Are Electric Vehicles the Next Big Thing?

Investors are always looking for the next big thing. What's the latest growth trend? Where will consumers spend their money over the next decade?

Electric vehicles may very well be one of the biggest growth trends over the next 10 years. And if any company is positioned to benefit from this trend, it's Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) . But does this probable development automatically make Tesla stock an excellent investment for your money? And is searching for the latest popular growth trend really the best way to find great investment opportunities?

The naysayers
In 2012, the electric-vehicle pessimists were prolific. In 2013, they may be fewer, but they are still beating their drum.

In the October 2012 presidential debate, Mitt Romney listed Tesla among the "losers" in green energy that the Obama administration supported with "breaks." Little did Romney know that less than a year later Tesla would repay its 2010 loan from the Department of Energy nine years early. The U.S. taxpayer came out with a nice $20 million profit on the deal.

In May, Audi voiced its concern with Tesla's success in a poorly drafted press release that overstated Tesla's sales by attributing the company's entire quarterly sales to just one month. The press release dogged a CNNMoney.com headline that read, "Tesla sales beating Mercedes, BMW, and Audi."

Talk about a dubious public-relations move -- the press release seemed to voice the company's concern with Tesla's apparent success more than anything. Unsurprisingly, the press release was removed later.

Then there is the legal battle in support of the franchise auto sales system to stop Tesla from selling its cars directly to consumers.

The progress
But despite the naysayers' grumbles, electric vehicles are here to stay. Even better, some manufacturers are posting mind-boggling sales gains, according Baum & Associates, Ford's electric-drive deliveries were 46,197 in the first half of 2013. Nissan's fully electric Leaf booked sales of 9,839, tripling its sales volume in the year-ago period. Overall, the report estimates that electric-drive sales are up about 27% on considerable volume of 299,000 in the first half of 2013 compared with the year-ago period.

And Tesla? Tesla's own premium battery-powered sedan may have sales of about 8,931 for the same period, according to an estimate by automotive consultancy Autodata. That's a big difference from the few hundred vehicles it delivered in the first half of 2012.

Having paid off its Department of Energy loan and gaining production efficiencies as the company benefits from scale advantages associated with higher sales volumes, Tesla is positioned to be a major competitor not just among electric vehicles, but in the luxury car market in general.

And talk of bankruptcy for Tesla is far in the past. To illustrate Tesla's strong financial position, consider Tesla's outlook for Q2: "We expect to be roughly breakeven on cash flow from operations in Q2, despite launch costs in Europe and a huge increase in service centers, stores, and Supercharger stations."

Electric vehicles and Tesla are undoubtedly riding a wave of success. Even better, electric vehicles could begin to gain mass market acceptance as early as three to five years from now.

Can you invest in this opportunity?
The question isn't about survival anymore. Electric vehicles will play a big role in the next decade. But it is in this obvious opportunity that there also lies several problems for investors.

First, electric vehicles represent a very small portion of total sales for the big auto companies like Ford and General Motors.

Second, if electric vehicles gain mass acceptance, big automobile manufacturers that manage to capture electric-vehicle demand may offset these gains with declines in sales of its traditional vehicles.

Finally, Tesla, arguably the only publicly traded company solely reliant on electric vehicle technology that is also financially stable, has massive growth already priced into the stock. At 15 times sales, compared with Ford at just about 0.5 times sales, opportunity is undoubtedly priced into Tesla's stock -- especially after the stock appreciated about 275% year to date.

What does all this mean for investors? The latest growth trend or fad isn't always a great investment opportunity. Valuation matters.

Does this mean it's time to sell Tesla? Not necessarily. But when the opportunity is already obvious, it may be too late to buy. 

