Venture investing in electric vehicle companies eclipses 2017’s total

Possible talks to take electric-vehicle company Tesla private have made headlines recently.

Amid reports that Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund might supply the cash to support Tesla’s move to become private, Reuters reported that the sovereign wealth fund is in talks to invest instead in competitor Lucid Motors, with an initial outlay of $500 million.

The Newark, California-based company designs electric vehicles but is not yet selling them. Founded by former Tesla and Oracle executives, the company last raised a $100 million expansion-stage round in 2014, according to data from Thomson Reuters. Investors include Tsing Capital and Venrock.

But even if the deal between Lucid Motors and the Saudis falls through, venture investing this year in companies in the electric vehicle sector has nearly quadrupled over last year’s totals.

Year-to-date in 2018, venture investors have poured $643.9 million into 16 electric vehicle-related companies worldwide, compared with the $171.3 million they invested into 16 companies in 2017. Most of the equity invested this year went to electric scooter company Bird Rides, which in June raised $409.8 million from Accel Partners, CRV, Lead Edge Capital, Greycroft Partners, Upfront Ventures, Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Valor Equity Partners, Sound Ventures, B Capital Group, Valor Ventures, Goldcrest Investments and Tusk Strategies.

In 2017, the largest deal in the sector was electric vehicle charging network ChargePoint, which raised $125 million from BMW I Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures, Rho Capital Partners and Linse Capital.

Below are the 10 biggest deals in the electric vehicle sector in 2018.

To see a list of the top 10 electric vehicle-related venture deals year-to-date in 2018, click here: Top 10 electric vehicle deals (2018)