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December 01, 2006


Greg Woulf

Congrats to Phoenix and Altair on the prototype. I didn't like that they were doing fleet, but the more I think about it the more I like it.

In a way it's a lot like Tesla hitting the sports car market. They've got a niche to pay for their next level of development. The good thing about Phoenix/Altair for consumers is that their fleet vehicles make sense financially.


One observation I have is that technically, making the Tesla roadster work with their chosen battery technology, with it's active temperature control and monitoring of each of the 6831 indivual batteries, is more challenging. Maybe the energy density of the Altairnano batteries isn't high enough for a sports car.



"Maybe the energy density of the Altairnano batteries isn't high enough for a sports car."

That's what the Tesla folks said on their website.


Cost reduction from mass production is the key issue with this technology now. Who will step up with a billion dollar battery order for plugin conversion for hybrids and electric vehicle conversions?

130 mile range in this SUT would translate to 170+ in an economy car.

A 3000 dolar battery would make a 12k economy plugin electric car possible. That would take over due to an almost 200 mile range.

Was the battery around 12k for these prototypes? I thought i read that somewhere.


There you go again DocX... I had a feeling you were going to mention the economy car =). I'm waiting for that bit of news also.

I don't think Altair ever released any prices on their packs. The only number I've read about was the $45000 for the SUT. Not sure the breakdown for the battery pack but I don't think it'll be $3000. Atleast not yet.

Greg wrote: "Congrats to Phoenix and Altair on the prototype. I didn't like that they were doing fleet, but the more I think about it the more I like it. "

I wasn't impressed when they said they were going to roll out the SUV and SUT. Than one day I was driving around and noticed something. Just in my street alone... every house except 3 out of the 22 had a truck or a SUV. I started to drive around even more and noticed that of most of the houses (75+%)with 2 or more cars... 1 of them was a truck or SUV.

Thinking about it even more I was wondering just like DocX... why not an economy car? Than I came to realize something... instead of making an economy car even more economical... why not make the least economic vehicle more economical?

I can go on about how a higher profit margin vehicle can help keep the buisness afloat (if you look at Altair's balance sheets, you'll see what I mean... they are making a big gamble on this roll out based on their annual revenue and expenses) and help finance future projects. I can go on even further about the marketing advantages of fleet versus the consumer masses... easier to convince 1 entity to buy 1000 vehicles than to convince 1000 entities to buy 1 vehicle each. Not to mention that they are concentrating sales in CA where Phoenix Motorcars has the ONLY CARB CERTIFIED ZERO EMISSIONS VEHICLE. And go on even further about the advantages of how fleet managed vehicles can collect data from centralized points. I think you get my point... I give props to Altair and their desicion about fleet SUTs and SUVs. But I'm still waiting for that press release for the economy car just like DocX.


I agree the SUT is a good strategy in this case Jimmi. Are they doing it so they won't be a threat to Detroit like Honda, Subaru, and Toyota are?

They know that is their market, Japanese automakers have their own quick charge nanotech li-ion batteries.

They might be angling to sell this battery and drivetrain to GM and Ford. Luckily the battery will be an even better fit with an economy car.

I wonder if low production will keep the battery price high enough so other companies cannot afford to buy it, giving Detroit a monopoly? After a US automaker buys a proprietary stake so that the higher cost will not matter to the actual bottomline of the parent company, only making the subsidiary seem unprofitable?

Then US automakers can keep EVs in very low production claiming the battery costs too much to be competitive with ICEs. I have zero trust of any motivation on the part of Detroit to seriously reduce oil use by replacinbg the ICE. the profits of the big oil corporations depends upon widespread continued use of the ICE.

Can they shelve this new battery with impunity? I think not, the public outcry would impell environmental democrats in control of congress to investigate and maybe even pass higher CAFE standards.

Instead they may simply use corporate shell games to keep it in low production with a prohibitively high price. then claim it is not their fault it can't comprete on a cost basis with the ICE.

Greg Woulf

Owning a fleet means 1 charger, 1 set of common maintenanc tools, spare parts, and a single service point for Phoenix.

Fleet is lots of miles in a local area usually. That means it's easy to stop in home base for a charge. Lots of miles means cost recouperation faster.

The battery has the power and dishcarge for a sports car. The comparison between standard and altair shows that Altair's batteries don't have the energy density. That means that it takes a bit more than double the weight of batteries using the Altair over the standard.

That's bad in a sports car going for lightweight, and not a good thing anywhere. The Altair makes up for it with the quick recharge in my opinion. when it's used for SUV's, the weight means a lot less and they can get a good range without a huge hit to performance.

Go to Altair's home site and you'll find a great graph on just how they compare to standard Lith-ion.

I figure, if the costs are comparable, that the Altair battery costs 20k for the 35kwh pack. I'm probably off a bit one way or the other, but I bet it's close. I think that practically excludes economy cars because most people won't pay double even if they know they'd get all that money back in efficiency. (which they wouldn't)


I doubt the costs are comparable, the Tesla system is built from standard li-ion cells. It's designed to go fast, not something most of us need or want in a car.

