comment

     

    http://bit.ly/ySEDEh

     

    ==================
    Why don't you chill out with all the minute by minute analysis which really amounts to nothing and try to evaluate why Axion is still sinking just as DSB said it would. Here's another suggestion, get a hobby or for that matter a life. Daily scrutiny and deep analysis of a 40 cent stock is pretty patheitc. Better yet why don't you go and and find a girlfriend you fucking loser.
    ======================...

     

    Needless to say, I will block this user, although I doubt I'd ever hear from him again.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Feb 2012, 02:12 PM Reply Like
  • Sounds like someone has a secret admirer.
    22 Feb 2012, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • Lovely message. And saved up all of his goodwill for just one posting.
    22 Feb 2012, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • Hmm,
    Judging by the tone, TonyMontana9 has to be my ex-wife.
    22 Feb 2012, 05:02 PM Reply Like
  • I only get around to reading here every coupla days and posting once every other week. That is about the funniest thing I have seen in quite some time, both the note to HTL and your response, J.
    22 Feb 2012, 05:08 PM Reply Like
  • Winner. Inescapable truth: Marriage might be only temporary, but an Ex is forever. ;)
    22 Feb 2012, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • sounds like a returning troll under another name...I'd bet on it!
    22 Feb 2012, 05:16 PM Reply Like
  • Sorry J . Can not be your ex wife ,he is married to me.
    22 Feb 2012, 05:35 PM Reply Like
  • One must keep an eye on the competition. There is news about Aquion, a development-stage sodium-ion battery company announcing their lease of a quarter-million sq. ft. industrial space in SW Pennsylvania to set up their battery factory. Axion, meet your neighbors... See: http://bit.ly/A2n8Zz

     

    Aquion's battery is based on Jay Whitacre's R&D work at Carnegie-Mellon Univ., and uses cheap nontoxic material, sodium and manganese oxide cathode, carbon anode, and water-based (nonflammable) electrolyte. One claim is that their battery will have roughly the same cost as lead-acid, but "ten times" the life. Surely, they must be referring to plain LA ,not advanced batteries such as PbC. It is intended for grid storage applications.

     

    Aquion's plans, which I view as aggressive and highly optimistic (especially in view of Axion's experience), go from inception to production in about five years, production to start in 2013.
    22 Feb 2012, 02:17 PM Reply Like
  • From 2011 cnet article: link

     

    http://cnet.co/xTNQXF

     

    "After testing its devices with customers, it plans to ramp up manufacturing in the 2013 and 2014 time frame. Its target price is under $300 per kilowatt-hour, which is well below the price of today's lithium ion batteries."

     

    Will be interesting to see how they progress. Agree they have very aggressive plans. Have openings for 15 positions on their website, some very high level.
    22 Feb 2012, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • Add to the list of questions for TG.
    22 Feb 2012, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • Leasing a 250,000 square foot facility to manufacture a battery that hasn't been thoroughly tested by potential end users is foolhardy. Small companies are like babies in sub-saharan Africa. They rarely die of starvation, but dysentery is a constant threat. Since Aquion hasn't even started the testing and evaluation process I think they've probably gotten way ahead of themselves.
    23 Feb 2012, 12:36 AM Reply Like
  • Good news, that...
    23 Feb 2012, 07:45 AM Reply Like
  • I do not like competition at all...forget all that "it makes you better" crap. But.....

     

    The handwriting is on the wall, everything we have seen this week in new lines has the word "Carbon" attached. This at least proves the AXPW tech.
    22 Feb 2012, 03:21 PM Reply Like
  • "Immitation is the most sincere form of flattery."

     

    OK, I buy that, but...

     

    I feel the urge to reiterate my earlier comment that pretty soon Axion will need to hire some lawyers to police their patents.

     

    This is something I personally discovered long abo about intellectual property rights: Protect them or lose them.
    22 Feb 2012, 03:45 PM Reply Like
  • I have touted that since day one.
    22 Feb 2012, 03:52 PM Reply Like
  • From the 7/2011 Cnet article:

     

    "The anode is made out of a "low-cost, high-performance" carbon and the cathode is made from manganese oxide. As happens in other battery chemistries, sodium ions move between anodes of the battery through the water-based electrolyte during charging and discharging."

     

    Would this infringe on an Axion patent?
    22 Feb 2012, 04:33 PM Reply Like
  • LT: I read up on the Aquion sodium ion battery a few months ago.

     

    It should be relatively cheap to build but it has one big problem: high internal impedance. Basically that means that the higher the power demand the lower the efficiency. The stored energy lost shows up as heat in the electrolyte.

     

    The sodium ion with "water based electrolyte" could make a fine Energy storage device, but to supply any Power with reasonable efficiency it needs to be over sized in kWh capacity. That is expensive. Fine for slow charge and slow discharge but NOT for high power requirements.
    So the PbC is still the class leader for Power/volume systems and most likely for dollars/Watt. Any competition will be for $/kWh in large storage systems. Much will depend on the aging characteristics of the Aquion design.

