The 1 Company to Bet On in Electric Cars

The guest on this week's nationally syndicated Motley Fool Money radio show is Ron Adner, an award-winning professor and author of the new book The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation. In this audio segment, Adner analyzes the electric car and shares why he believes the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are doomed to fail. He goes on to discuss why he thinks the company to watch is not a traditional automaker like Ford or General Motors, or even electric-car manufacturer Tesla Motors. Instead, Adner believes Better Place, with key partners including General Electric, is the company to bet on when it comes to electric cars.

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Chris Hill owns no shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Ford, General Motors, and Tesla Motors and creating a synthetic long position in Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2012, at 5:51 PM, JRP3 wrote:

    So Mr. Adner thinks the companies that make EV's, GM and Nissan, will fail in their attempts, but the company that does nothing more than add an expensive middle man to the process, Better Place, is the one to bet on? Interesting logic. BP does not make EV's, or batteries, nor do they generate electricity, they just want to place themselves in between EV owners, EV builders, and utilities, and charge a premium to do so. They lock you into a "charge plan", which is more expensive than just charging at home, and they try to "hide" the cost of the battery in their monthly fee, all while making a profit. BP is a shell game, destined to fail. I shred the concept in more detail here:

    http://ephase.blogspot.com/2010/12/project-better-place-expo...

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2012, at 6:43 PM, Jazzenjohn1 wrote:

    When someone starts comparing cars and they place the Volt and the Leaf in the same category as an electric car, I know they don't even have a fundamental understanding of the concept at all. The Volt is a series Hybrid vehicle while the Leaf is an electric vehicle. EV's will become more and more mainstrean when ownership makes more sense. They are second and third cars for rich people now, but there are some very specific situations where they are sensible choices. Look at Golf carts. In that very, very limited situation, gas and electric carts compare reasonably well. As batteries improve, if gas remains high and electricity low, they will one day make sense as well. Thinking battery technology will improve at the same rate as computer chip technology is absurd though. Thinking some start up will convince automakers to commonize battery size, shape, capacity, and connections is laughable. I almost hope Better Place offers stock so I can short it.

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2012, at 7:34 PM, JRP3 wrote:

    The Nissan LEAF, and Mitsubishi i, have a low enough purchase price and cost of operation to make them affordable by many middle class families, and see usage as the primary vehicle.

  • Report this Comment On February 27, 2012, at 9:25 AM, captainccs wrote:

    Prof Adner is right but he is no investor! Denmark and Israel are not mass markets by any means. China is. And in China they are selling EVs with batteries not included, just like the good professor suggests. Not only does this solve the resale issue but the out-of-pocket expense to buy the car is cut in half. Instead of paying interest to the credit company that finances your car, you pay it to the battery rental company so it's not really an added cost as some comments suggest.

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