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DETROIT — Corporate investors from outside the auto industry are placing increasing bets on
, vying with automakers and suppliers to bankroll startup companies working on everything from advanced batteries to charging devices and all-new
Some 250 startups involved in some aspect of electrification have attracted more than $20 billion in venture capital, notably from a broad array of corporations across multiple industries, according to a
analysis of publicly available data.
“Electrification will set off a number of economic changes in the traditional value chain in and around vehicles,” said
, managing director of San Francisco-based Trucks Venture Capital.
Because of those changes, in addition to funding EV development, investors see revenue opportunities in related markets, such as consumer products and home energy, Brennan said.
Such opportunities are underpinned by steady improvements in lithium-ion batteries’ energy, prompting forecasts for a surge in fleet electrification amid global efforts to fight fuel consumption and emissions from traditional internal combustion engines.
Big oil companies such as
PLC and Royal Dutch
PLC see EV-related investments partly as a hedge against dwindling demand for fossil fuels for privately owned vehicles, according to venture investor Evangelos Simoudis, managing director of Synapse Partners.
But they also see an opportunity to provide electric vehicle charging at fuel stations that now dispense gasoline and
Simoudis, who advises corporate executives on new mobility innovation strategy, said aerospace companies have a vested interest, too, in startups working on advanced battery systems: “
are both working on electric planes.”
Large telecommunication companies such as
Communications Inc will play a role in connected electric vehicles, while semiconductor makers such as
Inc see their computer chips being used in an increasing number of applications in future electric and self-driving vehicles, Simoudis added.
Far and away the most active corporate investor in electrification so far is Intel, which has backed battery startups Prieto, Qnovo and Enovix and charging startups
Global automakers are heavily invested in battery startups. The field includes
Motor Co and
Outside the auto industry, corporate investors in battery startups include technology companies
Solutions Inc and energy company Schlumberger NV.
Dozens of the startups focused on EV charging and infrastructure have been funded by many of the same corporate investors, including
Corp and ABB AG.
The greatest interest from investors, however, is in EV startups. There are more than 50 globally, including several high-profile and well-funded
wannabes based in China.
Corporate investment in China’s startups has come from big Chinese companies such as automaker
Car Co and battery maker
, which have backed
; automaker Zhejiang
Holding Group and technology firm
Inc, which have funded
, and internet giant
Group Holding, which has invested in
In the United States,
and BMW have backed
, the electric bus maker, while
Inc, which is best known for heavy construction machinery, has invested in Henrik
latest electric vehicle project, Fisker Inc.
Reporting by Paul Lienert.
from Autoblog http://bit.ly/2skjTq8