Friday, May 30, 2008

How Fast Can You Partner?: Part 2 Interview with EEstor's Richard Weir

To understand the mindset of Richard Weir, CEO of EEStor Inc, you have to reflect on how intent he is on not allowing his intellectual property to fall into the chaos of a hype machine prior to it's delivery to the market. Keeping a low profile, as the story goes, will allow his team to complete its scientific work of proving, quite simply, that what they have can do what they say it can. It's very likely that we wouldn't know anything about EEStor if it weren't for Zenn Motor Company, who introduced us to the concept of an electric vehicle that could charge in 5 minutes and drive 400 miles. So, Weir is focused and doing his best to avoid the chaos of hype. Perfectly rational, right?



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But what if that aversion to chaos were really stemming from that most unscientific outlook known as greedy fear? You're not familiar with greedy fear? Let me explain it to you. Let's say you're out scuba diving, maybe visiting an old wreck that's been explored countless times before by many other divers, but this time you see something no else has seen. So, you move in for a closer look and a little bit of dusting off here and there and you find yourself staring at $500 billion in gold and diamonds. After you almost drown due to improper breathing brought on by hysteria, you might feel a different form of fear. After all, you've just become one of the richest people in history. That is, if you can actually get the goods from where they are now to where they need to be so they can be liquidated and entered in to your checking account. I imagine most of us would not walk up on the beach and make a public announcement about what we found, where we found it and how we're going to begin carting it out of the water....much less build a corporate website laying everything out for remote users.



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A more likely outcome is greedy fear and involves having a series of paranoid thoughts ranging from the frustration you might feel if a monied organization dropped anchor right over your find and began rapidly sucking out every last dime of your treasure with a giant vacuum. On the other side of things, you might wonder if anyone out there has surreptitiously learned of your find and are finishing up final walkthroughs of your pending accidental death--perhaps scheduled for next Tuesday when you're out walking your dog at 5:30am.

When Mr. Weir walks his dog, what or who might he be thinking about? "Here's what I'll tell you, this is pretty well known. We fit everything from iPods, cellphones all the way up to batteries for Bradley Tanks." So goes Weir's answer to my innocuous question as to what applications we might gain besides car batteries. Did you hear that Steve Jobs? Weir has a new battery for your iPod. Only, when you connect it to your car, it would also power the car not just the iPod. Finally, something truly insanely great! Along with the gadgets he lists, throw in toys and flashlights, etc. In other words, look for a head-on collision with any of these 330 companies. And let's not even mention the automobile or oil industry here to create real spookiness. It's easy to see how there might be alot of unhappy wealthy and organized groups of people who may not see Mr. Weir's work as a great boon.


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And if you have all these potential enemies out there, who are you going to turn to for a little coverage in case anyone gets trigger happy? Why not team with the world's largest weapons contractor, Lockheed Martin, a company currently supplying the US Dept of Defense and Homeland Security with technology, people, and know-how. Get in real tight so that anyone who takes you on is really taking on a massive organization with connections all over government and beyond. That sounds pretty good. What does security like that cost anyway? In EEStor's case, Lockheed only asked for exclusive rights to the entire defense and homeland security industry. Done!

So, I wasn't surprised when I asked Mr. Weir to please give me something new and interesting that no one has written about, something exciting if possible. His reply? "Go back and read what Lockheed Martin said about this. I think that's very exciting. They said two things. They said it works. And they didn't say it works with this or that caveat.... they just said it works. And second, they said it could ramp up into a high volume production environment. I think that's very exciting. So go read what they said about it." In other words, go ask my big brawny, highly trained, well-armed partners what they say about it. So, I took him at his words and did reread the press release and then called the Lockheed press point of contact. That interview will be posted next week.







In summary, a pattern is emerging which may be becoming clearer to you if you want, for example, to invest in the outcome of EEStor's work. Just my opinion but, I would bet that other business deals are forthcoming that involve inking deals with large players in well established markets. EEStor seems fond of exclusive rights deals, so if you want to do business, better have the means.




