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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 73: Beginning Mar. 2, 2012, Bangwhiz's Article, Selling The PbC Battery - It's Not Easy Being Green!  149 comments
    Mar 2, 2012 8:27 PM

    A gem of an article by bangwhiz:

    Selling The PbC Battery - It's Not Easy Being Green!

    There are two important facts about the Axion PbC battery stockholders need to understand. First, it is not a commodity product like bananas or standard lead acid batteries. Its different. Secondly, being different engineers have to design new systems versus whatever they've done before if they are to benefit from its unique performance characteristics. That means change, and like the Eagles sang in their song Sad Cafe, "But things in this life change very slowly, if they ever change at all."

    People and organizations resist change unless they are either forced by some outside pressure, or the benefits to them are so great it is sufficient motivation alone. In the case of the PbC battery two organizations, Norfolk Southern and BMW, were drawn to the PbC battery because they had a problem the PbC might solve for them. Conventional commodity lead acid batteries were not up to the demands of stop start automobiles or battery powered electric locomotives. They were embracing and seeking change.

    Inventors have been waving magic beans in front of engineers eyes forever and often those magic beans lose their magic very quickly when engineers attempt to put them to practical use. Consequently, engineers are inherently skeptical of anything new until it has proven itself truly useful and reliable.

    Because the PbC battery has different electrical and performance characteristics engineers at a fork lift manufacturer, auto company, railroad, or any other company will need to design and build new electrical and or mechanical subsystems specifically engineered for the PbC battery before they can benefit from the PbC 's magic beans.

    BMW and Norfolk Southern possessed a strong enough interest in the PbC to commit to the time and money required to conduct preliminary test and evaluation programs followed by conceptual system designs, then building actual prototype systems made specifically for the PbC. That has been followed by more test and evaluation of the prototype systems and perhaps modifications to the prototypes leading to a final design. This activity would be coupled with trade off studies of any final PbC system design versus all the other possible solutions including detailed cost benefit number crunching studies. The engineers design and develop, the bean counters rule.

    Because of any non-disclosure agreements Axion has signed we do not know the status of most of the ongoing potential customer development programs for the PbC battery. Big organizations are big because they haven't made any big mistakes. It is an inherent slow process demanding patience from Axion and its stockholders. No one is more anxious to sell the the PbC battery and produce millions of PbC electrodes for the lead acid industry than Axion's management. It is just going to take the time it takes and not a minute less.

    Axion does have one product not subject to so much trial and tribulation - the PowerCube ranging in size from the mini-cube to 20MWs. You could almost write a design spec and purchase order on the back of a napkin. 10 MW's standby power for 30 minutes. Some have suggested Axion create some sample PowerCubes and give them to prestigious customers to try free of charge. You just "plug" them in. Not hardly. You need to run the power into and out of the PowerCube and that means site specific power distribution systems, building permits and construction. The installation may need to be fixed inside a building with all the design and construction that entails versus sitting outside in a trailer.

    I'm not an engineer so I am not going to try and describe what all a customer has to do to utilize a PowerCube, but it is going to be a lot more than "just plugging it in." Axion Power Concentrator commenter, DRich, who is an engineer, said, "I don't know if this covers it, but even in grid applications, 'samples' aren't all that practical. Even though the batteries are the same, it is easy to assume that is where 'sameness' ends. Each business will have a different power use profile and thus the inverters/transformers will be different almost every time. The BMS and/or the software may need to be tailored to each power profile. There is considerable cost in engineering associated with those 'samples'."

    Anyone who wants to buy whatever size PowerCube they want for all its benefits will need the services of an electrical engineering firm, or an in-house electrical engineering staff, to integrate the PowerCube into their facility. Then there are all the software control issues that will need to be sorted out for the specific customer's power usage profile. It isn't rocket science, but it is involved and takes time and money to accomplish. There is no free lunch. For my money I would rather Axion Power Director of Marketing, Vani Dantam, just sell someone a PowerCube than probably spend the same amount of time and money trying to convince a prospect to take one for free.

    An Axion Power sales rep can't just waltz into a E-Bike or forklift or UPS manufacturer and say, "We've got a special on PbC's today, 3 for the price of 2." Think about how many people in a prospective customer have to agree that building anything using the PbC - a product they've never seen or used before, with nothing sitting around they can just drop it into and then turn it on - is worth their time, money and effort?

    I have a lot of major account sales experience. I've been Vice President of Sales for a hardware design, development and prototype engineering company. I've been Manager of Business Development for a nuclear engineering firm. Most of the time when you go through the door of a large company representing a new product or service it is just like pushing in the side of a sponge, the minute you leave everything pops back out just like it was before. Nothing has changed. If you are lucky maybe whomever you talked to talks to their boss, who then talks to his boss, etc etc.

    When they want you they call you. Until then, you are just whistling Dixie. Then after they call you it isn't a done deal. Everybody up the line has to confirm the decision. The numbers have to work, the details have to mesh, the timing has to be right - and on top of that they have to like and respect you and your organization. They have to be true believers.

    So when you are screaming for Axion Power CEO, Thomas Granville, to just sell or give away Powercubes or PbC's, you need to understand the complexity of doing so, and the time required to achieve an actual sale. Engineers are methodical, cautious professionals who have their careers at risk every time they draw a line or circle. They are not going to endorse anything until they are certain of the cost and benefits.

    About a year ago I made a bold statement that I would like to get on the phone and sell PbC's on straight commission. I said I might starve for a while but I would eventually find somebody who would buy some PbC's. John Petersen said "I wish it were so simple." He was right and I was over reaching a bit. I just didn't realize the complexity involved in selling the PbC because it is different from existing commodity lead acid batteries.

    I fully recognize the sales and marketing issues now, and if you haven't thought about it before perhaps this article will lead you to further contemplation on the subject. I still wouldn't mind selling the PbC, but I would pack a lot bigger back pack full of food before I picked up the phone. I would also plan on it taking one or more years of work before I might get a sale. Its just a tough business being green if you are a frog, or selling a PbC battery nobody has ever used before.

    ####
    Hearty gratitudes to bangwhiz on behalf of the Axion Power Concentrator series!

    ####

    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 12,000 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 Sitesites.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.

    New Feature: You can now search all past comments or just the past 3 months.

    Complimenting the Axion Power Concentrator Web Site is theAxion 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

    ####

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Comments (149)
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  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Last comment in the previous Concentrator from HardToLove:

     

    JLL: Last trade 100 @ $0.40 15:59:16.

     

    Looks like your thoughts about the possible low are much closer.

     

    I think we have to assume that the current crop that bought the latest issuance don't have the profile similar to that seen in the past.

     

    If that be the case, all I've been thinking that might support us around the $0.39-$0.42 level goes out the window.

     

    From my POV, I think viewing the current scenario like the Nov-Dec time might be closer to reality now.

     

    HardToLove

     

    ####

     

    All thumbs up are greatly appreciated!
    2 Mar 2012, 05:46 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3216) | Send Message
     
    HTL, remember what TG said about the recent placement, "We were happy to find a straight 'equity - discount to market opportunity' that was provided by a group primarily made up of institutions and individuals who had participated in our previous fundings. We appreciate their continued faith in us."

     

    That, combined with the thin profit from flipping at 37 cents tells me the seller(s)' probably not a flipper. Not anymore, anyway. I still think the patience (up til now, but selling 200k shares near the close on a Friday makes me wonder), professionalism, size and steadiness of the selling implies a sell down program by a big, older investor. Do the FNRA reports shed any light, or at least exclude somebody? Maybe JP has an idea of who?
    2 Mar 2012, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    Mr Investor. Do you think that 200k deal could have been multiple sellers? I don't know enough about the MM to answer my own question but I would value an informed answer.

     

    I would guess it was the buyer that enticed the MM into action...
    2 Mar 2012, 08:43 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3216) | Send Message
     
    Forgot to add and was timed out: props to Bang. Good job. Thanks.
    2 Mar 2012, 08:49 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3216) | Send Message
     
    I'm not a trader so I don't know. I'm just presenting some of what I hope are reasonable thoughts on the continued, steady drift down in price recently.

     

    As far as buyer or seller enticed--my limited experience with cross trades was that if I had a lot of shares to sell and I initiated the discussion, I always had to take a haircut from the prevailing mkt price.
    2 Mar 2012, 09:09 PM Reply Like
  • Lafferty
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    This is a purely speculative worry, so feel free to stomp it, but I had been wondering for a while whether BlackRock was really likely to stop selling after only (approximately) 1 million of their (roughly) 7 million shares. It just seems strange to me that an outfit as large as BlackRock would bother to sell only such a small chunk of their position- that's chump change for them, so why bother unless you're going to unwind the whole position? Anyways, I'd appreciate folks' thoughts, and I hope you can relieve me of my worry. (btw, one relevant point here is that BlackRock seems to hold Axion in different funds, as we discovered when Mercy found the holdings data for their New Energy Fund, which was only a part of their overall position. So even if they were planning to unwind all of their holdings in a given fund, it might not be their whole position.)
    3 Mar 2012, 01:33 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    The only things we know for sure about Black Rock are that:

     

    They held 7,150,000 shares at December 31, 2010 – http://1.usa.gov/yxCVjO
    They held 6,100,000 shares at December 31, 2011 – http://1.usa.gov/yZpUiZ
    They have not filed a Schedule 13G/A to report additional sales, which will be required when their ownership drops below 5.7 million shares.

     

    Until we see another Schedule 13G/A filing from Black Rock, we can safely assume that they're not selling.
    3 Mar 2012, 01:47 AM Reply Like
  • Lafferty
    , contributor
    Comments (253) | Send Message
     
    Helpful to have someone who understands the details of those arcane SEC rules. Thanks.
    3 Mar 2012, 01:54 AM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    I think nearly all of the selling, very limited as it is, is coming from multiple sources, rather than a couple of holders, as used to be the case. It's easy enough to believe that most Axionistas are holding, but "most" still leaves room for a few shares shaking themselves loose here and there. Add to that the fact that there are a couple of regulars here that have said they actively trade their shares and now there are, conceivably, a fare amount shares coming from amongst our ranks.

