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California Rockin’ It with EV Patents & Investment

california tesla roadster EV

Move over Michigan, California may be U.S. car central of the future.

California “took in $467 million in global EV venture capital (VC) investment (69 percent of total dollars) in the first half of 2011” and generated the same number of EV patents as Michigan from 2008-2010, according to a new report.

“California is fast becoming the world’s advanced car capital—our entrepreneurs, savvy consumers, research institutions and our market-driving policies are creating a perfect storm for continued growth,” said F. Noel Perry, businessman and founder of Next 10, the organization that created the report on this. More info available in the report, Powering Innovation: California is Leading the Shift to Electric Vehicles from R&D to Early Adoption, or via the link above. More key findings summarized here (from the link above):

California is a global VC leader in electric vehicles, attracting 69 percent of the world’s EV investment in the first half of 2011.

  • In the first half of 2011, California attracted 69 percent of global investment in EV-related sectors and 74 percent of United States investment in EV-related sectors ($467 million).
  • In 2010, California earned 80 percent ($840 million) of total U.S. and 60 percent of total global VC investment in EV‐related sectors.
  • Investment in this area has grown 712 percent since 2006 in the state, with Silicon Valley and Orange County attracting the most dollars.

California is a national and global patent leader in EV technology.

  • California and Michigan rank first in total EV technology patents in the nation- both generating 300 patents each between 2008-2010.
    • Just two decades ago, California ranked 17th in the nation in this area. This huge leap suggests California is taking the lead over older players in the development of newer technologies.
  • Battery patents dominate California EV patents (86 percent of all patents are for battery technology, from 2008-2010).
  • Globally, California trails only Japan and South Korea in patents but exceeds other top patent developers including Germany, Taiwan and France.

New jobs data shows strong growth in California’s EV sector—going against recessionary trends.

  • During the recent downturn, EV jobs expanded four percent in California, while total employment in the state dropped seven percent from January 2009 to 2010.
    • Los Angeles and Silicon Valley enjoy the largest employment numbers, accounting for nearly half (47 percent) of EV employment in California.
  • Starting with a relatively modest base in the early days of the EV sector, jobs in California increased 142 percent from 1995 to 2010 (growing from 740 to 1,800). Over the same time period, jobs in the overall economy grew by 12 percent.
  • Manufacturing in California’s EV sector is expanding, with a 51 percent increase in employment during the recent downturn (2009-2010).
  • EV business establishment numbers in the state dropped ten percent from January 2009 to 2010 suggesting that possible consolidation in the industry is taking place in the context of the economic downturn and evolving markets related to EVs.

California’s history as an early adopter of new technology, its forward-looking polices and its strong community efforts to spur market growth in clean energy technology all contribute to its role as a market and infrastructure leader in the EV sector.

  • California ranks first in the nation in total charging stations (609) and first in the nation per capita (16.3 charging stations per million residents).
  • California ranks first in the country in total number of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles.

California-made Tesla Roadster via GS1311

 
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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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