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 10:51 PM, StanO6 wrote:

    It doesn't hurt that the model S is the best automobile ever.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 11:14 PM, CityRacer wrote:

    Electric vehicles are the next big thing. It's a paradigm shift like going from a cassette player to an iPod. There is no contest. It's not just because of the advantage in fuel economy and lack of exhaust emissions, but because of the simplicity and elegance of design. Tesla, for example, is powered by 2 electric motors situated next to the rear wheels. There is virtually nothing under the engine compartment. As a result, maintenance requirements are low and reliability is inherently high. There is no oil to change, no spark plugs, no drive shaft, no transmission. 90% of what can break on a gasoline car is not there. Most functions of the car can be updated through a software download. There is no button on the dashboard, just one big touch screen. The car is also extremely powerful. It goes as fast as a Porsche, yet makes no sound. No turbo charger or super charger is required. As a matter of fact, the technology in a Tesla makes all of the other auto manufacturers look stupid. What have Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus been doing all these years? Any car company wanting to be a player in the future world has got to get into electric vehicles now. Continuing to build gasoline cars now would be like trying to refine a typewriter.

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2013, at 11:25 PM, StanO6 wrote:

    @CityRacer +1 for this: "the technology in a Tesla makes all of the other auto manufacturers look stupid."

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 12:10 AM, SuntanIronMan wrote:

    @StanO6

    Sorry, but the best automobile ever would be the Jaguar E-Type. This has been scientifically proven... with science!!! But if you want to say the Model S is the second best automobile ever, I suppose I have no objections to that.

    ... a far distant second, lol.

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 12:17 AM, tigerade wrote:

    CityRacer - Exactly! My next car will be a Tesla - the Generation 3. :)

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 7:34 AM, Marshgre wrote:

    @WhichStocksWork

    Consumers Reports awarded the Tesla Model S a score of 99/100 and declared it "the best car we ever tested"

    Motor Trend awarded Tesla's Model S 2013 Car of The Year in their first unanimous decision.

    But my friends who are mechanics do love Jags - they help pay the bills ;-)

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2013, at 7:41 AM, Marshgre wrote:

    @CityRacer

    Good post. Just one detail - The Model S has only one drive motor.

    When you look at the rear drive assembly for the Model S you will see what looks like two motors bolted to the final drive unit. However the one on the right hand side is a casing containing the inverter and motor controller. Only the one on the left is the drive motor.

    Now when the AWD Model X comes out in 2014 that will have two drive motors, one for each set of wheels. Hopefully the dual motor AWD system will make it into the option list for the Model S.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 3:25 PM, drax7 wrote:

    Tesla is the classic rule breaker. Valuation may well reach 100 billion in this decade. Still in its infancy, and if we start seeing sequential quarterly growth, on a sustained basis, the stock will go higher than we can imagine.

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 4:01 PM, BeckonsAttore wrote:

    Yes, electric cars will be among one of the next big things, but I don't think it will be the biggest. I think that it's too early to predict the that far into; all the while nothing is assuredly constant. I mean might changes twice or three times in just 3 or 50 years, if not shorter.<a href="http://www.oralsurgerycenterchicagoheights.com/our_services/... surgery homewood il</a>

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 4:06 PM, ET114 wrote:

    These posts are amazing... Tesla prototypes look very cool, whereas, the current alternative autos, i.e., Prius, Volt, etc. look and run like a dinosaur. Back to Tesla, maybe they are being sold in a few very large metro areas, but here in the DC area, I have yet to see one... Matter of fact, last info re: Tesla, they are having serious financial difficulties. So, at this juncture, I'd label this tech advancement close to the DeLorean...

  • Report this Comment On July 17, 2013, at 4:49 PM, techfule wrote:

    Living in Vienna VA, near Tyson's Corner, I have seen several Model S's driving on Maple Avenue. Selling more electric vehicles, though, may be problematic for traditional auto makers, as their business model is built around selling lots of parts and service. Most dealers make far more money in the "back end" (service) than in the "front end" (sales). Tesla has priced this into their cars, but traditional makers and dealers would be in major trouble if electric vehicles started to account for a large portion of their sales. Electric cars are a terrific idea, but definitely not a reason to invest in companies wedded to the old auto business model!

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 6:16 PM, Snertie wrote:

    EVs will succeed, but only if they are not oversold. They are not complete replacements for conventional autos, due to their limited range. The Tesla is a $90,000 car that can only go 200 miles. The more affordable Ford Focus and Nissan Leaf can only go 75 miles. That makes these cars well suited for regular inner-city commuting, but not longer trips or interstate travel. For many, that's a deal-killer.

