BYD Hopes To Recharge With Asset Sale

Doug Young Bottom line: BYD’s latest asset sale, combined with its new auto finance joint venture, are both aimed at boosting its struggling EV business, but it may have to sell off more assets before the market finally starts to gain some momentum. Struggling electric car maker BYD (HKEx: 1211; Shenzhen: 002594; OTC:BYDDF)  is starting to look a bit desperate, announcing a major asset sale just days after it received approval for a stalled finance joint venture aimed at boosting its sputtering sales. The approval this week for its auto finance joint venture comes as rival...

Tesla Confirms Pricing and Launch Date of Model S

Clean Energy Intel Tesla Model S: Image used with permission from Tesla. Tesla (TSLA) officially announced the pricing, options and timing for next year´s US launch of the Model S this week. There have been some worrying rumors that the company would forced to raise its prices due to cost factors. Consequently, the good news for Tesla stock is both that the pricing has been held steady and that the summer launch date remains in place. Confirmation of both of these factors is certainly welcome news. Firstly, the official pricing for the US market...

Alice in EVland Part III; Cost Benefit Analysis For Dummies

John Petersen Sometimes I think bloggers like me are the real dummies. We spend so much time delving into the minutiae of a stock or sector that we manage to obscure the big picture with too much detail. I've certainly been guilty of that particular flaw over the last couple years and want to offer an apology to readers I've confused rather than enlightened. Yesterday a reader sent me a copy of a presentation that Exide Technologies (XIDE) used in its December 2010 Investor Meetings. The slide on page 6 of the presentation did a great job...

It’s Time to Kill the Car Culture, Drive a Stake Through Its Heart, and...

Tom Konrad CFA Stop debating the viability of electric cars, and work on fixing our broken transportation paradigm. My friend and colleague John Petersen has it in for the electric car.  Recently he wrote a summary of his anti-electric car views, entitled "It's Time to Kill the Electric Car, Drive a Stake Through its Heart and Burn the Corpse."  Did I mention he also has a flair for the dramatic?  Many electric vehicle (EV) advocates, or "EVangelists," as he calls them, have tried to refute his arguments.  One of the more coherent...

Right About Tesla, Wrong About Yingli

Doug Young  Bottom line: Beijing should promote cutting-edge companies like Tesla that can help advance its new energy agenda, while abandoning ones like Yingli that use old technology to make cheap copycat products. Two green energy stories were in the headlines last week, spotlighting China’s drive to become a global leader in the new technology and also the right and wrong ways to achieve that aim. An item involving US electric vehicle (EV) powerhouse Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) represented the right approach, with reports that the company might near a deal with Beijing to build a manufacturing plant in China....

Distinguishing HEV Efficiency from Plug-in Vehicle Waste

John Petersen Over the last couple years I've frequently argued that plug-in vehicles are inherently wasteful on a micro-economic and a macro-economic level. Unfortunately complex economic proofs are hard to grasp at a glance and my biggest challenge has been finding a simple proof for a patently obvious truth that can't be distorted by flimsy assumptions or misconstrued with rosy forecasts. I hope today's article will drive a stake through the undead heart of plug-in vehicle efficiency claims. To keep it simple, I'll use the Camry Hybrid from Toyota Motors (TM), the Leaf from Nissan Motors (NSANY.PK)...

Kandi Technologies Bags Largest Single Electric Vehicle Order Ever

Tom Konrad CFA The Kandi KD501 Mini-EV to be leased in Hangzhou. Photo by Marc Chang. The city of Hangzhou just signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Kandi Technologies (NASD:KNDI) and nine other companies to supply 20,000 electric vehicles (EVs) for the city’s “pilot” EV leasing program.  Kandi is the only EV supplier to take part; other companies involved will supply the batteries (Air Lithium (Lyoyang) Co. Ltd.) and charging by the local utility.  The utility will fund construction of a charging and battery swap station network as well as paying for...

Plug-in Vehicles Combine Immense Risk With Insignificant Reward

John Petersen Albert Einstein once said, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." So when the editor of Batteries International asked if I could present my analysis of plug-in vehicles in two pages and prove my numbers in a way that any open-minded adult could follow, understand and verify with an Internet search engine, I jumped at the challenge. The article was published yesterday in their Winter Edition. Since the numbers have profound implications for the energy storage sector and an expected flurry of ill-conceived electric vehicle projects like the planned Tesla Motors...

