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A123Systems Closes $40 Million Round; Targeted for Expanding Product Portfolio and Scaling Manufacturing of Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid Batteries

25 January 2007

A123Systems has completed a $40 million round of funding, bringing the total capital invested in the company to $102 million.

A123Systems will use these funds to scale its technology development and manufacturing capacity for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) batteries, as well as to support the fast growing demand in the power tool, hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and consumer applications markets.

GM recently awarded A123Systems and partner Cobasys an advanced battery development contracts to design and test lithium-ion batteries for use in the Saturn Vue Green Line plug-in hybrid SUV. (Earlier post.)

A123Systems is also working with GE to develop systems for the hybrid bus market (earlier post) and recently received a $15 million development contract for next generation HEV batteries by the US Department of Energy and the United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) (earlier post).

This latest funding round was led by General Electric Commercial Finance, which is significantly increasing its investment in A123Systems. The Procter & Gamble Company—the world’s leading consumer goods company and a leading manufacturer of consumer batteries through its brand Duracell—joined in the round as a new investor.

As the worldwide leader in the battery category, we constantly evaluate emerging technology for its potential to deliver benefits to consumers. Our investment in A123Systems coupled with our companies’ joint development activities is intended to further strengthen Duracell’s position in the consumer portable power space. This move also reinforces P&G’s commitment to partner with innovative companies to gain access to new technologies.

—Mark Bertolami, VP, Global Marketing and General Manager, North America, Duracell

[A123Systems’s] latest wins—focused on Plug-In Hybrid and Hybrid Electric Vehicles—are particularly exciting given current global environmental challenges.

—Mark Huang, Senior Vice President, GE Energy Financial Services

Prior investors are also participating including Alliance Capital, FA Technology Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, OnPoint, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Motorola, Qualcomm, and Desh Deshpande, the company’s board chairman.

A123Systems continues to expand its fast growing power tool battery business with Black & Decker Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of cordless tools, where the company is helping drive the transition from nickel cadmium technology to doped nanophosphate lithium-ion technology.

January 25, 2007 in Batteries, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (37) | TrackBack (0)

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Wow this sounds like PHEV's are getting close to reality.

PS I had aways thought that A123's lithium batteries would always be too expensive and too small for PHEVs. (I thoght that something like Firefly's cheaper product was the only hope.) I am now beginning to think that I might have been wrong.

Ge brings good things to life.Lets hope their financial muscle will give truth that old jingle.

Now, this should serve as incentive for EEstor to hurry up and put together just a single ceramic supercapacitor cell to demonstrate their claim of 280-300 wh/kg energy density. Why waste time to build the whole 15-52kwh battery and the whole assembly for such, when small-cell demonstration like A123 small power-tool-cells can bring such massive investment income?

How long would it take to build just one supercapacitor cell of 1 mili Farad? or 1 Farad-size to be closer to the size of the actual car battery pack?

Roger,

You know that EESTOR has always remained quite secretive or private so, even if they did have a prototype out, it is very unlikely they would be blowing their horn about it.

In fact, on March 25th, 2006 EESTOR held a 2 hour open house in their Cedar Park, Texas, headquarters, to demonstrate two FGC (Feel Good Cars) or ‘Zenn Cars’ (Zenn = Zero Emission No Noise) (http://www.zenncars.com/ ) out of Toronto, Canada that were reportedly equipped with EESU production level prototype storage devices.

The following month the Cedar Park News Flash (http://www.cedarparktx.us/cp/default.aspx ) published a PDF on the Open House event quoting Richard Weir CEO of EESTOR as saying:

“This is a very sophisticated electric car, with 250 to 300 miles of range,” Richard Weir, CEO, president and co-founder of EEStor said. “It’ll take a full electrical charge in about the time it takes to gas up a regular car. Just plug it up for a few minutes and you’re off.” Many auto manufacturers experimented with electric cars in the 1980s and 1990s but essentially abandoned the technology for hybrid or other alternative fuel systems due to their high cost of manufacture and maintenance. Weir believes EEStor has overcome those hurdles with their product. “This is just a preview of what’s to come…. seeing is believing.”