     

    I think that it's important to remember that while many/most of us active on the APCs are "longs", every investor has his own unique profile and many times, perhaps more importantly, their own set of circumstances that live has dealt them.

     

    It's easy for me to imagine that there are many out there who just get tired of seeing "dead money" and want some liquidity. It's also easy to imagine that there are likely investors out there who can't wait for their anticipated return because they've come upon hard times or serious medical problems. Finally, there are, perhaps, even a few who have left us altogether, and their shares are now being liquidated from their estates.

     

    In some respect, though, I'm grateful for the diversity. My recent adds have brought my average down 14% to $.405.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:15 AM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    Laf,

     

    It's entirely possible that they didn't necessarily sell as a result of an intellectual decision to dump AXPW, but rather just a little re-balancing. Shave a little here. Shave a little there...
    3 Mar 2012, 03:57 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    The FINRA daily short sales just give aggregate volumes. No detail whatsoever.

     

    When I get to the daily transaction tapes, sometime down the road, we'll probably have a lot more detail, but delayed 30 days - they are produced only monthly.

     

    HardToLove
    3 Mar 2012, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    Egg: let's also recall that MJ had posted about the momo folks saying $0.39 would be a good entry for a trade.

     

    Normally these folks will have strong risk-management procedures, usually a tight stop-loss setting.

     

    It's conceivable that they entered for a short-term trade, price moved against them and their stops triggered.

     

    This might explain some of the "flurry" seen.

     

    In ignorance,
    HardToLove
    3 Mar 2012, 09:08 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1959) | Send Message
     
    Eggwis and Tim,

     

    I think you are both right on! I don't think it is flippers from the equity raise and I think the MM had to scramble around finding enough sellers shares to execute the large buy order at 200k.

     

    A lot of this selling I believe is residual selling by the MM from the day of the capital raise and subsequent days where they found themselves with about 5M shares in their laps. The longer they stretch out selling those shares the larger spread they maintain, because they don't automatically pound those shares back out into the market, remember the double count. It is safe for them to stretch out putting those shares back into the market in 10k or 5k bucket fulls as long as it stays above their spread and they continue to have retailers selling and buying which keeps their portfolio moving with new sell/buy orders and safe spreads, not necessarily from large sellers just cumulative retail traders that believe the price will continue to move down or who are shaving the size of their position and/or hoping to buy back a little cheaper.

     

    Just good old market activity in a low priced stock that may not always make sense because it depends on what chair you are sitting in watching it.
    3 Mar 2012, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • LabTech
    , contributor
    Comments (1778) | Send Message
     
    I know when I bought my 30,000 shares last week the deal actually went through in three parts, 20,000 + 10,000 + 680. And each was at a slightly different price so that I got the final amount I wanted at the bid price I offered. So the multiple sources argument makes sense to me.
    4 Mar 2012, 10:37 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Cramer just bashed Solyzyme, saying it was too risky and not cost efficient. Said to invest in Nat Gas.

     

    Original Oil plunged along with Solyzme today.
    2 Mar 2012, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4756) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for the Cramer flash. OOIL decline likely due to the Solazyme bashing. I do not have a position in, or track, Solazyme after concluding a year or more back that profitability remained a very long way off.
    3 Mar 2012, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    Does a day go by that Cramer *isn't* pitching nat gas?
    3 Mar 2012, 10:34 PM Reply Like
  • jlyleluce
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
     
    Maya,
    I'm in. Thanks for your hard work.
    jll
    2 Mar 2012, 07:36 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    It worked .... finally. That was as more difficult than getting Axion to stay up a penny. Nice work bangwhiz ... Maya.
    2 Mar 2012, 07:44 PM Reply Like
  • Stilldazed
    , contributor
    Comments (3178) | Send Message
     
    Nice lead article!!
    2 Mar 2012, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    I enjoyed the article Bang. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. I truly believe the PbC is unique and will play well in the emerging grid storage market as well as other markets were "power" storage is needed. Having said that, it would ease some tension for me if they would also pursue existing markets and compete with the high-end AGM markets where "power" and high cycle life was needed. My hope is with the additional hired help they will be able to place a few new targets.

     

    BTW. We all remember the ample supply of shares at $.25 last December yet we all complained about the private placement at $.35. I doubt we get to $.25 again but we are only $.04 above the figure we complained about. So, if you (like me) complained about not getting in at $.35, now's your chance...
    2 Mar 2012, 08:32 PM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    Way ahead of you on that, Tim.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:21 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    Your write-up was wonderful Bang. The only thing I'd add is that this kind of selling process is extremely expensive for the CUSTOMER and testing that continues for two or three years is a huge INVESTMENT of time, talent and money by the CUSTOMER.

     

    I can't begin to estimate how much BMW has invested in the PbC over the last 30 months, but it has to be tens if not hundreds of man years of work by some of the finest engineers on the planet. I can't imagine a scenario where BMW could have gotten through laboratory testing and into vehicles without spending millions in the process. It's not the kind of investment that shows up on Axion's balance sheet, but I can guarantee that BMW has invested a fortune learning how to use a product that we spent a fortune learning how to make.

     

    Norfolk Southern has done the same thing, but they've done it with double redundancy – once in their in-house laboratories; once at Penn State and once at Axion. Their initial investment was about $750,000 for a battery management system that would be worthless if the PbC didn't satisfy their application requirements. When you start adding in the cost of battery testing strings, costs of in-house engineering and testing, costs of redundant work at Penn State and heaven knows what else, there's no question that NS has invested a fortune in learning to use a product that we spent a fortune learning how to make.

     

    As stockholders we want to see a bright line *sales* figure as proof of value. The reality is that every dollar BMW spends testing, every dollar NS spends testing, every dollar GM spends testing and every dollar every other potential user spends testing is a direct cash investment in the PbC technology. These companies are not fools and they're not spendthrifts. They wouldn't continue pouring their cash into work on a battery system that couldn't satisfy their needs.

     

    As stockholders we wring our hands and ask "How much longer can the testing go on?" and "Will the process ever come to an end?" The reality is far different. Every time BMW or NS or GM or somebody else decides to spend another dollar testing the PbC they're increasing their investment in the PbC. The bigger their investment in the PbC becomes, the harder it will be to walk away from.

     

    If Axion put out a press release tomorrow saying that BMW had invested several million in its common stock the market would go nuts. How is that different from observing that BMW has already invested several million in the PbC technology and doesn't even have a stock certificate or license to show for it?
    3 Mar 2012, 01:20 AM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    JP,
    Very good point. To be honest, I think I prefer that that keep spending their money where they are. New shareholders don't ensure the future.
    3 Mar 2012, 04:06 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3216) | Send Message
     
    BMW, NS and GM are all huge companies that have large R&D budgets. R&D is uncertain, by its nature, so large writeoffs are a given. There comes a time, with every R&D project, when it's 'fish or cut bait.' We Axion investors are hoping that it's 'fish.' The fear of 'cut bait' is one big reason why the stock is down here in the $.30's. The gap between the two is the investment opportunity.

     

    Being a fish, a catfish, actually, I generally like price declines during continued testing. Widens the opportunity. But only up to a point. As others continue to reach that point as I don't yet, I'll probably keep buying.
    3 Mar 2012, 04:45 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    There is an immense difference between R&D in a generic sense and testing a specific product for a specific application. GM may well be engaged at an R&D level. BMW and NS are clearly engaged at a product development level and those types of programs are designed to terminate at the first sign of failure. The longer they continue, the more remote the risk of failure becomes. The fear of failure is with us always, but it should be diminishing with the passage of time instead of increasing.
    3 Mar 2012, 05:45 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    John,

     

    I think that your comment would make a nice lead article. Maybe flesh it out with some the commentary about the costs in the comment you posted below.

     

    I, for one, had never considered the aspect of a customer's investment being so similar to a direct investment in the company.

     

    Viewing things in that light should also help bolster the patience of investors, just as BangWhiz's article should.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    3 Mar 2012, 09:30 AM Reply Like
  • Tampa Ted
    , contributor
    Comments (2652) | Send Message
     
    Great analysis, Bang and John ... to use a good poker term (from a poor poker player) - at some point you become "pot committed"
    3 Mar 2012, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • thotdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (1956) | Send Message
     
    How would we know if BMW or NS had terminated?
    3 Mar 2012, 03:10 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    There is absolutely no reason to believe that either relationship is at risk, much less at risk of being terminated. If the relationships were going to fall apart they would have done so in the first 6 to 12 months. When relationships advance to this stage signs of stress start to develop long before a termination. Until you see signs of stress, imagining that something might be wrong is little more than mental masturbation.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:24 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    "mental masturbation"

     

    If that will grow hair on my *head*, I'll give it a try! :-))

     

    HardToLove
    3 Mar 2012, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3648) | Send Message
     
    Nice post. I agree with HTL, there indeed might be an article or instablog from this important theme. This post along with Bang's great article is allowing me to see things more clearly.
    3 Mar 2012, 07:03 PM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    EDIT: above post should read"...I think I prefer that they keep spending their money where they are. New shareholders don't ensure the future."

     

    Sorry about that. I told JP, the other day, that I should not correspond with people when I'm up late at night. It seems now that I should not be posting then either. Maybe just go to bed...? :-)
    3 Mar 2012, 10:40 PM Reply Like
  • Mathieu Malecot
    , contributor
    Comments (1284) | Send Message
     
    well put. my concerns are only that axpw stay funded until orders come in. the money put into testing by bmw/norfolk indirectly increase the value of the patients axpw holds.
    3 Mar 2012, 02:49 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    Before the financing Axion had a clear runway through Q-2-2012 and a runway running on vapors through year-end. With the financing in place, I'd anticipate a clear runway through Q-2-2013, or perhaps longer.

