21 Start-ups Cleaning up the Auto Industry
The Electric Vehicle market is raising billions of dollars, and creating thousands of green jobs. Optimism reigns despite the slowness of deployment of charging stations, and the troubles at A123 Systems and its repercussions for Fisker that are giving the industry an unjustified bad name ("loser").
The list of start-up companies in this market is very long. The top 21 listed below have raised a total of $8 billion in private venture capital. They represent five industry segments: EV manufacturing, hybrid conversion kits, charging stations, batteries, and engines/transmissions technology.
Tesla Model S
- Tesla Motors perhaps the most famous, builds luxury sedans. It's a publicly traded company with a valuation of $4 billion.
- Fisker Automotive builds luxury cars. Fisker has raised over $1.4 billion in private equity, and has drawn close to $200 million from a US DOE loan.
- Coda Automotive, a sedan manufacturer, has raised over $200 million in private capital, and has obtained a $300 million loan for a joint venture with Chinese battery manufacturer Lishen Power Battery.
- Green Automotive Company, a builder of electric sedans and trucks.
- Proterra, a manufacturer of electric buses, has raised over $50 million, including a recent $23 million round with GM's participation.
Better Place Swapping Station
- ChargePoint is the largest with over 10,000 stations deployed. Has raised $100 million in private equity, and received a $37 million grant from the US DOE.
- Better Place, famous for its battery-swapping technology, has raised $850 million in private equity.
- ECOtality has received a $115 million grant from the US DOE.
- eVgo, a subsidiary of electric utility NRG, just won a $100 million contract from the state of California
Hybrid Powertrain Conversion
XL Hybrids Powertrain
- ALTe Powertrain Technologies has raised $20 million in private equity, and is setting up a $200 million joint venture in China to manufacture and sell its conversion powertrain in Asia. $70 million is slated for R&D at its US location.
- XL Hybrids is commercializing technology from MIT, and has raised $4 million in private equity. Johnson Controls (in the process of acquiring the assets of bankrupt A123 Systems) is providing the batteries for XL Hybrids' conversion kit.
LG Chem Battery Pack
- LG Chem Power received $150 million from the US DOE in 2010 to build a plant in Michigan to provide batteries to Ford, and GM's Chevy Volt. Production has not began.
- Pellion Technologies received a $2.5 million grant from the US DOE, part a $43 million ARPA-E project.
- Sakti3 is commercializing battery technology developed at the University of Michigan. It raised $6.2 million of private equity from GM and others, and received a $3 million grant from the state of Michigan.
Engines and Transmissions
EcoMotors OPOC™ Engine video
- EcoMotors is developing new engine technology: a 2-stroke opposed-piston diesel engine.
- Achates Power is developing new engine technology: another 2-stroke opposed-piston diesel engine. It has raised $50 million in private equity.
- Clean Diesel Technologies is developing clean diesel exhaust systems.
- Nanostellar is developing nanotechnology for diesel exhaust systems.
- Novatorque is building a new generation of electric motors.
- Transonic Combustion, building high efficiency fuel injection, has raised $20 million in private equity.
- Tula Technology is developing engine management technology. It has raised un undisclosed amount of private equity.
The aggregate amount of private capital raised by the companies listed above in the past 5 years is over $8 billion, not counting US DOE grants and loans. And these 21 companies are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition, vast amounts of capital have been invested in the US by large companies such as Ford, GM, Toyota, GE, Johnson Controls and Eaton.
The total number of Green Jobs in Clean Transportation indexed by TheGreenJobBank so far this year is close to 2,000, including over 400 current openings as of 12/07/2012.