Solar Charging an Electric Car: How Much Would You Save?

The "and" solution: no single winner in the move to greener transportation.

Jan 19, 2014 at 1:00PM

Couldn't make it to the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show? Never fear: The Fool was there to check out the tech and report back on who was there and what was new. With thousands of products in more than 15 categories, the next big thing was surely making its debut at the CES in Las Vegas.

A Ford (NYSE:F) representative at CES explained the potential cost avoidance of the C-MAX solar concept car and explains that while other carmakers do represent competition, progress in the green technology space benefits everyone by offering a broader range of energy-efficient choices.

There were countless trends emerging from CES 2014 this year, but the real question for investors is how to capitalize on these revolutionary opportunities. Fortunately for you, David Gardner has an idea or two on how to invest in these new emerging technologies -- and how you can profit. Get in on the ground floor now by clicking here.

A full transcript follows the video.

Austin Smith: Let's get into some other numbers. Are you guys talking about cost and sales volume here?

Ford Representative: No, not yet. Because of the nature of it, it's still a concept -- and frankly, there are still some things that we're working on with it -- but what we could talk about, if I could reframe that, instead of cost we could talk about it almost in terms of customer value.

What you would be able to do by using this setup is you would be essentially recharging your car during daylight hours. If, instead of parking your solar C-MAX Energi underneath this concentrator, you would be plugging it into the wall and recharging it during daytime hours, it would cost you on average $1 to $2 for that electricity, depending upon where you live and your electricity rates.

When you think about it in that context, you are essentially avoiding $1 to $2 per day of electricity costs, to recharge your car. Taken over a year, say $300 to $600 worth of cost avoidance, by being able to charge it with pure, clean, renewable energy from the sun.

If you think about it in that context, about say a $500 value per year, per customer, how much would you be willing to pay for that capability on your car? I'll leave it as an open-ended question like that, but that's how we're starting to think about it.

Smith: Pretty legitimate value adds there, for consumers. Let's take a higher-level discussion of this industry and electric vehicles, writ large. Ford has always been a big innovator in efficiency, and you guys have always been pushing the envelope on product categories.

We're also seeing a lot of other automakers -- there's a Toyota (NYSE:TM) booth right behind us, there's a General Motors (NYSE:GM) booth over here -- what other products out there are interesting and do you admire, in this category at large, that you really respect what other companies are doing, pushing the envelope in fuel efficiency and new car designs?

Ford Representative: I think all of it's great. These are all of our competitors, but at the same time the people that are in this sustainability space, everyone -- especially Ford -- is really trying to move, and that's the whole purpose of this concept: "Let's start the public dialogue about what's possible," about taking cars, on one hand, that you used to be able to plug into the grid, and now they can use sunshine.

The Toyota booth right over here is showing a fuel cell vehicle; fantastic. I think what Ford has been saying is, there's not going to be a single solution here. It's going to be "and" -- an "and" solution, not an "or" solution. There's going to be a breadth of technologies that are needed to move everyone into this space of greener transportation.

Whether it's fuel cell, whether it's a solar energy car, whether it's pure electric, I think there's going to be a spectrum, and it's all good, especially with public consciousness growing every single year about some of the different choices that they might have in coming years.

Austin Smith owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors and owns shares of 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.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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