     

    Given the advanced status of testing by BMW, NS and others, I have a hard time imagining a situation where there will be no positive news over the next 18 months. It's one thing to be conservative, and another to be downright pessimistic.
    3 Mar 2012, 04:15 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3648) | Send Message
     
    John does that runway through mid 2013 assume flooded sales for 2012 being greater than 2011? Also, if those sales don't renew would management be able to slow their spend on the fly? And do you see a scenario where flooded sales can grow 50-100 percent yoy in 2012, all the while PbC ramps (or is that too many eggs in one basket)?
    3 Mar 2012, 04:29 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    You need to remember that there are two types of spending that show up in different places in the income statement. Manufacturing labor flows through inventories and into cost of goods sold. It has a very low fixed cost component because the investment in PP&E is very small and a very large variable cost component. Unless flooded sales drop to a very low level, those operations can only extend the runway, not shorten it.

     

    The far more important figure is cash used in operating activities, which was $6.75 million for the first nine months of 2011, or $7.75 million if you want to be pessimistic and zero out gross profit from battery operations. That number is the "burn rate," or how much cash does it take to keep the doors open without cutting back on R&D and other essential spending.

     

    I won't be surprised to see flooded battery sales ramp this year because the company spent a good deal of money last year upgrading portions of the plant and the board wouldn't have spent the money if they didn't think they needed the capacity. The original contract was announced on March 8, 2011. If the existing contract is merely rolled over, I wouldn't look for an announcement but if the volumes are increased (I hope) I'd expect to hear something.

     

    It's pretty easy for me to foresee a situation where flooded sales could double this year while PbC production ramps from very modest levels to something greater. With nine-month revenues of $5.2 million, I'd guess that $7.5 million is in the bag for 2011 and up to $9 million is not outside the realm of reason. In a perfect world, I'd like to see 2012 come in at somewhere between $15 and $20 million – a nice credible growth rate that's not too steep to manage well.
    3 Mar 2012, 05:59 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    How does the very mild US winter figure into those calculations?

     

    I find it hard to believe that AXPW is a low cost leader against the giants of the industry, unless the new equipment that was bought was truly outstanding (which might imply it was expensive.)

     

    If demand dropped significantly, might we be in danger that whoever gave us that contract (East Penn?) along with the "Big Boys" now have enough spare capacity (or inventory build) that the contract might actually have been reduced?

     

    I wonder when the decision was made to buy the new equipment whether the prediction of flooded battery demand was significantly different. Though I will concede that the "hope" is that we would turn those production lines to producing demanded PbC batteries soon ... but as has been said, "Hope is not an investment strategy."

     

    This theory is not to cast doubts on management, as "stuff happens" to even the best planners, but it might have an impact on how long that runway is.
    3 Mar 2012, 09:02 AM Reply Like
  • Mathieu Malecot
    , contributor
    Comments (1284) | Send Message
     
    that is why i was very happy with the financing in spite of the market's reaction. .
    3 Mar 2012, 10:29 AM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3216) | Send Message
     
    wtb--Exide's weather-impacted Q4 was not pretty.
    3 Mar 2012, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4756) | Send Message
     
    Thanks to all contributors to the commentary here, and particularly to Bang, Poul, JP, WTB for sharing their thoughts. Sharing my synthesis of the information and discussion with the collective would take more time than I have at the moment, but some initial reactions can be done quickly.

     

    WTB noted developments at East Penn regarding Ultrabattery and JP noted possible PbC patent issues plus http://bit.ly/yslMEi. I doubt East Penn has proceeded to Ultrabattery production without addressing possible patent incroachment liabilities and that the referenced web page comments, "The UltraBattery technology is being proven initially in the harsh hybrid car environment." If Ultrabattery "is being proven initially in the ... hybrid car envionment" then BMW is not the only auto OEM evaluating hybrid lead-carbon batteries. If Ultrabattery is lower cost to produce than PbC as JP suggests then it seems to me the product is a very serious PbC competitor which can materially constrain PbC adoption through pricing.

     

    Poul's commentary on the difference between capacitors and batteries and the implications of that difference for electrical systems for different purposes was quite helpful. But, the perspective was cast from the standpoint of capacitors versus batteries and the PbC is some of both. TG has been quoted as saying the PbC can be produced in different configurations with emphasis on power or emphasis on energy. To me, a non-engineer, the trade-off between power and energy sounds more than a little important with desired charge acceptance rate apparently constraining energy storage capacity and rate of discharge characteristics.

     

    Poul's thoughts fit well with the perspective of Bang's article. Namely, the task of selling new systems is more difficult and complex than selling new or replacement parts used in established systems. And, the perspective of both is consistent with Jp's and Bang's observation that Axion now has a product to market -- the PowerCube -- which is characterized by Bang as a custom order integrated system. Note, though, that the customized integrated system Bang discusses needs customization beyond specific customer user needs but possible further customization for compliance with State and local building and electrical power regulations.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:06 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    I've consistently argued against the silver bullet technology mindset.

     

    I fully expect intense competition from a variety of corners including AGM, the Ultrabattery, AGM-supercapacitor combinations and even lithium-ion.

     

    In a 39 million vehicle per year market each 5% of market share works out to about $500 million of revenue at an assumed PbC price of $250. We don't need the whole banana for a very successful company. In fact a 5% to 10% market share would make Axion successful beyond my wildest dreams of avarice.

     

    I'll be more than happy with a small but credible piece of the micro-hybrid market – particularly when you throw in additional niches of comparable size for rail transport and grid applications.

     

    In the market that's developing around us the problem won't be finding demand, it will be growing fast enough to meet demand.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (954) | Send Message
     
    "Writing a check separates a commitment from a conversation"....Warren Buffet
    3 Mar 2012, 11:42 PM Reply Like
  • jlyleluce
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
     
    Bangwhiz,
    Thanks for your time and effort on the write-up.
    3 Mar 2012, 07:06 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    OT..fun read & video...new tech solves gas crisis lol
    http://yhoo.it/w03jq2
    3 Mar 2012, 07:31 AM Reply Like
  • Poul Brandt
    , contributor
    Comments (254) | Send Message
     
    Bang and John have several times stated that in cars the PbC cannot be used as just a replacement for a normal lead-acid battery.

     

    Being an engineer (but not a car or battery engineer) I have for some time been considering what the consequences of this difference is, and will now try to describe what I have understood.

     

    The PbC is not a battery in the ordinary sense, it is a capacitor. So what is the difference?

     

    Most everyday batteries (Lead-acid, Alkaline, Li-Ion etc.) have a unique feature in the way they are discharged. The voltage does NOT drop until the battery is almost totally discharged. Fx. a lead-acid car-battery has a voltage when fully charged of approx. 12,6 Volt. When 90% of the energy has been used, the voltage is still around 12 volt. The consequence is that even if the battery in your car is only 10% charged (i.e. 90% discharged) your lights, radio, GPS, engine control, ignition etc. still works without any problem.

     

    The voltage of a capacitor is PROPORTIONAL to the level of charge. Let's say we have a capacitor with a maximum rating of 12 Volt (It could be a PbC or a super capacitor). If this capacitor is 100% charged the voltage is 12 Volt. But if the charge level is 50% the voltage is 6 Volt. If the charge level is 10% (i.e. 90% discharged), the voltage is only 1,2 Volt. At 1,2 Volt absolutely nothing in your car works any more.

     

    I guess the electric components in a car functions down to around 8-10 Volt, although your headlights will be significantly less bright that normally, your air-condition/ventilation will be running at a lower speed etc. You will not be in doubt that something in your car is not normal.

     

    So if you use a 12 Volt PbC (or any other capacitor) as a replacement for your car battery, and you discharge it 25% (i.e. to 75% of full charge), the voltage will have dropped to 9 Volt, and this is probably the maximum you can discharge it before some electric parts in the car starts to malfunction.

     

    This has some important implications.
    1. Only about 25% of the capacity of the capacitor/PbC is actually available for "hotel load" when the engine is stopped.
    2. A voltage of 9 Volt is probably too low to start the engine again, especially on a cold morning.

     

    This must be the background for the solutions found in the Axion Power White Paper, where a combination of a 16 Volt PbC and a small lead-acid starter battery is described http://bit.ly/yKSaVa;I=
    1. By increasing the maximum voltage from 12 to 16 Volt it is possible to use 44% of the capacity of the PbC (If the voltage is allowed to drop from 16 to 9 Volt during hotel load).
    2. A separate starter battery is necessary, so 12 Volt is available for the electric starter (and for the ignition).

     

    However, this solution has a serious side effect. All electric components in a car are today made to function with voltages of 12-15 Volt (When a normal lead acid battery is charged the voltage is approx. 15 volt).
    Using a PbC all the components in the car have to be redesigned for a 9-16 Volt range. Or at least is has to be verified during extensive testing they function in this voltage range.

     

    It is now apparent that in the best case BMW (or GM or..) has to not only test the PbC, but actually ALL OTHER electric components of the car. In the worst case, some of these components have to be redesigned for a new voltage range.

     

    Is clear that before BMW can make a decision to use the PbC an enormous amount of testing has to take place.

     

    Now I am guessing, but this may be the reason that BMW decided to exhibit with Axion Power. BMW wants other car manufacturer to adopt the PbC so they together can convince (i.e. make it economically attractive for) suppliers of electric components to test and redesign for a wider voltage range.

     

    If I was an engineer at BMW I would probably make a 2 step approach. First test and use the PbC and electric components for maybe a 11-16 Volt range. Then gradually in the following years as "wide voltage range" electric components become available/tested increase the voltage range to whatever is possible, maybe 9-16 Volt.

     

    All car manufacturer are faced with the challenges described above. Fortunately it is entirely different when the PbC is used for grid storage (Power Cube) or in locomotives. When the PbC is used in these types of applications, it is only a minor problem that the voltage increases proportional with the charge level of the PbC. These types of applications have to convert the voltage of the batteries to another voltage anyway. So designing for a variable battery voltage is not a significant additional cost. Likewise there is not (much) more testing involved than what is necessary for other types of batteries.

