Project Better Place

U.S.-Listed Companies Lead Israel's Plug-in Charge

Written by Green Chip Stocks
Posted February 26, 2009 at 9:34PM

We may not be able to buy Project Better Place stock...

But a slew of publicly traded companies are playing an integral role in the world's most ambitious electric vehicle plan.

In fact, corporate campuses and employee homes at 19 of Israel's top companies will become testing grounds for advanced EV infrastructure.

And from these Middle Eastern hubs, multinational companies can spread and adapt their EV strategies around the world.

For instance, charging stations will be installed at the headquarters of Teva Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TEVA), the world's top generic drug maker.

What's key here is that Teva also has offices in Mexico, Singapore, Brazil, Kenya, and dozens of other countries. And in all of those places, Teva's corporate strategy could mean spreading Better Place's EV infrastructure.

In 2009, Project Better Place is being propagated through the business world with the same sort of seeding strategy that Better Place CEO Shai Agassi first took to governments from Israel to Australia to Hawaii.

Among the other U.S.-listed partners for Better Place in Israel are Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR), Orbotech Ltd. (NASDAQ:ORBK) and the local divisions of Nike and employment services giant Manpower (NYSE:MAN).


Car-Sharing and Electric Vehicles—Powerful Twin Trends

Corporate car sharing is an accelerating trend by itself, and EV plug-in stations make perfect sense as a twin technology. Pay-per-use services like Zipcar are becoming more and more ubiquitous, and traditional car rental companies like Hertz now moving into that market. Hertz spokeswoman Paula Rivera told the Boston Globe this week that car sharing is a "$1 billion market with potential to grow."

Shai Agassi put it this way:

"We are today seeing the certification that there is real market demand for electric cars that will use Better Place's grid. We expect demand to grow as Israeli companies join in the vision, as well as in other countries, which together represent a potential global market of 50 million cars. We see today the tip of the iceberg of global demand."

What Agassi didn't say is that we are at a time where demand is supercharged by policy around the world.

Israel wants to end its use of foreign oil by 2020. The Obama Administration wants 1 million plug-in cars on the road by 2015. The Danish government, one of Project Better Place's early partners, has brought in IBM, Siemens, and national energy company DONG to make 10% of Danish cars plug-ins within the next decade.

Bringing car-sharing and EV infrastructure together means cars with higher emissions will increasingly be taken off the road, increasing the proportion of electric vehicles as international research projects and corporate EV fleets advance.

We're bullish on Project Better Place, but until we can buy stock in that one, we'll keep an eye out for more companies like Teva that will benefit from growing EV fleets and Better Place's ever-growing resources and research.

There are also other companies around the world making high-efficiency vehicle batteries. Though they may be seen as competitors to Better Place once it goes public, a rising tide lifts all ships.

Green Chip International subscribers are already riding the wave.

To learn more about GCI and our top EV battery play, follow this link:



Sam Hopkins