Recently there's been even more media speculation than usual about Tesla, from its ability to sustain itself with its current cash pile, to its ability to get its Model 3 on the road in sufficient volumes. But if there's one thing that Tesla evidently does not have a problem with, it's generating media coverage. A quick Google News search for Tesla brings up over 88 million articles and counting.
With all that media attention and exposure, it can be difficult for other electric vehicle (EV) companies to get media coverage.With that in mind, here are some really interesting companies in the EV space which are sometimes overlooked in the glare of Tesla’s aura:
Spark Horizon was founded in 2016 with the aim of building the first free electric vehicle charging network. Vehicle charging is provided to EV users free at point-of-sale thanks to sponsorship from brands which are keen to promote sustainability. At a time when the need to promote EV use and supply charging infrastructure are locked in a co-dependent, ‘chicken and egg’-type scenario, Spark Horizon’s mission to install and operate free, fast-charging infrastructure is a worthy cause.
Protean is a sustainable transport technology provider, which licences innovative tech to tier one suppliers and OEMs in the auto industry. Protean was founded with the intention of creating an in-wheel motor with integrated power electronics and digital control. The company has just scooped $40m in funding to continue to develop and commercialise its in-wheel motors which are designed to propel hybrid and electric vehicles – enabling more efficient mobility.
These are just two of the companies helping to shift mobility towards an electric future. This won’t happen overnight, and serious questions remain about power demand, boosting the attractiveness of more EVs to consumers, and the proper provision of charging infrastructure to quell range anxiety. But with the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles banned in the UK from 2040, the future of mobility is electric. Now it’s simply a question of when the switch happens, and there are plenty of early stage companies working to make change happen sooner rather than later.
Electric vehicle startups have raised more than $2 billion in the U.S. over the first months of 2018 alone, a huge increase over the $650 million raised in 2017, according to data from PitchBook. And the investment trends point to more competition for Tesla from established car companies and upstart manufacturers alike in the next few years.