     

    This is what I have picked up so far about the use of PbC in cars. Please feel free to comment and correct.
    3 Mar 2012, 08:59 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    It's unclear whether the smaller starter battery is essential, or a belt and suspenders approach for the automakers. I've seen enough references to a single battery solution that I'm not convinced two batteries are necessary, but I can certainly see how an automaker might think two batteries will improve system reliability. Since several automakers have already gone to dual battery solutions, it's not that big a step.

     

    It's my understanding that stepping down the voltage of the PbC to a number that's optimal for the hotel load is a simple matter of voltage regulation. It would, however, be very expensive to step the voltage up.

     

    When a PbC is operated at an 80% SOC which is very typical for micro-hybrid configurations, the voltage of a 16-volt nameplate unit is pretty-much in the sweet-spot range for the hotel loads. It's also the sweet-spot SOC range where the PbC accepts charge fastest. The whole idea with micro-hybrids is that you want to operate them within a fairly narrow SOC band. By and large automakers couldn't care less whether an owner can run his hotel loads for hours.

     

    There will be no need to retest or redesign any components other than the voltage regulator. BMW exhibited with Axion at the ELBC, not the SAE. They were sending a message to the battery industry, not a plea for help to the auto industry.
    3 Mar 2012, 09:47 AM Reply Like
  • Mathieu Malecot
    , contributor
    Comments (1284) | Send Message
     
    Poul Brandt: instead of changing electronics i think you could use resistors, no? i=v/r
    3 Mar 2012, 10:38 AM Reply Like
  • Poul Brandt
    , contributor
    Comments (254) | Send Message
     
    No resistors would not do.
    I was thinking that users might start using the start/stop function to stop the engine while waiting for someone to show up. Letting the aircondition, light etc on while waiting (hotel load). That would lead to maybe a 10% voltage drop in 6 minuttes, 20% in 12 minuttes etc (60Amp hotel load on a "60Ah battery" if that is how a PbC is measured). That would require the aircondition etc to be able to work at lower voltage levels than normal, and that cannot be fixed with resistors.
    However as John writes, it is not the function of the start/stop system. I do not have a car with start/stop, but I guess the engine starts again automatically after a rather small voltage drop i.e. a few minuttes, in order to not let the voltage drop below a certain point, where the components are damages and/or not tested.
    3 Mar 2012, 11:06 AM Reply Like
  • Poul Brandt
    , contributor
    Comments (254) | Send Message
     
    John
    Thank you for clarifying
    3 Mar 2012, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    Typically micro-hybrid systems restart the engine after 60 to 90 seconds to preclude the kind of catastrophic battery depletion that might occur from a series of 5 minute stand-still events in heavy traffic.
    3 Mar 2012, 11:13 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    Very good post and you probably have a pretty good theory on what has been going on.
    3 Mar 2012, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    March 1 report from the "Altoona Front:"

     

    1. NS 999 is still sitting.

     

    2. An emissions testing shop was just opened within the Juniata Shops.

     

    Have just asked for more details on #2 ... really hoping it's related to NS's cited "EPA testing delays," but I'm not counting on it.
    3 Mar 2012, 09:06 AM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    I have never really understood the EPA delay. Does anyone have a clear explanation what this means? The NS 999 has a plug and therefore produces no emissions locally. Is NS trying to get their co-generation locomotives approved?
    3 Mar 2012, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >wtblanchard ... I would imagine an emissions test shop would be for qualifying their genset locos. I've not heard of the whereabouts of the 3 Green Goats NS owns. Wouldn't it be a hoot to find out that NS was retrofitting one of them with PbC and running comparison testing? It would not be too hard for me to imagine.
    3 Mar 2012, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • Tim Enright
    , contributor
    Comments (1345) | Send Message
     
    "It would not be too hard for me to imagine."

     

    DRich, I think you nailed it. I think NS is very comfortable with co-generation and less comfortable with the plug. However, co-generation by itself will never capture the mega-amps bled off by the braking system. Now if we replaced one (or two) of those gensets with a PC then we have something...
    3 Mar 2012, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    Update:

     

    NS 6903 was one of the first to be tested in it. That's one of the new SD60E rebuilds.

     

    Suggested that they can now develop and test their own emissions kits now instead of relying on EMD and GE.

     

    Haven't figured out what a "kit" is yet, but Google has some suggestions:
    http://bit.ly/ylv8mu

     

    Some random links on locomotive emission testing:

     

    http://bit.ly/Acyru7

     

    http://bit.ly/AmoDxm

     

    http://bit.ly/xOUPkG says
    "Exempted from the emission standards are electric locomotives"

     

    Union Pacific's "environmental" PR list:
    http://bit.ly/zFalOn

     

    They were excited about Gensets in 2008:
    http://bit.ly/xkKefY
    3 Mar 2012, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    BangWhiz: a great article! Thanks for taking the time.

     

    Those of us, like me, who've never done sales, need what you presented, I think, to bolster our patience. Fortunately for me, I've always been long on that. But it sure does help to get a little insight into why it's necessary.

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    3 Mar 2012, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    In August Penn State received $122 million to establish an energy-efficient building technologies hub at the sprawling Philadelphia Navy Yard, which operates an independent electric microgrid as a "virtual municipality."

     

    Eco-Tech
    The Top Cleantech Countries
    William Pentland, 12.06.10, 04:45 PM EST
    Just a handful of nations are leading the way in the development of green energy and environmental technologies.

     

    http://onforb.es/AlEijM
    3 Mar 2012, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    WTB: Good link.

     

    This caught my eye: "Another promising German startup is O-Flexx Technologies, which is developing thermoelectric modules to convert heat in the exhaust from power plants and car and train engines into electricity".

     

    The reason is that decades ago I used to daydream about this exact sort of product, along with many other "off the wall" ideas.

     

    All in an automotive context as I was a hard-core gearhead back then.

     

    HardToLove
    3 Mar 2012, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    Smart Grid Projects

     

    The SGIC smart grid project page archives smart grid projects in the United States. Use the filter below to browse the smart grid projects by project category. Click here to visit our international smart grid projects page. Additional information about the government-funded projects is also available on http://www.smartgrid.gov.

     

    Grid Storage Projects:

     

    http://bit.ly/A03Qel

     

    Check out the East Penn one:
    http://bit.ly/zFj3ia

     

    Project Summary:
    Demonstrate the economic and technical viability of a 3MW grid-scale, advanced energy storage system using the lead-carbon UltraBattery technology to regulate frequency and manage energy demand. This project began operations in 2010 and will entail the construction of a dedicated facility on the East Penn campus in Lyon Station, PA that will be used as a working energy storage demonstration for UltraBattery modules.
    3 Mar 2012, 09:31 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    Oh Lord, more terms to understand:
    Equipment:
    , UltraBatteries™
    , Power Conversion System
    , 15 kV Switchgear
    , 69Kv Bus and Fused Switch
    , Battery Cooling System

     

    More details including timelines:
    http://bit.ly/wFhsHy

     

    Planned to be firing up around now, with yearly reports.

     

    Note they're selling Frequency Regulation Services to PJM as well.
    3 Mar 2012, 10:01 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    This was posted a couple of concentrators back too, my question was and is the "UltraBattery a PbC" or "carbon paste" battery ? Which would tell us IF it is from AXPW or EastPenn.
    3 Mar 2012, 11:50 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    If you draw a horizontal spectrum of lead-acid battery performance (and per unit cost);

     

    Flooded lead-acid is at the far left with the poorest performance
    Flooded lead-acid with past additives is next
    AGM is a 10X improvement over flooded lead-acid
    AGM with carbon paste additives is next
    The Ultrabattery is next
    The PbC is a 10X improvement over AGM and situated the far right.

     

    The Ultrabattery is not technically comparable to the PbC, although it may infringe on the PbC patents. Ecoult is an affiliate of East Penn that was formed to pursue stationary applications. There is a good graphic on their website that shows the differences – http://bit.ly/yslMEi

     

    A conventional lead-acid battery, with or without carbon pastes, is shown by the device on the upper left. The PbC is shown on the upper right. The Ultrabattery is shown in the bottom center.
    3 Mar 2012, 12:22 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >wtblanchard ... This East Penn project time line suggests to me that the powergrid product launch will not be significant until 2014-15 for anyone demonstrating this technology today. It will take that long before a customer can make an informed decision on test data among any of the choices coming into the market. Here's hoping for early adopters.

     

    This puts NS as probable Customer No. 1 some time around year end, BMW or GM sometime in the fall 2013-spring 2014 and grid ... whoever ... mid-to-late 2014+. Every time I see official time data or anecdotal evidence the good things keep being pushed further out than most of the APC seems to think. Thus my "waited to death" worry.
    3 Mar 2012, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1959) | Send Message
     
    Drich,

     

    What is your basis for saying auto is as far out as 2014? You suspect no fleet testing or small model orders by early 2013...this to me seems unduly pessimistic and I am not sure what evidence their is to support it. Testing with BMW will be 48months in fall 2013. I don't now how you don't expect anything 'til 2014.

     

    Grid mid-to-late 2014? Based on what?
    3 Mar 2012, 02:56 PM Reply Like
  • Poul Brandt
    , contributor
    Comments (254) | Send Message
     
    John
    Do you have a link to more technical info about the ultra battery. I am thinking about charge-discharge curves etc. Especially I want to find out if actually works like a capacitor(PbC) in parallel with a lead-acid battery as described on the link you provided. Because if this is the case it is difficult to see how that should improve the lifetime significantly compared to a lead-acid battery. And thus not really be a competitor to the PbC.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:07 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    Having a little trouble figuring out whether East Penn is presenting multiple faces or not w.r..t Gird Storage:

     

    East Penn Manufacturing Co Inc. acquires Ecoult
    07 May 2010
    East Penn Manufacturing Co Inc. acquires Ecoult from CSIRO and Cleantech Ventures.

