As a sidebar to the Volt we follow the story of EEStor. This is the Texas-based stealth-mode company that has been working on developing a specialized energy storage unit (EESU) that is somewhat of a cross between a battery and an ultracapacitor. The device uses a specialized chemical powder called barium titanate which is alumina-coated (CMBT) and is theorized to be not only is capable of very high power density, but very high energy density.

The company has an agreement with Zenn Motor Company of Canada to supply these energy storage units for use in electric cars.

What makes these devices so groundbreaking is that if realized, they could potentially hold several times the energy of lithium-ion batteries at a fraction of the cost and weight, and experience no degradation thereby giving them an infinite lifetime. They would also be extremely rapidly rechargeable. The public has been waiting for a demonstration of these devices for years but to date it has not occurred.

Today a very special, long-awaited and per EEStor "huge" milestone was achieved. They report their CMBT powder has been certified as having met or exceeded a relative permittivity of 22,500. This value has to do with the ability of energy storage material to store charge. A large permittivity means the material has a large capacitance, or ability to store charge.

Of course at this point no working prototype has yet been demonstrated, but Zenn continues to report it expects working prototypes.

Michael Bergeron, VP of Engineering of ZENN said "The permittivity results as indicated are beyond the specifications outlined in our technology agreement which is extremely encouraging, we will review these results and expect to announce our findings as soon as they are available."

"EEStor's announcement reveals continued progress in developing their Electrical Energy Storage Unit," said Ian Clifford, CEO of ZENN. "We remain focused on fulfilling our cityZENN and ZENNergyTM drivetrain programs, the first implementations of EEStor's EESU.

Full EEStor Press Release:
CEDAR PARK, Texas, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- EEStor, Inc. announces relative permittivity certification of their Composition Modified Barium-Titanate powders. The third party certification tests were performed by Texas Research International's Dr. Edward G. Golla, PhD., Laboratory Director. He has certificated that EEStor's patented and patent pending Composition Modified Barium-Titanate Powders have met and/or exceeded a relative permittivity of 22,500.

EEStor feels this is a huge milestone which opens the advancement of key products and services in the electrical energy storage markets of today. The automotive and renewable energy sectors are a few of the key markets that would benefit greatly with the technology.