BYD Hits California Speed Bumps

Doug Young  Speed bump photo via BigStock After a year of relative calm in which its shares have surged, electric vehicle (EV) aspirant BYD (OTC: BYDDF; HKEx: 1211; Shenzhen: 002594) is once embroiled in a couple of mini-scandals involving its labor practices and technology in California. While I doubt that either of these problems will have a long-term impact on the company, they do highlight the many speed bumps that BYD and other Chinese automakers will face as they move into the global marketplace. The risks are...

Tesla’s Troubling Risk-Reward Profile

John Petersen While the broader market focuses on trivial issues like Asia, the Eurozone and an upcoming presidential election, a small but extremely vocal segment of the car shopping public is breathlessly awaiting the dawn of a new age with the first deliveries Tesla Model S electric cars to customers on June 22nd. The excitement among fervent Tesla Motors (TSLA) acolytes is palpable, but I have to at least ask whether their view of the company's risk-reward profile is rational. Is Tesla a great investment opportunity, or are we witnessing a weird form of transference that...

Kandi Technologies (KNDI) Stock Valuation

Part IV - KNDI's Stock Valuation Arthur Porcari. This is the last installment in a four-part series on Kandi Technologies (KNDI).  Part I was an introduction, Part II took a look at Kandi's Business, and Part III looked at the company's financial condition. What’s With The Stock Price? KNDI, like most US traded China stocks is currently trading approximately 50% below its January high for the year, and 60% below its 2008 all time high. Unlike most, it's numbers are growing dramatically. Perhaps not too a-symptomatic when one considers how little Wall Street knows about this...

BYD Boosts EV Network With California Bus Plant

Doug Young BYD e6 - Electric Taxi in Shenzhen, China. Photo by Brücke-Osteuropa If struggling car maker BYD (HKEx: 1211; Shenzhen: 002594; Pink:BYDDF) ultimately fails in its dream to become a leader in new energy vehicles, at least it will have lots of global assets to leave as a record of its efforts. Perhaps I'm sounding a bit too cynical in my latest musings on this company, since I really am starting to become more convinced that perhaps BYD's electric dreams could actually someday become a...

Electric Vehicles – The Opportunity of Which Decade?

John Petersen Hardly a day passes without some talking head breathlessly describing electric vehicles as the opportunity of the decade. The fine point most investors miss, however, is that the decade they're describing won't begin until 2020 and for the next seven to ten years electric vehicle manufacturers like Tesla Motors (TSLA) and lithium-ion battery manufacturers like Ener1 (HEV) and A123 Systems (AONE) will hemorrhage cash as they try to traverse the trough of disillusionment that runs through the cruel black heart of the valley of death. The following graph is a stylized view of the...

AeroVironment Hits Pay Dirt

by Debra Fiakas CFA After the market close Tuesday, AeroVironment, Inc. (AVAV:  Nasdaq) is scheduled to report financial results for the quarter ending October 2015.  Management is holding conference call with investors and analysts directly following the announcement.  It is going to be an interesting call. AeroVironment has some crowing to do.  Hyundai recently tapped the company to provide electric vehicle charging stations at its dealerships for the 2016 Sonata plug-in hybrid model.  Sonata drivers will also have the option to buy the company’s TurboCard charging system or the wall-mounted EVSE-RS charging station.  Hyundai is the...

While Tesla is Heading into the Valley of Death, Kandi has Already Crossed

Tom Konrad CFA   My friend and frequent electric vehicle (EV) critic John Petersen recently worried that Tesla (NASD:TSLA) shareholders now buying the stock because of the launch of the company’s new Model S were doomed to lose money, since the company is just entering the “trough of disillusionment,” as shown in this stylized diagram of the losses a company suffers in the Valley of Death from Osawa and Miyazaki. Although Petersen is relentlessly negative on EVs, he has a great depth of experience with launching new technologies, and...

Geely Revs Up EV Drive; BYD Brings EVs to Hong Kong

Doug Young Geely recently signaled its committment to EVs by forming a joint venture with Kandi Technologies, the maker of the Coco EV above.  Photo by Tom Harrison. After making increasing noises about its intent to develop electric vehicles (EVs), domestic automaker Geely (HKEx: 175) is getting serious about the effort by moving one of its top executives into a new role overseeing its EV sales. Meantime, rival EV maker BYD (HKEx: 1211; Shenzhen: 002594, OTC:BYDDF) has gotten its own new boost in the space with...

