Today, exciting developments in electric cars could put battery-powered vehicles in driveways of Americans in the very near future; and the technology fueling the transition could send shares of a carmaker significantly higher in the near term.
Here is everything you need to know to find gains in the electric car vehicle market right now.
Electric cars are not a new phenomenon. More than a decade ago, the EV1 changed everything.
A short, futuristic-looking car was General Motor's first attempt at creating a commercially viable, highway-capable electric car in the mid 1990s. This was a major step for the automotive world. So why haven't most people heard of it?
The EV1 came as a result of a mandate from the California Air Resources Board that required major automakers to sell a certain quota of zero-emission vehicles in California. To sell its vehicles in the nation's most populous state, GM management decided that the company would bring an all-electric vehicle to market.
In doing so, GM created an unassuming car that surprised journalists, auto enthusiasts and even GM by generating extreme praise and a cult following.
The cars were not available for sale; consumers could only lease them. After the program's completion (and legal challenges were upheld against California's zero-emission vehicle rules), all EV1s were reposed by GM and destroyed (except for the few residing in museums).
Why the extreme ending for the EV1? It all came down to money. While the car was a critical success, it proved to be less of a financial win. In total, GM invested around $1 billion in the EV1 project, only to produce around 800 vehicles between 1996 - 1999. During that time, you could lease an EV1 for as little as $349 per month and that was a losing proposition for GM, which spent an estimated $80,000 - $100,000 on each vehicle once manufacturing and R&D costs were included. To avoid liability issues and laws over parts and service requirements, GM destroyed one of its beloved cars.
Extreme high battery costs, short battery life, and range limitations put the nail in the coffin for the electric car.
Despite these shortcomings, the electric vehicles of the 1990s, there were some big benefits to electric vehicles.
Maintence costs are substantially lower for electric cars. With significantly fewer parts on EVs, the mechanicals on them are subject to significantly less were than conventional internal combustion-driven autos. And although overall prices are higher for electric vehicles (thanks to extremely pricey batteries), running an electric car is much more cost efficient than a traditional car can be - especially as gas prices rise.
So while consumer demand stayed real for electric cars in the 2000s, the technology did not yet exist to bring this potentially transformational product to market.
A decade later, with more advanced battery and motor technology, the economics of the electric car have changed. And one company stands to reap the benefits as consumers start to consider the alternative of an electric car.
In 2010, a lot of attention has been paid on electric car efforts once again. A new contender, an electric car maker founded in 2003 by Silicon Valley automotive enthusiasts, is currently headed by the co-founder of Paypal (which was aquired by eBay for $1.5 billion).
This car maker has become the standard bearer for the electric car movement thanks in part to the company eschewing of the traditional golf car stigma that electric cars have suffered in the past. Instead, this car maker has an all electric sports car that boasts acceleration form zero to 60 mph in less than four seconds, has a range of 245 miles, and an average charging cost of less than $8 for a battery that is drained to a fully charged battery.
And for once, the economics of owning an electric car finally make sense. Using a BMW 5 series as an example, a 150 mile daily round trip drive to work could save as much as $236 per month on fuel costs by switching to this roadster, based on current (circa December 2010) energy prices. This savings would take a substantial bite out of a monthly lease or car payment.
This car maker has the aptitude and funding needed to make its plans a reality right now. As economic conditions continue to improve, this car maker should gain access to an increasingly large group of customers. This car maker should be a growth story for your portfolio so now would be a good time to hitch a ride to profits with this Silicon Valley based electric car maker.
I trust this post has provided some background and evidence that powerful efforts are underway with electric cars. These activities will soon provide alternative wealth creating opportunities and our economy will become significantly stronger around a competitive market of electric cars that will lower the cost of personal transportation.
In closing, I favor a quote from Steve Forbes. Forbes says that pursuing additional financial education and the resulting increase in our financial literacy (including the investment potential of breakthrough technology) will open our eyes to alternative wealth creating strategies and this will be the key to resolving our global financial crisis.
To gain the necessary financial education, it is best to obtain association with, access to, and membership in a wealth creation community. As a result, you will learn and have the knowledge to use alternative wealth creating strategies such as Bank on Yourself, debt reduction, and asset protection. You will be exposed to wealth acceleration investments in areas (discussed in this and previous blog posts) such as a electric cars, new access to space, 3D virtual technology, atomically precise manufacturing, nuclear power generation, commercial space ventures, Carrier Ethernet technologies, nanotech lithography, robotics, nano-based next-generation battery technology, precious metals, water rights, oil, natural gas, potash mines, food commodities, and gold mines. You will have the knowledge to consider investments in assets that are inherently useful like oil rigs, hydropower, or methanol plants; things that are hard to build, difficult to replace, and costly to substitute; definitely not financial stocks, definitely not retail stocks, definitely not commercial property.
Another benefit of membership in a wealth creation community is exposure to entrepreneurial leadership and business opportunities. Many of these leaders suggest that if you don't focus on being a digital entrepreneur, being self-employed, or being a small business owner, it will be a very tough road in the months and years ahead; actually it will be an uphill battle. As a result, the innovative wealth creation communities provide education and training on B2B, and B2C, eCommerce enabling a new breed of professionals that are creating six figure second incomes.
It is wise to monitor breakthrough technology as there are truly exciting developments underway with electric cars and related business activities. I will continue to monitor developments and provide updates in future articles and at my blog.
Finally, I want to thank Greg Guenthner of Agora Financial as he was the source of some of the materials about the technology advancements mentioned in this post.
Finally, I would like to provide Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year!