     

    "Ultrabattery Uses:" http://bit.ly/yYrnID

     

    Note the new (to me) acronym: RAPS - Remote Area Power Supply.

     

    I'm not seeing much about the project I referenced above on their News Page ...

     

    http://bit.ly/swzYby

     

    more about Wind Farms ...

     

    Lots of familiar themes here, but as with many/most? in the field, distressingly low on specifics.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >jakurtz ... From what I can figure automotive road/fleet testing is underway. That perception may vary with what you consider fleet testing might entail. No matter, I'm looking for commercialization and not the continuation of testing & demonstration. If OEMs don't show actionable results by late summer-early fall 2012 then summer-fall 2013 is the next window for Axion to make production.

     

    Grid ... did you not see the link wtblanchard posted immediately above? Grid utility adoption is a glacial movement customer base. Decisions will be made when the data is in to judge the product selection. Once again, I'm looking for commercialization. I get the feeling that most here will be looking toward the exit come the end on the R&D phase of Axion's existence and the stock is 400% higher and what it will take to get there. I'm trying to figure out when $5.00+ will show up. Best guess I can figure at the moment is 2015-17.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1959) | Send Message
     
    Gotcha. Fair enough. Thanks for clarifying your thoughts.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:35 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    There were a couple papers on the Ultrabattery at last fall's Asian battery conference. You can access the slide presentations here

     

    http://bit.ly/sJOi0K

     

    The biggest problem I have with these things is that people tend to pick their own metrics for showing product performance and the presentations are rarely comparable.

     

    While the BMW-Ford micro-hybrid testing protocol has been out there for a year and a half, the only company that's had the stones to show their performance under that standard is Axion.

     

    http://bit.ly/mVBVM4
    http://bit.ly/oIU19K
    3 Mar 2012, 03:46 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >jakurtz ... It may seem macabre, but I'm really curious to see if Axion's business model will work. That can't happen until real customers come out of the test phase and buy product to put to work. If this thing drags out a whole lot longer I'll be worried I won't see it in my lifetime.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:47 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1959) | Send Message
     
    It is OK to be a little pessimistic sometimes. I think about the Stockdale Paradox. Stockdale was the highest ranked Naval officer held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam (I think he was held for eight years or about the same amount of time Axion has held JP as a POW). When asked how he made it through he said, "I never lost faith I would make it in the end." When they asked him who were the prisoners that didn't make it he said, "The optimists." The optimists always believed they would be out this year or by Christmas and they ended up dying of a broken heart each time their optimistic prediction fell flat.

     

    Continued positive progress and a steady ramping of revenue that drags us out of the valley of death is what I believe is ongoing and what matters most at this stage. Ultimately, commercially there will be a place for this battery somewhere, just don't know how much, when and if I can tough it all out, but I am hanging for now based on the ongoing survival.
    3 Mar 2012, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    I suspect that the project that your interested in has just been completed or possibly still under construction. Not much to report yet on it.
    Go easy on Dr. Rich, he is not pessimistic but that time frame for mass commercialization is what every article refers to..2015-2025. Auto makers have plenty of time and can already meet cafe standards in most cases and are being very diligent in adopting new tech.
    He is also correct whether we want to face it or not, on commercialization vs. testing....someone has to come out and buy the technology at some point....This process is moving forward, but at a very slow pace, and as has been mentioned here a thousand times there are new markets and applications discovered every week.
    As to NS, just as you guys fuss at us for being more conservative and having a longer time line than most, we missed the 4th qtr. sale and there is no evidence yet of the 999 being fitted, and I suspect the new emissions lab is for testing the new bio-fuel and the gen-sets. What else could make us think that we have a mass order before the EPA signs off???
    We will have some sales I am sure, there is just too much going on not to. But the big deals could be 12-18 months out. That is more my time frame looking for major orders. If we just do JP's $20m in revenue this year I will be utterly thrilled. Build a time line, $20m in 2012, $40-50m in 2013, $100m ++++ in 2014....
    3 Mar 2012, 04:57 PM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    I have to reiterate from Tim's earlier post, what exactly is it that the EPA has to do with the NS 999 and the PbC? Am I misdirected in my understanding that the NS 999 would have no emissions?

     

    WT's earlier post listed this link ( http://bit.ly/xOUPkG ) which states that "..Exempted from the emission standards are electric locomotives, ...".
    4 Mar 2012, 12:05 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    Eggwis....I can't get technical with it, but NS is under extreme pressure too reduce emissions .... especially in the yards. It was in an article in past concentrators and on TG's cc in 4th qtr. that the EPA had to sign off. It could be on the PbC recycling, could be the entire NS plan to reduce emissions...who knows. It's just slow. A big part of NS budget for '12 was in reducing fuel costs i.e. new biofuel & the new gen-set loco's...less fuel=lower emissions.
    4 Mar 2012, 04:10 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    NS EPA is a mystery to all, I think something happens with PbC because in Oct. '11 their engineer had a power point that really stated that nothing compared with the PbC in their tests.
    I think they move forward with PbC, but nothing else has been said that is concrete. I expect that will be answered better in the Mar. cc, otherwise all of us are just guessing.
    4 Mar 2012, 04:19 AM Reply Like
  • Poul Brandt
    , contributor
    Comments (254) | Send Message
     
    The presentation by Jun Furukawa, The Furukawa Battery Co. was clear.
    From his conclusion:
    3) Under the very strict driving test conditions in the idling start /
    stop taxi, the UltraBattery achieves more than 1.5 times longer
    life compared with improved battery. They obtain approximately double the life time of improved batteries.

     

    Slide 30:
    The life of the ultrabattery used in a taxi-driving-test was 18 months, compared to 10 months for an improved battery.

     

    The PbC still has the upper hand.
    4 Mar 2012, 08:34 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    It's always better when readers like you who know their business find the answers themselves instead of relying on my thoughts. I'm very happy that you took the time to question, study the available data and reach the same conclusions I would have summarized.

     

    This is one of those times when your thoughts and opinions are far more valuable than mine.
    4 Mar 2012, 08:53 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    Poul B.:
    I have really enjoyed your input and questions.
    4 Mar 2012, 09:05 AM Reply Like
  • carlosgaviria
    , contributor
    Comments (791) | Send Message
     
    Poul B.:
    Let me write better:
    I have really enjoyed your contributions and questions.
    4 Mar 2012, 09:08 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1959) | Send Message
     
    Fantastic write-up Bang. One of the best I have seen and displays the firm grasp you have on the nature and stage of the company, excellent!
    3 Mar 2012, 09:50 AM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1959) | Send Message
     
    I noticed last week that all small caps on my watch list were getting hammered...I guess it was not a figment of my imagination.

     

    http://bit.ly/zm2gO5
    3 Mar 2012, 10:39 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    I think there's a lot of fear that the Iran situation gets out of "control" and oil prices spike leading to a recession. Given the run we've had, taking profits makes a lot of sense.

     

    Gary Kaminsky on CNBC talks a lot about investor mangers and their relative performance in any given year and whether there are a lot under performing and thus likely to "push the envelope." Given how good the market has been already, I suspect many are feeling pretty good about where they are, and even this early in the year might push hard to preserve their gains. Maybe "Sell in May and Go Away" comes even earlier this year.

     

    Always to your advantage to think about the psychology of the "big boys."
    4 Mar 2012, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • superwedgie
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    Regarding John's appraisal a little while ago .

     

    I completely concur with the assessment should things have gone the way we wanted them to.
    My question would be (assuming the battery does exactly what we think it can do) when might we see the first OEM order, and in your opinion would it put into play a series of events allowing the same kind of movement, or would it simply now start moving up very swiftly, as the commercialization would have been proven ?

     

    My hope is good news prior to Q2 2013 or is that out of whack ?

     

    " John Petersen January 6 at 5:32am Ah yes, the question of the ages. What is the stock worth?
    I don't know is the easy and straightforward answer.
    In my experience big illiquid private placements go off at 1/2 of the anticipated stabilized market price for market sized blocks of freely transferable stock. That tells me the 2009 placement at $0.57 should have put a rock solid $1.20 floor under the stock. We had one for about four months in early 2010 and then all hell broke loose because a couple big holders were pushing and shoving around the pay window.
    With a base of $1.20, a relationship the size of Norfolk Southern should have been enough for a 50% bump into the $1.80 range. They chose Axion where Enersys had failed and to the best of my knowledge Axion's the only battery company active in the railroad space.
    With a base of $1.80, the joint presentation with BMW in Istanbul should have been worth another 50% to 100% because first tier automakers never wrap their arms around a technology before there's even a product.
    Now factor in GM, PJM, Viridity and Rosewater and take a haircut for the fact that additional financing will be needed. The number is still north of $3 but I'd be reluctant to guess how far north."
    3 Mar 2012, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    Why the double post?

     

    HardToLove
    3 Mar 2012, 12:12 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    An old broker friend of mine is fond of observing that stocks have three values – overvalued, undervalued and fairly valued – but they only see fairly valued during a brief moment in time when they're making the transition from one extreme to the other.

     

    While it's a decidedly minority view, I've come to believe that supply and demand dynamics are far more important than business events when it comes to stock price. They're also far less predictable.

     

    Axion has had some very major events over the last two years including the June 2010 announcement of a relationship with NS, the September 2010 release of BMW testing information and the November 2011 deployment of the first behind the meter frequency regulation resource in the country. Trying to tie stock price performance to those clearly identifiable important events is tough.

     

    Over the last two years there have been far too many willing sellers at low prices. Most of the buying has come from the Axionistas who generally have higher expectations. When the last of the willing sellers runs out of stock, the expectations of the Axionistas will become the dominant market force. Until then we wait. Try as I might I have never been able to identify the inflection points in anything but my rear-view mirror.

     

    http://bit.ly/uzNPG2

     

    http://bit.ly/xHrjyl

     

    The choices are simple. Buy while prices are at or near stable bottoms and wait patiently for the inflection points or chase the price at your leisure.
    3 Mar 2012, 12:27 PM Reply Like
  • superwedgie
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    Good point !

