Tuesday, September 29, 2009

EEStor Patent 7,595,109 B2 Issued September 29, 2009: BRINGS TOTAL TO 3

If you keep a pulse on TheEEStory.com, you will already know that one of it's patent applications was approved for issuance. Well, TODAY, the patent was issued officially as Patent 7,595,109 B2.

A patent agent, Daniel A. Pearson, whose main specialty is pharmaceuticals, has said:

"The patent claims in U.S. Patent No. 7,595,109 are very good claims for Eestor, especially if you believe that coating the CMBT with alumina is important for the energy storage properties they are reporting. There is nothing controversial here IP-wise.

If you want to consider a story that is not so straightforward, check out the intellectual property situation that A123 has found itself in."

More from Pearson here.

Also, to place this latest patent into a context, have a look at GaryB's EEStor Spreadsheet which includes all of the related patent, trademark, FOIA, permits, info etc.

See below for the three awarded patents:

Friday, September 25, 2009

EEStor, Lockheed, Black & Decker

The Boards of Directors of large companies like Lockheed Martin are typically occupied by an interesting and accomplished group of people. Given the recent admission by Dick Weir that he is speaking to a power tools company, one can't help but wonder if Black & Decker is the company in question. After all, current CEO, Nolan Archibald sits on the Lockheed Board of Directors.

It stands to reason that Lockheed Martin will be and likely already is the first company outside of EEStor to know that EEStor has what they claim. If they know, they understand the value of it. Even EEStor skeptics have to admit that if the EEStor technology is real, it would be something of significance to the highest levels of management. Thus, it's not a stretch to say maybe perhaps Mr. Archibald knows this as well. A source within Black & Decker would only offer up an official laugh when I inquired today but would neither confirm nor deny the rumor.

You might wonder what A123 Systems, fresh off it's successful IPO might think about this. To find out, one might inquire with another Lockheed Martin Board of Directors member, former GE Vice Chairman, Eugene F. Murphy. GE has a sizeable stake in A123 Systems.

No, this article doesn't offer you any answers. Just questions. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

EEStor Partner Zenn Motor Company Announces CityThen

That was Zenn and this is now:

"The previously announced cityZENN highway capable electric vehicle will not be developed into a standalone commercially available offering. Management believes that this refinement to the Company's business strategy and focus provides for the most efficient allocation of Company resources to maximize future profit potential."

With that, Zenn Motor Company announced via press release today that they have officially abandoned the production of their own branded, CityZenn, electric vehicle. The news comes as little surprise to all but a few who have not followed the Zenn Motor Company story closely. Hinted at previously at the annual shareholder meeting was the fact that CityZenn, in it's best case would be only an example platform, it is not surprising that they have officially called it quits.

I spoke to Marc Korchin, a Zenn Motor Company retailer in Berkeley, CA. He was not disappointed in the lost opportunity sell a CityZenn because his current business is focused on conversions and the sale of the Wheego. Essentially, as Korchin tells it he had not invested too much time hoping for the CityZenn due to trying to keep his business going now.

On the other hand, another dealer who asked that he not be identified in this article said he is "profoundly disappointed" by the loss of not just the CityZenn but the loss of the LSV oddly enough, which will also be discontinued after the 2010 model year (according to the dealer). Started more as a mission to help combat global warming rather than a enormously successful business, this anonymous dealer shared with me that he had invested a significant sum launching his Zenn retail dealership and wonders how easily he will be able to sell his remaining vehicles. He learned of the halt to the CityZenn plans via the Reuters article that broke the story. Although he went to great lengths to say he found the persons that he dealt with at Zenn to be very friendly and helpful, he was disappointed to learn about the plans via the news.

When he first read of Ian Clifford's initial statement about not wanting to be a vehicle manufacturer a few months ago, he emailed Zenn officials wondering how he could sell cars when the President of the company was saying essentially there was no future in building EEStor powered vehicles. At the time, he was assured the statement was taken out of context and that there would be a future. Later, when he heard a rumor that the LSV would also hit the chopping block, he inquired again and was told the same thing that this was only rumor.