As soon as Mr. Weir got wind of the PDF he asked that the Cedar Park article be removed from the site & it was.

What Weir was referencing when he said ‘seeing is believing’ was most likely the EESU storage units that were installed in the Zenn vehicles and what follows is why.

One can download the specifications for the current layout of the Zenn at:

http://www.zenncars.com/brochure/images_brochure/PDFs/ZENN_Brochure_lr.pdf

Here one will see that the advertised range is currently 25-31 miles for the Zenn Car; nowhere near the 250 -300 mile range of the two Zenn vehicles that Weir was hosting at his EESTOR Open House. Currently the Zenn is fitted with 6 – 12VDC Lead Acid Gel Batteries for a total of 72 VDC operating voltage. In order to go 30 miles the Zenn in its current layout needs about 3.5 kWh of usable energy out those lead acid storage units.

For Weir to state that the Zenns on display at his Open House were good for 250-300 miles means that they would need to have been fitted with at least 29-35 kWh of his EESU devices ( why would he fit them with anything else?) and this only if the vehicles were to not exceed 25 MPH.

If the two Zenn Cars he prototyped at his Open House were to have speed limits of say 65 MPH, then the range of 250-300 miles would have necessitated EESUs with 54-65 kWh of storage.

Of course, this would also necessitate a larger electric motor than the Zenn’s current 5 horsepower motor but, that is quite doable. All the Zenn would need, to go 65 MPH, is a little more than a 20 horsepower or a 15kW motor. It looks to me like the veracity of the rumor that EESTOR already has production level prototypes in operation, has a pretty solid foundation.


Wayne,
Thanks for the feedback. 102 millions USD is a big chunk of development capital that is vital for developing a full-fledge assembly line to make EESU for PHEV's and BEV's. EEstor will need that kind of money in order to bring their invention to the market place. All the design and testing rounds and re-designs and re-testings to perfection will consume a lot of cash, until the product will be flawless and ready for widespread consumer markets.

So, who do you suppose is paying EEstor to hush-up and forgo all of these 100M of fat cash? Could it be Big Oil, flushed with tens of billions of profit cash recently, be the real but hidden Dark Force behind EEstor's elusive and mysterious behavior?
With A123 lithium battery, there will still demand for oil, given the relative scarcity of Lithium, not too many PHEV battery packs can be produced. However, with EEstor's claim of cheap, very compact, and light-weight EESU, oil will be the thing of the past. Fast-charging stations will simply be equipped with loads of EESU's of gadzillion of kwh of capacity onsite, and will be able to charge any BEV's in a few minutes without overloading the electrical grid. A fatal catastrophe for Big Oil, indeed!...unless, tune in next time for "The Revenge of the Sith!"

It sounds like there is still no independent verification. Where's the beef?

Roger:

Seems like you are a big fan of hydrogen fuel cells and EESTOR supercaps.

One question, thought:

What do you smoke, dude?

Roger,

Both of the principals of EESTOR are well experienced in successful high tech start ups, management & large operations. The principals along with their quite famous & well heeled board of directors have enough funding amongst themselves to roll their business plan out very nicely & all by themselves, once they are certain it is a sure bet.

Coming off the start-line with funding provided by their chosen venture capitalists with a mandate for quietude is typical of experienced & successful startups. I doubt you will see any call for funding from them in the near future. The best thing to do now, to get in on the game, is to buy into those companies that license to use EESTOR technology. One remaining & very good reason to stay quiet is; when you are about to upset as big of apple cart as they surely are, and you already have the financial backing in place, why give the competition (read energy & other business giants) long term notice?

