Super-stealth battery maker EEStor hasn't been inspiring a lot of confidence among traditional industry types. People seem a lot more comfortable depending on upgrades to existing lithium-ion technology than placing their faith in a company that promises amazing results with a device that no one has yet seen.
So we all get very excited, yet very skeptical when we hear about EEStor. But we are happy when we hear that big companies (like Lockheed Martin) are working with EEStor.
The news around EEStor got a little brighter for me when Lyle Dennis from GM-Volt.com asked GM's head of battery research, Denise Gray, about the stealth company. She said that GM had communicated with them a good deal, but stopped short of saying that they'd seen a prototype, saying that that was confidential. The transcript is below the fold, but I was lucky enough to have the camera running so you can watch her full answer above.
EEStor's "electrical power storage unit" (it's not technically a battery) is promised to be 10x lighter than a lithium ion battery, store more power, charge in minutes and come in at half the cost. And while that sounds like the sort of technology that would solve all kinds of ecogeeky problems (from power storage for renewable energy to cheap electric cars) no one has yet seen a working prototype, much less a factory producing them.
Have your heard of EEStor?
Have you ever communicated with them?
Oh Yes, Yes Yes. One of the great things about the advanced battery technology community is lots of information comes to GM and I’m really in a very good position (because) we’ve left an open door with many different suppliers. And EEStor is one of those suppliers who often sends us information. We’re willing to evaluate what they have and provide information on what our portfolio of higher batteries needs are, so that as they hone in on their technology they recognize what that end game is all about.
So Yes, they are one of those suppliers that we frequently get information from.
Have they sent you any working prototypes?
We’re still waiting for some of that information to come through to us. They’ve provided us some literature.
So you haven’t seen a working prototype?
I would just say quite frankly that we are encouraging them to develop along those lines. I probably shouldn’t say if I’ve received parts or not, that’s kind of confidential. But we are in touch with them and we are continuing to encourage them to develop the technology. Because we need as much help as we can possibly get to get the costs down of our battery solution and get the reliability up.
So maybe one day we’ll see an EEStor-powered Volt?
written by Julian, February 01, 2009
written by Tom Konrad, February 02, 2009
written by Hank, February 02, 2009
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