Quebec Begins 3-Year Pilot for Low-Speed ZENN and Nemo; Tracking EESTOR
19 July 2008
The province of Québec Thursday began a three-year pilot project allowing the use of low-speed electric vehicles—specifically the ZENN, assembled in Saint-Jérôme au Québec and the Nemo, built in Sainte-Thérèse. (Earlier post.)
The low-speed EVs will be permitted on public roads where the maximum speed is 50 kph (31 mph) or less; must sport an orange triangle designating low speed; must stay in the right lane except to make a left turn; and the headlights must be illuminated at all times.
ZENN Motor Company is counting on its partnership with EESTOR to provide it with an energy storage system that will enable it to produce a fully certified, highway capable vehicle. At the company’s annual meeting held in March, Ian Clifford, ZENN CEO, said that the upcoming cityZENN, powered by EESTOR, is planned to be a fully certified, highway capable vehicle with a top speed of 125 kph (80 mph) and a range of 400 kilometers (250 miles). The cityZENN is to be rechargeable in less than 5 minutes. The car is now targeted for Fall 2009. (Earlier post.)
EEStor’s game-changing energy storage technology is in the advanced stages of commercialization. EEStor has publicly committed to commercialization in 2008 and their first production line will be used to supply ZENN Motor Company.—Ian Clifford
ZENN is also an investor in EESTOR, which, aside from occassionally breaking silence (earlier post), has remained determinedly publicly mum concerning the details and the progress of the work on its high-power-density ceramic ultracapacitor.
The EEStor ESU has been projected to offer up to 10x the energy density (volumetric and gravimetric) of lead-acid batteries at the same cost. According to the company’s initial patent, the EESU is based on a high-permittivity composition-modified barium titanate ceramic powder. This powder is double coated with the first coating being aluminum oxide and the second coating calcium magnesium aluminosilicate glass.
The EESU alternates multilayers of nickel electrodes and the high-permittivity powder. The resulting parallel configuration of components has the capability to store electrical energy in the range of 52 kWh, according to the document, with weight for a unit of that capacity in the range of 336 pounds (152 kg).
Anonymous blogger tracks EESTOR. Much detail beyond that been generally publicly unavailable, although an anonymous blogger began periodically posting on the company beginning in 2007.
Accused by some of being Dick Weir (founder and CEO of EESTOR) or Clifford, the blogger said in a post on Friday that he (or she) was simply someone to whom the EESTOR story was compelling. The writer wanted to centralize all the information on EESTOR that he or she could find, while having “the potential to get things really wrong and I like the freedom that comes with not having this blog on my resume.”
His (or her) latest on the status of EESTOR (on the reasons for delay of public disclosure of the permittivity test) is here.
(A hat-tip to Marcus!)
Sweet EEStor link!
Posted by: GreenPlease | 19 July 2008 at 04:48 AM
If the EEStor ESU works I'm putting a picture of Richard Weir shaking hands with Ian Clifford on my mantle and will never worry about anything else for the rest of my life. Here's hoping.
Posted by: OldNeil | 19 July 2008 at 10:24 AM
The low-speed EVs ....... must sport an orange triangle designating low speed; must stay in the right lane except to make a left turn; and the headlights must be illuminated at all times.
And must be preceded at all times by two messengers who sound bugles and shout "unclean, unclean!"
Posted by: doggydogworld | 19 July 2008 at 05:08 PM
One of the biggest problems I have with the whole Eestor saga is the apparant lack of investment and urgency in the CityZenn.
If they are confident of Eestor having a good product available, surely they would hiring hundreds of people and putting big money into plant and equipment by now.
Sadly, I'm sill in the camp that believes Eestor has less to offer than people want to believe.
Posted by: Andy | 19 July 2008 at 07:36 PM
I do hope the truth is so exciting, they just keep quiet to protect their IP and avoid stock price manipulation concerns.
It's just they still only claim theoretical potential, while we forever wait for test results to prove or dissprove their theories.
While the stock prices run up and they get more funding. There's continuation of "development" and some spill off to their personal wealth. Like everyone else, they want to appear successful and look after their families. Nothing wrong in that, is there?
Of course if the truth is not as exciting as claimed, the whole boat starts sinking.
Looks like a lot of smart people are trying to cover their butts either which way. Keep your own friend covered up :)
Posted by: Andy | 19 July 2008 at 08:19 PM
If anybody buys the pre-EEstor battered cars from Zenn I would be surprised. Why not wait for the real thing?
The probable game plan of the top Zenn execs is to get a few highway Zenns on the road, get as much stock as they can, and cash in when GM or Toyota buys Zenn out. That is the smart thing to do. That exclusive use deal with EEstor is priceless.
Posted by: Axil | 19 July 2008 at 10:33 PM
I agree that if EESTOR was really as good as they claimed, then the exclusive use deal would be priceless. Even half as good as they claimed, it is still priceless, considering Li-ion price today.
If I have such a good product on hand, I'll probably rather start talking with the big boys, than fooling around with a tiny NEV company that only build a handful of 25mph cars.
Posted by: arha | 20 July 2008 at 05:48 AM
I am happy to see ZENN on the road in Canada. Selling some NEV ('golf carts') will let them begin planning and production of a full sized car.
I would also prefer to see ZENN make the highway car and begin to power it with whatever battery is available (Li?) before EEstor begins production. Batteries can always be upgraded later.
EEstor is claiming 52 kWh in 287 pounds or .18 kWh/lb.
Gasoline gives about 6 kWh / pound, but most ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) only achieve 1/3 useful efficiency ... leaving 2 kWh/lb.
We see the EEstor system giving very comparable power / range to weight ratios as ICE driven liquid fuel. (.18 kWh/lb vs 2 kWh/lb)
Once we add in a gas tank and the greater ICE weight over an electric motor, the Electric car should do even better. Add in the fast recharge capability and our future is here.
The question ... is it vaporware, a total scam, hopes and dreams, or being kept under wraps till it can be fully patent protected? (so far Patent issues are listed as the reason for secrecy).
Proof of it working so capital can be raised to make a full production facility would be easy enough ...
Lock a test unit in a box, (under guard)
Have it charged and discharged X-hundred times by a trusted but objective 3rd party with monitoring by the media.
If it performs to spec, and has a greater capacity / weight ratio than competitive technology, then it is real (not just some Li Batteries in a disguise).
Such a test would ensure full funding for a production factory. I would even invest.
Posted by: John Taylor | 20 July 2008 at 09:52 AM
I BELEIVE!...I BELEIVE!...GOD ALMIGHTY...I BELEIVE!
Posted by: Axil | 20 July 2008 at 12:29 PM
Axil...My pastor's sermon just said how 'fluid' language is. So St. Peter won't downgrade for spelling. I don't know if Fenn(I mean, Zenn) will dongrate fer speeling.
Hey, I just saw a Zenn around town for the 2nd time! I think our state allows Zenn to upgrade to 35MPH.
Posted by: litesong | 20 July 2008 at 02:24 PM