These guys have enough experience to know that the first tools the big boys use, is to send in their shills to build up public fear & doubt. You can even see it here on Green Car quite often. Remember how much anti-hybrid propaganda was circulating from the US automotive industry & even in the society of automotive engineering papers 10 years ago when Toyota & Honda were first promoting hybrid vehicles? Remember how many supposedly ‘expert-in-their-field’ scientists testified that tobacco was, ‘in-their-opinion’ not harmful to the body? Take a look at the ‘expert shills’ bearing testimony against climate change or global warming! Too many of us ignore these things & say things like; I’m not into conspiracies & etc. This attitude not only ignores lots of history & evidences but, leaves us wide open to be acted upon instead being the actors in our own lives.

Conspiracy is one of the dark-side’s most favored tools of dominion.

Well, if the shills don’t get the job done (sadly, they often do) then the big boys begin using the more expensive tactics (Fear & Doubt from paid shills were only their first line & cheap weapons). Next they begin doing just like was done with Ovonics or now Cobasys. They invest heavily enough into the burgeoning company to get some, if not all control; usually with misrepresentations & uncommitted hyperbole. You don’t have to buy controlling interest in a company to control it but, that is the best way. Chevron/Texaco/Cobasys has, since 2004 has caused Toyota & others, via lawsuit settlements, to remove large array NiMH high voltage batteries from the market place. It is most likely the RAV EV is not being made today because of this. It is possible that GM’s EV1 was removed from the market because of the early financial ties GM had to Ovonics, now Chevron/Texaco/Cobasys. Toyota agreed to pay out more than $30,000,000.00 to Texaco/Cobasys to settle & has been under contractual restraint to not use large array NiMH technology since 2004 and this will continue until mid 2007 when a small increase in array size will be allowed with further restraint until 2010 & then finally ending all restraints in 2014.

Recently we got notice of something that struck a bit of sadness in me. A123 entered into some sort of agreement with Cobasys. The details of the agreement are being held privately just as they were when Ovonics joined up with Texaco. I am certain that A123 was just as excited about this union, for funding reasons, as was Ovonics when Texaco came along several years ago & made all their promises to Ovonics while creating Cobasys . Well, Chevron bought Texaco & now A123 is in bed with a group that has actually & severely delayed EV, HEV & PHEV progress in the United States & other places throughout the world.

All of this has been done legally, lawfully & in the name of ‘Good Business.’ Our most revered institutions of higher education teach our brightest minds how to exploit human & natural resources, legally & lawfully, to the eventual harm of all by certifying these folks with highly esteemed degrees & lots of income. When you get the degrees & the money, it is pretty hard to turn your back on it when you know it means your livelihood will suffer so, you too turn your head & harden your natural ethics in the name of self & family preservation. One is slowly lulled into this mire & rarely escapes.

Sadly, gone are the days when ‘Good Business’ meant the betterment of our world & its inhabitants

EESTOR has been very wise in not allowing outside investors, not stirring up the enemy with more press releases than are necessary to keep their few venture capitalists happy. These guys have the potential to be a very big part the new irresponsible power upon the earth… or maybe they will choose to be good guys, either way the technology will be a blessing to our earth & its inhabitants!

Hi Mr. Wayne Brown,

Do you believe everything you read in the press? Are you making some of this up? I believe you are or your at least interpretting somethings quite wrong. Do you even drive an HEV, PHEV or even, how about an EV? Have you ever? Let me see, back in Economics 101 there was something called supply and demand. IF there is no demand, then supply will not increase... seems there is demand NOW and in the recent past (1-2 years) because Toyota is producing well over 100k of HEVs per year and almost the entire automotive industry is planning on doing the same! Oh yea, most of the WORLD could drive EVs on their daily commutes, but they choose not to... because it is TOO expensive. When the price of oil becomes too much, life will change. Period.

Now, onto your little conspiricy rants and misconceptions... I have quoted your comments and will reply to them in fashion. I will not do the research for you, but before you say something and make it look like fact, you should read up on it a bit more first.

