Electric Car Stocks Making Moves in 2010

BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Despite its parent company's financial failings in the last decade, Chevrolet's press conference yesterday announcing pricing on its new Volt electric vehicle reminded America that the auto industry still stands to impress with innovation. The Volt is arguably the most anticipated EV in history, offering to bring zero-emissions and electric efficiency to the mass market.

In yesterday's announcement, Chevrolet announced that the Volt would be base priced at $41,000, before a $7,500 tax credit that brings the cost down to $33,500. The company also plans on making a lease option available for $350 per month.

But while GM's offering is the most tangible mass-market electric car out there right now, there's more to the EV market than just the Volt. Here's a look at a handful of electric car stocks that could make moves in 2010.

Tesla Motors ( TSLA) made waves earlier this summer when shares went public in a 13.3 million share IPO that priced on June 29. Since then, shares have languished in the secondary market, tumbling from a high of $30.42 on June 30 to a current price of $20.55. But while Tesla hasn't wowed investors with its share performance just yet, it stands to impress Wall Street with its commercial viability in 2010.

Tesla has carved out an interesting niche in the electric car market, focusing on high-performance luxury autos for the affluent. The company's Tesla Roadster carries a six-figure price tag and is billed as an alternative to traditional gasoline-powered supercars. But perhaps more interesting is the company's Model S, slated to reach customers' garages in 2012. The Model S, a four-door luxury sedan, sports a more modest price tag (the base price is $49,000) and is more practical for daily drivers.

But while Tesla's own models are the public face of the company, some of its biggest prospects are in partnerships with other carmakers. The company has already penned a potentially lucrative deal with Toyota ( TM), the terms of which investors will get a taste of when Tesla announces second-quarter 2010 numbers on Aug. 4.

Another developmental stock that's garnered attention for its EV technology is battery maker A123 Systems ( AONE), which IPO'd in late 2009. With batteries taking center stage as the most important component of any EV platform, A123's value to automakers is immense. The company's next-generation lithium ion offerings stand to give manufacturers their needed power at a substantial weight savings to previous iterations. And as EVs become commonplace, A123's market could expand greatly.

A123 had been in the running as a supplier for the Chevy Volt, but it's being reported that the Volt's battery system is being provided by South Korea's LG Chem instead.

With substantial cash burn in A123's coffers, this stock is nothing if not a speculative play. But increasing market hype over EV offerings could help buoy share prices in the mid-term shares are already poised for strong performance today. Keep a close eye on buyout rumors that are flooding the Street this week.

Even though GM has earned most of the electric car credibility lately, other manufacturers have stepped up to the plate, ready to deliver their own electric offerings to consumers. Among them is Ford ( F).

Ford stands out as the league leader in American cars. The only carmaker to not need government bailout money, and the first to climb back into profitability, Ford has deservedly returned more than 30% gains to investors already this year. And the company could offer up bigger returns with its forthcoming EV plans.

Like GM, Ford plans on releasing dedicated EV models that aren't offered in gas-fuelled varieties. It also plans on releasing an electric version of the insanely popular Focus. But while Ford talks of its plans for an electric future, the company's keeping its cards close to its chest.

Instead, Ford's public focus continues to be increasing quality and corporate efficiency. This stock should continue to be a Wall Street favorite in 2010.
More on Ford

Toyota's EV aspirations are a bit more obvious. The company's development deal with Tesla gives it an instant edge over carmakers that need to build an EV team from scratch, and so does its electric car track record. Toyota produced an electric variant of the Rav4 between 1997 and 2003. As with GM's EV1, scores of the cars were scrapped as corporate leases ended -- but unlike the EV1, many electric Rav4s are still on the road today thanks to a cult following.

The company's hoping to capitalize on that by offering a brand new electric version of its Rav4. With recall drama still plaguing Toyota's share price, switching consumers' focus on a new electric car could finally get the company out of the doghouse.

To see these electric car plays in action, check out the Electric Car Stocks Portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

RELATED LINKS:



Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.

More from Investing

When Is It 'Worth It' to Work With a Financial Advisor?

When Is It 'Worth It' to Work With a Financial Advisor?

Amazon, Microsoft and Google Face Backlash over ICE, Military Deals

Amazon, Microsoft and Google Face Backlash over ICE, Military Deals

3 Great Stock Market Sectors Millennials Should Invest In

3 Great Stock Market Sectors Millennials Should Invest In

Why Millennials Are Ditching Stocks for ETFs

Why Millennials Are Ditching Stocks for ETFs

Trump's 'Space Force' Could Launch a $1 Trillion Industry, Morgan Stanley Says

Trump's 'Space Force' Could Launch a $1 Trillion Industry, Morgan Stanley Says