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‘A Good Year Overall,’ Says UQM

June 1, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Colorado’s UQM Technologies (AMEX:UQM) is seeing its revenues surge, although expenses for “expanded production engineering activities” are keeping the company in the red. But the firm’s latest financials reflect “a pretty good quarter and a good year overall,” UQM president and CEO Eric Ridenour told analysts.

Deliveries for Coda Automotive’s battery electric sedan accounted for much of the UQM sales surge, to $3.8 million in the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, a gain of 61% from $2.3 million in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011.

UQM is counting on Coda as it tackles other markets.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, revenue increased 12% to $10.1 million, compared to $9.0 million in fiscal 2011. Net loss, however, topped $4.9 million, as compared with just under $2 million for the prior fiscal year.

“We can see the path to profitability,” Ridenour said, describing an aggressive sales push in both Europe and Asia by a team led by the firm’s new sales and business development VP, Adrian Schaffer.

“We are aggressively looking for new and additional customers” in both markets, Ridenour said. The potential for a large contract for Coda with China’s Great Wall bodes well, he said. And, according to investment advisor Randall Hough with Legacy Financial Partners in Atlanta, “At this point we know of Audi, and UPS as candidates for significant production orders.”

Time to Buy?

UQM notes that in addition to the Audi A1 e-tron pre-production test vehicle, its systems are used in the 102EX Electric Phantom by Rolls-Royce.

Photo from September 2008 shows UQM componentry under the hood of a developmental battery electric Dodge sports car. Chrysler blacked out the UQM badge in later versions of the picture.

“The Chrysler/Fiat 500 is also a possibility based on Chrysler’s prior relationship with UQM before its bankruptcy and sale to Fiat,” Hough says in reference to a new Fiat 500-based EV. Pre-Fiat, he notes, Chrysler used UQM hardware in its “Envi” line of developmental electric vehicles (F&F Strategies, September 29, 2008).

Hough’s UPS mention harks back to 100 trucks with UQM drives being built by EVI, California’s Electric Vehicles International (F&F, August 29, 2011).

Ridenour said that Proterra’s UQM-drive all-electric transit bus recently passed FTA Altoona trials, paving the way for federally supported sales. And he talked up UQM’s new PowerPhase HD 220 drive for trucks and buses: “We are beginning to see the benefit from the substantial investments made in product development during fiscal 2012,” he said. “This type of investment is critical to positioning us for future success as the electrification market grows and customers demand higher performing products at reduced cost.”

The future? Proterra's zero-emission bus, with UQM drive, on tour in San Francisco...

Several analysts chided UQM executives for not buying more of their own company’s shares, the price of which remain low.

“Time to buy UQM!” Hough says.

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