Seeking Alpha

John Petersen

 
View as an RSS Feed
View John Petersen's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Plug-in Vehicles and Their Dirty Little Secret [View article]
    As I said in the article, I'd love to see a scholarly analysis of what the facts are today and will be for the next five and ten years for each of the regional grids in the US. It's beyond my capabilities but you obviously think you're up to the task. When can I expect a draft?
    Jan 6, 2011. 09:54 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-in Vehicles and Their Dirty Little Secret [View article]
    I'd be flabbergasted to learn that 1 in 100 Americans knows what the fuel mix for his electric power is.

    The point is that calling EVs zero emissions is deceptive consumer advertising and a gross violation of fundamental principles of State and Federal law.

    When EV manufacturers start advertising "Turn your car into a coal burner," I'll stop complaining.

    One of the most consistently deceptive things EV advocates do is insist on comparing EVs with ICE - our best against your worst. If you really want to make an effective and reasonable argument in this space, you need to start comparing an EV with an HEV.
    Jan 6, 2011. 09:49 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-in Vehicles and Their Dirty Little Secret [View article]
    They're not more efficient if you back all the way up to the black earth of a coal mine or oil well and start your calculations there. This is one of the mythology claims that doesn't stand up to careful analysis.
    Jan 6, 2011. 09:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-in Vehicles and Their Dirty Little Secret [View article]
    I'm actually a huge fan of baby steps, because in my experience that's the way the world works. Today a Prius class HEV needs a 1.5 kWh battery to reduce fuel consumption by 40%; a Volt needs a 16 kWh battery to reduce fuel consumption by 75% to 80% and a Leaf needs a 24 kWh battery to reduce it by 100%. If there are no short term emissions benefits from plugs, it seems far more sensible to move all transportation to HEVs before putting a plug on anything. Once we've cut domestic consumption by 40%, then we can focus on the higher hanging fruit.

    I keep hoping that some generating and storage technologies will emerge that truly are game changers. For now anyway, the best I can see in my crystal ball are modest incremental improvements.
    Jan 6, 2011. 09:43 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-in Vehicles and Their Dirty Little Secret [View article]
    The more relevant statistic is that 10 million kWh of batteries will be enough to cover about 1/8 of the anticipated growth in electric two-wheeled vehicles, which are about the only class of EVs that make economic sense.
    Jan 6, 2011. 09:05 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-in Vehicles and Their Dirty Little Secret [View article]
    The Chinese are pretty clear that they have no particular reservations about burning coal instead of gasoline, particularly when it's better for their domestic economy to do so.

    I like KNDI because of its business model. I hate the US plug-in industry because calling an EV zero emissions is false and deceptive advertising to consumers.
    Jan 6, 2011. 08:51 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-in Vehicles and Their Dirty Little Secret [View article]
    Diurnal price arbitrage requires an extremely cheap storage system and it's not something that's likely to become cost effective any time soon. Last February I did an article on a study from Sandia that identifies 17 grid-based applications, puts an estimated value on each of them, and attempts to estimate the marked demand. While the total is about $200 billion, only a fraction can be served with available technology.

    seekingalpha.com/artic...
    Jan 6, 2011. 08:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-in Vehicles and Their Dirty Little Secret [View article]
    KNDI's big potential isn't so much sales to the US as sales of cheap entry level EVs in China. There they'll be implementing a battery swapping system in partnership with the battery manufacturer and the biggest electric utility in China. While I'm not a fan of cars with plugs because people are so clever when it comes to abusing their toys, a swapping system in a more tightly controlled economy in partnership with the utility that will generate the power has a lot going for it.

    I've long believed that the US should move as much transportation to CNG as possible. Part of my reasoning is emissions, but the bigger part is that 100% of CNG revenue will recirculate in the domestic economy and provide a 5x or greater benefit from the fiscal multiplier effect.

    My favorite concept car ever was a full-hybrid CNG fueled Camry that Toyota built for the 2008 LA Auto show. It's emission footprint was so far below the black earth to wheels footprint of a BEV that it was almost funny.
    Jan 6, 2011. 06:32 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-in Vehicles and Their Dirty Little Secret [View article]
    The rooftop solar system has a virtue for generating green electricity. That virtue does not, however, transfer to the device that uses the virtuous electricity. Once the electrons leave the solar panel it does not matter whether they power an EV or a light bulb and neither use makes them any more virtuous.

    By the way, the last time I checked solar panels are not much good for night time charging.
    Jan 6, 2011. 06:25 AM | 27 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Storage: Cheap Is Still Beating Cool [View article]
    As you move away from batteries and go further up the supply chain the analytical issues are different and the companies get harder to compare in something like a blog. They also tend to move away from being pure-plays and become more diversified. That makes them different enough that I tend to stay away.
    Jan 6, 2011. 12:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Storage: Cheap Is Still Beating Cool [View article]
    So far ZBB looks like a good example of what happens when a small company moves out of the research and development stage and turns the corner.

    ZBB started as a $6 stock in the Summer of 2007. It got crushed in the 2008 crash and traded down to a low of $0.35 a few months ago. It's a little early to predict the strength of ZBB's rebound, but my experience is that stock prices oscillate up and down from a realistic fair value. When the pendulum shifts away from a long-term undervaluation, the move to the upside is frequently comparable in magnitude to the swing to the downside. Then you see another down cycle that's less severe than the first one. Over a few cycles, the magnitude of the oscillation falls off and the price stabilizes.

    It's almost impossible to predict when a small company will turn the corner and it's usually hard to identify a single event that marked the turn. Since the rear view mirror is the only reliable way to identify a turning point, the trick is to find a company you like, buy in at an entry level that looks like a solid basement and wait. Sometimes it takes the patience of Job, but the returns can be a lot of fun.
    Jan 5, 2011. 03:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Storage: Cheap Is Still Beating Cool [View article]
    I still have more than a few reservations about EVs as you'll see in coming days. For people who insist on owning an EV investment, however, I think Kandi's the best bet.
    Jan 5, 2011. 01:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Storage: Cheap Is Still Beating Cool [View article]
    When Valence starts making some significant progress I'll have nothing but good things to say about it. Until the progress starts, however, it would be irresponsible for me to tell readers that I'm confident progress will be made. Every stock purchase involves a leap of faith in a company, its technology and the people who will make it all work. I'm not ready to take that leap with Valence at its current price.
    Jan 5, 2011. 01:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Storage: Cheap Is Still Beating Cool [View article]
    Kandi's coming out of the development stage and at this point in its development P/E is a pretty worthless number. It's stock trades at 3.2 times book value and 3.3 times TTM sales. Neither of those is out of line and they certainly compare favorably with Tesla's ratios of 10 times book and 25 times sales.
    Jan 4, 2011. 03:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Energy Storage Investors Must Understand Newton's Laws [View article]
    It's always nice when somebody points out that I'm being overly generous to EVs rather than unfairly critical. Many thanks!
    Jan 4, 2011. 05:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
30,231 Comments
44,310 Likes