Plug-in and Hybrid Locomotives; Another Sweet Spot for Axion Power

John Petersen I'm a cynic and a heretic when it comes to plug-in vehicle schemes because most defy the laws of economic gravity and violate a cardinal rule that Ford engineers developed for the EcoStar light delivery vehicle program in the early '90s: – The unloaded weight of a plug-in vehicle should never exceed 70% of its loaded weight. Investors who pay attention to this simple rule can easily distinguish between pipe-dream vehicle electrification schemes that are nothing more than feel-good eco-bling and realistic vehicle electrification projects that make economic sense. For the last...

Are Investors Right To Panic About Exide Technologies?

Tom Konrad CFA Thursday Afternoon Panic On Thursday, April 4th, battery manufacturer and recycler Exide Technologies’ (NASD:XIDE) stock plunged, starting around 2pm.  There was no press release or SEC filing from the company, or stories on the public newswires.  Likely short sellers were stoking rumors on the chat boards that the company had filed for bankruptcy, and that the story was on Reuters. Electric Storage Battery Company advertisement for Exide batteries in the journal Horseless Age, January 15, 1918 Intraday, panicked shareholders dumped their shares for as little as $1.16,...

Beacon Power Announces Compliance with NASDAQ Continued Listing Requirement Related to Closing Bid Price

Beacon Power Corp (BCON) announced that on March 2, 2005, it received a letter from The NASDAQ Stock Market stating that because the closing bid price of the Beacon's common stock has been at $1.00 per share or greater for at least 10 consecutive business days, Beacon has regained compliance with Marketplace Rule 4310(c)(4). This is wonderful news for BCON.

Congratulating Chrysler and A123 Systems

On April 6th, Chrysler LLC announced the creation of a strategic alliance whereby A123 Systems, Inc. will become a primary battery supplier for Chrysler's planned line of plug-in electric vehicles. This is a huge step toward rebuilding America's domestic battery manufacturing infrastructure and both companies should be congratulated. The next steps I see in my murky crystal ball are finalization of A123's pending IPO coupled with an announcement that A123's $1.8 billion loan request under the DOE's Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program has been approved. If the foundation has been properly laid, it will all come together very quickly....

Last Battery Developer Standing

by Debra Fiakas CFA Advanced battery producer A123 Systems, Inc. (AONE: Nasdaq) has flamed out, with the cinders of its lithium ion technologies snapped up by Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI:  NYSE).  Much has been written in the financial press over the past few weeks about the fate of A123 and the next step by Johnson Controls.  What is more, because A123 had received government loan assistance, the political pundits have taken advantage of the company’s embarrassment to make their case for or against government in general and public alternative energy investment in particular. What really has me...

Energy Storage Performed Poorly in the First Quarter of 2010

John Petersen The first quarter was unkind to publicly traded companies in the energy storage sector, which saw their stock prices fall by an average of 16.22% over the last three months. While the shares of Enersys (ENS) and C&D Technologies (CHP) posted gains of 12.8% and 3.2% respectively, all of the others in my universe of 17 pure play energy storage companies traded down. The following table summarizes first quarter performance and provides some important valuation metrics. The following table summarizes the portfolio performance a hypothetical investor would have realized over the last three...

Australian inventor makes engine that runs off air

An Australian inventor claims to have made the world's first commercially-viable motor vehicle powered by compressed air. The vehicle is being tried out by contractors in Melbourne's parks and gardens over the next 12 months as an alternative to conventional diesel or petrol engines.

Energy Conversion 4Q Sales Disappoint

Energy Conversion Devices Inc (ENER) announced quarterly results on Monday. They beat Wall Street expecations with a less than expected loss, but did not meet sales estimates. They posted a loss of $6.9 million, or 23 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30, compared with a year-ago loss of $11.5 million, or 44 cents per share. The company's loss from continuing operations was 22 cents per share. Wall Street estimates on the loss were 26 cents a share. The stock is currently trading down over 4% in pre-market trading. I have been looking for a...

