Cobasys CEO Defends His Battery Company
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Does Cobasys own the intellectual property for hybrid nickel metal hydride batteries?
The correct technical term is that it’s exclusively licensed to Cobasys.
Do you think there’s a long future for nickel metal hydride batteries?
Yeah, I do. Look at the money that Toyota is investing right now to build another nickel metal hydride plant. They’re expanding their capacity in nickel metal hydride. From my perspective, there’s no silver bullet. There are technologies, and there are trade-offs. Some have better energy density. Some have better recharge abilities. There is no perfect material out there. In some situations, nickel metal hydride is a preferred solution over lithium. And vice versa.
Where does that place Cobasys as a player in the growth of the hybrid car market?
Did you see reports that GM was considering an acquisition of Cobasys?
I can’t comment on that.
There has been a string of bad news for Cobasys. But you’re saying that you’re not cash-starved. That any kind of recall was strictly for customer satisfaction. That you’re in full control of all your company. And that production continues unabated.
We’re expanding capacity.
How will the expansion occur?
We never stopped expanding. We are buying equipment to increase capacity at least double from last year. We’re investing tens of millions of dollars to expand our capacity.
Why do you think there’s been a string of negative stories, in sources like Automotive News?
The fiction and innuendoes are so far afield that I’ve told my owners that I have to come out and set some of these facts straight. A lot of this is foolishness.
If you had to grade the health of the company and its production capacities, you’d give it an A+?
I would rate it very strong. We’re growing our capacity on a daily basis. It’s public knowledge. Chevron’s put in almost $350 million. And we’ve already invested a great deal of money in increased capacity this year.
How active is…
We’re not a division of Chevron, as has been reported. We’re a joint venture company.
How active is Chevron in your day-to-day business?
They’re not. They’re investors. We have board members comprised of Energy Conversion Devices and Chevron. And I report to the board. They do not get involved with the day-to-day operations. They’re investors.