It is hard to believe today that the first practical electric car, with a rechargeable battery, popped up sometime in the mid-1800s. Since then, electric vehicles (EVs) have been in the decline compared to internal combustion engines.
Over the last 10 years, however, a changing climate, rising pollution, and the alarming rate of depletion of fossil fuels and other natural resources have forced the development of electric vehicles. While such transportation can have a lasting impact on the environment, people still hesitate to buy them as electricity itself is currently generated using fossil fuels like coal and oil. Just like how lead-acid batteries allowed for recharging the electric car over 100 years ago, the EV industry today needs advancements in energy and storage technologies to make more people buy electric vehicles.
Top 5 Countries Globally: Electric Vehicles
Using our Startup Search Engine covering 1.000.000+ startups & emerging companies, we analyzed the geographic distribution of global activity for electric vehicle solutions. We identified 753 startups and emerging companies that develop electric vehicles. According to our data, the US, the UK, India, Canada, and Germany account for 61% of global activity in this field.
According to our data, North America and Europe currently account for more than 80% of global activity in electric vehicles driven by a higher awareness of global warming and the effects of human pollution. Asia, primarily driven by China, is set to see the highest growth in electric vehicle sales, to move well past its current share of 14% of global activity.
The delicate balance between traditional OEMs, fossil fuel extractors, and new electric players requires good government support and policies. This could lead to a rather haphazard manner of development for the industry that is also dependant on other energy storage technologies for wider adoption.
#1 United States | 257 Startups & Emerging Companies
Three of the five biggest global hubs for electric vehicles are in the US. Los Angeles, The Silicon Valley Area, and New York City show high activity in the development of electric vehicles, mainly driven by greater community awareness about environmental degradation and corporate interest in developing renewable and sustainable mobility.
Operating from Tacoma, in the northwestern USA, ZEVA Aero have firmly fixed their gaze on the future. They develop electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles, with a long-term strategy that extends to 2050. The company envisages that such zero-emission flying vehicles will become ubiquitous by 2030 and personal use eVTOLs by 2050. They have designed a compact landing area and offer a range of 80km (50mi).
#2 United Kingdom | 62 Startups & Emerging Companies
London remains one of the biggest global hubs for developing electric vehicle technologies. Many electric vehicles being developed in Europe focuses on reducing the carbon footprint and space required per person while commuting. This leads to the development of many innovative alternatives to driving cars around the city.
British startup Furo Systems develops all-electric cycles, with the intention of encouraging buyers to commute in environmentally friendly ways. Set up in London, they believe the future of urban mobility is compact, electric, and easily portable vehicles, like their Furo X. The Furo X can be conveniently folded and carried into buses or local trains, helping people with the last-mile connectivity. With a range of 50km (31mi), it can be a useful addition when people start extensively using public transportation.
#3 India | 58 Startups & Emerging Companies
India is an ideal place for developing solar and wind-based energy grids as the sun beats down on many parts of the country, throughout the year. With a pressing need for smarter infrastructure and friendlier government policy, electric vehicles have an important role to play in India’s energy and mobility markets. Innovative solutions are being developed in Bengaluru, Mumbai-Pune, and in New Delhi.
Bengaluru based startup Ather Energy is eyeing the massive Indian two-wheeler market by developing fully connected electric scooters. Designed for the Indian road, Ather offers a smart dashboard with navigation, a top speed of 80km (50mi) per hour and a range of 55km-75km (34-46mi). They are also looking to establish a network of charging stations so that buyers can recharge within a 4km radius and operate as they would with non-electric vehicles.
#4 Canada | 45 Startups & Emerging Companies
It is of little surprise that most big North American cities show the highest activity in developing electric vehicles. Increasing pressure on existing, and sometimes long-running, transportation services have forced startups and emerging companies to solve some of these challenges. The two major hubs for electric vehicles in Canada are in Toronto and Vancouver.
Based in Vancouver, Canadian startup Electra Meccanica develops the Solo, an all-electric vehicle solution targeting the 100+ million people who drive alone in petrol vehicles every day. The Solo looks like a usual car from the front but there is little else that it has common with traditional cars. It has only 3 wheels, a range of 160km (100mi), and a charging time of just 3 hours all make this vehicle something to keep an eye out for over the coming years.
#5 Germany | 36 Startups & Emerging Companies
Germany, home to some of the automotive sector’s biggest names, has its work cut out to enable greater adoption of electric vehicles. Startups, emerging companies, and auto giants are all developing electric solutions to mobility and transportation. Steady integration of more renewable energy grids coupled with available high-tech skills creates the best conditions for developing future electric mobility technologies.
Based in Hamburg, e-floater develops its eponymous micro-mobility solution of the same name. The three-wheel construction solves some of the stability issues faced by traditional micro-mobility. They aim to offer services where others stop by making a vehicle with a white-label and allowing for very simple recharging. e-floater also ensure their product is transported and distributed without any diesel used, aiming for 100% sustainability within their business.
As we can see from these examples, electric vehicles are being designed better and are capable of performing in similar ways to the vehicles we use today. As innovative startups target industries and households to develop high-quality EV solutions, the government will also have a role to play in ensuring urban mobility is less dependant on petrol-guzzling vehicles. This will mean smarter roadways that can accommodate different types of electric vehicles and the entire EV infrastructure. The future of mobility promises to be silent, efficient, and much better for our environment.