EEStor fails to deliver on ZENN hopes, but new patent shows improvement

Ian Clifford, chief executive of ZENN Motor Co., wrote in an e-mail Tuesday to investors and other friends of ZENN that, with respect to EEStor, “it appears less likely that we will have third-party verification of permittivity or the prototype EESU this year as we had hoped.”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. EEStor CEO Dick Weir said as much back in late October. Barring some last-minute help from Santa, ZENN and everyone else will have to wait until 2009. But Clifford is staying positive. “I firmly believe that 2009 will be the year that the automotive industry changes forever — and not just because of the current economic turmoil we are all familiar with, but led by the commercialization of disruptive zero-emission automotive solutions by ZMC.”

Clifford also says he’s encouraged by the latest U.S. patent issued to EEStor dated Dec. 16. It gives EEStor another layer of intellectual property protection, and after a quick scan of this patent it appears Mr. Weir and team have made some important refinements on the road to commercialization. He also goes into much greater detail describing the manufacturing process. According to the patent, “The 31,351 components (of the EESU) are configured into a multilayer array with the use of a solder-bump technique as the enabling technology so as to provide a parallel configuration of components that has the capability to store at least 52.22 kW-h of electrical energy. The total weight of an EESU with this amount of electrical energy storage is 281.56 pounds including the box, connectors, and associated hardware.”

I found the weight interesting, because last I remember — and I may be out-of-date with my facts — EEStor was talking about 52 kilowatt-hours with a weight of 400 pounds. It appears, then, that EEStor is claiming to have improved the energy density by at least 44 per cent. Someone, please correct me if I’m wrong here. In any event, the latest patent offers up some juicy details.

I should point out that the interest that has built up around EEStor, no doubt made more dramatic by the company’s secrecy and bold claims, has become the focus of a new documentary being produced by an L.A. filmmaker. The guy was in town last week interviewing folks at ZENN and yours truly. It will be interesting to see the final product, which could be completed sometime in 2009. I’m told that Dick Weir has so far declined an on-camera interview.

One of the questions this film maker asked me was: Where’s Carl Nelson in all of this? It’s a good question. The man, after all, is a co-founder of EEStor and his name appears along with Weir’s on all patents. I’m not entirely sure what his role is in the company, but he certainly has kept an extremely low profile. Does anyone have insight on Nelson’s role? If so, please share.

27 thoughts on “EEStor fails to deliver on ZENN hopes, but new patent shows improvement”

  1. EESTOR’s EESU is a big SCAM! I am an ex ZENN stock holder. Ian Clifford the CEO of ZENN has been BSing us stating EESTOR will deliver an EESU at the end of 2007, then he stated the delivery of the EESU was “imminent” for the year 2008, now he stated “The time line for the delivery of an EESU is entirely within the purview of EEStor”. What does he think, we are stupid…sorry three strikes your out. If the EESTOR’s EESU is going to revolutionize the world, why is EESTOR out of funding? Why is EESTOR selling licenses to bicycle company no one has heard of? Why hasn’t any credible auto manufacture (GM, Chrysler, Ford) signed a license agreement with EESTOR? The patent is no proof EESTOR has an operational EESU as they allegedly claim. Why don’t you Mr. Tyler ask Dick Weir to show you an operational EESU powering a CityZENN?

  2. A lot of us were disappointed in the no-show of the EESU. Even as a sceptic, I could see enough possibilities that it could be real, I even bought shares of Zenn.

    But the new patent did not offer anything the previously published application did. It is a poorly written patent with a first claim so broad, by making the slightest of changes in the right direction, one could get around it. To anyone familiar with patents, there are some strange inconsistencies. Why for example 52.22 KWH? If it blows away the next level of comptittion which is at 8, wouldn’t “about 52 suffice”…and there are the same over-specified parameters, weights carried out in three decimals, and leakage current with values that make little sense. As a practicioner of this art to have leakage currents at values likev 4.1,4.3,4.2,4.6, etc make no sense. Leakage currents, first of all are not measures like that, and if they were, they would be orders of magnitude apart. I sense they were measuring open circuits, and this was the limit of thier meter.

    Anyway, maybe next year. “Hope springs eternal…”

  3. Tyler, seems you have been out of the loop so to speak. EESTOR via ZENN has been touting this story for so long now it makes me sick. I suggest somebody reputable like yourself actually get to the bottom of this and debunk this for what it is. AN IPO SCAM! NO more, NO less.

  4. Patents mean nothing. Mr. Tyler have Dick Weir show you an operational CityZenn powered be an EESTOR EESU.
    Scroll down to the May 5, 2004 UFTO Note – EEStor Ultracapacitor and Ultrabattery at the above link, then read the last two sentences. “A number of major companies have said they would issue a purchase order quickly if specs are met. The company is currently seeking equity investment of $3.5 million. A business plan is available. Contact Richard D. Weir, President and CEO EEStor, Inc. Cedar Park, TX 512-258-5669” The above was submitted to the UFTO by none other than Dick Weir in May 5, 2004. May 2005, May 2006, May 2007, May 2008 has past and there still is no manufactured third party verified EESU by EESTOR. It’s going to 5 years and no “Specs” are met, and EESTOR is still looking for funding/investments. How is it a company that is going to revolutionize the transportation world cannot get funded properly. Why isn’t GM, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota interested in EESTOR? How many more years is Dick Weir going to “BS” the public

  5. Mr. Weir never returned my calls, but he does take calls from the blogger with the bag over his head @

  6. I am not an investor in ZENN, but many people were induced to invest based on the supposed premise of the Eestor storage device.
    The fact that our investments “guard dogs” are not snooping around ZENN, is a very poor reflection on Canadian regulatory bodies.