Tesla Stock Collapses But Looks Massively Oversold

by Clean Energy Intel Image Source: Tesla Motors, with permission. Having traded in a tight range for most of the day, Tesla Motors (TSLA) collapsed in the last 45 minutes of trading on Friday. The stock hit a low of 22.64 and closed at 22.79, down 19.3% from its previous close. Although it was reported to have bounced 7% in after hours trading, the price action remains a clear worry. More worryingly, the move took place on what became the third highest volume day of the last...

Plugging Into Car Charging Stocks

by Debra Fiakas CFA Earlier this week, the quieter half of Tesla Motors (TSLA:  Nasdaq) founding team and the company’s chief technology officer, JB Straubel gave a speech at a solar energy conference in San Francisco.  He is largely responsible for Tesla’s innovative battery technology, so it should be no surprise that he thinks that eventually all vehicles will be powered by batteries.  As profound a this view might seem, let’s remember that if hammers could see, the world would look like a nail. Nonetheless, I thought it worthwhile to take Straubel at this word.  This is...

Will Plug-in Vehicles Be Obsolete Before They’re Profitable?

John Petersen Last week I did a 40-minute interview for Hedge Fund Radio, a weekly investment program hosted by John Thomas, the Mad Hedge Fund Trader. While our conversation focused on the unassailable mathematics supporting my contention that plug-in vehicles are wasteful, I was fascinated by John's description of his recent conversations with Toyota Motors (TM) where Toyota confirmed its commitment to NiMH battery technology for hybrid drive and fuel cell technology for electric drive. Its somehow comforting to know that the world's most successful automaker agrees that the first modern plug-in, GM's EV1, died from congenital birth...

Geely Joins New Energy Buying Binge

Doug Young Chinese car makers are fueling a new global buying binge of clean-energy assets, with the latest word that Geely Automobile (HKEx: 175) is buying a British electric car startup. This is in addition to Geely announced a new joint venture to produce electric cars with Kandi Technologies (Nasdaq: KNDI).  Geely’s deal comes just weeks after China’s Wanxiang Group completed its second major acquisition of a clean energy firm in the US, hinting at a growing wave of global M&A by tech-hungry Chinese car makers. This flurry of deals also comes as China’s leading electric vehicle (EV)...

Plug-in Vehicle Subsidies; Taxing Peter To Buy Paul’s New Car

John Petersen Industrial subsidies have been an important feature of the American economic landscape since the late 19th century for one simple reason – they work. After the steam locomotive proved its ability to quickly and cheaply move people and cargo long distances, the government launched a massive effort to span the country with steel rails and bring the benefits of a rapid, safe and reliable national transportation system to all its citizens. After electric lighting proved its merit, the rush was on to build a national infrastructure and bring the benefits to all. After the internal combustion...

Tesla Could Sell 8,000 EVs in China in 2014

Doug Young Tesla sets ambitious China targets US electric car maker Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) is setting some tough goals for itself during its first year in China, aiming to take advantage of government incentives and its high-end brand image to quickly take a big share of the market. I did a little math based on the company’s latest remarks, and its ambitious target for this year would represent around three-quarters of all electric vehicles sold in China in 2012. If it really can meet the new target, I suspect the...

Plug-in Vehicles Have Been Weighed in the Balance and Found Wanting

John Petersen A comment from maxkilmachina recently drew my attention to an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences titled Valuation of plug-in vehicle life-cycle air emissions and oil displacement benefits. While it costs $10 to download the article and supporting documentation, I believe it's worthwhile for all serious energy storage and electric vehicle investors because the underlying study is the first comprehensive total cost of ownership analysis I've seen that includes both direct end-user costs and identifiable externalities like emissions, military and other indirect costs arising from oil consumption in the US. While all...

Bumpy Uphill Road For BYD EVs

Doug Young Electric vehicle maker BYD (HKEx: 1211; Shenzhen: 002594; OTC:BYDDF) has been zipping in and out of the headlines this past week, including its latest announcement that it will open a manufacturing plant in Brazil to service the BRICS country and the broader Latin American market. The company’s EV business, a major factor that attracted billionaire investor Warren Buffett as a major backer, also got good news from Beijing this week with word of a major government drive to boost new energy vehicle buying. Despite those positive moves, the company still has yet to received its...