     

    I think sometimes I forget how much downward pressure has been put on this stock by the big sellers, definitely ruined our potential to be in the $2-$3 range.

     

    I don't see Blackrock selling, looks like SS is done, and hopefully soon to be followed by Quercus.

     

    I have filled my boots, and am not worried about buying more, whatever the price.
    I have been a holder for a long time, and do not intend to exit anything short of $2, because I don't know when , but believe we will get there sooner than later.
    However, as you say there is a chance if we don't get hammered by big sellers looking for any kind of exit point.

     

    My take, is any date prior to Dec 21st 2012 ! If the world does go into turmoil at that time, then we will need energy storage more than ever, and will hit a home run with the Powercube !
    3 Mar 2012, 12:45 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    I'm tend to think that the universe of possible *big sellers* is very small and includes only Black Rock and Manatuck Hill, who have 6 to 7 million shares each.

     

    Quercus was huge when it had 8.5 million shares and 2010 trading volume was 22 million shares. Now that Quercus' holdings are in the 2.5 million share range and 2011 trading volume was 77.7 million shares, Quercus is little more than a speed bump.

     

    In the 2009 private placement, Emerging Growth Equities and Philadelphia Brokerage sold 14.4 million shares to 46 client accounts. There were a couple of million share plus investors, but most bought smaller blocks. The average for the 46 smaller buyers was in the 350,000 share range. See page 54.

     

    http://1.usa.gov/rpxxK9

     

    If the recent registered direct offering had a similar distribution pattern, there won't be any new big holders to worry about.

     

    My fun fact for the day is that total trading volume in 2010 was 22,016,900 shares while total YTD trading volume this year is 21,592,400 shares.

     

    Ownership numbers that were huge last year just don't seem so big any more.
    3 Mar 2012, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    Seeing the offering price of $1.37 and current prices where they are, I wonder if, in aggregate, we've got lots of those smaller holders deciding to cut their losses.

     

    ISTM that quite a few of them would be considering that and might be the source of the selling pressure we're seeing.

     

    It might even be a continuation of what we saw in Nov/Dec when it appeared that much more selling beyond SS was occurring. I thought it might be tax-loss at the time, but I can see the potential for a lot just from what's shown on page 54.

     

    Can't see 21M in there though.

     

    HardToLove
    3 Mar 2012, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1959) | Send Message
     
    I think the takeaway is that unless they all act in unison the damage that can be done is limited and for a much shorter duration.

     

    Because we are so intimate with Axion Power we are using a microscope to look into every nook and cranny of every buy/sell order and I am not sure it is helping us much. In the big picture, like any other stock, it is just the mere ebb and flow of regular market activity some retailer and some institutional making individual decisions based on near term circumstances and events and which way the wind is blowing.

     

    Axion behaved similarly to most small caps this past week, including its cousin that it seems to mimic at times ZBB, even Aone and ACPW had similar performance albeit slightly worse I believe.
    3 Mar 2012, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    The 2009 offering was sold to investors at $0.57. The $1.37 shown in the registration statement was the market price when the registration went effective. My theory of selling activity over the last two years is that the dueling liquidators drove the price down into the $.60s in April and May and that scared the smaller investors enough that they were willing to take their cash off the table through most of 2010. Given what we know about the source of shares in 2011, I have to believe the smaller investors from 2009 sold somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 of their positions by the end of last year.
    3 Mar 2012, 02:07 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3216) | Send Message
     
    If the sellers are Emerging Growth Equities and Philadelphia Brokerage clients, that can be a much better thing than if they're not. Those firms just helped pursuade some clients to invest at 35 cents. That optimism may help mitigate the selling investors' selling.
    3 Mar 2012, 07:47 PM Reply Like
  • thotdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (1956) | Send Message
     
    How would we know if BMW or NS terminated their research in a way that would negative for AXPW?
    3 Mar 2012, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • jlyleluce
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
     
    thotdoc,
    There is a conference call in March which should shed some light on your questions. Link to questions being generated.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    On another note, in looking at your profile, would be interested in your professional opinion on the troll(s) on the concentrator. Just kidding, although it would be interesting.
    3 Mar 2012, 05:32 PM Reply Like
  • thotdoc
    , contributor
    Comments (1956) | Send Message
     
    Thank you.
    4 Mar 2012, 10:32 AM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    Only partly in jest, I would be more interested in his thoughts about the rest of us. Desiring his thoughts on the troll may be nothing but a search for confirmation of conclusions we've already reached. :-))

     

    Being a life-long motorcycle rider, I'm sure there are some interesting tidbits about defects I may have, not the least of which may be lack of sufficient risk aversion! :-))

     

    However, having reached the age of retirement intact, it may say something about risk-mitigation too (I heard the term "defensive driving" after my second accident at age 21 and adopted it immediately). It helped a *lot*.

     

    N.B. I had started wearing seat belts at all times at the age of 18 when I turned to my best fried and said "Ya' know, the way we hot-rod, it's stupid not to wear our seat belts".

     

    Two miracles at once: a teenager thought of that and my friend agreed. AFAIK, we both wore them ever since.

     

    This was long before such laws.

     

    HardToLove
    4 Mar 2012, 10:42 AM Reply Like
  • jlyleluce
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
     
    Regarding 200,000 shares @ .3712 at 15:57:05 yesterday:
    Whenever I have purchased shares (will use 10,000 shares as an example) two 10,000 share transactions will appear in the level II data, at the same price, or a 10,000 share transaction and several transactions that follow that add up to 10,000 shares all at same price. I've always assumed that one transaction is the buy and the other(s) the sell.
    With yesterday's 200,000 share transaction. there didn't appear another 200,000 transaction at the same price. Could this have been some type of simultaneous transaction of 100,000 shares?
    3 Mar 2012, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    It's more likely that a holder put in a sell order for 200,000 shares on an all or none basis. Based on that order, the Market Maker shorted those shares into the market over several days before covering his short by purchasing the shares from the holder. Market Makers do buy long and sell short every day, but they rarely do either to a significant extent unless they already have the other side of their trade locked in place. Market makers work on the spread – they don't speculate on price action.
    3 Mar 2012, 03:51 PM Reply Like
  • jlyleluce
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
     
    thanks. Would this be a reason for the MM to attempt to prop up price, to short at a higher price, and then let price fall to cover at a lower price? Or would this be frowned upon by the regulatory authorities?
    3 Mar 2012, 04:17 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    My guess is that the order the market maker got was 200,000 shares at $0.37. If the market maker was able to make a bigger spread by nudging the price for some of those shares up to $0.40 or $0.41, it's merely good business. Market makers are not risk takers. They want to buy wholesale for $0.37 and sell retail for $0.38, $0.39 or $0.40. When somebody wants to sell them a big block, they'll always short all or substantially all of the shares into the market before making the offsetting buy.
    3 Mar 2012, 04:26 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    Let's not forget the possible "back channel" for these sorts of trades are also possible, cutting the market-maker out of the deal.

     

    Inter and intra-broker negotiated trades.

     

    This *seems* more likely since the short sales for the recent period seem marginal. Through 2/23-3/2:

     

    51699+
    00500+
    16300+
    55339+
    44000+
    00400+
    59250+
    ----------
    227,488

     

    I don't know, but based on what I've learned from you about MMs being averse to out of a neutral position for extended periods, one of those "back channel" deals seems more likely?

     

    MHO,
    HardToLove
    3 Mar 2012, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • jlyleluce
    , contributor
    Comments (247) | Send Message
     
    thanks htl, I was thinking about your low number of short sales info when contemplating this trade.
    3 Mar 2012, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    JLL: I checked time & sales for 2/29 when I picked up my recent trading blocks at $0.39. Don't see a second xact for each. After my second buy, 14:16, the total for the rest of the day would *barely* cover my block and would have been at higher prices, except for two trades of 11K @ $0.388.

     

    I suspect this may be an irregular symptom dependent on conditions: inter or intra-broker, market-maker and is he long or short at the moment, ...

     

    The first block did have a similar sized block occur ~30 minutes later, but at a higher price.

     

    I'm just speculating on it as we'll never likely know for sure for any given trade until after the fact.

     

    HardToLove
    3 Mar 2012, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    On the other hand, couldn't the seller pull the order after for example if it didn't fill the first day? If so, it still seems that the MM is taking some risk.
    3 Mar 2012, 11:14 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    There are a number of mechanisms market makers can and do use regularly to protect themselves from risk in situations like those. Market makers may well be the most risk averse players on the planet and they almost never get caught with their pants down.
    3 Mar 2012, 11:38 PM Reply Like
  • D-inv
    , contributor
    Comments (4756) | Send Message
     
    http://tinyurl.com/6vs...
    "Controlled Power Technologies and Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium to unveil LC Super Hybrid at Geneva show; low-cost “micro-mild” demonstrator"

     

    "The carbon-enhanced lead–acid battery design (supplied by Exide Technologies) helps to maximize energy recuperation (regenerative braking) during deceleration, supporting SpeedStart’s potential for high power generation, torque smoothing and electrical energy recovery. "
    3 Mar 2012, 09:02 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >D-inv ... As production ready as this may be, I'd bet that an OEM would put it through roughly the same test regime as Axion's PbC has been doing for 3 years now. Maybe Ford, Tata or the like might have a little faster "Fast Track" for lower end models than that exhibited by BMW but I'd think the first model year of use couldn't be any sooner than 2015-2017.
    3 Mar 2012, 09:19 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » DRich: How do you explain TG stating on November 28 that BMW is "fast tracking" the PbC? His comment curled into also talking about how share holders may not see BMW fast tracking, but, in fact, BMW is.

     

    Having twice listened to TG in person, in New Castle, my gut tells me your guess of 2015-2017 is about two years late.

     

    Both of us are guessing. I'm not in any way saying my guess is better than yours, but having been there, having heard conviction in TG's voice, for sure my guess is more informed, even if only innately.

