Wednesday, January 23, 2008

ZENN Motor 2007 Report

Introduction: In addition to nuclear power, this blog focuses on the electrification of the transportation system. Much of the story lies in the future. I share with with Joseph Romm a beliefe in that plug in electrical cars are very much the wave of the future. I have been following the ZENN Motor-EEStor story for some time. Either the two companies are about to produce a revolutionary car, or EEStor is engaged in a big time fraud. EEStor's contract with Lockheed- Martin appears to lend some credibility to the claim that EEStor has invented a revolutionary new ultra-capacitor technology. However, it is unclear if Lockheed- Martin actually was able to test an EEStor unit. ZENN is claiming "a single-charge range of 200 to 400 miles" with EEStor ultra-capacitor technology. I must admit that there are aspects of the EEStor story that I find hard to accept. A discussion on Tyler Hamilton's blog vertainly raises some red flags. A post Lockheed discussion on Tylor's blog continues to raise EEStor issues. Also see this recent discussion of the EEStor story in the Energy Blog. Here is the latest update from ZENN Motor.

Jan 21, 2008 21:37 ET

ZENN Motor 2007 Report

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 21, 2008) - ZENN Motor Company Inc. ("ZMC" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:ZNN) and formerly Feel Good Cars Corporation today announced the financial results for the three months and fiscal year ended September 30, 2007. All amounts are expressed in Canadian dollars unless otherwise indicated.

Financial Results

In the three months and year ended September 30, 2007, Company net revenue totaled $378,749 and $2,024,462, respectively. There were no sales in the corresponding periods in the prior year. Revenue for the quarter and the year has been reduced by a provision of $300,000 for anticipated future rebates relating to a marketing incentive program.

All of the Company's sales were to destinations in the United States and were invoiced in US Dollars. As a result of the increase in the value of the Canadian Dollar relative to the US Dollar, there has been a reduction in the effective yield on each US Dollar of sales. At this early stage of ZENN's introduction into the marketplace, price sensitivity prohibits significant changes in the selling price of the Company's current models. The strong Canadian Dollar also resulted in adjustments in the carrying value of inventory in 2007 of $796,968.

Net loss for the three months ended September 30, 2007 was $2,658,409 or $0.09 per share compared to a loss of $1,240,323 or $0.06 per share for 2006. For the year ended September 30, 2007 the net loss was $6,976,141 or $0.27 per share compared to a loss of $3,568,653 or $0.21 per share in 2006.

At September 30, 2007 the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $6,221,257 and working capital of $6,944,190 compared to cash and cash equivalents of $2,216,962 and working capital of $2,907,456 at September 30, 2006. During the year, the Company completed two common share offerings raising net proceeds of $13,598,369.

"2007 was an exciting year for ZENN Motor Company", said Ian Clifford, CEO of the Company. "We launched our first electric vehicle under our new corporate brand as we built a strong management team and corporate culture. At the beginning of the year, the production version of the ZENN was in final development, but not in the retailers' showrooms. In fiscal year 2007, we went from prototype, to commercial launch and sold 160 ZENNs by the end of the year. ZMC has a strong sales momentum going into fiscal 2008. We also saw our strategic partner EEStor make significant progress towards commercialization of its technology with its announcement on powder purity and a technology license agreement with Lockheed Martin."

Market and Product Development

At September 30, 2007, the Company had 35 retailer locations in 20 U.S. States. Further expansion of the retailer network will be focused in key strategic markets, primarily in the southern United States. Revenue growth is expected to be generated from increased sales in the existing markets in addition to market expansion. The Company has also received both the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) approvals for the ZENN. These approvals should help open up both the California and federal government fleet markets for the ZENN.

In December, the Company announced a next generation power train for the ZENN featuring an alternating current (AC) motor. The new power train is expected to provide increased range, superior hill-climbing ability and operational versatility. The AC powered ZENN will also offer air conditioning as an option and will begin shipping in early calendar 2008.

In anticipation of the EEStor technology being successfully commercialized, the Company is readying its plans to incorporate the technology in its ZENN product offerings. In addition, the Company has begun investigation of options for developing its future generation of longer-range, highway-capable vehicles. Two of the more promising opportunities being examined are retrofit kits and a small to mid-size automobile (curb weight less than 1400 Kg/3087 lbs) with highway capable speeds and range. The retrofit kits would be designed for mass conversion of specific existing automobiles from internal combustion to an electric drive train. On the new car front, while the final specifications have yet to be confirmed, the Company is exploring the development of small and mid-size cars that have a top speed of 65 to 75 MPH (105 to 120 KPH) and a single-charge range of 200 to 400 miles (325 to 650 Km). Subject to satisfying local homologation requirements, these new vehicles would be distributed to major markets globally. The Company estimates that global annual sales units for this size of new car to be in excess of 30 million. Third party discussions have been initiated to assess possible manufacturing and distribution scenarios.

