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Summary:

About 10 months ago, M2E Power, a startup that has been developing motion-powered chargers and energy storage devices, showed us photos of a motion-powered external cell phone charger it had been working on. At the time, M2E Power execs told us they were hoping to have […]

M2EPowerAbout 10 months ago, M2E Power, a startup that has been developing motion-powered chargers and energy storage devices, showed us photos of a motion-powered external cell phone charger it had been working on. At the time, M2E Power execs told us they were hoping to have the device on sale as early as this year. Oh, how things can change. The company now tells us in an email on Wednesday that it is no longer working on developing external chargers, but has changed its focus to the vehicle market, and is also “in the midst of selling the company to another entity.”

Obviously, the company is going through a big transition, and it’s unclear to me whether or not they will survive it. The company’s web site, which a year ago had a lot of details and information, has been scaled back to a one-page placeholder. At least one key executive is not working at the company anymore.

Krassen Dimitrov, a Group Leader at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland, who predicted the demise of algae fuel company GreenFuel (which went out of business earlier this year) also wrote a detailed report about M2E Power. In the report, Dimitrov says that M2E Power’s claims defy the laws of physics:

M2E’s business idea is unworkable due to simple thermodynamic constraints. This is evident using basic calculations and first-order approximations, which we have presented in a simplified illustrative example. Furthermore, we have done a more detailed breakdown to aid potential evaluators in modeling the limitations of this and similar approaches.

The latest developments at M2E Power don’t sound good for the company’s investors. The company has raised $8 million from OVP Venture Partners, @Ventures and Highway 12 Ventures. In Dimitrov’s report, he says M2E Power’s funding is “another example of irresponsible investment decisions amidst the hype of alternative energy.”

By Katie Fehrenbacher

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