Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kleiner's EEStor Lives!

And not just in the hearts of children everywhere.
From Greentech:
The ultracapacitor urban legend rises again.
EEStor is the urban legend of a startup that is said to be building a supercapacitor material that would store more energy and charge and discharge faster than previous materials by a factor of ten. If true, it could change the technology of electric vehicle charging and utility-scale energy storage. 
We've made repeated attempts to contact the company and CEO Dick Weir in the past to no avail.  Here is some of our EEStor coverage from 2010, which includes a musical lament.
Here's an abbreviated timeline of the firm's financial and partnership activity:
  • Kleiner Perkins invested several million dollars in EEStor in 2005. The firm doesn't admit to the investment on its website. 
  • Zenn Motors, a Canadian EV manufacturer, invested $2.5 million in EEStor in 2007. 
  • Zenn invested another $5 million for a 10.7 percent stake in 2009. (Today Zenn is publicly held but barely alive as a going concern.)
  • Lockheed-Martin signed an agreement with EEStor for the rights to integrate and market the firm's Electrical Energy Storage Units in military and security applications, but did not invest any money.  
Last year, a source sent me some documents from an FOIA request from the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) at Kirtland Air Force Base. They seem to indicate that the AFRL is puzzled over EEStor's story and unwilling to be associated with the firm. The redacted documents follow. Note the comment that EEStor is "full of it." (See redacted emails below.)

But the EEStor legend lives on with today's announcement from EEStor, as well as from Zenn....MORE