Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Battery Hype + Electric Delivery Truck Hype = Electrification Hysteria!

Full Disclosure: before I wrote this article, I bought 2000 shares of Enova stock at $0.74 today.  I have no intention of trading the stock or flipping it for a short term gain. As with my Zenn investment (which I have never sold), I intend to take a long term investment approach.  Most of my investment decisions lead to failure so do not construe this article as an invitation to join me as I wheelbarrow more of my money off a cliff.  There are plenty of other ways to piss away your own money.  Get creative. 

The chairman of the Enova Systems Inc. board of directors has joined Zenn Motor Company's board of directors and shall be addressed using his full name, John Robert Wallace.  Wallace fills a vacancy created with Peter Mackechnie's resignation announcement issued in the same press release.   Once they repair the window Mackechnie threw himself out of due to losing his mind waiting for EEStor to do something interesting,  Wallace has a lot of interesting challenges ahead chief among them is guiding Zenn to a place where they feel comfortable talking about what the hell they've been up to for the past year or so on the apparently uber secret ZENNergy drive project.  If Wallace can induce that Oprah moment, we might learn if there is true synergy between Enova and Zenn or if this is just a cocktail  napkin AH HA moment among people promoting their own short term interests.

As far as EEStor is concerned, this announcement probably changes nothing.  If Zenn added one of the Apostles to their Board of Directors, they would still have the problem of trying incessantly to liquor up Dick Weir and push him out in front of a bunch of cameras and microphones to coax a statement.

Yet Wallace has a background that certainly makes his rolodex impressive.  Sure, Enova like Tesla or any similar project tied to vehicle electrification has it's stock set of naysayers.  But within that world, what counts as credibility certainly seems to be with JRW.   Enova sounds like a company many 2 years ago had hoped Zenn could turn into.  They're building electric drive systems seemingly geared mainly for delivery or service vehicles.  Think box trucks like UPS or FEDEX which would be great except that skeptics have questioned whether a company like Enova can scale up to address customers of that size.  I have no idea if they can do it.   I would love to be at that first meeting at Zenn when they walk Wallace into a large cold empty condemned God forsaken warehouse outside of Toronto and pull his blindfold off, "Surprise! This is ZENNergy!"

In terms of electrification, I do like the cold hard rationality that exists in the business market vs the consumer market. This is because businesses look at a business case with far less emotion that consumers look at their car so that if there is a business case to be made for electric or hybrid delivery vehicles and the electric drive systems that make them possible, adoption will occur at the speed of of business.

In the coming days, I'll be looking for the herd at to identify the positives and negatives of Enova, Wallace and Zenn even if many think EEStor has no working product.

Of course, if you work at Enova, your new loose association with EEStor may make you think Oh No! va!!!  Especially since they actually make things and sell them to people.

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