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Is It Time to Invest in Solar Cars?

Jeff Siegel

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted November 27, 2023

One of my favorite things about Japan is how so much of it looks “futuristic.”

From personal robots to electric toilets to its passenger vehicles, that oftentimes look like they were discovered on a movie set. 

One that recently caught my attention is a kei car version of a delivery van, called the PUZZLE.

If you’re unfamiliar, kei cars are the smallest street-legal vehicles you can buy and drive in Japan.  They’re primarily designed for urban roads, where speeds are kept to a minimum and parking spaces are not easy to find. 

In the U.S. kei cars would actually be ideal for some of the nation’s more populated and congested cities, such as New York, D.C., Austin, and San Francisco.  And the PUZZLE may be one of the first to make this happen.

HW ELECTRO, the company behind the PUZZLE, recently announced it will begin commercial sales of the vehicle in 2025 in the U.S. 

Here’s what it looks like …

puzzlevan

To most people reading this, it is likely to be unappealing.

But for congested cities, the size of the vehicle is quite attractive for delivery drivers and taxis.  It even comes with a solar roof that helps “fuel” the vehicle.  In theory, I can see how the PUZZLE would be enticing.  But in practice, well, not so much. 

And that’s because, in order for a kei car like the PUZZLE to operate in the U.S., its speed would likely have to be limited to just 25 miles per hour in order to comply with existing low-speed vehicle regulations.  

But let’s face it: any vehicle unable to exceed 25 miles per hour on any road in this country is unsafe to drive.  But you don’t need a low-speed, solar-powered kei car to effectively maneuver narrow city streets.

In fact, there’s one solar-powered electric car that’s not only small enough to handle urban asphalt, but it has a top speed of 101 mph, and can travel 1,000 miles before having to re-charge.  This is the result of superior aerodynamics and a solar roof that can actually charge the car while it’s driving. 

The car is called the Aptera, and the solar panels embedded into the body of the vehicle are specially designed to be durable and powerful enough to move a 3,000-pound vehicle.

Of course, these solar panels aren’t your typical solar panels.  These are actually specifically designed for cars.  They’re incredibly strong, can handle any kind of extreme weather, and can actively create electricity, even when they’re covered by road dust and grime.

The company that’s manufacturing these solar panels is the leader in solar design for vehicle electrification.  And it’s a major player. 

In Q3, it did $223 million in revenue, and it’s expected to deliver in excess of $1 billion in revenue for fiscal year 2023.  Nearly 40% of its stock is held by TCL Zhonguhan Renewable Energy ($9.9 billion in sales in 2022) and TotalEnergies SA ($281 billion in sales in 2022). And it's expected to get a fat check from the Department of Energy to increase its production at a manufacturing facility in New Mexico.

With this facility, the company plans to boast an annual solar module capacity of 4.5 gigawatts. To put that in perspective, the U.S. solar industry produced 5 gigawatts total in 2022. 

Some analysts believe the DOE approval will come at the start of the year, which is why I’m recommending you grab a few shares now – before that happens.

In this short investment note, I lay out my entire case for this stock: why it’s a buy, why it’s so far ahead of the competition, and why it’s likely to become the primary solar panel supplier for the global auto industry. 

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth…

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Jeff Siegel

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Jeff is the founder and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks. For more on Jeff, go to his editor’s page.

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