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Tesla Opens Gigafactory to Expand Battery Production, Sales $ $ $ $

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:09 AM on Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
  • Tesla officially opened its Gigafactory on Tuesday
  • Could nearly double the world’s production of lithium-ion batteries.
  • Factory is about 14 percent complete
  • When finished, it will be about 10 million square feet, or about the size of 262 NFL football fields

Sparks, Nev. (AP) — It’s Tesla Motors’ biggest bet yet: a massive, $5 billion factory in the Nevada desert that could nearly double the world’s production of lithium-ion batteries.

Tesla officially opened its Gigafactory on Tuesday, a little more than two years after construction began. The factory is about 14 percent complete, but when it’s finished, it will be about 10 million square feet, or about the size of 262 NFL football fields. That will make it one of the largest buildings in the world.

The factory is key to the future of Palo Alto, California-based Tesla. The 13-year-old electric car company, which has never made a full-year profit, wants to transition from a niche maker of luxury vehicles to a full-line maker of affordable cars, pickups and even semi-trucks. It also runs Tesla Powerwall, a solar energy storage business for homes and businesses.

The company says making its own lithium-ion batteries at the scale the Gigafactory will allow will reduce its battery costs by more than a third by 2018. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the factory could easily employ 10,000 people in the next three to four years.

An inside view of the Tesla Gigafactory. g
An inside view of the Tesla Gigafactory. g
Photographer: Troy Harvey/Bloomber

Most immediately, Tesla needs the batteries for its fourth car, the Model 3 sedan, which is scheduled to go on sale at the end of next year. At a starting price of around $35,000, the Model 3 will be Tesla’s least expensive vehicle, partly because of battery cost reductions. The batteries for Tesla’s current vehicles, the Model S sedan and Model X SUV, are made in Japan.

Tesla unveiled the Model 3 at the end of March. Within a week, more than 325,000 people had put down a $1,000 deposit to reserve the car. After seeing that level of demand, Tesla moved its production plans forward. The company now says it will make 500,000 vehicles per year by 2018, two years earlier than scheduled.

To meet that goal, Gigafactory construction is proceeding at a furious pace. Inside the factory, Tesla’s partner, Panasonic Corp. — which has invested $1.6 billion into the factory — is installing machines in sealed, humidity-controlled rooms that will start making battery cells before the end of this year.

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Panasonic is also shipping cells from Japan to the Powerwall business, which is operating in another section of the factory. Robots are used to place battery packs into home and office units, which store energy from solar panels and allow users to tap it during peak periods. Musk said the Powerwall business will initially make up about one-third of the Gigafactory’s output, but eventually could expand to around half.

Outside, nearly 1,000 workers are laying the groundwork for the factory’s expansion, digging trenches and erecting steel supports in the hot, dusty valley. By the second quarter of 2017, 31 percent of the factory will be completed. Eventually, the roof will be covered in solar panels.

Musk noted that some of the area’s 10,000 wild horses often drink from the ponds at the construction site. Nevada won the factory thanks in part to $1.3 billion in tax incentives, which will benefit Tesla over a 20-year period.

“I find this to be quite romantic,” he said. “It feels like the wild West.”

The factory’s name stems from “giga,” a unit of measurement that represents billions. One gigawatt hour is the equivalent of generating one billion watts for one hour — one million times that of one kilowatt hour.

Tesla says the factory will be producing 35 gigawatt hours of batteries by 2018. That’s the equivalent to the entire world’s production in 2014. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the factory has the capacity to produce 150 gigawatt hours if it needs to. To put that in context, New York City uses around 52 gigawatt hours of energy per year.

Analysts say bringing battery production in-house, instead of buying batteries like General Motors Co. and other major automakers do, can help bring down costs, but also leaves Tesla exposed. If the Model 3 is delayed, for example, or customers’ deposits don’t turn into actual sales, Tesla will have extra batteries on its hands and no way to recoup its costs.

“They could be left with a lot of excess capacity in the near term,” said Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst with Navigant Research. Abuelsamid says there’s also the possibility that advances in battery technology in the longer term could force Tesla to make expensive new investments.

There are also competitors who could derail Tesla’s dreams. Chinese automaker BYD Co., which is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Corp., also makes batteries and energy storage systems and is already building battery-powered buses in the U.S. The company hopes to bring low-cost electric cars to the U.S. in a few years.

