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Unformatted text preview: Hamilton: Race is on to build a better electric-car battery October 19, 2009 http://www.thestar.com/business/cleanbreak/article/712133--hamilton- race-is-on-to-build-a-better-electric-car-battery Tyler Hamilton ZENN CEO Ian Clifford is hoping that innovations in ultracapacitor technology will allow his company to offer new generation of electric cars. RYAN REMIORZ/CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO Ian Clifford must have a difficult time being patient when the package he's waiting to receive has the potential to change so much the way we drive, how we generate and deliver electricity, and the pace of innovation around the electronic gadgets we've come to depend on. "We're in the same waiting game as everybody else," says Clifford, founder and chief executive of Toronto-based ZENN Motor Company Inc., during an early lunch at a downtown greasy spoon. ZENN, you may recall, owns a minority stake in Texas-based EEStor Inc., which is building a new energy-storage device based on ultracapacitor technology that could if it works as promised render conventional electro-chemical batteries obsolete. In addition to ZENN's 10.7 per cent ownership of EEStor, the company also has exclusive rights to use the technology in vehicles with a curb weight of up to 1,400 kilograms. The Star in March 2006 was the first newspaper in the world to write about EEStor, which is partly funded by venture capital powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and has collaborated with Lockheed Martin to develop power-packed military weapons. On a more peaceful note, imagine an electric car that can drive from Toronto to Montreal on a single charge. Imagine charging up your car, mobile phone, or notebook computer in a few minutes. Imagine a battery that outlasts the device it powers, and which doesn't contain toxic chemicals. Imagine superbatteries that can affordably store massive amounts of energy from renewable sources, such as wind, and release that energy as on-demand power....
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