I asked Zenn about these issues today and Catherine Scrimgeour provided the following information:

ZMC is in the Low Speed Vehicle business and is carrying forward the current ZENN as a 2010 model that will be introduced in mid-October and we will continue to provide service and parts support for all our customers.

Congratulations A123 Systems

You dodged a bullet and got your IPO in the bag. Whoever is responsible for orchestrating this progress deserves a pat on the back. Don't get too comfortable though.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Unstealthing Kleiner Perkins' Fortu Powercell: Kleiner helped them seek DOE Battery Funds

Via yet another determined reader of TheEEStory.com, a new stealth Kleiner investment has come to light. This time, it required a FOIA request to the Department of Energy to learn the list of applicants for advanced battery development funds.

The complete list is a whos who of battery upstarts, established players and wannabes. It is currently located at TheEEStory.com.

Since Kleiner has been so generous to me in regards to my numerous requests for comment on EEStor, it does make me chuckle a bit to be able to help uncloak yet another of their investments hiding in stealth. :-)

The DOE document lists Fortu Powercell Inc., as having an address of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers of 2750 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, California 94025. The POC listed is Mr. Alan Greenshields. From their website, it looks like this is a German company. http://www.fortu.de/

According to the forums website, RCGroups, Fortu uses a lithium chemistry consisting of Lithium-Cobalt-inorganic technology.

HHHhhhmm. Backing a German company for funds designed to grow a domestic battery industry. HHHhhhhmmm, not commenting on the EEStor investment. HHHhhhmmm.

Anyone at Kleiner care to clear any of this up for inquiring minds? Email: eestorblog@gmail.com

Here is one of their patents.

UL in Receipt of Cert Request from EEStor

Lyle Dennis, founder of gm-volt.com and allcarselectric.com, is reporting today that UL has begun working with EEStor on product certification. To what stage has this progressed is anybody's guess--maybe so far it's just at the request stage. But so far, here's the quote Dennis has obtained from UL:

"We have received a request to certify EEStor's product," said Priya L. Tabaddor, PhD, Global Energy Services, Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

Additionally, back in July, I scored an interview with Jace Curtis from PTI, the company who ZMC contracted to validate the EEStor permittivity testing performed by Dr. Ed Golla. Dick Weir had indicated possibly working with them to prepare and/or complete UL certification testing with them. In the interview, Curtis provides good background on UL's relationship to OSHA, etc. Basically, companies can reduce the amount of time it takes to obtain UL certification by pretesting products before doing the actual testing. Also, according to Curtis, one of the last things a company does before releasing a product is to perform UL testing. It's on the right side of the gant chart.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Underwriters Laboratories on Vehicle Batteries

The timing of UL's press release about testing of vehicle batteries is interesting. But what about standards for EESU's?

Who Follows EEStor?

I started a thread at TheEEStory concerning who reads/views the website. It's an interesting thread that includes various users identifying with various companies, organizations in the list.

Another user went through the list and provided numerous web links to the organizations in question. Who knows, maybe you aren't the only one following EEStor?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mandatory Reading on EEStor's Carl W. Nelson


TheEEStory.com's GaryB and Tom Villars

Since EEStor is about to be issued a 3rd patent, there's been a bit of activity related to organizing all of this publicly available information. The result is a fantastic EEStor spreadsheet put together by GaryB and Tom Villars. It includes tabs forDick Weir and Carl Nelson EEStor patents, EEStor trademarks, EEStor attorneys, EEStor EDGAR filings, related Incorporations and Permits. EEStor EEStor EEStor.

This really should be included on the EEStor wikipedia page. Who will make that happen? Maybe YOU!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

EEStor: The Inventor Richard Weir

In 1963, Richard "Dick" Weir had not yet filed his first of 20+ issued patents. In fact, he was two years away from his 1965 graduation from Cal Poly Pamona aka California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. However, he did pose for the below yearbook photo.