"Next they begin doing just like was done with Ovonics or now Cobasys."

Done how? I this supported by what you state below?

"Chevron/Texaco/Cobasys has, since 2004 has caused Toyota & others, via lawsuit settlements, to remove large array NiMH high voltage batteries from the market place."

hmmm.... false... yes, there was a lawsuit and yes there was a settlement, but I did not see anywhere in the results that they are "removed" or prevented. You need to read up some more on folks such as Azure, GM Allison, Eaton and UPS and many others, who actually utilize "large array NiMH high voltage batteries" in their vehicles. Everyone of those companies I quoted have "large NiMH high voltage batteries" in their vehicle designs and some are in production.

"It is most likely the RAV EV is not being made today because of this. "

Assumption and guessing. Econonmics 101.

"It is possible that GM’s EV1 was removed from the market because of the early financial ties GM had to Ovonics, now Chevron/Texaco/Cobasys. "

Yup, the small little Ovonics and Cobasys caused GM to cancel this... okay, assumption on both our parts... I cannot tell you why, but most likely it is Economics 101. If GM could have justifiably made money on them, they might have actually made the cars. Oh ya, the base model had Lead Acid batteries by the way. You know, the ones you can buy at any automotive parts store.

"Toyota agreed to pay out more than $30,000,000.00 to Texaco/Cobasys to settle & has been under contractual restraint to not use large array NiMH technology since 2004 and this will continue until mid 2007 when a small increase in array size will be allowed with further restraint until 2010 & then finally ending all restraints in 2014."

WOW, do you believe everything you read in the newspapers and on the internet? I have some services I would like to sell to you, could you please send me an email so I can send this to you privately... I think it has something to do with me sending you a check for 5000, which you send me back 4000 and you keep the other 1000.

You see, if you read the lawsuit settlement, it states NOTHING about $30,000,000. Although I do believe it states something about the large NiMH arrays. Your right though, lets all just throw out our entire Intellectual Property laws and get back to the stone age in what you take is yours.

Hi Rich,

You either haven't read the settlement or you are outwardly lying about it not saying anything about $30 million.

Since the settlement is not a part of public records; why don't you go read Ovonics' financial statement for July 2004 at:

http://www.ovonic.com/PDFs/Financial_Reports/form_8k/8k_mbi_patent_infringe_settlement_7july04.pdf

When done, come tell me how uninformed I am & we'll take the Chevron/Texaco/Cobasys & even GM EV1 story a little further.

Just in case you do not have a desire to look at the document, I have copied the following right out of the Cobasys financial report for all to see. Again this is from Cobasys’ financials… If you knew the rest of the story as well as I do, you would be very disappointed in how well I actually did get through all my 101 curriculum and even a little more. :)

The following is copied directly from the above referenced Ovonics (Cobasys) Financial Report for July 2004:

“Under the terms of the settlement, ECD, Ovonic Battery, Cobasys and MEI, PEVE, Toyota have entered into an agreement pursuant to which the parties have cross-licensed current and future patents related to NiMH batteries filed through December 31, 2014, effective upon the date of settlement. The licenses granted by ECD, Ovonic Battery and Cobasys do not grant rights to MEI, PEVE or Toyota to use the licensed patents to (i) offer for sale certain NiMH batteries for certain transportation applications in North America until after June 30, 2007 or (ii) sell commercial quantities of certain transportation and certain stationary power NiMH batteries in North America until after June 30, 2010.

Further, under the terms of the settlement, Cobasys and PEVE have agreed to a technical cooperation arrangement, including access to suppliers, to advance the state-of-theart of NiMH batteries, which are widely used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). Cobasys and PEVE have also agreed to collaborate on the development of next-generation high-performance NiMH batteries for HEVs. In addition to manufacturing their own line of NiMH batteries, Cobasys will be the distributor of PEVE’s NiMH batteries to certain markets in North America through June 30, 2010.

