Electric Vehicles: Huge Potential for Venture Capital and Green Jobs

Electric Vehicle startups are 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 on Fisker, that are giving some players in the industry the unjustified nickname "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 capital. They represent five industry segments: EV manufacturing, hybrid conversion kits, charging stations, batteries, and engines/transmissions technology.

Electric Vehicles

    Tesla Model S
  • Tesla Motors -probably the most famous, builds luxury sedans. It's a publicly traded company with a valuation of several $ billions. (over 200 job openings)
  • Fisker Automotive - luxury cars. Has raised over $1.4 billion in private equity, and has drawn $193 million from a US DOE loan.
  • Coda Automotive - sedans. 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. (25 job openings)
  • Green Automotive Company - converted SUV's and all-electric buses. GAC is a public company, trading on the OTC, with a market value of $165 million. It has acquired several US companies, and a maker of electric powertrains and batteries in the UK.
  • Proterra - all-electric buses. Has raised over $50 million, including a recent $23 million round with GM's participation. (16 job openings)

Charging Stations

    Better Place Swapping Station
  • ChargePoint (formerly Coulomb Technologies), 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. (3 job openings)
  • 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 (4 job openings)
  • 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 has raised $4 million in private equity. Johnson Controls is providing the batteries for the conversion kit. (5 job openings)


    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. (2 job openings)
  • Pellion Technologies Pellion received a $2.5 million grant from the US DOE, as part a $43 million ARPA-E project. (2 job openings)
  • Sakti3 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. (12 job openings)

Engines and Transmissions

The aggregate amount of private capital raised by the companies listed above in the past 5 years is over $8 billion. And these 21 companies are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition, this amount does not include the capital invested in the US by large companies such as Ford, GM, Toyota, GE, Johnson Controls and Eaton, which is substantially higher but hard to quantify.

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. And like capital, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Also, TheGreenJobBank doesn't index many manufacturing and construction jobs because they're advertized through different channels, mostly local.

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