Contrary to popular belief, Dick Weir graduated from Cal Poly Pamona with a degree in Industrial Engineering not Electrical Engineering, which of course, is a more suitable preparation for someone whose career is marked by innovation in production technology not "new science." EEStor fans will note most immediately that their fearless idol does not appear to be a slide rule geek. Instead, it seems appropriate to associate the below photo with Weir's prior service as a pilot in the US Marine Corps. OoooRah!
So, dear reader, are you now examining for the first time one of the greatest inventors of this century?

Special thanks to the Cal Poly Pamona Library and an interested EEStor Inc. investor.

Monday, September 14, 2009

EEStor Third Patent Issue Date Set 9/29/09

The illustrious Tom Villars has located a letter from the United States Patent & Trademark office establishing the issue date for EEStor's 3rd patent for application # 11/400,875. It will be issued 9/29/09 and will have patent #7595109.

Update: There's been some confusion and discussion of this topic. The best theory to date seems to be that one of EEStor's patent's is being split into two, perhaps at their request. This seems to be what happened to one of the patents in the European Patent Office. The topic is still being discussed at TheEEStory.com.

Read it and weep, skeptics!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

nanosolar Hints at Residential Offering

One of the hopes that many people had for the Nanosolar announcements that came out recently was that they would make a peep about a residential product. Well, they finally made the peep. See below:


Quote from a new page on nanosolar's website:

"We are planning to enlighten the residential solar market by bringing the economics we have attained at utility scale to private homes everywhere."

The web page offers a place to sign up as a homeowner to be notified when a home product is available. The website also offers a place for Contractors to sign up for alpha/beta testing.

Can you imagine Nanosolar being integrated into building materials like roofing shingles, house siding, etc., being combined with an home based EESU? Slam DUNK!!!

Image: from nanosolar website.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009: In Memoriam

If you're looking for a way to honor all of those we have lost since 9/11, the victims of that horrible day along with the courageous members of our armed services who were pressed into duty as a result, then consider taking the time to write a note today to your state's Senators and Members of Congress. Press them to demonstrate leadership on the issue of energy independence. Don't be naive and think that our entire way of life does not have very strong dependence on this issue. Urge them to stop leading this country into economic disaster. And if your political persuasion allows it, ask for market based incentives to create competition where ever possible. For example, with batteries, ask for tax credits based on energy density and longevity....paid for by a battery tax on imported oil.



Thursday, September 10, 2009

EEStor's Mysterious Carl Nelson Helps Patent Cause

Photo: Arthur Von Hippel

When the sun hits EEStor headquarters in Cedar Park, TX at just the right angle, a dome of shade manifests for a few split seconds. It is at this precise opportunity, each day, that the mysterious Carl Nelson slips rapidly into hallowed walls of one this century's greatest technological wonders, ie, the EEStor production facility. Nobody knows exactly what Nelson does when he is onsite at EEStor, not even EESU co-inventor Dick Weir or VP of Operations Tom Weir. Occasionally, the entire EEStor crew must cease all work to try and locate Mr. Nelson, who has been found in abandoned closets, behind unattended particle beam gadgetry, and even amid the rafters which spill over into the Texas Magic Supply next door. To Nelson, this game of cat and mouse is an essential part of the creative process and provides an outlet for his continual conceptual ducking and weaving for which there is little recorded fact. Nelson developed this love of disappearing from his mentor, Arthur Von Hippel, the Great-Great-Grandfather of Ferroeletrics and discoverer of the inner self of barium titanate. Nelson, Von Hippel and Neils Bohr all loved the thrill of hiding and seeking on the vast expanse of MIT. Semesters would go by where all three successfully played the game.

Ok, I'm making all of this up so far. But, guess what?! The mysterious Carl Nelson really does exist. And recently, as part of the EEStor effort to secure patents, he was asked to submit expert testimony, in written form, concerning the unique nature of the dielectric material in use by EEStor Inc.. Signed by Nelson on June 30, 2009, the letter begins by clarifying his qualifications to deliver it citing an MIT BS in Chemistry in 1953 and MS in Chemistry in 1956. Nelson writes, "I have conducted research and development in ceramic materials and in the purification of ceramic components for 52yrs. In particular, I worked with Dr. Von Hippel, an early researcher and developer of composition-modified barium titanate powders, from 1956-1964. "

The letter goes on to state the following:

The resulting composition modified barium titanate powders have an average dielectric constant of approximately 33,518 and an average breakdown voltage greater than 6000 V. In addition, the dielectric constant is not a strong function of temperature, having a tolerance of less than 15% over temperature range of -55°C to 125°C.