Payments ECD and Ovonic Battery will receive a non-refundable patent license fee of $10 million in consideration of the licenses granted to MEI/PEVE with respect to NiMH batteries for consumer applications.

Cobasys will receive a non-refundable patent license fee of $20 million in consideration of the licenses granted to MEI/PEVE and Toyota, of which $4 million will be placed in escrow to be used to pay PEVE upon reaching certain milestones under the next-generation highperformance NiMH battery module development project plan. Cobasys will, upon the receipt of the funds, pay Ovonic Battery $8 million and pay ChevronTexaco $8 million as partial reimbursement of legal expenses.

Cobasys will also receive royalties through December 31, 2013, on certain NiMH batteries sold by MEI/PEVE in North America.”

Come on back Rich, I can expose far more than this tidbit if needed.

Best Regards,
Wayne Brown

Rich,

I am sorry; I forgot to answer your query about whether or not I drive an EV, HEV or PHEV. Yes, I made my first EV in 1962 and drove it into the ground.

I bought the first 'classic' design of the Prius HEV when they first came to the US.

I was the first person that actually wired Pb-Acid batteries into parallel with the classic Prius OEM battery in 2002.

I was possibly the first person in the USA to convert my 2004 Prius into a PHEV in late 2003. Cal-Cars watched my work very closely & asked me to join them in their early PHEV promotion efforts but, I am pursuing another technology & turned them down. You can ask Felix Kramer of Cal-Cars about me ... he is honest & will tell you that I pioneered most of the early technology that gave the whole PHEV effort a serious foot to get started on. Some of that is covered in the following EV World article titled ‘Plug It In, Plug It In’:

http://www.evworld.com/view.cfm?page=article&archive=1&storyid=689&first=6970&end=6969

I am also the guy that reverse-engineered the Toyot Prius EV Button so it could be used in the US/Canadian Prius & shared all this information with anyone that was interested.

You can read about the HEV & PHEV work I have done at – http://privatenrg.com –

Best Regards

From your first statment...
"Chevron/Texaco/Cobasys. Toyota agreed to pay out more than $30,000,000.00 to Texaco/Cobasys to settle & has been under contractual restraint to not use large array NiMH technology since 2004 and this will continue until mid 2007 when a small increase in array size will be allowed with further restraint until 2010 & then finally ending all restraints in 2014."

Again, there is nothing in here, which states that large NiMH arrays cannot be sold or design. There are restrictions upon PEVE in accordance with the 'arbritration' agreement by both parties. Other companies could give it a go. OR as your mentioned, 'good business' hurting the world or some such. Perhaps we should just throw out all IP laws for which the United States of America is based upon since basically the Declaration of Independance?

"Since the settlement is not a part of public records; why don't you go read Ovonics' financial statement for July 2004 at:"

Actually, your information (Cobasys financial report) is basically straight from the public record shown here...

"MBI SETTLEMENT - RELEASE OF 7/7/04" =>

http://tinyurl.com/34rg3r

Back to your financial information... $20M paid to Cobasys, of which $4M may be paid back to PEVE. Also, Cobasys pays it's owners $8M each, that being Chevron (the big money and oil) and ECD (owners of the original patents for the NiMH and where the lawsuit generated in the first place). As I understand it, way back when PEVE (aka owned by Toyota partially) was licensed to use NiMH, they were allowed to do it in Consumer Electronics, by which Toyota/PEVE said, okay, a car is a consumer electronic... hence the Prius.

That is only $20 million - $4, so you end up getting paid possibly $16, of which Cobasys essentially doesn't get any and most end up going to lawyers anyhow.

I do not have time to read up on your links, but I will and look forward to reading about yourself. You sir are an inovator and not one of the standard 300+ million consumers in America.

Rich

Hi Rich,

Thank you for the compliment.

When read carefully it becomes quite clear that my original statement remains a fact; "Toyota agreed to pay out more than $30,000,000.00 to Texaco/Cobasys to settle." They may or may not get $4 million of it back.

