Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The 2012 Zenn Annual Ge.......MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHA!!!.....neral meeting took place today with Zenn interim CEO Jim Kofman laying......MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHA!!!....down the law (remember, he is an attorney) about what comes next in the EEStory.  Firstly, some of the revealed facts.....MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHA!!!

According to Kofman, who sounded confident and sober(!),  EEStor will make a public reveal of their technology "before summer" due to a recently struck non-dilutive investment agreement between Zenn and EEStor. The non non disclosure agreement "actually has very specific dates in it. And I guess all I'll say to you is we're expecting this before the summer if not well before that time. MUAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHA!!!"

Whatever will be revealed will be certified by a third party expert. Here's how Kofman described that party (who has already been involved in the review cited in the press release yesterday):

They know a lot about the space. We've been very careful choosing a firm that is extremely well known in the space.  Knows what they're doing. Has been looking at this technology for a long time. And was able to be of significant assistance to us and also will be in the future.  But they are a firm that would be very well known to people who know the space. Very reputable and very independent. And were able to be responsive. who knows a lot about the space.  Firm that is extremely well known in the space. Has been looking at this technology for a long time. 

Kofman went on to say "it's coming and it's very specific on what needs to be disclosed.  So we're excited and we think that's probably the most positive development you could look for."

If you've been paying attention, you probably noticed he didn't say what would be revealed.  And T H A T is why we call it TheEEStory.


In conclusion, it appears that maybe possibly Kofman is making sense.  Very possible.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Zenn Gives EEStor More Cash For Less Secrets

It's been awhile since Zenn Motor Company has said anything about EEStor Inc.   And even when compelled to say something about EEStor, the topic of timing has been an anathema due to several apparent miscalculations.  The topic of time is the kiss of death at this point in the EEStory saga.  But today, Zenn has made itself ready to tempt fate one more time with yet another prediction related to timing.   Here is the key paragraph:

The Company recently participated as a minority investor in an equity financing completed by EEStor, Inc. While the Company's investment was small, the investment was part of a financing that provided EEStor with additional working capital to further the development of its power storage technology. Importantly, as part of the investment the Company was able to review certain aspects of the technology and obtain a covenant from EEStor regarding a timeline for near term public disclosure of the status of its technological development certified by an independent third party.
Of course, the obvious thing to say at this point is no freaking way. Not again. Not another prediction of something happening soonish.  Statements about timing are dead to me. They have been for at least 2 years.  Everyone who has ever succumbed to thinking maybe it's going to happen this time has always been burned.   Still, it is hard not to be a tiny bit hopefull if only because Jim Kofman is now on board.

But wait a second.  Why does EEStor need this financing?  If they produce the holy grail of energy storage, we've been assured so many times money will rain down on them like Noah's Flood.  So, I will reserve judgement at this point.

The prediction that EEStor is out of cash seems to have come true.  But will we ever get to the finish line?
What do you think?

We can now look forward to tomorrow's AGM...if it can add any flesh to this news.

If you have been under a rock, you may not realize, we're all over at http://TheEEStory.ning.com now.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Forsale: The EEstor Dream?

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Eestor has officially launched a line of Eestor collectors items?

Or, they are out of....how shall we say.....cash?

Let the debates begin!!!!

UPDATE #1:  So, it looks like EEStor is selling some equipment which they haven't used "in production."

There are 10 pieces of equipment up for bid from EEStor on LabX.com.   The equipment costs range from $2500-$95,000 and include a free Zenn electric car.  The photos appear to have been taken at the end of February.  Most of the items seem to reside in some sort of storage holding area but the Dispensing System seems like maybe it is onsite at EEStor.  In fact, if you look into the glass on the Dispensing System, you can almost see the reflection of a fully operational EESU on a table in the background.  Nah, kidding.  The item description notes:   "EEStor, Inc. was planning on using the system to print capacitor dielectric layers with a set of valves attached to the CNC plate and controlled by the system controller."

None of the items supported the notion that pet rocks were being manufactured at EEStor.

EEStor Inc. Equipment For sale

Friday, March 16, 2012

Envia Envy

If you noticed in the comments section of my previous blog article on Envia, Atul Kapadia dropped by to clarify some items in part to tamp down some of my wilder speculative notions.  I decided to contact him directly to verify it was indeed him who left the comments and then ask a few more questions.   I'm going to post the exchange note style for those who hate my writing style (which is I think 1 or 2 of you).