The letter is classified as testimony. It ends with an acknowledgement that "willful false statements and the like, so made, are punishable by fine or imprisonment or both."

So, we now have further evidence of EEStor's competence. We now have a statement of fact about their dielectric material's properties. But what does it all add up to? Perhaps you can find out from the geniuses at TheEEStory.com.

Note: Apologies to anyone offended that I would suggest Carl Nelson likes to play hide and go seek. My giggling while writing it in no way should detract from Nelson's genius. No, to my knowledge, he did not play hide n seek with Von Hippel or Neils Bohr, in case you are curious. I would welcome any evidence to the contrary but only if it's in written form and notarized in Wyoming.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

EEStor to Earn Third US Patent

Those hoping EEStor would reveal something interesting on 9/9/9 can thank the US Patent Office for updating EEStor patent application #11/400,875 with a "Issue Notification Mailed" log entry today.....in the 9am EST hour. According to a knowledgeable patent attorney, this means EEStor's third patent should be issued in 2-3 months. As for what this latest patent protects exactly, I can say three things: I don't understand. So, if you have questions, please do inquire with TheEEStory.com forums. To those anticipating a Sept 9, 09 announcement of a nanosolar powered ipod with EEStor EESU and Beatles tunes, you know you really should go outside and take a walk around. Talk to some people and in general get a grip.

Nanosolar Announces "Monumental" Efficiency

Solyndra rival, Nanosolar, today announced the completion of a 640MW panel-assembly factory in Berlin and in the process unwrapped many hitherto unknown details about it's technology including most notably that it's panels have an efficiency as high as 16.4%!!! This figure rivals crystal solar cell power eficiencies which are much, much more costly to manufacture.

Nanosolar is claiming two new world records:

1) the most efficient printed solar cell of any kind
2) the most efficient solar cell on low-cost printed on low cost aluminum foil

Additionally, Nanosolar has secured $4.1Bil in panel purchases from the world's largest utility power producers. Of more interest to the technology geeks is nanosolar's BIG REVEAL of their technology on an unprecendented basis including two white papers, videos and plenty of photographs.

In a statement released to his blog, Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen offered the following observation:

"Our lab and production teams have managed to make more progress on efficiency than we had planned on in any of our business plans. Recall that we print CIGS onto inexpensive metal foil, that is, something that some have been skeptical can work while others have been wondering whether it can deliver cells better than 6% efficient (the highest published efficiency for CIGS — not even printed — on our type of low-cost metal foil). So we are pleased to announce that our low-cost printed-CIGS-on-metal-foil cell stack and process produces quite efficient cells: Earlier this year, NREL independently verified several of our cell foils to be as efficient as 16.4%."

Nanosolar also released a Utility Panel White Paper. They also released a Nanosolar Cell White Paper.

Solar panel industry observer, Russ Browne, today shared this reaction to the news, "The effiecncy level is monumental in that it rivals effiency of the much more coslty and difficult to make silicon panels. Very good for the world indeed."

Nanosolar made these announcements today with an updated website touting "profitable solar."

Update #1: Reuters Interview with Martin Roscheisen.

Update #2: Greentech Article. PV-Tech.org article.

Update #3: Great Wired Article.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

LightEVS Update

I spoke to Carl Watkins today. He was just back from a trip to Eurobike. Watkins indicates that since we last checked in, his firm has made contact with just about everybody in the ebike world including the major 3 wheeled vendors out there. There have been tons of inquiries not just about production availability and timing but also about whether or not LightEVS will one day IPO. For now, Watkins doesn't see a need to go public. Once a demo units become available, his feeling is, understandably, that those willing to be supplied EESU's will finance the lift off of his company.

