When Tesla IPO’d in 2010, they were the only game in town.
Over the last decade, they’ve managed to maintain the top spot in the EV car space.
Currently valued at $400B, they claim just over 1% of the rapidly growing U.S. auto market (Statista).
They’ve led advancements in battery and motor technology, but more importantly…
Tesla has proven the market’s demand and made electric vehicles mainstream.
In doing so, they’ve also paved the way for others to enter the EV space.
That’s exactly what we’re seeing now.
Some are creating products to support EV adoption and others directly compete with Tesla’s product offering.
Nonetheless, it’s an exciting time in a revolutionary market.
Let’s take a look at just a few of the latest Unicorns (companies with $1B valuations) born in this ‘electrifying’ space.
P.S. If you like what’s going on in the electric vehicle space and the promise it holds for the future…we’ve got something coming that will BLOW YOUR MIND. Stay tuned and keep reading my emails for more details.
EV Unicorns Are Born
The coming years will see electric vehicles taking the centerstage of the automotive industry, and investors know it.
It’s not just Tesla — the unicorn company, 400 times over… there have been an impressive number of EV startups that earned unicorn status.
Here are a few of the EV unicorns you should know about.
ChargePoint is a California-based EV infrastructure company. It is the largest network of independently owned EV charging stations. ChargePoint is backed by Big Oil, the California Energy Commission, and Tesla’s largest investor.
At its last round of funding, its post-money valuation was over $1.5 billion, according to Sharespost.
In 2017, ChargePoint managed 34,900 charging stations across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Australia before taking over another 9,800 from GE.
In September of 2019, the company reached 100,000 total chargers and was adding more than 2,000 more each month.
By 2025, ChargePoint plans to have over 2,500,000 stations.
Chargepoint has announced that it will go public through a reverse merger (SPAC) with Switchback Energy Acquisition Corp. This will boost ChargePoint’s valuation significantly and provide a permanent source of capital to fuel their rapid-growth ambitions.
They plan to use $493 million to fund the expansion of the charging stations through North America and Europe and boost R&D on hardware, software, and services.
Arrival is an EV company focused on the production of commercial vans and buses for public transportation. This London-based startup was founded in 2015 and it only took a few years for it to reach unicorn status, being valued at around $3.8 billion as of 2020.
What’s special about Arrival’s products is their modular design. Busses and vans start as a universal “skateboard” that can then be customized to the customer’s preference. The length, range, and capacity are customizable, allowing vehicles to be used in many applications.
Arrival manufactures its vehicles in special Microfactories. They use existing commercial spaces for “cell-based” assembly instead of the traditional automotive production line. Microfactories source from their local area, reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing. Also, the proprietary materials used to make the vehicles are recyclable at any stage of the product’s life.
Arrival now claims that its electric vehicles will be the first to cost the same as their gas and diesel equivalents.
Hyundai and Kia both invested in Arrival. The deal allows the two established carmakers to use Arrival’s technology to make their models electric.
In other big EV news, UPS recently placed a massive order with Arrival. The shipping giant plans to purchase 10,000 of its electric vans to use as shipping vehicles. This is a part of UPS’s plans to lower its emissions moving forward, a trend seen across many industries.
Ola Electric Mobility
Ola Electric is an Indian EV unicorn that brings electric vehicles into the sharing economy to solve India’s growing pollution problem.
India has set a target of 6 million electric vehicles on the road by the end of 2020. Until now, the high cost of batteries, lack of charging stations, and limited vehicle range has kept progress slow.
This is set to change as Ola brings the full solution for EV ridesharing and EV to the nation’s massive, $12 billion taxi market.
The startup has launched its two-wheel and three-wheel vehicle pilot programs across the country and is building charging stations and swappable battery systems. Ola should have 10,000 new EVs on the roads by the end of 2020.
Hyundai and Kia invested in this EV venture as well. Ola Electric’s parent company received $300 million from the South Korean companies in an effort to expand their mobility solutions and EV programs.
But it was Softbank’s $250 million investment that tipped the scales, bringing Ola Electric well above a $1 billion valuation, granting it unicorn status.
The latest news from Ola is that it’s stepping into the powersport space. On May 27, 2020, Ola acquired the Amsterdam-based EV startup Etergo to leverage its e-scooter technology. The two-wheeled, sitdown scooters will be tested and deployed alongside the company’s other low-cost, highly-scalable vehicles.
Nikola Motor Company
Nikola Motors designs and manufactures heavy-duty EV trucks and powersport vehicles. Despite being pre-revenue and being years away from production, in June of 2020 Nikola Motors’ valuation soared above $20 billion during its IPO, according to Business Insider.
Nikola is perhaps the most on-track company to capitalize on the untapped EV freight truck market. Its first priority is its line of hybrid hydrogen-electric trucks, but that hasn’t stopped the Arizona-based unicorn from branching out into powersports as well with its own electric pickup truck, the Nikola Badger.
Down the road, Nikola hopes to take over the freight trucking market and compete with Tesla in the consumer electric car market.
Its new line of powersports targets the consumer and military markets. It currently has two types of ATVs and one personal watercraft, all fully-electric.
Nikola is another EV startup to go public via reverse acquisition. The company joined with VectoIQ Acquisition Corporation which is run by a former General Motors executive. This led to the company being listed on the NASDAQ exchange.
Despite acquisitions questioning that validity of their technology claims, they have a major deal underway with GM.
The partnership would see GM acquiring an 11% stake in Nikola and nominate a member of its board. In exchange, GM will work with Nikola to manufacture the Badger pickup truck using GM’s facilities.
Another incentive for GM is the carbon credits it will earn from the manufacture of an EV. The agreement has GM keeping 80% of all carbon credits from the Badger, that GM can sell to other automakers to offset their CO2 emissions.
At the time of negotiations, Nikola’s valuation was marked at around $2 billion.
The EV space is producing Unicorns (companies with a $1 billion valuation or greater) at an incredible pace. What EV companies do you think will be the next to join the growing list?
Let me know in the comments below!