  7. This is so NOT a scam! If all they were after was to bilk a load of money from people, they sure are going about it all wrong- no IPO, no weekly press releases. I think this is a small group of Engineers, with a long, respectable background already sprinkled with patents, that are onto a unique solution, and want to keep control of their company from start to finish. Now, I am not saying they will succeed- this is a very high risk, high reward type of company- and what may work in the lab may not work in the real world- or, hopefully, will not work in the real world until those pesky, unexpected obstacles are resolved- but this is the norm for bringing something new to the market. So if you invest in ZENN as a way to invest in EESTOR, great- but understand the risks and don’t cast aspersions because your expectations are not met, or your ZENN stock did not do a Microsoft or a Dell from the 90’s.
    With mostly known technology, and (at least at the time;-) hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of Engineers, it will take GM 4 years to bring the Volt to market- and that is just for an Evolutionary change. Do you really think a Revolutionary change would be easier and faster to do?
    So, here is to the New Year, to 2009, and hoping for a lot of change in the EV and Renewable Energy world- and if it does not happen this year, and I am not just talking about EESTOR, let’s hope we are at least continuing to move in the right direction.
    Happy Holidays y’all;-)

  8. EEStor promised to deliver a prototype to Zenn Motors in 2007. Their failure to deliver on that goal dstroyed the credibility of both, The failure to deliver in 2008 wha predictable. There will be no EEStor prototype in 2009 either. Beliefe in the EEStory is a form of wish fulfillment. People believe in the EEStory because they want it to be true, not because there is credible evidence that it is true.

    By the way, the belief that renewables are the answer to the post-carbon energy problems is the EEstory writ large. It is simply wish fulfillment to believe that renewables would ever be able to complete with nuclear power on reliability or cost for that matter.

  9. Paul C from Austin Says:
    “respectable background already sprinkled with patents,”
    If EESTOR is a respectable company, why is EESTOR having funding problems? Why hasn’t EESTOR signed any license agreement with a respectable company like GM, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota?
    If anything there are accusations Dick Weir and his previous companies has lost millions of investors money.
    A Patent is no proof a device functions as it claims. Do the following approved patents function:
    BTW-If respectable companies like Maxwell or Honda who have been working on ultracapacitors for over a decade cannot manufacture an ultracapacitor => power than a battery, certainly EESTOR will not!
    Happy New Year.

  10. It’s extremely unlikely that EEStor is a scam in the sense of being a conscious fraud known from the beginning; the people involved are not out-of-nowhere big talkers, and the kind of due diligence Lockheed Martin would carry out should have caught any con artists before now. Remember that most such scams work by persuading people to invest money *directly* (rather than indirectly in pre-existing investor companies), and deliberately target “investors” without the technical knowhow to see through impossible claims (which doesn’t describe either ZENN or Lockheed Martin).

    What is more possible, though I myself sincerely hope not, is simply that Weir, Nelson & Co. jumped the gun on what they could make their laboratory work do in practice and are now in the slow position of finding out it’s impossible to make what they thought they could make. But that’s the process of technological innovation in a nutshell; as the old joke goes, Thomas Edison could have told you 9,999 ways *not* to build a lightbulb. Missing deadlines is nothing unusual.

    Look at it this way; suppose there are three more deadlines and they miss each one by two to three years. It’d then be at least 2015 before we got an EESU with the 2007 specs. Is the technology going to be less game-breaking or less desireable because it got there close to a decade later than expected?

  11. Strange Steve,
    What does a reference of Lockheed Martin in a patent have to do with ZENN?
    If it does, how many Lockheed vests will it take to power a CityZenn? Will it be ready for manufacturing 3rd quarter 2009?
    Happy New Year!!!

  12. Greetings everyone:

    As producer of the Advanced Capacitors World Summit I tried to get in touch with Dick Weird to discuss EESTOR’s developments at our events. Emailed and called but no joy.

    Let me know if any of you are interested in attending the event and I can offer you some special discounts directly from me.

    Drop my an email at



  13. Tyler: No one has answered the question of possible heating problems with the EESU.
    1. It bonds dissimilaar materials with different coefficients of friction. They will bend at temperatures different than ambient. It is possible that the ceramic materials will crack, if this, indeed does happen. Maybe this is the problem they are trying to solve?
    2. Someone figured out that at 3500 volts and 10 minute charge it would generate 40 Watts
    3. How hot is a 40 W light bulb. I burn my hand if I touch one.
    4. If the temp specs for the EESU are 120 F, would this be a problem?

  14. GM has taken years to develop the Chevy Volt and the Volt is still not a real product.
    EEStor is not a public company and is still a relatively small company with limited assets.
    Research is going where no one has gone before. If someone had been there before, the path would be known and would be history. Rarely in research do you know exactly what you will learn next and be able to schedule it. The attacks on EEStor for missing their schedule do not bother me.
    EEStor sounds like a small company where the owners of the company believe so strongly in the company’s promise, that they strongly prefer to maintain their personal ownership of their company, and instead of going for a quick buck in an IPO. EEStor technology, if it can be made to work has the potential to revolutionize electric cars, and break our dependence on foreign oil. Electric cars will never be viable with batteries that cost more than the car. I for one hope EEStore can find a way to bring their technology to market, and make a real difference. Sending boat loads of money to the Middle East has proven a major disaster for our economy and for the world. We need far more companies with vision, far more than we need more companies with stock offerings.

  15. Hey Tyler, any luck on getting an interview with Richard Weir Senior? It about time to debunk this thing.

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