    The advocates argue that soon there will be charging stations everywhere for these cars, and they may be right. But at best, even the newest generation of charging stations will only give a partial charge in 30 minutes; a full charge will take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. Few people are going to enjoy long trips with stops every hour or two with half-hour breaks. Battery-swap schemes are expensive and awkward, and will not be viable.

    Trying to sell these cars as a total internal-combustion replacement is a mistake. These cars are best sold as a 2nd car for short commutes, which is what most car trips are for most people anyway. Trying to sell inconvenient and kludgy "range anxiety" solutions will only turn off potential purchasers.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 6:42 PM, Lindy62 wrote:

    The Tesla is an amazing car, and is that in its very early life in production. Cost is the major factor along with range. The Plugin Hybrid is much more affordable, does not have a long charge time ( 1 hour at 240 Volts ), and does not have the range problem. My Toyota Plugin gets 100 mpg in mixed driving ( City and Highway) and has a range of 1000 miles before gas refueling. It is a practical every day vehicle.

    Len Lindenmeyer

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 6:45 PM, xetn wrote:

    The reason that Tesla won't be the "next big thing" is the price. Just how many people pay $90k for a car?

    Get it down to the $30K range and you could very well have a winner. Fat chance.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 6:46 PM, snapperreef wrote:

    I could be mistaken, but those of you who bank on fuel economy have to realize that the laws of physics raise their ugly heads here. To move mass it takes a certain amount of energy. Though a gasoline engine is only about 25% efficient and an electric motor can be much more efficient, the fact remains that electricity must be produced by a heat exchange process(except for hydro dams). These, whether coal, NGas, nuclear, or what are notoriously inefficient. As is the transmission of electricity through wires.

    The only way the Tesla can be more economic and cleaner is to reduce its own weight if it is to carry the same weight as a gasoline car. Again to move a mass M from A to B requires the same amount of energy regardless of the vehicle.

    Now coal is a much cheaper source of energy than is oil/gasoline so the coal generated energy to make the electricity for the Tesla could be cheaper in dollars, but never cheaper in total energy required to move equal masses.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 6:49 PM, Fooloprunes wrote:

    Beware! There is potentially a huge trap here.

    Tesla has only produced "boutique" vehicles that were bought for "coolness" by people who have lots of money to throw around, and who are not particularly interested in the real economics (it's a bit like the Euro!)

    Once Tesla has snared one of these customers, they are hardly likely to admit they made an economic mistake, and Tesla will make sure they have little reason to gripe by providing exceptional service.

    But, that model will not scale in a competitive market where price tends to dominate. Even worse, the batteries are still a major problem. Until somebody solves the battery weight/cost/life issues, EVs will only address a small segment of the market needs in the US.

    Henry Ford started a revolution, but it wasn't based on technology that didn't already exist.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 7:10 PM, vostro wrote:

    Electric cars are a nice thought, all clean and non oil burning. Too bad the oil companies and their pocket politicians will not let them go far. Does anyone ever think about where the batteries come from for these cars? How about China. And where would the electricity come from that would charge them? Coal burning power plants that Obama is trying to kill. Sorry, but IMHO, the electric car will remain a novelty. Natural gas seems to a more viable alternative. We got gas!

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 7:16 PM, snopek wrote:

    I don't believe electric vehicles will be as successful as many predict. Aside from the challenges with expensive and heavy batteries (which don't perform well in cold climates), limited range, charging time and issues with air conditioning and heating sucking precious battery life, they will be competing with progressively lighter and more fuel efficient vehicles as the US government's CAFE rules kick in. Lighter weight, high strength steels that are being developed which along with aluminum and carbon fibre will improve fuel efficiency and reduce the incentive to buy electric.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 7:39 PM, Fooloprunes wrote:

    @ Vostro

    The idea that the oil companies somehow "suppressed" EVs is a complete myth. The oil companies could care less. They don't care whether the oil goes into a gasoline tank, or drives a gas turbine power generator. They get paid either way.

    The only thing that has held EVs back is the available battery technology, and that is still a huge problem.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 8:04 PM, interdependent wrote:

    I gotta say, I drive a converted Geo Metro, all-electric, and my wife drives a Nissan LEAF, so I don't know what you guys are talking about.

