I'll be the first to admit: When I look at AeroVironment
To me, AV is first and foremost a defense contractor. A scrappy upstart maker of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), dogfighting giants like Boeing
And then there's AV's third field of endeavor: fast-charging reusable batteries. I've always suspected that this "PosiCharge" division could play a role in making GM's
Which shows you how much I know. AV issued a press release yesterday that appears to have serious potential to change the company's revenue make-up. According to the press release: "Toyota
How big a deal is this? I'd love to tell you, but it's hard to come up with an accurate figure. I do know that Toyota is the largest manufacturer of lift trucks (more commonly known as forklifts) in the U.S. It sold $5.5 billion worth of the contraptions in 2006, whereas PosiCharge booked less than $20 million in revenue that year.
Hypothetically, if PosiCharge can piggyback on this giant enough to make its product constitute just 1% of the cost of the lift trucks Toyota sells, this could almost triple AV's annual PosiCharge sales. A 3% sliver would just about equal AV's current sales-leading division, UAVs. And 4% would make AV a battery-charging company with a defense-contracting sideline.
So I repeat, how big a deal is this? I don't know, but I have a hunch it could be huge.
For more on what we do know about AV, read: