[DMCForum] Re The Electric Car Battery Controversy
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[DMCForum] Re The Electric Car Battery Controversy

Here are just some little blurbs for those who are  skeptical about the 
Oillies suppressing the technology they bought and  won't let anyone use to build 
an electric car.  If anyone is really  interested I suggest signing onto the 
Yahoo Group,  electric_vehicles_for_sale
_Top Stories_ 
(http://visforvoltage.com/main/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=index&catid=2) : _NiMH Patent Suit Settled_ 
Posted by: KenTrough on Wednesday, July 14, 2004  - 03:31 AM
(http://visforvoltage.com/main/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=index&catid=&topic=6) Detroit, MI, Jul. 8 (UPI) -- A federal court  in Detroit has 
awarded a $30 million settlement in a patent infringement  suit regarding 
electric-gasoline hybrid car batteries. Under the  complicated deal, Energy 
Conversion and its subsidiary, Ovonic Battery  Co., will receive a $10 million fee 
from Matsushita Electric Industrial  Co., Panasonic Energy Co. and Toyota Motor 
Corp., the Detroit Free Press  said Thursday.

In addition, Cobasys, a company co-owned by Energy  Conversion and 
ChevronTexaco, will receive $20 million, said documents  filed Wednesday with the SEC.

Cobasys then pays Ovonic and  ChevronTexaco $8 million each as partial 
reimbursement of legal  expenses.Cobasys and Panasonic agreed to collaborate on the 
batteries in  the future.

The settlement focused on patents on the nickel metal  hydride batteries and 
their use in the Toyota Prius. Matsushita and  Panasonic supply the 
high-powered, rechargeable batteries to Toyota. In  its suit, Ovonic claimed 
Matsushita's hybrid electric-vehicle batteries,  battery components and battery systems 
infringed on Ovonic  patents.

1) The NiMH batteries were invented by Stan  Ovshinsky using a lot of grant 
from the US government and the big three  US automakers.  His company Ovonics
filed for and received numerous  patents on the technology.  Later, he formed 
parent company called  Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) which does R&D in solar
cells among other  things.  Stan was always running out of money, so he kept 
but sold  Ovonics to GM who used the batteries in the EV1 and Chevy S-10 EV
pickup  truck.

After GM made the number of EVs they agreed to (per a back room  deal with 
called the MOA) they no longer had a need for Ovonics.  I  suspect that GM and
other automakers are influenced in large measure by the  Oil companies who 
that such disruptive battery technology be kept away  from the car buying 
Therefore it was not much of a surprise that GM  sold Ovonics to Texaco which 
later acquired by Chevron.

After the  Chevron acquisition, Ovonics was renamed to Cobasys and you can 
read  about the batteries at www.cobasys.com.  However, that's about all you  
do.  You can't buy them.  In order to make your own like  Panasonic did, you 
to license the technology and pay royalties on each  battery produced.

Several years ago, Ovonics lawyers decided that  Panasonic had not paid enough
royalties.  Panasonic felt that they had  made improvements to the technology
which somehow made additional royalty  payments unnecessary.  The Ovonics 
filed a lawsuit against  Panasonic and the case dragged on for a very long 

Ultimately I  believe they settled out of court and the terms were not made
public.   However I believe that one of the terms was that Panasonic was
forbidden from  making large format batteries like the EV-95 for a period of 
years.   Fearing the same outcome, other NiMH battery producers have not 
any  battery with a capacity over 20 AH and most have not gone beyond 10  AH.

D² & 6530 
"Just Say NO, to the COUCH POTATO!"®

To see how go to _www.tvpedaler.com_ (http://www.tvpedaler.com/)   

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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