    We live in Seattle and vacation within a few hours of the city. My mother-in-law offers us her gas car if we need it, but we don't. On a short trip to the store, maybe a mile or two, I see a dozen electric cars, mostly LEAFs, maybe a Model S, and the odd home-built.

    Our 'carbon neutral' electric grid keeps getting cleaner with more solar going up in the neighborhood and wind across the state. Now we offer more clean power for other places.

    At home, plug in like charging a cell phone, the maintenance is zero, the reliability 100%, and the operating cost is pennies on the dollar compared to whatever gasoline costs. What does gas cost? Who cares!

    When Tesla comes out with a car for under $40,000 we'll probably trade up, and get in line to do it. Of course global warming means we've got to reduce emissions even more, so once my kids are grown, I'm going to trade my car for an electric bike!

    Why would anybody drive a gas car?

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 8:18 PM, rmarm wrote:

    One of the main reasons that Tesla as a company is profitable is because of carbon offsets that are mandated and traded in California. They would not have been profitable had they not been able to sell a majority of their carbon allotments to companies needing them to offset their carbon requirements.

    So their profitability and ability to pay back government loans was simply due to the current legal and regulatory environment. Fine. But for those of us looking for companies that have innovative useful products, pricing that works on a broad basis, and a business model that is based on more than current regulations that can be easily changed, Tesla is not currently among them.

    EVs may someday be affordable and widely utilized if Tesla or others can solve the battery cost, charge time, and range issues. For example, the current models and technologies will never be practical for the average person in more northern latitudes that are cold and dark much of the year - essentially, most of northern middle to eastern US. In these areas much of a battery charge will be used up warming the interior of the car, defrosting/deicing windows, keeping windows defogged, running wipers and lights, etc. This point is never discussed when talking about EVs though it greatly limits their attractiveness and utility in at least 1/3 of the country.

    The single make or break issue for EVs and their producing companies is simply battery capacity and charge time. These have been worked on for over 100 years with not enough improvement to be practical in terms of performance or cost. No doubt these problems will be solved - but when is anyone's guess. So as an investor in a current EV company, this is the one item you are really betting on: that battery technology will make huge improvements in time for you to profit from your investment.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 8:34 PM, Seanickson wrote:

    Electric vehicles may be the next big thing but so were cars and airplanes, which have offered very little returns since their inception.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 9:37 PM, captam wrote:

    This excitement over electric cars Is is all rather premature.

    Battery technology still has a long way to go. Most electric/electronic producers these days are opting for lithium-ion batteries which have a short but already troubled history. Vehicles (& other mobile electronic devices) using these have sometimes literally exploded due to over-heating problems. Witness the Dreamliner's problems. When the law suits begin, vehicle manufacturers might suddenly throw a wobbly and go back to old fashioned petrol.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 9:41 PM, eldetorre wrote:

    "Lighter weight, high strength steels that are being developed which along with aluminum and carbon fibre will improve fuel efficiency and reduce the incentive to buy electric. "

    These factors make the electrics more efficient too!

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 11:14 PM, CityRacer wrote:

    In response to some of the counter-points:

    1) Tesla is a "boutique vehicle" - Not really. Model S is in a well established luxury segment. It's an alternative to Mercedes S Class, BMW 7 Series, or Porsche Panamera.

    2) How many people can afford a $90K car? - Remember when VCRs used to cost $1000? Through advances in technology and economies of scale, price can come down dramatically.

    3) The more affordable EVs can only go 75 miles - In reality most people drive less than 75 miles in their daily commute. As EV adoption increases, you should be able to charge your car at work and in the supermarket, just as you charge your cell phone everyday and everywhere.

  • Report this Comment On July 18, 2013, at 11:18 PM, GatorTrekE wrote:

    At this moment in time, I don't see that the electric car is ready to be the next "big" thing. The posters above detail the battery and range issues, my doubts focus on the ability of the electricity producers and power transmission companies to handle the load required for electric vehicles to move to the main stage. The number of electric vehicles currently in use is just a small fraction of a percentage of all vehicles. Any significant increase would overwhelm our current electric infrastructure and production capabilities.

