EEStor powered CityZENN targeted for fall 2009

We can only hope, right?

ZENN Motor Co. held its annual general meeting today and offered some more insight into when it expects product from Cedar Park, Texas-based EEStor and when it plans to come out with a highway-speed electric vehicle using EEStor’s “game-changing” energy-storage technology.

That date would be fall 2009, the company said — a far cry from orginal talk of 2007 but, if the product delivers on its promises, I’m sure it will be worth the wait. “The cityZENN is planned to be a fully certified, highway capable vehicle with top speed of 125 KPH/80 MPH and a range of 400 kilometres/250 miles. Powered by EEStor, the cityZENN will be rechargeable in less than 5 minutes, feature operating costs 1/10th of a typical internal combustion engine vehicle and be 100 per cent emission-free,” the company said in a statement following the meeting.

One point: I expect the “rechargeable in less than 5 minutes” comment would be true only if there are special charge stations available, since I’m told this wouldn’t be possible from a standard home outlet.

ZENN chief executive Ian Clifford said EEStor’s storage technology is in “advanced stages of commercialization” and that commercial product will first be shipped to ZENN in 2008. Though the company said it has not yet tested the technology in a vehicle application yet. The company also plans new 2009 versions of its low-speed ZENN, including a four-passenger car and a utility vehicle.

Talks are also under way with some of the automotive OEMs, though Clifford wouldn’t mention names. ZENN has the right to enter joint ventures with OEMs to produce vehicles with its EEStor-powered “ZENNergy drivetrain.” The company also plans to develop and market its ZENNergy drive systems for retrofitting and conversion of existing internal combustion vehicles. The initial target, the company said, will be large, high-profile fleets.

Someone at the meeting asked about the cost of the highway-speed cityZENN. Clifford commented that he expects some premium compared to internal-combustion alternatives, but also expects the car to be competitive with comparative gas-guzzlers and well within the range of affordability for prospective car owners.

Dick Weir, founder and CEO of EEStor, told me a few weeks ago that there would be an announcement soon on permittivity of its barium titanite powder, considered a major benchmark that would trigger future payments to EEStor from ZENN, and I can only assume Kleiner Perkins as well. No word yet, though I’m told EEStor is working on various aspects of its technology in parallel with the goal having a production run of commercial product in 2008.

Sometimes this whole story is like one of those dreams in which you’re running toward something but the ground keeps slipping from under you… One thing I will say though: ZENN has done a decent job throughout all this of building its brand.

16 thoughts on “EEStor powered CityZENN targeted for fall 2009”

  1. An electric car uses electricity at costs that are equivalent to less than about 20 cents per litre. That is impressive. While the car emits no GHG at all, depending upon the electricity source, the GHG emissions may be zero – or large. The use of electric cars in Ontario, that are charged at night may be a fantastic way to reduce the reliance on natural gas generation in future. If that is done, the marginal GHG emissions – even in Ontario, could be extremely low.

    It is great to see this car coming – but it would be even better to see the low speed car that they currently make approved for use in Canada.

  2. You are correct in the assumption that Eestor units could not be charged in 5 minutes from a standard home outlet. If the Eestor price is low enough (estimated at $2-3,000 in volume production) then you might be able to afford a second Eestor unit for the home. The home Eestor unit could be charged overnight at cheap rates and, when charged, would be able to recharge the car Eestor unit in 5 mins through a well-insulated, high-voltage (3000v?), light, low-current charging cable.

  3. Pollution: Moving from individual engines to central electricity generating plants would mean a net decrease in overall pollution. Even getting pollution out of our crowded cities would be a gain for public health.

    Charging: There’s no need for five minute charging at home. If one needs to get a big quick boost, that can be provided at dedicated charging stations.

    Someone has developed robotic gas station “attendants”. These puppies can identify multiple makes/models of cars and independently fill the gas tank without human assistance.

    It should be quite easy to adopt this idea for BEV/PHEV cars.

  4. “depending upon the electricity source, the GHG emissions may be zero – or large”

    Not quite ‘large’, since power plants, even the old ones, are more efficient than ICEs.


  5. Just thinking….

    If eestor ultracapacitor (UC) out last our car, will you remove your ultracapacitor and put it in your next car? or your next 2/3/4th cars? is eestor charging to little for a lifetime product?

    If you not using your eestor UC and it fully charge from last night and you are home, do we sell it back to the grid during peak hours, or will we charge up a home unit when the grid says we can and use it for our use?

    Will we create a smart grid that thinks how to use energy all this stored energy?

    Will we need coal to power our energy needs or can we use solar/wind/water?

    Will we create and send ships out to sea, with huge wind turbine and eestor UC to capture our energy?

    Will you buy your first eestor zenn for the car or the eestor UC?

    Will you just simply sell your zenn 3 times what you paid?

    How much will insurance cost, or should I say theft premium?

    Will we sell the UC on ebay and have the car included?

