Wise Energy Use Stocks Part 3: Electric Vehicles

Either or both lean economic times and high oil prices are likely to lead to lower use of cars over the next few years, and this will likely weigh on car companies.

UQM Technologies Receives Order From Delphi Corporation for UQM(R) Motors and Controllers to Drive...

Unique Mobility Inc (UQM) announced today that it has received an order from Delphi Corporation (DPH) for UQM(R) motors and motor controllers to drive an electric air conditioning compressor for a hybrid electric vehicle. "We are pleased that Delphi has selected UQM(R) hardware for their electric air conditioning program. The electrification of under-the-hood auxiliaries, such as air conditioning, provides efficiency, packaging and performance advantages over conventional belt-driven systems, which can contribute to improved fuel economy in an automobile. Our proprietary motors are ideally-suited for these applications, which we believe represent a significant opportunity for our company in both...

Two High-Speed Rail Stocks For The Stimulus Packages

A couple of weeks ago, we received an inquiry from a reader asking us to look into potential beneficiaries of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)'s high-speed rail (HSR) provisions. This sounded like something our readers would want to read about so I decided to do it. In a nutshell, here are the two main component's of ARRA's HSR approach: $8 billion for for HSR corridors and other intercity passenger rail service (unclear at this point how much will go into each, although the companies discussed below can benefit from both) The rules around state issuance...

Cellulosic Electricity: Stock Analysts v. Venture Capitalists

Romm v. Kholsa In a persuasive series of articles, entitled "Pragmatists vs. Environmentalists" (Parts I, II, and III) on Gristmill, Vinod Khosla provides the reasoning behind his "dissing" of plug-in hybrids, which drew the ire of Joeseph Romm.  Neither seems to think the argument is settled, and Joeseph Romm returns fire here. As someone who knows as much about investing as Joe Romm and has written as much about Climate Change and Energy Policy as Vinod Khosla, I feel the need to jump into the debate and settle the matter.  (Will either of them will notice?)...

Lexus Exceeds 9,000 Pre-Sold Customer Orders for 2006 RX 400h Hybrid

Lexus announced today that its dealers have received more than 9,000 pre-sold orders for the 2006 RX 400h luxury gas-electric hybrid SUV through August month-end. The RX 400h provides a powerful new performance dimension to the traditional hybrid advantages of high mileage and low emissions.

Less Well Known Autonomous Car Stocks

Car manufacturers have fully embraced self-driving or autonomous cars.  It is not because they have heard a loud clamor for such technology from consumers.  No, automakers are keen on the idea because manufacture of self-driving cars could help them overcome the short comings of highly cyclical sales pattern associated with its car dependent upon a single driver.  In other words, they are in it for themselves whether consumers benefit or not. If consumers are not so important, at least investors should benefit. Besides the car manufacturers there are a few smaller companies that can give investors a taste of the self-driving car phenomenon. LiDar and...

Supercycle Or Not, Expensive Oil Is Unavoidable

Charles Morand In an upcoming article in the journal Resources Policy, David Humphreys, former Chief Economist at Rio Tinto and Norilsk Nickel, argues that skeptics are right to question the notion that mineral prices in the 2003 to 2008 period were rapidly uptrending as part of an emerging multi-decade supercycle. He argues that the rise in demand underpinning steep mineral price increases had two distinct causes: (1) an "extended economic upswing" driven by an ample supply of cheap credit (we know now where that got us); and (2) a "deeper-rooted structural shift in the economy" resulting from...

Two Hundred And Twenty Billion New Reasons To Be A Plug-in Vehicle Skeptic

John Petersen On April 8th the Electrification Coalition, a recently formed industrial lobby comprised of top-level executives from Cisco Systems (CSCO), Aerovironment (AVAV), NRG Energy (NRG), Rockwood Holdings (ROC), Nissan Motors (NSANY.PK), FedEx (FDX), A123 Systems (AONE) and a gaggle of private companies released a slick but wholly unenlightening white paper titled, "Economic Impact of the Electrification Roadmap." I haven't seen so many finely sculpted curves and unspoken assumptions since the tax shelter forecasts of the early-80s. The only clear message is that electric drive will be little more than a footnote in automotive history unless the powers...

Bears Are Sniffing At Clean Energy Fuels: Should You?

