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The alternative fuel automobiles use electric motors for propulsion, instead of the internal combustion engine. All the major car companies have been jumping on the hybrid and electric car bandwagon, including Ford (F), General Motors, and Toyota (TM). But electric cars are not something new.

Electric automobiles were very common in Europe during the late 1800s. In 1897, the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company of Philadelphia produced a fleet of electric taxis for New York City. In France, in 1899, the 100 kilometers per hour speed barrier was broken by an electric car.

Electric cars are far less expensive than gasoline powered cars, many with a cost advantage of four to one. In addition, electric cars have the advantage of the regenerative braking systems, which recapture the kinetic energy of the vehicle that is used to recharge the batteries when brakes are applied. Plus, the cost to service an electric car is much lower.

Obviously, the key to the production of electric cars is the battery, and lithium ion batteries are currently the most widely used in electric cars.

The major automobile companies, including Honda (HMC), Toyota, and Ford, are involved in electric car production of course, but it is still a small portion of their business. Tesla Motors Inc., one of the leading manufacturers of electric cars, is unfortunately currently unavailable to the general public. However, they have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that they are planning an IPO (Initial Public Offering), but haven't announced a date of the offering at the time of this writing.

However, there is an indirect way of investing in Tesla. Investors can buy shares of Daimler AG (DAI), which owns a small portion, less than ten percent, of Tesla.

Here is a list of companies involved in the production of electric vehicle and lithium ion batteries.

Kandi Technologies, Corp (KNDI), which is based in Jinhua, China, has a strategic alliance with Tianneng Power International and China Potevio/CNOOC New Energy and Power, Ltd. to develop totally electric vehicles. The company also manufactures all-terrain vehicles, go-karts, golf carts, motorcycles, and mini-cars. This is a very low capitalization stock.

Magna International, Inc. (MGA) is an Ontario, Canada based company, which has a division, Magna E-Car Systems, that provides integration of components and systems, as well as the development and production of innovative complete-vehicle solutions, from engineering to turnkey systems, for all hybrid and electric vehicle programs around the world. Magna also manufactures other automotive systems, assemblies, modules, and products.

A123 Systems, Inc. (AONE), is a Watertown, Massachusetts based company, which makes and markets rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and battery systems. The company is involved in a joint venture with SAIC Motor Co. Ltd. to produce complete vehicle traction battery systems used in hybrid electric and pure electric passenger vehicles.

Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc. (OTCPK:ABAT) through its subsidiary, Heilongjiang ZhongQiang Power-Tech Co., Ltd., makes and sells rechargeable polymer lithium-ion batteries in China. The company is based in New York City.

Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. (ALTI), based in Reno, Nevada, develops and manufactures nano lithium titanate battery cells, batteries, and battery packs. This is a very low cap stock.

China BAK Battery, Inc. (CBAK) makes and sells various standard and customized lithium ion rechargeable batteries. The batteries are used in light electric vehicles, and hybrid electric vehicles, along with other products.

Chemical & Mining Co. of Chile Inc. [Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile] (SQM), based in Santiago, produces lithium carbonate for use in various applications, including batteries lithium hydroxide as a raw material in the battery industry, and lithium metal for use for the production of aluminum-lithium alloys and lithium primary batteries.

Ener1, Inc. (HEV), based in New York City, develops, makes and markets rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and battery systems. The company's lithium-ion batteries are used in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles, buses, and trucks.

Polypore International, Inc. (PPO) provides polypropylene and polyethylene monolayer and multilayer membrane separators for lithium batteries for the use in personal electronic devices, hybrid electric vehicles, and other electric vehicles.

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. (QTWW), based in Irvine, California, produces propulsion systems, energy storage technologies, and alternative fuel vehicles. The company's products include lithium-ion battery systems, electronic controls, hybrid electric drive and control systems, and hydrogen storage and metering systems. This is a very low cap stocks.

UQM Technologies Inc. (UQM), based in Frederick, Colorado, develops and makes permanent magnet electric motors and electronic controllers, generators, power electronic controllers, and related products for electric, hybrid electric, and fuel cell electric vehicles. The company products also include electric and hybrid electric propulsion systems, higher power engine generators, electric auxiliaries, vehicle auxiliary actuator motors, electric auxiliary motors, wind turbine power generators, solar panels, and stationary fuel cell power generators. This is a low cap stock.

Valence Technology Inc. (VLNC), based in Austin, Texas, makes and markets its U-Charge energy storage system, which is a suite of products based on proprietary lithium iron magnesium phosphate technology. This is a low cap stock.

ZAP (OTCQB:ZAAP), which is based in Santa Rosa, California, develops electric vehicles and electric vehicle power systems, and has products which include personal transporters and off road vehicles. This is an extremely low cap stock.

Lists of other stocks in green industries, such as ethanol stocks and cloud computing stocks, can be found at at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Disclosure
: Author owns F, AONE, ALTI, and DAI.
Source: 13 Electric Car Stocks