FOXNews.com has a Sept. 2 article on Austin-based EEStor, a reclusive ultracapacitor startup, that has generated lots of interest, but little substance. If the company can deliver on its promises, the auto industry could see a paradigm shift in how vehicles are powered, making engines unnecessary. The article contains little, if any, new information about the company, but does a good job of summarizing the known information which can be boiled down to these points:
- Investments of about $4 million by ZENN Motor and a $3 million investment by the venture capital group Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who have made extensive amounts of due diligence" on EEStor's innovation, indicate that there is likely to be a great deal of truth about EEStor's claims.
- Patent No. 7,033,406 reveals some information about their device.
- EEStor's founders have a track record. Richard D. Weir and Carl Nelson worked on disk-storage technology at IBM Corp. in the 1990s before forming EEStor in 2001.
- EEStor claims an improvement of more than 400-fold over conventional capacitors, while increasing a capacitor's retention ability.
- EEStor's is a parallel plate capacitor with thousands of wafer-thin metal sheets, like a series of foil-and-paper gum wrappers stacked on top of each other.
- EEStor has created breakthrough technology in a novel formulation of a nonconductive material (dielectric) for use between the metal sheets, using a chemical compound called barium titanate. The question is whether the company can mass-produce it.
- ZENN still expects to receive shipments later this year for use in ZENN Motor's short-range, low-speed vehicles.