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Re: [future-fuels-and-vehicles] Re: Exxon to unveil new battery technology

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  • Lee Dekker
    You are absolutely right. More power to you or anyone willing to go about exposing any company that puts the health and well-being of human beings behind their
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 4, 2007
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      You are absolutely right. More power to you or anyone willing to go about exposing any company that puts the health and well-being of human beings behind their own selfish corporate interests.


      It's enough for me just to know that all corporations have this tendency and many have long and despicable records to prove it. The trouble is that no one is even able to hold General Motors feet to the fire for tearing up the trolley lines let alone for killing the EV-1. The finger-pointing can go on forever and so can the denying of wrongdoing.


      The fact is that some have substantially more resources to make their case, revise and rewrite their own histories and viciously attack and belittle their critics. I see no way to "win" against those odds but applaud all who try.



      In general it doesn't seem like there's much point in responding to anyone who insists that no conspiracies exist anymore than responding to anyone who says the world is flat, which it may be for all I know.


      murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote: Anyone can feel free to not read if they don't want to read, but I
      will continue to voice my views, (or not ... entirely as I see fit),
      as to "Who Stymied The Advanced Battery Industry?", alongside any
      theories as to "Who Killed (Or Stymied) The Electric Car?".

      I do have to agree that returning to have to debate the particular
      points that Dave makes does seem (to me) almost entirely pointless,
      but there is little I can do about that. When he stops framing the
      discussion in a way that is a direct explicit challenge to my view
      and, in my view, incorrectly, I will stop choosing whether I wish to
      return, at my leisure, and nobody else's, to the points he makes.

      In my view, broader discussions (regardless of Dave's points) as to
      "Who Stymied The Advanced Battery Industry?" are no more pointless
      than any other cultural, anthropological or historical or business
      discussions that might relate to our chosen area of discussion. There
      is no rule here that all discussions must be about something that
      will, tomorrow, directly result in a better car or fuel or transport
      system.

      It should also be clear that a choice to discuss the corporate history
      and present business setup of the vehicle and fuel businesses does not
      necessarily imply that I am saying that NiMh batteries are the
      vehicular energy storage technology of tomorrow. That is an entirely
      separate matter.

      I tend to agree with some of the points that Lee made as to the
      historical machinations of businesses and the lessons they hold for us
      as to understanding corporate behavior. Dave would appear to disagree
      with Lee's points insofar as he has never allowed that there is any
      evidence of Oil industry machinations helping to stymie the growth of
      the absolutely-critical-to-EVs advanced battery business.

      Since there is some evidence (such as on-the-record lobbying efforts)
      to show that the Oil business has helped to stymie the Electric
      Vehicle business, I take it as already proven that the Oil industry
      has helped stymie the growth of the Advanced Battery Business, since
      the EV business and the Advanced Battery Business are inextricably
      related.

      Further, I would have to argue that Oil Industry conflict-of-interest
      in owning a battery business has been a matter of fact, inherent to
      their business.

      Sure, an individual or corporation can choose to resolve
      conflicts-of-interest in ways that are hard-to-predict, but this does
      not mean the conflict-of-interest is stricken from existence. The
      Oil Industry has had many more trillions of dollars to make prolonging
      Oil profits than they have stood to make in the past, developing
      battery business.

      Going forward perhaps the equations, from their point of view, will
      change.

      I don't hate or fear the oil companies so strongly or uniformly as
      Dave seems to project upon some of us. I simply believe strongly in
      doing the best possible analysis of individuals, organizations of
      individuals and various mixes of such entities.

      I do not believe the best possible analysis can be done if we start
      off with bad premises or assumptions.