Opportunities in the Energy Storage Sector

John Petersen Since I discussed dilution risks in emerging energy storage companies last week, today I'm going to shift gears and offer an overview of the opportunities that have developed in larger pure-play energy storage companies since last September. The following graph tracks the 18-month composite performance of the five categories I defined in Battery Investing for Beginners, Part II and shows how they stacked up against the Dow Jones Average. To understand what's happened in the storage sector over the last 18 months it's helpful to remember a few key dates. First, we had...

Beacon Power Announces Third-Quarter 2005 Results

Beacon Power Corp (BCON) reported revenue of $304,064, compared to revenue of $80,902 in the third quarter of 2004, an increase of $223,162, or 276%. Revenues for the nine months ending September 30, 2005, were $1,258,503, compared to $264,793 for the same period in 2004, an increase of $993,710, or 375%. Beacon Power reported a net loss of $2.1 million, or ($0.04) per share, compared to a net loss of $1.9 million or ($0.04) per share for the third quarter of 2005 and 2004, respectively, representing an increase of approximately $0.2 million or 16%. They ended the...

How the Hydrogen Economy Works

One of the major movers in the Alternative Energy sector are stocks that pertain to Hydrogen production and conversion into energy. You can learn more about the Hydrogen economy at the excellent How Stuff Works website using the following link: How the Hydrogen Economy Works.

Arotech’s Batteries and Power Systems Division to Develop Zinc-Air Batteries for UAVs for Major...

Arotech Corporation (ARTX) announced that its Batteries and Power Systems Division has received a second development contract from a major US agency. Under the contract, Arotech's Electric Fuel Battery Corporation subsidiary will develop prototype zinc-air batteries for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to achieve extended flight times. The funding is expected to cover development costs.

Why I’m Long Active Power

10.08.09 ACPW John Petersen This morning I awoke to a comment from Seeking Alpha contributor Michael Eisenberg who asked me to lay out my core thesis on why Active Power, Inc. (ACPW) merits attention from investors who are interested in the energy storage sector. While Altenergystocks and Seeking Alpha don't generally like to publish articles about companies that trade for under a dollar, I believe Active Power merits an exception to the general policies. As regular readers know, I've been a small company securities lawyer for almost...

Bob Lutz Is Wrong About Tesla

By Jeff Siegel Does Bob Lutz like Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) or not? The bigwig car exec who probably knows more about the car industry than practically anyone else, has certainly tipped his hat to the electric car-maker and to Elon Musk, but when it comes to the stock, he's perpetually bearish. Of course, I've yet to find anyone who can really make sense of the stock. On a technical basis, it's pretty much always been valued at levels that never really coincided with the reality. But the Tesla story has never been about just the technicals. Tesla's valuation...

Hydrogenics: New Capital, New Orders

by Debra Fiakas CFA   Hydrogen technology developer and fuel cell producer  Hydrogenics, Inc. (HYGS:  Nasdaq) closed out last year ‘following on’ with new capital and new fuel cell orders.  The company staged a public sale of its common stock through what is frequently referred to as a ‘follow on’ offering, coming along as this one did some years after the company’s initial public offering.  The pricing of these new shares of common stock was ‘followed’ quite closely by announcement of a new order for Hydrogenics fuel cells by a forklift manufacturer in North America.  The appearance...

Axion Power’s Potential For Explosive Growth

Tom Konrad, CFA Axion Power International, Inc. (OTC:AXPW) has been developing its patented PbC lead-carbon battery technology, and in 2013 those efforts seem on the verge of paying off.   Unfortunately, Axion’s financing situation makes me unwilling to recommend its stock as an investment in the near term, but I do consider it one to watch.  This article will take a look at Axion’s technology and near term potential markets.  A follow-up article (published here) will discuss the company’s financing situation, and the things which will need to change before I consider the stock an...