For now, everything is in wait and see mode until EEStor makes it's next move.

Nanosolar Announcement Update 9/9/9

I will be posting an article before noon EST tomorrow, 9/9/9 concerning the "significant" news event coming out of Nanosolar. Just because I've been such a tease in the past, I should mention, it's not going to contain EEStor content. But that's ok because Nanosolar is one of those companies that on it's own is poised to transform the world....and with some luck, I'll have a thought or two from Martin Roscheisen on the grand old topic of energy storage. (although no guarantees, remember I said "with some luck.")

Update: Nanosolar will announce a monumental achievement tomorrow. A feast for the eyes and a pleasure for numbers crunchers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Could Lockheed Martin Launch an Electric Car Company?

You can read this blog post one of two ways. First, you can conclude that on the basis of extremely little evidence, almost any conclusion can be arrived at with imagination. Or, alternatively, you can examine an odd piece of evidence that doesn't really make much sense and thus, have your curiosity somewhat permanently marked for any related future developments.

What you are looking at here is a Lockheed Martin logo-imprinted, promotional pen that an alert reader sent to my attention. If you have any initial thoughts upon seeing it, you might quickly jump to conclusions. But then if you give it a little bit of thought, it does leave you wondering which marketing person felt it made sense to purchase a set of promotional pens with a sporty little car on top. Sporty little cars do not exactly capture any of Lockheed Martin's strengths, of course. Then again, you can't completely dismiss the idea of Lockheed Martin being involved with electric cars since a few years ago, there were some press releases about innovations they had achieved with hybrid vehicles and batteries. Plus, there is that tiny nagging fact that any company who could make the Joint Strike Figher might also as a result be capable of producing something far less complicated such as an electric car.

It's been pointed out many times previously in following the EEStory that electric cars are far less complicated to build and maintain than those with internal combustion engines. The hope by some is that this simplicity of technology (never mind which battery technology prevails) will lead to a renaissance of new competition in personal transportation...extending of course to industrial uses of transportation as well. So, on the basis of this, why couldn't Lockheed Martin be slightly more involved with electric cars than anyone is at this time comfortable to admit? I leave it to more curious journalists or bloggers to advance the thesis with Lockheed. At the very least, the denials of interest in electric cars would afford the opportunity to inquire about an update with EEStor Inc. So how is it coming with EEStor these days Lockheed? How is the integration with weapons systems going?

NOTE: If you work for Lockheed Martin and know the story behind these pens, shoot me an email: eestorblog@gmail.com

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Zenn Motor Company Wants YOU!

According to alert TheEEStory.com user SmackYYZ, Zenn Motor Company posted some new jobs online. The project management positions would report to VP of Engineering, Michael Bergeron. According to the fine print of the job description, the new hires would be expected to also invent a new 52kWh barium titanate based energy storage solution. I'm kidding.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Attention Dick Weir and EEStor Inc.

"There is no technology on the horizon which can replace oil to satisfy colossal needs of U.S. industry, transport and armed forces. Any future scenario will be characterized by mix of renewable and non-renewable energies whether you like it or not," Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki al-Faisal said.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Zenn Motor Company Sept 10, 2009 Presentation

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- 09/03/09 -- ZENN Motor Company Inc. ("ZMC" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE: ZNN) a leading developer of zero emission transportation solutions and technologies, today announced that it will participate in the Rodman & Renshaw Annual Global Investment Conference on September 10, 2009 at the New York Palace Hotel. Ian Clifford, Founder & CEO, will review the company's growth strategy at 3:15 p.m. Eastern Time.

A live audio webcast of the presentation will be accessible via the ZENN Motor Company website. To hear the presentation please visit the website atwww.zenncars.com for the appropriate link. A replay option will be available for ninety days.

About ZENN Motor Company Inc.

ZENN Motor Company, Toronto, Canada, is dedicated to being a global leader in zero emission transportation solutions and technologies for markets around the world. Driven by quality, ingenuity and a philosophy of social responsibility, the ZMC team is redefining what is possible in both urban and business fleet transportation.

