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The electric vehicle Gold Rush: A look at EV startups going public

Ines Ferré
·Markets Reporter
·9 min read
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A wave of electric vehicle and related companies are flooding the public markets this year (mostly via SPAC deals), hoping to capture a slice of the booming industry as governments push for green initiatives. These follow in the footsteps of a slew of startups which listed last year. Some will face direct competition from EV giant Tesla (TSLA) as well as traditional vehicle companies entering the space.

These are some of the newest players on the block, with expertise ranging from commercial EVs to battery technology and charging stations. The list is growing by the week, even as stock prices in the sector have been cooling off recently.

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Aeva

This company, a LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology company looking to apply its technology beyond the electric vehicle industry, is set to list via the SPAC InterPrivate Acquisition (IPV). The stock is sitting at around $11 a share.

Arrival

The London-based start-up differentiates itself from other EV manufactures by focusing on electric vans and buses, with plans to open micro-factories in the U.S. and U.K in 2021. Arrival is expected to list via CIIG Merger Corp (CIIC), a SPAC in late Q1.

Electric Last Mile Solutions

Taking advantage of the e-commerce explosion, ELMS is focused on commercial vehicles at a lower price point than competitors. The company is spun off from a Chinese auto maker. ELMS is set to merge with Forum Merger III Corp (FIII) which will value the company at more than $1.9 billion. The closing is expected sometime in the first quarter of this year. ELMS expects to begin production of the Urban Delivery in the second half of 2021.

EVBox

A Netherlands-based manufacturer and distributer of electric vehicle charging stations and charging management software, EVBox announced a merger deal via a SPAC with TPG Pace Beneficial Finance (TPGY) in December 2020. The deal is expected to close late in the current quarter.

EVgo

This fast charging network recently announced it will go pubic via Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corporation (CLII), a SPAC . It's seeking a $2.6 billion valuation.

Faraday Future

Founded in 2014, the LA-based electric vehicle startup announced it will go public via a SPAC deal with Property Solutions Acquisition Corp (PSAC) this year.

FREYR Battery

The battery cell maker will go public via a deal with Alussa Energy Acquisition Corp. (ALUS), a blank check company. The combined company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol (FREY). Pro forma equity value of the combined company is expected to be about $1.4 billion.

Li-Cycle

This battery resource recycling company recently announced a merger with Peridot Acquisition Corp (PDAC) to go public. "The imperative for economically and environmentally sustainable resource recycling is growing in lockstep with the exponential growth of the EV market and battery manufacturing," Li-Cycle CEO Ajay Kochhar recently told Yahoo Finance. "Our ‘future proofed’ technology can recycle any battery chemistry economically, and our closed-loop solution provides the essential raw material building blocks for batteries that are in critical demand," he added.

Lightning eMotors

Lightning eMotors makes commercial electric vehicles for fleets. Expected to go public via a merger with GigCapital (GIK) and list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol (ZEV) in the 2nd quarter of this year.

Lucid Motors

After much speculation, the high-end electric vehicle startup confirmed its merger with Churchill Capital Corp VI (CCIV). The SPAC's stock, which has gotten attention from the Reddit crowd, tumbled the day of the merger announcement as some investors pointed to the company's valuation. The California based company's CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson used was the Chief Engineer of the Tesla Model S in 2009.

Innoviz Technologies

Backed by SoftBank, Innoviz, which makes sensors for autonomous vehicles, announced it will go public through a reverse merger with Collective Growth Corp (CGRO) in a deal valuing the Israeli based company at about $1.4 billion.

Microvast

The electric battery manufacturer is expected to go public this year via Tuscan Holdings Corp (THCB), the blank-check company. Microvast batteries powered electric buses used in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. The manufacturer recently announced it will establish a plant in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Nuvve

The charging technology company announced it will go public via a SPAC, with Newborn Acquisition (NBAC). Toyota Motor (TM) is an investor in Nuvve.

Proterra

The electric bus and battery manufacturer will be merging with billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya backed blank-check firm ArcLight Clean Transition (ACTC). Proterra recently announced an agreement with Montgomery County in Maryland to provide its battery technology as part of the biggest electric bus deal in the US.

REE Automotive

REE integrates vehicle components (steering, braking, powertrain, suspension, control) into the arch of the wheel. The company claims its EV platforms creates maximum room for passengers, cargo and batteries with the smallest footprint. In February REE entered into a merger agreement with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp (VCVC). The transaction values the combined company at a pro forma enterprise value of $3.1 billion.

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The last half of 2020 saw a slew of electric vehicle related companies the public markets. Many of them through SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies. Here's a list of the EV related companies which listed over the last year, separated by category.

Electric vehicle makers

Fisker (FSR)

Electric SUV startup went public via a SPAC in 2020. Shares were trading around $10.50 each the day the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock recently rallied off its fourth quarter results and after announcing a deal with Foxconn which will manufacture around 250,000 electric vehicles annually.

