Toyota Heats Up The Race To Electrification

Tesla is still leading the way to electrification. Nio and other well known Chinese electric car makers are revving up their effort in competing both against Tesla and the old-school Internal Combustion Engine car manufacturers. Since electrification requires fewer moving parts, the cars should be less complicated to produce and streamline the supply chain — but there are limits still in improving the electrification process. One of such limits is the battery range. Another is the battery’s not so robust recharge cycle amount before the degradation of a battery begins to take place when every time it gets charged up.

No worry though, I think Tesla is doing its best to improve these limits. Lately, Nio upgraded 75 kWh battery technology to 100 kWh, and this means Nio’s car owners now can either choose to use the old tech battery or upgrade to a newer one which is the 100 kWh. The 100 kWh battery allows Nio cars to have a better mileage range. Nio’s 100 kWh battery allows Nio cars, depending on the vehicle sizes, to travel up to 615 km (382 miles) per charge. Other EV (Electrical Vehicle) makers are not idling by either because they’re too improving the battery tech and getting rid of more limits in the electrification process.

Besides improving the battery tech, sometimes it’s also better to reinvent the wheel, and so other EV innovators are coming up with ways of reinventing the whole EV battery tech altogether. Instead of relying on the common lithium-ion battery tech which relies on a liquid electrolytic solution, some EV innovators are hard at work in pushing out solid-state battery tech which gives a better recharged time. For example, QuantumScape — which went public recently through a SPAC (Special Purpose Acquisition Company) merger — is promising to push out solid-state battery tech which allows an EV battery to be recharged about 80% but it takes only 15 minutes to do so. QuantumScape mentioned that they will begin the manufacturing process around 2024 to get this tech onto the market — which is four years from now.

Here I thought QuantumScape is already a game-changer, then suddenly Toyota announces that they will release an EV in 2021 with a solid-state battery tech that allows the vehicle to be fully recharged within 10 minutes. I think the age of electrification is now heating up and ready to go much farther in terms of overtaking the traditional ICE makers fast. Check out a cool video right after the break where Toyota boasts about their electrification process of Lexus cars in the near future.

The Future Is EVs!

Electric vehicles are hot at the moment because these cars are being promoted as futuristic rides. Most importantly, companies that are trying to build EVs — are trying to marry the most futuristic technologies into these EVs such as fully autonomous driving. In the United States, we got Tesla, but in China, there are hundreds (or probably more since I don’t know the exact number but I know there are a lot of them) of new EV makers compete for the same niche but eat away the traditional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car market. For Chinese EV makers, I’m particularly interested in Nio, Geely, and now Aiways.

As we all know the largest EV market in the whole wide world is in China. So, it’s natural for me to be very interested in the Chinese EV makers. Aiways is different than the other two EV makers I mentioned because Aiways isn’t yet a public corporation/company — and only a three-year-old (private) company. Yet, Aiways can already deliver Aiways U5 to the European market. This means Aiways is the first Chinese car company to deliver EV cars outside of China (homegrown) market. This makes me wish for Aiways to start an IPO (Initial Public Offering) soon so investors around the world can begin investing in Aiways’ adventure as a hot new EV maker.

I just sold all of my Nio position when Nio hit $9.26. Now, Nio is like around $12.88 at closing for the day. I guess I had sold Nio a bit too early. Anyhow, why did I sell all of my Nio position? Well, I read several news articles that had mentioned that the U.S. is trying to pass a bill that would target several Chinese companies that are being listed on the U.S. stock exchange. Since Nio has the support of China’s local government Hefei (capital of Anhui province), I fear that Nio could be one of those Chinese companies that would be targeted since it’s being listed on the U.S. stock exchange. This bill was passed by the Senate and is now in the process of getting ready to go through the House. If the House is going to pass this bill too, I think the chance is high for many Chinese companies to be targeted by this bill. This bill is the reason I’m not so hot for Nio.

What I’ve read so far on the web is that several big-name Chinese companies such as Alibaba are either already listing or going to list their shares on Hong Kong’s stock exchange because they are ready for the days that they could no longer list their stocks on the U.S. stock exchanges. I surmise that Nio might think about this too but I have no insight on if Nio would do this or not. In reality, I got no info on what Nio would do as I’m just another investor who got his info on Nio through the Internet.