      [Default] On Tue, 4 Dec 2007 11:17:11 -0800 (PST), Forbes
      Bagatelle-Black <diarmaede@...> wrote:

      >Wow, Lee... Beautifully stated.
      >
      >Yes, the oil and auto companies will do everything
      >they can to preserve the status quo.
      >
      >No, it would not make sense to design a BEV around
      >NiMH batteries at this point. Other battery
      >technologies are just so much better...
      >
      >No, the status quo will not be maintained forever. On
      >the other hand, humans only respond to a crisis 99.9%
      >of the time, and most people do not understand the
      >auto-related crisis we are facing right now.
      >
      >What to do? Well, don't give up. Keep fighting the
      >good fight. Try to make people understand the crisis
      >they face. But don't waste huge bandwidth on voicing
      >conspiracy theories when there is really nothing we
      >can do about them anyway.
      >
      >Yours,
      >
      >Forbes
      >--- Lee Dekker <heprv@...> wrote:
      >
      >> A continuing ridiculous debate. Call it conspiracy
      >> or call it business, it's always been with us and it
      >> always will be. Business is war and the business of
      >> business is to win that war. Every business,
      >> including some super Green solar manufacturer, will
      >> be tempted to advance their business at the expense
      >> of competition and against their own stated
      >> benevolent business plan. When General Electric or
      >> General Motors or Exxon Mobil pooh-pooh someone for
      >> accusing them of being conspiratorial you can be
      >> pretty assured the generals are full of crap and the
      >> accuser is right on. Go back through history and
      >> look at the dealings of John D. Rockefeller. Look at
      >> the legal and illegal history of these megacompanies
      >> promoting themselves at the expense of their
      >> competition, the environment and the well-being of
      >> the general public. That history is reality that
      >> they don't like to talk about but don't seriously
      >> try to disavow. There's really no point in trying to
      >> prove "conspiracy". It's
      >> always been there. It's never gone away. Assuming
      >> that conspiracy is the normal way to do business and
      >> move on.
      >>
      >> murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote:
      >>
      >> [Default] On Fri, 30 Nov 2007 22:38:00 GMT, "Dave
      >> Goldstein"
      >> <goldie.ev1@...> wrote:
      >>
      >> >Stephen,
      >> >
      >> >Thank you for posting this article on the RAV4-EV
      >> DL which I
      >> >was also about to post with comments. I knew that
      >> Exxon was
      >> >working on Li-Ion chemistry when I bumped into
      >> some Exxon
      >> >reps at a DOE Plug-In Hybrid Workshop, about a
      >> year and half
      >> >ago here in DC.
      >> >
      >> >This latest announcement, should, I believe, shake
      >> up some
      >> >assumptions held by many in the EV Community that
      >> Oil
      >> >Industry execs are deliberately trying to
      >> "withhold"
      >> >advanced battery technology for EVs and PHEVs.
      >>
      >> Exxon's involvement with this Japanese company and
      >> this technology has
      >> been discussed in the press before.
      >>
      >> I'm not sure why you would take this as evidence
      >> that refutes the
      >> years of evidence of Oil Industry stymieing of
      >> advanced battery
      >> technology. It does not refute the history of that
      >> matter, and it is
      >> not uncommon for extraordinarily large
      >> organizations to be involved in
      >> complex and sometimes contradictory ways, in an
      >> industry.
      >>
      >> We are, in effect, engaged in discussing
      >> organizations and their
      >> behavior. It seems that some of us have different
      >> approaches. My
      >> approach is that if an organization announces some
      >> decent advance or
      >> seeming involvement in a good thing, it does not
      >> cause me to look the
      >> other way at their de facto conflicts of interest,
      >> at their history of
      >> behavior or at the possibility that all is not as
      >> it seems. I'm glad
      >> to consider the possibility that all is as they
      >> present, but I do not
      >> automatically assume that they are telling me the
      >> whole truth at all
      >> times.
      >>
      >> If one were discussing an individual's behavior, we
      >> would, in my view,
      >> be naive and overly-simple to take the approach you
      >> seem to take, and
