Vehicle electrification – sticker shocks, delays and manufacturing capacity forecasts

John Petersen Today we have a bit of a hodge-podge as I consider sticker shocks, delays and manufacturing capacity forecasts in the vehicle electrification and energy storage sector. Since the sticker shock and delay discussions involve recent news, I'll touch on them first before getting into the fuzzier aspects of manufacturing capacity forecasts. I'd like to begin with a note of thanks to one of my Seeking Alpha followers, MRTTF, for sending me links to both news stories. For readers who don't delve into the comment streams, MRTTF is a PhD chemist who works in R&D...

Visual Comparison of Alternative Transportation Fuels

I've recently agreed to do a of couple presentations on "Investing In Green Energy" at conferences this October, and so I've decided it's time to update and expand on some graphs I constructed this spring: I created a pair of graphs which give an overview of how different electricity generation technologies compare.  These are not precise graphs with anything resembling scientific accuracy, but I think they're a useful too for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of various technologies.   This is my attempt to do the same for transportation fuels.  Note that I'm really only talking about cars and trucks...

UQM Technologies Delivers Hybrid Electric Vehicle to Deere & Company Incorporating Recent Advances in...

Unique Mobility Inc (UQM) announced today that it has delivered to Deere & Company (NYSE: DE - News) a John Deere hybrid electric concept vehicle incorporating both of the latest advancements to UQM(R) propulsion system technology, 10 to 1 constant power speed ratio and full wave commutation technology. Constant power speed ratio (CPSR) is the ratio between the top speed of a motor and its base speed. Across this speed range, a motor is able to deliver maximum power. The Company's permanent magnet electric propulsion systems achieve a 10 to 1 CPSR.

Hyundai Charges Up Green Bond With EVs And Hybrids

by the Climate Bonds Team Hyundai Capital Services issues first Korean corporate green bond for hybrids and electric vehicles (5yrs, 2.87%, $500m) Hyundai Capital Services, the subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company (005380.KS) that provides loans and leases for new Hyundai and Kia cars, issued a $500m green bond. The inaugural green deal has a 5-year tenor and fixed semi-annual coupon of 2.87%. Lead underwriters for the deal were Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, and Credit Agricole. The green issue is the first corporate Korean green bond and only the third out of Korea after KEXIM’s initial...

Altair Nanotechnologies Lithium Ion Battery Cells Exceed HEV Power Requirements of U.S. FreedomCAR

Altair Nanomaterials (ALTI) announced that its battery research and development team successfully completed a testing program for lithium ion battery cells containing Altairnano's nano-structured lithium titanate electrode materials. "The test results demonstrated that the performance of these lithium ion battery cells exceed the system-level power requirements set forth by the U.S. Council for Automotive Research FreedomCAR Energy Storage System Performance Goals for hybrid electric vehicle (HEVs), as well as those requirements published by major U.S. automakers," said Evan House, Ph.D., Program Director, Altairnano's Advanced Materials & Power Systems business unit. These batteries demonstrate a useable state-of-charge...

Congress Restores $2,000 Hybrid Car Tax Credit

Tens of thousands of taxpayers have purchased hybrid electric vehicles this year, and the thousands more who plan to buy these gas-saving, environmentally-friendly vehicles in coming year will receive a bigger tax incentive than expected for their socially-responsible purchases, thanks to yesterday's action by the U.S. Congress on the middle class tax cut bill.

Toyota Says It May Put Gas-Electric Engines in All Its Vehicles

Toyota said it's aiming to increase hybrid production by 60 percent in 2006 and will cut costs and prices to make them more affordable. "In the future, the cars you see from Toyota will be 100 percent hybrid,'' Toyota Executive Vice President Kazuo Okamoto said in Frankfurt, declining to give a time for achieving the target. "We believe that in 10 years the world will be filled with hybrids.''