Tesla Motors: Is This the End for Electric Cars?

By Jeff Siegel Back in March, I was speaking at a conference about the future of personal transportation. I discussed how a new generation called the Millennials or Generation Y would ultimately force change in the marketplace and present a real challenge to car makers. You see, there have been a number of studies that have suggested this particular generation  which represents the kinds of numbers that allowed the baby boomers to dictate a lot of our consumer decisions today is less interested in car ownership than previous generations... They prefer public transportation, biking, walking, and car-sharing services...

The Cruel Realities of EV Range

John Petersen An English proverb teaches us to hope for the best but plan for the worst. With the imminent introduction of a variety of plug-in vehicles that will begin hitting showroom floors in the next few months, the phobia du jour is range anxiety, an entirely rational terror that an EV will get you to your destination in eco-chic style but only get you home with the help of a tow-truck. Sadly, most people who extol the virtues of electric drive are incurable optimists that have little or no regard for the risks inherent in complex systems...

Updating My Buy Exide and Short Tesla Paired Trade

John Petersen On November 15th I suggested a paired trade where investors would buy 11.5 shares of Exide Technologies (XIDE) and short one share of Tesla Motors (TSLA). Over the last two months, investors who made the trade on November 15th would have realized the following gains. 15-Nov-11 13-Jan-12 Net Entry Exit Gain Buy 11.5 Exide -$30.59 $36.69 $6.10 Sell one Tesla $33.93 -$22.79 $11.14 Pair trade total...

The Tesla Home Battery Pack Will Change The World

By Jeff Siegel On the 30th of April, everything is going to change... Why? Because Elon Musk says so. OK, maybe he didn't actually say that, but he did recently reveal that on April 30th, he'll be making a major announcement about a new product that is NOT an electric car. Most analysts have suggested that the announcement is regarding the release of what could ultimately be a game-changer for the solar industry  a game-changer that, if it delivers the way the Tesla Model S has delivered on performance, design, and efficiency, could catapult Tesla (NASD:TSLA) into one of...

Two EVs for the Other 99%

Tom Konrad CFA The Tesla Model S, from the unveiling on 26-Mar-2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) An EV for the 1% The chatter among electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts and investors is all about the launch of the Tesla (NASD:TSLA) model S.  A cool ride, no doubt, but not many of us are ever going to buy a sedan that starts at $49,900, even after the $7,500 tax subsidy. Fortunately for the rest of us, this week also brought news about two much more affordable EVs. An EV for the 99% Chicago...

Tesla’s China Strategy Charges Up At Unicom Outlets

Doug Young Tesla plugs in with Unicom Despite disappointing progress in China’s plan to put hundreds of thousands of new energy vehicles on its roads by next year, American electric car maker Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA)has made remarkable progress despite its late arrival to the market. The company has won its strong initial results though a smart combination of savvy marketing and initiatives to encourage building of necessary infrastructure to support its buyers. The latest of those initiatives saw Tesla last week announce a partnership with Unicom...

Plug-in Vehicles and Their Dirty Little Secret

John Petersen Over the last few months I've had a running debate with some die-hard EVangelicals who insist that plug-in cars will be cleaner than simple, reliable and relatively inexpensive Prius class HEVs. Since most of my readers have enough to do without slogging through the comments section, it's high time we lay the cards on the table and show why the myth of zero emissions vehicles is one of the most outrageous lies ever foisted on the American public. The following graph comparing the life-cycle CO2 emissions of conventional, hybrid and plug-in vehicles comes from a...

Trina and BYD Grow With State Support. How Will They Do Without?

Doug Young Bottom line: Trina’s new loan and BYD’s uncertain outlook for EV sales this year reflect continued reliance of new energy technology companies on state support, which could pressure them as government incentives get retired. Two new energy stories are in the headlines today, reflecting the progress but also the continued reliance on government support that this up-and-coming group of companies faces. That particular reality isn’t new, though some who were hoping the industries would become commercially independent more quickly may be disappointed. But more important, this reality could challenge many of the companies in the...