     

    IMO, of course!
    22 Feb 2012, 04:39 PM Reply Like
  • It's like JP keeps repeating: There is no silver bullet. It's like economics when the answer to the question is always "it depends", but then you have to state what it depends on including advantages and disadvantages.
    22 Feb 2012, 04:45 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks for your input SHB.

     

    I will add for everyone that when comparing technologies keep in mind that beyond the PbC's performance advantages it also has the unique advantage of being able to leverage existing AGM manufacturing capacity. Something Axion worked very hard at doing when developing the PbC.
    22 Feb 2012, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • Ditto, thanks SHB. Great to have an EE here.

     

    I gotta think that stationary is such a huge and diversified mkt, that there is room and a need for many solutions. PbC may be optimal for certain applications, sodium-ion for others, etc. Like for the transportation markets.
    22 Feb 2012, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • "I feel the urge to reiterate my earlier comment that pretty soon Axion will need to hire some lawyers to police their patents."

     

    I was thinking the exact same thing today (most likely based on the content I have been reading) and was seriously hoping Axion would play offense instead of defense.

     

    In other words, we are the carbon in your LA and if anyone thinks they can sneak a product into the market they have another thing coming. When the time comes I hope our passive Axion folks some teeth and some deep growling...
    22 Feb 2012, 08:19 PM Reply Like
  • It might be worth asking the question at the next conference call whhether Axion is taking any action in this direction given all the nibbling at the edges.
    22 Feb 2012, 08:28 PM Reply Like
  • SHB, something I read this past week after finding the URL posted on a recent APC included a TG quote to effect that (if IRC) PbC cost will be in 200kWh range.
    22 Feb 2012, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • For the newer people to the APCs, it has been discussed in the past that TG was a management side lead negotiator for the elevator industry in their negotiations with labor (please correct me if that is wrong - going from memory) ... I hope that we will eventually see some of the tenacity and iron will that goes along with such experience.
    22 Feb 2012, 11:21 PM Reply Like
  • Axion's patents relate to a battery with a lead electrode and a carbon electrode in a sulfuric acid electrolyte. They do not extend to other electrode pairs with a different metal and a different electrolyte.
    23 Feb 2012, 12:30 AM Reply Like
  • Wow, the volume today kinda fell off a cliff. I wonder if our big seller is going to step in here these last 10 minutes and move something. If not, when was the last time we had a sub-100K share day?
    22 Feb 2012, 03:48 PM Reply Like
  • I've been seeing this sweeping the globe since last night (Sydney ASX, one of my primary investments down under had about 10% of the volume it saw a week ago - and its a member of the ASX 100).

     

    Its as if the whole planet is taking a deep breath at an inflection point.
    22 Feb 2012, 03:49 PM Reply Like
  • A major geopolitical event in offing? Kind of like how animals show nervous behavior right before an earthquake?
    22 Feb 2012, 03:55 PM Reply Like
  • A side-effect of dropping out of the range and folks waiting to see what happens next?

     

    And the market-maker(s) must have some shares arriving that he (they, she?) needs to unload around $0.40 because they've been trying to get folks to buy $0.3999 or better and almost refusing to participate much below that.

     

    It suggests to me that the "flippers" are not in at this price today and I expect we'll not see a big change in short sales percentage tonight.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Feb 2012, 03:57 PM Reply Like
  • I shouldn't have just asked, but looked it up and provided: 93,000 shares on 17 November 2011...
    22 Feb 2012, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • Two things I think.

     

    1. Greece - Iran less so.

     

    2. I would agree that I've seen volume dry up. I own a stock that is a distressed Bankruptcy situation which I hopes works out in my favor. For the past two months the B/A has sat something like .35/.38 up to .48/.51. It has just widened to .29/.51. Clearly the MMs are at an inflection point and are willing to take trades from people desperately wanting in/out but not an orderly market.
    23 Feb 2012, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • TB,
    With a down day yesterday, I think many are wondering if that is the beginning of the inevitable market correction. I know I am...

     

    There may not be any big changes going on in the major indexes, but the "Risk On" market is getting beat up.
    23 Feb 2012, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • 95k (prob actually 100k if the 3:57:59 trade was part) bid at 40 cents. That was cool. Pushed the offer up 2 cents.
    22 Feb 2012, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • Big bidder at close. Snapped up 55K in 5,25,25 chunks at the offer of .40.

     

    At close, there was a 70K Bid at .40 left unfilled (since removed) and the offer had moved up to .42
    22 Feb 2012, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • Damn annoying too ... was just about to hit the .40 bid for a little and it was gone and replaced by .42 ...

     

    and John I wasn't even techincally bottom feeding ... I was gonna hit the bid!

     

    oh well, maybe tomorrow.
    22 Feb 2012, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • Article on SA about GE and EV's.
    http://seekingalpha.co...
    22 Feb 2012, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • Just a quick EOD note: volume down 44.5%, short sales down 58.3%.

