Many here have heard of EEStor, they are the secretive Texas company reportedly working on a novel energy storage unit (EESU) that has several times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries at a fraction of the cost, and with a functionally infinite lifespan. These EESUs are made with aluminum oxide-coated barium titanate powder and act similar to ultracapcitors with the ability to charge in minutes if enough current is available. Despite their remarkable potential especially for use in electric cars, no known working prototypes have ever been observed or reported.
Denise Gray is GM's director of advanced batteries and is principally involved in development of the Volt's batteries. I had the chance to ask her what she knew about EEStor and whether their was any kind of relationship between EEStor and GM.
Have your heard of EEStor?Yes.
Have you ever communicated with them?Oh Yes, Yes Yes. One of the great things about the advanced battery technology community is lots of information comes to GM and I'm really in a very good position (because) we've left an open door with many different suppliers. And EEStor is one of those suppliers who often sends us information. We're willing to evaluate what they have and provide information on what our portfolio of higher batteries needs are, so that as they hone in on their technology they recognize what that end game is all about.
So Yes, they are one of those suppliers that we frequently get information from.
Have they sent you any working prototypes?
We're still waiting for some of that information to come through to us. They've provided us some literature.
So you haven't seen a working prototype?
I would just say quite frankly that we are encouraging them to develop along those lines. I probably shouldn't say if I've received parts or not, that's kind of confidential. But we are in touch with them and we are continuing to encourage them to develop the technology. Because we need as much help as we can possibly get to get the costs down of our battery solution and get the reliability up.
So maybe one day we'll see an EEStor-powered Volt?Anything's possible.
Our friend Hank Green, Editor-in-chief of EcoGeek.org happened to film me asking Denise these questions. You can see that below: