Poor Ian Clifford. Five years ago he started building the ZENN (Zero Emission, No Noise) vehicle that was based on conventional lead-acid batteries. (See ZENN: A Low Speed Vehicle) But low speed vehicles that couldn't go on the highway never took off; one analyst is quoted by Tyler Hamilton as calling them "Lipstick on a golf cart".
But Clifford hitched his star to eeStor, the ultrasecretive ultracapacitor company. And he waits. And waits. And waits.
In January, 2007 I met Ian Clifford and wrote "I hope to be among the first to drive home in a new EEStor powered ZENN before the year is out. " Three years later, that dream is over; Clifford is no longer going to make cars, and has closed his factory. He paints a bright picture:
"With these changes, we are able to ensure maximum focus of our human and financial resources towards executing on our ZENNergy strategy."
According to Tyler Hamilton, ZENN has the exclusive rights to use the technology in vehicles with a curb weight of up to 3000 pounds. But instead of building the cars, ZENN will sell the drivetrain to others. He told Hamilton:
"CityZENN felt limiting for us," says Clifford. "We would have been just another little niche OEM, and I'll put Tesla (Motors) and Coda (Automotive) and Fisker (Automotive) into that group. They have big, big challenges, not only in developing their product, but to develop that distribution and to build all that infrastructure around the car, and that's a huge commitment."
So instead, poor Ian will wait, like the rest of us, to see if EEStor ever works.
More on EEStor:
Big News: EEStor Says Something
EEStor Capacitors- "This could change everything"
EEStor Ultra Capacitors: The Science Explained
Super Secretive Supercapacitor CEO Tells All in Leaked Phone Call
Secretive EEStor Granted Patent for Ultracapacitor Technology