Balqon Corp (OTCBB: BLQN), a forerunner in the development of eco-friendly electric shipping vehicles, has also been making waves in the energy storage business with its unique lithium battery technology. Lithium batteries are fast becoming a leading source of energy storage for solar and wind energy to power cars, homes, and even commercial buildings. As the science behind lithium batteries advances, the cost of production is reaching all-time lows, and Balqon has made numerous strides to position itself as one of the newest leaders in a rapidly growing industry. Trading at $.30 per-share with a market cap of 11M, Balqon reported a 159% increase in year-over-year revenues for quarter one of 2012, and the expansion of its interests in lithium battery technology is one of the driving forces in the company’s remarkable results.
On July 30th, Balqon introduced a new series of lithium battery called HIQAP™, which the company has made available in 12, 24, and 48-volt configurations. Designed as a replacement to current lead acid battery technology, the new HIQAP™ model employs Balqon’s proprietary Battery Management System (BMS) and features a low battery internal resistance which makes for 15% greater efficiency during energy transfer than current lead acid battery technologies previously offered. Additionally, Balqon CEO Balwinder Samra has stated that, “growing worldwide concern over lead contamination resulting from lead acid batteries can hamper sustainable growth of the solar industry. HIQAP™’s low cost, high efficiency, long life, and zero maintenance can help long-term growth of the renewable energy industry.”
Balqon’s lithium batteries also turned heads in the industry back in May, when a one- Megawatt Hour storage system developed by the company was installed to power the Bourns College of Engineering building at the University of California, Riverside. The installation was part of a $2 million two-year project awarded to the college’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology in a regional effort to make Riverside a more environmentally friendly community.
Balqon’s recent focus in the energy storage market could not have occurred at a more pivotal time. In recent weeks, both A123 Systems Inc. (AONE) and Ener1Inc (HEVVQ.PK), two of Balqon’s biggest competitors as the foremost leaders in battery storage technology, have had setbacks and been forced into deals with savvy investors eager to enter into the energy storage market. Chinese auto supplier Wanxiang group has taken a controlling interest in A123, while Russian investor Boris Zingarevich emerged as a lifeline to Ener1Inc. Both investors obviously making a bet on the expanding market place for lithium batteries and both agree that the timing is now.
Given that worldwide lithium battery revenues doubled from $10 billion in 2009 to over $20 billion in 2012 with no signs of slowing, these recent developments amongst Balqon’s competitors have left an enormous gap in the American market share of energy storage by way of lithium batteries – a gap which Balqon Corp. expects to fill. Balqon itself has already begun to sell lithium iron phosphate batteries at $300 per kWh, a price automakers expect to reach by 2016. With that kind of maverick business model and confirmation that the time is now to invest in lithium battery companies, Balqon represents a great opportunity to own a growing company in an exploding market.
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