I have bought some shares of Geely on Hong Kong’s stock exchange through a U.S. stockbroker. I’m interested in Geely because this company is also trying to build awesome EVs. Geely also owns Volvo, a 10% share of Daimler (if I remember correctly), Lynk & Co, PROTON, and Lotus. I think Volvo is a very good brand, and Geely is doing an awesome job in upkeeping the brand’s good name. I also like Lotus since I love its new supercar Evija (2000hp).

Geely is also well known for making affordable cars for China’s local consumers. If I’m not wrong I think Geely delivered around 2.1 million cars in 2019. This means Geely is no joke! Latest but very well received compact SUV from Geely is Coolray.

Geely is also supporting Volvo’s Polestar to come out with their own EVs. I’m interested in Polestar Precept.

In conclusion, I’m interested in investing in China’s car market because I think China’s huge population of 1.4 billion people and counting is also interested in buying Chinese cars. Furthermore, Chinese car companies will venture out of their homegrown market and start selling cars in Europe and elsewhere in the world. As a small investor, I love to look for more ways to generate income, and so investing in Chinese automakers is a no brainer for me. I think EV automakers will be able to eat away a huge chunk of traditional (ICE) automakers’ market share. I think the future in terms of cars is EVs and not of ICE types of cars. Naturally, I’m interested in investing in EV automakers.

Disclaimer: I had bought shares of Nio but sold them. I’m currently owning some shares of Geely (Hong Kong) through a U.S. broker. Naturally, I’m biased toward Nio and Geely in a positive manner. This means I love to see these companies do well in developing futuristic cars and selling new cars. I do not give out stock advice. This blog post is all about my opinions on what I think of what stocks I like to invest or have invested in. So, please do your homework before investing in anything and do not take my opinions as stock advice and risk losing real money.

RC Car Runs And Charges On Water Fuel Source

Whenever I see this I go crazy!  OK, what on earth I’m dabbling about?  Crazy what?  It’s about the RC car which runs on water.  No, it’s not running over the water like a magician’s illusion, but it’s a miracle still to see RC car uses water as a fuel source.  This sort of nagging me why we can’t do the same for real cars?  Imagine how much more energy independence we can be as a society if we can use water as a fuel source!

OK, I already hear that some people might just go crazy over this idea in a very bad way.  Some people might not like this idea at all since water supposes to be a very important fuel source for humans, therefore we should not use it as a fuel source for cars.  For an example, foods should not be a source of fuel for anything but humans.

Nonetheless, I don’t suggest that water should be the only fuel source for cars.  Instead, I think our cars should be adaptable in a way that our cars should be able to be powered by many fuel sources in a combination or not.  For an example, if gasoline is available, then a car should be able to move about with just gasoline fuel source, but when gasoline fuel source got low, it should also be able to switch on its battery fuel source or water fuel source or whatever fuel source (or switching on all fuel source — not hybrid but it’s like many-many-brid).

Anyhow, I think if we’re too depending on a single fuel source for our whatever needs, we will be in trouble since all fuel sources do have their limitations.  Even the sun would die when its fuel sources run out!  Check out the video which shows an RC car that can be charged and ran on water fuel source right after the break.  By the way, this RC car could also be controlled by a smartphone app.

China To Build Straddling Buses? Freeing Up Traffic And Providing Self-Efficient Green Energy Public Transportation System?

Artist depiction of the Chinese straddling bus...

Artist depiction of the Chinese straddling bus 3D Express Coach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

China is trying to work on the straddling bus concept.  If my knowledge isn’t too little and too old about this concept, then I’m not wrong about that China is still working on this concept and has yet to actually go ahead and make this concept a reality.  Nonetheless, the video which I will link/embed at the end of this blog post sounds as if China will eventually have straddling bus system in place in the next few years if not less time than that.  Personally, I want to see China successfully transforms this straddling bus concept into a reality.  If straddling buses work miracle in China, the rest of the world will follow suit to have build a better traffic system.  It definitely will improve traffic condition for everyone in the world.