The ZENN(TM) (Zero Emission No Noise) provides an excellent alternative transportation solution for environmentally conscious drivers who want to dramatically reduce their operating costs and free themselves from dependence on oil. The current ZENN low speed vehicle is perfect for urban commuters and commercial fleets such as resorts, gated communities, airports, college and business campuses, municipalities, and parks and is sold through a network of retailers across the United States and directly by the Company in Quebec.

The planned commercialization and implementation of the ultra capacitor being developed by ZENN Motor Company's strategic partner EEStor, Inc., is expected to enable future ZMC vehicles and ZENNergy(TM) drivetrain powered vehicles to travel at speeds and distances similar to internal combustion powered vehicles but at a fraction of the cost and with zero emissions!

ZENN Motor Company
Catherine Scrimgeour
Public Affairs
416-535-8395 ext. 201

ZENN Motor Company
Ian Clifford
Chief Executive Officer
416-535-8395 ext. 202

Jacob Securities Inc. visits EEStor Production Facility

Founder of Jacob Securities Inc., Sasha Jacob with former Ontario Premier Ernie Eves

I was able to interview Khurram Malik from Jacob Securities Inc today. They released coverage of Zenn Motor Company on Sept. 2, 2009. Malik and team visited EEStor Inc. in June along with 2 other companies. They were given a tour of the production line and even saw the powders produced by it (Malik could not reveal the color of the powder as he had signed an NDA). He was not shown components or EESU's.

In the report, they predict a milestone announcement in September 2009. I asked about the source of this info and Malik points to ZMC but adds that he can't reveal any NDA information concerning certification and testing of components and EESU's. Malik admits that he isn't certain what would be announced if anything but believes that it would be a component or EESU certification. The topic of safety and certification was discussed with EEStor but Malik says that is covered by NDA. In Malik's words, "They've put quite a bit of thought into the safety aspect of it. There are technology and designs in place to address that. That's about as far as I can take that question."

Malik admits he did not have a technical person accompanying him on the visit and that there was no way to conduct a true verification of capabilities but "at the end of the day, I think myself and all of the parties down there were reasonably impressed with what we saw and heard."

The report is the most comprehensive one so far that is publicly accessible and written by someone who has visited the site. It contains, too, balanced caution as when they point out the following which I will quote at length:

If EEStor delivers there are three reasons why the world will not be revolutionized overnight:

1. ZMC and EEStor management are pragmatic people looking to maximize the return on their

investment and the reach of the technology over the long term. They will not sign deals to

just flood the market with product as quickly as possible.

2. The world is structured today along the lines of economies and societies that rely on

industries producing and consuming fossil fuels. Both in democracies and autocracies, these

very powerful industries will not just wilt away.

3. You will still need to generate electricity. And fossil fuels like coal are still the cheapest and

most prevalent fuels for power generation in the world today. So fully electric cars are not

really zero emission under most circumstances. However, there is more to a fully electric car

than simply its “green” reputation.

Finally, I asked Malik if there was anything not in the report that he might want to add. He explained that with EEStor, obviously the technology is exciting if they can produce even one of them. But for Malik, he was equally impressed with the manufacturing methodology which would allow EEStor to produce the technology at the fraction of the cost of lithium ion batteries.

"... the fact that they've built a manufacturing methodology and process which can be scaled up to produce these things at a very low cost and by using very low cost materials, it is just as important as the technology itself. When you build lithium ion batteries, it requires hundreds of millions of dollars to produce X amount of annual watt hours of production. These folks can do it at a fraction of that number in my understanding due to the screen printing technology. I think that is as impressive as the EESU itself. "

Malik spoke about scaling. He said, EEStor is not trying to build a single production line and scale it up by increasing throughput on it but rather "when they build out their commercial facility, they will add rows of production lines."