As far as 20k for the battery, I doubt that too. I think I saw 12k somewhere.

Since there are no inherently expensive elements, such as platinum in a hydrogen fuel cell for instance, only mass production is keeping the cost high. It is similar to the cost reduction in silicon chips with mass production.

The silicon is not expensive, but the capital and energy intensive process of refining and fabricating the substrate is. With the economy of scale from mass production chip prices have dropped rapidly for the same computing capacity.

With mass production the cost of storage capacity should drop in a similar fashion.

It is the same with solid oxide fuel cells. For 50 mile economy car battery only range with 1/6th the battery size of this Altair system would cost 2k?

Then with a solid oxide fuel cell/microturbine backup generator, the range of the vehicle would be similar to an iCE vehicle. But the average mileage would be 10 times that of an iCE vehicle, since those first 50 miles between plugin recharge cover the vast majority of driven miles.

Even running on the fuel cell without a recharge the vehicle would get 5 times the mileage of an iCE car. An ICE is 14% efficient, this fuel cell is 75% efficient. Ten moving parts for the fuel cell/microturbine versus 1000s of moving parts for the ICE.

Mass production!!!! Billions need to be invested right now. or climate disaster and oil wars turning into wW3 with nuclear proliferation will cosat trillions.

The latest nuclear news? A scientist interviewed about the pollonium poisoning incident stated that all the terrorists need is bismuth (easily obtained), access to a nuclear reactor, and the rudimentary knowledge needed to place the bismuth in the reactor.

Ouila! Bismuth is transmuted into Pollonium, one of the most toxic substances on earth.

Still think nuclear power is safe? In middle eastern terror funding nations? Or unguarded, as most facilities are, in Russia, and even in the west? nuclear power operators shunned homeland security calls to guard reactor sites more stringently, they said it was too expensive!



RE: "They might be angling to sell this battery and drivetrain to GM and Ford. Luckily the battery will be an even better fit with an economy car."

Any small company in this type of scenerio wants to get taken up by a big boy in my opinion. You'll have access to pools of funds for RnD, instant access to world markets, access to manufacturing capabilities to increase production 10 fold... shoot 100 or even 1000 fold literally overnight(of coarse after you retrofit a few factories), ability to streamline marketing and sales with a global force and not to forget access to a mainstream distribution system. If intentions are honorable it would be a great thing for everyone. Well in this case we hope the big guy doesn't shelve the little guy's product. Being GM, they are under enormous pressure right now to just get back in the economy-minded car game. If Altair/UQM/Phoenix got aquired, I don't think they'll selve it this late in the game. We've all seen it the last few decades where Japanese car makers were headed toward economy car and US car makers went the SUV/SUT route. Well we all know who was more in touch with the American consumer. So the way Altair seems to be positioning themselves is perfect for being an aquisition target for any of the Big 3. I would guess RnD for the Big 3 are going crazy right now just to keep in step with the energy storage sector. Phoenix is expecting it's initial roll out to be about 500 vehicles next year, which to me seems conservative being in the position they are in. I would expect the Big 3 are waiting for the results of this. But the Big 3 might already be too late. Don't forget about Alcoa. Remember Altair has a research agreement with them and Alcoa has some real deep pockets for RnD. If or when a battery gets developed by these 2 companies... I'd expect Alcoa to aquire Altair under the radar.

RE: "After a US automaker buys a proprietary stake so that the higher cost will not matter to the actual bottomline of the parent company, only making the subsidiary seem unprofitable?" and "Instead they may simply use corporate shell games to keep it in low production with a prohibitively high price. then claim it is not their fault it can't comprete on a cost basis with the ICE."

I can only guess that the ever so decreasing market share GM is losing to Toyota(especially to the point where #1 is about to get taken over) would be motivation enough not to take this route. Toyota has penetrated the US market to a point where GM, Ford, and DC will have to follow Toyota's lead. Even if that means killing the unions. It's nothing personal... it's buisness. Just as the entire US manufacturing sector followed Ford's lead when they developed the production line. Either do as I do or fail as a buisness.

So take a few thousand and buy some ALTI for the long term. Something seems to be happening and it might happen soon... especially with a democratic congress. At roughly $3 a share you can't go wrong =)


Hehehey, yeah kill the unions. And the pension and healthcare obligations.

Exactly why GM and ford might want to lose for awhile longer Jimmi. They declare Chapter 11, move the rest of the jobs offshore, and then and only then will they consider electric powered vehicles.

I don't trust them. The blind union hatred of the engineer/management industrial class is not a good basis for a national energy policy. New technology and it's funding is.

Honda and Toyota employ a lot of american workers at competitive wages and they are doing just fine.


I will trade once these oil wars grind to a halt, but I won't trade off of the economy based on mass murder that this death cult has going. Saudi, al queda, evangelist, neocon, jihadist... what have you, it is all the same.

