Tesla Faces Costly Trademark Headache

Doug Young Tesla trademark dispute resurfaces. After zooming into China with a slick publicity campaign earlier this year, electric car superstar  Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) has run into a major new roadblock in one of its most promising markets over a trademark dispute. Tesla thought it had settled a matter that jumped into the headlines last summer as it was preparing to formally move into China. But apparently the trademark squatter who purchased the Tesla names in English and Chinese wasn’t satisfied, and has formally sued the company....

Will Tesla’s Next Car Cost you $25,000?

By Jeff Siegel While I've long been an outspoken supporter of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), as well as a huge fan of both Elon Musk and the Model S, it is the company's smaller version of the Model S that gets me most excited. The bottom line is that cost will be the determining factor for most Americans considering electric cars. After all, you'd be hard-pressed to find many folks who wouldn't love to own a Model S. But at around $75,000, few can afford it. Of course, the vision of Tesla is not one based solely around supplying high-end...

Chinese Remain Skeptical of Domestic EVs

Doug Young Chinese local media were trying to accentuate the positive when they reported that China’s new energy vehicle sales rose 10-fold in the first 4 months of this year. (Chinese article) That figure caught my attention, but then I read further into the reports and saw that even after the huge jump just 10,000 new energy vehicles were sold in China in January through April, averaging a meager 2,500 per month. Adding further gloom to the picture, the vast majority of vehicles were purchased by fleet operators of taxis and buses. Within the larger figure, half of all...

Kandi: The World’s Greatest Non-Candy Company

Ed. Note: This article was first published as an instablog by 'Illuminati Investments' on Seeking Alpha, and was intended as an April Fool's joke post.  I found it very funny.  Kandi advocates may not. Wouldn't it be nice to invest in the best business in the world? Now, I don't want to hyperbolize, but I believe I have uncovered the greatest investment opportunity in the history of the universe. This perfect company goes by the sweet name of Kandi Technologies (KNDI). Now, I know what you're probably thinking: "Mmm, candy..." If this is the case, you're either...

BYD Runs On Government Support

Doug Young  I gave quite a bit of attention a few days ago to US electric vehicle (EV) sensation Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA), so it’s only fair that I follow up by writing about China’s homegrown EV superstar BYD (OTC: BYDDF; HKEx: 1211; Shenzhen: 002594), which has just released quarterly results that look quite disappointing. The only things that look slightly encouraging in this latest report are the fact that billionaire investor Warren Buffett continues to hold onto his 10 percent stake in the company, which he bought in 2008, and that BYD remains profitable. But even the...

Tesla CEO Makes Smooth Drive Into China

Doug Young Tesla cruises into China I have to give my congratulations to new energy car maker Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) for creating the kind of buzz and excitement this week that only names like Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and smartphone sensation Xiaomi have typically been able to muster. In the last 2 days, the company and its charismatic founder Elon Musk were all over the Chinese headlines as Tesla delivered its first electric vehicles (EVs) in China on the sidelines of the nation’s biggest annual auto show happening this week in...

Turning Conventional Battery Tech into Unconventional Profits

by Debra Fiakas CFA Near the end of February 2014, Highpower International (HPJ:  Nasdaq) announced its first order for large-format lithium ion batteries to use in electric vehicles. Its customer, Huizhou Yipeng Energy Technology will be integrating the batteries into buses destined for the sales outlets of China-based manufacturers. The boost in sales for Highpower is likely to be meaningful.  Management estimates each bus will use as many as 288 of the company’s 20-ampere-hour battery.  Guidance for annual sales from Huizhou Yipeng alone is in a range of $4 million to $5 million.  In the most...

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)...

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...

CarCharging Off to the Races?

by Debra Fiakas CFA CarCharging Group, Inc. (CCGI:  OTC) producers electric car charging stations.  It partners with property owners such as shopping malls or parking garages to operating the charging stations and collect fees from electric car owners.  At the end of September 2013, the last time the company reported financial results. CarCharging had eighty-seven strategic partnerships with a gaggle of private and public entities such as Walgreens, Icon Parking, the City of Miami Beach, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.    A mobile app helps car owners find locations by city or zip code. CarCharging...

The Other Electric Car Company

by Debra Fiakas CFA   If you are putting together a list of 2013 phenomena, you can put Tesla Motors (TSLA:  Nasdaq) and its Model S electric car near the top.  The stock bounced off a low of $32.11 in early January last year and nearly went into orbit.  TSLA share closed the year 2013 at $150.43, representing a return of 368% from the 52-week low.  Impressive!  The market pundits cannot seem to get enough of Tesla and its founder/CEO Elon Musk.  Yet Tesla is not the only electric car producer that has met with...

Tesla: What’s In A Chinese Name?

Doug Young How do you say in Chinese? This week had US electric car maker Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) officially driving into China despite its failure to resolve a trademark dispute, meaning it has no official Chinese name as it enters the market. All of the world’s top car makers now manufacture in China. But that’s a very expensive business, and other companies have been chasing more niche-oriented spaces in the market. Online car information provider Autohome (NYSE: ATHM) is one of those, and successfully sold investors...

Tesla Tussles With Chinese Squatter

Doug Young  US electric car maker Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA) has landed in the headlines with an escalating trademark dispute in China, casting a spotlight on Beijing’s ongoing efforts to bolster the country’s intellectual property (IP) protections. China has made great strides in its IP protection in the last 5 years, resulting in a healthier business environment where both domestic and foreign companies can feel more secure that their trademarks, copyrights and product designs won’t be illegally stolen and copied. But this latest case involving Tesla shows there is still more work to do, especially in trickier areas...

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...

China’s Electric Vehicle Subsidies: Winners And Losers

Tom Konrad CFA On September 17th, the Chinese Ministry of Finance announced the long anticipated renewal of China’s New Energy Vehicle (i.e. electric vehicle or EV) subsidies.  The new subsidies for cars were in-line with market expectations, but will be reduced to 10% below the current levels next year, and 20% below the current levels in 2015.  Subsidies for buses fell short of expectations. Conventional gasoline-electric hybrid models were not included in the subsidies, but some plug-in hybrid (PHEV) were.  The subsidies amount to 60,000 ($9,802) yuan for pure electric autos with a range over 250 km (155 miles),...

Tesla Hits Chinese Speed Bump; BYD Rounds A Corner

Doug Young A couple of interesting news bits are coming from the new energy vehicle sector, including a potential roadblock into the China market for up-and-coming US player Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) and new results from struggling domestic electric car maker BYD (HKEx: 1211; Shenzhen: 002594; OTC:BYDDF) that look encouraging but not too exciting. The main common theme in this latest news is that new energy vehicle makers continue to hold out hopes for the China market, banking on strong government policies to boost the market, even though progress has been slow so far. Let’s start with a...