Saturday, January 22, 2011

Coda Blue- The new code for a voltage flat line

News from DC is that Hu was on first, Obama struck out Shee was on deck and Biden was not even in the ball park

A blog today on micro hybrids. I kind of like things that are small. Micro hybrids are not small cars but cars that use a small assist from a hybrid technology. The small assist is that the engine shuts off when the car is stopped in stop and go traffic. The engine is restarted when the motorist depresses the accelerator. This means the car’s engine may be stopped and started a couple of hundred times a day. A traditional car is started and stopped perhaps half a dozen times a day. This sounds like a really simple solution to improving the gas mileage of cars as well is lowering pollution in urban areas. Yes it is simple but not that simple. Traditional lead acid batteries cannot handle many thousands of restarts of a car or truck and they would be dead within six months if used as a single battery in a micro hybrid. Automakers are equipping cars with two batteries for this purpose and also they are thinking of improved high tech lead acid batteries for the second battery. The improved technology is either a glass mat or some carbon based high surface material for the electrode. This will only add a couple hundred dollars to the cost of the vehicle and by my estimate the vehicles gas mileage for city driving will improve by about 1 mile per gallon for a compact car and perhaps 1.5 mpg for a larger car or truck. The technology is easier to implement in Europe than the USA as most vehicles in the USA have automatic transmissions and the restart of an engine that has an automatic transmission that is engaged in the D (drive) mode is jumpy. Manual transmission cars typically have their clutch engaged when stopped and the restart of the engine is simple and smooth. The Green Machine estimates that some 10 million cars a year will be equipped with this micro hybrid technology starting in the 2013 model year.

The Green Machine estimates that zero Tesla Model S vehicles will be sold in the 2015 model year as Tesla will be dead as dry cell by then. The VCs that funded Tesla have made out like bandits. The boys at Draper Fisher Juvertson sold a bunch of their stock at over $30 per share in late December. This was just after Tesla had a press release that their Model S release schedule is not slipping and they will be on time for the launch. I blogged at that time that the press release did not tell us anything about costs being lowered and that the company will yield a profit by the timely sale of the sedan. Someone must be reading my blogs as Tesla’s stock slumped this week to $23.00. Last week I opined that within a year the Tesla stock will be below the 19 gallons of gasoline they claim are in a barrel. Perhaps I should have said after their next quarterly report the stock will be below the $19.00 a share level.

Talking about taking investors to the cleaners my other villain AONE has lost their CFO. He made about a million dollars selling his shares during 2010 while the stock was high. After 7 years with the company he is leaving to join a LED company. Yeah he saw the light after he made some bucks in the lithium ion business. When will the public wake up and see that the VCs and CFOs of these soon to be dead lithium ion technology based companies have taken them for a ride? Perhaps Obama and Chu will ride off into the sunset in 2014 when the hundreds of billions of dollars of government grants for gangrene technology are all gone and a few thousand low paying green jobs were created. I think Exide, Insterstate and Die Hard will succeed and still be charged in 2015. Their lead acid batteries will be installed in 10 million micro hybrids.

To be fair and balanced the Republicans are also cleaning up on the clean energy boondoggle. Hank the take us to the tank Paulson who let us slide into deep recession and his team at Coda will soon be importing their battery car from China. They hired an ex GM guy as CEO. My prognostication is the Codas will all be painted blue and we will soon use Coda Blue as the hospital code for calling AAA to resuscitate cars with dead batteries that have a flat voltage line at zero.