    Perhaps the real big opportunity is to invest in companies that will supply the materials to upgrade the power grid or that generates new power close to the source of use such as solar, wind, geothermal, etc.... It seems to me that a lot of money will need to be spent to change our current paradigm. Right now, as I see it, everyone's dreams are quite a bit ahead of reality.

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2013, at 12:45 AM, tomd728 wrote:

    The Tesla is certainly a nice car to look at.....however the practicalities of ownership and usage seriously diminish the vehicle's growth going forward.

    The car sells for 65m-95m which limits buyers. The range and lack of battery charge or replacement stations makes it a car for "around town" jaunts.

    After the elitists finish buying where is your market.

    There are enough EVs out now there now at substantially less cost to effect those buyers who want this type of vehicle for whatever reason...in fact a car for short trips powered by the conventional gas engine is perhaps the most practical and affordable.

    Simply too many rational obstacles to wide acceptance and sales.

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2013, at 1:21 AM, ixxorn wrote:

    As far as I see, it is not very clever to assess the capabilities of electric cars based on what they can do now. I see great potential in innovation, and also a lot of new unexplored possibilities. These Teslas were designed from scratch, by an enterprenour that had no previous expariances in car indutry, and made it in a few years. They surpass every other ev in every respect, and his funds are far below anything the big car manufacturers can move.

    He already made Space agencies look stupid, plane manufacturers turn to him for advice, and he delivers cargo in space commercialy, with a profit.

    I expect, repeat EXPECT continued innovation, and huge advances in technology frem these companies. Also it is a very nice touch, that he produces electricity in a clean way too.

    Also, consider this reaction:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v...

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2013, at 2:50 AM, Stuartrudd wrote:

    Why buy an electric car?

    Because it is better for the environment (no emission) and

    Electricity is a cheaper power source.

    Well I think that is how the sales pitch goes, but....

    The leading car manufacturers in Germany seem not to be buying into this supposed game changer technology. Supposedly a 'stupid' idea. However, why not?

    It is at this point curiosity should start to prick the conscience. Or should I believe that the innovative market leaders in Europe are going to blindly run into becoming dinosaurs? Europe pay an absolute fortune for gasoline ( petrol). So why not jump on board?

    I think the answer is simple.

    They do not see the electric car as a mode of transport with a long future.

    It merely supplies the product that's in demand with the political global agenda concerning the environment. Therefore why invest your company money into research & development in an idea that will not be a long term solution. My parents had an expression for this as 'throwing away good money for bad'.

    The emission no longer comes out the rear of the car - true. Instead it is transferred to the electricity power plant which are using fossil fuel to generate it. Significant changes in the infrastructure of any country is required to make that untrue. It will take more than 10 years to reverse that statistic reality, even if you have enough landmass for windmills or hydro waterfalls.

    Electricity is VERY expensive in Europe. I had a neighbour who used to have his electric car on charge all night every night. This would enable him a ground breaking distance of 30 miles. This is a false economy. It used to have a high pitch generator sound while charging, which I could hear from my apartment when trying to sleep (imagine every car in your street and all directions?!). So yes, when they run they are quite, but when they charge they are not. I've heard also that manufacturers are providing them with engine noise as pedestrian accidents went up because people do not hear them coming.

    So, Europe are heavily investing into research of hydrogen engines with hybrid crossovers for the now. Not so stupid.

    Bottom line:

    Buying an electric car currently is an outward political statement which says 'I care about the environment'. I do too, but I feel the sentiments are misaligned with an electric car.

    So for me,

    don't buy into electric car technology if its a moral issue.

    Don't buy into electric car technology if your investing plan is longer than 10 years.

    DO buy the technology if you want to make money on the latest fad. But understand the ethical message might be a little skewed to generate sales.

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2013, at 8:13 AM, Jamesband wrote:

    Are Electric Vehicles the Next Big Thing?

    Not unless they put a Capstone Micro Turbine (CPST) in it! If you cannot make onboard electricity, without a combustible engine, with an efficient (nearly 100 miles per gallon) power plant, don't bother. If you have to plug in every day overnight in order to do you daily commute you are not saving the planet from fossil fuel burning necessary to run 99 percent of the countries electrical grid. Using inefficient combustible engines is cheating too.

