Technology StocksThe Electric Car, or MPG "what me worry?"

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From: John Koligman4/11/2012 2:59:05 PM
2 Recommendations   of 5178
Only a Third of Hybrid Car Owners Buy Another Hybrid

Published: Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012 | 11:15 AM ET

By: Chris Woodyard

A new study finds that only about a third of hybrid owners buy another hybrid.

Industry researcher R.L. Polk & Co. says hybrid nameplates have more than doubled since 2007, but just 35 percent of hybrid owners bought another hybrid when returning to the market in 2011.

If you factor out the high-loyalty Toyota Prius, hybrid loyalty drops to 25 percent. But a higher percentage of hybrid owners — 60 percent for Toyota [TM 82.53 1.59 (+1.96%) ], 52 percent for Honda [HMC 36.09 0.47 (+1.32%) ] — stayed within the brand when shopping for their next car.

Hybrids represent just 2.4 percent of the new-car market, down from 2.9 percent in 2008 when gas hit an all-time high of $4.11 per gallon. But Polk finds overall hybrid loyalty changed little as gas prices fluctuated between $2 and $4 from 2008 to 2011.

Interestingly, traditional eco-friendly markets such as Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland, Ore., stayed near the national average for hybrid loyalty, while unlikely places such as West Palm Beach, Fla., and Phoenix had the highest loyalty rates.

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To: John Koligman who wrote (2012)4/11/2012 3:31:25 PM
From: Sergio H
   of 5178
Anybody looked at SEV? Low vol. small cap, but getting some nice contracts with future prospects in electric car niche.

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To: Sergio H who wrote (2013)4/16/2012 9:58:41 PM
From: Sergio H
   of 5178

Electric-Drive Vehicles Sales Jump 49% in the First Quarter
8:20a ET April 11, 2012 (Market Wire)

Rising gas prices and an improving economy have led to an impressive surge for hybrid and electric car sales. With no immediate solution for rising gas prices Americans have been protecting their pockets by switching over to hybrid and electric cars. The increase in demand has provided a great boost for companies in the Alternative Auto Parts Industry. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Alternative Auto Parts Industry and provides equity research on Fuel Systems Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSYS) and Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies (NASDAQ: QTWW).

Access to the full company reports can be found at:

According to a recent Bloomberg report, electric-drive vehicles, including hybrids, plug-in models and pure battery-powered cars, were the fastest-growing segment in the U.S. auto market. First quarter sales jumped 49 percent to 117,182 vehicles from 78,527 a year prior.

"There are a lot of concerns today that the electric car is going to solve," Nissan Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said in a recent interview at the New York auto show. "People don't want to have to go to the gasoline station. They just want to fill their tank at home. They want to make sure they're not paying too much money for their gasoline bill every month."

Five Star Equities releases regular market updates on the Alternative Auto Parts Industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous stock reports and industry newsletters.

Fuel Systems Solutions, Inc. reported results for its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2011. Mariano Costamagna, Fuel Systems' CEO, said, "Fuel Systems' fourth quarter revenue grew 34% to $111 million from the prior year with our BRC and IMPCO businesses growing 36% and 27%, respectively, enabling us to exceed our revenue outlook for 2011.

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To: Sergio H who wrote (2014)4/16/2012 10:34:43 PM
From: Sergio H
3 Recommendations   of 5178
Leading the charge: GoE3 to develop first coast to coast interstate EV charging network

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From: John Koligman4/20/2012 12:24:02 PM
1 Recommendation   of 5178
If they can ever get this tech off the ground at a reasonable price, it will get people to take a second look at electric....

IBM speeds push for 500-mile EV battery Big Blue signs on partners for its Battery 500 Project to design an "air-breathing" lithium air battery that would create a leap in energy density.

by Martin LaMonica April 20, 2012 5:52 AM PDT

An air-breathing battery: the basic chemistry of a lithium air battery is to combine oxygen from the air with lithium ions to create lithium peroxide and the reverse reaction during charge and discharge.

(Credit: IBM)
Ten years from now, range anxiety for electric cars could be a thing of the past.

IBM today announced two partners for a project aimed at building a lithium air battery able to propel an electric car 500 miles. Scientists from Asahi Kasei and Central Glass with expertise in membranes and electrolyte chemistries will join IBM researchers on the initiative.