The Saudis owned 8% of the US last time I heard. How much is it now? How much does china own?

Good renewable energy trading ideas are about to come into style again though as the national nightmare in the ME is about to end, just as Vietnam ended. Look for a big boom! Yippee!!!

I can trade a boom, I made 500% in 2 years in the internet boom.


Hey DocX,

re: "Hehehey, yeah kill the unions. And the pension and healthcare obligations."

Do you really think these concepts are so far fetched? Cause you also write "Honda and Toyota employ a lot of american workers at competitive wages and they are doing just fine". Competitive wages will slowly put a stranglehold on union based compensation. As it has been doing for the past decade.

Regarding the pension portion... Didn't Delta just settle there pension dispute with the pilots. The pilots got $2.2 billion but guess what... the pension plan was desolved from the new contract. This strategy will be employed by the Big 3 if needed. And/or do pension buyouts which has become real popular these days.

Can't really do to much about health care cause it's going to get alot worse before it gets better with the insuing Baby Boomer exodus.

RE: "Exactly why GM and ford might want to lose for awhile longer Jimmi."

From my understanding, and I could be wrong, a company needs to show losses for 2 consecutive years to be eligible for bankruptcy proceedings. It's getting real close if not exceeded that time frame. If they were planning that route it will either happen real soon or not happen at all. I think GM is still planning to try a turn around... I'm sure we all are aware of that big GM stock sale that just happened. Without the K-man making waves I'm sure they'll be a more unified vote in their shareholders meetings. I just hope they don't go stagnant like what the US president and congress did recently. And with Ford's new CEO and possible talks of privatizing the company... I think there will be atleast an overhaul to the current union and pension structures. But I'm just speculating =)

As far as trading practices... I'm just trading in a sector that will undoubtedly grow while supplies of oil dwindle down. If people fight for oil and cause wars... that's their choice... I'm just trying to profit on that fact that oil will not be profitable in the future.

RE: "The Saudis owned 8% of the US last time I heard. How much is it now? How much does china own?

This is just another reason we have to get off of oil and keep US next generation technology here in the US. We have to pay off these dang gov't bonds other countries have.

RE: "Look for a big boom! Yippee!!!"

Amen to that brother... Grats on your 500%... I pulled out just a lil too late... got 200% and no burn marks =)


By competitive wages I mean that Toyota and Honda are providing similar wages and benefits to what union members get. And they are beating Detroit in market share.

That means it isn't unions eroding the US auto industry, it is failure to inovate and quality. The whole union blame game is a way to finally eliminate unions and the pernsions they promised employees.

While at the same time creating an excuse for chapter 11 that the court will buy into.

By continuing on the gas guzzler path, Detroit can shed itself of unions, pensions, and its US workforce. Then do any necessary reinvention to compete later on.

Any serious attempt to inovate now might make their business position better, thus destroying the case for bankruptcy.

They want to fail! Union=bad in the minds of much of the public brainwashed by talk radio and fauxnews propaganda. That just isn't the case.

It's the oil salesmen in the auto company boardrooms that are to blame. They see the function of the auto industry to be a loss leader in order to make their oil companies more and more profitable as oil prices rise.

It's just too rough for the little guys to trade in a market ruled by corruption of insider trading. Hedge funds rule now and they do it with information slyly channeled to them by investors in those funds who would get busted if they themselves traded with that information.

Once this renewable energy boom gets going the momentum created will make it possible once again for individual traders to profit. Hedge fund regulation will probably coincide with this investment boom.

Investor confidence has to be restored. As you probably remember, the only reform after the last market bust was to prosecute Martha stewart and very few others. The root of the problem was thus covered up.

Then as traders continued to be ambushed by hedge fund cheating, capital has been withdrawn from markets and put into real estate. It's a small traders strike.

A union action if will, hehey. We're on strike until market reform is instituted.

Tristan Wibberley

with 1kWh costing 10p here in the UK and 35kWh taking you 130miles, that's 2.69p per mile. With diesel, 44mpg @ 4.546l/gal @ 93p/l you get 9.61p per mile.

With the SUV (looks more like a family hatchback) at about £24000 (back of envelope translation) verses its diesel equivalent at about £8000, that's £16000 to make up.

with 6.92p savings per mile, it'll take 231000 miles. That's fine for a fleet vehicle - I think they'll sell well, and if they can halve the price thanks to fleet sales it'll only be 57000 miles to make them worthwhile, so they'll be snapped up by families (and me) too.

Joseph M.

Now if you/we can just put these batteries in the Smart car, as the original inventor of the Smart car intend his cars to be Electricity Powered, and Plug-In Hybrid Powered. Thank you Phoenix and Altairnano, for saving the World. You are the best!!! This changes everything, You're batteries are the best!!! I can't wait to buy my first Completely Electric car, and or Plug-In Hybrid. Thank you thank you thank you!!!

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