By Jeff Siegel Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ: CLNE) has been having a pretty good year. The stock reached a 2015 high of $10.48 on May 4. Up from $5.03 at the start of the year. But the natural gas fueling company co-founded by legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens took it on the chin today after missing analysts’ estimates for earnings and revenue in Q1. When CLNE first came on the scene, I was a fan. I even recommended the company shortly after it went public. And we did pretty well, eventually clocking out with a gain in...

Geneva Motor Show Highlights – The Revenge of the Internal Combustion Engine

John Petersen March is Motor Show time in Geneva and it was fascinating to witness the shift in emphasis away from plug-in vehicles as European automakers highlighted their accomplishments in fuel efficiency technologies like HEVs, micro-hybrids and dual fuel drivetrains that can switch back and forth between gasoline and compressed natural gas. While there were modest displays for Tesla (TSLA), Fisker and other emerging brick-makers, and space was set aside for the obligatory plug-ins that most real manufacturers are toying with, the substantial majority of front-line vehicles at display entrances and halo cars on turntables were HEVs...

Big Firms Positioned in Alternative Energy Field

TheStreet.com has a good write up about the new potential growth opportunities that are available in the Alternative Energy marketplace. "With oil recently passing the $50 mark and expected to stay high some investors feel freshly tempted by alternative energy stocks. They view fuel cells and sunshine and windmills as ultimate replacements for diminishing supplies of fossil fuels. Thus, they tend to look past the alternative fuel industry's current losses and focus on future possibilities instead." The following companies are mentioned in this article: Ballard Power (BLDP) FPL Group Inc (FPL) Fuelcell Energy...

EPA Approves 60-MPG SMART Car, Clears Way for U.S. Sales by ZAP

ZAP (ZAPZ) annouces that after five years on the market in Europe, the 60-MPG SMART car was granted a certificate of conformity by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, clearing the way for U.S. sales.

Dark Clouds Threaten German Clean Energy Ambitions

John Petersen During the fourteen years that I've lived in Switzerland, the Germans have been the world's staunchest supporters of green power and alternative energy. Their aggressive development of wind power was breathtaking, as was their warm embrace of photovoltaic power. Over the last few weeks, however, there has been an ominous change in the mainstream German media's tone as the political class finally comes to grips with the unpleasant reality that rooftop solar panels are worthless on short, grey winter days and "For weeks now, the 1.1 million solar power systems in Germany have generated almost no...
Westport HDPI

Westport Fuels Natural Gas Conversion

Earlier this week Westport Fuel (WPRT:  Nasdaq) reported financial results for the quarter ending September 2018.  Based on British Columbia, Westport is a developer and manufacturer of clean fuel systems for both fossil and renewable fuel sources.  It has taken some years, but Westport management has worked hard and overcome a number of obstacles to bring a mix of engines and systems capable of handling various fuels such as natural gas, hydrogen and liquid petroleum gas. Revenue jumped to $65.5 million in the September 2018, quarter delivering $4.3 million in cash earnings.  The company’s relationship with truck engine manufacturer Cummins (CMI: NYSE) is proving to be...

Quantum Delivers First Vehicles of Hydrogen Hybrid Fleet to Santa Ana

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced the delivery of five hydrogen-fueled Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles to the City of Santa Ana, California. This is part of a larger South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) program to develop and demonstrate 30 hydrogen hybrid vehicles to fleets in Southern California. The formal delivery took place during a ceremony held today at the City of Santa Ana's vehicle fleet yard. In March 2004, the AQMD awarded Quantum a contract to engineer a state-of-the-art OEM caliber hydrogen fuel system, perform accelerated long-term durability testing, including crash testing. The complete...

What’s Going On With Beacon Power and RailPower Tech?

Two diametrically-opposed stories for this post: Beacon Power and RailPower Tech . The latter is up 134% on its week-ago closing price, while the former is down nearly 22% over the same period. Beacon Power Corp I wrote about Beacon Power a little while ago. The recent drop in share price is due in large part to the fact that Beacon announced, last Friday (Dec. 29), a glitch at one of its testing facilities in Massachusetts. This was followed by an analyst at Merriman Curhan Ford downgrading the company from Buy to Hold. Almost immediately, the...