Called the Battery 500 Project, the goal is to design an "air-breathing" battery that will use oxygen from the air to drive a new type of battery chemical reaction and, in the process, deliver a big jump in EV range potential. The company hopes to have a working demonstration by the end of next year.

The fact that IBM Research has expanded the research team with these two companies and other unnamed ones is a sign that the ambitious effort is on the right track, said Winfried Wilcke, principal investigator at IBM Research who started the project in 2009.

Materials scientists for years have been pursuing lithium air batteries, which use oxygen from the air to react with lithium ions to discharge and charge electric energy. It still remains in the realm of research but Wilcke said that IBM has made progress understanding the basic chemistry and made important decisions on how a working battery would be engineered.

"Unlike what we originally thought, we know we have a really good electrochemical reaction. The problems now are secondary," he said. "There are still tremendous engineering challenges ahead so there's no hope of it happening this decade."

The basic target of the research is to build a battery that would give an average-size family electric car a 500-mile range. The lithium ion batteries in the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric allow for between roughly 75 and 100 miles of range. The high-end edition of Tesla Motors' Model S will have an option for up to 300 miles of range.

A lithium air battery would use a different chemical reaction inside the battery during charge and discharge from today's lithium ion batteries. Using supercomputer simulations, IBM researchers found that new active components, namely the electrolytes, need to be different, Wilcke said.

The approach IBM is pursuing now would actually use two electrolytes, with one on the anode side and another on the cathode side. Because IBM has chosen a battery design with two electrolytes, membrane technology to control the movement of lithium ions is an important part of the research.

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For the most part, today's lithium ion batteries supply ample power to accelerate a car forward but the primary technical barriers are cost and energy density, or the amount of stored energy per volume. Several companies are developing enhancements to lithium ion battery components that promise to improve the performance in the years ahead.

IBM Research's approach is not an incremental improvement but a fundamentally different chemistry, which makes the venture high risk and one that requires years of consistent work. Wilcke, though, is feeling good about the progress to date and said the lithium air work could have benefits for other types of batteries.

"What I'm not certain about is what the cost will be. It's just too early and it depends on all kinds of different things," he said. "The overall trend is that I'm feeling more optimistic as time goes by, rather than less."

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From: UPTICK4/20/2012 3:50:18 PM
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To: UPTICK who wrote (2017)4/22/2012 11:03:38 AM
From: Sergio H
   of 5178
US Demand for Electric Vehicles Climbs in First Quarter

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From: John Koligman4/24/2012 10:35:44 AM
1 Recommendation   of 5178
China's dream of electric car leadership elusive

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Apr 24, 9:01 AM (ET)

(AP) A woman demonstrates BYD's new charging and discharging technology on a BYD e6 electric car during...
Full Image

BEIJING (AP) - China's leaders are finding it's a lot tougher to create a world-beating electric car industry than they hoped.

In 2009, they announced bold plans to cash in on demand for clean vehicles by making China a global power in electric car manufacturing. They pledged billions of dollars for research and called for annual sales of 500,000 cars by 2015.

Today, Beijing is scaling back its ambitions, chastened by technological hurdles and lack of buyer interest. Developers have yet to achieve breakthroughs and will be lucky to sell 2,000 cars this year, mostly taxis. The government has hedged its bets by broadening the industry's official goals to include cleaner gasoline engines.

The government has repeatedly changed targets because the "technology isn't advancing quite as fast as people had hoped," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co. ( F)'s president for Asia, at this week's Beijing auto show.

The government has yet to lower sales goals that ramp up to 5 million vehicles a year by 2020. But officials including Premier Wen Jiabao started acknowledging last year that progress was slow and developers need to improve quality instead of rushing models to market.

About 13,000 all-electric and other alternative energy vehicles are being tested in 25 cities, but that is "still small despite government subsidies," the deputy director of the Ministry of Science and Technology's electric vehicle bureau, Zhen Zijian, said in March, according to the business magazine Caixin.

China's most advanced developer, BYD Co., in which American investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Corp. owns a 10 percent stake, says its electric e6 sedan can travel 300 kilometers (190 miles) on a charge, similar to Western models.

