Ian Clifford, CEO of ZENN Motor, says that the news “bodes well” for EEStor’s next milestone: third-party verification that the powders achieve the desired high level of permittivity, which will help determine whether the materials can meet the company’s energy-storage goals.
Weir says that EEStor’s latest production milestones lay the foundation for what follows. It has taken longer than originally expected, he says, but the company is now in a position to deploy more-advanced technologies for the production of military-grade applications, alluding to EEStor’s partnership with Lockheed Martin.
Weir says that momentum is building and that he’ll start coming out with information about the company’s progress on a “more rapid basis.” Plans are also under way for a major expansion of EEStor’s production lines. “There’s nothing complex in this,” he says, pointing to his past engineering days at IBM. “It’s nowhere near the complexity of disk-drive fabrication.”
Despite its critics, EEStor has won support from some significant corners. In addition to Lockheed Martin, venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is an investor, and former Dell Computer chairman Morton Topfer sits on EEStor’s board.
The company is also in serious talks with potential partners in the solar and wind industry, where EEStor’s technology can, according to Weir, help put 45 percent more energy into the grid. He says that the company is working toward commercial production “as soon as possible in 2009,” although when asked, he gave no specific date. “I’m not going to make claims on when we’re going to get product out there. That’s between me and the customer. I don’t want to tell the industry.”
Dahn says that he hopes EEStor will succeed. “I hope it works like a charm, because it will be a lot easier than fuel cells and batteries if it comes to pass.”