All of this recent disclosure of EEStor's increasing openness causes one to wonder if and when Kleiner Perkins may wish to finally say something about this investment in which they have a 20+% stake. How about it KPCB?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

After Tour of EEStor Facilities, US Congressman John Carter R (TX) says EEStor will "change the entire automotive industry"

It all started with an innocuous June 30, 2009 tweet on Twitter, "well, it's only taken me a year, but I get to meet EEStor this morning." The author of the message was Larry Holt, Economic Development Specialist for Cedar Park, TX. Accompanying Holt to this meeting would be his boss, Phil Brewer and Texas Congressman John Carter with a staff assistant. The meeting included "an extensive tour" of the production line which was "fully staffed with a very busy team." One attendee concluded that there was "a lot of money being spent" in the EEStor facility, adding, "they're not building pet rocks in there." As well, Dick Weir reportedly said with a chuckle, "Now, the bloggers say we can't do this... but we're doing it!"

The tour was a typical outreach effort from a representative like Congressman John Carter, where local businesses are contacted to gain feedback.

I contacted Phil Brewer and Larry Holt from the Cedar Park Economic Development Council for comment on this tour, however, both declined official comment besides acknowledging that it did indeed occur. This blogger's presumption is that they are adhering to EEStor's desire for secrecy.

Via email, Congressman Carter issued this statement regarding his visit to EEStor facilities:

"It is exciting that we have a Central Texas company this close to
revolutionizing transportation as we know it in America. The electric
storage technology that I saw at EEStor can dramatically change the
entire automotive industry and our overall economy when placed in mass
product. I'm looking forward to great things in the very near future
from this company." - U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-TX31)

Congressman John Carter R (TX) pictured with former CIA Director James Woolsey (left)
at a 2006 DC Plug-in Hybrid event

US Congressman Mark Schauer Supports Zenn Motor Company Bid for Dept of Energy Funding

Through some recent inquiries at the US Department of Energy, it was revealed that ZMC America, a subsidiary of Zenn Motor Company, has applied for multi-million dollar funding to construct a "world-class electric drive automotive research and development facility" at one of 3 sites in Southeastern Michigan. In a proposal submitted in June 2009, ZMC says it would match federal funds with additional funding from other sources to build the center.

The proposal was submitted to the DOE by Michigan Congressman Mark Schauer. In his accompanying June 29, 2009 letter to the DOE, Schauer indicates that he discussed this unsolicited proposal with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu during a June 22, 2009 event held in Battle Creek, MI. See video. Schauer's support for the plan highlights the 100 initial jobs that such a center would create for his district. The economic downturn has caused Michigan to experience the highest unemployment rate in the United States.

In a phone interview yesterday, Rep. Schauer's spokesperson, Lisa Dedden Cooper indicated Rep. Schauer's office inquired with DOE this week as to the current status of the proposal review. Indications were that a response from DOE may occur later this month pending full review.

According to the DOE proposal, support for the effort includes:

Senator Carl Levin
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Congressman Mike Rogers
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm
Michigan Lieutenant. Governor John Cherry
United Auto Works VP Duane Zuckschwerdt

Kathleen Long, a press agent for Senator Carl Levin, issued this statement:

Senator Levin has met with ZENN Motor Company and was interested to learn about the electric vehicle technology they are working on. Many Michigan companies have been actively engaged in developing advanced electric vehicle and battery technology and Senator Levin is hopeful that they and others will take advantage of federal funding opportunities and take steps to locate electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facilities in Michigan.

A prior May 13, 2009 letter to DOE Secretary Chu was co-authored by Michigan State Senators Elizabeth S. Brater and Mickey Switalski. In their letter, they provide support for the effort contingent upon "independent third party certification" of the technology.

DOE officials did not yet respond to further queries logged with them late in the day yesterday.

Over the next few days, I hope to add more comments from various individuals and organizations concerning this new ZENN-related information.

Congressman Schauer's letter of support can be downloaded from here.

When asked for comment on the proposal. Zmc's Ian Clifford said, "the
state of Michigan holds great strategic potential for our plans to
accelerate adoption of ZMC solutions. We have appreciated their
leadership and look forward to further dialogue with the DOE on this
important topic."