BYD has sold 300 taxis and 200 electric buses used in the southern city of Shenzhen, a center for business and technology near Hong Kong, according to Henry Li, general manager of its export division. BYD has invested heavily in research and has thousands of engineers working on battery and motor technology.

"We think our EV (electric vehicle) platform is one of the most advanced in the world, and our capability for mass production is quite high," Li said.

(AP) BYD employees wait for visitors next to BYD new cars, at the Beijing International Automotive...
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But as for the rest of the industry, "there are not many manufacturers with really reliable or commercialized products," he said.

Chinese leaders saw electric cars as a way to curb demand for imported oil, which they regard as a strategic danger, and to help transform China from a low-cost factory into a creator of profitable technology.

"China has run up against the same technical obstacles as anyone else," said Michael Dunne, president of Dunne & Co. Ltd., a Hong Kong-based industry researcher.

"They said: Hold on, maybe we shouldn't marry ourselves to electrics just yet. Let's look at the alternatives. Maybe we have to take an incremental approach, just like everyone else," Dunne said.

Wary consumers have been put off by news reports of batteries in Chinese-made cars catching fire. A lack of charging stations is causing "range anxiety" - fears a car might run out of power, leaving the driver stranded.

(AP) In this Monday April 23, 2012 photo, a BYD employee checks a model of a charging station for BYD's...
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Under the Communist Party's latest five-year development plan for China's economy, issued in 2011, the government has released guidelines for other industries but not for alternative vehicles - a possible sign officials have gone back to the drawing board.

Developers were encouraged last week by a Cabinet statement that repeated support for electric vehicles. But it also called for work on developing non-plug-in hybrids and energy-saving internal combustion engines.

"The momentum has been slowed down," said John Zeng, chief of Asian forecasting for LMC Automotive, a research firm.

"They don't expect the EV or hybrid can be the only way for China to maintain its future sustainable mobility," Zeng said. "They think they need multiple initiatives to achieve that target."

Plus, gasoline and diesel technologies are advancing, luring consumers with the promise of lower operating costs.

(AP) A charging station for electric vehicles is displayed together with the Great Wall C20 EV, an...
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The government launched research into electric, fuel cell and other alternative power sources in 2001. It followed in 2004 with a plan to create a competitive electric car and promised financial support to developers.

Automakers responded to Beijing's enthusiasm. General Motors Co. ( GM) ( GM) announced plans in 2007 for a $250 million alternative fuel research center in Shanghai. Germany's Daimler AG teamed up with BYD to create an electric car joint venture dubbed Denza. They unveiled a display version of its first model this week at the Beijing auto show.

China's initiative prompted some in the United States and Europe to worry they might fall behind in a key technology. An assistant U.S. energy secretary, David Sandalow, visited Beijing in 2009 and warned China had "the potential to be ahead" if the United States failed to invest in development.

Beijing's 2009 plan called for world-class electric cars by this year, followed by trucks and buses. To encourage buyers, the government started paying buyers rebates of up to 60,000 yuan ($8,800) per car the following year in five cities including Shanghai.

But Wen, China's top economic official, expressed frustration at the slow pace of development in an article published last July.

"We are no match for developed countries in technology," Wen wrote in Qiushi, the ruling party's main theoretical journal.

"We've only just begun in electric car development," the premier wrote. Wen said Chinese leaders shared in the blame: "We have not set clear enough goals of which way to go."

Beijing strained relations with the United States and other trading partners by rolling out rules limiting access to its auto market unless foreign developers shared technology to Chinese partners.

Daimler has said it formed its venture with BYD not due to official pressure but because it wanted to create a low-cost brand for China. Daimler said their car, due to go on sale next year, should have a range of 200-250 kilometers (125-155 miles) on one charge.

Other manufacturers such as Nissan Motor Co., maker of the electric Leaf, and General Motors Co. have chosen to pay the higher taxes required to import electric and hybrid vehicles rather than disclose expensive know-how to Chinese partners that might become rivals.

GM is taking orders for its all-electric Volt in China but expects limited sales due to a relatively high price of 498,000 yuan ($79,000).

"It's expensive in China at the moment because of import duties, and we don't qualify for incentives," said Kevin Wale, president of GM China. "But we still think it's important that we demonstrate its capabilities here in China."

