Biden’s electric car plans to have enough chargers


For years, start-ups, automakers, and other companies have slowly built chargers, mostly in California and other coastal states where most electric cars are sold. These companies use different strategies to make money, and auto experts say it’s not clear who will be successful. The company with the most stations, ChargePoint, sells chargers to individuals, workplaces, stores, condominiums and apartments, and businesses with fleets of electric vehicles. It collects subscription fees for software that manages chargers. Tesla offers charging primarily to get people to buy its cars. And others make money selling electricity to drivers.

Once a poor cousin to the trendy sector of sleek electric car manufacturing, the charging industry has been embroiled in its own gold rush. Venture capital firms invested nearly $ 1 billion in billing firms last year, more than the previous five years combined, according to PitchBook. So far in 2021, venture capital investments amount to more than $ 550 million.

On Wall Street, publicly traded special purpose acquisition companies, or SPAC, have made deals to buy eight charging companies out of 26 deals involving electric vehicles and related businesses, according to Dealogic, a research firm. The deals typically include an injection of hundreds of millions of dollars from big investors like BlackRock.

“It’s early days and people are trying to figure out what the potential looks like,” said Gabe Daoud Jr., managing director and analyst at Cowen, an investment bank.

These companies could benefit from the infrastructure bill, but it’s unclear how the Biden administration would distribute the money for the charging stations.

Another unanswered question is who will be the Exxon Mobil of the age of the electric car. It could well be car manufacturers.

Tesla, which makes about two-thirds of all electric cars sold in the United States, has built thousands of chargers, which it has made free for early adopters. The company could open its network to vehicles from other automakers by the end of the year, its chief executive, Elon Musk, said in july.

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