Clean Edge’s recently released 2014 U.S. Clean Tech Leadership Index finds the U.S. clean-tech market making impressive strides in many areas, while still hampered by inaction and inertia in others. As has been the case in recent years — even with encouraging national-level initiatives from the Obama administration — states and cities continue to be where most of the action is.
Last month, Ohio Governor Kasich signed legislation putting a two-year ‘freeze’ on the state’s proven, successful, and money-saving renewable energy standard. Doing so, he is moving Ohio backward as other states move forward, developing job-creating CO2-neutral/CO2-light, clean renewable energy. This new state law freezes economic growth in a sect
By Jeff Siegel
Last week, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA)
announced that its next electric offering — a competitively priced
electric vehicle — will hit the market in 2017.
Dubbed the Model III, the 200-mile-range electric vehicle will go
Certainly this was big news for electric car enthusiasts —
particularly those who can’t afford an $85,000 Model S but yearn to
drive one. But if you regularly follow trends in the electric
vehicle space, at least the way I do, you know Tesla’s announcement
was just one of many big moves in the space over the past few
Truth is, the electric vehicle sector is hotter than ever. And
despite continued empty criticisms by internal combustion
apologists, electric vehicles are here to stay.
This is great news for those who love driving on homegrown
electrons, and it’s great news for investors who are looking for
more than one way to make a few bucks in the energy space…
$50 Billion Bonanza
Around the same time we learned about Tesla’s new Model III, we also
got some fresh energy storage market data from the folks over at Lux
According to the research firm’s latest analysis, energy storage,
driven largely by plug-in electric vehicles, will grow at a
compounded annual growth rate of 8% to $50 billion in 2020.
That’s less than six years away.
Researchers note that electric vehicles are the largest opportunity
in transportation. With modest sales of 440,000 units, electric
vehicles still will use $6.3 billion worth of energy storage — more
than the micro-hybrids, which will have sales two orders of
magnitude higher at 59 million units.
Internal Combustion Blues
One of the more intriguing bits from this recent report is the
“…incremental evolutions like start-stop technology
are leading to significant changes in the energy storage market.
With global sales of 59 million, a 53% market share and $6.1
billion in annual revenue, micro-hybrids will, for the first time,
overtake the conventional internal combustion engine and emerge
the most popular drivetrain by 2020.”
I have to be honest; I never thought I’d see the day when the most
popular drivetrain would be something other than that of
conventional internal combustion.
Of course, this doesn’t mean internal combustion is going gently
into that good night. Such a suggestion would not only be naïve, but
also a bit dishonest. However, it is interesting to see how rapidly
technology is transitioning the personal transportation market.
Heck, I remember when the Toyota Prius was the technologically
superior vehicle when it came to fuel economy. In many ways, it
still is. But it’s so common now that we almost don’t even notice
those little hybrid superstars anymore. With more than 3 million
units sold, such a thing is understandable.
So will the same be said for electric vehicles in another ten years?
I think so.
My prediction is that Tesla will continue to be the most innovative
and aggressive electric vehicle player in the market. Nissan and GM
will continue to push their electric offerings, most likely with
worthwhile upgrades by the end of the decade that’ll enable
increased range and lower pricing.
Of course, if you’re looking for a way to profit from the growth in
energy storage applications, look no further than Tesla’s new
If you’re unfamiliar, the Gigafactory is a $5 billion battery
manufacturing facility that Tesla is building right here in the
When completed, the plant will be massive — capable of producing ten
times the current production level available today. This equates to
the production of 500,000 electric cars every year starting in 2020.
And with this production capability comes economies of scale that
will allow Tesla to slash battery costs. Batteries, by the way,
represent the most expensive component of electric cars.
My friends, Tesla’s current Model S runs about $85,000. But with the
new Gigafactory in place, the company will be able to sell you its
next model — the Model III — for $35,000.
This is a huge game changer, and those who play it right will make a
ton of money.
Now let me clarify: I’m not recommending investing in Tesla here.
I’m talking about investing in the batteries — more specifically,
the companies that will provide Tesla’s Gigafactory with the key
ingredients it will need to produce these batteries.
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