Electric Car Possibilities

Jeff Siegel

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted August 9, 2010

In 2007, I wrote an article about incompetence in Washington, and Detroit’s inability to deliver a truly fuel-efficient vehicle that could compete with the Toyota Prius.

Today, the incompetence in Washington hasn’t changed at all. In fact, I would argue that it has gotten worse. But Detroit, on the other hand, has actually made some strides over the past few years.

In that 2007 article, I wrote. . .

I know it’s not New Year’s yet. But my wish for the New Year is that Detroit finally gets its act together and delivers a real fuel-efficient vehicle for us to drive.

As you know, the new Chevy Volt will soon be in showrooms. And I’m pretty excited to see how this one pans out.

Yes, the price tag is hefty – as are the price tags of all new technologies. You think that 91% of the U.S. population would be using cell phones today if they still cost what they did back in the 1980s?

Not a chance.

Over time, and as we start to see economies of scale kick in, the costs of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles from GM – and every other major auto maker – will fall.

There’s no doubt about that.

In fact, the entire electric vehicle industry has grown dramatically since we first started covering this market nearly a decade ago. And much of this can be attributed to some serious cost reductions in manufacturing.

Now the Chevy Volt is definitely getting the lion’s share of publicity these days, but the entire industry is developing rapidly. And as investors, we need to stay on top of every new development – from new deals with major OEMs to electric car enthusiasts who continue to up the ante when it comes to pushing this technology forward.

Trucks, buses and drag-racing Datsuns. . .

Heavy truck manufacturer Navistar (NYSE: NAV), announced last week that it has seen an uptick in interest in its all-electric truck, the eStar. This is the truck that’s now in FedEx (NYSE: FDX) and Pacific Gas & Electric (NYSE: PCG) fleets.

The vehicle is a Class 2c-3 truck boasting an all-electric range of 100 miles and the ability to carry payloads of up to 2 tons. Perfect for urban applications where many of these vehicles don’t even get close to racking up 100 miles in a single day.

The vehicle also includes a quick-change battery that can be swapped out in 20 minutes.

Navistar plans to have a total of 400 built this year.

Ener1 (NASDAQ: HEV) also made news last week after the company announced it had landed a deal to provide its lithium-ion batteries to Hyundai Heavy Industries, which will be using the battery packs for electric buses.

Those buses are expected to be on the road this year.

Incidentally, while Ener1 isn’t basking in the glory of profitability, it should be noted that the company’s latest earnings show that sales surged 113% in the second quarter 2010 compared to the same quarter a year ago.

And finally, for those who question the ability of an electric car to “keep up” with conventional internal combustion vehicles on the nation’s highways, take a look at this video of a converted 1972 Datsun.

Equipped with a set of lithium polymer batteries, this little white Datsun ran a ¼ mile drag race in 10.4 seconds at a top speed of 117.21 mph.

Don’t expect the new Chevy Volt to do that.

But do expect it to be a major game-changer that’s sure to help usher in a new chapter in personal transportation.

For a list of the new electric vehicles coming down the pike over the next few years, check out our free report, The Electric Car Revolution Starts Now!

To a new way of life, and a new generation of wealth . . .

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