Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blood Sucking Oil Companies

Toyota, working to meet the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate, set up a production line in 1997 for the "large-format" EV-95 batteries needed for their Toyota RAV4-EV.

These EV-95 NiMH batteries, after years of research, were perfected for EVs:

* Deep Cycle, no memory effect;

* High energy output for acceleration;

* Long lifetime, longer than the life of the car -- even a Toyota car. Toyota's EV-95 batteries are still running Toyota RAV4-EV cars more than 20,000 miles per year, and for over 100,000 miles so far.

But no more EV-95 batteries can be made, after Chevron sued Toyota. In 1994, Stan Ovshinsky, the inventor of the NiMH battery and principal of Energy Conversion Devices with the late Dr. Iris Ovshinsky, sold control of the NiMH batteries to a jont venture, GM Ovonic, between GM and his company, with the goal of manufacturing patented NiMH batteries for EVs.

Ostensibly, GM was supposed to go into production, and thus, it seemed, perhaps, natural to allow them control of the battery they would, supposedly, be using. In the event, Honda and Toyota used NiMH 4 years prior to GM's final release of a NiMH version of the EV1. But passing control of the batteries to GM proved a fatal mistake for the future of EVs. GM announced on Oct. 10, 2000 the sale of the worldwide patent rights for the NiMH batteries to Texaco. Six days later, on Oct. 16, 2000, even before the sale was consumated, Texaco then merged with Chevron. The sale of the batteries was finally concluded on July 17, 2001, long after Texaco had become one with Chevron.

Chevron/Texaco received "...GM's 60 percent stake in [NiMH] batteries, and a 20 percent stake in ECD itself...", giving Chevron effective control of NiMH. On Mar. 6, 2002, just months after inheriting control of NiMH batteries, Chevron's subsidiary filed suit against Toyota, Panasonic, their PEVE joint venture, Sanyo et al. On December 12, 2001, Chevron's affiliates filed an arbitration demand...with the International Chamber of Commerce...In December 2002, an arbitration agreement...on Nov. 4-19, 2003, the hearing was held, and concluded on Jan. 21, 2004. On July 7, 2004, the settlement agreement ended in complete defeat for Toyota, Matsushita and their joint venture, PEVE. NiMH was only mentioned for "hybrids", those which cannot plug in, and Cobasys, Chevron's unit, became distributor of PEVE batteries, received $20 million licensing fee, in addition to $10 million paid to Energy Conversion Devices. "Cobasys will also receive royalties through December 31, 2013 on certain NiMH batteries sold by [Toyota] in North America."

Chevron oil, the successor to Standard Oil of California, thus worked with GM to eliminate the batteries needed for plug-in EVs, similar to how America's small urban commuter railroads were bought up by the same surprising buyers.

The railroads were dismantled, the right-of-way lost to the public domain, just as the NiMH batteries are now unavailable to run EVs or plug-in hybrids that can replace our oil addiction and address global warming concerns.

Until we move to plug-in cars and electric trains, any talk of dealing with climate change, decreasing oil use, or getting free of our oil addiction anemia, is a sham. Chevron's subsidiary sued Toyota, Panasonic and all other battery makers, forcing a settlement agreement and $30,000,000 payment from Toyota to Chevron's subsidiary.

* Most importantly, Toyota's NiMh EV-95 production line was closed down, and

* No more EV-95 batteries are available for any purchaser at any price. Toyota closed down their production line, and the batteries which power the RAV4-EV or the 1999 EV1 are no longer available. Chevron's patent rights don't expire until 2014.
All so the Oil Companies can continue to rake in record profits while a far better alternitive exists.  

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