Changing the way we get around isn't an easy task. After all, we're Americans. We do what we want. If that means you want to drive an SUV on your 50-mile commute by yourself every day, well by golly, that's what we're going to do.
But as the price of gasoline goes up, consumers are starting to reconsider how we get around. Even the president and Congress have taken notice of alternative transportation sources. This week, I outlined five stocks that will benefit from a transition to natural gas fuel, but now it's time to take this revolution a step further and see who is going to make electric vehicles happen.
The hidden key to electric vehicles is really the fueling station that people will use to top off their rides when the need arises, in addition to home plug-ins. That infrastructure is being built rather quickly because all it takes is a spot you can park and the right charger.
The charger market has competition from such big names as General Electric
For a quick peek at how this build-out is taking place, you can download the ChargePoint app from Coulomb Technologies. It's just one network of chargers, but you can check where chargers are and if they're available. For example, 19 chargers are currently in use around the country.
Now for the fun stuff
Once we have a way to charging system in place, it's a little easier to envision spending the extra money on an electric vehicle. And the company leading the charge is Tesla Motors
Last but not least is the company that has a chance to change the world -- or crash and burn in the process. Quantum Technologies
And when we're ready to take a big leap forward, Quantum is developing equipment for a hydrogen infrastructure for vehicles. It currently has eight hydrogen refueling stations in the U.S.
Quantum has its hands in a lot of emerging industries like electric vehicles, hydrogen fueling, and solar vehicle charging, but its financial house isn't exactly in order. Last quarter, the company lost $7.8 million and has just $2.5 million in cash on its balance sheet. If the company survives, I like the markets it plays in, but that's a big "if" right now. But what would innovation be without a little risk?
Foolish bottom line
Aerovironment, Tesla Motors, and Quantum Technologies are three of the most innovative companies in the electric vehicle business right now and have a chance to change the way we drive.
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Fool contributor Travis Hoium owns shares of Aerovironment and would love to buy a Tesla Roadster or Fisker Karma. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw.
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