Well the bloggsphere continues to buzz over EEStor’s ultra secret innovation; it’s a new type of battery currently referred to as an Electrical Energy Storage Units (EESU). According to the buzz that started in 2005 in late 2008 we would start seeing production of this secretive innovation. It is with that anticipation that I write this article.
Let me be the first to state that there are few things known for certain about EEStor and their Electrical Energy Storage Units. And that is just how EEStor wants it. Is the secrecy used to drive the hype… or to hide a flaw in the technology? I’ll let you decide. But one thing is certain, if the claims EEStor makes about their Electrical Energy Storage Units are true, then we are in for a Green Industrial Revolution.
Why the hype? Essentially using EESU which is 1/10th the weight of a lead-acid battery you could drive your car from Toronto to Montreal (543 km or 337 miles) on a 3 or 4 minute charge! Forget plugging your car in overnight! Better still the EESU doesn’t use chemicals it uses solid state technology so it is completely green.
The Start of the Hype
This story first started to break back in September of 2005 when Business Week posted an article stating that “Menlo Park, Calif. VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in July led a $3 million preferred stock investment in EEStor Inc., a Cedar Park, Texas startup that is developing breakthrough battery technology.”
The Hype Grows
Then in 2006 Tyler Hamilton from the Toronto Star and his blog Clean Break dug up even more information. He discovered a press release stating that EEStor and Feel Good Cars who produces electric vehicles made the following agreement:
“On September, 30, 2005, FGC entered into a Technology Agreement with EEStor Inc. located in Austin, Texas, to acquire the exclusive worldwide right to purchase high-power-density ceramic ultra capacitors called Electrical Storage Units (ESU) that are under development by that company. An ESU can store over 10 times the energy of lead-acid batteries and are expected to be available for use in the ZENN and regular electrically powered small cars. FGC’s exclusive worldwide right is for all personal transportation uses under 15 KW drive systems (equivalent to 100 peak horse power) and for vehicles with a curb weight of under 1200 kilograms not including batteries.”
Tyler further had a source which helped to shed light on the implications of this technology.
“It’s the holy grail of battery technology,” said my source. “It means you could do a highway capable electric city car that would recharge in three or four minutes and drive you from Toronto to Montreal. Consumers wouldn’t notice the difference from driving an electric car versus a gas-powered car.”
Lockheed Martin adds Credibility
From the press release:
“Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has signed an exclusive international rights agreement to integrate and market Electrical Energy Storage Units (EESU) from EEStor, Inc., for military and homeland security applications”.
“EEStor, based in Cedar Park, TX, is developing a ceramic battery chemistry that could provide 10 times the energy density of lead acid batteries at 1/10th the weight and volume. As envisioned, EESUs will be a fully “green” technology that will be half the price per stored watt-hour than traditional battery technologies.”
“EESU qualification testing and mass production at EEStor’s facility in Cedar Park is planned for late 2008.”
Zenn Motor Announces Production
In march of this year Toronto-based electric vehicle maker Zenn Motor (TSX: ZNN) announced that by fall of 2009 it would be producing a highway speed vehicle to be powered by EEStor in Cedar Park, Texas. You can read that press release here. “The highway speed vehicle, to be called the cityZenn, will have a top speed of 80 miles per hour and a range of 250 miles, according to Zenn. The company said the EEStor powered car will be rechargeable in less than 5 minutes.” Zenn holds 3.8 percent of EEStor after investing $2.5 million in the ultracapacitor company in April.
Hype or no Hype Lockheed Martin bought the rights for EESUs in military and homeland security applications. For me that adds some credibility, but personally, I am waiting to see. Perhaps later this year we finally see our first prototype EESU or even better the first EESU powered vehicles. If it is true this innovation will change the face of technology and mobile computing as we know it. The applications are endless and we will be in for a Green Industrial Revolution.
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