Forecasting company IHS Automotive expects electric vehicle production to surge 67% in 2014. Led by tightening European pollution standards in the second half of 2014, worldwide production is anticipated to hit 403,000 vehicles, up from 242,000 in 2013. While it’s expected that automakers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will build about 40% of electric vehicles this year, the US is expected to build 27% of the total in 2014.
One benefit of the boost in production is a drop in prices. The Nissan Leaf, one of the most popular commercial electric vehicles currently in production, is $6,000 cheaper than the same model was in 2012. This price drop means that more Nissan Leafs are on the streets – a 130% increase, in fact, over 2012. Other electric vehicles with 2013 price drops were the Chevy Volt, Honda Fit EV, Fiat 500e, Ford Focus EV and plug-in version of the Toyota Prius.
Of course, these larger auto companies are not the only players in the electric vehicle game. Small cap companies often make new technology investment into electric vehicle components, charging stations and even entire vehicles. This list of small cap stocks (and one large cap) includes companies that we’ve been following for several years as they continue impacting the electric vehicle market:
Palo Alto, CA-based Tesla Motors (Nasdaq:TSLA) has been on a huge surge for nearly a year. They’re the manufacturers of the Tesla Roadster, the Model S, and additional electric vehicles and electric powertrain components. Because we’ve been following it for some time, we continue to cover it today although it has long since passed out of small cap territory. We include it as an example of what a small cap company can achieve. The last time we covered Tesla, their Model S was the third best selling luxury car in California. INCLUDE ONE SENTENCE ABOUT EARNINGS REPORT ON 2/19. On February 24, TSLA closed at $217.65, up $7.77, with a market cap of $30.12 billion. Its 52 week trading range is $33.80 – $248.00.
Santa Rosa, CA-based ZAP Jonway (OTCMKTS:ZAAP) creates a variety of all-electric vehicles, including motorcycles, trucks, shuttle buses and sedans for both in plant and road use. The company also creates charging stations, including some with wireless connectivity capability to send mobile updates via text and the web, which allow customers to see when their vehicles are charged. ZAP closed February 24 at $0.087, up $0.006, with a market cap of $26.47 million. Its 52 week trading range is $0.07 – $0.27.
Maxwell Technologies Inc (Nasdaq:MXWL), based in San Diego, manufactures ultracapacitors that function as energy storage and power delivery devices for electric vehicles. Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine recently named Maxwell’s Engine Start Module (ESM) one of their top 20 products of the year. MXWL closed February 24 at $8.73, up $0.05, with a market cap of $261.88 million. Its 52 week trading range is $4.90 – $10.39.
Miami Beach, FL-based Car Charging Group Inc (OTCMKTS:CCGI) is a more recent addition to our coverage of electric vehicles. The company builds charging station networks for EV charging. In 2014 alone, the company has announced contracts or expansions in 5 different cities. Last October, the company filed a new patent for an electric vehicle charging station that optimizes charging by “toggling” cars, reducing strain on the grid and letting more electric vehicle operators charge their cars at once. CCGI closed February 24 at $1.19, up a penny, with a market cap of $77.06 million. Its 52 week trading range is $0.71 – $2.00.
The electric vehicle industry has quite a few small cap stocks to watch. Investors who are seeking out a new technology investment may wish to watch this sector for growth. After all, a rising tide lifts all ships, and growth in the electric vehicle industry in 2014 may provide growth for small caps as well.