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2013, at 2:23 PM, mikecart1 wrote:

    TSLA is a hard stock to consider. Right now and looking ahead to 2023, it is either the BEST stock to own right now for the next decade, or the WORST.

    That is a scary thought!

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2013, at 2:27 PM, tombland wrote:

    So many uninformed comments here from people who clearly know very little about Tesla and the technology both in the Model S and at the Superchargers. It probably is too late to buy Tesla shares, but I highly recommend you all do your background research into Tesla, their cars and their business plan.

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2013, at 3:40 PM, kcajc1 wrote:

    Since I seem to be able to respond to individuals I will not respond.

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2013, at 5:52 PM, rex106 wrote:

    You are wrong about German car makers not being interested in EV's :

    http://www.bmw-i.co.uk/en_gb/bmw-i3/?WT.mc_id=s_ggl_uk_phase...

  • Report this Comment On July 19, 2013, at 8:03 PM, DonH6 wrote:

    The next big thing in EV's is that they will have fuel cells to power the batteries used by the electric motor. Battery's have limited range and are very costly. Fortunately recent technical advances and improvements in reliable cost-effective fuel cells have been demonstrated this year and have attracted several major auto companies to design and plan to introduce a fuel cell electric vehicles in 2015. The US will still need to construct hydrogen fueling stations however as an interim solution natural gas stations may become feasible as hydrogen fuels. The Chevy Volt is a natural candidate for upgrading to a fuel cell vehicle by replacing the existing combustion engine with a fuel cell system. It is already considered an EV with a range extended engine.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 4:42 AM, VictorErimita wrote:

    I am continually amazed at the simplemindedness of people who think electric cars are better for the environment because "they produce more emissions." Aside from those who get their electricity from hydro or nuclear power...have you thought about where the electricity comes from? At all? And since fossil fuels burned to produce mechnical energy to turn turbines to convert the mechanical energy to electrical energy, to be transmitted long distances over power lines and converted back to mechanical energy will always be massively more inefficient than burning those fossil fuels in the car and making only one energy onversion, with no transmission line loss, electric vehicles will always be more inefficient and polluting than fossil-fuel-powered vehicle. Until some new energy source is developed.

    But let's forget for now that electric vehicles being more ecological or fuel efficient is a myth. Let's forget that government policy and crony capitalism have been critical to Tesla's survival so far. Let's stipulate that electric vehicles are the wave of the future. Mercedes, BMW and Porsche are all developing electric vehicles aimed directly at Tesla's market. Who do you think is going to win that one?

    I get that Tesla stock would have been a great buy last December. I sure don't get how it's a great long term hold under the MF philosophy.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 4:42 AM, VictorErimita wrote:

    Sorry. Produce LESS emissions.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 5:21 AM, greenknight32 wrote:

    Much better batteries have already been developed, it's just that years of durability testing must be performed before automakers will adopt them. One example is lithium imide, a battery chemistry that gives higher energy density and a wider temperature range, enables fast charging, eliminates fire hazards, and promises much longer battery life. Already available in laptop batteries, and an electric motorcycle.

    This is a proprietary technology own by startup Leyden Energy - perhaps you should invest in them. Their next project involves silicon anodes, which could give a further big jump in energy density.

    EVs are definitely the coming thing, the only question is - how soon?

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 5:27 AM, greenknight32 wrote:

    EVs are still more efficient than internal combustion engine cars, even when the power to charge them comes from fossil fuels. Renewables are gradually replacing fossil fuels for electric generation, so the question will become moot eventually.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2013, at 4:31 PM, oldhenry wrote:

    So you want to drive from New York to San Francisco. Do you take your Nissan Leaf? How many recharges do you need to get to SF?

    Electric cars are toys for those who have so much cash they can throw it about or for climate nuts that do not realise billions of others on the planet are burning fossil fuels with total abandon.

    Show me an electric car ( in the UK ) that will travel 300miles without recharge and cost a reasonable sum - say £15K - and I will take a very cclose look.

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