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As the long-lasting trend to higher energy and transportation fuel costs continues to rise tremendously, lots of consumers and businesses have started to look to alternatives as a means to power their cars. Everything from fuel cells to natural gas is getting the nod.

However, one such growing alternative is a bit more “energy”.

Plug-in hybrid electric cars (PHEVs), are poised to gain appeal as a greater focus is placed on energy effectiveness, fuel economy and reducing carbon exhausts. It’s a winner that over the long term, consumers will eventually switch over out their gasoline-powered vehicles for rechargeable or hybrid designs. The concern for investors is exactly how long they’ll certainly need to wait for their bets to settle. That response could come faster than the majority of think.

Slow, But Ramping Up  

While the change towards a hybrid and PHEV future has actually been sluggish going. Sales of the cars have actually been frustrating as high acquisition rates and issues resulting from nature of the vehicles themselves- charging times, array stress and anxiety, and the absence of charging infrastructure. A number of aspects are now moving towards the sectors favor and the variety of PHEV’s on our roadways could surge over the next years.

According to cleantech think-tank Pike Study, hybrid power cars (HEVs), plug-in hybrid energy cars (PHEVs) and battery electric cars (BEVs) will certainly all continue to catch a bigger section of the total vehicle market. Pike’s most recent little study shows that yearly worldwide sales of energy automobiles (EVs) will certainly reach 3.8 million by 2020.

Driven by the popularity of designs such as Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S and Nissan’s (OTCBB: NSANY) Leaf, Pike estimates that sales of plug-in EVs will grow at a compound yearly development rate of nearly 40 % for the rest of the decade. That compares with simply a CAGR of 2 % for the general auto market.

Driving that growth is the accessibility of charging infrastructure and various customer incentives.

Pike’s research reveals that there are now more than 64,000 electricity car charging stations currently functional worldwide. Right here in America, that number is still expanding. Municipal car park, shopping malls and bistros are adding new charging stations in spades, while a collation of eight states just recently revealed an enthusiastic task to establish EV fueling infrastructure and rewards for developing EV-ready public realty.

Getting Charged On PHEV’s

With charging issues and range-anxiety beginning to dwindle, now might be PHEV’s time to shine. Perhaps more notably, aside from Tesla- and its 400 % annual gain- most of the sector is presently trading for peanuts versus their potential. That gives investors lots of bargains to select from.

One of the best could be AeroVironment (NASDAQ: AVAV). While best understood for its military unmanned drones, the company is also a leading producer of both fleet and home EV charging equipment. AVAV continues to acquire deals with automakers including Nissan, Ford (NYSE: F) and Fiat (OTCBB: FIATY) in addition to municipal contracts. AeroVironment is setting up the EV infrastructure for Washington and Oregon along the ‘West Coastline Electric Freeway’, which will extend from Canada to Mexico. All this is excellent news for AVAV’s growth and investors.

The power and hybrid cars motion can be summed-up in one word- batteries. And both Panasonic (OTCBB:PCRFY) and Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) can be 2 of best players. Panasonic currently is Tesla’s major provider of hybrid batteries for its popular power automobiles. Meanwhile, Johnson Controls continues to expand into the lithium and hybrid battery market with deals. Both can represent two of the real winners long term in the EV race.

For those investors trying to find more comprehensive choices in the battery world, the Global X Lithium ETF (NYSE: LIT) must be the go to play. The ETF tracks 19 different lithium miners and advanced battery makers. Leading holdings consist of Sociedad Quimica Chile (NYSE:SQM) and Rockwood Holdings (NYSE: ROC). Just as crucial to innovative batteries as lithium, metals such as neodymium are required. The Market Vectors Rare Earth Metals ETF (NYSE: REMX) follows a basket of strategic minerals manufacturers. Both have actually been beaten down very terribly over the last couple of years and can be deals longer term.

The Bottom Line

As transport costs continue to increase, energy and hybrid automobiles are once again going back to the limelight. New reports show that previous difficulties to the market- such as range fears and a lack of charging infrastructure- are being dominated and the sector has a rosy future ahead. For investors, now can be the time to bet on the sector’s future supremacy. The previous picks are a wonderful means to exposure to PHEVs in a profile.

Disclosure – At the time of composing, the author didn’t own shares of any business pointed out in this post.