Chinese producers have unveiled a series of display models of electric and hybrid cars, some sprouting tiny solar panels or wind turbines for recharging, though most say they are not ready for mass-market sales.

LMC Automotive's Zeng said that aside from BYD, which has spent heavily on development, most have done only the minimum required to qualify for research grants.

"I think it's more to create a PR bubble or fight for government subsidies," he said.

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From: Eric5/3/2012 9:20:33 PM
   of 5178
Class 8 Electric Tractor On Freightliner Chassis Is Aimed At Port And Inner-City Use

by NGT News on Wednesday 02 May 2012

Balqon Corp., a developer of electric drive systems, is debuting its new on-road, Class 8 electric tractor for short-haul drayage and inner-city applications.

Model MX30 features Balqon's proprietary drive system and a six-speed automatic transmission assembled on a Freightliner truck chassis. It can travel up to 150 miles under unloaded conditions on a single charge, which the vehicle's 600 V lithium batteries achieve in less than three hours.

Balqon adds that the MX30 can travel at speeds up to 70 mph and tow loads of over 30 tons. The vehicle also features idle-shutoff technologies and Balqon's proprietary battery management system and charging system.

"High fuel costs favor higher-efficiency electric vehicle solutions in high-idling, short-haul applications at locations such as ports, airports and urban centers," says Balwinder Samra, CEO of Balqon. "We believe that the MX30 is an ideal solution for use at ports where air pollution is severe and distances traveled between marine terminals and local rail yards are less than five miles per trip."

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From: Eric5/7/2012 10:11:00 PM
   of 5178
Toyota to Sell Electric RAV4 With Tesla Motor for $49,800

Toyota Motor Corp. (7203), the biggest maker of hybrid autos, said its electric RAV4 sport-utility vehicle with batteries and motor from Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) will cost more than twice as much as the gasoline version.

Toyota will sell the RAV4 EV for $49,800 this year in California, and plans to deliver 2,600 units over the next three years, the company said yesterday at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. The base price of a 2012 RAV4 with a 2.5-liter gasoline engine is $22,650 on Toyota’s website.

Toyota to Sell Tesla-Powered Electric RAV4 With for $49,800

The Toyota Motor Corp. RAV4 EV, powered
Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

The Toyota Motor Corp. RAV4 EV, powered by Tesla Motors Inc., in Los Angeles.

“We think the 2,600 unit figure is reasonable for this product. We want to set a precedent to see how the market develops,” Bob Carter, Toyota’s group vice president of U.S. sales, said in an interview. “This is going to be the market’s only electric SUV.”

Toyota, which bought a $50 million stake in Palo Alto, California-based Tesla in 2010, is under pressure to sell the most rechargeable vehicles in California to meet state pollution rules. Along with the electric RAV4, Toyota has already begun selling a plug-in version of its Prius hybrid and also plans to deliver battery-powered iQ minicars to fleet customers.

From this year through 2014, Toyota, General Motors Co. (GM), Ford Motor Co. (F), Honda Motor Co. (7267), Nissan Motor Co. (7201) and Chrysler Group LLC have to deliver about 60,000 plug-in hybrid and all-electric cars combined to meet California’s zero-emission vehicle mandate. Toyota must deliver the most rechargeable vehicles because it has the largest market share in the state.

Recharging Time

The company, based in Toyota City, Japan, said the RAV4 EV travels 100 miles (161 kilometers) per charge, and needs six hours to fully recharge at a 240-volt outlet. Toyota will warranty the lithium-ion battery pack supplied by Tesla for eight years or 100,000 miles.

The base price of the vehicle, which will vie with Nissan’s Leaf and Ford’s electric Focus, doesn’t include a $7,500 federal tax credit and $2,500 California rebate, said Jana Hartline, a Toyota spokeswoman.

Both Carter and J.B. Straubel, Tesla’s chief technology officer, declined to elaborate on the cost of the battery, motor and other parts for the electric RAV4. The model will be built at Toyota’s Woodstock, Ontario, plant, with Tesla components made in California.

Toyota’s U.S. sales unit is in Torrance, California. The company’s American depositary receipts rose 0.1 percent to $78.69 at the close in New York. Tesla gained 2 percent to $32.47.

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