    Will people throw the car away and sell the eestor UC?

    Will we go to war for eestor materials, what about the price of nickle will it be the next gold, would you invest in that?

    Will lockheed martin use the eestor to create weapons to kill our enemy, if we don’t need oil, will we need to create these weapons?

    Will foreign country be allowed to purchase eestor inc., or will it be stop because of national security?

    Will AL Gore be part of the official announcement of eestor product and how it will change the world?

    Will Al Gore take credit for eestor UC or will he be better known for creating the internet?

    Will Richard Weir get the Nobel Peace Price, not once but for each patent?

    If we had a choice between the internet or eestor UC, will eestor be the easy winner?

    Ok, now it’s your turn..

  6. Thats funny, but maybe not too far off….The greatest of inventions were always met with scepticism and doubt. If EEStor is really onto something then their veil of secrecy and rush from prototype to production is warranted and makes sense. After all their competitors and big oil companies do not want this coming out. The negative pressures brought to bear on the company by the these companies if a working prototype was revealed to the public would be destructive to EEStor. If I had a technology such as theirs thats exactly what I would do. Work in secret until it is 100%, manufacture it, then release it to the world. Sure the first generation EEStor technology may not live up to 100% of it’s claims but even if they come close they are at least 5 years ahead of any other clean and practical technology that is usable by the masses. I can actually use and drive on a daily basis a vehicle that goes 200-250 miles on a charge, goes 80 miles an hour and that I can charge overnight from my outlet in my garage without worrying about the degradation of my batteries.

  7. On the serious side:

    f you read the press, if you know the potential, if you know the VCf irm Kleiner Perkins, this is what you don’t know EEstor has no plans to produce the product on a mass scale, they are licensing the tech. So if you are the real deal, this is the guy you hire, he the key, he makes this legitimate.

    Mr.Topfer, 63, came to Dell in June 1994, after retiring from a 23-yearcareer with Motorola Inc., where he served in a succession of executive positions culminating in his post as executive vice president of Motorola and president of the company’s Land Mobile Products Sector.

    In addition to joining the company board, Mr. Topfer will provide counselto Mr. Dell on issues such as operations, quality and customer experience prior to his eventual retirement.

    Since Mr. Topfer joined Dell, the company has added more than $20 billion in revenue and10 new manufacturing and customer-service operations, as it expandedinto Asia, China and Latin America, as well as within the United Statesand Europe. Mr. Topfer has overseen many of the company’s achievementsin quality, process and efficiency which have led to Dell’s attainingthe highest return on invested capital of any major company in the computer systems industry.

  8. This EEStor thing sounds like a big lame duck, too good to be true. And this timespan, till fall 2009, just about good to boost the shares price up, and then confess that smth dont fit into one another, sorry, people, dont be mad at us, ah? You cant blame people for being unable to do smth… I dont buy this cloudy promise, till i see it near my door in flesh.

  9. I’m really looking forward to learning more about the CityZenn. 2009 and 2010 are definitely going to the years to buy new cars. Let’s just hope the CityZenn doesn’t face too many delays with EEStor. And of course, getting clearance for them to be on roads in Canada would always be nice. When they come out, hopefully we’ll see some driver reviews of the CityZenn.

  10. if I am correct we should be hearing an announcement within a month from eestor Now that Kleiner Perkins has received the funds to move forward to their next green vc funding. “Fri 28 Mar 2008”

    Dick Weir, founder and CEO of EEStor, told me a few weeks ago that there would be an announcement soon on permittivity of its barium titanite powder, considered a major benchmark that would trigger future payments to EEStor from ZENN, and I can only assume Kleiner Perkins as well.

    Richard Weir does not give information unless he knows the results already, do you think lockheed martin signed the contract without this already known. What ever problem they had, and Weir said there was speed bumps along the way, and “THERE ARE NO SHOW STOPPERS”.

    “28 Mar 2008”

    Zenn announces cityZENN (same day as weir comments above)

  11. Tyler,

    ZENN’s stock has been creeping upward the last few days and is up big so far today. Any good news from the company that might account for this?

  12. Looks like a Major Announcement is going to be made…

    Principal Purposes

    The Corporation intends to use the estimated net proceeds of the Offering to fund working capital and general corporate purposes, including engineering and new product development, market development for new and existing offerings, strategic partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions or investments should the appropriate opportunities arise.

  13. If you review all the “top 100 clean energy technologies on the peswiki site, there’s a huge amount to be excited and optimistic about, but say you’re a venture capitalist wanting to identify a winner in this development sector, there’s such a variety available, even knowing where to start would be a challenge. the fact that EEstor already have a high profile venture capital partner on board and have Lockheed Martin also, surely sets them apart from the crowd. The day EEstor commercially launch their product will be a day for the world to celebrate. Here in NZ where a high proportion of our electricity is hydro, geothermal and wind generated, ZENN’s City Car looks very compelling.

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