My Clean Break column in today’s Toronto Star is actually an in-depth feature on Austin, Texas-based battery startup EEStor Inc., which claims to have developed an ultracapacitor with battery storage characteristics that has 10 times the energy density of a lead-acid battery and blows away current lithium-ion technology in all aspects of performance. EEStor also claims it can mass produce its product at a fraction of the cost of its lithium-ion rivals.
Is this the real deal? EEStor itself refused to be interviewed for my story, so I cobbled together a profile based on patent documents filed with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. I also got my hands on an early investors’ presentation from EEStor. While it’s easy to be skeptical with this story, I point out in my piece that Kleiner Perkins’ involvement lends serious credibility to this venture. I also found out that Morton Topfer, former vice-chairman of Dell Computer and Michael Dell’s mentor, is on EEStor’s board along with Michael Long, a well-seasoned executive and current CEO of real-estate giant Homestore Inc. So it seems there are some very credible people backing this tiny, secretive company.
Give the story a read. You decide whether this is snake oil or a technology that has disruptive potential.