Musk says there are still plenty of ways for Tesla to reduce costs, including making its factories more efficient and eventually building more battery factories in Europe, China and other regions where its cars are sold.

The company also is using a different type of battery cell in the Model 3 than it did in the Model S and Model X in an effort to reduce costs.


Neah Power Provides update on the increasing global demand for remote power

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 7:18 AM on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

  • level of interest in NEAH Power’s technologies has never been greater.
  • As the frenzy of venture capital and private equity investing in alternative energy and clean energy companies comes back down to Earth, the focus of the industry is irreversibly shifting to practical, reliable and cost-effective solutions like those of NEAH Power, which can realistically meet current and urgent demands for off-grid power and energy storage in compact, scalable form factors.

Neah introduces proprietary lithium battery technology

BOTHELL, WA – May 27, 2015 – Neah Power Systems, Inc. (OTCBB: NPWZ) (OTC: NPWZ) –

To Our Shareholders:

As a supplement to our latest quarterly filing, I want to provide you with a brief report on the status of our Company operations as well as relate the progress achieved by our management in advancing efforts to commercialize, license and sell NEAH Power’s industry leading technologies and products.

While we continue to develop the many opportunities announced to date, we are also preparing to announce several more initiatives that are expected to contribute significantly to our growth and standing as an emerging leader in fuel cell and battery technologies.

In light of the current stock price, which management believes does not adequately reflect the true value of the Company’s assets, I wish to reassure you that the level of interest in NEAH Power’s technologies has never been greater. As the frenzy of venture capital and private equity investing in alternative energy and clean energy companies comes back down to Earth, the focus of the industry is irreversibly shifting to practical, reliable and cost-effective solutions like those of NEAH Power, which can realistically meet current and urgent demands for off-grid power and energy storage in compact, scalable form factors.

We are extremely pleased to announce that we have been doing research and development on a lithium battery technology that appears to be far superior to any incumbent technologies (the PowerChip® Battery). At an appropriate time in the near future, once the Company has achieved the next round of performance targets, we will be sharing details with our shareholders. Once completed, we believe our Porous Silicon Battery will be a disruptive power storage system for a whole range of applications from consumer goods to automotive applications, as well as for scalable storage solutions for off-peak and back-up power usage.

Now more than ever, power storage and generating technologies, such as batteries, ultra-capacitors and fuel cells are being used to increase efficiency and reliability in transportation, infrastructure, industrial equipment, and portable electronics, with the aim of creating a more sustainable, environmentally responsible, and secure economic future. Furthermore, the global energy industry, governments and other stakeholders have recognized that fuel cell and battery technologies such as ours, offer an attractive option for reliable backup power to the electric grid.

Also in our favor is the growing global demand for reliable remote power, both in developed and emerging markets, where large swaths of land that off-grid are now being incorporated. This demand is even greater in continents such as Africa where nations are facing a real crisis of rapid growth amidst failing or inadequate power grids. Over the next 10 years, emerging nations are anticipated to account for $13.6 billion in new power infrastructure investment as they roll out massive electric grid modernization programs to meet demand.

With the demand for real-time communication, access to the internet, and remote security for developing communities rapidly growing, NEAH Power clearly sees itself as a front-runner , as we have the technologies and products available to best deliver remote power systems, including “community power grids”. With continued success in securing the proper relationships, distribution partners and capital, NEAH Power should ostensibly become one of the leading providers of clean, reliable, and low cost power to remote areas.

Our management with the support of several new consultants and advisors have been focused intently on capitalizing on this increased attention and interest, and expect that the increasingly favorable environment will translate into real economic benefits for our shareholders. Accordingly, over the course of the last six months, NEAH Power’s technologies have attracted new interest and attention from numerous governments, industry partners, companies and other end-users, who have come to recognize that NEAH Power’s smaller, lighter and more powerful solutions represent a practical and reliable path to upgrade power capabilities. In addition, the interest of the investment community in technologies such as ours has never been as intense as it is today.

As to specific applications, we have seen significant interest for our power technologies from manufacturers of unmanned vehicles. This is particularly due to the fact that the unique capabilities and flexible application of our proprietary technologies, makes NEAH Power one of the few, if not the only, fuel cell company that can address any application, whether aerial, land or undersea.

