Toyota Prius Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

1,233 Posts
need sign-in

200 miles is okay for hydrogen. That's the major roadblock they need to overcome - range.

17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thought that might be a problem (and after reading more closely, the guy in the video is not the inventor, and I mistated my Neon mileage too...what an all together terrible original post - my bad):

Posted on Thu, Oct. 13, 2005

Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal file
A hydrogen-burning Toyota Prius that stopped in Akron in August has a battery developed by Ovonics founder Stanford Ovshinsky.

• About Stan Ovshinsky
• Hydrogen car video (320x240, 24fps, 9MB)
• Hydrogen car video (240x170, 12fps, 3.5MB)
• For this vehicle, just add water
• NUMMI may have hybrid future
• Ovonic Hydrogen Systems web site

Akron dealing to land project

$40 million to $60 million from private investors could lure plant to build parts for hydrogen cars

By John Higgins

Beacon Journal staff writer

Local investors with a few million dollars lying around may soon receive a prospectus and an invitation to help create hydrogen economy jobs in Akron.

The investors will be asked to be minority owners in a project of Stanford Ovshinsky, president of Energy Conversion Devices-Ovonics.

If local investors can raise between $40 million and $60 million, the Michigan company would build hydrogen storage vessels for hydrogen cars and many other applications in Akron.

The broker who is bringing the investors and Ovshinsky together is the city of Akron, which is trying a job-creation strategy that goes beyond the usual menu of tax-break goodies.

``We went to Ovonics and we asked them if they would consider giving us a chance at that, and Stan Ovshinsky and his board said yes,'' said Jeffrey Wilhite, Akron's deputy director of planning. ``The administration has been working to put all the parties together to make it happen.''

Ovshinsky is in town for the next few days showing off his hydrogen-powered car and discussing deals with the city and the University of Akron, which hopes to receive a $3.5 million federal grant to help develop hydrogen technology for the U.S. Army.

Wilhite said he discussed the idea of a private offering to investors with downtown developer Anthony Manna of the Akron law firm, Brennan, Manna & Diamond. The firm is not commenting on the proposal.

Earlier this year, Ovshinsky, an Akron native, agreed to locate a testing lab for hydrogen storage vessels on North Broadway near the University of Akron. That may produce up to 25 research and development jobs in Akron, but Wilhite wanted Ovonics to actually build those vessels in Akron.

That could be 300 jobs within the first four years and up to 800 jobs within 10 years of full operation, Wilhite said.

He said Akron is competing with Michigan and California for those jobs and he wanted to offer something other than the typical tax incentives that nearly every municipality puts on the table to attract jobs.

``We had to look out of the box,'' Wilhite said. ``I feared that California and Michigan would quite frankly clean our clock with things they could offer.''

Huge water system

Akron has something else that Ovonics wants, too: an ample water supply and the infrastructure to deliver it.

Akron's water system was built with the big rubber companies in mind.

``They were huge users of water,'' said Bob Bowman, deputy mayor for economic development. ``It was built to satisfy that system and that capacity is still there.''

Water is the oil of the new hydrogen economy, Ovshinsky said.

``This is Saudi Arabia,'' Ovshinsky said of Akron. ``That's how important it is.''

Other draws for Ovshinsky include the University of Akron, a skilled manufacturing labor force and civic leadership -- namely Mayor Don Plusquellic.

The city might support Ovshinsky, but it would be private, qualified (i.e., rich) investors who actually would put up the money and form a limited liability corporation with Ovshinsky as the majority shareholder. Wilhite said a prospectus would be ready by the end of October for the invitation-only private offering of shares.

Those folks probably would be what are known as ``angel investors,'' who take personal interest in local projects beyond just reaping dividends, and join other like-minded people, said Tom Southards, Outreach Program Manager at the Kent State University School of Technology.

``They tend to be involved as shareholders,'' Southards said. ``They'll be key people who are on the board and have a voice in the company.''

The right approach

Bringing those angels to the table rather than just handing out tax candy makes sense to Greg LeRoy, founder and director of Good Jobs First. LeRoy's recently published book, The Great American Jobs Scam, argues that companies often squeeze cities for tax breaks in exchange for elusive job promises.

He argues that business basics -- such as Akron's water system, skilled work force, proximity to research universities and overall manufacturing culture -- drive relocation decisions, not ``tax gimmicks.''

Private investors would validate the market worthiness of the project and give it roots in Akron. ``I like the idea of an equity stake,'' he said. ``It's just one more way to anchor the company to the community.''

Ovshinsky also is working with the University of Akron on a research project for the U.S. Army.

The 2005 Defense Appropriations bill, which Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, helped pass out of committee on Sept. 29, includes a $3.5 million grant for the University of Akron to work with Ovonics on developing hydrogen fuel cells for Army vehicles.

The bill passed the Senate and is in conference committee.

1,233 Posts
lol.. that's why

I was reading your post thinking to myself, why does Ovonics sound familiar. That's because I read a similar news article posted at The Auto Channel's website.

However, the picture you posted is different.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts