Why Advanced Lithium Ion Batteries Won’t Be Recycled

John Petersen One of the most pervasive and enduring myths in the energy storage sector is that a robust recycling infrastructure for used lithium-ion batteries will be built before the wonder-batteries that are being manufactured today for the first generation of plug-in vehicles reach the end of their useful lives. In the worst case scenario, advocates suggest used lithium-ion batteries will be stockpiled until there are enough used batteries to justify the build-out of recycling infrastructure. The numbers tell a very different story. For several years the single minded obsession of all lithium-ion battery developers...

Energy Storage: A Bloody Q3 is Creating a Great Buying Opportunity

John Petersen Tom Lehrer is frequently credited with a quip that perfectly summarizes my feeling about the financial markets in the third quarter, "Apart from that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" During the quarter we were given box seats to classic political opera in two acts. Act One was set in Washington DC while Act Two moved to Europe so we could hear the same tortured songs of woe in a different language. We all know the opera has to end with the immensely popular "Kick the Can Chorus," but we suspended disbelief, bought into...

Why Long Range EVs Can Never Be Cost Effective

by John Petersen America’s love affair with the automobile has always been based on the freedom of the road and the ability to hop in the car and drive wherever we want to go; be it to the corner store to buy a loaf of bread or out to the lake for a long weekend. Even though most of our trips are short, people invariably want the flexibility to go for a long drive when the open road beckons. Unfortunately, that mentality is disastrous when it comes to EV economics. I’ve been writing about energy...

Cost-effective Energy Storage is the Orphan Stepchild of Alternative Energy

In connection with this week’s launch of their new “What Matters” website McKinsey & Company published a pair of essays that should be of particular interest to alternative energy investors. The first essay, “Electron-Democracy,” describes the coming smart grid as a system that will be built outward from a core of centralized power plants, but increasingly be supported and stabilized by incremental energy flows between small producers and consumers that can respond nimbly to market demand with lower capital costs and more robust protection against disruption. Putting the pieces together, the authors suggest that: “. . ....

More Insiders Buying at Maxwell Technologies

Tom Konrad CFA As a quick follow-up to my valuation of Maxwell Technologies (NASD:MXWL), it was not just CEO David Schramm who has been buying over the last couple of days.  An astute reader brought my attention to five more insider filings on EDGAR: Insider Position Date Shares bought Holdings Increase David Schramm CEO 4/30 5,000 217,564 2.4% Mark Rossi Director 4/30 20,000 84,664 30.9% Robert Guyett Director 4/30 11,000 (option exercise) 78,664 16.3% Yon Jordan Director 5/1 5,000 33,997 17.2% David Schramm CEO 5/3 2,000 219,564...