So you might wonder how EEstor stacks up with Maxwell Technologies, certainly their most advanced competitor. In my next posting, Weir will comment on just that. Also, without asking, Weir provides an update on production schedule and a few personal observations.


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19 comments:

marcus said...

From my reading Lockheed and Martin didn't exactly say it works.

From this prior interview here:

http://gm-volt.com/2008/01/10/lockheed-martin-signs-agreement-with-eestor/

The most critical question and answer was:

"Have you been able to evaluate any of their current prototypes?

That’s an effort that’s ongoing. We’re really just getting started to integrate their technology into some of the efforts that we have going on here. That’s going to be something that we’re doing this year."

Unfortunately their answer was not entirely confidence building. I hope you asked a similar question but got a more definitive answer. Looking forward to it.

marcus said...

Actually an even more telling Q and A was:

"Do they have something that they’ve tested that you’ve seen which makes you want to work with them?

We haven’t personally tested their prototypes yet. Its something that we’ll work on together this year."

Note they didn't even confirm that they had seen something that works.

Until independent testing we are still left with mainly hot air and a lot of counter claims that this technology is simply too unbelievable to be true.

mrjerry said...

Marcus, read again, I get it...
this is pretty back and white. Weirs is steering you to the direct answers and here they are.


Weirs
"Go back and read what Lockheed Martin said about this. I think that's very exciting. They said two things. They said it works. And they didn't say it works with this or that caveat.... they just said it works."

Lockeed
Are you confident that their technology will offer a greater amount of energy and power density than batteries?
Yes, and at a fraction of the cost.

Do their caps hold 10x the energy at 1/10th the weight of a lead acid battery?
Yes.


Weirs
"And second, they said it could ramp up into a high volume production environment"

lockheed
Is there a production plan for 2008?
Yes for EEStor. Their approach is when they start manufacturing these batteries, not just the cells, but also the package assembly, they will be in production. If you can get a visit to EEStor they’ll show you their process and everything they’ve got in place to support that. Assuming that everything comes together in terms of tests and qualifications and that sort of thing, they will be ready to ramp up very quickly, because of the nature if the architecture and scalability of what they are doing.

mrjerry said...

marcus, also before weirs said anything about lockheed martin, those phrases below, got my attention. How could they say with absolute certainty major claims of cost and 10x the power of lead acid battery. It just didn't seem to fit with the other answers without complete confidence.

Remember lockheed martin is under non disclosure agreement, they are limited what they can say. You have to read between the lines.


Lockeed
Are you confident that their technology will offer a greater amount of energy and power density than batteries?
Yes, and at a fraction of the cost.

Do their caps hold 10x the energy at 1/10th the weight of a lead acid battery?
Yes.

marcus said...

Well I hope you are right but I remain skeptical.

mrjerry said...

marcus, here is one more for you, notice the consistency,

http://greenlight.greentechmedia.com/2008/03/12/eestor-and-more-energy-storage-part-2/

EEStor’s battery-ultracapacitor hybrid is based on barium-titanate nanopowders, a ceramic material. A colleague and respected engineer had the opportunity to visit EEStor recently and left “highly impressed.” Although tight-lipped and preferring to remain anonymous he said that, “The facility goes well beyond pilot, and will support substantial commercial production when it comes on-line later this year.”

marcus said...

I accept that too many people have seen a production facility for that not to exist. I also think that it would be very strange to create such a facility if you weren't sure you had a product. However, Steorn were so sure of their technology they took out a full page add in Economist magazine and yet nothing has been heard of them since "technical" problems prevented their planned demonstration. It seems companies can go a long way before revealing themselves as phonies, or at least badly mistaken. I admit though that EESTOR have plenty more credentials than Steorn,,,,,

mrjerry said...

