Saturday, July 19, 2008

As EEStor Turns, Another Chapter, Another Verse

I have made it clear in the past that I am skeptical about the EEStor story. EEStor is an Austin start up which claims to have developed a revolutionary capacitor, that could if the claims are true, provide a revolutionary means of storing electricity for transportation and other uses. EEStor claims to have developed a revolutionary ultracapacitor-based energy storage systems, that can store more electricity by unit of weight than the current generation of Lithium-ion batteries. In addition the projected electrical storage units can be built for a fraction of the price of Lithium ion batteries. Such units reportedly also have storage performance characteristics that are in several respects superior to Lithium-ion technology.

Numerous people have looked at EEStors claims about their technology and pronounced them nonsense. Despite this EEStor has received financial support not only from tiny and marginal ZENN Motors, but also from high tec investment organization Kleiner Perkins, and Lockheed Martin, a business that one would expect to not be taken in by a hoax. Furthermore, Austin billionaire Mort Topfer in on the EEStor board, and Topfer is both intelligent and nobodies fool. Because it has the interest of credible parties who have obligations to investors and stock holders to not be taken in by a con, despite what I regard as red flags, EEStor can not be completely dismissed, because ofthe credibility of its backers.

A self styled Anonymous blogger is now spinning the lastest verse of the EEStor story. Anonymous is not without his own red flags, not the least of which is the fact that he is anonymous. By his account Anonymous has come up with an internet method of trolling for information on the EEStory, but what we have with an anonymous source reporting on what anonymous sources have told him. This might indeed be described as shadowy.

I advise my reader to make carful note of the above caveat as I describe what Anonymous claims.

In a post dated yesterday, Anonymous claimed that Richard Weir of EEStor had told key investors and other interested parties in April that the EEStor Unit had passed a key third party "Permittivity" test. Permittivity is the ability of capacitor materials to hold a charge. This claim, if true, would indicate that the EEStor Unit work in an important way. Weir also indicated that EEStor Inc was planning to expand its production lines from the one which is currently under development, to 6-7 more production lines

Anonymous claims that EEStor is working on 21 patents, and that its primary motivation is the 23
patents, and that its primary motive for secrecy, it the danger of typing competitors hands before patent applications are filed.

Anonymous claims that EEStor has at least 5 major funding sources lined up. They are reportedly Kleiner Perkins, Zenn Motors, Lockheed Martin, Mort Topfer and a mystery billionaire in Austin, TX whose name probably rhymes with "Bell".

Anonymous reports speculation from one or more of his shadowy sources that EEStor intends to make everything public at the same time. Every thing meaning the "Permittivity" test outcome, the 21 patents, details of the production line(s), and more. An EEStor web site will also appear, and no doubt if everything happens as Anonymous predicts, there will be the most astonishing uproar. Do not forget my caveat, however. Austin is not for certain going to be the center of salvation for the American Motor Industry. Zenn Motors may not be the new name in cars. But if, and this is a still a very big if, this is true, then we need to understand the radical implications.

Zenn has stated that it plans to build a EV with a 250 miles driving range for $15,000. GM plans to build the Lithium-ion battery powered Volt for $40,000, with an unassisted electrical range of 30 miles. This would mean that the leap to electrical transportation would happen very quickly.

I really would like to believe.


charlesH said...


I have the same opinion you do. It sure would be nice if it is real but I would be my life on it.

Tom Villars said...

I agree credibility is an issue, so hopefully this link will help.

Anonymous said...


Tyler Hamilton, senior technology reporter and columnist for the Toronto Star, in his CLEAN BREAK blog, was able to confirm that "B", the anonymous blogger who broke the big EESTOR news yesterday, does in fact have access to EESTOR CEO, Richard Weir. This from Tyler's blog yesterday:

One financial analyst, who has access to EEStor, told me Dick Weir talks to this blogger because, "It amuses him. He gets a kick out of it." There you go.

Hamilton published his blog, confirming "B" has direct access to Weir, within about an hour of "B" publishing his astonishing "EESOR BEYOND PERMATIVITY" blockbuster.

Charles Barton said...

We still have not established that "B" represents a truly independent voice. "B: reportedly talks to people other than Wier, but at least some of them get their information from Wier. The EEStor credibility issue is not settled in my book.

Anonymous said...


Hamilton's blog certified that "B", whoever B is, has direct access to EESTOR, something nobody else has.
Take that for what you will.

The EESTOR credibility issue will not be completely resolved until the world sees an EESTOR ESU.

But, at this point with confirmed capital investments of over $3 million from Kleiner Perkins (see Google and Amazon), a confirmed exclusive rights contract with Lockheed Martin (for military technology applications), Zenn Motor Cars investment of a few million dollars, along with EESTOR's promise of delivering a working production line ESU by the end of 2008... things look pretty good here.

And Morton Topfer is also on board.

And just after Kleiner invested in EESTOR, Colin Powel and Al Gore were added to the board of directors at Kleiner Perkins. Furthermore, Al Gore introduced Ian CLifford of Zenn Motor Cars to the Premier of Quebec to help influence the province to allow Zenn cars on Quebec streets.

A short time later, Quebec changed their laws.

Furthermore, both ZENN and Lionel Liebmen of Lockheed Martin have made statements to the effect that Eestor does have prototypes and let's not forget that the purity of their chemicals was in fact certified by an independent 3rd party lab. This certification triggered an infusion of capital from Zenn.

Zenn has stated they will have the first fleet of EEstor powered cars on the road by Fall 2009.

It's not a lock, but at this late stage there appear to be only two possibilities:

EESTOR has the technology and it works


EESTOR is lying (or just delusional). For this option to be true, the other big players involved must also be lying or are just gullible fools.

We live in a world of charlatans, it's true. I just can't imagine Richard Weir wearing that hat.

Just my opinion, based on my DD.
Do your own DD. It's the only way to truth. Lazy research leads to financial destruction.

Charles Barton said...

The behavior of both EEStor and Zenn Motors has been puzzling. Critics have pointed out for example that Zenn had stated Zenn had publicly stated that it anticipated the delivery of an ESU last year. The unit did not appear. Critics have pointed to scientific questions related to EEStor patents. An interview with ZennMotors Irving Clifford the GM-Volt blog raised several issues.
I noted a few scientific questions raised in the comment section that followed the interview. Finally even more questions are raised by the ZENN Motors 2007 annual report.

We do however, seem to be moving toward a resolution of the story.

charlesH said...

Did I read that right? $5M in investments?

If this were anywhere near a sure thing investments would be $50-100M.

This is a case of investing a little just in case they get lucky. Keeping your toe in the door.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to believe that EEStor is real, but I'm not getting my hopes up until I see a finished ESU doing what was claimed.

It'd love to have a bicycle with electrical drive train and a ~1 kWh ESU. You could do all sorts of neat things.

You could do regenerative breaking.

You decouple the power output of the cyclist from the power output of the electrical engine. That allows you to level the power output of the cyclist such that you don't exert yourself going up slopes and you don't have to rest going down them(charge ESU) while still getting a good workout(no net drain on the ESU). It allows you to charge the ESU, getting a good work out even where you cannot go very fast for safety reasons.

You could run on the ESU when you're just interested in utillity and not exercise.

You could provide enough power density to go up steep slopes even with just a small ESU.

You could provide clean electrical power to run the lighting and other interesting gadgets much more efficiently than the usual noisy little dynamo seen on bicycles.

One can dream, but I doubt it.


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