     

    3 Mar 2012, 09:28 PM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >Mayascribe ... I'm not going to quibble about the definition of "Fast Track". It could mean different things to you, me or TG and most likely would mean different things to Tata motors intending to put it into a Nano than it does to BMW intending to put it into a 750 Series.

     

    Truth is the term sounds good but I've no idea what it means. My point is that D-inv's link states "production ready", and that may be, but there will be no adoption until testing is done and evaluated. This is not, more than likely, going to happen in the next 10-12 months. Well, that could be wrong. There may be an OEM that is willing to roll the dice or a government that is in so much of a hurry as to back the warranty with tax dollar. Either way, failure would be a big black market on the manufacturer of car & battery.
    3 Mar 2012, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » DRich: Gently, I will raise back to you that within the next 10-12 months we will see/hear that BMW is going to use "our" battery, or not.

     

    I love your comments. But I'm not sure sometimes where you are coming from. The patina you hold sometimes seems a little mixed up, message-wise.

     

    You in? Or, not in?

     

    Fast tracking, is fast tracking. This means BMW is fast tracking the PbC. Doesn't matter to me whether it's this year or next. But it will not be 2015, or 2017, before we have an answer.

     

    2015 is not fast tracking, given how long BMW has been testing the PbC for stop/start.
    4 Mar 2012, 12:34 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    Getting the auto industry's attention is extremely difficult. When ideas fail to get traction with the automakers, the only remaining option is to build a technology demonstrator and take it to a high profile auto show in the hope that it will somehow draw the industry attention you haven't been able to attract through traditional marketing channels.

     

    Some years ago Axion was ready to go down the demonstrator path with a pick-up conversion and a couple of Honda Insight retrofits. When BMW and the other automakers found their way to New Castle the DIY demonstrators became irrelevant.
    4 Mar 2012, 01:22 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3648) | Send Message
     
    Maya, respectfully I think DRich 2015 comment only refer to a $5 stock price.
    http://bit.ly/zSCXBP At least that's how it reads to me.

     

    Heck, considering at $5 we have a 400M market cap, I'd be ok with that 3 years from now =)

     

    As for BMW orders 2013 seems to be a shared consensus by most (if some how that means model year and not calendar year all the better; either way it doesn't seem too far off to me).
    4 Mar 2012, 03:24 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >Mayascribe ... I'm not a good communicator or salesman. A reason I enjoy the near binary world of engineering. I have a hard time hanging my hat on something as vague as the term "fast track". What does that mean? What is normal? Best "guess" for normal put forward has been +/- 36 months and that would be for tweaks to systems that engineering is already basically familiar with; a new metallurgical formulation for gears, a new oil formulation, a new "rubber" material for wipers ... something that has an analogue. I've no doubt BMW is progressing as quickly as possible. Start/stop and Axion don't fit normal. So, I'm sorry I don't take comfort from the use of the term.

     

    Am I in or out? I guess that is a fair question. Since buying in the fall of 2007 I've seen Axion as the best solution and don't see any reason to get out or give up. Though that advantage I saw faces a lot more headwind with each passing year. I admit I'm looking for Axion design wins and production (quantifiable information) and not black-box testing or encouraging words. As necessary as testing is, I don't know anything more than it is happening. Long is good, too long is not, but I can live with it ... sort of ... for now. I want to see Customer No. 1 & I want the business model confirmed.

     

    So excuse me for getting all anxious, worried, impatient, gloomy or whatever it is I am. I have my concerns and I'll stated them as concisely as I can. This CPT/Exide "production ready" announcement faces the same road that Axion is on. No matter how ready it is. Yet, it is possible the track to market to be faster than Axion has had. There are a lot of big players coming into this auto S/S market and railroad solutions with established customer base. Government money is growing in the storage segment for research and with it the raised hopes & anticipation of fast, geometric progress among those that don't relate to the length of time required ... like investors & management. Regulatory compliance is fast approaching. A stampede might happen and without a product in the market being used by a customer, the best solution, Axion's PbC, might get mauled by the good enough from JCI, Exide or others. That will be grant time to those expecting rapid developments and the lag time of lab to market will just wait Axion to death & leave it in the dust. Meanwhile the deep pocketed majors can stall & sell what they can improve in-house. That doesn't mean Axion will disappear but the dream of becoming a commodity product withers and New Castle production is all that ever happens for years.

     

    So, whatever "Fast Track" means we're still burnin' daylight here. The price action in the stock would support the perception that venture investors have come to the determination that Axion's day has come & gone. We here may have information or educated guesses that this is a wrong perception but this is a game of follow the money even as the engineer in me says follow the best solution. Sometimes the best is not good enough. In sports parlance, the Major League has started spring training for the 2014 season while the front office is scouting for 2015. Our team may have Mantle, Mays, Ruth & Hunter but we haven't found the practice field.

     

    Sorry if I offend. Don't really mean to. It's just a reaction to the lack of information, dwindling time & growing PR.
    4 Mar 2012, 02:35 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1959) | Send Message
     
    Drich and others with anxiety in regards to ongoing testing and test results...

     

    On the last 3rd Quarter report Granville said, "The *SUCCESS* of this testing (with NS) is allowing us to expand the locomotive application to include *OTHER* locomotive end users and locomotive integrators."

     

    He also said, "Expanding potential customer base also applies to the emerging hybrid vehicle market. We have met with *NEW* OEM’s that are, or soon will be, producing vehicles incorporating stop/start technology."

     

    As well as saying, "Our long-standing collaboration with both European and US manufacturers continues as we *SHARE INFORMATION AND RESULTS FROM BOTH BENCH AND VEHICLE TESTING*."

     

    *SUCCESS*
    *NEW* (OEM's)
    *OTHER LOCOMOTIVES* AND
    *SHARING TEST RESULTS FROM BOTH BENCH AND VEHICLE TESTING*

     

    These words and phrases should calm most peoples nerves who are worried manufacturers are secretly terminating PbC testing or will all reject it at the same time, since many of the new OEM's that have initiated testing have done so based on the very testing many people here are fretting over.

     

    Here is the whole thing...
    From last 10-Q:
    "Norfolk Southern (“NS”) has accepted delivery of large strings of PbC batteries to further their platform testing. These batteries are now installed in the NS platform facility and are under test. We are performing duplicate testing in New Castle, as well as comparison testing with other battery technology. As part of our agreement with NS, Penn State University is also performing string testing on our PbC batteries. To date the data from all battery system testing confirms PbC batteries are performing as anticipated. The success of this testing is allowing us to expand the locomotive application to include other locomotive end users and locomotive integrators.

     

    Expanding potential customer base also applies to the emerging hybrid vehicle market. We have met with new OEM’s that are, or soon will be, producing vehicles incorporating stop/start technology. The OEM’s interest has been fueled by our recent White Paper that highlights the
    importance of “charge acceptance” in battery products designed for these markets. It also provides empirical evidence on the deficiencies of existing products currently used in these markets.

     

    Our long-standing collaboration with both European and US manufacturers continues as we share information and results from both bench and vehicle testing."
    4 Mar 2012, 03:23 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    TECHNOLOGY/BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Advanced Carbon Aerogels for Energy Applications
    Solicitation Number: FBO249-12

     

    http://bit.ly/xvZkVb

     

    Potential Applications:

     

    •· Energy storage in batteries and supercapacitors are an ideal use of carbon aerogels. Tunable porosities can be used to minimize diffusion resistance while maintaining constant surface area.

     

    •o CAs can boost supercapacitors, with values to thousands of farads based on a capacitance of 104 F/g and 77 F/cm3.

     

    •o Batteries can use CAs as current collectors or scaffolds for 3D intercalaters.

     

    ...
    3 Mar 2012, 11:39 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3216) | Send Message
     
    Yet more carbon cathode R&D that Axion didn't have to spend. Nice!
    4 Mar 2012, 08:37 PM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    NSC was also pursuing a Genset front in late 2011:

     

    http://bit.ly/x1mlao

     

    http://bit.ly/AoUFGK

     

    They seem to have a significant relationship, thought it's hard (for me) to tell who they're building them for.

     

    RJ Corman bought the assets (but not the liabilities) of the RailPower Corp on June 18, 2009

     

    For example on AltoonaWorks Facebook page:
    New Railpower gensets UPY 889 and 890 have been completed at the Juniata Shops. UP class RP20SD. (2/15)

     

    Note that National Railway Equipment is a genset competitor:
    http://bit.ly/AhC9Ru

     

    See http://bit.ly/AbTm5y and
    http://bit.ly/yXXmxq
    4 Mar 2012, 12:17 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >wtblanchard ... I'm not sure how many gensets NSC has on contract but they are buying quite a few with those new Cat engines. Altoona will build & repair for any road. To give you a feel for how popular they are I'm attaching a roster. It's a bit dated and probably only gets us into 2010 or 2011 with orders.

     

    http://bit.ly/zb68vy

     

    It's late and I'm not too ambitious but I'll see if I can find the latest build roster tomorrow if your interested.
    4 Mar 2012, 12:53 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    I'm interested!

     

    Just as we talk about the need to understand continuing ICE improvements w.r.t. EV sales potentials, I think we need to similarly understand the economics and "uptake" of Gensets.

     

    Big players like GE are not just going to roll over and surrender their market.

     

    I wonder if there's something similar to "range anxiety" in the locomotive world?

     

    I think we do "know" that NSC's "failure" with the original NS 999 is a psychological hurdle to overcome to sell "the industry" on the concept of Battery based locomotives.
    4 Mar 2012, 11:52 AM Reply Like
  • amishelvis
    , contributor
    Comments (143) | Send Message
     
    >>>"The carbon-enhanced lead–acid battery design (supplied by Exide Technologies) helps to maximize energy recuperation (regenerative braking) during deceleration, supporting SpeedStart’s potential for high power generation, torque smoothing and electrical energy recovery. " <<

     

    Are we all just assuming this is just the carbon paste, ? Could it be Axions neg-electrodes? TG did say they were still working on projects together. w/ (Exide).
    Then again , it wouldnt surprise me to see Exide overstep a patented area, and try to drag out/win in court.
    4 Mar 2012, 01:40 PM Reply Like
  • H. T. Love
    , contributor
    Comments (19343) | Send Message
     
    Amish: the reported gains in longevity don't seem to match up with what we've seen in the PbC. So I strongly suspect it's not Axion's stuff.

