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Metal-Air Battery Stocks

Earlier this year, we added metal air batteries and the companies who are working to commercialize the technology on our list of promising acts to follow. The Israeli battery developer, Phinergy, was added to our Mothers of Invention Index. Back when I wrote the post “More in the Air than Spring” back in April 2013, Phinergy had attracted a bit of attention for a road test of Citroen C1 car outfitted with a technology far different than conventional lithium ion. No one knows Phinergy. It is too small and too foreign to impress U.S. investors. I did not expect anyone to really pay much attention.

In June 2013, a U.S. company with a very high profile was awarded a patent related to metal air battery technology. This has put the words ‘metal-air’ on the tongues of nearly every investor and pundit across the country – electric sports car phenom Tesla Motors (TSLA: Nasdaq). It seems quixotic for a small-fry like Phinergy to chase after unproven battery technologies. However, when the arguably most financially successful electric car producer in the country stakes a claim on the same technology, it is time to take it seriously.

Notably Tesla’s patent addresses the linkage of lithium-ion with metal-air batteries as first and second battery packs for an electric car. This is the same strategy that was being tested in the Citroen C1 by Phinergy. The idea is to extend the driving range by making available a high energy intensity power source like the metal-air battery that is better equipped for the long trip.
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