Tag Archives: Dick Weir

Details of Dick Weir/EEStor interview leak emerge

I have a story in today’s Toronto Star about the leak nearly three weeks ago of a 38-minute telephone interview with EEStor founder and CEO Dick Weir. As others in the blogosphere have speculated, the audio recording that appeared on Yahoo Video (apologies, but in the story I incorrectly say it was on YouTube) was in fact a recording of a conference call between Dick Weir, representatives of ZENN, and representatives of Paradigm Capital and at least one of their institutional investor clients. Paradigm, which was co-leading a recent equity offering for ZENN, facilitated the call.

The president of Paradigm confirmed what happened but said it’s not known how the recording made it onto the Internet. ZENN, meanwhile, is arguing that the information within the interview is not material or was disclosed previously, so while the leak is embarrassing it’s not breaking any rules. Of course, I’m sure many of you out there who have heard the recording or read the script would beg to differ. It will be interesting to see how this controversy unfolds, and whether financial regulators in Canada decide to look into it further.

30-plus minute interview with Dick Weir of EEStor

(NOTE: The video on Yahoo has been disabled, not surprisingly. But someone over at TheEEStory.com has kindly supplied a transcript.)

Mr. Weir probably had no clue the person interviewing him would post this on the Internet, but it appeared just a few hours ago. Weir talks about the history of EEStor, how he hooked up with Ian Clifford at ZENN Motors, the relationship with Lockheed, and the status of EEStor’s ultracapacitor development. Weir says there’s really nothing standing in the way now from commercial production, and that pre-production of EESU units will begin in the fourth quarter. This is a lengthy, very detailed phone interview, and I don’t believe Weir would be talking this way if he wasn’t confident in the road ahead. It sounds like, from the interview, that somebody is trying to profile EEStor and Weir — perhaps, maybe, for a documentary that’s being made?

(NOTE: I’ve spoken with Dick Weir several times by telephone. This is his voice in the interview, 100 per cent, for those who wonder if it’s some kind of impersonation hoax.)

A few nuggets:

* Says Kleiner Perkin’s owns “20-something per cent” of the company.

* Weir says he and his co-founders still own controlling interest in the company.

* On Lockheed: “I’m really in deep with Lockheed Martin.” He said Lockheed has no investment, but relationship goes way back.

* On EEStor’s value: “If we make an EESU… God only knows what we’ll be valued then.”

* He has two patents on grid-load levelling. “You can put 45 per cent more electricity on the grid and do nothing more than put our batteries on there…. that electricity could supply the electricity to the electric vehicle market as it emerges… we make wind and solar real… you can make a wind farm operate like a coal-fired plant and it’s really cost-effective.”

* On storage for PCs and handhelds. “We can take a battery for a cellphone and give you three to five times more energy storage that would never degrade on you and you can charge in seconds.”

* Electric vehicles: “It’s going to take time to emerge, but I think with ZENN Motors it’s going to be very interesting to see them grow dramatically to capture that market.”

* On portable tools: “I’m already in knee-deep with the people in the portable tool business. They’re waiting for me to emerge and they’ll come on strong.”

* On relationship with ZENN and the EESU: “They buy it for a certain amount and they put it in their car. Right now our contract says $100 per kilowatt-hour, excluding electronics, and it’s extremely attractive. You take a lithium-ion battery right now it’s $350 to $1,200 dollars… nobody is going to compete with us, certainly no lithium-ion.”

* How quick to market for EESU electric car? “Need is always a wonderful thing, and the need is very high for our technology…. there’s nothing corrosive, harmful or explosive in our technology… there’s nothing, there’s no chemistry part of our product. It’s all solid state… I think also ZENN is going to happen very, very quickly… people will want that electric car. They’ll be able to test it, don’t get me wrong, but they’ll be able to pass those tests quickly because we’ve got the UL.”

* On EESU status: “I’m already out there putting EESUs together and I’m still in June. I’m ahead of schedule.” Says ZENN will get pre-production prototypes by the end of this year. “Once I do that, all hell is going to break loose for ZENN as well as EEStor.”

* Ending note: “We’ve done our homework, and you’ll see the results when we get into 2010… you’ll see a very effective and constant ramp-up to our production capabilities.”

I can guarantee one thing: this audio/video will spread like wildfire across the Internet over the next few days.

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, “itĀ 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. Continue reading EEStor fails to deliver on ZENN hopes, but new patent shows improvement