What is straddling bus concept?  Well, if you watch the video that I’m going to link/embed at the end of this blog post, it explains way better than I will ever be able to at the moment.  I’m still not knowing enough about straddling bus concept really.  Nonetheless, it seems that the straddling bus concept might use some sort of green self-charged energy system which will produce zero greenhouse gas effect, consequently it will be a very energy efficient public transportation system for humans.  While behaving as a public transportation for humans, straddling bus concept provides zero obstacle to the normal traffic since straddling bus doesn’t have to be the object which blocks the normal traffic; straddling bus will just move/glide over the normal traffic.

The video after the break explains that straddling bus doesn’t even have to need its own parking space since it can just park anywhere without really disturbing the normal traffic.  Basically, straddling bus can just stop at mid-traffic and yet won’t cause a traffic jam at all.  Of course, if there is another straddling bus that is behind the first one, then the first straddling bus which parked at mid-traffic will be an obstacle for the second one.  Nonetheless, I wonder will straddling bus be able to just switch lane?  At the moment, I don’t think straddling bus can do such a thing unless I’m totally wrong.  Anyhow, I think straddling bus concept is very interesting, and it might be very cool for us to ride on.  Check out the video right after the break to see what the fuss is about a straddling bus concept.

What About Tesla Supercharger Stations? What About China Electric Ambition? What About United States Feet Dragging Electric Ambition?

English: A Tesla Roadster, Reva i and Ford Th!...

English: A Tesla Roadster, Reva i and Ford Th!nk electric cars parked at a free parking and charging station near Akershus fortress in Oslo, Norway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pure electric cars aren’t exactly the kind of cars on most American minds when Americans are out to shop for a new car.  If I’m not mistaken, even in 2012 most Americans probably prefer to shop for cars that rely solely on oil based, gasoline fuel.  These same Americans are probably worrying about global warming, gasoline price hikes, world oil conflicts, and more of the same.  Although they know oil dependency is definitely bad for America, but yet their car shopping behavior is still gearing toward for more gasoline fuel type of cars.  The question is, why on earth people are worrying to death about being addicted to oil and yet they’re refusing to invest and buy products that are not deriving from oil?  An apparent thing to do for these people should have been buying an electric car right?  Wrong!  The facts that explain why most Americans refrain from buying electric cars are well known.  These facts are pure electric cars carry overly expensive price tags and take too long to have the electric battery to be fully charged, and there aren’t enough charging stations around.  These facts speak up the inconveniences that people would not have any of them.  It’s common sense really.  Nobody wants to drive a pure electric car when he or she can just drive a gasoline car without having to seek out for a charging station that might in the end leave the electric car owner strains in the middle of the road, of nowhere; on the top of the previous inconvenience, everyone hates to wait for hours just so his or her car can be refueled; lastly, nobody wants to buy an overly expensive car when nobody can even be sure that the car or the relationship between the car and the car owner would last long enough to have make the overly expensive cost of a pure electric car worthwhile in the end.

Tesla comes to the rescue.  Tesla recently announces that it would install Supercharger stations across the entire United states by the end of 2 year period, and the trend would continue across the world as time progresses.  Tesla touts that Supercharger stations solve the two immediate problems that most people concern about when they think of buying pure electric cars.  The solution to the first immediate problem would be less waiting and more driving.  Tesla touts that it takes only around 30 minutes for a Tesla to be charged by a Supercharger station.  The solution to the second immediate problem would be Tesla Supercharger stations will expand across the United States, allowing Tesla drivers to conveniently recharge/refuel their cars on the need to charge basis; Tesla drivers don’t have to worry about charting specific, crazy route just so a charging station would conveniently be nearby when the battery runs empty.  The bonus for Tesla drivers is that they don’t have to pay for their Tesla cars to be charged up at Supercharger stations, ever.  Yep, Tesla car owners will never have to pay a dime for charging up their cars while on the road.

Unfortunately, just like many other pure electric carmakers, Tesla has yet to build a pure electric car that won’t cost an arm and a leg from a car buyer.  Tesla cheapest model is still going to cost around $49,000.  $49,000 isn’t exactly an attractive car price for most Americans.  Especially, we are living in an economy which huffs and puffs full of smoke, as if the whole engine of a broken car is about to go out for good.  It’s no wonder many Americans are still preferring to be addicted to oil than buying a pure electric car.