     

    Interesting is that short sales were 4,900 less than "buys" (43,000). This *suggests* that all trades at, or very near, the ask, were market-maker short sales *except* for these few shares.

     

    It turns out there is a nicely grouped three-trade set of 4,700, 100 and 100 that went for $0.3999 each at 15:35:30 through 15:48:39. In case I failed to mention it, this is the price most commonly seen as the market-maker (I think) attempted to drum up business with 100 share "buys".

     

    The day's volume was "saved" by 2x25K trades, "sells", at $0.40 at 15:58.

     

    Without those trades and 100 more shares at 15:58, we had 43 trades with an average size of ~2,528 shares per trade.

     

    This very low. Of these, 12 were 100 share "buys", all $0.3999 but for one at $0.405 (the first one - the market-maker gave up quickly on that).

     

    Anyway, with the attitudinal 3 trades, we ended with 46 and an average of ~3,452 - pretty much near "normal" recently.

     

    The good news is that all this combined means there were not a lot of sell orders coming in at low prices. And no excessive long positions in the market-maker portfolios or shares flowing in (yet?) from prior sell orders.

     

    I'll post the usual in the morning, but I wanted to get this out there as it *suggests* there's a possibility that the $0.39 is the low for now (two days in a row).

     

    Of course, there's lots of "maybe", "might" etc. that BW noted, including that the trend lines say "it ain't so".

     

    But it's *way* too early to assign any weight to the new trend lines, especially with the bottom holding, buy:sell *tending* towards improvement and short-sales acting the way they are ... so far.

     

    And *one* oscillator has started to curl up.

     

    I *might* have to move my trading block replacement price up a notch.

     

    I'll post in the A.M.

     

    HardToLove
    22 Feb 2012, 07:15 PM Reply Like
  • HTL, I've been remiss in saying so, but that is just beautiful stuff. Many ongoing thanks...
    23 Feb 2012, 12:37 AM Reply Like
  • Another possibility is that a market maker started the day with a buy order in hand for 50,000 shares at $.40 and he spent the entire day accumulating enough shares under $.40 to fill the order.
    23 Feb 2012, 12:44 AM Reply Like
  • Well, the MM left 70K on the table ... cause there was a 70K bid at .40 that appeared in the last couple of minutes that didn't fill and disappeared after hours ... unless seeing that 55K go by spooked a lurker who thought it might run away and "decloaked."
    23 Feb 2012, 01:00 AM Reply Like
  • I like the thought John. But how does that square with making a relatively large quantity of short sales (apparently - lots of supposition there) all in that range? This based on the assumption that, as you've noted, normal traders wouldn't be shorting this stock at this price.

     

    If MM was accumulating, short sales should be only enough to move price to below the acquisition target. And we should see the 100-share trades (*if* those are, indeed, market-maker attempts to draw in trades) go near, at or below the bid, not at the ask. Today *every* one was at the ask, which should be working towards getting buyers in.

     

    If I, as a MM, could dribble out a few hundred, or even a couple thousand, shares at $0.39 or so to move the asks to $0.395 so I could scoop them up, I wouldn't be putting in trades for buys at the ask.

     

    MHO, all speculation,
    HardToLove
    23 Feb 2012, 07:53 AM Reply Like
  • Author’s reply » Next Concentrator this way:

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    22 Feb 2012, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • I almost put in a bid today also,,mainly because it dried up.

     

    I may ,,or may not be like many others here, I originally bought last march/april at .97 and again at 1.17.. They were starter positions, and when I read/learned more, I added 10% blocks every time it went down 10%. I am telling you all this so you know I didnt quite do it right, BUT...I did add more more at .66 and .49 and .39 and .34 and .26 and was way overloaded by then.. but sold off on the rise up to .60. I didn't hit it perfectly, far from it. But, it worked for me. So...now I am looking to buy back some,,as many here are...
    So, where it goes from here? I am pretty sure that we will have some nicer news by this qtrs cc.
    Vani and the Comptrollers is not just a new boy-band, it is a for real expenditure of money that should move this small cap up to the next level IMO.
    So , my point is,,actually, there is no point here, I am just watching,,like all of you. There are too many people like me, waiting for that blue light special, I wonder if it will happen again, or maybe its happnin right now?
    23 Feb 2012, 12:30 AM Reply Like
  • Amish: "I didnt quite do it right".

     

    Well, two years or so from now, that might be argued as a *very* subjective assessment.

     

    Paraphrasing JP, as our litter-carriers transport us to the bank, we can discuss it in detail! :-))

     

    HardToLove
    23 Feb 2012, 07:57 AM Reply Like
  • Amish,
    thanks for your post.

     

    I suspect there are a lot of people like you who are loathe to make a repeat of what happened last year. Couple that with the amount of new buyers sitting on the sidelines that Axion caught the eye of during the jan. run and I believe we have a substantial amount of volume waiting quite patiently to see what happens next.
    23 Feb 2012, 08:09 AM Reply Like
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