     

    HardToLove
    4 Mar 2012, 02:03 PM Reply Like
  • jakurtz
    , contributor
    Comments (1959) | Send Message
     
    One thing to remember is that generic Stop/Start and system-wide fuel efficiency "packages" will be two different beasts requiring different performance characteristics out of its components. Most likely some flavor or form of an enhanced AGM battery will get the lion's share of the generic single-battery and rudimentary two battery systems over the next couple years as S/S is implemented on an enormous scale but somewhat generic platform. I expect systems that demand more robust performance like BMW's Efficient Dynamics for its 5 and 7 Series models (maybe its 3 series) and GM's e-Assist to be built around more advanced yet still cost efficient batteries like the PbC.
    4 Mar 2012, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    Since I have a press pass to the Geneva Motor Show and will be going over on Tuesday or Wednesday, I'll see what I can do about getting a definitive answer.
    4 Mar 2012, 01:53 PM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    Nice JP! It must be good being you! :-) Stop by and visit Tesla if you have time. I'd be interested to see what they have to say about "the bricks" and what their policy is going to be with regard to resolving that problem.
    4 Mar 2012, 05:39 PM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    Look forward to whatever info and photos you can share from the show.

     

    Will you be able to meet with acquaintances in the industry and obtain inside thoughts on the future of S/S or do they not attend this event?
    4 Mar 2012, 05:45 PM Reply Like
  • Mr Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (3216) | Send Message
     
    JP--Terrific. Thanks!

     

    And BMW info, etc., etc., etc. ;^)
    4 Mar 2012, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    These things are not usually good meet and greet opportunities, but you do get to see it all.
    5 Mar 2012, 01:06 AM Reply Like
  • bazooooka
    , contributor
    Comments (3648) | Send Message
     
    The Tesla booth will be easy to find since they'll have tons of goof balls loitering and/or trying to get a job while being noticed by the Cararazzi.

     

    I'm glad Axion didn't attract guys like this below. I'm sure Vani applied in a more subtle but well received way. =)

     

    http://bit.ly/zsFZgh
    5 Mar 2012, 02:08 AM Reply Like
  • magounsq
    , contributor
    Comments (954) | Send Message
     
    Gee....anyone see this coming?...anyone?
    Chevrolet's Volt Sales Running Low, GM Idles the Line
    http://bit.ly/wq5ZnN

     

    In obvious jest!
    4 Mar 2012, 09:00 PM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Mag: Enjoying your facitiousness. Yep, I think we all did.

     

    All those US taxpayer sponsored Superbowl "Dolt" commercials really did their job. <laughing out loud whilst shaking my head in disgust>
    4 Mar 2012, 09:11 PM Reply Like
  • briancav
    , contributor
    Comments (8) | Send Message
     
    Hey Axionville - I refer to this often. Nothing new, but helpful :

     

    http://bit.ly/xQVkOh
    4 Mar 2012, 09:53 PM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    Great link! Thanks Brian!
    5 Mar 2012, 01:32 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Ditto, egg.

     

    Great link, briancav. Those colored numbers...on the right side of an uploaded page...I would love to have explained.

     

    Can't wait for WDD's and bang's response. The numbers...the tracking

     

    Welcome to the Axion Power Concentrators, briancav.
    5 Mar 2012, 01:53 AM Reply Like
  • WDD
    , contributor
    Comments (60) | Send Message
     
    Thanks briancav! Good find.

     

    A quick perusal seems to show only edits by user "Kirktierney", with the most recent edit dating to May of last year. I presume that this is "our" Kirk Tierney, although that is not guaranteed until he confirms it (as someone else could create that user name on the wiki). It looks like a (possibly suspended) labor of love that hasn't yet formally debuted.

     

    I followed a few of the links--good stuff. And I love the color coding system--I've not seen that before. I'll be borrowing that scheme sometime in the future. True to its "reading room" title, it is a trove of articles and studies. It seems more similar in nature to Bang's APSG site than to the APWiki (which is more oriented to topics than to publications). If user "Kirktierney" has indeed suspended development, perhaps the info should be folded into the APSG. Or it might be nice to yoke the three sites with brief descriptions and conspicuous links.
    7 Mar 2012, 04:33 PM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    I'd forgotten that Kirk was working on that reading room last year. I'm sure he would't mind a bit if Bang integrated his information.
    8 Mar 2012, 12:25 AM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    A couple of battery / EV articles from CNBC. If they were already posted and I missed them, please accept my apologies.

     

    http://bit.ly/A6ZHOh

     

    http://bit.ly/yWgM93
    5 Mar 2012, 02:24 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    BASF’s Nachtigal Seeks China Startups for Investment Arm (they are also opening one in the USA...

     

    "BASF may also invest in some of the other startup companies that gave presentations, said Nachtigal, declining to give names. The unit is seeking investments in products surrounding energy management such as battery materials, storage capacity and photo-voltaic as well as wind energy, he said."
    http://bloom.bg/z1EyLl
    5 Mar 2012, 05:03 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    OT..Hyundai going for fuel cells...This article is mostly about Hyundai and it's family's rise to power....but has a couple of paragraphs listed below on their fuel cell development:

     

    "At the Namyang research center 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Seoul, Hyundai is looking toward a future of luxury models and green technologies. Some 250 engineers dedicated to fuel cells hold hundreds of patents on the battery-like devices that combine hydrogen and oxygen to make electricity that will power cars and leave behind only heat and water."

     

    "By the time Eui Sun takes over, Chung may have completed a 100-story chaebol headquarters he’s planning along the Han River. Hyundai may have gained recognition as a leader in fuel- cell technology for the 21st century."
    http://bloom.bg/z9xxaW
    5 Mar 2012, 05:27 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    Xtreme Sales to Double for Third Year on Growing Battery Demand
    http://bloom.bg/A2lQAe

     

    Xtreme Power Inc., a closely held maker of power-storage systems, expects sales to double for a third consecutive year on strong demand for batteries that can retain electricity for the grid, its new chief executive officer said.
    Revenue for the Kyle, Texas-based company will exceed $60 million this year, up from about $30 million last year and $15 million in 2010, CEO Alan Gotcher said in an interview yesterday.
    5 Mar 2012, 05:30 AM Reply Like
  • wtblanchard
    , contributor
    Comments (2410) | Send Message
     
    "Xtreme will have positive cash flow in 2013. Gotcher is considering an initial public offering and would be receptive to a takeover bid. Xtreme is “totally open” to finding a strategic investor, he said."

     

    So, does that sound a company totally sure of it's prospects?

     

    On the other hand, Stefan Moroney posted in APC 74 a link
    http://bit.ly/A79vvZ
    to Princeton Power's inverters, and one of their customers is http://bit.ly/xQVzT8
    "an OM Group" company.

     

    Look familiar? http://bit.ly/x0yjJa

     

    So much opportunity, so much competition.

     

    Have we had a real discussion here about the pros and cons of AXPW staying independent?
    6 Mar 2012, 10:34 AM Reply Like
  • DRich
    , contributor
    Comments (4819) | Send Message
     
    >wtblanchard ... No, there has never been a real discussion. There is really no reason for anyone to be interested in Axion as a buyout until it proves itself or fails. The core owners are the people running it and I've never gotten the impression they were even remotely interested in doing anything but proving the technology's worth and developing the business plan. Without a known customer base, a buyout now probably wouldn't do much more than allow for a breakeven, if that, on their original investment. I'd bet they would look at that as defeat. I don't think that is an option.
    6 Mar 2012, 10:51 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    10Q: How AES Captures and Stores the Wind
    http://bloom.bg/yt3LsN

     

    AES uses AONE
    http://bloom.bg/wC8rQf
    5 Mar 2012, 05:34 AM Reply Like
  • John Petersen
    , contributor
    Comments (30620) | Send Message
     
    This presentation from Dr. Sadoway of MIT, the lead developer of the emerging liquid metal battery technology we're been reading about in the popular press, offers a far more rational view of what can be done with grid storage using various types of batteries.

     

    http://bit.ly/y02hPg

     

    There is very little in Dr. Sadoway's presentation that I'd disagree with.
    5 Mar 2012, 06:21 AM Reply Like
  • Futurist
    , contributor
    Comments (2109) | Send Message
     
    Excellent presentation.
    I understand little of the science, but the economics are quite clear.

     

    Nothing exists today that is cheap enough to use in the grid.
    PbC is still in the running for many applications now and in the future.

     

    Please do not respond to the troll below. Simply hit the abuse button each time he posts.
    5 Mar 2012, 09:42 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    California ARB to award $1M for locomotive advanced technology demonstration project (to bad it's California only companies)
    http://bit.ly/wxxMQh

     

    "Locomotives as a source category are ranked 6th for the levels of contribution to California NOx emissions. NOx emissions are important because of their role in the formation of ozone and secondary PM. Ozone and PM contribute to significant respiratory and public health problems."
    5 Mar 2012, 07:39 AM Reply Like
  • eggwis
    , contributor
    Comments (756) | Send Message
     
    Now there's a bit of genius! A bankrupt state handing out $1mil bills. Gotta love that!
    6 Mar 2012, 03:01 AM Reply Like
  • LT
    , contributor
    Comments (5783) | Send Message
     
    Advise to go here and read....tons of new info on Clean Energy posted in the last 3-5 days. Too much to paste here.
    http://bit.ly/zcveTs
    5 Mar 2012, 07:43 AM Reply Like
  • Mayascribe
    , contributor
    Comments (11197) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » This way to the next Concentrator:

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    5 Mar 2012, 10:41 AM Reply Like
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