Energy Storage Notes

EEStor still not producingEEStor CEO Dick Weir had mentioned that a prototype would be released in the Q4 of 2009 to their partner Zenn Motors. Because Q4 09’ has passed and no announcements have been made- well let’s assume for now another deadline was missed. EEStor fans around the world are yet again let down. The ultra capacitor from EEStor will either prove to be one of the greatest technological leaps in recent history ($250/kWh, 300 lbs. for 50 kWh), or one of the greatest corporate hoaxes. Also, check out this EEStor timeline:  EEStor Timeline

Panasonic scores the Tesla contractTesla which famously claims to be battery agnostic and eager to ride the technology curve forward just signed a deal with Panasonic to exclusively provide all batteries- for now. The change allows Tesla to source from just one supplier (less testing work to do) and to change chemistries to Lithium Nickel from Lithium Cobalt- a slightly superior chemistry for automotive applications. The Tesla Model S is also expected late 2011/early 2012.

Ford moving towards LGChem? LGChem may have scored a contract with the other big American manufacturer (in addition to the GM Volt contract) as a report out of Korea announced that Ford selected LG, and not its current supplier Johnson Controls Saft to supply their secondary cells (future plug in vehicles.)

Ener1 takes a small hit: Ener1 announced yesterday in an 8-k that talks with Fisker to supply the battery for the Karma are off for now, but “remain open to exploring possible future business relationships pertaining to other potential Fisker programs.”

This poses the question, despite having possibly superior battery technology, is there no room for the start ups (A123, Ener1, Valence) to become an established player in one of the largest, growing segments in CleanTech? We could speculate that one day these will become IP plays, but both A123 and Ener1 have established or are setting up manufacturing facilities. To be continued…

There's room for a baby seat in the back row!