BYD Profit Sputters

Doug Young The number 94 seems to have special meaning for BYD (HKEx: 1211; 002594; OTC:BYDDF), the struggling car maker backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, which has just reported some preliminary data that show its profit last year fell 94 percent as it failed reverse its sharp decline of the last 2 years. But perhaps more alarming, this new data show the company's operations fell into the loss column in the last 3 months of 2012, even though it technically remained profitable overall due to strong government support. That means that 2013 could continue to...

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.

A123 Systems Files Price Range Amendment

John Petersen This morning A123 Systems filed another registration statement amendment for its planned IPO. The amendment specifies a preliminary price range of $8.00 to $9.50 and a preliminary offering size of 25 million shares (28.85 million shares with over-allotment option). Amendments like today's filing occur during the late stages of an IPO and it's not unusual to see the price range or offering size increase in later filings. Both of the preliminary values are about half of what I expected. The price range surprises me because of its rough parity with the $9.20 per share...

Three Years of Seeking Alpha in Energy Storage

John Petersen Today is the third anniversary of my blog on investing in energy storage. While the last three years have been profoundly troubled by a market crash, a slow recovery and more ups and downs than a roller coaster, energy storage has been surging to prominence as investors realize that batteries, products we all love to hate, are a critical enabling technology for wind and solar power, efficient transportation, the smart grid and hundreds of other applications that make life more pleasant. With each passing day it's increasingly clear that energy storage is an investment mega-trend that...

Westport’s New High Pressure Direct Injection System

Earlier this week Westport Fuel Systems (WPRT:  Nasdaq) announced a technology breakthrough with its high pressure direct injection system for truck engines using natural gas as a fuel.  A new cryogenic pump has been development for high-horsepower applications and integrated into Westport’s fuel system, which has apparently been demonstrated at higher cylinder pressures.  The company apparently plans to load the innovation, which it called Westport HPDI 2.0, into next generation diesel engines. Investors interested in renewable energy or focused environmental improvements are probably wondering why this little company outside Vancouver, Canada could be important.  The uncomfortable truth is that the world’s addiction to fossil fuel will not...

Why You Should Not Join a Portec Rail Products (PRPX) Class Action Lawsuit

Tom Konrad, CFA Portec Rail Products (PRPX) agreed to be acquired by L. B. Foster Company (FSTR) on February 17. At least four law firms have started class action suits against the Portec board.  Here is why not to join any of them. Portec Rail Products has been a longtime favorite of mine.  It's profitable, and delivers valuable services to the rail and rail transit industries.  This article goes into a lot more detail as to why I like Portec.  In large part because of the acquisition, Portec is the best performing of my Ten Clean Energy...

Watching The EV Rose Wilt

John Petersen October has been a fun month for me as JD Power and Associates rained on the electric vehicle parade with a new report "Green Drive 2020; More Hope than Reality?" that forecast a 1.8% global market penetration rate for cars with plugs in 2020; Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) announced a design win in the automotive stop-start market; Pike Research issued a new report on power systems for hybrid locomotives; Nanomarkets LLC reported that lead-carbon batteries will be a leading contender in the $1 billion wind-power storage market; Lux Research began advertising an upcoming webinar to introduce their...

Saviors and Saboteurs in Alternative Energy

John Petersen Last week Societe Generale published a thematic research report titled "A new world order, when demand overtakes supply" which examines the macro-economic and demographic trends that will transform the global economy over the next 20 years. It mirrored the theme of Jeremy Grantham's April 2011 quarterly letter titled "Time to Wake Up: Days of Abundant Resources and Falling Prices Are Over Forever" and did a great job of summarizing an issue I touched on in "How PHEVs and EVs Will Sabotage America's Drive For Energy Independence." In the words of Societe Generale: "So, while...

Energy Storage: Q-2 2012 Review and Analysis

John Petersen While I jumped the gun last week and published my third quarter outlook for the energy storage and vehicle electrification sectors early, it's worthwhile to take a look back and see how my tracking list of companies performed over the last quarter and examine the past to see what the tea leaves in the bottom of the cup portend for the coming quarter. So without further delay I'll present my price performance table for the second quarter that ended on Friday. Q-2 was a dreadful quarter for Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) and ZBB Energy...
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