Marcus, I like that you are skeptical because you will balance me. I have been researching an following eestor since march of 2006. I probably know more than anyone other than the ones in the know, I am not an engineer but have read the patent. Like the blogger said here, this is so big it changes the world as we know it. You skeptical. claims like these we should all be skeptical. We have all been taught that technology do not leap like this. Yet we all know if we could create the ultimate battery the world does change, STORAGE CHANGES EVERYTHING. This invention threatens every industry that relies on power, autos, trains, trucks, oil, batteries, powerplants coal etc.

Create an auto that has 26 moving parts, cost 30% less to make, 90% less to run, motor and eestor ultrcapacitor(essu) and last just about lifetime. Not too many companies out there want you to succeed. Dick Weirs should be paranoid if he has the real deal.

What you don't know but I heard from the ones in the know... how about this, you know the oil takers that deliver our oil, what if they were energy storage ships, what if they went out in the ocean with wind turbines and eestor essu, go out for a month and come back filled with energy, off loading to a storage facility in a day, and set sail again. Yes these are some of the ideas that are being thrown around, eestor filling stations in every town. So when ever dick weirs is asked about energy distribution.. "no comment" do you start to understand?

Did you know there is enough barium-titanate for 10 billion auto. We don't need 10 billion auto so lots of essu will be used to balance the grid.

The person who is writing this blog seems to be anonymous but he definitely had an interview with Dick Weirs, and he understands the impact, etc.

He is not correct about the money, dick has little interest in that, he wants to change the world, save it, and as the blogger said you are changing the wolrd, there not many friends in your camp, not many want you to succeed, and you better look back of you because someone wants you out of the picture.

Dick Weirs doesn't like to talk, i like that, he points to others to validate the claims, he wants to be measured by his accomplishments, and considering the people involved, the secrecy, consistency, and let face it, there is a major manufacturing facility ready to crank these out, in fact tyler hamilton (reporter from the toronto star) told me last week http://tyler.blogware.com/
eestor is expanding capacity and you asking about prototypes... start to see the picture.

Expect news withing 2 to 4 weeks of permitivity testing, and then we off to the races.

marcus said...

I enjoy your enthusiasm and I can also see the potential of this, if real. On a personal note, I have to make some irreversible career and living location decisions in the near future and which direction I choose to go in may well be influenced by how I see our energy situation unfolding. I am quite pessimistic about oil supplies so I really would like to hear something concrete from EESTOR before September if possible, otherwise I may have to choose the path of conservatism and fear, which would be a shame.

mrjerry said...

marcus, I am 54, there are no wrong or right paths unless they are destructive ones. All choices lead to a place with opportunities, or dead ends but we always gain wisdom. It kind of neat to see yourself at my age. What was so important 10 20 years ago, has little importance now. You realize it's only a path, your path that lead to where you are, you accept yourself and your limitations. You see in the end, the people in our life, our family, spouse, attitude, love of learning endure for all time. Treat everyone with respect and expect the same. Keep life simple, enjoy the beauty all around you.

Be careful with getting into financial problems, don't wake up one day in your 50s and look in the mirror and you owe hundreds of thousdands of dollars, only to do the math and there no way out. The rat race owns you, well I am happy to say, in 2 weeks, my house will be sold, my son is through college, my dept will be gone, my small modest lake house will be owned. I have no dept, my life is simple and wonderful, no one owns me, my wife is happy she no longer needs to work.

marcus said...

Sounds like good advice mrjerry!

I've got plenty to ponder in the coming months...

Cheers,
Marcus.

Gert said...

Although I really hope this thing succeeds I do remain sceptical. I am certainly sceptical about conspiracy theories.
Some time ago there was talk about the GM Volt looking into Eestor, but apparently the Volt went with other batteries in the end. If Eestor has such a brilliant product why didn't GM bite? Why could they only get a deal with a tiny player like Zenn? If the technology is really so near to mass production surely the big players would fighting each other to pick this up? Did zenn really get an exclusive deal for the automotive industry?
Ok, Lockhead invested, but the weaopons industry is notorious for investing in high risk ventures. Of the promising 10 patents they invest in barely 1 will ever make to the consumer market.
Somehow it just doesn't pack enough credibility yet...

mrjerry said...

