Monday, July 1, 2013

Kleenspeed being aquired by Flux Power - missed REFUEL 2013

At yesterday's REFUEL race there was a conspicuous missing participant who had shown up to the previous four REFUEL's, and holds the track record for electric race cars.  Namely, Kleenspeed.  It was largely because Kleenspeed was absent that Brammo's Eric Bostrom was able to win the event outright with a 1:38 lap time.  Kleenspeed is a start-up company based at Moffett Field in Mountain View CA (a stones throw from where I live) who is developing electric vehicle drive train technology.  One of their development vehicles is an electric race car which they've brought to several race tracks in the SF Bay Area to set lap speed records.

The Kleenspeed record lap time at Laguna Seca was set by KEVIN MITZ, driving the Kleenspeed EV-X11, for a 1:32.046 lap time, and 87.5 miles/hr average speed. That's a very respectable speed, which puts it in the realm of the electric and gas superbikes on that track.  For comparison at the 2013 REFUEL, the top Tesla's hit 1:48 lap times, and the overall winner was Eric Bostrom, riding Brammo's Empulse RR electric motorcycle, with a 1:38.502 lap time.

Where was Kleenspeed, a company that had been a fixture of the REFUEL races for so long?

On Thursday, last week, Kleenspeed and Flux Power Holdings announced that Flux had signed a letter of intent to acquire Kleenspeed.  The LOI proposes that upon the successful closing of the acquisition, KleenSpeed will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Flux Power and Flux Power's Board of Directors will be expanded from three members to five members with KleenSpeed's current CEO, Timothy Collins, joining the Board of Flux Power and assuming the role of Executive Chairman of Flux Power.

The press release describes Kleenspeed as having developed products for "distributed energy markets, including grid storage."  In other words, they're seen by Flux Power as a battery pack maker, when the company's product line includes electric vehicle drive trains as well.

Of course, the Kleenspeed management would have been tied up with those negotiations, and unable to organize attending REFUEL.

The exact terms of the acquisition haven't been decided, however Flux Power intends to issue a bunch of shares to raise some capital, offer 11 million shares of Flux Power to Kleenspeed shareholders, and whatnot.

Flux Power is a developer of battery pack systems and was founded by Chris Anthony who had been a founder of Aptera.  Kleenspeed is developing both battery pack systems, and drive train components for electric vehicles.

One of Kleenspeed's designs is the KAR, an electric micro-car that they're looking for manufacturing partners to build.   Chris Anthony happens to also own an electric vehicle manufacturing company, Epic Electric Vehicles, that focuses on using composites in vehicle design.  Perhaps Epic will work with Kleenspeed engineers on furthering the KAR design?

"We are looking forward to becoming part of the Flux team. There is a tremendous synergy between our technologies, products, and vision for the alternative energy storage market. The proposed acquisition will enable both of our organizations to leverage the strength of our financial resources, broaden our product development and sales reach globally, and significantly increase our opportunity to grow revenue and returns to our shareholders," said Timothy Collins, CEO of KleenSpeed.

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