      >> I think that we would be naive and overly-simple to
      >> take this approach
      >> in trying to understand a large organization's
      >> behavior.
      >>
      >> >I have long argued that large-format NiMH
      >> batteries have
      >> >been constrained by a *lack of demand* from auto
      >> >manufacturers, rather than from Chevron's alleged
      >> >interference through its partnership in Energy
      >> Conversion
      >> >Devices' Joint Venture, Cobasys.
      >>
      >> First, you incorrectly frame this debate as
      >> either-or... according to
      >> you, either a person must be in favor of the theory
      >> that it is the
      >> auto industry which has solely constrained demand
      >> for
      >> full-propulsion-in-suitable batteries, or a person
      >> must be in favor of
      >> the theory that the oil industry has solely
      >> constrained such demand.
      >> According to the terms in which you have chosen to
      >> frame this debate,
      >> a person must never be able to take the position
      >> that both industries,
      >> or even other additional forces, have participated
      >> in the constraining
      >> of demand for full-propulsion-in-suitable
      >> batteries.
      >>
      >> If memory serves, this is not the first time you
      >> have incorrectly
      >> framed the debate in this way.
      >>
      >> Second, you have given a (false) impression that
      >> your opponents do not
      >> acknowledge lack of auto industry demand as a
      >> significant contributor
      >> to the stymieing of the battery industry
      >> development. I do not know
      >> of a single one of us who has attempted to say that
      >> lack of auto
      >> industry demand has not had an effect of
      >> constraining plug-in suitable
      >> large-format NiMh batteries. Is there anyone you
      >> have observed to
      >> oppose you on this point?
      >>
      >> Third, I believe the joint venture (being a joint
      >> venture) does not
      >> belong to ECD. It belongs to ECD and Chevron
      >> jointly. ECD, judging
      >> by some of their relatively-recent rhetoric, seems
      >> much more focused
      >> on the solar energy industry and its profitability
      >> than in their own
      >> small battery business or in their
      >> large-format-battery joint venture.
      >> I may be misunderstanding their situation, but it
      >> looks possible to me
      >> that all interest that ECD had in the
      >> full-propulsion-suitable battery
      >> side of things has been transferred to Cobasys and
      >> that ECD's interest
      >> in Cobasys has reached the point where they have
      >> acknowledged possibly
      >> putting it up for sale. If they have transferred
      >> all of the
      >> propulsion-suitable patents and interest to
      >> Cobasys, and if they do
      >> divest, then maybe ECD would become largely or
      >> entirely irrelevant to
      >> BEVs and PHEVs?
      >>
      >> However, I have not had the opportunity to update
      >> myself over the last
      >> quarter on their most recent statements on this
      >> point. I think part
      >> of the issue is that, as of the start of next year,
      >> their financial
      >> relationship with Cobasys will change and they may
      >> be obligated to
      >> start putting some money in.
      >>
      >> Fourth, hyou seek to identify a mechanism (but you
      >> limit yourself only
      >> to one single possible mechanism, without
      >> explaining why) as to the
      >> constraining of the growth of the large-format
      >> advanced battery
      >> industry. How about looking into the constraining
      >> of the growth of
      >> the advanced auto industry? I think it is possible
      >> that the oil
      >> industry has had a say in that matter.
      >>
      >> >In fact, large format NiMH
      >> >transportation batteries have been licensed to
      >> companies
      >> >like Gold Peak and Sanyo, a world leader in
      >> automotive
      >> >batteries.
      >>
      >> As you know, the license to Gold Peak was issued
      >> before Texaco came
      >> onto the scene and took their vested interest.
      >> Gold Peak, in effect,
      >> makes such batteries apparently despite the
      >> licensing efforts of
      >> Chevron, apparently not because of them. So, the
      >> existence of this
      >> license would appear not to buttress your point but
      >> might
      >=== message truncated ===
      >
      >
      >- Forbes Bagatelle-Black, Santa Clarita, CA
      >
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