Gert
The reason zenn is got the exclusive rights to mid and small cars is because 6 month before kleiner perkins came into the picture zenn worked an agreement to finance them about 2.5 million dollars, based on strategic milestones. Then klener perkins came into the picture, if not for that, zenn would not be there. Zenn does have great managment and very sold strategic plan, they will be selling the rights to eestor and zenn drive system. They will be selling their name, you will think of Zenn and EEstor as one.

mrjerry said...

Gert
The reason zenn is got the exclusive rights to mid and small cars is because 6 month before kleiner perkins came into the picture zenn worked an agreement to finance them about 2.5 million dollars, based on strategic milestones. Then klener perkins came into the picture, if not for that, zenn would not be there. Zenn does have great managment and very sold strategic plan, they will be selling the rights to eestor and zenn drive system. They will be selling their name, you will think of Zenn and EEstor as one.

mrjerry said...

This just end...

http://gm-volt.com/2008/06/01/exclusive-ceo-of-zenn-motor-company-on-eestor-eestor-storage-units-cityzenn-and-zennergy-drive-systems/

Gert said...

Very interesting link there. It still leaves me sceptical but it does answer a lot of questions I was wondering about.
It looks like we'll all know for sure within the year.

mrjerry said...

If you want to here a really interesting interview with zenn ceo ian clifford on eestor and future go to ttp://www.zenncars.com/
click on the menu of press, go to the jun 2nd interview. highly recommended.

marcus said...

Interesting. Well perhaps we won’t have to wait until the end of the year to be more certain about all this. In the interview Ian states that the next milestone to be announced any time now is third party verification of permittivity and power density at the specs required by Zenn for their vehicle. I would understand that to mean verification of what others have so far deemed impossible, ie high permittivity at high voltage. I hope I am correct.

Jay Draiman said...

A more efficient and cost effective renewable energy system is needed. R2
A more efficient and cost effective renewable energy system is needed.
To accelerate the implementation of renewable electric generation with added incentives and a FASTER PAYBACK - ROI. (A method of storing energy, would accelerate the use of renewable energy) A greater tax credit, accelerated depreciation, funding scientific research and pay as you save utility billing. (Reduce and or eliminates the tax on implementing energy efficiency, eliminate increase in Real estate Taxes for energy efficiency improvement). Tax incentive and rebates have to be tripled.
In California, you also have the impediment, that when there are an interruption of power supply by the Utility you the consumer cannot use your renewable energy system to provide power.
In today's technology there is automatic switching equipment that would disconnect the consumer from the grid, which would permit renewable generation for the consumer even during power interruption. Energy storage technology must advance substantially. “Energy conservation through energy storage”.
New competition for the world's limited oil and natural gas supplies is increasing global demand like never before. Reserves are dwindling. These and other factors are forcing energy prices to skyrocket here at home. It's affecting not just the fuel for our cars and homes, it is affecting food prices and it's driving up electricity costs, too. A new world is emerging. The energy decisions our nation makes today will have huge implications into the next century. We must expedite the implementation of renewable energy.
A synchronous system with batteries allows the blending of a PV with grid power, but also offers the advantage of “islanding” in case of a power failure. A synchronous system automatically disconnects the utility power from the house and operates like an off-grid home during power failures. This system, however, is more costly and loses some of the efficiency advantages of a battery-less system.
We’re surrounded by energy — sun, wind, water. The problem is harnessing it in an economical way.
Jay Draiman, Northridge, CA
June 26, 2008

Jay Draiman Energy Development Specialist provides expertise in all sectors of the energy and utility industry.
Over 20 years experience. Specializing in: Energy Audit, Telecom audit, Utility bills audit and review for refunds or better rates, Demand Management, Energy Efficiency review and implementation, Renewable Energy, Lighting Retrofit, Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Fuel-Cell, Thermal imaging, Rainwater harvesting, Energy conservation, Ice Storage, Water conservation methods, Energy and telecom audit and procurement
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