|By Marketwired .||
|April 7, 2014 08:30 AM EDT||
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/07/14 -- ZENN Motor Company Inc. (TSX VENTURE: ZNN); ("ZENN" or the "Company"), today provided an update on the progress at EEStor, Inc. regarding the development of EESU layers.
The changes previously announced at EEStor as a result of ZENN's acquisition of control of EEStor continue to be implemented. The Technical Advisory Committee ("TAC") has met three times formally and additional times less formally. The TAC is very involved in assisting EEStor in reviewing its testing procedures, developing improved procedures, evaluating test results and generally providing technology assistance and assessment.
Under the direction of its Chief Science Officer, Richard Weir, EEStor is working to produce new layers with the objective of being able to simultaneously demonstrate both high resistivity and high capacitance in the same layer over a range of voltages. EESU layers previously provided to the TAC by EEStor did not show commercial potential. EEStor continues to work with its new and latest polymer and is trying to address issues that affected the homogeneity of the layers. As the fill factor of composition modified barium titanate ("CMBT") was increased the consistency of the distribution of the CMBT powder in the layers was not optimal, but progress has been made in creating layers with better consistency. EEStor produced layers in early March with a fill factor of 40% of EEStor's CMBT. In order to understand the impact of the CMBT powder on the layers, the TAC requested that layers be produced with higher fill factors. EEStor has not had time to optimize its new layers, but was able to produce preliminary layers with fill factors of 50% and 65%. The layers were all tested on the Company's own Hewlett Packard LCR meter as a way of initially screening to see if the layers produced any technically interesting results. A summary of the testing is set out below:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- INSULATION RESISTANCE IN THICKNESS GIGAOHMS SAMPLE DATE MICRONS 100Hz 1000Hz 10kHz 100kHz 100 V 250 V --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 40% Fill Factor 3-6-14 Sample A 133 0.99 1.02 CAPACITANCE (nF) 0.12 0.058 0.049 0.046 PERMITTIVITY 45 22 18 17 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3-6-14 Sample B 119 1.25 1.25 CAPACITANCE (nF) 0.15 0.088 0.078 0.072 PERMITTIVITY 50 29 26 24 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3-7-14 Sample A 40 0.607 0.655 CAPACITANCE (nF) 0.53 0.325 0.178 0.165 PERMITTIVITY 59 36 20 18 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 50% Fill Factor 3-26-14 Sample 3 222 13.6 13.6 CAPACITANCE (nF) 0.23 0.107 0.079 0.021 PERMITTIVITY 143 66 49 44 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 65% Fill Factor 4/3/14 Sample 1 125 16.7 16.7 CAPACITANCE (nF) 1.14 0.44 0.27 0.258 PERMITTIVITY 400 154 94 90 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- (i) Capacitance measured on HP 4192A operating in Parallel model mode
The tests done are preliminary and further testing is needed, both externally and internally in order to reach any final conclusions. The TAC noted that permittivity did rise in the layers as the amount of CMBT in the layer was increased, over five times when fill was increased from 40% to 65%. However, based on the preliminary results the TAC has not seen indications that the layers have commercial potential for energy storage. To be of commercial value for energy storage purposes both the permittivity and the resistivity of the layers would have to be much higher. These results are well below the target levels set by EEStor several years ago where it targeted permittivity in excess of 10,000. The TAC has questioned whether the mixing of the CMBT with low permittivity polymers can yield the high permittivity necessary to store commercially meaningful amounts of electrical energy. The TAC is composed of five members who possess expertise in a number of areas including capacitor manufacture and design, chemistry, electrical engineering, measurement and energy modeling.
The TAC focused on permittivity at higher frequencies and noted that at frequencies of 10 Hz and below it is difficult to determine the accurateness of the readings. The TAC did note that if the layers can maintain a permittivity as high as that shown in the 50% and 65% fill factor layers, the CMBT itself could have commercial potential in a number of applications other than energy storage, but significant additional work would need to be done to determine if this is practical. In this regard EEStor is reaching out to existing manufacturers to determine the potential for its materials.
