Article from The Street by Andrea Tse, Sept 2, 2010:
NEW YORK (TheStreet) — In early August, lithium battery producer Valence (VLNC) announced a $13 million energy module order from Smith Electric Vehicles for Smith’s all-electric commercial trucks through 2010.
Valence develops and manufactures lithium iron magnesium phosphate energy-storage products that go into electric commercial vehicles and industrial and marine equipment.
The $13 million order it received arrived on the heels of President Barack Obama’s visit to Smith Electric’s Kansas City manufacturing facility; Smith was recently awarded a $32 million grant from the Department of Energy to produce all-electric, zero-emissions commercial trucks. Robert Kanode, Valence’s CEO was with Obama to support the use of alternative energy for commercial vehicles.
“The whole advantage of starting early [with lithium battery technology],” said Kanode, in an interview with TheStreet, is “there’s trial and error involved. There’s discovery of efficiencies. It’s difficult. The technology is very involved and it takes time to perfect — we’ve invested the time.”
The electric-vehicle market is still in its nascent stages, but if and when it takes off — and many believe that it’ll accelerate with the help of strong government support worldwide — lithium battery product makers will be first in line to benefit.
Some observers say the electric vehicle market may already be outgrowing its nascency. “The industry is already exhibiting signs of a more mature market with Nissan (NSANY) and Mitsubishi already engaged in an EV (electric vehicle) price war,” said Needham analyst Michael Lew. He expects the unit growth of lithium-ion batteries to exceed 3 billion units this year, largely driven by the economic recovery and some help from electronic vehicle product rollouts.
In light of all this, TheStreet sat down with Valence CEO Robert Kanode last month during the Needham Clean Technology Conference, to discuss the future of electric vehicles — and why his company is poised to profit from them.
Read the full article here: http://www.thestreet.com/story/10850725/1/valence-ceo-qa-a-pivotal-year-for-us.html