Effective February 14th, Ian Clifford stepped down from his role as chief executive officer of ZENN Motor Company, Inc. Clifford, who founded ZENN back in 2001, has no intentions of completely leaving company and will immediately assume the position of vice chairman of ZENN's board of directors.
Vapor vs. vapor? That could be the case as super-secretive EEStor could potentially face competition in the ultra-capacitor space from Recapping. We've never heard of Recapping before, but the startup is backed by Khosla Ventures and recently received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
BMW hydrogen hybrid 1 Series prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery
According to reports from Reuters and GM-Volt.com, Zenn Motors has canceled plans to launch its cityZENN high-speed electric car and will slow down work on its low-speed EVs. According to Zenn Chief Executive Ian Clifford, the company will focus its efforts on becoming a supplier of ZENNergy Drive electric vehicle drivetrain components, which we assume will center around the EEStor energy storage system. Why the change in plans?
EEStor, the company behind the ultralight, ultra-efficient – and ultra secret – EEStor Electrical Energy Storage Units (EESU) that could change the electric car world, still isn't giving out much information about their product. But Ian Clifford, the CEO of Zenn Motors, is talking.
Following EEStor's permittivity announcement on Earth Day last week, I wrote a post that ended with a call for our readers to determine if the stated "relative permittivity of 22,500" was a big deal or not. There were some educated responses (thank you), but one refrain that kept appearing was that everyone is waiting for a real and physical demonstration of the company's supposedly amazing ultracapacitor. "Until then," some of you wrote, "stfu EEStor."
Delays, hype, and more delays. This is the short history of EEStor, the company that keeps on talking about what is supposed to be an ultracapacitor that reinvents electric drive vehicle energy storage. Whatever is really going on, EEStor did put out a press release for Earth Day that keeps beating the hype drum. The announcement isn't about the ultracaps directly, but about EEStor's Composition Modified Barium-Titanate powders, which have apparently been verified by a third party to meet or exc
Ah, fire. One of humanity's oldest ways to generate energy. Technically, you could generate energy by burning brake pads, as seen in the picture above (thanks, Flickr!), but automotive engineers have managed to come up with a way to use brakes to generate energy without going up in flames. The technology is called regenerative braking and it's the subject of this week's Greenlings.
Once again, the internetz are abuzz with rumors and speculation concerning EEStor. This time the hubbub concerns the exact nature of their relationship with General Motors. If you're the last person on the planet who hasn't heard of them, EEStor is a company headquartered in Austin, Texas that claims to have the Holy Grail technology of the electric car industry. Namely, an ultracapacitor that can hold lots more energy than a lithium battery, doesn't degrade over time and will be relatively inex
Stop the presses! We've finally got some real information regarding EEStor's highly secretive capacitor-based energy storage system, though it's not exactly coming from the company itself. It seems that EEStor recently filed for patents of its new technology, which centers around a core of aluminum coated barium titanate powder immersed in a polyethylene terephthalate plastic matrix, and they've now been granted those patents. The best part for those of us who've been following the company's dev
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Let's see? Boostcap, Boostcap, Boostcap. Where have we heard this before? Ah, yes. Back in November 2006 we first heard about Maxwell Technologies' 125 volt ultracapacitor and we later learned about the heavy duty version (390 volts) for hybrid buses and how the ultracaps might go into Chinese vehicles and be used in Milan. But, if you haven't been following this news, you can get your fill of BOOSTCAP ultracap news at the American Public Transportation Association EXPO (AKA "public transportati
Kia is reportedly considering the use of ultra-capacitors to store electrical energy in the next generation version of its fuel cell vehicle. Ultra caps have an advantage over batteries in that they can absorb and release energy much more quickly. Unfortunately, they don't have as much capacity and are currently much more expensive. There is a lot of work being done on capacitors and EEStor has made claims of tremendous progress. So far, though, EEStor has not publicly demonstrated any prototype
Fictive Atlantean confused charge
About a year ago, Maxwell Technologies told the world about the Chinese government using its ultracapacitors in various official vehicles. Another July brings another announcement, and so we learn that the city of Milan, Italy will soon be using Maxwell's ultracap modules in its hybrid and electric buses. The 125-volt BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor modules will store energy from the bus' brakes and then spit it back out for torque assist when the driver steps on the accelerator. Overhead electric line
Like Indiana Jones and some sort of Ark or Tomb or Crystal Skull, today's automotive engineers are always looking for better ways to capture, store and release electrical energy for future hybrids and EVs. Green Car Congress says that GM is "actively exploring" at combining supercapacitors with li-ion batteries for the next generation of E-Flex vehicles (read: don't expect in the 2010 Volt). Speaking at the Advanced Automotive Battery Conference (AABC) this week in Tampa, Forida, GM's Mark Verbr
While batteries make most of the headlines when it comes to the energy storage requirements of electric cars, the capacitor could be an exciting and viable alternative. Unlike batteries, which store chemical energy and make it available for use as electrical energy, capacitors store energy in the electric field between a pair of conductors. Supercapacitors, or ultracapacitors, are currently being developed which could rival batteries in the amount of energy that they can store. Whether capacitor
The most important part of an electric or hybrid vehicle is often said to be the battery. With all the breakthroughs in energy storage and the emergence of new companies, it can be a difficult field to keep up with. If you are a potential investor or just a curious onlooker you might be interested in how Mike Millikin has graded what he believes to be the top dozen companies in the field.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new type of capacitor which allows up to seven times the electrical storage potential as standard capacitors available today. The breakthrough apparently is a polymer called PVDF which can act as a high-performance dielectric, which is an insulating material between two metal surfaces. Electricians are used to using a dielectric grease on electrical connections, so this may be a familiar concept to some of our readers.
There's been lots of speculation about the EESTOR ultracapacitor and just what kind of impact - if any - it will have on the hybrid and all-electric vehicle market. Just look below at the list of stories we've run in the past on the EESTOR and ZENN, which is the vehicle company the EESTORs are destined for. With so much already unknown, why don't we introduce another ultracapacitor into the mix, this one made by the Canadian company EPOD. EPOD's ultracapacitor "can be manufactured for small scal