The TAC has been assessing the CMBT powders prior to it being mixed with polymer. The TAC concluded that, given the characteristics of the CMBT, it would not be possible to design a 100% reliable testing protocol for the powders alone. The TAC continues to work on testing procedures to better its understanding of both the CMBT powders and the EESU layers.
EEStor's Chief Science Officer believes that by further refining the layers and increasing the fill factor, both the insulation resistance and the permittivity will increase. To date the examples provided to the TAC do not show that permittivity improvement will increase sufficiently for the commercialization of an EESU.
Both EEStor and ZENN are operating with limited financial resources. They will have to raise additional capital in the near term if work at EEStor is to continue. Without meaningful technological progress it may be difficult to access sufficient capital and the companies are therefore reviewing their options including exploring the possibility of partnering with companies with greater financial resources and capabilities. ZENN and EEStor are in discussions at an early stage with a number of potential partners. The goal is to create a partnership which brings additional resources to the effort to develop the EEStor technology. The companies recognize that on their own the development path will continue to be challenging. Unless the companies are successful in their attempts to attract partners or capital, which is uncertain, there can be no assurance about their ability to continue development of the EESU.
As previously agreed in its consulting contract with Jamin Patrick, ZENN has issued 30,000 options to Mr. Patrick at a price of $0.63 and subject to approval by the TSXV. The options are valid for five years from the date of issue and vest immediately.
About ZENN Motor Company Inc.
The Company's goal is to be the provider of leading edge power storage solutions and related technologies. Through its 68% ownership of EEStor, ZENN is involved in the development of electrical energy storage units (EESUs) based on capacitors. Further, through its technology agreement with EEStor, ZENN has the exclusive rights to utilize the technology, if developed, in most vehicle applications.
EEStor's energy storage technology is still under development and a number of further development milestones must be achieved before commercial viability can be established. There are significant risks associated with the development of new technologies such as EEStor's energy storage technology and readers are directed to the "Risk Factors" disclosed in ZENN's most recent Annual Information Form filed on SEDAR.
Certain statements and documents referred to in this release, other than statements of historical fact, may include forward-looking information that involves various risks and uncertainties that face the Company; such statements may contain such words as "may", "would", "could", "will", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect" and similar expressions, and may be based on management's current assumptions and expectations related to all aspects of the automotive industry, consumer demand for zero emission transportation solutions and the global economy. Risks and uncertainties that may face the Company include, but are not restricted to: the EEStor energy storage technology may not be successfully commercialized at all, in a manner providing the features and benefits expected while under development, or on a timely basis or the Company may not be able to successfully incorporate this technology into its current or proposed products; steps taken by the Company to protect its proprietary rights may not be adequate or third parties may infringe or misappropriate the Company's proprietary rights; the Company has a history of losses from operations and may not be able to obtain financing, if and when required, to fund future expenditures for general administrative activities, including sales and marketing and research and development, expansion, strategic acquisitions or investment opportunities or to respond to competitive pressures; competitors may develop products which offer greater benefits to consumers, have greater market appeal or are more competitively priced than those offered by the Company; the Company may be exposed to product liability claims which exceed insurance policy limits; the Company is dependent on the ability and experience of a relatively small number of key personnel; new products introduced by the Company may not be accepted in the market or to the extent projected; new laws and regulations may be enacted or existing ones may be applied or governmental action may be taken in a manner which could limit or curtail the production or sale of the Company's products; and the Company may be negatively affected by reduced consumer spending due to the uncertainty of economic and geopolitical conditions. These risks and uncertainties may cause actual results to differ from information contained in this release, when estimates and assumptions have been used to measure and report results. There can be no assurance that any statements of forward-looking information contained in this release will prove to be accurate. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.
These and all subsequent written and oral statements containing forward-looking information are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. Except as required by applicable laws, the Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any statements of forward looking information that speak only as of the date of this release. Additional information identifying risks and uncertainties relating to the Company's business are contained under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's most recently filed Annual Information Form and its other filings with the various Canadian securities regulators which are available online at www.sedar.com.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Chief Financial Officer
ZENN Motor Company Inc.
416-535-8395 ext. 220
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