|Light Electric Vehicles Company (LightEVs™) was founded in 2008 to promote and use the multilayered barium titanate capacitor Electric Energy Storage Unit (EESU™) technology being developed by EEStor™. We have been monitoring EEStor's progress since 2002 when we first learned of this exciting new concept in energy storage. We have been impressed with EEStor President and CEO Dick Weir's persistence in pursuing this innovative approach. His broad and deep knowledge of industrial chemical processes and electronics manufacturing gave him a unique background to conceive of this manufacturing process and bring it to fruition. The implementation of his ideas has taken longer than anticipated (a virtually universal circumstance in product development), but each verifiable step has proven him accurate in his prediction of quantifiable results.
We have executed a technology agreement with EEStor, granting us exclusive worldwide rights to use EESUs in almost all two and three wheel electric vehicles, as well as in electric propulsion system products for those vehicles.
Although we are a recently founded company, the people involved have been involved in the electric vehicle "industry" for many years, as manufacturers, sellers, technicians and users of EVs of all types. As early as 1994 it was apparent that internal combustion engine vehicles were entering their final decades of useful life, and that electric vehicles have many advantages over all other proposed alternative fuels. Electric power is efficient, non-polluting, inexpensive and readily available almost everywhere. Theoretically, most travel in the U.S. and around the world can be accomplished even on lead acid battery power because ninety percent of all trips are one person in a vehicle, seventy percent of the U.S. population travels less than 25 miles in a day, and lead acid batteries can provide enough power for those trips.
To this end, Carl Watkins, President of LightEVs™, previously co-founded Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Company (NEVCO) to produce the Gizmo EV. The Gizmo is a one person three wheeled enclosed motorcycle capable of 42 mph with a range of 40 miles using 8 kilowatt hours of electricity, obtained from a standard household wall socket when recharging its batteries. A Gizmo carries four bags of groceries or a large pet and is fun to drive. It is, however, unconventional, and with gasoline at $1.33 in 2003, too few people were willing to purchase a Gizmo at $12,000. While the statistics would indicate that a wide audience should exist for a one person enclosed vehicle, in reality the purchase decision overwhelmingly involves two people. Also, while most trips are short, the possibility of longer trips makes the range afforded by lead acid batteries too limiting in most people's minds. Clearly, a better battery technology is required for electric vehicles to be widely successful.
On the other hand, some of the world has embraced small two and three wheel electric vehicles, collectively known as light electric vehicles (LEV). This was a natural transition as pedal and gasoline powered LEVs have been growing in popularity for years. In fact, more bicycles are sold than any other type of vehicle each year by far (105 million in 2006) followed by gasoline two wheelers (70 million) and automobiles (67 million). Electric two wheelers sold approximately 20 million units in 2006, mostly in China. But as gasoline has approached its peak production level, eliciting higher prices, and carbon emissions have caused increasing concerns about warming climate disturbances, LEVs have surged in popularity in Asia and Europe. Worldwide sales of LEVs in 2008 were estimated at over 24 million units with most of the more dramatic growth occurring outside China. Most of these LEVs are powered by lead acid batteries because of price, but lithium based batteries have been gaining in popularity as range, size and weight advantages overcome the extra cost in people's minds.
As economic improvements have spread around the world, people have taken the step to improve their transportation capability. While most people would own and drive a car if they could, the result of widespread automobile ownership would be catastrophic for the world. There just isn't enough space, petroleum and material for that many cars. And if they were petroleum powered, the resultant pollution would have horrific consequences. Light electric vehicles are an obvious answer.
EEStor's EESUs, based on their predicted performance characteristics, are the ideal power pack for LEVs. Compared to any and all other battery technologies in use today, they would be lighter in weight, smaller in size, orders of magnitude more durable, and could exploit regenerative braking better than chemical-reaction-based batteries. EESUs would be small enough and light enough to be easily removed from a bicycle, scooter, or small to medium size motorcycle, and carried inside for charging, e.g., in the home or workplace. They offer better electric power characteristics, e.g., constant output voltage over the span of each discharge, higher voltage choices, and alternating current (if required). And, for all practical vehicular purposes, they last indefinitely because, unlike chemical-reaction-based batteries, the charging and discharging process does not break down the capacitors.
Better yet (almost surprisingly), these EESUs are also "Green." EEStor has told us that EESUs will contain no toxic materials, and their production process will emit no pollutants into the environment.
We intend to be ready to start introducing EESU-powered LEVs, and EESU-powered electric propulsion systems and EESU packs for LEVs, in conjunction with manufacturing partners, as soon as EEStor makes production EESUs available to us.
Ultimately, our goal is to provide products for and promote the use of electric power for the world market in light electric vehicles. We expect these efficient, affordable and fun electric vehicles to replace their gasoline counterparts and thereby benefit not only the people of the world, but all life on our planet.