Alice In EVland; Six Impossible Things

John Petersen Many of my regular readers know I'm a working securities lawyer, a humble scrivener who writes reams of deathless prose that private companies use to raise money from investors, and public companies file with the SEC in the form of registration and proxy statements, and annual, quarterly and current reports. I've spent a couple years as an oil company executive and a few more as board chairman of an advanced lead-acid battery technology developer. The balance of my 30-year career has been devoted to natural resource and technology-based businesses that needed somebody elses' money to pursue...

Millennium Cell Awarded U.S. Army Hydrogen Battery Contract

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that it has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research Program contract by the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command. The Company will assess the feasibility of operating its hydrogen battery technology in conjunction with a 5kW PEM-based fuel cell using water containing a variety of impurities. Preliminary tests conducted by Millennium Cell suggest salt water and other non-potable water may be adequate for use with the Company's Hydrogen on Demand® technology.

An Elephant Hunter’s Theory About Axion Power’s Price Surge

An Elephant Hunter's Theory About Axion Power's Price Surge John Petersen Over the last few days I've been inundated with questions from readers who want to know why Axion Power International (AXPW.OB) has smoothly surged from a low of $0.25 on December 30th to a closing price of $0.58 yesterday. The short answer is the stock is finally emerging from the mother of all supply and demand imbalances and the persistent sellers that punished the price over the last 20 months are almost out of the picture. Since I believe we're witnessing the beginning of an entirely...

Alice in EVLand – Cracks in the Looking Glass

John Petersen In his 2006 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush said: "Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology." What a crock of balderdash! If you compare US fuel prices with those in other industrialized countries, gasoline is a screaming bargain and the same can be said for electricity. It's not the energy we use that's a problem. The problem is the...

Investing With The Flow Battery

by Debra Fiakas CFA   The looming threat of global warming has nearly everyone  -  except perhaps those bickering with each other in the Whitehouse  -  scrambling for lower carbon energy sources.  Intermittancy remains a stumbling block for several of the lower-carbon renewable energy sources, particularly wind and solar energy systems.  To be a serious contributor to grid-connected power systems these energy sources need utility scale batteries that can store energy when the sun is down or winds have died away.  Unfortunately, with current technology the cost of such battery capacity increases the levelized cost of energy (LCOE)...

A123’s Sale Moves Ahead

Doug Young A123 Systems battery cell products (Source: A123) After a stormy 2012 that saw growing trade friction between China and the US, I'm happy to see that 2013 is getting off to a better start with Washington's approval of a potentially sensitive sale of a bankruptcy US technology firm to a Chinese buyer. Many readers will know that I'm talking about the case of A123 Systems (AONEQ), a former high-flying US battery maker that fell on hard times as new energy industries worldwide experienced a broader...

Electro Energy Receives Approval for NASDAQ SmallCap Market Listing

Electro Energy Inc (EEEI) announced it has received approval for listing on the NASDAQ SmallCap Market. The company's common stock is expected to begin trading on the NASDAQ SmallCap Market on December 31, 2004 under the symbol "EEEI."

Stop-start Idle Elimination Crossed The Chasm While Everyone Was Distracted

John Petersen John Lennon once quipped, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." A classic example of the phenomenon is the quiet emergence of stop-start idle elimination as standard equipment on new vehicles while politicians, pundits, the media and mechanical monkeys beat the drum and played the kazoo for the amazing EV sideshow. Stop-start is more than a vague promise of hope and change. It's a reality that's sweeping through the auto industry today and will conserve more gasoline in 2013 than all of the worlds HEVs and plug-in vehicles combined....

Plug-in Vehicles Will Be Dirtier Than HEVs

John Petersen On June 22nd Scientific American rolled-out a Web-only article titled "The Dirty Truth about Plug-in Hybrids, Made Interactive" that summarizes a January 2008 report from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and shows why plug-in vehicles in the U.S. will, on average, be just a little bit dirtier than gasoline HEVs. You read that right – dirtier, not cleaner! I first raised the issue in an August 2009 article titled PHEVs and EVs, Plugging Into a Lump of Coal, where I estimated that plug-in vehicles would be about 25% cleaner than HEVs, but the marginal cost...