Incidently, I am excited about this technology. I'm happy for DoE and ARPA-E as well.  I still reserve doubts about how investments are placed in companies rather than specs but that's not important in cases like these where it's time to celebrate some success.   From Mr. Kapadia:

Atul Kapadia said...
Thanks for recognizing Envia's achievement - our scientists and engineers have worked tirelessly for the past 4.5 years to get to these energy densities. Envia is a highly (highly) capital efficient model - almost all Series C funds from December 2010 are still in the bank.
Envia did take investmeiusnt from Japanese chemical companies but did not give whatsoever any manufacturing or intellectual property rights to any of these investors.
The facility in Jiaxing does system assembly of cells. Envia views cell-making as an assembly process in contrast to materials development and manufacturing (which is bulk of the IP and BOM of the cell). Envia's material is manufactured in Newark, CA.
So far, it is indeed an American company but the market is international and we intend to enable all automotive OEM's around the world.
February 29, 2012 2:54 PM  

 After I sent him a verification check, he responded with this:

Yes, I did leave a comment on your blog.
As you know, we make our own cathode, anode and electrolyte - all these materials are made in Newark, CA.  However cells are made in China - we ship this material to China and the cells are assembled in China.
As for manufacturing, I want to make sure we are not a capital intensive company.  We will partner with the right companies around the world to lower our manufacturing costs.  We will still continue to build pilot plants for mule vehicle testing, etc but when it comes to volume production - there has been a lot of capacity built out with public and private money last five years - we can take advantage of that.
Atul Kapadia

This was my reply to his reply:

Thanks for confirming and providing a bit more information.  Congratulations again.   That's a fantastic accomplishment.  Kudos to your hard working team!
Why wouldn't you make the C, A and E in China in addition to cell assembly?  Just curious.
Conversely, why wouldn't you have the cells assembled in CA?
Obviously, GM as a partner enables you to sell into a GM mass production environment easily.   But will you sell your batteries to Ford and other automakers if they come seeking it?  I would assume the answer is yes but want to be clear.   Are you planning to sell to any Chinese automakers?
Can you say whether your battery is already undergoing or scheduled to be tested in a Chevy Volt?   With nothing more than a battery swap, what do you think your battery could do to the range of a Volt?    Could Chevy offer your battery as an upgrade to current Volt owners?

I know you've laid out some conservative time tables so I apologize if these questions are a bit hysterical and overanxious in regard to timing.
Again, well done.  I'm happy for you and I'm happy for ARPA-E.  We had no innovation and investment in energy for so long as a country, thank God we have some success now. 

 Atul's reply to my reply to his reply with my pie in the sky to say hi:

We partitioned the tasks between China and US to ensure scale-up of IP sensitive material stayed near our scientists so we can have quick iterations between scale-up engineers and scientists.  We have a very good VP Manufacturing who has manufactured cells in China before - so we leveraged that skill set and saved some money early on when there was not much money in the bank by doing it in China.
Legally and formally, GM is not a partner - it is important to note that the word partner has specific definitions inside large companies.  GM Ventures is an investor and that implies we may possibly have other relationship with GM but I am bound by confidentiality to not discuss it.  You can approach GM directly.
We are free to do business with any automotive OEM around the world.  GM has demonstrated the highest integrity - they never ever probe or attend meetings where competitive program discussion is ongoing.
As for your questions on Volt, you will have to approach GM.
But I can tell you accurately that some of the components of our 400 Wh/kg are definitely undergoing qualification already with some of the large automotive OEMs around the world.  It is an open secret in the market that Envia is the larger in meeting automotive specs and capacity of material in the market.  I am being conservative in my timing estimates simply because automotive qualification cycles are long and it is the OEM's prerogative to decide when they integrate our solutions in their cars.
The last point you made is why we made this announcement.  For the country, for the market and to give the automotive OEMs confidence that while ionic breakthroughs will not be as fast as electronic breakthroughs, the anemic pace of innovation in materials and batteries for the past decade is unacceptable and not going to be the norm while Envia is around.
Thanks for your interest.

After this last note, I got pretty excited and had to break off further email communications.  I don't know why. Oh yeah, because I didn't want to badger him for more detail after he spent such a long time responding in such a thorough manner.  Ah, fresh air.

Ok, battery freaks of the world.  Let's dissect, speculate and formulate some new questions....if you are in fact interested which you should be if I say so. I say so.