Thursday, July 24, 2008
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.
Occasionally this blog is accused of having a slant in favor of EEStor. And it's been asked whether or not the purpose of the blog is to pump ZENN Motor stock (ZNN). I think these are fair questions if you keep in mind the information here is provided with no guarantees. That said, it has come to my attention that there may be a person in the world for whom the phrase, "EEStor's most prominent skeptic" applies well. His name is Clive Randall and he is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University. I have learned that Randall publicly ridiculed EEStor at a big American Ceramics gathering (date unknown). My source for this information is someone within the current capacitor industry familiar with the technical challenges surrounding EEStor's work. I asked the question, "who among your industry or area of speciality would probably be the best spokesperson for why EEStor's technology will not work?" ...and Randall was offered up.
I'd like to apologize to Prof. Randall for throwing him into this blog like this but someone did send me a powerpoint Randall put together where he presented his thoughts on EEStor in public. And so, I attempted to contact Randall to get his side of things and ask if he would be willing to write up a brief overview of his thoughts. I can't guarantee unlimited space but would be willing to let his voice be heard.
At this point, I'd like to make a few distinctions based on some related concepts. Many people think that EEStor's work is already known enough to say it won't work. A second set of people believe that EEStor's maneuvers through the patent process mirrors a well thought out plan to avoid detection by would be competitors. A smaller subset of people seem to think a very very well orchestrated set of smoke screens have been put together by EEStor, Kleiner, etc in this regard. These same people say that the Clive Randall's of the world are getting wrapped around the axle with regard to EEStor phantoms. (As RG Collingwood pointed out, two statements cannot be considered contradictory unless they are both intended to answer the same question) On the other hand, there are people in the capacitor world that I've talked to who have worked in this area (with barium titanate) who say EEStor is challenging 50 yrs of understanding. So what is the truth here?
Here's my leaning. For EEStor, if many of the collected insights turn out to be true---that chemicals are going through a production process and spitting out on the other side then something is afoot there, no? :-) I guess for me it's kind of like, to what degree would you go to pull off a such a scam? Secondly, I asked my capacitor expert today the following, "So, given where we are with this thing and some of the doubts you've shared with me, is there even a test which would convince you EEStor is for real?" The response, "Permittivity. If a 3rd party provides that, then Wow, the world we know today will change dramatically." So there you go. Is this suspense enough for you? Investors, are all your gambling juices flowing? What's it going to be here?