Tesla Motors Stock

Tesla Motors and Beyond: Profiting from the Electric Car Movement

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted March 22, 2010

I remember a few years ago, at a conference in California, I got my first peek at the all-electric Tesla Roadster.

The second I laid eyes on that thing, I knew I was witnessing what would be a game-changer in the perception of electric cars.

No longer could all electric cars be set aside at the kids' table with neighborhood electric vehicles, golf carts, and 30mph speed limitations.

This thing was sleek, sexy. It didn't need an ounce of gasoline and it hardly made a peep; yet its performance could rival nearly any high-end sports car on the road.


Soaring from zero to 60mph in 3.9 seconds was not something most would typically associate with an electric car.

Although electric cars do boast more impressive torque than conventional vehicles because conventional vehicles have to rev to a certain rate before reaching their torque. The Tesla Roadster's peak torque begins at 0 rpm.

But there it was, mocking all the doubters and naysayers. And all I wanted to do was take one home with me...

I couldn't, as they were not being sold at the time. (They are now, though.) But I have certainly dedicated a few of these pages to this vehicle — and the company behind it.

Of course, over the past few years of coverage, a lot has changed.

There are few these days that don't know about the Tesla Roadster. And even fewer investors who don't know this company filed for an IPO on January 29 of this year.

The response has been mixed. There are those who are simply excited to have more opportunities to get in on the electric vehicle market. And certainly the last electric vehicle-related stock — A123 Systems (NASDAQ: AONE) — had no problem heading north after its debut.

Although as I mentioned when that stock first went public, it was significantly overpriced. Not a bad company, but I certainly wasn't eager to buy in at those inflated IPO levels.

Then there are those who are skeptical that Tesla will ever be anything other than a niche player.

Sure, the Roadster put the company on the map. But now Tesla is looking to launch a new sedan that'll come in at about half the cost of the Roadster.

It's not a sports car, but rather a really nice "regular car" for those who can shell out $50,000 for a vehicle. It's certainly no slouch...

Take a look:


Clearly, the company is upping the ante and preparing to compete outside of the Silicon Valley/niche sports car world.

But can they do it?

I guess we'll find out soon enough. But looking at what this company has accomplished so far, I wouldn't bet against them.

Although I wouldn't put all my electric car eggs in the Tesla basket, either.

Profits to be had, but don't expect miracles. . .

While we're definitely looking forward to seeing how this Tesla IPO works out, we will continue to profit from the early stages of electric vehicles by focusing on the battery manufacturers and the electric motor manufacturers.

Some that we've profited from in the past include: Ener1 (NASDAQ: HEV), UQM Technologies (AMEX: UQM), Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), Electrovaya (TSX: EFL), Altair Nanotechnologies (NASDAQ: ALTI), and Enova Systems (AMEX:ENA).

Now we've already written plenty about those companies in the past, so I won't rehash any of that stuff here. But please feel free to search any of these companies on our search tool, which can be found on our homepage.

And of course, you can review a list of the electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles set to debut in the next few years in our special report, The Electric Car Revolution Starts Now.

Now I know there are plenty of folks that are going to leave comments about all the things "wrong" with electric cars — the high costs, the limited ranges, the infrastructure issues, etc. And of course, these are all valid concerns.

It is true that electric vehicles do not come cheap. All-electric ranges for pure electric vehicles still aren't quite there yet... at least not enough to calm range anxiety.

But they're getting closer. And yes, infrastructure issues are real.

These are all reasonable arguments that should not be brushed aside. Nor should we brush aside the fact that these vehicles are not going to flood our roads and highways in the near future. Suggesting that we can transition any more than a few percent of our vehicles to electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the next ten years will probably do more harm than good; it will set unrealistic expectations that will not likely be met.

But that being said, using these very real obstacles as excuses to disregard the necessity and the urgency of electrifying our personal transportation is simply unacceptable. By doing so, we take on the defeatist attitude that the status quo is the best we can do; that if there's no instant gratification, it's simply not worth doing.

I'm certainly glad this wasn't the overwhelming attitude when it came to some of our other game-changing technologies we take for granted today.

If it was, I'd be typing this on a typewriter right now and you certainly wouldn't be able to download this article in a matter of seconds. Mobile phones would still weigh two pounds and cost you $5.00 a minute to use — assuming you could actually connect to the person you're trying to reach.

Complacency is not an option, my friends. Not when it comes to integrating a stronger, cleaner, and more sustainable personal transportation infrastructure. And certainly not when it comes to investing in these technologies.

Since 2005, we've been taking various positions in high-performance battery and electric motor companies — and profiting handsomely.

This is not a trend that will see its end anytime soon.

Because even with the many obstacles the electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles face every day, progress is being made.

And not only do we intend to monitor and take part in this electric vehicle revolution... we intend to profit from it for quite a while.

In fact, if you'd like to read about our latest electric vehicle play, click here

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

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