If I were Toyota, I would be getting with EESTOR right away... I hope they already have! If Toyota were to license with EESTOR, then Chevron/Texaco/Cobasys could simply keep the full $30 million and Toyota would likely take the number 1 spot from GM (they might anyway), the world would be cleaner, sooner, oil imports would fall quickly & our American oil reserves could be kept for chemical, plastic & other synthetic feedstock reserves.

In fact, if EESTOR folks are reading here; I would like to offer my 'free' services to them to help get their EESU on the market even sooner. Just let me know how I can help; I am in East Texas, only a few hours away from you guys!

Wayne Brown – http://privatenrg.com

Rich,

I see where you might not understand the public record in that MEI/PEVE is Panasonic EV which is a Toyota controlled company so, when it says MEI/PEVE, it is Toyota Motor Corp that is getting out it's wallet because the only cars being sold in the US with PEVE NiMH right now are Toyota hybrids.

See: http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/news/05/1005_2.html

Actually MEI is in a joint venture called PEVE with Toyota, so yes I do understand it.

Oh yea, the Honda Insight used PEVE cells until they discontinued it... must have been the conspiracy that finished it off, not the poor sales or great gas mileage...

I thought the Hybrid Civic by Honda also used PEVE, but I believe they use Sanyo now.

Here is a link to NiMH by PEVE supplied to GM-Allison for the hybrid bus...

http://autospeed.drive.com.au/cms/article.html?&A=2906

God forbid we buy a car with, oh say, NiMH batteries produced by some other company than PEVE or Toyota...

say, the Hybrid Escape (Sanyo NiMH) or the Saturn (GM) Vue Hybrid (Cobasys NiMH)

Hi Andrey,
Thanks for the concern. I'm trying to keep an open mind. I was initially skeptical of EEstor, but with additional info from Wayne Brown, who is a highly-knowledgeable, high-caliber engineer, I feel somewhat more assured.
What is your take on this, Andrey?

This is indeed an exciting time, for no matter what's one's belief or who one works for, technologies are getting close to allowing us to wean off our petroleum dependency and clean up our environment. Even Big Oil should be happy, since oil won't last forever, and we are all in the same boat (Earth) together. With Big Oil's power and resouces, they should gradually be able to maneuver quite deftly in order to acquire a new piece of the action and back in the game again, hopefully this time for the better good of the environment and of humanity. History will often repeat itself! The rich will get richer...but the environment and our future generations don't have to suffer as the result.

Roger:

One could write volumes about how much public good some particular technology could deliver, but it is called “pipe dream” before technology will prove itself viable, or in case of EESTOR just do-able. Personally I dismiss immediately opinion of “high caliber” experts on the ground of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoia

As of today, strictly from point of view of electrostatic physics, EESTOR technology looks to me on the pair with:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steorn

You also could go to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion

(scroll down to “Patents”).

Regards, Andrey

Paranoia? hmmm... It is interesting that a программист with a Инженер-электрик from Минск, Беларусь can make such a fine diagnosis over the internet.

Andrey seems to get into battles with folks here at Green Car Congress quite often. Many people believe it is because he doesn't understand what is being said or, possibly they are not understanding him. This has almost always led to heated & irrational discussions.

Andrey, although currently living in Vancouver, was born in Minsk, Belarus. He has an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Belarus 1998 & has enjoyed a career in programming.

I am going to address him in Russian, his native toungue, so that there is no misunderstanding.

Интересно, что программист со степенью инженера-электрика из Минска, Белоруссия может сделать такой прекрасный диагноз по Интернету.

