Despite the loss of its CEO a year ago, Zenn has been idling along, putting out mundane press releases about its financial maneuverings. Eestor, as is its custom, has remained mostly quiet. Until now. Both companies have issued announcements that are sure to excite the handful of people who still believe they will achieve the energy storage breakthrough that we first heard about in 2006.
Zenn's missive is mostly about a
For its part, the Eestor statement concerns technological developments. Apparently, the company has now successfully manufactured 20 micron-thick voidless squares of material capable of handling more than 3,500 volts that have "a dc resistance of greater than 700 terra ohms" (mmm... terra ohms... mmm). While this obviously sounds very impressive, the company warns that the aforementioned layers "do not yet achieve the level of permittivity necessary for commercial production." They are working on that though.
For all the pertinent details, you can check out both official press releases by scrolling down below.
Toronto, Ontario – May 15, 2012 – ZENN Motor Company Inc. (TSXV: ZNN) ("ZENN" or the "Company") announced today that it has entered into a new technology agreement (the "New Technology Agreement") with EEStor, Inc. ("EEStor") which increases and improves the Company's exclusive rights to purchase electrical energy storage units ("EESUs") under development by EEStor.
James Kofman, Chairman and Interim Chief Executive Officer of ZENN commented, "The New Technology Agreement significantly expands ZENN's rights and improves upon the terms of the old agreement. Importantly ZENN now has exclusivity over an enormous potential market in automobiles and other vehicles and we are no longer limited by weight or category. The rights of ZENN are clearly defined and some of the uncertainties in the old agreement have been removed. The Company is now ideally positioned if EEStor is successful in developing its EESUs. We are mindful that EEStor has not yet achieved its targeted performance metrics for its EESUs, but feel the modest up front investment under the New Technology Agreement puts ZENN in a much stronger position to capitalize on the technology."
Under the New Technology Agreement, among other rights, ZENN has received the exclusive, worldwide right to purchase EESUs from EEStor for any vehicle, new or used, that uses electrical energy (excluding only one, two and three wheeled vehicles and those produced exclusively for the U.S. military or government) (a "Vehicle"). Under the old technology agreement ZENN had exclusive rights to vehicles with a curb weight up to 1,400 kilograms, net of the battery weight, but exclusions included pick-ups, trucks, SUVs, trams, buses and high performance sports cars. Under the New Technology Agreement there are no exclusions other than those described above.
In consideration for the new expanded technology rights awarded, ZENN is required to pay to EEStor US$500,000 within two business days of signing the New Technology Agreement. In addition the agreement provides for five staged payments tied to specific technical milestones aggregating US$1.2 million. Each milestone must be independently verified and meet specific performance metrics including those relating to energy storage. Once EEStor begins delivery of production quality EESUs ZENN is to pay US$3.8 million to EEStor and a further US$5 million on each anniversary of such payment for five years. Total payments under the New Technology Agreement are US$30.5 million (including the US$500,000 that was payable under the old agreement).
Importantly all payments after the initial payment are entirely at the discretion of ZENN. In the event that ZENN elects not to make any of the payments when due, its exclusive rights would revert to Vehicles with a curb weight of 1,400 kilograms or less, net of battery weight and its rights would be non-exclusive with respect to all other Vehicles. This would be an improvement over the rights under the old technology agreement.
The above is a summary only of the New Technology Agreement and is qualified in its entirety by the specific legal terms contained in that agreement.
As required under the New Technology Agreement, EEStor has issued a press release today providing an update on the current state of development of its EESU, the advancements it has made to date in developing its EESU and the challenges that still remain in the commercialization of its EESU. This is not the public disclosure of EEStor's technological development required in connection with the Company's recent equity investment in EEStor announced on March 26, 2012, which is required to be certified by an independent third party and has not yet been released, but a public update that was a condition of ZENN agreeing to enter into the New Technology Agreement. ZENN still expects EEStor to provide the disclosure contemplated in connection with the equity investment.
About ZENN Motor Company Inc.
The Company's goal is to be the provider of leading edge power storage solutions and related technologies to the automotive industry. Technologies and solutions, powered by EEStor's electrical energy storage units (EESU) have the potential to enable OEM and Tier 1 partners to deliver advanced electric transportation solutions to their customers.
Information contained in this release relating to EEStor, Inc. or the energy storage technology being developed by EEStor has not been reviewed by EEStor and EEStor does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of such information.
For additional information please contact:
ZENN Motor Company Inc.
Tel. 416-535-8395 ext. 224
Chief Financial Officer
ZENN Motor Company Inc.
Tel. 416-535-8395 ext. 220
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
EEStor Provides a Progress Update on the Development of its Electrical Energy Storage Units
CEDAR PARK, Texas, May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- EEStor Inc. ("EEStor") announced today that it is providing an update on the progress of its ultra-capacitor based energy storage technology.
EEStor has been working on the development of single layer Electrical Energy Storage Units (EESUs) as a step toward full commercial units. The single layers are generally around 20 microns in thickness with an area of 0.25 inches square. EEStor has successfully demonstrated a process that yields layers that can handle an operating voltage in excess of 3500 volts, have a dc resistance of greater than 700 terra ohms, and a dissipation factor of 0.005. The process of manufacturing the layers has evolved as EEStor has worked on improving the reliability of the layers. EEStor has recently focused its efforts on elimination of voids within the layers to improve the energy storage capabilities of the EESUs. EEStor has recently made major progress in that it is now successfully producing layers which tests indicate are void free.
The layers now being produced have very small internal self-discharge and crossover losses. These layers have been cycle tested by EEStor and have achieved over 1 million full cycles at a rate of less than 30 seconds per cycle. Each cycle consisted of charging to 3500 volts followed by discharging to zero volts. The EESU layers have better self-discharge characteristics and lower losses in the charge/discharge cycles than other known competitive energy storage technologies. Improvements have been made in the film morphology and fabrication requirements to facilitate the use of automated manufacturing. However, the most recently produced versions of the EESU layers have been tested by EEStor and in EEStor's opinion do not yet achieve the level of permittivity necessary for commercial production. EEStor is now working on improvements in the film morphology which it believes will allow it to significantly increase the permittivity and energy storage capabilities of the layers.
The performance of the EESU layers has not been independently tested. Once EEStor has improved the permittivity of the EESU layers, it will commence third party testing and certification. The third party results will lead to a detailed analysis of the technology's performance. Following independent certification of layers, EEStor intends to build multiple layer EESUs to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology. EEStor has been developing production systems that have a level of automation and throughput capability that EEStor believes can be improved and scaled quickly.
About EEStor Inc.Headquartered in Cedar Park, Texas, EEStor Inc. is dedicated to the design, development, and manufacture of high-density energy storage devices. Utilizing revolutionary ultra-capacitor architecture and environmentally friendly materials, the EEStor technology will compete against existing battery technologies.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including statements related to making major progress, working on improvements which will allow EEStor to significantly increase the permittivity and energy storage capabilities of the layers, intending to build multiple layer EESUs to demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology and developing systems that have a level of automation and throughput capability that can be improved and scaled quickly. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the risk of development or production delays, the risk that the technology or devices may not perform as expected, component or raw materials delays or shortages, the ability to effectively manage operating expenses and manufacturing operations and the ability to maintain or raise sufficient capital to fund current development and production goals. EEStor's actual results may differ materially from the expected results in this release. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date such statements are made. EEStor does not undertake any obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements to reflect events, circumstances or new information after this press release, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.