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Cobasys Expands to Support Additional Battery Development

3 April 2007

Cobasys is expanding its headquarters to facilitate additional advanced battery system development.

The 18,860 square foot addition is the company’s third expansion since moving into the facility in January 2005. The additional square footage will allow Cobasys to increase its Nickel Metal Hydride and lithium-based development activities as it assesses several leading lithium technologies.

April 3, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

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...which means, since Cobasys is primarily an intellectual property company and not so much a manufacturer, that they are trolling for patents as part of a strategy to compete in the Lithium-Ion space. I wish them luck, but I suspect the NiMH part of their IP portfolio is rapidly dropping in value. NiMH's time has probably passed, with GM and Texaco having kept it under wraps too long.

Looks like there is going to be some proprietary technologies
that have yet to be realeased in the Lithium-ion market place.
Don't be suprised if Cobasys is not one of the primary emerging players. They seem to be playing catch up at this point, if aquisitions and mergers are their growth market strategy. There
are a few small players out there geting private capital and
initial market share in this international market segment. There
will be a huge battery technology shake-out in the next 24-36 months. I wonder if Cobasis and its partners will be doing the
shaking. Could be interesting to see which of the auto companies
embrace the right electrical power storage technology in the
race to get market share in probably largest upcomming market segment, PHEV/HEV. Will GM redeem itself? There is alot of future market share that may go to the Big 4-7

Nothing changes in Big Oil; they are still hell-bent on controlling the US energy market by buying up battery technology patents through their joint partner company, Cobasys and limiting the size of batteries. I think it's time to have Justice investigate this under the antitrust laws. Oh! Darn! I keep forgetting our Attorney General is the President's lawyer and the whole group is Big Oil funded. Nothing will happen until after 2008 when the president will be from another party that is friendly to innovation and the welfare of the middle class.

All of which makes one wonder why AltairNano has yet to announce a white knight partner to help fund their NanoSafe products and keep their IP out of the clutches of big oil.

At one point they announced a deal with Alcoa - a big mining operation that would help provide lithium resources. Haven't heard much since then.

Any attempt to lock up nano-particle anode/cathode technology by Cobasys will look highly suspicious.

gr:

Advanced Lithium batteries use various technologies, will be mass produced in Asia, (mainly in China) and be sold globally.

Big oil may buy A123, Altair, EEStor and similar small firms but it is doubtful that Toshiba, Sanyo, Panasonic, Toyota etc will sell out.

It's even more doubtful that China as a country will play ball with big oil any longer than they absolutely need to. Remember that there is a tendency in China to build name brand product in the factories during the day, and the exact same thing at night with a private label put on it.

If "the party" finds something to be a benefit to the nation, patent or not they're going to have it built. Bad news if you are an IP owner, probably good news, at least in the short term, for the rest of us...

I was working in the notebook computer industry when NiMH had its brief day in the sun. NiCad wasn't as good, and had the heavy metal recycling problem. In 1994 things switched to NiMH. By 1996 most computer OEMs had switched again -- to lithium ion. Cell phones switched a bit later, after they developed prizmatic cells.

Nobody wanted to make major investments in NiMH after that. Battery production capacity is expensive; generally the equipment is written off over a long period of time. And the investment is very specific to both the cell size and the chemistry. You can't just convert a factory over from one chemistry to another without writing off hundreds of millions of dollars.

So I believe having a much better technology on the horizon limited NiMH development. Marketing people in technology businesses know one thing very well. You don't want to be too early with something new, and you don't want to be too late either. Time it just right and you make money. Otherwise you lose, and somebody else steels your market.

But the death of NiMH is not bad news because we're now getting something much better -- and finally good enough to bring about the electrification of the automobile.

JamesEE:
Your points are logical and I sincerely hope you are right; however, you can't blame many of us for being skiddish when it comes to trusting the oil tycoons. That mistrust manifests itself in the close associations Big Oil has with our political leaders. it comes from facts such as the vice-president's secret meetings with the oil companies to draft the nation's energy policy, the sweetheart Iraqi war contracts with Haliburton and the billions in subsidies for oil exploration; just to name a few.

I must say I am mystified as to how California pays so much more for gasoline; the oil companies say the costs are high because of refinery changeovers, the high price of oil on the open markets, specially blended gasoline and bad weather in the gulf. I think the truth is we are dependent on whatever they decide to charge because they are the only game in town.

I understand gasoline was estimated to cost $4 a gallon this year and did you know that some stations in the bay area are already there? Do you think it's time for U.S. drivers to start conserving or should we wait for $5 or $6 a gallon?

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