Thursday, July 24, 2008

Utilities claim they'll be ready for electric vehicles

CNN scrounged up a couple "officials" from the utility world to say they'll be ready for future influx of electric vehicles, "so long as the changeover from internal combusion engines to electric vehicles is somewhat gradual." Very comforting.   Apparently, Efrain Ornelas from Pacific Gas & Electric is all over this issue for us: "we see the vehicle penetration levels coming at a rate that's manageable. It's not like tomorrow the flood gates are going to open and 100,000 vehicles are going to come into San Francisco or something like that."  OK, sounds very scientific to me.  Well, if you do worry about this issue don't because OPEC has our back.  Just ask 200,000 fishermen in Japan. Note to self: SanFran no longer viable for 2009 Million Electric Vehicle March...get Las Vegas back on the phone.  Second note to self: start off-grid blog to learn about powering future cityZenn with solar panels attached to EESU's. 


steve said...

The best part of WEIR's WIPO Patent application for me was this:

The EESU devices along with input/output converters and control circuits will also provide power averaging for all forms of alternative energy producing technology, but specifically wind and solar will have the capability to provide constant electrical power due to the EESU storing sufficient electrical energy that will meet the energy requirements of residential, commercial, and industrial sites. In fact, wind could become a major source of electrical energy due to the capability of the EESU technology to convert wind from a peak provider, i.e., when the wind blows and power is needed it is used, to a cost-effective primary electrical energy supplier, such as are coal-fired plants.

nomlas said...

"OPEC has our back" YA RIGHT, and they will drop the price of their oil and we will all go back to sleep


We have to get off this carbon based energy NOW or there will be no end to the wars and hardships!

mrjerry said...

I listen to a mp3 interview with Ian Clifford, he said there are big thinkers at eestor who are working on idaeas like EEstorShips (let say oil tankers) being converted with hundreds of eesu inside, with wind trubines on deck going out to sea, and collecting clean energy and dispensing it into eestor storage facilities at electical speeds and returning back to sea. Not only will we not need new electical power plants, one day we could be removing the ones we have today.

Here that one Al Gore..

You see storage really changes everything..

Jay said...

mrjerry is this a new interview? could you post a link please

mrjerry said...


Sorry but I can't find the interview. It's was not new, it was at least 6 months ago.

windbourne said...

I have been thinking about this some more. EEStor COULD be a disaster if it it is real. Assume that at this time, they are not working with any car companies, other than zenn. Zenn sounds like they are doing very little other than making noise. Ok, that is fine. But lets assume that EEStor is real (I do, but that is a different issue).
Assume you were going to buy a car, say a prius, AND EEStor made their announcement last month. Are you still going to? I mean seriously, would you buy a car for 25K that as soon as you buy it, it will drive off the lot worth less than 10K? The reason I say that is that most everybody will want the car with a EEStor. So I would guess that it would send the car sales into the crapper. Fast. All sales would come to a stop. What would that do to the economy? If Zenn was really a big believer in this, they would have their ducks in a row for doing conversions of SUVs. And yet, they do not seem to be. In addition, they would have approached GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, etc and brought them into see this. And yet they have not.
IOW, the car companies are hearing about it, but are seeing nothing.
If this is real, AND it is announced WITHOUT the car companies having time to re-design, it will mean 1-2 years of little to no sales.
I find it interesting, because Zenn's action indicates that they do not believe it is real, but if it is real and EEStore has not taken the time to work with the car companies we could see a massive implosion on the world economy.

richterm said...

Will there be pain for the ICE manufacturers? Of course. Those with poor timing will lose money, but that's natural. There will be other dynamics involved however. If/when Eestor comes out with product, all hybrids get redesigned and retrofit kits for hybrids will be fairly simple to develop.

Then oil will start to drop as news gets out and is digested. Gas will probably get to the $2+ level again, where many people will stick with their ICE or even still buy new ones. But the trend will be irreversible because people are just sick of oil, and enviromental concerns.

ricinro said...

In the past the price of oil was the primary factor in the sole factor guiding or macro-energy decisions. So yes, if the price dropped people would drive SUVs and forget about conservation, efficiency and alternatives. However, today, there are more factors such as carbon pollution, the funding of nutcase nations, and the realization that oil is a finite resource past its peak.
Add consumer satisfaction with hybrids and soon to come EVs and we will not go back.
The attitude of the power utilities is naive. There will be demand that they will not be able to cope with unless they can grasp the big picture and plan accordingly. Realistically, individual utilities will require a national plan and standards plus the laws to ensure that individuals get a fair shake for the power they put into the grid. This means that the grid will practically belong to "We the People" (somewhat nationalized) if Utilities surrender much more control.

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve said...


ZENN is talking with GM. Ian Clifford from Zenn gave an interview with the GM-Volt blog... same blog that interviewed Lockheed Martin about the EESTOR deal.

steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
richterm said...

