Ener1 Nanotech Unit Prepares to Commercialize Revolutionary Battery Electrodes

ENER1 INC (ENEI) has established and equipped a pilot nanotechnology-based manufacturing facility to fabricate electrodes for high discharge rate, lithium-ion batteries. The company's battery subsidiary, EnerDel, Inc., in which Delphi Corporation holds a 19.5% interest, is in discussions with automotive OEMs regarding evaluation of samples for use in hybrid electric vehicles where the high discharge rate characteristic is viewed as key to performance and cost. EnerDel also plans to explore applications of this technology in other markets.

The Best Peak Oil Investments: Ten Electric and Hybrid Car Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA Tesla Motors (TSLA) is not the only electric vehicle (EV) stock.  Here are nine other public companies helping to replace petroleum with electricity in our cars and trucks. Early in this series on the Best Peak Oil Investments, I put together an in-depth comparison of alternative fuels.  I concluded that the best prospect for displacing oil in the long term is electricity supplemented by biofuels.  Vehicle Electrification is likely to come to dominate the transportation sector because only renewable electricity can supply energy on the scale that we currently use for transportation with limited...

HydroPhi: Turbocharging Trucks With Hydrogen

by Debra Fiakas CFA Casting about for alternatives to burning fossil fuels for energy, hydrogen is a logical candidate.  It is the most abundant chemical on the planet and the energy density of compressed hydrogen is about 5.6 milli-joules per liter.  This compares to 32.4 mj/l for gasoline and 4.3 mj/l for a lithium ion battery.  That is where the romance ends and the realities of hydrogen begin.  Hydrogen poses a safety risks, particularly in transportation and distribution.  Hydrogen gas leaking into the air may spontaneously ignite.  Extremely low temperatures will turn it into a liquid, but that...

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...

Compared to what: the low-down on alt energy subsidies

For now, electrics have won a fan base, but bio seems to be doing a better job of advancing the technology, reducing or eliminating tax credits, and giving customers more power of choice when it comes to selecting a car. The reason – bio-based is more affordable, and generally more infrastructure-compatible.

Cleantech Investing – Aspirations vs. Economics

John Petersen In a November 2008 thematic report, The Sixth Revolution: The coming of Cleantech, Merrill Lynch strategist Steven Milunovich identified cleantech as the sixth technological revolution. He borrowed his definition from Lux Research which describes cleantech as "the universe of innovative technologies designed to optimize the use of natural resources and reduce environmental impact" and warned that "investors must pay attention because cleantech could revolutionize much of the economy, including the utility, oil and gas and auto industries." The six technological revolutions Milunovich identified were: 1771 The Industrial Revolution ...

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...
transit ridership

Earnings Roundup: Covanta, NFI Group, Green Plains Partners

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Earnings Season Continues Below are three more updates on second quarter earnings which I've been sharing with my Patreon supporters.  If you'd like to support my writing and see those thoughts in a more timely manner, consider becoming a patron. becoming a patron. For everyone else, I'm reprinting those thoughts below. Covanta Earnings (published August 2nd) Waste to energy company Covanta Holding Corp (CVA) saw most of its business recovering towards the end of the second quarter.  Management is reluctant to predict if the positive trend will continue into the third quarter and for the rest of the year, but...
demand charge impacts on DC Fast Charger costs

EV Fast Charging Disincentives

by Daryl Roberts DC Fast Chargers (DCFCs) and Tesla superchargers are a key element in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure that could facilitate wider adoption of EVs by enabling recharging that comes to resemble the time currently taken for gas station stops, and thereby reducing “range anxiety” for drivers. However, the pricing structure for electrical costs incurred at commercial DC fast chargers is currently prohibitive, because it includes a special fee called a “demand charge”. Rate design in a number of states includes this additional charge, based on the “peak rate” on electric power consumed in kW. In New York,...

Toyota Considering Making Diesel-Electric Hybrid Vehicles

Toyota Motor Corp (TM) are developing a hybrid drivetrain system that can be used for gasoline, diesel, natural gas and fuel-cells.

The Best Peak Oil Investments, Part X: Improving Vehicle Efficiency

Tom Konrad CFA The easiest way to reduce fossil fuels is to increase vehicle efficiency.  Government mandates already in place will ensure that such improvements occur.  Some stocks may benefit from the trend, but choose carefully. Dr. Daniel Sperling knows about as much as anyone about what policymakers can do to reduce the use of oil.  He is the Director of the Institute of Transport studies as the University of California Davis, and a long time member of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), so he understands transportation from both the academic and policy perspectives.  He also...

Micro-Hybrids – The Fuel Efficiency Innovation of the Decade

John Petersen I've been writing about micro-hybrid vehicles and stop-start idle elimination since May 2009. It's a cheap and simple fuel efficiency innovation that turns the engine off while a car is stopped at a light and automatically restarts the engine when you take your foot off the brake. It's not gee-whiz sexy, but it can boost fuel economy by 5% to 15% in city driving and dramatically improve urban air quality by reducing idling. What could be more sensible? When I first wrote about stop-start in "Why Advanced Lead-acid Batteries Will Dominate the HEV Markets," the...

Lithium Ion Batteries And GEVs Are Faith-based Cures for Oil Addiction

John Petersen Last Tuesday a reader sent me a copy of "Ending the ICE Age," a new industry overview from Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich on the future of plug-in vehicles, which the newly organized Electrification Coalition has christened grid enabled vehicles, or GEVs. After spending several hours studying the report I concluded that Mr. Milunovich has found the true religion of the new millennium while I'm still an unwashed pagan, or worse yet a heretic. The grim reality is that when you look at American energy policy as a faith-based initiative,...

China’s First Auto Works Chooses Enova for Hybrid Drive Systems

Enova Systems Inc (ENVA)announced today that it has entered into a development and sales agreement with China's First Auto Works (FAW) for parallel hybrid drive systems for their hybrid buses. FAW signed a two-phase development agreement with Enova for hybrid-electric motors and power controllers for its newest hybrid buses. Enova is working with both FAW and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) of Texas to integrate and validate the new Enova parallel hybrid drive system for these buses.

Why Long Range EVs Can Never Be Cost Effective

by John Petersen America’s love affair with the automobile has always been based on the freedom of the road and the ability to hop in the car and drive wherever we want to go; be it to the corner store to buy a loaf of bread or out to the lake for a long weekend. Even though most of our trips are short, people invariably want the flexibility to go for a long drive when the open road beckons. Unfortunately, that mentality is disastrous when it comes to EV economics. I’ve been writing about energy...
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...
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