Hype machine has gripped EEStor

Since first posting about EEStor back in January, followed by my Toronto Star feature on the company in March, there’s been a steady trickle of interest from readers of this blog. But in the last week interest in EEStor has exploded, mostly the result of a Business 2.0 article that was republished on CCNmoney.com. Now, Slashdot.org has picked up on it and the hype machine is in full gear.

Recently, I’ve been getting two types of e-mails/comments about EEStor. One is from those who are itching to get more details about the company. All I can say is that I post the details as I learn them on this blog. I have no special insight beyond that. The other type of e-mail/comment is from engineer/science types who believe EEStor is a scam and seem to think that just talking about the company and its claims amount to some kind of crime. 

For the record, I have my own healthy dose of skepticism with regards to this company and its claims. That said, I do think the jury is out until we learn more. This isn’t a publicly traded company, so I’m not concerned that shareholders are getting ripped off. If a venture capitalist wants to invest in EEStor, then they’ll have to do their own due diligence. If they get burned, well, that’s their fault.

As for investing in Feel Good Cars, which is publicly traded, as a way of indirectly investing in EEStor, proceed with caution. That’s a very risky strategy — do so at your own risk.

Should this story be dismissed because it flies in the face of what many engineers and researchers and ultracapacitor experts *believe* is possible? Absolutely not. Should we follow this story with a critical eye? Absolutely. But I think it’s too early to compare this story to cold fusion. Give it a chance. Have an open mind. If it doesn’t turn out to work, then move on to the next great hope. If it does, then we can take pleasure in knowing that the hype was justified.

As an FYI, don’t think for a minute that the folks at EEStor want all the attention. They’re not asking for publicity. They remain in “stealth” mode. They’re not granting interviews. They’re just trying to do their work and prove to their investors, which include Kleiner Perkins, that a commercial energy-storage product is possible.

Where’s the scam in that?

12 thoughts on “Hype machine has gripped EEStor”

  1. Yep, it would make it possible to end our dependence on fossil fuels. I have to admit that I fall into both lists, as a skeptical scientist and anxious observer. It seems as though someone would have already tried this approach, but I can’t help but think that some of their investments indicate that they must have a prototype. I just don’t understand the hush surrounding their product.

  2. Re: Investing in FGC to invest in EEStor

    The understanding between the two is only for the smaller, limited use class vehicle, so, yes, it would be risky. Due diligence may even suggest determining prior satisfaction of potential Electric Dauphine customers.

  3. My concern is more the impact such a technology will perpetuate and potentialy unleash. Never before have we been able to store electricity in such a portable power-pack. We need consider the extensive uses such a handy energy source might be put to, in a world already suffering from the effects of the connection between energy and nature that humans enjoy employing, and use to all manner of ends. Secondly, there are already many other environmental and social effects of automobiles and highway-based industrial transportation systems which would now be guiltlessly perpetuated by this freeing of climate-forcing responsibility; the Hagersville fire, our dependence on distant markets, the release of toxic particulates in rubber dust, social isolation, the Transcontinental Free Trade Superhighway set to bisect Indiana, etc. We can possibly solve one problem, but in so doing . . .

  4. Interesting comments Jp. I don’t see as many downsides as you do. I can hardly imagine the US being more auto-centric; I’m not sure I buy that it would engender a bunch of new road construction. If anything, the eventual dramatic reduction in emissions would be a strong positive (think Los Angeles). Maybe driving electric vehicles would foster a sense of environmental awareness that would lead people to make other wise choices.

    And if we bring in the potential to reduce greenhouse causing gasses into the picture, which could well be the issue of the century, the scales are firmly tilted towards embracing the technology, I think.

    I just hope it pans out.

    Stephen Boulet

  5. Thanks for your thoughts Stephen. I’m a techie too, I just also like to be a contrarian once in a while. I’d recommend the film Manufactured Landscapes, by Torontonian Edward Burtynsky, for a great view between the bars at the gates of hell. There I go again! To me it was basically about energy use fuelling consumption, and the effect that is having on the planet. I think we need to apply all approaches, simultaneously and with great intent, Especially in collaborations.

  6. Regarding the question “where is the scam” it migth be worthwhile to see where most of the information is coming out from. Feel Good Cars has a lot to say about EESTOR. Feel Good Cars is a publicly traded company, and all of this talk did not hurt their stock price.

  7. Another effect of hyping ultracapacitor technology — whether intended as a scam or not — is the effect it has on the industry as a whole. Take investments as an example. If one broker is promising a guaranteed 20% return on investment, then another broker promising a pretty safe 5% is not going to find many customers. When EEStor makes these kind of claims, others with proven technology that offers less will not get money from investors. And if EEStor then turns out to be a scam, which is where I put them, investors tend to take that as a reflection on the whole industry. Pretty soon everybody with new battery or ultracapacitor technology are considered scam artists like the zero point energy kooks.

  8. The relationship between EESTOR and Fell Good Cars is an odd one, to say the least. On the one side there a company with a “revolutionary” technology and yet it limits itself by granting some exclusivity to a “nothing” company, namely Feel Good Cars. EESTOR doesn’t say anything, but lets Feel Good Cars trumpet its “technology”. You would think that at least some non-disclosure agreement would have been in place if EESTOR were really interested in keeping secrecy.

  9. Sounds too good to be true. If this new technology actually works it could end one day end our dependence on fossil fuel for transportation. This technology wouldn’t just work for compact cars. It can be used for SUVs, trucks, buses and trains. Any kind of ground transportation and maybe even airplanes.

  10. I am a retired scientist

    EEStor recently announced that their barium titanite powder was independently tested at 1000 volts per micron. providing a safety margin of 3 over what they need to meet their specification.

    This is an exceptionally strong electric field which is much higher than I ever thought was possible.

    What I would like to see is a public demonstration of a prototype EEStor capacitor, witnessed and signed off by a few recognized independent experts.

    Surely by now, EEStor must have some working prototypes that could be used for this purpose.These prototypes need not meet EEStor’s target specifications. They only need to show proof of principle.

    Does anyone know if EEStor has done this yet?

  11. retired scientist:
    “Does anyone know if EEStor has done this yet?”

    EESTOR has not shown anyone outside Dick Weir’s dream world the ceramic battery which they claimed on the “TEAS Plus New Application” (US Patent: US Serial No: 77351321) was “FIRST USE IN COMMERCE DATE At least as early as 02/02/2001” .
    Visit the following link:
    http://tmportal.uspto.gov/external/PA_1_0_LT/OpenServletWindow?serialNumber=77351321&scanDate=2007121729931&DocDesc=TEAS+Plus+New+Application&docType=FTK&currentPage=1&rowNum=12&rowCount=12&formattedDate=13-Dec-2007

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