Meanwhile, China thinks about going around the electric car inconveniences by making electric car cheaper, battery swappable, and so on.  According to Forbes “The Chinese Key to Electric Car Adoption” article, it seems that China is capable and well positioned to fast track a goal in which to boost domestic use of electric cars in large scale in a short period of time.  China is probably worrying about a very high domestic demand for more cars by her increasing wealthy general population.  Perhaps, China is worrying that too many gasoline type of cars on the road would only lead to more oil dependency and environmental issues at home.  In a way, by looking at China’s healthy economic growth and an overpopulated population, we can make an educated guess that oil dependency in China will be on a scale that might just dwarf every other domestic oil dependency in the world.  Furthermore, as China continues to seek out for more oil, it is entirely possible to predict that China might on a collision course with the United States in battle over oil.  Or has it already begun?

It’s unthinkable to see China and United States might wage war over oil.  China is not a nation that can be pushed around easily anymore.  China has the kind of economic prowess that can help China sustains any ongoing war.  Furthermore, China is now heavily modernizing its entire armed forces, making China to be very capable in defending itself against foreign attacks.  If everything goes wrong, China has its nuclear arsenal to incite world nuclear war.  In short, China knows that she needs to build enough alternative energy infrastructure alongside the oil infrastructure while she is wealthy enough to do so, and by doing this she is well preparing for whatever might happen in the future.  Obviously, oil is also a finite resource, therefore China doesn’t have to predict but know a future which depends entirely on oil infrastructure is not really a future.

Meanwhile, United States seems to care less about alternative energy and care more of “pump baby, pump” — for more oil.  OK, let me take it back.  I think United States does care about the vigor of alternative energy market within the United States, but the United States is having a hard time to get anything right in exciting up her domestic alternative energy market.  Without a thriving domestic alternative energy market, the United States will not be able to export this sort of products to the world.  As time progresses, the world might need to have a thriving world alternative energy market, therefore the unprepared United States will miss big opportunity in exporting alternative energy products to the world.

At the pace at which United States is gearing toward alternative energy, I think it will be a lot longer before the United States can declare that she is no longer an oil addict.  If the United States continues to depend on oil and allow the alternative energies to slip away in disgrace, I think the United States will find herself to be dictated and irritated by more oil conflicts within the world for a long time to come.  More oil conflicts equate to more wars, and I’m not sure the United States economy is healthy enough to allow United States to have so many ongoing wars at the same time or on an ongoing basis.

In summary, I think Tesla is an inspiration for the United States’ alternative energy market.  In fact, Tesla might also inspire other companies to be even more environmental conscious when they release products into the general market.  Tesla can be green with Elon Musk.  Elon Musk is a founder of Tesla, and he is also a chairman of SolarCity.  According to Elon Musk, SolarCity can help Supercharger stations to generate more energy from solar power than the power that will be siphoned away by Tesla cars.  No wonder Tesla’s ploy of allowing free of charge for charging up a Tesla at any Supercharger station is feasible.  As Tesla pushing ahead for a greener energy market and a more polite world energy politics, I think the United States needs to create an environment that allows companies such as Tesla to thrive so the domestic energy future won’t be so relied on oil.  After all, the more choices we have, the better, right?  I like to end this blog post with a wish.  I wish the players within alternative energy market will standardize their green technology.  A great example of the benefits from having to set the standards for alternative, green technology is all electric cars can be charged at whatever electric charging station and not having to worry about driving the right brand of electric cars.

Disclosure:  At the time I’m writing this blog post (i.e., 09/25/2012), I do not have any investment (i.e., stocks) with the companies that I had mentioned within this blog post.  Nonetheless, I have been purchasing up stocks from a Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate battery and energy storage system maker, and I had not mentioned this company at all within this blog post.  I do believe that alternative energy market will help stabilize the vicious demand for more energy around the world, and I do believe China will be a major alternative energy player.  I hope United States will also be a major alternative energy player.  I intend to buy more alternative energy related stocks whenever my wallet allows me to do so.