At present we are in discussions with various UAV manufactures that wish to extend flight times and/or increase sensor payload capacity with the higher power concentration of a hybrid fuel cell solution incorporating NEAH Power’s technologies. Importantly, the same product development efforts here can be readily translated to other vehicles, including automotive, maritime and rail applications.

We have also seen a tremendous interest in resellers worldwide who are interested in our high energy density Formira HODTM (Hydrogen-on-Demand) platform to supplement grid, solar and other hybrid energy platforms, as well as a stand-alone system in micro-grid applications. While we are growing our distribution and resale network for Formira HODTM, NEAH Power’s management has also been focused on securing strategic partners which will allow us to deploy and support our products worldwide and enhance our branding. We expect to announce several exciting strategic partnerships soon!

Clearly, there is a lot to be proud of and much to be excited about as NEAH Power advances its growth phase. In spite of the challenging financial environment and the contrarian pressure on our stock, we feel that our power technologies are on the brink of our most significant economic achievements.

Status of the Shorai Acquisition

We previously announced the signing of a definitive agreement to merge with Shorai, Inc., with a targeted completion date of June 15 2015. Shorai is a leading provider of lithium ion-based power sports and starter battery solutions for the consumer motorsport industry. This merger is expected to be immediately accretive with Shorai reporting over $4.0 million (unaudited) revenue for the twelve months ended December 2014 with positive cash flow in 4Q 2014. Further, the acquisition will allow us to realize product, marketing and operational synergies as NEAH Power rolls our products. We are endeavoring to negotiate with investors the best possible deal for our current Company shareholders while we secure the capital necessary to close this acquisition transaction.

PowerChip® Fuel Cell Product Acceptance

We recently announced the successful completion of testing of three PowerChip® units with the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) of the Government of India. These units were manufactured and shipped against an open purchase order. Product testing, qualification and acceptance by a third party (a government owned entity) were completed December 2014. We consider this third party validation an important and key milestone for the Company. As planned, we have proceeded with discussions aimed at completing a licensing agreement with the Government of India, which if secured should result in significant supply contracts, licensing revenue and establish a broad, sustainable market in India and its territories. Completion of the ongoing discussions is pending on certain high level appointments at the DRDO expected in the near future.

Formira HODTM (Hydrogen on Demand)

Our Formira HODTM fuel cell continues to demonstrate best-in-class performance. As stated, we are in discussions with several leading manufacturers of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), remote robotic vehicles, automotive, rail, off-grid power, and medical device companies. The Formira HODTM fuel cell has been proven as a safe, cost-effective and energy dense solution for the production of hydrogen for a variety of applications. It surpasses other sources of energy like compressed hydrogen, the most commonly used method of utilizing hydrogen to generate energy. We are presently designing the Formira HODTM system into UAVs with Silent Falcon, and are targeting a shipment of the first units around the end of June 2015 to our security and defense partner, Tectonica Australia, a leading global defense and security systems integrator. We are very pleased with the reception our Formira HODTM system is receiving from different commercial and consumer companies and expect this to translate to material sales.

BuzzBar Suite Gen 2 & Gen 3

As of date, NEAH Power has shipped all of the orders that we received through the website and our Indiegogo campaign. We also have presented the product to various big box retailers and end users, and have aggregated the feedback from them into BuzzBar Gen 3. Our Gen 3 BuzzBar has received very good feedback. Pending the completion of a satisfactory capital raise and upon completing the Shorai Acquisition, we expect shipping of the Gen 3 BuzzBar to commence later this year. Our objective is to leverage the Shorai brand and marketing prowess to launch the Gen 3 in a most significant way!

We look forward to announcing more exciting news and milestones very soon! As we develop the numerous opportunities at hand, expand our business development efforts going forward, and secure the necessary capital to fully execute our plan, management will continue working hard to accomplish the mission. Our success is only achieved with the tireless work of our employees, the support of our shareholders, the diligent governance of our Board of Directors, and the expert guidance of our Strategic Advisory Board. Thank you for your trust and loyalty.

Best Regards,
Chris D’Couto
President & CEO
Neah Power Systems

Forward Looking Statements

Certain of the statements contained herein may be, within the meaning of the federal securities laws, “forward-looking statements,” which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, and the Company does not undertake any responsibility to update any of these statements in the future. Please read Neah Power System’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014 and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC during fiscal 2015 for a discussion of such risks, uncertainties and other factors.

For more information please contact the Company at
David Schmidt, CFO
[email protected]
425-424-3324 ext. 110