If Eestor delivers, I really think we will handle the grid issues as things evolve. Investment and research in superconductors is picking up. EESUs will in effect provide more energy to the grid through load leveling, and increased viability of wind, solar, ocean wave.

Personally, I hope that one day I'll have an EESU UPS/automobile charging station in my house. I'm waiting for the cost of solar to come down in a couple years, and hope to have solar roofing/shingles perhaps with nanosolar tech charging my EESU. I also expect a common option on EESU vehicles will be integrated roof solar. Charging all of our vehicles is a managable problem.

eric said...

The latest interviews with Ian Clifford are at:
BNN Video Player
(The Business News : June 9, 2008 : [06-09-08 6:30PM]
Zenn's On Ramp: BNN speaks with Ian Clifford, CEO, Zenn Motors.)

EVcast #4: Interview with ZENN Motors' CEO Ian Clifford
(Monday, June 2nd @ 12:43 PM)

stephen_b said...

Interesting in the blog how Ian Clifford uses the name EEStor in the first sentence and then in as many of the following sentences as possible. He's not being at all shy about it.

I have to agree about the short term pain to auto manufacturers. Once this comes out, I will want to delay purchase on my next car until one using an EEStor unit is available. I had originally been waiting on a Volt.


mrjerry said...

B - You in contact with EEstor, any teasers for us? Status of the blog questions? How about the press release?

ApplewoodCourt said...

while it is fun to talk about roof mounted solar on an eesu vehicle - it is simply not practical - unless you are talking about deploying a solar panel that would span a small parking lot.

the prius may soon come with an integrated solar panel for ... running the a.c. speculating about anything else other than running the periphery off of solar is speculation that is based in ignorance, in my humble opinion - unless you plan to park your vehicle for weeks at a time in order to build up enough charge for one commute.

Satya51 said...

Thank you B for this informative and polite Blog. I have been following Eestor for some time, but until the blogs started was frustrated by my search skills.

First, it is clear to me that the information issues to be determined are not the science of permativity and whether or not the cells store what is claimed. Obviously the cells can do it. The key is the ability to mass produce the cells at target costs.

In regard to the ability to manufacture, the rumor is that Eestor is building 7 second generation production lines with upgraded instrumentation. That implies to me that Eestor is ready for production on a limited scale, possibly for Zenn.

As to third party permativity testing. I don't think patents are the hold up, but rather the testing is being strategically delayed while logistics are dealt with and the lines are debugged. Furthermore, of what value is there in a third party test of a pre-production cell, or a cell in a first generation production line? Eestor only needs it when they are fully prepared to go commercial. Another issue is the readiness of companies to use the product. For instance, Think! is not quite ready for the US, and Volt is still on the way. After all, I am not sure that Zenn will ever really get past neighborhood vehicle manufacturing. It makes far more sense to license their rights to a Think! City, or GM, etc. (my wag)

My question to those that blog or read here is what are the products of these production line: ESU cells, or completed ESU's, and what through put would a production line achieve? We know the wafers are 24 inches in diameter, we know the number of layers per cell and steps of processes. Any one here want to take a stab at it?

richterm said...

applewoodcourt -

In reference to solar roof panels, every bit helps. I drive about 10 miles a day, park my car in a sunny parking lot at a train station, and it sits there for 12 hours. I can't be the only one. If nothing else (without doing calculations), I'm sure it would cut down significantly on the number of charges I'd need on an EESU car. I probably would never even have to go to gas on a Volt with batteries.

As research goes into PV, new approaches like nanosolar will continue to cut the cost and improve the usability. Perhaps one day the entire skin of autos, and roofing/siding of houses will generate cheap electricity.

nekote said...

(car) solar roof tops

Lovely thought.
But economically / power wise silly idea.

Does Car-Mounted Solar Make Sense?

Especially if EEStor works.

PV is (currently) too expensive.
Every cm^2 deserves to get the maximum number of photons to eat.

Maximum KWH per $ - desert areas (and concentrators).

richterm said...

It's always about the Benjamins. My original thought was that this is something we'll see in the future. That includes the cost coming down and efficiency going up.

ApplewoodCourt said...

Not wanting to nag on the point about solar - but solar houses can't even run normal appliances - washer, dryer, stove, hair dryer, etc. because they suck too much juice - now imagine trying to accelerate a 1000lb+ automobile - imagine the "juice" requirements for this job. It simply isn't practical - it's like pissing into the ocean in an effort to make it deeper.

richterm said...

applewoodcourt -

I also don't mean to beat a dead horse - just one last point. I understand what you're saying, and I agree there's no way a vehicle runs on live juice from PV panels. But as PV technology improves, and the cost comes down, might it not be practical to have integrated solar (nice looking, I don't want something strapped to my roof)? The goal being to charge the battery (or hopefully EESU) during the hours a car sits idle in the sun, and making a significant dent in the overall load on the grid. If most cars have this, it seems like it could be part of the solution. We wont see this in a year or two, but perhaps in ten - the hurdles being cost effectiveness and appearance.