By Kari Williamson
Only last week, Better Place raised US$200 million in a Series C funding round, taking the total equity raised by the EV company to over US$750m.
Furthermore, electric vehicle makers CODA and Fisker have raised over US$450m this year, and Smith Electric Vehicles Corp has filed plans to raise up to US$125m through an IPO on the NASDAQ.
As car manufacturers ramp up EV production, the need for charging infrastructure is presenting investment opportunities.
In the US, General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt and Nissan’s LEAF have both been on market for a year, and President Barack Obama has set a target of 1 million plug-in vehicles on US roads by 2015.
Europe is still a year or two behind the US in terms of EV production by large OEMs, but the sector has been boosted by a €220m loan provided by the European Investment Bank to fund Nissan’s development of new production lines for the LEAF in the UK, Clean Energy Pipeline says.
China joining in
China is also promoting electric vehicles. Government ministries have requested that local governments in 25 major cities consider implementing favourable schemes for alternative-energy vehicles. Furthermore, Chinese media reports that China’s State Grid could build 75 charging stations and more than 6000 charging posts by the end of this year. The number of charging stations is expected to rise to 10,000 by 2020.