ZENN buys large chunk of EEStor as old supercapacitor story lives on

Somehow the ZENN/EEStor story is continuing along after several years.  A few years ago EEStor claimed it had developed supercapacitor technology that would revolutionize electric vehicles with its magical energy density and storage.  The story was so amazing that ZENN, then a maker of low speed electric vehicles, switched their strategy to embrace the EEStor magic which they would then use to build regular electric vehicles.  But, the EEStor story started to drag on, and on, and on, and drag on some more.

It’s been so long this has gone on that I’m surprised every time I hear they’re still alive.

On December 10, 2013, ZENN announced it had gotten initial feedback from an independent testing company, Evans Capacitors Company, who had developed testing protocols for EEStor’s capacitor materials.  Evans had access to EEStor’s facilities, and then took some capacitor material back to his own lab, and developed testing procedures that measure energy-in and energy-out.

Initial results from Evans are:

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Based on these tests, Evans has advised that the EESU layers tested did not show any meaningful levels of energy discharge (energy-out). Evans did find in its testing that certain layers exhibited high resistance.
This is not a good sign.  High resistance is bad.  I’m not sure what’s meant by “meaningful levels of energy discharge” but if that means the capacity to deliver power, then that sounds bad, but this phrase sounds like it might refer to self discharge, in which case it sounds good.  A low self-discharge rate is desirable in supercapacitors, and the self-discharge rate is one thing which has held that technology back.

The ZENN press release went on to say that EEStor hadn’t had a chance to review the results, but had noted that they hadn’t supplied “commercial ready” material to Evans and therefore of course the test results wouldn’t be good.  Instead, they’d supplied the materials for the purpose of developing the test procedures.  What they’re aiming for is to have testing protocols that both ZENN and EEStor can agree on.

Today, on Green Car Congress, it’s announced that ZENN and EEStor have agreed to further investment by ZENN into EEStor, and additionally are shaking up EEStor’s management and board of directors.

ZENN will acquire a 51% interest in EEStor, fire both the CEO and CFO of EEStor, reorganize the Board to have six members, two appointed by EEStor’s principles, four appointed by ZENN.  Also, the EEStor principles are exchanging EEStor stock for ZENN stock, and it looks like ZENN is slowly buying out EEStor.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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