An interesting investment or a foolish gamble

If you like to try your luck at the casinos in Vegas and also secretly hope to see a major green revolution take place in the near term you can take a position on both today. How? Buy ZENN stock (ZNNMF). ZENN, for those of you who don’t know, has been in the business of making zero-emissions vehicles but recently decided to change tact and now is focusing exclusively on an electric drive train that they plan on selling to Ford, Toyota and other major manufacturers. The ace up their sleeve? Their intimate relationship with EEStor a company that few know well but who is making some fairly audacious claims in the ultra-capacitor marketplace.

An “ultra-capacitor” is similar to battery technology in that it stores energy but rather than using a chemical process it stores electricity on it’s surface. A capacitor (even an ultra-capacitor) is typically characterised as possessing very high power-density (aka, power can be moved into and deployed out of very quickly) but very low energy-density (aka, stored energy on a per mass or per volume basis is very low). See the chart below to see this historic relationship with other technologies. It’s true that ultra capacitors are gaining greater energy density through nano-technologies but what EEStor is claiming would be a huge jump from anything else in the market. If believed, the EEStor technology would not only revolutionise motive transport but also the whole power industry (peak shaving, reduced spinning reserve, more economic and new power switching and quality devices, etc.)

supercapacitors

EEStor’s ownership structure is not completely clear but it appears the two biggest holders are Kleiner Perkins (20%) and ZENN (12%). Even without the ownership stake it appears ZENN’s fate is highly correlated with EEStor’s. Admittedly I’d prefer to take the gamble directly with EEStor but as that option isn’t available to the public I think I’ll take a punt on ZENN. What do you think? Smart bet? Interesting gamble? Easy way to lose money?

Here’s a few links to help you decide:

[a few over-enthusiastic investors]  [news on ZENN’s April run-up on prices]

[more news on ZENN]  [more news on EEStor]

1 comments:

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