Shares in Energy Conversion Devices Purchased

Energy Conversion Devices Inc (ENER) opened up trading this morning with a gap down to the $33 level. For the last hour it has been steadily rising up from this point. As I said in my earlier post, I have been looking for a good entry point in this company and feel that the near term support of $33 is an ideal area to place an order. The stock has been on a run for several months and it is always hard to take a new position in a stock that has already seen dramatic increases...
redox flow

Vanadium Flow Battery Companies

The recent post “Lithium Technology Dominates Large Energy Storage Projects” featured companies offering utility-scale lithium battery systems. Industry research firm Navigant estimates that lithium-ion technology accounts for almost 30% of non-pumped storage capacity developed since 2011.  This might be due in part to the dramatic decreases in cost for lithium ion batteries.  A study completed by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that the ‘levelized’ cost of energy for lithium ion batteries has fallen by 76% to $187 per megawatt hour in the first quarter 2019 from $800/MWh in 2012. Is the story over for utility-scale storage?  Should investors look for lithium ion battery manufacturers and forget...

Cleantech, Optimism Squared and the Family Reunion Investment Test

Last November, Merrill Lynch released "The Sixth Revolution: The Coming of Cleantech," a thematic report from strategist Steven Milunovich that heralded cleantech as a new investment theme and forecast a coming age of plenty. A few days later venture capital icon Vinod Khosla warned a Palo Alto audience “500 million people on earth enjoy a lifestyle that 9 billion people will want in 2050.” The differences between these two informed viewpoints are more than a little stark, but they highlight a frightening truth about cleantech: for the first time in human history the fundamental drivers of a technological revolution...

A123’s Elegant Financing Transaction

John Petersen On Friday A123 Systems (AONE) announced a direct registered offering that's an elegant example of a well-structured financing transaction in a difficult market. A123 had a solid financial base before the offering and the stock was starting to turn a critical corner into an upward trend. The new financing should add momentum to that trend. The first stage deal terms are pretty straightforward. The investors will buy units consisting of one share of common stock and one common stock purchase warrant for $2.034 per unit, a 10% discount from the closing price of A123's common...

Battery Investing For Beginners

John Petersen I've been blogging about the energy storage sector since last July because batteries, single purpose devices that most of us take for granted unless they need to be recharged or replaced, are an essential enabling technology for cleantech, the sixth industrial revolution. With this week's impressive launch of A123 Systems (AONE), the tsunami of investor interest I've been predicting since last fall has finally arrived. Since the A123 Systems IPO has introduced an entirely new class of investors to the energy storage sector, this seems like a particularly good time to go back to square...

Axion Power: Improving on the Conventional

by Debra Fiakas CFA While the rest of the battery industry is trying to perfect new technologies, Axion Power International (AXPW:  OTC/QB) has been working on a fix for conventional lead acid batteries.   Low cost made the lead acid batteries popular even from the early days when a French scientist first introduced the configuration in the mid 1800s.  Lead-acid technologies represent about half of batteries made today.  Unfortunately, lead-acid batteries have low energy-to-weight and volume.  Storage times are limited.  They also have corrosion problems.  The active materials in lead-acid batteries change physical form during charge...

A123 Systems Files Price Range Amendment

John Petersen This morning A123 Systems filed another registration statement amendment for its planned IPO. The amendment specifies a preliminary price range of $8.00 to $9.50 and a preliminary offering size of 25 million shares (28.85 million shares with over-allotment option). Amendments like today's filing occur during the late stages of an IPO and it's not unusual to see the price range or offering size increase in later filings. Both of the preliminary values are about half of what I expected. The price range surprises me because of its rough parity with the $9.20 per share...
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