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| 1 minute read

Car companies are betting big on climate tech. Will VW cleantech investments be worth more than their auto making business???

First I read a post this morning from my good friend Dan Caesar (Fully Charged CEO) about how VW have themselves come to the conclusion that they are uncompetitive against the likes of Tesla. Talk about late to the party on that one. Like most, if not all German auto OEMs, VW's Board and Leadership were asleep at the wheel. Those that were awake were fired!  A real Clusterfuck, the ramifications of which have barely begun to be felt. But what's this……..

Next I read this from Sifted. It seems the investment arm or teams at VW were far from asleep at the wheel. It looks like they've made some pretty big, and pretty savvy bets on cleantech start-ups. Most notably Northvolt. On more than one occasion. 

The article goes on to share. 

‘Sifted identified 59 deals between 2018 to 2023 that involved one of thirteen car companies or their CVC arm: Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, Porsche, Nissan, Volvo, Renault, Volkswagen, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Honda, Stellantis and Mercedes Benz. 36% of those deals went to companies working on EV charging technology.’

The question I, and many of you no doubt, ask is which traditional auto OEMs will survive the emobility transition, because it won't be all of them, certainly not in their current guises. And now an even more interesting question, which of them will hold greater value in their cleantech investments, than in their core manufacturing businesses? 

At Hyperion Executive Search we have been working for many years in the EV Charging infrastructure space, and the whole future mobility ecosystem, hardware, software and everything in between. Even some OEMs. Our portfolio of clients shows we're pretty good at backing winners. Or maybe they are winners because of the teams we help them build :-) Well, it certainly will have helped them. If you are a winner and want to build or add to a winning team, get in touch. 

If you have some thoughts on the Auto OEM winners and losers, we're keen to hear. 

The largest deals participated in by car companies all went to gigafactory startups. Volkswagen first backed Northvolt, the Swedish gigafactory startup now worth $12bn, in 2020 and has joined each round since, including the $1.2bn convertible note raised by the company in August this year.


leadership, investment, culture, c-suite, batteries, cleantech, climate tech, emobility, future mobility