‘Auto Electrification’ – Obama/Schwarzenegger Plan for Millions of Plug-In Electric Cars a Boon to Chip Makers & Power Companies

January 29, 2009

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ — At his first White House press conference Monday President Obama declared “the days of Washington dragging its heels are over” and ordered an immediate review of the Bush administration’s refusal to give California authority to enforce tough new emission and fuel efficiency standards on gas and diesel powered automobiles.

For more than two years California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has sought to impose stricter standards on automobile manufacturers in an effort to spur adoption of plug-in electric cars. The Obama administration signaled it will grant California’s request in a matter of weeks. Eighteen other States, representing nearly half the nation’s population, have indicated they will follow California’s lead – establishing the framework for a new nationwide market for plug-in electric cars.

Obama’s push for electric cars is closely linked to his $11 billion high voltage “superhighway” passed last night by the House as part of the $819 billion economic stimulus. Obama’s Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Jon Wellinghoff, stated regulators and automobile manufacturers must integrate the new plug-in electric vehicles into the national power grid. “If you’re an automobile company, you’d better get on the bandwagon…because there is definitely going to be a move toward electrification,” said Wellinghoff.

Obama’s bold moves on the transmission grid and electric cars are widely viewed as a bonanza for semiconductor makers and power companies. Stephen Ahrens of Fairchild Semiconductors (NYSE: FCS) prophetically stated in Forbes, “even when we get to only 5% or 10% of vehicles as hybrid – it’s still a huge deal for the power semiconductor business.”

This week National Semiconductor’s (NYSE: NSM) Luann Jenkins highlighted the importance of chips in the development of electric cars. “We currently have 25 ICs in the Tesla Roadster, for example.” The Tesla is a new electric car backed by Silicon Valley investors.

Wind electric companies such as NACEL Energy (OTC Bulletin Board: NCEN) and AEP (NYSE: AEP) are prime beneficiaries of an enhanced electrical grid. Both NACEL and AEP develop wind power projects in western states and need the increased transmission access to metropolitan areas President Obama’s $11 billion high voltage initiative is expected to provide.

Last week analysts at Barclays Capital raised their price target on AEP to $42. AEP closed at $31.76 yesterday. CNBC guest analyst Francis Gaskins has a $4.00 price target on NACEL Energy. Denver based NACEL closed yesterday at $1.84.

A Before the BellTM renewable energy update

Before the Bell is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, CRD number 2382884.

SOURCE Before the Bell

Source: newswire

comments powered by Disqus