XPeng (XPEV)

This Chinese EV maker went public via IPO, which was priced at $15 per share in August 2020. The company is just one of many startups competing against Tesla for part of the Chinese electric vehicle market share.

Li Auto (LI)

This Chinese EV maker went public via IPO at $11.50/share in July 2020. The company reported a surprise profit for its 4th quarter in 2020 and shares are currently sitting at around $21 each.

Lordstown Motors (RIDE)

This electric pick-up startup went public via a SPAC in October 2020. Production for its trucks will start in September, Lordstown CEO and founder Steve Burns recently told Yahoo Finance. The company is focusing on commercial fleets and has about 100,000 pre-orders. Electric delivery and utility vehicle maker Workhorse Group (WKHS) holds a stake in Lordstown Motors.

Nikola (NKLA)

The company, which is focused on building semi-trucks, went public via a SPAC last summer and months later came under scrutiny by claims brought forth from short-seller Hindenburg Research. The stock had traded north of $90 a share but is now hovering at around $15/share. It recently reported its fourth quarter 2020 results. The stock slid after management revised its upcoming trial production for the Tre semi truck down to 100 for the 4th quarter of 2021.

Canoo (GOEV)

This LA-based company focuses on making minivans for vehicle rental and ride sharing. It's starting out with two offerings: a multipurpose delivery vehicle (MPDV) and last-mile delivery vans. The EVs are intended to be leased. Canoo went public via a SPAC in December of 2020. Shares opened at $22.82 on the Nasdaq on December 22.

GreenPower Motors (GP)

This Canadian company designs, builds and distributes a full suite of high-floor and low-floor vehicles, including transit buses, school buses, shuttles, and a double decker. GreenPower motors went public in the US via an IPO in August of 2020.

Nissan Leaf electric cars are being charged before the start of an electric car rally from Tallinn to Monte-Carlo in Tallinn June 1, 2012. The rally lasts for 10 days, during which electric cars will cross 10 countries and cover a distance of more than 3300 km (2050 miles). According to Nissan, the Leaf's expected all-electric range is 160 kilometres (100 miles). It uses a 80 kW (110 hp) front-mounted synchronous electric motor to drive the wheels, powered by a 24 kilowatt-hours lithium ion battery pack.  REUTERS/Ints Kalnins (ESTONIA - Tags: TRANSPORT ENVIRONMENT)
Nissan Leaf electric cars are being charged before the start of an electric car rally from Tallinn to Monte-Carlo in Tallinn June 1, 2012. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Battery related companies

QuantumScape (QS)

This Solid State battery company is backed by Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates and Volkswagen (VOW.DE). QuantumScape CEO Jagdeep Singh recently told Yahoo Finance, "Later this year, we hope to have an eight- to 10-layer cell and then we'll deliver sample cells."

Romeo (RMO)

This battery pack manufacturer for commercial electric vehicles based out of Vernon, California, listed publicly in December 2020 via a SPAC.

Hyliion Holdings (HYLN)

EV battery technology company for heavy duty vehicles. The company recently announced a next-generation battery module. It also has created a powertrain which converts existing diesel-powered heavy trucks to hybrids. Hyliion went public via a SPAC last year and reached a high of $58. The stock is currently trading at around $13.

XL Fleet (XL)

This is a producer of hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. The company went public via a SPAC in December 2020. The company recently announced a deal with UBS Arena to potentially build 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations at the new UBS Arena, the future home of the New York Islanders. It could become one of the largest EV charging sites in the United States.

An attendee visits the Velodyne booth featuring Velodyne Lidar sensor technology, January 7, 2020 at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
An attendee visits the Velodyne booth featuring Velodyne Lidar sensor technology, January 7, 2020 at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

LIDAR technology companies

Luminar Technologies (LAZR)

Founded in 2012, this LIDAR sensor company went public via a SPAC in December 2020. Volvo’s electric vehicle expected to launch in 2022 will likely utilize Luminar's LIDAR system.

Velodyne Lidar (VLDR)

The company's laser-based LIDAR technology helps detect surrounding objects. The company, which went public via a SPAC in September 2020, says its new mass-market sensor can be produced for as little as $500. The stock recently fell after a wider than expected fourth-quarter loss.

Charging Stations

ChargePoint

ChargePoint (CHPT) listed on March 1st after closing its SPAC merger deal with SwitchBack Energy. The company operates a network of independently owned EV charging stations in 14 countries. A second vote to close the merger was recently approved after too few shareholders failed to vote the last time.

Beam Global (BEEM)

A solar powered charging station solutions company, formally known as Envision global, Beam Global went public via an IPO in July 2020. Beam recently announced improvements in the performance of the EV ARC sustainable EV charging system of up to 12%.

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Ines covers the U.S. stock market. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

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