Regards,
Wayne Brown

Regarding conspiricy theories to suppress technological breakthroughs, I don't buy it. Powerful organizations like governments are very good at commiting mass murder, theft, and repression. But, they cannot supress ideas or technical information because they flow easily through cyber-space. For example, if a breakthrough technology such as desktop cold fusion were discovered, no power on earth could prevent people from building it. The same is true for super capacitors, patents or no patents. Most people in the world don't care a crap about US patents

Wayne Brown certainly sounds very well-informed about EV's and his facts about NMH technology are disturbing if true. And, I admit to not understanding because I have seen, on the web, NMH golf cart batteries with good specs for sale at reasonable prices. So, how are they being suppressed? If large format NMH are protected by patents, why don't people in China and India produce them for their own people? If they can produce nuclear weapons, why can't they copy a large format battery.

I hope that EESTOR's claims are true and have been excited about them ever since I heard them a year ago. They originally said they would have a working unit in 2006. Now, they say 2007. I hope so. The world needs a breakthrough battery.

The statement, "It looks to me like the veracity of the rumor that EESTOR already has production level prototypes in operation, has a pretty solid foundation." is based on the word of one person, Richard Weir, who is NOT an independent observer. One good sign is that he is not hawking for investor money with non-stop press releases like some other battery companies.

Hi Rick,

On some points I would have to agree. I for one paid no attention to patents (no one needs to if they are not marketing their goods) & I did install an extra 18Ah of NiMH in my car & I broke no patent or property-rights however, most folks either cannot or do not want to do what I did to have a Prius with 24.5Ah of energy storage.

A lot of people would however, love to buy a PHEV Prius from Toyota today & get 80-100 MPG or even buy a regular Prius HEV with extra energy storage like I have and get, like I do, ‘72 MPG City’ & ‘61 MPG Hwy’ without having to plug-in or apply 'hyper-miler' or ‘pulse-glide’ driving techniques but, guess what? They can’t & it isn’t because Toyota is not willing to make such vehicles… the reasons are already clearly stated above.

I have run my Prius for more than 135,000 miles now & I am quite comfortable that the technology I have applied is very marketable. I am capable, financially & experientially, to set up a business to begin converting OEM Prius into what I have but, I won’t even give it a second thought.

Why, because when I contacted Cobasys about supplying me with their batteries 2 years ago, I got one of the rudest cold shoulders I have ever experienced. Later, my attorney warned me, after checking around that Ovonic or Cobasys wouldn’t hesitate to prosecute if I were to set up a business to market vehicles with more than 6.5Ah of NiMH storage. Over a 6 month period I continued to contact Cobasys several times offering to use their batteries exclusively. I never got response… not once, not Ever!

I have since talked to several people that have contacted Cobasys to buy their batteries for EV, HEV or PHEV use & they too never even had the courtesy of a response. In one case, a well known EV manufacturer contacted Cobasys about supplying them with Cobasys batteries for their EV. Cobasys at first refused & then later responded that it would necessitate R&D funding to the tune of millions of $. Well, Toyota had $30 million but, even then, they have, for years been severely restricted in what they can offer us.

Yes, Cobasys recently agreed to provide most of the GM hybrid NiMH & even recently the GM Li-Ion battery via their new exciting partner ‘A123’ but, one must remember that Ovonics now called Cobasys is the very company that supplied GM with the EV1 NiMH. Is this just another venture destined for failure? I know we all hope not but, there remains a very large populace of intelligent people that are solidly suspicious about the real GM-EV1 story.

This tells me pretty clearly that Cobasys is, contrary to what they say in their press releases, not at all interested in promoting EV kinds of efforts with their NiMH batteries even when they are offered exclusivities in consideration of their patent or property rights. Frankly, this does not make good business sense… unless…. Let’s see…. Hmmm… unless you are in a business that does not want to see the EV (like EV1 or RAV EV) market to get a foothold.. hmmm.

Here in Texas we have a maxim that goes “Remember the Alamo,” sadly it is quickly being replaced with a new maxim that goes; “Remember ENRON.”

