I know it goes against the Hollywood story line, but when David gears up to fight Goliath, the smart money bets on Goliath. And Goliath, in this instance, is General Electric
As you probably know by now, American automakers are hawking a new wonder-product to the American consumer: the electric car. It's gonna save the environment, and it'll save us all money at the fuel pump. Global warming? Squelched. Mideast oil? No longer a concern. And on top of everything else, it'll make investors rich -- or so Tesla
Down here on Main Street, some Fools buy the hype, and others don't. But up on Wall Street, they're going in for the Electric Revolution whole hog. Tiny AeroVironment
Why all the enthusiasm for AC/DC fuel pumps? According to The Wall Street Journal, it's because the car-charging market is set to run 1,500% higher, from last year's $69 million in global sales to $1.13 billion in 2013. To hear GE tell it, sales of car chargers will actually outpace sales of electric cars themselves, averaging "2.2 chargers installed for every electric vehicle sold in the first several years" of this market.
And GE's putting its money where its press releases are. Last year, the company made headlines with a billion-dollar-promise to buy 25,000 e-cars over the next few years, and it plans to deploy 35,000 "WattStation" chargers to support the fleet. By way of comparison, if every single Leaf in Nissan's initial production run sells out, and every single customer buys one for his or her garage, that will add up to just 20,000 units sold for AeroVironment. AV has other customers, of course, but its ballyhooed partnership with NRG Energy
You can bet on the underdog if you want. But try not to get stomped.
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Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares of any company named above. General Motors is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. AeroVironment is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. The Fool owns shares of Ford, which is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. 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.