Additional Information

Readers are encouraged to read the Company's audited financial statements for the year ending September 30, 2007, the corresponding Management's Discussion and Analysis and its Annual Information Form, all of which are available at or the Company's website at

ABOUT ZENN Motor Company Inc.

With Head Office in Toronto, Canada, ZENN Motor Company is dedicated to being the global leader in producing zero emission transportation solutions for markets around the world. Our current ZENNTM car is the perfect vehicle for urban commuters, fleets (such as resorts, gated communities, airports, college and business campuses, municipalities, parks and more), the environmentally conscious driver, and consumers who just want to save money. The ZENNTM is sold through a growing network of retailers across the United States.

The ZENNTM is a fully electric low speed vehicle (LSV) with European styling and appointments that offers customers tremendous operational cost savings compared to a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. Named "Best Urban Vehicle" at the 2006 Michelin Bibendum Challenge, the ZENNTM performed exceptionally well in all categories including excellent overall design, acceleration, braking, lowest power consumption and lowest noise level.

The potential commercialization of the high power-density ceramic ultra capacitor being developed by the Company's strategic partner, EEStor Inc. for future ZENNTM vehicles will enable them to travel greater speeds and distances like a traditional car at a fraction of the cost. Moreover, ZENN electric vehicles won't emit emissions or noise pollution and will provide their owners a freedom from worrying about escalating gas prices - making widespread concerns about oil dependency a thing of the past.


DV8 2XL said...

One thing that always seems to be glossed over in almost all electric car initiatives is cabin heat. This is most particular in the case of a Canadian vehicle, it cannot have escaped the notice of any firm based in Toronto that the winters up here are harsh and cabin heat is not a luxury.

Electric heaters are available as an option on the ZENN however there is scant data on how much of an impact running it will have on range or top speed.

This is not an insurmountable issue for electric cars. One power cell called the Zebra battery runs at elevated temperatures being of the molten salt design. Wast heat from its operation could be used for cabin heat with less of an impact on energy drain than resistance heat.

Zebra batteries are a relatively mature technology as a Google search will show.

At any rate this issue of heating will have to be addressed if electric cars are going to be practical in the northern U.S. and Canada.

Charles Barton said...

Air conditioning is an even bigger issue in Texas. Practical EV's in Texas must have enough reserve electricity to power an air conditioner along with providing motive power for auto trips. (See my discussion on the Air Conditioner test.) I consider the current Zenn vehicle a glorified golf cart. Until recently it could not be sold legally in Canada. I do not regard ZENN as a long term player. Zenn is owned by Feel Good Cars, a Canadian firm. If EEStor comes through on its commitment to Zenn.Feel good, the next step would be to put the Zenn-EEStor technology on the market for sale to an established auto company.

David Walters said...

Charles, it is good you follow the development of the EV. Clearly the big hurdle is electric storage (you mention a few) but we have a ways to go.

I see us developing "nuclear cars" by the building of reactors to power and charge future storage devices that can move all our transportation, our biggest energy user and our biggest polluter.

Developing really long lived (both in charge and actual life) will help bring the onset of a true fission economy.


Charles Barton said...

David, 100% Nuclear generated electricity and electrification of transportation = 3/4 of the CO2 we need to git rid of.

Norbert said...

A vehicle that does not offer significant utility and value advantages over those which exist already will fail. They are, after all, the competition. If you wish to develop a vehicle that competes on equal terms in the market, then you need more range and superior performance to what is available already. Here's the rub, you need to anticipate what range and performace will be available at the time your vehicle is released to the public. That means that you are likely looking ten years ahead or more. Trying to divine what'll be around then is a difficult proposition. Still, what we do know is that the ICE has plenty of development potential left yet. For instance, Mercedes have an engine on test which will allow 60 mpg and no loss of performance from a luxury car. Assuming tank size remains constant, the range is going to be impressive. Perhaps the owner will ony need fuel up the car on a monthly basis instead of weekly as he does now. Fiat are presently working on sub 1000cc engines that perform as well as current 2-litre designs. They are chasing 100mpg with no loss of utility or performance. Vehicles featuring such engines will be lauched in under 5 years. It is go increasingly difficult to work out what will be around in ten years.... and even harder to compete. Electrics and fuel cells are nowhere near ready yet. The expectation must be that some form of chemical fuel will continue to predominate (and it will not be H2).

Norbert Neidermeyer


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