Our friendly, trusting Texas eyes have been opened and we now have first hand evidence that there really are such things as conspiracies. Our trusting eyes are quickly learning to look past what the GMs & ENRONs of the world are telling us in their ‘exciting’ press releases vs. what their actions are ‘really’ telling us. Kind of reminds one of another old adage; ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’

Hi Wayne,

Yes, read briefly your links and it is some cool stuff you have done.

I missed the $10M paid in licensing fees... I would guess that Cobasys 'might' be willing to let you make NiMH battery systems for whatever, if you were willing to ante up the price to get in the game...

Of course, you would have to get a hold of them and appearantly either your offer wasn't big enough or like you said, they just don't want into the game you are talking.

Now, perhaps you are right and we should all sit around a fire and sing kumbia or something and ask all patent holders in the US to no sue anyone... ask M$ to just lay down and ignore all the pirated versions of the OS out there and ask Google, Apple and all hell, lets just throw in the largest patent holder, IBM, to just give up and not protect their IP.

Jus' saying.

Rich,

All I really would like to see is a technology that can do a lot of good for a badly suffering world not continue being unreasonably withheld from those that are willing to pay a fair market price for its use.

I agree that what Chevron/Texaco/Cobasys is doing is not illegal nor is it unlawful but, when it comes to world climate change & the future of this world, almost any intelligent being would probably agree with me if I were to call their actions irresponsible or maybe even unethical.

About 4 years ago, I invented a device that inadvertently emitted copious amounts of ionizing radiation at frequencies well above the level most instrumentation is capable of monitoring. This device could produce a fairly large amount of electrical energy or power in a seemingly clean & economical fashion. I knew I could patent the device & have controlling property rights to the technology for at least 17 years.

I knew I could legally & lawfully market my devices. I knew there was not & there still is not any legislation or regulatory body controlling this kind of technology. I also knew that it would be several years, if ever, before the strange kind of ionizing radiation it emitted would be noticed. I also knew that my technology would hurt the people that used it but, it would be many years before the damage showed up & then it would be very difficult to trace it to my devices & I could always declare I didn’t know anything about it. I could make millions in the mean time.

I destroyed every single notebook & physical evidence I had concerning this technology a little over 2 years ago.

If I had legally & lawfully released my devices to the world, I don’t think I would have been any more unethical than Chevron/Texaco/Cobasys are being in legally & lawfully suppressing a technology that can help the world so that another dirty technology that the entire world unquestionably knows is hurting us can continue being used.

Wayne -- Thank you for expaining to me how the commercialization of NiMH is being impeded. It is a rip-off, a clear violation of the free market. Building a product from off-the-shelf parts and selling it is honest production and trade which is supposed to be protected by law. This situation is nothing like buying one copy of a software product and then re-selling multiple copies which is not honest. It does now look to me that EV's are being obstructed.

I have two questions if you have the time. You mentioned 18 Ah. This figure does not tell me the energy (watt-hours) because I don't know the voltage.

I am also curious about the life of NiMH. Did they last for 135,000 miles for you? If so, I would say that is pretty damn good.

Regarding the EV1, my info comes solely from a post by a guy who claimed that he was on the EV1 team at GM. He sounded very knowledgeable about the facts and he dismissed all conspiracy theories outright. He was very critical of the EV movie. He said that the battery killed EV1. He said that the lead-acid battery was expected to last for three years but had to be replaced every six months at a cost of $1,800 or $3,600 per year which made the business uneconomical.

Now, if NiMH can last 100,000 miles, the EV1 problem would be solved.

On a related note, recently there was a photo in my local newspaper showing a guy with an EV that he built in his spare time. He works in a body-shop and built his EV on weekends. He gutted a used chevy S-10, installed an electric motor with six lead-acids under the hood and eighteen more in the bed. He has a top speed of 70 mph and a range of 72 miles, and he drives it every day. Nothing was said about battery life. Isn't it amazeing that a backyard mechanic with no formal education and little money can build a highway capable EV in his spare time while multi-billion dollar GM can't do it.

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