*Editor’s note: For a more updated article on electric vehicles from Jeff Siegel click here…
Mike Patrick is a chemical engineer and a savvy investor.
He made a small fortune during the dot-com craze, doubled that fortune during the real estate boom, and tipped over to millionaire status after hitting it big in the renewable energy game.
These days, Mike is retired and spends most of his time in his garage. A total gear head, he’s rebuilt three classic cars over the years, including a very sweet 1962 Chevy Impala. Just last week, he finished his fourth — a 1972 AMC Hornet.
But this one wasn’t actually rebuilt. As Mike explains, “It’s been reborn. It’s electric.”
In just under a year, Mike turned an old beaten-up Hornet into an all-electric vehicle for about $15,000.
It gets about 35 miles on a single charge and has a top speed of about 65 mph — though Mike says that with some tweaking, he’ll be able to top it out at around 80 mph while still maintaining a range of at least 30 miles.
So now, when anyone asks him about his car, he’ll inevitably say: “It was so easy, I don’t know why the car companies didn’t do this years ago.”
Well, I think we all know the answer to that question…
But none of that matters now because the days of major car companies ignoring electric cars are over.
In fact just last week, Ford Chairman Bill Ford told reporters that by 2020, 25 percent of the company’s lineup will be electrified. That’s less than nine years away.
Time to Charge Up!
Over the years, we’ve taken full advantage of the early stages of the electric vehicle market.
We’ve made a ton of money in high-performance battery companies, electric motor producers, and even lithium developers that supply some of today’s top battery manufacturers.
And most recently, we’ve been loading up in the electric vehicle supply equipment market — more specifically, vehicle chargers and applications.
A few weeks ago, I told you about a company called ECOtality (NASDAQ: ECTY). This is the company that landed nearly $100 million from the DOE to install 11,000 charging stations in five different states.
Since that article, the stock has absolutely soared. Take a look…
I do hope you got a piece of it.
But if you didn’t, don’t worry. By the end of the year, I can’t imagine this thing will be trading for anything less than $5.00 a share.
Last week, ECOtality announced a new partnership with global real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL) to assist in location selection for ECOtality’s electric vehicle chargers.
The company will work with JLL’s Corporate Retail Solutions team to identify more than 2,000 potential charger host locations throughout EV Project markets, conduct due diligence, and negotiate contracts.
This is a pretty big deal. With 2010 global revenue of almost $3 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle is no lightweight.
ECOtality is also in bed with Swiss behemoth ABB (NYSE: ABB). Earlier this year, ECOtality picked up a $10 million equity investment from ABB.
And in conjunction with that investment, ECOtality and ABB entered into a North American manufacturing agreement that establishes a strategic supplier relationship between the two companies. Not bad…
Just recently, ECOtality got another piece of good news when it was highlighted by Pike Research as the #2 company leading the competition in terms of strategy and execution in the early days of the electric vehicle supply equipment market.
Here’s an excerpt from the report:
The early market in North America has largely been driven by state and federally funded purchases. These government contracts have been divided mainly between two companies, Coulomb Technologies and ECOtality, which are the clear leaders today.
ECOtality will likely ship the most EVSEs in 2011 on the strength of a contract with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to install 15,000 chargers in select regions.
Of course, ECOtality isn’t the only player in town…
Top 10 Electric Vehicle Charging Companies
Here’s what Pike lists as the top 10 vendors in the emerging electric vehicle supply equipment market:
- Coulomb Technologies
- ECOtality (NASDAQ: ECTY)
- AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV)
- General Electric (NYSE: GE)
- Siemens (NYSE: SI)
- Eaton (NYSE: ETN)
- Clipper Creek
While I agree that Coulomb Technologies and ECOtality are the two early leaders, don’t expect GE and Siemens to go limp on this one.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, according to research from Zpryme, the electric vehicle charging infrastructure and services market will grow from $776.8 million in 2011 to $4.45 billion in 2016.
Don’t think for a second that GE or Siemens will allow this kind of scratch to get away from them.
But for now, Coulomb Technologies and ECOtality are running the show.
To a new way of life, and a new generation of wealth…
Editor, Energy and Capital